1968 – Sparta Dreaming Athens at Château de Montsoreau-Museum Contemporary Art

1968 – Sparta Dreaming Athens at Château de Montsoreau-Museum Contemporary Art

The late 60’s marked the rupture of painting, where artists started turning to alternative forms of expression as a reaction against the changes and tensions brought about by contemporary society, that which the exhibition ‘1968. SPARTA DREAMING ATHENS’ is a reflection of.

It is dedicated to the 50th anniversary “1968”of a monumental moment in art history which all these changes took place, and poses the question as to whether this rebellion against the established model gave rise to a new contemporary language. The exhibition takes one on a visual journey through major figures of Minimal Art, Pop Art and Conceptual Art, featuring the talent of Art & Language, Victor Burgin, Toni Smith, Dan Graham, Maria Marshall, Claes Oldenburg, Les Levine, Edward Ruscha, and Bernar Venet.

Edward Rusha

Edward Ruscha, Every building on the sunset strip

‘1968. SPARTA DREAMING ATHENS’ is an echo of the two mythical cities of Ancient Greece Sparta and Athens, offering a transversal reading of this period. Tackling two forces, two ideologies and two visions of society where the future clashes to give place to a new (dis) order, bringing hope, creative energy, and change. It presents works of art that have helped change the history of art draw a path between memory, reverie, and utopia, generating a movement dedicated to new forms of articulation.

Art & Language Collection

Housing the largest collection worldwide of the radical conceptualists Art & Language, Château de Montsoreau-Museum of Contemporary Art was founded in 2016 by Philippe Méaille, after having loaned his collection between 2010 – 2017 to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona (MACBA). The pioneering movement envisions a separation between the art object and the artwork, and the name was adopted in parallel with the creation of the magazine Art-Language created in 1968, which has profoundly influenced contemporary art. 20 years after its creation in 1986 the movement was nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and stretching for more than 2,000 m², the private museum remains a forward-thinking institution located in the Loire Valley with a cultural program that is organized around temporary exhibitions, events, meetings, concerts, and performances, breathing artistic life into the surroundings. Innovative, experimental and unexpected, these events and space as a whole mirror the creative wealth of today’s artists.

Dan Graham

Dan Graham, Rock My Religion

Art & Language includes artists such as Michael Baldwin, Mel Ramsden, Charles Harrison, Joseph Kosuth, Terry Atkinson, Harold Hurrell, David Bainbridge, Andrew Menard, Michael Corris, Ian Burn, Philip Pilkington, Kathryn Bigelow, David Rushton, Mayo Thompson, Sarah Charlesworth, Christine Koslov, Paula Ramsden, Preston Heller, Lynn Lemaster, Howard Graham, Sandra Harrison, Nigel Powell, Terry Smith, Nigel Lendon.

History of Château de Montsoreau

Holding the title as the only château in the Loire Valley built in the riverbed itself, Château de Montsoreau holds a lengthy history dating back to 1450 where it was originally commissioned by Jean II de Chambes, a close advisor to King Charles VII. The architecture of the Château de Montsoreau acted as a pioneer of the renaissance in France, being the first example of sailing architecture located in the heart of the Loire Valley, inspiring artists from Rodin to Turner and writers from Flaubert to Alexandre Dumas. Many famous figures have left their mark on its histories, such as Mary, Queen of Scots, Anne of Brittany, Claude of France, Henry IV of France and Francis I.

 

Manofim Festival Celebrates 10th Edition in Jerusalem

Manofim Festival Celebrates 10th Edition in Jerusalem

Launching the exhibition season in Jerusalem, Manofim Festival kicks off on October 23rd and runs for a period of 5 days until the 27th. This independent initiative run by Rinat Edelstein and Lee He Shulov is currently celebrating its 10th year, and will be showcasing a multiple array of events including exhibitions, performances, music events, film screenings, tours, conferences, parties, and workshops to name a few. Each evening the festival will move to a different part of Jerusalem, bringing art to unconventional places, ultimately reaching a broad audience boasting an all inclusive attitude by being open to the public and free of charge. Free shuttle buses transport visitors between locations during the vernissage. Celebrating the capital’s thriving culture, the festival acts as the flagship event of Jerusalem’s contemporary art scene.

