Archive for April, 2017

Art | Idle Moments with Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

Friday, April 28th, 2017



Vigil For A Horseman, 2017
Oil on linen, three parts



Lynette Yiadom-Boakye:
Under-Song For A Cipher
New Museum
New York City | USA
03 May > 03 September 2017



Ever The Women Watchful, 2017
Oil on linen



Last year Artsy, the art collecting and education website, observed that ‘a critical mass of female painters are embracing figuration [figurative art], diversifying it, and pushing the conversation around it forward.’ British painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (b 1977) didn’t appear on the list of 20 international names cited. Nevertheless, the artist, who was shortlisted for the prestigious Turner Prize in 2013, has a solo exhibition opening at the New Museum in New York next week.

Vigil For A Horseman, Willow Strip, Mercy Over Matter, Ever The Women Watchful, the names Yiadom-Boakye gives her paintings read like book titles. Before she even thought about painting – she told Serpentine Galleries’ artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist in a 2015 interview – she read a lot and her imagination was inspired by what she discovered in books. One of these, Redback, by Howard Jacobson, she said, described a man who was bitten by a spider, dancing in moonlight; the paintings she would go on to produce have a narrative feel and often feature animals and dancers. She liked Chaucer; she liked Shakespeare, but she was also keen on Patricia Highsmith’s psychological thrillers and cited James Baldwin’s writing as a ‘really big’ influence. She sees her own writing as an extension to her painting, and her etchings as a way of developing her drawing, which, if this show is anything to go by, has become a lot more confident over the past couple of years.

Willow Strip, 2017
Oil on linen



This month the black American painter Barkley L Hendricks (1945 > 2017), whose bold portrayal of his urban black subjects’ attitude and style seemed to imbue them with celebrity-like status, died. Cool, empowering, and sometimes confrontational, it has been said that his work paved the way for today’s generation of black artists. Hendricks was represented by the Jack Shainman Gallery, which has had Yiadom-Boakye on its books since her first solo show, Essays and Documents, was held there in 2010, however she speaks a more gentle and dreamlike visual language in comparison to his. Asked by Obrist about race as a feature of her work, she said, cryptically, that it is important, but that ‘the importance is almost its unimportance’.

Much of Yiadom-Boakye’s work might like portraiture, but she says that it isn’t – that it never is – and that her subjects can’t exist outside of her paintings of their idle, private moments. Set against neutral backgrounds, they provoke the imagination and are open to a range of viewer interpretations. Inspired by photography, and by the portraits of artists she admires – Sickert and Sargent, among others – her characters are based on found images from a variety of sources, and on memories.

Mercy Over Matter, 2017
Oil on linen



Of Ghanaian descent, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, lives and works in London, UK. Her recent solo shows include A Passion To A Principle, at Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2016–17); Capsule 03: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, at Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2015), and Verses After Dusk at The Serpentine Galleries, London, UK (2015). Her work was included in, among other group shows, British Art Show 8 (2015–17); The Encyclopedic Palace at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013); and the second New Museum Triennial, The Ungovernables (2012).

She is prolific, finishing the majority of her works in a single sitting; almost all of the paintings in Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Under-Song For A Cipher at the New Museum, were produced in the first few months of this year.

All works by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, courtesy the artist, Corvi-Mora, London, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, and the New Museum


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Photography | Juergen Teller: a Kind of Self-portrait

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Kanye, Juergen & Kim, No. 51
Chateau d’Ambleville 2015



Juergen Teller.
Enjoy Your Life!
Martin-Gropius-Bau
Berlin | Germany
Until 3 July 2017



Anne & Elisa, No. 1
Man About Town

Magazine cover,
spring/summer 2016



Kanye, Juergen & Kim, No. 70
Chateau d’Ambleville 2015



‘I hate nothing more than sugary photographs with tricks, poses and effects. So allow me to be honest and tell the truth about our age and its people.’ August Sander (1876 > 1964)

Juergen Teller was born in Germany, in the year that the great German portrait and documentary photographer August Sander died. Like Sander, he doesn’t idealise, and makes no effort to romanticise or prettify his subjects. His sincerity is infectious and the honesty of his approach to his work is inspiring. Nevertheless he likes to have fun, too. ‘What Helmut says goes, what Rei says goes, what Vivienne says goes, what Marc says goes… I take the whole thing seriously, but I couldn’t do a job where I didn’t have any fun, and just to make money,’ he told the Independent newspaper.

