Archive | Exhibitions RSS feed for this section

Susie MacMurray

19 Jun

I really like Susie MacMurray’s installations. Her playfulness reminds me of Cornelia Parker – who is surely one of her inspirations.

Great to see this installation. As part of Islington Mill’s 10-year anniversary artist Susie MacMurray has reinstalled her seminal work Stratum. Developed while she was in residence at Islington Mill as a graduate student in 2001, Stratum transformed the attic spaces of the building in a cloud of white duck down.

Berlin Trip 3: Berlinische Gallery

27 Feb

Berlinisch Gallery: Jurgen Mayer’s ‘Rapport’; Wolf Vostell, Eva Besnyo, Hans Uhlmann, Naum Gabo, Dada, Boris Mikhailov.

 

Links:

Eva Besnyo

Jurgen Mayer

Berlinische Gallery

Berlin Trip 2: Arndt & Daimler Galleries

27 Feb

Having seen Chiharu Shiota’s piece at the ‘Lost in Lace’ exhibition in Birmingham and also just generally inspired by her work it was great to see some more of her work in the Arndt gallery. Also in Arndt some more Jospeh Beuys.

In The Daimler Contemporary: Joseph Kosuth, Albert Mertz, Martin Boyce, Francois Morellet.

Chiharu Shiota

Berlin Trip 1: Hamburger Bahnhof

26 Feb

Tues 21st Feb: Hamburger Bahnhof

Special exhibition: Ryoji Ikeda

Lots of really interesting art here – favourites included: Joseph Beuys, Anslem Kiefer, Rauschenberg and Bruce Nauman’s installation space.

In 1996, the Hamburger Bahnhof opened with the collection belonging to the Berlin entrepreneur Dr. Erich Marx. Ever since, the Marx Collection has been a central component of the museum’s inventory. Outstanding works by artists such as Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer, Robert Rauschenberg, and Andy Warhol – many of them on permanent display – have earned the collection international renown. Pieces such as Anselm Kiefer’s lead pieces and even more so Andy Warhol’s large “Mao” (1973) are iconic trademarks of the museum. The Marx collection is on permanent loan to the Nationalgalerie, and is presented by the curators in changing configurations.

The core of the Marx Collection revolves around five major personalities of late 20th century art: Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol. The collection contains wide-ranging ensembles of works by all five, making it possible for the museum to chart the artistic development of each from the early production all the way to the late or recent works.

Mark Leckey: BigBoxIndustrialAction

26 Feb

Went to see/hear Mark Leckey’s new commission for Manchester Art Gallery. I enjoyed the overall effect of the Big Box Vs The Industrial metal. The volume was impressive with gut vibrating bass notes. Felt quite ritualistic, a secular ceremony. But not sure about the sound composition as a whole.

BigBoxIndustrialAction, in which a giant soundsystem meets a three-tonne low pressure steam chest on loan from Ellenroad Engine House, near Rochdale, Greater Manchester, home of the world’s largest working steam mill engine.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

***

See Manchester Art Gallery page for more on this show.

Anselm Kieffer: White Cube, Bermondsey

22 Dec

White Cube Bermondsey is pleased to present a new exhibition of work by the internationally renowned artist Anselm Kiefer. Staged across 11,000 sq ft of gallery space, ‘Il Mistero delle Cattedrali’ is the largest presentation of Kiefer’s work ever made in London.

The title of the exhibition is taken from the esoteric publication by Fulcanelli (published in 1926), which claimed that the Gothic cathedrals of Europe had openly displayed the hidden code of alchemy for over 700 years. As with all Kiefer’s work, allusions are never literal but reflect an ongoing interest in systems – mystical and material – which have evolved over centuries. Both title and exhibition reflect Kiefer’s longtime fascination with the transformative nature of alchemy: ‘The ideology of alchemy is the hastening of time, as in the lead-silver-gold cycle which needed only time in order to transform lead into gold. In the past the alchemist sped up this process with magical means. That was called magic. As an artist I don’t do anything differently. I only accelerate the transformation that is already present in things. That is magic, as I understand it.’

All of the large-scale canvases on show use landscape as its starting point. Thereafter, Kiefer works on each of them rigorously and with intense physicality and some of the canvases are exposed to the elements. In addition, for this exhibition, many of the large-scale works have undergone an accelerated process of oxidisation. Consequently, images that may be seen to evoke the sublime are themselves subjected to the subtle but immense power of natural forces. ‘You have to find a golden path between controlling and not controlling, between order and chaos’ Kiefer has observed. ‘If there is too much order, it is dead; if there is too much chaos, it doesn’t cohere. I’m continually negotiating a path between these two extremes.’

