Posts Tagged ‘lovers


Exhibition: ‘Desire’ at The Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas

Exhibition dates: 5th February – 25th April 2010


Many thankx to the Blanton Museum of Art for allowing me to reproduce images from the exhibition in the post. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.




Olaf Breuning (Swiss, b. 1970) 'Brian' 2008


Olaf Breuning (Swiss, b. 1970)
60 x 70 inches
Courtesy the artist and Metro Pictures, New York


Glenn Ligon (American, b. 1960) 'Lest We Forget' 1998


Glenn Ligon (American, b. 1960)
Lest We Forget
Series including cast aluminum or bronze plaques, colour photographs of plaques on site
Courtesy the artist and Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York


Valeska Soares (Brazilian, b. 1957) 'Duet' 2008


Valeska Soares (Brazilian, b. 1957)
Hand-carved white marble
Installation dimensions variable
Private Collection


Tracey Emin (English, b. 1963) 'You Should Have Loved Me' 2008


Tracey Emin (English, b. 1963)
You Should Have Loved Me
Warm white neon
Courtesy of Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York



This February, The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin investigates the notion of desire in an exhibition of the same name. Curated by Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, Blanton curator of American and contemporary art and director of curatorial affairs, the exhibition features over fifty works from an international group of contemporary artists working in all media, including Glenn Ligon, Marilyn Minter, Petah Coyne, Bill Viola, Tracey Emin, Isaac Julien and many others. The accompanying illustrated catalogue will contain texts by art critics, fiction writers, poets, performing and visual artists, all written in direct response to the works of art in the exhibition.

Carlozzi states, “”Desire” is a complex human emotion and a driving force in our lives from childhood through old age. We all can recall examples of literature, film, and music that are rife with expressions of physical desire, but how do contemporary visual artists portray it, and all its attendant psychological states – anticipation, arousal, longing, regret, and so on? “Desire” assembles a really broad range of compelling works that together present a surprisingly diverse portrait of the experience.”

One provocative aspect of the exhibition is not its imagery, per se, but the manner by which many of the works translate intimate experiences into art a public expression. Marilyn Minter’s Crystal Swallow would seem to capture a private moment of visceral response, yet in such detail and exaggerated scale that it becomes a grotesque advertisement for arousal. Glenn Ligon’s series, Lest We Forget, commemorates those flickers of romantic fantasy that sometimes occur while people watching. And Tracey Emin’s You Should Have Loved Me is an accusation from a lover scorned, created with the neon light of public signage as if to broadcast raw feeling to an uncaring world.

Works by Kalup Linzy, William Villalongo, Olaf Breuning, James Drake, Petah Coyne, Gajin Fugita, Georganne Deen, Adam Pendleton, Peter Saul, Valeska Soares, Danica Phelps, Miguel Angel Rojas, Mads Lynnerup, Rochelle Feinstein, Richard Prince, Laurel Nakadate, Jesse Amado, Isabell Heimerdinger, Alejandro Cesarco, Eve Sussman, Robert Kushner, Luisa Lambri, Chris Doyle, and a dozen others, provide an engaging multi-generational exploration of desire. In addition, an informed selection of works of art from The Blanton’s print collection will add a historic counterpoint to the contemporary works on view.”

Press release from The Blanton Museum of Art website [Online] Cited 17/04/2010


Will Villalongo (American, b. 1975) 'The Last Days of Eden' 2009


Will Villalongo (American, b. 1975)
The Last Days of Eden
Cut velour paper
Courtesy the artist and Susan Inglett Gallery, New York



William Villalongo (born December 14, 1975 in Hollywood, Florida) is an American artist working in painting, printmaking, sculpture, and installation. Currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Villalongo is also a professor at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York.

Villalongo typically focuses in his works on the politics of historical erasure, with a particular focus on the artistic reassessment of Western, American, and African Art histories. The artist states that his intention toward these reassessments evolves in part from the West’s histories of “taking African art objects and placing them on the side of the sofa to decorate, although that is not their purpose. We are obsessed with fitting a narrative, a story.”

His works engage with the black body, examining the influences of socialisation, history, occupation, dress, and speech on it. In many of his portraits, bodies emerge from “a tumult of white negative space cut out of black velour paper,” in ways that evoke leaves, branches, feathers, or slashes.

Villalongo is also influenced by Pablo Picasso, who incorporated African masks into his primitivist works, and Aaron Douglas who he credits as inspiring him. Villalongo reexamines the power dynamics of history and representation in his own pieces. “It’s problematic and interesting, and I wanted to think about how to use it and tell a story.”

Text from the Wikipedia website


Petah Coyne (American, b. 1953) 'Untitled #1103 (Daphne)' 2002-3


Petah Coyne (American, b. 1953)
Untitled #1103 (Daphne)
Mixed media
77 x 83 x 86 inches
Collection of Julie and John Thornton



Petah Coyne (born 1953) is an American sculptor and photographer. She is known for her large-scale sculptures composed of unconventional, and often organic, materials, such as clay, silk, wax, and hair.


