Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Photography | Ray K Metzker in Contrast

Friday, January 11th, 2019

Early Philadelphia, 1962



Ray K Metzker:
Black & Light
Howard Greenberg Gallery
New York City | USA
> 2 March 2019



Chicago – Loop, 1958



If there’s a spectral force lurking at the point where darkness and light bang up against one another, Ray K Metzker (1931 > 2014) captured it with his camera, bottled it and used it sparingly to imbue his starkly contrasty images with powerful sculptural form and tantalising depth.

But there was nothing ethereal about his approach. A pragmatist, who was intent on conveying the complex realities of modern, urban life, Metzker met his subject matter head-on, creating virtuoso compositions in which architecture, objects and the human form are afforded parity.

City Whispers, 1982



Pictus Interruptus, 1979



Early Philadelphia, 1963



Metzker studied photography in the late 1950s at Chicago’s Institute of Design under Harry Callahan and Aaron Siskind. When he began his career as a photographer, he rejected abstract expressionism and its preoccupation with feelings, which had dominated art in America for more than a decade, and embraced the objectivity of the emergent minimal art.

Innovative and experimental, in his later work, Metzker created images from assemblages of printed film strips; he cropped and collaged details of his own photographs to create unique and powerful new images, and he waved flimsy pieces of paper in front of his camera lens to produce random effects.

Early Philadelphia, 1969



Metzker had his first solo exhibition at MoMA in 1967. During his 60-year career as a photographer, he had more than 50 solo exhibitions at major museums around the world.

Ray K Metzker: Black & Light at Howard Greenberg Gallery features the photographer’s early street photography from Chicago in the 1950s and Philadelphia in the 1960s. It also includes images from his 1960 > 61 European excursion, photographs from the series Pictus Interruptus from 1976 >1980, from his early 1980s series City Whispers, as well as examples of his collage series Whimsy and Arrestation.

All photographs © Estate of Ray K Metzker, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York. All prints are gelatin silver prints


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Exhibitions | When the Bauhaus went Dutch

Friday, January 4th, 2019

Theo van Doesburg,
Grundbegriffe der neuen
gestaltenden Kunst,
part 6, Bauhausbücher
series. Design
Theo
van Doesburg, 1925

Private collection,
with thanks to DerdaBerli



Netherlands ⇄ Bauhaus
– Pioneers of a New World
Museum Boijmans
Van Beuningen
Rotterdam | Netherlands
9 February > 26 May 2019



Postcard of the
Bauhaus in Weimar,
appended and graffitied
by Theo van Doesburg
with the message
‘before the collapse,
bombed by n’dimensional
style artillery.’

September 1921



The postcard, above, expresses explicit intent. Sent by feisty Dutchman, Theo Van Doesburg, in September 1921, it shows a picture of the Bauhaus building in Weimar that he smothered with pro-De Stijl graffiti. Van Doesburg had meant business when he moved to Weimar earlier that year. Painter, poet, art critic, designer, typographer, architect, performance artist, as well as a founder member and self-appointed ‘ambassador’ of the burgeoning De Stijl group, he was hell-bent on converting the Bauhaus to adopt a new approach. The design school’s director Walter Gropius, however, who allowed him to lecture, decided not to invite him to become a master. Not easily put off, Van Doesburg promptly installed himself in an adjacent building and by June had set up his own course and was poaching Bauhaus students.

Marcel Breuer, four
side tables, c 1926
Nickel-plated metal,
lacquered in four colours.
Collection Büscher



Stemming from cubism and influenced by constructivism, De Stijl – of which Piet Mondrian was also a prominent member – advocated pure abstraction and universality in art, architecture and design. It stripped out everything but the essentials of form and colour, restricting itself to only verticals and horizontals: to black, white and primary colours. While Gropius had objected to Van Doesburg’s dogmatic and aggressive views, younger Bauhaus masters, including, importantly, Mies van Der Rohe, recognising that in order to progress the school needed to break away from its German expressionist roots and open itself up to international influences, were inspired by them. Student, then master, Marcel Breuer, would develop his signature tubular steel furniture based on De Stijl principles.

2019 might be the one-hundredth anniversary of the establishment of the legendary design school but what would grow to become universally recognised as Bauhaus style owes much to the Dutch, and the Dutch aren’t going to let anyone forget it.

