Thursday, February 28, 2008

Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia at Tate Modern

They were close friends and their dialogues, their collaborations, their lives have revolutionized history of art. Not exactly the same, not really different those three artists have invented/explored dadaism, futurism, abstraction...

Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Francis Picabia were at the cutting edge of art in the first half of the twentieth century, and made a lasting impression on modern and contemporary art. Duchamp invented the concept of the ‘readymade’: presenting an everyday object as an artwork, Man Ray pioneered avant-garde photographic and film techniques and Picabia’s use of kitsch, popular or low-brow imagery in his paintings undermined artistic conventions.
Their shared outlook on life and art, with a taste for jokes, irony and the erotic, forged a friendship that provided support and inspiration. At the heart of the Dada movement and moving in the same artistic circles, they discussed ideas and collaborated, echoing and responding to each other’s works. Duchamp, Man Ray, Picabia explores their affinities and parallels, uncovering a shared approach to questioning the nature of art.

Marcel DuchampNude Descending a Staircase, No.2 1912Philadelphia Museum of Art: The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950 © Succession Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2008

This exhibition is fantastic as museography is perfect and you can actually see an interesting mix of pieces. The Tate Modern really manages to create a rich and beautiful experience, so much better than the Dada exhibition, a few years ago in Paris at Le Centre Pompidou which showcased too many artworks in a small space. This is truly one of the best exhibition I have seen which presents this artistic friendship with a lot of intelligence.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

From Russia - 26 January – 18 April 2008

From Russia - 26 January – 18 April 2008

This landmark exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts presents modern masterpieces drawn from Russia’s principal collections: the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Art and the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and the State Hermitage Museum and the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. For the first time, works from these museums have been gathered for a single exhibition.

Over 120 paintings by Russian and French artists working between 1870 and 1925 will be displayed together in an exhibition which surveys the main directions of modern art from Realism and Impressionism to Non-Objective painting. Works will include paintings by Renoir, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Matisse together with those by Kandinsky, Tatlin and Malevich.
Every corner of this exhibition reveals famous paintings, famous names. This is truly one of the best exhibition of the starting 2008.

Henri Matisse, The Dance, 1910. Oil on canvas, 260 x 391 cm. The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. Photo Archives Matisse, Paris. © Succession H. Matisse/DACS 2008

Louis Vuitton hits the big screen

For the first time in its history, Louis Vuitton launches a video add campaign. This is to discover on tv and on cinema screens starting on 15 February 2008. This 90 secondes movie made by Bruno Aveillon, will be aired worldwide and translated into 13 languages. The music score has been made by Gustavo Santaolalla, who won several oscars for his work for Babel or Brokeback Mountain. The director, Christian Reuilly, has mad a lot of other movies for companies such as Nestlé, Mattel or American Express. This campaign - featuring the concept of travel as a personal itinary - completes the press series featuring Catherine Deneuve and Mikhaïl Gorbatchev. The questions such as "what is a trip?" or "Where does life will drive us ?" involve the viewer since the very beginning of the movie.

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Friday, February 8, 2008

Picasso Paintings Stolen in Switzerland

ZURICH—Two Picasso paintings worth about $4.5 million total have been stolen from a museum in eastern Switzerland, Agence France-Presse reports. The thieves set off a security alarm Wednesday evening as they left with the oil paintings Tete de Cheval from 1962 and Verre et pichet from 1944, but other details surrounding the theft are still fuzzy. The museum, located in Pfaeffikon, is offering an unspecified award for the safe return of the works.

Art Dubai and Global Art Forum 2008


Art Dubai 19-22 March 2008
Madinat Arena, Madinat Jumeirah - The Arabian Resort of Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Nearly 70 of the world’s leading contemporary and modern galleries from 28 countries, selected from over 350 applications will gather in Dubai next March for the second Art Dubai fair (formerly the DIFC Gulf Art Fair), nearly doubling the size of the Fair for 2008.

The strengths of the show lie in the caliber and unparalleled global diversity of Art Dubai’s offerings, bringing together the most cutting-edge contemporary art and modern masters in one of the world’s most dynamic countries. Emphasis will be placed on galleries from the emerging markets of the Middle East, South and Central Asia and the Far East, showing alongside established international dealers from the West. Approximately half of the exhibitors will be from the Middle East, Central Asia and Far East and will be complimented by leading galleries from Europe, North and South America and Africa.

