Category: Art

Frieze London

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Booth A12

With Patricia Treib

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Booth B1

With Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley

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Peres Projects
Booth B11

With Donna Huanca and Beth Letain

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Gavin Browns enterprise
Booth C2

With Arthur Jafa, Thomas Bayrie, Jonathan Horowitz, Mark Leckey, Sturtevant, and Alex Katz and Joan Jonas

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Stephen Friedman Gallery
Booth C5

With Melvin Edwards

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Fons Welters gallery
Booth G22

With Jennifer Tee and Evelyn Taocheng Wang

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The Sunday Painter
Booth H30

With Emma Hart

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Richard Saulton Gallery
Booth S7

Renate Bertlmann

 

 

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Campaigns against racism affect cultural institutions too.

‘Witte de With’ center for contemporary art in Rotterdam is going to change it’s name. The names literal translation is “White the White”. It was named after the street it is housed on. The streets name comes from the name of a controversial 17th century Dutch naval officer. Witte Corneliszoon de With led violent expeditions into India and Indonesia for the Dutch East India Company. After recent protests from ethnic minority groups the board decided to get rid of the name. The core of the criticism seems to be that; a white art institution can not be relevant to black people and black artists. By coping with that critique Witte de With attempts to immunize itself. The black discourse is absorbed by white majority bureaucracy people in such a setting and thus rendered harmless. But it is not enough to merely ‘welcome’ such institutional criticisms. Apologies, name changes and the optics of renewed attention to diversity do not suffice, if there is no actual systemic decisive radical action. The extent to which they submit to enjoin in a black revolutionary agenda cognizant of the value of diversity will prove its relevance to the liberation of black and other oppressed people. If they do not, Witte de With under any other name will remain an institution appearing to, if not overtly, “condone colonial violence”, then at least appear to those with a deep sense of the continuing reality of such issues in our cultures, be blind to the legacy represented by such a myopic understanding of what historically based names directly infer.
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It’s not the first time that a largely white cultural institution has to deal with the criticism of Black and Non-Black People of Color. Indeed many Dutch institutions for contemporary art are intertwined with the troubling colonial history. Other institutions may have to change their names soon or change staff or policy. Institutions funded by a country or a city, that has become rich in colonial times, are effected too. It also applies to all cities with streets named after naval “hero’s” or merchants who made their money in the slave trade. One Dutch museum that is dealing with it’s past is the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It recently was in the news for altering racially insensitive titles and descriptions of works in its collection. In 2020, it will devote a large exhibition to slavery. The museum advertised for a ‘Junior Curator of Slavery’. He or she must develop ideas on how the Rijksmuseum could become a platform for the debate about slavery.
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The Whitney Museum in New York got criticism for displaying Dana Schutz’s ‘painting ‘Open Casket’ Based on a 1955 photo of the dead Emmett Till, a black teen murdered because he was accused of flirting with a white woman.
The letter to the Conservators of the Whitney Biennial objecting to this painting, was widely circulated.
Hannah Black writes:
“I am writing to ask you to remove Dana Schutz’s painting Open Casket with the urgent recommendation that the painting be destroyed and not entered into any market or museum. … it is not acceptable for a white person to transmute Black suffering into profit and fun, though the practice has been normalized for a long time.”
The painting has never been offered for sale. If it would sell or if entry fees are asked for exhibitions where it is shown should the money go to a good cause? Does the artist have the right to choose a particular topic. Or do opponents have the right to block the display.
Hannah Black goes on to say:
“The subject matter is not Schutz’s; white free speech and white creative freedom have been founded on the constraint of others, and are not natural rights.”
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Does this mean that white western people are not allowed to comment on any matters of black suffering. But where does one draw the line. Do critics or  Do people who support this kind of aesthetic political judgement not create a new type of aesthetic or creative censorship akin to segregation here? Do all art institutions have to be be run by a politicized aware proportional representation of the population. Well, that would be ideal but is it feasible? Female representation is clearly improving in the art world. More and more mature museums, galleries and collections are directed by a woman. The work on display is frequently made and curated by women. We are not fully there yet, but we are getting there. However it took generations. To reach the top you need bigger representation at the start of the chain. Art schools, Curatorial and Art history courses are still mainly populated by white students and tutors.
Lets start by trying to see if we can get more black and ethnic minority people into art education.

