Workwear between functionality and simbolic value / UNIFORM into the work / Out of the work

Workwear between functionality and simbolic value / UNIFORM into the work / Out of the work

MAST. BOLOGNA

Until 03.05.2020

Curated by Urs Stahel

by Alice Zucca

I wore a uniform for 8 years of my life, when I attended school at an institute of Dominican nuns. I was 4 years old when I entered and I left when I was 11. In that context it was all a matter of uniforms, from the various ones of the religious environment to the one that was intended for us students. And for the students there wasn’t just the classic uniform that was used to identify us, but more different ones of different colors, at times aimed to indicate specific varieties of possible behaviors – positive and negative – to identify us not only in our social framework among other students but even as a type of person. I haven’t had to wait a long time to understand that uniforms are a matter of identity. It is certainly peculiar in this context to notice that in Italian, to indicate the uniform, there are two words “uniforme” (from the Latin uniformis meaning to have one form) and “divisa” (from the Latin dividere, to divide, to separate). The first highlights the unifying aspect, the second a dividing element: terms that reveal inclusion and exclusion as two connected actions, and indeed, in this sense, they are.

Marianne Mueller
Untitled, from the series “M-Portraits” 1998
C-print, 45 × 30 cm
Collezione MAST / MAST Collection

The concept of identity concerns, on one hand, the way in which the individual considers himself as a member of certain groups and, on the other hand, the way in which the codes of those groups allow each individual to think, move, place oneself and relate to oneself in relation to others, to the group itself to which they belong and to other groups, intended, perceived and classified as external. The process of the formation of the identity can therefore certainly be distinguished in these two components of identification, recognition and exclusion.

ALBRECHT TÜBKE
Untitled, from the series “Dalliendorf”
© Albrecht Tübke
SONG CHAO
Series “Miners”
2000-2002
© Song Chao | Courtesy of Photography of china.com

From homogenization to individual identity, uniforms communicate information and levels of belonging, of importance and credibility, they orchestrate social relations becoming over time a reference for fashion and mass production in the clothing industry. The uniform speaks to the others, the other and the individual self and has such an intrinsic quantity of encoded information that makes it able to develop an identity. I remember myself, being eleven years old, resting in the courtyard of that school, waiting for Christ to walk on the water of the fountain of the institute, while my shadow and my gaze, among the buildings, climbed up into the sky. But, as to Aleksandr Blok in Majakovsky’s A Cloud in Trousers, Christ decided not to appear to me. And from there, I am what I am now.

Roland Fischer
#1 from the series “Nuns and Monks” 1986
#2 from the series “Nuns and Monks” 1984
C-print, 170 × 120 cm
Courtesy of the artist


Olivier Silva is a young French boy who is followed by Rineke Dijkstra when he decides to enlist in the Foreign Legion and then during his 36-month training. The result is the impressive photographs, on display in the new exhibition at MAST, which show us in a brutal way how the time spent in the army, wearing the uniform, has changed the character of the young man.

#1 Rineke Dijkstra
Olivier, Quartier Vienot, Marseille, France, July 21, 2000 2000
C-print, 126,5 × 108,5 cm
Courtesy of the artist

#2 Rineke Dijkstra
Olivier, Camp Rafalli, Calvi, Corsica, June 18, 2001 2001
C-print, 126,5 × 108,5 cm
Courtesy of the artist


The event is actually the union of two exhibitions, both investigating the aspects of being and appearing through “the uniform”, whether it is an official one or otherwise, UNIFORM INTO THE WORK / OUT OF THE WORK includes WORKWEAR IN THE IMAGES OF 44 PHOTOGRAPHERS an artistic itinerary that presents 44 shots by famous protagonists of the history of photography and a monograph of WALEAD BESHTY “INDUSTRIAL PORTRAITS”, which is a collection of hundreds of portraits of professionals in the Art industry, who he met during his career and for whom clothing is a silent code, an anti-uniform, but also, professionally, a personal distinctive trait.

WALEAD BESHTY
Collector, Los Angeles, California, October 8, 2013
courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles © Walead Beshty



WORKWEAR IN THE IMAGES OF 44 PHOTOGRAPHERS

The group exhibition “Workwear in the images of 44 photographers” staged in the PhotoGallery brings together photographs by 44 artists, including Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Walker Evans, Arno Fischer, Irving Penn, Herb Ritts, August Sander and contemporary photographers like Paola Agosti, Sonja Braas, Song Chao, Clegg & Guttmann, Hans Danuser, Barbara Davatz, Roland Fischer, André Gelpke, Helga Paris, Tobias Kaspar, Herlinde Koelbl, Paolo Pellegrin, Timm Rautert, Oliver Sieber, Sebastião Salgado, images from albums of unknown collectors and eight videos by Marianne Mueller. Today we still distinguish between “blue collar” and “white collar” workers, two expressions that have become established in many languages of industrialised society. Inspired by workwear, a distinction is made between different forms and professional and social categories: on one hand the blue tunic or coverall of factory workers, on the other the white collar as a symbol of the suit jacket, white shirt and tie of those who perform administrative and managerial functions.

