June 30, 2019

Wong Ping @ Camden Arts Centre, London

Wong Ping
Camden Arts Centre, London
5 July – 15 September 2019

Wong Ping
Who’s the Daddy’, 2017, single channel video animation, 9 min.
Image courtesy of Edouard Malingue Gallery and the artist.

Camden Arts Centre presents the first solo exhibition in a UK institution by Hong Kong-born artist Wong Ping. Wong is the inaugural recipient of Camden Art Centre’s new Emerging Artist Prize (2018) and will present an ambitious exhibition installed across the gallery’s iconic spaces. The exhibition will showcase a group of the artist’s most recent animated films, installed within his bespoke installation environments.

Described as ‘sino-futurism’, Wong Ping’s digital and sculptural works combine a contemporary aesthetic with more archetypal content – often employing absurd narratives that reveal very human, and often universal, pathologies and fantasies lurking within the collective unconscious. Drawing anecdotally from his own personal social encounters, he elaborates his stories into darkly humorous tales that touch on political and cultural anxieties, psycho-sexual taboos, and the complexities and perversities of contemporary human relationships. Digitally rendering them in a seductive, technicolour language that recalls the modernism of Fernand Leger, the pop languages of Tom Wesselman or Allen Jones, as well as the design aesthetic of The Memphis Group and early 1980s video games, the simple but seductive animations disguise a deeper social critique of technological modernity.

Two new films - Fables 1 (2018) and Fables 2 (2019) – are populated exclusively by animal characters. Part of a new, ongoing series, they take their form from the anthology tradition of Aesop’s Fables and Grimm’s Fairy Tales: contemporary morality tales re-written for our dystopian and alienated modern age. Wong Ping’s creatures, which include a convicted capitalist cow, a three-headed homicidal rabbit, and a telepathic tree, hold up a twisted mirror to our own humanity, whilst mutated figures with asymmetrical facial features, eyes that have slid down beneath a cheek, or breasts that have grown on an adolescent girl’s back, become the focal points of subversive domestic fantasies.

Narrated in a deadpan Cantonese, the sexually explicit content of Wong Ping’s work has been a consistent feature, but for the artist it is not the subject itself, but rather a universal language through which he communicates more pervasive concerns about identity, fear, mortality and loneliness. It points again to a contemporary condition where physical contact has been replaced by digital communication, romance is brokered through dating applications, and young people interact with friends in the virtual space of computer games and social media sites.

Entirely self-taught, Wong Ping began making animations in his free time, while working as a digital editor for a TV studio in Hong Kong. Initially releasing them through Vimeo and YouTube, his satirical humour and unique visual language soon attracted a large on-line following and he was invited to present the work within an exhibition context. The artist has continued to craft every aspect of the films himself and they retain a very personal quality of the hand-made. He was listed amongst Art Review Asia’s 2018 future greats and was included in the New Museum Triennial Songs of Sabotage and the Guggenheim’s One Hand Clapping last year. For his exhibition at CAC, the artist will create new installations that contextualise the digital materiality of his films with sculptural objects that speak to the mass production of the consumer market.

CAC’s Emerging Artist Prize was established in 2018 as part of the Centre’s commitment to nurturing and celebrating the most innovative artists of the moment, who have yet to receive the recognition their work deserves. The prize awards an artist exhibiting in the Focus section of Frieze London with an exhibition at CAC.

In 2019, Wong Ping (b. 1984, Hong Kong) had solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Basel - Golden Shower – and CAPRI, Dusseldorf, Germany, and won the Ammodo Tiger Short Competition at the 48th International Film Festival, Rotterdam. In 2018 he was included in New Museum Triennial Songs of Sabotage and One Hand Clapping, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, both New York. Wong Ping was artist in residence at the Chinese Centre for Contemporary Art, Manchester, 2015.

Arkwright Road, London NW3 6DG

303 Gallery: 35 Years - Anniversary publication & exhibition

303 Gallery: 35 Years
Anniversary publication & exhibition celebrating 35 years of 303 Gallery, New York
July 18 - August 16, 2019
303 Gallery: 35 years
303 Gallery: 35 Years
© and courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

303 Gallery: 35 Years is a new hardcover publication chronicling the story of the gallery from its founding in 1984 through its history creating and mirroring developments in the New York and international art worlds, forming a portrait of the gallery as it stands in the present day. Edited by Kurt Brondo, designed by Common Name, and published by 303inPrint under the direction of Fabiola Alondra, the limited edition 448-page book is a culmination of years of research, collation, and unearthing of the gallery's archives in an attempt to construct a complete history. Documentation of early group shows, guest curatorial projects and provocations illustrate the collaborative nature of the program, where now-seminal artists, curators, gallerists, and writers exchanged ideas and roles in New York's fertile '80s heyday. It was a time where it would not be unusual for 303 Gallery's neighbor (American Fine Arts) to share a solo exhibition by an artist under a pseudonym (Richard Prince / John Dogg), or where 303 Gallery would host a group show for a like-minded but entirely separate gallery under both of their names (AC Project Room at 303 Gallery).

Texts from artists including Richard Prince, Collier Schorr, Karen Kilimnik, Kim Gordon, Mary Heilmann, Sue Williams, Rodney Graham, Doug Aitken, Nick Mauss and Alicja Kwade, among other important contributions, offer intimate and historically significant accounts of how 303 Gallery began, how it has progressed, and what it has meant to them.

A group exhibition of the same title accompanies the publication, with a selection of ephemera featured in the book alongside works that draw from the gallery's rich history and current program. Iconic works foregrounding the long relationships of many artists continuing to show with the gallery are exhibited here in conversation with recent works by artists who are newer additions to the roster. The show speaks to the continual evolution of the program over the years, creating a picture of what 303 Gallery has been, what it currently represents, and where it is headed.


Doug Aitken
Valentin Carron
Sam Falls
Hans-Peter Feldmann
Ceal Floyer
Karel Funk
Tim Gardner
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster
Kim Gordon
Rodney Graham
Mary Heilmann
Jeppe Hein
Larry Johnson
Matt Johnson
Jacob Kassay
Karen Kilimnik
Alicja Kwade
Elad Lassry
Tala Madani
Florian Maier-Aichen
Nick Mauss
Mike Nelson
Kristin Oppenheim
Marina Pinsky
Richard Prince
Eva Rothschild
Collier Schorr
Stephen Shore
Sue Williams
Jane and Louise Wilson

555 W 21st Street, New York, NY 10011

June 29, 2019

Rachel Feinstein @ The Jewish Museum, NYC - Maiden, Mother, Crone

Rachel Feinstein: Maiden, Mother, Crone
The Jewish Museum, New York
November 1, 2019 – March 22, 2020

The Jewish Museum presents Rachel Feinstein: Maiden, Mother, Crone, the first survey of the New York-based artist in the United States. Three decades of Rachel Feinstein’s work in sculpture, installation, painting, drawing, and video, as well as a newly commissioned wall-relief, a panoramic wallpaper, and the artist’s sculptural maquettes will be brought together to emphasize her fascination with the dualistic nature of cultural expression and everyday life, how fundamental yet oppositional concepts coexist and are ceaselessly negotiated in art and the construction of identity. From Rachel Feinstein’s earliest to her most recent works, female figures and protagonists dominate — a distinguishing feature of both the artist’s practice and this exhibition. Rachel Feinstein probes how notions of “the feminine” manifest in the popular imagination, an investigation that pulses through and binds together Maiden, Mother, Crone.

Rachel Feinstein: Maiden, Mother, Crone is organized by Kelly Taxter, Barnett and Annalee Newman Curator of Contemporary Art, The Jewish Museum. Annabelle Selldorf of Selldorf Architects is contributing the exhibition design. A companion monograph, designed by Richard Pandiscio and published by Rizzoli Electa, will be available this October, with a lead essay by Taxter and contributions by Marc Jacobs, Florence Welch, Sofia Coppola, Tamara Jenkins, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Sarah Sze, and Lisa Yuskavage, among others.

