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Expositions, Art contemporain, Art moderne, Photographie, Design, Patrimoine, Architecture, Art vidéo, Films, l'image dans toutes ses dimensions, Publications

Art Exhibitions, Art Fairs, Visual Arts, Photography, Graphic Arts, Design, Video Art, Architecture, Films, Photo / Imaging Equipments, Publications


December 30, 2013

Joel Morrison, Galerie Almine Rech, Paris

Exposition Joel Morrison 
Galerie Almine Rech, Paris
9 janvier - 15 février 2014


Pour sa seconde exposition personnelle à la galerie Almine Rech, l’artiste californien JOEL MORRISON présente un nouvel ensemble d’assemblages en acier inoxydable. Un cadre conceptuel inébranlable est joint à des objets du quotidien et enchâssé dans des extérieurs lisses et raffinés. Grâce à des surfaces sans faille et à une fabrication impeccable, Joel Morrison lubrifie efficacement la réalité brute et parfois crue qui sous-tend son œuvre.

Oscillant entre art élitiste et art populaire, minimalisme et abstraction, ordre et chaos, Morrison touche un public divers grâce à un indéniable travail d’artisan, tout en maintenant une intégrité subversive. Il élève des objets trouvés organiques, divergents et apparemment arbitraires en leur offrant des rôles exaltés. Le motif cousu sur la couverture New Madrid est le même que celui d’une peinture de Frank Stella de 1961. Une viennoiserie française ordinaire est détournée sur un buste néo-classique, formant un croissant-moustache qui présente un surprenant parallèle avec la culture hispanique « cholo » du Sud de la Californie.

Des objets du quotidien comme des enclumes, des épis de maïs, des vestes cloutées et du papier d’aluminium sont coulés dans des métaux divers. Faisant usage d’un moyen d’expression souvent associé à une esthétique monochromatique froide et rigide, l’artiste s’oppose à cette interaction initiale en enveloppant l’œuvre dans des surfaces parfaites, miroitées et polies. Le spectateur se trouve ainsi immédiatement lié à l’œuvre, dans un rapport intime et personnel. Les couleurs de ses cheveux, de ses vêtements et d’autres éléments de l’environnement sont instantanément absorbées par la pièce. Bien que coulée dans une matière solide et très résistante, l’œuvre est sans cesse revitalisée par l’afflux de visiteurs et par son environnement.

Les surfaces raffinées des pièces évoquent une équipe de fabricants spécialisés, créant les œuvres au moyen de machines sophistiquées. Ceci contraste avec le caractère physiquement éprouvant et la minutie du processus analogue par lequel la main de l’artiste est littéralement impliquée dans chaque étape du processus.

Né en 1976 à Seattle dans l’Etat de Washington, JOEL MORRISON vit et travaille à Los Angeles en Californie. Il a participé ces dernières années à de nombreuses expositions dont Six Solos au Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, Ohio, 2011) et California Biennial au Orange County Museum of Art (2006). Son œuvre a également été exposée à la galerie Gagosian (Hong Kong 2012, New York 2011 -exposition de Joel Morrisson présentée ici-, Beverly Hills 2008). Joel Morrison a également occupé la Project Room du Santa Monica Museum of Art  (Californie, 2003).  

Galerie Almine Rech
64 rue de Turenne - 75003 Paris
www.alminerech.com 

December 29, 2013

BRAFA, Brussels Art Fair 2014

BRAFA Art Fair 2014 
Tour & Taxis, Bruxelles 
25 janvier - 2 février 2014 



Forte d’un nombre record de 48.000 visiteurs accueillis lors de son édition 2013, la BRAFA, Brussels Antiques & Fine Arts fair (ancienne Foire des Antiquaires de Belgique)  caresse l’ambition d’atteindre et de dépasser le cap symbolique des 50.000 entrées pour sa prochaine édition. Plus que jamais, les 131 exposants belges et internationaux réunis sous les vastes halles classées de Tour & Taxi, auront à cœur d’offrir la plus haute qualité en matière d’art ancien, moderne et contemporain, dans des mises en scène raffinées. Invité d’honneur 2014, le Musée royal d’Afrique centrale de Tervuren, apportera une touche colorée au cœur de la Capitale européenne qui renforcera ainsi sa position dominante dans le domaine des arts premiers.

En tant que premier rendez-vous international du marché de l’art de l’année, la BRAFA est toujours attendue avec intérêt et curiosité par nombre de collectionneurs et de professionnels de l’art. Pour son édition 2014, elle réunira 131 exposants, parmi lesquels 51 belges (38%) et 80 internationaux (62%), originaires de plus d’une douzaine de pays : Allemagne, Autriche, Canada, Danemark, Espagne, France, Grande-Bretagne, Hongrie, Italie, Japon, Luxembourg, Monaco, Pays-Bas, Suisse et USA.

Chaque édition constitue une opportunité de découvrir de nouvelles galeries, parmi lesquelles cette année James Bauerle Kunsthandel (Copenhague), Carpenters Workshop Gallery (Londres), Cité de la Céramique (Sèvres), Yann Ferrandin (Paris), Foundation Fine Art SVB (Montreux), Willy Huybrechts (Paris), Kovacek Spiegelgasse (Vienne), Lux Art Consulting (Luxembourg), Robertaebasta (Milan), Kunstberatung Zürich AG (Zürich), Pierre Segoura (Paris) ou encore Costermans (Bruxelles) qui fêtera ses 175 années d’existence durant la BRAFA. Les visiteurs de la foire se réjouiront également de retrouver les galeries Michel Descours (Lyon), Bernard Dulon (Paris), Jan Roelofs (Maastricht), Schoffel-Valluet (Paris), Seghers (Ostende) et Tradart (Genève – Bruxelles).

Parmi la vingtaine de spécialités représentées dont l’archéologie, les antiquités, les arts premiers, le mobilier, les peintures et dessins, les sculptures, l’orfèvrerie, les arts asiatiques, les tapis et tapisseries, les livres anciens, les céramiques et porcelaines sans oublier, la numismatique ou les objets de curiosité, la tendance globale est à une stabilisation entre leurs divers représentants, avec toutefois un certain renforcement des départements des Maîtres anciens et du design du XXe s. dont le nombre d’amateurs ne cesse de progresser, alors que les spécialistes des arts premiers bénéficieront probablement de la présence du Musée royal d’Afrique centrale de Tervuren.

Les collectionneurs attentifs retrouveront à la BRAFA nombre d’enseignes qui participent notamment aux autres événements de référence du marché, à Paris, Londres ou Maastricht, et synonymes de la plus haute qualité. C’est le fruit d’une politique à long terme menée depuis plusieurs années plaçant la qualité au premier rang des exigences, et la plus grande rigueur lors des journées de ‘vetting’ assurées par une centaine d’experts indépendants. Mais la BRAFA n’omet pas non plus de s’adresser aux nouvelles générations de collectionneurs, à la recherche d’œuvres et d’objets potentiellement prometteurs de valeur ajoutée dans le futur.

Les ‘Collections singulières’ du Musée royal d’Afrique centrale de Tervuren

Bruxelles s’affirme depuis de longues années en tant que place incontournable sur le marché des arts premiers, en plein essor. Pour conforter cette réputation, la BRAFA 2014 aura pour invité d’honneur le prestigieux Musée royal d’Afrique centrale de Tervuren, musée de référence mondiale dans ce domaine, avant que celui-ci ne ferme ses portes jusqu’en 2017 pour une rénovation en profondeur. Réunis sous le titre ‘Collections singulières’, des masques – pour certains extrêmement rares ou jamais exposés -, statues, parures, totems, objets ethnographiques issus des vastes collections du musée démontreront à quel point l’art africain a pu influencer l’art moderne et contemporain.

