Art Of The Day Weekly
#227 - from 22 September 2011 to 28 September 2011
Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren. Photo Jonas Van de Voorde © MRAC
IN THE AIR
They shoot rhinos, don't they?
Rhinocéros is the title of a classic text by Ionesco. It could be the one of another story, just as surrealist, that shows the infinite persecution these unlucky pachyderms are the victims of, and not only in Africa. The Musée royal de l’Afrique centrale, a famous Belgian institution in Tervuren, just a few kilometers from Brussels, has been constrained to saw off the horns of its rhinoceros in order to put them away safely. In the same manner as paintings by old masters or medieval enamels, the horns are indeed the object of increasing thefts. They are not robbed to have masterpieces carved by artisans into the ivory, as in the XVIth century, but rather to take out its miracle-powder, an aphrodisiac or an element to fight cancer. Even though the museum’s management has relentlessly repeated the horns are vulgar keratin, just like our nails or hair, the criminals cannot be deterred. Rhinoceros horns experience the same impacts as the stock market: an unchecked rumor is enough to set the rate.
AND ALSO UNTIL OCTOBER 9... CAR FETISH I DRIVE, THEREFORE I AM; around 160 artworks examine the complex relationship between art and the automobile over a century at the MUSEUM TINGUELY in BASEL. Read ArtoftheDay article
Dionysus on the throne, fresco, 81x67 cm. Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli © Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei / Photo Archivio dell'Arte - Luciano Pedicini/fotografo
POMPEI - In 79 A.D. Pliny the Elder, always the brave reporter, died there: he had covered his ears with pillows but got too close to the eruption. For two thousand years, and in particular since the middle of the XVIIIth century, when the archaeological rediscoveries took place in 1763, the end of Pompey has fascinated the Western world and fed the imagination of painters, writers, movie directors and decorators, from Alma-Tadema to Goethe and Sergio Leone. The exhibition at the musée Maillol brings back to life the daily life of this mythical town that was no more than a modest sea-side town on the bay of Naples. Bronze lamps, wooden safes, scales, tables and even cake moulds or earthenware piggy-banks bring us much closer to this unearthed world, where they had running water and private gardens. Frescoes and touching plaster moulds of the victims are obviously present among the objects on loan from the Surintendance archéologique (Archaeology Dept.). As if to remind us that Pompey remains fragile and that its preservation is a European matter, each year a number of houses crumble down and mosaics are vandalized.
•Pompéi, un art de vivre at the musée Maillol, from 21 September 2011 to 12 February 2012.
Art of the day also recommends...
• BERLIN – One thousand years of relations between the two countries, Poland and Germany touches on a delicate matter, marked by violent confrontations, as well as by cultural ones. At the Martin-Gropius-Bau, as of 23 September 2011 to 9 January 2012.
• LONDON – His brother set fire to the spire of the cathedral of York but he had limited himself to pictorial fires: John Martin, this author of biblical and mythological scenes is finally receiving a well deserved retrospective. At the Tate Britain, from 21 September 2011 to 15 January 2012.
• LONDON – What does the term Postmodernism cover? An ambitious exhibition is looking precisely at that by bringing together works of art and of fashion, every-day objects and others of high technology, from Jean-Paul Gaultier to Ron Arad. At the Victoria & Albert Museum, from 24 September 2011 to 15 January 2012.
• MILAN – An icon of feminism, Artemisia Gentileschi is not only one of the first women painters to be remembered by history, she is also a talented representative of the Roman XVIIth century. At the Palazzo Reale, from 22 September 2011 to 29 January 2012.
• PARIS – He is one of the major interpreters of the first Renaissance : Fra Angelico, with his «gold backgrounds», his triptychs, his predellae wrote the history of the church. At the musée Jacquemart-André, from 23 September 2011 to 16 January 2012.
• PASSARIANO (UDINE) - Expressionnism is one of the «isms» in fashion, as can be seen in the records set by Kirchner or Schmidt-Rottluff at auctions: here is a selection, to be discovered not too far from the Biennale in Venice. At Villa Manin, from 24 September 2011 to 4 March 2012.
