10407 - 20170129 - First show in Ireland for new master of Chinese landscape painting opens at Chester Beatty Library - Dublin - 21.10.2016-29.01.2017


Rainbow-like, 2015, Private collection © Hong Ling. Courtesy Soka Art.
The Chester Beatty Library presents Ireland’s first exhibition by one of China’s leading contemporary landscape painters, Hong Ling (b.1955). This retrospective exhibition charts the significant contribution Hong Ling has made to the world of Chinese landscape painting. Sixteen paintings in oil and in ink will be exhibited, ranging from a small painting of poplar trees in the grounds of the ‘Temple of Heaven’ painted while Hong Ling was a student in 1979, just after the Cultural Revolution (1966–76), to the rich and immersive ‘Rainbow-Like of 2015' that stands two metres high and three metres wide—its dramatic scale matched by its vibrant use of colour.

Hong Ling trained as an oil painter and he is best known for his technically rich canvases in this imported medium. While he finds inspiration in the work of European painters, his own practice has come to engage deeply with the philosophies of China’s landscape painting traditions, capturing the essence of the landscape rather than its likeness. In the early 1990s, Hong Ling built his studio in the foothills of the Yellow Mountains of China’s Anhui Province, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has long inspired painters of landscape. Hong Ling reveals the charged atmosphere of this dramatic location and his paintings tell the story of an artist’s personal development against the backdrop of intense changes that have transformed life in China over the last 50 years.

Chester Beatty Library Director, Fionnuala Croke said the Library is unique among Irish museums for its holdings of Asian art, and the potential these collections create for developing relationships between Ireland and Asia. 'This exhibition will give visitors a rare opportunity to enjoy China’s rich and dynamic landscape traditions through paintings of exquisite beauty.’ The exhibition is curated by Dr Mary Redfern, Curator of the Library’s East Asian Collection.

The Hong Ling exhibition at Chester Beatty Library is part of a touring retrospective sponsored by UNEEC Culture and Education Foundation, Taiwan, and organised with the artist’s gallery, Soka Art, and SOAS University of London. The exhibition will be complemented by a programme of public events including lectures and workshops


10406 - 20170129 - Exhibition at Ludwig Museum looks at Béla Bartók's legacy through the means of contemporary art - Budapest - 08.10.2016-29.01.2017

Konok Tamás, Guided lines, 2009. Acrylic, canvas, 200 x 180 cm.
Timed for the current Bartók Memorial Year, this international exhibition looks at the composer’s legacy through the means of contemporary art.

Béla Bartók’s work offers countless points of contact for reflections and interpretations in visual and sound art. In addition to considering the musical legacy, the exhibiting artists seek to establish vantage points for the examination of the oeuvre through a scrutiny of cultural anthropological and media-historical evidence, as well as of personal material related to the composer. They also attempt to assess Bartók’s influence on his own age and our times.

Bartók’s work as a composer is a part of general learning and cultural knowledge, his activity as a scholar, theorist and collector of music enriches universal culture. For decades, works of art that reflect on Bartók have attested to his cultural historical significance and embeddedness in society.

This exhibition explores, and subjects to further interpretation, the image of Bartók as a persistent cultural topos that has been transmitted through the ages. Besides neo-avant-garde classics, most of the exhibits are newly made works, whose creators, over thirty in all, occupied conceptual positions between visual art, science and music. In terms of genre and technique, most of the exhibits are mixed (hybrid) works, and the exhibition as a whole is marked by the prominent presence of new artistic media.

The display is accompanied by a diverse series of events in the sister arts, along with lectures, guided tours, presentations and concerts.

The exhibition is an event of the CAFe Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival, and has been realized as a part of the Bartók 135 Memorial Year.

ÁDÁM Zsófia | BALOGH Máté | BÁLVÁNYOS Levente | Jasmina CIBIC | CSÁBI Ádám | DORSÁNSZKI Adrienn | FARKAS Dénes | FODOR Gyula | GOSZTOLA Kitti | GRYLLUS Samu | HUSZÁRIK Zoltán – TÓTH János | KELE Judit | KONOK Tamás | KÖVES Éva | LAKNER László | MAURER Dóra | MOLNÁR Vera | M. TÓTH Géza | NAGY Zsófia | PALOTAI Gábor | PÁLINKÁS Bence György | PETERNÁK Anna | PINCZEHELYI Sándor | PIROS Boróka - HORVÁTH Balázs | RAVASZ András | RÉVÉSZ László László | Masha STAREC | Jozef SUCHOZA | SUGÁR János | SÜLYI Péter | SZIRA Henrietta | SZIRTES András | SZTRUHÁR Zsuzsa | TORNYAI Péter - KERTÉSZ Krisztián | Ágnes von URAY | WÉBER Imre

Curators: Bálványos Anna, Fabényi Julia, Készman József, Peternák Miklós, Szipőcs Krisztina


10405 - 20170129 - Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles presents major exhibition devoted to Urs Fischer - Arles - 01.10.2016-29.01.2017


Urs Fischer, 8, 2014. Cast bronze, oil paint, gold leaf, clay bole, acrylic primer, chalk gesso, rabbit skin glue, 78.7 x 215.9 x 199.4 cm. AP of Edition of 2 & 1 AP. Private collection. Courtesy of the artist and Sadie Coles HQ, London © Urs Fischer. Photo : Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich.
The major exhibition devoted to Urs Fischer, born in 1973 in Zurich, was unveiled to the public on 1 October 2016. “Mon cher…” runs at the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles for four months and aims to offer a panorama of Fischer’s artistic production since 2013: monumental as well as more intimate sculptures, paintings on aluminium panel and wallpapers. The whole is thereby inscribed within a dynamic circuit involving the movement of the visitor.

Above and beyond the power of Fischer’s organisation of space, as demonstrated, for example, by the deluge of oversize multicolour raindrops in his 400 m2 installation Melodrama (2013), the singularity of this show derives from the fact that the totality of the museum’s spaces is devoted to a single artist. Generous, ironic and arousing our empathy, Fischer’s works punctuate a route that traverses the most atypical spaces, including the front courtyard and the wood-panelled study.

Urs Fischer’s œuvre is marked by an extraordinary tension between, on the one hand, the notion of individuality and the collective, and on the other, the evocation of traditional sculptural formats and the production of works in two dimensions in the postdigital era. This oscillation between two poles sometimes results in their overlapping, so that the visual illusion normally associated with the medium of photography also becomes a property of sculpture.

In front of last supper (2014), a doubt emerges as to the material used. The sculpture, which is more than seven metres long, looks as if it has been modelled out of clay; it reveals the collective effort solicited in the making of the initial work, presented at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles in 2013. In a process of ennoblement that has preserved the traces of the sculpture’s genesis and the fingerprints of each participant, however, the clay has turned to bronze. The same shifts seem to operate for the eight bronze casts of reclining female nudes. Don’t they make us think of a collective sculpture studio at a fine arts academy, whose models and students have departed? All that remains are pieces seemingly still in progress – the non finito of works anchored in the past and turned towards a future. Replying to the “collective subjectivity” that infuses these sculptures, with their sensual and archaic materiality, are images characterized by hyperreality and self-portraiture. These paintings on aluminium depict parts of the artist’s body – the ear or, as in Barium (2016), the eye – encircled by silkscreened layers of coloured paint, giving the trompe-l’œil effect of impasto.

Weaving itself through the works on display is the reference to Van Gogh – whether in the title of the exhibition, the emotional charge carried by three-dimensional relief, the affirmation of highly studied colour or the ambivalence contained in the self-portrait.

Urs Fischer is a contemporary Swiss artist born in 1973 in Zurich. Since 2004 he has lived and worked in New York.

He studied photography at the Zurich Schule für Gestaltung and subsequently participated in residency programs in Amsterdam and London, a training which forged his “taste for images and their intrinsic value”1.

For the artist, images are admired for their associative power, their emotional charge and their skilful illusion, properties that likewise apply to his objects in three dimensions. Thinking resolutely as a sculptor, he alternates between photography, sculpture, painting and installation. He combines this raft of artistic options with editorial projects implemented with his publishing house Kiito-San.

