Home > ArtoftheDay Weekly > #178 - from 10 June 2010 to 16 June 2010

Art Of The Day Weekly

#178 - from 10 June 2010 to 16 June 2010

George Osodi, Oil Riche Delta Niger series, At the Border, 2007. Courtesy Bozar, Bruxelles.


Africa's moment

The African continent is going to be at the heart of the media system with the football World Cup, that will begin on June 11. Will there really be discussions regarding the ills, the continent's problems, the artistic scene? It is what we would all like. The concomitance of the competition with the anniversary of the declarations of independence of 1960 give us an excellent justification.For after all, what do we know about African art? A handful of names - Chéri Samba, Malick Sidibé – or of emblematic creations – the heads of Ife, the Fang masks -, maybe a few sites – the ruins of Loropéni in Burkina-Faso or the Dogon country in Mali. It is gigh time this all changed. Following the recent biennale of Dakar (ended on 7 June), a series of exhibitions at the British Museum, at Bozar in Brussels, at the musée du quai Branly (soon the Congo river) should all contribute. We just hope all this interest will not be short lived, linked to current events…


Bamana mask, Mali, Collection MRAC Tervuren; photo J.-M. Vandyck, © MRAC Tervuren

Africa, past and present

BRUSSELS – In the beginning of the XXth century, traditional African art had built a privileged rapport with contemporary artistic creation – as can be seen in the works of Picasso, Vlaminck or Derain. This is the example the organizers of Geo-graphics have more or less followed, by putting the most beautiful ethnographic pieces from the Belgian collections (in particular from the Tervuren museum which will soon undergo a true transformation) face to face with current production. The commissaries went to see what is been done in the African art centres, from Doual’art in Cameroun to the Rotonde des arts in Abidjan up to the ICA in Lagos to confront them to the fetishes, zoomorphic sculptures and ancient music instruments. The ensemble has been staged by David Ajaye, one of the rising stars in British architecture, the one who was commissioned by Barack Obama to carry out the future museum of Afro-American culture in Washington.
Geo-Graphics at Bozar from 9 June to 26 September 2010

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Thomas Rowlandson, A French Dentist Shewing a Specimen of his Artificial Teeth and False Palates, 1811 Etching with publisher's watercolour. Courtesy of Andrew Edmunds

Laughter, British style

LONDON - We are all convinced British humor is among the most sophisticated, with clear examples in our memories of a Monty Python film, or a page by Punch or a caricature by Ronald Searle. The exhibition at the Tate Britain could have been limited to reassemble the great classics of the genre. But it goes further, looking for the roots of the «British sense of humour» all the way to the XVIIth century, including sculpture and painting in this retrospective, and by asking the best current representatives of the genre to manage the scenography (actor Harry Hill, the magazine Viz). The itinerary therefore brings together Hogarth and his famous prints, Rowlandson, Gillray, who delighted themselves –and the public- with Napoleon’s France, Edward Lear, the king of nonsense, up to the existing schools that do not hesitate to slip over to a «bawdy» or saucy genre.
Rude Britannia: British Comic Art at the Tate Britain from 9 June to 5 September 2010

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Headdresses from abroad

PARIS – Antoine de Galbert, who is at the origin of the fondation Maison rouge, dedicated to contemporary art, this time has organized a «trip in his head» by presenting his collection of ethnic headdresses. The minimalist scenography tries to bridge the gap that usually sets in museums in this sort of presentation: the headdresses are placed on metallic tables, without any glass windows. They are a wealth of shells, feathers, pearls, crocodile scales, hairs or horn. These spectacular head-gears, collected over some fifteen years, come from Asia as well as from America or Oceania. Certain regions one does not necessarily associate to this type of art are present, such as Paraguay or Siberia, and the loans from the quai Branly museum help create the «imaginary» museum or the collector’s ideal.
Voyage dans ma tête from 12 June to 26 September 2010

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Artoftheday also recommends...

• The Kunstmuseum in Basel dedicates a retrospective to Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco, known in particular for his "customized" DS Citroën. Until 8 August 2010

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• How exotic cultures presented in the Universal expositions appeared to us is the subject of the study by the Archives Nationales in Paris, in Exotiques expositions. Until 28 June 2010.

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• In Paris, at the Cité de l'architecture, we can see the effervescence of the discipline in the exhiition of the graduates of the AJAP (Albums of the young architects and landscape artists). .

