CARL ANDRE, DAN FLAVIN, ON KAWARA, SOL LEWITT: EARLY WORKS / Mignoni Gallery NYC

CARL ANDRE, DAN FLAVIN, ON KAWARA, SOL LEWITT: EARLY WORKS / Mignoni Gallery NYC

16JAN(JAN 16)10:0010APR(APR 10)18:00CARL ANDRE, DAN FLAVIN, ON KAWARA, SOL LEWITT: EARLY WORKS / Mignoni Gallery NYCNew York January 16 – April 10, 2018MIGNONI GALLERY NEW YORK, 960 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10021

The exhibition “Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, On Kawara, Sol LeWitt: Early Works” at Mignoni Gallery in New York, brings together six early examples of works in varying media created in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The grouping serves as an exploration of the relationship between minimal and conceptual art as established and expanded by these four artists. ‘It isn’t necessary for a work to have a lot of things to look at,’ the artist Donald Judd wrote in 1965. ‘The thing as a whole, is what is interesting. The main things are alone and are more intense, clear and powerful.’ This notion that the simpler a thing is, the more powerful it becomes is a central tenet of the late 1960s American art movement known as minimalism. It is also a concept that lies at the heart of the six very different works of art in this show. The term ‘minimalist’ (first coined to describe the art of Russian Constructivism) is one that has now entered common parlance as meaning austere, functional and bare. As a label for an art movement however, it was a description that was never accepted by any of the artists most closely associated with it. The six works in this exhibition are all early examples of art created in the late 1960s and early 1970s by Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Sol LeWitt, and On Kawara. These young, American artists, often associated with minimalism and what later became known as conceptualism, all lived, worked, and exhibited (often together) at this time in New York.

Dan Flavin, Untitled (to Eleanor McGovern), 1972. Blue, pink and yellow fluorescent light. 96 in. (244 cm.)

The mid-1960s in New York was a time when the elaborate and color-filled canvases of Abstract Expressionist painting and Pop art were the dominant creative tendencies in the city. The work of this younger generation of artists was deliberately intended to lead in a completely different direction. Inaugurated by Sol LeWitt’s ‘structures,’ Dan Flavin’s radically simple and transformative light installations, and the writings and ‘specific objects’ that Donald Judd had begun to make, these artists embraced such things as simple structures, monochrome abstraction, elementary geometry, and the straight line as part of a wholly new and incisive language of pure form. Operating independently from one another, each of the four artists represented in this show developed their own unique way of working – what Sol LeWitt was to call a ‘grammar.’ And this simplistic (or minimalist) ‘grammar,’ once established, was to remain largely unchanged in their work throughout their careers.

© Mignoni Gallery, NYC

Carl Andre’s work is also a sculpture of placement. The only one of these artists to actually refer to his work as ‘sculpture,’ Andre’s work, like Flavin’s, was a conscious articulation of the space wherein it is situated. Evolving out of a conventional carving tradition in sculpture, Andre transformed his approach and decided that ‘rather than cut into the material,’ he would subsequently ‘use the material as the cut in space.’ In the same way that Andre’s sculptures can be seen as material incisions in space, On Kawara’s Date Paintings are painterly incisions in time. Consisting of a sequential series of painted dates accompanied by a newspaper clipping from the same day, such works as 10 Jan 73 are austere, temporal stepping-stones that simultaneously measure out the life of the artist and of the viewer.

© Mignoni Gallery, NYC

All these works therefore explore and expand a conceptual direction in art which itself came to dominate American and European art in the late 1960s and early 70s. Traditionally, On Kawara’s work has been distinguished from minimalism by being designated ‘conceptual’- yet the deliberately simplistic form and style (or ‘grammar’) in works, such as his Date Paintings, is distinctly minimalist. As with much conceptual art, On Kawara’s paintings are ones that have adopted the formal language of minimalism as one of seriousness, truth, directness, and reality. Similarly, the approach to form and space shown in the work of the so-called minimalist artists – Andre, Flavin and LeWitt – is a distinctly conceptual one. For them, the idea behind the work is often more important than the manner or means of its execution. This is one of the reasons why they adopted a clean, industrial, non-distracting, ‘minimal’ language of form in the first place. It is also why so many of their works are accompanied by written certificates that serve to both describe and define them. ‘If one wishes to understand the art of our time one must go beyond appearance,’ Sol LeWitt insisted. ‘There has been much written about minimal art,’ he wrote, ‘but I have discovered no-one who admits to doing this kind of thing…The kind of art I am involved in is conceptual art. In conceptual art, the idea of concept is the most important aspect of the work…The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.’ More importantly too, perhaps, LeWitt pointed to the universality and freedom of such an approach, by pointing out that ‘ideas’ are things that in the end, ‘cannot be owned, they belong to whomever understands them.’

