Archive for September, 2015

Art | Paris Goes Out of This World

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Robert Longo
Untitled (Astronaut Tereshkova,
First Woman in Space), 2015

Charcoal on mounted paper.
2 panels, each 238.8 x 121.9 cm




Space Age
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
Paris Pantin
Paris | France
27 September > 23 December 2015



Stephan Balkenhol
Mann auf Rakete /
Man on a Rocket
, 2015

Wawa wood.
Photo Philippe Servent



It looked slick, cool and clever. Everyone was very excited when Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong stepped off the Lunar Module’s ladder and onto the Moon’s surface, on July 20, 1969. What had hitherto been the stuff of dreams, comic books, science fiction novels and film, was suddenly happening for the first time, live on our TV screens. Armstrong’s iconic ‘…one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind,’ footprint image made a deep impression on the art world. The years of preparation had already had a huge influence on artists such as Korean-American Nam Juin Pak (1932 > 2006), and the moon landing itself, lent credence to influential Argentine-Italian artist Lucio Fontana’s 1949 claim, ‘I assure you that on the moon no-one will make paintings, but they will make spatial art.’ He would go on to prophesy, ominously ‘… Art, as it is thought of today, will end.’ Sadly, Fontana, who died in 1968, just missed the big show.

Lee Bul
Aubade IV, 2015
Stainless-steel structure,
acrylic, polycarbonate sheet,
glass paint, LED lights,
electrical wiring, fog machine



Cory Arcangel
MIG 29 Soviet Fighter Plane

and Clouds, 2005
2 handmade hacked Nintendo
cartridges & games systems
multi-channel projections



Anselm Kiefer
Das Grab in den Lüften /
The Grave in the Air,
1991

Mixed media installation
comprised of glass, stone,
earth, lead, wood and iron.
Photo Philippe Servent



What might Fontana have made of this new show in the four vast halls of Paris Pantin for which 20 artists of different generations contribute works, in a variety of media, inspired by the notion of outer space – its diverse connotations, from science to utopia? In an era where news of space flights and happenings on space stations is so commonplace that they barely rate a like, never mind a retweet, have conventional art works become redundant?

Robert Rauschenberg (1925 > 2008) is represented by a large dynamic wall sculpture, constructed from, among other elements, an aeroplane part and a bicycle frame, the whole redolent of undefined wreckage, but clearly referencing early attempts at manned flight. There’s also a layered acrylic print on a sheet of mirrored aluminium by Rauschenberg that plays with the notion of surface, depth and even volume – Fontana experimented in similar areas – but is in a disarming and fairly conventional, framed format.

Robert Rauschenberg
Roads (Shiner), 1992
Acrylic on mirrored aluminium.
© Robert Rauschenberg
Foundation / VAGA,
New York / ADAGP, Paris.
Photo John Berens



Harun Farocki
Eye / Machine I > III, 2001 > 2003

Double-channel installation,
sound, colour, 25 / 17 /15 minutes.
Courtesy Estate Harun Farocki



Never predictable, ever ambiguous, the new piece, Aubade IV (2015), included from Korean artist Lee Bul (1964 >), made up of four elements, might represent a battle in space. It incorporates LED lights and a fog machine, and is elusively yet aptly described as ‘of variable dimensions’, which has become common practice for installation work, but is particularly appropriate in this instance, because there’s a sense that the viewer is looking at a snatch from a scene that might shift and change at any moment .

Untitled (Astronaut Tereshkova, First Woman in Space), 2015, from American painter/sculptor Robert Longo, aged 52, who first came to the fore in the 1980s with a series depicting sharply-dressed men and women writhing in contorted emotion, has contributed a piece made up of two huge monochrome panels (each 238.8 x 121.9 cm), executed in the age-old medium of charcoal. Set at right angles to one another, each picks up a reflection of the other, imbuing it with an immersive, weightless quality.

What might have shocked Fontana is that, in amongst the aeroplane parts and the double-channel video installations, Space Age at Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, includes a few oil paintings and even some figurative sculpture.

