Archive for December, 2010

29
Dec
10

Exhibition: ‘The Monstropolous Beast’ by Will Steacy at Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich

Exhibition dates: 17th November 2010 – 15th January 2011

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

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Will Steacy (1980 -, American)
‘Burned Car, Los Angeles’
2009
from “Down these Main Streets”, 2009
Archival pigment prints
61 x 76,2 cm (24 x 30 in.)

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Will Steacy (1980 – , American)
‘Home Delivery, Los Angeles’
2009
from “Down these Main Streets”, 2009
Archival pigment prints
61 x 76,2 cm (24 x 30 in.)

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Will Steacy (1980 -, American)
‘Lovers, New Branford’
2007
from “All my Life I have the same Dream”, 2007
Archival pigment prints
61 x 76,2 cm (24 x 30 in.)

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Will Steacy (1980 -, American)
‘Memorial, Philadelphia’
2009
from “Down these Main Streets”, 2009
Archival pigment prints
61 x 76,2 cm (24 x 30 in.)

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The monstropolous beast had left his bed. Two hundred miles an hour wind had loosed his chains. He seized hold of his dikes and ran forward until he met the quarters; uprooted them like grass and rushed on after his supposed-to- be conquerors, rolling the dikes, rolling the houses, rolling the people in the houses along with other timbers. The sea was walking the earth with a heavy heel.

From Zola Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Christophe Guye Galerie is pleased to present The Monstropolous Beast, Will Steacy’s (*1980, American) first solo exhibition outside the United States.

For his first solo exhibition at the Christophe Guye Galerie, Will Steacy is showing a cross-section of his past years of creative working. Showing 28 new and recent photographs, The Monstropolous Beast is the first exhibition to comprehensively portray Steacy’s whole body of work to date. Once named “the lovechild of Charles Bukowski and Dorothea Lange” Steacy’s work is poetic and confrontational alike, at once evoking photojournalist documentation and romanticised realism.

Steacy’s imaginary stems from his experiences, encounters and the desire to awaken. His work quietly observes, holding on to moments of apparent silence that would pass unnoticed had he not been there to click the shutter. Breathtaking and touching, the emotional force of the artist’s work allows the viewer to intimately connect with the subject. Deeply philosophical, the camera permits him to ask questions, to truly see and think. It is for Steacy a tool with which to understand the world; an understanding he wants to convey to his viewers.

His method of inquiry is a large format film camera. Photographing the depleted city centres and rural suburbs of America, Steacy has spent the last years travelling his country to create a body of work that through its social connotations goes beyond simple photography. As a former Union Labourer, one can sense the humanistic approach to Steacy’s art. While deeply personal, Steacy works with the intention to create awareness, challenging people to look inward.

A key series in the exhibition is Down These Mean Streets, for which the artist examined fear and abandonment of America’s inner cities. The reality experienced at night on the streets is so haunting it becomes a hyper reality; laden with emotional and mental attachment, in works such as Memorial or Home Delivery the energy and courage that spark the artist’s work is intensely apparent. Factories, deserted streets and inhabitants of neglected neighbourhoods are his subjects. By addressing the loss and despair that reign in US metropolitan communities, his aim is to reveal a modern day portrait of the reality in American urban centres.

Though still early in his career, the almost ordinary or unspectacular subject matters depicted in the works shown bring to mind the works of William Eggleston or Martin Parr. Demonstrating a distinctive ability to find beauty or fascination in commonplace scenes, and illustrating them with vivid displays of colour and luminosity, Steacy’s works take a critical look at modern society and human conditions, bring viewers uncomfortably close to an often sombre reality.

What at first glance appears like a simple capturing of ordinary people, everyday situations and mundane settings or situations, unravels into a multifaceted portrayal of society, its people, places, race, class, and boundaries. Through a life-changing experience, Steacy turned to art, devoting “everything I have to my art, this gift, this thing that is the reason I am alive… Coming that close to death will change a man. Life has had a new meaning since then, and I wake up every day happy to be alive, happy to chase this dream.” Frank and profound alike, unostentatious and similarly intense Steacy’s work is about life: life today in 21st century America, where layers of seeming simplicity unfolds before our eyes.”

