GIHR-GIHR Laatst, in Denemarken, Aarhus, Moesgaard museum, zag ik twee Ghir-Ghir's uit de Chukchi rendierhouders cultuur, Siberië. 'Gihr-Gihr' zijn ruw uit hout gehakte mensachtige gestileerde gestalten. Tevens zijn het plankjes om vuur, ritueel vuur, te maken, vandaar de verkoolde vuurgaten in de maagstreek van de Gihr-Gihr.
Elke Chukchi die een rendier bezit heeft zijn persoonlijke Gihr-Gihr. De Gihr-Gihr is veel meer dan een plankje om vuur te maken. De Gihr-Gihr is een levend wezen, hij/zij is de manifestatie, de verpersoonlijking, de materialisatie van de relatie tussen de levenden, de voorouders en de rendieren vermits ze simultaan de voorouders, de meesters van de rendieren en ziel van hun eigenaar representeren of eerder incarneren...
Tevens is de Gihr-Gihr een stille getuige van s'eigenaars levensloop. Elke Gihr-Gihr is rijk behangen met sculptuurtjes en reliquiën allerhande, symbolische representaties van de belangrijke levensgebeurtenissen. Een knoop in het touw waarmee alles aan de centrale sculptuur bevestigd is betekent het overlijden van een verwante of een naaste vriend/vriendin. Een knoop, een knoop in je zakdoek om iets belangrijks te onthouden. Sommige Papoua stammen maken knopenbundels, een dreadlock achtig kluwen van geknoopte touwen, elke knoop staat voor één voorouder. Zo vergeet de sjamaan geen enkele voorouder te vermelden wijl de knopen door zijn vingers glijden bij het zingen van zijn magisch lied... Is enige verwantschap, enige analogie met de ons welbekende paternoster vergezocht?
Samenwerken De kunstenaar als solitair genie is een 19e eeuws verschijnsel. Voordien, toen de artistieke bedrijvigheid eerder in een ambachtelijke sfeer plaatsvond, waren kunstwerken doorgaans het resultaat van groepswerk. De beeldhouwer kerft de sculpturen van het retabel uit stug eikenhout, de schilder brengt deze door de polychromie tot leven, de schrijnwerker-meubelmaker maakt de dragende structuur en verbindt de afzonderlijke taferelen tot een samenhangend verhaal, de vergulder brengt zorgvuldig op goed gekozen plaatsen goudblad aan en verheft aldus het werk tot een schier onbetaalbare kostbaarheid. Legendarisch, heroïsch zijn de achteraf discussies over wie nu het belangrijkst was, wie het auteurschap mag/kan opeisen... Zonder de beeldhouwers was er niets, de schilders brengen de zaak tot leven, de meubelmaker kan je het geheel presentabel en de vergulders werken met het kostbaarste materiaal, zij verhogen op considerabele wijze de waarde van het werk. Tja...
Ook nu delegeren gerenommeerde kunstenaars grote stukken van hun creatief proces aan assistenten allerhande, hier is niks fout mee, maar een samenwerking op gelijkwaardig niveau is iets anders. Vanuit de improvisatiemuziek ken ik het wel, het samen musiceren zonder Meester, God of gebod. Samen, elk zijn inbreng naar eigen kunnen en goeddunken, en er ontstaat iets waarvan geen van de deelnemers, laat staan het publiek, zich een vooropgestelde voorstelling kon maken. Daar draait het om, dat is wat Veerle en ik doen. Ik maak een beeld, Veerle gaat er verder mee aan de slag, naar eigen intuïtie en goeddunken, en er ontstaat iets waar elk van ons afzonderlijk nooit toe zou komen. We tonen de eerste voorzichtige resultaten van onze samenwerking, en reken maar; wordt vervolgd! (Peter Jacquemyn)
Grand voyageur, il puise dans ses nombreux séjours de travail à l’étranger la matière humaine qui anime son œuvre et lui Insuffle son esprit. Passionné par les spiritualités du monde, il nous offre avec puissance sa vision sensible et poétique de l’Homme, pris dans le Temps et face à la dialectique de sa destinée paradoxale : l’homme est, selon Ferrer, à la fois de lumière et de boue, et le chemin de la vie est initiatique. Victoria Conti
Andrew Lord: Sorrow, a sculpture of thirty pieces and related work.
Gladstone Gallery presents an exhibition of historical work by Andrew Lord. Long known for his sculpture in ceramic, Lord’s work continually challenges the expectations of the medium as he seeks to mold in clay works that trace the haptic experience of his own senses and experiences. In 1978, Lord created a body of work whose shapes and surfaces were based on the fall of light onto different shaped maquettes. As if drawing from life, or painting a landscape en plein air, this process recorded his observations in three dimensions. By 1979, he began to think of these groups of maquettes as works in themselves and showed them in an exhibition with Art & Project in Amsterdam. With these pieces Lord found ceramics’ ability to take on the commanding dimensions of painting.
Emerging out of this practice, Thirty Pieces. Sorrow. (for T), (1996) incorporated various vessel-like sculptures, and two ceramic maps (one of Manhattan and another of the United States) across which he wrote the title from one side to the other, as if stretching the expanse from east to west. During the AIDS epidemic in New York City, Lord made several works that had their source in death and illness; with this work he applied emotion to the vocabulary of shapes, making them affectively, as well as formally, resonant. While the color of the thirty composing pieces may evoke mourning and funeral pomp, black is also a color that absorbs all light—everything—giving him a place for the variety and complexity of his feelings. From Sorrow came a series of related sculptures: biting, in which Lord bit into the surface of the clay, breathing, which he molded against his chest, smelling, an impression made by his nose and nostrils, tasting, made by his tongue, listening, his ear, swallowing, pressed against his neck. These vessels became a compendium of his senses and embodiment. After his practice of tracing light on maquettes, these works manifest his experiences directly: “I discovered in making a work with sorrow, the work becomes sorrow and stands for that emotion, just as a work about breathing, made by pressing clay against my chest, can become breathing.” For Lord, “Sorrow marked a turning point because it was the moment emotions, the body, objects, places and memory became central, and I discovered anything could be subject matter. My work became about things identifiably personal, corporeal and autobiographical.”