Photographing the actress Charlotte Rampling for Marc Jacobs’ 2004 advertising campaign, and including himself in some of the intimate shots – one showed Teller curling up in bed with Rampling, him sucking her toes – was the start of a close working relationship that led to their collaboration on a provocative series of images, involving his own nudity, that would become a book and an exhibition. In 2009, Teller was involved with Vivienne Westwood and Pamela Anderson for an ‘Everything ugly and beautiful at the same time’ campaign that also resulted in a book. Westwood, with whom he continued to work, would also appear, draped over a car on a dirt road, in Teller’s monograph, Keys To The House (2012). ‘In the wider sense, everything is a kind of self-portrait. It’s just the way you see things and how certain things rouse your curiosity and get you all excited,’ he has said. Kanye, Juergen & Kim, a later book published in 2015, contains a series he shot with Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian at Château d’Ambleville in France, but no château. Instead he chose to make the most of this rare opportunity alone with them away from the public gaze by capturing the couple – and himself – in seemingly private, intimate moments, out in the open countryside.

Love, Bataclan
Memorial

Paris 2016



My mother,
Plates/Teller, No. 174

2016



Having studied photography in Munich, and speaking no English, Teller had moved to London in 1986 and managed to find work shooting record covers. He photographed Sinéad O’Connor in 1990 then went on tour with Nirvana the following year. His image of Kate Moss for a British Vogue cover in 1994 launched his career as a fashion photographer and by 1996 his success earned him a solo exhibition at London’s Photographers’ Gallery, followed by work for Calvin, and later, Céline and Yves Saint Laurent. He had been involved in advertising campaigns for Marc Jacobs since 1998, his work becoming synonymous with the brand, and the subject of another book Marc Jacobs Advertising 1998 – 2009. His photography has featured in an array of influential international publications such including W Magazine and i-D.

Self-portrait
London 2015



Teller is one of a few artists since Robert Mapplethorpe – an exhibition of whose work he was recently invited to curate at Alison Jacques’ gallery in London – who has been able to straddle both the art world and that of commercial fashion photography.​ Woo, a retrospective of work, opened at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts in 2013 and was the most well attended exhibition in the venue’s history. In 2014, his exhibition MACHO was staged at DESTE Foundation in Athens. His previous exhibitions include Man with Banana (2011), at Dallas Contemporary, Texas, and The Girl With the Broken Nose (2012) at the Palazzo Reale in Milan. His work is included in numerous collections around the world, including the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, International Center for Photography, New York, and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

There are some tricks, there are some poses, but his photography is never sugary, indeed his more personal work can have a very serious, poignant edge to it. What Teller sees and is interested in is essentially, what you get. His unique vision has led to him becoming regarded by many as one of the world’s great contemporary photographers.

Juergen Teller. Enjoy Your Life! was shown previously at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn and the Galerie Rudolfinum in Prague. It’s now a must see at Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin.

All images © Juergen Teller, courtesy Bundeskunsthalle


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Art | Between Sculpture & Bodily Adornment

Friday, April 14th, 2017

Untitled, 2013,
Subodh Gupta

Yellow gold and
emeralds on gold chain,
pendant necklace



Portable Art:
A Project by Celia Forner
Hauser & Wirth
69th Street
New York City | USA
20 April > 17 June 2017



Untitled, 2016,
Mary Heilmann

3 hollow silver disks.
Chain: lacquered
silver
with matte finish



In 1936 the young surrealist artist, Méret Oppenheim, met Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar at the Café de Flore in Paris and showed them a piece of brass tubing that she had covered in fur and wore as a bracelet. Many years later, in 2008, Oppenheim’s contemporary, the French-American surrealist sculptor, Louise Bourgeois – by now 97 years old – was invited to contribute jewellery designs to the newly launched Portable Art project in New York.

