Art Of The Day Weekly
#91 - from 22 May 2008 to 28 May 2008
IN THE AIR
On Freud's sofa
NEW YORK – A new level has been reached in the sector of modern and contemporary art. In two sales sessions, on 13 and 14 May, Christie’s and Sotheby’s sold for 710 million dollars of works of art, the latter placing itself for once in first place. Bacon broke his own record once again with 86 million $ for a triptych from 1976 (through the intermediary it seems, of Russian millionaire Roman Abramovitch), young Murakami – who created waves with his substantial relation with Louis Vuitton –saw his Lonesome Cowboy fly up to 15 million $. M69, a golden monochrome by Yves Klein, went past the 23 million $. In this impressive list, Lucian Freud imposed himself (for how long?) as the most expensive living artist: Benefits Supervisor Sleeping sold for 33 million $. Sue Tilley, the well-rounded person portrayed twelve years ago by the English artist, has just informed The Observer that this record has brought her various offers. A tabloid offered to photograph her again, in the nude, in the same pose. Rate offered: 500 £. It is a little degrading to see one’s contribution to a major work of art, that cost her hundreds of hours posing, cut down to a few bank notes for her pocket money! At a time when there is so much talk about "droit de suite" (resale remuneration ensuring an artists’ heirs a percentage on the works sold), it could be a good idea to imagine the same thing for the deserving models.
Novelties in the Trentino region
BOLZANO – It took the name of the father of all museums, the one of Alexandria under Ptolemy. But that is the only resemblance: the Museion inaugurated on 24 May in the Italian region of the Alto-Adige is a totally contemporary institution, directed by Corinne Diserens, the former director of the museum of Beaux-Arts of Nantes, which she left in 2006. The architecture, a large cube, is the work of the KSV firm in Berlin. Its collections are still at the embryonic state. They will develop in parallel to the program, each exhibition leading to specific commissions. So far we have heard about «Regard périphérique et corps collectif» (Peripheral look and collective body) (for the opening) and a retrospective dedicated to Mike Kelley (on 14 November). The Museion aims at being a territorial museum, with conferences, evenings, performances throughout the province of Bolzano and its region. It will have an original antena in the city (via Sassari), the Micro Museion, designed by Alberto Garutti, a piece of glass lit up at night, where the museum will delocalise some of its works.
From London with love
LONDON–Year after year the Victoria & Albert museum distils its renovations. This Spring the jewel gallery will open, named after the patrons who financed it, William and Judith Bollinger. In a long gallery enriched with mezzanines, we can find a complete chronology of the ornaments essential to man, productions (in gold) from the Bronze age up to contemporary creations – a third of the 3500 pieces correspond to creations from after 1945. Among the works of art, the tutti frutti tiara by Cartier in Indian style, that belonged to Lady Mountbatten, is in the right place, next to the emerald jewels offered by Napoleon to his adoptive daughter Stéphanie or the bracelet by Froment-Meurice, the first jewel to have entered the V & A fund (it was bought at the Universal Exposition in London in 1851). Etruscan earrings, medieval devotion jewels or ornaments for the bodice from the XVIIth century complete the selection. A multimedia space allows the visitor to understand some of the manufacturing secrets of 35 jewels.
ANGERS – He is one of the sacred monsters of abstract, monumental sculpture. Anthony Caro, born in 1924, learned to work with cast iron with Henry Moore, when he was his assistant from 1951 to 1953. But he quickly graduated from this traditional material to produce large structures of rusted or painted metal, influenced by the megaliths of Carnac or the sculptures of Julio Gonzalez and David Smith. The museum of Beaux-Arts d’Angers will dedicate the largest French retrospective ever done to date with 18 pieces, of which half come from the artist’s personal collection. The small ones at least have the dimensions of a sitting man and Fathom folds out over nearly 8 metres. This exhibition is a good introduction to the second semester of 2008, a real Caro season. The sculpture that was commissioned for the chancel of the church of Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Bourbourg (Northern France) that burnt during WW II following the fall of a plane of the Royal Air Force, will be set up in October. And exhibitions in Dunkirk, Gravelines and Calais will allow us to get a better idea of his work.
CHAUMONT-EN-BASSIGNY – On this anniversary of May 68, the international poster festival, in its 19th year, could not help offering a slightly militant edition. Next to the unavoidable section on the events that occurred 40 years ago (enriched here with a parallel with pieces from the Dutailly fund, caricatures and leaflets left to the city in 1905 by its deputy), we will see how efficient the poster has remained as a vector to give shape to socio-political frustrations. In Oaxaca, in Mexico, the revolt of the inhabitants against the corruption of governor Ruiz was brutally quelled in 2006. While all echoes were silenced – since the media only feeds on fresh misery – a popular workshop maintained the population’s commitment in 26 images, as many as the letters of the alphabet. An installation by Paul Cox, an enlightment on contemporary or historic creation in Zurich (Josef Müller-Brockmann) and an intervention by Pierre di Sciullo (N’importenawak) widen the landscape.
