Archive for August, 2018

Art | Shizuko Yoshikawa’s Concrete Zen

Friday, August 31st, 2018

Yoshikawa’s
series painting,
m93 strange fabric
– breathing field 13
,
from 1997



Shizuko Yoshikawa
By Gabrielle Schaad
Edited by Lars Müller
with an essay by
Midori Yoshimoto

Lars Müller Publishers
Text in English,
Japanese and German.
248 pages, 236 images,
hardback.
Available now



Lars Müller Publishers’ beautifully-designed books all bear a strong family resemblance that is generally consistent with Josef Müller-Brockmann’s classic Swiss design style, and this one is no exception. As Lars and Josef’s surnames both include ‘Müller’, I had always assumed that they were father and son, uncle and nephew, or, perhaps, brothers. Suspicious of nepotism, I was, therefore, sceptical about reviewing this monograph on the work of Müller-Brockmann’s wife, Shizuko Yoshikawa – an artist I’d, personally, never heard of – that Lars Müller has edited and written the very reverential introductory text for, as well as published.



Concrete relief
works completed
by Yoshikawa
in Zürich locations
in 1983 (left)
and 1972 (right)



Relief work,
fs 74 colour
shadows/2×5

from 1979



Untitled painting
by Yoshikawa
from 2016/2017
in tempera
and pearl acrylic
on canvas



Shizuko Yoshikawa was born in Japan in 1934. Aged 27, she and her husband, an economist, relocated to Germany in 1961, where she studied at the legendary, Bauhaus-inspired Ulm School of Design (Hochschüle für Gestaltung) and came under the spell of Josef Müller-Brockmann (1914 > 1996), her typography teacher, for whom, two years later, she left to work for, as a freelance designer, in Zürich, Switzerland. In 1967, after her divorce, he would become her second husband.

Despite not having completed her course at Ulm, the school’s holistic, multidisciplinary teaching methods that emphasised the importance of sociology, psychology, politics, economics, philosophy and systems-thinking alongside aesthetics, and went far beyond the Bauhaus approach of simply integrating art, craft and technology, had a significant effect on her.

Driven and independently-minded, from the late 60s, Yoshikawa, fusing influences from Ulm with Japanese Zen sensitivity, began her transformation from graphic designer to visual artist and by 1972 had produced her first large-scale, wall relief sculptures for one of suburban Zurich’s public spaces. Since then, as an exponent of Swiss Concrete Art – a movement founded by De Stijl’s Theo Van Doesburg in 1930, of which Max Bill, who had taught at The Bauhaus and been the first rector of the Ulm School, and who Yoshikawa had come into contact with in Zürich, had become the flagbearer in the 1940s – she has come to be revered as one of Switzerland’s most important contemporary artists. While much of her oeuvre consists of series paintings, her spatial design in, on and around buildings – sadly, under-represented in this book – has been a constant feature of her work.



Posters by Josef
Müller Brockmann
and Yoshikawa,
from 1994 (left),
and posters by
Yoshikawa from
1974 and 1978, right



Yoshikawa’s
series painting,
m466 strange
fabric – flying
,
completed in 1995



Lars Müller, born in Oslo in 1955, is a Norwegian citizen, who, as a young boy, was relocated to Switzerland (coincidentally, in 1963, the same year that Yoshikawa arrived there) and studied graphic design in Zurich from 1975 to 1979. When Müller founded his publishing house in Baden, Switzerland, in 1983, focusing on books on architecture, design, typography, art, and photography, he and Josef Müller-Brockmann, his former, exacting teacher and mentor, became close friends. I was very relieved to discover that they were unrelated and that my fears were totally unfounded. I am grateful to Lars Müller for introducing me to Shizuko Yoshikawa’s paintings and sculptures, which have been regularly exhibited in Switzerland, as well as in Japan, Sweden, Argentina and the USA and astonished that, to date, her work has been largely ignored in the UK.

Lars Müller PublishersShizuko Yoshikawa is guaranteed to broaden the artist’s international audience.

All pages from the book, courtesy Lars Müller Publishers


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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 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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Auction | Art for Change

Friday, August 17th, 2018

Catherine Opie
Surfer for One Drop, 2018
Pigment print.
Estimate $80,000 > 120,000



Art for One Drop
Phillips
New York City | USA
Charity Auction
21 September 2018
7pm EDT / 12 am GMT,
Public Viewing
15 > 21 September



Nate Lowman
Smells Like Water, 2018
Oil on canvas.
Estimate $40,000 > 60,000



Ai Wei Wei
Wave Plate, 2014

Porcelain, from a series
of unique variants.
Estimate $140,000 > 190,000



One Drop founder, Guy Laliberté, who co-founded Cirque du Soleil in 1984, is aiming to transform 200,000 lives via the charity auction Art for One Drop.

‘Art,’ says Laliberté, who has become a major collector and whose wider ambition is to bring positive change to the global water crisis, ‘is very powerful and can be used to change the world in a positive and impactful way.’

The eagerly-awaited sale featuring a diverse selection of specially-created and recent works that Laliberté has persuaded world-renowned contemporary artists, including Ai Weiwei, Gabriel Orozco, Christopher Wool, Jenny Holzer, Olafur Eliasson and Tracey Emin to donate will raise hundreds of thousands of dollars that will be used to provide access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene to vulnerable communities in Latin American.

Nicolas Party, 2018
Sunset

Pastel on canvas.
Estimate $60,000 > 80,000



Olafur Eliasson
Tidal Pool Star, 2018

Coloured glacial-rock-flour
glass (light green),
coloured glass (red, yellow)
and driftwood.
Estimate $40,000 > 60,000



Tracey Emin
I Listen To The Ocean
And All I Hear Is You
, 2018

Neon.
Estimate $150,000 > 200,000



In 2007, moved by the shocking statistic that a child died from a water-borne disease every 8 seconds, Laliberté set up One Drop as a global not-for-profit organisation with a clear objective of delivering long-term impact and sustainability. Over the past decade, it has financed 13 international development projects in the water sector, in the process earning itself world-renowned accolades, including the prestigious UNWater Award for Best Practices and the International Water Association’s Innovation Award.

Collaborating with hundreds of artists across the world, One Drop assists and encourages them to bring about change within their own communities. It is also working with several international and local partners to help enable governments to reach the United Nation’s goal of ensuring access to water and sanitation for all by 2030.

The Art for One Drop charity auction will take place at Phillips in New York, where the works can be viewed in advance but bids can also be placed online.

All images courtesy Phillips, One Drop and the artists


Tell us what you think
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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