Sunday, January 17, 2016

When Nam June Paik Beamed Bowie Around the World

When Nam June Paik Beamed Bowie Around the World

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 5.40.51 PM

In the week preceding the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the artist Nam June Paik organized a 47-minute international satellite TV program called “Wrap Around the World.” Some 50 million viewers watched the material contributed by the event’s participants, which included cultural programming from China, Brazil, Austria, and Ireland, as well as performances by such artists as David Bowie, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Merce Cunningham. David Bowie contributed this performance of “Look Back in Anger,” recorded at PBS studios in New York:

For more on “Wrap Around the World,” head on over to Electronic Arts Intermix and Media Art Net.
(Photo: Screenshot via Electronic Arts Intermix)

Wacky and Wonderful Found-Object Sculptures From Across Art History

The Phaidon Folio

9 Wacky and Wonderful Found-Object Sculptures From Across Art History

9 Wacky and Wonderful Found-Object Sculptures From Across Art History
Salvador Dalí's Lobster Telephone, 1938

When Marcel Duchamp made his "Fountain" by elevating a men's room fixture to a plinth in a gallery, he encouraged artists to consider the selection of non-art goods as part of the creative act. The gesture may not look as radical a century on, but it continues to inspire; today, you might walk into a gallery and see Darren Bader's cats or tacos. The works below, excerpted from Phaidon's The Art Book30,000 Years of Art, and Body of Art, each exploit the arresting presence of the found object.  

Marcel Duchamp
In his early work the painter, sculptor and writer Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968) experimented with Post-Impressionism, Fauvism and Cubism. He quickly grew impatient of styles and approaches he understood and sought more radical forms of art. In 1917 he became president of the Society of Independent Artists, an association that held annual exhibitions to offer progressive American and European artists the chance to show their work. In the same year Duchamp submitted Fountain, under the pseudonym R. Mutt. The work was a factory-made urinal that he displayed on its side and on a plinth. The piece was rejected by the jury and Duchamp resigned. (The original was soon lost, but Duchamp commissioned a number of reproductions years later; this version dates to 1964.) Fountain was one of many readymades that Duchamp took from everyday life and place in a gallery context in order to question not just the beauty and value of art, but also its entire concept. As such his art was known as anti-art, or Dada. Duchamp became a legend in his own lifetime, and countless contemporary artists have acknowledged a deep debt to him. His highly conceptual form of art inspired numerous twentieth-century movements, including Pop Art, Minimalism, Op Art and Conceptual Art. His work exists in a space between painting, sculpture and installation and asks the questions, "Who is an artist?" and "What is art?"

Salvador Dalí
Lobster Telephone
A plaster lobster has been attached to the receiver of a telephone; a slight modification has turned an everyday object into something ludicrous. An incessant showman, and outspoken member of the Surrealist group, Dalí promoted the idea of absurdity and the role of the unconscious in art. He also drew close analogies between food and sex, and in the current example he intentionally positioned the genitalia of the lobster in line with the mouthpiece of the receiver. Whilst he made a variety of Surrealist objects, the artist is best known for his meticulously worked paintings in which dream-like scenarios become unnervingly vivid. Dalí was also involved in the production of a number of films, working on projects with Luis Buñuel, Alfred Hitchcock and Walt Disney. The artist produced several versions of the Lobster Telephone. The example below belonged to Dalí’s important English patron, Edward James. 

Joseph Cornell
c. 1950
A frugal assortment of stamps, newspaper cuttings and other objects with no particular relevance to each other is placed in a wooden box. This container acts as a metaphor for the whole world, inhabited by these strange items. It is also a treasury of curiosities that is compelling to explore and evokes a mood of nostalgia. The fragments of once ornamental or beautiful objects come together in a magical and dream-like way. This is Cornell’s genius, and why he has proved so popular over the years. The randomness of these "assemblages", as they are known, reflects Cornell’s interest in the irrationality of Surrealism. Nevertheless, a sense of order and precision pervades pieces such as this. Of his own work Cornell once said, "Shadow boxes become poetic theatres or settings wherein are metamorphosed the elements of a childhood pastime."

