Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #68 - from 29 November 2007 to 5 December 2007

Art Of The Day Weekly

#68 - from 29 November 2007 to 5 December 2007


A Streetcar named politics?

NICE – It now seems unconceivable to build a streetcar system or a subway without surrounding it with works of art. After Paris and Toulouse, the urban area of Nice Côte d’Azur has just bent to this new tradition. Over an itinerary of 8.7 km, thirteen works, made by fourteen artists, have been inaugurated at the same time as the tramway itself, on 24 November. Led by François Barré, the former chairman of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the selection includes local artists such as the famous Ben, as well as foreigners like Michael Craig-Martin and his mural frescoes of daily life objects, or Catalan artist Jaume Plensa with his translucid and colored «buddhas» sitting on columns, place Masséna. The choice of artists is also varied in its form, combining conceptual creations (Emmanuel Saulnier's water trickle), sounds (Michel Redolfi's jingles at the stops), lighting (Yann Kersalé), architectural interventions (a marble decor with gold leaf by Sarkis) or monumental sculptures (the «confessional» by Jean-Michel Othoniel). With just a few months before the municipal elections, one could ask whether this art construction site will become an electoral argument for the outgoing mayor, Jacques Peyrat, threatened by the arrival of Christian Estrosi? In any case he has just realigned his staff, and cleared out some the deputies who have spoken in favor of his rival, among them the ones in charge of Culture and Transport…


The New Museum's new clothes

NEW YORK - It will open on 1 December in a building designed by the the Japanese agency Sanaa - the one in charge of the Louvre Lens - and ressembles a pile of white boxes. The six boxes hide eight floors in which light is generously dispersed, and a 5000 m2 area that houses exhibition galleries and a theater with 182 places. The New Museum, which aims at being an «incubator» of contemporary art, is actually not so new, since this inauguration coincides with its 30th anniversary. Its founder, Marcia Tucker, who had associated her name to early retrospectives on John Baldessari, Keith Haring and Tony Oursler, passed away last yar and therefore will not have seen the new address, in lower Manhattan. The first exhibition, with the title «Unmonumental», will focus on a discipline that is not very fashionable, sculpture, and will present work by 30 artists from all over the world, among them Jim Lambie and Sarah Lucas.

  • The New Museum wil be inaugurated on 1 December at 235 Bowery.

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    Tutankhamen, the return

    LONDON – This is a real heavyweight. How can an exhibition with a pharaoh as the main star, ever go wrong? In the Millennium Dome at Greenwich, designed by Richard Rogers and which sailed through many a storm, the new O2 exhibition center has decided to make a big bang in order to be known. It will re-edit the 1972 exhibition on the treasures of Tutankhamen, which had attracted nearly 2 million visitors, an absolute record in the English capital. This is at least its ambition. 130 objects have come from various royal tombs, of which those of Amenhotep I and Thoutmosis IV, but above all that of the famous Tutankhamen, discovered by Howard Carter in 1922: his gold diadem, the vases containing his embalmed organs, his golden sword, his jewels, etc. Superb objects, but which hardly represent 1% of the tomb's content, and does not include the famous death mask. This is of no concern, as the curse of the pharaohs is no longer to be feared: the exhibition has been programed for nearly a year and should only have one rival, in terms of affluence: the anthology of Chinese warriors shown at the British Museum. Furthermore, the tiddle wave of consumer products -among them a box of kleenex where the tissues are distributed through the sovereign's nose- will ensure records.

  • Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of Pharaohs at O2 Bubble, until 30 August 2008

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  • Under the panache of Henri IV

    PAU – Why shouldn't temporary exhibitions seek their material in the reserves of the museums themselves? This idea is very much in vogue, as the debate on the alienability of public collections focuses in great part around these underground rooms reputed for being full of treasures. The castle of Pau has done it very intelligently, at its own scale, by unveiling a large part of its collection of drawings: 80 pages out of the 300 that have been assembled, through donations or purchases, since 1945. There is a local touch, as visitors will also see landscapes with the castle in the background or episodes of the life of the famous King, by authors often hardly known (with a few exceptions such as Meissonnier or Fragonard). The assasination of Henri IV, the signing of a Peace treaty with the Church: another way of reviewing history and the biography of the most popular king of France.