Jan Buijs, Nacht – when
I’m building, 1917
Mixed media on paper.
Private collection



Walter Gropius (author),
Lyonel Feininger (cover
design), Programm des
Staatlichen Bauhauses
in Weimar, April 1919
Woodcut. Private collection,
with thanks to DerdaBerlin



Netherlands ⇄ Bauhaus – Pioneers of a New World at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is less about the cross-pollination that occurred between The Netherlands and the Bauhaus and more about underlining the fact that Dutch ideas were instrumental in ‘modernising’ it. Less brutal than Van Doesburg’s graffiti, the two small arrows inserted into the title of this exhibition are a subtle hint that ideas flowed, in the first instance, from The Netherlands to the Bauhaus, before anything flowed back.

László Moholy-Nagy,
Prospectus 14,
Bauhausbücher, 1929
Letterpress.
Collection Flip Bool



But the Dutch can’t have it all their own way; the multi-talented Hungarian, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy who arrived at the Bauhaus in 1923, ostensibly to run the foundation course, who, between 1923 and 1928, played a significant part in all aspects of its further modernisation, was also photo editor of the Dutch avant-garde magazine International Revue from 1927 to 1929, which had significant impact on contemporary Dutch photography. When, in 1933, the Nazi regime forced the closure of the Bauhaus, and provoked the modernist diaspora – inadvertently, causing modernist ideas to disseminate more quickly around the globe – Moholy-Nagy relocated to Amsterdam, where he remained for two years, collaborating with De Stijl artists and experimenting with colour film and photography. His 1934 solo exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, was enormously influential.

All images courtesy Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen


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Photography | Think Luigi Ghirri

Friday, December 28th, 2018

Rimini, 1977



Luigi Ghirri
The Map and the Territory
Jeu de Paume
Paris | France
12 February > 2 June 2019



Modena, 1971
Courtesy Matthew
Marks Gallery



Ironically, since he was obsessed by maps, it seems particularly odd that until now Luigi Ghirri, a photographer whose importance was recognised internationally during his lifetime, never had a retrospective exhibition outside of his home country. This forthcoming show, in France, focuses on the astonishing body of work he produced over the course of a single decade at the start of his career.

Padova, 1973
Università di Parma



Bastia, 1976



Salzburg, 1977
Private collection.
Courtesy Matthew
Marks Gallery



Born in the northern area of Reggio Emilia, and based in Modena, Italy, Ghirri (1943 > 1992) was a trained surveyor when he began taking photographs in his spare time in the early 1970s. Revealingly, he once said that he was interested in, amongst other things: objects charged with desires, dreams, collective memories, windows, mirrors and human beings seen through images, because that is exactly what you get. Direct and infused with subtle wit, his photographs and photomontages from this period, which channel diverse influences from surrealism to pop art, stop you in your tracks, play games with your perception and, most especially, make you think. Ghirri’s mature work, though equally as thought-provoking, was often more gentle in its irony.

Brest, 1972
CSAC, Università
di Parma



The recent revival of interest in Ghirri’s oeuvre was sparked by The Aperture Foundation’s first book in English on the photographer, published in 2008. In 2011, Thomas Demand organised the show La Carte d’Après Nature around Ghirri’s photographs, at Matthew Marks Gallery in New York, which has been followed by a host of other exhibitions in Italy and elsewhere around the world.

Previously shown in 2018 at Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany and at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Luigi Ghirri: The Map and the Territory is at Jeu de Paume in Paris.

All images photographed by Luigi Ghirri, courtesy Jeu de Paume, © Estate Luigi Ghirri


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Music | Doing it in the Dark

Friday, December 14th, 2018

Pitch Dark:
Giny Vos, Katharina Gross,
Arnold Marinissen

Stedelijk Museum
Amsterdam | Netherlands
21 + 22 December 2018



As I child I was frightened by the dark. Afraid to get up, I often wet the bed. Nowadays, I wake up in the middle of the night, pressing thoughts on my mind and, conscious that my wife is easily disturbed, write urgent, blind notes to myself before taking the opportunity to pee. In the light of morning, needless to say, what seemed so important is much diminished, which is just as well, because my scribblings are often indecipherable.

