Posts Tagged ‘Kunsthaus Bregenz’

Art | Barbara Kruger: Belief + Doubt

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Barbara Kruger: Belief + Doubt
Kunsthuas Bregenz (KUB)
Bregenz, Austria
19th October – 12th January, 2013

Political, iconic, poetic, always thought-provoking, perhaps more than most, Barbara Kruger’s work speaks for itself. Her text-image designs, so powerful they can never be ignored, are as engaging as the cleverest advertising posters, as bold as a screaming newspaper headline and, depending on their message, invite the viewer to contradict or endorse them, to laugh, or simply ponder their meaning.

Prior to becoming an artist, Kruger learnt about the power of words, images and the importance of well thought through layout at the Condé Nast Publications in New York, where she began her career in the 1970s, working as a designer on Mademoiselle where, significantly, legendary former Vu and American Vogue art director, Alexander Liberman was editorial director. Liberman, originally Russian, who had spent time in Paris before fleeing to the US in 1941, bringing with him the colour combination white, red and black, favoured by the European avant garde, had set about making all of the Condé Nast magazines more journalistic. Kruger would adopt the same colour palette and bold approach, which continues to imbue her work with an appealing vintage quality, similar to that evoked by early 20th century Russian and German graphic work, from which one gets the message, even if one doesn’t always understand the language used.

Kruger said of her time at Condé Nast: ‘We had to do 12 layouts for each spread. Everything was provisional, so that he [Liberman] could walk in like the Prince of Wales and see 12,000 layouts with very slight increments of difference.’ She went on to become picture editor on House & Garden, another CN title, where she would become proficient in sourcing found images, a skill that she still applies to great effect in many of her dynamic art pieces. Perhaps as a result of her producing layouts that would be discarded, for magazines that would most often be thrown away, Kruger herself insists on the ephemeral physical status of her work and, as has often been the case with the many other exhibitions and installations she has had at major galleries across the globe, her wall and large-scale spatial installations for Barbara Kruger: Belief + Doubt at KUB, (Direct exhibition link not yet activated), the artist’s first one man show in Austria, will be destroyed at the end of the exhibition. The destruction will not, however, prevent the works being resurrected elsewhere, in whatever form or media she chooses – her comment upon the complex commodity character of art.

Alongside celebrated photocollages from the 1980s and a video work of 2004, Kruger is presenting mostly new installations in Bregenz, each specially conceived for Swiss architect Peter Zumthor’s unique (1990-1997) KUB building. With the intention of directly addressing passers-by, the artist, famous for breaking out of the strait-jacket of gallery presentation, has selected text works that will be displayed on the six KUB billboards along the Seestraße in Bregenz.

Barbara Kruger, edited by Yilmaz Dziewior; with an essay by Yilmaz Dziewior and a conversation between Beatriz Colomina, Mark Wigley, and Barbara Kruger – she made considerable contributions to the design – will be published by KUB in December. A limited edition »Du willst es. Du kaufst es. Du vergisst es.« (‘You want it. You buy it. You forget it.’), comprising 8 archival pigment prints, plus a stamped artist’s proof, is available via c.schneider@kunsthaus-bregenz.at

Images from top
Stage design for Reflections,
Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, France
LA Dance Project 2013

Belief+Doubt, 2012
Installation view
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden,
Washington DC, USA
Photo Cathy Carver
Courtesy of Hirshhorn Museum
and Sculpture Garden,
Washington DC, USA

Untitled (Your body is a battleground), 1989
Photographic silkscreen on vinyl
The Broad Art Foundation Collection,
Santa Monica, California, USA
Courtesy of Mary Boone Gallery, New York, USA

Untitled (Ist blinder Idealismus reaktionär?), 2013
Photomontage for the KUB Billboards
Seestraße, Bregenz, Austria

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The publishers of The Blog 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 which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier





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Art | Richard Serra Draws

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Richard Serra: Double Rifts
Gagosian Gallery
Beverly Hills, California, USA
17th April – 1st June 1, 2013

Richard Serra draws. Richard Sera sculpts. He sees each as an autonomous activity. He doesn’t make drawings of the sculptures he intends to create – he makes models. Neither does he make drawings of his finished sculptures.

Serra, born in 1938 and probably the world’s best-known contemporary sculptor, who has produced large-scale, site specific pieces for clients around the globe, and whose work has been celebrated in two retrospectives at The Museum of Modern Art, twenty years apart, whose major recent drawing exhibitions include Richard Serra Drawings: Work Comes Out of Work, Kunsthaus Bregenz (2008); Richard Serra Drawings: A Retrospective, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2010 – travelled to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Menil Collection, Houston in 2012) was drawing long before he became a sculptor. In San Francisco where he grew up, his proud mother would introduce her young son, who sketched on pink butchers’ roll paper, as Richard ‘The Artist’.

Richard Serra doesn’t paint. As a student at Yale – where he was accepted on the strength of 12 drawings – he painted, but he paints no more. Paintings, in his opinion, are produced with the viewer in mind, while drawings are for the artist. Drawing every day, Serra insists that the practice is primary to artists and gives them grounding. He would always rather look at someone’s drawings – Van Gogh’s, Rembrandt’s – than at their paintings. Indeed drawing to him, reveals far more than painting about the way an artist thinks and sees.

In his search for an individual way forward in his drawing, Serra says that there came a point quite early on in his career when, faced with the entire history of anyone else who had ever made a mark on a piece of paper, he realised that he needed to adopt a radical approach. Abandoning representation and any anecdotal references to other things, he discovered that by defining the form he was creating in relation to the space around it, relating it to the architecture, to the floor, the walls and to the ceiling, he could draw with space, thus ‘making space palpable’.

It’s only to be expected that Serra, who pushes the concept of drawing to its limits and whose drawings are often almost as monumental as his sculptures, uses unconventional methods to create them. Unwilling to ‘make art out of the art store’, as he puts it, he uses paint-stick – a cheap material made from paraffin with a little oil mixed in – that he has melted, stamped on and even put through a meat grinder, as his medium. Often he draws with a big brick of paint-stick on handmade paper, but has also created series drawings with ink and rollers at the print shop he uses in LA.

In interviews on YouTube Serra talks about how spatial differences have always interested him, about the idea of people ‘entering into the space of a drawing’, and how – citing Cézanne’s paintings of fruit, as an example – he tries to imply gravity within the structure of his drawings. For his installation drawings his object has become to ‘create a space within the space that differs from the architectural container.’ Consequently, as an exhibitor he is extremely hands on – when drawings intended to work in one gallery are transferred to another, he may even alter them to function to his satisfaction within the new context.

The Richard Serra: Double Rifts show at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills is an exhibition of Richard Serra’s recent drawings.

Drawings from top
Double Rift #5, 2012, Richard Serra
Paintstick on handmade paper
289.6 x 537.2 cm (114 x 211 1/2 ins)

Double Rift #9, 2013, Richard Serra
Paintstick on handmade paper
214 x 611.5 cm (84 1/4 x 240 3/4 ins)
Images ©Richard Serra. Courtesy the artist & Gagosian Gallery


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

The publishers of The Blog 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 which may, under any circumstances, fall due, must be borne by the source supplier

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