Archive for September, 2011

28
Sep
11

Exhibition: ‘Hans-Christian Schink: Photographs 1980 to 2010’ at MKM Küppersmühle Museum of Modern Art, Duisburg

Exhibition dates:  1st July – 3rd October 2011

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Many thankx to MKM Küppersmühle Museum of Modern 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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Hans-Christian Schink
9/17/2006, 8:45 am – 9:45 am, N 78°13.370′ E 015°40.024′
2006
Serie 1h
Silbergelatineabzug auf Barytpapier
© Hans-Christian Schink
MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, Sammlung Ströher

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Hans-Christian Schink
A2 – Elbebrücke bei Magdeburg
2003
Serie Traffic Projects German Unity
C-Print
© Hans-Christian Schink
Klassik Stiftung Weimar, Neues Museum

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Hans-Christian Schink
A20 – Peenebrücke Jarmen
2002
Series Traffic Projects German Unity
C-Print
© Hans-Christian Schink
Privatsammlung Berlin

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Hans-Christian Schink
Ba Be (1)
2005
Series Vietnam
C-print
© Hans-Christian Schink

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“The best present of my life was most probably the simple role-film camera I received for my seventh birthday”, recalls Hans-Christian Schink, one of Germany’s leading contemporary photographers. The works by the Erfurt-born photographer, who today lives in Leipzig and who regularly travels the globe to create his photo-series, are represented in public and private collections worldwide. His photographs are also on view in the MKM’s presentation of the Ströher Collection since many years.

The MKM is now showing the most comprehensive exhibition to date of works by Hans-Christian Schink whose oeuvre has wielded a crucial impact on German photography. Approximately 100 large-format works afford an illuminating insight into his output until the present day, and impressively chart the development of his own distinct artistic signature.

Schink began his study of photography at the renowned Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig where he was a master-class student from 1991 to 1993. From the very outset Schink worked with series. A key thrust of his oeuvre is his exploration of the transition between the urban and the rural, nature and culture and architectural intervention in the landscape. He finds his motifs both in his immediate environs, initially in eastern Germany, and also on his carefully planned journeys across the world, from North Korea, via the USA to the Antarctic. A further pre-occupation is the photographic rendering of light phenomena and moods.

For the first time, the MKM is exhibiting a selection of small-format black-white photos from the early1980s, together with the first colour photographs from the artist’s student days. Schink initially focused both on daily scenes in the cities of Leipzig, Erfurt and Halle, and on the abstract visual quality of architectural detail. During his studies he discovered colour photography and began working with a large-format camera, initially in the series “Leipziger Bäder” (“Leipzig Baths”, 1988), whose empty, dilapidated interiors bear poignant witness to a by-gone age. Since this time, people in his pictures exist merely as traces of their intervention in the environment.

The artist first commanded worldwide attention with the series “Verkehrsprojekte Deutsche Einheit” (“Traffic Projects German Unity”, 1995-2003). Here he addressed the radical transformation of the landscape through the expansion of the motorway and rail network in eastern Germany.

The series “Wände” (“Walls”, 1995-2003) explored the question of how authentic the representation of reality is. Schink took frontal shots of the prefabricated architecture of unpretentious commercial buildings and melded them into almost abstract colour-fields. Merely the narrow borders adumbrate what we are seeing. To find his motifs, the artist embarks on journeys beyond the confines of Europe, taking him to countries such as Brazil, Japan, Cambodia, North Korea, Peru, the USA or Vietnam. His main objective is not the representation of exotic motifs, but the portrayal of the interface and the dialogue between anthropogenic structures and the natural landscape.

The award-winning series “1h” (2002-2010) unites diverse aspects of his oeuvre: the interest in natural phenomena and light situations and his reflection on the possibilities of depicting reality through the medium of photography. Schink photographs the sun at various locations throughout the world, using exposure times of one hour. Together, the over-exposure and light intensity conjure a spectre which cannot be perceived by the human eye and which only becomes visible as a solarisation when captured by analogue photography: a black sunbeam, surrounded by a glowing corona. The resulting images render visible an unreal depiction of reality and confront the viewer with a Nature suspended between imagination and representation.”

Press release from the MKM Küppersmühle Museum of Modern Art website

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Hans-Christian Schink
Bach Ma (2A)
2005
Series Vietnam
C-print
© Hans-Christian Schink

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Hans-Christian Schink
Sanitz
2003
Series Walls
C-print
Hans-Christian Schink
MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst, Sammlung Ströher

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Hans-Christian Schink
St Petersburg (3)
1989
Series St Petersburg
C-print
© Hans-Christian Schink

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Hans-Christian Schink
LA Night #10
2003
Series LA Night
C-print
© Hans-Christian Schink
Galerie Rothamel Erfurt/Frankfurt a.M.

