Archive for June, 2010

29
Jun
10

Review: ‘Jill Orr: Vision’ at Jenny Port Gallery, Richmond, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 2nd June – 3rd July, 2010

 

A huge gallery crawl on Wednesday last saw me take in exhibitions at Nellie Castan Gallery (‘Malleus Melficarum’: strong sculptural work by James and Eleanor Avery; ‘Broken Canon’: vibrant mixed media collages by Marc Freeman); Anita Traverso Gallery (‘Peristereonas’: sculptures, photographs and mixed media by Barry Thompson); John Buckley Gallery (‘Perpetua’ by Emma can Leest, beautiful cut paper works; rather mundane paintings by Christian Lock); Karen Woodbury Gallery (‘Every breath you take’: wonderful galaxy-like paintings, perhaps as seen by the Hubble telescope, with a geometric/cellular base by Lara Merrett); The Centre for Contemporary Photography (‘Event horizon’: a group exhibition that “engages the horizon as a means to establish a physical locality with relation to the Earth’s surface and more broadly to the universe of which it is a miniscule component.” An exhibition that left me rather cold); and ACCA (‘Towards an elegant solution’ by Peter Cripps, again a singularly unemotional engagement with the precise, contained work: interesting for how the work explores spatial environments but in an abstract, intellectual way).

The stand out work from this mammoth day was ‘Jill Orr: Vision’ at Jenny Port Gallery. Simply put, it was the strongest, most direct, most emotionally powerful work that I saw all day.

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Many thankx to Amelia Douglas and Jenny Port Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in this posting.

 

 

Jill Orr. 'Megan' 2009

Jill Orr. 'Megan' 2009

 

Jill Orr (Australian, b. 1952)
Megan
2009

 

 

Jill Orr’s new participatory performances are photographs of children from Avoca Primary School painted with white clay from the area, displayed in pairs. The children are photographed once with eyes open, once with eyes closed. Orr asked the children to imagine their future life when they had their eyes closed. The key to the work is a group photograph of the ghostly children outside the primary school where everyone is isolated from each other (see photograph below).

“White faces loom up out of a dark ground, described by Orr as a void. On the surface these portraits are finely crafted, the skin of masked face becomes one with the digital file to create a facial landscape. The materiality of the face and the photographic file are exposed for the viewer. Titling the series ‘vision’ Orr ventures into a ‘haptic visuality’ where “vision itself can be tactile, as though one were touching a film with one’s eyes.”

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From the catalogue essay by Professor Anne Marsh, Monash University

 

 

In the performance, the ritual of being photographed, Orr instructs the children who are placed under the surveillance of the camera. “We are confronted  with the pose, the conscious composition of the image to be photographed, the inherent constructedness of the posed photograph.”1 The child assumes the pose by which they wish to be memorialized. The gaze (of the camera, of the viewer) is returned / or not in this spectacle.

Something happens when we look at these photographs. The text of the photographs becomes intertextual, producing as Barthes understands a “plurality of meanings and signifying/interpretive gestures that escape the reduction of knowledge to fixed, monological re-presentations, or presences.”2 This is because, as Foucault observes, texts “are caught up in a system of references to … other texts, other sentences: it is a node within a network …  Its unity is variable and relative.”3

The photographs invite us to share not only the mapping of the surface of the skin and the mapping of place (the history of white people living on the land in country Australia) and identity but the sharing of inner light, the light of the imaginary as well – and in this observation the images become unstable, open to reinterpretation. The distance between viewer and subject is transcended through an innate understanding of inner and outer light. The photographs seduce, meaning, literally, to be led astray.

As American photographer Minor White, who photographed in meditation hoping for a revelation in spirit though connection between person > subject > camera > negative > print, observes in one of his Three Canons

When the image mirrors the man
And the man mirrors the subject
Something might take over
4

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Here the power of the photographer acting in isolation, the modernist tenet of authorship, is overthrown. In it’s place, “White supposes a relationship with subject that is a two way street: by granting the world some role in its own representation we create a photograph that is not so much a product solely of individual actions as it is the result of a negotiation in which the world and all its subjects might participate.”5 The autobiography of a soul born in the age of mechanical reproduction. This is the power of these photographs for something intangible within the viewer does take over. I found myself looking at the photographs again and again for small nuances, the detail of hairs on the head, the imagining of what the person was thinking about with their eyes closed: their future, their fears, their hopes, the ‘active imagination as a means to visualise sustainable futures’ (Orr, 2010).

These photographs seem to lengthen or protract time through this haptic touching of inner light. As Pablo Helguera observes in his excellent essay ‘How To Understand the Light on a Landscape’ that examines different types of light (including experiental light, somber light, home light, ghost light, the light of the deathbed, protective light, artificial light, working light, Sunday light, used light, narrated light, the last light of day, hotel light, transparent light, after light, the light of the truly blind and the light of adolescence but not, strangely, inner light)

“Experience is triggered by light, but not exclusively by the visible light of the electro-magnetic spectrum. What the human eye is incapable to perceive is absorbed by other sensory parts of the body, which contribute to the perception that light causes an effect that goes beyond the merely visual …

There is the LIGHT OF ADOLESCENCE, a blinding light that is similar to the one we feel when we are asleep facing the sun and we feel its warmth but don’t see it directly. Sometimes it marks the unplace, perhaps the commonality of all places or perhaps, for those who are pessimists, the unplaceness of every location …

We may choose to openly embrace the darkness of light, and thus let ourselves through the great gates of placehood, where we can finally accept the unexplainabe concreteness of our moments for what they are.”6

In the imagination of the darkness that lies behind these children’s closed eyes is the commonality of all places, a shared humanity of memory, of dreams. These photographs testify to our presence and ask us to decide how we feel about our life, our place and the relation to that (un)placeness where we must all, eventually, return.

