EGAN FRANTZ – PAINTINGS / NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein

EGAN FRANTZ – PAINTINGS / NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein

EGAN FRANTZ – PAINTINGS
NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein
17th March – 05th May 2019, Aachen

Where I’m wrong the work is right, 2019, 200 x 136 cm

NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein presents new paintings by American artist Egan Frantz.

One is plenty, two is too many, and three is not enough, 2019, 180 x 467 cm

Egan Frantz’s oeuvre encompasses an extensive variety of media including sculpture, installation, furniture design, and printed matter in addition to the traditional painted canvas or variations on that format. For Paintings at NAK, the artist has focused solely on the latter, engaging painting as painting can, with an extraordinary openness, even faith, in its ends.

You can take the boy outta the rubber but you can’t take the rubber out of the boy, 2019, 200 x 136 / Where I’m wrong the work is right, 2019, 200 x 136 cm / van der [sic], 2019, 240 x 480 cm in two parts: 240 x 240 cm each

Every picture tells a story — both of its physical making and intellectually complex journey belied in conjunction with often humorous titles that point to the artists aspirations, inspirations, and long standing themes. Consider, Where I’m wrong the work is right, an energetic painting featuring Frantz’s signature forms, blocks or agglomerations of 3 1/2 inch brush strokes, forced into a vibrating field of black and white stripes as if held up by an abstract armature — the colors yellow, pink, and green. The title, a 1965 quote from the American poet Jack Spicer, summated the poet’s devotion to dictation against the creation myths of artistic genius, which had finally gone too far in Beatnik era San Francisco with the wild one’s, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Like the best philosophy of ancient Greece or the poetry of circumstance, painting is, for Frantz, best suited to follow wherever painting leads, even if that place is not where the artist wants it to go.

Yes, any painting which is any good looks strange in the beginning — bad ones too!, 2019, 200 x 136 cm

In the book of the post avant-garde, Frantz is painting the transformative chapter on post rational painting: Yes, any painting which is any good looks strange in the beginning — bad ones too!, comes to the defense of analogizing’s weakness. No, I don’t care why I painted a cemetery, offers a different kind of double negation: the large format, Christian graveyard scene rendered in a spiritual strain of turn of the century non-objective art is both quasi-representational and quasi-abstract. A small cruci fix is planted on a hill, clearlyin the scene, but a large cruciform is painted on the scene. The mind must traverse in and out of the field of representation to see this painting but this disjunction is, somehow, its source of harmony too. A bright white moon is licked by a yellow flame, someone deceased is remembered, and the brush goes down, up, left, and right.

Who doesn’t like a little fire, 2019, 200 x 136 cm / Yes, any painting which is any good looks strange in the beginning — bad ones too!, 2019, 200 x 136 cm / You can take the boy outta the rubber but you can’t take the rubber out of the boy, 2019, 200 x 136 / Where I’m wrong the work is right, 2019, 200 x 136 cm

Fire makes its appearance again and again in the exhibition, but the artist is first to admit that he doesn’t know why. In a recent interview Frantz said:

“I’m happiest when I’ve pushed the boat out so far I can wonder if it’s even mine anymore. This is important… getting the work to a place where it isn’t “me” any longer. As in, “Did I make THAT? It doesn’t look like me, it doesn’t have my signature habits… where did that come from? OK, GOOD!”

Who doesn’t like a little fire, 2019, 200 x 136 cm

So, painting after painting, or accumulation after accumulation as witnessed in One is plenty, two is too many, and three is not enough, we find the key to the canvases of this exhibition. An idiomatic joke about drinking too much can extend into the problems of painting, installation strategies, as well as the meanings we ascribe this activity. Like a good joke, and because it’s no fun to describe a joke away, Frantz’s favoring of not knowing over creative surety ensures his audience a tax free enjoyment — post smart-ass intention.