All items and images courtesy Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, Paris / Salzburg


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The Blog’s publishers insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees that may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier


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All Categories | Here, There + Everywhere

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Piet Mondrian (1872 – 1944),
Komposition in Oval mit Farbflächen 2, 1914

© Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Netherlands.
On show at Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, see below



The Blog’s regular posts won’t appear on
Friday 11 and Friday 18 September.

We’ll be back on Friday 25 September.
Until then, here are a few events around
the globe you might like to know about



London | UK
Don McCullin: Eighty
Hamiliton’s Gallery
9 September > 3 October
Exhibition honouring McCullin’s 80th birthday: each print in the exhibition is in an oversized format – the scale enhancing their monumentality and power.

The London Art Book Fair
Whitechapel Gallery
10 > 13 September 2015
Highlights include Michael Craig-Martin in discussion with his former student Fiona Rae.


Berlin | Germany
Piet Mondrian. The Line
Martin-Gropius-Bau
4 September > 6 December 2015
Exhibition illustrating the development of Mondrian’s work from before lines and the organisation of image areas dominated his abstract creations.

Sol Lewitt – Wall Drawings, Grids on Black and White
Konrad Fischer Galerie
3 September > 31 October

+

Düsseldorf | Germany
Sol Lewitt – Wall Drawings, Grids on Color
Konrad Fischer Galerie
4 September > 31 October
Two solo exhibitions of LeWitt’s wall drawings running almost concurrently at both the gallery’s venues.


New York City | USA
Mike Kelley
Hauser & Wirth
10 September 10 > 24 October 2015
Exhibition on the late Los Angeles artist who reworked the imagery and mythology of the popular American comic book hero, Superman.

Gego: Autobiography of a Line
Dominique Lévy
10 September 10 > 24 October 2015
Exhibition of German-born Venezuelan artist Gego (Gertrude Goldschmidt, 1912 > 1994), in whose intricate wire sculpture, line becomes a dimensional language with which to describe architectural space and engage the human body.


Paris | France
Toshio Shibata: Night Photographs
Polka Gallery
12 September > 31 October 2015
Japanese photographer of the postwar generation is particularly known for his monumental infrastructure photographs. The Night Photographs, taken exclusively at night in the 80s, but only now put on to the public display are black and white pictures when his current work is in colour.


Hong Kong | China
Nam June Paik – The Late Style
Gagosian Gallery
17 September > 7 November 2015
Video sculptures, paintings, and drawings produced during the last decade of Paik’s life, many of which have never been exhibited, will be presented together with key works from the 1960s through the 1980s.


Milan | Italy
Atlante del gesto
Fondazione Prada
18 September > 3 October 2015
A series of choreographic actions conceived by Virgilio Sieni for Fondazione Prada’s new Milan venue.


Lausanne | Switzerland
The memory of images:
The iconographic collection of the Canton de Vaud
Musée de l’Elysée
18 September 2015 > 3 January 2016
Founded in 1896 by the pastor Paul-Louis Vionnet (1830-1914), the collection contains hundreds of thousands of images covering the history of the medium. This presentation chronicles the beginnings of documentary photography applied to the inventory of local heritage and the history of the Canton of Vaud.


Amsterdam | The Netherlands
ZeroNow: on the Topicality of Zero
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
24 September > 25 September 2015
A symposium about Zero one of the mid-20th century’s most interesting and influential art groups, with Rem Koolhaas (OMA, Rotterdam), among other prominent international speakers.


Tell us what you think
The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and gardens, and anything else that currently interests us that we think might interest you.

The Blog’s publishers insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees that may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier


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Home | Not Living Alone

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Villa van Vijven, Almere,
The Netherlands, 2008,
by NEXT architects
Photo Iwan Baan



Daheim – Bauen und Wohnen in Gemeinschaft /
At Home – Building and Living in Communities
DAM Deutsches Architekturmuseum
Frankfurt am Main | Germany
12 September > 28 February 2016



BIGYard, Berlin, Germany, 2010,
by Zanderroth Architekten
+ Herrburg Landschaftsarchitekten
Photo Michael Feser



For those who are middle-aged and beyond, the new buildings of the world’s 21st century cities closely resemble, and may even exceed, the promise of those portrayed in the futuristic drawings in the science fiction comics of our youth. New housing, however, in many suburban areas of the UK and in towns and villages, more stylistically homogenous than ever before, while aspiring to deliver a reassuring message to the masses that nothing in the lifestyle and tastes of the average Brit has changed, misrepresent reality. Due, not least, to the reconfiguration of our lives as a result of technological advancement, climate change and the need to conserve natural resources, global living patterns are slowly but surely altering.

