Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Madeleine Vionnet's news and retrospective in Paris

Madeleine Vionnet was a creative genius who revolutionized the codes of fashion and imposed her style. She opened her fashion House in 1912 in Paris and developed her unique style until 1939 when it closed. Often compared with Coco Chanel, she understood the needs of women and mastered the art to combine comfort and elegance, contributing to the emancipation of women's body.



She passed away in 1975, leaving behind her an empire and a mark on fashion history that influenced and inspired today's biggest fashion designers: from John Galliano to Jean-Paul Gaultier. "Everyone, who wants it or not, is influenced by Vionnet", Karl Lagerfeld (Newsweek, 1974).


Today, the fashion House is about to be reborn. The former CEO of Valentino Fashion Spa, Matteo Marzotto and Gianni Castiglioni, husband of Marni's designer, have decided to buy the brand. They announced that designer Rodolfo Paglialunga, who used to work for Prada since 1996, as creative Director will be the new stylist. It should inspire new collections and modernize the fashion House.


The second news is a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Les Arts Décoratifs in Paris: Madeleine Vionnet, puriste de la mode. Curated by Andrée Putman, the exhibition gathers a collection of more than 130 dresses made from 1912 to 1939.



To learn more: www.lesartsdecoratifs.fr

Monday, June 29, 2009

Christian Lacroix will present his Haute Couture's collection no matter what


It's been really hard for Christian Lacroix. The crisis is hitting the fashion House hard but luckily he's expected to present his Haute Couture's collection at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris on 7 July. I wish the best of luck for him. I had the chance to meet him in Arles last Summer for Les Rencontres d'Arles and he's the nicest, most charming, humanist, intelligent person. Alors Bonne chance Christian !

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Le monologue dansé d'Angelin Preljocaj by Le Monde

LE MONDE 24.06.09 16h10 • Mis à jour le 24.06.09 16h10
Critique
Le monologue dansé d'Angelin Preljocaj



Le chorégraphe Angelin Preljocaj lors de son solo à Montpellier Danse, "Le Funambule", le 21 juin 2009
MONTPELLIER ENVOYÉE SPÉCIALE
Il n'est pas si seul, mais tout de même. Pour son premier solo, à l'âge de 52 ans, le danseur et chorégraphe Angelin Preljocaj s'est appuyé sur une nouvelle partenaire, la designeuse et scénographe Constance Guisset. Elle lui a dressé un autel en papier blanc dont les pages bruissent lorsqu'il s'assoit dessus, et qu'il peut lacérer à coups de couteau. Il y lit parfois son texte, Le Funambule (1958), de Jean Genet, déclaration d'amour à un fildefériste à travers son art, qui donne son titre au spectacle.
Angelin Preljocaj n'est pas comédien, mais tout de même. Sur le plateau très zen de l'Opéra Comédie de Montpellier, lundi 22 juin, habillé d'abord d'un tee-shirt blanc et d'un pantalon beige, il récite et danse aussi en même temps les mots de Genet. Il a appris le texte par coeur, réussit à en restituer le sens sans emphase, dans un tremblé léger qui résiste à l'habileté de la comédie, et c'est bien ainsi.

Plus qu'un solo, Le Funambule est un monologue dansé dont la gravité tient aussi à l'interprétation, encore démunie, souvent douloureuse, de Preljocaj. Il ne s'adresse pas frontalement au public, parle plutôt de profil à un interlocuteur fictif situé dans les coulisses. Préserver cette tension nerveuse, qui fait parfois basculer le texte du côté du mantra, est sans doute le vrai défi de ce spectacle condamné à tourner.

Il danse tout de même, évidemment ! Quinze ans que Preljocaj n'avait pas grimpé sur scène et mis à l'épreuve ses lignes de chance chorégraphiques. Arabesques avec la nuque penchée, sauts groupés des deux jambes, bras bien droits qui se brisent. La sécheresse dynamique s'est émoussée, cédant la place à une grâce lointaine, comme celle de vieux vêtements cousus main qui lui vont encore bien.

