Friday, April 24, 2009

Interesting design: Pagos de la Sonsierra, DavidDelfin2006

I really like David Delfin, fashion designer and designer in a general way, contemporary dancer.
Here is the new design he came up with for Caldo Riojano. I find it very "Damien Hirst".

Una imagen atrevida y nunca antes vista para un vino es la enseña de este nuevo caldo riojano en el que el diseñador de moda Davidelfin ha volcado toda su creatividad. La imagen de Pagos de la Sonsierra está unida a los valores saludables y terapéuticos del vino que el diseñador ha plasmado de manera original para presentar este nuevo producto enmarcado en la iniciativa- La Rioja Estilo. Los aficionados al mundo del vino podrán disfrutar de esta Edición Limitada de 7.947 botellas para el año 2009 y que podrán encontrar en tiendas especializadas, alta restauración y vinotecas de toda España. El packaging que ha diseñado Davidelfin para presentar este vino es fruto de los valores saludables y terapéuticos que el diseñador atribuye a un vino de alta expresión como Pagos de la Sonsierra-Davidelfin 2006.

De esta manera, Pagos de la Sonsierra viene envasado en una botella como si fuera la de un jarabe curativo, la caja en la que se presenta como la de una medicina, y el prospecto de las instrucciones de uso una ficha técnica de cata y algunos consejos del diseñador para disfrutar al máximo del caldo. La imagen de Pagos de la Sonsierra-Davidelfin 2006, nunca antes pensada para un vino de tanta calidad, evoca los efectos beneficiosos del vino y la preocupación por un estilo y hábitos de vida saludables vinculados a la cultura del vino.


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David Hockney at the Kunsthalle Würth

David Hockney. Just Nature
Kunsthalle Würth, Schwäbisch HallApr. 27, 2009 – Sep. 27, 2009

The British artist David Hockney (b. 1937), celebrated for decades as the “painter laureate of Southern California,” is doubtless one of the most interesting and important painters in contemporary art. Yet anyone who believes they are entirely familiar with Hockney’s art will be forced to reconsider in light of his recent work. Contrary to his earlier assertions, he has returned to his native Yorkshire and rediscovered the beauty of his home county’s landscapes, which held little inspiration for him as a young artist. Since then, he has been creating precisely observed, magically glowing natural scenes in which his new enthusiasm combines with his many experiences gained over a lifetime of experimental painting. Hockney’s broad interests and his knowledge of artistic techniques lend these works a special character – seemingly naturalistic, they nonetheless continually question the potential of painting. It is perhaps this masterful mixture of apparent simplicity and great conceptuality that makes Hockney’s art so popular, and at the same time manifests the aesthetic demands he places upon himself.

Hockney’s somewhat unreal-looking version of “realism” arises from the combination of emotion and perspective in his painting. In order to capture a motif as a whole, he not only relies on continual shifts from close-up to distant viewpoints but on a gradual development of the picture, which often consists of several equal-sized canvases. In this way, he creates extended formats that enable the viewer to virtually roam through the picture. The eye is drawn so close to the visual scenes that we have the feeling of actually standing inside the unframed views. In addition, there are entire series of works in which the artist observes selected landscape motifs at different times of day or different seasons and depicts his impressions with great precision. The colours, that change with the intensity of the sunlight, are translated into colourful, energetic images that reflect the immediacy of natural light. Yet here, too, it is not a faithful recording of actual appearances that is foremost but the subjectivity of human vision, an artistic transformation that always contains something unspoken and wonderful.

Over 70 large-format paintings, drawings and inkjet printed computer drawings of landscapes, selected by David Hockney especially for the Kunsthalle Würth, are on view here for the first time in such a comprehensive exhibition.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 232 page fully illustrated hardback catalogue with essays by Christoph Becker, Richard Cork, and Marco Livingstone, published by Swiridoff Verlag.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Haunch of Venison in London

I just wanted to come back in time and flag up the opening of the beautiful space of gallery Haunch of Venison at 6 Burlington Gardens, in London.

Haunch of Venison launched its new London exhibition programme with a group exhibition acknowledging the building’s previous role as the Museum of Mankind.

Turning the 21,500ft² gallery into a giant cabinet of curiosities, Mythologies, which is the first exhibition, features work by over 40 international artists, including major figures such as Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Sophie Calle, Christian Boltanski, Tony Cragg, Kiki Smith, Cai Guo Qiang, Bill Viola, Keith Tyson and Damien Hirst, alongside emerging talents such as Carlos Amorales, Jamie Shovlin and Nicholas Hlobo.