I’ve never eaten in one of those tomb-like restaurants that started to appear in the 1990s, where light of any kind, from cigarette-lighters or cellphone displays, for example, is totally banned and in which diners are forbidden to leave their seats by themselves. ‘By voluntarily abandoning your visual impulses you will be able to experience what wonderful work your other senses are capable of,’ Berlin’s Unsicht-Bar’s website advises the would-be diner, while London’s Dans le Noir restaurant explains, ‘Dining in pitch darkness, hosted and served by visually impaired people, will focus and sharpen your senses.’ But when you want to pee, how does that work? Are you led out by the hand?

Picture 2


Impressions and sensations caused by a total absence of light form the basis for the forthcoming performance Pitch Dark in which, ’An interplay of light, drama and music aims to transport the visitor to another state of consciousness.’ The intention is that the interaction between acoustic, optical and spatial stimuli, based on the neurophysiological effects that occur when you close your eyes: the images, after-images and motions perceived on the inside of your eye-lids, will play with your individual perception.

Picture 3


Tempted by the subject matter of this post, I tried to write it with my eyes closed, which was fun but didn’t work; a one finger typist, I’m just not expert enough at navigating a keyboard without looking at it. Seriously though, it got me wondering how musicians, Giny Vos, Katharina Gross and Arnold Marinissen are going to cope with playing their instruments in Pitch Dark, an interplay with cello, electronic music, percussion and field recordings, at the Stedelijk Museum, and how, if I attend the event, I’ll be able to find the loos.

Pitch dark images created by Pedro Silmon


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Ceramics | Made by Hand: Modernist by Nature

Friday, December 7th, 2018

Bernard Leach,
Charger with banded
decoration, St Ives,
England, c 1960s
Estimate $500 > 700



Design
Freeman’s
Philadelphia |
PA | USA
Exhibition > 10 December 2018
Sale 10 December 2018



Lucie Rie,
Handled dish,
London, late 1950s
Estimate $1,000 > 1,500



The British studio pottery illustrated alongside this piece and shortly to be sold at auction, dates from between the late 1950s and the early 1970s, when Brutalist architecture – much of which has since been demolished – flourished, however, each item was lovingly produced by hand and with the greatest sensitivity to materials.

During this period, even the elderly Bernard Leach (1887 > 1979), often referred to as the father of British studio pottery, who co-founded The Leach Pottery in remote Cornwall in 1920 and had been extremely influential, who adopted the folk-tradition approach espoused in the 19th century by William Morris, was producing pieces, such as his Charger with banded decoration, top, that would have looked very much at home against raw concrete, brutalist interiors.

Hans Coper
Composite form with
v
ertical impression,
Frome, 1970
Estimate $6,000 > 8,000



At a time when many of his peers were abandoning city life and heading for the country, it was significant that Ian Godfrey (1942 > 1992), like his mentor, Lucie Rie, chose to set up his pottery in urban central London in the 1960s. Godfrey made highly individual mythological and fantasy-based, decorative pieces, inspired by predynastic Mediterranean and Chinese bronze forms. His King & Queen in Court and Bowl with wheel design, are both included, alongside other examples of his work in this sale. Born in Austria, Rie (1902-1995) had established herself as a ceramicist in Vienna, where she came under the influence of the Secessionist, Josef Hoffman. She is, however, better known for the work she produced after fleeing the Nazis and relocating to London in 1938. Developing a style stimulated by contemporary architecture and design, which flew in the face of Leach’s philosophy, Rie, who is represented by a single, modest item in this auction, see above, was responsible for raising British studio pottery to the level of an art form that would stand alongside any other and for giving it a Modernist edge. She taught at the Camberwell School of Art from 1960 to 1971, where Godfrey was her star student, and received an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art in 1969.



Ian Godfrey,
King & Queen in Court,
London, c 1965
Estimate $800 > 1,200



Ian Godfrey,
Bowl with wheel design,
London, c 1965
Estimate $200 > 300



Rie’s fellow emigré, the German, Hans Coper (1920-1981) had turned up, penniless, at her workshop in 1946 looking for work but with no previous experience in a pottery studio. With her encouragement, he went on to become one of Britain’s most celebrated craftsmen. Coper also taught at Camberwell – where he also taught Ian Godfrey – and at the Royal College of Art. His pieces, such as Composite form with vertical impression, above, were often made up of individual, separately thrown shapes that he manipulated and joined to create abstract sculptural forms.