Press release from the Christophe Guye Galerie website

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Will Steacy (1980 – , American)
‘Motel Room’
2007
from “We are all in this Together”, 2007
Archival pigment prints
61 x 76,2 cm (24 x 30 in.)

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Will Steacy (1980 -, American)
‘Pawn Shop, Memphis’
2007
from “All my Life I have the same Dream”, 2007
Archival pigment prints
61 x 76,2 cm ( 24 x 30 in.)

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Will Steacy (1980 -, American)
‘Power Plant, Philadelphia’
2008
from “Down these Main Streets”, 2009
Archival pigment prints
61 x 76,2 cm (24 x 30 in.)

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Will Steacy (1980 -, American)
‘Liz, Philadelphia’
2007
from “All my Life I have the same Dream”, 2007
Archival pigment prints
61 x 76,2 cm  24 x 30 in.)

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Christophe Guye Galerie
Dufourstrassse 31
8008 Zurich, Switzerland
p: +41 44 252 01 11

Opening hours:
Monday – Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday 12 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Christophe Guye Galerie website

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21
Dec
10

Season’s greetings and a happy new year from the art blart blog

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Many thankx to all the galleries that have supplied photographs throughout the year, to the curators, gallery directors and media people for their wonderful help and to you the readers for supporting the blog. Have a happy and safe festive season.

We look forward to posting and reviewing many more exhibitions in 2011!

Marcus

17
Dec
10

melbourne’s magnificent eleven 2010

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Here’s my pick of the eleven best exhibitions in Melbourne for 2010 that featured on the Art Blart blog (in no particular order). Enjoy!

Marcus

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1/ Jenny Holzer at The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA)

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Jenny Holzer
‘Right Hand (Palm Rolled)’
2007
Oil on linen
80 x 62 in. (203.2 x 157.5 cm)
Text: U.S. government document

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The reason that you must visit this exhibition is the last body of work. Working with declassified documents that relate to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Holzer’s ‘Redaction’ paintings address the elemental force that is man’s (in)humanity to man (in the study of literature, redaction is a form of editing in which multiple source texts are combined (redacted) and subjected to minor alteration to make them into a single work) … I left the exhibition feeling shell-shocked after experiencing intimacy with an evil that leaves few traces. In the consciences of the perpetrators? In the hearts of the living! Oh, how I wish to see the day when the human race will truly evolve beyond. We live in hope and the work of Jenny Holzer reminds us to be vigilant, to speak out, to have courage in the face of the unconscionable.

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2/ ‘Pondlurking’ by Tom Moore at Helen Gory Galerie, Prahran

This exhibition produced in me an elation, a sense of exalted happiness, a smile on my dial that was with me the rest of the day. The installation features elegantly naive cardboard cityscape dioramas teeming with wondrous, whimsical mythological animals that traverse pond and undulating road. This bestiary of animals, minerals and vegetables (bestiaries were made popular in the Middle Ages in illustrated volumes that described various animals, birds and even rocks) is totally delightful … What really stands out is the presence of these objects, their joyousness. The technical and conceptual never get in the way of good art. The Surrealist imagining of a new world order (the destruction of traditional taxonomies) takes place while balanced on one foot. The morphogenesis of these creatures, as they build one upon another, turns the world upside down … Through their metamorphosed presence in a carnivalesque world that is both weird and the wonderful, Moore’s creatures invite us to look at ourselves and our landscape more kindly, more openly and with a greater generosity of spirit.

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Tom Moore
‘Birdboat with passenger with a vengeance’ (left) and ‘Robot Island’ (right)
2010 and 2009

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3/ ‘Safety Zone’ by John Young at Anna Schwartz Gallery

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What can one say about work that is so confronting, poignant and beautiful – except to say that it is almost unbearable to look at this work without being emotionally charged, to wonder at the vicissitudes of human life, of events beyond one’s control.

The exhibition tells the story of the massacre of 300,000 people in the city of Nanjing in Jiangsu, China by Japanese troops in December, 1937 in what was to become known as the Nanjing Massacre. It also tells the story of a group of foreigners led by German businessman John Rabe and American missionary Minnie Vautrin who set up a “safety zone” to protect the lives of at least 250,000 Chinese citizens. The work is conceptually and aesthetically well resolved, the layering within the work creating a holistic narrative that engulfs and enfolds the viewer – holding them in the shock of brutality, the poignancy of poetry and the (non)sublimation of the human spirit to the will of others.