Bed represents one of Robert Rauschenberg’s (1925–2008) signature "combine" paintings – works that combine painting and three-dimensional found objects. This work started one day when, having no money left for canvas, Rauschenberg resorted to stretching a quilt in his New York loft. After painting on it for some time, it still read quite clearly as a quilt and, rather than continuing to fight against the character of this found object, he decided to capitalize on it and added a pillow and sheets to make up a whole bed. Although this bed is intended to hang on the wall, the painted and drawn areas appear precisely where one would expect to see the visible parts of a sleeping body: head on the lower half of the pillow, shoulders and torso on the sheets, arms resting on top of the quilt. The absence of this imagined body led one anonymous Newsweek reviewer in 1958 to compare the piece to a bed from a murder scene from which the corpse had been removed. But the bright colors and playful gestures can also elicit whimsy. Rauschenberg himself said: "I think of Bed as one of the friendliest pictures I’ve ever painted. My fear has always been that someone would want to crawl into it." 
Atsuko Tanaka
Electric Dress
A colorful array of fickering light bulbs and electrical wires are arranged to form a dress that when worn, covered the artist’s body from head to foot, leaving only her hands and face visible. Atsuko Tanaka’s (1932–2005) wearable sculpture, which combines modern industrial lighting with the traditional Japanese kimono, was frst devised for a performance in 1956. The work simultaneously drew attention to her body while concealing it in a dazzling display of light and color. Its fusion of technology and flesh made a powerful impact, and although many viewers were awed by Tanaka’s creation, others were concerned that she might electrocute herself. As a young artist Tanaka joined the Gutai group, a collective of experimental artists who created large-scale multimedia events, performances and theatrical productions. They aimed to disassociate themselves from the horrifc events of Japan’s wartime past by breaking traditional boundaries and developing new and radical approaches to making art. Drawing inspiration from modern Japanese advertising, Tanaka’s Electic Dress was intended as a statement about the rapid post-war transformation of her native country. However, it inadvertently raised issues about women’s bodies and the way in which fashion and the prevailing attitudes towards femininity in Japan constrained and subdued female expression and creativity. 
Tony Cragg
 eroded landscape
The artist has concocted an urban landscape out of a collection of containers of frosted glass. The group of objects has been arranged to evoke feelings of both familiarity and strangeness. The glass shelf could be found in any home. It too might be displaying objects that mean something to their owner, but not to the viewer. The two large vases at the bottom right and left support the structure and give the composition amazing symmetry and stability. The entire composition takes on the feel of a Greek temple, so stabilizing is their influence. Cragg has specialized in the arrangement of industrial objects. His works are an exploration of the space between reality and the imagination. His compositions frequently evoke the idea of consumer waste, yet they are often arranged with a delicate sense of poetry, and a sensitivity to the beauty of still life.

Sarah Lucas

Au Naturel
Sarah Lucas (b.1962) rose to prominence as part of the generation of "Young British Artists", whose work often employed visual puns and witty one- liners more common to advertising and popular culture than fine art. Throughout her career, Lucas has repeatedly returned to the body as subject, in particular its visual representation outside of the realm of high art. Au Naturel is an assemblage of found objects arranged to suggest explicitly male and female bodies. The title is an expression used to describe nakedness in a positive light – as nature intended, without the constraints of clothing – yet here, bodies are reduced to their most basic functions, existing only as sexual parts. A number of Lucas’s works have used food to represent the body – fried eggs as breasts, a kebab or raw chicken as female genitalia. Here, the use of melons, oranges and a cucumber reference a bawdy, direct humour that has existed across cultures for generations, but which is not usually seen in the context of a gallery. The mattress that holds the fruits in place points to the most common location for sex, and yet its slouched, stained appearance speaks of squalor and grime: revealing a disparity between mundane reality and romantic fantasy. 

Doris Salcedo

Doris Salcedo (b.1958) created this elaborate installation as her contribution to the Istanbul Biennial in 2003. The piece featured 1550 ordinary wooden chairs crammed into a space between two buildings in an area of the city containing numerous hardware shops and small businesses. Visually stunning, the work has no precise meaning, though it alludes to the way that war, and its devastation, can become embedded in everyday life, and has also been seen to represent the migrant workers who go unrecognized in society yet underpin our global economy. Salcedo’s artworks often use architectural interventions, and domestic objects and materials, as a means to communicate political ideas. In 2002 she used chairs to represent human loss, slowly lowering 280 individual seats down the façade of the Palace of Justice in Bogotá to commemorate the lives of those killed in a failed coup 17 years before. The performance took place over a period of 53 hours, the same duration as the original siege. Salcedo created a permanent scar in the floor of the Turbine Hall in Tate Modern, London, in 2007 for the installation Shibboleth, which featured a dramatic crack running the length of the space and aimed to address the divisions of race and colonialism that exist in the modern world. 

