Archive for September, 2010

30
Sep
10

Exhibition: ‘Hipsters, Hustlers, and Handball Players: Leon Levinstein’s New York Photographs, 1950-1980’ at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Exhibition dates: 8th June – 17th October 2010

 

Leon Levinstein. 'Handball Players, Lower East Side, NY' 1950s-1960s

 

Leon Levinstein (American, 1910-1988)
Handball Players, Lower East Side, NY
c. 1950s-1960s
Gelatin silver print
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1987
© Howard Greenberg Gallery

 

 

Although taken in the same city at around the same period as the work of Helen Levitt, these photographs by Leon Levinstein have less formality in their composition and definitely possess a more eclectic style evidenced by the dissection and placement of bodies within the image frame. This is not to denigrate either artist but merely to observe how two great photographers can see the same city in totally different ways. In both previsualisation was strong, the camera freezing what is placed before the lens in a balletic display that captured “just what you see.”

Marcus

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Many thankx to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting.

 

Leon Levinstein. 'Nuclear Protest, Wall Street' 1970s

 

Leon Levinstein (American, 1910-1988)
Nuclear Protest, Wall Street
1970s
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Gary Davis, 2009
© Howard Greenberg Gallery

 

Leon Levinstein. 'Street Scene - Elderly Man Walking with Cane, New York City' 1970s

 

Leon Levinstein (American, 1910-1988)
Street Scene: Elderly Man Walking with Cane, New York City
1970s
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Gary Davis, 2009
© Howard Greenberg Gallery

 

Leon Levinstein. 'Street Scene - Woman in Blonde Wig and Tight Dress, New York City' 1960s

 

Leon Levinstein (American, 1910-1988)
Street Scene: Woman in Blonde Wig and Tight Dress, New York City
1960s
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Gary Davis, 2009
© Howard Greenberg Gallery

 

 

A master of classic American street photography, Leon Levinstein (American, 1910–1988) is best known for his candid and unsentimental black-and-white figure studies made in New York City neighborhoods from Times Square and the Lower East Side to Coney Island. From June 8 through October 17, 2010, The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents Hipsters, Hustlers, and Handball Players: Leon Levinstein’s New York Photographs, 1950-1980. This exhibition, drawn exclusively from the Metropolitan’s collection, features 44 photographs that reflect Levinstein’s fearless approach to the medium. Levinstein’s graphic virtuosity – seen in raw, expressive gestures and seemingly monumental bodies – is balanced by an unusual compassion for his off-beat subjects from the demimonde.

Born in West Virginia in 1910, Levinstein moved to New York in 1946 and spent the next 35 years obsessively photographing strangers on the streets of his adopted home. Early in his career, Levinstein was quoted in Photography Annual 1955: “In my photographs I want to look at life – at the commonplace things as if I just turned a corner and ran into them for the first time.” With daring and dedication to his subject, Levinstein captured the denizens of New York City at extremely close range. He used his superb sense of composition to frame the faces, flesh, poses, and movements of his fellow city dwellers in their myriad guises: sunbathers, young couples, children, businessmen, beggars, prostitutes, proselytisers, society ladies, and characters of all stripes.

Although he was a life-long loner, Levinstein was mentored and supported by Alexey Brodovitch, artistic director of Harper’s Bazaar, and Edward Steichen, the eminent photographer and curator at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, both of whom recognised his unique talent in the medium of photography. He was also greatly influenced by workshops led by the distinguished photographer and teacher Sid Grossman.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Levinstein’s work appeared frequently in photography magazines and books alongside that of his peers, such as Robert Frank, Richard Avedon, and Diane Arbus. Nonetheless, he rarely worked on assignment, as they often did; nor did he ever produce his own book of photographs. Instead, he worked as a graphic designer and devoted his evenings and weekends to photography. In 1975, Levinstein received a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation to “photograph as wide a spectrum of the American scene as my experience and vision will allow… I want my photographs to be spontaneous rather than contrived.” Despite this recognition of his achievement, he never seemed able to fit into the commercial photography market that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s, and consequently, his powerful body of work continues to be known mainly by other photographers and by specialists in the field.

Press release from The Metropolitan Museum of Art website [Online] Cited 28/09/2010 no longer available online

 

Leon Levinstein. 'Street Scene - Man in Boots Walking and Adjusting His Collar, New York City' 1960s-1970s

 

Leon Levinstein (American, 1910-1988)
Street Scene: Man in Boots Walking and Adjusting His Collar, New York City
c. 1960s-1970s
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Gary Davis, 2007
© Howard Greenberg Gallery

 

Leon Levinstein. 'Street Scene - Man Resting Foot on Lip of Trashcan, New York City' 1970s

 

Leon Levinstein (American, 1910-1988)
Street Scene: Man Resting Foot on Lip of Trashcan, New York City
1970s
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Gary Davis, 2009
© Howard Greenberg Gallery

 

 

That idea of authenticity, ineffably captured as a decisive instance on a strip of light-sensitive celluloid, was ridden out of town a long time ago by postmodern theorists and certainly seems quaint today, but its power, as fixed in black and white by Levinstein, is undeniable. His mtier was a kind of reductivist monumentality, in which he captured his subjects – ordinary New Yorkers going about their business – in close-up, a technique commonly associated with cinema, to create images that were at once abstract and pregnant with narrative.

Like Weegee and Diane Arbus, Levinstein had a taste for the offbeat and grotesque (he often zeroed in on corpulent pedestrians; midsections and backsides, absent any trace of individuality, were a frequent motif). Also like them, he could be accused of engaging in a form of slumming. But he was less interested in abjection than he was in grandeur, and in this respect, the people in his photos are imbued with a sculptural nobility that simply doesn’t exist in the work of either Weegee or Arbus. More often than not, the “hipsters, hustlers and handball players” of the show’s title loom into the lens, crowding out background details. We get only fragments of the metropolis around them: a bit of stoop or curbstone, or a patch of sand out at Coney Island. Yet the pictures themselves express a sense of velocity, of lives hurtling toward some destiny that’s as heroic as it is bleak. What’s remarkable about Levinstein is that his framing – both epic and destabilising – stands in for the pitiless dynamic of New York itself.

Howard Halle. “Hipsters, Hustlers, and Handball Players: Leon Levinstein’s New York Photographs, 1950-1980,” on the Time Out New York website, Monday June 14, 2010 [Online] Cited 26/12/2019

 

Leon Levinstein. 'Street Scene - Woman in Striped Dress on Stoop, New York City' 1970s

 

Leon Levinstein (American, 1910-1988)
Street Scene: Woman in Striped Dress on Stoop, New York City
1970s
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Gary Davis, 2007
© Howard Greenberg Gallery

 

Leon Levinstein. 'Street Scene - Young Man Leaning against Shopfront Window, New York City?' 1972

 

Leon Levinstein (American, 1910-1988)
Street Scene: Young Man Leaning against Shopfront Window, New York City?
1972
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Gary Davis, 2008
© Howard Greenberg Gallery

 

 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street
New York, New York 10028-0198
Information: 212-535-7710

Opening hours:
Sunday – Thursday: 10.00 am – 5.30 pm
Friday and Saturday: 10.00 am – 9.00 pm

The Metropolitan Museum of Art website

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26
Sep
10

Review: ‘Mari Funaki: Objects’ at the The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 6th August – 24th October 2010

 

Mari Funaki. 'Object' 2008

 

Mari Funaki (born Japan 1950, arrived Australia 1979, died 2010)
Object
2008
Heat-coloured mild steel
20.0 x 28.0 x 5.0 cm
Collection of Raphy Star, Melbourne
© The Estate of Mari Funaki

 

Mari Funaki. 'Container' 2008

 

Mari Funaki (born Japan 1950, arrived Australia 1979, died 2010)
Container
2008
heat-coloured mild steel
(a–c) 21.3 x 40.5 x 8.5 cm (overall)
Private collection, Melbourne
© The Estate of Mari Funaki

 

Mari Funaki. 'Container' 2008

 

Mari Funaki (born Japan 1950, arrived Australia 1979, died 2010)
Container
2008
heat-coloured mild steel
4.8 x 16.0 x 15.5cm
Private Collection, Melbourne
© The Estate of Mari Funaki

 

Mari Funaki. 'Object' 2008

 

Mari Funaki (born Japan 1950, arrived Australia 1979, died 2010)
Object
2008
heat-coloured mild steel
20.0 x 28.0 x 5.0 cm
Collection of Raphy Star, Melbourne
© The Estate of Mari Funaki

 

 

Let us drop away all interpretation and look at the thing in itself.
The literal feeling of standing before these objects.