Sculpture is Rachel Feinstein’s primary medium, but her process comprises and retains the visual traces of diverse methods. She realizes her large-scale forms by transforming preparatory drawings and paper maquettes into three dimensions, or fusing painting with object-making. Rachel Feinstein also draws upon incongruous sources, time periods, and ideas such as religion and fairy tales, high European craft and American kitsch, or her experience of motherhood and feminist ideologies. She weaves together and deconstructs these perceived binaries, underscoring that there is no reality without fantasy, lightness without darkness, perfection without chaos.

Rachel Feinstein: Maiden, Mother, Crone will be presented in the Museum’s first floor gallery. The exhibition design plays upon the latent theatricality of that plain space, where the scaffolded ceiling suggests an empty soundstage. Works will be grouped and paired thematically, arranged within four distinct areas meant to evoke a stage, a Rococo interior, a stately park, and a womblike chamber.

The exhibition begins with three sculptures drawn from spiritual sources. All-white, gesturally figurative interpretations of St. Sebastian and St. Michael (both 2012) flank Model (2000), an abstract, voluptuously proportioned white tower dotted with circular mirrored discs. The variously angled, mirrored surfaces are positioned to destabilize, fragment, and unite; they reflect the sculpture, the viewer, the room, or all three. Model is based on the Buddhist metaphor of Indra’s Net, which posits that all mankind, past and present, are interconnected and inextricable. The sculpture also points to the artist’s own origin story: Feinstein worked as a fashion model throughout her teenage years. From a young age she was both acutely aware of the power of her own image as well as the problematic repercussions of its circulation.

Spring and Winter (1994/96), the earliest piece in the exhibition, will be presented in the centrally located chamber alongside Feinstein’s most overtly sexual sculptures. In this video, the artist costumed herself as a series of one-dimensional, female tropes pulled from fairy tales and children’s literature: a paper doll, a sleeping beauty, a maiden, and a crone. The doll introduces the narrative — a dream within a dream — which follows a slumbering girl who imagines herself as an old woman. The crone falls asleep in a snowstorm and dreams she is a young maiden, cavorting against a backdrop of vivid color. The dualities of young and old, verdant and barren, underscore Feinstein’s early and ongoing commitment to uncovering the complexities of seemingly innocuous stories, particularly those told to women and girls. Spring and Winter was partly drawn from the original source of the popular fairy tale Sleeping Beauty: Giambattista Basile’s Sun, Moon, and Talia (1634), a dark story centered around violence against women. While Feinstein has moved away from performance, she continues to turn to fantastical narratives and characters, suggesting that both fiction and fact constitute perception and reality.

Rachel Feinstein was born in Fort Defiance, Arizona in 1971. She received her BA from Columbia University in 1993, where she studied studio art and religion and worked closely with Kiki Smith and Ursula von Rydingsvard. That same year she attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Beginning with the group exhibition Let The Artist Live, at New York’s Exit Art in 1994, Feinstein has continued to exhibit her work internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include: Folly, Madison Square Park, New York; The Snow Queen, Lever House, New York; and Tropical Rodeo, Le Consortium, Dijon. She has been included in numerous group exhibitions including at the Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai; The Arnold and Marie Schwartz Gallery Met, New York; SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah; and the Barbican, London. Rachel Feinstein is represented by Gagosian Gallery.

1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, New York City

Now Is The Time: 25 Years Collection Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg

Now Is The Time
25 Years Collection Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg
Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg
Through 29 September 2019

The poster motif for the exhibition Now Is The Time features an infectiously cheerful smile. It is the smile of a masked face that a craftsman for sacred masks in the Indian coastal region of Konkan had designed as a profane but personal motif and with which he now presents himself to the camera, sitting on a bicycle wheel along the side of the road. In doing so, he responded to a request from the Indian conceptual artist Gauri Gill addressed to the villagers that, instead of traditional motifs, their own states of mind between dream and reality should become the theme. The photograph of the person wearing the mask, who plays his own role here, is one of many new acquisitions to be seen in the exhibition which celebrates the twenty-fifth anniversary of the collection and embodies its current thematic orientation.

In 1994, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg was founded with the goal of developing a literally outstanding collection. Now Is The Time: The programmatic title is derived from Michel Majerus’ equally programmatic work “What looks good today may not look good tomorrow” (1999) in the collection of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg.

After twenty-five exciting years the time has come to take the most comprehensive look at the collection to date. With more than 600 installations, groups of works, and individual pieces by one hundred artists, the collection now enjoys an international reputation and lends the industrial city of Wolfsburg a far-reaching aura as a cultural beacon.

Works by seventy-nine international artists can be (re-)discovered in dialogical or thematic contexts on all the newly renovated exhibition levels of the museum. The spectrum ranges from the earliest acquisitions to recently acquired works that either tie in with existing themes or take on new directions.

Now Is The Time offers a dialog between works of late modernism and more recent positions, up to and including representatives of global art. Thus, at the beginning of the exhibition, two works are juxtaposed in an exemplary manner: Jörg Immendorff’s commentary, painted on a large canvas, on the opening of the inner-German border in 1989, “Kleine Reise (Hasensülze)” (1990), in which Marcel Duchamp takes center stage, and the commentaries of Firelei Báez from the Dominican Republic, painted on fifty-eight separate pages, which address the legacy of the colonial period and thus simultaneously refer to her own origin and identity (2018).

A look back to the future: Caesuras and developments in art history over the last forty years are presented, as well as the diversity and simultaneity of artistic production. The collection began at a time when the globalization of art was only just beginning to develop. The building up of the collection thus took place in particular against the background of rapid visualization and medialization, the rise of the much quoted “flood of images,” which was reflected by the new art and becomes tangible with the works on view.

The key year of the collection is 1968.
Almost all the works were created after this epoch-making turning point in contemporary history. In the exhibition, the spectrum ranges from works not shown for quite some time to the most recent acquisitions: from Franz Ackermann via Christian Boltanski and Elizabeth Peyton to Fiona Tan, and Thomas Zipp. In recent years, it has been possible to once again substantially expand the collection—above all with global, female, and political positions—especially thanks to the support of donations from private individuals and the Circle of Friends of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg.

The Artists
Franz Ackermann, Carl Andre, Nobuyoshi Araki, John M Armleder, Katie Armstrong, Richard Artschwager, Awst & Walther, Caroline Bachmann & Stefan Banz, Firelei Báez, Richard Billingham, Christian Boltanski, Stanley Brouwn, Jan de Cock, Tony Cragg, René Daniëls, Jan Dibbets, Burhan Doğançay, Peter Fischli/David Weiss, Sandra Gamarra, Gilbert & George, Gauri Gill, Liam Gillick, Douglas Gordon, Andreas Gursky, Brian Harte, Eberhard Havekost, Jeppe Hein, Georg Herold, Gary Hill, Rebecca Horn, Pieter Hugo, Jörg Immendorff, Christian Jankowski, Sergej Jensen, Anselm Kiefer, In Sook Kim, Imi Knoebel, Gert Jan Kocken, Ola Kolehmainen, Jeff Koons, Jannis Kounellis, Pia Linz, Sharon Lockhart, Michel Majerus, Joseph Marioni, Rémy Markowitsch, Maix Mayer, Gerhard Merz, Mario Merz, Radenko Milak, Sarah Morris, Maurizio Nannucci, Bruce Nauman, Julian Opie, Nam June Paik, Verner Panton, Elizabeth Peyton, Daniel Pflumm, Otto Piene, Julius Popp, Prajakta Potnis, Neo Rauch, Thomas Schütte, Mithu Sen, Cindy Sherman, Beat Streuli, Philip Taaffe, Fiona Tan, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Mette Tronvoll, Luc Tuymans, Mariana Vassileva, Jeff Wall, James Welling, Tim Wolff, Erwin Wurm, Thomas Zipp.

Now Is The Time: Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg. The Collectione
Exhibition Catalogue

The Catalog To mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, a comprehensive catalog with works by all the artists represented in the collection was published by Hatje Cantz. In addition to a foreword by Andreas Beitin and an introductory essay by Holger Broeker, texts by 97 international authors pay homage to the works in the collection (510 pages, 825 illustrations), separate English and German versions, 48,- € in the museum shop.