Dr Marcus Bunyan for the Art Blart blog

 

  1. Feiereisen, Florence and Pope, Daniel. “True Fiction and Fictional Truths: The Enigmatic in Sebald’s Use of Images in ‘The Emigrants'” in Patt, Lise (ed.,). Searching for Sebald: Photography after W.G. Sebald. Los Angeles: The Institute of Cultural Inquiry, 2007, p.175.
  2. Barthes, Roland. “From Work to Text” in Image, Music, Text. trans. S. Heath. New York: Hill and Wang, 1977 quoted in Thumlert, Kurt. Intervisuality, Visual Culture, and Education. [Online] Cited 10/08/2006. www.forkbeds.com/visual-pedagogy.htm (link no longer active)
  3. Foucault, Michel. The Order of Things: An Archeology of the Human Sciences. New York: Vintage, 1973 quoted in Thumlert, Kurt. Intervisuality, Visual Culture, and Education. [Online] Cited 10/08/2006. www.forkbeds.com/visual-pedagogy.htm (link no longer active)
  4. White, Minor. Mirrors, Messages and Manifestations. Aperture, 1969
  5. Leo, Vince. Review of Mirrors, Messages and Manifestations on the Amazon website [Online] Cited 26/06/2010
  6. Helguera, Pablo. “How to Understand the Light on a Landscape,” in Patt, Lise (ed.,). Searching for Sebald: Photography after W.G. Sebald. Los Angeles: The Institute of Cultural Inquiry, 2007, pp.110-119

 

Jill Orr (Australian, b. 1952) 'Jacinta' 2009

Jill Orr (Australian, b. 1952) 'Jacinta' 2009

 

Jill Orr (Australian, b. 1952)
Jacinta
2009

 

Jill Orr (Australian, b. 1952) 'Avoca Primary School' 2009

 

Jill Orr (Australian, b. 1952)
Avoca Primary School
2009

 

 

Jill Orr’s work centres on issues of the psycho-social and environmental where she draws on land and identities. Grappling with the balance and discord that exists between the human spirit, art and nature, Orr has, since the 1970s, delighted, shocked and moved audiences through her performance installations.

This current body of work involved children from the Avoca Primary School as active participants in Orr’s performance for the camera. The result is a series of high contrast black and white photographic portraits, which are shown as diptychs portraying the different states of seeing both outwardly and inwardly. One of each pair frames the child looking directly at the camera. The gaze meets the viewer. Who is looking at whom? The second captures the child whose eyes are closed. An inner world is intimated, but not accessible to the viewer.

In terms of the ‘gaze’, these works turn to the child as conveyer of the imaginary engaging both within and without. ‘I have found that creative acts require the visionary sensibilities of both the inner and outer world to operate simultaneously, consciously and unconsciously as dual aspects of the one action. In this instance the action is that of active imagination as a means to visualise sustainable futures.’[Jill Orr, 2010]. The portraits also reflect the present relationship to place that is etched into the faces of youth as already kissed by the harsh Australian sun.

Avoca is one of many townships that has been socially, economically and environmentally affected by drought and climate change. The portraits are created against this background.

Text from the Jenny Port Gallery website

 

Jill Orr (Australian, b. 1952) 'Vision' installation photograph at Jenny Port Gallery

Jill Orr (Australian, b. 1952) 'Vision' installation photograph at Jenny Port Gallery

 

Jill Orr (Australian, b. 1952)
Vision installation photograph at Jenny Port Gallery
June 2010

 

 

Jenny Port Gallery
69 Victoria Parade
Collingwood, Victoria, 3066, Australia

By appointment only

Jenny Port Gallery website

Jill Orr website

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26
Jun
10

Exhibition: ‘Detroit Experiences: Robert Frank Photographs, 1955’ at Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit

Exhibition dates: 3rd March – 4th July, 2010

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019) 'Assembly Plant, Detroit' 1955

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019)
Assembly Plant, Detroit
1955
Gelatin silver print
8 7/8 × 13 1/8 inches (22.5 × 33.3 cm)
Founders Society Purchase, Coville Photographic Fund
© Robert Frank, from The Americans. Detroit Institute of Arts

 

 

Many thankx to Pamela Marcil and the Detroit Institute of Arts for allowing me to reproduce the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

Marcus

 

 

“I am always looking outside, trying to look inside, trying to say something that is true. But maybe nothing is really true. Except what’s out there. And what’s out there is constantly changing.”

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Robert Frank, 1985.

 

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019) 'Belle Isle' 1955

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019)
Belle Isle – Detroit
1955, printed between 1966-1968
Gelatin silver print
12 5/8 × 18 7/8 inches (32.1 × 47.9 cm)
Museum Purchase, Ernest and Rosemarie Kanzler Foundation Fund, Forum for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Purchase Fund, and General Art Purchase Fund
© Robert Frank, from The Americans. Detroit Institute of Arts

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019) 'Detroit River Rouge Plant' 1955

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019)
Detroit River Rouge Plant
1955, printed 1970s
Gelatin silver print
9 1/8 × 13 7/8 inches (23.2 × 35.2 cm)
Founders Society Purchase, Coville Photographic Fund
© Robert Frank. Detroit Institute of Arts

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019) 'Drive-In Movie, Detroit' 1955

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019)
Drive-In Movie, Detroit
1955, printed 1977
Gelatin silver print
8 1/4 × 12 1/2 inches (21 × 31.8 cm)
Founders Society Purchase, Tina and Lee Hills Graphic Arts Fund
© Robert Frank, from The Americans. Detroit Institute of Arts.

 

 

Detroit Experiences: Robert Frank Photographs, 1955 showcases more than 50 rare and many never-before-seen black-and-white photographs taken in Detroit by legendary artist Robert Frank. The exhibition will be on view at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) March 3 – July 4, 2010. The exhibition is free with museum admission.

In 1955 and 1956 Robert Frank traveled the U.S. taking photographs for his groundbreaking book The Americans, published in 1958. With funding from a prestigious Guggenheim grant, he set out to create a large visual record of America, and Detroit was one of his early stops. Inspired by autoworkers, the cars they made, along with local lunch counters, drive-in movies and public parks such as Belle Isle, Frank transformed everyday experiences of Detroiters into an extraordinary visual statement about American life.

According to Frank, The Americans included “things that are there, anywhere, and everywhere … a town at night, a parking lot, the man who owns three cars and the man who owns none … the dream of grandeur, advertising, neon lights … gas tanks, post offices and backyards ….” The exhibition includes nine Detroit images that were published in The Americans, as well as, for the first time, an in-depth body of work representative of Frank’s Detroit, its working-class culture and automotive industry.

Frank was drawn to Detroit partly by a personal fascination with the automobile, but also saw its presence and effect on American culture as essential to his series. Frank was one of the few photographers allowed to take photographs at the famous Ford Motor Company River Rouge factory, where he was amazed to witness the transformation of raw materials into fully assembled cars. In a letter to his wife he wrote, “Ford is an absolutely fantastic place … this one is God’s factory and if there is such a thing – I am sure that the devil gave him a helping hand to build what is called Ford’s River Rouge Plant.” Frank spent two days taking pictures at the Ford factory, photographing workers on the assembly lines and manning machines by day, and following them as they ventured into the city at night.

Whether in the disorienting surroundings of a massive factory or during the solitary and alienating moments of individuals in parks and on city streets, the Swiss-born photographer looked beneath the surface of life in the U.S. and found a culture that challenged his perceptions and popular notions of the American Dream. Further accentuating his view of America, Frank developed an unconventional photographic style innovative and controversial in its time. Photographing quickly, Frank sometimes tilted and blurred compositions, presenting people and their surroundings in fleeting and fragmentary moments with an unsentimental eye.