The exhibition space also finds itself reshaped and is understood as a place of production invested with Fischer’s expressive formal investigations, which oscillate between the playful and the dramatic. Far from operating in isolation, the artist sometimes organizes participatory situations, in which visitors are invited to contribute to the fashioning of sculptures from blocks of clay. Fischer’s most recent collaborative outdoor project is also the largest to date: this summer the artist transformed the exterior spaces of Moscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art into a giant clay-modelling studio.

As well as using natural, easily biodegradable materials such as clay, Urs Fischer also invokes innovative techniques that testify equally to his thirst for experimentation. A prolific artist, he has successfully captivated the international scene. He exhibits in many countries and his work is represented in leading public and private collections around the world.


10404 - 20170108 - The MAST Foundation opens first solo exhibition in Italy of Dayanita Singh - Bologna - 12.10.2016-08.01.2017

Museum of Machines, 2013. Archival pigment prints, 38 x 38 cm, each. Courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London ©Dayanita Singh.
The MAST Foundation presents the first solo exhibition in Italy of Dayanita Singh, one of the most relevant figures in contemporary photography.

Born in Delhi in 1961, Singh is an acknowledged protagonist of the international art scene and one of the rare Indian photographers who is known all over the world. She is the author of a very peculiar set of works that reflect an extraordinarily personal vision of her country although it explores themes that transcend geographical borders.

During the past five years, her work has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hayward Gallery in London, the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main, the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art in New Delhi and the Fundación Mapfre in Madrid. She participated in two consecutive editions of the Venice Biennale, in 2011 and 2013.

After starting her career in photojournalism, with many photo features on India produced in the 90s for important international magazines, Singh abandoned the journalistic language and the typically colonial perspective with which her country has often been portrayed and developed an approach to photography that was both documentary and poetic, creating projects and publications in which the images unfold according to new criteria, displays and narrative rhythms.

Singh has developed a very original form of displaying her photographs. Using a series of interior design components made of wood—folding screens, carts and tables that hint at the modernist grid—she assembles what she herself calls “museums.” These are mobile, portable structures that allow the artist to lend new configurations and new meanings to her works. In these “museums,” through a story told with images but no words, Singh reelaborates personal and collective history, private and public life, presence and absence, reality and dreams, transforming them into a fragmentary ensemble pervaded by a strong sense of humanity, by profound interest and respect for everything that surrounds her— individuals, social situations, objects, archives or machines.

The exhibition organised at the MAST Foundation and conceived by its Photo Gallery curator, Urs Stahel, takes its name from the Museum of Machines, a recent acquisition of the MAST Collection. It proposes about 300 photographs organised in series—in addition to Museum of Machines, there are also Museum of Industrial Kitchen, Office Museum, Museum of Printing Machines, Museum of Men and File Museum, together with a few other works—that tell stories about labour and production; life, its daily management and its archiving. Enormous machines that smoke and steam, working methods and processes, spaces for the execution and organisation of work are presented in a near labyrinthine fashion thanks to the articulate and original display mode. The photographs not only depict production environments, but also create psychological scenarios in which we recognise experiences, suffering and hope.

Critic and writer Aveek Sen has written about Museum of Machines: “As we spend more time with these creatures and contemplate the spaces of encounter they inhabit or conjure up, what begins to rise up within us is, paradoxically, a sense of personality and personhood.”

As Urs Stahel, curator of the exhibition observes, “Today, Dayanita Singh is one of the most famous artists active in the field of photography in India and indeed internationally. In this exhibition, we see not only her work, but we also direct our gaze at a rich artistic life, a powerful, complex life that has become increasingly confident and more mature over the years. All without ever losing its inquisitiveness, its joy in play.”


10403 - 20170108 - First exhibition to examine the radical use of colour in JMW Turner's work - Margate - 08.10.2016-08.01.2017


Installation view.
Turner Contemporary presents JMW Turner: Adventures in Colour, the first exhibition to examine the radical use of colour in Turner’s work. The exhibition features more than 100 works in both oil and watercolour, with the fullest survey of the artist’s watercolours of Margate yet to be shown in the gallery. The show is curated by leading Turner expert and art historian Ian Warrell.

A highlight of the exhibition is Turner’s watercolour View of the Beach at Margate , which was only recently attributed to the artist. The work was part of a cache sold by Mrs Booth and her son in 1865 and was acquired by Manchester collector H T Broadhurst. The work was inherited by his son Sir Edward Tootal Broadhurst, and on its death was given to the Whitworth. The work was not accessioned as a Turner, and was only recently discovered by Ian Warrell. This is the first time the painting has gone on display at Turner Contemporary.

Colour is the essence of JMW Turner’s work, and his distinctive, sometimes eccentric use of vibrant colour was central to his success as an artist. The exhibition highlights Turner’s engagement with developments in colour theory and his adoption and exploitation of new materials. Beginning with the more traditional ‘Old Master’ aesthetic that Turner quickly matched and then superseded, the exhibition charts the impact made by the artist’s experimental techniques.

The exhibition examines the impact Turner’s love of Margate had on his use of colour. Turner spent much time in Margate in his later life, drawn to its special light. The warm, if unconventional, connection that Turner felt for his landlady, Mrs Booth, led to an informal attitude which pervades the many studies he made looking out from her house across the harbour. Working in this private sphere led to a greater experimentation, including in his use of colour.

For Turner, location was of great importance. He remarked to the influential writer and art critic John Ruskin that “…the skies over Thanet are the loveliest in all Europe” . The unique quality of light in this part of Kent drew Turner back time and again. More than 100 of Turner’s works, including some of his most famous seascapes, were inspired by the East Kent coast. Margate was the starting point for his visits to Europe, and a love of the sea stayed with him all his life.

Turner’s thirst for travel is explored in a selection of rarely-seen watercolours, distinguished by their use of fiery reds and intense blues, from his tour of the Mediterranean coast. The exhibition culminates in a group of atmospheric late oil paintings, described in the Spectator as ‘freaks of chromomania’ but later regarded as amongst his greatest masterpieces.

Curator Ian Warrell said: “Colour is the essence of Turner’s work, and his distinctive, sometimes eccentric use of vibra nt colour was absolutely central to his achievement as an artist. In placing colour at the heart of the project the familiar outline of Turner’s life and art is explored in a new way.”


10402 - 20161230 -The National Gallery of Denmark presents a series of new paintings by Sergej Jensen - Copenhagen - 13.10.2016-30.12.2016

Sergej Jensen, Untitled, 2016. Silk screen on linen, 65,2 x 100 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Avskarl, Copenhagen/Galerie Neu, Berlin. Photo credit: Anders Sune Berg.
Sergej Jensen is born in Denmark in 1973. He grew up in Germany and went to art school there. Today he lives and works in Berlin and New York. Despite the Danish roots and the international recognition he has not yet had a solo exhibition at a Danish museum. From 13 October, visitors to SMK can experience a series of his new paintings in x-rummet – SMK's experimental venue for contemporary art. The exhibition in x-rummet constitutes Sergej Jensen’s first solo exhibition at a Danish museum.

Silkscreens and clumsy allegories
Danish-born Sergej Jensen is an internationally acclaimed artist known for his unconventional approach to painting. Recently Sergej Jensen has worked with figurative subject matter sourced from widely different art historical periods and schools, ranging from the Renaissance, to Romanticism, to early modernism - sometimes all at once. Like some of Jensen’s earlier monochrome and ‘abstract’ paintings, his figurative paintings reference motifs that are at times recognizable and familiar.

In his figurative paintings, the subject matter comes either one-to-one from the original source or elements from historic and photographic motifs are patched together in new constellations and clumsy allegories. With this project-and-paint method of stringing elements together, these paintings are not unlike his stitched up abstract compositions. Some paintings in this exhibition include scenes and buildings in Copenhagen. In a series of black-and-white silkscreens Jensen has printed photographs of his own paintings on scaled-down canvases. Here, his own sampled works become the original source material for a kind of second mode of representation.