ARTIST OF THE WEEK
Pedro Cabrita Reis, a builder
We saw him at the Biennale of Venice in 2003, where he represented Portugal, and he is still very present on the European scene. While an exhibition just ended in Kunsthaus of Graz, in Austria, a new one will open at the Nelson gallery. There will only be two works, but it is true that they are installations, as Pedro Cabrita Reis works at the boundaries of architecture. With scrap material – neon tubes
doors or bricks – he rebuilds forms, closed or opened, that can be seen as questions on our way of living and of limiting our vital space. The Leaning Paintings 5 and It is never about balance 2 set up mirrors, a large metal beam, electric wires for a totally symbolic construction game. An ensemble of photographs – where we see the artist holding one by one, his favorite materials – complete the exhibition.
"Postulate the passage of a chrono phobia, manifested by an attraction for eternity". By just reading the introduction, where there is talk of operationality and antidualism, one gets scared more than once. Luckily what follows is a lot easier to read. In order to study how important the passing of time is for contemporary artists, Christine Macel, an exhibition commissioner at the Centre Pompidou, chose ten. None of them think of giving shape to the time that passes by representing the speed of light in a void (except for Cerith Wyn Evans, who wrote it on a neon light). From Gabriel Orozco who built an observatory copied from ancient Indians to Roman Signer who consumes rockets, from Anri Sala who reinvents the soundtrack of an old family movie to Philippe Parreno who creates characters who have the gift of growing younger, and one of them has a method to prove that only the past and the future exist, while the present is simply a metamorphosis. The author tells anecdotes and gives concrete examples of works of art, the most delectable regards Raymond Hains, "minister of his own culture", who collected his souvenirs on filing cards and threw his shirt away each day.
ARLES - The exceptional pieces found in the bed of the Rhone river at the end of 2007, among them a bust of an aging Cesar, the oldest representation known of the Emperor, were presented on 21 May. They will soon be exhibited at the museum of antique Arles.
ATHENS - The second edition of the Art Athina art fair will be held from 23 to 25 ay at the Helexpo, with the participation of forty international contemporary art galleries. Various exhibitions have been organized, in particular on the Costakis collection of Russian art and on the young creators from Teheran.
BUCHAREST - The 3rd Biennal of Bucarest will be held from 23 May to 21 June, with the name "To map the contemporary". It will include creators of different disciplines, from conceptual Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum to the cartographer of the Monde Diplomatique newspaper, Philippe Rekacewicz.
MONTPELLIER - The Boutographies, the photographic encounters of Montpellier, will be held from 24 May to 8 June, with some fifteen exhibitions.
PARIS - The 9 manuscripts by André Breton, including Manifesto of Surrealism, which were the highlights of the Surrealist sale at Sotheby's on 21 May, fetched € 3.6 million, the highest price ever paid for 20th century literary manuscripts. They were bought by Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits in Paris.
PARIS - The conflict between the company SvO, that organizes the program of the Luxembourg museum and the Italian commissary Patrizia Nitti, has led to the cancellation of the exhibition planed for the Autumn of 2008 on the treasures of the Medicis. It will be replaced by a presentation on teh Berardo collectionof modern art.
PARIS - The 9th edition of Artsénat will bring together 41 artists at the Luxembourg Orangerie and Garden on the theme "Wind in the branches".
PARIS - The BHV department store, that is not an amateur in contemporary art (it is there that MArcel Duchamp bought some of his rady-made) offered Erro, the painte of narrative figuration, a 30-meter facade, from 26 May to 18 June.
RIVOLI - "Trucioli d'artista", the open air sculpture contest, will hold its 13th edition from 23 to 25 May in the center of the city of the Piemonte region that houses the contemporary art museum of Castello di Rivoli.
VILLEURBANNE-The Institute of Contemporary Art celebrates its 30th anniversary with an exhibition "Ambition d'art" that groups together eleven artists, from Alighiero Boeti to Lawrence Weiner, each one occupying one room of the museum.
This week, do not miss
THE MOSCOW WORLD FINE ART FAIR
MOSCOW -In the five years since it started, the Moscow World Fine Art Fair has found its place among international fairs. It is set up in the historical Manège, built to commemorate the victory over Napoleon and which burnt a few years ago. It brings together over 80 art dealers and covers all the spectrum of the art market, from painting to jewelry.
HOKUSAI,THE MAN MAD FOR HIS ART
PARIS- He is one of the Japanese artists best known in the Western world, and one of the ones that most influenced his European colleagues, from Van Gogh to Manet. Hokusai interpreted the mount Fuji as well as the pleasures in the life of courtesans and actors. The Musée Guimet, which had never exhibited all of the very complete collection it has of his works, now dedicates a major retrospective to the great artist.