Posts Tagged ‘space between

14
Aug
09

Notes from a Conversation with Mari Funaki. Exhibition: ‘Mari Funaki, Works 1992-2009’ at Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth

Exhibition dates: 27th June – 18th October 2009

 

Mari Funaki. 'Bracelet 1' from ‘Space between’ heat-coloured mild steel 2005-06

 

Mari Funaki (Australian, 1950-2010)
Bracelet 1 from Space between
2005-06
Heat-coloured mild steel

 

Mari Funaki. 'Bracelet 2' from ‘Space between’ heat-coloured mild steel 2005-06

 

Mari Funaki (Australian, 1950-2010)
Bracelet 2 from Space between
2005-06
Heat-coloured mild steel

 

 

Mari Funaki is one of Australia’s leading jewellers. This exhibition celebrates her considerable achievements between 1992 and the present day. Her first major show in a state gallery, it includes nearly fifty works and will be the first time Perth audiences have seen her work in such depth. Many of these are new works produced especially for this show.

The exhibition will focus on rings, containers and bracelets. These forms have been the core of her practice, the foundation of her intricate material experimentations. Her sheer intensity of focus has seen her hone these forms into objects of extreme power and beauty. Funaki’s is no simple beauty, however. It is sharp, complicated. There is always a sense of danger in her work, as the spindly legs of her insect-like containers support unlikely, unwieldy torsos, and as her rings and bracelets cultivate miniature monoliths that play with scale and weight in fascinating ways.

This exhibition will frame these unique objects in such a way as to acknowledge Funaki’s ability to work with space and matter to form entrancing works that adorn the imagination in the same they adorn the body.

Text from the Art Gallery of Western Australia website [Online] Cited 10/08/2009 no longer available online

 

Mari Funaki. 'Bracelet 3' from ‘Space between’ heat-coloured mild steel 2005-06

 

Mari Funaki (Australian, 1950-2010)
Bracelet 3 from Space between
2005-06
Heat-coloured mild steel

 

Mari Funaki. 'Bracelet 4' from ‘Space between’ heat-coloured mild steel 2005-06

 

Mari Funaki (Australian, 1950-2010)
Bracelet 4 from Space between
2005-06
Heat-coloured mild steel

 

 

Notes from a Conversation with Mari Funaki, July 2006

Mari Funaki’s initial response comes from the environment – the response is part random, part constructed idea.

Funaki likes the ‘animated’ response from the viewer – allowing them to make their own associations with the work and their own meaning. The making of the work doesn’t emerge out of nothing but through the development of ideas over a long period of time.

Mari starts with a flat drawing – this approach comes from an Eastern perspective in the history of art making i.e. screens, woodcuts and scrolls. Initially when starting with the idea Mari is mentally thinking in two dimensions – then drawing out onto paper in two dimensions the ideas.

When actually making the work Mari then starts working and thinking in three dimensions – starting with a base piece of metal and working physically and intuitively around the object, to form a construction that evidences her feelings about what she wants to create. She likes the aesthetic beauty but uneasy aspect of a dead insect for example (like the Louise Bourgeois Maman spider outside the Guggenheim in Bilbao).

Now collaborating with architect Nonda Kotsalidis, Mari is working to produce her sculptural objects on a larger scale, up to 6 metres high. She needs the objects to have an emotional and physical impact on the viewer – both beautiful and threatening at one and the same time. How will her objects translate to a larger scale? Very well I think.

Funaki likes the physical distortion of space – and she likes telling a story to the viewer. She is working on a building where the facade is really strongly geometric and then she is embedding an emotion into the front of the building – constructing a narrative – constructing an emotional response with the viewer and establishing a relationship with the building. Here she is working from photographs of the space, her own recognition and remembrance of that space. She is having to work physically in 3D from the beginning for the first time, but still uses drawings to sketch out her ideas.

Several of Funaki’s pieces in the Cecily and Colin Rigg Contemporary Design Award (2006) at the NGV Federation Square were inspired by the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher. Their photographs of factories and gasworks, specifically the facades of such buildings (see image below), were the jumping off point for the development of the objects (the bracelets). Funaki takes the front of these buildings, a 3D structure ‘in reality’ but pictorially imaged on a 2D plane, and then twists and distorts their structure back into a 3D environment. The facades move up and around, as though a body is twisting around its own axis, pirouetting around an invisible central spine.