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Jacques Kerchache, a life of passions

PARIS - Jacques Kerchache (1942-2001), a curious explorer of extra-European civilizations, a prodigal gallery owner (he opened his first space at the age of 16) is one of the inspirers of the musée du quai Branly. Ten years after his death, his personal collection is up for sale. The event will be noteworthy: two days of sale and a large catalogue of over 400 pages. One will of course find some very beautiful «primitive art»: a Batak coffer from Indonesia, spatulas for betel and lime, a Lapp knife, a funerary post from Ethiopia, reduced Jivaro heads, sceptres, hunting decoys … And African statuettes, some of which are very expensive: the Nsapo fetish from Congo (lot 344, estimated at more than 50 000 €), the Hemba statue from Congo (lot 340, 500 000 €) or even king Tshokwe playing the Sanza (Angola, lot 289, 1 million €). In a true «cabinet de curiosités» atmosphere, butterfly boards, a watch rest in the shape of a skeleton, a narwhal tooth and a sculpture in bamboo roots fit in very well. The friendship between Jacques Kerchache and contemporary artists is illustrated by works by Sam Szafran and Paul Rebeyrolle.
• Collection Anne et Jacques Kerchache, 12 and 13 June 2010 at Drouot-Richelieu (SVV Pierre Bergé & Associés).
• Also to be seen: the sale of Jacques Kerchache’s pre-Colombian art collection, at Binoche-Renaud-Giquello on 14 June 2010

The auction at Pierre Bergé & Associés


Olivier Mosset, Yellow Wall Painting, 2010. Courtesy galerie Sollertis, Toulouse.

Mosset, the hump of geometry

We can well remember his A, his perfectly drawn black circles: it was at the time when Olivier Mosset (born in Switzerland in 1944) had created with his associates Buren, Toroni and Parmentier, the BMPT group (1967), that intended to undermine the foundations of painting by playing in particular on the effects of repetition and on the free movement and use of the motifs invented by the partners. Mosset had a phase of monochromes (which we saw in particular at the biennale of Venice in 1990), was the assistant of Tinguely, and has lived in New York since 1977. His work there is a questioning on the notion of art and artist in a consumers’ society (in the image of his Toblerone sculptures) but which turns a painting– the geometric, basic unit – a real element of architecture.
• Olivier Mosset is presented at the galerie Sollertis () from 25 May to 3 July 2010

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Paris seen by the artists

We knew Picasso ryhms with the Bateau-Lavoir, Modigliani with the Grande-Chaumière or Gen-Paul with Montmartre. Just like we learned the presence of Gustave Moreau in the XVIIth arrondissement since his workshop became a museum with his name. But what about all the others? Who can remember that Philippe de Champaigne «painter and valet» (the Queen mother’s, no less) lived on quai de Bourbon? Who remembers that the painting Orgie parisienne by Thomas Couture represents a dinner at the restaurant «La maison dorée» on boulevard des Italiens? Who knows that Kees Van Dongen decorated his own apartment on rue de Courcelles? Or that Max Ernst had a lovely terrace on boulevard Saint-Michel? We suspect a few gaps, as there is nothing on rue Daguerre nor on place Monge. Nevertheless, the mass of information is very impressive and allows the reader to look at it two ways: by location, of course, but also by artist with the help of a very rich index.
Guide des peintres à Paris by Frédéric Gaussen, Editions du patrimoine, 2010, 496 p., 39 €

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BERLIN - The 6th biennale of contemporary art will be held from 11 June to 8 August 2010.

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BRUSSELS - The XXth Bruneof fair, dedicated to African, North American, Asian and Oceanian primitive art, will take place from 9 to 13 June 2010.

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LONDON - The Museum of London inaugurated on 28 May 2010 its new rooms that present the history of the city through more than 7000 objects.

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LONDON - The London International Art Fair groups together nearly 200 gallery owners and antique dealers until 14 June 2010 at Olympia.

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PARIS - The Grandes Serres (Great Greenhouses) of the Jardin des Plantes re-opened on 2 June 2010 after five years of restoration.

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PARIS - Designer's Days, the "Parisian design itinerary", will be held from 9 to 14 June 2010, in some sixty different venues.

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TORONTO - The Toronto International Art Fair, dedicated to modern and contemporary art, will be held until 13 June 2010 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center.

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This week, do not miss…


BASEL – How artists measured up to the explosion of artificial intelligence is the question presented by the Tinguely museum, withthe participation of creators such as Ed Kienholz, Nam June Paik or architect François Roche.

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