As well as the over-arching theme of alchemy, Kiefer continues to wrestle with various history, notably twentieth century Germany. Among the most striking and monumental of all his recent motifs is that of Tempelhof Airport in Berlin. Finally closed in 2008, it is among the most charged and culturally loaded of buildings. Built in 1927 on land once belonging to the medieval Knights Templar, the airport was redesigned in the following decade as part of Albert Speer’s master plan for the Nazi reconstruction of Berlin. The vast complex was intended as Hitler’s gateway to Europe and as a symbol of his ‘world capital’, Germania. It was never finished but witnessed military activity during the Cold War and was seen by many as a forerunner of the airports of the late twentieth century, in its grandeur and ambition. In Kiefer’s vast canvases, Tempelhof is transformed into a latter day cathedral, or a mystical site of aspiration, of absurdity, even apocalypse.

Anselm Kiefer was born in 1945 in Donaueschingen in Southern Germany. He has lived and worked in France since 1991. Exhibitions of his painting, sculptures, drawings and installations have been staged extensively over the past four decades and his work is included in the world’s most prestigious public and private collections. Recent projects include the Grand Palais, Paris and Guggenheim Bilbao. In 2007 Kiefer became the first artist to be given a permanent commission to install work at the Louvre, Paris since Georges Braque some 50 years earlier. In 2009 he created an opera, ‘Am Anfang’, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Opéra National de Paris. In November 2011 he opened ‘Shevirat Ha-Kelim’ at the Tel Aviv Art Museum, the inaugural exhibition in the Herta and Paul Amir Building.

An illustrated catalogue with an essay by Jay Winter will be published in spring 2012.

via ArtSlant – December 9th – February 26th, 2012, White Cube, Bermondsey, ANSELM KIEFER.

The Power of Making: Victoria and Albert Museum,

22 Dec

ArtSlant – September 6th – January 2nd, 2012, Victoria and Albert Museum,

“Power of Making is an exhibition about the breadth and depth of craft’s presence in modern life. The featured objects have been selected to highlight both age-old skills and contemporary techniques, from traditional stone walls to machines that can make other machines. Each exhibit demonstrates refined craftsmanship, meticulous control or ingenious application.

The exhibition is structured in groups of objects that share certain attributes. Some have been created using related techniques or materials. Others are connected by their appearance, or by their makers’ motivations.

There is no set path to follow. Power of Making is intended to encourage exploration and imagination, in the open-ended spirit of the works on display.

Types of making

Makers use numerous different skills and techniques to shape their materials. All these techniques may be considered as falling into one of just three types.

Adding techniques connect, layer or combine materials. They include welding, soldering, veneering, weaving, embroidery and painting.

Subtracting techniques remove materials. They include cutting, carving, engraving, drilling and grinding.

Transforming techniques alter materials themselves. They include throwing clay, blowing glass, forging metal, and baking. The transformed states may be temporary or permanent. Irreversible transformations occur in processes like vacuum forming, stereolithography and casting.

Every object in this exhibition has been made by adding, subtracting or transforming material, or by combining these processes.

Learning a skill

Too many people never get a chance to experience the highest levels of making. Most can make something, at least at an amateur level, and many reach a professional standard. But there are many layers of expertise beyond that. It may take years to attain complete mastery.

At every stage in the learning process, a maker’s relationship to materials and tools changes dramatically. What may at first have been frustrating becomes pleasurable. Makers start to think through their materials and skills, almost unconsciously. Once they learn how to use and care for a tool, makers might start modifying it, or even invent a new tool to replace it. In all these ways, learning a skill is a way of opening up future possibilities and challenges.

In the zone

Advanced skills may take a long time to learn, but the feeling of being ‘in the zone’ can be experienced by anyone – from a four-year-old to a master artisan. When you are absorbed in making, things happen that you didn’t plan. The experience is intuitive, like sport, and it can be meditative, like music.

This sensation of effortless flow is a reward in its own right, but it is also a situation of intense learning. Makers who are immersed in what they are doing build on existing skills and discover new ones. Innovations in making happen, more often than not, when they are least expected.

Making new knowledge

All knowledge about making was once new. Someone, sometime, had to formulate it. But there is a big difference between established, ‘traditional’ forms of making and those which are innovative. Both are crucially important, and both can be expressive, but they serve different purposes.

Traditional ways of making have accumulated over generations. They are passed down from person to person, often through apprenticeships, and learned through repetition. Innovative making is less rehearsed, and may be less reliable. But it is more exploratory, with the potential to open up dramatic new directions. This can involve redirecting existing skills, or creating new ones from scratch.

All knowledge, even the most traditional, can be new for any individual. But some knowledge is new in the world. This exhibition celebrates both these types of discovery.

Thinking by making

Many people think that craft is a matter of executing a preconceived form or idea, something that already exists in the mind or on paper. Yet making is also an active way of thinking, something which can be carried out with no particular goal in mind. In fact, this is a situation where innovation is very likely to occur.

Even when making is experimental and open-ended, it observes rules. Craft always involves parameters, imposed by materials, tools, scale and the physical body of the maker. Sometimes in making, things go wrong. An unskilled maker, hitting the limits of their ability, might just stop. An expert, though, will find a way through the problem, constantly unfolding new possibilities within the process.”