Nouveautés 2014

L’édition 2014 sera aussi marquée par plusieurs nouveautés importantes. Ainsi de l’adoption d’un nouveau design basé sur le seul sigle et le lettrage BRAFA, qui désigne désormais ‘Brussels Art Fair’. Cette évolution de l’image et cette contraction sémantique s’expliquent par le souhait d’englober toutes les spécialités représentées à la BRAFA, lesquelles se sont diversifiées et enrichies au fil des années, tout en s’adressant le plus simplement possible à l’ensemble de ses publics, y compris à ceux qui ne la connaîtraient pas encore ou en auraient une image tronquée. Ce même souci de simplification prévaut pour le nouveau website, plus pratique, plus facile à utiliser tout en offrant davantage de contenu. Les applications mobiles (étendues désormais aux utilisateurs d’Android), les diverses ‘news’ diffusées via le website, Facebook ou Twitter complètent également l’arsenal des canaux de communication de la foire.

La BRAFA 2014 proposera également tous les jours à 14h30, un tout nouveau cycle de conférences, accessibles gratuitement à tous les visiteurs, qui aborderont des sujets variés et mobilisateurs, données par des orateurs de renom international. Enfin, l’introduction d’une ‘BRAFA Privilege Card’ permettra aux galeries d’offrir à leurs meilleurs clients une série d’avantages aux expositions temporaires, musées, restaurants ou hôtels à Bruxelles.

Enfin, la soirée inaugurale ‘BRAFA Exclusive’ du vendredi 24 janvier 2014 célébrera l’amitié franco-belge et sera placée sous le Haut Patronage de Monsieur Bernard Valero, Ambassadeur de France en Belgique.

Décoration 2014

Créateur fidèle et inspiré de la décoration d’ensemble de la BRAFA, le tandem Nicolas de Liedekerke et Daniel Culot (Volume Architecture), a conçu pour l’édition 2014 un projet fluide et aérien, à connotation moderniste, se jouant de fils tendus ou suspendus le long des allées, évoquant la transparence et la troisième dimension. Le design des tapis de sols, quant à lui, a fait l’objet d’un concours lancé au sein de l’Ecole nationale des arts visuels de La Cambre : une quinzaine de projets, tous très créatifs et très aboutis, ont été soumis. L’heureux lauréat aura le grand privilège de voir son travail admiré par l’ensemble des visiteurs de la BRAFA.

BRAFA’14 – Bruxelles, Tour & Taxis.
Du 25 janvier au 2 février 2014, de 11 à 19h.
www.brafa.be

December 27, 2013

Expo Basquiat, Artcurial, Bruxelles

Exposition Basquiat 
Artcurial, Bruxelles 
22 janvier - 13 février 2014 

Jean-Michel BASQUIAT
Untitled Self Portrait, 1984 
Crayon gras sur papier, 76 x 56 cm
© Jean-Michel Basquiat - Artcurial

Dans le cadre de ses activités culturelle, la maison de vente aux enchères Artcurial à Bruxelles accueille une exposition dédiée à l'artiste Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988). Cet événement coïncide avec l'ouverture de la foire de la BRAFA, qui se déroule du 24 janvier au 2 février 2014.

« Depuis sa création, Artcurial a toujours eu vocation à devenir un lieu de dialogue culturel et artistique. Avec cette exposition Basquiat à Bruxelles, notre maison poursuit cette vocation en mettant à l'honneur un artiste majeur du XXème siècle. » a déclaré Francis Briest, coprésident d'Artcurial.

L'art de Jean-Michel Basquiat repose sur une synthèse entre différents courants: l'art populaire tel qu'il se manifeste dans la rue à travers les graffitis, l'art primitif des masques africains, l'art savant de Rauschenberg reposant sur l'assemblage (combined painting) et la reproduction des images, l'expressionnisme, qu'il soit de Max Beckmann ou Willem de Kooning, à quoi il faut ajouter le décors de la rue, avec ses signaux, ses affiches, et ses inscriptions de toutes sortes, le tout servi par une technique parfaitement maîtrisée.

Le peintre new yorkais Jean-Michel Basquiat (I960-1988) est l'un des plus célèbres aujourd'hui. Né à Brooklyn d'un père haïtien et d'une mère portoricaine, il commence dès 1976 à peindre des graffitis sur les murs de la ville et participe à la même époque que Keith Haring à cette nouvelle forme d'art. Il ne tarde pas à se faire remarquer des critiques et des galeries, commence la peinture sur toile, rencontre en 1980 Andy Warhol qui va lui apporter son aide et réaliser des œuvres en commun avec lui. Il voit sa première exposition personnelle organisée dans une galerie de New York en 1981, et, plus jeune artiste invité à la Biennale du Whitney Museum, il y expose en 1983. Personnage flamboyant, très médiatique, il meurt prématurément en 1988 après avoir mené une vie erratique qui a beaucoup contribué à forger sa légende d'artiste en marge. Il laisse toutefois une œuvre exceptionnellement dense et originale, riche de plus de 800 tableaux et de 1500 dessins. Voir ici pour une biographie de Basquiat en ligne.

Artcurial en présente quelques très beaux exemples dans son exposition, à l'image de Cantasso (1982). Cette pièce est une oeuvre très caractéristique de sa première période, avec les déformations dont fait l'objet la figure principale qui s'apparente à un masque.

Le tableau Circus, Vomit, Mostly Pink (1982), est frappant par son côté frustre (voir ci-dessous) : la toile est tendue sur un châssis de fortune, constitué de bâtons réunis par des cordages. La composition est une accumulation de graffitis divers d'où ressort un cœur surmonté d'une croix portant l'inscription « Black ».

Jean-Michel BASQUIAT
Circus, Vomit, Mostly Pink, 1982 
Acrylique sur toile monté sur chassis en bois, 155 x 152 cm
© Jean-Michel Basquiat - Artcurial

Enfin retenons, l'Autoportrait par Basquiat, réalisé en 1984 (illustré ci-dessus, en début de post). Jean-Michel Basquiat, qui est un peintre de l'image, s'est beaucoup représenté lui-même. Les autoportraits peints ou dessinés sont nombreux dans son œuvre et son effigie, en buste, en pied, isolée ou dans un décor, a été le support de très nombreuses variations, où toujours sont traduits de façon très expressive la crispation, l'hystérie, la cruauté, la violence et où domine la présence de la mort. L'Autoportrait de 1984, exécuté au pastel gras sur papier est bien caractéristique de son style, fondé sur la simplification de la forme et l'exagération des traits, enlevés avec autorité. Sommant un tronc sans bras et qui peut être vu comme une quille ou une bouteille vide, la tête est ici un masque décharné dont les tresses hérissées de la chevelure expriment l'effroi.

ARTCURIAL 
5 avenue Franklin Roosevelt, Bruxelles
HORAIRES :
Lundi au vendredi de 10h à 18h
Le samedi de 11h à 18h. Nocturne le 23 janvier jusqu’à 22h
www.artcurial.com

December 26, 2013

Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938, MoMA, Menil Collection, Art Institute of Chicago

Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938 
The Museum of Modern Art, NYC, Through January 12, 2014 
The Menil Collection, Houston, February 14 - June 1, 2014 
The Art Institute of Chicago, June 22 - October 12, 2014 

Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938, explores the evolution of René Magritte’s work from 1926 to 1938, an intensely innovative period in which he developed key strategies and techniques to defamiliarize the familiar—to make, in his words, “everyday objects shriek out loud.” During this time the artist was closely aligned with the Surrealist movement, and his uncanny depictions of ordinary objects constituted an important new direction in Surrealist art. Bringing together around 80 paintings, collages, and objects, along with a selection of photographs, periodicals, and early commercial work, the exhibition offers fresh insight into the beginnings of Magritte’s extraordinary career as a modern painter and Surrealist artist. In addition to works from MoMA’s collection, the exhibition includes many loans from public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938 at MoMA is organized by Anne Umland, The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Curator of Painting and Sculpture, with Danielle Johnson, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture. The exhibition is organized by MoMA, The Menil Collection, and The Art Institute of Chicago, and travels to The Menil Collection and The Art Institute of Chicago. 