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Hans-Christian Schink
Seehausen
1996
Series Walls
C-print
© Hans-Christian Schink

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MKM Küppersmühle Museum of Modern Art
Inner Harbour, Duisburg
Philosophenweg 55
D – 47051 Duisburg, Germany

Opening hours:
Wed 2.00 pm – 6.00 pm
Thu / Fri / Sat / Sun 11.00 am – 6.00 pm

MKM Küppersmühle Museum of Modern Art website

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25
Sep
11

Exhibition: ‘A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans to Now’ at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Exhibition dates: 17th May – 2nd October 2011

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Many thankx to the J. Paul Getty Museum 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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Walker Evans 
American, 1903 – 1975
Mule, Wagon and Two Men, Havana
1933
Gelatin silver print
Image: 13.8 x 21 cm (5 7/16 x 8 1/4 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Walker Evans
American, 1903 – 1975
Spectacle, Capital Steps, Possibly Independence Day
May 20, 1933
Gelatin silver print
Image: 19.7 x 25.3 cm (7 3/4 x 9 15/16 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Walker Evans 
American, 1903 – 1975
Old Havana Housefronts
1933
Gelatin silver print
Image: 17.6 x 22.7 cm (6 15/16 x 8 15/16 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Walker Evans 
American, 1903 – 1975
Balcony Spectators
1933
Gelatin silver print
Image: 19.8 x 25.2 cm (7 13/16 x 9 15/16 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Exhibition Marks First Showing of Getty’s Walker Evan’s Cuban Photographs; Also on view are Cuban Revolutionary Photographs and Contemporary Work by Virginia Beahan, Alex Harris, and Alexey Titarenko

Cuba’s attempt to forge an independent state with an ambitious set of social goals, all the while moored to powerful political and economic interests, has been a source of fascination for nations, intellectuals, and artists alike. On display at the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Center, May 17 – October 2, 2011, A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans to Now, looks at three critical periods in the island nation’s history as witnessed by photographers before, during, and after the country’s 1959 Revolution.

A Revolutionary Project juxtaposes Walker Evans’s 1933 images from the end of the Gerardo Machado dictatorship with views by contemporary foreign photographers Virginia Beahan (American, b. 1946), Alex Harris (American, b. 1949), and Alexey Titarenko (Russian, b. 1962), who have explored Cuba since the withdrawal of Soviet support in the 1990s. A third section bridging these two eras presents pictures by Cuban photographers who participated in the country’s 1959 Revolution, including Alberto Korda, Perfecto Romero, and Osvaldo Salas.

“The Museum’s collection of Walker Evans prints is the largest in the U.S., but until now, we have not shown his photographs of Cuba,” explains Judith Keller, senior curator of photographs. “This exhibition allows us the opportunity to showcase this body of work, alongside newer work in the collection.”

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1933: Evans in Havana

Walker Evans (1903 – 1975) is one of the photographers most responsible for the way we now imagine American life in the 1930s. His distinctive photographic style, which he declared “transcendent documentary,” was nurtured in New York in the late 1920s and fully formed by his experience in Cuba in 1933. In the spring of that year, Walker Evans was asked by publisher J. B. Lippincott to produce a body of work about Cuba to accompany a book by the radical journalist Carleton Beals (1893 – 1979). This book, The Crime of Cuba, would be a scathing indictment of the then-current regime of Cuban President Gerardo Machado. Leaving the country less than two months before Machado was forced out of office, Evans was able to capture Cuba at the start of the revolutionary movement but almost 30 years before the 1959 Revolution.

During Evans’s time in Cuba, he made substantial strides in his photographic practice. There he worked with different format cameras, large and small, one more deliberate and descriptive, the other more spontaneous and agile. He created both close-up and wide, inclusive compositions that he could then combine in intense sequences to best communicate his response to the poverty, the ferment, and the beauty of his environment. While in Havana, Evans met the American writer, Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961), whose acclaimed avantgarde work he knew and admired. Hemingway’s terse narrative style, which he was then applying to his own Harry Morgan stories set in Havana and Key West, no doubt influenced Evans’s approach to the subject of Cuba’s current political and economic struggles. Evans’s photographs also reflect the inspiration of French photographer Eugène Atget’s Parisian pictures that Evans critiqued for an arts journal in 1931. The series that comprised Atget’s thorough study of “Old Paris” seem to have provided additional motivation for Evans’s selection of Havana subjects: the signage of urban storefronts, the abundant street offerings of fresh produce, the decorative balconies of old houses, the many studies of archaic horsedrawn wagons and carriages, and the portraits of women, some of whom appear to be prostitutes.

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1958 – 1966: Revolution

Machado’s fall from rule in 1933 resulted in a long power struggle that culminated in the country’s 1959 socialist revolution to overthrow dictator Fulgencio Batista, anchoring Cuba to the Soviet bloc for the next thirty years and defining a relationship with the United States that still exists today. Fidel Castro, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, and their new government harnessed photography as a means of keeping the project of the Revolution at the forefront of Cuba’s collective consciousness. As both genuine records of popular insurrection and propagandistic documents used for political purposes, pictures of the Revolution and its aftermath have shaped how both Cubans and Americans understand the significance of that revolutionary moment. Photographs in the second section of the exhibition are drawn from the work of nine Cuban photographers who participated in recording the political context and triumphs of the emerging state in the years surrounding 1959.

Included in the exhibition is an iconic image of the revolutionary hero Che Guevara by Alberto Korda titled Guerrillero Heroico (March 5, 1960). One of the world’s most reproduced images, it has been adopted for political causes, appearing on countless numbers of t-shirts, banners, and street art around the globe. The print on view in the exhibition is among the earliest versions of the photograph known to exist. Made as a press print, it was used as a source to reproduce the image in media outlets a year after Korda photographed Guevara at a rally in Havana.

Also on display in the exhibition is the well-known revolutionary photograph Patria o Muerte, Cuba (Negative, January 1959; print, 1984) by Osvaldo Salas, one of Cuba’s most important photographers. Salas effectively captures and conveys the populist fervor in Cuba shortly after the movement’s triumph with an image of a patriotic sign framed by a celebratory crowd.