Beat poet Jack Kerouac expressed the complex nature of the artist and his work in a passage from his introduction to The Americans stating, “Robert Frank, Swiss, unobtrusive, nice, with that little camera that he raises and snaps with one hand he sucked a sad poem right out of America onto film, taking rank among the tragic poets of the world.”

Born in 1924 in Zurich, Switzerland, Frank emigrated to the U.S. in 1947. He worked on assignments for magazines from 1948–53, but his photographic books garnered the highest acclaim. After publishing The Americans, he began filmmaking and directed the early experimental masterpiece Pull My Daisy, in collaboration with Jack Kerouac in 1959. Frank continues to work in both film and photography and has been the subject of many traveling exhibitions in recent years. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. established Frank’s photographic archive in 1990 and organised his first traveling retrospective, “Moving Out, in 1995” as well as a 2009 exhibition “Looking In: Robert Frank’s “The Americans”.” Frank lives in Mabou, Nova Scotia, and New York City with his wife, artist June Leaf.

Press release from the Detroit Institute of Arts website [Online] Cited 24/06/2019 no longer available online

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019) 'Untitled' 1955

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019)
Untitled
1955, printed c. 1970s
Gelatin silver print
10 3/4 × 15 7/8 inches (27.3 × 40.3 cm)
Founders Society Purchase with funds from Founders Junior Council
© Robert Frank, from The Americans. Detroit Institute of Arts

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019) 'Ford River Rouge Plant' 1955, printed c. 1970s

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019)
Ford River Rouge Plant
1955, printed c. 1970s
Gelatin silver print
13 13/16 × 9 1/8 inches (35.1 × 23.2 cm)
Founders Society Purchase, Coville Photographic Fund
© Robert Frank. Detroit Institute of Arts

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, b. 1924) 'Assembly Plant, Ford, Detroit' 1955

 

Robert Frank  (Swiss-American, 1924-2019)
Assembly Plant, Ford, Detroit
1955, printed c. 1960s
Gelatin silver print
12 7/8 × 8 1/2 inches (32.7 × 21.6 cm)
Founders Society Purchase, Coville Photographic Fund
© Robert Frank. Detroit Institute of Arts

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019) 'Drugstore, Detroit' 1955

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019)
Drugstore, Detroit
1955, printed c. 1960s
Gelatin silver print
23 1/4 × 15 3/4 inches (59.1 × 40 cm)
Founders Society Purchase, with funds from the Founders Junior Council
© Robert Frank, from The Americans. Detroit Institute of Arts

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019) 'Detroit' 1955

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019)
Detroit
1955, printed c. 1960s
Gelatin silver print
9 1/16 × 13 1/2 inches (23 × 34.3 cm)
Founders Society Purchase, Coville Photographic Fund
© Robert Frank, from The Americans. Detroit Institute of Arts

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019) 'Detroit - Belle Isle' 1955

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019)
Belle Isle – Detroit
1955, printed between 1960 and 1979
Gelatin silver print
12 1/2 × 18 3/4 inches (31.8 × 47.6 cm)
Museum Purchase, Ernest and Rosemarie Kanzler Foundation Fund, Forum for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Purchase Fund, and General Art Purchase Fund
© Robert Frank, from The Americans. Detroit Institute of Arts

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019) 'Rodeo - Detroit' 1955

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019)
Rodeo – Detroit
1955, printed 1960s
Gelatin silver print
6 1/2 × 9 7/8 inches (16.5 × 25.1 cm)
Museum Purchase, Ernest and Rosemarie Kanzler Foundation Fund, Forum for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Purchase Fund, and General Art Purchase Fund
© Robert Frank, from The Americans. Detroit Institute of Arts

 

 

In 1955, Swiss-born photographer Robert Frank traveled across the United States photographing how Americans live, work, and spend their leisure time. Detroit was a critical stop on his itinerary, as the Motor City was world renowned for its automobiles along with its factories and labor force. Frank spent several days in Detroit at its legendary Ford Motor Company Rouge Plant and visited dime-store lunch counters, drive-ins, and public parks as well. He may have found Stetson-wearing spectators at a local rodeo an unlikely and uncharacteristic subject for Detroit – a large, industrial, midwestern city. Nonetheless he included Rodeo – Detroit, in addition to eight other photographs taken in the city, as part of the 83 images found in his ground-breaking photo book The Americans from 1958. The book brought Frank great acclaim for his critical commentary on America during the boom years following World War II.

From Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 89 (2015)

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019) 'Detroit' 1956

 

Robert Frank (Swiss-American, 1924-2019)
Detroit
1956
Gelatin silver print
© Robert Frank, from The Americans. Detroit Institute of Arts

 

 

Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48202
Main Line: 313.833.7900

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Thursday 9.00 am – 4.00 pm
Fridays 9.00 am – 10 pm
Saturdays and Sundays 10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Closed Mondays

Detroit Institute of Arts website

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24
Jun
10

Sculpture: ‘Drawing Water’ (2010) by Fredrick White

June 2010

 

Fredrick White. 'Drawing Water' 2010

 

Fredrick White
Drawing Water
2010

 

 

My best friend, Australian sculpture Fredrick White, has been commissioned to create two public sculptures in Western Queensland. The first has been completed at Thargomindah (see Google map), a town located 1014 km west of Brisbane and was commissioned by artplusplace and Thargomindah Regional Council. In a small town of 250 people this is the town’s first public sculpture.

“The town’s one claim to fame is its artesian bore. The bore, which lies 2 km out of town on the Noccundra road, was drilled in 1891 and by 1893, having drilled to a depth of 795 metres, the water came to the surface. It was then that the town successfully attempted a unique experiment. The pressure of the bore water was used drive a generator which supplied the town’s electricity. Enthusiasts have described this as Australia’s first hydro-electricity scheme. The system operated until 1951. Today the bore still provides the town’s water supply. The water reaches the surface at 84°C.”

Text from the Sydney Morning Herald travel website February 8, 2004 [Online] Cited 17/08/2019

 

The work Drawing Water (2010) addresses the need for water in such an arid location and the numerous bores that are sunk around the town to draw water to the surface. The earth is reflected in the sky and the sky in the earth in the central polished stainless steel disks (as friend Perry observes, like a tunnel connecting earth and heaven). A forest of bore pipes surround the central platform. Of the work Fred says:

“‘Drawing Water’ speaks of our connection to the Earth, specifically the Great Artesian Basin and the bores that provide the only continuous source of water throughout much of inland Australia. The 52 galvanised poles symbolise not only our year round need for water but are also as a reminder of how extensively taped the artesian water is.”

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It is a wonderfully balanced and thoughtful work that has great presence and beauty.