Art on Paper, Brussels gallery weekend and Antwerp shows

Antwerp

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Tim Van Laere Gallery
Rinus Van de Velde

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Zeno X Gallery
Michaël Borremans

 

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Albert Baronian
Robert Devriendt

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Paper gallery
Ilona Kiss

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Galerie Zink
Javi Calleja

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Martin Kudlek Gallery
Frans Burkardt

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Betts Project
Pier Vittorio Aureli

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Galerie Maurits Van de Laar
Dirk Zoete

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Meessen De Clercq
Nicolas Lamas
Winner of the SOFAM Prize for Best Solo Show

 

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Daniel Boccato

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Supportico Lopez at Independent Régence
Charlie Billingham

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Dauwens & Beernaert Gallery
Marco De Sanctis

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Xavier Hufkens
Tracey Emin

Amsterdam Art Fair & Antwerp Art Weekend

The third edition of the Amsterdam Art Fair not to be confused with Art Amsterdam. The name given to Hollands longest running art fair KunstRAI. However recently Art Rotterdam has taken over as the leading art fair. Amsterdam Art Fair aims to make to the Dutch capital the place to go for the collectors again.

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Galery Frank Taal

Standno. 12

Representing Bram Braam

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Cinnnamon

Standno. 44

Works by Esther Tielemans and Sarah-Jane Hoffmann

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 Juliette Jongma / Kunstverein

Standno. 29

Work by Bert Scholten, Nicolaas Riis, Florian and Michael Quistrebert

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Siberian BAM exhibition

Jelle Brandtcorstius, Aldo Van Den Broek and Fabian Hahne

Also for the third time, Antwerp Art Weekend.

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Gallery Sofie Vande Velde

Works of Philippe Vandenberg and Bruce Nauman

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Little HISK

Work by Susanna Inglada

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Galerie De Zwarte Panter

Work by Fred Bervoets, Frieda Van Dun and Wim De Schamphelaere

Contemporary artists that deal with (post)colonialism

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Renzo Martens is a Dutch artist who originated the Institute for Human Activities. He hopes this institute will help plantation workers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to live off making art. It should accomplish a gentrification program to improve the lives of people around the art center by . The Congolese Plantation Workers Art League has now started to organize exhibitions. It is a white cube in the forest just like those in Shoreditch and Brooklyn.

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Scottish artist Andrew Gilbert makes satirical paintings, drawings and sculptures tackling colonial history. Supplanting the clichés and symbolism of the Orient and the British Empire. His playful, surreal and over the top caricatures capture the violence, racism and tyranny of occupation. Andrew Gilbert refers historic events that parallel with contemporary conflicts. He draws inspiration from primitive art, films such as Zulu, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Emil Nolde.

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Lizza Littlewort an absurdist South African artist inspired by Dadaism, whose work critiques ideological narratives of global power and the inherent propensity of capitalist ideologies. Littlewort is focusing on mass poverty and perpetual war. Her works are satirical and demonstrate a discerning commitment to well-established art conventions.

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Fellow South African Conrad Botes makes drawings, prints and sculptures. He is one of the founders of Bitterkomix. He reflects on contemporary society by using the sickly sweet infantilism of Post-Pop. Botes’ work is a amalgamation of the arcadian with contemporary realities and aesthetics. He shows a society of desirable violence, institutionalized sadism. Religion is irreverent and the individual is victorious in his existential crisis.

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Lili Bernard is exposing the post-colonial archetype of suffering and flexibility. She juxtaposes cruelty and compassion, ugliness and beauty. The generational clash of her Afro-Indigenous Caribbean ancestors inspires her work. Bernard re-imagines art history born of colonialism, with racially diverse subjects. She shows the diasporic stain of racism and of the unconquerable nature of the human spirit.

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Yinka Shonibare’s makes paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs and films. He explores issues of race and class and questions the definition of culture. He uses bright colored ‘African’ batik fabric. The fabrics manufactured in Europe and sold in Africa, when rejected in Indonesia. His physical disability is just one strand of a far richer weave. He occasionally re-imagines famous paintings to ask what compounds our collective contemporary identity.

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Frohawk Two Feathers aka Umar Rashid creates fictional narratives. He comments on politics, history, race, power, and greed by combining elements of folk art and colonial portraiture. He makes portraits of corrupt military leaders and rebel assassins and royal the family. Two Feathers paints colonial uprisings of a rebel force of freed slaves, tribes, militias and noblemen.  His images contain a mashup of references, with visual manifestations of contemporary urban culture. He incorporates tattoos, piercings and accessories associated with contemporary hipsters and gangsters.

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Kara Elizabeth Walker explores race, gender, sexuality, violence and identity in her work. She is best known for her room-size tableaux of black-and-white cut-paper silhouettes. They invoke themes of African American racial identity. She often depicts scenes of slavery, conflict or violence. Her work refers to historic cultural eras in Africa and the USA.Walker relies on humor and, despite the often sombre nature of her subjects. She has also makes gouaches, watercolors, animations, shadow puppets, projections and sculptural installations

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Isaac Julien tries to break down the barriers that exist between different artistic disciplines. He uses film, dance, photography, music, theater, painting and sculpture to construct a narrative. Much of his work relates to his experiences of being black and gay. Multi-screen installations and photographs examine shattered stories of memory and desire. His work forces critical thinking about race, globalization, and representation

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Mickalene Thomas examines the popular characterization of black female identity, celebrity, and sexuality. She makes complex paintings made of rhinestones, acrylic and enamel. She refers to art history and contemporary culture. Inspired by her childhood her work the consists of vibrant interwoven patterns. Thomas depicts powerful women such as her mother, celebrities, and iconic art-historical figures.