Hollerplatz 1 - 38440 Wolfsburg

Giulio Paolini @ Repetto Gallery, London - Works on paper from “Sale d’attesa” series

Giulio Paolini: Works on paper from “Sale d’attesa” series
Repetto Gallery, London
Through 20 September, 2019

Repetto Gallery in London presents the solo show by Giulio Paolini Works on paper from “Sale d’attesa” series. 

Guilio Paolini loves this quote by Jorge Louis Borges: “How do I compose a poem? I put myself in a passive situation, and I wait. I wait, and my only concern is that it all ends in beauty. I feel like I am receiving a gift, and I don’t even know if it comes from my own memory or something else. And I try not to intervene too much.” Art as waiting. Inspiration as gift. The enthusiasm of creation: in Greek, Enthousiasmòs, Ènthous, Èn-theos, in God, to be full of a God, to be possessed by a God, the Socratic demon. As his beloved Borges, Guilio Paolini likes to think about the gesture of waiting – a space, or a place that listen– like an antenna or a metaphysical receiver. Listening to a voice that may arrive, that will soon surround us: a far, mysterious, different strength but a voice, a presence that wants to talk through us.

The exhibition presents 25 unique pieces of his works on paper from the serie Sale d’attesa. Their common denominator is a detail of his studio in Po road, Turin: the sitting room, consisting in a sofa and two armchairs, becomes a place where inspiration and memory dialogue with the forces of the creation. In L’Aleph the image of Borges appears - elegant, ironical, and austere - with his stick: the new Homer of Twentieth century. In Ermite à Paris, his friend Calvino, who passed away many years ago, with a smile over a subtle and troubled mask, a geometric bust that leans on two plexiglass cases. Then Melotti, that stands waving his hat, while four spheres, maybe symbols of transparence, float in the air. Furthermore other images, other shapes, other icons: two more plexiglass cubes, overlapping where are teeming new and ancient projects; music stands for celestial and silent notes; easels that present new icons and images, sometimes cruel modernity: an immigrant, an armed soldier, some corazzieri forming baroque visions.

Sale d’attesa: collages and colored papers, places of the gods, artworks that are “a sort of apparition that transcends the intentions of the artist”. The perception of a gift that we may have, through our memory or the unlimited Memory of the whole.

Exhibition catalogue edited by Magonza, with text by Andrea Cortellessa

Text by Andrea Cortellessa
Mangoza, 2019
19,7 x 26 cm, 80 p.
ISBN 978-88-98756-97-1

23 Bruton Street, second floor, London W1J 6QF

June 28, 2019

Tutto. Perspectives on Italian Art @ Sammlung Goetz, Munich

Tutto. Perspectives on Italian art
Sammlung Goetz, Munich
September 19, 2019 – February 29, 2020

The cooperation exhibition between the Museion in Bolzano and the Sammlung Goetz presents more than 120 works in a dialogue. Starting from the artistic upheaval in the post- war period, the works convey insight into most noteworthy trends in Italian art. This international cooperation project marks the first time another collection with a wide selection of works is being presented in the exhibition spaces of the Sammlung Goetz.

“Tutto,” the title of the exhibition, was taken from the eponymous work by Alighiero Boetti from 1986. It is an iconic work from the last series of his embroidery work, in which he unites the principles of his artistic practice. The central concern of many of these artists was overcoming the two- dimensional canvas, as exemplified by Lucio Fontana in his “Concetto spaziale” in 1954. Through works of painting and photography, the show provides insights into various artistic approaches that combine the concepts of opening, expanding and overcoming traditional panel painting. The artistic positions range from experimentations with the canvas, as displayed by Carla Accardis, Enrico Castellanis and Agostino Bonalumis, to material explorations, as in the work of Piero Manzoni. Further emphasis is placed on the relationship between image and text and visual poetry in experimental works on paper, as well as conceptual photography from the 1960s and 1970s.

The exhibition is supplemented by an extensive selection of documentary material from the archives of the participating artists. The multitude of different art forms, such as photographs, posters, invitations, work notes and objects – unite to create a multifaceted overall picture.

A modified version of the exhibition was on view between October 2018 and March 2019 at the Museion in Bolzano. At the presentation in Munich, a third partner, the Neue Sammlung, was gained for the international cooperation project. The transgressing of boundaries in Italian art of the post- war period manifests itself not only in artistic concepts, but also in design. The exhibition in the Sammlung Goetz is complemented by objects of Murano glass and loans of new Italian design, while works of painting in the rooms of the Pinakothek der Moderne enter into a dialogue with other design objects.

An extensive and richly illustrated catalogue published by Hatje Cantz Verlag accompanied the cooperation exhibition between the Museion in Bolzano and the Sammlung Goetz and is available for EUR 29.90 at the museum and in bookstores.

Tutto: Perspectives on Italian Art
Perspektiven italienischer Kunst 
Prospettive sull’arte italiana 
Perspectives on Italian Art
Ed. Ingvild Goetz, Leo Lencsés für die Sammlung Goetz, 
Karsten Löckemann für die Sammlung Goetz, Letizia Ragaglia, 
text(s) by Leo Lencsés, Ingvild Goetz, Andreas Hapkemeyer, 
Karsten Löckemann, Letizia Ragaglia, Marion Piffer Damiani
German, Italian, English
2019. 128 pp., 180 ills.
24.00 x 32.00 cm
ISBN 978-3-7757-4522-2

With works by Carla Accardi, Vincenzo Agnetti, Giovanni Anselmo, Nanni Balestrini, Gianfranco Baruchello, Alighiero Boetti, Agostino Bonalumi, Luciano Caruso, Enrico Castellani, Giuseppe Chiari, Giorgio Ciam, Dadamaino, Giuseppe Desiato, Luciano Fabro, Lucio Fontana, Luigi Ghirri, Emilio Isgrò, Marcello Jori, Ketty La Rocca, Arrigo Lora- Totino, Piero Manzoni, Elio Mariani, Plinio Martelli, Stelio Maria Martini, Fabio Mauri, Maurizio Nannucci, Ugo Nespolo, Germano Olivotto, Giulio Paolini, Claudio Parmiggiani, Giuseppe Penone, Achille Perilli, Gianni Pettena, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Mimmo Rotella, Salvatore Scarpitta, Paolo Scheggi, Mario Schifano, Franco Vaccari, Emilio Villa, Michele Zaza

Curated by: Ingvild Goetz, Leo Lencsés, Karsten Löckemann, Letizia Ragaglia, Elena Re

A cooperation with the Museion in Bolzano and Neue Sammlung, München

Oberföhringer Strasse 103, 81925 Munich

Davide Balliano @ Dirimart, Istanbul - Culebra

Davide Balliano: Culebra
Dirimart, Istanbul
Through 14 July 2019

Davide Balliano
UNTITLED_0144, 2019
Plaster, gesso and lacquer on wood
152.4 x 152.4 cm
© Davide Balliano ; Courtesy of the artist and Dirimart, Istanbul

Dirimart presents Culebra, an exhibition of recent paintings of New York-based artist Davide Balliano. The show marks the artist’s first solo presentation of his work in Istanbul.

Davide Balliano’s austere research operates on a cosmos of calculated shapes, halved arches and spirals, bearing traces of baroque and modernist architecture. Sourcing from detailed geometrical constructions, his paintings in plaster and gesso on wood, evolve through progressive alterations, erosions, and weathering of the surface, carrying the work to the third dimension on the verge of sculpture. The result is a constellation of dynamic compositions, mapping the complex system that surrounds and contains us, or at least the artist’s sketch of his impression of it.

However, recently, Davide Balliano’s attention shifted inwards, focusing on the dynamics that regulate our nature and identity as humans, both in the historical context of our time and in relation to the surrounding universe. A perceptive illusion is introduced to its vocabulary: vibrating motion of wavy torrents, resembling the sinuous line of a heartbeat, the hypnotic drafting of a seismograph or the truth revealing echoes of a polygraph test.