Simply, this is the best exhibition that I have seen in Melbourne so far this year.

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John Young
‘Flower Market (Nanjing 1936) #1’
2010
digital print and oil on Belgian linen
240 x 331 cm
image courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery

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John Young
‘Safety Zone’
2010
60 works, digital prints on photographic paper and chalk on blackboard-painted archival cotton paper
Installation shot, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne
image courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery

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4/ ‘To Hold and Be Held’ by Kiko Gianocca at Gallery Funaki

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Kiko Gianocca
‘Man & dog’
found image, resin, silver
2009

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A beautiful exhibition of objects by Swiss/Italian artist Kiko Gianocca at Gallery Funaki, Melbourne, one full of delicate resonances and remembrances.

Glass vessels with internal funnels filled with the gold detritus of disassembled objects, found pendants: Horse, Anchor, Four leaf clover, Swan, Hammer & sickle … Brooches of gloss and matt black resin plates. On the reverse images exposed like a photographic plate, found images solidified in resin.

The front: the depths of the universe, navigating the dazzling darkness
The back: memories, forgotten, then remade, worn like a secret against the beating chest. Only the wearer knows!

As Kiki Gianocca asks, “I am not sure if I grasp the memories that sometimes come to mind. I start to think they hold me instead of me holding them.”

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5/ ‘Jill Orr: Vision’ at Jenny Port Gallery, Richmond

The photographs invite us to share not only the mapping of the surface of the skin and the mapping of place 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 … 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) …

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.

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Jill Orr
‘Jacinta’
2009

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6/ ‘AND THEN…’ by Ian Burns at Anna Schwartz Gallery

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These are such fun assemblages, the created mis en scenes so magical and hilarious, guffaw inducing even, that they are entirely delightful.

There is so much to like here – the inventiveness, the freshness of the work, the insight into the use of images in contemporary culture. Still photographs of this work do not do it justice. I came away from the gallery uplifted, smiling, happy – and that is a wonderful thing to happen.

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Ian Burns
’15 hours v.4′
2010
Found object kinetic sculpture, live video and audio
Image courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery

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7/ ‘Night’s Plutonian Shore’ by Julia deVille at Sophie Gannon Gallery, Richmond

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Julia deVille
‘Nevermore’
2010

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This is an excellent exhibition by Julia deVille at Sophie Gannon Gallery in Richmond … This exhibition shows a commendable sense of restraint, a beautiful rise and fall in the work as you walk around the gallery space with the exhibits displayed on different types and heights of stand and a greater thematic development of the conceptual ideas within the work. There are some exquisite pieces.

In these pieces there is a simplification of the noise of the earlier works and in this simplification a conversant intensification of the layering of the conceptual ideas. Playful and witty the layers can be peeled back to reveal the poetry of  de Sade, the stories of Greek mythology and the amplification of life force that is at the heart of these works. Good stuff.

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8/ ‘Mari Funaki; Objects’ at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

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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

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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!

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.

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9/ ‘Up Close: Carol Jerrems with Larry Clark, Nan Goldin and William Yang’ at Heide Museum of Modern Art

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When looking at art, one of the best experiences for me is gaining the sense that something is open before you, that wasn’t open before. I don’t mean accessible, I mean open like making a clearing in the jungle, or being able to see further up a road, or just further on. And also like an open marketplace – where there were always good trades. There is the feeling that if you put in a certain amount of honesty, then you would get something back that made some room for you in front – some room that would allow you to look forward, and maybe even walk into that space. Seeing Jerrems work gives you that feeling.

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Carol Jerrems
‘Mark and Flappers’
1975
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of James Mollison, 1994
© Ken Jerrems & the Estate of Lance Jerrems

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10/ ‘John Davis: Presence’ at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

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John Davis
Australia 1936–99
(Spotted fish)
1989
twigs, cotton thread, calico, bituminous paint
55.0 x 145.0 x 30.0 cm
Private collection, Melbourne
© Penelope Davis & Martin Davis. Administered by VISCOPY, Australia

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This is a superlative survey exhibition of the work of John Davis at NGV Australia, Melbourne.

