Giovanni Kronenberg

Giovanni Kronenberg

Renata Fabbri Gallery, Milan

11 February – 28 March 2020 

Renata Fabbri announces Giovanni Kronenberg’s second solo show at the gallery. The exhibition includes a series of new drawings and sculptures, most of which have been conceived specifically for this project.

Giovanni Kronenberg, Conversione empirica di un silenzio in alfabeto, 2017, rosa del deserto, pigmento cobalto, cm 80x30x57

Since the early stage of his career, Kronenberg’s work has been characterized by a tight relation between sculpture – interpreted through a deeply physical approach – and drawing, which anticipates, re-iterates and expands upon its peculiarities as well as its ergonomic, tactile and transcendental features. Throughout the years his drawing practice has become more and more important in the work of the artist: since his use of pure graphite, which used to define the works on paper until few years ago, recently Kronenberg has started to explore colour in compositions of sinuous forms, suspended and free from spatial connotation.

Giovanni Kronenberg, Senza titolo, 2017, uovo di struzzo, cemento, cm 15×12

These mysterious figures and the sculptures share an ungraspable materiality, caught in a dimension that is abstracted from time and space. Hard to identify, some of them recall natural structures in progressive ramification – like crystals, gems, sea sponges or precious granites – all materials that Kronenberg has often used in his sculptures, drawn to their properties of self-germination and extension into space without following any narrative direction or chronological handholds.

Giovanni Kronenberg, La repubblica degli immortali, 2017, manichino ligneo, grasso di foca, cm 78x20x20

In recent years, the artist has started using the 22-carat gold leaf, as a characteristic element of the drawing and the sculptures. This passage seems natural considering Kronenberg’s frequent use of precious materials such as silver, malachite, ivory, agate, rock crystal and porcelain. The gold leaf brings his drawings closer to the immobility of the Byzantine aesthetic and in particular to the icons, sharing with them the isolation and the centrality of the image, as well as iconographic timelessness and transcendental characteristics.

Kris Lemsalu Malone & Kyp Malone Lemsalu, Love Song Sing-Along

Kris Lemsalu Malone & Kyp Malone Lemsalu, Love Song Sing-Along

KW INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART, Berlin

From 29 February to 3 May 2020 

Kris Lemsalu creates sculptures, installations, and performances that fuse the animal kingdom with humankind, nature with the artificial, beauty with repulsion, lightness with gravity, and life with death. She combines animal bodies and porcelain objects with found (natural) material such as furs, leather, seashells, wool, or paper in theatrical installations that whisk us off into a world of fantastic imagination. Endeavoring to erase any distance between herself and her objects, the artist also uses her installations as stages for performance pieces in which her sculptures become an integral part of her attire. Her works carry the memory of local mythologies onto the surfaces of objects that resemble artifacts and byproducts of contemporary civilization.
 
Since Performa 17, Kris Lemsalu has collaborated with New York-based artist and multi-instrumentalist Kyp Malone (born in 1973, US) to create enhanced installations and performances encompassing sculpture, ceramics, animation, performative elements as well as music and sound. The exhibition at KW presents a newly conceived body of work as a continuation of the multifaceted collaboration between the—in the meantime married—duo. The large-scale installation will take up the entire third floor and will serve as an environment in which the lines between objects, bodies, and action are blurred.

Kris Lemsalu Malone & Kyp Malone Lemsalu, 2019, photo: Eric Martin

During the opening Kris Lemsalu Malone and Kyp Malone Lemsalu will enliven this environment with a new performance to create an enchanting spatial continuum. Through the ephemeral embodiment the duo enhances the blending of seemingly opposed dualities such as object and subject, animals and mankind, life and death, as well as the power and vulnerability of longstanding mythologies, rituals and one’s own narrative.

Valérie Belin, Reflection

Valérie Belin, Reflection

Nathalie Obadia Gallery, Paris

Until 4 April 2020

After China Girls in 2018 in Brussels, Galerie Nathalie Obadia presents the fourth exhibition of the artist Valérie Belin, acclaimed as one of the most important photographers of her generation who benefits from a strong international visibility.