In the body of work exhibited at the show, a kind of duality imposes itself on the viewers. A harmony of opposites, a contrasted equilibrium between the machine-like perfection of geometry and the guttural violence of scarred surface. The duality can also be characterized as a staring contest between the surgical coldness of the architectural elements, and the organic warmth of dripping and melting; a dialogue between the rationality of social dynamics and the subconscious demands of our erotic or violent impulses.

The title of the exhibition is borrowed from Curzio Malaparte’s controversial novel Kaputt. There culebra, Spanish for “serpent,” is a magic word capable of summoning ghosts but also a sensual and seductive one, containing both the fear and fascination for mysteries of the unknown: “If my memory does not fail me,” pursued Westmann with a cruel smile, “Anthony calls Cleopatra…” “For God’s sake, be silent!” shouted de Foxa. “Don’t speak that word aloud. It is a terrible word that must be spoken thus in a low voice…” and scarcely moving his lips, he whispered, “Culebra. Mi culebra del antiguo Nilo.”

Davide Balliano (b. 1983, Turin) studied photography at the C.F.P Riccardo Bauer, Milan. Known for his layered minimal work that straddles the line between painting and sculpture, Balliano has exhibited extensively internationally, including solo exhibitions at Tina Kim Gallery, New York (2019 & 2017); 39 Great Jones, New York (2018); Luce Gallery, Turin (2017 & 2015); Timothy Taylor Gallery, London (2015); Room East, New York (2014); Rolando Anselmi Galerie, Berlin (2014 & 2012); Galerie Michael Rein, Paris (2013); Location One, New York (2011); The Artists Space, New York (2009). His group exhibitions include David Zwirner Gallery, New York (2015); Sean Kelly Gallery, New York (2014 & 2010); Madre Museum, Naples (2012); The Watermill Center, New York (2011 & 2009); MoMA PS1, New York (2010); Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castelló, Castellón, (2010). Davide Balliano lives and works in New York.

Hacıahmet Mahallesi. Irmak Cad. 1-9, Dolapdere, 34440, İstanbul

Anthony Pearson @ Marianne Boesky Gallery, Aspen

Anthony Pearson
Marianne Boesky Gallery, Aspen
June 28 - July 20, 2019

Marianne Boesky Gallery presents Los Angeles-based artist ANTHONY PEARSON’s fifth solo exhibition with the gallery, at its location in Aspen, Colorado. The exhibition features works from Anthony Pearson’s Embedments, Etched Plasters, and Tablets series, each of which capture his sensitivity to the experience of light, texture, and color. Pearson’s work is powerful in its quietude, revealing layers of complexity as one explores the surface, patterning, and material closely and from a range of perspectives and environments. Pearson’s work feels particularly at home in Aspen, where set against the rugged landscape and open expanses, his evocations of light and materiality are further amplified and affecting. 

The exhibition coincides with the release of the Anthony Pearson’s new monograph, featuring a substantive essay on the artist’s vision and approach, written by Alex Klein, Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia’s Dorothy and Stephen R. Weber Curator, as well as a wide selection of images highlighting the range of his practice.

Anthony Pearson’s practice is fueled by a longstanding engagement with the dichotomies of lightness and darkness—first sparked by his early work as a photographer. His explorations manifest through a spectrum of processes with materials such as clay, bronze, and gypsum cement, which he develops methodically and contemplatively through time to yield a wide range of visual effects. His innate ability to capture the sensation of light emanating from deep within his materials positions him within the trajectory of California’s Light and Space Movement, which has concerned itself with the effects of form and light on viewer perception and experience.

Further underlying Anthony Pearson’s practice is an experimentation with physicality, which results in works that behave in instances as both sculpture and painting as well as both object and image. This interplay between formal vocabularies is particularly felt as one experiences and considers the progression of his distinct series, starting with the Tablets, which Anthony Pearson produced between 2010 and 2014. Abstract sculptural works that are affixed to the wall, the Tablets appear as soft organic forms folding onto themselves or as small bundles of volumetric cylinders. Handcrafted in clay, cast in bronze, and coated with cobalt and silver nitrate patina, the Tablets actively respond to their environment, absorbing and reflecting the light within the space. While their physicality positions them clearly within the trajectory of sculpture, their placement on the wall retains some suggestion of the experience of painting.

Anthony Pearson’s development of the Tablets series gave way to an extensive exploration of the formal possibilities of hydrocal, a gypsum cement, which continues to today. To create the Etched Plasters—the second of his hydrocal series—Anthony Pearson pours the material, mixed with colored pigment, into a frame and then uses a carbide knife and custom-made wood guides to make incisions into the surface. The finished pieces are distinguished by the intricate interplay of line and density, as the subtle and precise cuts stand in dynamic contrast to the solidity of the hyrocal. Here, Anthony Pearson’s work on the surface replicates the expression of paint on canvas or pencil on paper, while the material itself provides the dimensionality of sculpture—fusing the two media into a new kind of object. The incisions, which actively read as line drawings, are executed in rich, arabesque-ing patterns that evoke vibrant energy and fluid movement. As the mica-based pigments in the hydrocal catch the light, this sensation is heightened, and the lines take on the quality of rays of light or wisps of sand flowing through one’s fingers.                                                   

With his Embedments series, Anthony Pearson more fully embraces the language of free-form gesture, most often associated with painting. In this most recent series, Pearson pours the differently colored hydrocal in layers, into a mold backed by a stretched canvas. In instances, Pearson shifts the mold, while in others he allows the cement to settle organically. This action results in the creation of rich color fields that weave together to suggest abstract landscapes. In this way, the painterly gesture is inextricably tied to the physicality of the work itself, which is also emphasized by the textural impressions and traces of fiber filament left on the surface from the stretched canvas that is removed upon the material’s hardening. These actions shift Anthony Pearson’s work more directly into the space between object and image, with the formal qualities of painting and sculpture coalescing into a new whole. At the same time, these newest works retain their sense of light, as they allude to the setting sun and the desert and ocean views of California.

Anthony Pearson (b. 1969, Los Angeles) is well-known for his highly formalized and sensitive use of both process and materials. By experimenting with the formal limits of photography, where his practice originated, he found a visual vocabulary rooted in abstraction that explores the balances between positive and negative, lightness and darkness. He continues to investigate these dichotomies across a range of media. Anthony Pearson has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY (2018), David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2017), the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO (2012), and Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, MN (2008), among numerous others. Group exhibitions include Tantric drawings: sites of transformation, Drawing Room, London, UK, and Peninsula Arts, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK (2016-17); L.A. Exuberance: New Gifts by Artists, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2016-17); The Sun Placed in the Abyss, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH (2016); Variations: Conversations in and Around Abstract Paintings, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2014); second nature: abstract photography then and now, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA (2012); and The Anxiety of Photography, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO, and Arthouse at the Jones Center, Austin, TX (2011). Anthony Pearson lives and works in Los Angeles.

100 South Spring Street, Aspen, CO 81611

RongRong @ The Walther Collection, NYC - Day After Day. RongRong and the Beijing East Village - Exhibition + Book

Day After Day. RongRong and the Beijing East Village
The Walther Collection, New York
Through October 12, 2019

1994 No. 20 (Zhang Huan, "12 Square Meters"), 1994. 
© RongRong. Courtesy the artist and Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing.
But here in the East Village, we do almost everything. Curse plays rock music and writes poetry. Kongbu curates and writes criticism. Zhang Huan, Ma Liuming, and Zhu Ming do performances … But I am the only photographer. Everyone left their hometown and seeks dreams here from afar. We are all children who left home, which makes us constantly hungry …–RongRong
The Walther Collection, with Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Beijing, presents Day After Day: RongRong and the Beijing East Village. The exhibition features 40 of RongRong’s seminal photographs from 1993-1998 portraying the Beijing East Village—an artistic community poignantly described as “a meteor in the history of contemporary Chinese art.” (Silvia Fok, “Photography, Performance Art, and the Beijing East Village,” in RongRong’s Diary: Beijing East Village (Göttingen: Steidl Verlag, 2019). Day After Day coincides with the publication of RongRong’s Diary: Beijing East Village by The Walther Collection and Steidl.

