Subodh Gupta at La Monnaie, Paris

Subodh Gupta at La Monnaie, Paris

Subodh Gupta, one of the best-known Indian contemporary artists and master of readymade, is represented this year in Monnaie de Paris with his first personal exhibition in France. This impressive retrospective contains his 30 most famous masterpieces in 6 sections showing the evolution of Gupta’s artistic language. Capable to make extraordinary things with the use of very ordinary items, he is nowadays one of the most remarkable figures of international art scene.

Subodh Gupta was born in 1964 in Bihar, northern India. From 1983 to 1988 he studied Painting in College of Arts & Crafts in Patna. In 1986 he had his first personal exhibition, representing several of his early paintings. And today we know Gupta not as a simple painter, but as an artist capable to work with a great variety of media, from painting to sculpture and from video to performance.

Gupta’s artworks have an easily recognizable individual style due to materials used by artist: metal cookware, pots, pans and other objects of everyday life. His artistic language remains understandable in all over the world, and in the same time it is very specific with many references to Indian culture being in the same time very personal for the artist: “The material is so common; it is all mine”, he says about his creations. “The material belongs to my family. This is where I come from.”

Subodh Gupta, Two Cows, 2003-2008 Bronze, bronze plated chrome
98 x 252 x 118 cm – Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

 

In India a kitchen is always in the center of house, becoming also a center for social life, exchanges and discussions. For artist, this place is not only a part of everyday routine, but also a symbolic and spiritual space. With his sculptures made of bright metal dishes and pots, he shows this sacred matter of simple objects and intends to trigger debates about some grave problems of our society. For instance, one of the iconic Gupta’s masterpieces Very Hungry God (2006), a big skull that has been created with hundreds of gleaming stainless-steel utensils, evocates increasing universal vanitas, voracious and insatiable; with this artwork he draws our attention to the excessive consumption of our society, that is also accompanied by increasing starvation in several countries, including India. Other famous artworks, like a readymade Two Cows (2003-2008) or a Doot (2003) are inspired by travel, when a split-screen video All Things Are Inside (2007) alludes to the migration. Even showing people in exile, Gupta creates a very personal and intimate sensation, showing to the spectator some simple items for daily life.

Subodh Gupta, Doot, 2003 aluminium – 170 x 163 x 420 cm
Courtesy the artist and Galerie Enrico Navarra

If several works are inspired by personal daily experiences and feelings of the artist, like I Go Home Every Single Day (2004-2014), tracing the artist’s journey from his studio in Delhi to his hometown, others are a result of deep reflections. Today Gupta is working on the theme of the universe, and his last artworks, like Seven Billion Light Years (2015-2016) or Anahad (Unstruck) (2016) are quite philosophical and conceptual. The first one shows a round of dough flying in the air that looks like an Unidentified Flying Object, and the second one is a machine that allows to feel the reverberating sound of the cosmos that transcends space and time.

Faith Matters, 2007/08 Sushi belt, motor, stainless steel, aluminium & brass utensils – 161 x 264,4 x 460 cm – Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich

Today Gupta is one of the most famous living Indian artists, recognized throughout the world for his spiritualism, originality and variety of media. Exhibited individually for the first time in 1980’s in India, today he is shown in many countries. His recent projects include group and solo exhibitions at Sackler Gallery in Washington DC, USA (2017), Mead Gallery in Warwick, UK (2017), Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, USA (2016), Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, USA (2016), Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK (2015), and Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany (2014).

The exhibition in Monnaie de Paris is the first opportunity to see all described Gupta’s artworks together in France. They will be on display from 13th April to 26th August 2018 in conversation with the Monnaie’s permanent collection of metal artifacts to stimulate the visitor’s reflection on the medium of metal and to emphasize its symbolic value and the technical and artistic skill required to manipulate with it. This exhibition is curated by Camille Morineau, director of Exhibitions and Collections at the Monnaie de Paris and Mathilde de Croix, exhibition curator at the Monnaie de Paris. It will be also accompanied by a publication in French and English with descriptions of displayed works, commented chronology of artist’s career and a series of essays.

RELATED POSTS

5 artists from 'Beyond the Visible" issue

5 artists out of 20 selected by ArtPremium Committee who are featured in the “Beyond the Visible” issue.

Vija Celmins, Entropic Void

Paintings then, appear less cold despite the monochromatic palette, the eager spectator can recognize Celmins’s precise expression and expansive compositions.

A Matter of Blood

Contemporary Israeli artist Sigalit Landau explores Judaic symbols and Israel’s history. Via her artistic practice, the audience understands and is instructed on the current state of mind of the artistic ecosystem.