LA SINDROME DI PANDORA ( The Pandora Syndrome)

LA SINDROME DI PANDORA ( The Pandora Syndrome)

10FEB(FEB 10)13:5430APR(APR 30)13:54LA SINDROME DI PANDORA ( The Pandora Syndrome)Rome 10/02/2018 - 30/04/2018Daforma Gallery Roma, Via dei Cappellari 38 00186 Roma

Focused on the celebration of the first and most ancient object of the applied arts, La Sindrome di Pandora is an eclectic and transversal collection of vases selected according to improbable affinities and unexpected dissonances.

La Sindorme di Pandora

La Sindorme di Pandora

From the visionary Liberty forms of the early ‘900s through iconic designers of the ‘60s avant-garde, including Ettore Sottsass, Angelo Mangiarotti, Mario Botta, Lino Sabattini and Piero Fornasetti, up to emerging contemporary talents like Coralla Maiuri, Sophie Dries, Federica Elmo, Valentina Cameranesi and Sara Ricciardi. The exhibition reworks the classic myth of the infamous vase that Zeus bestowed—yet forbid to open—upon the sister of Prometheus, putting into play an ironic turnaround: the disobedience to the warning of the gods leads only to a wonderful explosion of shapes, colors and kaleidoscopic tropical visions.

Coralla Maiuri, Uovo di Dinosauro Marziano, 2017. Ceramica smaltata. Courtesy La Magnifica Forma.

Federica Elmo, Ferrosecco 1 (occhio). Acciaio inox verniciato a liquido, 20x42x35 cm. Courtesy La Magnifica Forma.

Valentina Cameranesi, La Donnina, ceramica smaltata, 47x15x6 cm. Courtesy La Magnifica Forma.

Sara Ricciardi, Vette. Ardesia e vetro fuso. Courtesy La Magnifica Forma.

Each vase will be completed, enriched and distorted by a floral composition especially studied by two Roman florists Valeria Pesciarelli and Francesca Ricci. A site specific project by Edoardo Dionea Cicconi (a completion and appendix of the entire floral installation) will be presented in the Sala Bianca, the project room of the gallery. A totem monolith of black wood and glass will stand out in the center of the project room: a case in which bodies of iridescent butterflies float as if frozen by the time of an absurd geometry; jewels of taxidermy in a dramatic implosion of beauty. The artist in fact reverses the myth of Pandora, imobilizing the wonder and amazement within the work, and creating an eternal guardian.

Edoardo Dionea Cicconi

Channa Horwitz’s Sonakinatography series at Lisson Gallery

Channa Horwitz’s Sonakinatography series at Lisson Gallery

19JAN(JAN 19)10:0024FEB(FEB 24)18:00Channa Horwitz’s Sonakinatography series at Lisson GalleryNew York 19 Jan – 24 Feb 2018Lisson Gallery New York, 138 10th Avenue New York

In 1968, Channa Horwitz submitted a proposal called “Suspension of Vertical Beams Moving in Space” to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Art and Technology exhibition. The proposal was for a sculpture with eight moving beams, suspended in the air by magnetism and lit at varying intensities. Dismissed from working with industry because she was a woman, her sculpture was never fabricated. LACMA did publish her proposal in the catalogue, but she was the only artist left off of the cover of exclusively male artists. This and the omission of any women artists in the exhibition spawned a feminist movement in the Los Angeles art scene, and the exhibition received a great deal of criticism. However, her attempt to graphically describe the movement of the beams with the rules and systems of eight that she developed for this proposal became the foundation for her numerous bodies of work, including her ground breaking series, Sonakinatography.