PAOLA AGOSTI
Forlì, 1978
Young iron worker © Paola Agosti

The exhibition is an excursion through uniforms, calling for a reflection on being and appearing: the work tunics photographed by Graciela Iturbide, the aprons worn in the “small trades” – as Irving Penn calls them – of the fishmonger and the butcher, the coveralls of the coal dock workers in the port of Havana portrayed by Walker Evans, the clothes of the farmers in Albrecht Tübke‘s colour shots, the workers’ coveralls in Fiat’s assembly plants in Turin in the photographs of Paola Agosti.

IRVING PENN
Fishmonger, London
1950
Irving Penn | Fishmonger, London, 1950 | © Condé Nast

In Barbara Davatz‘s pictures, the work clothes of the employees of a small factory in Switzerland are compared with the uniforms of the apprentices of the largest food retailer “Migros” photographed by Marianne Mueller, while the white collars photographed by Florian Van Roekel are a counterpoint to the black coveralls of the miners in the photos of the Chinese Song Chao and the workers of a clothing factory photographed by Helga Paris. Workwear also includes protective clothing, which is the central point of the images of the Mexican Manuel Álvarez BravoHitoshi Tsukiji who focuses on Toshiba’s safety gloves, and Sonja BraasHans Danuser and Doug Menuez who concentrate on coveralls.

MANUEL ÁLVAREZ BRAVO
The Fire Workers, Mexico 1935
© Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, S.C

Clothing doesn’t just reflect the different occupations, nor does it exclusively obey the function of the work, but it also indicates a distinction of class and status as shown in the great group portrait of the multinational Clegg & Guttmann‘s company executives, where the light illuminates only the faces, the hands and the dazzling triangles formed by the lapels, white shirts and ties. In the nine portraits by August Sander, considered one of the most famous portrait photographers of the 20th century, the symbiosis between person, profession and social role emerges more than the essence of the individuals themselves. In fact, the photographer’s focus is on the social function rather than the aesthetics of photography, with the intention of building a faithful image of the era.

FLORIAN VAN ROEKEL
Chapter Three, V
from the series “How Terry likes his Coffee”, 2010
© Florian Van Roekel

The exhibition takes us from work clothes to uniforms with the seven imposing portraits of the soldier “Olivier” by Rineke Dijkstra, the civilian uniforms from the series by Timm Rautert, the clothes of the monk and the nun photographed by Roland Fischer, and the portraits of Angela Merkel in the nine photographs by Herlinde Koelbl, the famous German artist who dedicated a multi-year project called “Traces of Power” to year-by-year portray some of Germany’s leading political leaders, starting in 1989, the year the Berlin Wall fell.

SEBASTIÃO SALGADO
Kuwait after the end of the Gulf War – The oil fields continue to burn, causing a massive ecological disaster and large loss of money. Oil-well fire fighters from around the globe at work to put out the burning oil wells. Worker of the Safety Boss Company during a rest, 1991
© Salgado/AmazonasImages/Contrasto


Sebastião Salgado immortalises the moment of rest of an employee of the Safety Boss Company in Kuwait who was engaged in the operations of extinguishing oil wells set on fire by Iraqis in 1991 during the Gulf War.
The works of Olivier SieberAndré GelpkeAndri PolPaolo PellegrinHerb Ritts and Weronika Gęsicka describe the progressive transformation of workwear and uniforms into style and fashion together with Barbara Davatz‘s “Beauty lies within” series, which depicts some of H&M’s shop assistants outside the workplace.

Tobias Kaspar‘s photographs of embroideries taken from the archives of a Swiss textile manufacturer close the exhibition.
On large monitors eight security staff in service uniforms, the protagonists of eight videos by Marianne Mueller, “watch” the visitors.


