26 Dec 2010

Drawing exhibition 'On Line' at MOMA, NY

Julie Mehretu. Rising Down. 2008. Ink and acrylic on canvas, 96 x 144" (243.8 x 365.8 cm). Collection Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, New York. Photo by Tim Thayer. © 2010 Julie Mehretu
This is an interesting exhibition exploring the development of drawing in the Twentieth Century. Though this exhibition shows a diverse approach it also seems quite conceptual in nature..

Press Release: On Line explores the radical transformation of the medium of drawing throughout the twentieth century, a period when numerous artists subjected the traditional concepts of drawing to a critical examination and expanded the medium's definition in relation to gesture and form. In a revolutionary departure from the institutional definition of drawing, and from the reliance on paper as the fundamental support material, artists instead pushed line across the plane into real space, thus questioning the relation between the object of art and the world. 

On Line includes approximately three hundred works that connect drawing with selections of painting, sculpture, photography, film, and dance (represented by film and documentation). In this way, the exhibition makes the case for a discursive history of mark making, while mapping an alternative project of drawing in the twentieth century. The exhibition includes works by a wide range of artists, both familiar and relatively unknown, from different eras of the past century and from many nations, including Aleksandr Rodchenko, Alexander Calder, Karel Malich, Eva Hesse, Anna Maria Maiolino, Richard Tuttle, Mona Hatoum, and Monika Grzymala.

This is a great gallery for an archive of a variety of 20th Century (and earlier) drawings, etchings and other works on paper. Spaightwood Galleries, USA.

21 Dec 2010

Miro at Tate Modern, London, April 2011

Joan Miro, Head of a Catalan Peasant, 1925 

Press Release: Tate Modern
Joan Miro: The Ladder of Escape

Thursday 14 April – Sunday 11 September 2011
Sunday to Thursday, 10.00–18.00. 
Friday and Saturday, 10.00–22.00. 
Last admission into exhibitions 17.15 (Friday and Saturday 21.15)

Tate Modern will present the first major retrospective of Joan Miró (1893–1983) to be held in London for almost 50 years. Opening on 14 April 2011, Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape will bring together over 150 paintings, works on paper and sculptures by one of the twentieth century’s greatest artists. The exhibition will draw on collections from around the world to represent the astonishing breadth of Miró’s output. It will also explore the wider context of his work, bringing to light the artist’s political engagement and examining the influence of his Catalan identity, the Spanish Civil War and the rise and fall of Franco’s regime. 

Miró was among the most iconic of modern artists, evolving a Surrealist language of symbols that evokes a sense of freedom and energy in its fantastic imagery and direct colour. Often regarded as a forefather of Abstract Expressionism, his work is celebrated for its serene, colourful allure. However, from his earliest paintings onwards, there is also a more anxious and engaged side to Miró’s practice, reflecting the turbulent political times in which he lived. This exhibition will explore these responsive, passionate characteristics across six decades of his extraordinary career. 

Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape will examine the artist’s varying degrees of engagement over his lifetime. These are rooted in the complex identity politics associated with Catalonia, as revealed through Miró’s representation of its landscape and traditions. These depictions range across images of rural life, such as The Farm 1921-2 which Ernest Hemmingway bought from the artist in Paris, to the masterly sequence of the Head of a Catalan PeasantAidez l’Espagne and Le Faucheur 1937, as well as more private and troubled responses disguised in the renowned Constellation paintings of 1940, made in the Second World War. The tensions that erupted with the Spanish Civil War in 1935-9 elicited Miró’s explicit protests in 1924-5.

This is in the Tate Collection and is likely to be in the show...
Joan Miro, Women and Bird in the Moonlight 1949
Under Franco’s regime, Miró worked in a kind of internal exile in Spain while cultivating a reputation abroad as a hero of post-war abstraction. Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape will showcase masterpieces from this era, including the sublime The Hope of a Condemned ManMay 1968 and Burnt Canvas II 1973, or creating euphoric explosions of paint in Fireworks 1974, Miró continued to reflect the political mood in his radical and pioneering practice.  triptych 1973. The exhibition will also reveal how he captured the atmosphere of protest in the late 1960s. Whether blackening or setting fire to his works, such as

Joan Miró i Ferrà was born in Barcelona on 20 April 1893 and trained as an artist at the Galí Academy from 1912-15. From 1923, he spent part of each year in Paris and became a key figure in the Surrealist movement. With his young family he remained in France during the Spanish Civil War, but returned to Spain when the Germans invaded in 1940. Miró settled in Majorca and remained based there for much of the rest of his life, travelling for major commissions and exhibitions around the world. He died at home on 25 December 1983. 

Joan Miró: The Ladder of Escape is co-organised by Tate Modern and the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, where it will be seen in October 2011, before travelling to the National Gallery of Art, Washington in May 2012. The exhibition is conceived by Tate curators Matthew Gale, Marko Daniel and Kerryn Greenberg in collaboration with Teresa Montaner, curator at Fundació Joan Miró. Rosa Maria Malet, Director, Fundació Joan Miró, and Vicente Todolí, former Director, Tate Modern, are consultants.