The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo to mark the occasion of Andrew Lord’s gift in honor of Adriaan van Ravesteijn and Geert van Beijeren, founders of Art & Project (1968-2001) in Amsterdam and Slootdorp.
Andrew Lord was born in 1950 in Rochdale, England, is based in New York City and also works in Europe. His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at international institutions including The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Camden Arts Center, London; Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede; Milton Keynes Gallery, England; and Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica. He has also been included in group exhibitions including: “Atelier 15,” Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; “Westkunst. Heute,” Museen der Stadt, Köln; “Anderer Leute Kunst,” Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld; the 1995 Whitney Biennial; “Site and Insight,” MoMA PS1, New York; “The Third Mind,” Palais de Tokyo; and “Artists and Poets,” Secession, Vienna. In 2014 Andrew Lord was resident of the Cité International des Arts Paris; in 2015 he participated in the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition. In the Fall of 2017 an exhibition of bronze sculptures will be presented on the Bluhm Family Terrace of The Art Institute of Chicago.
Wat de vorm betreft behoort het werk van Jacques Weyer tot de geometrische abstactie of het constructivisme. In zijn vroegere periode worden de schilderijen gekenmerkt door eenvoudige vormen, een spel van lijnen en vlakken, waar kleurige elementen contrasteren met een witte of donkere achtergrond. Door de horizontale lijnen krijgt men een indruk van rust en muzikaliteit. De meer recente werken zijn complexer van vorm, diagonalen geven hier een dynamische kracht in de verdeling van het oppervlak. Jacques Weyer houdt niet dogmatisch vast aan het gebruik van een minimaal aantal primaire kleuren zoals geel, blauw en rood, karakteristiek voor de eerste periode van het constructivisme. Qua techniek worden de meeste thema’s eerst uitgewerkt met talrijke schetsen in gouache op papier. De latere uitvoering gebeurt met acrylverf op papier, karton of doek, zonder tussenkomst van tape, om het natuurlijk tracé van de hand te behouden.
Jacques Weyer’ s persoonlijke keuze van schakeringen met een poëtische en lyrische inslag getuigen van een zeer eigen stijl.
WRIGGLING PAINTINGS: THE ART OF MASATOSHI MASANOBU
Axel Vervoordt Gallery presents its first exhibition of Gutai artist Masanobu Masatoshi (1911-1995). This text is written by the independant curator and Gutai Scholar Koichi Kawasaki and translated by Christopher Stephens on the occasion of the upcoming monograph MASANOBU MASATOSHI that will be published following this solo exhibition.
Among the early-period Gutai members, Masatoshi Masanobu had a modest presence. Even in the group’s outdoor and staged exhibitions, Masanobu’s works were not as conspicuous as the other artists’ efforts. Nor did he make any historic performances or paintings that stood at the forefront of the era. But this is not to say that Masanobu was any less radical than the rest of the group. One reason for his restrained image is that Masanobu was 43 when Gutai was formed in 1954, and he had already been painting for close to twenty years. Masanobu was a rather orthodox Japanese painter, who tried to make a living as an artist while supporting himself as an art teacher. Yet, Masanobu’s creative approach appears much more idiosyncratic to younger viewers than the artist could ever have imagined. The proof lies in his early abstract paintings. In this essay, I would like to discuss these works, and Masanobu’s involvement with Gutai, which grew out of a meeting with Jiro Yoshihara after the war.
Childhood Masanobu was born in Susaki in Kochi Prefecture, a temperate area with a flourishing shipping industry on the southern tip of Shikoku in a region known as Nangoku Tosa. Masanobu’s father, Miokichi, was a kimono merchant and worked in the local area as well as in Kyoto. Masanobu said that after his mother died when he was 13, his older brother primarily raised him. After graduating from normal school at age 19, Masanobu found a job as a teacher at a local elementary school. However, he quit two years later and returned to his alma mater to enrol in a post-graduate course. There is no way of knowing exactly what he was thinking at the time, but we do know that Masanobu had already become interested in painting. Around 1932, while attending the school, he and some friends took part in a summer course offered by the Dokuritsu Bijutsu Kyodai (Independent Art Association) in Osaka and he submitted some sketches to an exhibition organized by the Kochi Prefectural Artists’ League. He also showed his work in the RT Group exhibition, formed by an older painter named Seiichi Nobukiyo. Nobukiyo, who had studied painting with Ryusei Kishida in Tokyo, returned to Kochi with a naturalistic style that was reminiscent of Dürer.
Masanobu was clearly becoming increasingly enthusiastic about art during this period. After completing the one-year post-graduate course, he once again began working as an elementary school teacher. Then in 1935, Masanobu moved to Tokyo, where he also supported himself by teaching. He apparently hoped to enrol in art school but was never able to satisfy this aspiration.