© Polly Morgan 2. Photo. Peter Mallet, courtesy Haunch of Venison

Evoking the uncanny and extraordinary, as seen in historic anthropological and archaeological collections such as the Pitt Rivers, Hunterian, Petrie, Horniman and Sir John Soane’s Museums,
Mythologies traces a labyrinthine journey of discovery whilst invoking a sense of wonder and mystery in one of the most ambitious group exhibitions ever mounted in London by a private gallery.

Bill ViolaSmall Saints, 2008Colour High-Definition video polyptych on six OLED flat panels mounted on shelf15 Inch Screen(HV22671)

Between 1970 and 1998, 6 Burlington Gardens housed the British museum’s ethnographic collections and staged exhibitions on subjects ranging from the Mexican Day of the Dead to Japanese Kites. With exhibiting artists from Europe, North and South America, Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East, Mythologies reflects upon the original ambition of the Museum of Mankind to explain the world and its myriad cultures.

The Haunch of Venison London exhibition programme at Burlington Gardens will focus on both newly commissioned and historically important work from gallery artists, alongside shows from younger, emerging artists largely unseen in London. The exhibitions will be part of the gallery’s broader international programme in London, Zürich, Berlin and New York. Further details on the exhibition programmes are to be announced later in the year.

The launch party was well attended by a crowd made of Ron Arad, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Matthew Williamson, Jude Law and I really enjoyed it etc... Bill Viola's artworks were amazing but that's only my opinion...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rencontres Internationales in Madrid

© William Wegman: Around the Park

MADRID—Established in 1997, the Paris-based organization Recontres Internationales holds annual festivals in Paris, Berlin, and (since 2003) Madrid to introduce to the public works that merge contemporary art with cinema. A lively series of cutting-edge films, art exhibits, exploratory workshops, and stimulating discussions, the festival emphasizes the links between all audiovisual practices. Its goal: to draw a wide audience, inspire new types of artistic creation, and spark interaction between artists and their audiences. Fresh from its success in Paris in November, the 2008–09 edition hits Madrid April 16–25, before traveling to Berlin from June 30 through July 5. The program is more or less the same in each of the three cities.

With support from the respective governments and national cultural institutions, the festival plans events in major venues in each of the cities, for instance, in Paris at the Centre Pompidou and Jeu de Paume, in Berlin at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, and upcoming in Madrid at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, the auditorium of the Ministry of Culture, the Spanish Cinematheque, and the Tabacalera — Future National Centre for Visual Art. Featured artists and filmmakers participate in the workshops and debates, giving those who attend an inside look into their creative processes and an opportunity to personally engage with them. This year, promoters promise that at least 150 established artists and filmmakers will be in Madrid.

Under the directorship of French curators Nathalie Hénon and Jean-François Rettig, whose backgrounds span art, music, and philosophy, the festival has attracted such esteemed filmmakers as Alexandre Sokurov, Jean-Luc Godard, and Pedro Costa, but it also plays a pioneering role. This year in Madrid, 200 works from 65 countries — selected from 6,500 submissions — will be exhibited; the only criterion for inclusion is excellence. The works have been arranged in the various venues by themes such as "War and Family" and "Society" to encourage discussion of topical subjects. Visitors are invited to multimedia concerts and a video library as well.
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Quote of the day

"Bad artists copy. Good artists steal. "
Pablo Picasso

Marc Jacobs in Le Printemps Haussman in Paris

From the 6 May to 20 June, Marc Jacobs will invest Le Printemps Haussman in Paris with new windows setting and various events. Miss Marc biscuits will be available in the Accesories boutique, a new bottle for Daisy will be sold at Le Printemps Beauté, giant statues of fluo rabbits in the windows... the New York designer will transform the Parisian temple of shopping in a flashy and cartoonesque environment. Until the 16 May a temporary workshop will be organised in Printemps Luxe where the creative team of Marc Jacobs will unveil a new accessory:
"a personnalised leather-charm" made by contemporary artist Sharon Marshall.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

YSL' sale: a record

I was waiting for an interview of François de Riqlès Vice President for Christie's France on the excellent results of the auction house but it has been refused by their press department (based in Paris).