David Hockney: The Versatile Hand

David Hockney: The Versatile Hand

Celebrating as well the artist’s 80th birthday, the museum is exhibiting more than 160 paintings, photos, engravings, video installations and drawings focusing on Hockney’s artistic evolution. The first part of the show unveils his initial steps where he centered on the city’s urban landscape, particularly on industrial architecture. While attending the art college in Bedford, his paintings were deeply influenced by the Kitchen Sink School and realism, subject that has prevailed in his canvases over the years.

Nonetheless, if he emulated the movement’s color palette – black, red and gray mostly – his creations soon became more vivid. Yet, another element producing a transformation in Hockney’s style was the retrospective in 1960 devoted to Pablo Picasso. His versatile compositions convinced the artist of the incommensurable potential of painting, he needn’t to espouse a sole style as he could embrace them all.

Enthusiastic about this new approach, Hockney embarked in a journey to America that revolutionized once more his painting. The American way of life – the country’s relaxed ambiance and counter culture – impulsed Hockney to more hedonistic hedonistic subjects such as in Domestic Scene, Los Angeles (1963) where two young man take a shower together. Moving to the West Coast his style transfigured into more geometrical configurations where form, either human or landscape belonged to the realm of painting. The intensity and clarity of the Californian light was also investigated during this period, its refraction on water bodies mainly pools sought the birth of iconic works such as Bigger Splash (1967) or Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) (1972), and more.

The perspective in his paintings became linear as in Renaissance canvases with precise vanishing points, imitating reality turned into an obsession. Moreover, presumably the artist became more interested in photography and its mimetic ability. He created what he named “joiners”, a mosaic of polaroids joined together. Although known as a painter, the exhibition sheds light on the artist’s early interest in new technologies.

David-Hockney-Looking-Pictures

From this point on, space and its pictorial representation were steadily investigated in Hockney’s artistic practice, his canvas Looking at Pictures on a Screen (1977) is a brilliant mise en abyme were the spectator observes an inner spectator observing paintings from diverse artists like Vermeer, Van Gogh and Piero della Francesca. Evoking art’s heritage, Hockney’s interest in human vision as well as reality’s representation became more distinct commanding the decades work. To unravel the slightest details registered in man’s eye and to reproduce them was the creator’s ambition, paintings such as Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott (1969) or Contre-jour in the French Style (Against the Day dans le Style Français), (1974) bears witness of this argument.

Nevertheless, after the linear rigidity, Hockney’s oeuvre in the 1980’s and 1990’s frees form transfiguring the pictorial space into two dimensional. Henri Matisse vibrant colours supplant the diluted tones utilised by the artist, landscapes and nature take over his oeuvre and joyously celebrate Mother Earth. The 4 seasons, time lost and found, transform into a recurrent narrative that the artist keeps expanding currently. Continuing with this everlasting interest in technology, he employed the Ipad to create more sophisticated drawings.

David-Hockney-Self-Portrait

David Hockney’s exhibition is an in-depth study of one of the most prolific contemporary artists ever to date. His positive stance on technology open doors to art making it evolve and touch new heights.

RELATED POSTS

The Persistence of Memory

Armando Romero aesthetics combine Mexican muralism with pop culture symbols creating an unparalleled erudite language that combines high and low art.

Eamonn Doyle - "I, On , End"

After 20 years of hiatus, Eamonn Doyle has risen from the crowd with a fresh perspective to street photography. His work echoes the bustling sounds in the capital city of Ireland.

Motley’s the Only Wear

The collaborative duo Aziz + Cucher revitalises the historical tapestry in contemporary art, documenting the bleak realities of our modern world.

Karl Lagasse sculptures at the American Film Festival of Deauville

Karl Lagasse sculptures at the American Film Festival of Deauville

Karl Lagasse, French renowned artist was asked to create the trophy for the American Film Festival of Deauville, a special trophy inspired by his artwork Cryptogramme One.

Since an early age, Karl Lagasse has devoted himself to the art field, creating at the very beginning mostly collages. Following the same train of thought, his aesthetics evolved and were turned into the urban realm. His fascination for the one dollar bill was therefore born from his passion for American pop culture and its symbols such as the “self-made man” and the American dream. The story of the one dollar bill unveils the roots and ideology of a nation inspiring others to follow their steps, a nation that freed from the colonial yoke and succeeded. In depicting it more than often, Lagasse intends to restore the lost meaning of the bill by creating flexible sculptures symbolising the dynamism of the American economic system.

Prouès-KL-One-Bag

Nevertheless, if Lagasse is known for this particular work, his oeuvres are more than eclectic. In 2011 he exhibited for the first time at the Salon of Art in Monaco his Visual Cryptograms, monumental towers decorated with words and phrases emitting peace messages. Moreover, in 2012, the Deauville municipality installed at the entrance his sculpture named Cryptogram One. For this year’s edition of the American Film Festival, Lagasse has created a special trophy inspired by Cryptogram One. Furthermore, collaborating with Prouès, a leather goods laborer – the best in this category in France – Lagasse participated in the creation of a “One” bag, same that is given with the trophy. The latter was made with cast aluminium mirror polished and among the messages one can read “Hope”, “Deauville”, “Septième Art” (referring to cinema). Overall, 13 trophies will be distributed during the Festival to movie stars.