Fox Chase Antiques (Reflection)
2019
Pigment print back-mounted on Dibond and framed with non reflect glass
175 x 132 cm (68 29/32 x 51 31/32 in)
Edition of 6 + 2 AP


The artist’s new series, entitled Reflection and consisting of eleven black and white images, was produced as part of her solo exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London (October 22, 2019 – August 31, 2020). Valérie Belin has worked on superimposing various previously unpublished photographs of shop windows and storefronts in Manhattan and other cities in New York state. She thus revisits a recurring theme in her work since the 1990s. The exceptional photographic collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum has been a resource for the artist, whether it be photographs created by the Worsinger Window Service (or Worsinger Photo) – a New York firm that specialized in documenting shop windows and interiors – or Robert Brownjohn’s Street Level series focused on photographs of signs and typographies. The artist also refers to the work of Eugène Atget and of Walker Evans, the photographer par excellence of vernacular American culture, or even the photographs of Lee Friedlander.

Broadway Luxury Plus (Reflection)
2019
Pigment print back-mounted on Dibond and framed with non reflect glass
175 x 132 cm (68 29/32 x 51 31/32 in)
Edition of 6 + 2 AP


A shop window is presented as a small urban theatre open to the street where goods are displayed and staged against a backdrop of decor. The shop window has always been a source of inspiration for Valérie Belin. In the early 90s, she first made photographs of jewelry and trinkets exposed in different shopping malls. Subsequently there came photographs of crystal vases and silverware (Verres I et Verres II, 1993-1994), photographs of glass objects and mirrors in several showrooms in Venice (Venise I, 1997), photographs of mannequins (Mannequins, 2003), and finally, photographs of storefronts in Luxembourg (Vitrines Luxembourg, 2003).

Crosby Display, Manhattan (Reflection)
2019
Pigment print back-mounted on Dibond and framed with non reflect glass
175 x 132 cm (68 29/32 x 51 31/32 in)
Edition of 6 + 2 AP


“ The window is also a transparent surface – and paradoxically, a mirror. It’s the place where the urban landscape briefly appears as a reflection, in a variable manner according to the time of day, the lighting, and the position of the spectator. A photograph of a window in fact contains two images that are superimposed in an arbitrary or erratic manner: the image of what is behind the window and the the image of the urban landscape that is reflected in the glass. The window is thus the place of overlay or an accumulation of two images: that of the interior and that of the exterior. Like all photographers, I take pictures on a daily basis and build up an archive for future use. I had initially made these photographs with the intention of using them as backgrounds for a series of portraits. After having consulted the Victoria & Albert’s collection of photographs, I realized that these images could acquire, through the manipulation of signs conveyed by the images, their proper autonomy and raison d’être as works of art. Metaphorically, I would like that the captured images appear as if they were ‘projected’ on the photosensitive surface of a screen, but that instead of disappearing to be immediately replaced by other images (as in cinema), they will accumulate persistently. The photographic paper’s role in keeping the trace of the image will allow for there to be an apparition of the photographed landscape in the windows. I am also inspired by the aesthetic of experimental cinema from the 1960s. In particular, I am thinking of Jonas Mekas’ film Notes on the Circus (1966), which was created through a direct montage ‘in the camera’ by superimposing shots realized at different speeds. What also comes to mind is Robert Franck’s Super 8 film in black and white that was for promoting the Rolling Stones’ 1971 album Exile on Main Street; it reveals a similar aesthetic to that of the Mekas’ aforementioned work. This spatial and temporal accumulation of images on the sensible surface should contribute to the formation of a sort of ‘mental’ or ‘interior’ landscape, a landscape ‘of spirit’, imagined in a dream but consciously constructed by the filter of perception and culture – opposing the ‘archaic’, ‘trivial’, or ‘primitive’ landscape of public urban space which is reflected in the windows. ”


Valérie Belin

Downtown Dresses, Manhattan (Reflection) 
2019
Pigment print back-mounted on Dibond and framed with non reflect glass
175 x 132 cm (68 29/32 x 51 31/32 in)
Edition of 6 + 2 AP


———————————————————

Born in Boulogne-Billancourt (France) in 1964, Valérie Belin lives and works in Paris (France). She graduated from the École Nationale des Beaux Arts de Bourges (1983–88) and gained a DEA (the equivalent of a Master of Advanced Studies) in Philosophy of Art at the Université Panthéon-Sorbonne in Paris (1989). Valérie Belin also participated in numerous significant solo exhibitions (selection 2007-2019) : Painted Ladies at the 50th edition of les Rencontres d’Arles (France, 2019), China Girls at the Multimedia Art Museum of Moscow (Russia, 2019), Valérie Belin : Méta-Clichés (traveling exhibition in China) at Three Shadows Photography Art Center (Beijing) and at SCôP (Shanghai Center of Photography) in Shanghai and at the au Chengdu Museum, (China, 2017); Valérie Belin at the Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez in Bordeaux (France, 2017); Surface Tension at the DHC/Art Foundation, Phi Center, in Montréal (Canada, 2015), Les Images intranquilles at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (France, 2015), Illusions of Life at the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow (Russia, 2014), O ser e o aparecer at the Casa Franca-Brasil in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil, 2011), Hungry Eyes at the FotoMuseum Provincie in Antwerp (Belgium, 2011), Valérie Belin: Made-up at the Peabody Essex Museum in Essex (USA, 2009), and Correspondances at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris (France, 2008), the Musée de l’Élysée in Lausanne (Switzerland, 2008), the Maison Européenne de Photographie in Paris (France, 2008), and the Huis Marseille – Museeum voor fotografie in Amsterdam (The Netherlands, 2007).