Il fonce, Preljocaj ! Il n'est pas l'homme de quarante-deux ballets pour rien. Il a des idées, s'offre quelques très beaux effets mais toujours au plus près du poème. Face à un Genet lyrique, il ose une certaine banalité, la fatigue ordinaire d'un homme qui s'assoit et reprend son souffle. Pour se la jouer soudain en pirate accroché à l'un des haubans soutenant le mât de son cirque imaginaire.
Avec Genet en bouclier, Preljocaj dégage la place d'un autoportrait façon mauvais garçon des Balkans (il est d'origine albanaise). Il rappelle aussi combien l'écriture du texte et de la danse se confondent dans une seule et même tâche. Pendant que des pages monumentales de papier blanc tombent des cintres, on se souvient de cette formule de Preljocaj à propos de sa mère Liza. "Je danse pour que Liza lise."

Pour rester vivant dans ce métier, et pas seulement efficace, il fallait à Preljocaj se risquer sur le fil de funambule de Genet, sa lecture de jeunesse. Se cogner aussi à un autre savoir-faire que celui de la danse. En avoir peur mais aimer cette trouille-là. Parier sur la maladresse pour oser le suspense. Preljocaj, la maigreur affamée, s'est offert ce cadeau effrayant, jouissif.
Le chorégraphe, directeur du Ballet Preljocaj d'Aix-en-Provence, a choisi le festival Montpellier Danse pour sa performance. Il a bien fait. Lundi, le public de l'Opéra Comédie lui a d'abord accordé un silence profond, à la mesure de celui du plateau, zébré par des motifs musicaux folkloriques et classiques. Enfin, les applaudissements ont éclaté, libérateurs.

"Le Funambule", de et par Angelin Preljocaj. Au festival Montpellier Danse, Opéra Comédie, Montpellier. Le 24 juin, à 22 heures. De 21 € à 30 €. Sur Internet : http://www.montpellierdanse.com/.
Rosita Boisseau

To learn more: www.lemonde.fr/culture/article/2009/06/24/le-monologue-danse-d-angelin-preljocaj_1210787_3246.html#ens_id=1210858

Art Basel's enthusiasm


The 40th edition of Art Basel closed on Sunday, June 14, 2009. Although everybody was expecting gloomy results, the fair demonstrated health and apparently significant sales, (although galleries would never tell you if they hadn't made business). You could feel in the air that everybody was really enthusiastic and a great many artists also attended the event, among them Stefan Balkenhol, Matthew Barney, Elmgreen and Dragset, Thomas Demand, Olafur Eliasson, Liam Gillick, Dan Graham, Subodh Gupta, Joan Jonas, Jeff Koons, Mark Leckey, Sigmar Polke, Ed Ruscha, Nedko Solakov, Not Vital and Franz Erhard Walther. Over 50 museum groups visited Art 40 Basel, as did "major private collectors". Even Brad Pitt, Pharell William, and Karl Lagerfeld were there...
Copyright Gabriele Heidecker, Berlin


“We came with no expectations, but it went really well for us. There were many pleasant surprises and we connected with many new people.” Tim Blum, Blum and Poe, Los Angeles declared. “Business was surprisingly good, which was unexpected. Art Basel still remains the best place to see clients who return for many years, and to meet new ones as well.” Monika Sprüth, Sprüth Magers, Berlin/London had to say about the results.

I personnally really enjoyed the fair, which is amazingly professional and well organised. A lot of reasons can explain this feeling: the fact that it's the oldest fair, the most established, that it gathers la crème de la crème (from gallerists, artists, and obviously artworks) and the dedicated and lovely people that work for it.
Starting naming the artworks that I loved would be endless so I'll just flag up David Nahmad's late Joan Miró works and booth that were marvellous. Which artworks did you like?
Design Miami was absolutely amazing too!

Now I am looking forward to Art Basel Miami Beach taking place from 3-6 December 2009 and you will hear from me soon about Il Tempo del Postino, the Van Gogh exhibition at the Kunstmuseum and of course the Beyeler Foundation which, for me, is perfection...

Monday, June 22, 2009

ANTIBODIES, a retrospective exhibition the Campana brothers is at the Vitra Museum in Germany


ANTIBODIES, a retrospective exhibition by the Campana brothers is at the Vitra Museum in Germany.