Who doesn’t like a little fire, 2019, 200 x 136 cm / Yes, any painting which is any good looks strange in the beginning — bad ones too!, 2019, 200 x 136 cm / You can take the boy outta the rubber but you can’t take the rubber out of the boy, 2019, 200 x 136

Van Der [sic], likewise, the largest and most spacious painting in the exhibition, suggests an empty signifier asking to be decoded — of the [?] — but to what end? It is known that Mies van der Rohe, a native of Aachen, added “van der” to his name to impress his future father in law. Rohe was his mother’s name, and, it seemed to him that being from somewhere looked and sounded better than just being. It worked for him. The signifier for Frantz, the “Rohe” to his “van der” as it were, or the question of where these paintings come from, if they truly are not a form self expression is left very much empty. He doesn’t care why he painted a cemetery or where he’s coming from but for the forms as they are and as they come. Amidst sandy planes and wet washes of vermillion and Caribbean blue, Frantz situates his forms in Van Der [sic’] with the kind of care and sensuality we can only associate with a love for painting — and that is not a joke.

No, I don’t care why I painted a cemetery, 2019, 240 x 240 cm / Who doesn’t like a little fire, 2019, 200 x 136 cm / Yes, any painting which is any good looks strange in the beginning — bad ones too!, 2019, 200 x 136 cm

Egan Frantz (1986) has had solo exhibitions at Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin and Cologne; Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York; C L E A R I N G, New York; Tomorrow Gallery, Toronto; Roberts Projects, Los Angeles; Tilton Gallery, New York; Michael Jon Gallery, Miami; and Fused Space, San Francisco. In September 2019, a forthcoming solo exhibition of the artist’s work will be held at Team Gallery, New York. Amongst many others, Frantz has been included in group exhibitions at Essl Museum, Vienna; The Emily Harvey Foundation, New York; Andrew Roth, New York; James Fuentes, New York; and Bahamas Biennale, Detroit. Frantz lives and works in Brooklyn, New York and Connecticut.

No, I don’t care why I painted a cemetery, 2019, 240 x 240 cm

van der [sic], 2019, 240 x 480 cm in two parts: 240 x 240 cm each / No, I don’t care why I painted a cemetery, 2019, 240 x 240 cm / Who doesn’t like a little fire, 2019, 200 x 136 cm / Yes, any painting which is any good looks strange in the beginning — bad ones too!, 2019, 200 x 136 cm

van der [sic], 2019, 240 x 480 cm in two parts: 240 x 240 cm each

No, I don’t care why I painted a cemetery, 2019, 240 x 240 cm

van der [sic], 2019, 240 x 480 cm in two parts: 240 x 240 cm each / No, I don’t care why I painted a cemetery, 2019, 240 x 240 cm / Who doesn’t like a little fire, 2019, 200 x 136 cm / Yes, any painting which is any good looks strange in the beginning — bad ones too!, 2019, 200 x 136 cm / You can take the boy outta the rubber but you can’t take the rubber out of the boy, 2019, 200 x 136

One is plenty, two is too many, and three is not enough, 2019, 180 x 467 cm


1. One is plenty, two is too many, and three is not enough, 2019, 180 x 467 cm

All images > installation view EGAN FRANTZ – PAINTINGS / NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, courtesy NAK and the artist

LEVI VAN VELUW “BEYOND MATTER” at GALERIE RON MANDOS, Amsterdam

LEVI VAN VELUW “BEYOND MATTER” at GALERIE RON MANDOS, Amsterdam

By Doron Beuns

Levi van Veluw’s latest solo presentation ‘Beyond Matter’ at Galerie Ron Mandos displays a mesmerizing interplay between sacred geometry and organic interference. This principle slowly unfolds through a series of blue assemblages mounted on the crisp white walls of the gallery. The first work encountered showcases a wooden grid flooded by formless heaps of clay that are slightly marbled. It appears as a snapshot in an active thought process in which the two brain halves congregate. Van Veluw’s thoughts seem to physically manifest, whilst speaking to our own processes of deciphering that manifestation.

The display of the artist’s process seems to be a primary concern as the next few assemblages on the wall address the manual labour that went into that work. Up close a multiplicity of finger prints are revealed, pressing the blue clay into multiple geometric arrangements. From afar, we see harmonious compositions with a slight edge of whimsicality. The works contain a delicate balance between order and chaos as the artist’s neurotic tendency to perfect things is countered by the slight imperfections that occur during manual clay modelling.

‘Beyond matter’ clearly shows the artist’s ability to challenge his previous works. The previous work of the artist shows a strong inclination to impose order on the natural world. This new work clearly inverses that inclination. Van Veluw allows uncontrollable materials and human error to interfere with his imposed order. The consistent repetition of this exercise throughout the show testifies to a profound ability to let things go. This adds an additional dimension to the artist’s work that we haven’t seen before to this degree.