East Town Tarot (Reflection)
2019
Pigment print back-mounted on Dibond and framed with non reflect glass (non treated UV)
175 x 132 cm (68 29/32 x 51 31/32 in)
Edition of 6 + 2 AP


Works by Valérie Belin can be seen in leading private and public collections, such as in France those of the Centre Pompidou – Musée National d’Art Moderne, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Fond National d’Art Contemporain, Bibliothèque nationale de France, FRAC Limousin, Franche-Comté and Ile-de-France, MAC/VAL, Maison rouge, Fondation Antoine-de-Galbert, Musée Galliera ; in the United States, at the MoMA – Museum of Modern Art (New York), LACMA – Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco), Norton Museum of Art (West Palm Beach), International Center for Photography; in the United-Kingdom, the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), in Switzerland, the Kunsthaus Zurich (Zurich) and Musée de l’Élysée (Lausanne); in Luxembourg, le MUDAM – Musée d’art moderne Grand-Duc Jean ; in the Netherlands, at the Huis Marseille (Amsterdam); in Australia, the National Gallery of Australia, (Melbourne) Parkes ACT (Canberra); and in South Korea, at the National Museum of Contemporary Art Korea (Seoul).

Fresh Cuts, Atlanta (Reflection) 
2019
Pigment print back-mounted on Dibond and framed with non reflect glass
175 x 132 cm (68 29/32 x 51 31/32 in)
Edition of 6 + 2 AP

Valérie Belin won the Prix Pictet in 2015 for her project Disorder. The travelling exhibition of which it is a part is being presented between 2015 and 2017 at Somerset House (UK), the MAXXI in Rome (Italy), the CAB Art Center in Brussels (Belgium), the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva (Switzerland). Valérie Belin is represented by Galerie Nathalie Obadia since 2013.

James Turrell at PACE, London

James Turrell

PACE Gallery, London

from 11 February to 27 March 2020

Pace Gallery presents the second solo exhibition of new works by Light and Space master James Turrell at 6 Burlington Gardens.

James Turrell, Amrta, 2011 © James Turrell

Influenced by the notion of phenomenology in pictorial art, Turrell focused, in his earliest work, on the dialectic between constructing light and painting with it, building on the sensorial experience of space, colour, and perception. These interactions became the foundation for Turrell’s oeuvre, which evolved to an investigation of the immateriality of light itself. Turrell’s exhibition at Pace features four new works from the Constellation series staged in site-designed chambers. The works will feature elliptical and circular shapes with a frosted and curved glass surface animated by an array of technically advanced LED lights, which are mounted to a wall and generated by a computer programme. The light changes are subtle and hypnotic, one colour morphing into the next. The programme runs on a loop that is imperceptible to the viewer, prompting a transcendental experience. With these new works, Turrell continues his exploration of technological possibilities combined with sensory practices and gradient colours.

James Turrell, From Aten Reign, 2016, Ukiyo-e Japanese style woodcut with relief printing, 26″ × 18-1/2″ (66 cm × 47 cm), Edition of 30 + 6 APs © James Turrell

“To some degree, to control light I have to have a way to form it, so I use form almost like the stretcher bar of a canvas… When I prepare walls, I make them so perfect that you actually don’t pay attention to them. This is true of the architecture of form I use: I am interested in the form of the space and the form of territory, of how we consciously inhabit space.”

— James Turrell

James Turrell, Alta (pink), 1968, cross corner projection. dimensions variable © James Turrell

Since his earliest “Projection Pieces” (1966–69), Turrell’s exploration has expanded through various series, including “Skyspaces” (1974–), “Ganzfelds” (1976–), and perhaps most notably, his “Roden Crater Project” (1977–) near Flagstaff, Arizona. Representing the culmination of the artist’s lifelong research in the field of human visual and psychological perception, “Roden Crater” is a controlled environment for the experiencing and contemplation of light and stars, a shared interest with Pace’s exhibition in London. Fundraising is underway to complete the construction and open it to the public. Turrell’s practice has equally materialized in small-scale works, including architectural models, holograms, and works on paper. His inspiration draws from astronomy, physics, architecture and theology.