Nearly four years after the Tiananmen student protests in 1989, RongRong, then a 25-year-old from the southern province of Fujian, joined a group of young and struggling bohemian artists who settled in a desolate village on the outskirts of Beijing. RongRong captured the quotidian yet eruptive life of this community, as many of his fellow artists pushed their bodies to the brink to create radical and subversive performances. Considered highly disruptive by political authorities, these artists lived under constant fear of harassment, raids, and arrests. Both as a  principal photographer and essential collaborator, RongRong faithfully documented what remain some of the most powerful and important performance works of Chinese contemporary art, by artists such as Zhang Huan, Ma Liuming, and Ai Weiwei.

The exhibition Day After Day emphasizes these explosive performance art activities in the village, before and after it was forcefully evacuated in the summer of 1994. RongRong’s emotive photographs will be paired with excerpts from a diary that RongRong kept during his stay in the village, as well as his present-day recollections. Such writings provide essential insight into the performances as they were being conceptualized and carried out, such as the extreme heat and squalid conditions of the public latrine that was the setting for Zhang Huan’s 12 Square Meters; the ominous arrest of artists and viewers that followed Ma Liuming’s groundbreaking nude performance Fen-Ma Liuming’s Lunch; and the chilly evening when the collaborative Primordial Sounds took place beneath a Beijing overpass.

RongRong’s Diary: Beijing East Village
150 pages, 124 images
26 x 21 cm, Cloth-bound hardcover
Published by Steidl / The Walther Collection; June 2019

The Walther Collection has worked closely with RongRong to produce the monograph RongRong’s Diary, which features a near-comprehensive compilation of the artist’s writings from this period. In short journal entries and personal correspondence with his sister, RongRong recounts his blossoming friendships with fellow artists, memorable outings and incidents, and their guerrilla approaches to staging new works. In doing so, he offers reflections both mundane and profound: adjusting to his new life in Beijing, deep anxiety about police backlash, and wavering faith in what photography can achieve in turbulent times. With over 120 images, RongRong’s Diary includes never-before-seen photographs selected by RongRong to highlight everyday life in the Beijing East Village and to call attention to a number of lesser-known performances. The book’s interplay between RongRong’s images and texts creates an absorbing personal narrative of an artist coming into his own.

RongRong was born in Fujian Province, China, in 1968. He was a key member of the Beijing East Village group, experimenting with photography and documenting the performances of his fellow artists in the early 1990s. These works have attained an almost mythic status in the history of contemporary Chinese experimental art. In 2007 RongRong and his wife and photographic partner inri founded Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in Beijing, emphasizing international collaborations and the creation of a sustainable infrastructure for young Chinese artists. RongRong’s best-known works include the 1990s East Village and Ruins series, as well as his collaborations with inri since 2000 such as In Fujisan, Liulitun, and Tsumari Story. Their joint work explores the beauty of the human body in nature and the urban environment, as well as the development of their family. His work has been exhibited worldwide during the past three decades, and is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Myriam and Guy Ullens Foundation, Beijing; the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, and several distinguished private foundations.

The Walther Collection Project Space
526 West 26th Street, Suite 718, New York, NY 10001

June 27, 2019

Irving Penn @ Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg - Still Life

Irving Penn: Still Life
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg
Through 16 July 2019

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Salzburg presents the exhibition Still Life by American photographer Irving Penn (1917-2009), devoted to his still lifes, including the well-known series Street Material, Cigarettes and Flowers. The exhibition features over 30 photographs taken in New York over six decades for publications such as Vogue, as well as on his travels. Irving Penn created some of the most memorable still lifes of our time, and his innovative portraits, still lifes, fashion and beauty photographs made his reputation as one of the most high-profile and influential photographers of the 20th century.

Irving Penn began his career as a photographer in 1943 at the suggestion and with the encouragement of Alexander Liberman, then art director of US Vogue. The same year, one of Irving Penn’s colour photographs for Vogue appeared on the cover of their October issue, showing the first photographic still life in the magazine's recent history. In the ensuing 60 years, he took more than 150 cover photographs for Vogue and produced pioneering editorials, which became known for their natural lighting and formal simplicity, making him the leading photographer in the field. At a time when photography was understood primarily as a means of communication, Irving Penn approached it with an artist's eye, expanding its creative potential in both his professional and his personal work. 

Many of Irving Penn's still lifes combine food with everyday objects. He staged laid tables with exquisite arrangements of dishes, fruit and vessels, reminiscent of the Dutch masters of the Golden Age like Willem Kalf or Pieter Claesz. A cut-open watermelon, a crumpled linen table-napkin, a broken-off piece of baguette or a fly sitting on ripe fruit relate to the transience symbolised in vanitas paintings and emphasise the absence of the human being. The choice of subjects and the context of the objects also call to mind Georges Braque's early Cubist pictures. 

"The extreme deliberateness of these still-life arrangements – far from the traditional mock simplicity of a few pieces of fruit, a few flowers – adds to the sense that the objects are codes, that they carry a message even beyond the one the title announces" (Adam Kirsch, 2017).

The individual states of decay illustrated in the Cigarettes photographs show an interesting correlation with human characteristics, and may also be interpreted as memento mori. Irving Penn's first solo exhibition at MoMA in New York took place in 1975 and featured exclusively the Cigarettes series, which was perceived as a provocation and contrast to his popular earlier fashion photographs. Irving Penn’s interest in the theme led him to photograph other litter he found in the street, such as flattened paper cups or old playing-cards. Through his lens, street litter – which most people prefer to ignore – became something fascinating, almost iconic, however, while simultaneously expressing an explicit consumer criticism through them. 

Irving Penn composed his still-life photographs like a painter, working with large-format cameras, and was tireless in his attempts to expand the creative possibilities of the medium. He was deeply involved in each stage, from the meticulous composition of the picture to making his own prints. Unlike most other art photographers, he experimented with platinum-palladium and silver gelatin prints in order to lend each of his works a distinctive texture and original character. With his unique signature and stringently reduced aesthetic, he remains a defining stylistic influence, an inspiration to countless successors. 

In 2017, to mark the centenary of his birth, a comprehensive retrospective entitled Centennial was held at the Grand Palais in Paris, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and at the C/O Berlin. The exhibition consisted of some 240 works, including an extensive presentation of his diverse still lifes, some of which are shown in the Salzburg exhibition. Irving Penn's photographs have been displayed in many exhibitions worldwide, including Irving Penn: Underfoot at The Art Institute of Chicago (2013), Irving Penn: Diverse World at the Moderna Museet/Malmö (2012, and subsequently at the Kumu Art Museum/Tallinn), Irving Penn: Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery/London (2010) and Irving Penn: Small Trades at the J. Paul Getty Museum/Los Angeles (2009-2010).

Irving Penn's works are represented in distinguished private and public collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, Maison Européenne de la Photographie/Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art/New York, Moderna Museet/Stockholm, Morgan Library and Museum/New York, Museum of Modern Art/New York and the National Gallery of Art/Washington DC.

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac has represented The Irving Penn Foundation, in collaboration with the Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, since September 2017.

Villa Kast, Mirabellplatz 2, 5020 Salzburg

Catherine Wagner: San José Museum of Art, California - Paradox Observed

Catherine Wagner: Paradox Observed
San José Museum of Art, California
Through August 18, 2019

Catherine Wagner: Paradox Observed is a visual investigation of science to critically examine the systems through which we attempt to decipher the codes and structures of human existence. Catherine Wagner borrows tools and methods of scientific research, using imaging devices like the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine and scanning electron microscope (SEM) as a camera to capture biological matter—the cross section of an onion and the textured surface of a shark’s tooth—with analytical clarity and larger-than-life scale. In the hands of an artist, scientific tools and the data they record evade their perceived objectivity, suggesting a paradoxical conception of the scientific endeavor and its desire and struggle to empirically understand the nature of our being.

“Catherine Wagner encourages the visitor to reexamine the everyday. Pomegranate Wall lends itself to considering her creative process of studying, composing, and creating. At San José Museum of Art, we are committed to fostering awareness of artists’ contributions to society. As we present this exhibition, we invite the public to reflect on Wagner’s examinations of the every day,” S. Sayre Batton, Oshman Executive Director, San José Museum of Art.

