My Garden of Eden – curated by Bob van Orsouw with many works of his collection at Galerie Christophe Guye, Zürich

My Garden of Eden – curated by Bob van Orsouw with many works of his collection at Galerie Christophe Guye, Zürich

My Garden of Eden
Galerie Christophe Guye, Zürich
9 May 2019 – 24 August 2019

Christophe Guye Galerie announces the new exhibition My Garden of Eden, curated by Bob van Orsouw. The exhibition includes well-known key works as well as more rarely shown works by various artists from Bob van Orsouw’s collection. Particularly noteworthy are Nobuyoshi Araki’s photographs, which present his ‘eroticizing’ gaze that extends to extremely sensual surfaces, the well-known ‘Tableaux’ by Jean-Marc Bustamante, both portraits of young people from a high school in Liverpool by Rineke Dijkstra, the experimental portraits by Loretta Lux, and the impressive architectural photographs by Frank Thiel. Further artists of the exhibition are Grazia Conti Rossini, Armen Eloyan, Gabriela Fridriksdottir, Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler, Klaas Kloosterboer, Paul McCarthy, Russ Meyer, Ernesto Neto, Julian Opie, Walter Pfeiffer, Thomas Ruff, Bernard Voïta, just to name a few. The exhibition is organised by Christophe Guye Galerie in collaboration with Bob van Orsouw.

On the occasion of the exhibition My Garden of Eden the art historian Tobia Bezzola interviewed Bob van Orsouw – curator and former gallery owner – and talked about the collaboration with the different artists:

TB: Where and how did you meet Nobuyoshi Araki for the first time?

BvO: That was 1995 when I was looking for a Japanese position in photography that I could include in my program. On the recommendation of “Camera Austria”, an Austrian magazine, I travelled to Japan. A former assistant of Araki introduced me to Japan. That was 25 years ago, and she still accompanies me and interprets. It was she who made it possible for me to get the prints and organise the transport.

TB: And did you do the first exhibition in Zurich with Araki?
BvO: That was in 1995. And I found out that in 1992 he exhibited in Europe for the first time ever. It all started with a travelling exhibition called “Tokyo Nude”, which I exhibited en bloc.

TB: How were the reactions to Araki in Zurich?

BvO: I received a lot of press inquiries and television also showed up. David Streiff, who was head of the Federal Office of Culture at the time, spoke on television. The next day there were 250 people in my gallery, although it was a Monday and the galleries are actually closed. However, it was partly a strange audience.

TB: In what way?

BvO: “Bondage” is unfortunately completely misunderstood here in the West by many. In Japan it is an ancient and very well-known tradition. But here it was suddenly open to the public and so many voyeurs came. For my assistant it was very unpleasant.

TB: Another important artist for you is Bustamante. You worked with him from a very early stage.

BvO: Yes, we worked together very early and for a very long time. We are still very good friends today. Bustamante has his own photographic position. In his photographs, he always selects individual sculptural elements, that could be a crane, a boat or a truck, or a billboard in the landscape. He always sees these objects as independent, found, discovered sculptures. He has also photographed construction sites or a cemetery from above. And he sees this cemetery, like the other objects, as a sculpture.

TB: Were you also directly involved in his Swiss project?

BvO: Bustamante had a private and a creative crisis. I invited him to come to Switzerland at that time. I financed his trip, the hotels, etc. to see what emerges from this. He really went and drove through Switzerland for ten days. This was the basis for these large-format Swiss photos, which were also shown in the Kunstmuseum Luzern back then.

TB: Another artist I remember seeing at your place very early on, before her works went around the world, is Rineke Dijkstra with her portraits of young people on the beach.

BvO: Yes, that was in 1996. That was the second exhibition I had at the gallery in the Löwenbräu area. It was Rineke’s first big solo exhibition ever. It hit big; but at the same time there was the big scandal about the pedophile criminal Dutroux in Belgium, and we got very antagonised. We had also made a book and mailed many of them. Several books, however, were returned in outrage. Also, the American museums, which wanted to show Dijkstra, cancelled all of them. But a few years later it was shown at MoMA and also by big international galleries. With her I also worked on a Swiss project, which finally didn’t materialise. It was about boarding schools, boarding schools that were to be demolished.

