Category: scultura

20
Gen

Blanc sur Blanc

Gagosian is pleased to present Blanc sur Blanc, a group exhibition.

A century ago, Kazimir Malevich’s Suprematist paintings heralded a revolutionary new interpretation of white, in which total abstraction suggests the utopian and the infinite. Since then, artists have deployed the achromatism of whiteness in an endless range of formal and symbolic ways, evoking states of emptiness and effacement, and summoning the raw potential of the blank page. Working in different contexts and with different ends in mind, the artists in Blanc sur Blanc find unexpected power and substance in what appears at first to be an absence or lack.

In 1946, Lucio Fontana and his students drafted the Manifesto Blanco, a vision for a fundamentally new method of artistic production that demanded that artists engage with the real-world physicality of their materials instead of treating the canvas as an illusory, self-contained space. It was out of this impulse that Fontana produced Concetto Spaziale, Attese(Spatial Concept, Waiting, 1966), one of his first slashed canvases. For Fontana, the painting’s allover coat of white formed a blank screen and acted as a vehicle for heightened drama, with any connotations of purity or tranquility disrupted by his forceful incisions.

During the last decade of his life, Andy Warhol broke with the visual and conceptual language of Pop art to produce idiosyncratic takes on abstract and gestural painting. Abstract Painting (1982) is one such work. Measuring forty inches square—the same dimensions that Warhol used previously for his notorious Society Portraits—the canvas is veiled in a white wash that permits only tantalizing glimpses of multicolored swirls beneath.

LEAN (2005) exemplifies Rachel Whiteread’s practice of concretizing negative space in order to memorialize it. Here she has cast the interiors of various cardboard boxes in plaster of paris as a somewhat wistful tribute to the banal, quotidian container. The resulting geometric accumulation of minimalist white slabs is propped up casually against the gallery wall, ghostlike yet palpable.

Also on view are three recent pieces by Paris-based artist Sheila Hicks, whose textile works incorporate yarn-based techniques from diverse cultures. While Hicks’s oeuvre is characterized by intense color, she also works with natural undyed fibers. Here she has fashioned spheres, woven rectangular canvases, and tumbling cascades of linen in neutral shades that exude a tactile yet meditative calm.

Blanc sur Blanc includes works by Jean (Hans) Arp, Agostino Bonalumi, Enrico Castellani, Edmund de Waal, Lucio Fontana, Theaster Gates, Diego Giacometti, Wade Guyton, Simon Hantaï, Sheila Hicks, Thomas Houseago, Y.Z. Kami, Imi Knoebel, Bertrand Lavier, Sol LeWitt, Sally Mann, John Mason, Olivier Mosset, Giuseppe Penone, Seth Price, Paolo Scheggi, Setsuko, Rudolf Stingel, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Franz West, and Rachel Whiteread, among others.

BLANC SUR BLANC
January 16–March 7, 2020

Gagosian
4 rue de Ponthieu, Paris

Image: Lucio Fontana, Concetto spaziale, Attese, 1966

13
Gen

Dalí & Magritte. Two surrealist icons in dialogue

The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium dedicate an exceptional exhibition to Salvador Dalí and René Magritte. For the first time ever, the connection and influences between the two greatest icons of the surrealist movement are highlighted.

Dalí and Magritte both aim to challenge reality, question our gaze and shake up our certainties. The Catalan and the Belgian show a fascinating proximity, despite their very different creations and personalities, which would eventually lead them to drift apart.In the spring of 1929, Salvador Dalí and René Magritte meet in Paris, surrounded by the great names of the artistic avant-garde. In August of the same year, at Dalí’s invitation, Magritte travels to Cadaqués, the Spanish painter’s home base. This surrealist summer – which also includes visits by Éluard, Miró and Buñuel – will prove decisive.

The exhibition reveals the personal, philosophical and aesthetic links between these two iconic artists through more than 100 paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, films and archival objects.

The “Dalí & Magritte” exhibition is held under the High Patronage of their Majesties the King and Queen and is organized by the RMFAB in collaboration with the Dalí Museum (St. Petersburg, Florida), the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation and the Magritte Foundation. More than 40 international museums and private collections have lent their masterpieces for this unique exhibition, which ties in with the festivities organised around the Magritte Museum’s 10th anniversary.
Exhibition curator: Michel Draguet, Director General of the RMFAB.