Printing the World at Centre Pompidou

Printing the World at Centre Pompidou

Imprimer le monde Achraf Touloub_Dessein Global 2015 (dÇtail) Impression 3 D photo Gilles Puyfages

Achraf Touloub, Dessein Global 2015 (deetail) Impression 3 D. Photo: Gilles Puyfages

 

The gallery 4 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris is currently presenting Printing the World, an exhibition taking place until the 3rd of July, exploring the 3D universe and its possibilities.

In 1984 the first 3D printer was patented by a French research group giving birth to a new era in the material world. Little had they known of the incommensurable possibilities that this machine had to offer, especially in the art world. The show presents approximately 40 artists, designers and architects conjointly questioning and using the 3D printer to create new and improbable objects.

Imprimer le monde Jon Rafman_New Age Demanded (Pocked), 2013_Courtesy de l'artiste

Jon Rafman, New Age Demanded (Pocked), 2013, Courtesy of the artist

From the macro world with creations such as Grotto II by Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger, to the micro world where the 3D printer is utilised to print cells, this technology is revolutionizing the way we conceive art and its status. Unlike other techniques, the 3D printer can faithfully copy what is it told to reproduce, it enables artists, designers and craftsman to almost attain perfection. For instance, the designer Mathias Bengtsson has created a steady table mixing different materials.

Thus, what is the artist’s role in this universe? If the object can entirely be produce by a machine, where lies the future of art? Inventiveness is the key, for 3D remains a tool and not a threat for artists such as Jon Rafman who has conceived an odd – to say the least – universe with his 3D printed torsos and his animated videos. On the other hand, the transdisciplinary artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg recreated a 3D portrait from recollected chewed up gum, hairs and cigarette butts that people in New York city left unwittingly behind them.

Imprimer le monde University of Tokyo Advanced Design Studies Unit_Drawn Pavilion_2017

University of Tokyo Advanced Design Studies Unit Drawn Pavilion 2017

 

Once again artists and science converge in an effort to bring fresh and new proposals to the table. The exhibition, despite its shortness succeeds as preface of what is yet to come.

 

RELATED POSTS

South Africa under the spotlight at the Venice Biennial

Two major artists, Candice Breitz and Mohau Modisakeng, are representing South Africa at the 57th edition of the Venice Biennale.

Artist to Watch: Kathy Lovas

In the manner of vernacular photography, artist photographer and major in Biology, Kathy Lovas analyzes images’ repercussion and role in our lives.

Building Bridges, Not Walls

Until the 25th of July 2017, the gallery Mayoral in Barcelona will be presenting Building Bridges, not Walls, a retrospective of the Spanish artist Manolo Millares curated by Alfonso de la Torre and Elena Sorokina.
Cogito Ergo Sum – I Think Therefore I Am

Cogito Ergo Sum – I Think Therefore I Am

Merry go round Myeongbeom Kim

Merry Go Round, 2017, revolving platform, deer taxidermy,
door,  artificial plant, ballons, guide rope, 240 x 240 x 280 cm

 

The second retrospective of the South Korean artist MyeongBeon Kim is taking place at the Paris-Beijing Gallery until 17th June. Under the name Amphibology, the exhibition refers to the meaning of the word: a sentence or a phrase that can be interpreted in both ways.

MyeongBeon Kim takes dailyobjects and transfigures them into artworks that he later exhibits. Embracing Duchamp’s methods, MyeongBeon blends two apparently different circuits converting the space gallery into a dreamy space where intellect meets the public sphere. Objects are inserted in a context where they lose their purpose to become part of an aesthetic project.

 

MyeonBeom Kim, Untitled, 2016

Untitled, 2017, mixed media, dimensions variable
© MyeongBeom Kim/ Courtesy of the artist / Galerie Paris-Beijing

 

Aside from this unorthodox mixture, MyeongBeong evokes the importance of language in his work. Focusing once again in the ambivalent nature of the word “amphibology” the artist’s intention is to shed light on the multiple readings, on the multiple perceptions and thus the universes created in other people’s mind.

Presenting new creations at the gallery, MyeongBeong Kim will be challenging and inviting its audience to question à prioris and other pre-acquired formulations.

 

Untitled (Shovel) 2017, stainless steel, wood, 24 x 5 x 113 cm
© MyeongBeom Kim/ Courtesy of the artist / Galerie Paris-Beijing  

Untitled (Pickaxe), 2017, stainless steel, wood,  86 X 6 X 96 cm
© MyeongBeom Kim/ Courtesy of the artist / Galerie Paris-Beijing  

RELATED POSTS

Chiharu Shiota: Life’s Requiem

Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota immerses her audiences in her installations employing only two colours, red and black, she examines the life and death circle.

