April 26, 1998

Wolfgang Laib, Sperone Westwater, NYC

Wolfgang Laib: Nowhere-Everywhere 
Sperone Westwater, New York
2 May - 13 June 1998

Sperone Westwater announces an exhibition by WOLFGANG LAIB.

The artist presents a new installation of ziggurat-like forms in beeswax, which will fill the gallery from floor to ceiling concealing various architectural details of the gallery space. The exhibition also features Rice House, 1996, a five-foot long marble floor sculpture in the shape of a house surrounded by mounds of white rice. The ziggurat and the house are primary structures, reflecting the artist's interest in pre-modern and non-western dwellings and spiritual places.

Born in 1950 in Metzingen, Germany, WOLFGANG LAIB originally studied medicine at the University of Tübingen. Disillusioned with Western medicine and science, he came to view the natural sciences as limited in their dependency on logic and the material world. His search for something else led him to Eastern spiritualism, philosophy, and pre-Renaissance thought. Since 1975, Wolfgang Laib has worked exclusively as an artist and has built an international reputation. A one-person exhibition was recently held at The Arts Club of Chicago. Wolfang Laib has held solo shows at the Capc/Musee d'art contemporain de Bordeaux (1986 and 1992), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1989), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (1990), the Centre George Pompidou, Paris (1992), The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Kunstmuseum Bonn (1993). In the past year he participated in the Venice Biennale. His work was also included in Objects of Desire: The Modern Still Life, which was organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York and traveled to the Hayward Gallery, London. His work can be found in museum collections worldwide.


Updated 04.07.2019

April 15, 1998

Mark Rothko, National Gallery of Art, Washington

Mark Rothko
National Gallery of Art, Washington
May 3 - August 16, 1998

The first comprehensive American retrospective in twenty years of paintings and works on paper by Mark Rothko (1903-1970), long recognized as one of America's foremost artists, will be on view at the National Gallery of Art, East Building. This exhibition will take full advantage of the National Gallery's unique Rothko holdings, a gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, which constitute the largest public repository of the artist's works. One hundred fifteen paintings and works on paper will be included, dating from the 1930s to 1970, with an emphasis on his surrealist and classic periods. Arranged chronologically, the exhibition will reveal the extent of Rothko's prolific and wide-ranging output throughout a career that spanned five decades.

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art. After Washington, it will travel to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (September 10-November 29, 1998) and the Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris (winter 1998/1999).

"As the most important repository and study center of this great artist's work, the National Gallery has a special interest in bringing this retrospective to the public. A decade ago, the National Gallery received the core collection of The Mark Rothko Foundation, a gift that included 295 paintings and works on paper, and more than 650 sketches," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. "We are grateful to the artist's daughter and son, Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko, who are lending numerous works for this important exhibition, and to New York's Museum of Modern Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art and others for their generous loans," he added. The exhibition will draw on loans from other public and private collections in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

Mark Rothko's achievement has had a decisive impact on the course of twentieth-century art and has given rise to a wealth of critical interpretation. A central figure in the development of postwar abstract painting in the United States, Rothko is best known for the unique use of color in his paintings from around 1950 onward. These are considered among the most original landmarks of the New York School.

Mark Rothko, who committed suicide at age sixty-six, was born in Dvinsk, Russia, and immigrated to the United States at age ten. After two years of liberal arts study at Yale University, he moved to New York, where he took classes briefly at the Art Students League and began to paint. In many respects he considered himself a self-taught artist, although his early style was influenced by other painters such as Milton Avery, whom he knew well.

The exhibition includes figurative works ranging from the expressionist manner of Rothko's early period in New York City, to his experimentation with mythological themes during the early to middle 1940s, and his completely abstract "multiforms" of the late 1940s.

Also highlighted are Mark Rothko's classic paintings of the 1950s, which are distinguished by an emphasis on pure pictorial elements such as color, surface, and structure. His canvases from that period, characterized by expanding dimensions and an increasingly simplified use of form, brilliant luminosity, and broad, thin washes of color, are represented in the exhibition by No. 10, 1950 (The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Gift of Philip Johnson); Untitled [Blue, Green and Brown], 1952 (Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon, Upperville, Virginia); and No. 1 (Royal Red and Blue) [Untitled],

While the large scale of Mark Rothko's classic paintings suggests that they are monumental, the artist believed that the large dimensions made the pictures intimate: they allow the viewer to relate to the canvas as if it were another living presence. In this way, Rothko also felt that the works could express emotions associated with major themes such as tragedy, ecstasy, and the sublime, but without the use of symbolic imagery. The impact of these commanding works is often described in spiritual as well as emotional terms.