Sergej Jensen was born in 1973 in Denmark. Jensen studied fine art at Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Frankfurt and lives and works in Berlin. In recent years he has had solo exhibitions at e.g. Berlinische Galerie in Berlin, MoMA PS1 in New York, Kunsthalle Portikus in Frankfurt and Aspen Art Museum in Colorado. His works are part of the permanent collections at institutions such as Tate Modern in London and MoMA in New York.


10401 - 20170115 - Irish artist Jaki Irvine presents a major new sound and video work at IMMA - Dublin - 22.09.2016-15.01.2017


'If The Ground Should Open…' (2016) detail. Courtesy of Jaki Irvine, Kerlin Gallery & Frith St. Gallery.
 A major new commission for IMMA by Irish artist Jaki Irvine, If the Ground Should Open…, is presented here for the first time on the occasion of the centenary of the historic Easter uprisings of 1916. This new work takes as a point of departure Irvine’s 2013 novel ‘Days of Surrender’, which focuses on Elizabeth O’Farrell and Julia Grenan. These were two of more than a hundred women who were ready to die or kill for the possibility of a different Ireland but whose stories were all but written out of official Irish history, consigned to the margins as the narrative was masculinised.

This new video and sound installation in the courtyard galleries uses their names as ‘the ground’ of a score for nine musicians. The eleven tracks were composed by Irvine using the canntaireachd system – originally developed as an oral scoring system for Scottish Highland pipes. The basic musical motif in classical piping (piobaireachd) is called ‘the ground’ of the piece, which is then built upon with additional notes and melodies. In If the Ground Should Open… the names of women involved in the 1916 Rising, form the ground. In this way they are performed and remembered, becoming part of the ground we walk on in 2016. The project was also developed from the leaked Anglo-Irish bankers taped conversations.

Commenting on her work Irvine said “With If the Ground Should Open…, the legacy of 1916 is reconsidered in the light of a contemporary Ireland broken by corporate greed. Both the past and the present are reflected through a lens that is complicated, joyful, furious and hopeful”.

Irvine also goes on to acknowledge the contribution of the performers to the project “All of the performers brought their own extraordinary knowledge, generosity and musicality to this project and further developed it through personal interpretation and improvisation”. The nine performers include on vocals Louise Phelan, Cats Irvine and Cherry Smyth; bagpipes Hilary Knox; piano Izumi Kimura; violin Liz McClaren; cello Jane Hughes; double bass Aura Stone and drums Sarah Grimes. A one off live event of the work will be performed in full on Tuesday 13 December at the Great Hall in IMMA.

If the Ground Should Open... is part of the official Ireland 2016 Programme and is presented as part of an exciting on-going initiative, New Art at IMMA, proudly supported by Matheson, which allows IMMA to continue to support artists’ vital work in a strand of programming that recognises and nurtures new and emerging talents, new thinking and new forms of exhibition-making.

Jaki Irvine (b. 1966, Dublin) is an artist who lives and works in Dublin and Mexico City. She is concerned with how we come to imagine and understand ourselves from within our privacy and often uses video installation as a way to reflect on moments where this process, awkwardly and unavoidably, comes spilling into the public spaces of our lives.

Jaki Irvine’s solo exhibitions include Project Arts Centre (1996), Kerlin Gallery (2004) and the Douglas Hyde Gallery (1999, 2005) in Dublin, Frith Street Gallery (1997, 1999, 2011) the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Baden-Baden, Germany (1998) and Delfina Project Space (2001) in London, Henry Moore Institute (2004) Leeds and Galleria Alessandro de March (2004) Milan. In 1995 Irvine was included in the seminal exhibition of Young British Artists, General Release, at the Venice Biennale, and represented Ireland at the 1997 Biennale. In 2008 Irvine produced a major video installation entitled In a World Like This, which was produced in collaboration with Chisenhale Gallery, London and The Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo. In 2011, a new solo exhibition of video works Before This Page is Turned, developed in the Dublin Graphic Print Studios, was presented at the Kerlin Gallery, Dublin. She has also participated in numerous group shows throughout Europe, Australia and Japan. Irvine is represented in the collections of IMMA, the Irish Arts Council, Tate Modern, FRAC and in numerous other collections, both public and private.


10400 - 20170129 - Pinakothek der Moderne inaugurates an exhibition series on fine-art photography in the digital age - Munich - 30.09.2017-29.01.2017

Mishka Henner, Strada Provinciale 3, Apulia, Italy, 2013. Aus der Werkgruppe: No Man’s Land, 2011-2013. Pigmentdruck, 61 x 51 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Carroll / Fletcher, London © Mishka Henner.

Since its founding, the Photography Collection of the Pinakothek der Moderne has consistently engaged with current work in international art photography, both as a collecting and an exhibiting institution. A new long-term series of exhibitions, held every two years, introduces a new, specific format to this aspect of the museum’s activity. As well as incorporating individual exhibitions, the series also establishes a wide-ranging forum for discussion and information.

As digitization brings massive changes to almost every aspect of life, photography too finds itself in an inexorable process of redefinition. As an autonomous mode of artistic expression, photography has long had processes of exchange with classical art forms. Today, it is also marked by intensifying relations with the image-worlds created by multimedia and digital technologies, and their innovative forms of presentation and distribution. The medium is undergoing an inevitable reformation as it absorbs this rapid technological development. Change has reached a new level thanks to the worldwide circulation of virtual images, as well as ongoing dialogue with other media and systems of images; and the transformation demands a continual reassessment of photography’s theoretical and aesthetic parameters. Is photography today still the same medium which viewers think they know and see? How is photography going to define its relationship to reality and to authenticity, on the one hand, and to the autonomy of the image, on the other? How do more general digital processes overlap with specifically photographic modes of image creation and with photography’s modes of presentation and reception?

To tackle these questions, the series Photography Today starts from central themes and strengths within the museum’s own collection, using these to trace contemporary developments and examine new artistic approaches. The museum’s extensive collection of topographic photographs – encompassing works of American and European photography from the 1970s to today – was the starting point for the selection in distant realities. The analytical and descriptive visual surveys, as articulated by Robert Adams, Bernd and Hilla Becher or Zoe Leonard, for example, interrogate both the status quo and the transformation of urban, suburban and rural living environments, and trace the marks left behind by time and history.

The works by Ilit Azoulay, Mishka Henner, Inga Kerber, Mykola Ridnyi and Erin Shirreff also investigate specific places, often social or political hotspots, but abandon the narrow borders of a documentary style and make use of the diverse possibilities of digital technologies and their artistic forms of expression. Analogue photography, its history and the ideas and expectations that go along with it remain a central point of reference here. The artistic approaches of these artists is always focused on a contemplation of the medium and the status of the image, of perception and the act of seeing as well as the complex conditions under which both of these occur. The referent here is thus not direct reality but rather its mediated image, located within a complex web of influences, shaped by a wide variety of forces.

Mishka Henner’s series No Man’s Land (2011–2013) translates the tradition of photographic road movies into the early 21st century. For his documentation of street prostitutes in Italy and Spain, Henner makes use of Google Street View rather than personal observation. In doing so, he dissects the visible but unperceived margins of our globalized society, a society which threatens to turn everyone into a kind of ‘resource’ for capital. ‘Seen in this way,’ says Henner, ‘No Man’s Land is a detail from the map of technological capitalism, a cartography of its scope and its complex interactions.’

For his 33-part series Under Suspicion, Mykola Ridnyi photographed public spaces in his home town of Kharkiv (Ukraine), including city squares, supermarkets, and subway stations. Markings added to the images give them the appearance of potential crime scenes. Random people caught on camera come to seem like possible criminals. Ridnyi’s work reacts to state surveillance in the Ukraine, which has increased since the protest movements, and to the generalized mistrust creeping into private life in the wake of armed conflict with Russia. According to the artist, Under Suspicion is an imaginary archive of the civic gaze, created at a moment when much of everyday life has come to appear suspicious.

