10478 - 20170430 - Musée de l’Elysée presents first exhibition to focus on mountain photography - Lausanne - 25.01.2017-30.04.2017


John Jullien, Crossing the Sea of Ice, circa 1880 © Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne.
The exhibition Vertical No Limit. Mountain Photography, the first of its kind, is based on the premise that photography invented the mountain landscape by revealing it to the eyes of the world. Photography is heir to a certain idea of the mountains and of the sublime, closely linked to romanticism. Until the 19th century, the mountain was considered to be “God’s Country”, a cursed and surreal place, inaccessible to man. The pioneers of mountain photography made it possible to discover summits that had not yet been conquered and to transform the mountain into landscapes.

Spotlight on the museum’s collections
With almost 300 prints on view, three quarters of which are from the Musée de l’Elysée’s collections, the museum gives pride of place to images from every period, including many contemporary works. Among the works exhibited here, there are works by Gabriel Lippmann, Francis Frith, Adolphe Braun, Jules Beck, William Donkin, Emile Gos and René Burri, as well as by contemporary photograpers such as Peter Knapp, Balthasar Burkhard, Matthieu Gafsou, Pierre Vallet, Jacques Pugin, Maurice Schobinger and Iris Hutegger.

Photographic explorations
The exhibition is organized around four approaches on the theme of mountain photography:

• Scientific photography with its many prints of glaciers and that made the study of rocks and the visual documentation of geology possible;

• Travel photography, which facilitated the sale of hundreds of prints to tourists as of the 1860s;

• Mountaineering photography, revealing inaccessible mountain landscapes, and finally;

• Fine-art photography. These four approaches come together as the visitor moves through the exhibition: “The farther we are removed from the circumstances in which a photograph was taken, the more differently we interpret it”, explains Daniel Girardin.

Formal strategies and techniques used
The exhibition illustrates the formal strategies used by photographers to present the mountain: frontality, verticality, horizontality, aerial views and distance. It shows the forms imposed by the mountain such as the cone, as well as the details of the matter of which it is composed. It also highlights the technical processes used by photographers: the large formats of the 19th century, panoramas and the very big digital formats used today.

Curator: Daniel Girardin, with the assistance of Emilie Delcambre Hirsch and Maéva Besse


10477 - 20170326 - Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome hosts a solo show by Rafael Y. Herman - Rome - 25.01.2017-26.03.2017


Rafael Y. Herman, felix taeda II. 180 x 270cm / 71 x 106 inches.
From 25 January to 26 March 2017 MACRO – the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome – hosts a solo show by Rafael Y. Herman entitled The Night Illuminates the Night, curated by Giorgia Calò and Stefano Rabolli Pansera.

The exhibition at MACRO Testaccio takes the form of a large environmental installation in which the works emerge from the darkness of the space like revelations. The poetics of Rafael Y. Herman develops in this dialectic between darkness and light. The artist’s gaze reveals a new approach to reality born and structured in darkness.

The Night Illuminates the Night features photographic work that began in 2010 and was completed in 2015. During this period Herman established a dialogue with the great masters of the western tradition who have depicted the Holy Land across the centuries without ever having been there, relying on biblical and literary sources. Herman traces back through this tradition using his own method: nocturnal photography, without electronic aids or digital manipulation, showing only what is visible to the naked eye. Like the great masters of the past, operating in the darkness of the night Herman puts himself in the condition of not being able to see the landscape, even in these places where he was born and raised. The intentional blindness enables the artist to gain access to reality in a new way, through nocturnal photographs and the developing of the film in the darkroom.

Rafael Y. Herman thus produces a “recreated” reality, purged of any subjective preconceptions, offering the viewer landscapes that exist only in the works themselves. He develops his nocturnal research through the discovery of three different environments: the Forest of Galilee, the fields of the Judaean Mountains, and the Mediterranean Sea. His images encourage us to reflect on the invisible or – as the artist calls it – the “unseen”; on the difference that unfolds between what is real and what is only perceived. The resulting unnatural hues and evanescent forms are extraordinary, seeming to emerge from a place and time where colors are not real, time is stretched and images become obscure or – perhaps dazzling.

Rafael Y. Herman was born in 1974 in Be’er Sheva, an ancient city in the Negev Desert in Israel. The winner of the Prague Photosphere Award in 2015, Herman began studying classical music at the age of six, becoming a percussionist in Philharmonic orchestras, ensembles and rock bands. Following a long stay in New York City, he studied at the School of Economics and Management at the University of Tel Aviv. Throughout his studies, he supported himself financially by providing consulting services to assess collections and jewelry, travelling to Kenya and Tanzania. Graduating in 2000, he moved to Latin America, taking a long research trip in seven countries: photographing Cuban musicians, the Carnival of Bahia and the Zapatistas in Mexico, working with Amnesty International in Paraguay, then studying painting in Mexico City and Chile and becoming part of an artists’ commune. This visual apprenticeship combines vision, metropolitan experience and encounters with uncontaminated nature. In 2003, Herman moved to Milan, showing the project “Bereshit-Genesis” at Palazzo Reale, a project created with a method of his own devising: nocturnal photography without electronic aids or digital manipulation, revealing what cannot normally be seen by the naked eye. This exhibition launched Herman into the international art scene. In 2012, Herman’s portrait of John Chamberlain was chosen by the Guggenheim Museum of N.Y. for the inside cover of Chamberlain’s book, “Choices.” In 2013, he was invited by TED to speak on his artistic language, a talk he titled “Alternative Reality.” His recent works address two main themes: metaphysical curiosity and the tale of what lies beyond, and the investigation of light as a physical element and protagonist of space-time. Significant public and private collections have acquired numerous works by Herman, including the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Salsali Private Museum of Dubai. Currently living and working in Paris, he is a resident artist of La Cité Internationale des Arts de Paris for the second time.


10476 - 20170507 - Hallen Haarlem opens new solo exhibitions: Kasper Bosmans, Richard Tuttle and Evelyn Taocheng Wang - 21.01.2017-07.05.2017


Kasper Bosmans, Installation view of the exhibition Motif (Oil and Silver), 2016, Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles Courtesy the artist; Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles Photo: Robert Wedemeyer.
From 21 January 2017, De Hallen Haarlem presents three solo exhibitions, by Kasper Bosmans, Richard Tuttle and Evelyn Taocheng Wang. Poetry, beauty and elegance seem to play an important role in their work – that is simultaneously drenched in history and permanent oscillations between ‘then’ and ‘now’, tradition and the present. Moreover, all three artists have a special interest in the expressive possibilities of specific materials, which endows their work with a great tactile sensitivity. 
Tuttle focuses on the unforeseen expressiveness of small gestures and simple materials, in a formal idiom that could be termed poetic-minimalist. In the work of Wang and Bosmans, both a penchant for the decadent as well as the more crafty expression of folk art is discernible. They intuitively combine information from diverse historical, literary and scientific sources and cultural traditions into idiosyncratic narratives.

With the exhibitions of Bosmans and Wang, our departing curator Xander Karskens concludes his curatorship at the museum. In the past decade he has given the contemporary art programming of the museum a razor-sharp profile and international élan.

Solo exhibition Richard Tuttle
Location: De Hallen Haarlem and the Frans Hals Museum
The minimal, sensitive and sometimes sensual gesture: that is the trademark of American artist Richard Tuttle (Rahway, New Jersey, 1941). With a small number of ‘poor’ materials – from paper and cardboard to thread and textile – he creates sculptures and paintings that speak a thousand wordless languages. Those who know no better would call Tuttle a formalist. His oeuvre, however, is permeated with the fact that art can be ‘nourishment’ for one’s inner life. For the historical Vleeshal on the Grote Markt, Tuttle is developing a new, monumental ceiling sculpture that indirectly seems to respond to the history of seventeenthcentury Haarlem, the Dutch city where damask and silk of the highest quality were produced.

