Archive for January, 2018

Design | Klaus Staeck: Berlin’s Man of Action

Friday, January 26th, 2018

Lügenbaron / Lying baron, 2017.
(Baron von Münchhausen
was the legendary ‘Lying Baron’)
Offset poster



Klaus Staeck:
Sand in the Gearbox
Museum Folkwang
Essen | Germany
9 February > 8 April 2018



Die Gedanken sind frei /
Thoughts are free, 1979
Offset poster



Sued unsuccessfully 41 times, German graphic designer, publisher, political activist and lawyer, Klaus Staeck has triggered far-reaching scandals often ending in legal disputes aimed at banning his artwork from public display.

The feisty 80-year-old held the office of President of the Academy of Arts in Berlin from 2006 to 2015 and has since been its honorary president. Based in the German capital and almost unknown outside German-speaking areas of Europe, Staeck’s provocative poster designs have pointedly highlighted socio-critical issues and crises in the Federal Republic and occasionally beyond, since the late 1960s.

Vorsicht Kunst /
Caution, Art, 1982
Offset poster



His on-going campaign Aktion für mehr Demokratie / Action for More Democracy founded in 1971, in aid of culture and press freedom, will be presented as a documentary room installation within his retrospective exhibition at Museum Folkwang from next month until April.

Self-taught, Staeck had begun creating posters, postcards, and flyers, while pursuing his legal studies in the 1950s. In 1960, he became a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and was involved in local politics in Heidelberg throughout the 60s.

Würden Sie dieser Frau
ein Zimmer vermieten? /
Would You Rent a Room
to This Woman?, 1971
Silkscreen print



After his notorious posters, depicting a haggard old woman (actually, Albrecht Dürer’s mother), posing the question: ‘Would You Rent a Room to This Woman?’, mysteriously appeared overnight on 380 advertising pillars during the 1971 Dürer – Year of the City of Nuremberg celebrations – at the time, the city happened to be hosting a house and landowners’ conference – he was catapulted to national fame. The following year Staeck produced and paid for one million posters for the SPD election campaign.

Thema Freihandel /
Free Trade, 2015.
(TTIP = Transatlantic Trade
& Investment Partnership)

Offset poster



Having set up his publishing company Edition Staeck in 1965 – which is still going strong – to sell his prints and raise funds for his political activities, his first works had been woodcuts. In 1967 he switched to screen printing and, when his projects demanded longer print runs, he utilised commercial, offset lithography.

A close friend of Joseph Beuys, Klaus Staeck was invited to exhibit in Documenta 6 (1977), 7 (1982) and 8 (1987) – Germany’s most prestigious exhibition of contemporary art that takes place every five years in Kassel – and from 1986 was a guest professor at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He became a member of the culture senate of the Free State of Saxony in 2004.

Coca Cola 1, 1970
Silkscreen print



Via his website Unterwegs in Sachen Kunst und Politik / Travels in Art and Political Things, in addition to his own works, Staeck’s online shop sells postcards, posters, books and objects by many of the prominent international, politically-minded artists he has been associated with and who have lent him their support, including Bernd and Hilla Becher, Max Bill, Christo, Günter Grass, Naim June Paik, Blinky Palermo, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter and Dieter Roth.

Klaus Staeck: Sand in the Gearbox at Museum Folkwang will present 180 of Staeck’s subversive poster designs as well as early prints, postcards and objects. Edition Folkwang / Steidl are publishing a catalogue to accompany the exhibition.

All poster images by Klaus Staeck, courtesy Museum Folkwang © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018


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The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design, 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 made available 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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Photography | Seeing Between the Lines

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Abelardo Morell,
Book with Wavy Pages, 2001
© Abelardo Morell,
Courtesy the artist and
Edwynn Houk Gallery,
New York & Zurich



The Beauty of Lines:
Masterpieces from
the Gilman and
Gonzalez-Falla Collection
Musée de l’Elysée
Lausanne | Switzerland
31 January > 6 May 2018



Laurent Elie Badessi,
Man’s Back, Horse’s Back,
Camargue, France, 1994
© Laurent Elie Badessi



To hook readers, or viewers, hard copy magazines and newspapers, as well as their online versions, and blogs such as this one, will, most often and quite naturally, opt to feature examples of work by famous photographers as opposed to those by unfamiliar ones.

When the line-up, such as in this case, includes material by household names, among them, Berenice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Margaret Bourke-White, Bill Brandt, Edward Burtynsky, Harry Callahan, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Imogen Cunningham, Robert Doisneau, William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, André Kertész, Man Ray, Robert Mapplethorpe, Alexander Rodchenko, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, Thomas Struth, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Edward Weston and has been selected from a world-renowned collection of original, contemporary photographs and vintage prints, why would they do otherwise?

Stéphane Couturier,
Barendrecht n° 1, 2004
© Stéphane Couturier
Courtesy La Galerie
Particulière, Paris &
Bruxelles



Cig Harvey, The Pale
Yellow Cadillac, Sadie,
Portland, Maine, 2010
© Cig Harvey



Ordinarily, the work of sometimes equally-talented but less well-known practitioners would stand little chance of being selected for publication. However, for whatever reason – worries regarding copyright infringement and online piracy, perhaps – of the images going on show in this forthcoming exhibition at the Musée de l’Elysée, only a few by photography’s A-listers – one by Karl Blossfeldt, one by Lewis Hine and another by Walker Evans – have been made available to the press.

