Monday, April 28, 2008

Viktor and Rolf launch their new website

It is not the first time I write a post on Viktor&Rolf. This time the designers invite us in their world with an interesting video they made for the launch of their new website.
Enjoy !

To learn more :

Guggenheim NYC: I Want to Believe by Cai Guo-Qiang

The Guggenheim in NYC presents a very impressive and interesting show by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang. Given the current situation in Tibet, this exhibition comes at a right time since it denounces the horrors and un-exisiting human rights in China. Among other material, the artist uses gunpowder on amazing installations or paintings. Even if the facade of the Museum is currently being renovated, this show is definitely worth the visit.

"Cai Guo-Qiang is internationally acclaimed as an artist whose creative transgressions and cultural provocations have literally exploded the accepted parameters of art making in our time. This is especially true of Inopportune: Stage One, Cai’s largest installation to date, which presents nine real cars in a cinematic progression that simulates a car bombing, occupying the central atrium of the Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda."

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New Prada Foundation by Rem Koohlaas

The Italian house chose Rem Koohlaas to design the new Prada Foundation. This collaboration is not the first one since the Dutch architect had already designed shops in the US. Rem Koohlaas will renovate a factory situated in the south of Milan. This new space will represent 17 500 m2. OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) will be in charge of the renovation. This group of architects directed by Rem Koolhaas will design the Foundation which should host concerts, exhibitions and conferences. The Prada Foundation was created in 1993 by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli in collaboration with a major Arte Povera artist, Germano Celan. The artists such as Anish Kapoor and Carsten were the guests of current Fondation Prada in the centre town of Milan.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, Vilnius by Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid Architects have won a competition to design the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in Vilnius, Lithuania.

The competition was part of a feasibility study by the Guggenheim Foundation and the State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg, Russia.
Architects Daniel Libeskind and Massimiliano Fuksas also submitted proposals. All three submissions will be on display at the exhibition Imagining the Future: Design Proposals for a New Museum in Vilnius at the Jonas Mekas Visual Arts Center in Vilnius from today until the end of June.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The new Museion, museum of modern and contemporary art in Bolzano, Italy

On 24th May 2008 the new Museion, museum of modern and contemporary art in Bolzano South Tyrol, Italy, is to open its new building designed by the Berlin architects KSV Krüger Schuberth Vandreike and commissioned by the Autonomous Province of Bolzano.

The new building corresponds to a redefinition of the entire Museion project: as an institution, Museion has been managed since 2006 by a foundation of which the Province of Bolzano and the Museion Association are part and, in 2007, Corinne Diserens was appointed as new director.

Museion derives its strength and driving force from its location, South Tyrol, an atypical and multicultural region with a strong European outlook, which will, this year, also be hosting the European Biennial for Contemporary Art Manifesta 7. Instead of a simple container of artworks, it will be an international laboratory for research with an interdisciplinary focus: this is the museum that is being born. Museion sets at the center of its development a strong activation of the collection that will live in a relationship with temporary exhibitions. It will also stimulate the collaboration with artists through production and artists’ residencies.

Museion’s project is reflected in its architecture. The cubic form of the building is visually striking, with the transparent front facades offering a dialogue with the city. The physical and symbolical tie between the historical center and the new city is completed by the two parallel and oscillating curves of the bridge, an integral part of the project. The building’s interior spaces are fluid: the five levels of museum activity — exhibition and events areas, educational workshops, library — aren’t rigidly separated from one another, but are intimately interconnected. Adjoining the museum is an atelier house to host artists. At night the museum will offer passers-by a stunning view when the facades will act as screens for the projection of artworks especially commissioned by Museion.

The opening show: ‘Peripheral vision and collective body’

The activation of the collection finds its full expression in the opening show “Peripheral vision and collective body.” The exhibition, conceived as an exceptional event for the opening, will gather numerous works from the collection, including new acquisitions and important long-term loans from private collectors, as well as loans from national and international museums.
Peripheral vision and collective body discusses the question of the collective bodies in contemporary visual art considering the tight relationship with architecture and performance (dance in particular). Looking at how recent artistic proposals have been informed by the American avantgardes from the post WW II period which themselves had activated some experimentation from the German, Polish and Russian milieu of the early XX Century.
The exhibition will bring together a selection of works, including film, performance, documents and texts from Meyerhold to contemporary art, which will explore the creation and the use of ‘the collective body’ as a critical strategy to question the legacy of our recent history.
This path takes as a starting point the notion of “peripheral vision” as opposed to central vision, that is to say the ability to see objects and movement outside of the direct line of vision and explores diverse ways of challenging single vs public experiences of spaces.
‘Peripheral vision and collective body’ will run from 24 May to 21 September 2008. There will be an accompanying program of events, performances, films and talks. The exhibition catalogue will be copublished with Hatje Cantz in German, Italian and English editions.