Solo exhibition Evelyn Taocheng Wang – Allegory of Transience
Location: De Hallen Haarlem and the Frans Hals Museum
The first solo museum exhibition of Chinese artist Evelyn Taocheng Wang (Chengdu, 1981) is based upon her fascination for Dutch painting from the Golden Age. During her childhood in China, this Dutch art functioned as a pars pro toto for the entire history of Western art. Wang connects personal memories and fantasies to larger themes, such as cultural and sexual identity and exoticism, and develops these in performances, paintings and videos. In this exhibition the artist reflects on the history of Haarlem as a place for innovation in seventeenth-century painting. She does this on the basis of the representation of the human body and clichés concerning the ‘male view’. A new video piece will situate this theme in several locations in and around Haarlem that are historically associated with gender categories – such as the courtyards for single women, the so-called Hofjes of which Haarlem still has twenty functioning.

Wang extends her domain into the Frans Hals Museum, where she casts an exoticizing glance at the Wadden Islands with the video series A Home Made Travel MV Series, as part of the ongoing series ‘New & Old’. On view from 25 March to 20 August 2017.

Solo exhibition Kasper Bosmans
Location: De Hallen Haarlem
The young Belgian artist Kasper Bosmans (Lommel, 1990) creates mysteriously elegant objects and paintings in which he intuitively combines his interest in local folklore and sociohistorical anecdotes with the symbolic potential of materials. Like an artistic anthropologist, Bosmans combines stories and legends from different cultural and historical contexts in an associative manner. He blends these into speculative new mythologies for our demystified world. In this exhibition Bosmans responds to hidden histories in the collection of the Frans Hals Museum | De Hallen Haarlem.



10475 - 20170507 - EYE Filmmuseum presents the first ever exhibition by the Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr - Amsterdam - 21.01.2017-07.05.2017


Béla Tarr, Till the End of the World. EYE Filmmuseum. Photo: Studio Hans Wilschut.
EYE is presenting the first ever exhibition by the Hungarian filmmaker Béla Tarr (Pécs, Hungary, 1955). Béla Tarr is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential film authors of the past three decades. He is the master of the long take, the master of wonderfully shot, languid, melancholic films about the human condition. After making his international breakthrough with Damnation (1988), he enhanced his reputation and standing with the more than seven-hour Satantango (1994), Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) and The Turin Horse (2011).
Tarr considers The Turin Horse to be his very last film, the one in which he has said all he wanted to say as a filmmaker. For Tarr views filmmaking, not as a profession, but as an urgency. If there is no need to say something, better to remain silent. In recent years, however, Europe has been confronted by huge influxes of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea, Somalia and other countries in Africa. Tarr was moved by the way Europe – after an initially positive response – reacted by closing its borders. Europe simply stood by and watched as a humanitarian tragedy unfolded before its eyes. One of the first countries to close its borders was Béla Tarr’s native Hungary.

Anybody who is at all familiar with the work of Béla Tarr will not be surprised that these events provoked him into making a statement in this exhibition at EYE. Not so much a political statement, but more an appeal to humanity, to the people and politicians of Europe, to respect universal human values.

The work of Tarr reveals a sombre view of the world, in which people have little control of their own existence. The characters in his films feel abandoned by life. The films are chiefly set in dreary surroundings dominated by decay, disintegration and disinterest. An outsider sometimes appears, upsetting the established patterns within a small community. But Tarr also makes it clear that there can be no escape. Life remains as it is.

As one of the great masters of contemporary cinema, Tarr has carved out this bleak view of the world a body of work that is hypnotic in its sheer visual force. More than anyone else, he has the courage to trust the image. After Damnation (1988) he filmed in black and white only, or rather in shades of grey, using extreme long shots in which he lets the camera ‘explore’ spaces or landscapes very slowly. In combination with the almost total lack of a traditional story line, his style of filming reinforces the state of mind of his characters and the futility of existence. Even though Tarr has an unmistakeably sombre view of society, he shows great compassion for his characters by infusing the rain, the mud, the wind, the disintegration and the despair with a poetry that testi fies to his empathy.

For EYE, Tarr has made a filmic installation that is a cross between a film, a theatre decor and an installation. Tarr shares with us his anger with the help of ‘found footage’, images of war, fragments from his own films and props. The exhibition starts with a space that confronts visitors with the inhuman conditions from which migrants try to escape, and in which they find themselves after a long journey. War, bombings, poverty, hunger, oppression, fear and finally closed borders and local henchmen who strike fear into the migrants, rob them, and try to force them back. Visitors then enter the world of Tarr, populated by similar characters on the margins of society.

Tarr picked up his camera one more time specially for this exhibition and filmed an 11­minute shot as the ultimate epilogue to his work in film. In it, a small boy plays the accordion in an anonymous shopping centre. A look of dismay falls across the face of the boy, unsure as he is whether he can trust the world before him — a world that we viewers cannot see. With this, Tarr asks us: can we create a world we can believe in?


10474 - 20170423 - Exhibition turns back time to show how Western art became infused by Japanese aesthetics - Copenhagen 18.01.2017-23.04.2017

Vilhelm Hammershøi, Tree Trunks. Arresødal near Frederiksværk, North Zealand, 1904. Oil on canva, 58,8 x 80,7 cm. Statens Museum for Kunst © SMK Photo.
Mount Fuji covered in snow, cherry trees in blossom and “The Great Wave”: in the second half of the nineteenth century a wave of enthusiasm for all things Japanese crashed across the Western world – a Japanomania. From January a major exhibition at The National Gallery of Denmark shows how Nordic art changed when Japan hit Europe.
One of the best-known and best-loved paintings in the SMK collections is Laurits Andersen Ring’s The Artist’s Wife. L.A. Ring painted this declaration of love to Sigrid Kähler in 1897, and in addition to portraying the artist’s wife in a moment of bliss the work also exemplifies how Japanese influences left their mark on Nordic art: the garden may be Danish, but shown full of decorative blossoming trees with gnarled branches as in Japanese art, and the woman herself is captured in a Zen-like moment of calm.

With the exhibition Japanomania in the North 1875–1918 SMK turns back time to show how Western art became infused by Japanese aesthetics: asymmetrical compositions, decorative subject matter, meditative imagery and close observation of birds, fish, insects, branches and flowers. This is the first exhibition ever in Denmark to demonstrate the impact of Japonisme on Nordic art.

The influence from Japan was particularly strong on artists such as Claude Monet, Edvard Munch, van Gogh, Vilhelm Hammershøi, Anna Ancher, Albert Edelfelt and L.A. Ring, all of whom are featured in the exhibition.

Many of the artists who were swept up by the craze for all things Japanese also staged themselves and their families in silk kimonos, fans, parasols and paper lamps, using photographs to immortalise themselves as Japonistes – either at their studios or in their own homes, decorated in the Japanese style.

How Japan reached Europe
Japan had been largely isolated and inaccessible to the Western world from the 1630s until around 1853, when the country opened its borders to allow international trade. This gave Europe access to Japanese goods and art. The “new” objects were featured at a range of world’s fairs, and the term “Japonisme” was coined to describe the wave of art and applied art inspired by Japanese aesthetics.

With Denmark as the main conduit, Japonisme arrived slightly later in the Nordic countries than in e.g. France and England. Japanese woodcuts in particular became a major source of inspiration, offering artists a different way of looking at the nature that surrounded them.

The artist and art critic Karl Madsen (1855-1938) was a key figure in the introduction of Japanese art in the Nordic countries. In 1885 he published the book Japansk Malerkunst (Japanese Painting). Being the first book on the subject in a Nordic language, it became very influential among artists and collectors.

The exhibition is a collaborative effort created by the national galleries in Helsinki, Oslo and Copenhagen.