WALEAD BESHTY “INDUSTRIAL PORTRAITS”

The monographic exhibition of the American photographer WALEAD BESHTY “INDUSTRIAL PORTRAITS” staged in the Gallery/Foyer brings together 364 portraits divided into seven groups of 52 photographs each: artists, collectors, curators, gallery owners, technicians, other professionals, directors and operators of museums. The photographs portray people the artist came into contact with in his working environment, while making his art or preparing exhibitions. Over the past 12 years Walead Beshty has photographed around 1,400 people with a small camera and 36 mm analogue film, mostly in black and white. From all the pictures taken the photographer selected one portrait for each subject, and 364 were selected for the exhibition at MAST.

WALEAD BESHTY
Nonprofit Founder/Artist, Oak Park, Illinois, September 19, 2008
2008
courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles
© Walead Beshty

Inspired by the early 20th century work of portrait artist August Sander, Walead Beshsty’s goal is not to express the appearance, character or nature of the person being photographed – objectives that studio portraiture has pursued since the dawn of photography – but rather to represent people in their working environment (which is also his own), their function and the professional role they play in the art world and market. Hence the title of his work “Industrial Portraits”. “On the one hand in this title we can see the reflection of a technique that is in some ways standardised, on the other hand we can say that the portraits in the exhibition and the series as a whole (1400-1500 elements that continue to increase) are in turn a sort of ‘portrait’ of a specific industrial reality, i.e. the art industry as a whole. In this sense, the ‘Industrial Portraits’ make visible and shine a spotlight on the actors who move in this sector, which tends to be free of hierarchical structures”, explains the exhibition’s curator Urs Stahel.

WALEAD BESHTY
Gallery President, Los Angeles, California, December 7, 2010
2010
courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles © Walead Beshty

Beshty’s 364 portraits highlight the protagonists’ resistance to the uniformity of professional clothing. They don’t want to look like the others, standardised, mass produced. However, there is a risk that this negative definition will once again prove to be a uniform and standardised attitude for all the actors operating in that environment. Despite the effort made by each individual portrayed to show a unique, personal and original presence and image, the protagonists seem to remain dependent on the context, prisoners of their individualistic attitude.

WALEAD BESHTY
Digital Print Technician, Beijing, China, September 24, 2011
2011
courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles
© Walead Beshty

DANIEL ARSHAM at Perrotin Gallery / Paris

DANIEL ARSHAM at Perrotin Gallery / Paris

PERROTIN PARIS
UNTIL 21 MAR 2020

For this exhibition, Daniel Arsham presents a new suite of large-scale sculptures based on iconic busts, friezes and sculptures in the round from classical antiquity.

Rose Quartz Eroded Hamadryade, 2019 Pink selenite, quartz, hydrostone. 117 x 82 x 80 cm | 46 1/16 x 32 5/16 x 31 1/2 inch 187.00 kg. Photo: Claire Dorn © Courtesy the artist & Perrotin

Ranging from Michelangelo’s Moses to the Vénus de Milo, each item was cast in hydrostone to produce a perfect to scale replica of the original sculpture, a process that shares formal qualities with historic wax casting. Arsham utilizes natural pigments thatare similar to those used by classicalsculptors, such as volcanic ash, blue calcite, selenite, quartz, and rose quartz. From that, individual erosions are chiseled into the surface of thehydrostone, a nod to the sculptingtechniques of the Renaissance sculptors. Finally, Arsham applies his signature tactic of crystallization. Arsham is best known for visually transforming ready-made objects of the last half century into subtly eroding artifacts. Historically, he has focused on items that act as containers of memory: an original Apple computer, a Mickey Mouse phone, or Leica cameras. Arsham’s exploration into fictionalarchaeology dates back to nearly adecade ago when he took a research trip to Easter Island in the South Pacific. There, he observed an archeological expedition of a Moai statue. Around thebase of the sculpture, archeologistsuncovered tools left behind by a previ- ous archeological expedition from almost a century prior. Inspired by the dissolution of time between these distinct landscapes, Arsham began to explore the idea of archeology asa fictionalized account of the past, aswell as a tool with which to collapse the past and the present. This concept has become a common thread throughout this practice. Making use of classical and ancient objects, this new body of work experiments with the timelessness of certain symbols, furthering Arsham’s previous investigations into objecthood.

For Paris, 3020, Arsham borrows display strategies from the modern museum, including elevated plinths, dimmed lights, and a series of nested exhibition spaces. By appropriating the visual language of the encyclopedic museum, Arsham makes deliberate reference to how museums have showcased and shaped object history, specifically as a vehicle that canonizes objects within a greater narrative of progress. In the first room of the exhibition, visitors encounter two large-scale iconic works of classical antiquity that depict women, specifically the goddess Aphrodite and Lucilla, the daughter of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, which are respectively titled Vénus d’Arles and Tête de Lucille. Moving into the next room, Arsham continues his ongoing reference to the great works of Western Art, with an eroded version of Michelangelo’s Moses on one end of the wall and the Vénus de Milo on the other. Both are flanked by a series of busts and life-size sculptures, including the bust of Caracalla wearing a breastplate and the Athéna Casquée, with both pairings highlighting how the ancient world conflated royalty and deity. Flanking the sculptural works are a series of graphite process drawings by Arsham depicting eroded icons of classical antiquity.