What i saw: John Baldessari prints, 1976–2015

What i saw: John Baldessari prints, 1976–2015

Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles

from 8 February 2020 to April 14 2020

John Baldessari (b. 1931, National City, California) has been widely regarded as one of contemporary art’s most influential artists. To celebrate the artist’s life and to commemorate his passing on January 2, 2020, Cirrus presents an exhibition of Baldessari prints, spanning nearly forty years. The exhibition will inaugurate Cirrus’s fiftieth anniversary year, and celebrate its long collaboration with the Los Angeles-based conceptual artist. It opens February 8 and runs through April 14.

John Baldessari, Studio, 1988. Lithograph, silkscreen, ed. 150

What I Saw: John Baldessari Prints, 1976–2015 comprises thirty-two prints, that capture Baldessari’s signature use of montage to combine banal images in sometimes discordant visual juxtapositions, or with unexpected text. His self-consciously populist approach, in which he employed found photographs, film stills, or photography of everyday objects, uses allegory and disjointed narrative, in sometimes obfuscating ways, and invites the viewer to construct meaning.

The exhibition includes several important portfolios and individual works produced in collaboration with Cirrus. Raw Prints (1976) includes six works with tipped-in color photographs of everyday street scenes taken by the artist as a compositional device, which he used to mark out an area of color or linear shape in the print. The Fallen Easel (1988), an ambitious and unpredictable, multi- part composition of individually-framed and mounted images takes on a noir cast as the picture physically breaks apart, suggesting a rapid, chaotic cutting of film stills. Baldessari’s humor is also on display—The First $100,000 I Ever Made (2012), and two prints from Engravings with Sounds (2015), showcase his signature wit, while the major portfolio of ten prints, Hegel’s Cellar (1986), and his Cliché series (1995), explore his biting insight.

Internationally recognized and widely exhibited, Baldessari addressed the social and cultural impact of mass culture, and reinvented the terms of display and image-making throughout his career.

New Images of Man at Blum & Poe, LA

New Images of Man

Blum & Poe, Los Angeles

Until 14 March 2020

Curated by Alison M. Gingeras, this exhibition revisits and expands upon the Museum of Modern Art’s eponymous 1959 group exhibition curated by Peter Selz that brought together artists whose work grappled with the human condition as well as emerging modes of humanist representation in painting and sculpture in the wake of the traumatic fallout of the Second World War. 

New Images of Man, Installation view, Los Angeles, 2020, Photo: Makenzie Goodman

Some sixty years have passed since New Images of Man presented key figures of the European neo avant-garde such as Alberto Giacometti, Jean Dubuffet, César, Francis Bacon, and Karel Appel alongside the ascendant figures of the American art scene such as Willem de Kooning, H.C. Westermann, and Leon Golub. Set against the backdrop of existentialist philosophy and the socio-political anxieties of the postwar period, the esteemed humanist philosopher Paul Tillich wrote of these artists in the original MoMA catalogue, “Each period has its peculiar image of man. It appears in its poems and novels, music, philosophy, plays and dances; and it appears in its painting and sculpture. Whenever a new period is conceived in the womb of the preceding period, a new image of man pushes towards the surface and finally breaks through to find its artists and philosophers.”

New Images of Man, Installation view, Los Angeles, 2020, Photo: Makenzie Goodman

Part homage, part radical revision, this two-floor presentation reconstitutes emblematic figures from the original MoMA line up of artists while simultaneously expanding outwards to include those of the same generation and period who were overlooked in the midcentury. This reprisal features forty-three artists hailing not only from the US and Western Europe, but also Cuba, Egypt, Haiti, India, Iran, Japan, Poland, Senegal, and Sudan. The overwhelming maleness of the original New Images of Man has been amended by foregrounding previously excluded women artists from the same generation. Had gender politics of the 1950s been less misogynist, Selz might have considered artists such as Alina Szapocznikow, Niki de Saint Phalle, Yuki Katsura, Carol Rama, and Lee Lozano. With the benefit of inclusive hindsight, Gingeras strives to present a fuller range of this humanist struggle, thus more acutely enacting the original curator’s vision to gather a range of “effigies of the disquiet man.”  