VIDEO Behind The Scenes at the exhibition DALÍ & MAGRITTE

Dalí & Magritte Two surrealist icons in dialogue

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
Rue de la Régence/Regentschapsstraat 3
1000 Brussels
+32 (0)2 508 32 11
info@fine-arts-museum.be

Image: Magritte, The Blood of the World, 1925

20
Dic

Shiota Chiharu : The Soul Trembles

Shiota Chiharu: The Soul Trembles is the first grand-scale exhibition in Korea containing works from Shiota Chiharu’s early career in the 1990s through to the present, illustrating the artist’s growing international reputation. It is co-organized by the Busan Museum of Art and Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Japan, curated by Mami Kataoka, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of Mori Art Museum where it elicited a great response from visitors after opening at Mori Art Museum in June, 2019. Following upon that exhibition at Mori Art Museum, her solo exhibition in Busan centers around four large-scale installation pieces, but features approximately 110 works that allow a comprehensive look at the artist’s activities over the past 25 years.

She is continuing to work with various genres, ranging from large-scale immersive installations incorporating thread and common objects, to sculptural works, photographs, drawings, video, and performance.Through works that visualize questions of the soul, immeasurable anxiety and fear, and her inexplicable existence, the artist expresses an inner state of confronting uncertainty and seeks the meaning of ‘existence’. Utilizing common objects such as thread, dresses, chairs, beds, shoes and bags, the artist creates vast spaces where the memories and relationships embedded in objects are explored. For the artist, the theme of “death” has been a longstanding concern, together with existence and the realm of the unconscious. Her works embody the fear of death she felt at family graves as a child, and the feelings of sorrow and trauma experienced on the border between life and death through two battles with cancer. By capturing these through her works, Shiota approaches death as the beginning of a new life.

Most of her works arise from her personal experiences. However, her works act as the same psychological mechanism for audiences as well to recall life, death and forgotten memories. Going into the 2000s, the artist produced large site-specific installations employing black thread and materials such as window frames, constructing a distinctive formative world of her own. In particular, she is known foremost for her series of immersive installations in which entire spaces are strung with red or black thread, unfolding like human blood vessels or spider webs. The subtitle “The Soul Trembles” references Shiota’s earnest wish to convey to others soul-trembling experiences derived from nameless emotions. In works that elicit ontological thought, she provokes soul-searching of an emotional and primal nature, and her artworks continually raise other questions. These may stem from this time of uncertainty we live in today, when it is increasingly difficult to predict where the many invisible connections in the lives of every individual are leading. Some things that are invisible to humans (the soul, fate, death), along with that uncertainty, may represent fears that are hard to face, and yet they are questions that are ultimately inevitable. Shiota Chiharu: The Soul Trembles is an exhibition that promises to offer an opportunity to reflect on the existence of the individual and to produce new relationships.

Shiota Chiharu (b. 1972) was born in Osaka, Japan, graduated from Kyoto Seika University, and moved to Germany in 1996. She subsequently studied at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg (HFBK), the Braunschweig University of Art (HBK), and the Berlin University of the Arts. Currently based in Berlin, she continues to work internationally. Since her first solo exhibition in 1993, the artist has shown her works in over 300 solo and group exhibitions. She has also participated in numerous international events, including the Sydney Biennale (2016), Busan Biennale (2014), Kiev First International Biennale (2012), and Yokohama Triennale (2001). In 2015, she represented Japan at the 56th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition, where her work was praised by audiences and art officials.

Shiota Chiharu : The Soul Trembles
Busan Museum of ART
December 17, 2019 – April 19, 2020

Image: Me Somewhere Else,  2018. Blain Southern London. Photo by Peter Mallet

28
Ott

Marcel Duchamp: The Barbara and Aaron Levine Collection

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has announced a two-part exhibition on the life and legacy of Marcel Duchamp, commencing with “Marcel Duchamp: The Barbara and Aaron Levine Collection” on view Nov. 9–Oct. 12, 2020. This first part of the exhibition will feature the recent gift of over 50 major historical artworks, including more than 35 seminal works by Duchamp, promised to the museum by Washington, D.C., collectors Barbara and Aaron Levine. The second stage of the exhibition, on view April 18, 2020–Oct. 12, 2020, will examine Duchamp’s lasting impact through the lens of the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection, including significant works by a diverse roster of modern and contemporary artists. Both exhibitions are organized by Evelyn Hankins, the Hirshhorn’s senior curator, and accompanied by a 224-page publication.