Ilit Azoulay is a sensitive seismographer. As material she uses architecture: fragments of built and rebuilt space, from which she filters out history’s blind spots. Imaginary Order is a group of works made between 2012 and 2016; this exhibition marks the first public showing of the last two works in the series. The panoramic photo-assemblages take as their starting point the conversion of a 1960s public sanatorium into a luxury hotel, as well as the changes to Israeli society that this process makes visible. In doing so, Azoulay also lays bare the hidden history which links this location to a wider national trauma.

The cinematically-animated photographs of the American artist Erin Shirreff challenge traditional forms of perception and temporal experience. Shirreff uses analogue photographs: some taken herself, some found elsewhere, and some photographed from online sources. Using digital techniques, she then composes the images into video sequences which suggest a filmic continuity, but not a temporal one. Her specific visual representations frame our experience of a landscape in Canada or an architectural icon in New York, creating particular physical and psychological conditions which allow new imaginary spaces to emerge.

The Leipzig-based photographer Inga Kerber operates within classical art-historical genres, including landscape, portrait and still life. Each of Kerber’s multi-part works—all of which have the word ‘cliché’ in their title—assiduously investigate the (supposed) essence of photography. Hers is a complex process of making and reproducing images, a process which inscribes material traces within the image, linking together analogue and digital elements. In this way, her photographs not only foreground their subject, but also the process of the image’s creation.

Curator: Dr. Inka Graeve Ingelmann, Director of the Collection of Photography and New Media, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich.



10399 - 20170115 - Museum de Fundatie presents 100 portraits of 100 people from the past 100 years - Zwolle - 01.10.2016-15.01.2017


Oskar Kokoschka, Zelfportret, 1917. Von der Heydt-Museum Wuppertal.
From October 1, 2016 to January 15, 2017, Museum de Fundatie presents the exhibition Behold the Man. With 100 works by artists such as Kokoschka, Brancusi, Picasso, Nussbaum, Goldin, Trecartin, Dumas, Richter and Rauch, Behold the Man shows how artists of the past century successfully used the seemingly clear and straightforward genre of the portrait to evoke the richness and complexity of the modern world. The curator of Behold the Man is art critic Hans den Hartog Jager, who also organized the exhibitions More Light (2011) and More Power (2014).

The organizing principle of the exhibition Behold the Man seems simple at first: 100 portraits of 100 people from the past 100 years—exactly one from each year. They vary from Oskar Kokoschka’s Self-Portrait (1917) to Neo Rauch’s Storm Front (2016), from Pablo Picasso’s Large Still Life with a Pedestal Table (Marie-Thérèse) (1931) to Kerry James Marshall’s Scout Master (1996). The exhibition explores the idea that about 100 years ago, in the decade between 1910 and 1920, the artistic image of the human form changed radically. Photography became more central to the arts, and at the same time, abstract art made its great breakthrough. Meanwhile, the Western world was transformed by the First World War and the Russian Revolution. These events had a tremendous impact on how artists portrayed the human figure. We can see this vividly in the work of Constantin Brancusi. At the start of that crucial decade, he made his Sleeping Muse, a head lying on its side, which clearly has all the usual facial features. Ten years later, however, he was making idealized, thoroughly abstracted egg-shaped heads such as The Beginning of the World and Sculpture for the Blind. These sculptures are still regarded as a return to square one, a fresh start for the portrait genre. From that moment on, it seems that portraitists were no longer primarily concerned with depicting their subjects objectively. The human figure tended to become a form without content, on which artists imposed their own world views, generally by distorting them or charging them with new forms and meanings. These meanings, which vary from abstraction and symbolism to idealism and fame, crop up in diverse combinations in almost any portrait. In the process, the crucial fact emerges that the best, most intriguing portraits successfully combine several of these meanings into an integrated whole: one person, one figure. This seeming paradox is the crux of Behold the Man; the exhibition ultimately turns on the question of how, over the past century, artists have used the portrait genre, in all its apparent simplicity and clarity, to evoke the richness and complexity of the modern world.

Artists: Adel Abdessemed, Karel Appel, Diane Arbus, Art and Language, Francis Bacon, Max Beckmann, Eva Besnyö, Mike Bidlo, Christian Boltanski, Michaël Borremans, Constantin Brancusi, Arno Breker, Bernard Buffet, Felice Casorati, Paul Citroen, Francesco Clemente, George Condo, Constant, Enzo Cucchi, Rineke Dijkstra, Otto Dix, Marcel Duchamp, Marlene Dumas, Ger van Elk, Tracey Emin, Walker Evans, Jean Fautrier, Edgar Fernhout, Seiichi Furuya, Charles Gaupp, Daan van Golden, Nan Goldin, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, George Grosz, Sigurdur Gudmundsson, Philip Guston, Isaac Israëls, Matthew Day Jackson, Egill Jacobsen, Asger Jorn, Yousuf Karsh, Dick Ket, Yves Klein, Job Koelewijn, Oskar Kokoschka, Tetsumi Kudo, Milan Kunc, Oliver Laric, Klara Lidén, Sarah Lucas, Lucebert, Ken Lum, René Magritte, Kazimir Malevich, Mark Manders, Man Ray, Robert Mapplethorpe, Kerry James Marshall, Ana Mendieta, Annette Messager, Bruce Nauman, Alice Neel, Arnold Newman, Felix Nussbaum, Catherine Opie, Irving Penn, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Marc Quinn, Arnulf Rainer, Neo Rauch, Gerhard Richter, Hervé Di Rosa, Thomas Ruff, August Sander, Viviane Sassen, Antonio Saura, Christian Schad, Gino Severini, David Scherman/Lee Miller, Cindy Sherman, Nicolaes De Staël, Edward Steichen, Juergen Teller, Charley Toorop, Ryan Trecartin, Roy Villevoye, Henk Visch, Andy Warhol, Gillian Wearing, Co Westerik, Carel Willink, Francesca Woodman, Andrzej Wróblewski, Ossip Zakine, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhao Yao


10398 - 20170108 - Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen exhibits Chinese fashion talent of the future - Rotterdam - 01.10.2016-08.01.2017

.ZAZ, Photosynthesis, 2016, photo: Rogier Vlaming from Glamcult Studio.
From 1 October five young Chinese fashion designers show new work in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen at Three Eyes – Five Chinese Designers .

Last year five young Chinese designers were commissioned by the Han Nefkens Foundation to make new work as part of Th e Future of Fashion is Now . This international travelling exhibition full of fresh designs at the interface of fashion and design was recently staged in China. In 2014 The Future of Fashion is Now in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen attracted no fewer than 83.000 visitors.

Young Talent At the end of last year, three well-known Chinese designers compiled a list of current talented Chinese fashion designers. Initiator Han Nefkens, guest curator José Teunissen (winner of the 2016 Profile Prize) and Mr Feng Feng, artistic director of the OCT Art and Design Gallery in Shenzen, selected the designers who would be making the new work from a shortlist.

A Designer has Three Eyes The five designers chosen – Dido Liu, Fang Ye, Fixxed Studios, Percy Lau, ZAZ – represent a new generation, which takes a critical look at the current fashion system. These makers are linked by the belief that tradition and future must go hand in hand. Chinese culture has it that a designer needs three eyes: two to look to the future and one to look back and reflect on five thousand years of Chinese culture.

Platform Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and Han Nefkens Fashion on the Edge offer a platform for innovative fashion designers with this initiative. The Future of Fashion is Now is a way of bringing young designers and artists in contact with one another. The compilers strive to redefine what fashion actually means and give today’s top talent an opportunity to show their work to a wide public.  


10397 - 20170101 - Exhibition by American artist Roni Horn at Fondation Beyeler - Basel - 02.10.2016-01.01.2017

Installation view of the exhibition „Roni Horn“ in the Fondation Beyeler, Basel. Photo: Stefan Altenburger.
The exhibition by American artist Roni Horn (*1955 in New York) features outstanding groups of works and series she has created over the last twenty years. The photographic installations, works on paper, and sculptures made of cast glass displayed in the six rooms devoted to the show can be experienced as a coherent installation. The exhibition “Roni Horn” has been developed in close cooperation with the artist for the space at the Fondation Beyeler. Around half the works on show are new ones that are being exhibited for the first time.