 

 The Floating Life (2017), Ran Slavin at Manofim Festival in Jerusalem

The Floating Life (2017), Ran Slavin

 

By encouraging new creations, the festival generates a discourse and dialogue between artists and facilitates the accessibility of culture and art to residents and visitors, connecting the Eastern and Western sides of the city through art. The aim being to expose the contemporary art scene in Jerusalem to diverse crowds, as well as strengthen and empower Jerusalem’s artists. The festival is made possible with the support of Beracha Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and Sport, Jerusalem Municipality, Jerusalem Foundation, Mifal HaPais Council for Culture and Arts, Eden, and Manofim Friends Association. The project partners include all the contemporary art venues in Jerusalem, independent artist groups, culture institutions and artists from various disciplines.

 

‘Properties’: Exploring the Cultural Significance of Talbiya Neighbourhood

The main exhibition of the 2018 Manofim Festival entitled ‘Properties’ will take place in Talbiya neighborhood, located in the heart of Jerusalem on the edge of the city center. A green and leafy suburb, it also consists of many layers that store diverse historical narratives. It was established in the 19th century by wealthy Palestinian Arab Christians, reaching it’s architectural peak in the 1920’s. To this day Arab villas still stand, acting as a mark of historical significance. After the war in 1948, Palestinian residents that occupied the neighbourhood forcefully fled, and in due course, was populated mostly by Israeli Jews. Today its residents consist of mainly professionals, academics, diplomats, and government officials. It is also home to an unusual assortment of institutions that coexist in the same space including the President’s Residence, Prime Minister’s Residence, as well as various research and cultural institutions.

Newer Jerusalem and suburbs Talbieh, a Christian Arab community. Unknown Photographer, approx 1920-1933 at Manofim Festival in Jerusalem

Newer Jerusalem and suburbs Talbieh, a Christian Arab community. Unknown Photographer, approx 1920-1933 © American Colony collection

The exhibition aims to spotlight this diversity of the neighbourhood, held in various spaces – both public and private – creating a dialogue surrounding the contradictions that are present. Through various art actions, the exhibition will introduce critical questions that call for a reexamination of this exceptional, multi-faceted space whose residents may have come to see it as mundane and banal.

 

Manofim : Homage to Anna Ticho

Lifescape: The Work of Anna Ticho (b.1894 – 1980) presented at Ticho House, focuses on the depth and breadth of the artists work covering 70 years of her artistic endeavour. It showcases the range and richness of her oeuvre including early watercolour works from her days as a young girl in Vienna to her final works. The exhibition is complemented by the debut of Dorian Gottlieb’s new video, which acts as a homage as well as contemporary response to Ticho’s drawings of the historically significant Jerusalem hills. Anna Ticho: Rhythms in Landscape, another exhibition presented by The Jerusalem Print Workshop in collaboration with the Israeli Museum, highlights the artists landscape etchings, some of which were created at the workshop in the 70’s.

Judean Hills (1972), Charcoal on paper 100x70 cm, Anna Ticho at Manofim Festival in Jerusalem

Judean Hills (1972), Charcoal on paper 100x70 cm, Anna Ticho © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

 

Themes of Displacement and Global Warming

Maries Gallery presents Plastik Arts, focussing on the dilemma surrounding the threatening impact of plastic on our environment, and the ghostly presence and ultimate worsening of global warming through over consumption. It explores the vast range of polymeric materials and products that are used in everyday life, and for the rest of our lives, exploring the impending fate of Earth. The exhibition offers an artistic and philosophical meditation on the gap between the “magic of synthetic ease” and the weight of its price. The group exhibition features the likes of artists Riva Pinski Awadish, Yoel Gilon, Alon Even Paz, Smadar Tsook and Hadar Amit amongst others.

