Posts Tagged ‘New York’

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


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Sculpture | Brancusi On and Off the Pedestal

Friday, July 20th, 2018

Endless Column,
version 1, 1918
Oak.
Museum of Modern Art,
New York.
Gift of Mary Sisler.
Photo Thomas Griesel



Constantin Brancusi Sculpture
Museum of Modern Art
New York City | USA
22 July 2018 > 18 February 2019



During the Roman period, when sculpted figures were first elevated on columns, those represented were imbued with ‘untouchable’, divine status, and rendered remote. Albeit his birds are positioned high up, in the early 20th-century, Constantin Brancusi (1876 > 1957) brought sculpture back down to earth; his heads of children and sleeping women are set low down and his portrait pieces are designed for viewing at eye level.

Fish, 1930
Blue-grey marble
on three-part
pedestal of one
marble,
and two
limestone cylinders.
Museum of Modern Art,
New York.
Acquired through
the Lillie P
Bliss Bequest
(by exchange).
Photo Imaging
& Visual
Resources
Department, MoMA



Pedestal design having remained pretty much the same for 2000 years, the arrival of Brancusi’s revolutionary innovations that transformed sculpture’s relationship to the space it inhabits, and how the viewer experiences it, caused a sensation. Serving simultaneously as components of the artwork and as their support, each of his pedestals – made from wood, limestone, or marble – became an integral element of his finished pieces, raising or lowering them to heights that suit their subject matter.

Young Bird, 1928
Bronze on two-part
limestone pedestal.
Museum of Modern Art,
New York.
Gift of Mr and Mrs
William A M Burden



While, Brancusi generally treated the pedestal as a secondary element, in Endless Column, version I, 1918, it became the sculpture itself. It consisted of a single symmetrical element – a pair of truncated pyramids, one upright, the other inverted – repeated to produce a continuous vertical structure that Brancusi called his  ‘column for infinity.’ He would afterwards repeat the concept at larger scales and in different materials, to serve as an architectural element and for free-standing monuments. Endless Column paved the way for future sculptors to relinquish pedestals altogether and facilitated their taking sculpture in a wide variety of different directions.

With his friend Man Ray, who introduced him to the medium, Brancusi made films that stand as a testament to his desire for his work to be experienced in the round, in relation to an environment and to other things. Rarely seen, a number of his films will be shown alongside 11 sculptures by the artist that form part of the Museum’s holdings, displayed together for the first time, in the forthcoming exhibition Constantin Brancusi Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art.

All works by Constantin Brancusi, © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Images courtesy Museum of Modern Art


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Art | Bodys Isek Kingelez: Extreme Model World

Friday, May 11th, 2018

Africanisch (detail), 1994
Paper, paperboard, plastic,
various other materials
Private collection
Photo Kleinefenn



Bodys Isek Kingelez:
City Dreams
Museum of Modern Art
New York | USA
26 May 2018 > 1 January 2019



Bodys Isek Kingelez
in Kinshasa, 1990
Photo André Magnin,
courtesy André Magnin



The idea of 21st-century visionaries creating buildings and even whole cities from recycled materials doesn’t seem that strange. In remote Kinshasa however, in 1978, when artist Bodys Isek Kingelez started to make his ‘extreme models’ or ‘extreme maquettes,’ of buildings out of found materials, such as bottle caps, commercial packaging and plastic, the Belgians and French who worked at the National Museum, staggering in confusion and disbelief, accused him of having stolen his technique. Soon after the Museum gave him a job as a restorer and ‘banned’ him from making sculpture.

But Kingelez persevered and although in the early 1980s, he had still never seen any city other than Kinshasa, ‘not even in photos’, the intricately-constructed models he was making began to develop into his vision of a world that he believed could be built and lived in, in the present, or in the future, and represented his hopes of renewal in a de-colonised Africa. ‘I wanted my art to serve the community that is being reborn to create a new world,’ he would say later, his Utopia still to materialise, ‘I created these cities so there would be lasting peace, justice and universal freedom. They will function like small secular states with their own political structure, and will not need policemen or an army.’