In the mature work you can comment on the fish as ‘travellers’ or ‘nomads’, “a metaphor for people and the way we move around the world.” You can observe the caging, wrapping and bandaging of these fish as a metaphor for the hurt we humans impose on ourselves and the world around us. You can admire the craftsmanship and delicacy of the constructions, the use of found objects, thread, twigs, driftwood and calico and note the ironic use of bituminous paint in relation to the environment, “a sticky tar-like form of petroleum that is so thick and heavy,” of dark and brooding colour.

This is all well and true. But I have a feeling when looking at this work that here was a wise and old spirit, one who possessed knowledge and learning … a human being who attained a state of grace in his life and in his work.

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11/ ‘Mortality’ at The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA)

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Fiona Tan
‘Tilt’
2002
DVD
courtesy of the artist, Frith Street Gallery London

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I never usually review group exhibitions but this is an exception to the rule. I have seen this exhibition three times and every time it has grown on me, every time I have found new things to explore, to contemplate, to enjoy. It is a fabulous exhibition, sometimes uplifting, sometimes deeply moving but never less than engaging – challenging our perception of life. The exhibition proceeds chronologically from birth to death. I comment on a few of my favourite works below but the whole is really the sum of the parts: go, see and take your time to inhale these works – the effort is well rewarded. The space becomes like a dark, fetishistic sauna with it’s nooks and crannies of videos and artwork. Make sure you investigate them all!

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13
Dec
10

Exhibition: ‘Michelangelo: The Dawings of a Genius’ at Albertina, Vienna

Exhibition dates: 8th October 2010 – 9th January 2011

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Many thankx to the Albertina for allowing me to publish the fabulous drawings in the posting. The delineation of the body, the curvature and compression of muscles, the texture like that of rubbing the thumb and fingers together, the colour, the tension between form and space – all glorious! Please click on the drawings for a larger version of the image.

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Michelangelo Buonarroti
Standing Male Nude Seen From Behind
1501-04
© Albertina, Vienna

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Michelangelo Buonarroti
Pietà
around 1530-36
© Albertina, Vienna

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Michelangelo Buonarroti
The Risen Christ
ca. 1532
The Royal Collection
© 2009, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

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Michelangelo Buonarroti
Study of a Seated Young Man and Two Studies of the Right Arm (Recto)
around 1511
© Albertina, Vienna

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“In a major exhibition scheduled for autumn and winter 2010, the Albertina will present around one hundred of the most beautiful drawings by Michelangelo. Precious works from the Graphic Arts Collection of the Albertina, as well as important loans from museums and private collections in Europe and the United States, will offer a hitherto unparalleled overview of the great Florentine’s entire oeuvre. 
The focus will be on the figural drawings by Michelangelo, who will be introduced here as the genius of a period of change, with his versatile talents as a draftsman, painter, architect, and sculptor. 
The show traces Michelangelo’s career from the artist’s juvenile works and designs for The Battle of Cascina to the world-famous frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, the ingenious drawings he presented to Tommaso de’ Cavalieri, and the Crucifixion scenes dating from the artist’s late period, when he was almost eighty years old. At the same time, new clues as to the dating of individual works will be provided. Projections of the monumental ceiling frescoes, the incorporation of plaster casts of Michelangelo’s sculptures, as well as paintings by other artists based on the master’s designs are meant to illustrate the dimensions and impact of his art. New paths of didactic presentation will be forged through a documentation of contemporary history and the artist’s environment.

Between 8 October 2010 and 9 January 2011, the Albertina presents the first major Michelangelo exhibition in more than twenty years. This display of 120 out of the artist’s most precious drawings offers a comprehensive insight into the work of this great genius. The sheets come from the Albertina’s own holdings, as well as from important European and American museums – the Uffizi and the Casa Buonarroti in Florence, the Louvre in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, the Royal Library in Windsor Castle (property of the British monarch) and the British Museum in London – and private collections.

It was three years ago that curator Dr Achim Gnann began his preparations for this exhibition. His goal is to review those datings of Michelangelo’s drawings that have sometimes been considered controversial and elaborate on the evolution of the artist’s style with utmost clarity.”