Subodh Gupta
Line of Control
Line of Control is an enormous installation artwork portraying a mushroom cloud formed by thousands of shiny pots and pans. Domestic objects feature regularly in Subodh Gupta’s artworks, and he particularly uses items that are common to everyday Indian life, including the tiffin boxes that are used by workers to carry lunch, as well as thali pans, buckets and bicycles. The title of this work refers to the military border between Pakistan and India, and the installation expresses the fear of a nuclear war between the countries. Another recurring theme in Gupta’s art is transport, and he has created sculptures of a taxi carrying an enormous load, which is portrayed half-submerged in the gallery floor (Everything Is Inside, 2004), and a traditional Keralan fishing boat, filled with silver utensils and electric fans (All in the Same Boat, 2013). Gupta (b.1964) was born in Khagaul, Bihar, India, a mostly rural area, though he now resides near New Delhi. His art examines themes that are pertinent to the country, including political questions about inequality and the divisions between rural and city life, but the striking imagery he uses in his work has a universal appeal and it has been exhibited in galleries and museums all over the world. 


Trailer | Delacroix and the Rise of Modern Art | The National Gallery, London

The Best Photos of the Day

Best Photos of the Day
TOKYO.- Japan's Kuhl racing and arts displays a custom car Project R35GT-R, painted with gold metal paint and 3D diamond block on the Nissan GT-R, at Tokyo Auto Salon 2016 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba on January 15, 2016. The exhibition, one of the largest annual custom car and car-related product show, is held over the three-day period from January 15 to January 17. AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI

Best Photos of the Day
CAIRO.- A picture taken on January 14, 2016 shows a Basilosaurus whale skeleton at the Wadi el-Haitan Fossil and Climate Change Museum in Fayoum, 60 km south of the Egyptian capital Cairo.


Frances Morris Named Director of Tate Modern

Frances Morris.
Tate Modern announced today that Frances Morris will be the London museum’s new director. Chris Dercon, the Tate Modern’s director of five years, will leave the museum later this year.
Morris first joined the Tate as a curator in 1987. From 2000 to 2006, she was head of displays, and then, after that, she became director of collection, international art. In addition to her work at the Tate, she is currently on the board of directors at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery, the advisory board of Porto’s Serralves Museum, and the advisory committee of CIMAM, a forum of museum officials that discusses various issues facing curators of modern and contemporary art.
In her tenure at the museum, Morris has been an essential part of the Tate’s effort to broaden its collection—she has helped round out the museum’s collection of art from South Asia, the Asian Pacific region, and the Middle East. And, in her effort to begin righting the collection’s serious gender disparities, she’s also mounted three major retrospectives by female artists: Louise Bourgeois, Yayoi Kusama, and Agnes Martin. The critically acclaimed Martin retrospective is currently making its way around the world and will stop at the Guggenheim this fall.
“Tate Modern is a truly unique institution and I have been privileged to have been part of the team from the very beginning,” Morris said in a statement. “An incredible collection, amazing artists, extraordinary colleagues across Tate, brilliant supporters and wave upon wave of appreciative visitors have given me many creative opportunities and memorable experiences. I am thrilled and excited to be appointed as director and look forward to taking on this new role at such an exciting time for the museum.”
“Frances Morris is an innovative thinker who has shaped and developed Tate’s international collection, firmly establishing Tate Modern as one of the foremost contemporary and modern art galleries in the world,” Nicolas Serota, Tate’s director, added. “She will lead the new Tate Modern into the next era.”
Copyright 2016, ARTnews Ltd, 40 W 25th Street, 6th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10010. All rights reserved.

ArtList’s 5 Art World Updates: The “Most Respected” Dealers of 2015 & Venice Considers Selling Some of Its Museums’ Collections

 Weekly post from ArtList, the online marketplace for private sales.