PARIS – Lightness and care-free thoughts are never as successful as they are during dark periods … The art of fairs, symbol of childhood and of joy of living, is the subject of a huge lot auctioned by Cornette de Saint-Cyr. The collection of Fabienne and François Marchal, accumulated over four decades (as well as restored and inventoried) will be presented to the famous auctioneer: 900 lots including of course wood horses, but not only. The collection also holds Japanese billiards, wheels of fortune, targets for candy throwing, and elephant-benches… What was meant to end up in a museum, according to the non-achieved wish of the owners, will be scattered to the wind. Just like another symbol of fair art from the beginning of the XXth century: the Demeyer carrousel-salon, which the ecomuseum of Alsace is putting up for sale on 19 November this year, much to the fury of associations for the preservation of patrimony.
• Chefs-d’œuvre de l’art forain, collection Marchal, 28 and 29 September 2011 at Drouot-Montaigne (Cornette de Saint-Cyr SVV). Shown from 23 to 26 September, hall 5-1 of Paris Expo, porte de Versailles.
ARTISTS OF THE WEEK
About the motion of astronomical bodies, 2010. Installation with camera obscura. Credit: João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva
Gusmao and Paiva, modern physicians of imaginary science
Small films that border on the absurd, done purposely with limited means: this is the procedure followed by two Portuguese plastic artists João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva (both born in 1977), who represented their country at the previous Biennale of Venice. They always use mockery and aberration, whether it is to explain the mysterious phenomena or to do some anthropology in Africa. Animated -though mute- images wish to answer questions that are clearly out of their reach, like when the duo tries to demonstrate the presence of a celestial body in Earth’s orbit … Their objective is evidently to help us question our certainties, the postulates of modern science, the concept of progress – all our way of thinking.
• Gusmão and Paiva are presented at the Plateau (33, rue des Alouettes, 75019 Paris), from 22 September to 21 November 2011.
To be seen in the Parisian galleries as well
The Galerie italienne, specialized in design, will inaugurate on 23 September 2011 a space of contemporary art (7, rue de la Fontaine-au-Roi, 75011) with artist Anna Vivante.
• The galerie Gagosian (4 rue de Ponthieu, 75008) will present as of 28 September 2011 a heavyweight of American Pop Art: Robert Rauschenberg.
• The galerie Gimaray (53 rue de Seine, 75006) dedicates its opening exhibition for the season (as of 22 September 2011) to paintings from the years 1980-90 by Italian artist Oscar Piattella (born in 1932).
Gruber, beyond the stained glass
This catalogue, which accompanies the exhibition that just opened at the galeries Poirel, describes in detail the career of one of the main representatives of that famous Ecole de Nancy, which also gave wings to Majorelle, Gallé and the Daum brothers. As part of the second generation of this creative group, Jacques Gruber (1870-1936) is known in particular for his stained glass peopled with vegetables and birds. They are commented even when they are not visible in the exhibition for they remained in place at the Crédit lyonnais (decor of clematis), at the Gaudin home (Village au bord d’un lac), at the Luc home (Paysage vosgien), at the brasserie Excelsior or at villa Majorelle, all buildings located in Nancy. The fields in which Gruber’s participation is less known are largely detailed: decorations on lamps for Daum, wood work with Louis Majorelle (the table la Source) and even book binding with René Wiener. Understandably he clearly deserves the qualification of a «multiform» artist given to him in the introduction texts.
• Jacques Gruber et l’Art nouveau, un parcours décoratif, collective work, Gallimard, 2011, 240 p., 35 €.
BOLOGNA – Artelibro, the 8th festival of art books, will be held from 23 to 25 September 2011 at Palazzo di Re Enzo, on the theme of archaeology.
BRUSSELS – The musée des Lettres et Manuscrits, that has been active in Paris since 2004, will open on 23 September 2011 a branch in the Belgian capital
EUROPE – The European Heritage Days that began on 17 and 18 September will continue according to the countries, on 24 and 25 September 2011.
LISBON – Experimentadesign, the 6th biennale dedicated to design, will be held from 28 September to 27 November 2011
MANTOVA – The descendants of Baldassare Castiglione, the Renaissance humanist, author of the Book of the courtier and a friend of Raphael’s, have donated their archives dating back to the XIVth century to the Archivio de Stato.
PARIS – The Paris Fine Art fair brings together some fifty galleries and antique dealers from 24 September to 3 October 2011 at the Palais des Congrès.
TOULOUSE – The Printemps de septembre, an event on contemporary art, will be held from 23 September to 16 October 2011 under the title «D’un autre monde» (From another world).