This sentiment of letting things go also ties in with some of the religious connotations we find in van Veluw’s wall pieces. During a studio visit, the artist mentioned how he is fascinated by the way in which humans turn immaterial and spiritual experiences into material substances. One work contains a clay grid stuffed with box-like inserts, strongly reminding me of the little notes that are stuck between the remainders of the Jewish temple wall in Jerusalem. Equally, the altar-screen silhouettes in some other wall pieces could be found in one Christian Churches down the road. Furthermore, the geometry throughout the work draws connections to patterns in a nearby Mosque. The colour blue, which is omnipresence throughout the presentation, ties the works together as the blue sky that covers all the above religious institutions.

The coloration of van Veluw’s work also invites contexts beyond the three big religions. This becomes apparent when one of the wall pieces appears to be a passage to a smaller installation space within the gallery. Walking through it, we enter an industrial cube of steel and glass. Behind it, we again observe a set of blue grids flooded by marbled matter. But this time it looks like the alchemical aftermath of a volcanic eruption that preserved an array of ancient artefacts, that have now been approved for a public viewing.

Even when repeated, no pattern looks the same within van Veluwe’s latest show. Every little mark and tweak are to be enjoyed in their own right, perhaps encouraging us to let ourselves go a little whilst doing so. Nevertheless, I am very curious about how these current wall pieces might translate into more floor-based sculptural works. This is another area in which the artist has previously produced a lot of  works with a high degree of geometric perfection. Only time will tell whether the artist will allow for imperfection in that area as well.

Doron Beuns

ALL IMAGES ARE COURTESY OF GALERIE RON MANDOS. COPYRIGHT © THE ARTIST

ARCO Madrid 2019. A year of transition

ARCO Madrid 2019. A year of transition

by our correspondent Ludovica Cadario
The 38th edition of Arco Madrid ended a few days ago, it was defined by its own directors and by many art dealers as the best edition in recent years also by selling volumes. It’s been a year of transition, co-directed by Carlos Urroz, who leaves his position as director of Arco after 10 years, and Maribel Lopez who is going to replace him from next year. A changeover that saw participating 203 galleries of which 166 were part of the general program.

Mai 36 from Zurich celebrated the 30 year anniversary since its first participation to Arco in 1989 with an interesting selection of artists such as Jacobo Castellano, Luigi Ghirri and Matt Mullican.

MAI 36 Gallery, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

Among the most renowed we should mention Hauser & Wirth with an impressing solo project by Jenny Holzer.

Hauser&Wirth, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

A gallery that distinguished itself and draw media attention was the Italian Galleria Prometeo, with a work of art which was a collaborative effort between Santiago Serra and Eugenio Merino. The artists have conceived an hyper-realistic sculpture of King Felipe VI of Spain that they wanted to sell for 200.000 euros including a special agreement under which the buyer would have needed to burn it down before the end of the year. This booth, as well as the ones next to it, were voluntarily avoided by the Spanish royal family on the day of the inauguration in order to avoid controversies and the risk of having pictures of the king taken next to the sculpture. As things stand nobody has yet decided to buy the artwork.

Prometeo Gallery, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

Speaking of Italian galleries it is also worth mentioning the exhibition of Sérgio Carronha and Nicola Samorì for the Monitor galley in Rome. The Italian artist Chiara Fumai instead was represented by Rosa Santos with an immersive installation that will be also featured in the next Venice Biennale. In Venice is also where we will find again artist Sergio Perego with Galeria etHall. Another remarkable booth was the one of Operativa Arte Contemporanea with an elegant and refined solo project of artist Emiliano Maggi.

Monitor Gallery, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

Monitor Gallery, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

Rosa Santos, Chiara Fumai, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

Operativa Arte Contemporanea, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

EtHall, Sergio Prego, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

The “Diálogos” selection was composed by 13 galleries selected by Catalina Lozano, curator of the Jumex Museum, and Agustín Pérez Rubio, curator of the Berlin Biennale. The aim of the section was to create a dialogue between two artists for each gallery. Brazilian gallery Luisa Strina distinguished itself with the works of Anna Maria Maiolino and Magdalena Jitrik. The “Opening” selection, curated by Tiago de Abreu Pinto and Ilaria Gianni, was centered around 21 young national and international galleries. This section focused on galleries that were less than seven years old and featured Twin Gallery from Madrid, with two of its more known artists, Marla Jacarilla and Manuel Franquelo Giner. Bombon Projects from Barcelona, offered a dynamic and innovative project with the works of Anna Dot and Aldo Urbano.