It’s interesting to note that Masanobu painted one landscape work (figure 1) in 1937 while living in Tokyo, which has a very similar composition to a work he showed Jiro Yoshihara over a decade later in 1949.1 The leaves on the trees have a round appearance, as if they have been trimmed, and this aspect is even more pronounced in the later work. The picture is far removed from the highly realistic, decorative work of Sotaro Yasui and Ryuzaburo Umehara, the leading figures in painting. During this era, artists who had studied in France relied on French techniques to explore Japanese oil painting. Choosing to forego this path, Masanobu used his unique viewpoint to focus intently on himself, while continuing to work as a teacher during the war. It’s at this point that we begin to see signs of an uncommon ability unlike that of any other artist.2
Moving to Kobe During the war in 1944, Masanobu moved to Kobe. Again, he taught at an elementary school before evacuating to Kato Gun in Hyogo prefecture at the end of the war. Two years later, in 1947, Masanobu started attending the Kobe Citizens’ Art Course, which was held at a nearby elementary school. It was there that he first met Yoshihara, who was a teacher in the program. We can assume that this meeting fuelled Masanobu’s fervent desire to study painting. Around 1946, he began to actively submit his works to invitational exhibitions, one of which was organized by the Ashiya City Art Association. Yoshihara served as a judge at the event, which would later become a gateway of success for Gutai members. Yoshihara offered the following memory of the era:
Just after the end of the war, at a time when shortages were rife, Masanobu, with the look of a peddler of that era, arrived at my studio with a large furoshiki [wrapping cloth] filled with paintings. As I remember it, the majority of the dozens of works he brought, mostly painted on about size-3 canvases, were pictures of morning glories, showing groups of two or three, round red or blue flowers seen from head-on. All of them were painted with more or less the same thing in mind, and the exceedingly persistent nature of this pursuit became rather tiresome. Why was it necessary to repeatedly depict the same morning glory in that way? Even more surprising was the fact that the critical comments I made proved to be of no use. He simply brought back the same heap of morning glories, which he had retouched to an imperceptible degree.3
From this response, we get a sense of how Yoshihara struggled to deal with a quality that was markedly different from other artists. But at the same time, Yoshihara also acknowledges Masanobu’s unique characteristics. Yoshihara was not alone. Together with a friend from the figurative-based Kobe art course, Masanobu submitted his work to the Lapan Group Exhibition, alongside artists such as Rikuichi Kaihara and Masaru Nakanishi, who were exploring new forms of figuration. Additionally, he submitted his work to the Babel Exhibition and with the abstract painters Waichi Tsudaka and Kokuta Suda, he submitted work to the Seikatsu Zokei Exhibition. He continued these efforts for some time after joining Gutai without ever deviating from his basic approach.
Kobe had a different culture than Masanobu’s home area of Kochi. The city had opened to the outside world as a trading port in 1868, was home to many foreign residents from places like Europe, India, and China, and had been strongly influenced by Western culture. Even today this influence continues to permeate the lives of people in the area.
Toward Wriggling Paintings Against this backdrop, in about 1950, Masanobu developed his work further, while focusing even more intently on himself. There are many clay sculptures visible in a snapshot in one of Masanobu’s photo albums (figure 2). Though he did not express much interest in spatially aware, three-dimensional work of the kind that was included in Gutai’s outdoor and staged exhibitions, Masanobu’s planar work of the 1950s was uniquely inspired by sculpture.
Rather than being naturalistic, the paintings he made from 1952 to 1954 dealt with motifs like flowers and landscapes. These were explorations of painting based on three-dimensional objects he had made. This is clear from the works contained in the Museum of Art in Kochi and the Otani Memorial Art Museum, Nishinomiya Collections, and Masanobu’s “Experiments in Sculpture: Studies Based on Three-dimensional Objects.”4 He reused the same motifs over and over in various paintings.
Then, around 1954, these shapes suddenly disappeared and were replaced by lines and planes. But this was not the end of concrete concepts, as suggested by the following memo (figure 3) from a 1955 photo album in which Masanobu lists the kind of things he would like to express in his work:
*Cloth, linen, handwoven fabric, knitted material (necktie), and necktie material roughly knitted out of silk *The surface of quartz trachyte, rough sandy soil *Bark (shaved with metal) *Bushes and ground with gross vegetation *Handwoven materials commonly found in folk crafts, things with a plain, neat, and strong feel like straw products *Yarn from a small bird’s nest, straw scraps, string, feathers, various warm, rough, and soft materials knitted in layers *Smooth pieces of glass, materials with a natural feel that might be called fresh, and materials that convey something human *The surface of an unglazed vessel
Rather than sensual abstractions, the artist’s works in the first issue of Gutai and the 1st Gutai Exhibition are made up brushstrokes with a wriggling aspect. This tendency continued until April 1958, when the shapes evolved into round, symbol-like forms.5
Another photo album from around the same time contains a picture of two abstract works labelled, “For the New World of Paintings exhibition”, along with the note, “not exhibited”.
The previous fall when Michel Tapié visited Japan, he had lauded Gutai’s works. But how did he evaluate Masanobu’s paintings? Tapié’s focus on Kazuo Shiraga and Atsuko Tanaka may have conversely functioned as the driving force between these new developments in Masanobu’s work. A picture of a subsequent work titled, Yellow Dots on Red (figure 4) was inscribed with two comments by Yoshihara: “Very good” and “Good work for Gutai”. These are followed by Masanobu’s own note: “But rejected in the end.”6 Then on the next page, there is the following inscription: “Later, in the unpainted area, create a sense of movement throughout the painting by covering it with a scattering of symbols.” Using a tube of paint to apply and erase pigment from the canvas, he produced an uneven surface, leading to Masanobu’s trademark style of wriggling signs.
The year beginning in the fall of 1957 was a time of great change for Masanobu. The allure of the exhibition, New World of Paintings, and the Gutai show (6th Gutai Exhibition) held in New York pushed Masanobu to further challenges (figure 5). In reference to the work he showed in the exhibition, 15 Contemporary Artists Presented by Tapié 7 (figure 6), Masanobu wrote comments such as “a new kind of freshness” and “a fresh feeling”8, which clearly convey his pleasure with these new changes.