The next commission is at Blackall in Western Queensland (see Google map). A drawing of the work Lifespan (2010), which is 8 metres long, is at the bottom of the posting. Blackall already contains public sculptures by William Eicholtz (Towners Call – Edgar Towner V.C. Memorial (2009)) and Robert Bridgewater (Wool, Water and Wood (2008)).

Dr Marcus Bunyan for Art Blart

 

Fredrick White. 'Drawing Water' 2010

 

Fredrick White
Drawing Water
2010

 

Fredrick White. 'Drawing Water' (detail) 2010

Fredrick White. 'Drawing Water' (detail) 2010

Fredrick White. 'Drawing Water' (detail) 2010

 

Fredrick White
Drawing Water (details)
2010

 

'Lifespan' (2010), drawing for commission at Blackall, Queensland

 

Fredrick White
Lifespan
2010
Drawing for commission at Blackall, Queensland

 

 

Fredrick White Sculpture website

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23
Jun
10

Text for ‘Missing in Action (dark kenosis)’ by Marcus Bunyan

June 2010

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958) 'Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.16' 2010

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.16
2010

 

 

Several people have asked me for some text to help describe the themes that my work investigates, so here goes!

My work has always investigated the spaces and environments that people inhabit. Over the last few years the work has come to focus on fighter aircraft and the people (usually men) who fly them – the reason to fly such war machines, to fight for freedom, democracy, to bomb, to kill – the moral and ethical choices that human beings make, to undertake one action over another.

I have returned to childhood influences: I remember as a kid making toy models by Airfix and Tamiya of tanks and fighter planes and flying the planes from my bedroom ceiling. The work is strongly anti-war. Most of the work features shifts in texture, of light and dark and the occasional use of text to illuminate personal feelings.

Text that is hidden among this particular body of work includes:

  • “The true enemy is war itself” from the anti-war movie Crimson Tide (1995)
  • “The destiny of man is in his own soul” Herodotus (484-420BC)
  • “We are all of us children of earth” Franklin D. Roosevelt: Flag Day Address June 13, 1942

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Conceptually the work is based upon an investigation into Foucault’s ‘technologies of the self’ and the paradoxes of such (self) determination:

Technologies of the self (also called care of the self or practices of the self) are what Michel Foucault calls the methods and techniques (“tools”) through which human beings constitute themselves. Foucault argued that we as subjects are perpetually engaged in processes whereby we define and produce our own ethical self-understanding. According to Foucault, technologies of the self are the forms of knowledge and strategies that “permit individuals to effect by their own means or with the help of others a certain number of operations on their own bodies and souls, thoughts, conduct, and way of being, so as to transform themselves in order to attain a certain state of happiness, purity, wisdom, perfection, or immortality.”“1

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The next series are the same planes with a red colour (red kenosis) and after that I have some silhouette aircraft recognition cards – just the black shapes of the jet fighters – with colours behind, should be a good series!

Dr Marcus Bunyan

Photographs are available from this series for purchase. As a guide, a digital colour 16″ x 20″ costs $1000 plus tracked and insured shipping. For more information please see my store web page.

 

1. Foucault, M. (1988) “Technologies of the self,” in L. H. Martin, H. Gutman and P. H. Hutton (eds.,). Technologies of the self. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, page 18 quoted on Wikipedia. “Technologies of the Self.” [Online] Cited 23/06/2010.

 

 

Marcus Bunyan website

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22
Jun
10

Video: ‘Steps’ by David Lynch

June 2010

 

 

 

Fantastic – the sound really gets you!

Thank you to the blog of Bernard Perroud for pointing this one out to me.

See the full screen by clicking on the second button, bottom right (the one with four arrows). Press the ‘esc’ key to exit full screen mode.

 

 

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21
Jun
10

Exhibition: ‘Harry Callahan: American Photographer’ at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Exhibition dates: 21st November 2009 – 3rd July 2010

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Eleanor, Chicago' 1949

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor, Chicago
1949
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

I admire the use of strong horizontals and verticals in the work of Harry Callahan and the exquisite sense of space, stillness and sensuality he creates within the image plane. A true American master. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

Marcus

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Many thankx to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Eleanor and Barbara' 1953

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor and Barbara
1953
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Eleanor and Barbara, Lake Michigan' 1953

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor and Barbara, Lake Michigan
1953
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Eleanor and Barbara' c. 1954

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor and Barbara
c. 1954
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor, Chicago
1953
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan. 'Detroit' 1943

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Detroit
1943
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

The brilliant graphic sensibility of Harry Callahan (1912-1999), a major figure in American photography, is the focus of Harry Callahan: American Photographer at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). Debuting November 21, the exhibition features approximately 40 photographs that survey the major visual themes of the artist’s career. It celebrates the Museum’s important recent acquisitions – by both purchase and gift – of Callahan’s photographs and showcases significant examples of his artistry from the collections of friends of the MFA. The many sensitive pictures that Callahan made of his wife Eleanor, his depictions of passers-by on the street, his carefully composed landscapes and close-ups from nature, and experimental darkroom abstractions reveal a wide-ranging talent that was enormously influential.

“Harry Callahan was one of the most innovative photographers working in America in the mid 20th-century,” said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director of the MFA. “His elegantly spare, introspective photographs demonstrate his lyricism and the originality of his sense of design.”

The Detroit-born photographer, whose career spanned six decades, became interested in the camera in the late 1930s while working as a Chrysler Corporation shipping clerk. He was largely self-taught, and attracted admiration early on for his originality. By 1946, Callahan was hired as a photography instructor by the Hungarian-born artist László Moholy-Nagy for the Institute of Design, a Bauhaus-inspired school of art and design in Chicago. In 1961, Callahan was invited to head the photography program at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he was based until retiring to Atlanta two decades later.

Harry Callahan’s approach helped shape American photography in the second half of the 20th-century,” said Anne Havinga, Estrellita and Yousuf Karsh Senior Curator of Photographs, who organised the exhibition. “His way of seeing inspired countless followers and continues to feel fresh today.”

Callahan concentrated on a handful of personal subjects in his work, exploring each theme repeatedly throughout his career. These include portraits of his wife Eleanor, depictions of anonymous pedestrians, expressive details of the urban and natural landscape, and experimental darkroom abstractions. The MFA exhibition is organised into five themes: Eleanor, Pedestrians, Architecture, Landscapes, and Darkroom Abstractions …

Press release from the MFA website [Online] Cited 20/06/2010 no long available online

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Eleanor' 1948

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor
1948
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Chicago' 1950

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Chicago
1950
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan. 'Eleanor, Chicago' 1949

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor, Chicago
1949
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Eleanor and Barbara (baby carriage)' 1952

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor and Barbara (baby carriage)
1952
Gelatin silver print
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

In 1936, around the time that Callahan began to explore photography, he married Eleanor Knapp, who served as one of his first and most frequent subjects. Callahan’s portraits of his wife, characterised by their intimate yet detached poetry, have become a landmark in the history of photography. In the photograph Eleanor (about 1948, see second photograph above), Callahan portrays his wife in a private interior setting, facing away from the camera. After the birth of their daughter Barbara in 1950, she too entered these family pictures, which capture the intimate moments of daily life as seen in the photograph, Eleanor and Barbara (1953, see photograph second from top).