Channa Horwitz, Installation view, Lisson Gallery, New York

Sonakinatography was Horwitz’s visual philosophy and playful means of exploring and expressing the fourth dimension two-dimensionally. Feeling confident in her ability to compose for two and three dimensions, she set out to understand how choreographers and musical composers expressed time. “To achieve my compositions, I used motion in the form of eight energies (1/8 inch squares) which moved in a circularly sequential, numbered, logical manner. I created visual compositions by playing different number games”.

Channa Horwitz, Installation view, Lisson Gallery, New York

“I devised a system that would allow me to see time visually”. “I thought of the compositions as a kind of common language that could be interpreted in different ways”. Indeed, Sonakinatography has been interpreted by sound, music, movement, dance, light and animation artists. Horwitz also used Composition III as the structure for her poem opera score. She subsequently created twenty-four Sonakinatography compositions, each with different variations. “I chose a graph as the basis for the visual description of time. I gave the graph a value: each square became one beat or pulse in time. I chose to use eight entities, that I named “instruments”… With eight instruments, each having a duration in time equal to its number, I proceeded to create compositions”. Along with corresponding to a beat in time, each of the eight numbers correspond to movement, and can represent an instrument, dance movement, shape, colour, sound, light or word.

Channa Horwitz, Installation view, Lisson Gallery, New York

When completed, they are not only standalone graphic expressions of time, movement, and space, but can also function as visual scores and instructions for what has been and can be expressed through different mediums. By leaving open the freedom to interpret through a choice of different mediums and their possibilities, Horwitz has influenced generations of sound, music, movement, dance, light and animation artists. She summarised the impact of the series and its role as a kind of common language: “Sonakinatography breaks down the barriers between the arts through the use of a simple language that can be applied to each art in a different way”.

Modigliani. Tate Modern’s most comprehensive Modigliani exhibition ever held in the UK

Modigliani. Tate Modern’s most comprehensive Modigliani exhibition ever held in the UK

This autumn, Tate Modern stages the most comprehensive Modigliani exhibition ever held in the UK, bringing together a dazzling range of his iconic portraits, sculptures and the largest ever group of nudes to be shown in this country. Although he died tragically young, Amedeo Modigliani (1884–1920) was a ground-breaking artist who pushed the boundaries of the art of his time. Including 100 works – many of them rarely exhibited and nearly 40 of which have never before been shown in the UK – the exhibition re-evaluates this familiar figure, looking afresh at the experimentation that shaped his career and made Modigliani one of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. A section devoted to Modigliani’s nudes, perhaps the best-known and most provocative of the artist’s works, are a major highlight. In these striking canvases Modigliani invented shocking new compositions that modernised figurative painting. His explicit depictions also proved controversial and led to the police censoring his only solo exhibition in his lifetime, at Berthe Weill’s gallery in 1917, on grounds of indecency. This group of 12 nudes is the largest group ever seen in the UK, with paintings including Nude 1917 (Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart) and Reclining Nude c.1919 (Museum of Modern Art, New York).

Reclining Nude
 1919 
Oil on canvas 
724 x 1165 mm
 Museum of Modern Art, New York

Born in Livorno, Italy and working in Paris from 1906, Modigliani’s career was one of continual evolution. The exhibition begins with the artist’s arrival in Paris, exploring the creative environments and elements of popular culture that were central to his life and work. Inspired by the art of Paul Cézanne, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and Pablo Picasso, Modigliani began to experiment and develop his own distinctive visual language, seen in early canvases such as Bust of a Young Woman 1908 (Lille Métropole Musée d’Art Moderne, Villeneuve-d’Ascq) and The Beggar of Livorno 1909 (Private Collection). His circle included poets, dealers, writers and musicians, many of whom posed for his portraits including Diego Rivera 1914 (Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf), Juan Gris 1915 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) and Jean Cocteau 1916 (The Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation, Princeton University Art Museum). The exhibition will also reconsider the role of women in Modigliani’s work, including editor and writer Beatrice Hastings, who was not simply the artist’s lover but an important figure in the cultural landscape of the time.