Blue Calcite Eroded Moses, (details) 2019. Blue calcite, hydrostone. 60 x 119 x 125 cm | 102 3/8 x 46 7/8 x 49 3/16 in. Photo: Claire Dorn © Courtesy the artist & Perrotin

These drawings both reference Arsham’s background in fine art as well as the art historical tradition of sketching, providing a fictionalized creation myth for works that seemingly were never meant to exist. Displayed together, these new works are transformed to compress time, at once referencing the past, informing the present, and reaching towards a crystallized future.

SANDY SKOGLUND: WINTER at Ryan Lee Gallery / NYC

SANDY SKOGLUND: WINTER at Ryan Lee Gallery / NYC

RYAN LEE GALLERY, NEW YORK
UNTIL 7 MAR 2020

Skoglund describes Winter as “a study in perseverance and persistence, an artificial landscape celebrating the beautiful and frightening qualities of the coldest season.” In the photographic image, a man, woman, and child punctuate an icy blue scene. They are inside of an iceberg, perhaps, surrounded by its craggy walls. Standing pensive with hands in the pockets of their winter coats, only the child, a red-headed girl, looks out toward the viewer. The trio is joined in this fantastical setting by a cluster of three snowflake-emblazoned owls and a female figure that seems to have frozen mid-slumber. The imagery evolved from Skoglund’s interest in similarity and difference among snowflakes. Her fascination with the appearance of correspondence versus the reality of difference extends from earlier investigations of the liminal territory between the natural and the artificial, or order and chaos.

Sandy Skoglund, Winter, 2018. © Sandy Skoglund; Courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE Gallery, New York.

Through her constructed imagery, Skoglund explores the space between what the human eye and the camera can see. Since the late 1970s, Skoglund has beencelebrated for her panoramic installations—entire environments that she meticulously designs, constructs, and then re-visualizes photographically. Skoglund likens Winterto “a very slow shutter speed on a camera. Time stands still but also inches forward.”

Sandy Skoglund, Winter (framed), 2018. © Sandy Skoglund; Courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE Gallery, New York.

Relentlessly inventive, Skoglund challenges herself to experiment with new creative technologies, always insearch of the medium best suitedfor her message. For Winter, which was part of a larger project on the four seasons, years of experimenting with various forms of clay modeling and 3D-printing led to the ultimate inclusion of digitally-cut metal snowflakes bearing ultraviolet cured ink, and the computer-sculpted figure and owls. A selection of photographs from the 1970s and 1980s, including Radioactive Cats (1980), will also be on view.

Sandy Skoglund, Winter, 2020. © Sandy Skoglund; Courtesy of the artist and RYAN LEE Gallery, New York.

ANTONIO LOPEZ DRAWINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHS at Fondazione Sozzani / Milan

ANTONIO LOPEZ DRAWINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHS at Fondazione Sozzani / Milan

FONDAZIONE SOZZANI MILAN
UNTIL 13 APR 2020

This exhibition will bring together over two hundred original drawings, Kodak Instamatics, photographic grids, collages, diaries and films, that develop distinct thematic sections and document Antonio’s creative process, his visionary attitude, and the historical period in which he lived. “Fashion served him as a pretext to express beauty, sensuality, sexuality, life and time. His own time.” writes Anne Morin. An unbelievable talent of the 70s and 80s, he was an extraordinary illustrator whose life revealed an irreverent world made of moments, people, clothes, music, art, kitsch and visual culture.

Antonio Lopez – Sportmax, mantelli a ruota in colori fluorescenti, 1983

Lopez’s work represented a cultural crossroads. At a nexus of high and low culture between New York, Milan and Paris, he created a deep aesthetic shift in the way the physical representation of the body was presented in the fashion world. With a complete ethnic and racial awareness, Lopez searched for a beauty that was generous and full of energy. Considered one of the 20th century’s greatest fashion illustrators, the multifaceted talent of Antonio Lopez, along with creative collaborator Juan Ramos, contributed throughout the 80s to the Italian magazine Vanity (January 1982 – October 1989),directed by Anna Piaggi, Alberto Nodolini and Luca Stoppini.In Vanity the image of fashion entered unknown, new, and daring territories that were never seen before. This, along with his watercolors for Missoni, drawingsof male bodies created for Versace,powerful portraits of Grace Jones, Patti LaBelle, Pat Cleveland, Maria Callas, Josephine Baker, Carmen Miranda, photographyand videos, each testify to an era of extraordinary creative fertility.