Joanna Constantinidis,
Untitled envelope form,
Essex, England 1970
Estimate $400 > 600



The early work of Joanna Constantinidis (1927 > 2000), born in York, who trained at Sheffield before moving to Essex, owed much to Leach. Singularly independent, however, having seen work by Rie and Coper, by the 1960s she had adjusted her approach and developed spare Modernist forms, like the one above, that drew inspiration from ancient Greece, medieval pottery, Staffordshire slipware and salt glaze.

Although they might well have been, the items shown were not excavated from a site where a British brutalist building once stood but have been languishing, far away from their place of origin, in important US collections in Washington DC, San Francisco, New York and Pennsylvania. Along with further items of British studio pottery items that extend the genre’s story into the 21st century, the forthcoming Design sale at Freeman’s includes some 130 lots and offers a varied selection of master American studio artisans.

All images courtesy Freeman’s


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Exhibitions | Building on 3D Lettering

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

Terracotta lettering
facade, for Hackney
Empire Theatre, London,
UK, by Tim Ronalds
Architects
with Richard
Ho
llis
, 2004

© Hélène Binet



3D Lettering on Buildings
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Zürich | Switzerland
7 December 2018 > 14 April 2019



Superbüro’s oak
floor number for the
new building at
Neue Volksschule
Brünnen, Bern-West,
Switzerland, by Ernst
Gerber Architekten

and Urech Architekten,
2015 > 2016

© Superbüro



This is how a random bunch of international, commercial businesses enthusiastically advertise the attractions of 3D signage on buildings:

‘3D letters give building signs depth and impact… A 3D lettering sign gives a building a sense of permanence… 3D signage catches the eye by standing out… 3D signs are a great way to add depth and texture to your signage… 3D lettering and 3D logos add an element of sophistication and individuality to your business… If you’d like your 3D signage to stand out, even more, we offer face-lit and reverse-lit lighting options… 3D building signs are a fantastic and great-looking way to brand your building… 3D signs provide that extra visual connection with a building’s occupants… 3D signage can help your business stand out from the crowd… 3D signs give a professional and high-class look… 3D signs can be static or illuminated to help create a modern professional look for your building, reception area or store… 3D signage looks great on monument signs or also on a building… Our eye-catching 3D building lettering will guarantee your signage and brand stands out from the crowd… 3D signs are ideal for commercial building signage, as attention-grabbing retail signs or for creating a strong brand identity in your office reception signage…’

In contrast, the dead-pan title of the forthcoming show, 3D Lettering on Buildings, may sound uninspiring. However, the Swiss are masters of the understatement; what at first sight appear to be low-key exhibitions turn out to be – much like the subject matter of this one – hugely impactful as well as fascinating and informative.

Lochergut, illuminated
lettering sculpture
by Olaf Nicolai on
the Grand Café
Lochergut building,
Zürich, Switzerland,
2006, (modified, 2016),
by Pool Architekten

© Marcel Meury



Detail of Vai com
Deus
(sayings about
God) in applied
relief for a chapel
converted into a gallery
in Lisbon, Portugal,
by R2 Design, 2008

© R2 Design



Detail of biogas
station facade panels
made of Nabasco, in
Dinteloord, Netherlands,
by Studio Marco
Vermeulen
, 2013

© Ronald Tilleman



Although the title gives no clue, the 24 international examples included – all produced during the past twenty years – relate to specific architecture and its surroundings, and are the result of architects and artists, working together in interdisciplinary teams to create bespoke 3D lettering for buildings. For example, Beat Keusch Visuelle Kommunikation collaborated with architects Herzog & de Meuron on signage for Basel’s REHAB Centre for Spinal Cord and Brain Injuries. Respected British designer, teacher and author Richard Hollis worked closely with Tim Ronalds Architects, who undertook the restoration of the Hackney Empire in London, devising giant terracotta letters for its façade. Meanwhile, Pool Architekten asked the German conceptual artist, Olaf Nicolai, to construct a unique 3D light sculpture for the Grand Café Lochergut building in Zürich.