“The Levines’ gift is transformative for the Hirshhorn, and because of their generosity we are able to present the works of one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, whose influence is still felt by artists working today,” said Hirshhorn Director Melissa Chiu. “Through this exhibition, museum visitors will observe firsthand the evolution of Duchamp’s creative output alongside examples of artworks by his peers and artists of subsequent generations.”

“Marcel Duchamp: The Barbara and Aaron Levine Collection” comprises an unparalleled selection of artworks, thoughtfully acquired over the course of two decades and offering a rarely seen view of the entire arc of Duchamp’s career. The exhibition will include a number of Duchamp’s most famous readymades, including “Hat Rack,” “Comb,” “Apolinère Enameled,” “With Hidden Noise,” “L.H.O.O.Q.” and “Why Not Sneeze?,” which together embody Duchamp’s then-radical idea that an artist’s ideas are more important than craft or aesthetics. Also prominently featured will be a number of Duchamp’s unique drawings and prints related to his magnum opus, “The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass),” including “Pendu Femelle,” “Studies for the Bachelors in the Cemetery of Uniforms and Liveries, No. 2,” “Bride” and “Nine Malic Moulds.” Further insight into his unique working process is revealed by “The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Green Box)” and “In the Infinitive (The White Box),” which contain more than 150 facsimiles of Duchamp’s working notes for “The Large Glass.” His forward-thinking mindset can be seen in his later kinetic works, such as the “Rotoreliefs (Optical Disks)” and “Cover of S.M.S. (Esquivons les ecchymoses des esquimaux aux mots exquis),” which demonstrate the artist’s interest in creating works that call upon the brain to enhance, instead of merely process, the information received by the eye, deftly anticipating future experiments in film and Op art. The exhibition will also include portraits of Duchamp, as well as works by his contemporaries and those he influenced, including Man Ray, Tristan Tzara, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus and Irving Penn, among others. An educational resource room for visitors of all ages will be included at the end of the exhibition, featuring books about Duchamp and his practice and hands-on making activities inspired by the artist’s work. An interactive chess table will also be included at the end of the exhibition—a nod to one of the artist’s favorite pastimes.

The second exhibition focuses on the extraordinary legacy of Duchamp by examining works from the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection that touch upon a number of broad themes pivotal to the artist’s practice. The exhibition will begin by introducing artwork created by Duchamp’s friends and contemporaries, many of whom explored similar ideas, often challenging traditional artistic mediums to create work that questioned the conventional ideas of fine art. Other issues investigated in the work of artists like Joseph Kosuth and Robert Rauschenberg include optics and light, language, the reuse and reproduction of existing images, the use of everyday objects, the artist’s commitment to self-representation and his belief that an artwork’s meaning is inherently dependent on the viewer.

The promised gift will establish the Hirshhorn as a preeminent Duchamp resource in the mid-Atlantic region, offering one of the most significant public collections in the United States alongside those of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. Together the paired exhibitions, which demonstrate not only Duchamp’s incredible impact on art, but also the ways in which his revolutionary practice transformed people’s understanding of what an artwork can be, will give viewers a full awareness of the artist’s inimitable significance.Continue Reading..

10
Ott

Musja. The Dark Side – Who is afraid of the Dark?

Christian Boltanski, Monica Bonvicini, Monster Chetwynd, Gino De Dominicis, Gianni Dessì, Flavio Favelli, Sheela Gowda, James Lee Byars, Robert Longo, Hermann Nitsch, Tony Oursler, Gregor Schneider, Chiharu Shiota

Curated by Danilo Eccher

Musja, the exhibition space in via dei Chiavari 7 in Rome presided over by Ovidio Jacorossi, becomes a private museum with the opening on October 9 of Who is afraid of the Dark?, the first exhibition within The Dark Side project, a three year programme curated by Danilo Eccher.

The vast art collection owned by Jacorossi, covering the period from the early 19th century Italian to the present, will be flanked by the most innovative contemporary trends in the international panorama in order to highlight the fundamental contribution of art to personal and collective growth. The new museum also sets out to become established as a focus for the development of civil society in Rome, and to carry forward cultural commitment, and dialogue with international public and private institutions and museums.