In the late 1950s Mark Rothko began to explore the effects of a darker palette, which lent a dramatic new presence to paintings such as No. 10, 1958 (Private Collection); No. 207 (Red over Dark Blue on Dark Gray), 1961 (University of California, Berkeley Art Museum); and No. 3 (Bright Blue, Brown, Dark Blue on Wine), 1962 (Robert and Jane Meyerhoff, Phoenix, Maryland).

In 1964, Mark Rothko was commissioned by John and Dominique de Menil to paint murals for a nondenominational chapel in Houston, Texas. The exhibition includes works related to this project in which darkness has become the dominant pictorial and thematic element as can be seen in Untitled [White, Blacks, Grays on Maroon], 1963 (Kunsthaus Zürich).

There are also paintings and works on paper in the exhibition from the last three years of Mark Rothko's life, when he produced large paintings using a newly distilled compositional format and a reduced palette of black, gray, brown, muted ochres and blues. These include Untitled, 1969 (John and Mary Pappajohn, Des Moines, Iowa).

The curator for the National Gallery exhibition is Jeffrey Weiss, associate curator, twentieth-century art, National Gallery of Art. The consultants for the exhibition are Mark Rosenthal, curator of twentieth-century art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and David Anfam, author of the forthcoming Rothko catalogue raisonné.

Accompanying the exhibition will be a fully illustrated catalogue, with color images of every work in the show. It will include contributions by John Gage, Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, Barbara Novak, Brian O'Doherty, Mark Rosenthal, Jessica Stewart, and Jeffrey Weiss. There will also be interviews with contemporary painters Ellsworth Kelly, Brice Marden, Gerhart Richter, Robert Ryman, and sculptor George Segal about Rothko's artistic legacy. The catalogue will be published by the National Gallery of Art and distributed in hard cover by Yale University Press.

The catalogue raisonné of Rothko's works on canvas is in preparation by the National Gallery of Art.

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

April 3, 1998

Le magazine de cinéma Première au Japon

Hachette Filipacchi Médias (HFM) vient de lancer au Japon la septième édition internationale du magazine de cinéma PREMIERE. Ce nouveau lancement porte à 1 million d'exemplaires, la diffusion du magazine Première dans le monde.

Première Japon a un tirage initial de 100.000 exemplaires et compte 140 pages dont 43 de publicité, annonce HFM qui précise également que le nouveau mensuel vise une diffusion en rythme de croisière de 60.000 exemplaires, à un prix équivalent à 24 FF.

L'édition japonaise de Première, publiée par Hachette Filipacchi Japan, s'appuie sur une rédaction sur place de 7 personnes. La rédaction en chef a été confiée à un spécialiste américain du cinéma, Gregory Starr, ancien rédacteur en chef de Winds et de Tokyo Journal, qui vit depuis vingt ans à Tokyo. Il dirige sur place une équipe de 6 personnes dont 2 maquettistes, chargées de réaliser chaque mois une édition adaptée du Première français et qui respecte le concept originel. Le magazine s'articule autour de trois parties : les sorties de films et les critiques (articles courts), une partie magazine, très développée, avec portraits et interviews et enfin un cahier spécial de 16 pages « Home Guide » présentant vidéos, CD et livres.

En valeur, le Japon est le deuxième marché du cinéma dans le monde. Pour 129 millions d'habitants, on compte 150 millions d'entrées en 1997, chiffre en augmentation constante (+20% d'entrées par rapport à 1996), soit le même niveau qu'en France, mais avec un prix de la place élevé (entre 95 et 120 FF). 8 millions de Japonais se définissent comme de fréquents « visiteurs » de salles de cinéma et ils sont 300.000 à y aller plus de vingt fois par an. Ces 300.000 cinéphiles constituent le coeur de cible de Première, souligne HFM dans son communiqué de presse.

Côté production, sur 598 films montrés au Japon en 1996, 320 étaient d'origine étrangère. Mais les grands succès sont souvent japonais : sur les 10 films qui ont réalisé le plus d'entrées, 5 sont japonais et pèsent pour 45% des recettes globales de ce Top Ten. HFM entend bien entendu tenir compte de ces données pour le contenu rédactionnel de l’édition japonaise de Première..

Avec sept éditions du magazine Première dans le monde, cette publication mensuelle fait partie des grandes marques internationales du groupe HFM, à côté de ELLE, ELLE Décoration, Car and Driver, Quo et depuis peu Paris Match. Ainsi Première a des éditions en France depuis 1976, aux Etats-Unis depuis 1987, en Grande Bretagne depuis 1992, en Corée du Sud depuis 1995, à Taiwan depuis 1997, en Russie également depuis 1997 et désormais au Japon.