Antonio Lopez – Paris, 1974, Phooto Booth Series

Adored by stylists, models and photographers from all over the world, Antonio occupies a place of honor in the history of fashion illustration and left a vital mark in his thirty years career. “I am interested in getting to know the figure better by taking it apart,”said Lopez, referring to his often- fragmented bodies. “The more I break it, the more I can examine it, the more I can understand what I have to do. For me it is a method. I don’t know where it will bring me, but I’m curious and I want to go until the end.” Lopez put glamor, creativity and fun at the center of everything. His days began late, and ended later, often listening to the best disco music of that time.

Antonio Lopez Pat Cleveland and Grace Jones, Paris, 1975, Blue water Series

HUMA BHABHA at David Kordansky Gallery / Los Angeles

HUMA BHABHA at David Kordansky Gallery / Los Angeles

DAVID KORDANSKY GALLERY, LOS ANGELES
UNTIL 14 MAR 2020

Born in Karachi, Pakistan and based in Poughkeepsie, New York, Huma Bhabha has become increasingly recognized for the figurative and material vocabularies she has developed for over three decades. The humanoid subjects of her work bear the traces of numerous processes and traditions, embodying an otherworldly synthesis of the beauty, passion, and conflict that define our world.

Huma Bhabha, Third Voice, 2019, cork, Styrofoam, acrylic, oil stick, wood, and Masonite 96 1/4 x 24 x 36 inches (244.5 x 61 x 91.4 cm)

Bhabha evokes archaic and contemporary sources alike, so that cycles of time, of life and its inevitable decay, are concretized as physical forms. In any given sculpture or drawing, the grotesque biomorphic distortions that characterize recent science fiction and horror movies exist alongside painterly passages of great sensitivity and tenderness. Proceeding by way of intuition and trial and error, she imbues her figures in two and three dimensions alike with palpable emotional charge. The sculptures in this exhibition exemplify the range of Bhabha’s experimentation and have been constructed from cork, foam, metal, wood, and paint, among other materials, some of them found. In Ground (2019), the body of astanding figure, positioned against the wall like the kind of architectural relief one might find in an ancient temple, has been fashioned fromcarved cork; a shredded tire provides the circle that defines its face, lending it a haunting openness, and transforming an instance of evident physical entropy into a focal point for psychological empathy.

The artist’s only other relief-based figure of this kind was a monumental example featured in 2018 in the 57th Carnegie International. This new work, therefore, represents an important addition to her repertoire of sculptural typologies. If Bhabha’s figures can be grouped according to the largely traditional poses they assume (seated, standing, and supine bodies predominate), they can also be categorized by how they engage discourses associated with modernism and minimalism. Her work is notable for its voracious and encyclopedic embrace of inspirations from throughout the histories of art, architecture, and design, as well as its willingness to take on formal puzzles from countless spheres of visual culture. The breadth of reference and use of found materials connect Bhabha’s practice to the legacy of artists like Robert Rauschenberg, for instance; the wrought nature of her characters, and the acknowledgement of war and violence as pervasive forces find precedents in the paintings of Francis Bacon and the sculptures of Alberto Giacometti.

Mask of Dimitrios (2019), a startling new seated figure, draws from many of these traditions. The figure’s body appears to emerge from a metal armature inspired by domestic chairs familiar to Bhabha from her upbringing in Karachi; plastic bags hover in the center of its torso like lungs; its limbs are covered with mottled clay; its ribs are made of rubber; and its spine is an undulating pipe that ends in a red rubber toy and resembles the vestigial appendage of a primate from another time or dimension. Such sculptures reveal how Bhabha constructs her objects, putting faith in her materials––in their innatebeauty and energy in addition totheir structural qualities and surface textures. Working directly at scale, she eschews modes of production that require maquettes and enlargement,favoring instead techniques that encourage tactility, and that elicitongoing contact between maker and object. Several other sculptures, including a group of imposing, kouroi-like standing figures, are filled with subtleties of color and painterly gesture that animate Bhabha’s forms and further accentuate their sculpted contours. With faces on all four sides of their heads, each possessing its own shifting mood (hilarity, ferocity, astonishment, joy), these works are replete with surfaces on which painted marks can be inscribed. Cork, with its natural tones and pitted texture, performs differently as a substrate than do the bright pink and light blue of Styrofoam, for instance, though marks describing the creatures’ musculature frequently move across materials, uniting them through the power of the artist’s line.

