A Spring Symphony

A Spring Symphony

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On a warm, breezy Spring’s day, a brilliantly iridescent dome adorns the Domaine Park of Chaumont-sur-Loire. The futuristic appearance of the installation entitled IN-OUT/ Artificial Paradises 2017 by French digital artist Miguel Chevalier is rather oddly in harmony with the Renaissance château and garden thanks to its reflective exterior mirroring the exuberance of the sunlight and the surrounding greenery.

IN-OUT / Artificial Paradises 2017 spans across at a diameter of 12 metres. The structure is a demi-sphere with a wooden framework, covered in holographic films in order to capture the prismic glory of the Sun.

Visitors are invited to embark on a journey between the real and the virtual garden within the dome, to be transported in an instant to a reality beyond our everyday physical experience. The artist’s generative digital installation Trans-Natures is projected on the curved walls at 360°, reflected by towering mirrors installed around the interior of the dome as well as the glistening black vinyl floor mimicking a visually echoing lake surface. Italian composer and expert in interactive and generative music Jacopo Baboni Schilingi orchestrates in particular a piece of music to compliment the mysterious floral apparitions in the artwork. It is an experience at once meditative and transformative.

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IN-OUT / Artificial Paradises 2017 explores the question of the link between nature and artifice as a full-body hypnotic poem. According to the approach prevalent in the late 90s, Chevalier bases this creation on the observation of the munificence of plant life and transposes such abundance into the digital universe. Different species of trees, bushes, twigs, and foliages congregate to form an artificial ecosystem. This virtual biosphere’s structure generates and regenerates ad infinitum abstract arboreal forms in consonance with the algorithm written by Claude Micheli.

The artwork challenges the visitor’s spatial limits. Enveloped by this digital microcosm, the visitor develops a novel sense of distance towards the infinite. From now through to 2 November 2017 at the Domaine of Chaumont-sur-Loire, this vegetal ritual celebrates the beauty of life, an eternal Spring.

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Venice Biennial: Viva Arte Viva

Venice Biennial: Viva Arte Viva

Gaggiandre-2015_AVZ9496

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.

The selection made by Macel was based upon a theme instead of the traditional diagram which divided the event in countries. Of the 120 artists invited, 103 are exhibiting their work for the first time at the Biennial, the organisers are thus encouraging an innovative aesthetic experience. Among the newcomers we find artists such as Kader Attia, Sebastian Diaz Morales, Tibor Hajas, Mai Lara, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa and more. The idea behind the project, as stated by both, curator and the president of the event, M. Paolo Baratta was to celebrate humanism and art’s capacity to liberate the mind.

Taking us on a journey, the 9 pavilions are “like chapters of a book” connecting with each other. The first one, Pavilion of Artists and books delves in the importance of research and productive idleness for an artist. It is during this period of time that artists acquire knowledge and can create new ways of seeing the world. In a tension between purposely inaction, this pavilion aims at demonstrate how artists work and construct environments like workshops or studios to achieve their goals. The next chapter, The Pavilion of joys and fears is an introspective chamber where the artist and the spectator are confronted to negative emotions, feelings of alienation resounding in the political arena. Once again the rise of populism and the fear of the “other”, the stranger is scrutinized through the artist’s prisms.

Miller-Dan

Other pavilion name’s include the pavilion of traditions which analyses the proliferation of religion and of conservative morals; the pavilion of the earth examining ecological utopias and nostalgic futures; the Dionysian pavilion who celebrates the female body and so on. Viva Arte Viva is an organic and living habitat emulating the pulse of time and its mutating nature. It celebratory narratives aims at giving hope, by giving voice to young and lesser known artists, the Biennial design is to include in the contemporary art circuit those struggling to be part of the system.
Viva Arte Viva is a clamour by artists, it goes beyond art and reveres life itself. In dark times, art appears as a possibility giving hope.

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Withney Biennial: America’s Condition

Withney Biennial: America’s Condition

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Installation view of Rafa Esparza, Figure Ground: Beyond the White Field, 2017. Whitney Biennial 2017, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, March 17-June 11, 2017. Photograph by Matthew Carasella

 

Initiated in 1932 the Whitney Biennial  “not only reflects but foreshadows the uncertain, bitter, and divided state” of a nation struggling to cope with change. According to curator Christopher Y. Lew., the biennial is thus a barometer measuring and indicating the state of mind of a population facing political deception. 63 artists present pieces mirroring the current feelings and thoughts of a population submerged in an identity crisis where race, immigration and gender are the nexus uniting the whole.

It is impossible not to notice the preponderance of oil painting and form in the biennial. For instance Celeste Dupuy-Spencer canvas Fall with me for a million days portraitures a young man immersed in his laptop, seemingly listening to music gives a snapshot of the American and by extension of the global youth.

 

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Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, Fall with Me for a Million Days (My Sweet Waterfall), 2016.
Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in. (152.4 x 121.9 cm).
Private collection; courtesy the artist and Mier Gallery, Los Angeles

 

Another example of the amplitude of oil painting is the work made by Aliza Nisenbaum, La Talaverita in which a couple reads The New York Times in what seems to be a living room, surrounded by a Mexican decoration. It seems that the biennial has put an end to a long quarrel between abstract painting – associated with abstract expressionism – and form – associated with rather European painters such as Francis Bacon.

 

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Aliza Nisenbaum, La Talaverita, Sunday Morning NY Times, 2016.
Oil on linen, 68 x 88 in. (172.7 x 223.5 cm).
Collection of the artist; courtesy T293 Gallery, Rome and Mary Mary, Glasgow

The selection of artists and artworks alike, done before the election, shows a positive feeling.