Exhibitions Pick of the year

Museums the world over organized exhibitions to commemorate the anniversary of the death of some great artists this year.

Hieronymus Bosch died 500 years ago for this reason “Het Noordbrabants Museum” in the town of his birth Den Bosch organized the exhibition: Visions of Genius. Donating museums included the Louvre, the Prado, the Accademia in Venice, the Metropolitan New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Unfortunately  the most famous work, The Garden of Earthly Delights was not loaned.

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Robert Mapplethorpe died 70 years ago he had LA shows in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum. Known for his highly stylized black and white photographs crudely but consciously treating controversial subject-matters. The work shows the New York underground of the 60s and 70s portraying celebrity s, himself, nudes, BDSM, and still-life images of flowers. 

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Marcel Broodthaers, who’s death was 40 years ago, had a show at MoMA, the Reina Sofía and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (KNW) in Düsseldorf. The Retrospective was the first of his work to take place in New York. It gathered about two hundred works, mostly made in the sixties and seventies.

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Georgia O’Keeffe 30 death this years ago, had exhibitions together with Charles Sheeler and Arthur Garfield Dove, Stuart Davis  and Marsden Hartley at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. The Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach showed her work among with Florine Stettheimer, Helen Torr and Marguerite Thompson Zorach. She had a Solo at Tate Modern in London. Her work consists mostly of erotic looking flowers however she always denied that her paintings were in any way sexual.

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Still very much alive is Grayson Perry. His exhibition “Hold Your Beliefs Lightly” was shown at the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht and the ARoS Museum in Aarhus. A great chronicler of contemporary life, Perry draws us in with humorous nostalgia as well as anger and fear. He deals with identity, sexuality, gender, social status, religion, his childhood and his alter ego Claire.

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Matthew Barney meanwhile displayed his work at the Astrup Fearnley in Oslo. Known for making sculptural installations combined with video and performance, he created a new narrative and layout for this exhibition. With the title Bildungsroman Barney reflects on how the constellation of works can be read as a journey in the shaping of his work.

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William Kentridge showed at Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, London’s Whitechapel Gallery and at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery. As a white ethnically Jewish South African with lawyer parents defending victims of apartheid, he has a unique position as a third-party observer. He uses this in his prints, drawings, animations and films.

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Also at Martin-Gropius-Bau was “Mach Dich hübsch!” by Isa Genzken after it was on display at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam earlier. Genzken; Gerhard Richter’s wife is a very influential and important artists in her own right. Her work includes three-dimensional work, paintings, drawings, films, photographs, collages, artist’s books and public sculptures.

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Rachel Maclean’s show “Wot u 🙂 about?” could be seen at Home in Manchester and Tate Britain, London. Maclean has acquired a reputation for skewering sociopolitical tendencies with works that are cute and creepy at the same time. Just a few years after she graduating from Edinburgh College of Art, her work is now in great demand. She will represent Scotland at the Venice Biennale in 2017.

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Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirror rooms where on show in the Louisiana Museum in Denmark, the Moderna Museet Stockholm and the HAM (Helsinki Art Museum). They will be on a US tour next two years going to the Hirshhorn Washington, the Seattle Art Museum, the Broad LA, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

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Manifesta 11 in Zurich was great but Julian Rosefeldt’s “Manifesto” makes it as the last on this list. Cate Blanchett in the guise of a school teacher, factory worker, choreographer, punk, newsreader, scientist, puppeteer, widow, and a homeless man presented artists-manifestos. They were presented on massive screens at the Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart Park Avenue Armory in New York .

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Art Basel Miami

5 great booths at Art Basel Miami

 

Pilar Corrias Gallery, Booth E15

With works by Mary Ramsden, Ulla von Brandenburg, Ken Okiishi, Gerasimos Floratos, Shahzia Sikander, Tschabalala Self, Tala Madani, Philippe Parreno and Rirkrit Tiravanija

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Galleria Continua, Booth L6

With works by Carlos Garaicoa and Jose Yaque

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Bernier/Eliades, Booth H12

With works by Pier Paolo Calzolari, Wim Delvoye, Cameron Jamie, Dionisis Kavallieratos, Jonathan Meese, Mario Merz, Marisa Merz, Tony Oursler, Rallou Panagiotou, Kostas Sahpazis, Thomas Schütte, Jim Shaw, Keith Sonnier and Helmut Stallaerts

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König Galerie, Booth L5

With works by Jorinde Voigt and Kris Martin

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Victoria Miro, Booth M9

With works by Conrad Shawcross and Yayoi Kusama

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