Text from the Albertina website

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Michelangelo Buonarroti
Male Nude Seen From the Back With a Flag Staff
ca. 1504
© Albertina, Vienna

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Michelangelo Buonarroti
Studies for the Libyan Sibyl (recto)
1511/12
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
© 2007. The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource/Scala, Florence

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Michelangelo Buonarroti
Madonna and Child
1520-25
© Casa Buonarroti, Florence

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Michelangelo Buonarroti
Half-Length Figure of Cleopatra (recto)
ca. 1533
© Casa Buonarroti, Florence

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Michelangelo Buonarroti
Study of a Male Nude, Separate Study of his Head (recto)
1534-1536
© Teylers Museum, Haarlem

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Albertina
Albertinaplatz 1
1010 Vienna, Austria
T +43 (0)1 534 83-0
F +43 (0)1 534 83-430

Opening hours:
Daily 10 am to 6 pm
Wednesday 10 am to 9 pm

Albertina website

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09
Dec
10

Exhibition: ‘Gustave Moreau and the Eternal Feminine’ at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 10th December 2010 – 10th April 2011

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A small but perfectly formed exhibition of the works of the French Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau at the National Gallery of Victoria. The delight is in the detail: the dark, intense neo-classical paintings on biblical and mythological themes reward close scrutiny and contemplation. I purposefully chose to photograph the details at the media launch for the joys they reveal: the flashes of purple, red and turquoise paint to the right in Delilah (nd, see below) and the almost etched quality of the columns and their symbols behind Salomé and John the Baptist’s head in The apparition (nd, see below). Please ENLARGE the photographs by clicking on them to see the detail.

Other important events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the National Gallery of Victoria next year include major exhibitions such as ManStyle (March – October/November 2011 at both St Kilda Road and Federation Square venues) that will feature an exploration of the dandy in men’s fashion from the 18th century to the present day. I have lent the NGV a 1940s suit and tie from my collection for the exhibition so I am excited to see how they display. Also feted for next year is the major Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition Vienna: Arts & Design: Klimt, Schiele, Hoffmann, Loos (June – October 2011) as well as a large Eugene von Guérard: Nature Revealed exhibition (April  – August 2011) and several photographic exhibitions including the intriguing Deep Water (April – September 2011) that will include photographs of water and its environment divided into fresh and saltwater sections.

The best news is the creation of two new contemporary exhibiting spaces – one in St Kilda Road (the old gallery that housed Greecian pottery on the ground floor) and the former restaurant next to the bookshop in the atrium of Federation Square. Both spaces will have their own entry, one off the atrium and the other off the space near the spire allowing them to be open late at night without the larger gallery being open and they will exhibition small contemporary exhibitions. An excellent proactive idea!

As always many thankx to Sue Coffey, Alison Murray, Jemma Altmeier and the media team at the NGV for their help and to the curator of the exhibition Dr Ted Gott for his friendship and erudite conversation. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image. All photographs © Dr Marcus Bunyan and the National Gallery of Victoria. All rights reserved. No reproduction without the permission of the author and the National Gallery of Victoria.

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Woman looking at Gustave Moreau. ‘Jupiter and Europa’ 1868

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Gustave Moreau
‘Jupiter and Europa’ (detail)
1868

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Gustave Moreau
‘Jupiter and Europa’ (detail)
1868

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Gustave Moreau
‘The Sirens’ (detail)
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Gustave Moreau
‘The Sirens’ (detail)
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Gustave Moreau
‘Helen on the Walls of Troy’ (detail)
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“Be seduced by femmes fatales, goddesses and temptresses of history and legend at the NGV this summer in Gustave Moreau and the Eternal Feminine, the first significant exhibition of Gustave Moreau (1826–1898) to be seen in Australia. The superb craftsmanship of Gustave Moreau will be celebrated with over 100 paintings, watercolours and drawings from the unique and acclaimed Musée Gustave Moreau in Paris. Gerard Vaughan, Director, NGV said this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Australians to see these captivating works by Moreau.

“Visitors will embrace Moreau’s portrayals of familiar historical and mythical characters. From famed femmes fatales including Salomé, Helen of Troy and Lady Macbeth to the rugged depictions of Hercules and the Cyclops, this spectacular exhibition will reveal the many faces of Gustave Moreau.

Moreau’s pictures are amongst the most haunting and mysterious of the entire 19th century, and ironically are incredibly modern.  This is a must see exhibition!” said Dr Vaughan.

