VIEWING ROOM: GINA FISCHLI / 303 Gallery

VIEWING ROOM: GINA FISCHLI / 303 Gallery

Swiss artist Gina Fischli presents works in sculpture and photography which explore fantasy, fakery and the allure of the consumable object.

Installation view, Viewing Room: Gina Fischli, 303 Gallery, New York, 2020. Photo: John Berens
Installation view, Viewing Room: Gina Fischli, 303 Gallery, New York, 2020. Photo: John Berens
Installation view, Viewing Room: Gina Fischli, 303 Gallery, New York, 2020. Photo: John Berens

Gina Fischli (b. 1989, Zurich) studied at the Royal Academy of Art, London (2018) and the University of Fine Arts Hamburg (2015). Solo exhibitions include Interior Living, SUNDY, London (2018); Molto Suggestivo, DELF, Vienna (2017); and London Today, Forde, Geneva (2016). Group exhibitions include A house is not a home, Fri Art, Fribourg (2019); ON SITE, Swiss Institute, New York (2019); NEW RUINS, Soft Opening, London (2019); and Way Out, Jenny’s, London (2018). In 2018, she published Bad Timing (Hacienda Books, Zurich). Fischli lives and works in London.

Installation view, Viewing Room: Gina Fischli, 303 Gallery, New York, 2020. Photo: John Berens
Gina Fischli
Schloss Steinsberg
2019
Fimo clay
12 5/8 x 23 5/8 x 23 5/8 inches (32 x 60 x 60 cm)

Most often, you bake a cake for someone you love. You mix all the stuff together and put it in the oven and wait. Sadly, when you open the oven again and look inside, the cake doesn’t look how you feel about that person at all. It’s a disappointment. Still, you can try and fix it with icing sugar and food coloring and marzipan. You are doing the best you can.

Sometimes you don’t bake for someone you love specifically but, for instance, a bake sale or a get-together. A cake can be made to impress or even intimidate your guests. The most unfortunate bakers cook in an outspoken competition like on TV. 

You believe the most exquisite cakes must have only been witnessed by a handful of people, because their life span is so short. (Unless you are thinking of some kind of practical German fruit loaf, which lasts for a week, but that’s not the same thing at all.) 

A person dedicated to their cake must build a dummy for display and conservation purposes. Another thing you remember as important is that when you serve cake, you pretend as if you don’t care what the person you love thinks of it.

Gina Fischli
Schloss Babelsberg
2019
Fimo clay, plaster
14 1/8 x 15 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches (36 x 40 x 40 cm)
Gina Fischli
Comlongon Castle
2019
Fimo clay
25 5/8 x 23 5/8 x 23 5/8 inches (65 x 60 x 60 cm)
Gina Fischli
Schloss Herzberg
2019
Acrylic, plastic, clay
10 1/4 x 15 3/4 x 15 3/4 inches (26 x 40 x 40 cm)

Images > Courtesy 303 Gallery, NY and the artist / > VIDEO

Abdul Qader Al Rais in Nuqta: The Diacritic.

Abdul Qader Al Rais in Nuqta: The Diacritic.

Leila Heller Gallery, Dubai

23 March – 15 September, 2020

Nuqta: The Diacritic presents a series of paintings by the pioneering Emirati Artist Abdul Qader Al Rais, across his  third period of his work, which is marked by his engagement with bringing abstraction and local cultural heritage into dialogue. Al Rais incorporates the contours of calligraphy as well as the rocky cliffs, deserts, and shores of the region’s unique natural world into his rigorous study of the fundamental elements of color, form, and light. The works exhibited range from oil on canvas to watercolor on paper, and offers a painterly alternative to current understandings of the UAE’s art history as rooted in highly concept-based and anti-aesthetic installations.

Serenity Series, 2008-2009
Watercolor on paper
155 x 105 cm

The show’s title, Nuqta, derives from the diacritical marking used in Arabic script, which in stark opposition to the use of circular dotting in Latin scripts, is a diagonal definitive square, and often a central motif in Al Rais’ paintings. Appearing in an enlarged size, and contrasting with the sway of the smaller, surrounding curving letters, the Nuqta takes on an authoritative presence, adding a surrealist element by distorting the viewer’s sense of dimension, while recalling the relationship between geometry and language and its potential role in abstraction.

Serenity Series, 2018
Watercolor on paper
105 x 75 cm

Beginning painting in 1964, at a time of limited cultural infrastructure, the self-taught artist struggled to access paint, and was isolated from international markets and Eurocentric forums of critique. Instead, Al Rais’ practice is informed by Gulf traditions of representations of the divine, culture and community, and is grounded in humility. Spending his youth in Kuwait in the 60’s and 70’s, while the country experienced an artistic and literary renaissance, he often visited Al Marsam Al Hurr, a studio and meeting point for artists, and encountered key figures in the Gulf modern art movement, including Sami Mohammed, and Khalifa and Lidia Qattan. Al Rais’ early works were representational and rooted in realism, where he mostly depicted traditional Emirati landscapes and architecture. The artist then took a hiatus from 1974 until the 1980’s, where his work began to take on political themes, and was particularly responsive to the first Palestinian Intifada, which is seen as the artist’s second period.

