Art Of The Day Weekly
#53 - from 28 June 2007 to 4 July 2007
IN THE AIR
Toulouse, one metro ahead
The councillors for the city of Paris had proudly presented their policy of state orders during the inauguration of the tram along the "Maréchaux" boulevards last December. The city of Toulouse, which had already left its mark with its first metro line in 1994 (it had then received the great ADMICAL prize, the Association for sponsorship development), is improving its position. On 30 June, 20 stations of line B will be inaugurated. Twenty stations and twenty works of art by contemporary artists. This cultural operation benefited from a budget that although limited (4 million €, compared to the billion € the construction cost) was carried out intelligently, associating the artists to the architects from the very beginning. From the unavoidable Sophie Calle to Patrick Corillon, from Pierrick Sorin to Irwin, the Slovene collective art group, we will see a lot of colored glass, of video and Bernar Venet's large steel arches. The «mediation measures», as the horrible jargon announces, will include two exhibitions: «Line B», at the Abattoirs, with other works by the selected artists, and «Metropolis» at the musée des Antiques, that is exhibiting the archeological discoveries made when the metro line was built. This is an interesting way of accompanying state orders, too often abandoned once the ribbons are cut. We are eager for the tram in Nice to be inaugurated in September to keep increasing the level of the competition.
Arles, the Indian summer
ARLES – Following a very good year in 2006 with attendance up 50% - greatly due to the leader of the bill board, Raymond Depardon -, the Rencontres photographiques wondered were they would find new energy for 2007. They went to look for it in Asia, where everything seems to be happening lately. The program is therefor rich in Indian encounters, chosen with the help of Devika Daulet-Singh, who directs the «indispensable» Photo Ink. agency. Dayanita Singh, Bharat Sikka, Anay Mann, Jeetin Sharma are betweene 30 and 40 years old and represent the new wave of the sub-continent. They are helped by Raghu Rai, le correspondent from the Magnum agency (honored in another exhibition) and by a much older personality, Umrao Singh Sher-Gil (1870-1954), who photographed all of his family and in particular his daughter prodigy, painter Amrita, who died prematurely in 1941. Les Rencontres dedicate a parallel exhibit to the Chinese creators from the artistic community of Dashanzi, instaled in a former industrial plant, to the Norht-East of Beijing. Finally, some other twenty exhibitions complete the panorama, from Spanish artist Alberto García-Alix, the interpreter of the "movida" in Madrid, to polaroïd photos of the stars of the blues by the excentric patron Pannonica de Kœnigswarter.
Tanguy, back to Brittany
QUIMPER – He is French and one of the greater figures of the surrealist movement. Yet the museums in France have very few of his works. That is because Tanguy (1900-1955) went to build his success in the United States, where he settled in 1939 to become an American citizen in 1948. There he met with his school friend, Pierre Matisse, Henri's son, who dedicated various personal exhibitions to him. Yet Tanguy never forgot his native Brittany and even asked that his ashes be scattered in the bay of Douarnenez. It is therefore very appropriate that a museum in the region dedicate a complete retrospective to him, half a century after his death. It is definitely complete, with over 50 paintings, from compositions marked by the early Cubism of the twenties up to the Multiplication des arcs from 1954. Automatic drawings, erotic drawings, exquisite corpses, illustrations for works by Hugnet, Tzara or Péret: Tanguy's spiritual landscapes, the painter's drops and mechanical forms «des épouvantables élégances aériennes» -Dreadful aerial elegances- (André Breton) have never been so numerous in France.
The dark land of dreams
VIENNA – Greek collector Dakis Joannou is an important actor on the contemporary scene with Deste, his Athenian foundation. In 2005, he had loaned part of his collection to the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. He is doing that again, to two Austrian museums in Vienna this time, on a themed framework. The selected pieces broach the universe of dreams and their corollary, trauma, the psychic wound that hides in our subconscious. This can be done literally with the mutilated corpses of Paul McCarthy and Cindy Sherman. Or in a more allusive manner, with drawings and ornamented portraits by young artists such as Paul Chan, Dorotha Jurczak or Dimitris Protopapas. The Mumok becomes the domain of the large installations: Amazing Grace by Nari Ward, with 280 children's games, among them compressed watering pumps from the firemen's trucks, and Your Strange Certainty Still Kept, a wall of water illuminated by Olafur Eliasson.
Strasbourg reviews its history
STRASBOURG – The Alsacian city, a candidate to be the European cultural capital in 2013, has launched an ambitious museum renovation and creation program. While waiting for the opening of the Tomi Ungerer museum in the fall of 2007, on June 30 it re-inaugurates its Musée historique created in 1920 and renovated by the Quebec agency GMS Design. Installed in the former Great Slaughter Houses, the museum presents 700 years of city life, from the XIIIth to the XXth centuries - from the city freed from the Holy German Empire up to the European construction, including the revolutionary episode. Next to the military uniforms and recent archeological discoveries, its major piece, restored, is the scale model in pinewood, 11 mts by 7 mts, done at the time of Louix XV.