TB: Another artist with whom you are still friends and work today is Julian Opie.

BvO: Exactly. Julian was the first exhibition at Löwenbräu. I chose him because he occupies a significant, independent position, he starts from photography or video, only then is the computer used. He is one of the first to really use the computer, perhaps as one of the earliest, as a working tool. His visual language is truly phenomenal. It worked well; we’ve been working together for 25 years. It is still a very independent, wonderful position that appeals to young and old.

TB: You’ve also worked with Walter Pfeiffer before he really gained wide recognition.

BvO: Yes, that actually happened at the same time as he had his exhibition at the Fotomuseum Winterthur. But I knew his works beforehand. There were a lot of people who smiled at his work and said that he couldn’t photograph at all. He stepped into commercial photography with the wonderful colourful imagery he had. Throughout his life he has always photographed with small-format cameras, and because he trembles a bit, this can only be done with a flash, from which he creates his own aesthetic. And the whole set with the models was mostly in his small apartment, he didn’t really have a studio. Now he has become some kind of star photographer, he will soon have a big exhibition in London in “The Photographers’ Gallery”.

TB: Architecture has always been a big theme for you. Frank Thiel comes to mind here. When did you start working with Thiel?

BvO: I’ve never really worked with Frank, but I’ve worked with him a lot. We were friends, I was in Berlin a lot for a while, got to know each other. I arranged various architectural projects for him. And Thiel is the one for me who captured the whole building boom in Berlin with his camera, e.g. Potsdamer Platz. Now he exhibits nationally and internationally everywhere. His oeuvre is extremely independent and today he not only photographs construction sites, but also people in South America, for example. In addition, he always works on a large scale.

TB: Artists I also have a vivid memory of from your exhibitions are Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler.

BvO: The two of them came to me and absolutely wanted to exhibit at the gallery, that was also 1996, I think. Then I did a small trial phase in the back room or showroom. I wasn’t so sure, but I did a lot of exhibitions with them. Later they emigrated to the United States, where they still live. They also had their first big solo exhibition with me in the gallery. Two years ago, they were also at the Venice Biennale, where they received an award for their work in the Swiss Pavilion. For them, it’s always about film, cinema and language, and how to deal with them; that permeates their entire oeuvre.

TB: I remember the first exhibition I saw of you was still in the 1980s, in your apartment. If you look back now, what has remained of your interests? Are there also things that were temporary? Can you perhaps conclude by drawing a general summary of the many years in which you have worked and lived with artists and with art?

BvO: What has remained for me is the love for art. For me, it’s not just about the works, but also about sitting down with the artist and striving for something. I was very often in the studios, which I still do. That’s something wonderful. Because for me artists are often still pioneers in various fields and personalities that I don’t want to miss. And when I see what I have done, hundreds of exhibitions and fairs, I have to say that it was and is a great time.

All images > installation view My Garden of Eden by Bob van Orsouw courtesy Galerie Christophe Guye, Zürich

Ivan Grilo. Tomorrow, at first light at Casa Triângulo, SÃO PAULO

Ivan Grilo. Tomorrow, at first light at Casa Triângulo, SÃO PAULO

Ivan Grilo, Tomorrow, at first light
curated by Tiago de Abreu Pinto
Casa Triângulo, SÃO PAULO
01.06.2019 – 20.07.2019

Casa Triângulo presents Tomorrow, at first light, Ivan Grilo’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. The exhibition presents a new set of works that lies in the ambiguity between the intimacy and the politics. Or, as curator Tiago de Abreu Pinto says, “Are we talking about politics or love? Of something that connects these two things.” Ivan brings a fanciful narrative of a collapsing king who, through a self-criticism of the artist’s performance as an ethnographer, constructs objects and installations spinning over the current crisis of empathy (which gives rise to the democratic crisis). “The artist was never a friend of the king,” says Grilo from a newspaper clipping that he brings with him. Part of the work was conceived during the artist’s residency in New York, at AnnexB Art Residency, so they treat the displacement and understanding of migration as part of the research. “It implies a continuous act of listening,” he says.