‘Homes’ by Niv Rozenberg, an exhibition presented by The Photographic Communications Department at Hadassah Academic College, explores the body of work created by the artist between 2000 and 2018 – where he was inspired by changes in the urban landscape in which he was surrounded – namely New York and Tel Aviv. Taking a closer look by examining this familiar yet unknown environment with a conflicted gaze, his manipulated images create an aesthetic that shifts between photography, architecture, and graphic design with an emphasis on colour, shape, space, and time. It also underscores themes of displacement that are so prevalent in our current society regarding the conflict of war leading to the separation of people from their families, as well as their homeland.

 

Rina Nikova in a Contemporary Context

Rina Nikova (b.1897 – 1973), a pioneer of classical and biblical ballet in Palestine, will be celebrated at Hacubia gallery. She founded the Yemenite Dance Ensemble, engaged in ethnic and biblical choreography, and explored the link between dance and the land. A solo performance by dancer Shira Eviatar in collaboration with Eviatar Said, will be held at the exhibition. This visual story delineates a personal Yemenite cultural landscape: movements, dances, rhythms, gestures, values, and patterns of thought and communication that altogether compose a language practiced inside the home. When this language entered the public space, it was identified and labeled as “other.” On stage, Said, an immigrant in his own home, unravels and re-links physical memories of the past, bodies of knowledge, sensations and emotions, as he celebrates his existence as an independent body in the present.

Rina Nikova, prima ballerina, in Swan Lake,The Palestine Opera,1925-1928, Photographer Zvi Oron at Manofim Festival in Jerusalem

Rina Nikova, prima ballerina, in Swan Lake,The Palestine Opera,1925-1928, Photographer Zvi Oron © Courtesy of the Zionist Archives, Jerusalem

 

Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty at The Dallas Museum of Art

Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty at The Dallas Museum of Art

Opening on October 21, 2018, and running through until January 27, 2019, the first major museum presentation of Günther Förg ’s work in the United States since 1989 appears at The Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas, Texas. The show is co-organised with the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and will explore the artists’ lifelong fascination with modernism. Diverse in his artistic practice, the exhibition brings together over 40 years of the artist’s multimedia practice – including works on paper, photography, sculpture, and rarely- exhibited late-career paintings.

An acrylic artwork of Günther Förg, Farbfeld (Colorfield) 1986, Gayle and Paul Stoffel, Deutsche Bank Collection, Dallas Museum of Art

Günther Förg, Farbfeld (Colorfield) (1986), acrylic on wood © Deutsche Bank Collection

With a constant renewal of his artistic practice, A Fragile Beauty traces the development of Förg’s pioneering cross-disciplinary work from 1973 – 2008, offering a fresh perspective and deeper understanding as well as appreciation of the artist’s place in history. The exhibition includes major loans from private collections and notable German institutions such as the Städel Museum, Frankfurt and the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich.

Reaction against Modernism

Günther Förg was closely associated with the Cologne scene of the 1980’s and experimented with abstraction as well as monochrome painting, a rejection against figurative painting that was more prominent at the time. He was heavily engaged with the formalism of 20th-century avant-garde movements and adopted a utopian idea that the purity in the use of materials contributes to a better society, setting him apart from his contemporaries. Förg utilized materials in an unconventional manner, leading them to adopt a more ‘impure’ quality, evident in his series of lead paintings. His clashing use of color was a direct criticism of modernism.

Universal concepts of form, mass, proportion, rhythm and structure constitute a common thread in his work, and his early style was reminiscent of Cy Twombly and Ellsworth Kelly. He implied a more painterly approach to his photography with its grainy focus and unique perspectives, and created art not simply as object, but also as commentary, seeking out to explore the legacy of the modernist aesthetic in a postmodern age. His work has been closely aligned to modern masters including Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, Mark Rothko and Edvard Munch, that too which he was heavily influenced by.