Bhabha also employs this compositional boldness and adventurous approach to surface in the drawings, frequently large in scale, that have been an integral part of her project for many years. She begins by taking photographs, often of deserted landscapes, and collaging them with pages from magazines, calendars, and exhibition invitations; these become the grounds on which she then draws images of her looming creatures using a variety of pigments and mediums. While the majority of the drawings have focused on the heads ofthese beings, Bhabha has increasingly begun to sketch their entire bodies. Standing against lurid, iridescent skies, they seem to step forward out of the worlds they inhabit and into the spaces occupied by their viewers. Other drawings appear to be filled with multiple figures, layered on top of one another: mask-like facades hover before shifting cubist planes that suggest unexpected dimensionality. As worked as the sculptures, they share their paradoxical mixture of vulnerability and strength, their utter strangeness andall-too-close familiarity.

NAZIF TOPÇUOĞLU at Flatland FVS / Amsterdam

NAZIF TOPÇUOĞLU at Flatland FVS / Amsterdam

FLATLAND FVS AMSTERDAM
UNTIL 15 MAR 2020

The underlying thread in Topçuoglu’s work is a constant preoccupation with time, memory and loss. The Turkish artist worries about the transience of people and things in general, and tries to reconstruct unclear and imperfect images of an idealized past. Such an attempt inevitably requires theability to recapture past, hence his constantart-historical references to classic paintings and photographs as well as to authors suchas Proust and Thomas Mann.

Nazif Topçuoglu, Gossip (2007) C-print 124 x 124 cm, 53 x 53 cm

Another aspect in his work is his preoccupation with the contradicting positions of women in Turkey. When employing the representations of youth as imagery, one has to deal with the issues of gender roles and male gaze. In these photographs, a respectful stance towards the female has been taken. The subjectification of the female youth as a gender-free ideal, inevitably involves her intelligence, beauty, energy, and struggle.

Nazif Topçuoglu, Lamentations (2007) C-print 114 x 172 cm, 60 x 90 cm

Nazif Topçuoglu has completed two Masters degrees, in Photography (the Institute of Design, Chicago ) and in Architecture (MEU, Ankara). Exhibited widely and held teaching positions at various universities in Turkey. He writes regularly on the history and criticism of photography, and has published three books on the subject. Occasionally does advertising and editorial work.

Nazif Topçuoglu, Waiting (2007) C-print 70 x 50 cm, 125 x 90 cm

HAPTIC FEEDBACK at Thomas Schulte Gallery / Berlin

HAPTIC FEEDBACK at Thomas Schulte Gallery / Berlin

THOMAS SCHULTE GALLERY BERLIN

UNTIL 22 FEB 2020

WALEAD BESHTY, DAVID HARTT, CAROLYN LAZARD,MARIALOBODA,IÑIGOMANGLANO- OVALLE, JEAN-LUC MOULÈNE, MICHAEL MÜLLER, JULIA PHILLIPS, WILMER WILSON IV

Galerie Thomas Schulte presents a group exhibition featuring works by nine artists who explore our changing perceptions of reality, identity, and a shift in mental space. Haptic Feedback deals with the changing psychological relationship to physical space and our sense of belonging and touch under the influence of digital technologies.

Iñigo Manglano, Ovalle – Die Hütte / The Hut 2013-2020, Charred Cedar 350x350x400 cm, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Thomas Schulte

The exhibition was developed in collaboration with the Philadelphia-based artist of the gallery, David Hartt.
The term “haptic feedback” dates backto the late 1990s and was first used by computer game developers who installed haptic technologies within game controllers. These technologies create a tactile experience by applying forces, vibration and movement to the user. Simple versions are for example the vibrating of the phone in response to manual input or the rumbling of the controller during computer games.

David Hartt / Negative Space, 2019 / tapestry, 290 x 515 cm, Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Thomas Schulte

Today however, haptic feedback is understood more as a form of communication between man and machine than a specific technological application. It involves everything from the creation of a sense of presence, an emotional connection and affects our well-being and how we explore and interact with objects. At a time, when intimacy is increasinglydefined by touch screen interactions,the works in the exhibition can be seen as explorations and as the reaffirmation of the importance of haptic feedback in relation to our physical and bodily identity. The exhibition features works by Walead Beshty, David Hartt, Carolyn Lazard, Maria Loboda, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Jean-Luc Moulène, Michael Müller, Julia Phillips and Wilmer Wilson IV.