 

Form

Balance

Colour

Surface

Precision

Will

Style

Silence

 

Quiet, precise works. Forms of insect-like legs and proboscises. They balance, seeming to almost teeter on the edge – but the objects are incredibly grounded at the same time. As you walk into the darkened gallery and observe these creatures you feel this pull – lightness and weight. Fantastic!

The surfaces, sublime matt grey colour and precision of their manufacture add to this sense of the ineffable. These are not mere renderings of content, but expressions of things that cannot be said.

Sontag observes, “Art is the objectifying of the will in a thing or performance, and the provoking or arousing of the will … Style is the principle of decision in a work of art, the signature of the artist’s will.”1

Sontag insightfully notes, “The most potent elements in a work of art are, often, its silences.”2

 

And so it came to pass in silence, for these works are still, quiet and have a quality of the presence of the inexpressible.

Funaki achieves these incredible silences through being true to her self and her style through an expression of her endearing will.

While Mari may no longer be amongst us as expressions of her will the silences of these objects will be forever with us.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

  1. Sontag, Susan. “On Style,” in Against Interpretation and Other Essays. New York: Delta Book, 1966, pp. 31-32.
  2. Ibid., p. 36.

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Many thanxk to Alison Murray, Jemma Altmeier and The National Gallery of Victoria for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image. All individual photographs of work by Jeremy Dillon.

 

'Mari Funaki: Objects' installation shot on opening night at NGV Australia

'Mari Funaki: Objects' installation shot on opening night at NGV Australia

'Mari Funaki: Objects' installation shot on opening night at NGV Australia

 

Mari Funaki: Objects installation shots on opening night at NGV Australia

 

 

“Opening 6 August, the National Gallery of Victoria will present Mari Funaki: Objects, an exhibition showcasing a range of sculptural objects by the renowned contemporary jeweller and metalsmith, Mari Funaki (1950-2010).

This exhibition will present a selection of Funaki’s distinctive objects, dating from the late 1990s to 2010 including four recent large scale sculptures. The artist was working on the exhibition right up until the time of her recent death.

Jane Devery, Acting Curator, Contemporary Art, NGV said: “It was a great privilege to work with Mari Funaki on this exhibition. She possessed a clarity of vision and a capacity for ongoing invention that is rare among artists. Funaki produced some of the most captivating works in the field of contemporary jewellery and metalwork. Her unique geometric objects, meticulously constructed from blackened mild-steel, stemmed from a desire to express the world around her.”

“Funaki was interested in the expressive and associative capacities of her objects, creating forms that might stir our imaginations or trigger something from our memories. It has been particularly thrilling to see her extend these concerns in large scale works,” said Ms Devery. In 1979 Funaki left her home in Japan for Melbourne where she pursued her creative ambitions, enrolling in Gold and Silversmithing at RMIT in the late 1980s. At RMIT she studied under the prominent jewellers Marian Hosking, Robert Baines and Carlier Makigawa.

In 1995, Mari Funaki established Gallery Funaki in Melbourne’s CBD which remains Australia’s most important space dedicated to contemporary jewellery. Throughout her career she exhibited widely within Australia and overseas and won many awards, twice winning the prestigious Herbert Hoffman prize in Munich. In 2007 she was awarded an Australian Council Emeritus Award for her work as an artist and for her success in promoting Australian and international contemporary jewellery.

Frances Lindsay, Deputy Director, NGV said: “The NGV is delighted to exhibit many never-before-seen works by such an innovative and celebrated Melbourne artist. The exquisite objects assembled in this exhibition allow us to appreciate Mari Funaki’s remarkable artistic achievements.”

Mari Funaki: Objects will be on display at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square from 6 August to 24 October, 2010. The exhibition will be open from 10am-5pm. Closed Mondays. Entry is free.”

Press release from the National Gallery of Victoria website

 

Mari Funaki. 'Object' 2008

 

Mari Funaki (born Japan 1950, arrived Australia 1979, died 2010)
Object
2008
Heat-coloured mild steel
36.0 x 47.5 x 14.5 cm
Collection of Johannes Hartfuss & Fabian Jungbeck, Melbourne
© The Estate of Mari Funaki

 

Mari Funaki, 'Container' 2006

 

Mari Funaki (born Japan 1950, arrived Australia 1979, died 2010)
Container
2006
Heat-coloured mild steel
26.0 x 8.5 x 6.0 cm
Collection of Peter and Jennifer McMahon, Melbourne
© The Estate of Mari Funaki

 

Mari Funaki. 'Object' 2010

 

Mari Funaki (born Japan 1950, arrived Australia 1979, died 2010)
Object
2010
Heat-coloured mild steel
30.0 x 19.0 x 20.5 cm
Collection of the Estate of Mari Funaki, Melbourne
© The Estate of Mari Funaki

 

Mari Funaki. 'Object' 2010

 

Mari Funaki (born Japan 1950, arrived Australia 1979, died 2010)
Object
2010
heat-coloured mild steel
45.0 x 52.0 3.5 cm
Collection of the Estate of Mari Funaki, Melbourne
© The Estate of Mari Funaki

 

Mari Funaki. 'Object' 2010

 

Mari Funaki (born Japan 1950, arrived Australia 1979, died 2010)
Object
2010
heat-coloured mild steel
12.0 x 44.0 x 14.0 cm
Collection of the Estate of Mari Funaki, Melbourne
© The Estate of Mari Funaki

 

 

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia
Federation Square

Corner of Russell and 
Flinders Streets, Melbourne

Opening hours:
Daily 10am – 5pm

National Gallery of Victoria website

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23
Sep
10

Exhibition: ‘Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance & the Camera’ at Tate Modern, London

Exhibition dates: 28th May – 3rd October 2010

 

Many thankx to Rose Dahlsen and the Tate Modern for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Harry Callahan.
 'Untitled (Atlanta)' 1984

 

Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999)
Untitled (Atlanta)
1984
Dye transfer print 
9 7/16 x 14 5/16 in. (23.97 x 36.35 cm)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
© The Estate of Harry Callahan, courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York

 

Jonathan Olley. 'Golf Five Zero watchtower (known to the British Army as 'Borucki Sanger'), Crossmaglen Security Force Base, South Armagh' 1999

 

Jonathan Olley (British, b. 1967)
Golf Five Zero watchtower (known to the British Army as ‘Borucki Sanger’), Crossmaglen Security Force Base, South Armagh
1999
Gelatin silver bromide print
Coutesy Diemar/Noble Photography, London
© J.Olley

 

Benjamin Lowy (American, b. 1979) 'Iraq Perspective II' 2003-2007

 

Benjamin Lowy (American, b. 1979)
Iraq Perspective II
2003-2007

 

 

US soldiers go on a late night raid with Iraqi Sunni Concerned citizens leading the way and identifying potential AQi targets. Due to a high level of IEDs in the area the company size raiding party walked 5 kilometres to the target in complete darkness, raided the target houses, detained questionable suspects and walked 5 kilometres back to waiting humvees.