New Images of Man, Installation view, Los Angeles, 2020, Photo: Makenzie Goodman

As the capstone to this historical proposition, the exhibition argues for the contemporary resonance of this midcentury disquiet by judiciously including a selection of contemporary artists. These living artists are also “imagists that take the human situation, indeed the human predicament” as their primary subject, while also reflecting the legacy of the aesthetic concerns from the original period. Spanning painting and sculpture, this contemporary component includes works by Paweł Althamer, Cecily Brown, Luis Flores, Michel Nedjar, Greer Lankton, Miriam Cahn, Sarah Lucas, Dana Schutz, El Hadji Sy, Ahmed Morsi, Henry Taylor, amongst others.  

New Images of Man, Installation view, Los Angeles, 2020, Photo: Makenzie Goodman

Installed alongside these paintings and sculptures, historic and contemporary, are interventions that evoke the larger-than-life figures from the original show—de Kooning, Dubuffet, Bacon, Giacometti, Westermann. Playful tributes to these masters appear throughout the exhibition, including two wall murals by Los Angeles artist Dave Muller. Embedded at the center of this revisionist enterprise is another historical MoMA exhibition also founded upon postwar humanism—this time through the lens of photography. The 1955 exhibition Family of Man curated by Edward Steichen—the legendary director of the Photography Department at MoMA—was conceived four years before Peter Selz’s New Images of Man, and was devised as a celebration of the camera as a powerful, immersive tool for the promulgation of images as well as the affirmation of the universal human experience. While it debuted in New York in 1955, Family of Man went on a veritable world tour. According to Steichen’s 1963 memoir A Life in Photography, between 1955 and 1962 about nine million viewers all around the world had the opportunity “to see themselves reflected” in the 503 photographs of people, making it the most popular photography exhibition ever.

New Images of Man, Installation view, Los Angeles, 2020, Photo: Makenzie Goodman

As the legacy of Steichen’s curatorial endeavors lives on in contemporary visual culture, this section of the exhibition sets out to challenge the Western-centric bias of the original show. This reassessment of Steichen’s conceit focuses upon two women artists from the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The Polish, self-taught photographer Zofia Rydet was active in the mid-1950s yet she was separated from Steichen not only by the Iron Curtain. This redux presentation of Rydet’s photographic oeuvre suggests a more complex vision of postwar era humanist photography. In fact, after seeing Steichen’s Family of Man show in Warsaw, Rydet embarked upon her series of documentary images of children in the literal rubble of the Second World War in the early 1960s entitled Mały człowiek (Little Man). This presentation features a selection of Rydet’s photographs from her documentary series called the “Sociological Record” in which she captured thousands of ordinary households in Poland from 1978 until her death in 1997. 

Rydet’s reworking of the Steichen paradigm finds a jarring echo in the contemporary oeuvre of Deana Lawson—an artist whose intimate, yet iconic imagery immortalizes African-American family life. Lawson grew up in Rochester, New York, the birthplace of Kodak—her involvement with photography is deeply bound up with her family’s history and their entwinement with the photographic industry. Unlike Rydet, Lawson’s images are often staged while they strive to capture the magic and textures of everyday struggles, emotions, and plain existence. Her gaze intrepidly focuses upon members of the African diaspora while also crafting stunning formal compositions that hark back to classical painting.  As Lawson has said of her work, “I have an image in mind that I have to make. It burns so deeply that I have to make it.” 

Shown side by side in a scenography that references Steichen’s original Family of Man presentation at MoMA, Rydet’s communist-era documentation of Polish families in their humble interiors resonates uncannily with Lawson’s present-day portraiture. Despite being decades apart, culturally disparate, and approaching their medium with radically differing methods, both Rydet and Lawson create images that offer a sharp rebuttal to Steichen’s sentimental and melodramatic original opus. Both photographers share a quality that Lawson has articulated when speaking of her own work, creating images that are “thick with space, layered with otherness and belonging at the same time.” Together Rydet and Lawson provide a revisionist twist to this new Family of Man. This section of the show was curated in collaboration with Antonina Gugała with a new installation by Deana Lawson made especially for the show. 

While much has changed in social and political terms since the 1950s, we are arguably again in a period of immense existential questioning and profound collective anxiety—artists now, as then, are on the frontlines of confronting what it means to be human, therefore making New Images of Man a subject still urgent for contemplation and provocation. This past summer, Selz died at the age of one hundred. In his New York Times obituary, his daughter Gabrielle remarked, “He would say that everything—a somber painting by Rothko or a Rodin sculpture—was about the human condition. My dad responded to emotion.” Arguably, emotion is the gravitational force that draws us to images of other people—from prehistoric cave paintings to press photographs of detained refugees and children on the Mexican-American border, humans find empathetic connection, solace, or simple recognition in the act of contemplating depictions of other humans. In the spirit of Selz’s original aim, this restaging of New Images of Man and reimagining ofFamily of Man resolves to recontextualize artists’ agency in addressing the fundamental questions of the human condition and to discourage apathy about our fellow humans’ plight. 