Ivan Grilo [1986, Itatiba, Brazil. Lives and works in Itatiba, Brazil] has a core research that aims the relevance of historical and oral archives, alongside the different possibilities of reading about the same fact. Taking photography as a form of documen- tation and recording time, the artist seeks to dissect the representative, political, narrative, conceptual and aesthetic roles of the image, sometimes questioning or even rewriting the original material, blurring the memory and the action of time. Solo exhibitions: Escribe una carta de amor, Mana Contemporary + The55project, Miami, 2018; Preciso te contar sobre ama- nhã, Galeria Luciana Caravello, Rio de Janeiro, 2016; Eu quero ver, Casa Triângulo, São Paulo, 2015; Quando cai o céu, Centro Cultural São Paulo, 2014; Ninguém, Paço das Artes, São Paulo, 2011; Projeto Cofre with Estudo para medir forças, Casa França-Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, 2015. Group exhibitions: Quem não luta tá morto – Arte, Democracia e Utopia, curated by Moacir dos Anjos at Museu de Arte do Rio; Il coltello nella carne, curated by Jacopo Crivelli Visconti and Diego Sileo at PAC – Padiglione d’arte contemporanea di Milano in 2018; travelling exhibitions from Marcantonio Vilaça Prize, curated by Josué Mattos: Verzuim Braziel (states of Rio de Janeiro, Ceará and Goiás, Brazil); Lugares do Delírio, SESC Pompéia, curated by Tania Rivera. In 2017 took part of 2 exhibitions at BIENALSUR – Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporânea da América do Sul and in 2016 participated ofAvenida Paulista, curated by Adriano Pedrosa and Tomás Toledo, MASP – Museu de Arte de São Paulo; A cor do Brasil, curated by Paulo Herkenhoff and Marcelo Campos, Museu de Arte do Rio. In 2015 was invited by Pablo Leon de la Barra for Tempos Difíceis, Casa França-Brasil and in 2012 was part of the 2nd Ural Biennial of Contemporary Art, curated by Raphael Fonseca, Russia. He was awarded in 2012 the XII Funarte Marc Ferrez Photography Prize, in 2013 the PROAC Visual Arts – Government of the State of São Paulo, in 2015 the illy SustainArt Award – SP-Arte, in 2016 the Bradesco ArtRio Focus Award, and in 2017 the Prize Fundação Marcos Amaro – SP-Arte, as well as nominations for the PIPA – Investidor Art Profissional Award. In recent years he has participated in residency programs at New York (AnnexB), Maranhão (Chão São Luís), Portugal (Triangle Network) and Italy (Humus Interdisciplinary Residence). Public collections include: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York, Pérez Art Museum, Fundación ARCO, Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand, Itaú Cultural, Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, Museu de Arte do Rio de Janeiro, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro – Col. Gilberto Chateaubriand, Fundação Bienal de Cerveira e Museo de la Universidad de Tres de Febrero.

All images > IVAN GRILO . TOMORROW, AT FIRST LIGHT . PHOTO: FILIPE BERNDT

Marcelo Silveira, compact world of things at Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo

Marcelo Silveira, compact world of things at Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo

Marcelo Silveira, compact world of things
Galeria Nara Roesler, São Paulo
until 03.08.2019

Galeria Nara Roesler | São Paulo inaugurates a new exhibition by Marcelo Silveira on June 8th. Curated by Daniel Rangel, Compacto mundo das coisas [compact world of things] presents five series of works, united by aesthetic, conceptual and procedural affinities. The artist appropriates the “world of things” to make drawings, sculptures and installations through postcards, pieces of chairs, plastic objects and books. With a watchful eye, Marcelo Silveira searches for most of the raw material of his works in the city of Recife, choosing objects that, according to the curator of the show “gradually abandon the useless rest of the discard they suffered and start provoking the artist”.

Marcelo Silveira Acumaé, 2016/2017 freijó wood and vegetal paper 17.3 x 16.1 x 6.3 in

Post Cards

Centenary postcards found by the artist in a thrift store originate the series Irene, a name that refers not only to a Caetano Veloso song with the same name, but also to the recipient of the postcards, that received them in three addresses in Recife, between 1910 and 1920: at streets Rua da Alegria, Rua da Glória and Rua do Aragão. These addresses today, according to the artist, “are streets that the city forgot”. And it is through the questioning of how to give relevance to the memory of these places that the artist develops the series, intervening with ballpoint pen on the postcards or with stamps over their verses. Together, in a kind of frame, the postcards create fictitious landscapes or resemble an architectural coating.