The complex thematic setting of The Dark Side project is organized into three exhibitions spread over three years, and dedicated to: “Fear of the Dark,” “Fear of Solitude,” and “Fear of Time.” The first event in the new exhibition programme—“Fear of the Dark”—brings together 13 of the most important international artists with large site-specific installations and large-scale artworks by established artists, such as Gregor Schneider, Robert Longo, Hermann Nitsch, Tony Oursler, Christian Boltanski, James Lee Byars as well as new protagonists on the contemporary art scene such as Monster Chetwynd, Sheela Gowda, and Chiharu Shiota. There is a substantial Italian component with works and installations by Gino De Dominicis, Gianni Dessì, Flavio Favelli, Monica Bonvicini. During the opening of the exhibition, and thereafter at monthly intervals, there will be a performance by “Differenziale Femminile,” a group of four actresses, in the rooms of the gallery.

The majority of the site-specific works will be produced especially for the exhibition, while others are loans from various institutions, galleries and some others are part of the Jacorossi collection. All of them were selected for their power to draw the viewer in and encourage reflection on the topic while, at the same time, introducing some essential aspects of current contemporary art research. Visitors will be able to analyse their own reactions to sensory and tactile experiences, theatrical and magical visions, rituals and settings, anxieties that take different and unexpected forms only to melt away.

The catalogue accompanying the exhibition, published by Silvana Editoriale, contains a wealth of images by all the participating artists as well as written contributions. In addition to Danilo Eccher’s contribution, there are also some intellectually complex views on the theme of the dark by theologian Gianfranco Ravasi, theoretical physicist Mario Rasetti, psychiatrist Eugenio Borgna and philosopher Federico Vercellone. Different points of view, cross-cutting approaches, intellectual fields that diverge, overlap and are interwoven, give the project much greater scope than a standard art exhibition.

In the course of the exhibition, Musja will also be holding a series of meetings on the theme, coordinated by Federico Vercellone, professor of Aesthetics in the Department of Philosophy at Turin University.

The Dark Side – Who is afraid of the Dark?
October 9, 2019–March 1, 2020

Musja
via dei Chiavari 7
Rome
Italy

Image artwork by Gino De Dominicis, Jacorossi collection

04
Ott

Jan Fabre – The Rhythm of the Brain

Palazzo Merulana, nato dalla sinergia tra la Fondazione Elena e Claudio Cerasi e CoopCulture, inaugura la stagione espositiva autunnale con una mostra dedicata all’artista belga Jan Fabre, The Rhythm of the Brain, a cura di Achille Bonito Oliva e Melania Rossi.

In esposizione oltre trenta opere dell’artista belga, tra sculture in bronzo e cera, disegni, molte delle quali mai esposte in Italia e alcune scelte appositamente per la Collezione Cerasi. All’interno degli spazi espositivi dell’ex Ufficio di Igiene, la mostra si svilupperà in due capitoli: l’uno si concentra su un dialogo diretto con la collezione permanente e il suo percorso espositivo; l’altro consiste in una selezione di lavori dell’artista sul tema del cervello e del rapporto tra arte e scienza, allestito insieme ad alcuni ritratti e autoritratti della Collezione Elena e Claudio Cerasi.  Una riflessione sull’arte, sull’immaginazione e sul pensiero degli artisti nel corso della storia: oltre ad alcune opere storiche che si pongono in dialogo visivo con il lavoro di Fabre, la mostra vede continui rimandi simbolici e semantici a tutta la collezione permanente del Palazzo.

Il percorso inizia con due sculture in bronzo: To Wear One’s Brain On One’s Head (2018) e De blikopener (2017). Questi autoritratti dell’artista, che porta in bilico il proprio cervello sulla testa e che tiene in mano un apriscatole, saranno una sorta di guida per tutta la mostra, che dispiegherà nei vari spazi del Palazzo l’intimo pensiero di Fabre riguardo all’arte, al pensiero umano, alla fantasia e all’immaginazione.

Jan Fabre sarà inoltre presente al Romaeuropa Festival 2019, dall’11 al 13 ottobre per una corealizzazione con il Teatro Vascello, con lo spettacolo The night writer giornale notturno di Jan Fabre con Lino Musella: un’autobiografia intima e provocatoria tratta da alcune pagine dei diari personali dell’artista affidati all’interpretazione dell’attore italiano Lino Musella.