Some five years later, Masanobu’s work displayed an even more fruitful development. In a leaflet for Masanobu’s 1965 solo show at the Gutai Pinacotheca, Yoshihara praised the artist’s use of circles and dots, writing: “More than symbols, they seemed like properties that might emerge when the logical structure of the ground was magnified and reproduced.”9
As with solo exhibitions by other Gutai artists, pictures of the event suggest that Masanobu displayed works that he had put a great deal of effort into. The fact that he was asked to hold a solo exhibition at the museum is reflective of his standing in the group.
In the 1950s, Masanobu, who continually searched for new forms, repeatedly made use of accidental effects and intentional operations to verify the sense of strength, depth, subtlety, eloquence, intensity, and freshness that resonated within him. While honestly confronting himself during this brilliant era in Gutai’s career, Masanobu took early retirement from the elementary school where he had long worked in an effort to live a freer life. This turning point arrived when he was 58. The evolution of Masanobu’s work is evident from his highly accomplished Gutai solo exhibition, but he was still not satisfied that the level of completion he had achieved was able to convey a “sense of life” through the intensity of the colours, shapes, and material. He wrote. “I want to bring my work closer to a place where you can sense the unutterable depth of the sprit and life that truly conveys a sense of life.”10
During the Gutai era, Masanobu used his body rather than his mind to confront Yoshihara’s discerning eye, the rivalry with his cohorts, Tapié’s acclaim and encouragement, and the information he received from foreign friends.11 We can imagine that these pressures built up inside of him.
After Gutai Masanobu was born in 1911, making him six years younger than Yoshihara. Based on the fact that most of the Gutai members were born in the 1920s, Masanobu and Yoshihara were essentially part of the same generation. Because of this, Masanobu’s modest work and distance from the rest of the group had the effect of enhancing his presence. After Gutai disbanded in 1972, Masanobu taught painting locally and was invited to hold solo and group shows in Nishinomiya and Kobe. This suggests that he was the type of person who maintained relationships with the Kobe artists and galleries he had become acquainted with during the Gutai era.
The symbols on his canvases are the product of repeated hand movements, but they also represent the interplay between natural expression and calculated composition that was occurring in his mind. Masanobu’s work was underpinned by the methodical character that he had developed as a teacher. We might also say that this same methodical quality imbues his art with its uniqueness.
1. Mizuho Kato, “Masatoshi Masanobu in the 1950s”, Satoshi Masanobu, Mizuho Kato, and Yuzo Kurashina, eds. Masatoshi Masanobu 1911-1995, Masatoshi Masanobu Collected Works Publication Committee, 2014, p. 76. 2. I am greatly indebted to Tsukasa Ikegami, “Masatoshi Masanobu’s Western-style Paintings”, Masatoshi Masanobu: A Gutai Painter, exhibition catalogue, Otani Memorial Art Museum, Nishinomiya City, 2015. 3. Jiro Yoshihara, “Masatoshi Masanobu Solo Exhibition,” Masatoshi Masanobu Solo Exhibition leaflet, Gutai Art Association, Osaka, March 1965. 4. Masanobu’s photo album, 1951-1954, p. 2. 5. Masanobu’s photo album, 1954-1957, p. 20. 6. Masanobu’s photo album, 1954-1957, p. 21. 7. 15 Contemporary Artists Presented by Tapié, September 21-30, 1959, Gendai Galley, Tokyo. 8. Masanobu’s photo album, 1954-1957, p. 29. 9. Jiro Yoshihara, “Masatoshi Masanobu Solo Exhibition,” Masatoshi Masanobu Solo Exhibition leaflet, Gutai Art Association, Osaka, March 1965. 10. Handon, no. 40, Handon-no-kai, Kobe, December 1968, p. 60. 11. Yoshihara Jiro and Contemporary Artists of Gutai, exhibition catalogue, Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Modern Art, Kobe, January 1979, p. 99.
In West Texas I walked with a friend in a canyon where few people have set foot since the Comanches. Enjoying a fantasy of spinsterhood in the arid mountains. A pleasurable drying out, a comforting silence. A body that rests best alone. Friend with the most poisonous snakes and spiders. Welcoming, fearless and feminist. Wind whistling through my holes. At the clinic the air is thick with tired rage. Inner deserts are asked to grow fat and juicy things, cacti are asked to bloom. And they do sometimes. Sometimes. Everyone is in a hurry. Hospital colors and textures always the same whether life or death is produced. The doctor is impatient. The race is on. Tumbleweed down the cliff. Zika. Sleeplessness. Is the failure to produce life a death? To the desert spinster it is a blessing. After 80 the body needs sleep. Naps punctuate the day. The fire crackles and the days pass. I talk to my mother at night. I talk to my mother at night. We talk and smoke in the kitchen.
Emily Sundblad’s painted works are light, refined, joyful and modest. Using the techniques of gouache, ink, oils, pastels or watercolours, she records moments of daily life or events that mark her existence. A stay at the Colony Hotel enforced by the advent of Hurricane Sandy and a weekend at the Kentucky Derby were the inspirations for her most outstanding series. Sundblad is also a gallerist, singer, performer and, in general, a radiant yet also discreet presence in today’s art world. By endorsing these different roles, she succeeds in giving them new appeal while also eluding being defined by them. Reena Spraulings — a gallery on the Lower East Side of New York that she runs with artist John Kelsey — is a place of freedom and encounters where experiences of all kinds are possible, and artists like Matias Faldbakken, Klara Lidén, Alex Israel and Seth Price are able to show their most accomplished projects. Her singing recitals and performances provide the opportunity for friendships to be struck up with musicians like Pete Drungle and Matt Sweeney, or other artists like Juliana Huxtable. She interprets their texts or classic punk and rock songs that she adapts to classical melodies. As a painter, she also works with Jutta Koether and John Kelsey under the name Reena Spraulings.
