By

emsarts

“Like the arsonist who watches his work smoulder, we humans are often compelled to keep our darkest, wildest instincts just within view. As if to see malefic energies beside us is to keep ourselves from assuming their form.

Gert & Uwe Tobias are masters of conjuring faintly perceptible desires as they ooze from cracks in our psyches. For their sixth solo exhibition at rodolphe janssen, mythological creatures make barely contained pets in portraiture. At times they appear to pose amenably, at others they wriggle free from their human counterparts, who counter candidness and mayhem with solemnity and seductively piercing side glances. These are portraits of the human infatuation with monstrosity, of chaotic symbiosis: a bearing of mythological alter-egos.

Influences of Symbolism are at play in the Tobias Brothers’ paintings, what Huysmans, in his analysis of Odilon Redon’s paintings, called “undreamed-of images”. And yet, we rarely encounter the all-encompassing darkness of Gustave Moreau. Subject and object, fore- and background merge playfully in sepia and quinacridone washes. Figures are delineated as they emerge from murky spaces, the whiteness of their eyes and hands the focal point around which atmospheric gestures recall hair, ectoplasm, and mist.

In the 12th century zoological survey Bestiary, the characteristics of animals both real and supernatural are described in equal detail; Unicorns and griffins are provided the same ontological seriousness as horses and peacocks. Mythological creatures, in other words, have long occupied psychic space with the same fear and excitement as wild animals kept as pets, physical manifestations of what lies beyond the human. They sit tenderly close to our longing.”

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

Almine Rech Brussels is pleased to present the third exhibition of Brent Wadden with the gallery.

“Brent Wadden has always been slightly outside the mainstream. After studying painting and drawing at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, he took an interest in weaving. The interest of his work lies essentially in the sectorisation of different media, as he says himself: “to me, the Bauhaus movement seemed more based on notions of industrial design, while I was more focused on what it meant to weave. I actually started to think about transforming weaving into what could be considered a painting.”

In these large-scale pieces, Brent Wadden expands the relative flatness with dynamic geometric shapes, sometimes spreading beyond the frame. Every point in the weave seems to stop time, but Wadden’s work is still infused with rhythm, musicality almost. “Even though painting allows for more freedom and spontaneity than weaving, which by nature takes longer and is more tedious. I can produce sketches or preparatory drawings quickly, but creating the work itself is a regular and assiduous task in response to a composition elaborated beforehand”. He is totally focused on the transition from one colour to the next, on observing progression in the interplay of shades.

“My true subject”, Wadden concludes, “is work itself. It boils down to the organization of my tools and evolution of my compositions, the pace of which is dictated by the action underway. I am exclusively absorbed in the process: at the end of the day, I experience the satisfaction of work accomplished”. Every morning, he revives an almost ancestral process, and leaves interpretation to others.”

– Marie Maertens

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

“Xavier Hufkens presents an ensemble of sculptures, paintings and video work by the American artist Paul McCarthy, which will be displayed across both gallery spaces. The exhibition comprises works from three of McCarthy’s most important video performance installations of the last two decades: CP (Caribbean Pirates), WS (White Snow) and CSSC (Coach Stage Stage Coach) / DADDA (Donald And Daisy Duck Adventure).

From Caribbean Pirates, McCarthy presents new iterations of three seminal works: Captain Ballsack (2001–2018), Piggies (2006–2018) and Paula Jones(2007–2018). This sprawling opus, which was inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean amusement park ride at Disneyland, ultimately led to a spin-off project entitled Pig Island. The latter is the fictitious name given to a large object strewn stage in the middle of McCarthy’s studio, upon which the artist would assemble sculptures on the themes of pirates and pigs (or mutations thereof). Conceived as an artwork from the outset, it functioned as the wellspring for a series of works in which political figures, such as George W. Bush, engage in perverse sexual practices. Both Paula Jones and Piggies are products of this island, so to speak, whereas Captain Ballsack is an iconic figure from the overarching CP narrative, and whose origins can be traced back to the drawing Poop Deck (2001). Previously seen in their raw original states or cast into materials such as fibreglass and stainless steel, McCarthy reinvigorates these pivotal works in a blast of lurid technicolour. The smooth and diffuse painted finishes are unique: sprayed by the artist himself and manipulated by hand.”