Ville de Sète 3009, 2000
Collection Musée International
des Arts Modestes, Sète, France
© Pierre Schwartz ADAGP,
courtesy MIAM



Nippon Tower, 2005
Courtesy Aeroplastics
Contemporary, Brussels
Photo Vincent Everarts



Belle Hollandaise, 1991
Collection Groninger Museum
Photo Marten de Leeuw



Plagued by poverty, mistrust in the country’s banks and a deepening economic crisis Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (previously the Belgian Congo, briefly called Zaire), where bumper to bumper traffic clogs the city while the outskirts are without either roads or electricity, has become one of the world’s worst megacities. Perhaps if its authorities and decision-makers had aligned themselves with Kingelez’s way of thinking, things might have turned out somewhat differently. Referring to himself as a designer, an architect, a sculptor, engineer, [and] artist’, he regarded his work as ‘an irrefutable contribution to life and science’, but remained forever conscious that in Africa, art was new and not yet properly understood and that political leaders were wary of it and unable to grasp its importance.

Kinshasa la Belle (detail), 1991
CAAC – The Pigozzi
Collection, Geneva
© Bodys Isek Kingelez
Photo Maurice Aeschimann,
courtesy CAAC



Having been invited to exhibit at Jean Pigozzi’s Contemporary African Art Collection (CAAC) in Paris, by 1989, Bodys Isek Kingelez (b Jean Baptiste, 1948) was catapulted to global acclaim. His work has since been featured in numerous international exhibitions and is included in the private collections of both Pigozzi and Agnes B, among others. In 1992 he began assembling entire cities with numerous buildings, avenues, parks, stadiums and monuments and, when his first large-scale imaginary city, Kimbembele Ihunga – named after the village in which he was born and brought up – was shown there in 1995, Kingelez created an homage to Jean Nouvel, architect of the Fondation Cartier building in Paris.

This month over 30 of the 3000 models Kingelez constructed during the course of his career, which ended with his death in 2015, go on show in Bodys Isek Kingelez: City Dreams at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

All works by Bodys Isek Kingelez, made from paper, cardboard, plastic and various other materials. All images courtesy MoMA


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Photography | Africa Shines Through

Friday, March 30th, 2018

Zarita Zevallos
Imperium 2, 2017
Archival pigment print



Refraction: New Photography
of Africa and its Diaspora
Steven Kasher Gallery
NYC | USA
19 April 2 June 2018



Keyezua
Fortia (1), 2017
Giclée print on
Hanhemühle paper



Crack it. Smash it. Break it up into little pieces and scatter it. Glass will continue to refract rays of light that pass through it. This show sets out to demonstrate how cultural identity – in this case, African – reacts in a similar way.

Often ripped from their roots and transported many thousands of miles, or forced to flee wars and pogroms, Africans have seen their cultural identity subdued and trampled upon but never entirely transmuted.

Shawn Theodore
All I Ever Wanted Was
A Reason To Be
, 2018

Archival pigment print



Nona Faustine
Over Her Dead Body,
Tweed Courthouse,
Brooklyn, NY
, 2013

Archival pigment print



Stan Squirewell
Afrosaxson, 2017
Mixed media collage



Flying in the face of centuries of adversity, recent decades have seen the emergence of a new generation of photographers of African descent, based in many different locations across the globe, including Africa itself, with a rich diversity of approaches, determined to reclaim and to reassert their cultural heritage.

Eyerusalem Adugna Jirenga
The City of Saints VII, 2017
Digital archival print



Rendered entirely contemporary by its use of modern photography techniques, such as performative self-portraiture, collage, montage and digital manipulation, while their work – captured through fine quality glass camera lenses – makes bold references to traditional African values, rites and rituals, it is nevertheless undoubtedly characterised by the refractive process that African cultural identity has passed through.

Refraction: New Photography of Africa and its Diaspora at Steven Kasher Gallery presents the work of photographers born in the 1970s, 80s and 90s, living in Addis Ababa, Luanda, Paris, New York and beyond.