The Works of Fernando & Humberto Campana 1989 - 2009
A Vitra Design Museum exhibition, Weil am Rhein
'Til February 28, 2010

"Our work is about contamination: as much as the world contaminates ourselves, we want to contaminate the world." Humberto Campana.



Humberto Campana (born in 1953) and his brother Fernando (born in 1961) have worked together as furniture designers in São Paulo since 1989. Humberto came to the partnership as a self-taught artist with a degree in law while Fernando had been trained as an architect. The first joint work of this unequal pair – brutalistic, surrealistic furniture sculptures – caused a sensation in the São Paulo art scene right from the start. Over the past twenty years, they have established themselves among the most well-known and successful designers of our times, implementing their distinctive and individual language of objects in a tremendously wide-ranging oeuvre of furniture, lighting and installations that has been recognized in numerous publications and exhibitions such as at the Experimenta in Lisbon, the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the London Design Museum.

Through a series of exceptionally successful seminars that the Campanas conducted for its summer workshop program, the Vitra Design Museum established a close relationship with the pair. This association provided the basis for the preparation of this major retrospective offering an overview of their most important works as well as their background. The exhibition highlights the characteristics of an oeuvre whose preoccupation with recycling, the melding of natural and artificial materials and the simultaneity of cultures sketches out a fascinating picture of our time. From the early days up to the present, their work has navigated a narrow path between design and pure art and spawned the most astonishing collages of objects and materials: "It’s a kind of flirt with the material which stands up asking: what can we be transformed into? The material dictates the form and the function in our work." Thus the exhibition devotes special attention to the Campanas’ working method, which is influenced by various sources of inspiration – the exuberant nature of Brazil’s primeval forests, the improvisations of street hawkers and the shacks of the slums, as well as film, music and fine art. The organization of their studio and the collaboration with external workshops as well as with international companies like Alessi, Edra or Vitra will be documented along with the interdisciplinary work on their latest projects. Along with this most comprehensive overview of their oeuvre to date, featuring a large number of prototypes, experiments and models being shown for the first time, the exhibition presents artworks by the Campanas as well as films, interviews and photos. In nine different groups, the exhibition highlights the formal variety of the works while always keeping the design process transparent.

If you have a chance to go, run because it's a must-see. The party organized during Art Basel was fantastically brazilian with caipirinhas and brazilian lounge music !

Photographs are by Thomas Dix

To learn more: www.design-museum.de/index.php and http://www.campanas.com.br/

Friday, June 19, 2009

Exclusive interview with artist Gabriele Heidecker


Frieze Art Fair London 40 C Gabriele Heidecker, Berlin.jpg

I met Gabriele during Art Dubai 2009 and we actually worked together on the Fair. Since then, she's become a good friend. I particularly enjoy her "eye" and I thought it might be interesting to ask her a couple of questions on her inspiration, her book, and her life. This will also be the perfect introduction for my next posts on Art Basel, I am just back from the fair...

Can you please introduce yourself and your background?

I am an artist working in the field of installation, drawing, painting, video and photography. In my early twenties I studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart and history of art at the University of Stuttgart and at Freie Universität Berlin. My father’s books on Indian and Asian art in general inspired my curiosity in these fields of art when I was a child. So therefore I developed a natural interest in this aspect in art which was even increased by visiting the fabulous museums in Berlin. As a consequence I took up studying Indian, Asian and Islamic art and undertook my first journeys to Asia.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Regarding my installation work it just comes up like this: Suddenly – sometimes inspired or brought forward by current affairs or psychological analogies – before my inner eye the complete and ready-made installation work appears. The next step involves putting into practice my vision, i.e. finding ways of making it happen technically, logistically and financially.
In the field of photography: When making documentary photographs of my installations I discovered a new level of approach and consequently developed a new kind of interpretation in photo works.
As regards my photographs of the art fairs I sensed that there were different atmospheres at the various art fairs and stage-like setting of the gallery booths and the interacting of objects and art and people. Some characteristics of art pieces became more and more important for the interpretation my photographs went through: It is the reflection between the individual objects of art and by mirroring each other creating new images. It is these images that I discover and frame.