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson


From Discovery to Rediscovery

CONTEMPORARY SINCE 1968

Founded in 1968, Art Brussels is one of the most renowned contemporary art fairs in Europe and a must-see in the international art calendar.

Art Brussels represents a unique opportunity to discover the richness of the artistic and cultural scene of the European capital, and attracts a growing number of collectors, gallerists, curators, art professionals and art lovers from around the world. Every year in April, the fair welcomes around 25,000 visitors. Since 2016, Art Brussels takes place in the emblematic building of Tour & Taxis, in the heart of Brussels. In 2019, Art Brussels has launched a new and diverse INVITED section, supporting emerging galleries or art spaces that are transcending the typical gallery format and that have never before participated in the fair.

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

CURATORS’S POINT OF VIEW
(MICHEL GAUTHIER AND ARNAULD PIERRE)

“While the name Vasarely evokes colourful images playing with optic illusion, the whole scope and logic of this artist’s work remains little known more than twenty years after his death. The last major Parisian exhibition devoted to the artist dates back to 1963 at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. This new retrospective at the Centre Pompidou explores his work from all its facets, rather than focusing only on the aspects which would conform to the popular concept of Great Art. Through an outstanding collection of nearly eighty paintings, an architectural integration and a wide selection of multiples, discover a work which rose, like the DS or Pierre Paulin’s armchairs, to the status of the great technical and cultural mythologies of its time.
This exhibition reveals Vasarely’s ‘software’, which holds a dual dimension. As the heir of the historical avant-gardists of the early half of the 20th century, in particular Bauhaus, Victor Vasarely launched into a radical undertaking to secularise art. In other words, he was committed to defining ways of designing and producing which would enable widespread social distribution of art. At the same time, and this is the other major aspect of his work, Vasarely developed forms which caught the eye to a further degree than abstract painting in general and thus marked history as the inventor of kinetic art. The exhibition invites you to discover each of these aspects and how they are linked

Vasarely studied in Budapest alongside the historical avant-gardists. His master, Sandor Bortnyik, was one of the major figures of Hungarian modernism. The first section of the exhibition reveals a Vasarely adapting the language of modernism to advertising and laying the foundations, in the 1930s and through his advertising works and various studies, of his creations to come. The Zèbres series is a striking precedent to the optical-kinetic forms which were to emerge two decades later.

Some twenty paintings, some from private collections and exhibited here for the first time in more than fifty years, demonstrate the uniqueness of Vasarely’s brand of abstraction in the late 1940s. This abstraction is based on the observation of reality, nature and architecture. Particular emphasis is placed on a dozen paintings in the Gordes-Cristal series. In 1948, the artist visited Gordes for the first time, and under the Provence sun, he made a decisive discovery for the development of his work, i.e. the angular geometry of the site and the powerful contrasts of shadow and light which provoked optical illusions and destabilised vision. Crystal, with its complex effects of reflection, transparency and blurred planes, became a model for his abstraction. The instability of these crystalline forms, the first explorations of an elementary visual language and the desire to bring movement to inert forms of abstraction combined to pave the way for the impressive aesthetic revolution which was to be the birth of optical-kinetic art in the mid-1950s, renamed Op Art in the following decade. By reducing his language to black and white, Vasarely thus defined a vocabulary which transports the eye to the dynamic world of waves and particles. The exhibition presents some major works which seem to vibrate or flash. In these works, a shape captured by the eye is endlessly transformed in other shapes.” …