All images courtesy Steven Kasher Gallery, New York


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Design | Haute-Tech: Brainy, Fashionable Furniture

Friday, December 8th, 2017

Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance,
unique Ammonite shelf, 2012
Two-tone patinated steel.
Executed by Stefano Ronchetti
for Meta, London.
Collection of Hana Soukupová
& Drew Aaron
Estimate $1,000 > 15,000



Important Design
Sotheby’s New York
New York City | USA
Exhibition 9 > 12 December 2017
Sale 13 December 2017



Michel Boyer,
sideboard, c1970
Stainless steel with
mahogany interior.

Estimate $18,000 > 24,000



Confirming fashion’s current infatuation with technology, Dutch designer, Joris Laarman has been described by W Magazine as producing an ‘haute-cerebral brand of futurism’. The 37-year-old’s pioneering work is at the intersection of design, art, and science. His aim is to abolish the traditional distinctions between the decorative and the functional, the natural and the machine-made world. Creators of 3D-printed bridges, tables constructed with the aid of industrial robots, and chairs that can be downloaded from the internet, his company’s work is currently the subject of Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, in New York. Sitting alongside rare pieces by an array of international, celebrated 20th and 21st-century artists, architects and designers, Laarman’s Bone armchair, below, produced in 2007, is one of the star lots inspired by technological innovation in Sotheby’s forthcoming design sale.

In the 1960s French designer, Michel Boyer (1935 > 2011), became sought after for his ability to combine glass, steel and rare woods to create functional luxury furniture. He oversaw and designed the interior of Baron Elie de Rothschild’s personal office in the de Rothschild Frères bank’s Paris headquarters, in which his unique sideboard, above, (commissioned 1970) with its machine-like finish, was installed. During the 1970s, Boyer gained a worldwide reputation for prestigious commissions such as the French embassies in Washington DC and in Brazil.

Joris Laarman,
Bone armchair, 2007
Carrara marble powder
and casting resin.
Produced by Joris
Laarman Lab, Amsterdam,
The Netherlands.

Estimate $250,000 > 350,000



Zaha Hadid,
Serif 4 shelf, from the
Seamless series, 2006
Polyurethane-lacquered
polyester resin.
Produced by Established
& Sons, London.
Estimate $15,000 > 20,000



Sculptural and intriguing, the spiraling Ammonite shelf (2012), top, inspired by technology as much as by nature, is by contemporary furniture and interior designer, and author, Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance (b 1974), also French, whose career took off in 2002 after he served as artistic director for the London restaurant Sketch. Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance’s recent projects have included a private dining room for Chateau d’Yquem in the Parisian hotel, Le Meurice; he has designed a candelabra for Baccarat, as well as a scent bottle in the shape of a gold bar for Paco Rabanne. In collaboration with Brand Image, he created the visual and architectural identity of the Air France business class lounges and has developed retail concepts for clients, such as Yves Saint Laurent. Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance furniture creations include, among others, the Corvo and Chiara chairs for American brand Bernhardt Design, and various products for Ligne Roset.

Mathieu Mategot,
magazine rack, circa 1955
Lacquered metal.
Collection of Hana
Soukupová & Drew Aaron
Estimate $2,000 > 3,000



Hungarian, Mathieu Matégot, (1919 > 2001), having spent time in America and Italy, settled in Paris in 1931 and began working as a set designer for the Folies Bergère and window-dresser for the Galerie Lafayette department store, where he also created dresses and tapestries. Prior to the outbreak of World War II, Matégot became involved in furniture design. Exploring a variety of materials, including metal, glass, Formica, wood, textiles, and leather, he would later become famous for innovative furniture and accessories incorporating metal tubing and perforated sheet metal, such as the magazine rack, above.

Uncompromising and elegant – although at first sight its function may only be guessed at – the limited edition, Serif 4 shelf (2006), above, by Pritzker Prize- and Sterling prize-winner, Iraqi-British architect, Zaha Hadid (1950 > 2016), who had been practising her own haute-cerebral brand of futurism since the 1980s, is also included in Important Design at Sotheby’s New York. The sale features a total of 165 items, many of which derive from renowned, international collections.