Amongst the international participants are both well-established and young galleries such as: Max Lang (New York), Albion (London), Gallery Chemould (Mumbai), The Third Line (Dubai), Galleria Continua (San Gimignano), SCAI The Bathhouse (Tokyo), Galerie Sfeir-Semler (Hamburg and Beirut), Gallery Espace (New Delhi), Galerie Thomas (Munich), Sundaram Tagore (New York), Kashya Hildebrand (Zurich) and MAM Mario Mauroner (Austria).

New participants include contemporary galleries such as: Kukje Gallery (Seoul), Chantal Crousel (Paris), Universal Studios (Beijing), Kamel Mennour (Paris), 100 Tonson (Bangkok), B21 (Dubai), Contrasts Gallery (Shanghai), Silk Road Gallery (Tehran), Galeria Millan (São Paolo), Galería Horrach Moya (Mallorca), TORCH GALLERY (Amsterdam), Produzentengalerie (Hamburg) and nina menocal (Mexico City).

John Martin, Fair Director comments:
“We are delighted by the strong interest we have seen from a diverse range of exceptional international galleries. In its second year, Art Dubai has already become a significant new art event on the international calendar and says much about the potential for Dubai to become one of the world’s great centres for innovative contemporary art and design”.

Courtesy of Art Dubai

Fifty of Art World’s Most Prominent Cultural Leaders and Thinkers Address Second Global Art Forum in Dubai :

On 17th and 18th March the discussion will focus on "Art Patronage in the Business Age" (Dubai International Financial Centre ("DIFC")) and on 19th, 20th and 21st March, the topic will be: "Building on the Foundations of Contemporary Art: East meets West (in Dubai Madinat Arena Beach Area" (open to the public).)

Following on from the highly acclaimed Global Art Forum: 1 in 2007, fifty of the global art community’s most respected curators, collectors, and artists have been invited to join Global Art Forum: 2, taking place in Dubai 17-21 March alongside Art Dubai. With speakers ranging from Glenn Lowry, Director, Museum of Modern Art, New York City, to British-based artist Anish Kapoor, an array of artists and cultural contributors from around the world, will present their visions and debate ideas during the five-day event set to foster links between the Middle East and the wider global arts community through candid debate on the evolving business of art.
"A critical theme running through Global Art Forum: 2 is the development of art initiatives through partnerships with businesses and private individuals. The Forum will examine public support for the arts, corporate and private collecting and art patronage from a regional and international perspective," said John Martin, Fair Director, Art Dubai.
Courtesy of Art Dubai
"A perfect example of this type of collaboration is The Financial Times’ ("FT") support of the Global Art Forum. This agreement forms part of the FT's on-going commitment to covering the business and cultural life of Dubai and the wider Middle East", he added.

The first two days of Global Art Forum: 2 will be hosted at the DIFC and will focus on Art Patronage in the Business Age. This part of the Forum will feature leading thinkers from the international art and business communities and will address topics such as: Building a Corporate Collection, Working with Corporations, Private Passion and Cultural Philanthropy and Personal Commitments to Building Cultural Cities. Soichiro Fukutake, founder of the Naoshima Fukutake Museum Foundation and President of Benesse Corporation, will present the keynote address.
On Wednesday 19 March, the Global Art Forum moves to the Madinat Arena where the conversations will consider public art projects through interviews with some of the most influential artists working today: Daniel Buren, France; Ai Wei Wei, China; and Tony Cragg, UK. A special interview will be conducted by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Director of International Programs at the Serpentine Gallery London, with Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian. An additional panel discussing art's role in political and social transformations will include Suha Shoman, Director, Darat al Funun, Amman; Salima Hashmi, Curator of Desperately Seeking Paradise; and curator and artistic director of the Sharjah Biennial, Jack Persekian, among others.
In collaboration with the FIAC in Paris, the Global Art Forum will host Paris /Dubai, which will unite artists and intellectuals from the Middle East living in Paris through the topic of art in transition. Curator and former director of Documenta 10, Catherine David will host this panel.
Glenn Lowry, Director Museum of Modern Art, New York City, will give a keynote address about the personal initiatives behind MoMA, after which there will be a series of presentations on the most important new institutions and projects underway the region.

Art Dubai is held under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE, Ruler of Dubai.