Modigliani in his studio, photograph by Paul Guillaume, c.1915 
© RMN-Grand Palais (musée de l’Orangerie) I Archives Alain Bouret, image Dominique Couto

Modigliani features exceptional examples of the artist’s lesser-known sculpture, bringing together a substantial group of his Heads made before the First World War. Although his interests would soon move on, he spent a short but intense period focusing on carving, influenced by contemporaries and friends including Constantin Brâncuși and Jacob Epstein. Suffering from poor health, Modigliani left Paris in 1918 for an extended period in the South of France. Here he adopted a more Mediterranean colour palette and, instead of his usual metropolitan sitters, he began painting local people, including shopkeepers and children, such as Young Woman of the People 1918 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) and Boy with a Blue Jacket 1919 (Indianapolis Museum of Art).

Portrait of a Young Woman 1918 Oil paint on canvas 457 x 280 mm Yale University Art Gallery

The exhibition concludes with some of Modigliani’s best-known depictions of his closest circle. Friends and lovers provided him with much-needed financial and emotional support during his turbulent last years while also serving as models. These included his dealer and close friend Léopold Zborowski and his companion Hanka, as well as Jeanne Hébuterne, the mother of Modigliani’s child and one of the most important women in his life. When Modigliani died in 1920 from tubercular meningitis, Jeanne tragically committed suicide. Tate Modern brings together several searching portraits of her from Modgliani’s final years, on loan from international collections such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which depict her in a range of guises from young girl to mother.

Nude 
1917
 Oil paint on canvas 
890 x 1460 mm 
Private Collection

Modigliani is curated by Nancy Ireson, Curator of International Art, Tate Modern and Simonetta Fraquelli, Independent Curator, with Emma Lewis, Assistant Curator. Visitors can also enjoy a new integrated virtual reality experience in the heart of the exhibition. The Ochre Atelier: Modigliani VR Experience invites visitors to step into the studio where the artist lived and worked in the final months of his life. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue from Tate Publishing and a series of events in the gallery.

The Little Peasant
c.1918
Medium Oil paint on canvas
1000 x 645 mm
Tate, presented by Miss Jenny Blaker in memory of Hugh Blaker 1941

STEPHEN SHORE, 303 Gallery, New York

STEPHEN SHORE, 303 Gallery, New York

Widely recognized as one of the most significant and influential artists of our time, Stephen Shore has principally restructured the language of photography. Tapping into popular culture and a specific type of American vernacular imagery, Shore has inspired generations of artists working with the photographic medium to find poetry and order in the mundane. His seminal bodies of work “Uncommon Places” and “American Surfaces” helped usher the relevance of American art in the postwar era, and remain canonical studies in photography’s potential to classify, conjure, and meditate on the social legacy of modernity.

Installation view – Stephen Shore, 303 Gallery, New York, 2018

Always curious to investigate new forms of image-making, Shore has enthusiastically embraced and adapted to the era of digital photography. His series of print-on-demand books from the early 2000s created elliptical narratives from seemingly offhand snaps of casual events, and used the genre of travel photography to both critique and construct history. The advent of the iPhone has allowed Shore to continue his cataloguing of the everyday through his Instagram feed. In early 2017, Shore discovered a new tool: the Hasselblad X1D, a digital camera using an iPhone-like touchscreen interface, but with a resolution equal to or even greater than what he was able to achieve with his typical 8×10 view camera setup.

Installation view – Stephen Shore, 303 Gallery, New York, 2018

The photographs in his exhibition at 303 Gallery are shot exclusively with the X1D, and focus on a new kind of landscape, as found in arrangements of natural phenomena and street detritus to create distinctly happenstance harmonies. Whether capturing a boulder peeking out of a sea of rippling water or deflated balloons loitering outside an exhaust grate, Shore’s keen eye for color, composition and light reveals the strange cosmic congruity of seemingly foreign and unrelated elements. In Shore’s New York, a stray branch floating on a sidewalk under a wall of navy blue bricks seems to suggest an entirely hidden world of phenomena; while a cigarette, a straw, and a leaf balanced on untended asphalt has the expressionist power of an early Kandinsky. Discovering his new camera’s ability to bring these intimate details into macro focus and print them into sharp, large-scale photographs, the intuitive and resolute constancy of Shore’s search for pictorial possibilities is obvious. An experimenter with a firm grasp of formality, Shore has produced work over the past fifty years that is a benchmark of photography’s potential. A major retrospective of Stephen Shore’s artistic career is currently on view at the Museum of Modern Art, New York until May 28, 2018. Recent solo exhibitions include C/O, Berlin; Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid; Aspen Art Museum; South African National Galley, Cape Town; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, PS1, New York; and the International Center for Photography, New York. He has shown extensively in international venues dating back to a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1971, the first solo photography show at the museum. Monographs of Shore’s work have been published by Aperture, Phaidon, and Schirmer/Mosel, among others. His work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art, Sprengel Museum, and the Library of Congress. He is the director of the photography program at Bard College in New York State. Shore lives and works in New York.