Facade lettering by
Beat Keusch Visuelle
Kommunikation
,
on the new REHAB
building, Basel,
Switzerland, by Herzog
& de Meuron
, 2007

© BKVK



While acknowledging the obvious fact that 3D signage, in the form of recessed inscriptions and bronze letters has been around since ancient times, the exhibition’s organisers demonstrate that new production techniques such as 3D printing and 3D milling, as well as new ways of using conventional processes and materials, are being combined and experimented with to produce signage that fulfils all of the promises made by the commercial businesses, above, with a more thoughtful approach that is pushing hard against creative boundaries.

As well as architectural photographs, some of which we show here, 3D Lettering on Buildings at the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich features a range of scale models, prototypes, documents and films illustrating the creative, manufacturing and installation process.

Photos courtesy Museum für Gestaltung Zürich


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Books | Rainy Days in Glass Houses

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Shinjuku Gyoen
National Garden
Greenhouse
,
Tokyo, Japan



Glasshouse
Greenhouse

India Hobson +
Magnus Edmondson
of Haarkon

Pavilion Books
224pp hardback.
October 2018



Royal Botanic
Gardens, Kew
,

London, UK



‘It usually rains wherever we go,’ British photography duo, Magnus Edmondson and India Hobson tell us in the introduction to their book, ‘[it] makes us thankful we chose a project about inside gardens of the world.’

What they refer to as their ‘Greenhouse Tour’ began at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, where they became smitten by ‘the idea that someone would construct an entire building with the purpose of housing plant life.’ It would take them to distant locations such as Singapore, California’s Palm Springs, Adelaide in Australia and Tokyo in Japan; they travelled to Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands, and many other UK destinations, including Edinburgh, London and Cornwall and, not least, to a DIY allotment greenhouse in their home town.

Private Cacti
Collection, North
Yorkshire, UK



Royal Botanic
Garden,
Edinburgh
, UK



This is a nice, accessible book; it’s well-produced; the layout is clean and unfussy; the text is easy and accessible; the photography is well-composed and consistent. It’s clear that the authors, who are architecture and design fans, and plant enthusiasts – as opposed to plant experts – derive great pleasure from their obsession with glasshouses. Plants and architecture, however, are brought to life by light – it gives them form, it flatters them, bringing out their best features. In the majority of the many pictures included, sunlight scarcely penetrates the verdant interiors from where blue skies are rarely glimpsed through the intricate and ingeniously-designed glass roofs that protect them.

Exotic plants and
waterfall, Cloud
Forest at Gardens by
the Bay
, Singapore



Edmondson and Hobson, who go by the joint name Haarkon, are based in Sheffield, a city renowned for its annual rainfall of 747mm. It’s unfortunate that their overcast weather went on tour with them.

All photos by Haarkon, courtesy Pavilion Books, from Glasshouse Greenhouse by India Hobson and Magnus Edmondson


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Architecture | Sky-High with Street Credibilty

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

MahaNakhon,
Bangkok, Thailand,
Büro Ole Scheeren +
OMA

Photo Hufton + Crow



Best Highrises 2018/19
The International
Highrise Award 2018

Deutsches
Architekturmuseum
Frankfurt | Germany
3 November 2018 >
3 March 2019



Beirut Terraces,
Beirut, Lebanon,
Herzog & de Meuron
Photo Iwan Baan



Aside from the obvious symbolism of its subject matter, this is a very sexy competition. A fact that was, presumably, not lost on The City of Frankfurt which initiated it in 2003. The International Highrise Award, now considered the world’s most important architecture prize for high-rises, was guaranteed to establish Frankfurt as a centre for architectural innovation and to draw global attention to the city, which continues to host the event.