10473 - 20170319 - Albertina presents exhibition of works by Markus Prachensky - Vienna - 18.01.2017-19.03.2017

Markus Prachensky, Red on white - Los Angeles I, 1969. Albertina, Vienna – donation of the artist © Atelier Markus Prachensky.

Markus Prachensky’s radiant, dynamic, and contrast-rich red brushstrokes virtually dance through his oeuvre. His individual works, at turns wild in their gestures and serene in their composition, are at once energetic and meditative. 
Prachensky, whose strong anchoring in Austria’s art scene dates back to the 1950s, is among today’s best-regarded Austrian artists internationally. And the Albertina, with its tribute on what would have been his 85th birthday, is bringing together prominent works from its own collection with hitherto unknown works from Prachensky’s extensive artistic estate. This exhibition also presents Prachensky’s generous gift to the Albertina of four important paintings—key works in his oeuvre—as well as a number of outstanding drawings.

Markus Prachensky was born in Innsbruck in 1932 and began studying architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 1952. The mid-1950s saw him become acquainted with Arnulf Rainer, Josef Mikl, Wolfgang Hollegha, and Otto Mauer, the legendary figures behind Galerie St. Stephan, and he consequently decided to pursue painting himself. Prachensky quickly became one of the most important protagonists of post-war Austrian painting—not least because he succeeded in forging his own path, going beyond the horizon of the group connected with Galerie St. Stephan. His paintings, initially geometric in character and reminiscent of architectural plans, proceeded to develop toward the abstract and gestural, with unmistakable elements of his style being strong, contrasting colours and dynamic brushstrokes.

The Austrian painter drew inspiration for his colour-compositions from his numerous trips to California and Mexico, as well as to Italy and Asia. But the paintings’ titles, though they lead us to the centre of his art, simultaneously lead us astray. They refer to the places that inspired them and thus to the painter as an eternal nomad—but they are never portrait-like depictions of topographic reality, rather being more of a reaction to that which was seen, a transformation of personal experience into the medium of painting and drawing. Brush and paint suffice to convey the artist’s experiences and moods: Prachensky’s works are witnesses to his travels as well as to his fascination with architecture, construction, and proportion. And above all in his late works, there thus arose a type of monumental painting that reflects Markus Prachensky’s experience of nature and, at the same time, becomes a symbol of life itself.



10472 - 20170521 - Exhibitions at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam focus on unexpected sides of De Stijl - Amsterdam - 03.12.2016-21.05.2017


Gerrit Rietveld, Red and Blue Chair, 1919/1950, coll. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
2017 marks a hundred years since the founding of De Stijl, a legendary group of artists and architects that revolved around Theo van Doesburg, Piet Mondrian and Gerrit Rietveld. Museums throughout the Netherlands will be celebrating this special year. In a series of three presentations throughout 2017, the Stedelijk will focus on unexpected sides of De Stijl, such as an exhibit highlighting the work of De Stijl defector Chris Beekman. The Stedelijk also pays attention to connections with the Russian Revolution, which also occurred in 1917.
The inaugural issue of the magazine De Stijl in October 1917. The journal provided the artists, designers and architects with a platform for their pioneering ideas: by radically redefining art they hoped to create a world of total harmony, and to unify art and life. De Stijl’s theories of colour and space led to a revolutionary language of pure abstraction intended to express that harmony.

The Stedelijk Museum acquired a large collection of work by De Stijl and, by staging several key exhibitions, including a major survey in 1951 curated by former director Willem Sandberg that travelled to MoMA in New York, was the impetus behind the international recognition of the movement.

Although disbanded in 1931, De Stijl is no less influential today, embraced by artists, designers and architects as an inspiration, or rejected as an inexorable certainty.

The exhibitions marking 100 Years of De Stijl are part of the Stedelijk’s new, longer-term research project. This initiative centres on approaching, interpreting and presenting the museum collection in an experimental way, with no distinction between art and design. The project also examines the rich history of the institute, and the archives.

De Stijl and the Stedeljik
3 December 2016 – 21 May 2017
In an exhibition that occupies six galleries, the Stedelijk presents the breadth of its collection of De Stijl, and explores relationships between the movement and the work of other artists in the museum’s holdings. For example, what does the work of Isa Genzken have in common with De Stijl? And what connects Bas Jan Ader, or the iconic Lichtenstein in the Stedelijk collection, to De Stijl? The presentation examines different facets such as use of colour, the diagonal, purity, architecture and the dissemination of the movement. Works of De Stijl that powerfully convey this ideology are juxtaposed with work by post-war artists. De Stijl was clearly an inexorable certainty for successive generations. Some artists offer an inspired ode; others explore what De Stijl means today. In the 1990s, for instance, General Idea parodied the dominance of De Stijl in their work Infe©ted Mondrian.


10471 - 20170417 - Louisiana Museum of Modern Art opens 2017 exhibition programme with Barnett Newman exhibition - Humlebaek - 06.01.2017-17.04.2017


Barnett Newman, Uden titel, 1946. Blæk på papir, 61 x 46 cm. Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Donation: Annalee Newman.
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art opened the exhibition programme on 6 January 2017 with a new exhibition in the series Louisiana on Paper, showing the American artist Barnett Newman (1905-1970). 
Barnett Newman was a leading figure on the art scene of the 1950s in New York. Like other artists including Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, he worked in radical and revolutionary ways with painting. They broke with the dominant European tradition, and with their so-called ‘Abstract Expressionism’ and ‘Color Field’ painting they opened up brand new directions in art. In his TV series for the BBC on the art of the 20th century the Australian critic and author Robert Hughes called the effect of Abstract Expressionisn and other such phenomena The Shock of the New.

When it comes to other media than painting, too, Barnett Newman broke down boundaries and sought new ways of expressing basic mental and existential conditions. Louisiana on Paper is showing a selection of 12 drawings and 26 prints. The Louisiana collection has two very famous Newman drawings – Untitled (1946) and Untitled (1960) – both gifts from his wife of 34 years, Annalee Newman, who established The Barnett Newman Foundation nine years after the artist’s death. Besides being the official artistic estate of Newman, the Foundation also works to promote knowledge and understanding of his life and work. Barnett Newman had a strong influence on among others Donald Judd and Frank Stella, whose work can also be found in the museum’s collection.

The exhibition has been organized by Kunstmuseum Basel, where it was shown through the summer of 2016. Louisiana’s two drawings were lent to that exhibition.

In connection with the exhibition the film ”American Artists: Barnett Newman”, directed and produced by Lane Slate, 1966, will be shown in the exhibition.


10470 - 20170528 - Jeu de Paume presents "Zofia Rydet. Record, 1978-1990" - Tours - 19.11.2016-28.05.2017

Zofia Rydet, De la série « Répertoire sociologique ». Courtesy Fondation Zofia Rydet. © Musée d’Art Moderne, Varsovie, Pologne.

“Zofia Rydet. Record, 1978-1990” offers the presentation of Zofia Rydet’s monumental photographic project Sociological Record. The artist began the development of the cycle in 1978 and continued almost until her death in 1997. Rydet began working on the cycle at an advanced age (when she was sixty-seven years old) as an established artist with a considerable exhibition portfolio. At the same time she occupied a separate position in the Polish photographic milieu, dominated at the time by male photographers and conceptual tendencies.
Sociological Record abounds in contradictions – rather than a cycle of research or inventory photography (as the title, originally provided by Urszula Czartoryska suggests), it is a total project that sits within the tradition of intuitive artistic atlases and catalogues. Hence the title of the exhibition, which omits the “sociological” aspect of the series: record is regarded as a method that escapes the rules of a scholarly inventory. Aware of the impossibility of completing her work and documenting all Polish houses (in the 1980s, Sociological Record was expanded to include photographs taken in Lithuania, France, Germany, and the United States, where the artist concentrated mainly on the apartments of Polish emigrants), Rydet engaged with her work with growing zeal and impatience; often, she seldom returned to the previously gathered negatives. She also started to visit the same houses after several years or more than a decade after her original visit, in an attempt to document the transfor-mation of the rural areas of Poland.