The exhibition of her work at Xavier Hufkens is a story of friendship, art, admiration and sisterhood. Conceived as a tribute, it contains portraits of the artist Charline von Heyl that Emily Sundblad produced all along 2016. Von Heyl is an impassioned painter who has battled to win a place in the very masculine world of German and American abstract painting. Engaged entirely in her medium, von Heyl has devoted her life to reinventing it. Sundblad, who restricts herself to more classic techniques and reveals different facets of herself in different artistic personalities, here displays her admiration for the determination of her friend. The exhibition can perhaps also be considered a mirror that reflects what the two artists share in common. Both northern Europeans who emigrated to New York, they each arouse the fascination of their peers and exercise a benevolent yet exacting influence on the artists by whom they are surrounded. Persuaded that the art world is a place of suffering and splendour, constraint and freedom, they are among those rare artists that still embody a little of that modern spirit by which artists are supposed to lead exemplary and independent lives.
Peut -être le regret des migrations lentes/ Et le goût de l’ouest aux naseaux du matin/ Peut-être une promesse enchanteresse d’îles/Faite à mi-voix par un voyageur imprécis
Louis Brauquier, Je connais des îles lointaines
«Au Cap-Horn, j’ai accosté» est la première exposition personnelle d’Iris Fossier à la galerie Arielle d’Hauterives . Elle réuni des oeuvres de 2013 à nos jours : le temps pour l’artiste d’avoir fait des tours et des détours…..cohérents.
Iris Fossier revient sur une thématique qui lui est chère : la gémellité. En 2013 déjà, la galerie Michèle Broutta présentait de grands autoportraits. Une sorte de gémellité rêvée se dessinait dans un ailleurs lointain.
A cette époque, «on danse pour le soleil, on joue aux Indiens, aux voleurs, aux truants. On se cache, on croche-patte, on vise la dernière feuille de l’arbre le plus haut et on chante et on crie «Abada Zaba BOOM !» *
Les Temps n’ont pas changés. Ou si peu si guère..à noter cependant : un nouvel horaire, de nouvelles matières… Le soleil est mis en sourdine, la lumière plus éteinte, l’ambiance plus personnelle. Il y a des noirs et des verts, des verts encore et des bleus merveilleux, plus profonds, plus mates, plus denses.
«Au Cap-Horn, j’ai accosté» installe la gémellité dans un espace plus humide, plus sombre sans pour autant être terrorisant. Au contraire, l’oeuvre s’en retrouve apaisée, comme si l’artiste avait trouvé un espace-peinture où il fait bon vivre. Car c’est bien de cela dont il s’agit, encore et toujours avec Iris Fossier : la proposition d’un espace où «la vie est possible». **
L’artiste est venue très tardivement à la figure humaine. Il faut attendre 2009 et la fin d’un séjour de deux ans à la prestigueuse Casa de Velazquez, à Madrid, pour que l’artiste saute le pas.
Arielle d’Hauterives présente un ensemble de morses et de gallinacés ; vous savez, cet oiseau à la coiffe prétentieux, à la dégaine mi-voyou, mi-ridicule ? Une galerie de portraits se dessine, affubluée de titres pour le moins colorés : «Dédale» «Icare égaré» ou encore «Quoi ma gueule ?»
…et puis il y a le papier mâché : l’idée a germé sur une île grecque. Une petite maison pêcheur dont l’extrémité plongeait tête la première dans l’eau salée ; la dite «méditerranée».
Sous le soleil, un eucalyptus. Et sous l’eucalyptus, un os immense ;celui d’une baleine. En cours de séchage vraisembablement, entouré d’herbes hautes et cette odeur… cette odeur de baleine… cette odeur démultipliée à chaque caprice du vent, le jour, la nuit. Cette odeur si présente qu’elle dramatise la mort de la baleine. Iris Fossier précise : «presque là, sous ma fenêtre, omniprésent, cette odeur et cette sensation : une baleine est là, gisant au fond de l’eau et son corps, partiellement repêché a été éparpillé, perdu.»
De retour en France, Iris Fossier a passé une presque année dans les réserves du Museum à Paris. Année d’oubli du monde, accrochée à ce projet titanesque : recréer le squelette d’une baleine, long comme huit fois un mètre. Arielle d’Hauterives présente trois vertèbres. Signe qu’avec le volume d’un tel animal, la meilleure des solutions reste encore d’individualiser chaque pièce du puzzle.