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

“With her very first exhibition in Brussels (and incidentally in Europe) which is hosted at la Patinoire Royale — Galerie Valérie Bach, Gisela COLON rips apart the great white veil of our contemporary art world with her, let’s face it, truly groundbreaking works. These extraordinary iridescent curved shapes, made of her own take on blow-molded acrylic techniques, reveal tangible futuristic anticipation, toying with our visual perception using the very properties of light. Here the infinite variations of light and color show themselves as one moves around, depending on the angle from which it is viewed. The eye is delighted while all our certitudes come crumbling down.
Gisela’s brilliant production has grown from the crossover between Californian minimalism and the kinetic art of the 60’s, taking shape in Los Angeles where she lives and works.Her work resides precisely within this research of pure shape and color, perfectly aligned with the «iLight and Space Movement » started in the early sixties by West Coast artists such as James Turell, Bruce Nauman, Craig Kauffman, Robert Irwin, etc. Their artworks were then (and continue to be) true to their own nature, perfectly autonomous objects, inspired by the light and colors unique to Southern California: these shapes appear in all their glory, in their absolute purest form, without engaging the viewer’s own subjectivity.
Gisela’s works, on the other hand, call upon the involvement of the viewer. Through this shift she engages the optical kinetic art of the sixties, directly inspired by Carlos Cruz Diez (to whom the Galerie Valérie Bach concomitantly devotes a significant retrospective, precisely due to his proximity with Gisela’s work which she acknowledges and claims as her own heritage), Horacio Garcia Rossi, Gregorio Vardanega, Karl Gerstner, Antonio Asis, Rafael Soto or Julio Le Parc.”

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

For centuries, Japanese artists and collectors have welcomed the natural imperfections that emerge on ceramic vessels during the firing process. These pools of glaze, scorch markings, cracks and indentations are referred to as the keshiki (‘landscapes’) of a piece, and since the sixteenth century have been celebrated as adding new beauty, depth, and value to the work. In Japanese, “admiring the keshiki” has evolved into a particular way of looking at ceramics. While Japanese ceramics have enticed collectors around the world, one Southern Californian, Gordon Brodfuehrer, has built an exceptional collection that includes styles and techniques from kilns across Japan. KESHIKI: The Landscape Within presents over sixty contemporary ceramic pieces from the Brodfuehrer collection, inviting visitors to join this pioneering collector in his journey around Japan.

Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition by Deborah Roberts in our Downtown gallery entitled Native Sons: Many thousands gone.

Below is an essay commissioned on the occasion of Roberts’s exhibition by Dr. Cherise Smith of the University of Texas at Austin: 

“The fourteen works on display reflect a shift in Roberts’s practice, from collages on paper that depict girls to mixed-media paintings, such as Our Destinies are Bound (2018), in which the artist focuses her gaze on Black boys. In recent years, Roberts has reminded viewers that Black girls are indeed girls whose youth is worthy of protection, whose intelligence is worthy of cultivation, and whose dreams are worthy of fostering, particularly in the moments of #MeToo and #MuteRKelly. In these new works, she turns exclusively to Black boys, whose well being and futures are equally at risk, while deepening her examination of the childhood years of African Americans—an exceedingly treacherous period of our lives.

Founded in 1976, Printed Matter, Inc. is the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination, understanding and appreciation of artists’ books and related publications.

First established in Tribeca by a group of individuals working in the arts (among them artist Sol LeWitt and critic Lucy Lippard), Printed Matter was developed in response to the growing interest in publications made by artists. Starting in the early 60s, many of the pioneering conceptual artists (as well as performance, process, environment, sound and other experimental media artists) began to explore the possibilities of the book form as an artistic medium. Large-edition and economically produced publications allowed experimentation with artworks that were affordable and could circulate outside of the mainstream gallery system. Printed Matter provided a space that championed artists’ books as complex and meaningful artworks, helping bring broader visibility to a medium that was not widely embraced at the time.