Compacts with pacts

Made of pieces of chairs, the series Compacto com pacto [Compact with pact]is intended to make the visitor identify the possibilities of the object in space and the spatial dispute between the piece and who moves around it. What used to be a chair now returns to space occupying it with a graphical movement – lines that intertwine, converse and interrupt themselves. According to the artist, the series speaks of the need to establish pacts. “What motivated me in the creation of this work was the pact, the possibility of establishing dialogues and building something that is not done alone,” explains Marcelo.

Camaleão [Chameleon]

The Camaleão [Chameleon] installation is a work composed of pieces of colored paper – more precisely, the packaging of the rulers used by the artist in the production of the series Caleidoscópio [Kaleidoscope]. Together, the cutouts resemble a painting when a projection of light strikes it. The stability of the ‘painting’ is broken when one color of light projects over a surface in a different color, turning it into another color. The work allows us to reflect on the illusion one has about things and beings – and their impermanence.

Artist’s books

The exhibition also includes works from the series O Desenho da Casa [The Drawing of the House], Modernas [Modern ones] e Muito pelo contrario [Quite on the Contrary], in which the artist, in an approaching operation, intervenes with simple drawings directly on the pages of books donated by Casa do Desenho, in Porto Alegre, after its closure. “The viewer’s imagination is activated by visible titles and names, some known, some not. Most groups consist of small collections of related books or encyclopedias and dictionaries. The investigative procedure and the act of collecting are recurrent in the artist’s production”, adds Daniel Rangel.

Acumaé

Acumaé, according to the artist, is a simple and regional expression to ask the price of things. It also gives name to the series of sound objects made out of wood that were designed by the artist to establish seams and create a larger project that goes beyond the piece of wood itself. During the opening, the artist and the curator of the show, Daniel Rangel, will promote a kind of procession through the gallery, packed by the fusion of sounds of different intensities, generated by beats with hands on the sound objects and the singing chanted by the participants of the courtship. With a diversity of techniques and dynamics, Marcelo Silveira invites the public to enter this space which gives new meaning to time and things and, in the words of the curator, “offers us his sensitivity as a key to question our relationship with objects and people who surround us.”

All images > marcelo silveira: compacto com pacto – vista da exposição – galeria nara roesler | são paulo, 2019 – foto © Erika Mayumi – cortesia do artista e galeria nara roesler

Departure, an immersive installation by Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota at the Jameel Arts Centre, DUBAI

Departure, an immersive installation by Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota at the Jameel Arts Centre, DUBAI

Artist’s Rooms: Chiharu Shiota
11 NOVEMBER 2018 / 17 AUGUST 2019
The Jameel Arts Centre, DUBAI

Departure is an immersive installation by Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota, which explores ideas of displacement, time and the entanglements of life. The work has been specially commissioned for the opening of the Jameel Arts Centre. Working with large quantities of yarn, Shiota creates immersive web-like structures that take over entire rooms. Building on her experience growing up in Japan and moving to Berlin in the 1990s, her work often touches on the notion of travel, belonging and the complexity of the human condition. In this particular installation, Chiharu works with traditional abra boats, referencing the history of the Dubai Creek and the city’s identity as a meeting point of people, goods and ideas.

Artist’s Rooms

Drawn largely from the Art Jameel Collection, Artist’s Rooms is a series of solo exhibitions by influential, innovative artists, with particular focus on practitioners from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. These capsule shows are collaborative: curated in dialogue with the artist, with some presentations including new commissions. Winter 2018-19 features rooms by Maha Malluh, Mounira Al Solh, Lala Rukh and Chiharu Shiota in galleries 1, 2, 3 and 10.

About Chiharu Shiota

Chiharu Shiota (b.1972, Osaka) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. Through performances, installations and sculptures, Chiharu Shiota examines existential human interests such as life, death and relationships. She originally studied painting at Kyoto Seika University, Kyoto and is known today for creating large-scale installations from ordinary objects such as beds, shoes, keys, boats, dresses and chairs often in combination with thread or organic materials such as water, fire and soil. Shiota’s international exhibitions include: Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2018), The Japanese Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale, Venice (2015), Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian, Washington D.C. (2014-15), The Museum of Art, Kōchi (2013) and MoMA PS1, New York (2001).