Carta Bianca, Capodimonte Imaginaire

Carta Bianca, Capodimonte Imaginaire

The Carta Bianca exhibition is the brainchild of Sylvain Bellenger, Director of the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, and Andrea Villiani, Director of the Madre Museum in Naples. The Exhibition is organized with the Electa Publishing House. Carta Bianca is a unique exhibition in Italy, as well as the history of museums, because it has given full freedom, or “carte blanche” to ten international personalities involved in different fields of knowledge to reinterpret in key, personal ways, the wonderful collection of Capodimonte. These personalities have chosen around ten works from the Capodimonte’s collection of nearly 47,000 artworks. They each then curated their works in their own room within the exhibition. Each “curator” thus gives a subjective but public reading of the museum and its collections, with the only constraint being that they must explain their choices. Video interviews and other multimedia content is available via the App designed by the company Arm23 (see the Carta Bianca App). The themes and cultural motivations of the curators open a reflection on how the museum can be a 21st century institution: A museum of imagination, freedom, participation, and creativity. The ethical, aesthetic and methodological prologue of this exhibition begins with the initial room dedicated to Jospeh Beuys, where one of his works from 1981 is presented (Alcune richieste e domande sul Palazzo nella testa umana). Documentation of the artist’s solo exhibition entitled Palazzo Regale (including the original artwork) is also present in this gallery, made in pencil on newspaper, that was held at Capodimonte from 23 December 1985 – 30 March 1986. This prologue strikes to reaffirm the legitimacy of free individual choice, including the right to expression, judgment, curiosity, fantastic invention the foundations of subjective tastes and inclinations. These aspects are placed in a dialogue within civilization, with respect to others. So if this is a Palazzo Regale, in reference to the title of Beuys’ exhibition, then it belongs to the moral conscience and cultural awareness of every woman and man…the only queens and kings of today of this Palace and Museum.

Joseph Beuys (Krefeld 1921 – Düsseldorf 1986) Alcune richieste e domande sul Palazzo nella testa umana 1981 sei fogli dattiloscritti e rmati da Beuys Collezione Teresa e Michele Bonuomo – Milano

The first room curated by Vittorio Sgarbi expresses how his art historical biography intertwines with the Capodimonte collection. He describes his approach as neither historical nor rhapsodic. It is interested, presumptuous, vain, among the great masterpieces of the Museum (Lotto, Parmigianino, Guido Reni…). These works have all in their own way informed his training and personal collection.

Sala Sgarbi, Guido Reni Atalanta e Ippomene, 1620-25 ca. olio su tela, cm 192 x 264 © Foto Luciano Romano

Marc Fumaroli focuses on a selection of 17th century Neapolitan works, and reflects upon the dualism of misery and poverty, of the artistocratic and popular. The comparison is between the paintings of Bernardo Cavallino and Massimo Stanzione – whose works are elegant, refined, and aristocratic – and Jusepe Ribera, whose works are ‘popular’ and expressed a modern interpretation of realism in a Caravaggesque mode.

CARTA BIANCA IMAGINAIRE – Sala Fumaroli, Bernardo Cavallino, La cantatrice, 1650 ca. olio su tela, cm 75 x 63 © Foto Luciano Romano

Paolo Pejrone focuses his gaze on landscapes and views, starting from the theme of shadow and woods. For his room, the architect asked to open a ‘gap’ in a wall that hides a window. The carved frame and the size of the canvas represents a natural outlet to see one of the Museum’s greatest masterpieces from the room: the Real Bosco or Royal Wood.