Gustave Moreau and the Eternal Feminine will explore the artist’s obsession with the female form, taking visitors on a voyage from classical antiquity and the ancient Far East, to Christianity’s more lurid escapades and epic narratives of the Middle Ages.

Ted Gott, Senior Curator, International Art, NGV said: “Throughout his life Moreau was both entranced by female beauty and captivated by the allure of powerful, even dangerous women from the pages of history and legend, making him a cult figure for today’s younger generation who are spellbound by gothic tales and imagery.

Moreau’s fascination with heroines and queens, goddesses and temptresses were screens through which he could filter his explorations of the key themes of the Eternal Feminine: obsession, dream, luxury, magic, the femme fatale, exoticism and the ideal,” said Dr Gott.

A highlight of the exhibition will be a section devoted to Moreau’s most celebrated and intriguing obsession – the story of Salomé and the beheading of John the Baptist. Salomé is often depicted as an icon of dangerous female seductiveness and in this famous tale, her stepfather Herod requests Salomé to dance for him on his birthday in exchange for anything she desires. Salomé dances and then orders the beheading of John the Baptist who was in prison at the time for criticising the marriage of her mother, Herodias and stepfather Herod.

During his youth, Moreau was obsessed with Italian art of the 14th and 15th centuries, and with narratives drawn from the classical past.  This exhibition will feature the tales and tribulations of well known characters from history – both real and mythological – including Helen of Troy, Cleopatra, Messalina, Lady Macbeth, Samson and Delilah, Galatea, Sappho and Salomé.

Whilst many of Moreau’s works are filled with mythical female characters, in life he was surrounded by two key female figures: his mother and his girlfriend, Alexandrine Dureux. Moreau lived with his mother until her passing in 1884, while Dureux lived nearby. After Dureux’s death in 1890, Moreau transformed his family home into a museum, creating massive ateliers for the display of more than 5,000 of his own works of art, as well as dedicating rooms to his father, his mother and Alexandrine Dureux. Left to the French nation in Moreau’s will in 1898 and officially opened to the public in 1903, the Musée Gustave Moreau remains one of the world’s most unique and extraordinary single-artist museums.

Gustave Moreau and the Eternal Feminine is on display at NGV International, St Kilda Road from 10 December 2010 to 10 April 2011. NGV International is open 10am–5pm, closed Tuesdays. Admission fees apply: Adult $15 / Concession $12 / Child $7.50 / Family $42.”

Press release from the National Gallery of Victoria website

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Gustave Moreau
‘Delilah’ (detail)
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Gustave Moreau
‘The apparition’ (detail)
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Gustave Moreau
‘The apparition’ (detail)
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Gustave Moreau
‘Beheading of John the Baptist’ (detail)
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Installation photograph with, at left, ‘The Unicorns’ (nd) and ‘Fairy with Griffons’ (nd) second from right

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Gustave Moreau
‘Fairy with Griffons’ (detail)
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Gustave Moreau
‘Fairy with Griffons’ (detail)
nd

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Gustave Moreau
‘The Unicorns’ (detail)
nd

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Gustave Moreau
‘The Unicorns’ (detail)
nd

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NGV International
180 St Kilda Road

Opening hours
10am – 5pm. Closed Tuesdays.

National Gallery of Victoria website

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06
Dec
10

Exhibition: ‘Lewis Baltz: Prototypes/Ronde de Nuit’ at The Art Institute of Chicago

Exhibition dates: 25th September, 2010 – 9th January, 2011

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“Baltz’s compositions appear to have been arranged, almost as a Braque still-life is ‘arranged’. Many of these photographs have the sense of a precisely constructed occasion, as if Baltz had built his subject matter before photographing it. This unity of subject and author is a characteristic of many fine photographs, but Baltz brings to this problem a narrow, powerful eye which is blindingly frontal and meticulous about detail.”1

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Many thankx to The Art Institute of Chicago for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

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Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945)
‘Newport Beach’
1970
Gelatin silver print
© Lewis Baltz

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Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945)
‘Mission Viejo’
1968
Gelatin silver print
The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Lewis Baltz, 1972.219
© Lewis Baltz

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Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945)
‘Laguna Niguel’
1970
Gelatin silver print
Laguna Art Museum Collection, Anonymous gift, in memory of Beula Prince
© Lewis Baltz