Meessen de Clercq, Nicolás Lamas, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

Certainly impressive and beautiful was the exhibition of Belgian gallery Meessen de Clercq which displayed the sculptures of Peruvian artist Nicolás Lamas, works that linked archaeology with new technologies.

Meessen de Clercq, Nicolás Lamas, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

Lamas was also one of the 200 artists from South America featured in the Fair which also had an entire section “Perù en ARCO”, curated by Sharon Lerner, curator of the Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI). She stated that the project, which had as special guest the Peruvian country, was conceived without wanting to portray and represent an “official” national and traditional art, but instead, was one of the possible perspectives on the local artistic production. The most evident characteristic of the section were the recurrent naturalistic and geographical references to the elements of the Andean country. The section, which in the layout of the Fair had the shape of a desert rose, was designed by Peruvian architects Mariana Leguía and Maya Ballén. It was home of 24 Peruvian artists from 15 galleries. What’s important to highlight is that “Perù en ARCO” is what seemed to determine the success of this year’s edition of the Fair, the number of visitors, including professionals and collectors, increased by 8% compared to the previous year and the growth was also due to the big affluence of people coming from South America, motivated by the fact that 29% of the artistic international proposals were in fact coming from Latin America. With Perù as a special guest, Arco strenghtened its position as the meeting point for the cultural exchange between Europe and South America. Even though this success was evident, the idea of having a guest country (which saw Colombia invited in 2015 and Argentina in 2017) has come to an end. The new director has already announced that Arco 2020 will be focusing on the theme “It’s Just a Matter of Time”.

Operativa Arte Contemporanea, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

Hauser&Wirth, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

Helga de Alvear, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

Helga de Alvear, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

Thomas schulte, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

Tony Oursler, Moises Perez De Albeniz, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

Parra & Romero, ARCO MADRID 2019, ph Ludovica Cadario, XIBT Magazine

Two important exhibitions for ALBERTO DI FABIO, between Italy and France

Two important exhibitions for ALBERTO DI FABIO, between Italy and France

Tutundjian / Alberto Di Fabio
Fondazione Bullukian, Lyon
extended until the end of March 2019

At the end of two years of renovation works, the Bullukian Foundation opens its art centre with the exhibition of Léon Tutundjian‘s art works linked with pieces of Alberto di Fabio.

Present in great public and private collections, Leon Tutundjian’s artwork emerge as a major contribution to art history of the inter-war period. Founding member of Concrete Art (1930) and Abstraction Creation (1931) movements, he has actively participated to the geometrical abstract art development and was part of those rare artists open to the idea of synthesis between abstraction and surrealism, reason and emotion, geometric and organic shapes, which is giving life to fascinating biomorphic visions.

Like Léon Tutundjian’s works, Alberto di Fabio’s paintings come under abstract and gestural art and are full of scientific and concrete references, inspired by astronomy and biology or by macro and micro cosmos.

Since many years, Alberto di Fabio develops his own work in the constant searching for a cosmic breath, to let us see wonderful worlds where neurones and photons, stars and galaxies are mixing each other in vibrating, colourful and fluid combinations. At the meeting point of art and science, these two artists touch the enigmatic circle of life. 

All images > installation view Tutundjian / Alberto Di Fabio, Fondazione Bullukian 2019, courtesy Alberto Di Fabio, Fondazione Bullukian

TRASCENDENZA
ALBERTO DI FABIO
curated by Sabino Maria Frassà
promoted by CRAMUM and GAGGENAU
Gaggenau Hub, Milan
Until the 1st of April

Gaggenau and Cramum are the promotors of the next soloshow of Alberto Di Fabio in Milan. The exhibition is entitled “Trascendenza” (transcendence) and it is curated by Sabino Maria Frassà, art director of CRAMUM. The soloshow will be open until the 1st of April at the Gaggenau Hub in Milan (Corso Magenta 2). The focus of the exhibition is the the bond between material and immateriality, that is one of the most crucial key code of Alberto Di Fabio’s artistic research. The artworks come from the private collection of the artist.