April 1, 1998

Portraits of 110 Gay and Lesbian Writers Photographs from Robert Giard' s Particular Voices on View at The New York Public Library

Since the mid-1980s, photographer Robert Giard has traveled the United States photographing contemporary American gay and lesbian literary figures for his ongoing portrait series, Particular Voices. Beginning April 18, The New York Public Library - the largest institutional collector of Mr. Giard's photographs - will exhibit 110 portraits from this series in "Particular Voices": Robert Giard's Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers. The Library holds more than 150 of Giard's exquisite black-and-white prints in its Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs.
The exhibition also features pioneering published works and selected manuscript materials from the Library's extensive and growing archival holdings representing gay and lesbian American literary figures.
Since Robert Giard's first portrait for Particular Voices, a 1985 photograph of playwright William Hoffman on display in the exhibition, the project has blossomed to include more than 500 works. Mr. Giard conceived of Particular Voices as a personal testament to the role that writing by gay men and lesbians, and by extension, its purveyors, archivists, and historians, has played in his life. He said, "I am delighted to have this first big exhibition at the Library because I haunted public libraries as a child. I worked my way through college and graduate school as a library assistant. Furthermore, my work is about books, authors, and keepers of Culture and history."
In 1997, MIT Press published Giard's book, Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers, an anthology of his portraits coupled with sample writings by the people pictured, as well as essays by Joan Nestle, Christopher Bram, and the photographer. The forward is by Julia VanHaaften, curator of the Photography Collection at The New York Public Library's Center for the Humanities, who also curated the exhibition.
Robert Giard's Work
Giard's work takes him into his subjects' homes or workspaces and displays a gamut of backgrounds, poses, and aesthetics. Luis Alarcon is shown with his Frieda Kahlo collection. Allen Ginsberg is pictured holding his own portrait of William Burroughs. Maria Irene Fornes is holding a stage set model. Tony Kushner is reclining on silk souvenir pillow, portraying Karl Marx. May Sarton is pictured in her charming New England sitting room aflood with sunlight. Joan Nestle, co-founder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives, is pictured holding a plaster sculpture of two faces nestling. Some of the other writers featured in the exhibition include Edward Albee, Dorothy Allison, Rafael Campo, Blanche Wiesen Cook, Samuel R. Delany, Kenward Elmslie, Lillian Faderman, Allan Gurganus, Doris Grumbach, Essex Hemphill, Audre Lord, Tim Miller, Kate Millett, Adrienne Rich, Barbara Smith, Edmund White, and Jonathan Williams.
Robert Giard's photographs have been previously displayed in several exhibitions, including those at the San Francisco Public Library, the Lesbian & Gay Community Center in New York City, the East Hampton Center for Contemporary Art, and in galleries at State University of New York campuses at Albany, Oswego, and Stony Brook.
Julia VanHaaften said, "Bob's work is particularly significant because he is continuing a grand tradition of photographing authors. His work complements the Library's collection of cultural portraits by Carl Van Vechten from the 1930s and 1940s."
"Particular Voices": Robert Giard's Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers opens April 18 and continues through June 27, 1998, in the Third Floor Print and Stokes Galleries of the Center for the Humanties at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.
Companion Volume for Sale in The Library Shops Robert Giard's Particular Voices: Portraits of Gay and Lesbian Writers (MIT Press, 1997) is available in The Library Shops for $45 ($40.50 for Friends of the Library). The Library Shop at the Center for the Humanities (Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street) is open Monday­ Saturday, 11 a.m. ­6 p.m. The Library Shop in the Mid-Manhattan Library (Fifth Avenue and 40th Street) is open Monday­ Friday, 10 a.m.­ 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.­ 6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon­ 5 p.m.
Exhibition hours are Monday, Thursday­, Saturday, 10 a.m.­ 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m.­ 7:30 p.m. Closed Sundays and, in observance of Memorial Day, Saturday, May 23 and Monday, May 25.
For information on current and upcoming exhibitions, programs, and services at The New York Public Library, visit the Library's website at www.nypl.org
Funding - This exhibition has been made possible by the continuing generosity of Miriam and Ira D. Wallach. Acquisition of "Particular Voices" has been made possible by gifts from the Daniele Agostino Foundation, Louis F. Arce, David P. Becker, William F. Burns, Dr. Herbert I. Cohen and Danny Cook, Dr. Nanette K. Gartrell, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Michael Hampton and George Stambolian, Deborah Ann Light, Joyce and Robert Menschel, Dr. Diane Mosbacher, Michael Piore, the Posner-Wallace Foundation, the Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Fund, and an anonymous donor.