PARIS—The massive and record shattering six-session sale of the Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé Collection held at the Grand Palais in Paris ended this evening with a final tally of €374,392,500 ($484,426,456). A scant 31 of the 689 lots offered during the three-day slugfest failed to find buyers, for a miniscule buy-in rate of 4 percent by lot and 7 percent by value. The overall tally leapfrogged pre-sale expectations of €194–274 million.In tonight's final session, offering 64 lots of Asian art, archeology, and furniture, all but one item sold for a total of €42,868,025 (est. €19.1–24.8 million) and buy-in rates of 2 percent by lot and 1 percent by value.The two top performers in the session made identical prices and sold to the same telephone representative. The rare and unquestionably important 18th-century bronze rat head made for the Zodiac Fountain of the Emperor Qianlong’s summer palace made €15,745,000 (unpublished estimate in the region of €8–10 million). Its companion piece, a bronze rabbit head executed for the same palace, earned the same mark and carried the same unpublished estimate.Efforts by an independent cultural group as well as an 11th-hour appeal to Christie’s from the Chinese government to stop the sale of the esteemed objects failed. The unprecedented results of the single-owner sale will take some time to digest as far as market significance and impact go.The only auction result that has made more in terms of dollars spent would be the single-session, various-owner sale of Impressionist and modern art held at Christie’s New York in November 2006, which fetched $491,472,000 (€384 million).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Warhol in Paris: Exclusive interview with Judith Benhamou-Huet

Andy Warhol is still alive, and fully present in Paris with two major exhibitions: Warhol TV until May 3th 2009 at Maison Rouge and "Le Grand Monde d'Andy Warhol"until 17 July 2009 at Le Grand Palais.

While Warhol TV explores the relationship between the artist and Television, "Le Grand Monde d'Ady Warhol" reveals 250 portraits of celebrities, and anonymous clients. “The faces are ugly and a shade stoned, if not actually repulsive and grotesque,” wrote The New York Times in 1979 about the Whitney Museum's first exhibition of portraits by the master. Warhol responded only that the canvases were the same size “so they’ll all fit together and make one big painting called Portraits of Society. This is a brilliant answer to face easy criticism. 30 years later this exhibition celebrates Warhol as a portraitist which shows that he was not grotesque.

Judith Benhamou-Huet, French freelance journalist and curator of Warhol TV agreed to answer Art is Alive questions :

How is this exhibition born ? Can you explain us what the leitmotiv of this exhibition was ?
I've been interested in Warhol for a long time. It's the only area of the artist that hasn't really been explored and that's what I was interested in. The leitmotiv behind the exhibition is the fact that this side of the artist wasn't really known before.

There is a second big exhibition of Warhol at Le Grand Palais ? Is it on purpose or is it a coincidence ?
Not at all. It's the Pittsburgh's Warhol Museum who asked us to organize joint exhibitions.

This exhibition follows an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London, which took place last year; is it the same exhibition ?
This is a totally different exhibition.

To finish with, what do you wish to this blog ?
Art is Alive will help to get more and more people interested in art. It's a good sign for the world. I just created my own blog too :, check it out !

Thanks Judith for your time.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac in London

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac
Triumph of the Sign

3rd Apr - 2nd May 2009

Paradise Row presents the first solo show of Jean Charles de Castelbajac. Throughout his ground breaking career as a fashion designer, Castelbajac has employed a strategy of 'cultural hijacking'- the appropriation, recycling and synthesis of images, signs, symbols and styles from both popular culture and high art to create still newer designs and visions. In keeping with his openness to the ever-shifting world of contemporary visual culture, Castelbajac has collaborated with artists including Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Bettina Rheims and Loulou Picasso.

In Triumph of the Sign, Castelbajac presents a series of paintings that articulate his fascination with, broadly, the tensions and synergies between high art and consumer culture, and most specifically that defining element of contemporary visual culture - the brand logo. In a process that mirrors the production of mass-consumer goods, Castelbajac commissioned painters in China to perfectly reproduce a series of Western masterpieces, from Bronzino to Manet, and another group to paint logos on the surfaces of the copied masterpieces. The resulting works ironically embrace a flattening of hierarchies, a breakdown of distinctions and an evacuation of content.

The works, therefore, are themselves perfect signs of the present moment.
17 Hereford St, (off Cheshire St)
London, E2 6EX
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