All images courtesy Sotheby’s


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Design | Post Ettore Sottsass Modernism

Friday, July 14th, 2017

Carlton room divider, 1981
Wood, plastic laminate.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
John C Waddell Collection,
Gift of John C Waddell, 1997



Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical
The Met Breuer
NYC | USA
21 July > 8 October 2017



I remember cursing postmodernism in the mid-1990s. Having arrived jet-lagged at the Philippe Starck-designed Royalton hotel in New York, I tripped over the rear leg of the designer’s ‘iconic’ Costes armchair (1984) – which might look elegant, but sticks out way too far – and ended up in a heap on the floor.

Like the art deco architecture and design it often resembled, early postmodernism was showy – in many instances, tacky – and unfit for purpose. What made things worse was that, once it really started to roll in the early 1980s and the requirement for objects and buildings to function was sidelined, postmodernism became a bandwagon that was easy to leap on to. Many did just that, in the process, transforming what had begun a couple of decades earlier as a radical philosophical concept in the minds of respected architecture and design theorists into a widespread and rather frivolous fad. Suddenly, there was a lot of money around and people couldn’t wait to find things to spend it on. Bored with what was currently on offer, desperate to find something exciting, new and different, they lapped it up in whatever form it was presented to them.

By the 1960s, Ettore Sottsass (1917 > 2007) was already bored by the functional. ‘When I was young, all we ever heard about was functionalism, functionalism, functionalism. It’s not enough’ he was heard to complain. His stated aim for the Valentine portable typewriter (1969), one of his most successful achievements for Olivetti, was to create an object that could ‘influence not only physical conditions but also emotions, [that could] touch the nerves, the blood, the muscles, the eyes and the moods of people.’ Born in Austria, educated in Italy, he established his first studio in Milan in 1947. Best known for his work with Olivetti, where for many years he was the company’s design consultant, and for the design collective Memphis, founded in 1981, Sottsass’s work would gradually evolve from modernism into postmodernism. The shift was triggered by the influences he gathered through a trip to the United States, where he worked for a month at the designer George Nelson’s office, and another to India in 1961, after which he began to create objects imbued with symbolism, emotional appeal, and global and traditional references.

Murmansk Fruit Dish, 1982
Silver.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Gift of Ronald S Kane, 1992,
Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art



Meanwhile, in 1966, the American architect Robert Venturi, who wittily countered Mies van der Rohe’s ‘less is more’ axiom with his own ‘less is a bore’, published his influential book Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. It called for the return of decoration, symbolism, colour, pattern and references to historic structures in new buildings. As a result, over the course of the next couple of decades, pointed skyscrapers with concrete walls that looked as if they were carved from stone began to pop up in American cities. Because they constituted a reaction to the uncompromisingly modern, glass-and-steel structures that had been built following World War II, they were dubbed ‘postmodern’.

When Memphis made its controversial debut at the 1981 Salone del Mobile, a lot of people who had never appeared to have any interest in design, suddenly became very animated and excited; it was as if they’d been at a rather dull party and had been presented with a new and exotic cocktail. Veneered in colourful and patterned plastic laminates, like those used in 1950s American diners, Memphis design was, however, constructed using the finest cabinetmaking techniques marketed and priced beyond the reach of average consumers, it contributed to the blurring of the art and design markets and the rise of ‘collectible design’. Karl Lagerfeld, an ardent devotee of art deco in the 1970s, fell in love with it. Amassing an important collection of Memphis pieces – with help from interior designer Andrée Putman – he famously furnished an entire apartment in Monaco with them in 1983, only to sell off every item at Sotheby’s only eight years later.

Omaggio 3, 2007
Corian and wood.
Courtesy Gallery Mourmans



In retrospect, it would seem, postmodernism turned out to be a fad with substance. The work of its founders, including Sottsass and Venturi, who recognised the need for applying a broader range of thought processes to design and architecture, were important catalysts that provoked profound changes in the mindsets of architects and designers. Postmodernist thinking stimulated the impetus behind the surge of diverse creativity and innovation on which the modern world depends, and indeed, functions.

In its forthcoming exhibition, Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical, The Met Breuer attempts to re-evaluate Sottsass’s exceptionally productive career that spanned more than six decades, via a presentation of his key works in a wide range of media. Including architectural drawings, interiors, furniture, machines, ceramics, glass, jewellery, textiles, painting, and photography, it will offer new insights into his designs. Placing him within a broader design discourse, Sottsass’s work will be juxtaposed against ancient and contemporaneous objects that influenced his practice.