The photographs included in this section of the exhibition are culled from the extensive holdings of Cuban photography assembled by the Austrian collector, Christian Skrein, including a number of recent acquisitions by the Museum.

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Since 1991: The Special Period

After Soviet troops began to withdraw from Cuba in September of 1991, the troubled Cuban economy suffered severe internal shortages, and Fidel Castro declared what is known as the “Special Period” (período especial), marked by food rationing, energy conservation, and a decline of public services. In the nearly twenty years since the Soviet withdrawal, Cubans have managed to survive through perseverance, the forging of new political relationships, and the easing of socialist systems. This period of transition, which continues today with the recent transfer of power from Fidel Castro to his brother Raúl, has attracted the attention of photographers from around the world who are interested in exploring the relationship between Cuba’s revolutionary past and its uncertain future. The final section of the exhibition looks specifically at the work of three contemporary photographers with diverse approaches to documenting the island in recent decades: Virginia Beahan, Alex Harris, and Alexey Titarenko.

Virginia Beahan’s work concentrates on the landscape’s relationship to history and culture. In 2001, she began a multiyear project on Cuba, photographing its topography in search of remnants of the island’s diverse past. The work resulted in a publication in 2009 called Cuba: Singing with Bright Tears. Beahan’s Cuba is a land of contradictions, full of disappointments and hope, decay and rejuvenating beauty, simultaneously anchored to the past while looking beyond the present. Born and raised in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), Russia, Alexey Titarenko became fascinated with Cuba in 2003, when he made his first trip to Havana. Titarenko’s goal was to represent the soul of the Cuban capital. In the artist’s photographs, the city is shown with little overt reference to its politics. Instead, Titarenko describes the conditions of life in the communist country, depicting people persevering amid varying states of ruin. Venturing out of the tourist zones of Havana into the network of dilapidated avenues beyond the old city walls, his images depict a gray metropolis whose inhabitants congregate on the streets to collect food rations, fix long-outmoded cars, and play baseball.

A former student of Walker Evans, Alex Harris made several trips to Cuba following the collapse of the eastern bloc and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, developing a powerful body of color work that addresses the country’s cultural fabric during a period of difficult economic circumstances. His photographs focus on portraits of women whose lives are affected by the tourist-fueled sex trade, landscapes made through the windshields of refurbished 1950s American cars, and monuments to the Cuban national hero José Martí. His study was published in the form of a book, The Idea of Cuba, in 2007. Through these distinct vantage points, Harris probed the country’s propensity for ingenuity as it underwent great transition.”

Press release from the J. Paul Getty Museum website

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Walker Evans 
American, 1903 – 1975
Citizen in Downtown Havana
1933
Gelatin silver print
Image: 22.2 x 11.7 cm (8 3/4 x 4 5/8 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

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Walker Evans 
American, 1903 – 1975
Woman on the Street, Havana
1933
Gelatin silver print
Image: 24.6 x 14.6 cm (9 11/16 x 5 3/4 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Walker Evans 
American, 1903 – 1975
Woman in a Courtyard
1933
Gelatin silver print
Image: 25.3 x 16.2 cm (9 15/16 x 6 3/8 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Walker Evans 
American, 1903 – 1975
Coal Stevedore, Havana
1933
Gelatin silver print
Image: 20.2 x 15.2 cm (7 15/16 x 6 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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Walker Evans 
American, 1903 – 1975
Negro Child, Havana
1933
Gelatin silver print
Image: 19.5 x 14.8 cm (7 11/16 x 5 13/16 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum

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Walker Evans 
American, 1903 – 1975
Stevedore
1933
Gelatin silver print
Image: 20.1 x 15.1 cm (7 15/16 x 5 15/16 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
© Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum

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The J. Paul Getty Museum
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, California 90049

Opening hours:
Tues – Friday 10 – 5.30pm
Saturday 10 – 9pm
Sunday 10 – 9pm
Monday closed

The J. Paul Getty Museum website

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23
Sep
11

Exhibition: ‘Line and Space. American Drawings and Sculpture since 1960, from a private collection’ at Pinakothek de Moderne, Munich

Exhibition dates: 28th July – 25th September 2011

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Many thankx to the Pinakothek der Moderne for allowing me to publish the art work in the posting. Please click on the art work for a larger version of the image.

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Barry Le Va
Untitled
1977
Pencil, ink and ballpoint on graph paper
Private collection
Photo: Arne Schultz
© Barry Le Va 2011

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Sol LeWitt
A2
1967
Painted steel
Private collection
Photo: Arne Schultz
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011

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Donald Judd
Untitled
1962
Woodcut on paper, trial proof
Private collection
Photo: Arne Schultz
© Art Judd Foundation, Licensed by VAGA, NY / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011

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Gordon Matta-Clark
Untitled (cut drawing)
1974
Cuts in paper
Private collection
Photo: Arne Schultz
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011

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“The exhibition, part of the AMERICAN SUMMER project, features the predominantly American holdings of drawings and sculptures from a private collection, with most of the works going on public display for the first time. What comes to the fore in this exemplary selection of largely American artists from the sixties and seventies and their impressive groups of works is the relationship between the media of sculpture and drawing. At the heart of the show lies the subtle dialogue between the conceptual ideas of ‘disegno’ and their sensual transfer to the materiality of sculpture.