1. The “Most Respected” Dealers of 2015

Artnet News has ranked the “Most Respected US Contemporary Art Dealers of 2015,” with Bortolami Gallery’s Sefania Bortolami topping the year’s list.
Inside Bortolami Gallery (left), run by Stefania Bortolami, who was named the most respected US art dealer of 2015 (HS Architecture, Blouin Artinfo)
Canada Gallery’s Sarah Braman, Suzanne Butler, Phil Grauer, and Wallace Whitney shared the second place, with Chicago-based John Corbett and Jim Dempsey of Corbett vs. Dempsey coming in third, Bridget Donahue in fourth andGreene Naftali Gallery’s Carol Green in fifth. The list aims to highlight those dealers that “were fostering markets for under-recognized artists, causing a splash with a new gallery, or clocking another year quietly supporting highly appreciated artists…”. It definitely succeeds in recognizing a new, disruptive generation of dealers destined to have a major impact in the art world and while largely New York-focused, it also acknowledges the increasing decentralization of the American art market. Check out more of the year’s top dealers here.

2. Mumbai Slum To Receive Own Museum

On Tuesday it was announced that India’s bustling city of Mumbai is set to host “…the first museum ever created in a slum,” as Spanish artist Jorge Rubio, who co-founded the initiative, said.
Inside the Dharavi slum (Development Works)

The institution will pay homage to the slum’s culture and sociology, showcasing objects that are produced in the impoverished Mumbai neighborhood of Dharavi, one of Asia’s largest slum areas with over a million habitants. The organizers of Design Museum Dharavi hope that the display of textiles, pottery and even recycled objects from the neighborhood can change the public’s perception of slums by highlighting the creative talent within them. The small, mobile institution will open for two months in February.

3. Students Constructing da Vinci-Designed Bridge Out of Ice

More than just one of the most prolific painters in history, Leonardo da Vinci was also a prominent inventor and engineer in his time. And, in honor of his feats, a group of Finish students and volunteers has taken on the task of building one of da Vinci’s designs that was never completed.
Renderings of the future ice bridge in Juuka, Finland (artnet News)
In 1502 the Renaissance man designed a stone bridge to span the strait separating the European and Asian continents (in what is now Istanbul). The Finish group is nowattempting to build that 35 meter bridge out of ice in Juuka, Finland, along a snow track that is adorned with many ice installations (such as Rinus Roelofs sculptures and a ice model of the Sagrada Familia). Under the direction of the Eindhoven University of Technology, construction on the environmentally-friendly bridge began December 28 and is slated to finish by February 13. While it is intended for only pedestrian use, a car will also be driven across it to test its strength.

4. Venice Considering Art Sales as Means to Balance City’s Budget

The city of Venice is experiencing some major shortcomings in their budget. And mayor Luigi Brugnaro thinks that some of Venice’s renown art works may be the fix: “I’ll sell the paintings rather than sit here and admire them while rain drips onto children’s school desks and public libraries have no toilet paper,” he said.
Venice, Italy (Travel Guide Channels)

In selling some of the artwork from Venice museums, Brugnaro would not only raise funds to close his current budget gap but he would also save the city from having to pay exorbitant costs to maintain, clean and repair the pieces. That money could be redirected toward the city’s infrastructure (which is in rather dire need of help considering its sinking foundations from sea erosion and the 23 million tourists that visit annually). It is still unclear if the mayor is free to sell off works as he sees fit or if he would have to answer to larger unions or groups before doing so (as is the case in the US). However, lovers of Italian art can rest assured that before selling off his own country’s artistic heritage, Brugnaro will look to sell foreign art being kept at Italian institutions. He cited the example of Austrian painter Klimt’s Judith II as an example of works that “don’t belong to the city’s history and tradition.”

5. Picasso’s Granddaughter To Sell Off Large Portion of Private Collection

The market for Pablo Picasso’s artwork is about to get an influx in available works, as the late artist’s granddaughter, Marina Picasso, is selling off a large portion of her own private collection.
Upcoming works for sale from Picasso: “Nature morte aux fruits” (1956, left) and his 1955 ceramic work “Femme à la robe entrouverte” (Sotheby’s)
Marina has kept much of her collection of Picasso works away from auction since she inherited them in 1973, upon her grandfather’s death. However, she is now looking to sell more than 100 works on paper spanning Picasso’s career and 70 sculptures dating primarily from the 1940s until the mid-1960s. Mariana has depicted her relationship with her grandfather as contentious, asserting in her 2001 book, Picasso: My Grandfather, that “No one in my family ever managed to escape from the stranglehold of this genius.” A friend explained to Page Six that selling her grandfather’s work is Marina’s attempt to “let go of the past.” The works will go to auction at Sotheby’s London on February 5 as “Picasso in Private: Works from the Collection of Marina Picasso.” The auction carries a pre-sale estimate of £6.9 million–9.8 million ($10.5 million–14.8 million).