THE ARTIST OF THE WEEK
Damien Hirst; not again!
He turned the occupation of the media into a true science. The "enfant terrible" of the movement of Young British Artists, launched during the decade of the 1980s under the wing of collector (and former advertising guru) Charles Saatchi, was in all the headlines at the beginning of June with his latest creation: a skull inlaid with nearly 10 000 diamonds, the result of work by dozens of collaborators. The art world was still buzzing with this remarkable marketing hit when Hirst hit again! At the age of 42, he became on 21 June the most expensive living artist in the world. Following his polk-a-dot paintings, after his sharks cut up and placed in acquariums full of formaldehyde, and after his compositions with dead flies, the spotlight is on him once again, with a work from 2002, a medecine cabinet filled with some 6000 hand-painted pills. Lullaby Spring went for 9.6 million £ (14.3 million €) at Sotheby’s in London. On 16 May, in New York, another version, Lullaby Winter, had already been sold for 4.8 million €. Damien Hirst is in a comfortable first position on the hit-parade, way ahead of the next contender, respectable Jasper Johns (blocked on 16 May at 11.4 million €).
In the eye of the Cyclope
This huge head with one single eye, covered with broken glass, full of metal and sound mechanisms in the forest of Fontainebleau, is the target today of strolls through the woods. In the 1970s and 1980s, it was a wild, outlawed project, the target of threats and depredations. Built without a building permit, in part on a piece of land he did not own, the Cyclope only owed his survival to the solidarity of all the creators who participated in his construction: Tinguely, of course, its designer, and - especially after his death (in 1991)- Niki de Saint-Phalle, who carried it through to the end, and all those who left their mark: Jesus Rafael Soto, Jean-Pierre Raynaud, Arman, Daniel Spoerri, Daniel Luginbuhl. Without forgetting the pyrotechnicians, the welders-artists, who assembled tons of scrap iron picked up on train tracks or on the construction site of the Centre Pompidou, such as Toso, Seppi Imhof or Rico Weber. Prior to becoming a practically official monument, the Cyclope was, for Tinguely, a «utopia in the forest». This is the era the book brings back to life.
BLOIS – Founded 12 years ago, the Ecole nationale supérieure de la Nature et du Paysage (the National Superior school of Nature and Landscape) will be setting up in the former Poulain chocolate plant, refurbished by architect Patrick Rubin.
ISSOUDUN - The museum of the Hospice Saint-Roch will reopen its doors on 29 June after 6 months of works, for a cost of 1.5 million €, that allowed in particular for the installation of a contemporary art fund.
CUMNOCK (Ecosse) - The intervention of various associations has allowed the nation to buy Dumfries House, the property of the 7th marquis of Bute, as well as its contents (one of the most beautiful collections of rococo furniture in the world). It was supposed to be sold at an auction at Christie's on 12 and 13 July of this year.
MILANO – The airport of Malpensa inaugurated on 27 June an exhibition space in terminal 1. Under the title Exhibair, it exhibits one of the Picassos from a museum of Milano, the Femme nue(Naked woman).
ROUEN – From 29 June to 15 September, the cathedral is illuminated every evening in a light show inspired by impressionnism, «La cathédrale de Monet aux pixels», by the Skertzò group (Jean-Michel Quesne and Hélène Richard).
SAUMUR – The ramparts of the castle, that had partially crumbled during the night of 21 April 2001 lightly injuring two persons, have been restored. The work site, with a cost of 23.4 million €, lasted 44 months.
TUBINGEN - "Le Monde" reports on the discovery, in the Jura region, by German archeologists from the university of Tubingen, of five figurines in ivory, one of which represents a mammoth. Dated between 30 000 to 36 000 years old, they are among the oldest artistic manifestations.
ON ART OF THE DAY INFO
this week do not miss
THE FAITHFUL OPENING or the art of the locksmith
ROUEN - The musée Le Secq des Tournelles, dedicated to the art of ironwork, owns among its 14 000 pieces a superb collection of locks. It exhibits it next to 45 exceptional pieces from other funds to show the evolution, from the Middle Ages to the XIXth century, of a discipline considered by some as on of the liberal arts.
FANTIN-LATOUR FROM REALITY TO DREAMS
LAUSANNE - The Fondation de l'Hermitage organizes the first Swiss retrospective on Fantin-Latour. A student of Courbet's, a contemporary of the Impressionists, Fantin-Latour searched like the latter a "paint of light". But instead of outdoor compositions, he prefered to specialise in still lives, of which he became one of the most brilliant representatives.