Each piece is created and then the next one is created in relation to the previous, or to each other. Each individual piece has its own character and relation to each other. They are never variations of the same piece with small differences – each is a separate but fully (in)formed entity.

Dr Marcus Bunyan for the Art Blart blog

 

Bernd and Hilla Becher. 'Water Towers' 1980

 

Bernd and Hiller Becher (German, 1931-2007 and 1934-2015)
Water Towers
1980
Gelatin silver prints

 

 

“Black. Sharp, shifting contours. Familiar and alien. Confident, expressive and agile, it is easy to take the existence of these works for granted – and it is hard enough to trace in one’s mind the physical evolution back through heat colouring, sandblasting, soldering, assembling and cutting, to unremarkable, thin sheets of mild steel – let alone comprehend their conception and resolution.

They inhabit space in a way that is difficult to describe – the edge between each object and the space that encloses it is shockingly sudden.

How can something human-made be so insanely artificial and natural at the same time? It must be no accident that I described them as articulate – ambiguous and wide ranging in the breadth of associations and allusions, they can tell you everything and nothing at the same time.”

Sally Marsland, 2006

Text from the Gallery Funaki website [Online] Cited 10/08/2009 no longer available online

 

Mari Funaki. 'Bracelet 5' from ‘Space between’ heat-coloured mild steel 2005-06

 

Mari Funaki (Australian, 1950-2010)
Bracelet 5 from Space between
2005-06
Heat-coloured mild steel

 

Mari Funaki. 'Bracelet 6' from ‘Space between’ heat-coloured mild steel 2005-06

 

Mari Funaki (Australian, 1950-2010)
Bracelet 6 from Space between
2005-06
Heat-coloured mild steel

 

 

Art Gallery of Western Australia
Perth Cultural Centre
Perth WA 6000

Opening hours:
Wednesday – Monday 10am – 5pm
Closed Tuesdays.

Art Gallery of Western Australia website

Gallery Funaki website

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12
Mar
09

Exhibition: ‘Overpainted Photographs’ by Gerhard Richter at Centre de la Photographie, Geneva

Exhibition dates: 20th February – 12th April 2009

 

Gerhard Richter. '9.4.89'

 

Gerhard Richter
9.4.89
10.1 cm x 14.8 cm
Oil on colour photograph

 

 

There is something unsettling in Richter’s serendipitious interventions. Using his own prosaic 10 x 15cm colour photographs that have been commercially printed as the basis of the works, Richter overlays the surface of the photograph with skeins of paint that disturb the reflexivity of each medium. Dragging the photograph through the paint or using a palette knife to apply layers of colour, the surfaces of paint and photograph no longer exist as separate entities. The process produces punctum like clefts rent in the fabric of time and space. If the intervention is judged unsuccessful the result if immediately destroyed.

In 5.Juli.1994 (below) blood red fingers of paint strain upwards as they invade the solidity of a dour suburban home, echoing the invading trees branches at top right of picture. In 11.2.98 (below) green paint slashes across the mouth and forehead of a woman in a floral dress, her eyes seemingly bloodshot and pleading stare into the distance to the left of our view, the silent scream strangled in her throat by the vibrations of paint. These are the instantaneous responses of the artist to the photograph, a single mood expounded in irreversible gestures, the actions of the painter’s hand disturbing the indexical link of the photograph and it’s ability to be ‘read’ as a referent of the object it depicts. Richter’s interventions challenge the concept of momentary awareness and offer the possibility of a space between, where the image stands for something else – access to Other, even a contemplation of the sublime.

“The color of paint applied corresponds or contrasts the tonalities of the underlying photograph but link the two through formal relationships of the layers … Often a tense relationship, the results run the gamut of the surreal to the beautiful to the disturbed. It is all the more surprising that each in its perceived completeness was in essence accomplished by chance and trial and error.”1

“Richter’s painterly gestures bounce off the [photographs] content in peculiar ways, sometimes interacting with it, sometimes overlaying it and sometimes threatening to eclipse it altogether. The final effect is to cause both photography and painting to seem like incredibly bizarre activities, disparate in texture but often complicit in aspiration.”2

I love the violence, the sometimes subversive, sometimes transcendental ‘equivalence’ of these images: where a Steiglitz cloud can stand for music, where a Minor White infrared photograph posits a new reality, Richter offers us an immediacy that destroys the self-reflexive nature of everyday life. His spontaneous musings, his amorphous worlds, his bleeds and blends crack open the skin of our existential life on earth. Here, certainly, are ‘the clefts in words, the words as flesh’.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