One of the private collection’s particular strengths is its focus on groups of works by individual artists. As a result, entire rooms have been dedicated to the artists Fred Sandback and Barry Le Va, while in addition larger groups of works by other artists, including Donald Judd or Gordon Matta-Clark, can be studied in detail.

The selection of exhibits creates a display of the art movements of the sixties and seventies: among them, Minimal Art, as represented by Carl Andre, Bill Bollinger, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and Fred Sandback, Post-minimalism of Barry Le Va or Keith Sonnier, Conceptual Art, as represented by Sol LeWitt, and Land Art of such artists as Michael Heizer and Walter de Maria. The exhibition is enriched with works from the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München and the Sammlung Moderne Kunst.

A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition: ‘Der Raum der Linie – Amerikanische Zeichnungen und Skulpturen’, edited by Michael Semff, Corinna Thierolf and Alexander Klar, with assistance from Pia Gottschaller and Birgitta Heid (containing essays from Jörg Daur, Pia Gottschaller, Birgitta Heid, Christiane Meyer-Stoll, Michael Semff, a conversation with Peter Soriano and an interview with the collector).”

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Barry Le Va
Bearings Rolled
1966
Ink on paper
Sheet from a series of 15 drawings
Private collection
Photo: Arne Schultz
© Barry Le Va 2011

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Fred Sandback
Untitled (Milanese Drawing)
ca. 1971/72
Chalk on paper
Private collection
Photo: Arne Schultz
© Fred Sandback Archive 2011

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Dan Flavin
from August 5, 1964
1966
Crayon on black paper
Private collection
Photo: Arne Schultz
© Estate of Dan Flavin / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011

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Sol LeWitt
Incomplete open cube drawing – ten & eleven part variations
undat. (c. 1973/74)
Pencil and ink on paper
Private collection
Photo: Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011

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Robert Mangold
104″ Perimeter Series
1969
Pencil on paper
Private Collection
Photo: Arne Schultz
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011

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Pinakothek Der Moderne
Barer Strasse 40
Munich

Gallery Hours:
Daily except Monday 10am – 6pm
Thursday 10am – 8pm

Pinakothek der Moderne website

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21
Sep
11

Exhibition: ‘Juan Davila: The Moral Meaning of Wilderness’ at the Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA), Caulfield

Exhibition dates: 4th August – 1st October 2011

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“The ‘Moral Meaning of Wilderness’ exhibition is a tour of the various approaches to the landscape: ‘plein air’ painting, studio landscape work, sublime landscape, historical evocation of landscape, modernity and the landscape, natural disaster, childhood memory of a landscape, woman in the wilderness. The ‘After Image’ works seem to refer to fantasies, inner space, unnameable objects, microcosm and immense space. Within the representation of “the land” one easily forgets that we are dealing with complexity and a field of projections. The political, the sublime, the moral stance, corporate destruction and the future of our environment come to mind.”

Juan Davila 1

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“In a state of grace, one sometimes perceives the deep beauty, hitherto unattainable, of another person. And everything acquires a kind of halo which is not imaginary: it comes from the splendour of the almost mathematical light emanating from people and things. One starts to feel that everything in existence – whether people or things – breathes and exhales the subtle light of energy. The world’s truth is impalpable.”

Clarice Lispector 2

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Simply put, this is the best exhibition I have seen in Melbourne this year.

Feminine jouissance is critical to an understanding of the work of Juan Davila (see quotation below). It is the jouissance of the Other: ineffable, incapable of being expressed, indescribable, unutterable. Also critical is an understanding of the meaning of ‘wilderness’ and ‘after image’.

Wilderness “is a relative term suggesting the perspective of a visitor or interloper for whom the landscape is wild and Other – for the landscape was neither wild nor foreign to its original inhabitants, at least not until its transformation through colonising, farming and displacement.”“An after image … is an optical illusion that refers to an image continuing to appear in one’s vision after the exposure to the original image has ceased.”4

The most powerful works are the Wilderness and After Image paintings. Grouped together in a room at the far end of the gallery, the effect of these paintings is to be physically surrounded by the nebula of the unconscious mind. The feeling is not dissimilar to being consumed by the abstract, elemental quality of Monet’s Nymphéas (Water Lilies) at the Orangerie in Paris. Pair to more earthly landscapes (see images 2 and 3 below) the paintings are the closest experience in approaching the divine that I have felt in a long time. Their visual and noumenal ‘energy’ is superlative.

Robert Nelson observes that, “The after-image is a momentary body-memory – not intellectual but bizarrely willed – perhaps a bit like the recollection of a dream or the instant slip that uncannily reveals the unconscious. In monumentalising this trace, Davila delivers us to another ethereal zone: the breath of libido, buffeted by clouds of repression and misty internalised myths. As portraits of evanescent memory, they are wantonly memorable.”5

Indeed, they are memorable. I had a spiritual experience with this work for the paintings promote in the human a state of grace. The non-material, the unconceptualizable, things which are outside all possibility of time and space are made visible. This happens very rarely but when it does you remember, eternally, the time and space of occurrence. I hope you have the same experience.

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Many thankx to MUMA for allowing me to publish the images in the posting. Please click on the images for a larger version.