  • Avec panache, dessins des collections du château de Pau, from 24 November 2007 to 24 February 2008

    The website of the Musée National du château de Pau

  • Mulas, the artists' eye

    ROME-MILAN – The MAXXI is presenting a «maxi-exposition», in alliance with the Pavilion of contemporary art of Milan. Together they will present 600 images by Ugo Mulas (1928-1973), a major photographer of the post-war period, famous in Italy but without the foreign recognition he deserves. A friend of painters and sculptors he joined at the temple of Milano's bohemian world, the Jamaica bar, Ugo Mulas followed them for nearly a quarter of a century in their work. Portraits, reports or events such as the Biennales of Venice: from Chirico to Fontana, from Morandi to Manzoni, including Duchamp, Warhol or Calder, he clicked away like no other at a slice of the history of art, and not the least important. Simultaneously, Mulas renewed his approach constantly, inspired by the research of Robert Frank or Lee Friedlander, using solarization or giant formats, and contact-sheets like a major tool. Towards the end of his life, he plunged into his Verifiche, original research on the matter of photography itself, which he uses by themes - the time for a pose, the self-portrait, enlargements…

  • Ugo Mulas at the MAXXI in Rome from 4 December 2007 to 2 March 2008 and at the PAC in Milan, from 5 December 2007 to 10 February 2008.

    To know more about the MAXXI


    Courtesy galerie Emmanuel Perrotin

    Tatiana Trouvé

    NICE – She has just been awarded the Duchamp prize. Her work, a real mind-bender, half-way between monumental sculpture and conceptual art, would certainly have pleased Marcel… Among the influences on Tatiana Trouvé, born in 1968 in Calabria, and who today lives in Paris after a childhood in Dakar, there are Georges Pérec as well as Italian «split» artist Alighiero e Boetti. It would be redundant to say that it is not easy

    to unwind the strings that gave birth to her Implicit activity Bureau, the name under which she reconstructs or imagines, in ideas and in sculptures, her own life - from her far away interviews when looking for a job up to her current thoughts on the status of the artist. From her drawings and her cages to her more recent «polders» – large objects that invade space – Tatiana Trouvé's work seems to prohibit any attempt of classification…

  • Tatiana Trouvé is the object of an exhibition at Villa Arson until 3 February 2008

    The website of Villa Arson


    The artist in front of a landscape

    We were already familiar with this theme at the time of the school of Fontainebleau, or with the Impressionists and the invention of the tube of paint, but the movement of «exit from the workshops» takes on a totally different dimension in the 1960s. The artists confronted themselves to Nature, to magnify or reveal a site. Through a transversal reading by themes (Forms of water, the tree, greenhouses, theaters, labyrinths and industrial plants, etc), the authors show this commitment has also taken on colossal, heroic proportions (The Combs of the wind, rusted steel sculptures by Chillida, human nests by Marina Abramovic, granite trees by Fernando Casás in the desert of Monegros, the re-arrangement of mine sites by Bruni and Babarit) as well as minimalist and conceptual ones(the pavilions by Dan Graham or the glass steles by Emmanuel Saulnier at the cemetery of Vassieux-en-Vercors). The book is limited to Europe – not really a limit in itself - and ends with cards on the main sculpture parks, including the pioneer Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Kerguéhennec or the Fattoria di Celle near Pistoia, in Italy.

  • L’artiste contemporain et la nature, par Colette Garraud, avec la collaboration de Mickey Boël, Hazan publishing house, 2007, 280 p., 55 €, ISBN : 978-2-8502-5987-6

    Buy that book from Amazon


    BRUSSELS – The IMCA (International Museum Communication Awards), meant to award the best initiatives in matters of museum communication, will be awarded on 29 November. 83 projects have been selected in 20 different countries.

    GHENT – The 26th edition of Lineart, the ethnographic, modern and contemporary art fair, will be held from 29 November to 4 December 2007.

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    ROME – The discovery, under August's house, of the Lupercale, the grotto where the wolf probably nursed Romulus and Remus, was announced on 21 November.

    Slide-show on the website of the COrriere della Sera

    VENICE – The 11th Fair of cultural goods will be held from 29 November to 1st December with a program of debates focused on training. It will host its 3rd edition of Restaura, the restoration fair.

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    VENICE – The 52th Biennale, that closed on 21 November, hosted 319 322 visitors, the highest attendance figure in the last quarter of a century.

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    This week, do not miss

    TREASURES FROM EASTERN SLOVAKIA From the Middle Ages to the Baroque period, XIVth-XVIIIth centuries

    TOULOUSE - Born from the collaboration between the museums of Caen and of Kosice, with its very rich collection, this retrospective aims at making known to the public at large a form of sacred art at the margins of Europe: that of Eastern Slovakia, with an abundance of altarpieces and polychrome sculptures of saints.

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