Many photographs from the analogue archive of Sociological Record result from Rydet’s obsessive desire to catalogue various objects or events (for instance, TV sets, kitchen tapestries, ceremonies, carts, traditional wedding portraits based on a hand-coloured photographs, gravestones), or escape the logic of the series altogether (various kinds of curiosities, sketches for neveraccomplished conceptual cycles, or visually attractive photographic “mistakes” made upon photographing mirrors, for instance). What is more, an analysis of unpublished photographs reveals that the artist staged the vast majority of the works – Rydet re-arranged photos on the walls, and assembled objects on tables into compositions. Thus, she created specific kinds of installations or assemblages that comprised elements found in the homes of people she did not know.

Always on the road and with a camera in her hand, Rydet never made prints from most of the negatives that Sociological Record comprises. As a result, only a modest portion of her work is known today, while some photographs have been re-peated many times at different shows, and in different formats.

“Zofia Rydet. Record, 1978-1990” at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw in 2015 attempted to recon-struct an exhibition that never came into being: on the one hand, it relied on guide-lines from Rydet’s notes and private written correspondence, while on the other hand, it added a contemporary dimension to her work through the use of currently available technologies (especially in the case of prints that have never been produced before).



10469 - 20170219 - Bundeskunsthalle exhibits the work of Gregor Schneider - Bonn - 02.12.2016-19.02.2017


Gregor Schneider, Essen Life action, Odenkirchener Str. 202, Rheydt 2014 © Gregor Schneider / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2016.
Gregor Schneider was born in Rheydt in 1969. At the age of thirteen he already painted pictures that he continues to include in his exhibitions and publications. In 1985, he had his first solo exhibition at Galerie Kontrast in Mönchengladbach, and the same year, he began work on his house on Unterheydener Strasse 12 in Rheydt, which was to become Haus u r. In 2001, he won the Golden Lion for the German contribution to the Venice Biennale. The inner logic of his work led him to embark on a number of highly controversial projects. Misunderstood as provocations, some ran afoul of censorship. The rejection of his plan to erect a black cubic sculpture with the dimensions of Mecca’s Kaaba on Saint Mark’s Square in Venice in 2005 spurred him to engage more deeply with the public and political dimension of his work. 
«Experiences affect all the senses and are based on an unfathomable world.» Gregor Schneider

Over the course of thirty years, Gregor Schneider has created a body of work that touches upon some of society’s most sensitive sore spots. In the beginning of his career, he developed the concept of an artistic practice that devours its own products, thereby questioning the subjection of art to economic necessity.

Later, he saw parallels between the secret, antiseptic high-security detainee cells of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp with the ‘white cube’ of museums and galleries. In 2008, he spoke about creating a room to die in and his desire to show a dying person in a museum. He received death threats as a result. His own personal Dying Room is now constructed for the first time in Germany. Schneider’s thoughts on the subject of death and dying are based on the question whether death is an absolute end or a transition to something else that needs remain unknowable. Schneider has staged cultural crossovers, tried to link an Islamic and a Catholic sacred site and has responded to the return of the spirit of the Nazi era with the pulverisation of the house Goebbels had been born in. The medium of his creative practice is the installation of rooms inside similar preexisting rooms, the doubling of rooms, people and objects, the reconstruction of a building he cannot attain. His best-known work is the installation of twentyfour rooms of his Haus u r in the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of 2001.

«What I do is the thinking, three-dimensional and concrete. It thinks for itself, then extends into matter. Everything else is something totally different. I believe that thought is embedded in things, that they in turn speak and are my memory. That’s why I store those things and am now showing them together. The things will speak for themselves, perhaps different from before in yet another way. I fight against language as much as always, and against the detail. Usually I’m confronted with the power of knowledge and forced into the position of ignorance. My experiences of life are not images or texts. Experiences address all the senses and are based on an intangible world.» ---Gregor Schneider


10468 - 20170128 - Michalis Pichler's first solo exhibition in Italy on view at Kunstverein Milano - Milan - 15.12.2016-28.01.2017


Somewhere in the gallery a player piano rocks away with a composition that somehow resembles aleatoric music.

Kunstverein Milano announces Exposition littéraire autour de Mallarmé, Michalis Pichler’s first solo exhibition in Italy. Its title recalls an exhibition of the same name by Marcel Broodthaers in 1969 at Wide White Space in Antwerp, Belgium. The exhibition is centered around re-readings and re-writings of Un Coup de Dés jamais n’abolira le Hasard (A Throw of the Dice will never abolish Chance) across different media, reproducing that icon of the avant-garde. The exhibition also features the film Une Seconde d’Éternité and a reading room of “greatest hits."
Michalis Pichler’s Un Coup de Dés jamais n’abolira le Hasard. SCULPTURE is a close copy of the 1914 edition of Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem, but with all the words cut out by laser, in a way that corresponds directly to the typographic layout used by Mallarmé. When turning the pages, numerous shadows are generated by the cutouts. Pichler’s version is juxtaposed with editions by Broodthaers and Mallarmé, who had written "Un Coup de Dés jamais n’abolira le Hasard. POÈME" in 1897, and also saw it published in a magazine called Cosmopolis. Mallarmé left copious notes as to how it should be typeset, instructions that were finally carried out 16 years after his death, in 1914. In 1969 this work was appropriated in three renditions as Un Coup de Dés jamais n’abolira le Hasard. IMAGE by Marcel Broodthaers, who replaced the words by black stripes.

A glass version of Pichler’s Un Coup de Dés jamais n’abolira le Hasard. SCULPTURE is installed in the airspace of gallery as a spatial installation or walk-through-book, allthough there is no text displayed on the plates. Through its “strategic illegibility” (Craig Dworkin) it seems to establish what Jacques Derrida would call “a text, that is, a readability without a signified."

Somewhere in the gallery a player piano rocks away with a composition that somehow resembles aleatoric music. The turn-of-the-century pianola is indeed playing Un Coup de Dés jamais n’abolira le Hasard. MUSIQUE, created by running a 288mm tracker roll of Pichler’s cut out windows/verses.

A reading room displays a variety of books produced in the context of his “greatest hits” series. According to Pichler, "if a work paraphrases one explicit historical or contemporary predecessor in title, style and/or content, this technique is what I would call a 'greatest hit.'" Featured predecessors include Charles Baudelaire, Mel Bochner, Marcel Broodthaers, Ulises Carrión, Katsushika Hokusai, Stéphane Mallarmé, Monsanto Company, Gabriel Dante Rossetti, Ed Ruscha, Seth Siegelaub, Gertrude Stein, Max Stirner and The New York Times. The exhibition greatest hits was on show at Printed Matter, Inc. through June 2015.

One of Pichler’s “greatest hits” on display is the 8mm film Une Seconde d’Éternité. In 1970 Marcel Broodthaers had made a film Une Seconde d’Eternité (D’après une idée de Charles Baudelaire). In the 35mm film Broodthaers writes his signature “MB” in 24 frames, which makes one second. The very same frames were transferred by Pichler to 8mm, where 18 frames make a second. The result reads “MP,” which are Pichler’s initials, in Broodthaers’ handwriting though.

In Coup de Dés (collection), Pichler unites a vast number of editions of Mallarmé’s chef d’oeuvre as well as many of its historical and contemporary editions and appropriations by other authors such as Jérémie Bennequin, Bernard Chiavelli, Jim Clinefelter, Mario Diacono, Sammy Engramer, Cerith Wyn Evans, Ernest Fraenkel, Elsworth Kelly, Michael Maranda, Guido Molinari, Aurélie Noury and Eric Zboya. The collection also includes a variety of publications (backgammon tutorials, pulp fiction, and militaria books) that feature the phrase “Coup de Dés” on the cover without explicitly referring to Mallarmé. Coup de Dés (collection) is ongoing and subject to open submission.