Since 1980, when Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative government passed legislation making implementation of their Right to Buy policy possible – for the first time, allowing council house tenants to purchase their previously rented homes – Englishmen and English women have commonly believed it is their right to own the property in which they live, and very often these are houses, as opposed to apartments.

Studio building,
Yokohama, Japan, 2009,
by
ondesign & partner
Photo Koichi Torimura

The Roof Top, Vienna, Austria,
2012, by
PPAG architects GmbH
Photo Roland Krauss



In 2004, the last time the international Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s figures were updated, Spain at 83% had the largest number of owner-occupiers in the world, with Ireland at 81% coming in a close second. The UK was 6th on the list following Mexico, Greece and Belgium. Australia, the USA and Canada all scored fairly high. At the other end of the scale, Germany, at only 41% ranked among the lowest in the developed world for homeownership, with only the Swiss buying less. Germans, it would seem, aren’t interested in buying a home, and prefer to rent. There are specific reasons why this should be so – suffice to say that, in fairly quick succession, during the first half of the 20th century, the country went through two ruinous wars, in which hundreds of thousands, if not millions of homes were obliterated, later to be replaced by privately-owned apartment buildings, and that the government does not offer any tax cuts to homebuyers. According to the OECD, more than 93% of German respondents said they were satisfied with their current housing situation, which for the vast majority means apartment living in rented accommodation.

Nevertheless, there is evidence that the trend is beginning to change in Germany, across the rest of Europe, and elsewhere in the world, toward resident-owned community living in purpose-built, or reconditioned property.

Meanwhile, in the UK, house prices have risen so steeply that young people can no longer afford to buy them, so they rent. But, because the demand for rental properties far outstrips their availability, rents have risen to unprecedented levels, forcing many to search for alternative ways to live. In the past, community living here was seen as something quirky, for those wishing to lead an ‘alternative’ lifestyle, and we have a talent for sneering at our compatriots who choose to depart from the norm. Housing projects like Bowden House Community, near Torquay in Devon, earnestly describing themselves as, ‘A group of families and individuals aspiring to compassionate and eco-mindful living’ were previously dismissed as ‘hippies’. The UK co-housing Network, however, is growing steadily and now lists over fifty such projects, including Coflats Stroud, which, ‘partly inspired by the 1930’s Isokon Building in Hampstead’, albeit sounding rather retro, is at least more in tune with contemporary tastes.

Spreefeld, Berlin, 2014,
by
ArGE Carpaneto + FAT Köhl
+ BAR Architekten + The co-workers

Photo Ute Zscharnt

Hillside Housing Complex,
Kaltern, Italy, 2010,
by
feld72 Architekten
Photo Hertha Hurnaus



To discover what forms of the cooperative housing phenomenon are taking shape, and what role architecture is playing in this context, At Home – Building and Living in Communities, opening next week at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt, examines 26 case studies, taking in co-op and housing association building projects in countries such as Germany, Spain, Austria, Italy and even Japan.

The different concepts for the diverse projects included can be seen as responses to the needs of those who live and work in diverse locations. Through their involvement and contributions made during the genesis of each project, innovative, custom-made solutions are developed that are geared directly to the owner / residents’ requirements and desires. The idea of living in individual apartments, and often under one roof, nurturing neighbourly relations and friendship, as well as sharing space and social responsibility, reflects living concepts that are capable of combining traditional as well as modern living models.

All images courtesy Deutsches Architekturmuseum, © the photographers


Tell us what you think
The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and gardens, and anything else that currently interests us that we think might interest you.

The Blogs publishers insist that all images supplied for publication in our posts are cleared for that use before being sent to us. Whether pictures are sent to us as email attachments or made available as downloadable files, any responsibility for fees that may, under any circumstances whatsoever, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier


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