Monday, October 06, 2008

Gilbert&George until 11.01.2009, Brooklyn Museum

The Brooklyn Museum is the final venue of an international tour of the first retrospective in more than twenty years of work by the internationally acclaimed artists Gilbert & George. The exhibition comprises more than eighty pictures created since 1970, among them more than a dozen that are only in the Brooklyn presentation. The exhibition traces their stylistic and emotional evolution through their pictures and art in other media, ranging from charcoal on paper sculpture from the early 1970s to postcard pieces to ephemera dating back to the 1960s. Gilbert and George met in 1967 while students at St. Martin’s Art School in London. They began to create art together, developing a uniquely recognizable style both in their pictures and in their presentations of themselves as living sculptures. Over more than forty years, they developed a new format that created large-scale pictures, which are visually and emotionally powerful, through a unique creative process. Most of their pictures are created in groups and made especially for the space in which they are first exhibited.

The artists’ art, which is sometimes seen as subversive, controversial, and provocative, considers the entire cosmology of human experience and explores such themes as faith and religion, sexuality, race and identity, urban life, terrorism, superstition, AIDS-related loss, aging, and death. Included in the exhibition are selections from the Ginkgo Pictures, which was part of the exhibition that represented the United Kingdom at the 2005 Venice Biennale; examples from the 1974 Cherry Blossom Pictures: Finding God, 1982, a huge, complex composition featuring images of the artists, several young men, and a cross; and more recent works, among them two pictures from the Six Bomb Pictures, created for the inaugural presentation of the exhibition at Tate Modern. The Six Bomb Pictures was intended by the artists to be seen as modern townscapes reflecting the daily exposure in urban life to bomb threats and terror raids.

Monday, December 24, 2007

“Roppongi Crossing” until 14.01.08 Tokyo

“Roppongi Crossing” is a series of exhibitions produced by the Mori Art Museum to introduce Japanese creative talent working in a wide range of genres. The first in the series was held in 2004 – and is to this day used as a reference point for contemporary Japanese visual culture. For “Roppongi Crossing 2007” four curators focused on the idea of 'intersection,' selecting 36 artists whose work has an energy and sphere of influence that spreads beyond the confines of conventional artistic categories.

Their art takes a variety of forms, including painting, sculpture, photography, design, video, manga, games, and even unlikely genres such as dollmaking and bathhouse mural painting. In addition to artists who are emerging on the scene right now, the list also includes others who drove the scene in its formative period in the 1960s and 1970s, and whose feverish output continues unabated today. Surprising juxtapositions provide an opportunity to discover unexpected similarities and also to trace some of the unseen webs of influence and homage that connect the artists of the last three decades.
Delicate handwork, carefully thought-out concepts and a tendency for interactive mechanisms are just some of the other characteristics that unite the works in the exhibition, many of which are new works produced especially for the show.
Surveying this interlocking web of art, linking genres and generations in the present, a faint but common beat can be detected – a beat like a pulse that reverberates throughout the Japanese contemporary art scene and provides a clue as to where it is headed in the future.

Curatorial Team

Amano Kazuo (Art Critic; Professor, Kyoto University of Art and Design),
Araki Natsumi (Curator, Mori Art Museum), Sato Naoki (Art Director, ASYL),
Sawaragi Noi (Art Critic)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sots Art, Political Art in Russia from 1972 to today, La Maison Rouge, Paris

Until January 20th, la maison rouge presents Sots Art: Political Art in Russia. The exhibition will retrace the development of a movement which, from the early 1970s and in the wake of Socialist Realism, would stand out as the first original art movement in Russia since the 1920s avant-garde. Sots Art will be chronologically staged in all the foundation's rooms, from the origins of the movement to its influence on contemporary works. The term was coined in 1972 by two Moscow artists, Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid, as a take on Pop Art, "Sots" being a contraction of Socialism and Art.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms until 13.01.08 Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Forty years after the first major European Warhol exhibition in Amsterdam, the Stedelijk Museum has organised an exhibition to shed new light on the oeuvre of the celebrated Pop Art master. With film, photography, video and famous icons ranging from Marilyn Monroe, Mao and Campbell Soup Cans, Andy Warhol – Other Voices, Other Rooms is a window onto the artistic thinking of this trendsetting artist, revealing the ‘conceptual soul’ of his work.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"Yuo_ser:The Consumer Century¨" until 31.12.07 ZKM, Karlsruhe (D)

