Art Of The Day Weekly
#87 - from 24 April 2008 to 30 April 2008
IN THE AIR
James Bond and the potpourri
We have heard that James Bond's Aston Martin has fallen into the lake of Garda. The chauffeur was driving it on the set of the series' next episode. This stunt had not been foreseen in the script, and caused a few problems for the production. As it is well worth it, it has been suggested it be classified among the very extendable and subjective category of artistic performances. This is a way of repeating that the blur between the various genres has enlarged the mission of museums way beyond the traditional collection of sculptures and paintings. A number of icons of the XXth century – motorcycles, Chanel or the wrapping of potatoe chips (to be seen at the Hamaland Museum, in Vreden, in Germany) – have been the object of recent retrospectives. The latest one opened last week: it celebrates the 50 years of secret agent James Bond. The Imperial War Museum presents the Jamaican desk on which a great number of adventures were written, the shirt worn in 1942 at Dieppe by author Ian Fleming, manuscripts, a Colt Magnum 357, shoes with retractable daggers, a bikini. Discreetly, without making too many waves, the cabinet de curiosités is coming back into fashion.
BERN – His death is (or was) known by all French school children: 5 January 1477, on a freezing morning facing Nancy which he was laying siege to. Charles the Bold was 44 years old and the Bourgogne dynasty came to an end with his death. What happened to his very rich collection? A part of it had already been taken when the Confederates of Bern and Fribourg had beaten him at the battles of Grandson and Morat in 1476. The rest, through his daughter's marriage, went into the heritage of the Hapsburgs. The exhibition at the museum of Art and History groups nearly 200 objects that prove the splendor of the Bourguignon court: paintings, illuminations (Charles' famous prayer book with its 47 miniatures, on loan from the Getty Museum), textiles (brocades from Milano as well as the not less known Mille fleurs tapestry from Brussels), pieces in siver and gold, jewels, paintings and sculptures.
Goya yesterday and today
LILLE-MADRID-PARIS – A true avalanche: Goya is everywhere. In Madrid, a large exhibition at the Prado is focused on the beginnings of the war of independence and on the Dos y Tres de Mayo paintings. In Paris, the Petit Palais is showing nearly 300 of his engravings. In Lille, the complete series of the Caprices, that is 80 ironic prints on the society at his time, is presented. In this last case, the curators looked for an equivalent in contemporary art, which was not difficult given how the Spanish artist has remained a source of inspiration for contemporary creators. Next to the ensemble of the Chapman brothers, Like a Dog Returns to its Vomit, which created a scandal a few years ago since it used original works as a support, we will also see photographs by Japanese artist Yasumasa Morimura or German Thomas Schütte. Goya has no frontiers…
Eliasson is everywhere
NEW YORK - While waiting to carry out his monumental commission this Summer (a series of cascades on the Hudson), Danish artist Olafur Eliasson is already making news in the New York metropolis. The retrospective at the MoMA is an assessment of 15 years of an energetic career, from the Moss Wall in 1994 up to Natural Light Setup in 2008 by combining different techniques, among them photography and sculpture. The visual artist has a true talent of being in more than one place at the same time, since we will see one of his installations at the San Francisco Museum of Art – a colored tunnel suspended from the summit of the building - and we will enjoy in a month's time his Art Car BMW at the Pinakothek der Moderne de Munich.
Mystery over Lascaux
A few months ago the cave of Lascaux was completely closed to visitors in order to face a new threat, the spreading of black mold, due among other reasons to the new ventilation system. Today the persons in charge claim they have conquered the micro-organism which has stopped spreading. The International Committee for the Preservation of Lascaux (ICPL) feels differently. According to this association, the fight against the melanin has been very brutal, including the massive use of antibiotics followed by the scraping of the surface of the cave, putting the bottom layers of color at risk. The ICPL asks that an independent international authority be set up with the power of overlooking the action carried out to save the «Prehistoric Sistine». Among the 25 members of the current Comité scientifique international, directed by Marc Gauthier, honorary inspector general of archeology, only two are not French…
ARTIST OF THE WEEK
As is prudishly said, he left us too early, willingly abandoning this world last October, though he was only in his forties. He was a creator in all fields, known for his series of photographs but was probably most brilliant when he wrote (his Autoportrait (Selfportrait), published by POL, is a little jewel). The galerie Loevenbruck offers once again, in a weekly cycle, his different «Reconstitutions», in which he had actors dressed in street clothes mime rubgy games, pornographic movies or administration conferences. In our increasingly virtual reality, the seriousness of these recomposed moments taken out of their context gave them
an impressive strength, half way between the Surrealist dressed paintings and the cadavres exquis.
Requiem for French museums
Didier Rykner became known after hosting on his latribunedelart.com website a petition against the Louvre Abou Dhabi, with a great response in the media. A real teaser, ready to taunt our museums for their commercial excesses and their lack of respect for their basic code of ethics (conserve, exhibit, restore), he expresses his thoughts in this little pamphlet. The control by the public administration at the cost of the curators who are put on the sidelines, works of art sent in all directions without worrying if they are fragile, an obsession with the temporary event at the cost of the permanent collections… The ills are known and it is sometimes very efficient to denounce them, for example in the case of Versailles with its plastic gold chandeliers, its Pharaonic style bleachers that ruin the park and its real-false royal gates. One is ready to follow the dualist in a great number of his conclusions. With one exception: if the museums can no longer dispose of their property, nor lend on the long term, nor send their collections wherever, where can they find new sources of financing? The author does not give any ideas for the future.
BRUSSELS – Brussels and the region of Wallonia will organise, from April to September, a year on Folon to render homage to the artist who died in 2005.
CATANZARO-(Calabria) – Italy has a new museum since 30 March: it is the MARCA, that combines archeology and contemporary art over three levels. The opening exhibition is dedicated to Mimmo Rotella.
CHICAGO - The Art Chicago contemporary art fair will be held at Merchandise Mart from 23 to 27 April. A "satellite" fair, Next, will be held at the same time.
PARIS-An important part of the correspondence of Giovanni Verga, the master of Italian verism is up for sale at Christie's on 28 April.
PARIS-Artist Claude Lévêque has been chosen to represent France at the next Biennale of Venice, to open in June 2009.
PARIS – Moleskine, Bruce Chatwin's favorite little notebook, now an international status symbol, organises an exhibition of travel notebooks at the Printemps Design of the Centre Pompidou, from 24 April to 19 May.
VIENNA - The 4th edition of the Vienna Art Fair will be held from 24 to 27 April, with the participation of 107 galleries from 22 countries.
This week, do not miss
LILLE ART FAIR
LILLE -A new contemporary art fair will be set up from 24 to 27 April in Lille Grand Palais. Grouping together over 70 galleries, the Lille Art Fair aims at being an important rendez-vous for the Euroregion. The works of major artists of the last half century will sit next to photos and giant sculptures by contemporary creators.