The exhibition is accompanied by the publication of the Italian translation of the artist’s Statements on Appropriation and of his flipbook Une Seconde d’Éternité, co-published by Kunstverein Publishing and "greatest hits"; both designed by Zirkumflex, Berlin.

Michalis Pichler was trained as a sculptor on the preservation site of Acropolis Monuments Athens. He holds diplomas in Architecture from Technical University Berlin and in Fine Arts from Art Academy Berlin Weissensee, and co-founded and organizes Miss Read: The Berlin Art Book Fair and the Conceptual Poetics Day. He works as a conceptual artist, poet and publisher on the imaginary border between visual art and literature. More information can be found here.

A monograph of Pichler’s practice titled MICHALIS PICHLER: Thirteen years: The materialization of ideas was co-published in 2015 by Printed Matter, Inc. and Spector Books.



10467 - 20170305 - First solo show in Europe by the Hong Kong based artist Samson Young on view at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf - 17.12.2016-05.03.2017


Samson Young, Stanley (detail), 2014. Neon, sand. Courtesy Galerie Gisela Capitain. Photo: Katja Illner.
Kunsthalle Düsseldorf presents the first institutional solo show in Europe by the Hong Kong based artist Samson Young (*1979). Young is a sound artist and composer. He studied music, philosophy, and gender studies at the University of Sydney and has a doctorate in composition from Princeton University. In 2017 the artist will be featured in the Hong Kong pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
From the perspective of a composer, Young conceives sound works, installations, performances, drawings, sound walks, and films. His works usually make concrete historical and social references and often deal with conflicts. Each of his projects involves a great deal of background and field research. His work is motivated by scientific precision and conceptual rigor. The result is a very powerful and aesthetically expressive language.

The importance of the aesthetic investigation of sound in Young’s work is illustrated above all by his journeys, which follow in the tradition of sound walks and field recordings. For instance, for his work For Whom the Bell Tolls: A Journey into the Sonic History of Conflicts (2015–), he traveled to five continents to visit historically significant bells and record their sound. The result was an archive of bell sounds, which Young will use to compose a new piece.

While he was at the various locations waiting for the bells to ring, he created a series of drawings entitled "Landschaft" (on view here on the first floor). In these “sound drawings” the artist translates the noises of his environment and the ringing of the bells into musical notation. His works represent an unusual contribution within the complex relationship between music and visual art and open up new perspectives for the perception of sounds as well as pictures.

The Kunsthalle Düsseldorf is showing a selection of works from Samson Young’s oeuvre on three floors. Along with the series "Muted Situation" (2014)—directions for listening to sound situations in a new way or perceiving the political qualities of sound itself—and a selection of works from the series "Sound Drawings" (2015–), the exhibition also features large-scale installations in which Young deals with conflicts and wars.

The exhibition is curated by Jasmina Merz.


10466 - 20170417 - mumok offers a new approach to the work of Slovak artist Július Koller - Vienna - 25.11.2016-17.04.2017


Exhibition view, Július Koller. One Man Anti Show, mumok Wien, 25.11.2016 –17.4.2017. Photo: mumok / Stephan Wyckoff.
mumok is presenting Július Koller. One Man Anti Show, a new approach to the work of Slovak artist Július Koller (1939–2007), an iconic figure in the history of the Neo-avant-garde and Post-avant-garde. His work has been a significant source of inspiration for artists and intellectuals worldwide since its rediscovery in the early 1990s and has become a key reference point for a young generation of artists and other protagonists in the world of culture. The full breadth and scale of Koller’s oeuvre is showcased for the first time in the exhibition at mumok, which highlights both his conceptual rigor and the broad spectrum of artistic methods he utilizes. Alongside internationally renowned pieces, the show presents many works, archival documents and ephemera that have never previously been exhibited. Extending across three floors, Július Koller. One Man Anti Show turns the spotlight on the topicality of this unique artistic practice through a new reading and presentation of Koller’s creative anti-universe, in which everything is called into question. The exhibition architecture, created by renowned Viennese architect Hermann Czech, is designed to define the show autonomously to the routine and the conventions of a museum. 
For more than half of his life (1963–2007), Július Koller kept a “self-chronology” in which he recorded his constructive activities. Maintaining a critical distance to the art business and institutional art historiography, Koller sketched out the central motifs and formats of his counter-design in this chronology, set in opposition to the art world’s rules and values. This self-depiction of an artist’s life, which also encompassed the balcony of his flat as an exhibition venue without an audience, guides visitors through the show, whilst its title, One Man Anti Show, references the artist’s critical position vis-à-vis art and its institutions. The exhibition introduces the key themes, work-groups, motifs and methods that Koller deployed and perpetually transformed throughout his artistic development.

His strategy involved using run-of-the-mill quotidian life to undermine aesthetic ideals, aiming ultimately to create a “new cultural situation” intended to lead to a “new life, a new creativity, and a new Cosmohumanist Culture.” Koller saw himself as living in the midst of junk culture. The exhibition sheds light on the way in which he deployed everyday objects—ranging from newspaper cuttings or motifs borrowed from comics to packaging material—in precisely this spirit.

The mumok presentation opens with a restaging of one of Koller’s legendary action environments: the J.K. Ping-Pong Club (1970): both professionals and amateurs can play a round or two of ping-pong in the exhibition in Vienna, lobbing the balls, but also opinions and positions, back and forth in an ambience permeated by the notion of fair play. The J.K. Ping-Pong Club, at the time a statement directed against the oppressive political circumstances in the ČSSR after the Prague Spring, is more topical than ever today.

Július Koller engaged in his first cultural activities in 1963, while he was still studying art, inspired by hopes that artistic freedom could become a reality in Czechoslovakia during those years of political détente thanks to critique of the Stalinist personality cult and of Socialist Realism. In the mid-1960s, adopting a stance much closer to that of non-artists and amateurs than to the predominant academicism of professional modernist artists, Koller drew up his first manifesto: Antihappening (System of Subjective Objectivity). In this text, in a sense a counter-position to the Neo-avant-garde formalism of the day, he pronounced various realms of his private and public life to be art. Culture in the broad sense of the term thus became the field in which he operated, endeavoring to set it in relationship to art and to identify potential alternatives to existing artistic practice. Sport formed an important frame of reference for Koller in this undertaking.

Responding to empty exhibitionism in this period of political instability, Koller distributed telegrams in 1970, two years after the Prague Spring, proclaiming “UmeNie” [No Art]. His dialectic commentaries on art institutions later led to the establishment of the para-institution Galéria Ganku, named after a site popular with mountaineers and inaccessible to common mortals.

From 1970 on Koller increasingly shifted the focus of his interest from sport, engaging instead with language and denotations against a backdrop of utopian ideals. With their encoded “objects”, “orientations” and “organizations,” his performative “Universal-Cultural Futurological Operations (U.F.O.)” represent a system through which the artist creates his own communication medium, with every new contact becoming an impetus to archive the world. Over the next three decades, Koller created a major group of works and was also the subject of a series of annual portraits known as U.F.O.-naut J.K. (1970–2007). Recurring motifs of question marks, plus and minus signs, arrows pointing up or down, nets, sports fields or pitches, ping-pong and tennis balls create a field of simple, interconnected symbols. Through these ciphers, Koller encrypts yet simultaneously opens up a route into the meaning of the world around him.