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Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945)
‘New Monterey’
1968
Gelatin silver print
National Gallery of Art, Washington, Patrons’ Permanent Fund 2001
© Lewis Baltz

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“Lewis Baltz (b.1945) is one of the most prominent representatives of the “New Topographics” movement, which changed the direction of American photography in the 1970s and has had a formative impact on every generation since. However, Baltz’s innovations began already in the 1960s. The Art Institute of Chicago has organized the first survey ever of Lewis Baltz’s inaugural body of work, the Prototypes (c. 1967-1973). The exhibition also puts on view for the first time in 12 years Ronde de Nuit, a monumental work of the early 1990s. Lewis Baltz: Prototypes/Ronde de Nuit – on view in the Modern Wing’s Bucksbaum Gallery (G188) from September 25, 2010 through January 9, 2011 – features 42 Prototype works, including several that have never before been published or exhibited. This is Baltz’s first solo exhibition in the United States in more than a decade.

Beginning in 1965, but especially from 1967 to 1973, Lewis Baltz made a body of work that concentrated on the dialectic between simple, regular geometric forms found in the postwar industrial landscape and the far from simple culture that generated such forms, or was conditioned by them. Stucco walls, parking lots, the sides of warehouse sheds, or disused billboards baked in the steady Californian sunlight – these and other “hyper-banal” subjects were printed in blacks and whites of a breathtaking tonal evenness. Baltz called his works “Prototypes,” by which he meant replicable social conventions as well as model structures of replicable manufacture. The fraught relation of neutral form to highly charged content plays itself out on the emphatically planar surface of these prints, objects that exude magnificence and severity simultaneously. Never before shown together as a group, the Prototypes are revealed in this exhibition as model creations for their time and ours. They are among the earliest artworks to show the fascinating, disturbing transformation of the American landscape into an unending terrain of anonymous commercial architecture as well among the first photographs to seek the starkly reductive forms of minimal and post-minimal art “out in the world.”

In 1971, upon seeing the Prototypes, gallery owner Leo Castelli immediately agreed to exhibit Baltz’s photographs, and he remained Baltz’s American representative until the artist relocated to Europe nearly 20 years later. Included in the presentation of Lewis Baltz: Prototypes/Ronde de Nuit is a monumental sculpture by Sol LeWitt from the Art Institute’s permanent collection and a nine-foot oilstick drawing by Richard Serra – two artists also featured at Castelli, and whose work the young Baltz greatly admired. Bringing together these three artists for the first time, the exhibition shows the affinities and analogies that developed across media around 1970, when photography first moved to the center of concerns in contemporary art.

Augmenting Lewis Baltz: Prototypes/Ronde de Nuit is a piece made by Baltz in 1992, initially for an exhibition at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, in Paris. Measuring 35 feet across by 7 feet tall, and printed on aluminum-mounted cibachrome panels, Ronde de Nuit is as far in scale and appearance as one could get from the Prototypes. Yet across the manifest differences, this mural-size work maintains underlying continuities in the artist’s preoccupations. Baltz remains substantially concerned over the cancerous spread of our industrially manufactured habitat and how the elements of manufacture can be used to standardize and restrict the inhabitants–ourselves. Ronde de Nuit consists of 12 separate photographs, taken at a police surveillance station in northern France, to form a panoptic tableau of voyeurism and control. Some photographs are enlargements of closed-circuit screen images; others show mainframe computers, cable conduits, and other equipment in the bowels of the police station. The resulting composition merges Rembrandt with Piranesi in the digital age. Its effect on viewers is magnetic, moving, and uncanny.”

Press release from The Art Institute of Chicago website

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Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945)
‘Santa Cruz’
1970
Gelatin silver print
The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Lewis Baltz, 1972.221
© Lewis Baltz

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Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945)
‘Corona Del Mar’
1971
Gelatin silver print
The Art Institute of Chicago, Mary and Leigh Block Fund, 2009.643
© Lewis Baltz

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Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945)
‘Morgan Hill’
1968
Gelatin silver print
The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Lewis Baltz, 1972.220
© Lewis Baltz

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Lewis Baltz (American, born 1945)
‘Monterey’
1967
Gelatin silver print
The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Lewis Baltz, 1972.218
© Lewis Baltz

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1. Anon. “Lewis Baltz,” on American Suburb X website [Online] Cited 12/11/2010.
www.americansuburbx.com/2010/08/lewis-baltz-lewis-baltz-1979.html

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The Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60603-6404
(312) 443-3600

Opening hours:
Monday–Wednesday, 10:30–5:00
Thursday, 10:30–8:00 (Free Admission 5:00–8:00, member-only access to Matisse)
Friday, 10:30–8:00
Saturday–Sunday, 10:00–5:00
The museum is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s days.