 Jan Fabre. Con una carriera che dura da quarant’anni, Jan Fabre (1958, Anversa) è considerato una delle figure più innovative nel panorama dell’arte contemporanea internazionale. Come artista visivo e teatrale e come autore crea un’atmosfera intensamente personale con le sue regole, leggi, personaggi, simboli e motivi. Tra le personali più significative di questo versatile artista belga sono da ricordare “Homo Faber” (Kmska, Anversa 2006), “Hortus/ Corpus” (Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo 2011); “Stigmata. Actions and Performances, 1976-2013”, Maxxi, Roma 2013; M hka, Anversa 2015; Mac, Lione 2016; Leopold Museum, Vienna 2017; Caac, Siviglia 2018). Jan Fabre è stato il primo artista vivente a presentare una mostra di ampio respiro al Louvre di Parigi: “L’ange de la métamorphose”, nel 2008. Nel 2016, con “Spiritual Guards” Jan Fabre ha portato una grande mostra presso il Forte Belvedere, Palazzo Vecchio e piazza della Signoria, a Firenze. È stato inoltre invitato da Michail Piotrovskij a realizzare un importante progetto all’Ermitage di San Pietroburgo: “Jan Fabre. Knight of Despair/Warrior of Beauty” (2016-2017). La personale “Glass and Bone Sculptures 1977-2017” è stata presentata come evento collaterale della 57° edizione della Biennale di Venezia (2017). Per Palermo capitale italiana della cultura 2018 MondoMostre ha organizzato “Jan Fabre. Ecstasy & Oracles”, Duomo di Monreale-Valle dei Templi di Agrigento 2018), evento collaterale di Manifesta 12.

Jan Fabre – The Rhythm of the Brain
a cura di Achille Bonito Oliva e Melania Rossi
dall’ 11 ottobre 2019 al 9 febbraio 2020

Palazzo Merulana
via Merulana, 121 – Roma

Orari
Da mercoledì a lunedì, dalle 10.00 alle 20.00, martedì chiuso
Ultimo ingresso ore 19

Info e tariffe
+39 0639967800
info@palazzomerulana.it

In co-realizzazione con Romaeuropa Festival 2019, Flanders State of the Art e galleria Magazzino

My REVIEW on RIVISTA SEGNO: Il cervello vibrante di Jan Fabre

23
Set

Antony Gormley – Solo Exhibition

Acclaimed sculptor Antony Gormley presents his most significant solo exhibition for over a decade. A conversation between old works and new, it will span his wide-ranging practice and exploit the scale and light of the RA’s architecture.

This exhibition is intended as a form of adventure that invites both physical and imaginative participation. The body in Gormley’s work is not a protagonist in a narrative, nor an ideal, a portrait or a memorial – it is the body inand as space.

Early experimental sculptures, objects and drawings – often made using his own body as a primary tool, material and subject – are brought together with large scale environments made especially for the RA. Using organic, industrial and elemental materials, such as iron, steel, lead, seawater and clay, the solidity and certainty of sculpture is put to the test, acknowledging entropy, disintegration, the experience of disorientation. Our understanding of matter itself is under scrutiny – what it means to have a body, when every ‘thing’ is essentially space and energy. Sculpture, for Antony Gormley, is not treated as a ‘thing apart’, separate from its context; it is a means of interrogating and activating its space and place. His negotiation of the surface of the body, his preoccupation with the space within, treads the line between the body as a container of feeling, a living reality, our ‘condition’, and the body as an abstract entity.

From the British coastline to the rooftops of Manhattan, Antony Gormley’s sculptures are recognised across the world. With work from his 45-year career alongside major new installations created for the galleries of Royal Academy of Arts, it will be present his most ambitious exhibition in more than ten years.

Following in the footsteps of Ai Weiwei and Anselm Kiefer, Antony Gormley will be the next artist to take over our Main Galleries with a series of works that test the scale and light of the RA’s architecture. The exhibition will explore Gormley’s wide-ranging use of organic, industrial and elemental materials over the years, including iron, steel, hand-beaten lead, seawater and clay. We will also bring to light rarely-seen early works from the 1970s and 1980s, some of which led to Gormley using his own body as a tool to create work, as well as a selection of his pocket sketchbooks and drawings.

Throughout a series of experiential installations, some brand-new, some remade for the RA’s galleries, we will invite visitors to slow down and become aware of their own bodies. Highlights include Clearing VII, an immersive ‘drawing in space’ made from kilometres of coiled, flexible metal which visitors find their own path through, and Lost Horizon I, 24 life-size cast iron figures set at different orientations on the walls, floor and ceiling – challenging our perception of which way is up.

Perhaps best-known for his 200-tonne Angel of the North installation near Gateshead, and his project involving 24,000 members of the public for Trafalgar Square’s the Fourth Plinth, Antony Gormley is one of the UK’s most celebrated sculptors.