Iris Fossier prend le temps d’explorer le dessin, la peinture. «Je ne suis pas pressée. L’important est cette unité que je cherche, cette cohérence entre tous mes essais. Le plaisir que j’ai à trouver nouveau. L’important est ce moment où tout s’emboîte pour proposer une oeuvre juste, débarassée d’arrivisme.». * Corneille de Lyon ** titre d’une peinture de Luc Gauthier
Sofie Muller’s work is confusing. With immense craftsmanship she gives all her images a deceptive aesthetic that burns with an unexpectedly deep presence. The impact of the formative years of a human life are cast in bronze or drawn with smoke and they show how imposed standards, a single event in your adolescence or painful memories can cause an upheaval and lay new foundations. Subtle and hidden below the surface of each image, filtering through behind a closed look. The characters in the artist’s oeuvre share the same inner defect or scar, the same inherent complexity and contradiction. Never obvious stereotypes, but a complicated labyrinth of resistance and acquiescence, despair and certainty. These images speak in a burningly relevant voice. They bear witness to what remains ineradicable and leaves its traces. Even now, and later too. Like fire. And smoke. Kristof Reulens
Brussels Van Hoeydoncks short geometric abstract period commences around 1955 with art movements such as "ArtAbstrait","Formes" and "Art Construct". In 1957 he produces his first monochrome collages with slices glued and over painted on the canvas. In 1956,1957 and 1959 the Gallery Saint-Laurent shows his reliefs, drawings and paintings, followed by one man shows in the Palais de Beaux-Arts with "plexi-reliefs with light work" and "cities of the future". He abandons the flat surface and starts the dematerialization of his work by manipulating light and shadow. In 1961 he shows his "Bonhommes et monocles de PVH – peintre du ciel" in the P. Vanderborght gallery together with the publishing of a manifest by the important art critic Jan Walraevens. In 1965 he is selected by Jean Dypréau and Pierre Restany to join the famous "Pop Art, Nieuw Realisme" show at the Palais des Beaux-Arts. Antwerp By the end of the fifties,Antwerp is a centre of literature, theater, jazz and art. PVH joins the group "Formes" at the "Accent" Gallery. A number of Antwerp artists create "G58-Hessenhuis" and for a short time Antwerp will be the centre of contemporary art in Belgium. With Paul Ausloos (photographer) and Jozef Peeters and Georges Vantongerloo (abstract artists) PVH joins a G-58 show at the Middelheim Castle.
Between 1958 and 1962 works by PVH are exposed several times at the Hessenhuis.As a co-founder he participates at the first G-58 group show in November 1958 with Vic Gentils, Pol Mara and Dan Van Severer, and he is selected for the "Prijs Jorge belgische Schilderkunst" in 1958. March 1959 is the start of the important international exhibition "Vision in Motion – Motion in Vision". PVH is a co organizer and exposes with Robert Breer, Pol Bury,Yves Klein, Heinz Mack, Enzo Mari, Bruno Munari, Otto Piene, Dieter Rot, Jesus Raphael Soto, Daniel Spoerri and Jean Tinguely.The same year, PVH creates his first monochrome reliefs with plexi. In October 1959 PVH has a one man show at the Hessenhuis. PVH becomes friends with Georges Vantongerloo. In November 1959 he participates at the "Tweede Groepstentoonstelling G58 –Hessenhuis" with the same artists and the young Camiel Van Breedam. In March 1960 he is reselected for the "Prijs Jorge Belgische Schilderkunst 1959" and receives a nomination with Bert De Leeuw and Walter Vanermen.
Stephen Sack aime les objets. Ceux qui vieillis, patinés, abimés, désuets, oubliés, foulés, décolorés, ... ne retiennent pas ou plus l'attention. Ceux qui sous son regard aigu reviennent à la vie, bouleversant régulièrement la loi d'invariabilité des proportions ou proposés, par l'artiste, dans un ordre de grandeur démultiplié. Les pièces de monnaies anciennes, les médailles d'un autre temps, les plaques funéraires, ... ont souvent retenu ses faveurs mais également des objets du quotidien tels qu'allumettes, plaques de verre des lanternes magiques, cailloux, fiente d'oiseau, ...qu'il magnifie en leur restituant une quintessence. A certains, les sublimant, il permet de rejoindre l'univers fantastique. Stephen Sack aime la cosmologie et l'espace. L'espace qui propulse dans la nébuleuse des étoiles, celui qui décline la conjonction des objets célestes, celui des précurseurs qui osaient s'aventurer dans des observations parfois subjectives. Dans ses photos, l'infiniment petit, l'infiniment grand se combinent sans fidélité au réel. Son vaisseau est son objectif et l'éther est cadré par ses éclairages scientifiques et ses microscopes. Ses tirages de parfois plus d'un m2 en attestent. Mais son espace est aussi celui de sa fantaisie où s'entrecroisent le temps, les époques, les cultures, les faits avérés ou non. Avec lui, nous sommes toujours dans un « ailleurs » à l'intervalle entre le rêve et la réalité. Stephen Sack aime les sciences et la technologie sur lesquelles s'arcboutent toutes ses longues recherches préparatoires. Ses connaissances, sa grande maitrise technique, et ses intuitions conjuguées à celles des inventeurs précurseurs des siècles passés l'ont souvent fait être comparer à un alchimiste contemporain. Chez lui, la seule place laissée au hasard provient des pièces sorties des incinérateurs. Sa science est nourrie aux sciences. De par ses divers centres d'intérêt, les aspects scientifiques et fantastiques se conjuguent comme une évidence. Stephen Sack aime aussi les dragons, les gargouilles, les masques parfois grimaçant qui se laissent lentement découvrir dans les monnaies à force de les scruter, ...
Dans ses photos, aucune froideur. Chacune est chargée de poésie. L'oeil ne cesse de voyager dans d'incessants aller-retours au travers de toutes ces différentes strates de perceptions. C'est ce qui rend ce travail si fort et si « touchant ». Très vite, on se sent happé, au bord du vertige par la perte voulue de repères. Et, en ce qui pourrait paraitre contradictoire, notre sens visuel en alerte éveille pourtant un écho dans nos labyrinthes mentaux. L'empreinte, la trace, la mémoire, la recherche et la mise en exergue de l'indicible sont des préoccupations constantes chez Sack. Elles réveillent une mémoire universelle pour qui sait s'arrêter, regarder longuement. Ce résultat est l'aboutissement d'un long et minutieux travail préparatoire de l'artiste. Millimètre par millimètre, variant les angles, les degrés de luminosité de ses lampes, ... Stephen Sack a la patience de celui qui sait que le miracle, où l'inspiration prend corps, aura lieu !