Ray K Metzker,
New Mexico, 1971
© Estate of Ray K Metzker



Augusto Cantamessa,
Breve Orizzonte, 1955
© Augusto Cantamessa,
concession de Bruna
Genovesio et Patrik Losano



Ironically, on this occasion, it allows us the opportunity to surprise you with images from photographers who, while none of them is obscure, you may be unfamiliar with. You may never have seen these pictures before but they provide a good indication of the excellent quality of work that is to be found throughout the Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla Collection, which is regarded as one of best private collections of photography in the world.

The Beauty of Lines: Masterpieces from the Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla Collection, at the Musée de l’Elysée, includes 150 photographs and takes the line as its theme.


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The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design, 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 made available 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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Photography | 1968: Pop Goes the News

Friday, January 5th, 2018

2 February 1968
Viet Cong guerrilla
executed by
police chief
AP Wirephoto,
Photo Eddie Adams



Day by Day: 1968
Steven Kasher Gallery
New York City | USA
11 January > 24 February 2018



9 February 1968
Elvis and Priscilla
Presley with
their
newborn daughter

United Press
International, Inc



In February 1968 a prisoner, identified as a Vietcong officer, was presented to police chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan, who shot him dead. Eddie Adams’ photograph of the event was voted World Press Photo of the Year and earned him a Pulitzer Prize. The moment of the execution, seen by so many in their newspapers, became the moment Western opinion about the Vietnam war fundamentally shifted.

A leap year, 1968 lasted a day longer than most. But what did another day matter? Brimful with tumultuous events it was one of the most turbulent twelve month periods of the 20th century. New York’s Steven Kasher Gallery is marking its 50th anniversary with an exhibition of vintage black and white news agency photographed – one shot on each of its 366 momentous days. Resembling a series of pop art montages that might have been put together by Richard Hamilton or Andy Warhol, and accompanied by a soundtrack of 1968 pop songs, including bubble-gum and anti-war anthems, the images are arranged in tragic and comic, ironic and histrionic, utopian and dystopian juxtaposition.

The previous year had played host to the summer of love, the first successful human to human heart transplant was performed, the Concorde prototype was shown, Elvis Presley married Priscilla and The Beatles released the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band album, but Israel’s fiercely fought Six-Day War against Egypt, Jordan, and Syria, anti-Vietnam War protests around the world, as well as race riots in America that destroyed parts of cities, most notably Detroit, were strong indicators of what was to follow.

4 June 1968
Senator Robert F
Kennedy on the floor
of the ambassador
Hotel shortly after

being shot

UPI Telephoto



9 August 1968
Sammy Davis Jr
and Peter
Lawford
in
Salt and Pepper

SP



21 August 1968
A Soviet tank moves
past Wenceslaus
statue in Prague after
USSR’s invasion
of Czechoslovakia

United Press
International, Inc



1968 began with Alexander Dubcek’s election to first secretary of the Czech Communist Party and his initiation of a programme of liberal reforms causing alarm in Moscow. By August Soviet tanks were rolling into Prague to restore Warsaw Pact discipline. Meanwhile, in February, the world got very excited about Elvis and Priscilla becoming parents to Lisa Marie. On April 5, as looters and roving arsonists wreaked havoc on the streets of Washington DC, Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated. Nine weeks later, Senator Robert Kennedy met the same fate. In May student riots had thrown the streets of Paris, which on the 31st teemed with 200,000 workers demonstrating against the government, into violent turmoil. Held in the aftermath, however, the French general election in June was won by Gaullists with 72% of the seats. In Northern Ireland Catholics were demanding equal rights with Protestants and the ensuing civil rights riots ushered in a state of emergency. Released that summer, Salt and Pepper starring Sammy Davis Jr and Peter Lawford as Swinging London nightclub owners was a box office sensation.

October 17, 1968
Tommie C Smith
and
John Carlos give
the
Black Power
salute at the medal
ceremony at the

Olympic Games in
Mexico City
Associated Press



December 28, 1968
The Beatles line
up behind a flag
Stephen Goldblat,
Camera Press London



As the counterculture era began in the US, on-going Civil Rights Movement, Free Speech Movement and Anti-Vietnam War protests flared up in cities such as Chicago and at the University of California’s Berkley campus. In October, two American athletes caused an uproar by giving the Black Power salute during the medal ceremony at the Olympic Games in Mexico City. In November, The Beatles released The Beatles, also known as The White Album – differences over its production and between the group members would lead to the band’s break-up. After nearly 11 months, North Korea, which had captured the US spy ship Pueblo in January, released the 83-man crew in December.

Day by Day: 1968 at Steven Kasher Gallery is displayed in calendar format – each group encompassing the images appertaining to one month of the year.

All images courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery, New York


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The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design, 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 made available 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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