Calligraphy Series, 2017
Watercolor on paper
105 x 75 cm

In the 90’s, Al Rais increasingly turned to abstraction and calligraphy, marking his third period, recognizing their shared meditative and spiritual qualities. Revitalizing calligraphy with a modernist take on the age-old tradition, singular letters are repeated and engulfed in color fields, and incite a sense of synesthesia, where the guttural sounds of the Arabic languages are celebrated and emphasized.

Alsamaer Series, 2019
Watercolor on paper
257 x 157 cm

Abdul Qader Al Rais was born in 1951 in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, twenty years before the country was formed, and is considered one of the most iconic painters of the country. Al Rais received a Bachelor of Sharia Law from the United Arab Emirates University in 1982. A founding member of the Emirates Fine Arts Society, retrospectives of Rais’ extensive artistic career have been held at the Sharjah Art Museum, and the Institut du Monde Arabe (Arab World Institute. The artist was featured in the UAE Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, and his work is currently held by The British Museum, the Louvre, the Northwest Museum of Culture and Arts, the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai, and the Museum of Modern Art in New Delhi. Al Rais work has also been displayed at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, and his public murals can be found in the Dubai Airport and the Dubai Metro. Among his numerous awards are the Sheikh Khalifa Prize for Art and Literature, Abu Dhabi (2006); Golden Palm Award, Gulf Cooperation Council Art Exhibition, Doha (1999); first prize at The UAE in the Eyes of Its Artists, Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation (1999); Sultan Al Owais Award for Scientific Studies and Creativity, Dubai (1992, 1994, 1996) and first prize at the UAE Exhibition in China (1991). 

Eija-Liisa Ahtila: Studies On The Ecology Of Drama, online at Marian Goodman Gallery NY.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila: Studies On The Ecology Of Drama, online at Marian Goodman Gallery NY.

by Kostas Prapoglou

The main focus of Helsinki-based artist/filmmaker Eija-Liisa Ahtila involves aspects of identity and the ways these are formed and are interpreted through personal and interpersonal relationships. Her films and cinematic installations are survey studies on the human condition and its fluctuations depending on and dictated by external societal forces and introspective emotional realms.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila Studies on the Ecology of Drama, 2014. 4 channel projection installation; 27 min. 40 sec, Installation view at Marian Goodman Gallery, 2014. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery – Copyright: Crystal eye /Eija-Liisa Ahtila

Ahtila’s visual lexicon embraces the cartography of poetics as these are embedded into esoteric as well as exoteric experiences. Her work often challenges the subconscious, bringing it to the fore, simultaneously activating and stimulating a dialogue with present situations.

In light of the covid-19 pandemic coinciding with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020, Marian Goodman Gallery explores new avenues to bring its artists closer to a wider audience during a period of lockdown and social distancing. Online viewers now have the unique opportunity to experience Studies On The Ecology Of Drama, Ahtila’s 26-minute moving image work made in 2017. Based on the homonymous 4-channel projected installation that she presented in 2014, the film embraces two previous works, The Annunciation (2010) and Horizontal (2011), both delving into notions of ecology and symbiosis as well as the essence of existentialism within the context of our external world.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Studies on the Ecology of Drama, 2017 (video still)
Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery – Copyright: Crystal eye /Eija-Liisa Ahtila

In the form of a lecture-performance, an actress demonstrates and investigates through an eloquent vocabulary of diverse techniques, mechanisms and performative practices (such as mimicry), different approaches of representation of living forms. Assisted by other co-performers (a juniper tree, a bush, a swift bird, a horse, a butterfly and a small group of human acrobats), the actress redesigns a landscape of the polymorphic relationship between image and reality, which is being understood and constructed through the subjective qualities of space and time according to the presence of human or non-human objects.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Studies on the Ecology of Drama, 2017 (video still)
Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery – Copyright: Crystal eye /Eija-Liisa Ahtila

The visual documentation of the natural environment as the artist’s chosen terrain to pronounce our compassion and love towards the planet and omnifarious living organisms, rapidly becomes a topical subject once again. At times when everything has been brought to a standstill, we suddenly begin to observe nature and the planet as a living organism that is being automatically reset to its original factory settings, momentarily liberated from pollution and catastrophic human intervention.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Studies on the Ecology of Drama, 2017 (video still)
Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery – Copyright: Crystal eye /Eija-Liisa Ahtila

Eija-Liisa Ahtila is a former professor at the Department of Time and Space-based Art at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Finland. She has presented solo exhibitions at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne, Australia (2017); Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain (2016); Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York and Oi Futuro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (both 2015); the Israel Museum, Jerusalem (2014); Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland (2013); Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, Mexico and Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (both in 2012); Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois (2011), Parasol Unit, London, UK (2010) and Tate Modern, London, UK (2002).

Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Studies on the Ecology of Drama, 2017 (video still)
Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery – Copyright: Crystal eye /Eija-Liisa Ahtila

She has participated in numerous international art exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale (2005 and 1999); Documenta11 (2002), Manifesta (1998), Bienal de São Paulo (2008) and Biennale of Sydney (2018 and 2002). Her work has been featured in numerous group shows around the world including the Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany (2019); the M Museum, Leuven, Belgium and the Serlachius Museum Gösta, Mänttä, Finland (both 2018), MoMA, NY (2006) and SFMoMA, San Francisco (2003). She has been honoured with several prizes over the past three decades that include, most recently, becoming an Academician of Arts in Finland (2009); The Prince Eugen Medal for Outstanding Artistic Achievement, Sweden (2009) and Artes Mundi, Wales International Visual Arts Prize, Cardiff, Wales (2006).

Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Potentiality for Love, 2018 (Partial installation view). Moving image sculpture in 3 silent parts.
Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery – Copyright: Crystal eye /Eija-Liisa Ahtila

Ahtila’s work has also been shown at numerous film screenings and festivals, including the Sundance Film Festival, Utah, USA; Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland; Hong Kong International Film Festival, Hong Kong, China, and film retrospectives at MoMA, Centre Pompidou, Paris and Tate Modern, London. Her works are included in the collections of the Tate and MoMA and other major public and private collections worldwide.

Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Horizontal – Vaakasuora, 2011 – 6-channel projected high definition installation; 6 min; Dolby Digital 5.1; Installation view at Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, 2011.
Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery – Copyright: Crystal eye /Eija-Liisa Ahtila

You can watch Eija-Liisa Ahtila: Studies On The Ecology Of Drama (2017), online at the Marian Goodman Gallery website by clicking here.

Kostas Prapoglou

Bernard Cohen, Interiors

Bernard Cohen, Interiors

Flowers Gallery, London / Cork Street

21 May – 20 June 2020

Bernard Cohen is considered one of Britain’s most significant abstract painters, whose paintings tell stories about identity and experience. This upcoming exhibition of recent works at Flowers Gallery demonstrates Cohen’s sustained enquiry into the complex chaos of everyday existence.

Bernard Cohen
Pictorial , 2017

Since the 1950s Cohen has developed a wide range of inventive techniques and processes of painting, creating labyrinthine compositions of line, shape, pattern and colour. Cohen’s paintings will often tell many stories at once, using distinctive strategies of layering, superimposing, and condensing multiple images to establish intricate networks and relationships.

Bernard Cohen
How to Paint the Milky Way, 2014

In a display in 2017, Tate Britain described Cohen’s paintings, both individually and as a whole, as “a series of diagrams about painting.” This approach developed during the 1960s, with works that incorporated many small independent paintings. (For example, Matter of Identity, 1963, in the Tate collection.) Cohen refers to the inner paintings as ‘small objects’, that together establish the identity of the whole painting. In his recent works, Cohen interlaces recurring individual figurative motifs such as doors, windows, airplanes and railway tracks, to form an accumulative coherence and logic.

Bernard Cohen
Clown, 2019

The composition of the painting How to Paint the Milky Way is underpinned by a cosmos of dots, contained by various cube-like planes and lattices, suggesting elements of domestic interiors. Bernard Cohen recalls: “During a long stay in New Mexico I experienced a daylight that was so bright that it voraciously consumed objects, while at night at 10,000 feet, away from any artificial light, the Milky Way appeared as one overwhelming physical object. What is a painting and what fills it? Where is its all-containing identity? I continue to ask myself these questions.”

Joiri Minaya. I’m here to entertain you, but only during my shift

Joiri Minaya. I’m here to entertain you, but only during my shift

BAXTER ST The Camera Club of New York, NYC

Exhibition Dates to be announce

Organized by curator Corrine Y. Gordon.

Joiri Minaya sees her work as a reassertion of self, in which she uses her cultural background as a base to explore and reconcile her experiences of growing up in the Dominican Republic and living and navigating the United States. I’m here to entertain you, but only during my shift examines the construction of the female subject in relation to landscape, looking particularly at “tropical” environments. The exhibition features new works from her ongoing Containers series initiated in 2015, where Minaya takes photographs of women wearing custom head-to-toe printed bodysuits that mimic tropical flora and poses them in seemingly natural environments that have been altered by man. Theoriginal series stemmed from a Google search of “Dominican Women,” where Minaya found specific poses repeated throughout her findings and appropriated these poses through the structure of the bodysuits, forcing the performer to adopt the pose. By doing this, Minaya looks to the parallels drawn between nature and femininity, as both have been imagined and represented throughout history as idealized, tamed, conquered, and exoticized entities. 