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“The term jouissance, in French, denotes “pleasure” or “enjoyment.” The term has a sexual connotation (i.e., orgasm) lacking in the English word “enjoyment”, and is therefore left untranslated in English editions of the works of Jacques Lacan. In his Seminar “The Ethics of Psychoanalysis” (1959–1960) Lacan develops his concept of the opposition of jouissance and pleasure. The pleasure principle, according to Lacan, functions as a limit to enjoyment: it is the law that commands the subject to ‘enjoy as little as possible’. At the same time the subject constantly attempts to transgress the prohibitions imposed on his enjoyment, to go beyond the pleasure principle. Yet the result of transgressing the pleasure principle, according to Lacan, is not more pleasure but pain, since there is only a certain amount of pleasure that the subject can bear. Beyond this limit, pleasure becomes pain, and this ‘painful principle’ is what Lacan calls jouissance.

In his Seminar “Encore” (1972–1973) Lacan states that jouissance is essentially phallic. That is, insofar as jouissance is sexual it is phallic, meaning that it does not relate to the Other as such. Lacan admits, however, that there is a specifically feminine jouissance, a supplementary jouissance, which is beyond the phallus, a jouissance of the Other. This feminine jouissance is ineffable, for both women and men may experience it but know nothing about it.”6

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Juan Davila
Wilderness
2010
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

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Juan Davila
A Man is Born Without Fear
2010
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

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Juan Davila
After Image. A Man is Born Without Fear
2010
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

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Juan Davila
Churchill National Park
2009
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

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“The Moral Meaning of Wilderness features recent work by Juan Davila, one of Australia’s most distinguished artists. The exhibition sees Davila turn to the genres of landscape and history painting, at a time when the environment is as much a political as a cultural consideration. With technical virtuosity, Davila’s striking representations of nature achieve monumental significance, depicting beauty and emotion while addressing modern society’s ambivalence to nature and increasing consumerism.

The Moral Meaning of Wilderness represents a radical shift in Davila’s practice, whilst continuing to explore art’s relationship to nature, politics, identity and subjectivity in our post-industrial age. Davila pursues his exploration of the role of art as a means of social, cultural and political analysis.

While many contemporary artists turned away from representation of the landscape, due to its perceived allegiance to outmoded forms of national identity and representation, Davila has recently sought to revisit and reconsider our surroundings au natural.

His paintings are, at first view, striking representations of nature. The paintings, created since 2003, are undertaken en plain air, a pre-modern technique based on speed of execution in situ, and the use of large scale canvases characteristic of history painting. He has also employed other techniques such as studio painting and representations of the landscape with reference to the sublime, the historical, memory and modernity.”

Text from the MUMA website

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Juan Davila
The Painter’s Studio
2006
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

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Juan Davila
761 Wattletree Road
2008
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

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Juan Davila
What About my Desire?
2009
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

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Juan Davila
Australia: Nuclear Waste Dumping Ground
2007
© Juan Davila, Courtesy Kalli Rolfe Contemporary Art

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1. Davila, Juan quoted in “After Image: A conversation between Juan Davila and Kate Briggs,” in Juan Davila: The Moral Meaning of Wilderness catalogue. Canberra: ANU Drill Hall Gallery, 2011, p.53.

2. Lispector, Clarice. Discovering the World. Manchester: Carcanet Press, 1992, p.122 quoted in Briggs, Kate. “Painting, an act of faith: Moments in the work of Juan Davila,” in Juan Davila: The Moral Meaning of Wilderness catalogue. Canberra: ANU Drill Hall Gallery, 2011, p.8.

3. Delany, Max. Introductory speech for “Contemporary Visions & Critiques of the Landscape.” Video of session. The Festival of Ideas, The Pursuit of Identity: Landscape, History and Genetics. The University of Melbourne [Online] Cited 21/09/2011.
http://ideas.unimelb.edu.au/events/contemporary-visions-and-critiques-of-the-landscape

4. Anon. “Afterimage” on Wikipedia. [Online] Cited 21/09/2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afterimage

5. Nelson, Robert. “Exhibition does not take air lightly,” in The Age newspaper. Wednesday, September 21st, 2011, p.17.

6. Anon. “Jouissance” on Wikipedia. [Online] Cited 21/09/2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jouissance

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Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA)
Ground Floor, Building F.
Monash University Caulfield campus
900 Dandenong Road
Caulfield East, VIC 3145
T: 61 3 9905 4217

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Friday 10am-5pm
Saturday 12-5pm

Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) website

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20
Sep
11

Exhibition: ‘Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painters’ at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Exhibition dates: 29th June – 25th September 2011

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Many thankx to the Dulwich Picture Gallery for allowing me to publish the images in the posting. Please click on them for a larger version of the image.

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Robert Rauschenberg
Cy and Relics
1952
Photograph
© The Rauschenberg Foundation

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Nicolas Poussin
The Triumph of Pan
c. 1636
Pen and ink with wash over stylus and black chalk
581 x 410 x 29 mm
Lent by Her Majesty the Queen. The Royal Collection
© 2011 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

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Cy Twombly
Bacchanalia-Fall (5 Days in November) Blatt 4, InvNr. UAB 457
1977
collage, oil, chalk, gouache, on fabriano paper, graph paper
101.2 x 150.5 cm
Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen – Museum Brandhorst, München
Leihgeber: Udo Brandhorst, © Cy Twombly

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Cy Twombly
Pan
1975
148 x 100cm
Private Collection
© Cy Twombly, Courtesy: Cy Twombly Archive

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Nicolas Poussin
The Triumph of David
1628-1631
© By permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery

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Cy Twombly
Hero and Leandro
1985
202 x 254cm
Private Collection, Courtesy Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Zurich
© Cy Twombly

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“I would’ve liked to have been Poussin, if I’d had a choice, in another time.”