Stephen Sack est américain, il vit et travaille à Bruxelles depuis près de 40 ans. Diplômé en Economie et Histoire à la Rutgers University du New Jersey et formé à l'Ecole Supérieure des Arts de l'Image, le 75, il s'y est très vite distingué par des centres d'intérêt moins « conventionnels » qu'il poursuit encore aujourd'hui. Remarqué par des institutions muséales, celles-ci lui ont ouvert leur porte pour des expositions de prestige (British Museum de Londres, Rijkmuseum van Oudheden Leyden, August Kestner de Hanovre, Musée Royal d'Art et d'Histoire de Bruxelles, ...) En 1995, le Muhka de Antwerpen lui offre une rétrospective The Chromosomic Memory. De nombreuses expositions en galeries lui ont été consacrées tant en Belgique qu'à l'étranger (NY, Paris, Cologne, Francfort, ...). Plusieurs prix ont jalonné sont parcours : prix de l'UNESCO en 1983, prix de la Jeune Peinture en 1985, prix de la Fondation Spes en 1993, ... Ses oeuvres font partie des collections de très nombreux musées, de banques (ING, Belfius, Banque Nationale, ...) de galeries qui l'ont présenté, de la Fondation Roi Baudouin ainsi que de celles d'un grand nombre de collectionneurs privés belges et étrangers.
Hers are images that strike the retina and seize the distracted eye; they seduce, and then retain.
What first draws the attention in the ceramics and mixed installations of Jessica Lajard, is the taste for materials and colors. A manifest pleasure of working the material and playing with textures is evident in her work. The reading is further completed with references to the domestic world or anecdotes from her own daily life. She subverts them with a destabilizing, sometimes biting, sense of humor. These hybrid images evoke the pop creations of Tom Wesselmann, such as for instance The Seven Smokers, a set of porcelain vases from Jingdezhen, topped by mouths holding burning cigarettes, whose motifs combine Chinese tradition and tobacco swirls. Her practice functions like a rebus in the sense that the understanding of the whole is based on each separate element and each separate element can alter the reading of the whole. Combinations with evocative powers such as the ones in Eye Candy offer a decidedly erotic vision of whipped cream and the interlocking of positive and negative forms. Hangover, on the other hand, is a rather visual and literal translation, with its remains of the night before ‘hanging over’ a lounge chair.
The ambivalence of senses, through a clever distortion of materials and textures, and the ambivalence of meaning, evident in both the personal and collective report, partake in the creation of a confusing but familiar universe.
As points out Jean de Loisy*, Jessica Lajard «always cleverly organizes the discomfort of our perceptions by using a language that seems so everyday that we cannot immediately grasp that it is a protest against the whole idea of aesthetics.»
After growing up in the Caribbean Jessica Lajard moved to Paris to pursue her art studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris where she recieved her diploma in 2010. Jessica Lajard’s work is a repertoire of shapes freely inspired by popular imagery which are often combined with sexual illusions that flirt with the grotesque. Sometimes thought out in advance through drawing, her installations spread out in space just like they did during the 59th Salon of Montrouge (2014) where the artist plunged us into a textured post-card scenery, where she blended textile, ceramic elements and marble in a fizzy, pop and surreal atmosphere of shells and crustaceans. For her nomination at the Révélations Emerige 2015 she captured us in a more intimate and domestic installation with Somewhere Where the Grass is Greener. She has participated to many group shows and fairs and, after her residency at Ensa Limoges, her work was shown at the Musée National Adrien Dubouché - Cité de la céramique Sèvres & Limoges. In 2016 she had two major solo shows, Soft Spot at La Traverse, the Contemporary Art Centre of Alfortville (FR) and Out of the Blue at the François Mitterrand Cultural Centre in Beauvais (FR).
ATTENDANCE TIME is devoted to the phenomenon of a museum, which functions as a storage of a huge variety of artefacts, gathered and grouped according to the criteria, which are not always obvious and sometimes unexpected. The meaning of these objects is not clear to the unprepared audience, sometimes by virtue of their antiquity, and sometimes due to their innovativeness. At the same time the fact that a particular object is placed in the museum gives it a meaning and value. Works of Alexander Pogorzhelsky are devoted to ancient works of art, which deeply influenced the art of the 20th century and continues to influence the art of the 21st century, whereas the works by Taisia Korotkova feature the opposite - the latest technological advances.
TAISIA KOROTKOVA (°1980, Russian artist, lives in Milan, IT) works in hyperrealist style using egg tempera on gesso, the unique icon painting technique. This very old method, which demands considerable technical knowledge and skilled craftsmanship, creates a strong contrast to her paintings' subjects: new technology and science. Highly appreciated by Russian and European art professionals, she was awarded Kandinsky prize and participated in 3rd and 4th Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. Works by Taisia Korotkova are shown in Russian and European museums and included in public collections, among others in Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art.
ALEXANDER POGORZHELSKY (°1980, Russian artist, lives and works in Milan, IT) graduated from the prestigious Moscow Surikov Art Institute. Large-scale paintings by Pogorzhelsky are seemingly fast executed, yet based on attentive observation and careful and thought through concept. In his new series the artist explores similarities and differences in the representation of human body and household items in the various civilizations separated by thousands years, as well as in their relations with the imagery of the contemporary mass culture, reflected in the performances of the street artists. The works of the artist are in numerous public and private collections, among others the Ekaterina Foundation, the Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, the Stella Art Foundation.
ARKADY NASONOV (°1969, Russian artist, lives and works in Moscow, RU) belongs to Moscow conceptual art scene. Known for his humour and original ideas, the artist does not limit himself to a single art medium. His portfolio includes paintings, drawings, collages, videos, texts, albums and books, as well as performances and participation in films. Appreciated by the professional art community, Nasonov has got his works shown in a variety of public and private institutions in Russia (The State Tretyakov Gallery, Center of Contemporary Culture Garage, Vinzavod Art Centre among others) and abroad (New York, Paris, Shanghai, Berlin, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, etc). NK Gallery presents his video work at “Attendance Time” exhibition.