Container #4, 2020
Joiri Minaya

The title I’m here to entertain you, but only during my shift aims to establish a relationship between the viewer and the work, drawing attention to the performative nature of her subjects and the audience’s position as an active observer. It is also a line pulled from one of the original scripts Minaya wrote when she started to experiment with the series beyond photography. She converted the images into a performance, incorporating voice recordings and written text that were strategically paired to the location and bodysuits. As the series continues to be reimagined through new mediums, this exhibition will be the first to present collage alongside her continued photographs, video, and text.  

Joiri Minaya (1990) is a Dominican-United Statesian multi-disciplinary artist whose recent works focus on destabilizing historic and contemporary representations of an imagined tropical identity. Minaya attended the Escuela Nacional de Artes Visuales in Santo Domingo (2009), the Altos de Chavón School of Design (2011) and Parsons the New School for Design (2013). She has participated in residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Guttenberg Arts, Smack Mellon, the Bronx Museum’s AIM Program and the NYFA Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists, Red Bull House of Art, the Lower East Side Printshop and Art Omi. She has been awarded a Socrates Sculpture Park Emerging Artist Fellowship as well as grants by the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation and the Nancy Graves Foundation. Minaya’s work is in the collection of the Museo de Arte Moderno and the Centro León Jiménes in the Dominican Republic.

Corrine Y. Gordon is a curator and programmer who was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. Currently based in Brooklyn, Gordon served as the co-curator of the inaugural Southeast Queens Biennial at York College and has organized exhibitions at Welancora Gallery, Rush Arts’ Corridor Gallery, and Bishop Gallery, all located in Brooklyn. Gordon is also the co-founder and Director of Art & Programming at MYÜZ Inc., a visual content label that pairs visual artists with distinguished academics to produce a catalogue of original content. Lastly, Gordon works in the Special Events department at the world-famous Apollo Theater. Gordon received a Masters of Arts in Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, and a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art at the University of Virginia, with a minor in Media Studies.

Wolfgang Tillmans / Today is the first day

Wolfgang Tillmans / Today is the first day at WIELS, Brussels

by Alice Zucca

What strikes the most in the work of the visionary German artist Wolfgang Tillmans is certainly the non-continuity in its stylistic path, however it is still capable of giving back the consequentiality of an image of the world around us that evolves in a chronological manner and of a universally recognizable and generational reality. This distinctive feature is the key of the uniqueness that allows him to give back to the world a vision of what stimulates him in everyday life, that is as coherent and realistic as it is hyperbolic, using a variety of media formats and elements, from two-dimensional to audiovisual, that reinvent new methods of production and fruition of the image, whether it is to be intended for what it is intrinsically or to be understood as “imaginary”, and therefore freed from an attached visual concept but always allowing the presence of observable element. After all, making something “visible” – whether it is the processes of everyday life, the change of the social structures and the technological progress, the invisible or the evolution of what is in existance – is the ultimate goal of Tillmans’ art, who seems to place the emphasis on the element of transition, the moment in which change becomes perceptible, the relationship between our knowledge and what is perceived in the surrounding world.

Wolfgang Tillmans, 6407-35, 2007, © the artist, courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne, Maureen Paley, London, David Zwirner, New York, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

A new world can seem awkward because the interpretation schemes that we have painstakingly developed in the old world are no longer suitable for interpreting the changed reality, and if it is true that we can no longer count on our reassuring routines stabilized during the span of a lifetime, it is even more real the impossibility of functionally interfacing with a new world without the availability of new ideas on which to found it. Tillmans does not want to give us an idea but he seems to provide us with a starting point for analysis. In this regard, he invites us, starting from the setting of the installation, to a personal reflection, made of personal connections and experiences through the fruition of the work in space and the work in itself. 

Wolfgang Tillmans, Today Is The First Day, WIELS, Brussels, 2020, installation view, Photo Philippe De Gobert