An abstract artwork of Günther Förg, Untitled (2009) from the Max Hetzler Gallery, Berlin

Günther Förg, Untitled (2009) © Max Hetzler Gallery, Berlin

Spotlighting Günther Förg ’s Diverse Artistic Practice

The exhibition begins with a recreation of a seminal wall mural from 1986, monochromatic paintings, an important gray painting from 1973 featuring undecipherable text, as well as and a monumental gray grid painting from 2009 that the artist layered over one of his vibrant Spot Paintings. It also includes many of the artist’s multimedia paintings, such as a multi-panel work of painted lead, which is presented alongside a large diptych featuring acrylic and gold leaf. Five plaster and mixed media sculptures from 2000 are also featured in the exhibition. Many are composed of found household objects enveloped in plaster, renouncing their original forms to the amorphous plaster encasement. His interests are highlighted in architecture and history, featuring twelve photographs ranging in subject from portraits to modernist constructions in Italy from the 20’s and 30’s.

An abstract acrylic painting by Günther Förg Untitled (2008) courtesy of Matthew B. Gorson

Günther Förg, Untitled, 2008, Acrylic and oil on canvas, courtesy of Matthew B. Gorson

Concluding the exhibition is a group of the artist’s late works, Förg’s Spot Paintings from 2007 to 2008, signaling his return to painting to manifest the expressive freedom he allowed himself towards the end of his life. These distinctive paintings feature large swathes of color on white ground, which lay bare the artist’s gesture and emphasize the activity of painting itself.

A Fragile Beauty reignites an exciting dialogue with the artist, who was driven by a boundless urge for freedom in his experimental artistic practice. Today, his works can be seen in collections of the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, the Kunstmuseum Bonn, the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, amongst others.

Bruce Nauman Retrospective at MoMA & PS1

Bruce Nauman Retrospective at MoMA & PS1

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 present the first comprehensive retrospective in 25 years devoted to the work of American artist Bruce Nauman (b. 1941), on view at The Museum of Modern Art from October 21, 2018, through February 18, 2019, and at MoMA PS1 from October 21, 2018, through February 25, 2019. Co-organized by The Museum of Modern Art and Laurenz Foundation, Schaulager Basel, Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts draws upon the rich holdings of both institutions and nearly 70 lenders.

The exhibition will occupy the entire 6th floor of Museum, and the whole of MoMA PS1, providing an opportunity to discover and experience the entirety of the artists oeuvre in a wide range of mediums; from drawing, printmaking, photography, and sculpture to neon, performance, film and video, and architecturally scaled environments. His versatile manipulation of materials makes him one of the most prominent American artists to emerge in the 1960’s.

Bruce Nauman retrospective MoMA and PS1

Human-Nature_Life-Death_Knows-Doesn’t-Know.-1983.-Neon-tubing-with-clear-glass-tubing-suspension-frames

Nauman ‘s Diverse Artistic Expressions

Nauman’s work is not easily defined by the materials that he uses, styles or themes, and is characteristic of Post-Minimalism – he blends his ideas from Conceptualism, Minimalism, performance art and video art. Since the 70’s Nauman has frequently worked on a monumental scale, further reinforcing the fact that it is necessary to present his retrospective across both of MoMA’s locations. Both venues include works in all mediums and from all phases of Nauman’s career, offering distinct but complementary perspectives on his wide-ranging practice.

Disappearing Acts traces strategies of withdrawal in Nauman’s art—both literal and figurative incidents of removal, deflection, and concealment. Close relatives of disappearance also appear in many forms. They are seen, for example, in holes the size of a body part, in the space under a chair, in the self-vanishing around a corner, and in the mental blocks that empty creative possibility. “For Nauman,” said Halbreich, Associate Director and Laurenz Foundation Curator “disappearance is both a real phenomenon and a magnificently ample metaphor for grappling with the anxieties of both the creative process and of navigating the everyday world.”