Cy Twombly

Dulwich Picture Gallery is proud to announce a revelatory exhibition of the work of Cy Twombly and Nicolas Poussin. Organised to celebrate the Bicentenary of the Gallery, this major show will explore, for the first time, the unexpected yet numerous parallels and affinities between the two artists. The exhibition will draw upon the world-class permanent collection of works at Dulwich Picture Gallery by Nicolas Poussin, alongside other works from major collections around the world by both Poussin and Twombly.

In 1624 and 1957, the two artists, aged around thirty, moved to Rome. Nicolas Poussin and Cy Twombly subsequently spent the majority of their lives in the Eternal City, and went on to become the pre-eminent painters of their day. Rather than recent exhibitions that have sought to compare and contrast old masters with contemporary artists through superficial visual appearances, this groundbreaking show will instead juxtapose works which may seem radically disparate in terms of style, yet ones that share deep and timeless interests. Both Poussin and Twombly were artists of prodigious talent who found in the classical heritage of Rome a life-long subject. Both spent their lives studying, revivifying and making newly relevant for their own eras antiquity, ancient history, classical mythology, Renaissance painting, poetry and the imaginary, idealised realm of Arcadia.

Curated by Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, Curator of International Modern Art at Tate Modern, the exhibition examines how Twombly and Poussin, although separated by three centuries, nonetheless engaged with the same sources and will explore the overlapping subjects that the two artists have shared. It will consist of around thirty carefully-chosen paintings, drawings and sculptures, structured thematically around six sections devoted to key shared themes, from both artists’ early fascinations with Arcadia and the pastoral when they first moved to Rome, Venus and Eros, Anxiety and Theatricality, Apollo, Parnassus and Poetry, Pan and the Bacchanalia, through to the theme of The Four Seasons.

The exhibition will be accompanied by the British premiere of Tacita Dean’s new 16mm film portrait of Cy Twombly, Edwin Parker (2011). The film documents Twombly in his studio in Lexington, Virginia, and follows on from Dean’s series of filmed depictions of subjects such as the choreographer Merce Cunningham, the poet Michael Hamburger and the artist Mario Merz, where the inner life of the sitter is implied through their physical demeanour and surroundings. A series of talks will also accompany the exhibition, including Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of Tate, in conversation with Dr. Nicholas Cullinan on the topic of curating Twombly, and Malcolm Bull (Ruskin School of Drawing, University of Oxford) and T. J. Clark (Professor Emeritus of Modern Art at the University of California, Berkeley; and Visiting Professor, University of York) who will discuss the work of Poussin and Twombly and the themes raised by the exhibition.

Ian Dejardin, Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery explains that the exhibition “fits in with a philosophy I have pursued here – that exhibitions can conduct a dialogue with the permanent collection. In the past Howard Hodgkin, Lucian Freud and Paula Rego have all hung their paintings within the collection, so Poussin and Twombly seemed like a natural extension of those experiments.” 

The exhibition has received enthusiastic support and loans from major private and public collections around the world, including The National Gallery and Tate in London; The Royal Collection; The Duke of Devonshire; The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Museo del Prado, Madrid; The Brandhorst Museum, Munich and The Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition has been developed in close collaboration with Cy Twombly himself, and will include works that have never been exhibited before.”

Press release from the Dulwich Picture Gallery

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Nicolas Poussin
Rinaldo and Armida
c. 1630
© By permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery

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Nicolas Poussin
The Nurture of Jupiter
mid 1630s
© By permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery

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Cy Twombly
Quattro Stagioni: Primavera
1993-5
Acrylic, oil, crayon and pencil on canvas
3230 x 1996 x 67mm
Tate: Purchased with assistance from the American Fund for the Tate Gallery and Tate Members 2002
© Tate, London, 2010, © Cy Twombly

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Cy Twombly
Quattro Stagioni: Estate
1993-5
Acrylic and pencil on canvas
3241 x 2250 x 67mm
Tate: Purchased with assistance from the American Fund for the Tate Gallery and Tate Members 2002
© Tate, London, 2010, © Cy Twombly

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Nicolas Poussin
Venus and Mercury
c. 1627/1629
© By permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery

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Cy Twombly
Quattro Stagioni: Autunno
1993-5
Acrylic, oil, crayon and pencil on canvas
3230 x 2254 x 67mm
Tate: Purchased with assistance from the American Fund for the Tate Gallery and Tate Members 2002
© Tate, London, 2010, © Cy Twombly

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Cy Twombly
Quattro Stagioni: Inverno
1993-5
Acrylic, oil and pencil on canvas
3229 x 2300 x 67mm
Tate: Purchased with assistance from the American Fund for the Tate Gallery and Tate Members 2002
© Tate, London, 2010, © Cy Twombly

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Dulwich Picture Gallery
Gallery Road, London, SE21 7AD

Opening hours: Tue – Fri 10am–5pm
Weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays 11am–5pm
Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays

Dulwich Picture Gallery website

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17
Sep
11

Exhibition: ‘Hiroshi Sugimoto’ at The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh

Presented by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Edinburgh International Festival
Exhibition dates: 4th August – 25th September 2011

