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Art Of The Day Weekly

#108 - from 6 November 2008 to 12 November 2008


Rendez-vous in Torino

Large artistic fairs rarely have close relations with the town that hosts them. They represent a brief moment during which gallery owners and collectors swarm the area, then the stands are dismounted and the residents of the town have hardly been aware of the event. Torino, maybe because it is a medium-size town, has on the contrary succeeded in creating a «spirit» that flows through the whole city. Artissima, the fair that is currently at its 15th edition, is not even centrally located: it is held in the former Fiat plant at Lingotto, revamped by Renzo Piano, and stands proudly with its famous car ring on its roof, (and the excellent Agnelli museum). But everything has been coordinated beautifully so Artissima could be accompanied by an array of events – artists’ films in the surprising movie museum of the Mole Antonelliana, the opening of the Parco Arte Vivente designed by Piero Gilardi, an exhibition on comic strips and contemporary art at the Chamber of commerce. Not to mention the Triennale at Milano which will bring together, under its enigmatic title «50 moons of Saturn», two confirmed artists, Olafur Eliasson and Paul Chan, and a pack of ambitious wolves, who will exhibit their works from the castle of Rivoli, the Promotrice of fine-arts and the Re Rebaudengo foundation.

  • Artissima from 7 to 9 November 2008
  • T2, Triennale of Torino from 6 November 2008 to 18 January 2009

    The website of Artissima


    In memoriam of Daniel Tremblay

    ANGERS – He was an artistic meteor, as were, for example, Pino Pascali or Basquiat. The fact that he was never as famous as they were does not disqualify his production. Daniel Tremblay’s short career was interrupted by his accidental death at the age of 35, in 1985. In the previous decade he had been close to the young British scene, given his studies at the Royal College of Art, in London, from 1975 to 1978. The ironic use of mass-produced objects by the consumer society – carpets, shoes, brushes, plastic – from which he took out the «reliefs», is one of his trade marks. The exhibition at the museum of Beaux-Arts aims at being definite since it brings together, aside from the museum’s fund, mostly made up by donations from gallery owner Farideh Cadot, pieces conserved abroad and The Last Wave, an installation created at La Jolla, in California in 1984, that has been put together thanks to another recent donation.

  • Daniel Tremblay at the musée des Beaux-Arts from 8 November 2008 to 3 May 2009.

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  • CoBrA, the European artistic snake

    BRUSSELS - In Cobra, there is Co, Br and A, also known as Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, the native cities of the artists who founded the movement. Some may complain that the P of Paris is missing: it was there after all, in a café near Notre-Dame, that the initial meeting took place in November 1948… Through 150 works shown here, the visitor is invited to discover and enjoy a frenzy of colors and forms. CoBrA did not last long (it was dissolved as of 1951) but its influence was felt for a long time after that, from Situationism to Fluxus, and its pan-European dimension itself was visionary. While most of the actors have disappeared, like Asger Jorn or Karel Appel, one of them is still very active: Pierre Alechinsky, who had his own retrospective last year, in the same museum. To discover Cobra in a «minor» mode, we simply have to move a few meters along: at Bozar samples of Alechinsky’s graphic inventiveness as well as that of his friends are grouped together, including prints and posters.

  • CoBrA at the Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts of Belgium, from 7 November 2008 to 15 February 2009
  • Cobra et Cie at Bozar from 8 November to 4 January 2009

    The exhibition at the Royal Museums of Fine-Arts

  • Women offered

    DUSSELDORF – The poster is as «porno-soft» as you can get: a young child looking at a nude woman on a bed, in a most improper position. Her body is striped by the shades from the blinds. This painting by Eric Fischl, often reproduced, is the banner for an exhibition with a very clear objective. It is to show how artists have placed themselves like voyeurs, feasting on feminine nudes, and often hiding behind the excuse of mythology or history. Diane et Actéon, such is the title, is the history of the hunter who was punished for having looked at Diana naked. Just like Suzanne and the Old Men, the theme has inspired an unlimited number of variations (of which one by Titian, which the British authorities try to keep in their country while the owner wishes to sell it). The exhibition does not limit itself of course to the ancient masters: in 300 works and 200 artists, we unwind the thread of time up to Hans Bellmer, Louise Bourgeois, Marlene Dumas and Araki.

  • Diane et Actéon, regard interdit sur le corps nu at the Kunst Palast, until 15 February 2009.