Roni Horn’s art focuses on the idea of identity and mutability, demonstrating that the essence of things can differ from their visual appearance. In her works, Horn succeeds in subtly exploring fixed attributions, and in conveying ephemerality and diversity. It is therefore no coincidence that she uses materials like glass and motifs like water and the weather, all of which are multifaceted and have a form and natural state subject to constant change. Horn gives visible form to such ideas in her work. Her playful approach to language and literature endows the images she creates with an even broader range of meaning.

Since the early 1980s, drawing, particularly with pigment, is a medium repeatedly used by Roni Horn. Ten of the most significant monumental pigment drawings she has created during the past decade have been brought together for the exhibition from collections in the United States, Mexico, Norway and Switzerland. For these large-format works on paper (each measuring around 2 x 3 meters), Horn created several similar abstract drawings which she cut up cleanly with a knife, and then assembled into a larger picture. The extremely delicate line structure of these works develops an extraordinary pull on viewers, seeming to draw them into the work. That impression is reinforced by the works’ apparently porous surface, the luminous mineral pigments, and the notes delicately added in pencil afterwards.

The very recent works on paper from the series entitled Th Rose Prblm , 2015–16, which demonstrate Roni Horn’s creative engagement with language and literature, are drawings of a different kind. The process of cutting and assembly is the same, but the initial pictures here are water colors of phrases in which the word “rose” appears. For Th Rose Prblm , Horn breaks up these phrases and rearranges the parts into a total of 48 colored, often slightly bizarre textual meanings. Filling an entire room, a veritable rose garden awaits visitors.

Two extensive photographic installations, a.k.a., 2008–09 and the new work The Selected Gifts, (1974 – 2015), 2015–16, show Roni Horn’s engagement with the genre of portrait. In the first case, she alludes to the multiple aspects of a person’s identity through a non-chronological juxtaposition of portraits of herself from different periods in her life. In the second, a possible portrait of the artist is formed through photographically documented objects given to her by friends and acquaintances over the last 40 years.

The series Still Water (The River Thames, for Example) , which was completed in 1999 and which has been loaned by the Kunsthaus Zürich, is also a portrait – albeit of a river. By means of 15 photographs of the Thames’s surface, the color and structure of which are never the same, as well as short passages of text, Roni Horn addresses the stories, moods and memories of the River Thames. “I think of my images of the Thames as a mirror. All the associative images that coalesce around this work, whether it is the similarity of the water with the desert or with aspic, the endless range of imagery is the result of photographing something that is a master chameleon. Or the ultimate mime. The ultimate mime is the thing that keeps its distinction from everything else. When you think about that fact – of imitation or reflection and the possibility of losing your identity in that connection – you realize how water never loses its identity, it is always discretely itself.” [Roni Horn, 2007.]

The mutability of a material as it is made perceptible in Still Water (The River Thames, for Example) using the motif of water is also a theme of Horn’s sculptural work. Her newly created glass sculptures Water Double , v.1 – 3, 2013–16 convey the impression that the cylindrical objects are filled with water. Their surface can be transparent down to the bottom but can at the same time also show your reflection. However, it is not water but solely the characteristics of the material – massive glass that has been poured and cooled – that create this illusion. The impression of Horn’s works in glass varies according to prevailing light and meteorological conditions, seeming in some cases even to be illuminated from within. Looking at them thus becomes a constantly changing and spectacular experience.

The exhibition is being curated by Theodora Vischer, Senior Curator at the Fondation Beyeler.  


10396 - 20170205 - First exhibition dedicated to the artworks of Picasso and Giacometti in Paris - 04.11.2016-05.02.2017


Alberto Giacometti, Le chien, 1951 Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung, Zurich © Succession Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti + ADAGP) Paris, 2016.
From October 4, 2016 to February 5, 2017, the Musée Picasso and the Fondation Giacometti present the first exhibition dedicated to the artworks of two of the most important artists of the twentieth century: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966).

Thanks to an exceptional loan from the Fondation Giacometti, this new exhibition, which occupies the ground floor and the first floor of the Hôtel Salé, reunites more than 200 artworks of these two masters from the rich collections of the Musée Picasso and the Fondation Giacometti, as well as borrowed artworks from French and foreign collections.

An important work of research, brought together from the collection of archives at the Musée Picasso and the Fondation Giacometti, has revealed new, significant documents, sketches, notebooks, and annotations. These documents clarify the unknown relationship between these two artists  a relationship both friendly and formal , and the mutual interest that they shared during key moments of their careers, despite their twenty-year age difference.

Although each artist exhibits different personality traits, they are each characterized by a spirit of liberty and invention. Picasso and Giacometti share a fascination for the link between Eros and Thanatos, like the displacement of limits of representation. From their first encounter at the beginning of the 1930s to their intense dialogues after World War II, the two artists never ceased to exchange on their creations and their arguments over realism's return. Like the exhibition reveals, the number of formal and thematic similarities draws their works closer to the surrealist period. From the end of the 1930s, the two transformed their practice and shared questions and theories of art and its relation to reality, which the painter-sculptor and the sculptor-painter responded to in different formal solutions.

Organized in eight sections, the exhibition proposes a chronological and thematic programme which presents the different aspects of their artistic production of the following mediums: painting, sculpture, and drawing. After having evoked the development of the two artists and the artworks from their youth to their modernist creations, the exhibition shows the correspondences between their artworks, like the influence from non-Western art or the surrealist movement to the return of realism during the period after the war.

Next to the emblematic works of each artist like Paul en Arlequin (1924), Femme assise au fauteuil rouge (1932) and La Chèvre (1950) by Picasso or Femme qui marche (1932), Cube (1933-1934) and Homme qui marche (1960) by Giacometti, are presented the rare and fragile casts, certain newly discovered drawings, and a number of archives unveiled for the first time. A catalogue richly illustrated published in co-edition with Flammarion will accompany the exhibition. It brings together new essays by art historians  the curators of the exhibition  as well as an anthology of historic texts dedicated to these two artists.

Room 1
The National Picasso-Paris Museum and the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti present the first exhibition dedicated to the work of two of the greatest artists of the 20th century: Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti. Research carried out specially for this exhibition has revealed the little-known relationship between the two artists and the interest they took in one another at key moments of their careers, despite their twenty-year age difference.

From their initial meeting in the early 1930s, through their formal and theoretical explorations of the surrealist period, to their extensive postwar dialogue on the struggles of returning to realism, the two artists never ceased to exchange views on their craft. The exhibition offers an overview of the different aspects of their artistic production and the different formal solutions adopted by the two artists.

Room 2. Modern sculpture
Early sculptures by both Picasso and Giacometti are modelled on the art of Auguste Rodin. Whereas Giacometti was one of the disciples of Antoine Bourdelle at the Grande Chaumière in Paris, Picasso never trained as a sculptor. When the two realised the impossibility of "truthfully" creating a portrait sculpture through the naturalist method, the solutions they invented took parallel trajectories. Giacometti followed in the footsteps of the elder artist, whose work he discovered upon arriving in Paris. He abandoned the classic portrait style of his sister Ottilia for the stylised lines and multifaceted cubist decoupage practised by Picasso in the portrait sculpture of his mistress, Fernande Olivier.

Room 3. Signs of genius
Pablo Picasso and Alberto Giacometti began to paint and sculpt very early on. The sons of artists, they each grew up in the paternal studio, where they worked on their first pieces under the watchful eye of their fathers. They trained by creating portraits of family members, in which they strived for a faithful representation of the model. They were each 14 years old when Picasso created The Barefoot Girl (early 1895) and Giacometti Still Life with Apples (circa 1915), both of which attest to a paternal influence through the attention paid to rendering reality. After a short spell training at the École des Beaux-Arts, the two young artists decided to leave their countries of origin (Spain for the former, Switzerland for the latter) and settle in Paris, then the capital of the Arts.