The two floors of the WIELS in Brussels, which host the first large-scale exhibition of Tillmans in Belgium, are a worthy extension of the imagery of the German photographer who always expands his artistic creation to the entire setting of the exhibition, integrating the architectural space, the light, the sound, in order to serve as presentation for the “image” as an integral element in its production. The intimate room which is set up for the audio “I want to make a film” (2018) is a real meta-image in a fundamentally non-visual work in which this element of transition and perceptibility resounds strongly, in my opinion, as an example of that change mentioned before,  and also as a declaration of intent of Tillmans’ poetics, “wanting to make this film” fictitious, as the ultimate desire to visualize the change, to understand its power and how things could continue to change, and so they do, changing our existence. Tillmans talks about his desire to make a hypothetical film that puts the technological process in perspective that has led us to rely on the computing power of the machines, by analyzing the first computers and devices up to the smartphone, an emblem of technology such as an integral part of our daily life, of our way of living. Tillmans wants to make a film “to help imagine what goes on in this powerful machine that is in your palm” and in achieving this concept, he wonders incredulously how this happened, so quickly, and how much the change has been perceived, by himself and by others “I certainly know: in my flat in London nothing was exchanged from 2000 until 2011 – and the internet got faster and faster, while the telephone cable was still just hanging outside and down the building. I want this film to try to allow myself to understand what goes on in this cable under the Atlantic. – This film should be about: Let us put into perspective, what a powerful instrument you have got in your hands”.

Wolfgang Tillmans, Argonaut, 2017. © Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/Hong Kong, Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin, and Maureen Paley, London.

Always detached from the conventional, far from what is traditionally shared and without sequential succession, Tillmans’ work expands and covers the entire surface of the rooms, in an experiential path that also includes more unusual locations, resulting in a real site specific installation in the making that, here in Brussels, in “Today is the first day” involves three decades of production including the latest developments of his research in the photographic, audio and video fields, in a spatial constellation specifically conceived for the spaces of the WIELS. 

Wolfgang Tillmans, Today Is The First Day, WIELS, Brussels, 2020, installation view, Photo Philippe De Gobert
Wolfgang Tillmans, Today Is The First Day, WIELS, Brussels, 2020, installation view, Photo Philippe De Gobert

In the name of a conscious political conscience, which has always been one of his peculiar characteristics, Tillmans has lavished his creative commitment in various areas: from the artistic production to social commitment, from safeguarding democracy to defending the rights of minorities. As an artist, he has set himself the goal of grabbing the essence of the everyday world, and this is what he intends to “reproduce” in his works, assigning a primary role both to insignificant details, normally disregarded, and to majestic phenomena – of a concrete nature or tending to the sublime or the abstract – which in an upward motion extend vertically.

Wolfgang Tillmans, Freischwimmer 231, 2012, © the artist, courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne, Maureen Paley, London, David Zwirner, New York, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris
Wolfgang Tillmans, Today Is The First Day, WIELS, Brussels, 2020, installation view, Photo Alice Zucca

Part of his production is done without the use of cameras, negatives or films. The artist creates abstract works by manipulating the light on paper while working inside his dark room. And light and sound are essentially the cornerstones of the visitor’s experiential journey at WIELS. Tillmans uses various media like photography, video, sound, music, thus creating elaborate artistic concepts designed to be installations, which avoid any attempt at categorization and homologation and induce the observer to carefully scrutinize the whole and also every single element, to then elaborate his personal connection with the artistic output.

Wolfgang Tillmans, CLC 014, 2017, © the artist, courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne, Maureen Paley, London, David Zwirner, New York, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

Coming from the rational foundations that belong to German culture, Tillmans, since the end of the 80s, unties that element of rationality that’s inherent in its background by pushing the concept of photography beyond the limits of the existing definition, moving between the immaterial and the concrete and what governs rhythms and changes – the passage of time – and the political and social implications that mark its variations. By deepening the analysis of what exists, in all its real or apparent forms, Tillmans digs a gap in the internalization of the concept of change, and repeats it in forms that are always new. His works, might appear without a logical or guiding thread, but they reveal themselves, starting from the images of the early 90s, as a cross-section of society in the process of entering a new era.  A real, subjective reportage of the European underground. Tillmans immortalizes his generation, that of homosexual emancipation, of subcultures, clubs, electronic music and so on, through its daily life, defining and affirming a new way of conceiving documentary photography.

Wolfgang Tillmans, Chloe, 1995, © the artist, courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne, Maureen Paley, London, David Zwirner, New York, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris
Wolfgang Tillmans, Lutz & Alex sitting in the trees, 1992, © the artist, courtesy Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne, Maureen Paley, London, David Zwirner, New York, Galerie Chantal Crousel, Paris

For Tillmans the change from analog to digital opened up new cognitive horizons, applicable both to his perception of reality and to its transposition in digital format. But the actual manipulation is one of the distinctive elements of most of the production of the German photographer, already at the end of the 90s, in fact, Tillmans starts experimenting with what we could rightly define the creation of photographs without the use of the camera, images produced directly in the darkroom, like the ones from the series “Silver”, are now visible as part of the exhibition “Today is the first day”.

Wolfgang Tillmans, Today Is The First Day, WIELS, Brussels, 2020, installation view, Photo Alice Zucca

The artist achieves the result by passing photographic paper through a processing machine without having it cleaned from chemical residues, dust and dirt, basically left over products from previous prints. At the WIELS, in the room where this series is exhibited, Tillmans works directly on the museum walls – sandblasting the exhibition walls until they reveal the concrete hidden under the layers of paint – a very interesting dialogue with the space that puts the emphasis on the materiality of the support, its change and its history and finally, more in depht, the non-neutrality of the white cube as an exhibition space. 