 

Sophie Calle (French, b. 1953) 'The Hotel, Room 47' (L'Hôtel, Chambre 47) 1981

 

Sophie Calle (French, b. 1953)
The Hotel, Room 47 (L’Hôtel, Chambre 47)
1981
2 works on paper, photographs and ink
2140 x 1420 mm
Tate
Presented by the Patrons of New Art through the Tate Gallery Foundation 1999

 

 

This is a two-part framed work comprising photographs and text. In the upper part, the title Room 47 is printed below a colour photograph of elegantly carved wooden twin head-boards behind a bed covered in rich brown satin. Below it, three columns of italic text are diary entries describing findings in the hotel room between Sunday 22 February 1981 and Tuesday 24. In the lower frame a grid of nine black and white photographs show things listed in the text above. This work is part of a project titled The Hotel, which the artist has defined:

“On Monday, February 16, 1981, I was hired as a temporary chambermaid for three weeks in a Venetian hotel. I was assigned twelve bedrooms on the fourth floor. In the course of my cleaning duties, I examined the personal belongings of the hotel guests and observed through details lives which remained unknown to me. On Friday, March 6, the job came to an end.” (Quoted in Calle, pp.140-1.)

Each of the twelve rooms gave rise to a diptych of similar structure following the occupancy of one or more guests during the period of the artist’s employment at the hotel. Some rooms feature more than once as a second set of guests occupied them, giving rise to a total of twenty-one diptychs in the series. Calle’s descriptions of the hotel rooms and their contents combine factual documentation along with her personal response to the people whose lives she glimpsed by examining their belongings. Each text begins with the chambermaid/artist’s first entry into the room and a notation of which bed or beds have been slept in, with a description of the nightwear the guests have left. A list of objects usually follows, as the artist transcribes her activities in the room. Calle is unashamedly voyeuristic, reading diaries, letters, postcards and notes written or kept by the unknown guests, rummaging in suitcases, and looking into wardrobes and drawers. She sprays herself with their perfume and cologne, makes herself up using the contents of a vanity case, eats food left behind and salvages a pair of women’s shoes left in the bin. Outside the room, she listens at doors, recording the occupants’ conversations or any other sounds she may overhear, and even peers into a room when the floor-waiter opens the door to catch a glimpse of the unknown guests.

The absent occupants described in Room 47 are a family of four – two parents and two children – as revealed by their four pairs of slippers. Calle does not go through their suitcase, commenting: ‘I am already bored’. From their passports she discovers that the parents are a married couple from Geneva and she copies out four postcards one of them has written. Words on one of these hint at problems within the family.

Calle began her artistic projects in 1979 on returning to Paris after seven years’ travel abroad. Disorientated, she felt like a stranger in her own city, not knowing how to occupy her time. She started to follow random passers-by and spend her days as they did. Eventually she picked up the camera she had been experimenting with during her time abroad and photographed the strangers, writing diaristic notes of their movements. From this she has developed a particular way of working, collecting information about people who are absent and investigating her subjects like a detective. The Hotel follows directly from a project the artist undertook the previous year entitled Suite Venetienne 1980, which evolved from a chance encounter with a man she had been following in Paris. He told her he was going to Venice, so she followed him there in disguise, documenting her observations. After a year of planning and waiting, she returned to Venice in 1981 as a chambermaid.

The Hotel diptychs were produced in an edition of four in English and four in French. Tate’s copy of Room 47 (22 February) is the first in the English edition. Another version of Room 47 exists for the period 2-6 March.

Elizabeth Manchester
June 2005

Text from the Tate website [Online] Cited 26/12/2019

 

Walker Evans. 'Subway Passengers, New York' 1938

 

Walker Evans (American, 1903-1975)
Subway Passengers, New York
1938
Gelatin silver print

 

Weegee (Arthur Fellig) (American, born Austria, 1899-1968) '[Lovers at the Movies, Times Square]' c. 1953

 

Weegee (Arthur Fellig) (American, born Austria, 1899-1968)
[Lovers at the Movies, Times Square]
c. 1953
Gelatin silver print
26.7 × 35.4 cm (10 1/2 × 13 15/16 in)
© International Center of Photography

 

 

Exposed offers a fascinating look at pictures made on the sly, without the explicit permission of the people depicted. With photographs from the late nineteenth century to present day, the pictures present a shocking, illuminating and witty perspective on iconic and taboo subjects.

Beginning with the idea of the ‘unseen photographer’, Exposed presents 250 works by celebrated artists and photographers including Brassaï’s erotic Secret Paris of the 1930s images; Weegee’s iconic photograph of Marilyn Monroe; and Nick Ut’s reportage image of children escaping napalm attacks in the Vietnam War. Sex and celebrity is an important part of the exhibition, presenting photographs of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, Paris Hilton on her way to prison and the assassination of JFK. Other renowned photographers represented in the show include Guy Bourdin, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Philip Lorca DiCorcia, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Nan Goldin, Lee Miller, Helmut Newton and Man Ray.

The UK is now the most surveyed country in the world. We have an obsession with voyeurism, privacy laws, freedom of media, and surveillance – images captured and relayed on camera phones, YouTube or reality TV.

Much of Exposed focuses on surveillance, including works by both amateur and press photographers, and images produced using automatic technology such as CCTV. The issues raised are particularly relevant in the current climate, with topical debates raging around the rights and desires of individuals, terrorism and the increasing availability and use of surveillance. Exposed confronts these issues and their implications head-on.

Text from the Tate Modern website [Online] Cited 21/09/2010 no longer available online

 

 

Kohei Yoshiyuki (Japan, b. 1946)
Untitled
1971
From the series The Park
Gelatin silver print

 

Kohei Yoshiyuki (Japan, b. 1946) 'Untitled' 1971

 

Kohei Yoshiyuki (Japan, b. 1946)
Untitled
1971
From the series The Park
Gelatin silver print

 

 

Ron Galella (American, b. 1931) 'What Makes Jackie Run? Central Park, New York City, October 4, 1971' 1971

 

Ron Galella (American, b. 1931)
What Makes Jackie Run? Central Park, New York City, October 4, 1971
1971
Gelatin silver print
7 3/8 in. x 9 7/8 in. (18.73 cm x 25.08 cm)
© Ron Galella

 

Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984) 'Couple Kissing, Girl Staring at Camera, Tortilla Factory, New York' 1969

 

Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984)
Couple Kissing, Girl Staring at Camera, Tortilla Factory, New York
1969
Gelatin silver print
© Garry Winogrand/Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

 

Denis Beaubois. 'In the event of Amnesia the city will recall…' 1996-1997

 

Denis Beaubois
In the event of Amnesia the city will recall…
1996-1997
DVD
9 mins 30 secs
courtesy the artist

 

Denis Beaubois. 'In the event of Amnesia the city will recall…' 1996-1997

 

Denis Beaubois
In the event of Amnesia the city will recall…
1996-1997
DVD
9 mins 30 secs
courtesy the artist

 

Georges Dudognon
. 'Greta Garbo in the Club St. Germain, Paris' c. 1950s

 

Georges Dudognon (French, b. 1922)
Greta Garbo in the Club St. Germain, Paris
c. 1950s
Gelatin silver print
7 1/16  x 7 1/8 in. (17.94 x 18.1 cm)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Members of Foto Forum, 2005.200
© Estate of Georges Dudognon

 

Weegee (Arthur H. Fellig). '[Marilyn Monroe]' c. 1950s

 