The curator introduces the exhibition with these words: Alberto Di Fabio is the painter of the endless invisible. He is that kind of artist that is not satisfied by painting the sky as everyone look at it. He looks up and his mind goes beyond, looking for infinity. But for Alberto Di Fabio infinity is both inside and outside human being. Thus you can never understand if his paintings represent the astral infinity or the inner one[…] In golden and gold artworks selected for the solo show “Trascendenza” the artist represents the search for the light, fo the purity of the soul, that allows us to be detached from and transcend the materiality. This is the reason why Alberto Di Fabio calls these artworks: “Brain Stone”, “Body of Light”, “Astral Body”, “Vehicles of conscience”, “Magnetic Individual”. These titles help us to better understand the meaning of his artistic research: art can help people to get to a world of beauty, mathematical energy and spirituality. In front of these works the spectator succeeds in experimenting a sort of visual trance, to transcend the reality and to undertake a dreamlike trip toward distant parallel worlds far in the space and in the time.”

Alberto Di Fabio

Born in 1966 in Avezzano, Italy. From 1980 to 1984 he attended Liceo Artistico, Rome, in 1985 he attended Academia Incisione di Urbino, Italy, and from 1984 to 1988 he attended Academia delle Belle Arti, Rome. Solo exhibitions include “Erde, Ordnung und Chaos in der Nature—Environment,” Magazin 4, Kunstverein, Austria (1997); Palazzo Collicola Arti Visive, Italy (2011); “Realta’ Parallele,” Galleria Nazionale D’Arte Moderna, Rome (2012); “Une Installation,” Mairie du 4 arrondissement, Paris (2013); “Dialogues,” Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, London (2013); “Galassie sul Castello,” Castel Sant’Elmo, Naples (2014); “Parallel Visions,” CERN, Geneva (2014); “GeograficaMente,” MART Rovereto, Italy (2015); MACRO Testaccio, Rome (2015); “Cosmic Gate,” Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara (2016). Reale Accademia di Spagna, Roma (2017); Tutundjian/Di Fabio, Fondation Bullukian, Lyon (2019). Di Fabio has had several solo exhibitions with Gagosian Gallery, including Heddon Street, London (2002); Beverly Hills, California (2004); Brittania Street, London (2007); Madison Avenue, New York (2010); Athens, Greece (2011); and Geneva, Switzerland (2014).He has been collaborating with different Italian galleries such asLuca Tommasi in Milan and Umberto Di Marino in Naples.Alberto Di Fabio joined the non-profit project CRAMUM in 2015, taking part in  several collective exhibitions in Rome, Budapest and Milan.

Andreas Emenius / When the unknown becomes familiar at Nikolaj Kunsthal in Copenhagen

Andreas Emenius / When the unknown becomes familiar at Nikolaj Kunsthal in Copenhagen

Andreas Emenius / When the unknown becomes familiar
Nikolaj Kunsthal
Copenhagen
7 feb – 9 June, 2019
OPENING: THURSDAY 7th FEB / 5 – 8 pm

This spring calls for a new immersive experience in Nikolaj Kunsthal! Get up close to performers, conducting everyday rituals around a waterfountain in the Lower Gallery, and around them you can experience large-scale paintings made especially for the room. In the midst of our busy everyday life Andreas Emenius creates a space for people to calmly immerse themselves in thoughts and details, whilst surrounded by a series of physical rituals expressed by a team of performers. A continuous flow of water, dripping from the ceiling, will slowly fill the fountain in the middle of the room. Thesound of the water hitting its own surface will create the soundscape which encapsulates the whole exhibition. From unknown spiritual rituals associated with water, music and nature to the banal everyday rituals we all know. Chewing gum, podcasts and cleansing are some of the themes that, in conjunction with Nikolaj Kunsthals beautiful architecture, create the scope for Emenius’ new exhibitionWhen the Unknown Becomes Familiar. The exhibition gives the visitor an impression of some of the actions we perform in order to get closer to ourselves in an attempt to understand the impermanence which is a part of life. The artist has designed costumes especially for the exhibition, which are worn by performers inhabiting the exhibition all day as living sculptures.

andreas emenius

“We are very happy to be able to present the exhibition, which stylistically works with the experimental and the unpredictable. It is important to be open towards many different experiences and universes in contemporary art. In this exhibition it is the immersion in the everyday life which creates a spiritual and banal content. The impression of the exhibition is further supported by the architecture combined with the artist’s visual language and freedom to create something new.”