Wolfgang Tillmans, Today Is The First Day, WIELS, Brussels, 2020, installation view, Photo Philippe De Gobert
Wolfgang Tillmans, Today Is The First Day, WIELS, Brussels, 2020, installation view, Photo Alice Zucca

The discourse about abstract imagery continues among Tillmans’ most recent works, showing an abstract subject with text that poses a first-person question “How likely is it that only I am right in this matter?” Once again, through this sentence the point regarding the perception of the surrounding world, the relationship between us as alike and between us and our knowledge returns. It is a question that the artist asks himself but  he also asks the viewer of the work, it is evident here the importance that the artist gives to the viewer’s point of view that sets in motion his own reflection on the “new world”, which therefore changes, with the new ideas that we need to have formed, that we need to be able to think and understand and that define the relationship with the means which serve us to produce the formation of these new ideas themselves. It is a matter of individual perception on issues that concern our universal history and vice versa. This work is part of a series created using scans of already existing images and texts, which are in fact largely derived from the world of neuroscience. During the process, the light scans the original document several times and in this process Tillmans moves the document so as to create a distortion in its reproduction, movements that deeply alter the final result. Divergences that indicate here how in our era of fake news and post truth our perception is widely distorted.

Photo: Alice Zucca

Few contemporary artists have succeeded in placing the emphasis on the resonance of contemporary art as a “vehicle”, managing to capture and influence a generation as Wolfgang Tillmans did and continues to do, and more than ever in an era like ours in which the production of the image now seems obvious, when we rely on that powerful machine that is in our palm (the smartphone). Tillmans presents us with an imagery that he is able to put always under a different light, asking himself what creating images means in a world increasingly saturated with images, highlighting the singularity of the image through peculiar ways of producing it and amplifying it. Each of the works, in this highly successful exhibition at WIELS, engages in an intricate system of relationships – between space and work, time, installation setup and its subjects – to involve the viewer, as we have seen, as an active part of the dialogue in an experience of connection that is rooted in the perceptive process of “looking”, of “seeing”, which not only expands the conventional ways of approaching photography and its practice but addresses the fundamental question of the visible world and the limits of what can – when, how and why – be seen.

Due to the Covid-19 emergency WIELS might be closed until further notice. We invite you to check their website to find the latest updates.

ADLER EHRENSTEIN LEY at Anton Janizewski gallery

ADLER EHRENSTEIN LEY at Anton Janizewski gallery

Anton Janizewski gallery, Berlin

extended until 4 June 2020

Due to the Covid-19 emergency the exhibition might be closed to the public until further notice. We invite you to CLICK HERE and check the website of the organizers to find the latest information and updates about the current situation.

Emma Adler, SUPERFLARE (Carrington 20.20) Keramik. Photo by Sascha Herrmann, Courtesy Anton Janizewski gallery

Emma Alder’s installation SUPERFLARE is a transformed version of an exhibition at Neuer Kunstver- ein Gießen. The work originates from a long research and working process and is part of a series of installations Adler continuously uses in various exhibition formats, starting in 2018 at Künstlerhaus Dahlem in Berlin in her installation REALITY SHOW. Emma Adler creates spatial compositions determined by her humorous use of materials. Her work at Galerie Anton Janizewski is based on the analysis of phenomena called Superflares. These are solar storms whose radiant power can influence the magnetic field, a protective shield of the earth, in an extreme and unpredictable way. A scientific apocalyptic scenario? Conspiracy theory with cosmic force? In any case, a rare phenomenon that far exceeds the human scope for action and control.

Anna Ehrenstein True Self I & II, 2018, 200 x 100 x 35 cm, Edition of 3, digital print on display film + ALIL, 2019 Lenticular Print, Edition of 3, 15 x 10 cm. Photo by Sascha Herrmann, Courtesy Anton Janizewski gallery

Anna Ehrenstein’s collage works consist of virtual platform glitches and research quotes: dealing with historical and socioeconomic critique of western feminist mythologies and constructions of the “true self”. The depicted imagery is the result of interviews with hyper feminin women in Tirana about their preferred image retouching techniques and personal choices on visual self construction. After each conversation the protagonists received 20-30 images in their favored aesthetic. Screen- shots of the social media curation in turn have been saved after being made public through the participants’ autonomously selected digital platforms. While `True Self` is examining concepts of authenticity in the relation between subject and object, the lenticular prints “A Lotus Is Lotus” from the eponymous body of work are looking at the present day circulation of exotica. They form part of a bigger research on colonial trajectories interwoven into East West power relations, fake textiles, tourist market and 3D stock exchanges.