Weegee (Arthur H. Fellig) (American, 1899-1968)
[Marilyn Monroe]
c. 1950s
Gelatin silver print
International Center of Photography, New York, Gift of Wilma Wilcox, 1993
© Weegee / International Center of Photography / Getty Images

 

Shizuka Yokomizo (Japanese, b. 1966) 'Stranger No. 1' 1998

 

Shizuka Yokomizo (Japanese, b. 1966)
Stranger No. 1
1998
Chromogenic print
50 x 42 1/2 in. (127 x 108 cm)
© Shizuka Yokomizo

 

 

Tate Modern
Bankside
London SE1 9TG
020 7887 8888

Opening hours:
Monday to Sunday 10.00 – 18.00

Tate Modern website

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19
Sep
10

Exhibition: ‘Timelines: Photography and Time’ at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 7th May – 3rd October 2010

 

Many thankx to Alison Murray and the National Gallery of Victoria for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Lewis Hine (American, 1874-1940) 'Lacy, twelve years old and Savannah, eleven years old' 1908

 

Lewis Hine (American, 1874-1940)
Lacy, twelve years old and Savannah, eleven years old
1908
Gelatin silver print
11.9 × 17.1 cm (image and sheet)
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1980

 

 

‘Perhaps you are weary of child labour pictures. Well, so are the rest of us, but we propose to make you and the whole country so sick and tired of the whole business that when the time for action comes, child labour pictures will be records of the past.’

Lewis Hine, 1909

 

Unknown photographer, 'No title (Ritual washing for funeral)' c. 1880

 

Unknown photographer
No title (Ritual washing for funeral)
c. 1880
Albumen silver photograph, colour dyes
Image and sheet: 21.2 × 26.5 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 2001

 

Felice Beato. 'No title (Maiko)' (1866-68, printed 1877-85)

 

Felice Beato (Italian/English 1832-1909, worked throughout Europe and Asia 1853-90)
Stillfried and Anderson and the Japan Photographic Association (studio) (Japanese 1877-85)
No title (Maiko)
1866-68, printed 1877-85
albumen silver photograph, coloured dyes
24.4 x 19.6 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through the NGV Foundation with the assistance of The Herald & Weekly Times Limited, Fellow, 2001

 

Christine Godden (Australian, b. 1947) 'Joanie with Jade' 1973; printed 1986

 

Christine Godden (Australian, b. 1947)
Joanie with Jade
1973; printed 1986
Gelatin silver photograph
20.3 × 30.6 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased from Admission Funds, 1991
© Christine Godden

 

Ruth Maddison. 'Molly O'Sullivan, 82' 1990

 

Ruth Maddison (Australian 1945- )
Molly O’Sullivan, 82
1990
From the After work series 1990
Gelatin silver photograph, oil paint, fibre-tipped pen
24.8 x 20.6 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through The Art Foundation of Victoria with the assistance of the Hugh Williamson Foundation, Founder Benefactor, 1990
© Ruth Maddison

 

 

Opening 7 May, the National Gallery of Victoria will present Timelines: Photography and Time, a captivating exhibition exploring the notion of time in photographs.

Time is a slippery notion. It is everywhere and always moving but this powerful regulating force cannot be seen. It is only apparent in context: in the changing seasons, in another wrinkle on our faces, in the growth of children. Photography has a unique role to play in our sometimes poignant sense of time passing. The camera’s ability to depict ‘a moment in time’ – to stop the clock for a brief moment – gives photographs a unique capacity to direct our consideration towards the mechanics and poetics of this pervasive and mysterious cosmic force.

In this exhibition one aspect of time is considered from a photographic perspective: namely, human life. Works have been selected from the permanent collection both by International and Australian photographers that show an interest in some aspect of lifecycles. Arranged, in part, in a ‘timeline’, these works provoke our understanding of the mediums capacity to suggest the concept of time in ways that may be surprising, moving or even confronting. The exhibition also looks at how photographers have extended a sense of time and duration through images that work in series

Timelines will feature almost forty photographs from the NGV Collection by both Australian and international photographers including work by Diane Arbus, Micky Allan and Bill Brandt.

Isobel Crombie, Senior Curator of Photography, NGV said photography has a unique role to play in capturing the way that time passes.

“The camera’s ability to ‘stop the clock’ enables the medium to direct our consideration towards the mechanics and poetics of this pervasive and mysterious cosmic force.

“The instant that the photograph captures can be a potent reminder to seize the day rather than dreaming about the past or worrying about the future,” said Dr Crombie.

The exhibition also looks at how photographers have extended a sense of time and duration through images that work in series. From the 1960s onwards, photographers began experimenting with stretching time by creating a series or sequence of photographs.

This is seen in Rod McNicol’s powerful series titled A portrait revisited (1986-2006), (pictured Jack, below). Purchased by the NGV in 2009, the series features portraits of men and women; each posed directly facing the camera against a plain backdrop. There are two portraits of each subject photographed twenty years apart, inviting the viewer to compare the portraits to see how time has changed them. The sense of time passing is highlighted with the portrait of Peter, who is photographed only once. The blank image next to him is a reminder that he died before the second portrait was made.

Each phase of human existence has characteristic traits and features, and photographers have worked with these qualities in ways that evoke the passing of time and our place in this cycle. Arranged in part in a human timeline, the exhibition begins with the start of a new life as depicted in Christine Godden’s Joanie pregnant (1972) and Joanie with Jade (1973) and concludes with Kusakabe Kimbei’s Ritual washing for a funeral (c. 1880, see above – now labelled as ‘Unknown’ on the NGV website in 2019), an image of a deceased man being prepared in the traditional Japanese way for burial. This final scene captures the grief of the moment when a lifetime ends.

Frances Lindsay, Deputy Director, NGV said: “The works in the exhibition show how artists have explored the concept of time in ways that may surprise, move or even confront viewers. This exhibition provides visitors with a special opportunity to view this remarkable collection of photographs from the NGV Collection, many of which are on display for the first time.”

Timelines will include photographs by Micky Allan, Diane Arbus, Felice Beato, Bill Brandt, Brassaï, Harry Callahan, Imogen Cunningham, Walker Evans, Christine Godden, Ponch Hawkes, Petrina Hicks, Lewis Hine, Kusakabe Kimbei, Rosemary Laing, J.H. Lartigue, Ruth Maddison, Rod McNicol, David Moore, Jan Saudek, John Thompson, Roman Vishniac, and Edward Weston.”

Text from the National Gallery of Victoria International website [Online] Cited 17/09/2010 no longer available online

 

 

Rosemary Laing (Australian 1959- )
a dozen useless actions for grieving blondes #10
2009
Type C photograph
76.3 x 132.1 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists, 2010
© Rosemary Laing and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne

 

Rod McNicol. 'Jack' 2006

 

Rod McNicol (Australian 1946- )
Jack
2006
From the A portrait revisited series 1986-2006
Digital type C print
48.0 x 67.1 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists, 2009
© Rod McNicol

 

Ponch Hawkes. 'The watch that Lucy gave to Beci' (1987, printed 1989)

 

Ponch Hawkes (Australian 1946- )
The watch that Lucy gave to Beci
1987, printed 1989
Gelatin silver photograph
23.8 x 35.1 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds donated by Hallmark Cards Australia Pty Ltd, 1989
© Ponch Hawkes

 

David Moore. 'Outback children, South Australia' 1963

 

David Moore (Australian 1927-2003)
Outback children, South Australia
1963
Gelatin silver photograph
36.8 x 57.6 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased through the KODAK (Australasia) Pty Ltd Fund, 1969
© David Moore Estate

 

 

NGV International
180 St Kilda Road

Opening hours
Daily 10am – 5pm

National Gallery of Victoria website

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17
Sep
10

Marcus Bunyan work in progress: ‘Missing in Action (red kenosis)’ (2010)

September 2010

 

A new body of work is slowly taking shape. I have over 150 images at the moment (!!) and after I finish making them all the images will be culled to form the new series Missing in Action (red kenosis) (2010). Images from the new series are below. Please click on the photographs to see a larger version of the image. Enjoy!