Helene Nyborg,

artistic director of Nikolaj Kunsthal

Daniel Arsham / Static Mythologies at Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam

Daniel Arsham / Static Mythologies at Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam

By Doron Beuns

Daniel Arsham’s latest exhibition ‘Static Mythologies’ at Galerie Ron Mandos in Amsterdam could be best described as a play on the passage of time. When entering the gallery, the spectator steps into Arsham’s ethereal version of a Japanese Zen garden, otherwise known as a ‘Karesansui’. The repetitive line patterns in the sand of these gardens are often enjoyed for their meditative qualities and again prove to be effective in the format of this exhibition. The additional quality of Arsham’s lunar garden is the creation of an ambient space that contains an interplay between an illusory standstill and passage of time.

Daniel Arsham, Lunar Garden, Installation of 200m2 , Wood, Sand, NewMat, Foam, Crystal, 2019

The standstill of time is firstly evoked through the inviolable patterns in the sand. The fact that the sand patterns are so delicate but yet retain their imposed composition make it appear like the exhibition space is exempt from external forces. The same could be said about moon-like light source, that provides an unperturbed illumination of Arsham’s garden. This illumination seems to translate into careful gradient colouration of all the sand in the space. The gradient goes from lighter to darker, from the respective position of the light source. This makes the garden appear very still, when one stands still, but dynamic when one walks through the work.

Daniel Arsham, Lunar Garden, Installation of 200m2 , Wood, Sand, NewMat, Foam, Crystal, 2019

This interplay between the standstill and progression of time also occurs when we look at the monochromatic white tree at the darker part of gradient. At first this tree appears to be inanimate and standstill due to its artificial and monochromatically-white colouration. However at closer inspection the tree all of a sudden regains vitality when observing how multiple crystals grow from its branches. These are the sort of experiential qualities in Lunar Garden that would be hard to capture on an Instagram post, even though its surreal and utopic qualities are perfectly fit for this medium. The amount of selfies that were taken during the exhibition testify to that.

Daniel Arsham, Lunar Garden, Installation of 200m2 , Wood, Sand, NewMat, Foam, Crystal, 2019

Daniel Arsham, Static Mythologies

Arsham most certainly has a grasp on popular culture but not only by producing utopic environments. When entering the second space of the gallery we find uncanny wrappings of icon figures of our time placed on scaffold-like pedestals transformed into solid pieces of sculpture. These ‘wrapped sculptures’ cleverly commodify the more esoteric legacy of Christo, Jeanne Claude and Man Ray but are at least as mysterious in their materiality. The wrapped fabric around Arsham’s icons look rather soft and wet while being solid and dry. If one does not appreciate the artist’s commercial approach or the banality of his iconography , then one could certainly be swayed by the workmanship that is invested in his works.

This especially occurred to me when looking at his ‘fictional archeology’ sculptures in the latest room. Widely recognizable products are transformed into eroded, fossilized and crystallized relics of our present society. Their singular outcome makes them even more desirable as commodities. Their conventional presentation also made them appear as such. However, this did direct my attention to the right place, which are the objects in their own right. They namely contain a near perfect equilibrium between the order of flawless mechanical reproduction and the chaos of organic interference. This is essentially what we all look for in both art and life. Daniel Arsham, in that respect, seems to be giving the people what they want to see in an art exhibition. So far, it served him well.

Static Mythologies | Daniel Arsham
Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam
12.01.201916.03.2019

all images: COURTESY OF GALERIE RON MANDOS. COPYRIGHT © THE ARTIST

Doron Beuns

SARAH SZE at Gagosian Gallery, Rome

SARAH SZE at Gagosian Gallery, Rome

13 Oct, 2018 – 12 Jan, 2019
Gagosian, Rome, Italy

Sze’s art utilizes genres as generative frameworks, uniting intricate networks of objects and images across multiple dimensions and mediums, from sculpture to painting, drawing, printmaking, and video installation. She has been credited with changing the very potential of sculpture. Working from an inexhaustible supply of quotidian materials, she assesses the texture and metabolism of everything she touches, then works to preserve, alter, or extend it. Likewise, images culled from countless primary and secondary sources migrate from the screen to manifest on all manner of physical supports—or as light itself.