Michaela Schwarz Weismann – Second Thoughts, Galerie Ruberl, Vienna

Michaela Schwarz Weismann – Second Thoughts, Galerie Ruberl, Vienna

Michaela Schwarz Weismann – Second Thoughts
May 14 – July 18, 2019
Galerie Ruberl, Vienna

1973: Three filmed interviews, three great thinkers:
Hannah Arendt / Simone de Beauvoir / Angela Davis

2019: Three portrait series, 24 frames

Each interview second is split into 24 frames and painted. The results are 24 portraits, minimally altered, without repetitions. Each picture influences the next. Finally, all 24 oil paintings are reassembled into a film, gaining speed, rushing in an endless loop. A new rhythm arises.

Michaela Schwarz-Weismann:

“These seconds are words, one breath long or shorter, that I have carefully chosen from the interviews. They are vague words, hints, intermediate pieces: Beauvoir says‘très souple,’ Davis – ‘constantly,’ and Arendt – ‘of course not’ Nothing precise is revealed; it’s an invitation rather than an explanation. An invitation to deal again with the themes and contents of these thinkers. Human beings trapped in an endless loop between the past and the future. 1973 is also the year of my birth. SECOND THOUGHTS is a work about becoming, as a symbol of life and time in its essential movement. It’s a narrative measuring of time, a fortification and investigation of this brief moment between the past and the future, while addressing the issue of constructing the present.”

Thoughts and emotions are reflected in faces. Michaela Schwarz-Weismann’s intense portrait series intensify this by offering additional levels of interpretation and identification through deliberately chosen language fragments. Thus her narrative is also about thinking about thinking and about measuring time, inviting us – as she puts it – “to investigate this brief moment between the past and the future” which is necessary in order to understand and retell the present. (A. Grubeck)

All images > courtesy © Galerie Ruberl, Vienna 

James English Leary “Small Fishes Swim Around Inside of Large Fishes” at Galerie Kandlhofer, Vienna

James English Leary “Small Fishes Swim Around Inside of Large Fishes” at Galerie Kandlhofer, Vienna

James English Leary
Small Fishes Swim Around Inside of Large Fishes
Galerie Kandlhofer, Vienna
24 MAY – 29 JUNE 2019

Galerie Kandlhofer presents the exhibition “Small Fishes Swim Around Inside of Large Fishes” New paintings by James English Leary. 

It starts with a finger. Permanently hooked in. Pulling back the cheek like a fish, haha. “He drinks too…”, the person says. He eats like a moth but he drinks like a fish. The finger casts itself like a shadow onto the coin of the head. The person spends themself wisely. When they fight with each other they scream straight into the other’s finger. The scream casts a shadow. There’s a finger within the finger. An ideal and true finger. It still fits perfectly into the imperfect and familiar and calm one. The pragmatic hand pragmatically measures the head. It registers its surprise: “There’s a hand in my canned ham!” There’s a yam inside my yam. There’s a face emanating out of its finger in the form of a fingerprint. The head full of thumbs resembles a bowl of cooked yams. A face glides toy-like along the finger like a miniature train. There are many fingers reaching up under the skull’s dress. The fingers raise up weightlessly like seaweed. The face telescopes into what it sees. The body folds up into a tablet. It halves over and over, and when it’s small and hard like a pill, you pop it in your mouth and swallow.

HAND BECOMING THE THING IT IS TOUCHING (RED FACE ON LIGHT BLUE HAND), 2018


“Small Fishes Swim Around Inside of Large Fishes”, New York-based painter James English Leary’s second solo presentation with Galerie Kandlhofer, brings together a suite of works which continue the artist’s interest in the transposition of painted space into shaped grounds. These works take up the subject of the body at odds and converging with itself – the rhyming motifs of head-on-hand and hand-on-head. To coincide with this exhibition the artist has organized a group exhibition, “The Picture is a Forest” with recent works by Delphine Hennelly, Kathryn Kerr, Leigh Ruple, Nathalie Shepherd and Faye Wei Wei, whose works will be exhibited in Vienna for the first time. The works featured in this exhibition, while sharing strong allegiances to the problem of depiction, exemplify painting’s unique disposition to engage strategies of scale and space in the conjuring of intimacies and immensities.