Anna Ley Gleisdreieck, 2019, Acrylic on canvas, 130 x 90 cm + Floraplatz 2018 150 x 120 cm Acrylic on canvas. Photo by Sascha Herrmann, Courtesy Anton Janizewski gallery

Anna Ley paints what she sees and how she sees it. Reducing the motifs she chooses to the most necessary. The question arising when creating a picture is: How much does the picture need and what doesn’t it need? Ley’s paintings show everyday objects and places that have shaped the pain- ter‘s life. But they also belong to our society’s collective memory. Thus the viewer has the possibility to link their own experiences and memories with the respective painting. If one zooms out of the individual picture, a network of pictures emerges; a hyper image reflecting the painter’s personal attitude and preferences while also raising current social and political questions.

MONDO CANE. Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys at Bozar

MONDO CANE. Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys at Bozar

Bozar, Brussels

Until 21 July, 2020

Due to the Covid-19 emergency the exhibition might be closed to the public until further notice. We invite you to CLICK HERE and check the website of the organizers to find the latest information and updates about the current situation

Passing through a steel fence, one enters a secluded space occupied by 22 ashen-faced, mute dolls. About ten of them are automated and perform repetitive actions, condemned to an eternal monotonous existence. MONDO CANE can be seen as a Contemporary Museum of Folk Art in which the human figure is on show, in a society where inertia and apathy reign supreme.  Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys are seasoned hands in the creation of fictions filtered through hyperreality. They are intrigued by modern society’s current state of psychosis. The dolls in MONDO CANE are living proof of this.

MONDO CANE represented the Belgian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale with Anne-Claire Schmitz as curator and was given an honourable mention by the jury.   

Images > courtesy of Bozar Center for Fine Arts, Brussels and the artists 

Seigo Aoki, Spin this world

Seigo Aoki, Spin this world

LOKO GALLERY, Tokyo

Date still to be defined

Due to the Covid-19 emergency the exhibition might be closed to the public until further notice. We invite you to CLICK HERE and check the website of the organizers to find the latest information and updates about the current situation.

“Spin this world,” a solo exhibition by painter Seigo Aoki, who has been active in Japan and abroad since his debut in the 1990s, but this will be his first solo exhibition in the Kanto area in about five years.

In recent years, Aoki has pursued a stoic approach to his work using minimal materials and techniques. They can divide into two series, one with canvas and only three colors of paint, and the other with the same three colors of pencil and paper. The previous has formed by painting a massive series of three geometric shapes: circles (○), triangles (△), and squares (□) using the three primary colors of light: red, green, and blue. In the latter case, on the other hand, he creates a shadowy black image by applying several layers of three-colored pencils to create a work of art.

Using only minimalistic elements have related to painting and even vision, his works may remind one of the theoretically designed paintings, such as Georges-Pierre Seurat’s pointillism. However, in his oil paintings, he decides a rough image of the picture and then the spot painting one by one and his combination and arrangement of colors and shapes that make up the image. Therefore, his art takes several months to several years to accumulate this tremendous work on a single canvas is a painting. While maintaining a precise harmony as a whole, it shows the randomness of colors and shapes painted by hand and the organicity that can be called “fluctuation” that accompanies the accumulation. In addition to these qualities, Aoki’s work shows a symbiosis of contrasting elements such as light and shadow, presence and absence, and the reversal of figure and earth.

The works in this exhibition incorporate motifs of his immediate acquaintances, images of strangers found on the web, and photographs of historical scenes. The work of creating these external images through an ascetic method of drawing that Aoki has defined and continued may be one of the ways for him to trace the world around him and come into contact with the outside world. We would be happy to show you where Aoki is now as he pursues his paintings with his unique technique.

Images, Courtesy the gallery and the artis

15 ARTISTS X 15 YEARS IN CHINA

15 ARTISTS X 15 YEARS IN CHINA

Galleria Continua, Beijing

Until 26 April 2020

Ai Weiwei | Kader Attia | Daniel Buren | Loris Cecchini | Chen Zhen | Carlos Garaicoa | Antony Gormley | Carsten Höller | Kan Xuan | Anish Kapoor | Giovanni Ozzola | Michelangelo Pistoletto | Pascale Marthine Tayou | Sun Yuan & Peng Yu | Zhuang Hui

Due to the Covid-19 emergency the exhibition might be closed to the public until further notice. We invite you to CLICK HERE and check the website of the organizers to find the latest information and updates about the current situation.

PASCALE MARTHINE TAYOU Plastic Tree 2014/2015
branches, plastic bags variable dimensions
Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana, Photo by: Andrea Rossetti

Galleria Continua is a leading international contemporary art gallery, which was founded in 1990 by three friends: Mario Cristiani, Lorenzo Fiaschi and Maurizio Rigillo, in San Gimignano, Italy. Occupying a former cinema, Galleria Continua established itself and thrived in an entirely unexpected location, away from the big cities and the ultramodern urban centers, in the town of San Gimignano, a place steeped in history. This choice of location provided scope for the development of new forms of dialogue between unexpected geographies: rural and industrial, local and global, art from the past and the art of today, famous artists and emerging ones.