Oasia Hotel
Downtown, Singapore,

WOHA
Photo K Kopter



But why Frankfurt? Due to the historical value of their existing buildings many other European cities, have rejected skyscraper construction. Frankfurt’s inner city area, however, was destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II and only a small number of its landmarks were rebuilt, which left ample room for modern high-rises that would stand as monuments to reconstruction. Outside Germany, Frankfurt is simply called Frankfurt; in German-speaking countries the city is given its full name Frankfurt am Mein (Frankfurt on the Mein river), and sometimes referred to as ‘Mainhattan’ – a reference to its impressive high rises and skyscrapers that began to appear in the 1960s and where architect Coop Himmelblau’s European Central Bank (2015) is situated. The intervening years saw hundreds of high-rises erected in the city, however, the Commerzbank Tower, at 259 metres, built in 1997, is destined for the moment at least to remain the tallest.


2 views of

Torre Reforma,
Mexico City, Mexico,
L Benjamín
Romano

Winner of The International
Highrise Award 2018

Photo (top) Iwan Baan.
Photo (above)
Alfonso Merchand



Although extremely high, landmark buildings continue to go up around the world, especially in China, which now has 30 of the world’s tallest, the criteria on which their design is based has somewhat altered. Hybrid usage is on the rise, while single-use buildings are becoming rare. One trend emerging in Southeast Asia and China involves grouping individual structures together in ensembles, which is creating developments that define their surrounding areas and even whole districts. While extraordinary aesthetics and trailblazing design have not lost their attraction, this year’s IHA competition has placed greater emphasis on functionality, innovative building technology, sustainability, cost-effectiveness and how high-rises contribute to the urban fabric and encourage street-life.

Chaoyang Park
Plaza, Beijing, China,
MAD Architects

Photo Hufton + Crow



Organised jointly with the Deutsches Architekturmuseum and DekaBank, both also based in Frankfurt, aimed at architects and developers whose buildings are at least 100 metres high, the biennial competition is judged by a panel of prominent architects, structural engineers, real-estate experts and architecture critics from across the globe.

Best Highrises 2018/19 at (DAM) Deutsches Architekturmuseum, focuses on the main prize-winner and five finalists, (all shown here), but presents all 36 nominated structures.

All images courtesy DAM


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Auction | Pierre Bergé’s Mega-Artist: Bernard Buffet

Friday, October 26th, 2018

Autoportrait sur
fond noir
, 1956

Oil on canvas.
Estimate €100,000 >
150,000



Pierre Bergé
From One Home to Another
Sotheby’s
Paris | France
Exhibition + Sale
29 > 31 October 2018



Boeuf écorché, 1954
Oil on canvas.
Estimate €200,000 >
400,000



A dozen paintings by French artist Bernard Buffet will be exhibited and sold in a charity auction in Paris next week. Redolent of the pair’s intense, shared history during the 1950s, and also perhaps the turbulence of their later relationship, they were collected by Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent, and are among 1000 items from Bergé’s homes in Paris, Normandy, Provence and Morocco included in Sotheby’s sale.

In 1974, in France, where painter, lithographer, and etcher Buffet’s work was as instantly recognisable as an Yves Saint Laurent (1936 > 2008) trouser suit, he was voted the public’s favourite post-war artist. Born in Paris in 1928, tellingly, growing up during the Nazi occupation, he was only 16-years-old when he enrolled in art classes, afterwards progressing to the École des Beaux-Arts, where his prolific output was first noted. Having found a sponsor and adopted an expressionist approach, his work was exhibited in a mixed show in 1946 that immediately gained him public attention. When the magazine Connaissance des arts named the 10 best post-war artists of 1958, Buffet, aged 30, was at the top of the list. That same year, the first retrospective of his work was held at the Galerie Charpentier. Buffet was a founder-member of the short-lived anti-abstraction L’Homme Témoin (Witness) group, which argued passionately in favour of representational art. In spite of his popular recognition, and perhaps to some extent in envious reaction against it, his bold rejection of abstraction – at the time, the dominating trend – earned him the scorn of many of his contemporaries. Once hailed as the artistic successor to Picasso, he would later experience more general derision.

According to Nicholas Foulkes’ 2016 biography, Bernard Buffet: The Invention of the Mega-Artist: ‘He was a bisexual, an alcoholic recluse and a socialite [who] quickly became a part of the same pack of young, successful artists that included Françoise Sagan, Yves Saint Laurent, Roger Vadim and Brigitte Bardot… He bought a castle, a Rolls-Royce, a boat and an island by age 30, all from the proceeds of his painting. Postwar European society did not appreciate such a display of wealth.’ He would fall into near oblivion, his work reviled as vulgar: the epitome of bad taste.