A video installation, the latest of Sze’s Timekeeper series begun in 2015, transforms the oval gallery of Gagosian Rome into a lanterna magica, an immersive environment that is part sculpture, part cinema. In these studies of the image in motion, at once expansive and intimate, time, place, distance, and the construction of memory are engaged through a mesmerizing flux of projected images, both personal and found. A sort of Plato’s Cave, the new work confronts the viewer from simultaneous points of view: moving pictures of people, animals, scenes, and abstractions unfold, flickering and orbiting randomly like thought, or life itself.

In an in-situ gesture that links the darkened video gallery with the adjoining room of new panel paintings, Sze materializes light as a spill of paint applied directly to the stone floor. In the paintings, her nuanced sculptural language adapts to the conditions of the flat support. In delicate yet bold layers of paint, ink, paper, prints, and objects, the three dimensions of bricolage are parsed into the two dimensions of collage. Here, color draws its substantive energies as much from the innate content of found images as from paint and ink. Fields of static, blots, and cosmic vortices emerge out of archival material drawn from the studio and its daily workings in endless visual permutations that collide and overlap in an abundance of surface detail.

Images > Courtesy Gagosian, ph. Matteo D’Eletto, M3 Studio

The Burning Man 2018 in images and a look at the best installation of this year’s edition

The Burning Man 2018 in images and a look at the best installation of this year’s edition

Since 1986 the Burning Man festival brings life to the middle of the Nevada desert with the community of Black Rock City. The summer event is described as an experiment in community and art, every year the participants are invited to express themselves through art and they can set up performances, organize concerts, installations etc. Burning Man is about cooperating and sharing, its aim is to change the art world through the commitment of the community in order to transform art from something that is seen as a marketable good to an interactive experience. This year’s theme “I, Robot” was futuristic but at the same time still relevant today. Based on the famous work by Isaac Asimov the focus of the attention is on artificial intelligence, on life forms and technological progress which are becoming more and more part of our everyday life. “This year we invite participants to use their native genius to create expressive robots of all kinds. We also welcome art that examines how it feels to live in a world that is filled with robots that watch us, track us, hack us, read our tweets and emails, listen to our phone calls, and sell this information to other robots”.

The Burning Man 2018, as seen by Chiara Yaya Gentile and Eugenio Cilento for XIBT

The Burning Man 2018, I Robot – Foto © Chiara Yaya Gentile / Eugenio Cilento

Here is our selection of the best installation from the latest edition of the Burning Man:
  • 1) The ORB by Bjarke Ingels, Jakob Lange / from Valby, Copenhagen, Danimarca

Inspired by NASA’s Project Echo, the ORB is an inflatable structure to levitate above the playa. The reflective skin will mirror the full layout of BRC from the ground, allowing for easier navigation & making visible the burner’s immersion in the community space.

[fvplayer src=”https://vimeo.com/275244120″]

  • 2) Long View, A Polar Bear Stands in the Desert by Don Kennell and Arctic Burn 505 / from Santa Fe, NM

An imposing and majestic polar bear made from white car parts looks across the boundless vista of Black Rock City. The polar bear is an unlikely visitor made from materials transformed from another time and place. Manifesting forces of climate change, she is searching for allies. Taking the “Long View” is crucial to survival. Combining content and joy, we ask the viewer to develop a relationship with the animal. Polar bears help humans imagine a faraway place, a place most will never visit. They are uniquely positioned as ambassadors to bring the arctic into human awareness. Animals disappear to make room for our cars. Turning wrecked cars into monumental animals visually reverses this process and impacts the consciousness of the viewer.

[fvplayer src=”https://youtu.be/kYyeWdg_nsM”]

  • 3) iSheep by Bardia Saeedi, DC Regional Artists / from Alexandria, VA

Thirteen life-size sheep roam the playa – twelve white, one black, each with a unique voice and character. They bear gifts of bareback rides, lit in their latest Burner costume. Pet them or play gently–even play soft games of “bumper sheep.” But ask before doing something uncomfortable. If they don’t like how you’re playing or if you separate them from the flock, they will object, using their harshest voices and most glaring flashing lights. iSheep are trans-species: They were once humans acting like sheep, but now they’re iSheep, awake and wise.

[fvplayer src=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEoJQFsfpPU”]


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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