Frieze Art Fair London 04 C Gabriele Heidecker, Berlin.jpg

Do you feel close to the contemporary art world?
Yes – in my own my.

Fiac Paris 06C Gabriele Heidecker, Berlin.jpg


How would you describe yourself and how would you describe your art?
I have an ecclestical interest in the world. I take up atmospheres, scientific findings, political and historic phenomena: past, present and future. My art is a reflection of what I perceive and absorb. It very often condenses my actual perception into a sur-real realistic view.


Art Basel Miami Beach 2005 C Gabriele Heidecker, Berlin.jpg


What other photographers do you feel close to?
I’d rather this question about photographers was left out.
There are some contemporary artists whom I feel close to: Jenny Holzer, Marina Abramovic, Rebecca Horn – to name just a few.

Art Basel 06C Gabriele Heidecker, Berlin.jpg


How far do you hope to go artistically speaking?
With some works I have been at the edge of what I could say – but in the future I will be much more radical. As you know from the history of arts: The older the artist gets, the less fear is felt towards whatever (not even the art critics).

Art Basel 04 C Gabriele Heidecker, Berlin.jpg

Can you tell us about your book?
The book “Art Affairs” (published by Hatje Cantz in December 2007) was the result of a six-year-project visiting the great Art Fairs mostly in Europe but also Art Basel Miami Beach and Art Beijing (See below the announcement of the book by Hatje Cantz). I got in touch with Hatje Cantz publishers who took on the idea. More than six months it took me to get from gallery owners, exhibitors, curators and private persons the permission to depict them and to clear up the rights for the works of art seen on the photos. The selection and composing of the book was a very interesting process between the responsible of the publisher, the layout specialist and me. Finally the 3 authors wrote about the art fairs as a contemporary phenomenon, about the way a take my photographs and realise my art ideas. It was a great decision from Hatje Cantz, the publisher, who decided to include the translations of the 3 essays into English, German, French, Spanish and Chinese.
In December 2007 the book was presented at the Art Basel Miami Beach. A selection of these photographs was shown at the Gallery Beyerle in Basel on the occasion of Art Basel 2008.

How was the idea born?
By attending the Art Fairs I discovered that I was looking at them as a kind of installation, stage work and theatre, a constantly changing interacting between even controversial elements, a very specific version of “Object trouvé”. So I decided to fix these discoveries working with my old conventional camera and zoom lens. (See also answer 2)

Can you tell us about the introduction of the book?
After publishing the book received several reviews and was positively acclaimed (Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Neue Züricher, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Kunstzeitung … ) Photographs were included in essays dealing with art fairs in general (Monopol Berlin; Springerin Wien) and the current development of the art market against the backdrop of the financial crisis (Newsweek March 2009).


Art Basel 2007 C Gabriele Heidecker, Berlin.jpg

How was your book received by the contemporary art world ?
Many collectors and gallerists have bought the photographs from this series, art critics are offering to write about my work in the future when I will publish my next book about New Art Places. Probably one sign of interest in my work is that Neue Züricher Zeitung will publish a series of my photographs about previous editions of Art Basel in their special edition on occasion of the upcoming Art Basel in 2009.

Where can we find it?
The book can be found in all good book shops specialising in art publications or can be ordered from Hatje Cantz (see attached all information)

Do you consider that "art is alive"?
Yes – certainly yes. As alive as I am.



Frieze Art London 06 C Gabriele Heidecker, Berlin.jpg

To finish with, what would wish to this blog?
I wish for this blog that there will be many readers and lots of interesting questions and answers coming up. Good luck to all of us!

Art Forum Berlin 06 C Gabriele Heidecker, Berlin.jpg

Thank you Gabriele

Publication: Gabriele Heidecker ART AFFAIRS published by Hatje Cantz, Dec. 2007

Hatje Cantz, December 2007:
Gabriele Heidecker's photo book Art Affairs contains 160 photographs shot between 2001 and 2007 at Art Basel, Art Basel Miami Beach, ART FORUM BERLIN, Frieze Art Fair London, FIAC Paris, ARCO Madrid and ART COLOGNE.