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Many thankx to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern 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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Hiroshi Sugimoto
A Stem of Delicate Leaves of an Umbrellifer, circa 1843 – 1846
2009
Toned gelatin silver print
93.7 x 74.9 cm
© Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto
Leaves of Paeony, June 1839
2009
Toned gelatin silver print
93.7 x 74.9 cm
© Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto
Louisa Gallwey and Horatia Feilding, at Lacock Abbey, August 29, 1842
2009
Toned gelatin silver print
93.7 x 74.9 cm
© Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto
Wild Fennel, circa 1841 – 1842
2009
Toned gelatin silver print
93.7 x 74.9 cm
© Hiroshi Sugimoto

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“The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Edinburgh International Festival are delighted to announce a major new exhibition of one of the world’s leading artists, the renowned Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. Consisting entirely of works which are being shown in Europe for the first time, this exhibition will feature 26 large-scale works from two of Sugimoto’s most recent, and visually poetic series, Lightning Fields and Photogenic Drawings. This revelatory exhibition will allow audiences to experience first hand Sugimoto’s exploration of the very nature of photography. The show has been extended by one week and will now run until 25 September instead of the 18 September as previously published.

Simon Groom, Director of Modern and Contemporary Art, National Galleries of Scotland said: “Sugimoto has developed an international reputation for the sheer beauty of his images, which are as thought-provoking as they are technically stunning. We are thrilled to be premiering work from his newest series in Europe, which demonstrates a master at the very top of his game, and are delighted to be working again in partnership with Edinburgh International Festival to bring the very best of contemporary visual art to Scotland.”

Jonathan Mills, Edinburgh International Festival Director added: “Hiroshi Sugimoto’s extraordinary work presented at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is an exciting part of Festival 2011’s exploration of contemporary and classical Asian artists and their long influence on artists in the West. These are stunning images created in fascinating ways and I urge people to engage with this exhibition as part of their Festival experience.” 

Hiroshi Sugimoto was born in Tokyo in 1948 and now divides his time between Japan and his studio in New York. He has exhibited extensively in major museums and galleries throughout the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin; the Serpentine Gallery, London; and the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain, Paris. In 2009 he was awarded the Praemium Imperiale, an arts prize awarded by the imperial family of Japan on behalf of the Japan Art Association. His image, Boden Sea, Uttwil (1993) featured on the cover of No Line on the Horizon, the 2009 album by Irish rock band U2.

The Photogenic Drawings series was inspired by the innovative techniques of the 19th century photographer, Henry Fox Talbot. This pioneering artist invented ‘photogenic drawings’ by using light-sensitive paper to produce a negative in the early experimental days of photography. This process was especially influential in Scotland shaping the careers of Robert Adamson and David Octavius Hill, who went on to become one of the most famous collaborations in photographic history. Sugimoto has spent several years locating and acquiring Fox Talbot’s rare and vulnerable negatives from which to make his own photographs. The small scale of Fox Talbot’s work has been greatly enlarged by Sugimoto to reveal images that are haunting, almost painterly in their evocative power.

Lightning Fields is a series of dramatic and spectacular photographs produced through the play of violent electrical discharges on photographic film. Sugimoto moved his studio six times in an attempt to overcome a problem of static electricity which would often ruin his photographs with their tell-tale white flashes on the finished image. He decided to investigate further the phenomenon and to make ‘an ally of my nemesis’. Eventually, rather than try to suppress the random acts of nature, Sugimoto found ways to generate them by using a Van de Graaf Generator to induce electrical charges on the film. His large photographs expose in minute detail the remarkable effects of light particles not visible to the human eye. The results offer a fascinating range of interpretations, from powerful lightning strikes to images of weird and wonderful life forms.

This exhibition will be complemented by Towards the Light, a free display of prints from the National Galleries of Scotland collection that will examine the influence of 19th century Japanese colour woodcuts on artists working in Britain and Japan during the first decades of the 20th century. 19th century Japanese prints will feature as well as prints by artists using traditional colour woodcut techniques in the 1920s and 30s.”

Press release from the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art website

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Hiroshi Sugimoto
Lightning Fields 168
2009
Gelatin silver print
149 x 119.4 cm
© Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto
Lightning Fields 190
2009
Gelatin silver print
149 x 119.4 cm
© Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto
Lightning Fields 226
2009
Gelatin silver print
149 x 119.4 cm
© Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Hiroshi Sugimoto
Lightning Fields 236
2009
Gelatin silver print
149 x 119.4 cm
© Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art
75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
T: 0131 6246 6200

Opening hours:
4 -31 August Open Daily 10am – 6pm
1- 25 September Open Daily 10am – 5pm

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art website

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15
Sep
11

Exhibition: ‘László Moholy-Nagy. The Art of Light’ at the Ludwig Museum, Budapest

Exhibition dates:  9th June – 25th September, 2011

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Different press photographs from this exhibition, one that I last posted when it was at Martin Gropius-Bau, Berlin. Many thankx to the Ludwig Museum 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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László Moholy-Nagy
Chairs at Margate
1935
Gelatin silver print diptych
36.9 x 29.5 cm (each)
© Hattula Moholy-Nagy/VEGAP 2011

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László Moholy-Nagy
Untitled
1940-44
Fujicolor Crystal Archive print
Image: 22.8 x 34.2 cm. Paper: 27.9 x 35.5 cm
Courtesy of László Moholy-Nagy Estate and Andrea Rosen Gallery Inc., New York
© Hattula Moholy-Nagy/VEGAP 2011

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László Moholy-Nagy
Untitled
1939
Fujicolor Crystal Archive print
Image: 22.8 x 34.2 cm. Paper: 27.9 x 35.5 cm
Courtesy of László Moholy-Nagy Estate and Andrea Rosen Gallery Inc., New York
© Hattula Moholy-Nagy/VEGAP 2011