The first-ever concentrated presentation of Magritte's early Surrealist works, Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938 begins with paintings and collages Magritte created in Brussels in 1926 and 1927, in anticipation of and immediately following his first one-person exhibition at the Galerie Le Centaure, which launched his career as Belgium’s leading Surrealist painter. It follows Magritte to Paris, where he lived from 1927 to 1930 in order to be closer to center of the Surrealist movement, and concludes in 1938, the year Magritte delivered “La Ligne de vie” (“Lifeline”), an important autobiographical lecture that provided an account of his career as a Surrealist. 

Like all of the artists and poets associated with the Surrealist movement, Magritte sought to overthrow what he saw as the oppressive rationalism of bourgeois society. His art during these essential years is at times violent, frequently disturbing, and often filled with discontinuities. He consistently interrogated conventions of language and visual representation, using methods that included the misnaming of objects, doubling and repetition, mirroring and concealment, and the depiction of visions seen in half-waking states. All are devices that cast doubt on the nature of appearances—within Magritte’s paintings and within reality itself. 

Painted for his exhibition at Le Centaure, The Menaced Assassin (1927) is one of Magritte’s largest and most theatrical compositions. The vacantly staring figures and common, everyday objects, all rendered in Magritte’s flat, deadpan style, underscore what the Belgian abstract artist Pierre Flouquet characterized as the painting’s “banal crime.” In another painting from this period, Magritte depicts his “accomplice,” the Belgian Surrealist poet and leader Paul Nougé. Here two seemingly identical, formally dressed men are partially separated by a fragmented "door.” Through the use of doubling, Magritte challenges the conventional idea that a portrait should represent a singular self or an individual. 

These paintings are joined by a group of Magritte's early papiers collés, or collages. Such works include what would become signature motifs for the artist: bowler hats, theater curtains, and mysterious landscapes. Among them, The Lost Jockey has a singular status; in September 1926, poet Camille Goemans, Magritte's friend and dealer, associated this figure of the mounted jockey "hurtling recklessly into the void" with the artist himself. 

After moving to Paris in September 1927, Magritte worked at an unprecedented pace, producing some of his most radical and recognizable work. For his painting The Lovers (1928), Magritte invokes the cinematic cliché of a close-up kiss, but subverts its voyeuristic pleasures by shrouding the faces in cloth. The device of a draped cloth or veil to conceal a figure’s identity corresponds to a larger Surrealist interest in masks, disguises, and that which lies beyond or beneath visible surfaces. 

While in Paris Magritte explored the slippery relationship between words and images. His iconic painting The Treachery of Images (1929) presents a skillfully realistic simulacrum of a pipe rendered with the direct clarity of a shop sign or school primer. With the deceptively straightforward pronouncement “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” ("This is not a pipe") underneath the pictured pipe, Magritte declares that an image is not the same as what it purports to represent, a claim underscored by the title. 

Near the end of his years in Paris, Magritte made The Eternally Obvious (1930). In a simultaneous challenge and homage to the traditional artistic subject of the female nude, Magritte divides the female body into five framed and isolated sections. The Eternally Obvious is one of three unusual multipart “toiles découpés” (“cut-up paintings”) that Magritte created in anticipation of a one-man show at Galerie Goemans, Paris, in the spring of 1930. Magritte intended these works to be mounted on glass and specifically referred to them as “objects,” thus underscoring their unique position between painting and sculpture. The three works will be shown together in this exhibition for the first time since 1931. 

In July 1930, after the stock market crash and the closing of the Galerie Goemans, Magritte moved back to Brussels, where he continued to pursue new modes of image making. In 1932, Elective Affinities made Magritte realize he could create shock by exploring the secret affinities between objects—in this case, a cage and an egg—rather than through the juxtaposition of differences. With The Rape (1934) Magritte proposes a startlingly direct visual affinity between a woman’s face and her body; in his words, “The breasts are the eyes, the nose is a navel and the vagina replaces the mouth.” André Breton, the French Surrealist leader, considered the image a key Surrealist work, and reproduced it on the cover of the 1934 book Qu’est-ce que le Surréalisme? (What Is Surrealism?). 

The Human Condition (1933) brings together, for the first time, two of Magritte's favorite themes: the "window painting" and the "painting within a painting." On a standing easel in front of a window, a trompe l'oeil landscape painting on an unframed canvas merges almost seamlessly with the view outside. But the assumption that the easel painting is a "representation" while the surrounding space is "real" quickly reveals itself to be a false premise: the entire composition, of course, is a painted invention by Magritte. 

The exhibition also features a number of works produced for the eccentric British patron and poet Edward James, including The Red Model and On the Threshold of Liberty, two large works that were commissioned in 1937 as part of the decorative painting scheme for James’s ballroom. The finished paintings were installed behind two-way mirrors that dramatically revealed the artworks when illuminated from behind, creating a unique and theatrical Surrealist space. Magritte also made two “portraits manqués,” or "failed portraits," of James, in which the subject's face is hidden from view. Not to Be Reproduced (1937) features a variant of the doppelganger motif. A man looks at himself in the mirror, but instead of reflecting his face back to us, the mirror paradoxically repeats the view of him from the back. The Pleasure Principle (1937) is, according to Magritte, "a picture representing the man whose head is a light." 

In addition to early collages and an extensive selection of paintings, the exhibition brings together other groups of works from this period, including Surrealist objects, a category of artistic production that gained in popularity throughout the 1930s. Magritte created his first objects while in Brussels in 1932 by covering a pre-existing plaster statue of the Venus de Milo, The Copper Handcuffs, and a pre-existing plaster cast of Napoleon’s death mask, The Future of Statues, with paint. The exhibition also includes photographs that relate directly to the paintings and objects Magritte created during this time period, or that highlight his interest in performing for the camera in ways that parallel concerns expressed in his paintings. A selection of early commercial work and illustrations for books and periodicals is displayed as well. 

CATALOGUE - Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938 focuses on the breakthrough Surrealist years of René Magritte, creator of some of the 20th century’s most extraordinary images. Beginning in 1926, when Magritte first aimed to create paintings that would, in his words, “challenge the real world,” and concluding in 1938—a historically and biographically significant moment just before the outbreak of World War II—the richly illustrated publication traces the artist’s central strategies and themes. An introductory essay is followed by four focused studies of key groups of works, and an illustrated chronology outlines significant moments in the artist’s life between 1926 and 1938, including travel, connections with other Surrealist artists and writers, contributions to journals, and important exhibitions and reviews. Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926–1938 is published by The Museum of Modern Art and available at MoMA stores and online at MoMAstore.com. 256 pages; 225 color illustrations. Hardcover, $65. Paperback, $50, available at the MoMA Stores only. Distributed to the trade by ARTBOOK|D.A.P. in the United States and Canada. Distributed outside the United States and Canada by Thames & Hudson. 

SPONSORSHIP: Bank of America is the National Sponsor of Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938. Major support for the MoMA presentation is provided by the American Friends of Magritte, Inc., and by The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art. Additional funding is provided by the MoMA Annual Exhibition Fund. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. 

Roy Lichtenstein: Pop Remix, National Gallery of Australia

Roy Lichtenstein: Pop Remix 
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 
Through 27 January 2014



Roy Lichtenstein: Pop remix is the first travelling exhibition from the National Gallery of Australia to focus on the work of this seminal and influential artist. His works stand today as icons of 60s and 70s America with his characteristic comic strip and Benday dot imagery continuing to inspire our visual culture.

“Roy Lichtenstein’s work is instantly recognisable. His bright, brash paintings and prints have entered our cultural consciousness as icons of the Pop Art movement,” said Ron Radford AM, Director, National Gallery of Australia. 

Roy Lichtenstein 
Untitled head I 1970
brass
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Purchased 1973
© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

Roy Lichtenstein’s name is synonymous with Pop Art. As a master of appropriation, he applied a refined strategic approach to his creative energies and constructed his entire body of work following a sophisticated process of image selection, reinterpretation and reissue. Lichtenstein developed a central creative principle that became a potent formula: an ability to identify cultural clichés and to repackage them as monumental remixes. 