Museion – museum of modern and contemporary art, Bolzano - Via Dante 2 - 39100 Bolzano

Opening times: every day 10 am – 8 pm, Thursdays 10 am – 10 pm
KSV Krüger Schuberth Vandreike, Berlin
Autonomous Province of Bolzano South Tyrol, Abteilung Hochbau und technischer Dienst

Manifesta 7 will take place in Fortezza, Bolzano and Trento from 19th July to 2nd November 2008.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Gajin Fujita and his Pacific Tsunami at Haunch of Venison, London

Gajin Fujita Cinco de Mayo 2007
Copyright: Gajin Fujita 2008Courtesy: Haunch of Venison

Gajin Fujita
Pacific Tsunami at Haunch of Venison

25 April 2008 – 24 May 2008

Japanese-American artist Gajin Fujita is to present a series of new panel paintings and works on paper in Pacific Tsunami, his first UK solo show at Haunch of Venison London.

Born and raised in LA, Fujita’s work is greatly informed by the artist’s own cultural heritage and background - large-scale paintings present graffiti overlaid with stylised geisha women, samurai warriors, flowers and animals, motifs from contemporary Japanese cartoons and imagery from American Hip-Hop culture.

As with traditional graffiti the works are produced in layers; semi-precious metals including white gold and gold leaf are applied to wooden panels. These are then obliterated with graffiti, spray-painted by the artist and his crew who contribute with their tags and bombs, more usually seen daubed over empty walls and adorning public transport throughout the city. Finally, a composition of stencilled figures, animals and motifs inspired by traditional Japanese Ukiyo-e imagery and is laid over the top.

Gajin Fujita Wet 2007
Copyright: Gajin Fujita 2008Courtesy: Haunch of Venison

Dating back to the early 17th century, the woodblock imagery of Ukiyo-e sought to express an idealisation of contemporary urban life and typically depicts city life, featuring beautiful courtesans, bulky sumo wrestlers and actors. Fujita’s stenciled and hand-drawn figures also relate directly to Shunga, a branch of Ukiyo-e which sought to express sexual desire, and some of the figures in Fujita’s works brazenly present sexually explicit acts and pornographic imagery.

Gajin FujitaBlue Dragon's Head 2007 Copyright: Gajin Fujita 2008 Courtesy: Haunch of Venison

The stencils used in the works are most often fashioned by the artist, created from cut-out drawings that he makes on paper. Once the painting to which each is allied has been completed, Fujita continues to work on these studies to give them independent stature. The exhibition will include a selection of both small and large scale works on paper.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with a text on the artist’s new body of work from critic Pernilla Holmes. The exhibition, Las Vegas Diaspora: Emergence of Contemporary Art from the Neon Homeland curated by Dave Hickey, includes work from Gajin Fujita, and is on view at the Laguna Art Museum until 1 June 08.
To learn more:

Friday, April 4, 2008

Armory Show : Crash, what crash? Sales hold up despite market jitters

Glen Rubsamen paintings line a wall of Brändström & Stene's booth at the Armory
Photo by Jeremiah Teipen

Crash, what crash? Sales hold up despite market jitters
Georgina Adam, Judith H.Dobrzynski and Brook S. Mason for the Art Newspaper 28.3.08

If the Armory Show was supposed to be a test of how the art market was faring amid tumultuous finan­cial markets, initial results revealed that the fair more than passed—and exceeded the expectations of many of the more jittery dealers.

Now that many have made sales, dealers readily admit that they arrived on Pier 94 with butterflies in their stomachs. “If I had applied two weeks ago instead of a year ago, I wouldn’t have come,” said Andreas Brändström of Brändström & Stene (118) in Stockholm. “The collapse of Bear Stearns is a huge issue in Europe,” he said. But by the second day, he said: “My sales are even better than last year’s.”

“I had no idea what to expect, what with the whole economic situation and the low dollar,” said first-time exhibitor Urs Meile of the Zurich and Shanghai gallery (552). “There was a very good atmosphere yesterday, not at all depressed,” he said. On the first day he sold Le Darang’s untitled painting from 2008 for $35,000 and Le Song­song’s thickly impastoed We Are from Africa, 2007, for $160,000, among others.

Within two hours of the opening, Victoria Miro (1005) had sold half of her stand, with a number of Grayson Perry pots priced between $30,000 and $125,000 quickly finding buyers from Europe, the US and Venezuela. A collector had reserved Peter Doig’s orange-hued City Entrance, 1998-99, (in the region of $1m), while five abstract paintings by the young Argentinian artist Varda Caivano had found buyers at $12,000-$17,000.