The exhibition is curated by Martin Caiger-Smith, with Sarah Lea, Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Please note: if you are sensitive to enclosed spaces, one of the works may not be suitable for you to enter. Please ask a member of staff for the best route around. Some of the works contain water, sharp edges and materials that can transfer onto clothing.

Looking for Friends previews? Reserve your slot for 18-20 September

Antony Gormley
Solo Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, United Kingdom
September 21 – December 3, 2019

19
Set

HUMA BHABHA – The Company

There is so much physical destruction happening in different parts of the world, to the extent that many functioning cities look like archeological digs. One of the ways I like to approach the past is in a cinematic way, reimagining the past and projecting towards the future just as movies often do.
—Huma Bhabha

Gagosian is pleased to present The Company, new sculptures and drawings by Huma Bhabha. This is her first exhibition in Rome.

In expressive drawings on photographs as well as figurative sculptures carved from cork and Styrofoam, assembled from refuse and clay, or cast in bronze, Bhabha probes the tensions between time, memory, and displacement. References to science-fiction, archeological ruins, Roman antiquities, and postwar abstraction combine as she transforms the human figure into grimacing totems that are both unsettling and darkly humorous.

The Company is inspired in part by “The Lottery in Babylon” (1941), a short story by Jorge Luis Borges in which a fictional society is taken over by a pervasive lottery system that doles out both rewards and punishments. The lottery is purportedly run by the Company, a secret, perhaps nonexistent body determining peoples’ fates. Bhabha’s procession of sculptures makes visible the power of this unseen Company. It comprises a pair of large, disembodied hands floating atop transparent plinths; a seated figure; and several standing figures of varying scale. Drawings on photographs echo these forms and characters, which could have come from a distant realm of the future just as easily as from a lost civilization. The standing figures are carved from stacks of dark cork—which emits an earthy, acrid odor—and its technical inverse, Styrofoam. These materials appear to be hard and dense, like eroded stone or freshly quarried marble, but they are lightweight and soft, allowing Bhabha to carve quickly and spontaneously without over-refining. The sculptural process thus becomes a sort of embodied stream of consciousness from which alien monsters, fertility goddesses, and Greek kouroi emerge.

The masklike visages of Bhabha’s sculptures are at once majestic and jarring. Painted in incongruous pastel tones—blue, mauve, pink, and green—they recall graffiti, where urban grime combines with interventions of glowing color. With their deranged, cartoonish features empowered by a foreboding bipedalism, Bhabha’s sculptures seem to both mock and warn as reflections of and witnesses to human pride and power, veneration and iconoclasm.

Pairing the scars of war, colonialism, and trauma with allusions to current events and popular media, Bhabha has long maintained that the world is an apocalypse, both man-made and natural; her ravaged sculptures appear to have witnessed some measure of catastrophe yet survived to tell the tale. Like an enthroned pharaoh or cyborg caught in a shower of shrapnel, a seated figure is assembled from sallow clay pressed into chicken wire, mottled fragments of Styrofoam, toy dog bones, and rusted chairs from Bhabha’s hometown of Karachi, caught in the crossfire of internecine and international conflict.

In Bhabha’s large drawings, human and nonhuman figures occupy the intersection of photography, collage, and painterly gesture—their composite faces and shadowy forms seeming to haunt landscapes, city streets, and architectural settings. In one, a blue and beige arch is imposed on Bhabha’s own photograph of an ancient dog statue in Rome’s Musei Capitolini, with two white kouroi looming in the background.

On the occasion of the exhibition, the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome will host a conversation between Bhabha and Cristiana Perrella, director of the Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato, on September 18 at 6pm. The event will be held in English and open to the public.

Italian belowContinue Reading..

20
Ago

MARIA LAI. Tenendo per mano il sole

Giocavo con grande serietà e ad a un certo punto i miei giochi li hanno chiamati arte – Maria Lai
www.maxxi.art#MariaLai