Callahan photographed the natural landscape throughout his career, focusing on its evocative forms and textures. In images such as Aix-en-Provence, France (1957), he explored the visual effects that he could create either through high contrast or closely related tonalities. Callahan also utilised a range of different experimental darkroom techniques – from photographing the beam of a flashlight in a darkened room, to developing one print from multiple negatives. Many of his multi-exposure pictures were made by superimposing images from popular culture onto studies of urban life. Callahan’s openness to experimentation was stimulating for the many students who worked with him.

Callahan made many of his best known images during his 15 years in Chicago, where he also began his role as an influential teacher. During the 1950s, the photographer embarked on a series of close-ups of anonymous pedestrians in the streets of Chicago, most of them women. Using a 35mm camera with a pre-focused telephoto lens, he captured passersby unaware of his presence, resulting in snapshot-like images that record unsuspecting subjects absorbed in private thought or action, such as Chicago (1950, see photograph above), a close-up of a preoccupied woman’s face. Callahan returned to this theme frequently, working in both black and white and colour.

Callahan was repeatedly drawn to architectural and urban subjects. Prior to moving to Chicago, he explored the spaces of Detroit, photographing the formal patterns he discovered there. In Detroit (1943 – see photograph above), Callahan depicts a street scene, with the people in transit appearing as a pattern. He experimented with colour in these pictures as early as the 1940s, but he worked more extensively in colour later in his career, from the 1970s onward.

Text from the Art Tatler website [Online] Cited 20/06/2010 no long available online

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Chicago' 1961

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Chicago
1961
Gelatin silver print
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gift of Barbara and Gene Polk
© The Estate of Harry Callahan, courtesy Pace/MacGill, NY
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Eleanor' about 1947

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Eleanor
about 1947
Gelatin silver print
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gift of Barbara and Gene Polk
© The Estate of Harry Callahan, courtesy Pace/MacGill, NY
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Cape Cod' 1972

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Cape Cod
1972
Gelatin silver print
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gift of Barbara and Gene Polk
© The Estate of Harry Callahan, courtesy Pace/MacGill, NY
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) 'Cape Cod' 1972

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Cape Cod
1972
Gelatin silver print
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Polaroid Foundation Purchase Fund
© The Estate of Harry Callahan, courtesy Pace/MacGill, NY
Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

 

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Avenue of the Arts
465 Huntington Avenue
Avenue of the Arts
Boston, Massachusetts 02115-5523
617-267-9300

Opening hours:
Monday and Tuesday 10 am – 5.00 pm
Wednesday – Friday 10 am – 10.00 pm
Saturday and Sunday 10 am – 5.00 pm

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston website

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17
Jun
10

Exhibition: ‘European Masters: Städel Museum 19th – 20th Century’, Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 19th June – 10th October 2010

 

Media opening of 'European Masters: Städel Museum 19th - 20th Century', Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Media opening of European Masters: Städel Museum 19th – 20th Century, Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

 

A huge posting – and another ‘you saw it here first’ on Art Blart!

A simple, spacious hang shows off some wonderfully vibrant paintings in the new Winter Masterpieces blockbuster at the NGV. The use of strong yellow and pale grey wall colour compliments the paintings. Conversely, other rooms have a dark brown and very dark grey wall colour. Some people will like the effect but I found the dark grey a little too sombre and heavy in the room dedicated to the work of Max Beckmann. Overall a fantastic range of paintings, especially those by the German Expressionists and a luminous painting by Odilon Redon. To see them in Australia is a joy to behold.

Note on the photographs: All the photographs were taken with a timed exposure with the camera on a tripod. While this leads to ghosting as people walk through the shot it also adds a sense of the exhibition as a living entity. I find it preferable to the use of flash photography as flash destroys any ambience that the rooms possess. The photographs are in chronological order, proceeding from the beginning of the exhibition to the end.

Marcus

.
Many thankx to Dr Ted Gott, Senior Curator of International Art, Sue Coffey and all the media team and the National Gallery of Victoria for allowing me to photograph the exhibition and publish the photographs online. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

PS. Thankx to the many people who have emailed me saying that they love the photographs, especially to Sue Coffey who said the posting looked superb = it makes it all worthwhile!

 

Media opening of 'European Masters: Städel Museum 19th - 20th Century', Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Media opening of European Masters: Städel Museum 19th – 20th Century, Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Installation view of Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbei's panting 'Goethe in the Roman countryside' 1787

Installation view of Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbei's panting 'Goethe in the Roman countryside' 1787

 

Installation views of Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbei’s panting Goethe in the Roman countryside 1787 at the exhibition European Masters: Städel Museum 19th – 20th Century, Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein (German, 1751-1829) 'Goethe in the Roman countryside' (Goethe in der römischen Campagna) 1787

 

Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein (German, 1751-1829)
Goethe in the Roman countryside (Goethe in der römischen Campagna)
1787
Oil on canvas
161.0 x 197.5 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Acquired in 1878 as a gift by Baroness Salomon von Rothschild

 

Installation view of 'European Masters: Städel Museum 19th - 20th Century', Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Installation view of the exhibition European Masters: Städel Museum 19th – 20th Century, Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Installation view of Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbei's panting 'Goethe in the Roman countryside' 1787

Installation view of Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbei's panting 'Goethe in the Roman countryside' 1787

 

Installation views of Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbei’s panting Goethe in the Roman countryside 1787 at the exhibition European Masters: Städel Museum 19th – 20th Century, Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Installation view of 'European Masters: Städel Museum 19th - 20th Century', Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

Installation view of 'European Masters: Städel Museum 19th - 20th Century', Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Installation views of the exhibition European Masters: Städel Museum 19th – 20th Century, Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Alfred Sisley (English 1839-1899) 'Banks of the Seine in Autumn' 1879

 

Alfred Sisley (English 1839-1899)
Banks of the Seine in Autumn
1879
Oil on canvas

 

Installation view of Charles-Francois Daubigny (French 1817-1878) 'French Orchard at Harvest Time' (Le verger) 1876

Installation view of Charles-Francois Daubigny (French 1817-1878) 'French Orchard at Harvest Time' (Le verger) 1876

 

Installation views of Charles-Francois Daubigny (French 1817-1878) French Orchard at Harvest Time (Le verger) 1876 at the exhibition European Masters: Städel Museum 19th – 20th Century, Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Installation view of Charles-Francois Daubigny (French 1817-1878) 'French Orchard at Harvest Time' (Le verger) 1876