David Hominal: PRICELESS / MASTERCARD

David Hominal: PRICELESS / MASTERCARD

kamel mennour, London

December 12 – January 25, 2020

Painting is first of all the liquid, aqueous material binding together the different fields of David Hominal’s practice, from performance to video, dance to sculpture. This is where he takes stock, sorts, and synthesises, but it is also where he covers over, a territory made up of a complex network of inhibitions. His disturbed, at times feverish paintings are haunted by the great historical questions of representation. Their presence is powerful, rehearsing all the grand traditions, from still life to abstraction, without, of course, ever reconciling them.

Recently, sunflowers, pineapples, onions, and finally faces have been appearing on the surface of his canvases. What emerges from the paint in the series being exhibited at kamel mennour in London are hands joined in prayer. As was already clear in his earlier series of masks, Hominal’s interest for the image makes short work of regimes of seeing, communication, and transmission. From religious tradition to emoticons, his totems are evocative of an emotive, hyper-presence of the image. In an incredibly gymnastic play between the long-past and the hyper-present, these hands are just as much Albrecht Dürer’s Praying Hands as those we add to our text messages to say ‘plz’ or ‘thnx’.

While such a tension is characteristic of David Hominal’s work in general, this is also one of his first ‘almost’ figurative series. And the ‘almost’ is important here because it is synonymous with resistance. Though the hands are a symbol of contemplation, Hominal is not at peace with painting. Ultimately, what interests him is doing, the gesture of painting—both on an historical scale, like a great repetition, and on an intimate scale, like an obsession. Copy, sequence, ritualise. NISSAN, GAZPROM, RESPECT, NO SUGAR, PRICELESS, MASTERCARD are all visual impressions, furtive images permeating us as we watch sport on TV, for instance. The title of the exhibition relates to its content like interference. The messages repeat over and over again like a song we can’t get out of our head. The praying hands are an archetype. They are universal images. Hominal is reaching for them through a form of pure cultural syncretism, a pure incarnation of representation, a pure contradiction. PRICELESS / MASTERCARD.

Born in 1976 in France, DAVID HOMINAL lives and works in Berlin. His work has been shown
in a large number of solo and group exhibitions in France, including the Palais de Tokyo and the Centre culturel suisse in Paris, the Consortium in Dijon, and Magasin in Grenoble; as well as abroad, including the Musée Jenisch in Vevey, the Centre d’édition contemporaine and the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva, the Swiss Institute
and the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts in Lausanne, Fri Art in Fribourg, the Kunsthalle Bern, the Kunsthaus Zürich and the CAC–Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius.

© David Hominal. Photo. archives kamel mennour. Courtesy the artist and kamel mennour, Paris/London

James Casebere: On The Waters’ Edge

James Casebere: On The Waters’ Edge

Sean Kelly Gallery, New York

December 13 – January 25, 2020

In this arresting new series of images, Casebere continues his ever-evolving exploration of form at the intersection of architecture, sculpture and photography. In previous, well-known bodies of work, the artist depicted buildings and interiors based primarily on extant structures; this series, however, is distinguished by a marked change in Casebere’s conceptual approach. To create these salient new images, Casebere became the architect, often designing and building the structures he produced and then photographed.

Over the course of forty years, James Casebere has developed a unique and increasingly complex language of “constructed photography” in which he builds structural models, which he then lights and photographs. Based on art historical, cinematic and architectural sources, his table-sized constructions are made of simple materials and pared down to essential forms. Throughout his practice, Casebere’s images have expanded to accommodate his exploration of different aesthetic and technical challenges. For instance, Casebere’s previous series of images, inspired by world-renowned Mexican architect Luis Barragán, embraced modernist architecture’s use of space, color and light to create images that engendered warmth, meditation, and reflection. In this new body of work, Casebere continues with a nod to the influence of Barragán, but also architect Paul Rudolph in his visionary mid-century modern Florida homes and later shift to Brutalism. In these images, Casebere re-imagines both the context and the content of the original structures.

The works in this series are hybrids of public/private spaces. Geometrically designed edifices rendered in a rich and vibrant palette; these buildings appear simultaneously concrete and abstract; they are open, even unfinished buildings of the sort that provide sanctuary, such as beach houses, cabanas, bathhouses. Neither utopian nor dystopian, these images are meant to inspire an appreciation of pure beauty coupled with a twinge of uncertainty. Indeed, in these unmoored, flooded pavilions, Casebere sees human ingenuity in the face of global warming. Acknowledging the imminent unknown future these pictures embody, he also insists that we “can’t afford to throw our hands up in…resignation.” In fact, Casebere acknowledges that these structures are about tenacity, adaptation, ingenuity, and perhaps, optimism, describing them by saying, “there is such a playful atmosphere to them. It feels like an expression of the indomitable human spirit. These things could be rising out of the water like the first creatures to emerge from the sea and live on solid ground.”