Tennis and table tennis are not only recurring motifs in Koller’s work, but also constitute a political statement. He drew tennis courts on postcards, retraced their lines with chalk, and invited the public to table tennis tournaments rather than to exhibitions. In Koller’s eyes, the clear principles in such games, applied with the utmost clarity, point to a democratic scenario of fair play with precisely defined rules: a perfect expression of his utopias in a world otherwise shaped by arbitrarily determined and openly violated political rules.

The exhibition architecture, created by renowned Viennese architect Hermann Czech, references Koller’s hallmark artistic grammar and addresses its systemic approach. Czech’s architecture underscores the open and transformative aspect of objects and actions, a dimension that has always been crucial for Július Koller’s artistic practice. The presentation of various sections of Koller’s immense work archive was created in cooperation with Viennese artist Johannes Porsch.

Curated by Daniel Grúň, Kathrin Rhomberg and Georg Schöllhammer


10465 - 20170417 - British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor first exhibition in an Italian museum in 10 years - Rome - 17.12.2016-17.04.2017


Anish Kapoor is back at long last for his first exhibition in an Italian museum in 10 years. From 17 December 2016 to 17 April 2017, an extraordinary show is on view in the spaces of the MACRO - Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma, promoted by Roma Capitale, Council for Cultural Growth, Capitoline Superintendence for Cultural Assets, with the support of the British Embassy of Rome, and main sponsor BNL Gruppo BNP Paribas. 
Curated by Mario Codognato, the exhibition is a testimony to Kapoor’s unflagging research in the formal and conceptual spheres, which has informed his artistic practice from the start, contrasting the highly engineered and more organic processes of his work.

The show comprises a series of reliefs and paintings made up of jutting layers of red and white silicone and paint, as well as monumental architectural sculptures, including the extraordinary “Sectional Body Preparing for Monadic Singularity”, displayed last year outdoors in the park of the Palace of Versailles, and proposed here at the MACRO in a dialogue with the museum’s architecture.

Archetypal, intimate, imposing and dialectic, Kapoor’s work presents, confronts and explores the conditions of matter, the dynamics of perception and the power of metaphor.

Among the other works on exhibit are "Internal Objects in Three Parts" (2013-15), a painted silicone and wax triptych, which was shown this year in Amsterdam, amid celebrated paintings by Rembrandt at the Rijksmuseum. Visceral, brutal and sensual at the same time, Kapoor’s images are a contemporary continuation of the inexhaustible tradition of literal and metaphorical depiction of flesh and blood, found in painting from every era and latitude. Art becomes the mediator between the essence of myth and its representation, between its long-term continuity and interchangeability and the contemporary condition, between one’s individual path through the terra incognita of life and collective experience, between the immanent and the transcendent.

Anish Kapoor’s artistic career has developed around these polarities, engendering and expanding a language in continuous balance between the transposition of grand existential questions and the Promethean impulse to transform the matter around us and, consequently, reality. His poetics implodes, intensifies and probes the binary relationships, opposing energies and antitheses that make up the visible world and abstract thought through a vision which, while never narrative or didactic, coagulates, contrasts or harmonizes the dynamic tension and the subtle interaction between antithetical forces, bodies and appearances. Light and shadow, negative and positive, male and female, material and immaterial, full and empty, concave and convex, glossy and opaque, smooth and rough, natural and artificial, rigid and soft, solid and liquid, active and inert, and ultimately order and disorder: these are just some of the polarities that concretize the perceptible universe and, activated or generated in the synoptic potential and sensual forms of Kapoor’s art, metaphorize and metabolize the mystery of life.

The catalogue of the show is published by Manfredi Edizioni.

Anish Kapoor was born in Mumbai, India in 1954, and now lives and works in London. Considered one of the foremost artists in contemporary art, he has works in the most important private collections and museum throughout the world (Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate, London; Fondazione Prada, Milan; Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao and Abu Dhabi). He has had recent solo exhibitions at: the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC), Mexico City (2016); Couvent de la Tourette, Eveux, France (2015); Château de Versailles, France (2015); Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center, Moscow, Russia (2015); Martin–Gropius–Bau, Berlin (2013); Sakıp Sabancı Müzesi, Istanbul (2013); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2012).

In 1990 Kapoor represented Great Britain at the XLIV Venice Biennale where he was awarded the Premio Duemila, and in 1991 he won the Turner Prize. He has also received important international recognition including the Praemium Imperiale in 2011 and the Padma Bhushan in 2012. He was awarded a CBE in 2003 and a Knighthood in 2013 for services to visual arts.

His major public projects include Cloud Gate (2004) in Chicago’s Millenium Park and Orbit (2012) in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.



10464 - 20170305 - Van Abbemuseum presents works by 4 artists - Eindhoven - 03.12.2016-05.03.2017


The exhibition Positions #3 presents new and existing work by Rossella Biscotti, Duncan Campbell, Maryam Jafri and Natasja Kensmil. Each of the artists draws on extensive research, translating empirical data through different modes of storytelling, image making and historicization. They often deploy a rich selection of archival material and historical analyses evoking different economic, political, and social associations in the process. The resulting manifestations sit at the intersection of cultural anthropology and conceptual practice whilst drawing on a range of visual languages. Positions #3 is the third edition of the exhibition series Positions, which explores different tones of contemporary artistic voices. 
Rossella Biscotti
In her work, Rossella Biscotti (Molfetta, Italy, 1978) focuses on forgotten social and political events. Following meticulous preliminary research she recirculates these stories in her reconstructions, revealing their relevance to the present.

The starting point of her new project The Journey dates back to 2010. During the XIV International Sculpture Biennale of Carrara she received the Premio Michelangelo for the work The Anarchists Do Not Archive. This sculpture work embodies the history of 19th century syndicalism and anarchism of the Carrara quarries. Biscotti was awarded with a handpicked block of Carrara marble from the Cave of Michelangelo, famous since the time of Ancient Rome, popular amongst sculptors and known for its high quality and rare colour. She plans to sink the marble block into the Mediterranean Sea, as a ready-made. In collaboration with various local institutions and inspired by scientific research and oceanography, Biscotti will identify the blocks new location through analysing the environmental complexity of the Sicilian canal in its surface and dept. She will overlap maps that trace the historical commercial routes and migrant routes, artefacts and military deposit, analysing the morphology of the seabed in the international water between Italy, Libya and Tunisia. This ‘simple’ action brings to the surface the complex infrastructure and geopolitical situation in this area.

The second new work in Positions #3 is called Clara, an installation around the rhinoceros, who became famous during 17 years of touring Europe in the mid-18th century as an unknown specimen. Captain Douwe Mout van der Meer of the VOC vessel Knappenhof, returned to the Netherlands with Clara and became her agent and companion until her death. The bricks in this installation serve as a historical witness to the colonial activities of the Dutch.

Duncan Campbell
The films of Duncan Campbell take as their subject a specific historical event and the people and objects that were related to it. His films consist of a collage of archive recordings, new documentary material and fictional film excerpts. In this way he questions the documentary form as a “true” representation of historic reality and plays with the boundaries between reality and fiction, and between recordings and interpretation. In Positions #3 the film Arbeit (2011) will be screened, which tells the story of the German economist Hans Tietmeyer, one of the invisible bureaucrats behind the European monetary union. An anonymous narrator recounts the course of Tietmeyer’s career from his education and upbringing in 1930s Westphalia, through the economic miracle of post-war Germany and the rise of ‘unbridled affordable consumerism’, to its central role on the global economic stage through the 80s and 90s.

In addition a newly commissioned film - called The Welfare of Tomás Ó Hallissy (2016) - on the remote Irish village of Dun Chaoin in Kerry will also be on view. The film sits at the interface of the activist perspective of the two American anthropologists and their focus on individual subjectivity; and the pragmatic, deferential, and conservatively Catholic perspective of the people they are studying. Implicit in the film is the reality of constant emigration and the precarious existence of places like Dun Chaoin – consistently studied since the 19th century with reverence, or in an attempt to reform it.