Photographic essay: Wall Surfaces

Mondrian in Paris at the Centre Pompidou

Piet Mondrian, "composition en rouge, bleu et blanc II", 1937
© Mondrian / Holtzman trust, coll. Centre Pompidou, RMN
A new retrospective exhibition at Centre Pompidou in Paris, re-assesses the legacy of Mondrian and De Stijl. Amazingly this is the first exhibition of Mondrian to truly assess his influence on twentieth century art, especially with his ideas regarding Neo-Plasticism to be held in France. The exhibition explores his commitment to painting from the early years of the twentieth century, through his ground breaking developments with De Stijl combining his ideas on Theosophy with other artists, Theo Van Doesburg and Gerrit Rietveld. They created such a strong social understanding of the role art can play, especially abstraction, in society. His legacy remains not only in abstract paintings of a geometric and reductive style, but also in 'concret' sculpture, city planning, architecture, furniture design and graphic design.  You may be interested in an article by Simon Schama, where he has written a review entitled 'Driven to Distraction' in the Financial Times on 17th December 2010. In this he explores the photographs of his studio taken by Andre Kertesz (see below), but also Schama states: 

'But don’t go looking for it in this otherwise exhaustive and glorious show which is, after all, a heartfelt celebration of the modernist furnace that once was Paris – even if it took someone as resolutely Dutch as Piet Mondrian to distil abstraction from its fizzing alembic.'

Andre Kertesz, 'Chez Mondrian' 1926

The photo above is a well known photo, but the photo below shows his studio interior and his bed, it defines clearly the simplicity in which his life was lived, also expressed so clearly through his work.
Andre Kertesz, 'Mondrian's Studio' 1926
 The exhibition runs through until 21st March 2011 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

9 Dec 2010

Modigliani exhibition in Prague

All films on artists never work because they cannot catch the visceral nature of the artwork, especially painting, but Andy Garcia gives it a go, great atmosphere and contemporary music.

Modigliani in  Prague is organised by the Gallery Vernon.

There is a new exhibition of Modigliani in Prague from December 2010. This which will be the first solo exhibition of his works in the Czech Republic, will be officially opened in Prague's Municipal House Wednesday. The event, which opens to the public on Thursday and it will run through February 28, 2011, is one of the most expensive exhibitions in Prague. The exhibition will present over 60 exhibits, including Modigliani's drawings and oil paintings along with photographs and other documents from his life. Among the most valuable oil paintings are 'Student', 'A Portrait of Marevna' (Russian cubist artist) from 1919 as well as the portraits of artist 'Celso Lagar' (1915) and 'Dr Francois Brabander' (1918).

Left, Modigliani, middle, Picasso and on the right Andre Salmon
 Only a couple of Modigliani's paintings were displayed in the National Gallery in Prague in the past. Curator Serena Baccaglini said her aim was to present Modigliani in connection with the work of Czech-born artist Frantisek Kupka (1871-1957), a pioneer of abstract art. She was inspired by a photograph from a joint exhibition of both artists in Paris in 1912. The exhibition in the Municipal House will therefore also offer some paintings by Kupka from private collectors.

'Red Nude' Modigliani, 1917. This is a classic, bit it's not in the show
 What can you say about Modigliani? He is one of those artists that has become a myth, you either came out of Paris in the early Twentieth Century a star or in a coffin, and Paris was littered with those. Unfortunately, his success came after his death. There is a charged eroticism to his nude figures that still retains much of the Bohemian Paris that he was a part of in the Batou Lavoir studios in Monmartre. Along with Egon Scheile they somehow express an emotional representation of the artist's desire...? Modigliani died of Tubercular Meningitis in 1920

3 Dec 2010

Modernist home for rent, anyone? High Cross House, Dartington, Devon, UK

High Cross House, Dartington Estate, 1932
This modernist building called High Cross House, built in 1932 by the Swiss architect William Lescase for Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst (members of the Bloomsbury Group), the patrons who established Dartington Hall and the College of Art. This is one of the best examples of modernist architecture in the UK. Built in the grounds of the Dartington estate, in prime Devon countryside. Inspired by the De Stijl movement and Le Corbusier with Bauhaus furniture: 

"Probably the most extreme instance in England of the functional type of house associated with the name of Le Corbusier." Christopher Hussey, Country Life, 1933

Dartington Hall was, for some time,  a significant meeting point for the international avant-garde. Artists such as John Cage taught there and the Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Tobey came from the West Coast of the United States to Dartington Hall and along with the St.Ives ceramicist, Bernard Leach travelled to Japan, where Tobey spent a year in a Zen Monastary in Kyoto. A rich history....                                                                                                   
                                                                                                    .....and Now                   

It is currently for rent for £2,500 or £600 a week, but you will have to be a fan of such modernist buildings, there is plenty of space and glass in this 4 bedrooms, roof terraced  and flat roofed home, originally built for the head masters. It has an Art Deco interior  and a great study with a curved glass wall. Look for more information on themodernhouse.net

High Cross House by Michael Young

The building is for rent because Dartington College of Art has now merged with University College Falmouth.