Video’s presence reinforces its importance and its role as a political predilected vehicle. Eric Baudelaire oeuvre titled Also known as Jihad uses landscape theory to portray the fate of a young Islamic State recruit. Puerto Rican artist Beatriz Santiago Munoz filmed in Haiti the disrupting consequences of colonialism and its ecosystem. Giving another perspective of the possibilities of video, Mary Helena Clark videos experiment with sound and image taking the audience to new image horizons, creating unusual ecosystems.

The selection of artists and artworks alike, done before the election, shows a positive feeling. Some of the presented works like the installation created by Rafa Esparza, a rotonde made with “adobe” emphasise on the artist’s origins. His construction not only highlights his family background but challenges the white cube space narratives.

Despite the scandals and recent protests, the biennial succeeds at giving the spectators a wide and very complete panorama of the American condition.

 

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Anicka Yi, still from The Flavor Genome, 2016. 3D high-definition video, color, sound; 22 min.
Collection of the artist; courtesy the artist and 47 Canal, New York

 

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Living with Art

Living with Art

27th Street_Edited

Photo Credit: Jonathan Sciortino

From hinterland to the next epicentre of art, fashion and innovation, West Chelsea, running from Ninth Avenue to the Hudson River and from West 14th to West 30th Streets in Manhattan, welcomes another upcoming gallery initiative in this charming and vibrant 21st century neighbourhood.

On the construction site of what will soon be a set of 15 new art galleries surrounding Zaha Hadid’s 520 West 28th Street condominium residences, Related Companies has unveiled two exciting graffiti-art installations surfacing along the existing corrugated metal walls and gates. Passers-by can enjoy the work by Jonathan Cohen a.k.a. Meres One, the founder of 5Pointz, and another graffiti artist, See TF in the anticipation of what is to come.

Related Companies, the most prominent privately-owned real estate developer in the United States, announced the collection of new gallery spaces in early March 2017. This hybrid gallery-eatery space, High Line Nine will encompass nine of such galleries located under the High Line and will include a cafe and a wine bar. Related has taken the European galleria concept to a collection of nine full service and highly amenitized boutique exhibition spaces, ranging from 650 sf to 1,800 sf. Art patrons and visitors to West Chelsea will have a new must-see destination and unique gallery experience. The acclaimed Paul Kasmin Gallery, founded in SoHo and now occupying three locations in West Chelsea, will anchor the collection with a 5,000 sf gallery and an additional exhibition space in the High Line Nine.

28th St_Edited_4

Photo Credit: Jonathan Sciortino

“West Chelsea has long been known as an important arts district,” affirmed Greg Gushee, Executive VIce President of Related Companies, “and we are pleased to partner with two distinguished artists to create vibrant temporary murals on both West 27th Street and West 28th Street. The energy and vitality of the area make it an ideal location for these pieces and they are sure to be a draw as we develop a new collection of gallery spaces on this site adjacent to Zaha Hadid’s sculptural building at 520 West 28th Street, which is itself a monumental piece of art.” Meres One and See TF, both veterans of the New York contemporary graffiti art scene, recreate the facades as a realistic trompe l’oeil, portraying artistic visuals of the upcoming gallery spaces, being observed by onlookers through realistic painted windows.

The works are installed temporarily until the walls and gates are required to be removed to facilitate the completion of the construction. This graffiti art initiative celebrates wonderful diversity of the West Chelsea gallery district; it is a gesture of partnership between real estate developers and street artists.

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

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Parcours Fotofever Paris

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© Gilles Compain, Acqua Series N° 1 - N°1 2-8ex, 66x100 courtesy Galerie Charron

© Gilles Compain, Acqua Series N° 1 –  N°1 2-8ex,  66 x100 cm – Courtesy Galerie Charron

In the anticipation of this year’s Rencontres d’Arles in Summer and the Paris art fair in Autumn, fotofever, a French contemporary photography art fair launched in 2011, tackles the age-old Chinese puzzle of why people are intimidated by the white cube with its very first instalment of “parcours fotofever Paris”. Running from 20 April till 01 May 2017, 8 galleries and their selected contemporary emerging artists in the French capital open their doors to the public and join fotofever’s effort in making the art- or photography-collecting process more transparent.

Cécile Schall, founder of fotofever, explains the genesis of this new chapter within the fotofever START TO COLLECT initiative that “seven out of ten French people have never stepped foot in a gallery, and only twenty percent have considered it as a place of purchase. The parcours emerged out of the need to encourage the public to cross the threshold of gallery doors, and to highlight the galleries’ role in guiding visitors, most notably new collectors!”

As its name implies in the English translation, parcours fotofever Paris is indeed a crash course for aspiring collectors who would like to discover young creative photographers and jump start their own personal collection. During the event, fotofever acts as an intermediary and gives guided tours, under registration, to facilitate meetings with gallerists and artists. While on the one hand, visitors receive pedagogical information from the tours; on the other, the artworks are priced below €5000 and it is practical that each participating gallery chooses one work in particular ideal for a first purchase. In the information guide published alongside this parcours, fotofever explains the 5 key elements that determine the price of a photographic work as well as the rules and pitfalls to note when making a first acquisition.

In the spirit of inclusion and transparency, fotofever launches, at the same time, the “Les p’tits collectionneurs” parent-child collecting programme. Children aged 7 to 12 and their family can participate in a playful and educational exploration tour to nurture our next generation’s eye for culture and art. The fun-filled and age-appropriate events include discovering the inspirations behind each piece and the universe of the artists, and participating in challenges and contests for a chance to win a reproduction or other amazing gifts.

All in all, an extremely comprehensive accompaniment event to a smooth sailing first venture into the art and photography market.