Maryam Jafri
Maryam Jafri plays with fact and fiction. She frames her subjects meticulously, composing them afresh, renaming them and placing them in confrontation with each other, resulting in questions about the market orientation of our everyday lives. This can concern our food production and marketing, as in the installations Product Recall: An Index of Innovation (2014-15), Generic Corner (2015) and the video Mouthfeel (2014). The mixed-media installation Product Recall, for example, displays products that were withdrawn from the market. Jafri presents these recalled products (or old advertising shots of them) alongside informative labels. In some cases, products were recalled due to a bad choice of name or an unfortunate coincidence – as with Ayds diet cookies, whose sales plummeted with the advent of AIDS. In this way, Product Recall highlights the kind of ‘spells’ cast on products by marketing strategists and food designers in their attempts to generate demand. Generic Corner consists of packaging plucked from the history of consumer products alongside still-life photographs. During the 1970s and 1980s, generic food products featuring stark, black and white graphics were directed towards low-income and cost-conscious shoppers. These ‘unbranded’ surfaces connoted cheapness and economy, reflected in their lower price points. In Mouthfeel, staged and found footage are combined. The video shows a conversation between a fictitious married couple who both work for a multinational food company. Slippery ethics, bottom-line profiteering, and lies of convenience drive them. Another work, which is presented, is the ongoing project Independence Day 19341975 (2009 - ongoing). It categorises found images on the independence of former colonies in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Analysing these photos shows how quickly these young nations assimilated to the norms of the colonial state.

Natasja Kensmil
Natasja Kensmil uses moments from (art) history in her practice to highlight the relationship between the present and the past. She believes that “in the end, a painting must comprise layers of accumulated images, added together to create a new image … it is a process of re-digesting material and ideas”.

The movement of the Anabaptists has a central place in a number of her portraits and other history paintings. In her new silkscreens Martyrs Mirror (2016), she incorporates fragments of their executions, depicted in numerous prints by the 17th-century graphic artist Jan Luyken and written on in the famous book Martyrs’ Mirror by Thieleman van Braght (1685). Original prints from this book - on loan from the archive of Special Collections University of Amsterdam – will counterbalance the works on display.

By using existing visual material, Kensmil has produced a new configuration. In an historical approach without, however, focusing on precise moments in time as a scientist would, she chose a poetic reality. She structures and interweaves her archive of (art) historical imagery to compose a new, dynamic story. She approaches the material subjectively, and guided by a critical distance. Kensmil does not offer solutions or adopt a specific standpoint: she creates insights by discovering parallels in her extensive pictorial archive. Often she uses barbaric images culled from mysticism and religion because of their lyrical power, not from a methodical or technical perspective. With this, she makes these rituals, metaphors and symbols of the past accessible to us, in the present and repeatedly questions the historical relationship between our identity and the world we live in. In Positions #3 Kensmil also shows a selection of her oil paintings, always composed of multiple layers.



10463 - 20170312 - Kunstmuseum Basel exhibits works by Catharina van Eetvelde - Basel - 26.11.2016-12.03.2017


Catharina van Eetvelde, ilk.egg.erg.volo ut sis subject 0011, 2015. Papier, Tinte, Wasserfarbe, Metall, 28,5 x 41,9 cm © 2016, Pro Litteris, Catharina van Eetvelde. Photo: Charles Duprat, Courtesy die Künstlerin und Galerie Greta Meert, Brüssels.
Since 2004, Catharina van Eetvelde (b. 1967, Ghent) has been developing an exceptional and pathbreaking stance on drawing. For the artist—who now resides in Paris—drawing has always constituted the foundation of her work, but she does not understand drawing as an activity bound exclusively by the medium of paper. Rather, drawing is the way in which she relates to the world, and in particular to the natural sciences. Using an approach that is downright anthropological, the artist analyses and investigates how the natural sciences shape our lives and our conceptions. Against the seemingly unimpeachable authority of science, van Eetvelde sets her art—a chaotic system that cannot be predicted or steered. After she began to engage with the catastrophe at Fukushima as part of an interdisciplinary project in 2011, the concept of material became of central importance. Since that time, she has frequently developed her drawings and collages into entire assemblages out of the most varied material. What lies behind this is the question of the connection between all things and all living beings. She designates this similarity with the Old English term ilk, which provided the title for this exhibition.  
Catharina van Eetvelde draws in full awareness of the fragility of her works. She does not produce works for eternity, even when she handles the material with extreme care. Rather, her drawings on paper and collages are very delicate works. The data comprising her vector-based drawings and animations are equally limited in lifespan, since their readability depends on computer software. The artist creates lines in all their imaginable forms: as traces that she leaves on the paper; as words embroidered with thread on paper or felt; as linear arrangements of material in space; or as ghostly "digital" lines that briefly appear on a screen as animation and disappear again. All these drawings make visible a process of experimentation, which goes hand in hand with the mobility of the artist's standpoint.

Catharina van Eetvelde has been exhibiting her drawings internationally since 2004. Her works may be found in collections such as the Kupferstichkabinett (Department of Prints and Drawings) of the Kunstmuseum Basel, the Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in Brussels, in the Cabinet d’arts graphiques des Centre Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne in Paris, or in the Frac of Normandie Rouen, Picardie, and Lorraine, as well as in numerous private collections. In 2010 she was awarded the prestigious Prix de dessin of the Fondation d’art contemporain Daniel et Florence Guerlain in Paris.

The exhibition has been organized in collaboration with the Museum Folkwang in Essen, where it will be on view from September 29, 2017 to January 14, 2018. The jointly-produced, richly illustrated catalog encompasses 224 pages and is published by Kehrer Verlag.


10462 - 20170305 - "Floris Neusüss, Renate Heyne: Leibniz' Storehouse" on view at ZKM - Karlsruhe - 11.12.2016-05.03.2017


Ceropitherus mona denti. Dent-Meerkatz Musée d’histoire naturelle, Fribourg. Fotogramm, ca. 80 x 150 cm, 2003 © Floris Neusüss; Renate Heyne.
What if when Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), the bustling polymath of the Early Enlightenment, had set himself the goal of imparting his knowledge to the general public in the clearest and most practical way possible, using natural produce and artefacts? What would the storehouse, in which he stored such items for subsequent teaching, look like? Floris Neusüss and Renate Heyne answer these questions – in the Leibniz Year of 2016 – in their photogram exhibition which is designed as an intellectual game. Leibniz’ Storehouse is an imaginary walk through the fictitious warehouse of the scholar, where the items are not always carefully sorted, but often have been simply put down. However, the exhibits are not actually artefacts. Instead, they are photograms of the objects, produced by the two artists in various museums since 2000. As part of the Leibniz’ Stockroom exhibition, the extensive photogram archive of Floris Neusüss and Renate Heyne is being presented for the first time. 
The Leibniz’ Storehouse exhibition resembles a walk through the fictitious short-staffed, short-on-space warehouse of the universal scholar Leibniz. The collection’s objects, which are stored here, are not always carefully sorted, but are often seemingly indiscriminately put down. Now and then, there are wonderful adjacencies: Next to the portrait of a pope, there is an African tribal figure, while the preparation of a sturgeon is found next to a crucifix. But there are also combinations in Leibniz’ Stockroom, which are clearly created deliberately rather than coincidentally: In one room, Leibniz collects steam engines, perfect order appears to reign here. However – and this is the special feature of the presentation at the ZKM – the exhibits are not actually artefacts. Instead, they are photograms of them, produced by the two artists in various museums since 2000.

As part of the Leibniz’ Storehouse exhibition, the extensive – and indeed unique – photogram archive of Floris Neusüss and Renate Heyne is being exhibited for the first time, which highlights the medial and historic dimension of the photogram.