While an art exhibition can only operate on a symbolic and discursive level, the impetus behind the new New Images of Man is to continue our collective rumination on the human condition with renewed emotional and intellectual urgency. By expanding the geopolitical and generational scope of artists, an expansive vision of humanity starts to emerge—broadening “man” to a more intersectional vision of human existence.

Mircea Suciu, Universal Fatigue

Mircea Suciu, Universal Fatigue

Blain|Southern, NYC

Until 22 February 2020

‘A characteristic of my work is frailty, not regarding the subject but the relationship between the surfaces that constitute the ensemble of the whole picture.’

– Mircea Suciu

Universal Fatigue is Blain|Southern’s first exhibition with Romanian artist Mircea Suciu. Fragments of appropriated and found imagery provide the subjects for new paintings that demonstrate a relationship between representation and abstraction.

Noumena (2)
2014
Oil, acrylic and monoprint on linen
80 x 59 cm
Courtesy Zeno X Gallery.
Photographer: Peter Cox

Part of the Cluj School, Mircea Suciu (b. 1978, Baia Mare, Romania) is regarded as one of Romania’s leading artists. During his formative years he witnessed the country’s tumultuous transition after the only violent overthrow of a communist government in the 1989 revolutions. Describing himself as an image creator rather than a traditional painter, Suciu mines and references art history and contemporary imagery, reducing down the elements and adding colour coded symbolism. He has ‘his own complex way of making things in which painting, photography, drawing and print all cooperate while playing their individual parts’ .

Study for High Anxiety (after Velasquez)
2017
Oil, acrylic and monoprint on linen
80 x 80 cm
Courtesy Zeno X Gallery
Photographer: Peter Cox

Inspired by his former studies on the restoration of Baroque paintings, Suciu has developed a process he calls ‘monoprinting’. A photographic image is split into a grid of A4 surfaces, each one printed onto an acetate sheet onto which a layer of acrylic paint is applied. The paint acts as a ‘glue’ that adheres to directly to the canvas and once dry, the acetate sheet is peeled off. The result is a transference of the printed image with associated faults and imperfections which Suciu then ‘restores’ by re-painting with oil and acrylic paint. Sometimes, as with works in the Disintegration series, he overlays the image multiple times using various colours until he creates a surface that is barely recognisable from the original. As a final stage the whole image is repainted. This multi-layered process creates compositions of reinvented images which allude to history, memory and eventual dissolution of all things.

1988
2014
Oil, acrylic and monoprint on linen
50 x 50 cm
Courtesy Zeno X Gallery
Photographer: Peter Cox

KIM GORDON, The Bonfire

KIM GORDON, The Bonfire

303 Gallery, NYC

Until 22 February 2020

In a series of new works on canvas, Gordon presents a world of safety and familial intimacy surreptitiously undermined by insidious, unseen forces. Photographs of a group of revelers huddling around a beach bonfire are softened and overlaid with digital framing marks around the human figures, suggesting surveillance technology or facial recognition software. These images are emblematic of a new reality where no moment goes uncaptured, and where even the most ordinary events are packaged and sold, like an Airbnb listing promising a branded experience of intimacy. Gordon amplifies this phenomenon, referencing iconography from the world of music as it dovetails with youthful rebellion. The various crops and crosshairs allude to the logos of both Black Flag and Public Enemy, two groups emblematic of questioning authority and rising above structural oppression. Gordon’s emphases seem to echo their animosity, drawing the very same lines as our tyrannical tech overlords, yet with the express purpose of reasserting control of our own dominions.

Kim Gordon
The Bonfire 3
2019
Print on canvas with acrylic medium
54 x 72 inches (137.2 x 182.9 cm)
KG 583
Kim Gordon, Installation view: The Bonfire, 303 Gallery, New York, 2020
Photo: John Berens
Kim Gordon, Installation view: The Bonfire, 303 Gallery, New York, 2020
Photo: John Berens

Also on view will be “Los Angeles June 6, 2019,” a film in which Gordon walks around Los Angeles with a guitar, utilizing handrails, plants, traffic implements, public sculpture and light poles as various accomplices in a performance that quite literally uses the city as a sounding board. Gordon assumes the role of interloper, unfazed by her happenstance audience while navigating the corporate territory of public spaces. Ironically, these scenes were surely also recorded by the various mechanisms of surveillance on the streets of LA, adding another layer of undisclosed viewership into the work’s dissemination. We may know we are being watched, but it is up to us to transcend.