All objects © Ettore Sottsass, images courtesy The Met Breuer


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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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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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Photography | Saul Leiter’s Fragmented Fashion

Friday, November 25th, 2016

Harper’s Bazaar, Mexico (fashion), 1960



Saul Leiter
Gallery Fifty One Too
Antwerp | Belgium
25 November 2016 > 28 January 2017



Carriage SeriesHarper’s Bazaar, October 1960



You don’t look at a Jackson Pollock painting; you don’t look at a Willem de Kooning. You look into them. The same is true of these titans of abstract expressionism’s contemporary and close associate, Saul Leiter’s photographic work, in which the subject is often fragmented, obscured by reflections, condensed between surfaces, or otherwise obstructed by passers-by and blurred incidental foreground detail.

Drawn to surfaces and textures, to shapes and shadows, and to the fluid expanses between the abstract and the figurative, Leiter, speaking of the ambiguity that runs through his work, once said: ‘I like it when one is not certain what one sees. When we do not know why the photographer has taken a picture, and when we do not know why we are looking at it, all of a sudden we discover something that we start seeing. I like this confusion.’

Self-portrait with Deborah



Untitled, 1950s



Leiter (1923 > 2013), born in Pittsburgh, had moved to New York in 1946 intending to be a painter – in the early days he exhibited alongside de Kooning – and although he continued to paint throughout his life, he became engrossed with the creative potential of photography as an art form. Starting with black and white, by the early 1950s he was successfully experimenting with colour, and in 1953 a substantial group of his colour photographs were selected by Edward Steichen for an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.

Carol Brown, Harper’s Bazaar, c 1960



Perhaps on the basis of his street photography – for which he is best-known – of New York’s East Village, where he lived and worked for more than 60 years, Leiter has been lumped in with the amorphous ‘New York School of Photography’, which is said to have included, among others, pragmatic photojournalists such as Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Bruce Davidson, Robert Frank, William Klein, Helen Levitt, and Weegee. Leiter, however, who happened to reside in the city over the same period as them, was light on social realism. He possessed a sensibility that was rooted more firmly in fine art, and while stylistically his work was closer to the ‘New York School’ painters, his lyrical treatment of subject matter had much in common with the gentler compositions of an earlier epoch: that of the Impressionists, and with the paintings of French symbolist artist Pierre Bonnard (1867 > 1947), who endeavoured to evoke mystical ideas, emotions, and states of mind via the medium of scenes from everyday life.

Barbara, c 1951



In the late 1950s, recognising Leiter’s unique eye for beauty and elegance combined with a modern edge, art director Henry Wolf commissioned him to photograph fashion, first for Esquire and later for Harper’s Bazaar as well as for Show. Very soon Leiter was working in Europe for the French magazine Elle, and in Britain for Vogue, Queen, and Nova. Nevertheless, the fickleness of the fashion world ensured that his good fortune didn’t last, and he sank into a lengthy period of obscurity. In time, however, his reputation was restored after several exhibitions at New York’s Howard Greenberg Gallery in the 1990s, when his work experienced a new surge of popularity and his colour photography, in particular, garnered wide acclaim. A monograph, Early Color, was published by Steidl in 2006 and was quickly followed by a series of international exhibitions, beginning with In Living Color (2006), at the Milwaukee Museum of Art. Solo shows of Leiter’s photography have since been presented at Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris, the Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam, Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, and Diechtorhallen, Hamburg. His work is now included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, among many other public and private collections.

Carmen, Harper Bazaar, c 1960



Saul Leiter at Gallery Fifty One Too in Antwerp, which has regularly shown Leiter’s work, runs concurrently with the city’s FOMU Foto Museum retrospective. The majority of the photographs included in the Gallery Fifty One Too exhibition, however, have never been presented before, and provide insight into less familiar elements of the photographer’s diverse oeuvre, particularly his work for fashion magazines.

All photographs © Saul Leiter Foundation, courtesy Gallery Fifty One


Tell us what you think
The Blog is about art, architecture, books, design and 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 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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