  1. Text from 5B4 blog
  2. Text from Artbook.com website

 

Gerhard Richter '11.4.89'

 

Gerhard Richter
11.4.89
10 cm x 15 cm
Oil on colour photograph

 

Gerhard Richter. '11.3.89'

 

Gerhard Richter
11.3.89
10 cm x 14.9 cm
Oil on colour photograph

 

Gerhard Richter. '5.Juli.1994'

 

Gerhard Richter
5.Juli.1994
10.2 cm x 15.2 cm
Oil on colour photograph

 

Gerhard Richter. '11.2.98'

 

Gerhard Richter
11.2.98
10 cm x 14.7 cm
Oil on colour photograph

 

Gerhard Richter. '22.2.96'

 

Gerhard Richter
22.2.96
9.6 cm x 14.7 cm
Oil on colour photograph

 

Gerhard Richter. '11.Febr.05'

 

Gerhard Richter
11.Febr.05
10.1 cm x 14.9 cm
Oil on colour photograph

 

 

The exhibition presents 330 of Richter’s largely unknown overpainted photographs, a technique he has been using since 1982.

The exhibition UERBERNALTE FOTOGRAFIEN / PHOTOGRAPHIES PEINTES (OVERPAINTED PHOTOGRAPHS) at the Centre de la photographie Geneva (CPG) presented a side of the work of Gerhard Richter largely unknown up till now. Only a few collectors and gallerists close to the artist were aware of the practise that Gerhard Richter, one of the most important artists of our times, had developed systematically since 1982. It is only because of this exhibition that more than 1000 of his over-painted photographs will enter into his catalogue raisone. The CPG presents approximately 330 of them in this show.

“By placing paint on photographs, with all their random and involuntary expressiveness, Gerhard Richter reinforces the unique aspect of each of these mediums and opens a field of tension rich in paradoxes, as old as the couple – painting / photography – which has largely defined modern art.”

Text from Centre de la Photographie website

 

Gerhard Richter is justly famed for the photorealism of his early canvases, but it is less well known that he has also painted directly onto photographic prints. These (mostly small-format) pieces were reproduced in books as early as the first Atlas, but practically all of the works themselves are housed in private collections and rarely exhibited in public. Overpainted Photographs gathers this body of work, which unites the labor of the hand with the work of mechanical reproduction to produce a kind of art as conceptually rich as Richter’s better-known paintings, neutralizing the expressive powers of each medium to reach an indifference to their potency. In an overture to Duchamp’s “degree zero” found objects, the original photographs are frequently bland in content – an empty office, a ball, a beach scene or tourist snapshot – and Richter’s painterly gestures bounce off that content in peculiar ways, sometimes interacting with it, sometimes overlaying it and sometimes threatening to eclipse it altogether. The final effect is to cause both photography and painting to seem like incredibly bizarre activities, disparate in texture but often complicit in aspiration. This monograph offers a unique opportunity to savor what had previously been a neglected but copious aspect of Richter’s work.

Text from the Amazon website

 

“The public scenes, whether on the beach or the ski slope or children’s theatre, are beset with sudden surges of colour that tend to resemble interventions of the sky or elemental forces, more than the moods of a decorative or ornamental painter annotation. Sometimes they seem like catastrophic visions. Blood-red snowflakes dance above the white fern. The photo shows skyscrapers in the urban morning sun – and the oil paint adds to the sulpherous fire that pours over the city from the sky”

Botho Strauss in Gerhard Richter: Overpainted Photographs (Hardcover)

 

Gerhard Richter. '22.1.2000 (Firenze)'

 

Gerhard Richter
22.1.2000 (Firenze)
12 cm x 12 cm
Oil on colour photograph

 

Gerhard Richter. '21.1.2000 (Firenze)'

 

Gerhard Richter
21.1.2000 (Firenze)
12 cm x 12 cm
Oil on colour photograph

 

Gerhard Richter. '22.4.07'

 

Gerhard Richter
22.4.07
12.6 cm x 16.7 cm
Oil on colour photograph

 

 

Centre de la Photographie
28, rue des Bains,
CH – 1205 Genève
Phone: + 41 22 329 28 35

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Sunday 11.00 – 18.00

Centre de la Photographie website

Gerhard Richter website

Amazon Books

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

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

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

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