Roy Lichtenstein 
A Cherokee brave 1952
woodcut
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Gift of Kenneth and Marabeth Cohen-Tyler 2010
© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

Roy Lichtenstein: Pop remix traces the artist’s print projects from the 1950s to the 1990s, exploring how the artist appropriated, transformed and ‘remixed’ numerous art historical sources including Claude Monet’s Impressionism, Max Ernst’s Surrealism and de Kooning’s Abstract Expressionism. Lichtenstein reinterpreted the work of these artistic giants and significant art movements using an instantly recognisable graphic aesthetic, effectively ‘branding’ himself with a signature Lichtenstein ‘look’ to secure his place alongside those masters he so admired. Slick, intelligent and humorous, Lichtenstein’s ‘remixes’ of romance and war comics, brushstrokes and nude girls are amongst the best known Pop prints,” said Jaklyn Babington, exhibition curator.

Roy Lichtenstein 
Ten dollar bill 1956
lithograph
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Gift of Kenneth and Marabeth Cohen-Tyler 2010
© Estate of Roy Lichtenstein.

This exhibition of 88 multiples and works on paper is drawn from the extensive holdings of Roy Lichtenstein at the National Gallery of Australia, and were produced by the artist over a fifty year period. For more information on the prints in this exhibition go to the NGA’s Kenneth Tyler collection website – a virtual institute for fine art printmaking which provides background context for the prints Lichtenstein created with Tyler at his various print workshops:

Roy Lichtenstein: Pop remix was previously on view in Australia at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Mornington, VIC, 19 April - 11 June 2012, the QUT Art Museum, Brisbane QLD, 25 June - 26 August 2012, the Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, NT, 16 November 2012 - 20 January 2013.

NGA, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT
www.nga.gov.au 

Ileana Sonnabend: Ambassador for the New, MoMA, NYC

Ileana Sonnabend: Ambassador for the New 
MoMA, The Museum of Modern Art, NYC 
Through April 21, 2014

The Museum of Modern Art pays tribute to the legacy of the legendary gallerist and collector Ileana Sonnabend (1914-2007) with an exhibition of works reflecting the activities of her galleries in Paris and New York from the 1960s through the 1980s, revealing her remarkably prescient selection of the art of her time. Ileana Sonnabend: Ambassador for the New, on view through April 21, 2014, celebrates the Sonnabend family’s generous 2012 gift of Robert Rauschenberg's Combine Canyon (1959) to MoMA, and salutes Sonnabend’s commitment to introducing groundbreaking art to the public. Some 50 works by 41 artists, including Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Robert Morris, Mario Merz, Vito Acconci, Mel Bochner, John Baldessari, and Jeff Koons, are drawn from MoMA’s holdings and from other public and private collections, spanning a range of mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, video, and live performance. The exhibition is organized by Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, and Claire Lehmann, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture. 

During a career spanning half a century, Sonnabend helped to shape the course of postwar art in Europe and North America, championing some of the most significant artists of her time. Opening her first gallery in Paris in 1962 and her second in New York in 1970, Sonnabend displayed a steadfast commitment to exhibiting demanding new art. This interest stemmed from a deep curiosity. Sonnabend once noted, “I like what I do not at first understand,” and she was instinctively drawn to art that she considered “difficult to classify on the basis of things already known.” Embracing an ambassadorial role, Sonnabend was instrumental in bringing new art across the Atlantic, helping to introduce American Pop art and Minimalism to Europe in the 1960s and Italian Arte Povera to the United States in the early 1970s. In the ensuing decades, she continued to seek out and support work that reinvented the notion of what art could be. 

The exhibition includes works from important exhibitions held at Sonnabend’s galleries in Paris and New York, such as Jasper Johns’s Device (1962), which was part of the inaugural show at Galerie Ileana Sonnabend in Paris. Also featured are major works by American Pop artists whose European solo gallery debuts took place at Sonnabend: Roy Lichtenstein’s Little Aloha (1962); Claes Oldenburg’s Tartines (1964); James Rosenquist’s Volunteer (1963–64); Andy Warhol’s 1947 White (1963); and Tom Wesselmann’s Great American Nude #75 (1965). 

Artist Michelangelo Pistoletto helped introduce Sonnabend to many of the Arte Povera artists in Italy whose work she presented in Paris and the U.S. Pistoletto’s early mirror painting Due Persone (Two People) (1963–64) is included in the installation, as is Igloo Fibonacci (1970) by Mario Merz, which was featured in the artist’s American debut at her New York gallery. In the late 1960s, Sonnabend brought the first wave of American Minimalism across the Atlantic to European audiences, represented in the exhibition with works by Robert Morris, Larry Bell, and John McCracken. 

In the 1970s, Sonnabend sought out and supported some of the most noncommercial Conceptual, new-media, and performance-based art of the day. She grasped very early that photography and video were being used as tools in Conceptual artists’ practices. The exhibition includes Winding Towers (1966–97) by Bernd and Hilla Becher, a German artist duo she brought to America for their first solo gallery show in 1972. The following year she began showing work by John Baldessari, whose Throwing Balls in the Air to Get a Square (1972–73) is also featured in the exhibition. 

Live performance was a key element of the Sonnabend Gallery’s program in the 1970s. The exhibition includes Da inventare sul posto (To Invent on the Spot) (1972), a work by Jannis Kounellis that encompasses both a painting and a performance featuring a violinist and a ballerina, which was shown in Kounellis’s first North American solo show at Sonnabend’s New York gallery. Film documentation of Vito Acconci’s provocative 1972 exhibition, at which he debuted Seedbed and two other performances, is also featured. A selection of films and videos from Castelli-Sonnabend Tapes and Films, which Sonnabend founded with Leo Castelli in 1973, provides a glimpse into this groundbreaking initiative to distribute moving-image works produced by artists associated with the duo's respective galleries. 

In the 1980s, the diversity of Sonnabend’s taste encompassed an array of innovations. She promoted the work of artists such as Terry Winters and Carroll Dunham and helped introduce German Neo-Expressionist painters to American audiences, giving A. R. Penck his American solo debut. She also took on a group of artists who would become synonymous with the Neo-Geo movement, represented in this exhibition by works including Ashley Bickerton’s Tormented Self-Portrait (Susie at Arles) (1987–88) and Jeff Koons’s Pink Panther (1988). 

ILEANA SONNABEND BIOGRAPHY: 
Ileana Schapira was born in Bucharest, Romania, on October 28, 1914, the daughter of a prominent Jewish industrialist. She met Leo Castelli when she was 17 and married him the next year. After the outbreak of World War II, the couple escaped Europe and settled in New York City, where Castelli opened a gallery in their home in 1957. They divorced in 1959, and Ileana went on to establish her own career in the art world. She married Michael Sonnabend, a Dante scholar, in 1960, and in 1962 they opened the Galerie Ileana Sonnabend in Paris, later opening another gallery in Manhattan in 1970. A voracious collector and pioneering gallerist, Sonnabend’s 50-year career helped shape the course of art in the 20th century. 

ILEANA SONNABEND - CATALOGUE:
Ileana Sonnabend: Ambassador for the New is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, featuring the work of 41 artists who exhibited in Sonnabend’s eponymous galleries in Paris and New York from the early 1960s through the late 1980s. A biographical essay by Leslie Camhi, artists’ recollections of working with Sonnabend, and individual entries on the featured works provide further reflection on the legendary gallerist's taste and lasting influence. 172 pages, 56 color and 54 black-and-white illustrations. Hardcover, $29.95. Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and available in December at MoMA Stores and online at MoMAStore.org. Distributed to the trade through ARTBOOK|D.A.P. in the United States and Canada, and through Thames & Hudson outside the United States and Canada.

The exhibition is supported by the MoMA Annual Exhibition Fund. 

MOMA
Special Exhibitions Gallery, third floor

December 25, 2013

Art Dubai Projects 2014 Artists

ART DUBAI PROJECTS 2014 

Organized for the eighth edition of Art Dubai, March 19-22, 2014, Art Dubai Projects 2014 is a curated, not-for-profit programme of new commissions. Selected artists are invited to create works that engage audiences and interact with and comment on the fair and its environment.