Kim Gordon, Installation view: The Bonfire, 303 Gallery, New York, 2020
Photo: John Berens
Kim Gordon, Installation view: The Bonfire, 303 Gallery, New York, 2020
Photo: John Berens

Kim Gordon
Los Angeles June 6, 2019
2019
Video installation with one channel of video (color, sound), eight monitors, three resin stools
16:06 minutes
Edition of 1 with 1 AP
KG 607

Kim Gordon studied at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles in the late 1970s and has continued to work as an artist since. Her first solo exhibition presented under the name ‘Design Office’ took place at New York’s White Columns in 1981. Recent solo exhibitions include “She Bites Her Tender Mind,” Irish Museum of Modern Art Dublin (2019); “Lo-Fi Glamour,” The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2019); Reena Spaulings Fine Art, Los Angeles (2018); Manifesta 11, Zurich (2016); and “Noise Name Paintings And Sculptures Of Rock Bands That Are Broken Up,” Deste Foundation, Athens (2015). A two-person show with Rodney Graham was presented at Dijon’s L’Académie Conti in 2017. For the past thirty years Gordon has worked consistently across disciplines and across distinct cultural fields: art, design, writing, fashion (X-Girl), music (Sonic Youth, Free Kitten, Body/Head), and film/video (both as actress and director). Her first solo album “No Home Record” was released earlier this year on Matador Records.

Morandi, Balla, De Chirico and Italian Painting 1920 – 1950

Morandi, Balla, De Chirico and Italian Painting 1920 – 1950

Tornabuoni Art, London

From 12 February 2020 to 18 April 2020 

Tornabuoni Art presents the first ever London exhibition of the Italian Novecento, the figurative art movement founded in the 1922. Featuring over thirty works of art by leading Italian artists, such as Giorgio Morandi, Giorgio de Chirico, Felice Casorati, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini and many others, this exhibition explores Italian art in the period between the two World Wars. Most of the works on display come from the Tornabuoni Art collection, with a loan from the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in London.

Giorgio Morandi, Natura morta – 1955 – olio su tela – cm 24×37

This exhibition takes inspiration from the landmark 1926 exhibition “Prima Mostra del Novecento Italiano” in Milan, organised by the charismatic writer and curator Margherita Sarfatti, who launched the Novecento movement. In particular, the show looks at figurative art of this period through the three main themes of the original Novecento exhibition: still life, landscape and the representations of women. The artist Giorgio Morandi presented three works at the 1926 exhibition in Milan: a landscape, a portrait and a still life. Tornabuoni Art will display two Morandi’s still-lifes (1955 and 1962) and Landscape (1932). In addition, the show will feature other major works, including: Balla’s Ballucecolormare (1924-25), De Chirico’s Still-life (1930) and Casorati’s Nude from the back (1939), an important figurative artist form Turin who is being rediscovered.

Giacomo Balla, Balfiore – 1925 ca. – olio su tavola – cm 66,5×31,5

After World War I, Novecento artists sought to return to what they saw as the simplicity of the Italian pictorial tradition, as a kind of return to order after the chaos of war. The Novecento artists set themselves apart from Metaphysical artists, whom they saw as too intellectual, and adopted a more homely, earthy sensibility. No other show in London has ever looked before at the movement as a whole.

Giorgio De Chirico, Venezia (Isola di San Giorgio) – 1955 ca. – olio su tela – cm 50×70

Ursula Casamonti, Director of Tornabuoni Art London, comments: “Our mission as a gallery is to spread knowledge about Italian Modern art. Until now Tornabuoni Art London has focussed on avant-garde and post-war artists, such as Fontana, Boetti, Burri and Dorazio, but there are other interesting stories of 20th-century Italian art to tell. In addition, the Novecento movement was championed by a fascinating and visionary woman, the art critic and curator, Margherita Sarfatti, whose story is one of the most dramatic of the first half of the twentieth century”. Margherita Sarfatti was a popular writer and journalist who wrote the first biography of Mussolini, with whom she had a romantic relationship. As she was Jewish, broke with Mussolini and fled Italy when the German race laws came into effect in the late 1930s, emigrating to Uruguay and then returning to Italy after the war. A friend to intellectuals and artists, first a socialist and then a supporter of Fascism, she promoted the Italian Novecento enthusiastically from 1924 onwards. She described it as “modern classicism” and became an informal ambassador for the art movement outside Italy.

Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures

Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures

MOMA, NY

until May 9, 2020 

The Museum of Modern Art announces Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, the first major solo exhibition at the Museum of the photographer’s incisive work in over 50 years. On view from February 9 through May 9, 2020, in The Paul J. Sachs Galleries in The David and Peggy Rockefeller Building, Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures includes approximately 100 photographs drawn entirely from the Museum’s collection. The exhibition also uses archival materials such as correspondence, historical publications, and oral histories, as well as contemporary voices, to examine the ways in which words inflect our understanding of Lange’s pictures. These new perspectives and responses from artists, scholars, critics, and writers, including Julie Ault, Wendy Red Star, and Rebecca Solnit, provide fresh insight into Lange’s practice. Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures is organized by Sarah Meister, Curator, with River Bullock, Beaumont & Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow, assisted by Madeline Weisburg, Modern Women’s Fund Twelve-Month Intern, Department of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art.

Dorothea Lange
Dorothea Lange, Daughter of Migrant Tennessee Coal Miner Living in American River Camp near Sacramento, California, November 1936

Toward the end of her life, Dorothea Lange (1895–1965) remarked, “All photographs—not only those that are so-called ‘documentary,’ and every photograph really is documentary and belongs in some place, has a place in history—can be fortified by words.” Organized loosely chronologically and spanning her career, the exhibition groups iconic works together with lesser known photographs and traces their varied relationships to words: from early criticism on Lange’s photographs to her photo-essays published in LIFE magazine, and from the landmark photobook An American Exodus to her examination of the US criminal justice system. The exhibition also includes groundbreaking photographs of the 1930s—including Migrant Mother (1936)—that inspired pivotal public awareness of the lives of sharecroppers, displaced families, and migrant workers during the Great Depression. Through her photography and her words, Lange urged photographers to reconnect with the world—a call reflective of her own ethos and working method, which coupled an attention to aesthetics with a central concern for humanity.

Dorothea Lange
Dorothea Lange, Damaged Child, Shacktown, Elm Grove, Oklahoma, August 1936

“It seems both timely and urgent that we renew our attention to Lange’s extraordinary achievements,” said Sarah Meister. “Her concern for less fortunate and often overlooked individuals, and her success in using photography (and words) to address these inequities, encourages each of us to reflect on our own civic responsibilities. It reminds me of the unique role that art—and in particular photography—can play in imagining a more just society.”

Dorothea Lange
Dorothea Lange, Farm Family, 1938

The exhibition begins in 1933, when Lange, then a portrait photographer, first brought her camera outside into the streets of San Francisco. Lange’s increasing interest in the everyday experience of people she encountered eventually led her to work for government agencies, supporting their objective to raise public awareness and to provide aid to struggling farmers and those devastated by the Great Depression. During this time, Lange photographed her subjects and kept notes that formed the backbone of government reports; these and other archival materials will be represented alongside corresponding photographs throughout the exhibition. Lange’s commitment to social justice and her faith in the power of photography remained constant throughout her life, even when her politics did not align with those who were paying for her work. A central focus of the exhibition is An American Exodus, a 1939 collaboration between Lange and Paul Schuster Taylorher husband and an agricultural economist. As an object and as an idea, An American Exodus highlights the voices of her subjects by pairing first-person quotations alongside their pictures. Later, Lange’s photographs continued to be useful in addressing marginalized histories and ongoing social concerns. Throughout her career as a photographer for the US Government and various popular magazines, Lange’s pictures were frequently syndicated and circulated outside of their original context. Lange’s photographs of the 1930s helped illustrate Richard Wright’s 12 Million Black Voices (1941), and her 1950s photographs of a public defender were used to illustrate Minimizing Racism in Jury Trials (1969), a law handbook published after Black Panther Huey P. Newton’s first trial during a time of great racial strife.

Dorothea Lange
Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, March 1936

This collection-based exhibition would not be possible had it not been for Lange’s deep creative ties to the Museum during her lifetime. MoMA’s collection of Lange photographs was built over many decades and remains one of the definitive collections of her work. Her relationship to MoMA’s Department of Photography dates to her inclusion in its inaugural exhibition, in 1940 which was curated by the department’s director, Edward Steichen. Lange is a rare artist in that both Steichen and his successor, John Szarkowski, held her in equally high esteem. More than a generation after her first retrospective, organized by Szarkowski at MoMA in 1966, Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures uses both historical and contemporary words to encourage a more nuanced understanding of words and pictures in circulation.


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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