 

Charles-Francois Daubigny (French 1817-1878)
French Orchard at Harvest Time (Le verger) (installation view)
1876
Oil on canvas

 

Installation view of Pierre Auguste Renoir (French 1841-1919) 'After the luncheon' (La fin du déjeuner) 1879

Installation view of Pierre Auguste Renoir (French 1841-1919) 'After the luncheon' (La fin du déjeuner) 1879

 

Installation views of Pierre Auguste Renoir (French 1841-1919) After the luncheon (La fin du déjeuner) 1879 at the exhibition European Masters: Städel Museum 19th – 20th Century, Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Pierre Auguste Renoir (French 1841-1919) 'After the luncheon' (La fin du déjeuner) 1879

 

Pierre Auguste Renoir (French 1841-1919)
After the luncheon (La fin du déjeuner)
1879
Oil on canvas
100.5 x 81.3 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Acquired in 1910

 

Installation view of Odilon Redon (French 1840-1916) 'Christ and the Samaritan Woman' (Le Christ et la Samaritaine) c. 1895

 

Installation view of Odilon Redon (French 1840-1916) Christ and the Samaritan Woman (Le Christ et la Samaritaine) c. 1895 at the exhibition European Masters: Städel Museum 19th – 20th Century, Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Odilon Redon (French 1840-1916) 'Christ and the Samaritan Woman' (Le Christ et la Samaritaine) c. 1895

 

Odilon Redon (French 1840-1916)
Christ and the Samaritan Woman (Le Christ et la Samaritaine)
c. 1895
Oil on canvas
64.8 x 50.0 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Acquired in 1960

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'European Masters: Städel Museum 19th - 20th Century', Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Installation view of the exhibition European Masters: Städel Museum 19th – 20th Century, Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

 

“The appeal of the Städel Institute lies in the tremendous energy filling that confined space. Virtually all of the great emotions that have lived in the souls of the peoples of Europe are there, and all in superb works.”

Alfred Lichtwark, Director the Hamburg Museum, 1905

 

One of the world’s finest collections of 19th and 20th century art is showing exclusively in Melbourne as the seventh exhibition in the hugely popular Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series at the National Gallery of Victoria.

European Masters: Städel Museum, 19th-20th Century brings together almost 100 works by 70 artists from one of Germany’s oldest and most respected museums, the Städel Museum in Frankfurt.

Dr Gerard Vaughan, NGV Director, said: “European Masters presents a comprehensive overview of the Städel Museum’s holdings of painting and sculpture from the last two centuries of European art. This blockbuster exhibition provides a superb survey of the key artistic movements of the time, including Realism, Impressionism and Post Impressionism, German Romanticism, Expressionism and Modernism, and French Symbolism.”

The exhibition opens with a series of large-scale romantic German paintings, including Johann H.W. Tischbein’s iconic Goethe in the Roman Campagna from 1787. Visitors will also be treated to magnificent examples of 19th century French art from Corot and Courbet’s Realist landscapes to well-known beautiful Impressionist works by Monet, Renoir, Degas and Cézanne.

European Masters then traces the development of German art, introducing audiences to rarely seen Realist and Symbolist masterpieces from artists such as Max Liebermann and Franz von Stuck.

A major highlight of the exhibition is a powerful selection of German Expressionist paintings, with ten poignant works by Max Beckmann, including The synagogue in Frankfurt am Main and his powerful Double Portrait, all of which have left the Städel for the first time to be shown outside of Europe.

The exhibition also includes a breathtaking selection of Swiss, Belgian and Dutch works by artists such as Arnold Böcklin, Fernand Khnopff and Vincent Van Gogh.

“Exclusive to Melbourne, European Masters provides an unprecedented opportunity to see a spectacular group of masterpieces spanning the dynamic and transformative years of the 19th and 20th centuries. There is something in this exhibition for everyone, from the beauty and immediacy of French Impressionism to the raw power of German Expressionism. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see superb pictures that rarely travel outside of Europe,” said Dr. Vaughan.

Founded in 1816 by the Frankfurt financier Johann Friedrich Städel, the Städel Museum has one of the world’s finest art collections. The collection boasts 2700 paintings, 600 sculptures and over 100,000 prints and drawings documenting the development of European art and culture.

The Melbourne Winter Masterpieces series began in 2004 with The Impressionists: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay, continued in 2005 with Dutch Masters from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, followed by Picasso in 2006, Guggenheim Collection: 1940s to Now in 2007, Art Deco 1910 -1939 in 2008 and Salvador Dalí: Liquid Desire in 2009.

This year Melbourne Winter Masterpieces includes European Masters: Städel Museum, 19th-20th Century at the NGV, and Tim Burton at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Press release from the National Gallery of Victoria website

 

Installation view of the exhibition 'European Masters: Städel Museum 19th - 20th Century', Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

Installation view of Max Liebermann (German 1847-1935, lived in France 1874-78) 'Samson and Delilah' (Simson und Delila) 1901

Installation view of Max Liebermann (German 1847-1935, lived in France 1874-78) 'Samson and Delilah' (Simson und Delila) 1901

 

Installation views of Max Liebermann (German 1847-1935, lived in France 1874-78) Samson and Delilah (Simson und Delila) 1901 at the exhibition European Masters: Städel Museum 19th – 20th Century, Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Max Liebermann (German 1847-1935, lived in France 1874-78) 'Samson and Delilah' (Simson und Delila) 1901

 

Max Liebermann (German 1847-1935, lived in France 1874-78)
Samson and Delilah (Simson und Delila)
1901
Oil on canvas
151.2 x 212.0 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Acquired in 1910

 

Max Klinger (German 1857-1920) 'Portrait of a Roman woman on a flat roof' (Bildnis einer Römerin auf einem Dach in Rom) 1891

 

Max Klinger (German 1857-1920)
Portrait of a Roman woman on a flat roof (Bildnis einer Römerin auf einem Dach in Rom)
1891
Oil on canvas
182.0 x 182.0 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Acquired in 1926 as a gift in commemoration of Walther Rathenau

 

 

Installation view of Max Klinger (German 1857-1920) Portrait of a Roman woman on a flat roof (Bildnis einer Römerin auf einem Dach in Rom) 1891 at the exhibition European Masters: Städel Museum 19th – 20th Century, Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Max Beckmann room, installation view of 'European Masters: Städel Museum 19th - 20th Century', Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

Max Beckmann room, installation view of 'European Masters: Städel Museum 19th - 20th Century', Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

Max Beckmann room, installation view of 'European Masters: Städel Museum 19th - 20th Century', Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Max Beckmann room, installation view of European Masters: Städel Museum 19th – 20th Century, Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Max Beckmann. 'Female dancer' (Tanzerin) c.1935