Room 4. Distant influences
Picasso and Giacometti were close observers of non-Western art and archaeological objects. They drew inspiration from art reviews and the collections of the Trocadéro Museum of Ethnography and the Louvre, picking up on details of masks, shields and statuettes and re-imagining them in their own way. Picasso's totems and Giacometti's steles display the same stylised forms and evoke the same magical quality as works from the Cyclades, Oriental antiquities and sculptures from Africa and Oceania.

Room 5. A shift to the flat
While Picasso's paintings from the neocubist period (Figures, 1927) were characterised by a "shift to the flat", Giacometti transferred this structural model through sculpture with the "flat figures" that teeter on the brink of abstraction while remaining anchored in representation. Similarly, Giacometti's compositions in grids and cages, such as Man (Apollo) (1929), echo Picasso's 1928 Figure, created in homage to Guillaume Apollinaire.

Room 6. The living and the dead
The banalisation of the body after death and its materialisation into an object were two subjects explored by Picasso and Giacometti. Both of their bodies of work feature lifeless figures  often someone dear to them , skulls or heads. In The Death of Casagemas (1901) the thrown-back head of the poet and friend of Picasso, who committed suicide in lovestruck despair, echoes Head of a Man on a Rod (1947) by Giacometti, where the open mouth appears to signify a scream from the void. The objectification of death is reflected in the figures of skulls, some of the most startling sculptures, at once vanitas and memento mori.

Rooms 7, 8 and 9. Eros et Thanatos
In representations of love, where all forms of shapelessness are explored, images of Eros (Love) are subjected to just as much dismemberment of the human body as those of Thanatos (Death). The living urges of sexual desire rub shoulders with the instincts of death. In Picasso's great 1931 painting Figures By The Sea, monstrous bodies devour one another in a kind of romp that evokes the violence of Giacometti's surrealist 1933 sculpture Woman with her Throat Cut (both displayed in room 9), lying on the ground. The distortions of the human body culminate in organic metaphors whose strength of synthesis expresses, in the words of Carl Einstein, a "concentration of dreams".

Room 10. Evidence of a friendship
The sketches and annotations found in the archives attest to numerous exchanges between Picasso and Giacometti. The two artists met for the first time in 1931 and their friendship was to last until the early 1950s. They quite quickly became very close, often visiting one another in their studios. Giacometti openly studied the works of his older friend, copying them down in his sketch books. Picasso was not indifferent to the surrealist compositions of the young Swiss man either, especially his Suspended Ball of 1931 (displayed in room 9). Returning to Paris after the war, Giacometti began a portrait sculpture of Picasso, which he sadly never finished.

Room 11. The lover and the model
A series of painted and sculpted portraits of the loved women develop the inexhaustible dialectic of the lover and his model. Though Picasso and Giacometti sought to capture the truth and reality of a muse, their works also convey the psychological intensity of their relationship with the model. Thus, the face of Dora Maar, Picasso's lover and principal model from 1935 to 1943, saturates the canvas with her tortured presence. Annette, Giacometti's future wife whom he met in 1943, offered to sit for him for long periods at a time. Her face is subjected to the scrutiny of an artist struggling with the impossible "search for the absolute" (Sartre) in order to recreate the aura of a being.

Rooms 12 & 13. A return to realism
After the Second World War, the two artists returned to Paris, where they visited each other regularly. Their works from this time revisit the realism of daily life. For Picasso, both spaces and characters became oppressive and sombre, while Giacometti erected frozen, motionless figures from rough, stone-like bronze. The renewed link with the real is also conveyed through creations with a wildlife theme, such as landscapes and still lifes. To create his famous Dog (1957), Giacometti chose the slender silhouette of the Afghan Hound that belonged to his friend Picasso.


10395 - 20170212 - Ecclesiastical textiles from the age of Maria Theresia on view in Vienna - 04.05.2016-12.02.2017

„Blue Vestments“: chasuble (detail) donated by Maria Theresia (1717–1780) produced in Vienna, 1778 h. 106 cm, w. 73 cm © KHM-Museumsverband.
The Ecclesiastical Treasury house's important holdings of 18th-century liturgical vestments cannot be on permanent display for conservation reasons. The majority of these precious textiles were donated by Emperor Charles VI (1685-1740), his wife Elisabeth Christine (1691-1750) and their daughter Maria Theresia (1717-1780). At the time it was customary to use costly French or Italian fabrics, lavishly embellished with embroidery, for such vestments. Imperial robes were also occasionally reworked into such robes.

The exhibition offers insights into the wealth and exceptional quality of the Imperial Treasury’s holdings of precious vestments, which reflect the Pietas Austriaca, the deep piety of the House of Habsburg.

The museum has also included a selection of contemporary ecclesiastical garments produced after designs by the artists Christof Cremer and Stephan Hann. They document the high standard liturgical vestments are still expected to meet today as they continue to form a seminal part of the celebration of Mass.

In connection with the exhibition, the museum has also decided to confront three modern copes produced after designs by Christof Cremer with historical vestments in a display installed in the so-called Paramentengang (vestment corridor) in the Ecclesiastical Treasury. This is the first time that contemporary art is displayed in the Treasury since it was newly installed and reopened in the 1980s.

The extensive holdings of the Ecclesiastical Treasury in Vienna are largely unknown to the general public; they comprise mainly vestments and liturgical textiles that were used to celebrate Mass or during religious festivities. Totalling around 1.700 artefacts, the collection includes both sets of vestments and individual textiles. Many of these precious garments were donated by members of the House of Habsburg who for centuries ruled the Holy Roman Empire. The pomp and circumstance associated with this high office is reflected in the costliness of these sumptuous textiles, the finest of which date from the Baroque, the apogee of Habsburg piety. Unlike mediaeval ecclesiastical textiles, baroque vestments generally feature not figurative but purely ornamental decorations. Precious secular silks adorned with a variety of designs frequently function as the base material, which is then elaborately embellished with appliqués, lace or gold-, silver- and silk embroidery to produce opulent textile works of art.

The leading benefactress in the 18th century was Maria Theresia (1717-1780). She donated precious textiles for use in the imperial palace chapel and the chapels of the different imperial summer residences at Schönbrunn, Laxenburg and Hetzendorf, as well as in St. Augustine’s church in Vienna. The latter evolved into a major stage for Habsburg piety. Here newly-appointed bishops were invested. All these places were lavishly appointed with sumptuous ecclesiastical textiles.

Contemporary sources clearly document the seminal role played by high-quality vestments during the Baroque. Many of these artefacts have been preserved in the Ecclesiastical Treasury because of their preciousness and the prominent benefactors who donated them. A selection is on show in this exhibition.


10394 - 20170115 - MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst exhibits works by Fiona Tan - Frankfurrt am Main - 16.09.2016-15.01.2017


Fiona Tan, Ghost Dwellings I-III, 2014. Installation view MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main, Courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London. Photo: Axel Schneider.
The artist Fiona Tan is among the outstanding artists of the present. The survey “Geography of Time” focuses on major works from her film oeuvre – for example the double projection “Rise and Fall” – as well as on the latest developments in her work, which increasingly takes the form of installation environments. “With this project, the MMK continues its policy and strategy to present mid-career exhibitions of international artists with new works at its core, and to invite the artists to relate their work to the architecture of the museum”, says Prof Susanne Gaensheimer, the director of the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst.

Fiona Tan has transformed the ground floor of the MMK 1 into a parcours in which video projections, audio and sculptural works join in a concentrated reflection on the individual in an increasingly disjointed globalized world. Fundamental questions on the identity of man in the twenty-first century arise in the process: how do we see ourselves, and what determines our perspective on the ‘other’? In filmically striking images and installations, Tan addresses how our own memories influence our perceptions of the past, present and future. In her imagery, the boundaries between personal and collective memory, interior and exterior, fiction and reality dissolve.

