Art Of The Day Weekly
#86 - from 17 April 2008 to 23 April 2008
IN THE AIR
A question of animals
SAN FRANCISCO - In the California city, always a step ahead regarding environment protection groups, activists can cause some collateral victims. Adel Abdessemed is the most recent. The artist just had his exhibition at the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) canceled at the end of the month of March under the pressure of animal protectors. The reason is that one of the works shows the killing, in Mexico, of breeding animals (cow, pig, goat). We can all recall the stir that was created a few years ago, by an installation in Denmark: visitors had the power to sentence a gold fish to death by pushing on the button of a blender. Other creators, such as Damien Hirst, known for placing lambs and sharks in formol, and who made a work with thousands of dead flies, could soon be in the box of the accused. As a commentator in the San Francisco Chronicle said ironically, the matter will be discussed in detail over some juicy T-bone steaks from Market Street or grilled fish from Fisherman’s Wharf. Kill, but for God's sake, away from our sight!
Fattori is as real as ever
LIVORNO – He is one of the greater Italian painters of the XIXth century but his reputation has hardly crossed the borders. Giovanni Fattori, who died one hundred years ago, is in a way the equivalent of French realists. He fought academicism and sought to give his paintings – whether buffalo herdsmen in Tuscany's Maremma region or military men bored to death – an appearance of reality. Together with Silvestro Lega and Signorini, he is one of the major representatives of the Macchiaioli movement, very concerned with the birth of a national Italian art and that played a role in the Risorgimento that was by no means insignificant. The 250 objects gathered in his native town depict battles, are images of horses and peasants, of country roads, as well as drawings and prints, a field he excelled in with a very minimalist production. This exhibition complements the one opened since 19 March at Villa Bardini, in Florence, on «Fattori and naturalism». Other events are foreseen for the autumn.
PARIS – This is the great moment of restoring to favor the artistic movements of the 60s and 70s: following New Realism in 2007, the Grand Palais will face Narrative Figuration this year. While Erro has just reached a spectacular record at Christie’s, multiplying his rates by five(one of his Comicscapes went for 700 000 € in December 2007) and that Télémaque is following in his footsteps, the moment has come to celebrate these creators. Grouped together for the first time in 1964 by critic Gérald Gassiot-Talabot, the painters of Narrative Figuration find their inspiration in photographs, in comic strips, in logos and in advertising, from which they borrow the language. Most of the time, while giving birth to a new «mythology of daily life», it is a matter of denouncing modern society's procedures of alienation. Among the Adami, Aillaud, Arnal, Arroyo, Klasen, Rancillac and Velickovic, a certain number will be closely involved in the movements of May 68.
Ten years of Japanese architecture
PARIS – We are quite aware of what stars do when abroad: the Pompidou centre in Metz by Shigeru Ban, the Louvre-Lens by the Sanaa agency or the MoMA in New York by Taniguchi. We know a lot less about what the Japanese architects create at home. The Maison de la culture du Japon presents a panorama of the last ten years, including the domestic aspect of their activity. Through plans and models we discover monumental creations: a convention centre by Fumihiko Maki or the airport of Kuala Lumpur by Kisho Kurokawa. But thera are also small interventions – a room, a tomb, a tea house in the trees by Terunobu Fujimori - to which the Japanese specialists undoubtedly pay more attention than their foreign colleagues. Beyond the museums, that ensure the grater part of international renown, the exhibition also focuses on other «cycles»: the city (offices, boutiques), life (schools, hospitals, stadiums) and housing.
Italy holds on to furniture
According to public opinion, Italy is not doing well: the economy is dragging behind, Alitalia is dying, Berlusconi and the Northern League are back into business. Fortunately, there is still the Furniture Fair! In this field, Italy's control over the situation remains merciless. Last year the Milan event broke attendance records – 270 000 visitors – and it will go further in 2008. Over one thousand exhibitors will show off the latest creations by Hella Jongerius, the Bouroullec brothers or the Meta league, an original operation as it is a collection of contemporary furniture launched by Mallett, the famous antique dealer. It is worth noting that the very young designers are not welcome: admission is not allowed for children under the age of 10, even if they are accompanied… Among the «collateral» events there will be interventions, in town, by Peter Greenaway and Michelangelo Pistoletto.
ARTIST OF THE WEEK
Poster "Armada 2003 in Rouen" for Voies navigables de France
It is rare that graphic typographers be known as full-fledged artists. Yet certain creators such as Frutiger or, well before him, Garamond and Didot, have marked our visual universe a lot more than many painters. Not to mention characters with various talents such as sculptor Eric Gill who left various types that are still in use. Philippe Apeloig follows that tradition. The French graphic artist is responsible for the charter of the museums of France, of the MacVal in Vitry-sur-Seine, the faculty of architecture of Venice or the Voies navigable de France (French waterways). He presents in a retrospective the product of the last two decades, in particular the posters with bold letters and contrasted colors, with reduced serifs, that ensure comfortable reading while leaving free rein to the imagination.
Return to the primitives
An art historian and an exhibition curator - in particular the one dedicated to Botticelli at the palais du Luxembourg in 2003 -, Daniel Arasse, who passed away that same year, was above all a talented populizer. Thirty years after his first publication, his small volume introducing the Italian primitives is once again presented. We read the names of great interpreters of the painting of the Renaissance, from Rome, from Florence the «progressive» city and Sienna the «reactionary» one. But they are not alone. As we leaf through the book minor centers such as Camerino, in the Marches, are mentioned as well. The role of the sponsors, the symbolic of attitudes and characters, the power of color, the importance of the frescoes: the profile of the painters of the XIVth and XVth centuries is done by small touches of the paintbrush. And if by chance the demonstration were not sufficiently convincing, the last chapter– « What is a primitive artist?» - is just in time to synthesize it.
BRUSSELS- The 26th edition of the Art Brussels contemporary art fair will be held from 18 to 21 April. It will host 180 galleries.
COLOGNE-The 42nd edition of Art Cologne, grouping together 400 modern art dealers, will be held from 16 to 20 April 2008.
LAS VEGAS-The Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, open since 2001 at The Venetian resort, will close next month.
LONDON-The London Original Print Fair will hold its 2008 edition from 23 to 27 April 2008 at the Royal Academy with some fifty print dealers.
LONDON- An abbey key of the XIIth century was sold for 11.5 million € at Sotheby's, that is 18 times its highest estimate.
NANCY-The international biennale of images will be held from 19 April to 4 May at the Alstom site.
PARIS- The International fair of ancient books (SLAM) will be held at the Grand Palais from 18 to 20 April 2008.
PARIS-The four artists selected for the 8th edition of the 2008 Marcel Duchamp prize are Michel Blazy, Stéphane Calais, Laurent Grasso and Didier Marcel.
PARIS-Artist Jan Fabre will perform at the Louvre museum on 22 April.
This week, do not miss
NUNC EST BIBENDUM!
CLERMONT-FERRAND - The evolution of the best logo of the century (according to a study by the Financial Times): that is the task the Musée Roger-Quilliot has taken on by retracing the history of Michelin's Bibendum, from its first drawing, by O'Galop in 1898, to our day.
PARIS- Nurished by various influences, from Mondrian to Matisse, navigating between abstract and figurative art, a great apostle of color, Charles Lapicque produced a very rich work throughout his long carreer. The musée de la Poste pays tribute to him with a retrospective grouping together 85 paintings and 60 drawings.