 

Max Beckmann (German 1884-1950, worked in the Netherlands 1937-47, United States 1947-50)
Female dancer (Tanzerin) (installation view)
c. 1935
Bronze

 

Installation view of 'European Masters: Städel Museum 19th - 20th Century', Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

Installation view of 'European Masters: Städel Museum 19th - 20th Century', Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

Installation view of 'European Masters: Städel Museum 19th - 20th Century', Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Installation views of European Masters: Städel Museum 19th – 20th Century, Winter Masterpieces at the National Gallery of Victoria

 

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (German 1880-1938) 'Reclining woman in a white chemise' (Liegende Frau im weiβen Hemd) 1909

 

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (German 1880-1938)
Reclining woman in a white chemise (Liegende Frau im weiβen Hemd)
1909
Oil on canvas
95.0 x 121.0 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Acquired in 1950

 

 

NGV International
180 St Kilda Road

Opening hours:
10am – 5pm daily

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13
Jun
10

Review: ‘Cloud’ by Guan Wei at Arc One Gallery, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 1st June – 29th June 2010

 

Guan Wei (China, b. 1957) 'Buddha's hand' 2010

 

Guan Wei (China, b. 1957)
Buddha’s hand
2010

 

 

The exhibition Cloud by Australian artist Guan Wei at Arc One Gallery in Melbourne contains two bodies of work that are outstanding: the series of paintings on paper titled Buddha’s Hand and the series of five figurative sculptures titled Cloud. Each body of work compliments and informs the other.

The small Buddha’s Hand paintings (see below) are the most delicate of creatures – sensual, poetic almost fetishistic in their composition and utterly beguiling in their beauty. Referencing the history of cave paintings of the Buddha, Wei updates the ancient allegories expressing his message of harmony and leisure, identity and place through visual symbolic representation. These works are profoundly moving, the figurative compositions balanced masterfully through colour, shape and form, studded with the punctum of red bindi-like energy centres arising from the faceless yogic figures.

Sitting on white pedestals and positioned close to the Buddha’s Hand paintings in the gallery are the series of five Cloud figures (see below). Made of bronze that has been spray painted white these are wonderful sculptures, full of delicious humour and vibrancy. There is a sensuality and delicacy about the figures that is emphasised by their snowy whiteness, a whiteness that subverts the tactility, colour and weight that one usually associates with the metal bronze. Here the figure has, variously, it’s head in the clouds while pensively crossing arms; bearing the weight of the world on the back while the vacant mouth is open; preparing to throw the cloud as Zeus would a thunderbolt; reclining while balancing the cloud on one foot and with one foot stuck in the earth that is cloud. The cloud becomes a metaphor for thought and action in the world, acting on the world. In these sculptures there is no creed nor race, no ideology or nation and I believe that Wei attains his stated aim to redefine our relationship with one another and nature by transcending both. I am not alone in liking these sculptures – they have proved very popular and all five sculptures in editions of five have already sold out!

Other work in the exhibition is more prosaic – a multi-panelled screen, the On Cloud and Zodiac series never seem to breathe the same rarefied air as the above two bodies of work. They are disappointments that only serve to illuminate how brilliant holding the Buddha’s hand and living your life with your head in the clouds can be.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to Angela Connor and Arc One Gallery for allowing me to reproduce the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Guan Wei (China, b. 1957) 'Buddha's hand' 2010

 

Guan Wei (China, b. 1957)
Buddha’s hand
2010

 

Guan Wei (China, b. 1957) 'Buddha's hand' 2010

 

Guan Wei (China, b. 1957)
Buddha’s hand
2010

 

 

“I hope that we will be able to transcend the restrictions imposed on us by such notions as nation, ethnicity, ideology, cultural and history, and redefine our relationship with one another and nature.”

.
Guan Wei

 

 

Guan Wei is an adept storyteller who masterfully engages his audiences. Retaining the humour, wisdom and cross-cultural knowledge that have become characteristics of his ongoing oeuvre, his work breathes an awareness of our current social and environmental dilemmas exploring ideas of immigration, colonisation, identity politics and cultural tolerance.

Flirtatious and aesthetically whimsical, Guan Wei’s works are instantly recognisable. In this latest exhibition, Cloud, Guan Wei fuses sculpture, drawings and paintings to form what is part of his most beguiling trademark – ‘the art of idleness’. For the first time since returning to China, he will present new sculptures that employ his ongoing preoccupation with the figure and the figure in relation to the natural form. These sculptures are Guan Wei’s personal visual symbols of harmony and leisure. They form the thread for the four series of works in this exhibition.

During the past fifteen years, Guan Wei has help change the identity of Australian Art. He draws on his own experience as a Chinese national who migrated to Australia from China in the period following the Tiananmen Square massacre (1989). Guan Wei has spent twenty years living and working as an artist raising the awareness of Australia being a multicultural country. He has had over 40 solo exhibitions, been the recipient of numerous awards and included in every major collection. In 2009, Guan Wei was selected for the prestigious Clemenger Contemporary Art Award at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Press release from the Arc One Gallery website [Online] Cited 10/06/2010 no longer available online

 

Guan Wei (China, b. 1957) 'Cloud No.4' 2009

 

Guan Wei (China, b. 1957)
Cloud No.4
2009
Bronze statue
edition of 5
39 x 30 x 25cm

 

Guan Wei (China, b. 1957) 'Cloud No.5' 2009

 

Guan Wei (China, b. 1957)
Cloud No.5
2009
Bronze statue
edition of 5
47 x 35 x 35cm

 

 

Arc One Gallery
45 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, 3000
Phone: +61 3 9650 0589

Opening hours:
Tue-Sat 11am – 5pm

Arc One Gallery website

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09
Jun
10

Exhibition: ‘Paul Graham – a shimmer of possibility’ at Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam

Exhibition dates: 2nd April – 16th June 2010

 

Many thankx to Fenna Lampe and the Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam for allowing me to publish the photographs in the post. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Paul Graham. 'Las Vegas, 2005' from the series 'a shimmer of possibility'

 

Paul Graham (English, b. 1956)
Las Vegas, 2005
2005
From the series a shimmer of possibility
© Paul Graham

 

Paul Graham (English, b. 1956) 'New Orleans 2004 (Woman Eating)' from the series 'a shimmer of possibility'

 

Paul Graham (English, b. 1956)
New Orleans 2004 (Woman Eating)
2004
From the series a shimmer of possibility
© Paul Graham

 

Paul Graham (English, b. 1956) 'New Orleans 2004 (Woman Eating)' from the series 'a shimmer of possibility'

 

Paul Graham (English, b. 1956)
New Orleans 2004 (Woman Eating)
2004
From the series a shimmer of possibility
© Paul Graham

 

 

a shimmer of possibility is the latest project by influential British photographer Paul Graham. This work was created during Graham’s many travels through the United States since 2002. a shimmer of possibility consists of twelve sequences varying in number: from just a few images to more than ten. Each sequence offers an informal look at the life of ordinary, individual Americans – from a woman eating to a man waiting for the bus. The sequences focus attention on very ordinary things, which Graham has photographed with affection and curiosity.