On the occasion of its anniversary celebration “10 Years of ZKM in Hallenbau A,” ZKM | Center for Art and Media turns its attention to the effects of net-based, global creation on art and society with the exhibition “You_ser: The Consumer Century.”
Over the past years, the ZKM | Media Museum has already presented in the context of its collection of interactive art, the largest in the world, the most important pathfinders and currents in participatory art of the twentieth century: Op-Art, kinetic and cybernetic art, Arte Programmata, Conceptual art, Fluxus, and Happenings, interactive computer-aided installations, and virtual environments. Instructions for use and changeable objects activate beholders. In this way, you, the visitor, take part in the construction of the artwork. In the Internet, portals such as,,; and virtual worlds, such as or blogs now offer a newly structured space for the creative statements of millions of people. The artist no longer has a monopoly on creativity.
Users deliver or generate the content or put it together. They become producers and program designers and thereby, competitors to television, radio, and newspapers, the historical media monopoly. Audience participation reshapes itself as consumers’ emancipation.
These transformations concern not only the global expanses of the Internet, but also the museum. It reacts to the changed cultural and social behavior and supports those tendencies, which, in an Enlightenment spirit, are applied for democracy and the idea of access to education for all.
The new installations presented in the exhibition transfer the potential for co-designing by the user that has been developed on the Internet into the context of art and allow the visitors to emancipate themselves.
They can act as artists, curators, and producers. The exhibition visitors, as users, as emancipated consumers, are at the center of focus. YOU are the content of the exhibition! The museum is bound to a fixed location and set times. Through the Internet, it can develop into a communicative platform independent of place and time. The historical model of culture, in which Darwinist selection takes place and only a few select find acceptance in its storage and distribution apparatus, embodied by the principle of Noah’s Ark, has been displaced.
The new Noah’s Ark of the Internet has an endless storage space, which, in principle, is open to all inhabitants of the industrial and newly industrializing countries.
Is this the new cultural space for the emancipated consumer, the visitor as user who will decide the culture of the twenty-first century, just as slaves, workers, and citizens as historical subjects have done in the past?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Von Bill Viola bis Aernout Mik until 24.02.08 Hambuger Bahnhof, Berlin

This autumn, in addition to its permanent exhibitions of 19th century works from the collection at the Alte Nationalgalerie and of 20th century works at the Neue Nationalgalerie, the National Gallery is presenting a selection of newly acquired works in the fields of contemporary video art and painting at the Hamburger Bahnhof. The recently acquired filmic work "Refraction" by Dutch artist Aernout Mik is at the heart of the exhibition. Flanking it are films by the group "Die Tödliche Doris" and American artist Jack Goldstein. In addition, we are showing paintings by artists including Eve Aschheim, Dexter Dalwood, Eberhard Havekost, Sergej Jensen, Johannes Kahrs, Raoul de Keyser and Chris Newman.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

China Now until 27.01.2008 Cobra Museum, Amstelveen (NL)

With its impressive "China Now" exhibition the Cobra Museum is the first to launch a series of exhibitions devoted to Chinese avant-garde art. Other museums in our northern provinces will shortly follow suit. In China a true explosion of contemporary forms of artistic expression have been taking place since the nineteen nineties. In "China Now" the most remarkable and significant developments in Chinese contemporary art are revealed. The round 100 works by 42 artists in the show are part of the famous collection of contemporary art from the Essl Museum (near Vienna).