Contemporary Archeology (Night), 2016. Photo montée sur caisson lumineux / Photo mounted on a LED lightbox, 200 x 132 x 8 cm. 783/4 x 52 x 31/8 in.
PRUNE NOURRY - CONTEMPORARY ARCHEOLOGY
Galerie Daniel Templon presents the first solo exhibition in Belgium by young French artist Prune Nourry. Contemporary Archeology sees Nourry transform the gallery space to recreate the experience of a contemporary archaeological site.
This new proposition relates directly to Terracotta Daughters, her long-term project featuring an army of girls, inspired by the Xi’an terracotta warriors, which Nourry buried in 2015 at a secret site in mainland China.
The 108 sculptures, homages to young girls never born, victims of gender selection, travelled the world during 2014, from Shanghai to Mexico City via Paris, Zurich and New York. They will remain buried until 2030, the year when the consequences of China’s one-child policy will peak, marking the moment when the country experiences the greatest gender imbalance ever seen.
Visitors to the Brussels gallery are taken on an immersive journey inside a space transformed using earth and a variety of artistic materials. Inside they encounter the works — bronze and terracotta sculptures and photographs — as well as the stages in Nourry’s creative process, which have become works of art in themselves, in the form of film and an installation evoking the processes that go on behind the scenes at her studio.
Born in 1985 in Paris, Prune Nourry lives and works in New York. She is interested in the fields of science and anthropology, particularly bioethical questions relating to the artificial evolution of humankind. She explores these issues with an artistic approach that combines sculpture, installations, performances and video. She is a socially-engaged artist, seeking to draw attention to issues that trouble her. Her work is participative, drawing extensively on contributions from academics and scientists.
In April 2017, Prune Nourry will be taking over all the rooms at the Musée Guimet in Paris for a large-scale solo show, inviting visitors on a journey through the permanent collections.
John Finneran, Figures in the Dream of the Moon, 2014, courtesy the artist & Arcade, London
FULL MOON IN LEO
John Finneran / Kris Lemsalu / Lisa Vlaemminck
There is an extreme pleasure in talking about a distant place to someone who hasn't been there, but is about to go. A strong and special desire to represent this image of the world. Symbols can function in a similar way. They can bring us closer to that place unknown. They can metaphysically change our bodies and the way we perceive time and space.
In this exhibition three artists come together to form a full cycle.
The power of three is universal. It is the tripartite nature of the world as heaven, earth, and water. Three is human as body, soul and spirit. Three is birth, life, death. Three is the beginning, middle and end. Three is past, present, future. Three is the heavenly number, representing soul, while four represents body. Together the two equal seven and form the sacred hebdomad.
The title of the show is taken from astrology. The full moon in leo represents the opportunity to feel your own creative power but also that of the community. With subtle irony and not without humour, the artists in this show depict human existence as a consequence of the entanglement of all beings and gods. They create a poetic and at the same time dramatic fiction of an all-encompassing cosmic order. Their work can bring us to a depth of contemplation, but also to a place where one can take ownership of its own primitive longings.
One of the key elements in the work of Kris Lemsalu (1985, ES) are humour, irony and the absurd. It is known that tricksters often violate principles of social and natural order, playfully disrupting normal life before re-establishing it on a new basis. The trickster’s character is also an example of how it could be possible to overcome a system of oppression from within. This seems to go hand in hand with Lemsalu’s creativity and playfulness, finding humour and laughter to be her main tools for this. She often constructs multi layered allegories which have socially critical tones. Humour creates a kind of distance for the artist to deal with more serious topics and questions, for example birth and death. Still, she uses materials in a very honest and direct way for this, while processing them with her desire for certain balance. The aesthetic fragility of her ceramics is met with combinations of bold colour choices and vigorous forms which create a strong visual image into the viewer’s memory.
Looking at the mystic paintings of John Finneran (1979, US) we enter a dreamlike state of being. Finneran uses a distinguishing set of colours and reoccurring motifs mostly referring to the body or parts of the body, often combined with cosmic symbols like the sun and the moon. He has a specific interest in reaching mystic places through a close examination of the eye or mouth as is clear in an earlier series of small paintings on tin foil. In more recent paintings the abstraction of the female body as a whole come to the foreground. Through an elementary use of colour, forms and technique, reminiscent of Egyptian and early 20th century modernist painting, Finneran aims at creating emotional space and reaching places that were unknown to him before. "At work, I’m mostly pushing myself to be in a place where I don’t have any answers. Hopefully to learn something about what I’m feeling, or to see what I’m doing without judging it simultaneously. I love that disarming feeling of concentrating on your own eye in the mirror or looking directly into someone else’s eyes. I’m interested in the mysticism of not knowing anything”.
Lisa Vlaemminck (1992, BE) paints extraordinary still lifes that combine exotism with the rawness of the earth. She chooses neglected objects on the basis of pure attraction and places them within a new reality that supersedes the banality of its everyday appearance. Vlaemminck ignores any hierarchy or perspective in the composition of the painting, making the air in her paintings equally tangible as the soil, the colours equally tangible as the air. She tests the gradient painting technique to the limits and creates a strange object world full of juxtapositions. The primal melancholy of a dreary plant goes into dialogue with the aesthetics of a strip club from the eighties. There is a conscious interaction between the phenomenon of the still life and its history. During the process of painting she familiarizes with and takes possession of the image. It becomes soulful and animated. Thanks to Arcade, London (UK) & Temnikova & Kasela, Tallinn (ES).