HAND BECOMING THE THING IT IS TOUCHING (GREEN SHOUTING FACE CONTAINED BY A PURPLE HAND), 2018

James English Leary lives in New York City and works as an artist, filmmaker and teacher. He is a founding member of The Bruce High Quality Foundation and the Foundation’s free university, BHQFUIn 2010 his works were included at the Whitney Biennal and the „Greater New York“ Show at MoMA PS1Leary ́s recent solo exhibitions include “Another Family Romance”, Project Room, Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna, 2018, “Hoi Polloi”, Nathalie Karg Gallery, New York, 2018, “Half a Mississippi Steamboat”, Andersen’s, Copenhagen, 2018, The Bursting Grape, Galerie Lisa Kandlhofer, Vienna, 2017, James English Leary & André Azevedo, SIM galeria, Curitiba, Brazil, 2017, “Family Romance”, Galeria Leyendecker, Tenerife, 2016, “Lady Chatterley ́s Lover ́s Lovers“, Four A.M., New York, 2016 and „Triple Motherfucker“, Vito Schnabel Projects, New York City, 2015. He is the recipient of a 2015 Tiffany Foundation Award and currently an adjunct professor at The Cooper Union School of Art.

SURROGATI. UN AMORE IDEALE at FONDAZIONE PRADA, Milan

SURROGATI. UN AMORE IDEALE at FONDAZIONE PRADA, Milan

SURROGATI. UN AMORE IDEALE
FONDAZIONE PRADA, Milan Osservatorio
21 Feb – 22 Jul 2019

Fondazione Prada presents “Surrogati. Un amore ideale” (Surrogate. A Love Ideal), an exhibition curated by Melissa Harris, from 21 February to 22 July 2019 at the Osservatorio venue in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Milan. Comprising a selection of 42 photographic works by Jamie Diamond (Brooklyn, USA, 1983) and Elena Dorfman (Boston, USA, 1965), the project explores the notions of familial, romantic and sexual love. Both artists focus on a specific and unconventional aspect of this universal theme: the emotional link between a man or a woman and a synthetic representation of a human. As explained by Melissa Harris, “together, Diamond’s and Dorfman’s work presented in ‘Surrogati’ vividly and nonjudgmentally documents the interactions of humans with their lifelike, inanimate companions.”

In her series “Forever Mothers” (2012-2018) and “Nine Months of Reborning” (2014), Jamie Diamond documented the life of an outsider art making community called the Reborners, a group of self-taught female artists who hand-make, collect and interact with hyper-realistic dolls that fulfill a desire for motherhood. In her other exhibited project titled “I Promise to be a Good Mother” (2007-2012), Diamond played the role of a perfect mother, dressing up in her own mother’s clothes and interacting with Annabelle, a reborn doll. Inspired by and named after a diary she kept as a girl, the project evolved into an exploration of the complexity of social stereotypes and cultural conventions that surround and shape the relationship between mother and child.

“Still Lovers” (2001-04), a series of photographs that brought Elena Dorfman international acclaim, focuses on the domestic lives of men and women who devote themselves to lifesize, anatomically realistic sex dolls. Her photographs explore the emotional ties between humans and perfectly formed synthetic women, forcing us to evaluate our own notions of love and the value of an object that has the power to replace a human being. The artist’s interest was not to exploit the deviancy of these sexual surrogates, but rather to reveal the fascinating world of intimacy between flesh and silicone. Both photographers portrayed these lifelike surrogates as desired, fetishized, and idealized beings, “living” as such with their flesh and blood mothers and partners, and sometimes with their immediate families as well. As stated by Melissa Harris, “by showing these vignettes of traditional domesticity, love, and/or eroticism, Dorfman’s and Diamond’s representations take on an unexpected poignancy.”

All images > “Surrogati. Un amore ideale” Osservatorio Fondazione Prada. Photo: Mattia Balsamini

The Nature Rules: Dreaming of Earth Project at Hara Museum, TOKYO

The Nature Rules: Dreaming of Earth Project at Hara Museum, TOKYO

The Nature Rules: Dreaming of Earth Project
UNTIL July 28, 2019
Hara Museum, TOKYO

Hara Museum presents The Nature Rules: Dreaming of Earth Project, an exhibition conceived and directed by Jae-Eun Choi. The Dreaming of Earth Project was launched by Choi in 2014 to seek ways to protect the rich ecosystem that has emerged within the Demilitarized Sone (DMZ) on the Korean Peninsula during the 65 years since the armistice agreement. Its larger goal is peaceful co-existence with the creatures of the DMZ, between Korea’s North and South and among all lifeforms on this planet Earth. This exhibition is being presented to provide impetus for the realization of the project.