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.

 

 

Marcus Bunyan. 'Missing in Action (red kenosis)' 2010

Marcus Bunyan. 'Missing in Action (red kenosis)' 2010

Marcus Bunyan. 'Missing in Action (red kenosis)' 2010

Marcus Bunyan. 'Missing in Action (red kenosis)' 2010

Marcus Bunyan. 'Missing in Action (red kenosis)' 2010

Marcus Bunyan. 'Missing in Action (red kenosis)' 2010

 

All images from the upcoming series Missing in Action (red kenosis) 2010

 

 

Marcus Bunyan website

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15
Sep
10

Exhibition: ‘South African Photographs: David Goldblatt’ at The Jewish Museum, New York

Exhibition dates: 2nd May – 19th September 2010

 

David Goldblatt, 'Steven with Sight Seeing Bus, Doornfontein, Johannesburg, 1960'

 

David Goldblatt (South Africa, 1930-2018)
Steven with Sight Seeing Bus, Doornfontein, Johannesburg, 1960
Silver gelatin print on fiber-pressed paper
Courtesy of David Goldblatt and the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

 

 

2019

Now that he has gone, these seem, if possible, more powerful, poignant and prescient / ancient than ever.

Marcus

.
Many thankx to the Jewish Museum in New York for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

David Goldblatt. 'Holdup in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, November 1963'

 

David Goldblatt (South Africa, 1930-2018)
Holdup in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, November 1963
Silver gelatin print on fiber-pressed paper
Courtesy of David Goldblatt and the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

 

David Goldblatt. 'A plot-holder with the daughter of a servant, Wheatlands, Randfontein, September 1962'

 

David Goldblatt (South Africa, 1930-2018)
A plot-holder with the daughter of a servant, Wheatlands, Randfontein, September 1962
Silver gelatin print on fiber-pressed paper
Courtesy of David Goldblatt and the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

 

David Goldblatt. 'The farmer's wife, Fochville, 1965'

 

David Goldblatt (South Africa, 1930-2018)
The farmer’s wife, Fochville, 1965
Silver gelatin print on fiber-pressed paper
Courtesy of David Goldblatt and the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

 

 

“The Jewish Museum currently offers visitors an opportunity to see 150 black-and-white silver gelatin prints taken between 1948 and 2009 in South African Photographs: David Goldblatt. The photographs on display focus on South Africa’s human landscape in the apartheid and post-apartheid eras and are accompanied by Goldblatt’s own written commentary. Growing up in segregated South Africa, he witnessed the deep humiliation and discrimination suffered by blacks and experienced anti-Semitism personally.

Goldblatt’s photographs expose the complex and evolving nature of apartheid through the diversity and subtlety of his approach while instilling “…emotional complexity that rewards repeated viewing” (The New Yorker). Instead of documenting major political events or horrifying incidents of violence, he focuses on the details of daily life and the world of ordinary people, a world where the apartheid system penetrates every aspect of society. In his photographs you will find “great beauty and the most profound humanity” (The Wall Street Journal).

For more than half a century, David Goldblatt has been photographing his native South Africa, documenting the social, cultural and economic divides that characterise the country. Recipient of the 2009 Henri Cartier-Bresson Award and the prestigious 2006 Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography, David Goldblatt is his country’s most distinguished photographer.

Goldblatt’s photographs expose the complex and evolving nature of apartheid through the diversity and subtlety of his approach. He has not documented major political events or horrifying incidents of violence. Instead, he focuses on the details of daily life and the world of ordinary people, a world where the apartheid system penetrates every aspect of society. He is constantly searching for the substance beneath the surface of human situations. As Nadine Gordimer comments in the exhibition audio guide, Goldblatt captures “…these moments when everything that has happened to an individual is somehow in that image at that time. All the person has felt and known is contained, indeed, in the way he comports himself, the way he’s sitting, the way he looks, and the kind of setting in which he is.” Goldblatt frequently addresses a complex question in his work: how is it possible to be reasonable, decent, and law-abiding, and at the same time, complicit in and even actively supportive of a system that is fundamentally immoral and evil? Each photograph in this exhibition is an intimate portrayal of a culture living with racism and injustice […]

 

David Goldblatt. 'Farmers at a cattle auction, Vryburg, 1965'

 

David Goldblatt (South Africa, 1930-2018)
Farmers at a cattle auction, Vryburg, 1965
Silver gelatin print on fiber-pressed paper
Courtesy of David Goldblatt and the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

 

David Goldblatt. 'Baby with childminders and dogs in the Alexandra Street Park, Hillbrow, Johannesburg, 1972'

 

David Goldblatt (South Africa, 1930-2018)
Baby with childminders and dogs in the Alexandra Street Park, Hillbrow, Johannesburg, 1972
Silver gelatin print on fiber-pressed paper
Courtesy of David Goldblatt and the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

 

David Goldblatt. 'Three women at 39 Soper Road, Berea, Johannesburg, May 1972'

 

David Goldblatt (South Africa, 1930-2018)
Three women at 39 Soper Road, Berea, Johannesburg, May 1972
silver gelatin print on fiber-pressed paper
Courtesy of David Goldblatt and the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

 

 

David Goldblatt has used his camera to explore South Africa’s mines; the descendants of seventeenth-century Dutch settlers called Afrikaners who were the architects of apartheid; life in Boksburg, a small middle-class white community; the Bantustans or “puppet states” in which blacks were forced to live; structures built for purposes ranging from shelter to commemoration; and Johannesburg, the city in which Goldblatt lives.

The photographer once wrote, “I am neither an activist nor a missionary. Yet I had begun to realise an involvement with this place and the people among whom I lived that would not be stilled and that I needed to grasp and probe. I wanted to explore the specifics of our lives, not in theories but in the grit and taste and touch of things, and to bring those specifics into that particular coherence that the camera both enables and demands.”

David Goldblatt has been photographing the changing political landscape of his country for more than five decades. He is descended from Lithuanian Jews who fled Europe in the 1890s to escape religious persecution. His father passed on to him, the artist said, “a strong sense of outrage at anything that smacked of racism.” Growing up in segregated South Africa, he witnessed the deep humiliation and discrimination suffered by blacks and experienced anti-Semitism personally. These experiences have informed his work.

Goldblatt’s written commentary is an essential part of his work and is presented throughout the exhibition in the texts and labels that accompany the photographs. A context room in the exhibition features a timeline juxtaposing events in South African history and David Goldblatt’s life; books published by the photographer; photography magazines that inspired him; a large map of South Africa; and a 22-minute excerpt of David Goldblatt: In Black and White, a 1985 film originally aired on Channel 4 Television in Great Britain.

The exhibition has been organised by The Jewish Museum’s Senior Curator, Susan Tumarkin Goodman.  All the works in the exhibition are silver gelatin prints on fiber-pressed paper.

 

About David Goldblatt

David Goldblatt was born in 1930, the youngest of the three sons of Eli and Olga Goldblatt. His grandparents arrived in South Africa from Lithuania around 1893, having fled the persecution of Jews in the Baltic countries. David’s paternal grandfather owned a general store in Randfontein, a gold-mining town near Johannesburg. Eli Goldblatt built the business into a respected men’s clothing store and for some years David assisted with the running of the shop when his father’s poor health necessitated it. But he was only biding his time. He had become interested in photography in high school, and after his father’s death in 1962, he sold the business to devote all of his time to being a photographer.