This dynamic programme includes established and upcoming artists and artists’ collectives from across the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. Artists selected for Art Dubai Projects 2014 include Nadia Ayari, Youmna Chlala, Clark House Initiative, Sunoj D, Maitha Demithan, Sara Al Haddad, Shuruq Harb, Amina Menia, Maryam Al Qassimi, Mounira Al Solh, and Hajra Waheed.

The programme includes site-specific installations, performances, video and research projects developed and organised with this year’s Projects Curator, Fawz Kabra

Fawz Kabra 
Photograph by Daniel Terna, 2013

Over the past seven years, Art Dubai Projects has become recognised as an ‘incubator’ for the most exciting artists and curators coming out of the Middle East and Asia, and is instrumental in fostering talent from the region.

The commissions will be presented throughout the fair-grounds of Art Dubai, and intervene in the catalogue and related digital platforms. For the first time, artists and collectives will engage with Art Dubai Modern—the newly launched gallery hall dedicated to 20th century art from the Arab world, Iran and South Asia as well as Art Dubai’s contemporary gallery halls; Marker: Central Asia and the Caucasus; and the Global Art Forum.

Art Dubai Projects is held in parallel to A.i.R Dubai —the residency programme run by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Tashkeel, Delfina Foundation and Art Dubai. The selected artists participating in A.i.R 2014 —Nadia Ayari, Sunoj D, Maitha Demithan, Sara Al Haddad and Maryam Al Qassimi—will be resident in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood between January-March and will create works for the Open Studios Exhibition in Sikka, as well as their projects at Art Dubai.

Art Dubai Projects marks the fair’s commitment to sustaining a dialogue with its immediate environment and working in partnership with institutions and artists. 

The collaborative approach of Art Dubai Projects reflects the fair’s spirit, as a place to meet, reflect and exchange knowledge and ideas. “Art Dubai Projects produces a dynamic mix of works, installations, performances, and draws on content as diverse as that of the fair,” says Antonia Carver, Fair Director. “The programme offers an alternative and experimental way to activate, challenge and respond to the more formal structures of the fairs”.

Artworks from previous Art Dubai Projects :

Sophia Al Maria 
SciFi Wahabi Take a tour from the future at Art Dubai 2012, 2010 
Art Dubai Projects 2010
Courtesy Sophia Al Maria and Art Dubai 

Setu Legi 
Pseudopodia, 2012 
Art Dubai Projects 2012
Courtesy Setu Legi and Art Dubai 

Basim Magdy 
Investigating the Color Spectrum of a Post-Apocalyptic Future Landscape II, 2013 
Art Dubai Projects 2013
Courtesy Basim Magdy and Art Dubai 

Mohammed Kazem 
Window 2012 - 2013, 2013 
Transfer on paper, 25 x 25 cm 
Art Dubai Projects 2013
Courtesy Mohammed Kazem and Art Dubai 

Artists Selected for Art Dubai Projects 2014

- Nadia Ayari moved from Tunisia to the United States in 2000 where she earned her MFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design. Focusing on political landscapes, her explorations in fresco add a third sculptural dimension to her richly dense paintings.

- Youmna Chlala is an artist and a writer who lives and works in New York. Her work investigates the relationship between fate and architecture through drawing, video, prose and performance. Her recent solo shows include Days of Being Wild, at Art In General, New York (2013), and I Am Who You Say I Say Who You Are at the Cultuurcentrum, Belgium (2013).

- Sunoj D lives and works in Bangalore. His work explores our multi-faceted relationship with nature, drawing on his move from a rural environment to urban dwellings, and subtly revealing the fissures between these two living conditions. He has participated in Spell of Spill Utopia of Ecology, Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi (2013), and When you watch them grow… at National Museum of Natural History, New Delhi (2012).

- Emirati artist Maitha Demithan chooses her subjects from the family and friends close to her. She uses scanography to document intense moments of encounter in her various series of installation, video, and transfers on cloth. She has exhibited her work at the UAE Pavilion, Shanghai Expo (2010), and Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi (2011).

- Sara Al Haddad lives and works in Dubai. She activates interior architectures, and visualises affect through the knitting of life-size sculptural forms and the weaving of text. She has shown her work at The Pavilion, Dubai (2013), and SIKKA Art Fair, Dubai (2013).

- Shuruq Harb is a visual artist and writer based in Ramallah. She co-founded a number of independent initiatives: ArtTerritories, an online publishing platform, and 'The River has Two Banks' an ongoing initiative connecting artists across Jordan and Palestine. She has shown her work at the 9th Gwangju Biennale (2012), and Columbia University GSAPP, New York (2013).

- Clark House Initiative is a curatorial collaborative established in 2010 by Zasha Colah and Sumesh Sharma in Bombay. Their experiments in re-reading of histories, and concerns of representation and visibility, are ways to imagine alternative economies and freedom.

- Amina Menia lives and works in Algiers. Her spatial and architectural interventions are subtle arrangements that interact with viewers and the spaces they occupy. She has shown her work at the 11th Sharjah Biennale, and in 2012 undertook a residency in Marseille, working on the displacement of an “extracted” element of Algiers.

- Mounira Al Solh works between Amsterdam and Beirut. Using sociology and anthropology, Al Solh’s work operates according to Ginzburg’s notion of microhistory, aspiring to ask large questions in small places. Her work was shown at the first Lebanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2007), and at the New Museum, New York (2012).

- Maryam Al Qassimi is a visual artist living and working in Sharjah. Her work uses found imagery and material to explore the vernacular of the UAE and how its merging of languages has shaped local pop-culture.

- Hajra Waheed is a Montreal-based artist whose mixed media practice explores issues related to political history, popular imagination and the broad impact of colonial power. Her exhibitions include (In) the First Circle at Tapies Foundation, Barcelona (2012), and Sea Change at Experimenter, Kolkata (2013).

December 24, 2013

Cyprien Gaillard, Gladstone Gallery, New York

Cyprien Gaillard: Today Diggers, Tomorrow Dickens 
Gladstone Gallery, New York 
Through January 30, 2014 



Gladstone Gallery presents their first exhibition with CYPRIEN GAILLARD, “Today Diggers, Tomorrow Dickens.” For this ambitious and complex presentation, Gaillard has created two complementary bodies of sculptural works that explore notions of regeneration, ruination, and decay, turning his eye to the relationship between evolution and erosion – a thread that weaves through much of his work. Navigating the concept of the altered readymade through an anthropological lens, Gaillard has incorporated processed natural and industrial materials to achieve an equilibrium that reflects the way in which our society simultaneously progresses and reverts in the realm of the bleak.

Inspiration for the exhibition title came from a series of mural slogans used to conceal a raw building site, home of the future performing arts center in Beverly Hills. Intended as a playful tag suggesting the inconvenience caused by ongoing construction as being an experience worth enduring, the slogan struck Cyprien Gaillard as ironic. As a Dickensian universe connotes poverty, hardship, and ruin, Gaillard thought that the message, rather than suggesting progression and growth, hinted at a reversion to darker times. The works that Gaillard has created for the exhibition evoke this contradiction, inviting viewers to consider the ways in which our vision of progress simultaneously leads us back toward a more dismal landscape and unyielding reality.

On the first floor of the exhibition, visitors encounter a series of sculptures ranging from small-scale to monumental. Entering the gallery as if in reverse, viewers are presented with an opposing perspective of the sculptural works – a series of excavator machine parts, removed from their conventional setting. Placed directly on the floor, with the teeth once used for digging now acting as a sculptural anchor, the excavator heads are set with deftly carved pieces of onyx, inserted where the buckets once attached to the machines. Sourced from a variety of locations, the excavator heads have been washed and waxed, their resilience to the outdoors rendered defunct by the process necessary to preserve them as sculptural works. Once part of a machine used as a means for destruction, to encourage rejuvenation through building, these pieces, now preserved, begin a fossilization process of their own. Though the diggers have caused destruction in their lifetime, in their arrested manner Cyprien Gaillard has preserved them, imbuing them with new purpose.