International art fairs are the life-blood of the art industry, and every season they have new talent and hidden gems on offer. It is here that the status quo, hype, and significance of various artistic styles are determined. Here, at the vibrant crossroads where artists, collectors, institutions and art enthusiasts convene, is where opinions and works of art are exchanged, with the fairs playing host to a globetrotting microcosm of decision and ostentation.

Berlin-based artist Gabriele Heidecker accurately captures the moments which characterize people and works, and the aim of this seven-year project was to take stock of a phenomenon as ever-evolving as the art fairs. The motifs and design of this book are suitably dynamic, multifaceted, and chaotic, and are supplemented by specialist texts by Jean-Christophe Ammann, Ulrike Münter, and Marc Spiegler analyzing the traditions and development of art fairs around the world, and Gabriele Heidecker's artistic eye for the phenomenon.

The 3 essays in the book are translated into English, German, French, Spanish and Chinese


Book ART AFFAIRS:
http://www.hatjecantz.de/controller.php?cmd=detail&titzif=00002081


Text Jean-Christophe Ammann:
http://www.hatjecantz.de/leseproben/9783775720816_06.pdf


Text Ulrike Münter:
http://www.chinesische-gegenwartskunst.de/pages/katalogtexte/gabriele-heidecker-messespiegelungen.php

Hatje Cantz Verlag
Zeppelinstrasse 32
73780 Ostfildern
Germany
ISBN 978-3-7757-2081-6

Monday, June 15, 2009

Yoko Ono in Venice for the Biennale


This year’s Lions for lifetime achievement went to Yoko Ono and John Baldessari. Next to the prize, the Bevilacqua la Masa Foundation hosts the solo exhibition, Yoko Ono’s “ANTON’S MEMORY”.

Ono, known since the first half of the 1960s - a conceptual artist and one of the founders of Fluxus, as well as an avant-garde performer - has created an exhibition that sets out to provide a vast “fresco” of her artistic practices.

The title of the show, ANTON’S MEMORY, reflects “a woman’s life we see only through her son’s eyes - his faded memory.” as Yoko Ono herself says.

The exhibition has been designed especially for the rooms of Palazzetto Tito and is a series of new installations that incorporate some earlier works as points of reference. It includes films, sound compositions, sculptures, and drawings, as well as a number of interactive installations. There will also be elements to do with the corporeal and the sense of touch: for example, Ono’s sculpture “touch me III,” containing fragments of the female body, as if crammed into a simple chest of drawers. At the centre of the display, two filmed versions of her 1964 performance work “Cut Piece,” from 1965 and 2003, will be shown. In this work, the artist lets the public cut away parts of her clothing little by little. In the first version Yoko Ono is thirty-two years old, and in the second version she is seventy, giving a sense of the marks left on us by the passing of time. Military helmets from the Second World War with pieces of sky inside; the film of a woman desperately attempting to free herself from her bra (a metaphor for women’s liberation); an insistent coughing sound; tables, pens and paper for whoever wants to write their own thoughts and leave a trace of them; the book of recipes for artistic actions, “Grapefruit” (1964), left lying around like a generative element for all the rest; tables for playing all-white chess in peace and quiet, in the main chamber of a Venetian chamber between lancet windows opening onto nature or closed with coloured glass… all this and much more, along with a moving soundtrack, will complete the exhibition, punctuated also by the hand of the artist, who will write new pieces directly on the walls.

The entire exposition in the rooms of Palazzetto Tito will constitute a unitary whole evoking “ANTON’S MEMORY”; something that may be looked on as a codified memory, i.e. the story of an adult son rethinking through the existential vicissitudes of his mother through symbols and objects.

