Art Of The Day Weekly
#109 - from 13 November 2008 to 19 November 2008
IN THE AIR
Paris, the capital of photography
This year, like the ones before it, the red carpets will roll out again, and over one hundred international galleries –among them a great number of Japanese ones- will meet in the basement of the Louvre to celebrate Paris Photo. But 2008 is a «special» year since the city will also host, as it has every even number year since 1980, the Month of photography, involving museums and galleries throughout the city. The festival has taken on a more international aspect: little brothers have popped up in Rome, Berlin and Bratislava and the Maison européenne de la photographie has in some ways been pivotal to this: this year, it will host exhibitions on young European photography, on Sabine Weiss or on the dandy duo McDermott & McGough. They are rather original, given that at a time when everyone seems to be turning to digital photography, they have accumulated stocks of collodion, silver salt and metal plates to return to old style photographs. Out-of- fashion sometimes rhymes with extreme avant-garde…
The program of the Month of photography on the website of the Maison européenne de la photographie
Costakis, a foray into Soviet art
PARIS – One can of course travel to Thessalonica to discover him at the museum of Modern art (like one can go to Lisbon to see the Berardo collection, currently presented at the musée du Luxembourg in Paris). But Thessalonica is included more rarely in a trip than Lisbon may be and the Costakis collection should not be missed «under any circumstances» and our duty is to announce its arrival in France to the public. Georges Costakis, a son of Greek emigrants, was an attaché of the Canadian Embassy in the Soviet Union for twenty years, and he developed a passion for the avant-guard artists of the twenties. It was easy for him to obtain large format paintings, which collectors could no longer keep in their small, community apartments. But he also accumulated absolute masterpieces, by Malevich, Rodtchenko, Kliun, Tatlin or Popova among others. We can now discover a sixth of this collection that includes nearly 1300 works: an excellent eye opener and an invitation to go to Thessalonica next vacations, rather than to the same, eternal islands…
They called him «the king of indiscretion», a nickname that makes us smile if we think of what Weegee was doing at the same time in the streets of New York or the extravagances of the paparazzi in the 1970s. But a famous photograph by Erich Salomon, obviously present in the exhibition, has sufficed to immortalize the name: we see Aristide Briand, in August 1931, surrounded by other heads of state, pointing at the photographer. That’s because the latter had the knack for entering the antechambers of high politics of his time to give a more relaxed image of the persons involved, far from the stiffness of the official photos. Social receptions, luxurious cruises, international conferences with thick carpets were his favorite hunting grounds. He used discreet and silent cameras and produced an abundant work in just a few years (the son of a Jewish banker gone broke by the crisis, he only started taking photographs in 1928, at the age of 41). Following Hitler’s rise to power, he settled in the Netherlands but was deported to Auschwitz, where he died in 1944.
Erasmus, what a folly!
ROTTERDAM – The museum of the city pays tribute to the great man of the city. 500 years ago (already!), Erasmus published his Eulogy of madness , which remained a bestseller through the centuries. Rather than celebrate the great humanist by accumulating portraits (which has nevertheless been done, with those by Quentin Metsys, Hans Holbein the younger, Albrecht Dürer), the aim of the curators was to bring back to life the thinking of this great man by dissecting his most famous book. One can see the perfect schoolboy, painted by Jan van Scorel, but above all the different types of «madness» Erasmus taunted, from the love of money (with The money lender and his wife by Quentin Metsys) to concupiscence (illustrated by a representation considered too «erotic» of the Virgin and the Child by Jan Gossaert, called Mabuse).
Sabine WEISS (born in 1924), Cheval ruant, Porte de Saint-Cloud, Paris, années 1950, gelatino-argentic proof of the 1980s. Signed with ink under the photograph in the margin, 11.8 x 15.9 in. with margin., courtesy Piasa, est. €1,500
The eye of Roegiers
PARIS – Photographs at conservative prices (a few thousand euros at the most), taken by stars and bearing personalized remarks: that is what we will see at Piasa during the sale on 14 November, the core of which is made up of the Patrick Roegiers collection. A photo critic at the Monde for some ten years, more famous today for his novels, Roegiers knows or has met all the photographs whose prints he sells. There is Helmut Newton (with a large nude with a monocle), Sabine Weiss (with a plough horse, kicking, in the 50s at porte de Saint-Cloud), Jan Saudek, Les Krims or René-Jacques. Most of these shots were given to the writer by the artists. The originality of the sale also comes from the presence of manuscripts by Roegiers himself, placed between the lots of photos.
ARTIST OF THE WEEK
Ed Kienholz: between Dada and Rauschenberg
He is one of those artists who not only have exhibitions but have also seen their shows closed down with force. In 1966, the presentation of Back Seat Dodge ‘38 triggered off a scandal at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The installation evokes love scenes – not necessarily illicit ones – on the back seat of a car. It was the swinging sixties and yet the exhibition was interrupted… Following an initial phase of abstract painting, Ed Kienholz (1927-1994) produced assemblages, using sheet metal, scrap materials, dummies, representing a criticism of society. Scenes in bars, in brothels, of abortions, of hospitals, they are rarely shown in his native United States and so Kienholz settled in Germany where he worked with his wife until his death. The galerie Lelong, which had already exhibited him in 1979, shows creations of the 1969s until his death.
From Niépce's first trials at Châlon-sur saône in 1826 until the aerial views by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, how can we define photographic creation in the country that invented photography? For once, it is neither a historian nor an art critic who answers but rather a photographer, Claude Nori, known for his portraits of Italian vacationers, also the founder of the Contrejour publishing house and the festival Terres d’images at Biarritz. In spite of a writing that is sometimes a little too quick («Guy Bourdin shatters into pieces universes that are often put into opposition: art photography and fashion photography» and, on the following page, «Jeanloup Sieff manages to shatter to pieces all genres»), the interest of this essay is the fact it is more a history of photographers than the history of photography, rendering it very easy to read. The major genres – reports, fashion, still lives, nudes, «new images», etc - are clearly grouped together and enhanced through the biographies of their main representatives.
ABU DHABI-Art Paris Abu Dhabi, the little cousin of the Parisian fair, will be held from 17 to 21 November 2008.
COLOGNE-The Fine Arts and Antiques fair will be held from 19 to 23 November 2008 and will host approximately 80 international art dealers of ancient art, of decorative arts and books.
MADRID-The Feriarte fair will be held from 15 to 23 November 2008 with some 170 antique dealers, who offer objects from the antiquity to the XIXth century.
NEW YORK-The 23rd edition of Modernism, a fair dedicated to furniture of the XXth century will be held at the Park Avene Armory from 14 to 17 November 2008 with the participation of some sixty art dealers.
PARIS-Mac2000, a fair gathering 130 artists, will be held from 19 to 21 November 2008 at Espace Champerret.
PARIS-Business&Culture, an international forum to develop business strategies for cultural organisations, will be held from 20 to 21 November 2008 at Cité de l'Architecture.