Transcripts of Global Art Forum: 2 will be published in October 2008.
The full program of Global Art Forum: 2 will be available online at, as of February 15th, 2008.

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Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008

Dafydd Jones, Mick Jagger, Madonna and Tony Curtis, 1997

Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008 at the National Portrait Gallery in London:

This exhibition of about 150 portraits taken for Vanity Fair includes such subjects as Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin and Jean Harlow published during the magazine's first incarnation from 1913-36, and Madonna, President Reagan and Scarlett Johansson published since its relaunch in 1983. It includes works by Edward Steichen, Annie Leibovitz and Mario Testino. The show is sponsored by Burberry. Above right, Dafydd Jones, Mick Jagger, Madonna and Tony Curtis, 1997.

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Anthony McCall was at Serpentine Gallery

One of the best exhibition ever, Anthony McCall was at Serpentine Gallery, now finished.

British artist Anthony McCall (born 1946) has a cross-disciplinary practice in which film, sculpture, installation, drawing and performance overlap. McCall was a key figure in the avant-garde London Film-makers Co-operative in the 1970s and his earliest films are documents of outdoor performances that were notable for their minimal use of the elements, most notably fire.

After moving to New York in 1973, McCall continued his fire performances and developed his ‘solid light’ film series, conceiving the now-legendary Line Describing a Cone, in 1973. These works are simple projections that strikingly emphasise the sculptural qualities of a beam of light. In darkened, haze-filled rooms, the projections create an illusion of three-dimensional shapes, ellipses, waves and flat planes that gradually expand, contract or sweep through space. In these works, the artist sought to deconstruct cinema by reducing film to its principle components of time and light and removing the screen entirely as the prescribed surface for projection. The works also shift the relationship of the audience to film, as viewers become participants, their bodies intersecting and modifying the transitory forms.

Anthony McCall - Between You and I 2006

At the end of the 1970s, McCall withdrew from making art. Over 20 years later, he acquired a new dynamic and re-opened his ‘solid light’ series, this time using digital projectors rather than 16mm film. Through his involvement in expanding the notion of cinema, which enabled a more complex experience of projection, McCall has become a hero to a younger generation of artists working with film and installation.

A renewed interest in his work has resulted in many screenings of his individual projections at museums and galleries internationally, as well as inclusion in major group exhibitions, such as Into the Light: the Projected Image in American Art, 1964-77, Whitney Museum, New York, 2001-02; X-Screen: The Expanded Screen: Actions and Installations of the Sixties and Seventies, Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, 2003-4; Expanded Cinema: Film as Spectacle, Event, Performance, Hartware Medien Kunstverein, Dortmund, 2004; Eyes, Lies and Illusions, Hayward Gallery, London, 2004; The Expanded Eye, Kunsthaus Zürich, 2006, and Projections: Beyond Cinematic Space, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 2006-07.

His work is largely unknown to the wider British public and the Serpentine exhibition offers an overview of both the early and more recent works of this seminal practitioner. The exhibition also features previously unseen drawings, studies, scores, photographs and documents, predominantly from the artist’s own archive, that offer an insight into his working practice.
The exhibition is organised by the Serpentine Gallery, London, and presented in association with the Musée départemental d'art contemporain de Rochechouart, France.

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ViktorandRolf and Piper Heidsieck

After working for H&M, Viktor & Rolf, my favourite artists/fashion designers come back with another co-branding collaboration. They have designed the packaging of Piper Heidsieck's Champagne Rosé. Pink is a colour that V&R love and Champagne the perfect "material" to express their artistic talent. They describe this collaboration in these words: "champagne is the glamourous drink, par excellence. It's an elixir of seduction. Essential for a celebration. It makes people sparkle. Champagne is the midnight sun shining at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. We love the rituals that it inspires."

Same as they did in their Milan's store, they have simply turned the bottle upside down for a fantastic result ! All is upside down with V&R: the champagne bucket has the head in bottom, the flute can be transformed into a martini glass and the bottle stays on its neck.

V&R will also work with Samsonite soon, designing a wide range of innovative luggages. After Alexander McQueen, Matthew Williamson and Marc Newton, Viktor & Rolf will design a collection of bags and accessories for Samsonite Black Label. All made in leather it will inlcude «beauty cases », suitcases and travel bags. But we will have to wait Spring 2009 to discover this collection.

To learn more: and
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