Press release from The Jewish Museum website [Online] Cited 13/09/2010 no longer available online

 

David Goldblatt. 'A farmer's son with his nursemaid, Heimweeberg, Nietverdiend, 1964'

 

David Goldblatt (South Africa, 1930-2018)
A farmer’s son with his nursemaid, Heimweeberg, Nietverdiend, 1964
Silver gelatin print on fiber-pressed paper
Courtesy of David Goldblatt and the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

 

David Goldblatt. 'Travellers from KwaNdebele buying their weekly tickets at the bus depot in Marabastad, Pretoria, February 1984'

 

David Goldblatt (South Africa, 1930-2018)
Travellers from KwaNdebele buying their weekly tickets at the bus depot in Marabastad, Pretoria, February 1984
Silver gelatin print on fiber-pressed paper
Courtesy of David Goldblatt and the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg

 

 

The Jewish Museum
1109 5th Ave at 92nd St
New York NY 10128

Exhibition galleries opening hours:
Sun 11.00am – 5.45pm
Mon 11.00am – 5.45pm
Tue 11.00am – 5.45pm
Wed Closed
Thur 11:00am – 8:00pm
Fri 11.00am – 4.00pm
Sat 11.00am – 5.45pm

The Jewish Museum website

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13
Sep
10

Exhibition: Wolfgang Tillmans at the Serpentine Gallery, London

Exhibition dates: 26th June – 19th September 2010

 

Wolfgang Tillmans. Installation view Serpentine Gallery, London

 

Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968)
Installation views Serpentine Gallery, London
Photographs: Gautier de Blonde

 

 

“In the constellations of pictures, I try to approximate the way I see the world, not in a linear order but as a multitude of parallel experiences…  Multiple singularities, simultaneously accessible as they share the same space or room.”

.
Wolfgang Tillmans

 

 

Since I haven’t been to the exhibition I have tried to sequence the photographs of this wonderful artist in a small intimation of how he might have visualised them – I hope you get the idea. The installation photographs at the bottom give clues to the actual moments of what Minor White calls ‘ice/fire’ – the space between disparate images, the space that is just as important as the images themselves for the frisson that is evokes, the creation of that metaphorical leap into the void of meaning where malleable thoughts emerge; never linear, both singular and multiple at one and the same time.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to the Serpentine Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Wolfgang Tillmans. 'Anders pulling splinter from his foot' 2004

 

Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968)
Anders pulling splinter from his foot
2004
C-type print
61 × 50.8 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

 

Wolfgang Tillmans. 'Nanbei Hu' 2009

 

Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968)
Nanbei Hu
2009
Inkjet print
207 x 138 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

 

Wolfgang Tillmans. 'Roy' 2009

 

Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968)
Roy
2009
C-type print
40.6 x 30.5 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

 

Wolfgang Tillmans. 'Venus, transit' 2004

 

Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968)
Venus, transit
2004
C-type print
40.6 × 30.5 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

 

Wolfgang Tillmans. 'Dan' 2008

 

Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968)
Dan
2008
C-type print
61 × 50.8 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

 

Wolfgang Tillmans. 'Eierstapel' 2009

 

Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968)
Eierstapel
2009
C-type print
61 x 50.8 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

 

Wolfgang Tillmans. 'Muqarnas' 2006

 

Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968)
Muqarnas
2006
Framed C-type print
214 × 145 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

 

Wolfgang Tillmans. 'Urgency XXII' 2006

 

Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968)
Urgency XXII
2006
Framed C-type print
238 × 181 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

 

Wolfgang Tillmans. 'Zimmerlinde (Michel)' 2006

 

Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968)
Zimmerlinde (Michel)
2006
Framed C-type print
211 × 145 cm
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley, London

 

 

The Serpentine Gallery presents Wolfgang Tillmans’ first major exhibition in London since 2003. Conceived by the artist for the Serpentine Gallery, the exhibition will present both abstract and figurative work.

Over the past 20 years, Tillmans has redefined photography and the way it is shown. Known by the early 90s for the seemingly casual images of the world he inhabited, his work reassessed photographic conventions and reflected the identity politics of the time, capturing the fragility of human life and focusing on everyday objects. This early work then expanded to engage with portraiture, landscape, the still-life and, more recently, abstraction. Tillmans’ abstract work, greatly celebrated in the last decade, continues to push the boundaries and definitions of the photographic form, and will be a particular focus of this exhibition.

The wide-ranging themes in Tillmans’ photographs are combined in his reconfiguration of accumulated images, created in response to a given space. In this new exhibition, the explorations into abstraction sit alongside a new focus on the figurative – a focus that is increasingly informed by recent colour field works and experiments with process. Referring to his approach to installation making Tillmans said: “In the constellations of pictures, I try to approximate the way I see the world, not in a linear order but as a multitude of parallel experiences… Multiple singularities, simultaneously accessible as they share the same space or room.”

The Serpentine Gallery exhibition reflects the artist’s acute sensitivity to the politics of contemporary society, his ongoing fascination with colour, and his conceptual engagement with the technical processes of photography. These delicate yet challenging images capture the distinctive energetic balance between beauty and subversion that Tillmans has long embraced.

Tillmans was born in 1968 in Remscheid, Germany. He studied in Great Britain at the Bournemouth & Poole College of Art & Design, graduating in 1992. In the 1990s, his work was shown at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Kunsthalle Zurich; and Portikus, Frankfurt, amongst others. In 2000 he won the Tate’s Turner Prize. A large survey exhibition in 2001-2003 toured to Deichtorhallen, Hamburg; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek, Denmark. His show called Freedom from the Known at P.S.1, New York (2006) was followed by a major tour of North American museums. In 2008, Tillmans had an extensive solo exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin entitled Lighter, and in 2009 was included in Making Worlds at the 53rd Venice Biennale. More than twenty monographic books on his work have been published to date and an exhibition catalogue will accompany the Serpentine Gallery exhibition.

The exhibition will run concurrently with the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2010, designed by Jean Nouvel and opening on 10 July. Housed in the Pavilion will be artist Christian Boltanski’s Les Archives du Coeur installation.

Press release from the Serpentine Gallery website [Online] Cited 11/09/2010 no longer available online

 

Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968) 'Silver Installation VII' 2009 installation view

 

Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968)
Silver Installation VII
2009
Unique C-type prints
Installation view
Photograph: Gautier de Blonde

 

Wolfgang Tillmans. Installation view Serpentine Gallery, London

Wolfgang Tillmans. Installation view Serpentine Gallery, London

Wolfgang Tillmans. Installation view Serpentine Gallery, London

 

Wolfgang Tillmans (German, b. 1968)
Installation views Serpentine Gallery, London
Photographs: Gautier de Blonde

 

 

Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens
London W2 3XA
Phone: 020 7402 6075

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm

Serpentine Gallery website

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12
Sep
10

Review: ‘How To Comfort Your Father’ by Martin Smith at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Richmond

Exhibition dates: 24th August – 18th September 2010

 

Martin Smith 'Enough' 2010

 

Martin Smith (Australian, b. 1971)
Enough
2010

 

 

Following on from last year’s exhibition My Jesus Lets Me Rub His Belly that examined issues of place and faith when the artist was growing up, Martin Smith now presents a slice of poignant son father love at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Richmond. The combination of images and text create narratives on growing up, life, male bonding and mortality.