Photograms – between display and concealment
The invention of photography in 1835 by Englishman William Henry Fox Talbot is to thank for the creation of photograms. In the 19th century, it was used as a procedure, with which the finest details could be shown – meaning it was initially superior to lens photography –, primarily in the natural sciences, for example in botany. X-ray images are ultimately nothing more than photograms either. Artists didn’t discover the photogram for their work until the 20th century: In the context of Dada by Christian Schad in 1919 in Geneva, in Paris by surrealist Man Ray in 1922 and in Berlin by constructivist László Moholy-Nagy, also in 1922. They felt that the photogram created an idealising abstraction of objects in comparison to photography, because it transcends their materiality to a certain extent by concealing the surfaces and because it does not follow the usual visual perspectives. The artists recognised that the photogram only creates a new pictorial reality through light, which is equivalent to the classic disciplines of sculpture, painting and drawing.

Despite the enormous appeal, which the photogram has and which found its most influential representatives in the form of protagonists such as Man Ray and Moholy-Nagy, the artistic following in this medium has remained negligible since that time. This is primarily because the photogram does not reproduce anything previously seen, and does not give the comfort of recognisability as is provided by photography. In a culture of the ever quickening glance, this skims over photogram images that have not sought to attract it through surface attraction. More than ever today, the pictorial reality of the photogram touches on highly topical cultural and social issues in the context of existence and appearance as well as philosophical discourses of Plato by Friedrich Nietzsche, Theodor W. Adorno, Vilém Flusser and Jean Baudrillard.

Project manager of the exhibition: Erec Gellautz


10461 - 20170305 - Exceptional landscape photography touches on questions regarding our experience of nature - Amsterdam - 10.12.2016-05.03.2017

Chrystel Lebas, Re-visiting - Pinus silvestris [illeg.] – Plate n°1245. Aviemore, Rothiemurchus, August 2012. 57°8.691’N 3°50.304’ W.
With the exhibition Regarding Nature, this is the first time that the unique, monumental landscape photographs of French landscape photographer Chrystel Lebas are shown in the Netherlands. Lebas garnered international acclaim through her panoramic photographs, created at twilight. This project shows her most recent – and what is perhaps her most ambitious – project to date. In 2011 the Natural History Museum in London asked Chrystel Lebas to create new works based on an intriguing collection of anonymous glass negatives of the British landscape at the beginning of the twentieth century. The project, which was completed this year, did not only produce a number of new works, but also the name of the photographer: the glass plates had apparently been made by the famous British botanist and ecologist Edward James Salisbury (1886–1978). In the exhibition, Lebas’ photographs and films are combined with original glass plates, unique herbarium pages and personal documents from the collections of the Natural History Museum and the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, of which Salisbury had been the director. The combination provides a complex image of an apparently unspoilt landscape that is strongly impacted by ecological change.  
Different layers of meaning
Chrystel Lebas (Salon de Provence, 1966) obtained an MA in Photography at the Royal College of Art in London in 1997. Her series Between Dog and Wolf (2004– 2005), Blue Hour (2005–2006) and Études, Bel-Val (2008–2009) were greeted with tremendous acclaim and were exhibited last year at such venues as the Victoria and Albert Museum and The Photographers’ Gallery in London and the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris. Chrystel Lebas grew up in the remote forests of Southern France. Her youth spent mainly outdoors and surrounded by the scent of pine trees, the power of the mistral winds and the memory of slowly invading dusk are determining factors of her métier as an artist. Since establishing herself in London 20 years ago she has frequently returned to nature, hiking through Europe’s remotest nature reserves to explore the landscape and the way in which it is captured in images. In this process, Lebas looks beyond the pictorial qualities of seemingly unspoilt nature; she aims above all to expose the impact of the complex meeting between man and animal on the landscape. This is why she chooses places where nature manifests itself in a highly specific manner through a convergence of circumstances – the presence of human beings, ecological processes, climate change. She records the various layers of meaning over a longer period of time, by returning to these places during different seasons. Twilight, when nature undergoes a very slow transformation in terms of colours and atmosphere, is her absolute favourite moment of the day, which she captures through long exposures in her panoramic camera.

Wandering dunes
This winter, Chrystel Lebas invites you to join her at Huis Marseille on one of her most spectacular and recent hiking tours: in the footsteps of Edward James Salisbury, Lebas spent the past four years travelling through Scotland and Norfolk, with a short stay in Devon. At the beginning of the 20th century, Salisbury travelled through Great Britain armed with a notebook, a vasculum and a camera, recording the landscape and its flora with utmost precision on fragile glass plates that, until recently, led a hidden and anonymous existence in the Natural History Museum. On these photographs, as well as those made by Chrystel Lebas 90 years later, the infinite pine forests and ‘wandering dunes’ of Scotland and Norfolk appear rugged and empty: precisely as they would be imagined by the unknowing, romantic soul. In reality, these places are nature reserves strictly protected by public and private nature and environmental organisations. Scouring the landscape, guided by her GPS, Lebas has tried to locate the exact spots where Salisbury stood when he made his photographs. To her, the literal comparison of the landscape as it was then and is as it is today was not as important as the opportunity to re-examine her own role and vision as an artist in light of Salisbury’s role as a scientist.

Chrystel Lebas has also created a series of photographs on Ameland especially for this exhibition, which, like the dune and coastal landscapes she photographed in Scotland (Arrochar and Culbin Sands) and Norfolk (Blakeney Point), have been undergoing – or are threatened with – continuous transformation for centuries with regard to shape, location and vegetation through natural, climatological and human intervention.


10460 - 20170226 - Retrospective of the work of Bernard Buffet on view at the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris - 14.10.2016-26.02.2017

L'Atelier, 1947. 149 x 200 cm, huile sur toile. Musée Bernard Buffet, Surugadaira (Japon). © Musée Bernard Buffet © ADAGP, Paris 2016.
The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris is organising a retrospective of the work of Bernard Buffet (1928–1999), one of the most famous French painters of the 20th century, but also one of the most contentious. In a choice of a hundred paintings this exhibition takes a fresh look at an oeuvre which in fact remains little known to the public at large.  
The Musée d’Art Moderne being the only public museum with a large Buffet collection – thanks to the substantial Girardin bequest in 1953 and the Ida and Maurice Garnier donation in 2012 – it seemed appropriate to proceed with a project dating back to a contact initiated with the artist's long-time dealer Maurice Garnier (1920–2014) some ten years ago, but delayed by the ongoing controversy surrounding the oeuvre.

The passing of time brings greater objectivity, however, and many artists, art professionals and collectors are beginning to reconsider a body of work that has become slightly less perplexing. Given Buffet's prolific output, this overview is necessarily highly selective; nonetheless the exhibition reveals the unsuspected quality and variety of what will perhaps live on as one of the most fascinating and most influential painterly oeuvres of the last century.

The chronologically structured retrospective opens with Buffet's beginnings, when his work was triggering a new awareness of a wide range of artistic forms and objects. Thus it covers the postwar years and their debate about realism, figuration and abstraction; and overall it highlights the paradox of an artist who was drawing on history painting in the context of the disappearance of the subject, and whose life was a blend of artistic austerity and financial ease, of public success and a rejection of the art world.

Alongside his favourite subjects – self-portraits, still lifes – the exhibition presents the other themes he worked through in his annual exhibitions at Galerie Garnier: religion (The Passion of Christ), literature (Dante's Inferno, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea) and allegory (The Birds, The Mad Women). The emphasis is on his enduring concern with history painting (the Horror of War series) and the history of painting (The Sleepers, after Courbet), and on his last, spectacular series, Death, with its references to the memento mori of medieval times.

Generously backed up with documentary material, the retrospective also offers an insight into the mechanisms behind Buffet's fame.

The catalogue provides new studies of the artist by French and international historians, as well as articles by writers and critics of the time and interviews with Buffet's artist contemporaries.