CARTA BIANCA IMAGINAIRE – Sala Pejrone, Ph. Francesco Squeglia

The choices of Gianfranco D’Amato, perhaps among the most intimate, are inspired by the emotional sphere: pleasure and love, hatred and violence, and the importance of culture and knowledge. The collector cites these values by combining anicent and contemporary art (Carlo Alfano, Louise Bourgeois, Mimmo Jodice), thus confirming its universality.

Mimmo Jodice Transiti, Opera 14 (particolare), 2008 True Black Fine-Art Giclèe su Photo-Rag 100% cotone
© Courtesy Mimmo Jodice per il Museo e il Real Bosco di Capodimonte

The Monkey and Humankind is the theme of Laura Bossi Régnier’s room, which returns to the “question that philosophers have pondered for centuries: what makes us human? How do we define man in respect to animals? Close, yet at the same time infinitely distant, the monkey offers us the mirror of our animality.” The Capodimonte’s collections offer numerous iconographic opportunities, from different eras and styles, to explore the relationship between man and animal. This includes some 18th century representations of primates, disguised and content amidst their own human activities. Examples include paintings by Agostino Carracci and Paolo de Matteis, Giovanni Stradano’s engraving entitled Caccia alla scimmia, and numerous examples of decorative art.

CARTA BIANCA IMAGINAIRE – Sala Bossi Régnier, Ph. Francesco Squeglia

With the occassion of this exibition, Giulio Paolini creates an ad hoc work that ideally encloses all the works of the Capodimonte’s collection. “I therefore voluntarily abstained from choosing those works, numerous and excellent, which could suggest many unpredictable ‘dialogues’ between them.” That is, I have observed a painful renunciation of the staging of that ‘personal museum’ that I was allowed to create, instead favoring a theoretical point of view: to formulate an absolute, even if it is an unfounded and unsustainable synthesis of the idea of art.

CARTA BIANCA IMAGINAIRE – Sala Paolini, Ph. Lorenza Zampa

Giuliana Bruno’s room reproduces the personal experience of a curator in creating a narrative from the artworks in storage at the museum, inaccessible to the public. She rediscovers, like an archaeologist of the emotional knowledge, works related to Naples, to the ‘baroque’ taste, as well as everyday objects including food and pottery (intact and in fragments of majolica). These works and objects have been selected with particular attention to the materials of construction, the compositions of their surfaces and the state of conservation.

CARTA BIANCA IMAGINAIRE – Sala Bruno, Ph. Francesco Squeglia

Mariella Pandolfi reflects on the dimension of temporality as dissonance, and the indefinite time of an event as defined by Gilles Deleuze. The anthropologist chooses four works – scenes of of struggle or amorous tension, which tell other stories besides that of the linear time of history or myth – stories that belong to an indefinite time of the event that even escapes the event itself. Objects presented inlclude the enormous tapestry of the Battle of Pavia, the Massacre of the Innocents by Matteo Di Giovanni, the Persues and Medusa by Luca Giordano, and the Rinaldo and Armida by Annibale Carracci. At the center of the room is a collection of weapons, armor, swords, knives and arquebuses, creating a disorderly composition evoking dissonance and discontinuity.

CARTA BIANCA IMAGINAIRE – Sala Pandolfi, Ph. Francesco Squeglia

Riccardo Muti chooses only one work for his gallery, Masaccio’s Crucifixion, set up in a dark room with a chair inviting contemplation. For a long time, the small painting, among the marvelous works of the museum, struck Muti to the extent that he had to seek out the reasons for his ‘attraction’ to the tormented history of the painting, with non-expert eyes nurturing a profound passion for all forms of art. Here, Riccardo Muti gives us an impassioned interpretation of the Magdalene: “The figure that is most dismayed is the irruption of the Magdalene. It really seems that in the static nature of the Madonna, St. John, and the collapsed body of Christ, that the Magdalene enters furiously, or even imperiously, into the painting. She seems to belong to a world completely different from the world of love and passion, even in a certain way physical passion, because first of all the colors that Masaccio invested the Magdalene with are in strong contrast with the other two figures, and with Christ himself. The Magdalene has a fiery red mantle and is unusually blond with unfettered hair. She seems to come from the world of passion, towards Christ, towards God, towards man. And she does so with arms completely open as if to embrace the dying Christ.”