Time, memory and identity – central themes in Fiona Tan’s oeuvre since the beginning of her artistic career – are also the leitmotifs pursued by the seven works on view at the MMK 1. In recent years the artist has expanded her work from a concentration on film and photographic media to include object-based installations. “With interventions in the architecture as well as object installations and archive materials, her filmic worlds extend into the exhibition space. MMK is excited to be able to present this new development in Fiona Tan’s oeuvre to a broad international public”, explains Peter Gorschlüter, curator of the exhibition.

The work “1 to 87” (2014), an expansive model railway landscape spreading out to fill the central hall of the MMK, forms the prelude. The work’s title refers to the scale of 1:87 determining the work’s dimensions. If at first sight the scenery looks idyllic, on closer inspection this impression begins to crumble. The viewer becomes a witness to circumstances that seem at odds with the apparent innocence of the panorama: as occupants of an allotment garden harvest vegetables, for example, a train crash occurs. Tan juxtaposes the tranquil character of model landscapes with a complex reality no longer describable by means of simple explanatory models.

Her film triptych “Ghost Dwellings I–III” (2014), on the other hand, focuses on the ecological and economic consequences of globalization. Tan visited three places where decay and devastation are visible: Cork (Ireland), which has suffered the consequences of the real estate bubble that ran rampant from 2008 onward, the once-thriving automotive capital Detroit (U.S.A.), which gradually slid into bankruptcy, and the exclusion zone in Fukushima (Japan) established in 2011 after the nuclear accident. In these landscapes, the artist looked for signs of recovery, a phenomenon known as “aftermath”, a term referring to new growth after the harvest is over. The artist contrasts her filmic portraits of these melancholic sites with a domestic environment that seems to be expecting the return of its mysterious inhabitant at any moment.

This consideration of the human in a time of uncertain futures weaves through much of Tan’s recent output. In her work “Apocalypse” (2014), Tan uses a camera to scan scenes of the medieval tapestry “L’Apocalypse d’Angers” (1373–83) on display in the Château d’Angers in France. Measuring nearly five metres in height and more than a hundred in length, the cycle is thought to be the largest extant tapestry work of the Middle Ages. The artist supplemented the shots with texts running through the images describing various details of the cycle. Yet the passing letters are also reminiscent of the unceasing information stream of news and stock tickers, forming a connection to events of our present, manifested through the data of share prices, casualty figures and referendum results.

The dream of a utopian idyll and the striving for happiness are encountered in an audio work inspired by an ancient legend. “Brendan's Isle” (2010) relates the adventures of the Irish monk Saint Brendan, who in the sixth century set out on a journey by sea in a fishing boat, to find paradise on earth, which he reached after seven years of travel. Although the precise location of the island discovered by Saint Brendan was never determined, it was marked on early nautical charts. In Tan’s re-telling, the story opens the imagination, alluding to the invisible.

Alongside this examination of the human subject within our contemporary landscapes, Tan also devotes her attention to the individual by exploring the intertwinement of personal identity and cultural imprint, for example in “Rise and Fall” (2009), “Nellie” (2013) and “Diptych” (2006–11). In her filmic installations, seeing and being seen, gaze and return gaze intermesh and merge to form a whole.

For “Rise and Fall“, Fiona Tan filmed at Niagara Falls, in Belgium and the Netherlands. A younger and an older woman seem to inhabit the same space, but without ever coming into contact. There is no telling whether the older woman is remembering her younger self, the young woman is envisioning her future self, or the two exist independently of one another in the present. Connecting the filmic double portrait of the two women are images of water in different states of motion. The large-scale double projection offers a meditation on time and memories inaccuracies, pointing at the charged field between past and future, memory and oblivion.

Transporting the viewer to a very different time and place, the video installation “Nellie” is inspired by the life of Cornelia van Rijn, Rembrandt’s illegitimate daughter, who at the age of sixteen emigrated to Batavia (present-day Jakarta). Little is known about Cornelia’s life; no portraits of her are known to exist. But this omission from the history books was for the artist an opportunity to give her imagination free reign. With this unsettling work Tan offers a touching homage to a forgotten woman, whose ‘suspended history’ becomes activated again.

For “Diptych“ Fiona Tan made filmic portraits of fifteen pairs of identical twins on the Swedish island of Gotland over a period of five years – from 2006 to 2011. As Tan herself says: “This project started out as a study into synchronicity and duration. I was interested in the visual measurement of time. Paradoxically I have come to see this work more as an investigation into sameness, into that which is constant and unchanging.“

The works are staged in a fascinating exhibition architecture designed by the artist. The rollerdoor-like structure can be understood as reminiscent of self-storage unit buildings, but perhaps also as an allusion to the freeports for art and luxury goods emerging all over the world, or as a reflection on the themes of transit, boundary dissolution and the loss of roots and identity.

Fiona Tan was born in Pekanbaru (Indonesia) in 1966. She lives and works in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and Los Angeles (U.S.A.). Her work has been exhibited in numerous shows worldwide. In 2002 she took part in the documenta 11 in Kassel. In 2009 she represented the Netherlands at the 53rd Venice Biennale.


10393 - 20170122 - "The Power of the Avant-Garde: Now and Then" at BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts - Brussel - 29.09.2016-22.01.2017


Kazimir Malevich, Lady at the Tram Stop, 1913-1914. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
How relevant is the avant-garde, born on the eve of the First World War, today? The Power of the Avant-Garde. Now and Then attempts to answer this question by retracing the history of the great artistic movements of the historical avant-garde and inviting a number of contemporary artists to enter into dialogue with their predecessors. Starting out with James Ensor and Edvard Munch, the exhibition takes a look at movements such as Die Brücke, Der Blaue Reiter, the Italian Futurists, Russian Cubo-Futurism and the Bauhaus. The account is interspersed with contributions from around fifteen contemporary artists - including Luc Tuymans, Marlene Dumas, David Claerbout, Olafur Eliasson, William Forsythe and William Kentridge – who enter into dialogue with one particular avant-garde artist whose oeuvre resonates in their own work.

With more than 120 emblematic works from the historical avant-garde and another 15 by contemporary artists, The Power of the Avant-Garde, Now and Then opens our eyes to a novel reference framework for modern art.

A rich overview bringing together works by Alexander Archipenko, Robert Delaunay, Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger, Kasimir Malevitch, Natalia Gontcharova, Emil Nolde, Oscar Kokoschka, Paul Klee, Gino Severini, Pablo Picasso, Marlene Dumas, William Forsythe, Gerhard Richter, Sean Scully, Luc Tuymans, and David Claerbout.

Between 1895 and 1920, several movements which experimented with new artistic forms emerged throughout Europe. It was the golden age of the historical avant-garde: in a world that was moving forward at such a fast pace, in which industry was increasingly internationalised and the use of machinery more widespread than ever, artists were breaking with traditions and seeking a new language. They saw themselves as visionaries of social revolutions.

In 2016,BOZAR is presenting a series of exhibitions which explore the significance and impact of the avant-garde. After Theo van Doesburg, Daniel Buren and Facing the Future. Art in Europe 1945-68, the exhibition The Power of the Avant-Garde. Now and Then is showcasing works from the turn of the 20th century to the years immediately after the First World War. The exhibition illustrates both the appearance of new artistic explorations and, thanks to the contributions from contemporary artists, their resonance in contemporary art.

The Power of the Avant-Garde. Now and Then might fall within the context of the commemoration of the First World War, but it is not in fact an exhibition devoted to the war. On the contrary, it is a celebration of the energy, dynamism, utopias and expressive power of what we now refer to as the “historical avant-garde”.

The Power of the Avant-Garde – THEN
The curator Ulrich Bischoff has come up with a fragmented and deliberately non-exhaustive overview of the artists and movements which characterised the art world between the final decade of the 19th century right up until the founding of the Bauhaus in Weimar in 1919.