Catherine Wagner’s immersive installation Pomegranate Wall is the center of the exhibition, a glowing 8-by-40-foot arc of photographs taken with an MRI machine. Made following a two-year Artist Residency Fellowship SJMA awarded Catherine Wagner in 1997, Pomegranate Wall is the culmination of her exploration into scientific institutions where her photographic documentation and use of technologies like the MRI machine act as a counterpart to scientific research. Imaged in reverse of a camera—from the inside out, rather than the outside in—cross-section scans of pomegranates resemble human cells under a microscope. Monumentally scaled and clinically backlit in Pomegranate Wall, Catherine Wagner’s images possess the authoritative weight of scientific inquiry. But their abstraction presents a paradox: these seemingly pure images are constructed. Though composed of real data, their order and classification—the modes of analyzing visual information—are fundamentally impacted by the observer.

Catherine Wagner was born in 1953 in San Francisco. She received her BA in 1975 and MA in 1981, both from San Francisco State University. She is the recipient of major awards, including the Rome Prize (2013–14), a Guggenheim Fellowship, NEA Fellowships, and the Ferguson Award. Her work is included in major museum collections including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Fine Art, Houston; and the San José Museum of Art.

110 South Market Street, San José, California

Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World @ San José Museum of Art, California

Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World
San José Museum of Art, California
Through October 6, 2019

The San José Museum of Art, California (SJMA) presents Rina Banerjee: Make Me a Summary of the World, the first mid-career retrospective on the contemporary practice of Rina Banerjee, co-organized with the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia (PAFA).

Known for her large-scale sculptures and installations made from materials sourced throughout the world, Rina Banerjee’s works investigate the splintered experiences of identity, tradition, and culture, prevalent in diasporic communities.  

Make Me a Summary of the World is accompanied by extensive programming and a full-color, 160-page catalogue co-published by SJMA and PAFA. After the exhibition closes at SJMA it will then embark on a national tour.

Rina Banerjee (born 1963) is one of the most important artists of the post-colonial Indian diaspora living in the United States and her work has been shown most extensively in Europe and South Asia. This exhibition, the first in-depth examination into the artist’s work, will consider Rina Banerjee in both American and global frameworks, specifically in relation to Banerjee’s approach to feminism, globalism, colonialism and the environment.

Susan Sayre Batton, Oshman Executive Director of the San José Museum of Art, said, “We are thrilled to bring Banerjee’s monumental work to the people of Silicon Valley and the West Coast,  reiterating SJMA’s dedication to foster awareness of artists’ broad contributions to society. Banerjee’s art explores globalization, migration, and identity—themes that reflect our community.” 

SJMA curator Lauren Schell Dickens, added: “For twenty years, Rina has been using her work to disrupt conventional notions of identity, delving into the complex territory of cultural fragmentation and self-identification, which makes her an important voice today. We’re particularly excited to be presenting this rich examination of her work in San José, which is home to so many diasporic groups.”

Jodi Throckmorton, Curator of Contemporary Art at PAFA, remarked: “Make Me a Summary of the World marks a defining moment for Rina. As the artist’s first retrospective, it traces her work over twenty years, culminating in sculptures made for the 57th Venice Biennale and 2017 Prospect Triennial in New Orleans—important exhibitions that reflect one of the most exciting periods of recognition in Rina’s career.”

Bringing together several of Rina Banerjee’s monumental installations in conversation with more than two dozen sculptures, as well as a thorough selection of works on paper, Make Me a Summary of the World will transform SJMA into an immersive experience.

Using a variety of gathered materials ranging from African tribal jewelry to colorful feathers, light bulbs, and Murano glass, Rina Banerjee’s sensuous assemblages present themselves simultaneously as familiar and unfamiliar, thriving on tensions between visual cultures and raising questions about exoticism, cultural appropriation, globalization, and feminism. Her works are named with thought-provoking and poetic titles that are works of art in themselves, ranging in length from 50 to 180 words.

Born in Calcutta, India in 1963, Rina Banerjee was raised in the United Kingdom and United States. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Polymer Engineering from Case Western in 1993 and took a job as a polymer research chemist upon graduation. After several years, she left the science profession to pursue her Masters in Fine Arts from Yale University. Rina Banerjee currently divides her time between New York City and Philadelphia.

She has exhibited in San Francisco, New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, New Delhi, and notably in a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian in Washington, DC in 2013. Her works are also included in many private and public collections such as the Whitney Museum of American Art (NY), Centre George Pompidou, Paris, France; Queens Museum (NY); Kiran Nadar Museum, New Delhi, and the Brooklyn Museum (NY).

A full-color catalogue was co-published by SJMA and PAFA. It illuminates the crossover contexts in which Banerjee works and includes a detailed chronology of the artist’s life and work, and essays by co-curators Lauren Schell Dickens (SJMA) and Jodi Throckmorton (PAFA); Rachel Kent, chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; and writer Allie Biswas. $45, available in the SJMA Museum store.

Other Travel Venues
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia (October 27, 2018–March 31, 2019)
Fowler Museum at University of California, Los Angeles (December 8, 2019–May 31, 2020)
Frist Art Museum, Nashville, Tennessee (July 24–October 25, 2020)
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, North Carolina (February 18–July 11, 2021)

110 South Market Street, San José, California

Je mange donc je suis @ Musée de l'Homme, Paris

Je mange donc je suis
Musée de l'Homme, Paris
16 octobre 2019 - 1er juin 2020

Cécile Plaisance
La Cène, 2014 
© Cécile Plaisance

Comment l’acte de se nourrir, vital et quotidien, façonne-t-il en même temps nos identités à travers des pratiques culturelles, des rituels et des interdits ? Quel rôle a joué l’alimentation dans notre évolution ? Existe-t-il des aliments « genrés » ? Quels sont les impacts environnementaux liés à la production de ressources pour nourrir le monde d’aujourd’hui et de demain ?

Fidèle à l’esprit de ses précédentes expositions à la frontière entre sciences et société, le Musée de l’Homme décortique les idées reçues et offre des pistes de réflexion sur nos manières de produire et de consommer de la nourriture.

Plat à couscous, céramique, Maroc, début 20ème siècle
Collection d’ethnologie du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, 2004
© MNHN JC Domenech

Exposition « faite maison », Je mange donc je suis restitue au plus grand nombre les recherches menées par les scientifiques du Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle dans des domaines aussi variés que la formation du goût, les modèles agricoles, les manières dont une culture s’organise autour de la table, les patrimoines culinaires…

La visite alterne des thèmes d’actualité (la viande, les OGM…) et d’autres plus surprenants (la microbiologie, l’art culinaire…), à travers la présentation foisonnante d’objets prestigieux, de collectes de terrain et de regards d’artistes modernes et contemporains comme Pablo Picasso, Gilles Barbier, Pilar Albarracin ou Liu Bolin. Au fil des 3 salles, sur 650m², le visiteur est invité à découvrir les enjeux contemporains de l’alimentation à travers une muséographie parfois décalée : il pourra échanger par téléphone avec une vache fictive, le Docteur Meuh, sur les différents régimes alimentaires, s’assoir à une table japonaise ou regarder un extrait de L’Aile ou la cuisse…

Cerise sur le gâteau, la programmation culturelle associée à l’exposition conviera le public à de grands dîners thématiques commentés par des chefs et des chercheurs mais également à des rencontres avec des experts ou encore des visites théâtralisées olfactives… Le week-end d’ouverture du 19 au 20 octobre donnera un avant-goût de cette programmation appétissante, avec des visites et ateliers pour petits et grands.

17 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75016 Paris

June 26, 2019

Betty Woodman @ David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles - Shadows and Silhouettes

Betty Woodman: Shadows and Silhouettes
David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles
June 27 – August 24, 2019

David Kordansky Gallery presents Shadows and Silhouettes, an exhibition of sculptures and paintings by BETTY WOODMAN (1930-2018). The artist’s first solo show in a gallery since her death, the exhibition features works made between 2008 and 2016, and focuses on thematic and formal issues––creative use of negative space, two- and three-dimensional representations of vessels, the hybridization of vessel and human figurative forms––that were central to her project throughout her career.