Bringing together a diverse range of material, Cyprien Gaillard suggests a certain geographical mapping within the works. The white and yellow minerals have been sourced from Iran and Utah, respectively, and together with the machinery, found in California and made by Esco, Caterpillar, Bobcat etc. – American companies with international reach – they evoke the global nature of a tendency towards endless progress and the necessary ruination implicit in that process.

The notion of conceptual mapping, as well as more formal decisions, act as points of connection between the two series of works on view.  The color yellow persists as paint residue on the excavator heads and is reflected again in the yellow-hued banded calcite, which, though mined by similar machinery through a process of destruction, now rests in perfect equilibrium in the grip of the sculpture – an essential part of the work.  The color yellow is present in the body of work on view on the gallery's second floor as well, which features a series of sculptural works made out of back issues of National Geographic magazine, whose covers are outlined in yellow. These works are composed of pages from the magazine, cut with one single artistic gesture, and then folded together to hold them in place. Though they evoke a collage-like appearance, the works are held together simply by the tension incurred on the paper during the cutting and folding process – a tension that is echoed in the stress caused to the onyx held in the grip of the excavator heads.

Cyprien Gaillard sifted through copies of the magazine from the past fifty years, selecting individual pages from various issues, and bringing these disparate pages together to create a geographical map within the confines of each folding on view. Each work is created out of five different pages, whose full nature is concealed by virtue of the folding process. Selecting pages of issues from different decades, Gaillard has brought together fragments from distinct historical periods, distilling a particular moment in time. By putting these pages side by side with one another, Gaillard has created a dialogue within each piece, navigating time and space to create one unified present vision. Placed like scientific specimens beneath vitrines, the works are presented as small portals into history – one that is both real and contained on the pages, and one that is fabricated by virtue of the disparate pairings of the pages.

Taken together, these two series of works reflect Cyprien Gaillard's longstanding interest in artifact and preservation. Though the excavator heads and the magazines were both once lively tools used by people for creation and learning, they now stand as objects frozen in time – still relics that reflect a dystopian vision of our society.

Cyprien Gaillard was born in Paris and lives and works in Berlin and New York. He has been the subject of solo exhibitions at a number of major institutions, including: MoMA PS1, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin; Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan, Italy; Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland. 

Gladstone Gallery 
21st Street, New York
www.gladstonegallery.com

December 23, 2013

Edi Hila, Penthouse, JGM. Galerie, Paris

Edi Hila, Penthouse 
JGM. Galerie, Paris 
Jusqu'au 1er février 2014 


La JGM. Galerie organise sa deuxième exposition personnelle de l’artiste albanais EDI HILA. Pour cette nouvelle exposition intitulée Penthouse, l’artiste présente une nouvelle série de peintures réalisées à Paris cet automne durant sa résidence au Couvent des Récollets.

Figure majeure de la scène balkanique, Edi Hila témoigne depuis plus de vingt ans des profonds changements vécus par les sociétés postcommunistes européennes. Ayant refusé d’émigrer vers un pays économiquement plus riche, Edi Hila vit à Tirana, où il développe un travail de réflexion sur la nature transitoire de l’histoire de son pays (frontière naturelle entre occident et orient) et sur la position de la peinture albanaise dans l’histoire de l’art méditerranéenne.

Les séries les plus récentes de l’artiste ont mis l’accent sur l’environnement urbain et plus particulièrement sur l’architecture qui est le lieu d’expression privilégié d’une identité albanaise aussi complexe qu’inattendue. Le climat psychologique et l’héritage culturel de son pays est matérialisé dans des scènes de rue ou à travers des architectures fantomatiques. Le traitement pictural d’Edi Hila leur donne un caractère mystérieux, presque surnaturel. Dans ses peintures, le spectacle du quotidien semble se dérouler dans un décor de science-fiction.

Pour l’exposition Penthouse, Edi Hila a réalisé un ensemble de sept peintures selon un programme très clairement défini : un immeuble est systématiquement représenté de face ou en léger trois-quarts, le cadrage est très resserré. Les deux-tiers du bas de l’immeuble sont intégralement murés tandis que sa partie supérieure est coiffée d’un étage où se concentre toute l’ornementation. A première vue, ces architectures utopiques semblent mêler très librement des références à l’architecture moderniste et vernaculaire. Mais l’étage supérieur, le « penthouse », qui focalise presque toute l’attention, est en réalité directement inspiré de maisons dont l’ostentation souligne la volonté de leur propriétaire de se singulariser et d’affirmer un certain statut social. A travers ces immeubles monolithiques, absurdes et repliés sur eux-mêmes, Edi Hila s’intéresse à la psychologie des individus, aux références culturelles et à l’environnement social qui leur est sous-jacents. L’artiste pose un regard à la fois ironique et bienveillant sur nos quêtes identitaires et nos besoins de reconnaissance. 

EDI HILA est né à Shkodër, en Albanie, en 1944. Depuis 1991, il enseigne la peinture à l’Académie des Arts de Tirana (où il forma notamment des artistes comme Adrian Paci et Anri Sala). Il a participé à de nombreuses expositions internationales dont la Biennale de Venise (1999), « After the Wall » au Moderna Museet à Stockholm (1999), au Hamburger Bahnhof à Berlin et au Ludwig Museum à Budapest (2000), « Blood and Honey – The Future’s Balkan » curatée par Harald Szeeman au Essl Museum à Vienne (2003) ou encore la Biennale de Liverpool (2010). Ses œuvres ont récemment rejoint les collections du Musée national d’art Moderne Centre Pompidou, du FRAC Pays de la Loire et du Fonds Municipal de la ville de Paris.

Edi Hila est lauréat du programme de résidences internationales Ville de Paris / Institut français aux Récollets. 

JGM. Galerie
79, rue du Temple - 75003 PARIS
www.jgmgalerie.com

December 22, 2013

Timothy Archer, Christophe Boursault, Galerie Polad-Hardouin, Paris

Timothy Archer / Christophe Boursault 
Galerie Polad-Hardouin, Paris 
30 janvier - 27 février 2014 

La galerie Polad-Hardouin présente les œuvres récentes de Timothy Archer et de Christophe Boursault. L’accrochage entend mettre en lumière l’univers spécifique de chacun, à la manière d’une exposition personnelle. L’énergie et la vivacité qui se dégagent de leurs peintures et dessins les rapprochent en effet.

TIMOTHY ARCHER

TIMOTHY ARCHER 
Danse nuptiale I, 2013 
Technique mixte sur papier, 140 x 100 cm
Courtesy Galerie Polad-Hardouin, Paris

Timothy Archer a délaissé la toile à laquelle il préfère le papier, qui selon lui est un matériau plus sensuel, plus apte à recueillir ses visions nocturnes. Car Timothy Archer travaille surtout la nuit, dans un atelier semblable à une cellule où s’accumulent du sol au plafond, dessins, peintures et totems. C’est là qu’avec exubérance et boulimie, il exécute ses dessins au fusain ou au pastel noir d’où jaillissent masques, démons, portraits et animaux fantastiques. Puis il revient sur ses pas, sur la trace première, pour faire intervenir la couleur leur donnant corps et texture. Sa palette flamboyante et vibrante est comme contenue dans les cernes noirs, mais c’est pour mieux les déborder, les transgresser.

Si son monde peut s’apparenter à celui des expressionnistes allemands (certains dessins rappellent l’Enfer des oiseaux de Beckman) et des naïfs, s’il va puiser ses formes dans les arts africains et océaniens, l’image ne forme pas son intention première. Elle est plutôt un tremplin lui permettant d’explorer le champs des possibles des sensations et des émotions par le jeu chromatique et celui des matières. Andrew Gilbert écrit à son sujet : “Toute tentative de rationaliser et de décrire les dessins, les peintures et les masques de Timothy Archer, détruit l’âme de son œuvre, sans en capturer la texture, l’odeur, la couleur, l’empreinte de joie, de violence et d’énergie qui la traverse.” 