Participating Artists: Shigeru Ban, Minsuk Cho, Jae-Eun Choi, , Jaeseung Jeong, Tadashi Kawamata, Kim Taedong, Lee Bul, Lee Ufan, Seung H-Sang, Studio Mumbai, Studio Other Spaces: Olafur Eliasson and Sebastian Behmann

Jae-Eun Choi, hatred melts like snow, 2019 (reference image) ©Kim Taedong

Jae-Eun Choi
Jae-Eun Choi was born in 1953 in Seoul, Korea. In 1976, she moved to Japan where she studied the Sogetsu style of ikebana. From 1984 to 1987, she worked as an assistant to Hiroshi Teshigahara, the third generation master of the Sogetsu school and film director. In the years that followed, her work began to appear in international art exhibitions, including the 46th Venice Biennale in 1995 when she was selected as Japan’s representative. In 2001, she made her debut as a movie director with the film On The Way. In 2010, she held Forests of Aśoka at the Hara Museum, her first solo exhibition in Japan. As a student of the Sogetsu school, Choi learned not only the surface aspects of the art, but also its spatial concepts and cosmic view. Combining this knowledge with her rich sensibility, Choi extended the art form into the realm of installation. In her early works, Choi adopted such materials as plants, water, air, fire and earth to superimpose onto human life the time flow of plants encompassing the change from growth to decay. In doing so, she took ikebana in terms of both concept and scale far beyond its traditional boundaries. Choi began working on the World Underground Project from 1986 at various locales in the world, including Kyongju, Korea; Imadate in Fukui prefecture, Japan; and a number of places in Europe, the U.S. and Africa. Homage to Mozart (1988) in the Hara Museum Collection is one work from this revolutionary project in which washi (Japanese handmade paper) is buried within the earth for a period of time to allow the environment at each locale to take over the “completion” of the work, thereby striking a blow at the conventional idea of “art” as a product of human artifice. In later works, she used the microscope to explore motifs taken from the micro world. Through her career, the form of Choi’s artworks has undergone unceasing change. What ties them together are her ideas about and concern for life, which have continued to be the underlying theme in all of her art.

Tadanori Yokoo “B29 and Homeland—From My Childhood to Andy Warhol” at SCAI The Bathhouse, TOKYO

Tadanori Yokoo “B29 and Homeland—From My Childhood to Andy Warhol” at SCAI The Bathhouse, TOKYO

Tadanori Yokoo
“B29 and Homeland—From My Childhood to Andy Warhol”
31 May – 6 July 2019
SCAI The Bathhouse, TOKYO

Tadanori Yokoo’s practice embodies a unique perspective, using an astute and penetrating understanding of the times. His work always attracts international interest, and he applies his talent to a wide range of genres, from the visual arts to literature. As evidenced, for example, by the Y-Junction series, Yokoo’s art is characterized by playing out through a series of iterations on a subject while freely changing the mode of expression. There are as many different types of expression as there are works, and there are as many ‘Tadanori Yokoos’as there are different types of expression. This incredibly rich variety stems from the artist’s knowledge of art history and his inquiring mind.

©Tadanori Yokoo, photo: Tomoki Imai

The curious title,“B29 and Homeland—From My Childhood to Andy Warhol,”hints at the complexity of meaning encompassed by the exhibition. Born in 1936, Yokoo’s childhood coincided with the Second World War and its aftermath. Fragments of that period, such as occupation forces and aircraft conducting air raids, appear sporadically as motifs in his art. However, as memories and experiences, they creep onto the canvas naturally, rather than as the result of a conscious decision to make war the topic. One could say that to Yokoo, who grew up and produced his art along with the post-war era, the history of modern Japan and that of his oeuvre are inextricably linked.
The principal focus of the exhibition is on portraits of distinguished personalities, including historical post-war figures like Douglas MacArthur, the movie character Tarzan, and the cultural icon Andy Warhol. The portraits are combined with a smattering of Y-Junction pieces, creating a multifaceted world, something akin to a general retrospective of the cultural experiences of the artist during and after the war.