CARTA BIANCA IMAGINAIRE – Sala Muti, Ph. Piero Patanè

Finally, Francesco Vezzoli traces a path in line with his recent works on sculpture. Ten couples of busts (from different periods and materials) face each other in a corridor establishing dialogues based on the intersections of their glances, in a game of impossible encounters. A plaster by Canova of Napoleon’s mother opens the room, with an Apollo and Marsyas by Luca Giordano. A self-portrait of Vezzoli closes the arrangement, like Apollo who killed the satyr Marsyas. This sculptural group was inspired by the ancient myth but ironically subverts the philology, in its use of materials, like in a scenic composition.

CARTA BIANCA IMAGINAIRE – Sala Vezzoli, Ph. Francesco Squeglia

The themes of the 10 rooms – their oscillation and determination for the passion of collecting – shapes this “lliberated” experience of the museum, revaling its interpretive potential and evoking the possibility of multiple narratives. Bringing out many points of view, Carta Bianca recognizes and showcases what happens with viewers in the galleries everday in the museum: a personal appropriation of heritage, objects, values, and common stories. Through various perspectives and multiple gazes projected onto the collection, the project took the form of a polyphonic exhibition that questions the theme of museum organization and classification. At the same time it calls into question the exclusive confinement of the work within the territory of art criticism. Opening ‘hierarchies’ and breaking down museum barriers, giving voice to other disciplines and skills, all have ‘imposed’ a reconsideration of the relationships between the works of the collection – international masterpieces presented in unpublished dialogues – and in the future, of the logic of exposition within the 126 galleries at Capodimonte. The Baroque galleries, on occasion of Carta Bianca, have been reimagined and reinstalled. Carta Bianca reports on the museum and its meaning today, as well as its history, with a particular focus on its evolution in new directions. In this sense, as Sylvain Bellenger and Andrea Villiani write, the project is in a line of continuity with other 20th century reflections by curators, artis, and writers. André Malraux’s Museum Without Walls, Marcel Duchamp’s Miniature Museum with his Boîte-en-valise, the Musée d’Art Modern, Département des Aigles of Marcel Broodthare,s the Museum Garden of Daniel Spoerri with his collection of eternal becoming, the Museum of Obsessions by Harald Szeeman, of the Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk, are all examples. Imaginary museums, museums in suitcases, sentimental museums, obsession museums, and finally, subjective museums.

JIM HODGES turning pages in the book of love

JIM HODGES turning pages in the book of love

Upon entering the exhibition, the viewer encounters a subtle atmosphere of light and shadows. A room within a room hosts a cabinet made of wood and its multiple skins of lacquer, gold, and silk, housing an object made of light and glass. In the second room a sculpture of two interlaced arms made in white Michelangelo marble lay upon a rock made of black Colonnata marble as they hold a rose made of gold. Behind the marble sculpture is a large scale diptych, that is part of one of Jim Hodges’ new series of paintings created with glitter and other mediums, evokes the artist’s interest in the process of creating through gesture and immediacy. In the 18th century antique library reading room of Palazzo Belgioioso, the viewer encounters a precious object held by two intertwined hands – solemn and charmed, immersed in a red velvet tent. In the garden of the palazzo, used for an exhibition for the first time, the artist has positioned a transformed root of a giant redwood into a deconstructed gilded bronze sculpture.

Since the late 1980’s Jim Hodges has employed a broad range of everyday and precious materials to create works that transform the quotidian object into a site where the personal, political, and universal merge through simple gesture and poetic command. Taking up varied modes of process and production, Hodges’ practice resists the definitional aims of discourse, instead offering multilayered works that evoke resonant themes such as identity and mortality. Glitter, bronze, fabric, gold, marble, glass and other materials have become part of the construction of a narrative on fragility, ephemerality, love and loss.

JIM HODGES

Jim Hodges was born in Spokane, Washington, USA in 1957. He lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include: tracing the contours of our days, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO (2017); I dreamed a world and called it Love, Gladstone Gallery, New York, NY (2016); With Liberty and Justice for All, The Moody Rooftop, The Contemporary Austin, Austin, Texas, USA (2016); With Liberty and Justice For All (A Work in Progress), Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, USA (2015/2014); Jim Hodges: Give More Than You Take, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, USA (2014) and at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA (2014- 2015). Jim Hodges’s work is included in prestigious public collections such as: The Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, USA; The Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA; The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C., USA; Musée National, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California, USA; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; The Whitney Museum, New York, USA.

