Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Maddox Art gallery in London opens Nicolas Feldmeyer - Subliminal

Feldmeyer’s work evokes a contemplative perspective of the world in which he feels drawn into, when inspired by nature, geometry, the sublime and vast spaces. Created with a wide range of media, his work articulates a quiet quest for that which lies beyond or before words, assuming a natural connection between seemingly separate entities. Presented at the Maddox Art Gallery on 18th September.

Friday, August 28, 2015

TASCHEN - Mick Rock - the Rise of David Bowie

I wish I could go to that... Los Angeles friends, don't miss it!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lee Ufan and Young Sook Park ceramics

The Gallery Art Zone at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul offers a beautiful collection of Korean ceramics designed by renowned contemporary artists and ceramicists such as the legendary Lee Ufan and Young Sook Park who started collaborating in the early 1980s. 

Lee Ufan (b. 1936, Haman-gun, Kyongsangnamdo, Korea) is the 2014 recipient of the Kanagawa Prefecture Cultural Prize and the 2001 Praemium Imperiale, awarded by the Japan Art Association. Lee’s work has been celebrated in numerous international solo and group exhibitions including the Gwangju Biennale (2000, 2006), São Paulo Biennial (1969, 1973) and Documenta (1977). His work is currently featured at the Palazzo Contarini-Polignac that is a collateral event of the Venice Biennale.

In April, the Busan Metropolitan Art Museum opened a permanent installation of Lee’s work in its new building and on its grounds. Spanning approximately 15,000 square feet of gallery space on two levels, the Lee Ufan Gallery includes painting and sculpture from different decades of his career. It is the museum’s only gallery dedicated to a single artist.

Lee has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions worldwide at institutions including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2011); Kunstmuseum Bonn (2001). His exhibition Resonance was part of the 2007 Venice Biennale.

In 2010, the Tadao Ando-designed Lee Ufan Museum opened in Naoshima, Japan. 

Pace London presents Kohei Nawa

Next September, the Japanese contemporary artist Kohei Nawa will take over London. He will be the subject of an exhibition of new work at Pace London, 6 Burlington Gardens. The artist comes to London as part of She Inspires Art, an exclusive evening of installation, performance and fundraising on 16 September in support of Women for Women International’s work with women in Nigeria and Syrian refugees in Iraq, for which he will be creating a major installation at Bonhams, New Bond St, open to the public on 15 and 16 September.

Moving fluidly between media, Nawa’s work explores issues of science and digital culture while challenging viewers’ sensory experiences. Interested in industrial mass-production, Nawa often works with synthetic compounds, using them to mediate between ideas of the real and the virtual, perception and illusion. He's a really cool artist and has collaborated with Comme des Garçons and Rei Kawakubo in 2012.

His exhibition at Pace will explore the idea of force, which he conceives as a set of invisible operations dictating the behaviour of materials. “Force in this sense refers to the gravity that exerts an influence on all things that exist in a space, the force that allows vegetation to grow up from the ground, and the force that enables slime mould to creep along a wall,” Nawa writes. Presented on the first floor gallery, the exhibition will include drawings, sculptures and site-specific installations from four of Nawa’s Direction, Ether, Catalyst and Moment series. Look forward to it! 

Monday, August 24, 2015

FUTURS, Matisse, Miró, Calder presented in Marseille

How have artists represented the future and the emergence of technological developments from the beginning of the 20th Century up to modern times? From the very first representations of new industrial cities to the fascination with space exploration, the invention of cinema, FUTURS, Matisse, Calder, Miró, an exhibition presented at La Vieille Charité in Marseille until 27 September, showcases the representation by artists of “ the future”. And it's one of the strongest exhibitions I've ever seen! 
From the first envisions of the new industrial cities to the fascination with the space conquest, the exhibition explores the interest artists took in innovations in architecture, robotics, cinema and space imagery. And they certainly pushed boundaries with their medium. From the utopian city of Metropolis, through the robotic fighting machines of The War of the Worlds to the great fear expressed in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The new cities grappling with industrial and technological revolutions provide the context for futuristic scenes (as seen in works by Giacomo Balla, Speeding Car). Artists and architects turn them into mega-cities, with soaring skyscrapers or invent functional, open-ended, fictional structures, freed from spatial constraints. Here the exhibition continues to impress and features masterpieces by Fernand Léger or Kazimir Malevich.

Fritz Lang predicted the disenchantment of the interwar period. Labyrinthine cities (Paul Citroën, Metropolis) or anthropomorphic representations of industrial machinery (Carl Grossberg, The Machine Room) reveal the alienating power of modern cities. A feeling of disturbing weirdness spreads through the works of American precisionist artists (Charles Demuth, After All...) and into imaginary cities in which fiction makes sense of reality (Cédric Delsaux, Dark Vador. Dubai).