Venice Biennial: Viva Arte Viva

The 57th Venice Biennale is about to open its doors in May 13th. With the title, Viva Art Viva curator Christine Macel intends to celebrate artists, their work and life in this year’s edition.

"It waves you to a more removed ground"

Anish Kapoor once famously said that for there to be new objects, there had to be new space. The artist’s work reveals the truth in his paradoxical conversation between the void and the perceptible.
African Rebirth

African Rebirth

Abu Bakarr Mansaray (1970, Sierra Leone) Allien Resurrection [sic], 2004 Graphique, colored pencils, feutre on paper, 150 x 205 cm - Framed : 160,6 x 212,5 x 4 cm Courtesy CAAC – The Pigozzi Collection

Abu Bakarr Mansaray (1970, Sierra Leone) Allien Resurrection [sic], 2004 Graphique, colored pencils, feutre on paper, 150 x 205 cm Framed : 160,6 x 212,5 x 4 cm – Courtesy CAAC – The Pigozzi Collection

The exhibition Art/Afrique, le nouvel atelier constituted of 3 main sections retraces Africa’s grandiose landscape and future in the contemporary art world. The first part titled “Les initiés”” showcases works from the private collection of the mythical collector Jean Pigozzi, a philanthropist who since the late 80’s saw the power of African art and chose to impulse the nascent scene. With the help of André Magnin, curator of the exhibition Les Magiciens de la Terre at the Pompidou Centre in 1989, he created an exhaustive collection from African artists living and working within the confines of the continent. Among the 15 artists selected from his collection, names such as Malick Sidibé, Romuald Hazoumé, Seni Awa Camara or Okhai Ojeikere are testimony of André Magnin’s visionary perception and his close relation to African artists.

Kudzanai Chiurai, Revelations V, 2011, ink Ultrachrome on paper, photo Innova, Image : 120 x 180 cm | Sheet : 145 x 200 cm. © Kudzanai Chiurai. Courtesy of the Artist & Goodman Gallery Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Kudzanai Chiurai, Revelations V, 2011, ink Ultrachrome on paper, photo Innova, Image : 120 x 180 cm | Sheet : 145 x 200 cm. © Kudzanai Chiurai. Courtesy of the Artist & Goodman Gallery Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The next section, which includes galeries 4,5,6 and 7, “Être là” is exclusively devoted to South African contemporary art. Contrasting with the the continent’s history, South Africa has always had its own identity and costumes. Propelled by institutions as well as galleries and collectors, the country’s contemporary art scene is already strong and cemented. Referent figures such as William Kentridge, Sue Williamson and David Goldblatt bear witness of the country’s progression over the years. Nevertheless, a new generation post apartheid is to be found in the exhibit, artwork from Athi Patra Ruga, Jody Brand, Lawrence Lemaoana, Kudzanai Chiurai amid others testify of the new South African identity where multiculturalism and globalisation mark them.

Ear Splitting-Hazoume

Romuald Hazoumè (Bénin, 1962), Ear Splitting, 1999
plastic jerrycan, brush, spekers, 42 x 22 x 16 cm
Courtesy CAAC – The Pigozzi Collection –
© ADAGP, Paris 2017 – Photo Credits : © Maurice Aeschimann

Finally, the last “volet” exhibits a selection of artworks from the Louis Vuitton collection. From Kentridge, to Omar Victor Diop, Wangechi Mutu, Meschac Gaba, Barthélémy Toguo and more this last stage confirms Africa’s fecund ecosystem aiding to create a new chapter in the whole continent’s history.

In the Spring of 2016, ArtPremium dedicated an issue to the rise and flourishing of this region, the exhibition thus comes to confirm African contemporary art’s power and its imminent growth in the art market.

Siwani, Qunusa_ Buhle 2

Buhlebezwe Siwani, Qunusa! Buhle, 2015,
Ink jet print on 
Hahnemuhle PhotoRag, 111.8 x 55.4 cm,
courtesy Of the Artist & Whatiftheworld Gallery, Cape Town.
© Buhlebezwe Siwani

RELATED POSTS

Parcours Fotofever Paris

Fotofever launches a parcours of Parisian galleries from 20 April through to 1 May during the new Mois de la Photo – OFF

The Islamic Treasures of Africa

L’Institut du monde Arabe is currently exhibiting The Islamic Treasures of Africa, a show gathering both contemporary and ancient creations from African creators, influenced by islam.

Chiharu Shiota: Life’s Requiem

Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota immerses her audiences in her installations employing only two colours, red and black, she examines the life and death circle.