Massimo De Carlo, Milan
Piazza Belgioioso, 2 – 20121 Milan, Italy
From 29th of November 2017 until February 3rd 2018
Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11:00am – 7:00pm

© Images: Jim Hodges “turning pages in the book of love” Installation views Massimo De Carlo, Milan/Belgioioso, 2017 Ph.  Roberto Marossi / Courtesy Massimo De Carlo, Milan/London/Hong Kong

The Art Supermarket. The opening of the Abu Dhabi louvre

The Art Supermarket. The opening of the Abu Dhabi louvre

Last November the Abu Dhabi Louvre opened its doors to the public. The agreement for opening in the Saadiyat island a branch of one of the most popular museums in the world go back to March 2007. During that year, the Abu Dhabi leaders and France decided to give life to a “cultural project never seen or attempted before”, as the Museum itself says. Luckily for us, that “never seen before” truly reflects reality by being a direct consequence of the historical moment we live in. Here, art – and those that make it – has lost its aura, also losing its primary purpose. In 2008 when Jean Claire stated that “the art trade tranforms art into entertainment and museums into amusement parks”, she was pointing to the new phenomenon where museums completely lose their role of preserving heritage, evolving into places close to shopping malls and shop windows. The newborn museum is designed by Jean Nouvelle and it is based in the island which already hosts important museums, such as the Guggenheim of Frank Gery. On the same island there are also shopping malls and residential districts, therefore the new cultural hubs will also have a recreational purpose. 

Louvre Abu Dhabi Ottoman mosaic pavement © Louvre Abu Dhabi, Photography Roland Halbe

Terms and conditions were made public, stating that the new Louvre has permission to use their actual name for thirty years and six months. This is enough time to conquer people’s hearts and to stay in the collective memory. This is why it was decided to create a museum capable of representing a bridge in between cultures, between humanity and its history in order to protect the heritage and recount interconnections between different populations and their art. What is not told is that the project has been entirely designed as the launch of a new product in the marketplace. The ingredients for success are pretty easy to determine, it’s necessary to create a need that the public did not know it had; have a recognizable name; build a good structure and make it identifiable as well; display pleasing contents and saying they are for the common good; finally, make everything look related to a healthy way of living and people’s wellness.

Louvre Abu Dhabi Germination by Giuseppe Penone © Louvre Abu Dhabi, Photography Roland Halbe

The result is a product of our present, which does not manage to keep a relationship with the past either in purpose or in fact, and doesn’t even break relationships with it, but it simply forgets it. This mindset is connected with the distortion of global art, which planned to tear down and destroy borders between nations and populations. This happened, in the art field, in order to demonstrate how every population could be a part of the art world and there were no hierarchies between different arts, artists, and world’s populations. The fact that today, almost thirty years after the first attempt to create a global art, it is still common practice to build places that are not even capable of creating an identity, is also deeply alarming. The sense of identity and belonging to a certain place, or to a certain culture, are ideals that have not been swept away from these new “cultural centres” but have left the door open to the creation of money machines, of places where the price is misidentified and portrayed as value and where history and heritage becomes an illustrated book.

Jenny Holzer ‘For Louvre Abu Dhabi’ 2017 © Louvre Abu Dhabi, Photography Marc Domage

In the art world the identity crisis is even stronger than before, we stopped asking ourselves the right questions, instead there is a ruthless pursuit of profit in a world which should be different, where the difference between commercial product and work of art should be clearer. This change of direction seems necessary, as it looks essential to reveal the real reasons at the core of this “innovative cultural opening”. It is correct to talk about opening, but the world “cultural” really cannot be applied to this case. As long as the main purpose is primarily that of making art a purely economic matter, there will not be a breakdown of the hierarchies, and if we prefer to hide the real economic and political goals under the badge of art and in the name of equality, we will not be interested in producing any kind of culture anymore.

Chiara Guidoni


PUBLICATION LISTED IN THE ITALIAN PRESS REGISTER BY THE SASSARI COURT OF LAW WITH REGISTRATION NUMBER 447/2017.
EDITOR IN CHIEF: ALICE ZUCCA

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