TIMOTHY ARCHER
En luminure, 2013 
Technique mixte sur papier, 100 x 70 cm
Courtesy Galerie Polad-Hardouin, Paris

Né en 1982 à Boulogne-sur-Mer, Timothy Archer vit et travaille à Lille. Récemment diplômé de la faculté d’Arts plastiques de Lille, ses dessins, peintures et sculptures ont été présentés dans des expositions collectives à Paris, Marseille, Berlin et Prague. Il a récemment rejoint la galerie Polad-Hardouin. Il s’agit de sa première exposition personnelle. Une autre est prévue à Lille au printemps 2014.

CHRISTOPHE BOURSAULT

CHRISTOPHE BOURSAULT
J'aim les, 2013
Technique mixte sur toile, 130 x 162 cm
Courtesy Galerie Polad-Hardouin, Paris

Peintre, dessinateur et performeur, dans sa peinture comme dans ses vidéos, Christophe Boursault privilégie l’improvisation, la captation de l’instant. En peinture, cet élan lui permet de saisir les micro-variations d’états mentaux, le flux tendu des sensations changeantes et contradictoires qui le traversent. Les formes, les signes, les mots éclatent et s’entrechoquent. Basculant entre figuration et abstraction, cet ensemble crée une dynamique heurtée et lyrique, un mouvement déstructuré. Cette quête de la vitesse, doublée d’un rejet de la méthode devient donc une nécessité, car c’est ainsi que s’inscrit cette perpétuelle contradiction de gestuelle et d’intention. 

Dans cette peinture brute, directe, électrisante, mais aussi facétieuse, le message est volontairement brouillé et la lecture ardue. Il faut un temps d’adaptation au spectateur, pour saisir la musique de cet équilibre ténu et fragile, toujours sur le point de dérailler. Tel un autodidacte, Boursault suit sa propre histoire, qui croise bien sûr des histoires nombreuses, mais sans véritablement rechercher la comparaison avec d’autres peintres et mouvements picturaux.

CHRISTOPHE BOURSAULT
Les croyances, 2013
Technique mixte sur toile, 114 x 195 cm
Courtesy Galerie Polad-Hardouin, Paris

Diplômé du DNSP de la Villa Arson de Nice en 2004, Christophe Boursault a séjourné plusieurs années à Marseille, où il a régulièrement exposé. Il a également participé à des collectives en Europe (Prague, Burgos, Londres, Lausanne, Hambourg...) et aux Etats-Unis (New York). On a pu voir une de ses vidéo dans l’exposition consacrée à l’histoire de la performance sur la Côte d’Azur, A la vie délibérée, à la Villa Arson en 2012. Il vit et travaille à Bourges depuis 2011. Il est l’artiste phare du Team Lagardere Thug Life, une structure privée qui pousse la performance artistique au plus haut niveau. Il expose pour la seconde fois en solo à la galerie Polad-Hardouin et a participé à plusieurs collectives depuis 2010. 

Galerie Polad-Hardouin 
86 rue Quincampoix - 75003 Paris
www.polad-hardoin.com

December 21, 2013

Nabil Nahas at Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, UAE

Nabil Nahas 
Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai 
Through January 9, 2014 



NABIL NAHAS brings his inimitable sense of scale, opulence, and sheer sumptousness back to Dubai this November with a second solo exhibition at Lawrie Shabibi. Focusing this time on his three-dimensional paintings, as tactile as they are optical, the exhibition leads on from his previous show at the gallery, which comprised his starfish paintings and landscapes. The forthcoming solo presents Nahas’ two other areas of production- Fractals, his best-known series, and his Galactic paintings.

Nabil Nahas’ heavily encrusted Fractals are built up of ground pumice and acrylic and finished in psychedelic tones. The name Fractals refers to Benoit Mandelbrot ‘s theory of fractal geometry, formulated in the mid-1970s, and describes random events in nature deviating from the ideal Euclidean geometry and rough or fragmented geometric shapes which can be split into parts, each of which is at least approximately a reduced size copy of the whole. Mandelbrot said that things typically considered to be "rough", a "mess" or "chaotic", like clouds or shorelines, actually had a "degree of order. Thus Nahas’ Fractals represent a kind of asymmetrical equilibrium, a relationship between order and disorder that is a recurrent theme in his work.
Ostensibly abstract at first sight, imperceptibly Nabil Nahas’ paintings sidestep the parameters of abstract art. His paintings are literal- his images are always taken from something and often infer movement and refer to a moment in time.

Varying considerably in size and colour, his Fractals evoke a variety of scales and moods. The smallest of them are like windows into an underwater world of coral reefs, whilst the larger works overpower the viewer like the encrusted surface of a leviathan. Subtle variations in tone and colour ripple across their mottled surfaces like the dappled light of tropical waters along the seabed. Their surfaces imitate the encrustations seen in the natural world. The extraordinary Kind of Blue, a large-scale canvas in deep blue is composed of layer upon layer of protruding biomorphic shapes fringed with bright blue edges.

Whilst Nabil Nahas sees his Fractal paintings as representations of the phenomenal world on a microcosmic scale, his Galactic paintings engage with it on more of a scale that seems more macrocosmic. Rather than the all-over effect of the Fractals, the Galactic paintings are both three-dimensional and graphic, with fluid forms and sinuous lines moving around their surfaces. The lines and shapes on the one hand suggest the interactions and repulsions between heavenly bodies, and on the other they also resemble amoebic life forms. This series incorporates paint chips, a by-product of making Nahas’ larger paintings. The vividly coloured concentric rings are detritus recycled from the studio floor- they are ready-made objects of the artist’s own making, revealing the previously unseen process through which he makes his larger paintings- the built-up under-surfaces of his acrylic-pumice mix.  Scale is important in Nahas’ universe, but always ambiguous- what is grandly architectural is also microscopic. This is especially apparent in Inka Dinka Doo, the largest work in the series, which form the centre piece of the exhibition.

This series incorporates paint chips, a by-product of making Nahas’ larger paintings. The vividly coloured concentric rings are detritus recycled from the studio floor- they are ready-made objects of the artist’s own making, revealing the previously unseen process through which he makes his larger paintings- the built-up under-surfaces of his acrylic-pumice mix.

NABIL NAHAS is Lebanon's most renowned artist, having established himself before the current heightened interest in contemporary art of the Middle East, first in New York art circles as a master of colour, texture and atmosphere. Although thoroughly schooled in Western abstract painting, Nahas takes his inspiration from a diverse range of influences, most significantly nature, and occasionally Islamic art, in particular its abstract geometric and chromatic qualities.

His works can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, the Vorhees Zimmerli Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey,  the Colby College Museum of Art, Maine, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, the Flint Institute of Art, Michigan, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Mathaf, Doha and the Michigan Museum of Art UMMA. In July 2013 he was awarded the honour of the National Order of the Cedar, for services to Lebanese culture.

Lawrie Shabibi 
Al Serkal Avenue, unit 21, Al Quoz
Dubai, UAE
Gallery's website: www.lawrieshabibi.com

December 20, 2013

Debanjan Roy, Aicon Gallery, New York - The Altar of Convenience

Debanjan Roy: The Altar of Convenience 
Aicon Gallery, New York 
Through February 1st, 2014

Aicon Gallery, New York,  presents The Altar of Convenience, an exhibition of new sculptures by DEBANJAN ROY. The exhibition is comprised of more than twenty masterfully hand-carved wooden sculptures of oversized everyday objects, all of which will inevitably find themselves consigned to the trash-heap of modern living. Alternately playfully irreverent and hauntingly solemn, these sculptures all ultimately speak to the ongoing social and ecological crises that continue to unfold not only in increasingly commodifying consumer societies such as India and China but on a global scale. 