Bruce Nauman retrospective at MoMA and PS1

Bruce Nauman. One Hundred Live and Die. 1984. Neon tubing with clear glass tubing on metal monolith

Dancing to the Beat of his own Drum

Nauman is an inquisitive artist who explores different avenues testing out what works, and what doesn’t. He has an incredible talent in terms of working with what is available to him – weaving forms together, and never conforming to a signature style. He is obsessed with language which is at the same time the subject and content of his work, music plays an important role as well as one can feel the impulse of it even if you can’t hear it; acting as an all-inclusive universal language. He shies away from the image of an artist as a big personality, instead is more secluded and focussed on the practice of art itself as opposed to the celebrity aspect that comes along with it.

“I’ve always had overlapping ways of going about my work,” Bruce Nauman once remarked. “I’ve never been able to stick to one thing.” Bruce Nauman challenges our perceptions and imaginings in ever new ways with his diverse and uniquely radical works.

 

Bruce Nauman. Pay Attention. 1973. Lithograph, edition of 50; each

The opening of Bahrain Art Week at Grand Palais

The opening of Bahrain Art Week at Grand Palais

Hosted by the office of Her Royal Highness, the Wife of the King of Bahrain, as part of Bahrain’s leading art initiative “Art Bahrain Across Borders,” Bahrain Art Week was welcomed at the Grand Palais on the 13th of September, organised by CT2A and ArtSelect, along with ArtPremium as official media partner. The show was co-curated by Corinne Timsit and Kaneka Subberwal, which provided an in-depth overview of the region’s diversity through both historical material and cutting-edge works by established and emerging artists. 

The Vernissage was well received by the public, with large crowds continuously trickling in with intrigue. There was a truly international audience and the buzz was palpable, people came from near and far including officials from the Gulf embassies, friends from a number of art institutions in Paris, alongside a handpicked selection of esteemed private collectors. Overall the event was an eye-opening success to all those in attendance.

Bahrain Art Week at the Grand Palais

On view were 172 artworks by 17 artists using a wide range of techniques predominantly including paintings, drawings, and collages – along with 20 sculptures being present. It centered around the theme “The Legacy and Contemporary Memory,” which was reflected incredibly well in the layout of the exhibition following a logical, as well as aesthetically pleasing order. Upon entry, the first lot of artists that were showcased made part of the legacy, juxtaposed with that of the younger generation of artists representing the contemporary memory, that made part of the second layout. The exhibition explored a variety of artistic perspectives, the most striking being that of social commentary on the world outside of the exhibition space. There was a contrast between an older generational perspective with that of a more contemporary outlook – at the same time blending the two to make a cohesive presentation.

The show offered the artists’ an opportunity to present their work, connect art and culture in the surrounding area – and successfully exchange in a cross-cultural dialogue between France and Bahrain. It provided a platform to bring their highest quality work to France for the first ever Bahrain Art Week in Paris, which has been met with noteworthy success and will continue at Rabouan Moussion Gallery with the vernissage taking place on Thursday the 20th of September. The exhibition will run for a full week, and the works on show will be a selection of artworks that were presented at the Grand Palais.

Bahrain Art Week at the Grand Palais

Zao Wou-Ki at Musée d’Art Moderne of Paris: When the painting becomes a sound

Zao Wou-Ki at Musée d’Art Moderne of Paris: When the painting becomes a sound

The exhibition “Zao Wou-Ki – L’espace est Silence”, curated by Fabrice Hergott, is the first large exhibition of Zao Wou-Ki in Paris for the last 15 years. It assembled the large-scale paintings and drawings of the master of the abstract painting, who left a very significant trace in the history of European contemporary art.

Very ancient and omnipresent, the music was the first absolutely abstract artistic expression in the human history. For thousands of years, the music was inspiring creators of figurative painting. However, only modern artists dared for the first time to create an utterly abstract painting, capable of being so emotional and impressive as the music.