In Fix It Up (2010, below) the use of a circle of text on black (the circle of life) in this image paired with a dark photograph of moss covered twigs and branches is exemplary, the metaphor of the arborist chopping down a gum tree in the backyard as his father is waiting to be taken to hospital by ambulance with prostrate cancer, the last time he will be present in his house, incredibly moving. The use of blurred images, such as the central panel in the triptych Sydney (2010, below) adds emotional weight to the narratives, as though the stories told can only be fragmentary memories, as all memories are, of the events that have passed. The feeling of an excavation of the meaning of life and death is further enhanced by the incision of the letters into the photographs surface and the extrusion of the letters to form three-dimensional sculptural forms, as in the work Enough (2010, see photograph and detail below). The letters shape references the fungi on the tree behind, new life growing out of old, as though the words were being extruded out of the forest, archives of communal memory.

My favourite image in the exhibition didn’t have any words at all, not even piled as detritus at the bottom of the frame as many of Smith’s works do. It didn’t need them. The triptyph Untitled 1 (2010, below) is simple and eloquently beautiful and almost brought me to tears. When read in combination with the other works and their texts, the moss covered trees on the left become two wrinkled elbows, the image on the right the wandering mind and the image in the centre – for me, the feeling of life force as it flows in the darkness. As my yoga teacher says to me, “You must learn to navigate the dazzling darkness.”

This illumination of the mind, body, memory and spirit is what Smith’s work is all about. I adore it.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to Edwin and Sophie at Sophie Gannon Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. All photographs © and courtesy of the artist and Sophie Gannon Gallery. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image as it is important to read the text with the larger horizontal works (in some you can’t read the text, it is too small – apologies).

 

Martin Smith. 'Regards Dad' 2010

 

Martin Smith (Australian, b. 1971)
Regards Dad
2010

 

Martin Smith. 'Enough' 2010 (detail)

 

Martin Smith (Australian, b. 1971)
Enough (detail)
2010

 

Martin Smith. 'Fix it up' 2010

 

Martin Smith (Australian, b. 1971)
Fix it up
2010

 

Martin Smith. 'Sydney' 2010

 

Martin Smith (Australian, b. 1971)
Sydney
2010

 

Martin Smith. 'Untitled 1' 2010

 

Martin Smith (Australian, b. 1971)
Untitled 1
2010

 

 

Sophie Gannon Gallery
2, Albert Street, Richmond, Melbourne

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 11 – 5pm

Sophie Gannon Gallery website

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09
Sep
10

Exhibition: ‘The Family and the Land: Sally Mann’ at The Photographers’ Gallery, London

Exhibition dates: 18th June – 19th September 2010

 

Sally Mann. 'Candy Cigarette' 1989

 

Sally Mann (American, b. 1951)
Candy Cigarette
1989
From the series Immediate Family
© Sally Mann. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery

 

 

One of the most haunting photography books I have ever opened and inhaled is What Remains (2003) by Sally Mann.

People say the photographs are shocking – featuring as they do documentation of a deceased pet greyhound, photos of decaying bodies out in the open field of a forensics lab (see photograph below), “the almost invisible traces left by the death of a fugitive on Mann’s property”, the dark landscape of a civil war battlefield and close up photographs of her now grown up children – but there is a stillness and depth to these photographs that elevates them above such sentiments.

What Mann does so well is that she listens to the passing of time and then inscribes an ode to what remains. Her gift is the photography of mortality (and vice versa) with all the psychic weight that this entails. This is a revelatory book not for the faint hearted.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to Sam Trenerry and the Photographers’ Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Sally Mann. 'Scarred Tree' 1996

 

Sally Mann (American, b. 1951)
Scarred Tree
1996
From the series Deep South
© Sally Mann. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery

 

Sally Mann. 'Untitled WR Pa 59' 2001

 

Sally Mann (American, b. 1951)
Untitled WR Pa 59
2001
From the series What Remains
© Sally Mann. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery

 

 

“This exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery is the American photographer Sally Mann’s first solo exhibition in the UK. Combining several series from her long photographic career, The Family and the Land: Sally Mann reflects Mann’s artistic impulse to draw on the world around her as subject matter.

The ‘family’ element of the title comprises Mann’s early series Immediate Family and the newer series Faces, both of which depict her children at various ages. The series Deep South represents the landscape, portraying images made across the south of the United States. The more recent body of work, What Remains brings together both strands of the exhibition, through its examination of how bodies, as they decompose, merge into the land itself.

Sally Mann (b.1951, USA) first gained prominence for Immediate Family (1984-94) a series of intimate and revealing portraits of her three young children, Emmett, Jessie and Virginia. Taken over a ten-year period, Mann depicts them playing, swimming and acting to the camera in and around their homestead in Lexington, Virginia. Born out of a collaborative process between mother and child, the work encapsulates their childhood in all its rawness and innocence.

Mann followed Immediate Family by focusing on the land itself in her series Deep South (1996-98). Here she is drawn to locations steeped in historical significance from the American Civil War, which left both literal and metaphoric scars on the trees and the land itself. Using antique cameras and processes throughout, Mann accentuates the sense of age in the subject while embracing the imperfect effects created by her printing process.

What Remains (2000-04) seeks to further connect human contact to the land and how the body eventually returns to and becomes a part of the land itself. This concept led Mann to photograph decomposing cadavers at the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility, Knoxville, where human decomposition is studied in a variety of, mainly outdoor, settings. What Remains deals directly with the subject of death, still a social taboo. As with her other work, Mann’s subjects are sensitively handled and beautifully realised, encouraging us to reflect upon our own mortality and place within nature’s order.

In the most recent series Faces (2004), Mann turns the camera once more on her children. Closing in on their faces and using several minutes of exposure time, these works act as a commemoration of the living. Again Mann takes the accidental drips and marks created by the wet collodian process and makes them a key feature of her work.

The Family and the Land: Sally Mann at The Photographers’ Gallery is an edited version of a touring exhibition, conceived by Sally Mann in collaboration with Hasse Persson, Director, Borås Museum of Modern Art, Sweden. It has been presented at Fotomuseum Den Hague and the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne as well as in Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki, Helsingborg, and Copenhagen.”

Press release from The Photographers’ Gallery website [Online] Cited 07/09/2010 no longer available online

 

Sally Mann. 'At Warm Springs' 1991

 

Sally Mann (American, b. 1951)
At Warm Springs
1991
From the series Immediate Family
© Sally Mann. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery

 

Sally Mann. 'Jessie #10' 2004

 

Sally Mann (American, b. 1951)
Jessie #10
2004
From the series Faces
© Sally Mann. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery

 

Sally Mann. 'Virginia #42' 2004

 

Sally Mann (American, b. 1951)
Virginia #42
2004
From the series Faces
© Sally Mann. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery

 

 

The Photographers’ Gallery
16-18 Ramillies Street,
London W1F7Lw

Opening hours:
Monday – Saturday 10.00 – 18.00
Thursday 10.00 – 20.00
Sunday 11.30 – 18.00

The Photographers’ Gallery website

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06
Sep
10

Exhibition: ‘Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers’ at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

Exhibition dates: 20th May – 12th September 2010

 

Yves Klein. 'Hiroshima' c. 1961

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Hiroshima
c. 1961
Dry pigment and synthetic resin on paper mounted on canvas
© The Estate of Yves Klein c/o ADAGP, Paris

 

 

Space [    ] the final frontier … where silence is golden !

.
Many thankx to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image. See all the Hirshhorn Flicker photosets of Yves Klein.

 

 

“I am the painter of space. I am not an abstract painter but, on the contrary, a figurative artist, and a realist. Let us be honest, to paint space, I must be in position. I must be in space.”