Jaguar 1955, 1984
Oil on canvas.
Estimate €50,000 >
70,000



Tête de Bretonne, 1955
Oil on canvas.
Estimate €30,000 >
40,000



Nature morte
à la sole
, 1952

Oil on canvas.
Estimate €100,000 >
150,000



Over the course of a career lasting more than 50 years, which ended with his tragic suicide in 1999 – after a prolonged battle with Parkinson’s disease – Buffet created more than 8,000 paintings and a large number of prints and was inducted into the Académie des Beaux-Arts. Revolving around concepts related to art history, religion, death, sexuality, popular culture, and politics, his work is invariably graphic, often figurative, is atmospherically melancholic, and always rendered in a sombre palette. It forms part of the collections in many prominent international museums, including those of Tate Modern, London, Museum of Modern Art, New York, and of the dedicated Bernard Buffet Museum in Japan (inaugurated, 1973).

L’atelier, 1956
Oil on canvas.
Estimate €80,000 >
120,000



Astute businessman, Pierre Bergé (1930 > 2017), who evidently continued to purchase Bernard Buffet’s work, even after its popularity had plummeted, would no doubt have been delighted that having undergone a reappraisal, and been the subject a 2016 retrospective exhibition at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the average compound annual return for the artist in 2018 is 9.9%, with 85.2% of works increasing in value, which bodes very well for Pierre Bergé: From One Home to Another at Sotheby’s Paris.

All works by Bernard Buffet, images courtesy Sotheby’s


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Art | Call of the Wild

Friday, October 19th, 2018

Ana Mendieta, Bird
Transformation
, 1972

Colour photograph,
Vintage print.
Louisiana Museum
of Modern Art,
Denmark. © Estate
of Ana
Mendieta
Collection, LLC.
Courtesy Galerie
Lelong & Co New York.
Photo Poul Buchard /
Brøndum & Co



Wilderness
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Frankfurt | Germany
1 November 2018 >
3 February 2019



Thomas Struth,
Paradise 21
Yuquehy/Brazil, 2001
© Thomas Struth



Should the haze now suddenly clear, the figure gazing out into the abyss in Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog (c1818) might well be met with, not the sublime wilderness he has been seeking, but a conservation area. Devoid of industry, the vista, would very likely be marred by pylons and old quarry workings, and crisscrossed by access roads; there might be a dam with an enormous lake behind it; hikers in brightly-coloured jackets threading their way along a track far below, while buzzing around overhead, an inquisitive drone records every detail of the valley.



Gerhard Richter,
Tiger, 1965
Oil on canvas.
Museum Morsbroich.
© Gerhard Richter 2018



Georgia O’Keeffe,
From the Plains ll, 1954
Oil on canvas.
Museo Thyssen-
Bornemisza



Heinz Mack during
shooting of the film
Tele-Mack, in the
Tunisian desert, 1968.
Photo E Braun /
Archiv Mack



Wildernesses, in the original, geographical sense – locations that deny human access and in which raw nature is left to its own devices – have become rare and are becoming rarer. But, as a western, cultural concept, wilderness is also representative of the ethos of the free spirit, of an alternative philosophical model at odds with accepted values of culture, domestication and civilisation. In the spirit of the Romantic period, and following Friedrich and others’ lead, artists have continued to explore wilderness from both these perspectives.



Lin May Saeed,
The Liberation of
Animals from
their Cages XVII /
Olifant Gate, 2016
Tool steel and
lacquer. Courtesy
Jacky Strenz, Nicolas
Krupp, the artist.
Photo Wolfgang Günzel



Tracing the connections between wilderness and art, the exhibition Wilderness at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt brings together over 100 20th and 21st century paintings, photographs, graphics, video and sound works, sculptures, and installations by some 35 international artists, including Julian Charrière, Ian Cheng, Marcus Coates, Tacita Dean, Mark Dion, Jean Dubuffet, Max Ernst, Camille Henrot, Asger Jorn, Per Kirkeby, Joachim Koester, Ana Mendieta, Georgia O’Keeffe, Gerhard Richter, Henri Rousseau, and Carleton E Watkins.

All images courtesy Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt


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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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