Each sequence is a short, casual encounter, where we consider for a moment something that attracts our attention. Then life goes on, full of new possibilities. The way Graham presents the diverse sequences in the exhibition is crucial. Instead of being shown in a linear fashion, a sequence fans out over the wall like a cloud. Due to the carefully considered and inventive structure, no viewing direction or predominant hierarchy is imposed on the individual images. The eye of the viewer wanders over the photos, offering the opportunity to make personal connections in an associative manner.

a shimmer of possibility can be seen as the ultimate antithesis of what Henri Cartier-Bresson called ‘the decisive moment’. This French master endeavoured to record exactly those moments where subject matter and formal aspects combined perfectly in a single image. Paul Graham, by contrast, defends how we normally look around us. We move through the world and look from left to right, see something that grabs our attention, move towards it, glance to the side while en route, pass that by and continue on our way. Observation is a never-ending series of ‘non-decisive moments’, full of potential for anyone who is open to see it.”

Text from the Foam website [Online] Cited 06/06/2010 no longer available online

 

Paul Graham (English, b. 1956) 'California 2006 (Sunny Cup)' from the series 'a shimmer of possibility'

 

Paul Graham (English, b. 1956)
California 2006 (Sunny Cup)
2006
From the series a shimmer of possibility
© Paul Graham

 

Paul Graham (English, b. 1956) 'New Orleans 2005 (Cajun Corner)' from the series 'a shimmer of possibility'

 

Paul Graham (English, b. 1956)
New Orleans 2005 (Cajun Corner)
2005
From the series a shimmer of possibility
© Paul Graham

 

 

Graham walked the streets of residential neighbourhoods in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana, and the sidewalks of New Orleans, Las Vegas, and New York, and when he encountered someone who caught his eye, he photographed them: an older woman retrieving her mail; a young man and woman playing basketball at dusk; a couple returning from the supermarket. Graham followed people navigating their way through crowded city sidewalks, and tracked and photographed lone figures crossing a busy roadway, unaware of the camera.

Reviewing several trips’ worth of photographs on the large, flat screen of his computer, Graham realised that the more or less randomly gathered pictures could be united into multipart works. As in a poem, where language and rhythm organise words, lines, and stanzas into an imaginative interpretation of a subject, Graham’s imposed yet open-ended structures imply – through close-ups, crosscutting, and juxtapositions of people and nature-specific narratives and overarching ideas. Images of people placed in tandem with other people and with nature suggest the flow of life, pointing to the unknown and the possibility of change, with nature acting as a balm, whether as raindrops, trees silhouetted against a burning sunset, or the bright green grass on a highway meridian.

In his reconstruction of the world in pictures, Graham describes an America at odds with itself, filled with contradictions and inconsistencies. Yet, through the gloom, the small felicities of life peek through. Fluid, filled with desire, and marked by extremes, his view is what the late curator, critic, and photographer John Szarkowski called, in another context, a “just metaphor” for our times.

Text from the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) website [Online] Cited 14/08/2019

 

Paul Graham (English, b. 1956) 'Pittsburgh 2004 (Lawnmower Man)' from the series 'a shimmer of possibility'

 

Paul Graham (English, b. 1956)
Pittsburgh 2004 (Lawnmower Man)
2004
From the series a shimmer of possibility
© Paul Graham

 

 

Inspired by Chekhov’s short stories – and by his own contagious joy in the book form – photographer Paul Graham has created A Shimmer of Possibility, comprised of 12 individual books, each a photographic short story of everyday life. Some are simple and linear – a man smokes a cigarette while he waits for a bus in Las Vegas, or the camera tracks an autumn walk in Boston. Some entwine two, three or four scenes – while a couple carry their shopping home in Texas, a small child dances with a plastic bag in a garden. Some watch a quiet narrative break unexpectedly into a sublime moment – as a man cuts the grass in Pittsburgh it begins to rain, until the low sun breaks through and illuminates each drop. Graham’s filmic haikus shun any forceful summation or tidy packaging. Instead, they create the impression of life flowing around and past us while we stand and stare, and make it hard not to share the artist’s quiet astonishment with its beauty and grace. The 12 books gathered here are identical in trim size, but vary in length from just a single photograph to 60 pages of images made at one street corner.

Text from the Mack website [Online] Cited 14/08/2019

 

 

a shimmer of possibility by Paul Graham
12 volumes
376 pages, 167 colour plates
24.2 cm x 31.8 cm
12 cloth covered hardbacks
Limited edition of 1,000 sets
MACK
ISBN: 9783865214836
Publication date: October 2007

 

Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam
Keizersgracht 609
1017 DS Amsterdam
Phone: + 31 (0)20 551 6500

Opening hours:
Daily from 10am – 6pm
Thurs-Friday 10am – 9pm

Foam website

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05
Jun
10

New work: ‘missing in action (dark kenosis)’ 2010 by Marcus Bunyan

May 2010

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958) 'Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.11' 2010

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.11
2010
Digital photograph

 

 

A new body of work Missing in Action (dark kenosis) 2010 is now online on my website.

There are eighty-two images in the series which are like a series of variations in music with small shifts in tone and colour. Below are a selection of images from the series. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

Marcus

Photographs are available from this series for purchase. As a guide, a digital colour 16″ x 20″ costs $1000 plus tracked and insured shipping. For more information please see my store web page.

 

Kenosis

“In Christian theology, Kenosis is the concept of the ‘self-emptying’ of one’s own will and becoming entirely receptive to God and his perfect will.”

 

PS. Many thankx to the people who have emailed me saying how much they like the new series of work. I hope to keep it going from strength to strength.

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958) 'Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.19' 2010

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.19
2010
Digital photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958) 'Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.35' 2010

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.35
2010
Digital photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958) 'Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.46' 2010

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.46
2010
Digital photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958) 'Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.49' 2010

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.49
2010
Digital photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958) 'Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.67' 2010

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.67
2010
Digital photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958) 'Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.71' 2010

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.71
2010
Digital photograph

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958) 'Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.76' 2010

 

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958)
Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.76
2010
Digital photograph

 

Detail of images

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958) 'Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.76' 2010 (detail)

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958) 'Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.78' 2010 (detail)

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958) 'Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.6' 2010 (detail)

Marcus Bunyan (Australian, b. 1958) 'Missing in Action (dark kenosis) No.9' 2010 (detail)

 

Detail of images 76, 78, 6 and 9

 

 

Marcus Bunyan website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

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