Industrial mechanisation, later explored in the exhibition, had a serious impact on research in robotics, reducing man to a machine (Victor Brauner, Prestige of the Air; Konrad Klapheck, Male World); it was also explored by science-fiction writers and filmmakers. Here Yves Klein, Pneumatic Rocket and Erró, Science-Fiction Scape perfectly illustrate the frustrations of the Cold War.

Space exploration offered opportunities for artistic explorations (Enrico Prampolini, Diver of the Clouds). Pop artists continued to push the boundaries of their medium to further explore the notion of "frontier" (with works by Martial Raysse, Portrait of Gordon Cooper; Bernard Rancillac, The Fiancée of Space).

Copyrights Calder Foundation, New York, Artists Rights Society (New York)

Although astronomy has always inspired artists in their quest for visual invention, the development of spatial imagery became one of the favourite artistic topics in the 20th and 21st centuries. The radical modernity of the Bauhaus (František Kupka, Blue and Green; László Moholy-Nagy, Light-Space Modulator), and the Surrealist found new sources of inspiration (Max Ernst, The World of the Naïve; Oscar Dominguez, Cosmic Landscape). Their works ventured into imaginary territories where the microcosm merges with the cosmos, and constellations become poems (Joan Miró, Dance of Figures and Birds in a Blue Sky, Sparks; Alexandre Calder, Mobile).

Experiments with space proper to modern art are the milestones along an artistic path which leads to minimalism (Josef Albers, Silent Hall), the contemporary deviations of NASA photographs (Alain Jacquet, Jumping Rope) and fairy-tale installations opening the way to a new visual language (Bruno Peinado, Silence is Sexy).

From paintings, sculptures, photographs to installations, this fantastic exhibition fluidly explores mutual relationships and influences between art and science, literature and film, reality and fiction! It's a must-see. 

Dismaland: inside Banksy’s dystopian playground

RIP temple of Baalshamin in Palmyra

Islamic State militants on Sunday blew up the ancient temple of Baal Shamin in the UNESCO-listed Syrian city of Palmyra, an official said, the latest in a series of cultural relics to be destroyed by the jihadist group.

The Van Gogh Foundation in Arles presents Van Gogh Drawings, Roni Horn and Tabaimo

I had never been to the Van Gogh Foundation despite growing up in this culturally-rich city, so I took the opportunity to be holidaying in the South of France to go. I was really happy to have the chance to visit three strong exhibitions presented until 20 September 2015: Van Gogh Drawings: Influences and Innovations, Roni Horn: Butterfly to Oblivion and Tabaimo: Aitaisei-Josei

Van Gogh Drawings: Influences and Innovations brings together around fifty drawings by the Dutch artist, in dialogue with rare works by masters such as Rembrandt and Dürer. Van Gogh admired these artists and this inspiration is deeply reflected through the selection of works on view. He always felt that drawing was the essential start before applying paint on a canvas. 

Butterfly to Oblivion featured new works by the American artist Roni Horn who recently had a comparable exhibition at Hauser&Wirth in London. A few of the artist's landmark glass sculptures were on display and it's always amazing to spend time "diving" into them. Large-scale drawings and photographs were also on display. The process to make these works is interesting: Horn cuts and reassembles the pieces to design images infused with both tension and unity. The exhibition also features works from her most recent Hack Wit series, in which idiomatic phrases are deconstructed and rearranged to form new poetic and graphic patterns. In a way, she takes inspiration from the "cadavre exquis" method to come up with new meanings. This series cleverly dialogues with Van Gogh's painting Piles de Romans français, from 1887, the only oil on canvas showcased in one of the most beautiful rooms of the foundations, covered with wood and which contrasts with the concrete of the building.

A bit of history on the building tells us that the work on the Hôtel Léautaud de Donines was initiated with the idea of achieving an architecturally sensitive but potent intervention in a sector classified as a UNESCO world heritage site. Originally constructed in the 15th century as a fortified private residence in 1924 the mansion was turned into the offices of the Banque de France. It is now a whole new space! The Arles' light that captivated Van Gogh provides the narrative thread running through the design concept by architects Guillaume Avenard and Hervé Schneider of the local architectural agency FLUOR.

Lastly, on view are works by the Japanese artist Tabaimo who takes inspiration from the linear beauty of Japanese prints recalling Hiroshige's print, earlier on view in Van Gogh Drawings
When Van Gogh moved to Paris in 1886 he was introduced to impressionism and also explored Japonism so it made sense to establish a dialogue with a contemporary Japanese artist.
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