CARLOS GARAICOA Chinese Checkers 2008
metal, wood, Plexiglas, acrylic, paper, ink
Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana, Photo by: Oak Taylor-Smith

Galleria Continua was the first foreign gallery with an international program to open in Beijing, China in 2004, and in 2007 launched a new site for large-scale creations – Les Moulins – in the Parisian countryside. In 2015 the gallery embarked on new paths, opening a space in La Habana, Cuba, devoted to cultural projects designed to overcome every frontier. In the course of almost thirty years Galleria Continua has created a strong identity, which remains faithful to a spirit of perpetual evolution and is committed to developing public interest in contemporary art. That identity is grounded in two values – generosity and altruism – that lays at the heart of all its dealings with artists, the general public and its development as a whole. Galleria Continua is all about a desire for continuity between ages, the aspiration to having a part in writing the history of the present, and between different and unusual individuals and geographies. Galleria Continua presented the work of Anish Kapoor for the first time in China in 2007 in the Beijing gallery space, on the occasion of his solo show “Ascension”.

DANIEL BUREN De travers et trop grand – bleu 2013
work in situ
blue adhesive vinyl large 8,7 cm on white wall 350 x 350 cm (variable dimensions)
Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana, Photo by: Isabella Matheus

Those two values and the importance of friendship led Galleria Continua to be the first major foreign gallery to arrive in China thanks to a strong tie with friends: the artist Chen Zhen and his wife Xu Min. The gallery settled in a 1950s Bauhaus style building that had not yet been restored back then, in an area considered to be in the Beijing outskirts and now famously known as the 798 Art District.

ANISH KAPOOR Monochrome (Majik Blue) 2016
Fibreglass and paint 188 x 188 x 40 cm 74 x 74 x 15,7 inch
Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana, Photo by: Lorenzo Fiaschi

In April 2004, Galleria Continua participated in the first contemporary art fair in Beijing followed by organizing the first foreign Art Project in November of the same year. Then in May 2005, Galleria Continua held its inaugural show featuring 16 artists from five continents. Since then, the gallery continues to bring important artists from all over the world for the first time to China: Daniel Buren, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley, Kader Attia, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Chen Zhen, Etel Adnan, Berlinde de Bruyckere and many more.

KADER ATTIA Artificial nature 2014
mutilated tree, prosthesis
Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana, Photo by: Oak Taylor-Smith

As of today, the 798 Art District has become one of the most visited locations in China, along with the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. It is now firmly positioned as the country’s place in the world where culture keeps growing, recently welcoming numerous other foreign artists, galleries and institutions to the region. Meanwhile, Galleria Continua created other numerous important bonds with more and more institutions, artists, collectors and curators whilst perpetuating its passion to open new spaces in unusual territories: Les Moulins (Parisian countryside) and Habana (Cuba). The underlying thread of Galleria Continua’s activities through all these places and endeavours is to discover new artists and to provide showcases that bring together spheres of creativity and various different cultures. And this is to be continua!

MICHELANGELO PISTOLETTO Two Less One colored 2015
mirror, gilded wood
2 elements, 180 x 120 cm each
Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana

To celebrate the 15th year Anniversary of the Beijing life of Galleria Continua, a very unique exhibition, will retrace the history of the gallery by bringing back the works of 15 artists who have been part of this story along with the major exhibitions that the space hosted for the first time in China: Ai Weiwei, Kader Attia, Daniel Buren, Loris Cecchini, Chen Zhen, Carlos Garaicoa, Antony Gormley, Carsten Höller, Anish Kapoor, Giovanni Ozzola, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Kan Xuan, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu and Zhuang Hui!

CARSTEN HÖLLER Circle Division Canary Mobile (Black Outside, White Inside) 2018
circular mobile structure with 2 powder-coated caged and 2 canaries Total diameter 320 cm (each cage diameter 90 cm)
Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana, Photo by: Jonathan Leijonhufvud
ANTONY GORMLEY BOARD 2015
Cast iron
33 x 161,5 x 57 cm
Courtesy: the artist and GALLERIA CONTINUA, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana, Photo by: Stephen White, London

Most importantly the exhibition is incarnating the strong ideology of the three founders, an ideology and a purpose that has never changed over the years and that will always remain the core value of Galleria Continua as expressed in an interview by the founder Lorenzo Fiaschi for the 25-year anniversary of the gallery in Paris: ‘For Mario, Maurizio and myself, culture is a meeting, it’s about making our differences a source of creativity, of beauty, of union and of love’.


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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