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    A Basquiat to fight the crisis

    NEW YORK – « This is one of the most important paintings by Basquiat ever presented at an auction: Untitled (Boxer) is said to set a new record for the artist». That is the manner in which the experts at Christie’s presented the jewel of a sale of contemporary art of 12 November. It is easy to have scoff at such pretensions now that the crisis is upon us: two months ago no one would have doubted a record sale. This painting from 1982 was indeed one of the stars of the Basquiat retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum ant at MOCA in Los Angeles in 2005-2006, for which it was also the poster. Its keen owner, Lars Ulrich, is not a king of hedge funds in need of income, but rather the drummer of the hard rock group Metallica, known for the excellence of his art collection. Next to Basquiat, a Attendant 5 by Brice Marden, estimated at 10 million dollars (i.e. a personal record that could be multiplied by 4 or 5), a Pine House by Peter Doig, between 5 and 7 million dollars, a Grande Vallée VIIby Joan Mitchell between 4 and 6 million dollars. Just like in the good old days of prosperity…

  • Post war and contemporary art, at Christie’s on 12 November 2008

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    Aleksandra Mir, Plane Landing, Paris, octobre 2008, courtesy galerie Laurent Godin

    Aleksandra Mir: like a wingless plane

    She was born in Poland (in 1967), she studied in the United-States, she is Swedish, she lives in Palermo, she has been in residence in Mexico and in Zurich, she exhibits a little everywhere: can one be more of a citizen of the world than Aleksandra Mir? Her art leads one even more astray in the sense it is not easily defined. It is certainly conceptual, betting a lot on performance without refuting the part of aesthetics.

    We recently saw her in Paris for one of her Plane Landings , that allow her to tie planes in front of emblematic monuments, where «real» planes should never be. During the FIAC, her plastic creature, blown-up with helium, faces the Arc of triumph of the Carrousel. Her Grand Parapluie (Big Umbrella), that takes up so much place it becomes a character in its own right, has been shown in various exhibitions. By projecting movies in deserted movie houses or giving a new sense to the symbol of flowers, Aleksandra Mir, who graduated as a cultural anthropologist, surely asks herself questions on the sense of life or on our ideas of values.

  • Aleksandra Mir is represented in particular at the Laurent Godin gallery in Paris and the Mary Boone gallery in New York. She will also be exhibited as of 14 November at the galerie Lisboa20.

    The website of Aleksandra Mir


    The other Russian revolution

    Diaghilev, Nijinsly and the Russian Ballets, Malevitch, Bakst, Chagall, Rodtchenko, Anna Akhmatova… At the turn of the XXth century, Russia produced a unique round of artists, in all fields. It was not exactly a spontaneous generation, since strolling painters or the group of the World of Art had prepared the way. But the political transformations undoubtedly exalted the creative tension and caused a real tornado that swings between the symbolism of Vroubel and the modernism of Tatline. The wealth of the illustrations – nearly 700 images, old photographs, architecture views, paintings, scenography, icons, «constructivist» apartment interiors, ads, manifestoes or traditional engravings («lioubok») – sometimes make one forget the text. And yet it is the complete story of a golden age in which grand dukes, revolutionaries, apostles of Nudism, experimental movie directors, great poets and collectors lived side by side. It was an exceptional alchemy that gave birth to one of pillars of XXth century art.

  • Moscou et Saint-Pétersbourg 1900-1920 (Moscow and Saint-Petersburg 1900-1920) by John E. Bowlt, Hazan publishing house, 2008, 392 p., 35 €, ISBN : 978-2-7541-0303-9

    Buy that book from Amazon


    ARLES-The exhibition "Christian Lacroix" at Musée Réattu is extended until 31 December 2008.

    See the article in artaujourdhui.info

    ISTANBUL-The intergovernmental committee to protect the Immaterial Cultural Heritage will meet in Istanbul from 4 to 8 November. At the end of the session, the World Immaterial Cultural Heritage list will be printed by UNESCO.

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    NANTES-The Couton & Veyrac study will proceed to the scattering of Julien Gracq's fund on 12 November 2008. The jewel will be the correspondance with André Breton, estimated at 35 000€.

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    NEW YORK-The major sale of modern and contemporary art of 3 November at Sotheby's has proven that the art market has also been affected by the crisis. Among the emblematic paintings presented, only Munch's Vampire went beyond its estimate of 30 million $. Malevitch's superemacist composition reached 53 million $ instead of the 60 million $ expected, Degas' Danseuse went for 33 million $ instead of 40 million $. Twenty-five of the 70 lots did not find a buyer. The total of the sale (excluding expenses) almost reached the bar of 200 million $ (224 million with expenses) while estimates had been between 338 and 475 million $.

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    PARIS-The International Fair on Cultural Heritage will be held at the Carrousel du Louvre from 6 to 9 November 2008.

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    PARIS-The prize of the Ricard foundation 2008 was awarded to artist Raphaël Zarka.

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    PARIS-The international antique dealers fair of the Longchamp racecourse will be held from 7 to 16 November 2008..

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    VERSAILLES-The exhibition dedicated to Jeff Koons at the castle of Versailles will be extended until 4 January 2009.

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