DEBANJAN ROY 
Toothpaste and Toothbrush, 2013  
Wood, 30 x 12 x 4 in.
Courtesy of the artist and Aicon Gallery, New York

Debanjan Roy’s sculptural practice is first and foremost engaged in an ongoing process of articulating the changing social realities of day-to-day India. His previous cycle of works – the India Shining series – juxtaposed Gandhi as a central signifier of India’s modern history with incommensurably contemporary objects such as laptops and iPods to ask ‘how do we square India’s past with its present and future?’ In the current exhibition, Debanjan Roy builds upon these themes by using the traditions and techniques of pre-industrial woodworking to create a host of meticulously hand-carved sculptures of modern-day consumer products and their detritus - bulging refuse bags and discarded water bottles for example. The works raise questions not only about the ramifications of disappearing traditional craftsmanship and production at the local level but also about the environmental consequences, both regional and global, of the ever increasing mass-production of "easy-to-buy/easy-to-bin" products in societies with rampantly increasing consumer demands and little industry oversight. 

DEBANJAN ROY 
Garbage Bags, 2013  
Wood, Dimensions variable 
Courtesy of the artist and Aicon Gallery, New York

Aesthetically, Roy Debanjan’s work has its origins firmly rooted in Pop Art, taking cues from Claes Oldenburg’s impossibly outsized soft-sculptures of 1950s American popular culture and Andy Warhol’s uncanny knack for elevating everyday consumer imagery to the realm of fine art and high commerce. Contemporaneously, the works call to mind British artist Gavin Turk’s life-sized crumpled garbage bags cast in bronze, with whom Roy shares a desire to unearth the monumental in the mundane. However where Turk associates his commercially produced sculpted refuse with the discarding of personal histories, Roy’s hand-made objects channel the casting-off of traditional means of production while acting simultaneously as literal 
representations and metaphorical vessels for the ecological consequences of hyper-consumerism and mass production in still-developing regions. 

The exhibition’s title, a shortened form of the phrase ‘sacrificed on the altar of convenience’, clearly encapsulates these themes but also conveys the sense of ironic reverence one feels when confronted with these lovingly crafted depictions of broken and abandoned products, here given a second life as objects of art. In this way, the exhibition not only warns of the potential social and environmental disasters looming on the horizon but, through the resurrection of refuse to the realm of human appreciation, hints at the hope that things need not end in crisis, if half as much care and ingenuity could be dedicated to the end of an object’s existence as to its beginnings. 

DEBANJAN ROY was born in 1975 and trained in Visual Arts at the Rabindra Bharti University, Santiniketan and subsequently at the same institution for his MA. He is part of a generation of artists that has witnessed India’s transformation into a nascent global superpower and like many, is keen to interrogate this process. He has had solo exhibitions at Gandhara Gallery, Kolkata and Gallery Akar Prakar, Kolkata as well as Aicon Gallery, New York. Recent group shows have included Artifact at Gensler, San Francisco, Shapeshifters at Aicon Gallery, London and The Human Animal at Gallery Threshold, New Delhi. The artist lives and works in Kolkata, India. This is his second solo exhibition with Aicon Gallery, New York. 

Aicon Gallery, NewYork 
35 Great Jones St., New York NY 10012
Gallery's website: www.aicongallery.com

Amir H. Fallah, The Third Line, Dubai

Amir H. Fallah, The Collected 
The Third Line, Dubai 
Through January 23, 2014 


The Third Line presents AMIR H. FALLAH with his third solo show in Dubai, The Collected, which investigates the complex relationship between patronage and art making, collector and artist, and the dynamics of the creative process in today’s art world. All the paintings in the show are pre-sold, commissioned portraits, where the artist exercised complete artistic authority to manipulate the image according to his own interpretation. The process involved initial collaboration with the commissioner, a performative component in the staging, and the element of surprise in the reveal of the works to the patrons for the first time during the show preview. 

In his new body of work, Amir H. Fallah explores classical and renaissance portraiture traditions employing a critical approach by subverting the mechanisms of control. Art history boasts of countless examples of commissioned portraiture, where images conceal the patron’s physical identities and instead feature material possessions as a sign of stature and wealth, and solely the patron determined the final depiction of their identity. In this case, the artist exerts control over aesthetic and conceptual decisions, with the process relying heavily on trust and a powerful agreement to hand over creative authority back to the artist. The paintings will be revealed to the patrons for the first time at the exhibition opening.

Amir H. Fallah visited collectors’ residences in Dubai more than a year ago and staged the portraits by gathering various material belongings from within their homes as markers of their identity, particularly gravitating toward those mundane objects that seem loaded with sentimental meaning - a worn afghan, an idiosyncratic plant, a figurine or running shoes. After carefully assembling the composition through collaborative efforts with the subject, he photographed the setting and used the image as a starting point. The works further changed in his studio when transferred onto the canvas and evolved through his personal interventions and stylized interpretation, telling the patrons’ personal histories through his eyes.

The surfaces are layered with collage and paint and the imagery often reflects the artist’s own cultural alliances: references to Persian miniatures may appear in the form of careful borders along the edge of a canvas and blankets may start to resemble the long veils associated with Eastern cultures. Images are embellished and details introduced or omitted based on extemporaneous decisions, and the initial source photographs are completely obscured. Sometimes, subjects appear in dramatically neoclassical poses, lounging across a wooden table or perched on a pedestal. Faces and other obvious markers are concealed and the only identification is through personal elements that surround them. For example The Triangle In The Shattered Square includes a skateboard, a bottle of spray paint, a digital camera, and geometrical patterns picked from ceramic tiles at the collectors residence.

Amir H. Fallah approaches his current paintings as an investigative and analytical historian. Aside from unraveling a different perspective to art historical portraiture traditions and the dynamics of modern day art collection and art making, he also reflects upon concerns of identity and representation that are central to his practice. 

The Third Line
Street 6, Al Quoz 3, Dubai, UAE
Gallery's website: www.thethirdline.com

December 19, 2013

Michael Sailstorfer, Carbon 12, Dubai

Michael Sailstorfer, Try to reach the goal without touching the walls 
Carbon 12, Dubai 
Through January 7, 2014


This is the kind of ride you take Saturday afternoon, weary from the night before, where everything seems to be going wrong. The video you’re recording is upside down (Welttour, 2003), the steering wheel isn’t turning the way it should (Lenkrad, 2012)… this journey seems like one giant endless maze-like track (Maze, 2012-13). The absurdity is laughable. But at least your partner-in-crime is entertaining you with song (Welttour).

Michael Sailstorfer’s wabi-sabi (1) aesthetic often deals with space, motion and how we function in the world. He is resourceful: he utilizes the day-to-day, decrepit, oft-overlooked functional objects as his materials. He is also naughty: he decontextualizes these materials, reassigning them physical qualities that simultaneously incite wonderment and fear while keeping the palette of decay in the shiny new-ness of his incarnations. Sailstorfer uses his mind through his hands (a tendency since his childhood), deconstructing, tinkering, reassembling with a youthful curiosity, “what happens if…” The results are playful, pure in form… but functionally useless. Yet their wabi-sabi nature does not take away from the works, rather, it reinforces the poetry within the purity (albeit mischievousness) of his latest exhibition, Try to reach the goal without touching the walls.

This may be a game with Sailstorfer egging us on, but this is serious play.

Michael Sailstorfer is making his debut solo exhibition in Dubai exclusively at Carbon 12 Dubai.

Berlin-based German artist (b. 1979) active since 2001. Michael Sailstorfer is represented by multiple international galleries and exhibits in the Americas and heavily across Europe, with works in private and public collections including the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Sammlung Goetz (Munich), and S.M.A.K. (Gent).

(1) Japanese aesthetic philosophy of beauty with the acceptance that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect in the natural cycle of growth, decay and death.

Text by Katrina Kufer

Upcoming exhibition at Carbon 12: Rui Chafes & Ralf Ziervogel, Black Rainbow, January 11 - March 10, 2014

Carbon 12 Dubai
Unit D37, Alserkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz 1
Dubai, UAE
Gallery's website: http://carbon12dubai.com