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László Moholy-Nagy
Composition A XI
1923
Oil on canvas
Image: 115.6 x 131.1 cm. Frame: 118.8 x 133.7 cm
© Hattula Moholy-Nagy/VEGAP 2011

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László Moholy-Nagy
K VII
1922
Oil on canvas
115.3 x 135.9 cm
Tate, London
© Hattula Moholy-Nagy/VEGAP 2011

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“László Moholy-Nagy is a world-famous figure of twentieth-century avant-garde art. His visual art and theoretical works, photographs, films, educational activities and photograms – taken without a camera and now synonymous with his name – were of such significance that it is no exaggeration to say that since Moholy-Nagy, we see things differently; since Moholy-Nagy, our thinking about art has been transformed. His innovations over the decades have become so natural, his influence so pervasive, that we now almost have to rediscover him once again. In the series of Hungarian photographers who accomplished world fame – Robert Capa, Martin Munkácsi, György Kepes – the Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art now presents the work of László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946), focussing primarily his photography. This is a long-overdue show: Hungary has not held such an exhibition of Moholy-Nagy’s work since 1975, not even on the centenary of his birth in 1995.

Moholy-Nagy began his creative career in the first half of the twentieth century in Lajos Kassák’s activist circle where, at twenty years old, he was one of Hungary’s youngest avant-garde artists. In 1919 he left for Vienna then Berlin, where he came under the influence of Dadaism and Constructivism, which he later developed further independently. On the invitation of director Walter Gropius in 1923, he became a teacher at the Weimar Bauhaus, then the most progressive art school. There, alongside the Metal Workshop, he also led the definitive course in new arts education, the Foundation. The Bauhaus was more than a school: it was a way of life that unified life, art and science. As well as exploring painting, leading the Metal Workshop, writing and editing books and applying new typographies at the experimental, innovative Bauhaus school, Moholy-Nagy also turned towards photography and film as forms offering new possibilities in art. Photography, and in particular film represented new technologies that questioned the traditional principles of art, among them the uniqueness of the artefacts and the personal signature of the artist.

The central organising principle in Moholy-Nagy’s diverse activities was light: light defined his paintings, sculptures, photoplastics, photograms, photographs, typography and theatre sets. He did not regard photography as a tool for the perfect imaging of reality, rather, it was his conviction that the camera offered new discoveries and possibilities for modern people to finally liberate themselves from the obligation to depict, to copy reality. The years at the Bauhaus proved to be an experience that defined his entire life. After Berlin, Weimar and Dessau, he settled in Chicago in 1937, where he founded the ‘New Bauhaus’ and remained until the end of his life, working as an experimental, innovative artist and theorist. He regarded art as an activity that embraced the whole of life which was non-hierarchical, accessible and cultivatable by everyone, and he was a firm believer in the educational role of art.

The Ludwig Museum’s exhibition presents his diverse life achievement from 1922, with Moholy-Nagy’s photography, films, and works ‘made with light’ in central focus. His first writings on light as a medium were published in 1923, in the Broom magazine, New York. One of the most exciting parts of the exhibition is the compilation of all Moholy-Nagy’s films, shown together here for the first time and according to the artist’s original conception. Such an ambitious and large-scale exhibition of Moholy-Nagy’s oeuvre could only have been realised with international collaboration. This exhibition brings together over 200 pieces and documents from over twenty museums around the world (Tate, Whitney, Tokyo Metropolitan, etc.) as well as private collections. It is based on the curatorial concept of the director of Madrid’s la Fábrica, Oliva Maria Rubio, and is the result of joint work between the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin and the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. The exhibition has previously shown in Madrid, Berlin and The Hague, and will open to audiences in Budapest until the end of September.

Moholy-Nagy’s rich oeuvre also allows us to make slightly different emphases according to location. In Berlin, the legendary 1929 Film und Foto (FiFo) exhibition and his pedagogical works were emphasized, while in The Hague, the focus was on the time he spent in the Netherlands between 1933 and 1935. With the participation of two internationally-renowned Hungarian art historians, experts of Moholy-Nagy, Krisztina Passuth and Éva Bajkay, the Budapest exhibition is complemented by photographs and publications from Hungarian collections. Thanks to László Moholy-Nagy’s family, valuable documents that have not been seen in any of the earlier locations have been added to the exhibition.”

Press release from the Ludwig Museum

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László Moholy-Nagy
Costume Design for Tales of Hoffmann
1929
Watercolour on paper
34.3 x 27 cm
Hattula Moholy-Nagy, Ann Arbor, Michigan
© Hattula Moholy-Nagy/VEGAP 2011

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László Moholy-Nagy
Jealousy
1924-27
Photoplastic, gelatin silver print
30 x 24.6 cm
Victoria & Albert Museum Collection, London
© Hattula Moholy-Nagy/VEGAP 2011

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László Moholy-Nagy
La Canebière Street, Marseilles – View Through the Balcony Grille
1928
Gelatin silver print
24.4 x 17.5 cm
George Eastman House Collection. Donated by Katharine Kuh
© Hattula Moholy-Nagy/VEGAP 2011

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Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art
Palace of Arts
Komor Marcell u. 1, Budapest, H-1095
T: +36 1 555 3444

Opening hours:
Tuesday-Sunday: 10.00 – 20.00
Closed on Mondays

Ludwig Museum website

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Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Études’ 1994

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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