After 13 years on Lispenard Street in Tribeca, Printed Matter moved to a location on Wooster Street in SoHo in 1989. The spacious bookshop with large storefront windows allowed for the development of expanded public programming, including more exhibitions and events, and contributed to the cultural vibrancy of the neighborhood. In 2001 Printed Matter made its move to Chelsea, which had since become New York City’s contemporary arts district. In 2015, the store relocated to its current space on 11th Avenue. The new location features a much larger bookstore spread across a ground floor and a large public stairwell leading to a mezzanine level. The space features a dedicated exhibition area, as well as increased office space for its growing staff. Printed Matter’s new home provides a much more comfortable environment for visitors to engage with the ever-growing inventory, and for a busy schedule of public programs.

Artists’ books continue to provide a remarkable reflection of contemporary artistic practices – tracing and even leading many of the most important developments in the historical trajectory. In the face of the ongoing proliferation of digital media and information, there has been an astounding resurgence over the past several years in both artists’ publishing and public interest. In tandem with this truly international phenomenon, Printed Matter founded the NY and LA art fairs (in 2004 and 2013 respectively), which have become the world’s largest venues for the distribution, investigation and celebration of artists books and art publishing. It is thrilling that Printed Matter’s mission continues to be resilient, and remains more relevant than ever.

Blum & Poe is pleased to announce the second installment of Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s, a selected survey exhibition curated by Mika Yoshitake. Focusing on the themes of retro-futurism, noir, satire, and simulation, as well as those that probe national boundaries, the show is presented in two parts at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles. Works from over twenty-five artists including EYE, Kenjiro Okazaki, Mariko Mori, Kodai Nakahara, Masato Nakamura, Yukinori Yanagi, Kenji Yanobe, and Tadanori Yokoo feature media spanning painting, sculpture, performance, noise, video, and photography. A catalogue will be published for the occasion, with artist testimonials and new scholarship by Yoshitake and David Novak, award-winning author of Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation (Duke University Press Books, 2013).

Part II of Parergon expands on the thematic territories explored in Part I, with seminal installations and sculptures from the era and performances by renowned figures of noise, sound, and electro-acoustic music genres. Kenji Yanobe’s Tanking Machine (Rebirth) (2019) is a darkly humorous, interactive, sci-fi sculpture first presented in 1989 that addresses the ever-present reality of nuclear crisis through a retro-futurist narrative. Influential multimedia artist, Kodai Nakahara’s bizarre installations of figurine-like marble stones and brightly, suspended spheres reflect a humorous take on sculpture’s “post-medium” condition.  As an intellectual and artist, Kenjiro Okazaki’s practice engages with theories of perception through interdisciplinary genres spanning architecture, literary theory, painting, reliefs, sculpture, robotics, and dance. Trained in both Japan and the U.S., Yukinori Yanagi’s large-scale and site-specific installations interrogate the politics of institutional borders and boundaries often drawing from semiotic systems of symbolic imagery. Psychedelic ’60s graphic designer Tadanori Yokoo revisits strategies of historical pastiche with his figurative noir paintings that hang alongside his cut-canvas portraits of Dada figures, as well as ceramic depictions of spiritual mediums. Finally, a dedicated Japanese noise archive of photography, journals, and vinyl records from Tokyo’s experimental underground will also be featured on the second floor giving historical context to the live performances. 

The exhibition title makes reference to the gallery in Tokyo (Gallery Parergon, 1981-1987) that introduced many artists associated with the New Wave phenomenon, its name attributed to Jacques Derrida’s essay from 1978 which questioned the “framework” of art, influential to artists and critics during the period. Parergon brings together some of the most enigmatic works that were first generated during a rich two-decade period that are pivotal to the way we perceive and understand contemporary Japanese art today. In the aftermath of the conceptual reconsideration of the object and relationality spearheaded by Mono-ha in the 1970s, this era opened up new critical engagements with language and medium where artists explored expansions in installation, performance, and experimental multi-genre practices. 

1 2 3 4 25