In the words of the curator of the project, Nora Halpern: “ANTON’S MEMORY reflects Yoko Ono’s ideas of universal inter-connectedness and the temporal realm that we all inhabit. Through her installation at the Palazzetto Tito, as well as related works throughout Venice and in the main performance hall of the Teatro La Fenice, Yoko Ono seeks to evoke memories that are simultaneously overtly personal yet evocative of collective desire and a communal connection.” An artist’s book, Other Rooms, will be published on the occasion of “ANTON’S MEMORY,” serving as a lasting extension of the exhibition. There will also be a brochure with texts by the curator Nora Halpern as well as Angela Vettese, President of the Foundation.

François Pinault opens Punta della Dogana


François Pinault opened Punta della Dogana, his second art space in Venice during the first week of the Biennale and the only word that comes to my mind is Wouhaou ! It's a beautifully renovated space by Japanese architect Tadao Ando (one of my favourites) that hosts artworks from Pinault's private collection that includes Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince, Maurizio Cattellan.

The first exhibition, under the joint direction of Alison Gingeras and Francesco Bonami, is shown simultaneously at the Punta della Dogana and the Palazzo Grassi, in keeping with the François Pinault Foundation’s commitment to the City of Venice and to contemporary culture.

Conceived as a single exhibition that unfolds over the two venues, this presentation is shaped in response to the particular atmosphere of each space: the inward-looking private sphere on one side, and the outward looking, world-at-large on the other. The two halves of the exhibition will constitute a dialogue between artists of different generations, covering a vast range of practices and aesthetic sensibilities.

It's one of the most beautiful museum space I've ever seen and the exhibition is well done. The opening was A-list attended. Among many others I spotted Marc Jacobs and his husband, Stella Mc Cartney, Naomi Campbell, Tadao Ando, Jacques Chirac and wife, Jack Lang, BHL and Arielle Dombasle, Maurizio Cattelan, Jeff Koons etc.

Do go and visit it, it's a must see in Venice and for sure the best "pavilion" of the biennale if I dare...




Monday, June 8, 2009

Venice Biennale 2009: Portuguese Pavilion

I am back from the manic week in Venice for the opening of the Venice Biennale and I really enjoyed the Portuguese Pavilion.



Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air
João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva
7th June - 22nd November 2009Curated by Natxo Checa Fondaco dell' Arte (Grand Canal)

The Portuguese artist duo made up of João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva represent Portugal in this edition, the 53rd International Exhibition of Art - La Biennale di Venezia. The works presented have been executed in close collaboration with the curator of the exhibition, Natxo Checa.

Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air, is an appropriated title from one of Joseph Priestley's better known scientific papers. In the exhibition the artists set out to isolate, stage and explore singular phenomena pertaining to science as a possible way to get to know the world. Priestley, an 18th century natural philosopher not unanimously credited with the discovery of oxygen in its gaseous state, sets the tone for their explorations."In adopting Nature and its respective manifestations as their subject matter, the artists aggregate and propose complicated blocks of ideas and knowledge that together establish a complex scientificticious phantasm. We are faced with a series of fictional scripts, literary in profile, rooted in the observation of particular phenomena and the design of a particular philosophical architecture" states the curator in his introductory text.

Setting in motion defunct as well as functional theories of science, influenced by anthropology, Greek philosophy and literature, the artists present an installation consisting of a number of 16 mm and 35 mm silent film works. As is common to their practice, an anthology of texts has been edited to accompany the exhibition.

João Maria Gusmão (Lisbon, 1979) and Pedro Paiva (Lisbon, 1977) are artists of a new generation with a recent and unusually solid career. In the last decade the duo's participation in international contexts such as the 27th São Paulo Biennial, the 6th Mercosul Biennial, Manifesta 7, PhotoEspaña 08 along with exhibitions, among others, at CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco and Kunstverein Hanover has contributed to the consolidation of their work. Upcoming exhibitions at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and Inhotim Cultural Center, Minas Gerais.

Natxo Checa (Barcelona, 1968) is an independent curator and Director of Zé dos Bois (ZDB) Center for creation, production and diffusion of contemporary art in Lisbon. In partnership with ZDB, the artists and curator have collaborated on several projects: DeParamnésia (2001-2002), Magnetic Effluvium (2004-2006) and Abissology (2008).

I really liked the space and the tone of these artworks, silent and beautiful meditation.

To learn more: http://www.dgartes.pt/bv09
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...