In Germany, artists such as Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Erich Heckel, Emil Nolde and August Macke spearheaded the German expressionist movements Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter. In Italy, artists including Gino Severini, Umberto Boccioni and Giacomo Balla embodied Italian Futurism. In Russia, Kasimir Malevitch, Lyubov Popova, Olga Rozanova, Nadeschda Udaltsova invented Cubo-Futurism and foreshadowed - with other avant-garde artists such as Natalia Gontcharova and Mikhail Larionov - the constructivism and abstraction which would develop after the First World War.

The exhibition also presents works by several artistic personalities who were not part of any particular movement, but whose original work was absolutely crucial: Edvard Munch, Fernand Léger, Antonio de Souza-Cardoso, Robert Delaunay, Marcel Duchamp and Egon Schiele.

The Power of the Avant-Garde - NOW
If the impact of the avant-garde is barely perceptible from the perspective of world history, today it still produces decisive effects and remains a reference in contemporary art. In order to illustrate this, around fifteen contemporary artists each chose an artist whose oeuvre resonates in their work. Through the juxtaposition of works, a quote or an allusion, a personal dialogue is created with the chosen artist. “Tandems” thus come about revealing the artist’s subjective view of the avantgarde and its relevance today.

The tandems:
Olafur Eliasson – Alexander Archipenko
Marcel Odenbach – James Ensor
Marlene Dumas – Edvard Munch
Jeff Wall – Franz Kafka
John Baldessari – Marcel Broodthaers
Koen Vermeule – Leon Spilliaert
Roman Signer - Katarzyna Kobro
Bogomir Ecker – Fortunato Depero
David Claerbout – Piet Mondriaan
Marijke van Warmerdam - Robert Flaherty
William Forsythe – Marcel Duchamp
Luc Tuymans – Raymond Duchamp-Villon
William Kentridge - Dziga Vertov
Sean Scully – Fernand Léger

Two contemporary artists feature without tandem. Louise Lawler on the one hand, whose work Woman with Picasso, contains an implicit reference to the avant-garde and, on the other hand, as a prelude to the exhibition, a photographic edition of 48 portraits by Gerhard Richter. In this installation, numerous historical figures are thinkers and scientists who played a part in shaping society at the turn of the 20th century. In a way they symbolise the established order and the Zeitgeist from which the avant-garde wanted to break free.

The exhibition also covers the Belgian avant-garde, with a small section presenting works by Paul Joostens, Prosper De Troyer and Oscar Jespers. In parallel, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium (RMFAB) are exhibiting a selection of modern Belgian works from their collection. The exhibition 14-18 - Rupture or Continuity? (29.09.2016 > 22.01.2017) will exhibit notably works by Permeke, Jules Schmalzigaug and Jozef Peeters. The exhibition is accompanied by an international colloquium - Before and after? Continuity or rupture? (24-25.11.2016) examining Belgian artistic plurality with the First World War as a backdrop.

By way of an introduction to the exhibition, Matthias Rogg, director of the Militärhistorisches Museum in Dresden, makes reference to the military origin of the term avant-garde. One of his installations includes two objects – a wrist watch and a grenade – both of which influenced the war and modern society and hence art.


10392 - 20170105 - "The Spectacular Second Empire 1852-1870" at musée d'Orsay in Paris - 27.09.2016-15.01.2017


Installation view. Photo: Sophie Boegly.
The ostentation of the “fête impériale” and France’s humiliating defeat in 1870 by Prussia, have long tarnished the reputation of the Second Empire, suspected of having been a time purely of amusements, scandals and vices, as described by Zola in his novels written during the Third Republic. It was, however, a period of unrivalled prosperity in the 19th century and one of unprecedented social upheavals. A time of abundance, euphoria and numerous celebrations, political, economic, religious and artistic, today we see the 1850s as the pivotal moment in the birth of “modern France” (Gambetta). To celebrate its 30th anniversary in autumn 2016, the musée d’Orsay is, for the first time, looking at this first society of spectacle and consumerism, a society that we have inherited. The exhibition brings together paintings, sculptures, photography, architectural drawings, objets d’art and jewellery in a lavish thematic exhibition based around the great aesthetic and social questions that are just as relevant today: art used in the staging of power, the individual and his/her image, the taste for objects and decoration, society’s latest entertainments and the great artistic events of the Salons and the Universal Exhibitions.

Napoleon III's authority was staged during the Second Empire in an attempt to create an image of himself as the worthy heir to his uncle, while the Empress Eugenie fostered an image of herself as the perfect “first lady”, devoted to charitable causes. Set in locations inherited from the monarchy (Tuileries, Château de Saint-Cloud) or on new stages (the new Louvre, Château de Pierrefonds), the Emperor used the many dynastic and political events that marked his reign to bind the population to a fragile regime. The baptism of the Imperial Prince in 1856 – represented in this exhibition by the magnificent cradle given to Napoleon III by the City of Paris (musée Carnavalet) – was the high point of the reign, following the success of the 1855 Universal Exhibition and the victories in Crimea.

Enriched and triumphant, seduced by its own image, the wealthy middle class reflected itself endlessly in painted, sculpted or photographed portraits. Faced with such high demand, artists carried on with the neo-classical traditions (Ingres, Flandrin), or broke new ground, turning to new sources of inspiration: the verve of English painting for Winterhalter or the spirit of French Baroque for Carpeaux. In response to narcissistic exhibitions and tricks of photographic distortion, like those of the Comtesse de Castiglione and the Empress Eugenie, painters such as Courbet, Manet, Monet and Degas produced realist portrayals of the individual “in his or her environment”. The decoration and arrangement of the interiors, the backdrop to this new society, were the subject of particular care where collection pieces or flamboyant new pieces of furniture were displayed. Certain residences embodied these concerns - Prince Napoleon’s Pompeian Villa, the Château d’Abbadia near Hendaye, a neo-Gothic folly, and the Château de Ferrières, a luxurious neo-Renaissance gem built by the Rothschild family - and are evoked in the exhibition with an eclectic display of objects and interior views.

During the Second Empire, Parisian life pulsated to the rhythm of a multitude of society balls, soirées and salons organised by the most dazzling court of the 19th century, the memory of which is kept alive in several large watercolours by Eugène Lami and Henri Baron. Paris became the court of this “fête impériale”, which was more political than it seemed, and which supported the luxury goods industry. This society cultivated a taste for tableaux vivants, dressing up and fancy dress balls, where identities were concealed, where the beau monde and the demimonde mixed and intrigued.

Taking advantage of the vivacity of the Parisian world of opera and theatre, the Emperor brought in modern regulations for theatres, demolished old theatres and launched a building programme for new venues such as the theatres in the Place du Châtelet, and Charles Garnier’s new Opera, the monument to entertainment par excellence. The city of Paris, a constant building site, transformed by Haussmann’s scenography, became an openair set and an element of artificiality invaded the urban space. With the arrival of leisure activities and holiday resorts, from Biarritz to Deauville, came a New Painting, evoked in the exhibition by the paintings of Boudin, Degas, Renoir and Monet.

A place of official recognition and of scandal, the Painting and Sculpture Salon was both an aesthetic battleground and a huge market for the new middle class who flocked there in great numbers. In 1863 Napoleon III, confronted by the protests of artists rejected by the jury, created a “Salon des Refusés” alongside the official Salon, an act of significant liberalisation. With paintings hung at several different levels, as was customary in the 19th century, the exhibition here demonstrates the startling difference between the two Salons with Cabanel’s Birth of Venus and Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass.

Napoleon III’s Empire was also staged in Europe during the 1855 and 1867 Universal Exhibitions in Paris, when the Empire still shone brightly. Here the excellence of the French art industry and the unbridled eclecticism of the sources of inspiration to which the creators turned were affirmed. Through its spectacular scenography, the exhibition presents those joyous accumulations of the most beautiful objects produced by the Imperial Manufacture of Sèvres, cabinetmakers Fourdinois and Diehl, goldsmiths Christofle and Froment-Meurice and the bronze founder Barbedienne.

This exhibition has been organised with the special assistance of the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the Musée national du palais de Compiègne, the Musée Carnavalet-Histoire de Paris, the Mobilier national and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.