AGAINST COLOUR STROKE VECTORS at Massimo De Carlo gallery, Milan

AGAINST COLOUR STROKE VECTORS at Massimo De Carlo gallery, Milan

GÜNTHER FÖRG, MARIO MERZ, EMILIO VEDOVA, MARY WEATHERFORD
AGAINST COLOUR STROKE VECTORS
Massimo De Carlo, Milan, Belgioioso
From May 29 to July 12, 2019

Massimo De Carlo presents Against Colour Stroke Vectors presenting works by Günther Förg, Mario Merz, Emilio Vedova and Mary Weatherford. The exhibition brings together seminal works by each artist, with the aim to investigate the variations of the relationship between the dynamism of the medium, the spatial degrees of object-hood in the context of the canvas, and qualities of colour. All artists on display have, consciously or unconsciously, explored ideational, interpersonal or textual functions of the canvas and the work of art: from Förg’s daunting and materic bronze to Merz’s 1980’s investigations of nature, to Vedova’s propulsive energy and Mary Weatherford’s echoing glass light tubes – the discourse can always be drawn back to the complex yet unstructured space between thought and action. Absolute and infinite, void and darkness, gesture and logic, light and dimensionality are tangible in each work in the exhibition.

The two works on display by German artist Günther Förg, belonging to two different bodies of work, embody the artist’s reflections on spatiality and materials. In the bronze painting in the first room, a material that the artist started using in the late 1980’s, the artist challenges and evolves from the stereotypical notion of canvas by using bronze: the result is that these dimensional pieces have an immersive character, where the painterly gesture combined with the physicality of bronze draws the viewer to a reflection on the sublime and sobriety. The grey painting in the second room is part of a larger group of works that Förg first executed in 1973 continuing through to his death in 2013: these elegant, dense works showcase not only the artist’s evolving relationship with the monochrome, but also embody the multiple material and conceptual concerns found elsewhere across his broad practice.

In the second room, the viewer is confronted with a large-scale canvas by the Italian painter Emilio Vedova, that through Per la Spagna Nr. 14 (1962) expresses his radical stances on both paint and politics – combining his avant-garde techniques of exploring the dynamism of the painterly action between light and space to the desire to convey a message. The work is part of a cycle that the artist created for the 1962 exhibition organized at Ca ’Giustinian, in Venice, during the Biennale d’Arte. The canvas is aggressively covered in black and white oil marks and abstract symbols, a physical and creative answer to the spectacle of violence offered by the twentieth century, in this case in particular dedicated to Spain that at the time was living in dark times – under the helm of the dictator Francisco Franco. Mary Weatherford offers a contemporary reading of artists that use light and materials. In the second room, there is one of Weatherford’s signature works: a large abstract canvas is almost cut in half by a neon glass tube. The paintings are made using vinyl-based Flashe paint on linen canvasses made especially for the artist at a Belgian mill, and the neon tube is always made to order. The paintings are essentially invisible to the artist as she is working; only emerging after the canvas has dried. “Because the water reflects, I can’t really see what’s going to happen. It’s a quite a mystery,” Weatherford explained. “As the water dries overnight and the pigment sinks into the painting, it’s like watching a photograph develop. I come in the next morning and the image is there.” The combination of chance and manipulation is key in Mary Weatherford’s oeuvre that documents the orchestrated flow of organic material, where the artist alternates meticulous research to the creations of chance.

Iconic Italian artist Mario Merz, one of the key exponents of the Arte Povera movement, in his career explored the transmission of energy from the organic to the inorganic, using uncanny irony and the Shade of conceptualism to transform each thought into a vocabulary of sculptures and paintings. The small canvas in the reading room and the sculpture in the first symbolize Merz’s research of the late seventies- early eighties around the relationship between nature, logic and the varieties of gestures that can be encapsulated into art. Accumulation, reconfiguration and dynamism are some of the subjects that the eclectic artist conveyed into paintings and installations that capture force and delicacy and the wilderness of thought with the rigour of logic.

All images > Courtesy ©Massimo De Carlo gallery 


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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