Bill Viola (American, b. 1951) 'Becoming Light' 2005


Bill Viola (American, b. 1951)
Becoming Light
Color High-Definition video on plasma display mounted on wall
47.6 in x 28.5 in x 4 in (121 cm x 72.5 cm x 10.2 cm)
Performers: John Hay, Sarah Steben
Photo: Kira Perov
Courtesy Bill Viola Studio


Marilyn Minter (American, b. 1948) 'Crystal Swallow' 2006


Marilyn Minter (American, b. 1948)
Crystal Swallow
Enamel on metal
Promised gift of Jeanne and Michael Klein, 2007



Blanton Museum of Art
MLK at Congress (200 East MLK)
Austin, Texas 78701

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Thursday 10am – 5pm
Friday 10am – 8pm
Saturday 11am – 5
Sunday 1 – 5pm

The Blanton Museum of Art website


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Opening 3: Review: ‘Show Court 3’ and ‘Mood Bomb’ by Louise Paramor at Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 5th March – 28th March 2009

Opening: Thursday 5th March 2009


Louise Paramor. 'Show Court 3 (II)' 2009


Louise Paramor
Show Court 3 (II)



Boarding a train at Flinders Street we emerge at South Yarra station to stroll down to River Street for our third opening of the night at Nellie Castan Gallery. We are greeted by the ever gracious Nellie Castan who has just returned from an overseas trip to Europe where she was soaking up the wonders of Rome amongst other places. For the latest exhibition in the gallery Louise Paramor is presenting two bodies of work: Show Court 3 and Mood Bomb (both 2009). Lets look at Show Court 3 first as this work has older origins.

Originally exhibited in 2006 at Nellie Castan under the title Jam Session the sculptures from this exhibition and many more beside (75 in all) were then installed in 2007 on show court 3 at Melbourne & Olympic Parks, hence the title of the installation. In the smaller gallery in 2009 we have six Lambda photographic prints that are records of this installation plus a video of the installation and de-installation of the work.

While interesting as documentary evidence of the installation these photographs are thrice removed from the actual sculptures – the sculptures themselves, the installation of the sculptures on court and then the photographs of the installation of the sculptures. The photographs lose something in this process – the presence or link back to the referentiality of the object itself. There is no tactile suggestiveness here, no fresh visual connections to be made with the materials, no human interaction. The intertextual nature of the objects, the jamming together of found pieces of bright plastic to make seductive anthropomorphic creatures that ‘play’ off of each other has been lost.

What has been reinforced in the photographs is a phenomena that was observed in the actual installation.

“The sculptures created a jarring visual disruption when placed in a location normally associated with play and movement. The stadium seating surrounding the tennis court incited an expectation of entertainment; a number of viewers sat looking at the sculptures, as though waiting for them to spin and jump around. But mostly, the exhibition reversed the usual role of visitors to place where one sits and watches others move; here the objects on the tennis court were static and the spectators moved around.” (2007)1

In the photographs of these objects and in the installation itself what occurs is an inversion of perception, a concept noted by the urbanist Paul Virilio.2 Here the objects perceive us instead of us perceiving the object: they stare back with an oculocentric ‘suggestiveness’ which is advertising’s raison d’être (note the eye sculpture above). In particular this is what the photographs suggest – a high gloss surface, an advertising image that grabs our attention and forces us to look but is no longer a powerful image.

In the main gallery was the most interesting work of the whole night – experiments of abstraction in colour “inspired by the very substance of paint itself.” Made by pouring paint onto glass and then exhibiting the smooth reverse side, these paintings are not so much about the texture of the surface (as is Dale Frank’s work below) but a more ephemeral thing: the dreamscapes of the mind that they promote in the viewer, the imaginative connections that ask the viewer to make. Simpler and perhaps more refined than Frank’s work (because of the smooth surface, the lack of the physicality of the layering technique? because of the pooling of amoebic shapes produced, not the varnish that accumulates and recedes?) paint oozes, bleeds, swirls, drips upwards and blooms with a sensuality of intense love. They are dream states that allow the viewer to create their own narrative with the title of the works offering gentle guides along the way: Girl with Flowers, Lovers, Mood Bomb, Emerald God, Mama, and Animal Dreaming to name just a few. To me they also had connotations of melted plastic, almost as if the sculptures of Show Court 3 had dissolved into the glassy surface of a transparent tennis court.

These are wonderfully evocative paintings. I really enjoyed spending time with them.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

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


  1. O’Neill, Jane. Louise Paramor: Show Court 3. Melbourne: Nellie Castan Gallery, 2009
  2. Virilio, Paul. The Vision Machine. (trans. Julie Rose). Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994, pp. 62-63



Louise Paramor. 'Show Court 3 (VI)' 2009


Louise Paramor
Show Court 3 (VI)


Louise Paramor. 'Show Court 3' (detail) 2009


Louise Paramor
Show Court 3 (detail)


Louise Paramor. 'Show Court 3' (detail) 2009


Louise Paramor
Show Court 3 (detail)


Louise Paramor. Opening night crowd in front of 'Sky Pilot' (left) and 'Mama' (right) 2009


Louise Paramor
Opening night crowd in front of Sky Pilot (left) and Mama (right)


Louise Paramor. Opening night crowd in front of 'Green Eyed Monster' (right) and 'Sky Pilot' (right) 2009


Louise Paramor
Opening night crowd in front of Green Eyed Monster (right) and Sky Pilot (right)


Louise Paramor. Opening night crowd in front of 'Pineapple Express' 2009


Louise Paramor
Opening night crowd in front of Pineapple Express


Louise Paramor. 'A Dog and His Master' (detail) 2009


Louise Paramor
A Dog and His Master (detail)


Louise Paramor. 'Lovers' 2009


Louise Paramor


Dale Frank. 2005


Dale Frank
2. One conversation gambit you hear these days: ‘Do you rotate?’ An interesting change of tack? No suck luck. ‘Do you rotate?’ simply fishes for information about the extent of your collection. Do you have enough paintings to hang a different one in your dining room every month?


Louise Paramor. 'Mood Bomb' 2009


Louise Paramor
Mood Bomb


Louise Paramor. 'Slippery Slope' (detail) 2009


Louise Paramor
Slippery Slope (detail)


Louise Paramor 'Green Eyed Monster' (detail) 2009


Louise Paramor
Green Eyed Monster (detail)



Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne

This gallery closed in December 2013


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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: ‘Padlocks/People’ 1994-96

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