In occasione del centenario della nascita, il MAXXI dedica una grande mostra a Maria Lai. Esposti oltre 200 lavori che restituiscono una biografia complessa e affascinante e un approccio alla creatività libero e privo di pregiudizi. Si intitola Tenendo per mano il sole la grande mostra che il MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo dedica a Maria Lai (1919 – 2013), una tra le voci più singolari dell’arte italiana contemporanea. Artista dalla straordinaria capacità generativa, in anticipo su ricerche artistiche che saranno sviluppate solo successivamente, Lai ha saputo creare un linguaggio differente e originale, pur consapevole del lungo processo di decantazione che la sua arte avrebbe dovuto attraversare per essere riconosciuta. Oggi quel processo sembra essersi compiuto. Negli ultimi anni molte sono state le iniziative a lei dedicate e i suoi lavori sono stati recentemente esposti a Documenta 14 e alla Biennale di Venezia 2017. “Nel 2019 – indica Giovanna Melandri, Presidente della Fondazione MAXXI – abbiamo scelto di rivolgere particolare attenzione alle visioni artistiche femminili e non poteva, dunque, mancare un progetto legato a Maria Lai. Con questa mostra, infatti, rendiamo un tributo alla figura ed all’opera di una donna che ha saputo interpretare nel corso della sua carriera artistica infiniti linguaggi, sempre però nel solco della sua ricerca: rappresentare e reinventare con delicatezza e poesia tradizioni e simboli di una cultura arcaica, eterna e rivolgersi con forza ed immediatezza ai contemporanei”. La retrospettiva al MAXXI si concentra su ciò che viene definito il suo secondo periodo, ovvero sulle opere che l’artista crea a partire dagli anni Sessanta e che ricomincia ad esporre, dopo una lunga assenza dalla scena pubblica e artistica, solo nel 1971. “Questo perché – sottolinea Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, Direttore MAXXI Arte – è proprio da quel momento, sino alla sua scomparsa nel 2013, che sono presenti nel lavoro di Maria Lai, in maniera più evidente, molte delle istanze che ne fanno oggi un’artista estremamente attuale e che permettono di restituire alla sua figura una posizione centrale nella storia dell’arterecente”.

La mostra, a cura di Bartolomeo Pietromarchi e Luigia Lonardelli, è realizzata in collaborazione con Archivio Maria Lai eFondazione Stazione dell’Arte, con il patrocinio del Comune di Ulassai e il sostegno di Fondazione di Sardegna. Esposti oltre 200 lavori, tra cui Libri cuciti, sculture, Geografie, opere pubbliche e i suoi celebri Telai, per raccontare nel modo più completo possibile la personalità di Maria Lai e i diversi aspetti del suo lavoro. In mostra anche alcune opere recentemente entrate a far parte della Collezione del MAXXI: Terra, 1984; Il viaggiatore astrale, 1989; Bisbigli, 1996; Pagina cucita, 1978 e Senza titolo, 2009, una rara Geografia su acetato in corso didonazione.

La mostra
Tenendo per mano il sole è il titolo della mostra e della prima Fiaba cucita realizzata. Sia nel titolo che nell’opera sono presenti molti degli elementi tipici della ricerca di Lai: il suo interesse per la poesia, il linguaggio e la parola; la cosmogonia delle sue geografie evocata dal sole; la vocazione pedagogica del “tenere per mano”. Non una classica retrospettiva, ma piuttosto un racconto che non si attiene a vincoli puramente cronologici e asseconda un percorso biografico e artistico peculiare, caratterizzato da discorsi e intuizioni apparentemente lasciati in sospeso per poi essere ripresi molti anni più tardi.

Attraverso un’ampia selezione di opere, in buona parte inedite, la mostra presenta il poliedrico mondo di Maria Lai e la fitta stratificazione di idee e suggestioni che ha caratterizzato il suo immaginario. Il percorso si snoda attraverso cinque sezioni, che prendono il nome da citazioni o titoli di opere di Lai, mentre nel sottotitolo vengono descritte modalità tipiche della sua ricerca; ogni sezione è accompagnata dalla voce di Maria Lai attraverso un montaggio di materiali inediti realizzati dal regista Francesco Casu. C’è anche un’ultima, ideale, sezione, che documenta le opere di arte ambientale realizzate nel territorio e in particolare in Ogliastra. La sezione Essere è tessere. Cucire e ricucire documenta le prime prove realizzate negli anni Sessanta, un decennio in cui decide di abbandonare la tecnica grafica e pittorica per dedicarsi alla sperimentazione con i materiali. Nascono così i primi Telai e le Tele cucite: oggetti funzionali del quotidiano, legati all’artigianato sardo, vengono privati della loro funzione pratica per essere trasformati in opere che dimostrano una fervida ricerca espressiva. Il filo rappresenta anche un’idea di trasmissione e comunicazione, Lai vede l’arte come strumento e linguaggio capace di modificare la nostra lettura del mondo, un’attitudine che le deriva dalla sua storia personale di insegnante e che si manifesterà in seguito nei Libri e nelle Fiabe cucite. L’arte è il gioco degli adulti. Giocare e Raccontare raccoglie i giochi dell’arte creati da Lai, riletture di giochi tradizionali con cui ribadisce il ruolo fondante della creazione nella società. Gioco come mezzo per conoscere se stessi e per imparare a relazionarsi con l’altro, un’attività da non relegare al mondo dell’infanzia, ma da continuare a coltivare in età adulta. La sezione Oggetto paesaggio. Disseminare e condividere, racconta l’aspetto relazionale della pratica di Lai attraverso un ampio corpus di oggetti legati a un suo universo affettivo, tra cui sculture che simulano l’aspetto di un libro o di singole pagine, forme che richiamano manufatti del quotidiano, rivendicando però una propria inedita individualità. Il viaggiatoreastrale.Continue Reading..