.
Yves Klein

 

 

Yves Klein. 'Untitled Yellow and Pink Monochrome' 1955

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Untitled Yellow and Pink Monochrome
1955
Dry pigment and binder on canvas
22 x 13 1/2 inch
© The Estate of Yves Klein c/o ADAGP, Paris

 

Yves Klein. 'La Vent du voyage' (The Wind of the Journey) c. 1961

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
La Vent du voyage (The Wind of the Journey)
c. 1961
Dry pigment and synthetic resin on canvas
37 x 29 1/2 inch
© The Estate of Yves Klein c/o ADAGP, Paris

 

Yves Klein. 'Le Saut dans le Vide' (Leap into the Void) 1960

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Le Saut dans le Vide (Leap into the Void)
1960
Gelatin silver print

 

Yves Klein. 'Untitled Green Monochrome' c. 1954

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Untitled Green Monochrome
c. 1954
Pure pigment and binder on paper
© The Estate of Yves Klein c/o ADAGP, Paris

 

Yves Klein. 'Architecture de l'air' (Air Architecture) 1961

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Architecture de l’air (Air Architecture)
1961
Dry pigment and synthetic resin on paper mounted on canvas
103 x 84 inch
© The Estate of Yves Klein c/o ADAGP, Paris

 

 

“One of the 20th century’s most influential artists, Yves Klein (French, b. Nice, 1928; d. Paris, 1962), took the European art scene by storm in a prolific but brief career that lasted only from 1954 to 1962. Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers, on view at the Hirshhorn May 20 through Sept. 12, is the first major retrospective of the artist’s work in the United States since 1982. Co-curated by the Hirshhorn’s deputy director and chief curator Kerry Brougher and Dia Art Foundation director, former chief curator and deputy director at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the exhibition is co-organised by the Hirshhorn and the Walker and developed in full collaboration with the Yves Klein Archives in Paris.

Presenting approximately 200 works, Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers explores the full range of the artist’s body of work and offers an essential overview and examination of a career that marked a key transition in 20th-century art. His work embodied an understanding of art beyond a western conception of modernity, beyond the object and beyond traditional notions of what art can be.

“Klein’s short but intense career is a pivotal moment in contemporary art history,” said Brougher. “His work questioned what art and even society could be in the future, and it provided new pathways leading to pop art, minimalism, conceptual art, installation and performance.”

The exhibition features examples from all of Klein’s major series, from his iconic blue monochromes and Anthropometries to sponge reliefs, Fire Paintings, “air architecture” projects, Cosmogonies and planetary reliefs as well as many works that have rarely been on view. The installation provides insight into the artist’s process and conceptual endeavours through an array of ephemera, including sketches, photographs, letters and writings. Several films, including performances and documentaries, further demonstrate Klein’s creative practice.

“I would like that when people leave the exhibition they leap into a void, leaving behind traditional notions of art and representation, but even more importantly, questioning the notion of materiality and materialism in art as well as in their lives,” said Vergne. “Ultimately, Klein’s lesson is about a different way of being together.”

Numerous objects are on loan directly from the Yves Klein Archives, with additional loans from the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Kunstmuseen Krefeld in Krefeld, Germany, The Menil Collection in Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and a host of international private collections, including a rare loan from the Monastery of Saint Rita in Cascia, Italy.

Klein was an innovator and visionary whose goal was no less than to radically reinvent what art could be in the postwar world. Through a diverse practice, which included painting, sculpture, performance, photography, music, architecture and writing as well as plans for projects in theatre, dance and cinema, he shifted the focus of art from the material to “immaterial sensibility”; he levitated art above the weariness induced by the Second World War, resurrecting its avant-garde tendencies, injecting a new sense of spirituality and opening doors for much that followed in the 1960s and beyond.

Self-identified as “the painter of space,” Klein sought to achieve immaterial sensibility through pure colour, primarily an ultramarine blue of his own invention – International Klein Blue. This exhibition begins by examining Klein’s early explorations of colour with works in pastels, watercolours and more than 15 coloured monochromes created during the mid-to-late 1950s. Several significant blue monochromes, dating from as early as 1955 up through 1961, are on view. Klein further pushed boundaries in his engagement with colour and form by using pure pigment in tandem with unconventional materials, such as natural sponges. The sponge, which Klein incorporated into his practice in the late 1950s, became a metaphor, as its porous surface completely absorbed his signature colour, giving a material presence to the immaterial.

Among Klein’s best-known works are the Anthropometries, begun in 1958. Under the artist’s direction, nude female models were smeared with International Klein Blue paint and used as “living brushes” to make body prints on prepared sheets of paper. Klein wanted to record the body’s physical energy, and the resulting images represent the model’s temporary physical presence. More than an expression of the inner psyche of the artist, these paintings offer one method of giving visual presence to a cosmic, spiritual body, which neither photography nor film can fully capture. Seven works from this series are on view, including People Begin to Fly (1961) from The Menil Collection and Untitled Anthropometry (1960) from the Hirshhorn’s collection, which features the bodies of Klein and his future wife Rotraut Uecker.

In the late 1950s, but most notably in 1961, Klein began to use fire, which he considered “the universal principle of expression,” as part of his creative process. His Fire Paintings, such as Untitled Fire Painting (1961), in which fire either replaced or was combined with paint, embody concepts of process, transformation, creation, destruction, dissolution and elemental cosmology that were so essential throughout his career. The final galleries of the exhibition include examples from Klein’s “air architecture” projects, including drawings, plans and models for architectural spaces, such as fountains and walls, constructed out of natural elements like air, water and fire – elements that were not traditionally associated with architecture.

Klein created what he considered his first artwork when he signed the blue sky above Nice in 1947, making his first attempt to capture the immaterial. In his celebrated 1958 exhibition Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Material State of Stabilized Pictorial Sensibility, better known as The Void, at Galerie Iris Clert in Paris, Klein went further by emptying the gallery of all artworks and painting the walls white. Among those who attended the renowned exhibition was Albert Camus, who reacted with a notable entry into the visitors’ album: “with the void, full powers.” In his famous Leap into the Void (1960) image by Harry Shunk and Janos Kender, which was published Nov. 27, 1960, in the faux newspaper Dimanche, which he created for the second Avant-Garde Art Festival, Klein is actually depicted leaping into space himself; the accompanying text asserts: “… to paint space, I must be in position. I must be in space.”

Defying the common understanding and definitions of art – from his experiments with architecture made of air to his leap into the void – Klein aimed to rethink the world in spiritual and aesthetic terms. His philosophy was revolutionary and demonstrated his acute grasp of the contemporary moment, from the horror of the Second World War to the promise of space travel. This presentation of his full oeuvre is essential to discern the shift from modern to contemporary practice and to reveal the extent of the artist’s influence.

Press release from the Hirshhorn website [Online] Cited 04/09/2010 no longer available online

 

Yves Klein. 'Lune II' (Moon II), 1961

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Lune II (Moon II)
1961
Pure pigment and undetermined binder on plaster
© The Estate of Yves Klein c/o ADAGP, Paris

 

Yves Klein. 'Untitled Blue Monochrome' 1959

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Untitled Blue Monochrome
1959
© The Estate of Yves Klein c/o ADAGP, Paris

 

Yves Klein. 'Untitled Gold Monochrome' 1962

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Untitled Gold Monochrome
1962
Gold leaf on wood
© Yves Klein, ADAGP, Paris / SAVA

 

Yves Klein. 'La Rêve du Feu' (The Dream of Fire) c. 1961

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
La Rêve du Feu (The Dream of Fire)
c. 1961
Yves Klein, ADAGP, Paris / DACS

 

Harry Shunk and János Kender, photograph of Yves Klein, The Dream of Fire, c. 1961. Artistic action by Yves Klein.

 

Yves Klein. 'Le Silence est d'or' (Silence is Golden) 1960

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Le Silence est d’or (Silence is Golden)
1960
Gold leaf on wood
© Yves Klein, ADAGP, Paris / SAVA

 

 

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
The Hirshhorn is located on the National Mall at the corner of 7th Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C.

Opening hours:
Open daily except December 25
10am – 5.30pm

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden 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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