Over the course of a career that spanned than 50 years, Betty Woodman revolutionized the use of clay and glazes in contemporary art. The sheer variety of her work, the range of her references, and the vitality and curiosity that appear throughout her oeuvre all help posit her as one of the most ambitious and singular American artists of her time, especially given the oft-marginalized status of her primary medium. Her synthesis of modernist syntax with a truly global array of cues from art, architecture, and design led to objects that are, in the words of critic Peter Schjeldahl, "beyond original, all the way to sui generis."

Shadows and Silhouettes features 12 works Betty Woodman made over the last decade of her life, when she was executing some of her most radical experiments. The exhibition juxtaposes varied works in which painted and sculpted forms are repeated and reversed, and in which outlines of objects carve out negative spaces that re-appear as pictures either on canvases or glazed onto the objects themselves. They range from classic pedestal-based sculptures like the diptych His and Hers Vases: Life Drawing (2008)––whose standing and reclining female nudes are painted with black and white glazes on vertically- and horizontally-oriented vases––to the Cubist complexity of Aztec Vase & Carpet: Mariana (2015), whose canvas "base" and dynamic, four-winged vessel provide surfaces for a continuously painted and glazed composition of alternating dark and light squares, among other motifs.

For Betty Woodman, pictorial and sculptural versions of space were in constant conversation with one another. These conversations could be harmonious, dissonant, humorous, or soaring and poetic, depending on their context. The Chapel, a large painting with ceramic relief elements from 2011, is in the latter mode: flat ceramic elements, glazed a brilliant white, are arranged on the wall so that they resemble tall, multipart vases. The canvas on which they hang has been painted with slashing white brushstrokes against a black background. This optically dynamic play of two-dimensional volumes is accentuated by the dramatic three-dimensional composition defining the work's upper third, where a vessel with bright red glazing sits on a white shelf and another group of relief objects hover over the illusionistic, painted rendition of a room characterized with an intense red floor and yellow walls.

Works like these reflect the increasingly daring ways that Betty Woodman employed architectural imagery, harnessing both its perspectival richness and emotional resonances. Summer Tea Party (2015-16) is another example of this thrust in her work. An interior scene suffused with joyful light––and lightness of spirit––is divided into two main sections. A painting of a provocatively sloped table covered with a blue gingham cloth occupies most of the lower half of the canvas; affixed to it are ceramic representations of plates, pitchers, and a basket of fruit. Whimsy is met with mystery, however, in the form of five unglazed ceramic forms installed in a balustrade-like row over a painted window; the negative spaces between them take the shape of vessels. Such moves break with the already elastic visual logic Betty Woodman establishes with recognizable images and ceramic "pictures" of real-world objects, suggesting ghostly presences that flirt with pure abstraction.

In other cases, however, it is the presence of the figure that leaps out of Betty Woodman’s sculptures and paintings. As her project began to move beyond the constraints of functional ceramics in the 1970s, she began to explore––and explode––archetypal associations between the vessel and the human body. She envisioned her objects, as well as the pictures of vases she painted on and around them, as players in theatrical scenes. Each work became a domestic drama (or comedy) whose narrative is told in colors, shapes, textures, and patterns. Late in her career such narratives took on uncanny dimensions, especially in the paintings, with the silhouettes of three-dimensional vessels repeated on canvases behind them. In Tuesday Afternoon (2016) this effect takes center stage. A white-glazed vessel stands on the floor, its arms arranged like those of a posing model; on the canvas, a brushy, semi-transparent image of a similar object hovers in space, as if the vessel had dreamed itself into a sun-filled parallel reality.

Recent solo exhibitions of Betty Woodman's work have been presented at chi K11 art museum, Shanghai (2018); the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2016); Museo Marino Marini, Florence (2015); Gardiner Museum, Toronto (2011); American Academy in Rome (2010); Palazzo Pitti, Giardino di Boboli, Florence (2009); Denver Art Museum (2006); and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2006). Recent and forthcoming group exhibitions include Lessons in Promiscuity: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (forthcoming, 2019); Less Is a Bore: Maximalist Art & Design, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (forthcoming, 2019); Pattern, Decoration and Crime, Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2019); In My Room: Artists Paint the Interior 1950-Now, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville (2018); the Liverpool Biennial (2016); Playing House, Brooklyn Museum (2012); and Postmodernism: Style and Subversion, 1970-1990, Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2011). Her work is featured in over fifty public collections worldwide, including the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

5130 W. Edgewood Pl. Los Angeles, CA 90019

John Armleder @ David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles - Sh/Ash/Lash/Splash

John Armleder: Sh/Ash/Lash/Splash
David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles
June 27 – August 24, 2019

David Kordansky Gallery presents Sh/Ash/Lash/Splash, a solo exhibition of new work by John Armleder. Featuring paintings of several different kinds, as well as wall-mounted mirror objects and installation-based elements, the show highlights the artist’s use of painting––and the tropes associated with it––as a playfully experimental vehicle for posing questions, provocations, and aesthetic quandaries. 

John Armleder consistently rewires presumptions about what art can be in the wake of the modernist and postmodernist revolutions of the last century. His early association with the Fluxus movement has provided the springboard for an ever-evolving array of projects and conceptual approaches––he has produced performances, music, sculptures, and installations as well as paintings––each of which leaves room for the operation of chance and the eruption of humor and pathos alike. These qualities posit John Armleder as one of the most representative artists of his generation, and as a key figure in the story of Swiss art.

John Armleder’s second solo exhibition at David Kordansky Gallery is organized around a central motif, a stylized splash of paint that is found in several different kinds of works, rendered in several different materials. Splashes and puddles have been defining characteristics of many of the paintings the artist has made over the last few years, so that this sharp-edged, graphic iteration alludes to––and symbolizes––a significant portion of his recent work, one in which he detaches the idea of the action-based splatter from the movement of the hand, undermining preconceptions about authenticity and the subjectivity of the heroic individual artist.

Even when it comes to the paintings with “actual” splatters and pours––several of which are included in this show––he proceeds less with specific compositional ideas in mind than with a curiosity about the interactions between different materials. In his Puddle Paintings, for instance, he often combines large quantities of paints made from contraindicated mediums that react in unpredictable ways, and throws glitter, toys, and other bric-a-brac into the still-wet puddles that accumulate. As they dry, visual and sculptural incidents emerge out of what seems like the materials’ own volition, exceeding the artist’s intention and placing him, like any other viewer, in a position where he can stand back and observe formal relationships between textures and colors.

John Armleder’s Pour Paintings, meanwhile, focus attention on the movement of paint across the canvas as it is thrown. In each he privileges sweeping, calligraphic arcs (complete with the drips that fall from them), channeling the energies of abstract expressionism and action painting. And yet, as is often true of his work, these paintings somehow replace the solemnity of their modernist predecessors with a light-hearted appreciation for the ingenious nature and innate visual interest of their materials, not to mention the very act of creating and looking at energetic splashes of color. In Sh/Ash/Lash/Splash he includes examples of the Pour Paintings that have also been emblazoned with a stenciled splatter. Symbol overlays gesture, and two seemingly competing ways of including a splatter in an artwork exist side-by-side, as if prodding one another into states of mutual admiration––and skepticism.

The splatter threatens to break entirely free of its relationship to painted abstraction in a series of new wall-based mirror sculptures, each of which shares the same silhouette. Fabricated in mirrored glass in a variety of colors and in two sizes, these objects exemplify John Armleder’s propensity for engaging viewer participation in implied and literal ways, as well as his tendency to activate the spaces in which his artworks appear. The mirrors not only reflect the other artworks in the show and the bodies of the viewers before them; they allow for perspectives in which the exhibition as a whole appears inside the shape of a splatter, so that this caricature of a specific kind of painting also becomes an optical container for other kinds of artmaking strategies.