Other big sales included two Jenny Holzer’ LED light pieces priced from $300,000 to $400,000 and a $75,000 marble footstool, Selection from Survival, 2006, and several of her editioned photo­graphs at the Chelsea-based Cheim & Read (623). White Cube (801) sold all three editions of Tracey Emin’s neon, I Promise To Love You, 2008, for $110,000 each. Gursky’s C-print Pyongyang II, Diptychon, 2007, a diptych tagged at $1.2m, also sold at Matthew Marks (509).

In the middle and lower price brackets, dealers were also doing brisk business.

“We were positively surprised by how secure people are; they are continuing to buy,” said Georg Kargl of Vienna (719). “We sold a couple of things in the first few hours in the medium price range, around $25,000.” He cited Thomas Locher’s painting Marx/Capital, 2007, at $30,000; a Mark Dion sculpture, The Tar Museum, 2006, at $18,000 and Michael Gumhold’s untitled 2008 painting for $4,500.
Gallery Side 2 of Tokyo (680) sold Shot 72, a painting by Udomsak Krisanamis, for $15,000 and two paintings by Yuko Murata for $5,000 each.

Dealers seemed to have prepared for a difficult Armory by bringing safe, somewhat conservative works, many sized to fit in any home. “There’s nothing that’s mind-bogglingly new and shocking here. There are a lot of solid pieces and a lot of mid-range prices,” said Graham Steele of White Cube. Off the record, another dealer put it dif­ferently: “It’s a bit boring,” he said.

In fact, it was the few large installation works in the fair that seemed to be hitting resistance; Thomas Hirschhorn’s huge Tool Table, 2007, at $180,000 at Arndt & Partner (629), and Sylvie Fleury’s hot pink crashed car, Skin Crime No. 6, 1997, at Eva Presenhuber (611) had not found buyers by day two. European dealers also had something else to worry about—fluctuating exchange rates. “The dollar is a problem because the rate changes every day.

If it falls three or four per­cent, I lose,” said Andrée Sfeir-Semler (816). “Now my prices are in euros.” Nevertheless, she sold at least three works on the first day.For Europeans, though, the low dollar makes New York a bargain hunters’ paradise, and the fair man­agement reported that the number of Europeans registered for VIP cards was up 33%. European buy­ing was up significantly. “I sold to Swedes, Danes, Russians, Germans and Swiss,” said Zach Feuer (311). “Buying here used to be dominated by New York collectors,” he said.But the fair is not immune to US economic woes. Despite selling almost everything on his stand, including a George Condo nude for $225,000 and John Armleder’s fireplace installation, Siphon­ophora, 2005 for $290,000, Armory first-timer Simon Lee from London (1011) experienced some market caution: “A client put a reserve on Pistoletto’s mirrored Tre Uomini, 2007, at $480,000, but then came back and said ‘no, that’s too much at the present time’.”

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Tate Modern's facade will welcome urban art in May

"There are a lot of interesting things happening in street art, in a lot of countries" said curator Cedar Lewisohn. The exhibition "Urban Art at Tate Modern" will open the 23rd May and be displayed until the end of August. The artists will submit their artworks before being showcased on a 12 m x 15 m format on the facade of the Museum.

Banksy, that I love is from London and certainly gave inspiration to the Tate Modern for this exhibition. But street art means more than Banksy. Six famous artists have been selected : Blu de Bologne, Faile from NYC, French photographer JR, the Brazilian Nunca, Sixeart from Barcelona et Os Gemeos from Sao Paulo.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Just for the beauty and the love of it ...

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Bettina Rheims at the Berlin Biennale

With 95 portraits of women, Bettina Rheims made a big impression at the Berlin Biennale.

Former model herself, Bettina Rheims offers at the Berlin Biennale an impressive exhibition of cutting-edge, strong photographs including a young and bored "Vanessa lolita Paradis", or a Kristin Scott Thomas taking off her blond wig, right metaphore of the fake glamour...­Jérôme de Noirmont, her gallerist made possible this retrospective which has already toured to nine cities from Moscow to Helsinki, from Rotterdam to Vienna or Lyon.

To learn more:
«Can you find happiness?»,
«Just like a woman», Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont in Paris.

Jean Nouvel finally wins the Pritzker Prize

French starchitect Jean Nouvel finally won the Pritzker Prize, which is architecture’s top honor. Nouvel, 62, is well known for the muscular Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the exotically louvered Arab World Institute in Paris, or "La polla de Barcelona". Born in the southwest of France, he always wanted to be an artist.

“For over 30 years Jean Nouvel has pushed architecture’s discourse and praxis to new limits,” the Pritzker jury said. “His inquisitive and agile mind propels him to take risks in each of his projects, which, regardless of varying degrees of success, have greatly expanded the vocabulary of contemporary architecture.”
On his view of how he creates, Jean Nouvel said:
“Generally, when you say context, people think you want to copy the buildings around, but often context is contrast. The wind, the color of the sky, the trees around — the building is not done only to be the most beautiful. It’s done to give advantage to the surroundings. It’s a dialogue.”
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