This utopical ambition firstly appeared in the early 1910’s with the first successful tentatives of some European artists (Wassily Kandinsky, Robert Delaunay, Kazimir Malevich, František Kupka and others) to create a brand new type of painting, capable of transmitting emotions and feelings with the use of non-figurative forms and colors. The more time passed, the more courageous the painters were in their search for an ideal and pure artistic expression. However, for many of them the music, an ancient art, remained the principal source of inspiration.

 

That was the case of Zao Wou-Ki (1920-2013), a Chinese-born artist, living in France since 1948, who is well-known today as one of the most influential abstract painters of the 20th century. Inspired by contemporary music and poetry, he succeeded to create artworks that impact the spectator as the music itself. The flow of colors and forms of his oils on canvas absorbs the viewer, allowing him to feel a rich gamma of emotions as if he was listening to a musical composition. In the same time, his artistic language is complex, with many references and undertones, that is why almost every painting or drawing of the artist is a multi-dimensional artwork, which can be rethought and reconstructed.

The elegant combination of western achievements of abstract painting with eastern calligraphic and picturesque traditions made Zao Wou-Ki an emblematic figure of the international art scene in the age of globalization. Inspired by his favorite western artists, like Monet or Matisse, he always had a specific eastern perception of their art and was capable of transcribing it on canvas or paper.

Zao Wou-Ki arrived in France in 1948. Sometime later he discovered French impressionist and post-impressionist art and also met a poet Henri Michaux and a contemporary composer Edgar Varèse, people, who significantly affected the young artist. That was a time when Zao Wou-Ki adopted a new artistic expression of the abstract painting, even if the term ‘abstract’ seemed to him too radical and inappropriate at the moment. In 1956, remaining under the influence of contemporary music and a new wave of American and French artists, Zao Wou-Ki created “Traversée des appearances” (oil on canvas, 97 x 195 cm), a masterpiece that determined a new, ‘non-figurative’ period in his artistic career.

 

Then, the talented artist started experimenting on a large canvas, developing his iconic style of abstract painting. Fascinated by music, he created in 1964 an artwork named “Hommage à Edgar Varèse – 25.10.64” (oil on canvas, 255 x 345 cm), a large canvas that absorbed the artist’s respect to the composer. This magnificent work illustrates the artist’s capability to depict even the music with its intangible vibrations and rhythm.

Dynamic or calm, colorful or nearly monochrome, rapturous our disturbing, Zao Wou-Ki’s art spoke to everyone. However, after transcending the boundaries of human expression, the artist did not stop and decided to transcend the time. His admiration for the Monet’s “Nymphéas” let him to the creation of “Hommage à Claude Monet, February-June 91” (oil on canvas, triptych, 1991, 194 x 483 cm), a quasi-figurative painting with an unusual combination of cold and warm colors. “Hommage à Matisse I – 02.02.86I” (oil on canvas, 1986, 162 x 130 cm) is a wholly different abstraction, which awakens some nostalgic memories due to monochrome stripes and emblematic palette.

Inspired by contemporary music and poetry, he succeeded to create artworks that impact the spectator as the music itself. The flow of colors and forms of his oils on canvas absorbs the viewer, allowing him to feel a rich gamma of emotions as if he was listening to a musical composition.

However, the most important artistic breakthrough was waiting for him ahead. Zao Wou-Ki newer stopped experimenting, and at the end of his career, he turned to Chinese ink drawings on a large-scale paper. Was it a new step in the evolution of abstract painting or the return to the origins –  the Chinese calligraphy, this new art helped Zao Wou-Ki to achieve an incredible freedom of expression and also to achieve the recognition of the drawing as part of the contemporary art market.

Artworks of the Chinese-born master of abstraction, exposed in the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, were crucial for the history of art, determining turning points of the artist’s career. He died in 2013, remaining one of the greatest artists of the past century, recognized by experts, collectors and the public.