These approaches include two paintings, each titled Suit, in which the splatter has simply been screened onto a canvas, where it stands on its own like an emblem or aesthetic coat of arms. These works are reminders that John Armleder’s art is as straightforward as it is complex, and that what you see really is often what you get. Embedded in this notion, of course, are any number of philosophical, visual, biological, and language-based subtleties. Over and over again throughout the course of his multi-staged and varied career, he has demonstrated how such openness sheds light not only on foundational principles of art itself, but on the ways in which people interact with the artifacts of the physical world.

This summer, John Armleder (b. 1948, Geneva) is the subject of two museum solo exhibitions, at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (opened June 7) and the Aspen Art Museum (opened July 4) . He has also been the subject of solo shows at institutions that include MUSEION, Bolzano, Italy (2018); Museo MADRE, Naples, Italy (2018); Istituto Svizzero, Rome (2017); Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2014); Fernand Léger National Museum, Biot, France (2014); Dairy Art Centre, London (2013); Swiss Institute, New York (2012); Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice (2011); Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland (2010); Kunstverein Hannover, Germany (2006); Tate Liverpool, England (2006); and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2006); among many others. Recent group exhibitions include A Time Capsule Continued, Parkett Exhibition Space, Zurich (2019); Abstraction: Aspects of Contemporary Art, National Museum of Art, Osaka (2019); THE ARTIST IS PRESENT, Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2018); Brand New. Art and Commodity in the 1980s, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. (2018); Sanguin. Luc Tuymans on Baroque, Fondazione Prada, Milan (2018); Inaugural exhibition: The Bunker, The Bunker, West Palm Beach (2017); The Trick Brain, Aïshti Foundation, Beirut (2017); and L'Oeil du collectionneur. Neuf collections particulières strasbourgeoises, Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg, France (2017). He lives and works in Geneva.

5130 W. Edgewood Pl. Los Angeles, CA 90019

Ann Craven @ CMCA, Rockland - Birds We Know

Ann Craven: Birds We Know
Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland
June 29 - October 13, 2019

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) presents a major exhibition of artist ANN CRAVEN’s paintings. The exhibition, Ann Craven: Birds We Know, is the first show of the noted artist’s work in Maine, where she has been a seasonal resident and has been painting for more than 25 years.

Ann Craven is widely known for her lushly colored, mesmerizing portraits of the moon, birds, flowers, and other images, which she revisits in serial fashion, as well as her painted bands of color, which document her process. Ann Craven says, ”My paintings are a result of mere observation, experiment, and chance, and contain a variable that’s constant and ever-changing—the moment just past.”  

Birds We Know presents a comprehensive selection of the artist’s work, and is accompanied by an illustrated, hardcover catalog with an essay by Christopher B. Crosman, founding curator, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and former director, Farnsworth Art Museum.

In the essay, Crosman states, “...Ann Craven’s birds, moons, trees, and her stripe and palette paintings all enforce the hard stop our mind and eye make before inexplicable paintings, paintings that affirm an inseparability of beauty, truth and virtue. This is painting at its most authentic and original, at its most memorable and tenderly remarkable.”

Ann Craven began painting in Maine in the early 1990s. First in a borrowed barn near Slab City Road in the mid-coast village of Lincolnville, then from her own barn that she converted to a studio on a farm she purchased nearby. Lincolnville and the surrounding region has harbored artists for decades, beginning in the 1950s when Neil Welliver, Alex Katz, Lois Dodd and other New York-based artists started summering in the area. It was on Lincolnville beach, a small strip of sand anchored by The Lobster Pound restaurant, that Craven painted her first “Moon” painting in 1995. The experience, she says, “gave me my subject matter, I was literally chasing the moon.”

For Ann Craven, painting serial versions of the moon on site was a way to conflate the momentary with the constant. The moon became for her a symbol of time and memory, themes that remain the primary focus of her work. The paintings of birds soon followed, inspired by color-plates found in her Italian grandmother’s vintage ornithology books. Like the moon the birds serve as a touchstone for memory, each repetition of the image a revisiting of a moment, a recalling of loved ones.

In 2008, Ann Craven moved from Lincolnville to an historic house on the banks of the St. George River in Cushing. The property had an old garden shed that became her new studio and, importantly, a majestic purple beech tree hugging the shore. This 100-plus-year-old tree is Craven’s newest motif. “It reminded me of the moon,” she says, “because it was round and because of all the life it had seen. Families coming and going, life lived. Like the moon it’s a constant that ebbs and flows, but the opposite of the moon in that it changes with the day and becomes a silhouette against the sunset.”

Ann Craven is a diarist, each of her paintings is inscribed with the date and time of its making, and she meticulously inventories and records each year’s work. Recently she began exhibiting her extensive series of Untitled (Palettes), ranging from 1999 to present. Painting wet on wet in oils, she mixes her colors on light-duty pre-stretched canvases. “The Palettes are my indexed color inventory,” she says. “They are a way for me to hold on to what I just painted—a moon or flower or bird.”

In addition to numerous group exhibitions worldwide, Ann Craven had her first retrospective, titled TIME, at Le Confort Moderne in Poitiers, France, in 2014. Other recent major solo exhibitions include Promise (Birds for Chicago), Shane Campbell, Chicago, 2019; Sunset Moon, Karma, NY, 2018; Snowbirds, Nina Johnson, Miami, 2018; Animals 1999-2017, Southard Reid, London, 2017; Hello, Hello, Hello, Maccarone, NY, 2016, and Ann Craven, Hannah Hoffman, Los Angeles, 2014.

Her work has been reviewed in publications including The New York Times, Modern Painters, Art News, LA Times, Art in America, Artforum, Flash Art, The New Yorker, Frieze, among others. Ann Craven’s paintings are in the public collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The New Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and private collections worldwide.

Ann Craven: Birds We Know is made possible at CMCA with support from Max Mara, and individual donors.

21 Winter Street, Rockland, ME 04841

Dan Mills @ CMCA, Rockland - Human Topographies

Dan Mills | Human Topographies 
Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland
June 29 - October 13, 2019

The Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) presents a large-scale exhibition of artist DAN MILLS' work. The exhibition, Dan Mills | Human Topographies, is the first solo show of the artist’s work in Maine since he moved to the state in 2010. 

Dan Mills makes work that is full of observations about historic and current events. He conducts extensive research on topics such as current wars and conflicts, colonialism, and life expectancy by state, and creates paintings and works on paper that visualize data and information on these subjects.

Dan Mills frequently uses maps as the space to explore his ideas. He began incorporating maps into his work in the early 1990s while researching the quincentennial of what is euphemistically referred to as The First Encounter. Since then, he has explored history and colonization in paintings and collages on large roll-down school maps and in an atlas of future states, the loss of history through erasure and over-painting on maps, visualized data about current wars and conflicts in world maps, and data about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness on U.S. maps.

Dan Mills has exhibited widely, with solo shows in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and at academic museums and galleries throughout the U.S. His work has been included in many group exhibitions including “Crooked Data: (Mis)Information in Contemporary Art”, University of Richmond Museums (2017); “Ideologue”, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City (2016); and “Dissident Futures”, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2013-14). His upcoming exhibitions include solo shows at Howard Yezerski Gallery, Boston (2020), and Museum of Art at University of New Hampshire (2020).

Dan Mills has been a frequent speaker, panelist, or interviewee at institutions including the Chicago Cultural Center, Maine Public (NPR), Public Radio International, The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, and Vanderbilt University. His work has been featured in numerous publications including Flash Art International, Hyperallergic, Journal of Landscape Architecture, Los Angeles Times, and New Art Examiner. His book, The US Future States Atlas, was published by Perceval Press, Santa Monica, in 2009. Mills’ work is in many collections including the British Library, UCLA, Library of Congress, John T. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and Union College.

Dan Mills earned a BFA from Rochester Institute of Technology and MFA from Northern Illinois University. He has studios in a mill building in southern Maine, and on outer Cape Cod. Dan Mills and his wife, artist Gail Skudera, live in Lewiston, where he directs the Bates College Museum of Art.

Dan Mills | Human Topographies is made possible at CMCA with support from the Becton Family Foundation. 

21 Winter Street, Rockland, ME 04841