Fool’s Gold (Large), 2016,
Stefan Brüggeman

Cube: pyrite
Ring: pyrite and
18kt yellow gold



Prior to the modernist era, jewellery was an exclusive province of the applied arts, but artists such as Picasso and Georges Braque, who blurred the boundaries between painting and sculpture, helped transform it into a wearable art form.

(Left arm)
Crowd Arm
(Gold on Silver)
, 2016,
John Baldessari

Spike: 22kt yellow
gold plated
Elbow: silver and
22kt yellow gold plated

(Right arm)
Crowd Arm
(Gold on Gold)
, 2016,
John Baldessari

Spike: 22kt yellow
gold plated
Elbow: silver
© John Baldessari.
Courtesy the artist,
Marian Goodman
Gallery and
Hauser & Wirth



In the early part of the 20th century, European artists had also questioned accepted ideals of beauty, and the choice of Rossy de Palma, often referred to as ‘a Picasso portrait come to life’ – her asymmetric features so impressed film director Pedro Almodóvar that he gave her a starring role in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988) – to model the latest Portable Art project collection is apposite. The commissioned series of photographs by Gorka Postigo showing her using her acting skills to engage with each item of wearable sculpture/jewellery, make an important contribution to the show.

Nekton, 2016,
& Plankton, 2017,
Michele Oka Doner

Courtesy the artist,
Marlborough Gallery
and Hauser & Wirth



Over the decade since Louise Bourgeois contributed her precious spiral-like metal cuffs the Portable Art project has evolved. Organised by Celia Forner and debuting at Hauser & Wirth New York the forthcoming show will include unique and disparate designs from an array of 15 prominent international artists – John Baldessari, Phyllida Barlow, Stefan Brüggemann, Subodh Gupta, Mary Heilmann, Andy Hope 1930, Cristina Iglesias, Matthew Day Jackson, Bharti Kher, Nate Lowman, Paul McCarthy, Caro Niederer, Michele Oka Doner, and Pipilotti Rist. Prices range from $15,000 > $120,000, (approximately £12,000 > £96,000, €14,000 > €113,000).

Photographs by Gorka Postigo, modelled by Rossy de Palma
© The respective artist. Courtesy the artists and Hauser & Wirth


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Exhibition | Tomáš Rafa: New Nationalisms Exposed

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Refugees on their way to Western Europe wait to cross the Serbian-Croatian border in close to freezing temperatures
October 2015



Anti-EU march of Hungarian and Polish nationalists and far right extremists, on National Independence Day
Warsaw,
Poland, November 2015



Tomáš Rafa: New Nationalisms
MoMA PS1
New York City | USA
9 April > 10 September 2017



Prejudice, superstition, and resentment inspire the work of Slovakian self-styled ‘art activist’ and documentary filmmaker, Tomas Rafa, who, since 2009, through his ongoing project New Nationalism, has produced a hard-hitting dossier of film and still images representing the resurgence of extreme right-wing, xenophobic, and neo-fascist groups in Central Europe.

Refugees at the biggest refugee camp in Europe since WWII
Idomeni, Greece, 2016



En route to Berlin to celebrate the anniversary of the end of WWII – prior to being banned from entering Poland – Russian extreme nationalist motor bike gang, the Night Wolves, receive a heroes’ welcome in Bratislava
Slovakia, 2015



On his constant travels between Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Greece, documenting political demonstrations, blockades, and protests, Rafa keeps the camera rolling long after journalists with less stamina have left the scene, capturing vivid portraits and tense footage of events often missed in televised news reports.

Refugees stranded at Budapest’s Keleti station, their train connections to Germany having been cancelled as a result of interventions by defiant Hungarian politician Viktor Orbán
September 2015



Far right extremists protest against refugees and Islam
Prague, Czech Republic, July 2015



Born in Zilina, Slovakia in 1979, Rafa studied at the Academy of Fine arts in Banska Bystrica and the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. His project New Nationalism in the Heart of Europe won the prestigious Oskár Čepan in 2011.

A selection of his work will be presented in Tomáš Rafa: New Nationalisms at New York’s MoMA PS1 from Sunday.

All images courtesy and © Tomáš Rafa


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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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