James Casebere is the winner of the American Academy in Rome Abigail Cohen Rome Prize Fellowship for 2019-20.  In addition, he has been the recipient of three awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, three from the New York Foundation for the Arts and one from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. His work is featured in international museum collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Goetz Collection, Munich, Germany; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Mukha Museum, Antwerp, Belgium; the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; the Los Angeles County Museum; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England, amongst many others. In 2016, Casebere was a New York Foundation for the Arts Hall of Fame Honoree and the subject of the important survey exhibitions: Fugitive, at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, curated by Okwui Enwezor; Immersion, at Espace Images Vevey in Switzerland; and After Scale Model: Dwelling in the Work of James Casebere, at the BOZAR/Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, Belgium. James Casebere lives and works in New York.

James Casebere’s photographs will be featured in the forthcoming group exhibition Paradise Lost – Gazing at Contemporary Urban Civilization and its Metaphor at the JUT Art Museum, Taipei, Taiwan, on view December 21, 2019 – April 5, 2020.

All images > courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery, New York and the artist.

King Dogs Never Grow Old

King Dogs Never Grow Old

Diane Rosenstein Gallery, Los Angeles

4 January – February 1, 2020

Diane Rosenstein Gallery announces King Dogs Never Grow Old, a group exhibition curated by Brooke Wise. The show will include paintings, sculpture, ceramics, works on paper, and tufted wall hangings by Ginny Casey, Sam Crow, Tom of Finland, Haley Josephs, Jillian Mayer, Haley Mellin, Robert Moreland, Rose Nestler, Scott Reeder, Matthew Sweesy, Chris Wolston and Bri Williams. The show’s title is borrowed from André Breton and Philippe Soupault’s surrealist text Les Champs Magnétiques (The Magnetic Fields). It alludes to exploring the nonsensical and the dreamlike unconscious. The work on view will share a common dialogue and aim to explore these surrealist notions in a contemporary manner.

Rose Nestler, “Gym Shorts,” 2019

Jillian Mayer and Haley Josephs use color and whimsy to address these surrealist concepts. Mayer’s interactive Slumpies invite the viewer to sprawl out and engage with their smart phones while laying on “deformed rock[s], repeatedly vandalized with paint.” Josephs employs bright and fantastical elements in her paintings, suggesting a world that may never be realized. Ginny Casey draws inspiration from classic Walt Disney cartoons and welcomes the spectator with distorted, absurd and disproportioned objects, which play with our restrictions of logic and time.

Rose Nestler, “Deep Pockets,” 2019

Exploring anatomical surrealism, Tom of Finland celebrates sexuality, fantasy, and the body in all areas of human endeavor. Scott Reeder and Matthew Sweesy both use comedy and rhetoric in their paintings. Reeder, known for his ceramic work and text- based paintings, represents everyday objects, reimagined as fine art. Paintings that exist as mundane and hand drawn lists allow the unconscious to express itself in a permanent state. Sweesy, who paints dreamlike sequences, uses humor to promote cultural critique, as seen in Hunter, where the artist himself is seen as both the hunter and the hunted.

Scott Reeder, “Band Names,” 2014

Chris Wolston’s Nalgona chairs are humanized by his addition of wicker body parts. Sam Crow’s tufted wall works skew our sense of reality and attempt to destroy our sense of stability in her usage of geometric shapes and dimension. Rose Nestler’s soft sculptures explore the body as the subconscious mind. Her unsettling and dreamlike sculptures are informed by the notion of shame, the classic childhood fears of showing up to class naked or menstruating through one’s pants. Bri Williams uses found objectsoften with personal associations, to evoke a potent, psychic mood. Through crafting and composition, Williams allows her objects to embody the the abstract: the incommunicability of pain and our inherited mythical figures.

Matt Sweesy, “Daphne In Repose,” 2019

Minimalist artist Robert Moreland reinvents his canvas into the space between painting and sculpture, while Haley Mellin’s small paintings reinvent mundane objects such as a Warholian banana floating in space. Through comedy, rhetoric, sarcasm and the uncanny, these works all share a common discourse about surrealism, the unexpected and the unconventional.

All images > Courtesy Diane Rosenstein Gallery, Los Angeles


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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