The Art Institute of Chicago website

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02
Dec
10

Exhibition: ‘American Modern: Abbott, Evans, Bourke-White’ at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

Exhibition dates: 2nd October 2010 – 2nd January 2011

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Berenice Abbott – what a photographer! You couldn’t have thought of a better person to save the archive of Eugene Atget for the world. It’s all there at the bread store. Many thankx to Tracy Greene for her help and The Amon Carter Museum of American Art for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

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Berenice Abbott (1898–1991)
Canyon, Broadway and Exchange Place
1936
Gelatin silver print
National Gallery of Art, Gift of Marvin Breckinridge Patterson, 2000.148.1

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Berenice Abbott (1898–1991)
Manhattan Bridge Looking Up
1936
Gelatin silver print
The Art Institute of Chicago, Works Progress Administration Allocation, 1389.1943

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Berenice Abbott (1898–1991)
Bread Store, 259 Bleecker Street
1937
Gelatin silver print
Museum of the City of New York, 49.282.57

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Margaret Bourke-White (1906–1971)
Chrysler Building, New York
ca. 1930–31
Gelatin silver print
© Estate of Margaret Bourke-White/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987, 1987.1100.338

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Walker Evans (1903–1975)
Penny Picture Display, Savannah
1936
Gelatin silver print
Amon Carter Museum, P1987.4.1

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“The Amon Carter Museum of American Art presents American Modern: Abbott, Evans, Bourke-White. This special exhibition explores the work of three of the foremost photographers of the twentieth-century and the golden age of documentary photography in America. American Modern will be on view through January 2, 2011; admission is free.

Featuring more than 140 photographs by Berenice Abbott (1898–1991), Margaret Bourke-White (1906–1971) and Walker Evans (1903–1975), American Modern was co-organized by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville, Maine. The exhibition is the result of a unique partnership between three curators: Jessica May and Sharon Corwin of the Carter and Colby, respectively, and Terri Weissman, assistant professor of art history at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Together, the three curators present the works of these three artists as case studies of documentary photography during the Great Depression and demonstrate how three factors supported the development of documentary photography during this important period in American history: first, the expansion of mass media; second, a new attitude toward and acceptance of modern art in America; and third, government support for photography during the 1930s.

“This exhibition considers the work of three of the best-loved American photographers in a new light, which is very exciting,” says curator Jessica May. “Abbott, Evans, and Bourke-White are undisputed masters of the medium of photography, but they have never been shown in relation to one another. This exhibition offers viewers an opportunity to see works together that have not been shown as such since the 1930s.”

In addition to vintage photographs from over 20 public and private collections, the exhibition also features rare first-edition copies of select books and periodicals from the 1930s. American Modern, May says, “reminds us that documentary photography was very much a public genre – this was the first generation of photographers that truly anticipated that their work would be seen by a vast audience through magazines and books.”

Press release from the Amon Carter Museum of American Art website

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Margaret Bourke-White (1906–1971)
[Iron Mountain, Tennessee]
1937
Gelatin silver print
© Estate of Margaret Bourke-White/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Margaret Bourke-White Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library

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Margaret Bourke-White (1906–1971)
Delman Shoes
1933
Gelatin silver print
© Estate of Margaret Bourke-White/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Margaret Bourke-White Collection, Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library

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Walker Evans (1903–1975)
[Lunchroom Window, New York City]
1929
Gelatin silver print
© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Arnold H. Crane, 1971, 1971.646.35

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Walker Evans (1903–1975)
People in Downtown Havana
1933
Gelatin silver print
© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Lincoln Kirstein, 1952, 52.562.7

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Amon Carter Museum
3501 Camp Bowie Boulevard
Fort Worth, TX 76107-2695

Opening hours:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday:
10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Thursday: 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Sunday: Noon–5 p.m.
Closed Mondays and major holidays.

Amon Carter Museum of American Art 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: ‘Mask’ 1994

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