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Mag

Jannis Kounellis

Jannis Kounellis, curated by Germano Celant, is the major retrospective dedicated to the artist following his death in 2017. Developed in collaboration with Archivio Kounellis, the project brings together more 70 works from 1958 to 2016, from both Italian and international museums, as well as from important private collections both in Italy and abroad. The show explores the artistic and exhibition history of Jannis Kounellis (Piraeus 1936–Rome 2017), establishing a dialogue between his works and the eighteenth-century spaces of Ca’ Corner della Regina.

The artist’s early works, originally exhibited between 1960 and 1966, deal with urban language. These paintings reproduce actual writings and signs from the streets of Rome. Later on, the artist transferred black letters, arrows and numbers onto white canvases, paper or other surfaces, in a language deconstruction that expresses a fragmentation of the real. From 1964 onward, Kounellis addressed subjects taken from nature, from sunsets to roses. In 1967 Kounellis’ investigation turned more radical, embracing concrete and natural elements including birds, soil, cacti, wool, coal, cotton, and fire.

Kounellis moved from a written and pictorial language to a physical and environmental one. Thus the use of organic and inorganic entities transformed his practice into corporeal experience, conceived as a sensorial transmission. In particular, the artist explored the sound dimension through which a painting is translated into sheet music to play or dance to. Already in 1960, Kounellis began chanting his letters on canvas, and in 1970 the artist included the presence of a musician or a dancer. An investigation into the olfactory, which began in 1969 with coffee, continued through the 1980s with elements like grappa, in order to escape the illusory limits of the painting and join with the virtual chaos of reality.In the installations realized toward the end of the 1960s, the artist sets up a dialectic battle between the lightness, instability and temporal nature connected with the fragility of the organic element and the heaviness, permanence, artificiality and rigidity of industrial structures, represented by modular surfaces in gray-painted metal. In the same period Kounellis participated in exhibitions that paved the way to Arte Povera, which in turn translated into an authentic form of visual expression. An approach that recalls ancient culture, interpreted according to a contemporary spirit, in contrast with the loss of historical and social identity that took place during the postwar period. Beginning in 1967, the year of the so-called “fire daisy,” the phenomenon of combustion began to appear frequently in the artist’s work: a “fire writing” that enlights the transformative and regenerative potential of flames. At the height of the mutation, according to alchemical tradition, we find gold, employed by the artist in multiple ways. In the installation Untitled (Tragedia civile) (1975), the contrast between the gold leaf that covers a bare wall and the black clothing hanging on a coat hanger underlines the dramatic nature of a scene that alludes to a personal and historical crisis. In Kounellis’ work smoke, naturally connected with fire, functions both as a residual of a pictorial process, and as proof of the passage of time. The traces of soot on stones, canvases and walls that characterize some of his works from 1979 and 1980 indicate a personal “return to painting,” in opposition to the anti-ideological and hedonistic approach employed in a large part of the painting production in the 1980s. Throughout his artistic research Kounellis develops a tragic and personal relationship with culture and history, avoiding a refined and reverential attitude. He would eventually represent the past with an incomplete collection of fragments of classical statues, as in the work from 1974. Meanwhile, in other works the Greco-Roman heritage is explored through the mask, as in the 1973 installation made up of a wooden frame on which plaster casts of faces are placed. The door is another symbol of the artist’s intolerance for the dynamics of his present. The passageways between rooms are closed up with stones, wood, sewing machines and iron reinforcing bars, making several spaces inaccessible in order to emphasize their unknown, metaphysical and surreal dimension.Continue Reading..