Highlight #9: A variety of mediums of Contemporary Art
Exhibitions in Denmark, Austria, Germany and Hong Kong
Denmark, COPENHAGEN <AI WEIWEI_RUPTURES>
20 March ~ 22 December 2015_Faurschou Foundation Copenhagen
One of the world’s most significant Chinese artists Ai Weiwei is having a solo exhibition. Born in 1957, the artist has in recent years played a variety of roles, including as visual artist, social activist, curator, filmmaker, designer and architect.
Weiwei deals with Chinese history and contemporary society. He also combines traditional materials and craftsmanship with his own personal history. By using art and action as forms of intervention, he seeks to affect social change in China. This has made Ai's name known far beyond the art world.
The exhibition presents a selection of major pieces that have cemented Weiwei’s position at an international level, including Sunflower Seeds, a smaller version of his major site-specific installation in London in 2010, consisting of 100 million hand-made porcelain iterations of the titular item. The exhibition also includes Weiwei's sculptures that are made of wood from the Buddhist temples destroyed during China’s Cultural Revolution, and his iconoclastic work of antique vases several thousand years old. In particular, do not miss the photographs from 1983 and 1993 from the artist’s period in New York.
2010 Porcelain hand made sunflower seeds Dimensions variable Collection Faurschou Foundation Photo credit: Ai Weiwei Studio
2014 32 Antique wooden stools from the Qing Dynasty 213×228×185cm Collection of the artist Photo credit: Ai Weiwei Studio
2015 16 Neolithic(5000-3000 BC) vases and 3 Han Dynasty(202 BC-220 AD) vases and industrial paint Collection of the artist Photo credit: Ai Weiwei Studio
AUSTRIA_GRAZ <DAVID WOJNAROWICZ & ROBERT BLANCHON>
7 March ~ 23 May 2015_Grazer Kunstverein
There is an exhibition going on of two exceptional American artists, David Wojnarowicz and Robert Blanchon, in Austria. The exhibition questions the concept of social abstraction. In their practice, each of the artists, who have gained cult status in the United States, investigates and translates the personal and physical relationship of their surroundings.
Wojnarowicz(1954–1992) was a prominent painter, photographer, writer, film maker, performance artist, and activist in the 1980s New York art scene. He mainly incorporated outsider experiences taken from his own personal history. Blanchon(1965–1999) produced photographic, sculptural, performance and video artwork.
These conceptual artworks often dealt with histories of American Conceptual Art, the politics of AIDS, and representations of queer culture and sexuality.
The works of Wojnarowicz and Blanchon reflect upon the United States in the 1980s to 1990s, when gay and queer politics were extremely suppressed and questioned while the HIV/AIDS virus was rising. The exhibition offers the audience an opportunity to overview these two artists' poetic but direct way of approaching the sensitive subject matter.
David Wojnarowicz <Arthur Rimbaud in New York(Tile floor, gun)>
1978-79 From a series of twenty-four gelatin-silver prints 24 Silbergelatin-Drucken 8×10 inches Courtesy of the Estate of David Wojnarowicz and P.P.O.W Gallery, New York
David Wojnarowicz <Arthur Rimbaud in New York(Kissing)>
1978-79 From a series of twenty-four gelatin-silver prints 8×10inches each Courtesy of the Estate of David Wojnarowicz and P.P.O.W Gallery, New York
Robert Blanchon <Self-Portrait with Tattoo>
1993?Cibachrome print 28×35cm Courtesy The Estate of Robert Blanchon
GERMANY, ESSEN <JOAN MITCHELL_THE SKETCHBOOK DRAWINGS>
27 February ~ 31 May 2015_Museum Folkwang
Born in 1925 in Chicago, and having died in 1992, Joan Mitchell was an essential figure in the latter half of the 20th century's American Abstract Expressionist movement. Even though she mostly worked in France, she was an important member of the US movement. She was also closely connected with such leading contemporary artists as Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, and Jackson Pollock.
Mitchell created an extensive body of works on paper and is known for many world famous large-scale oil paintings.
The subject matters the artist focused on were mostly derived from nature and landscapes. She produced many drawings, which were not preparatory studies for paintings, but played a unique role as individual works in their own right. These have made Mitchell's name known far beyond the art world.
On view in the exhibition are around 60 drawings done in pastel and felt-tip pen collected from the sketchbooks used by the artist in the late 1960s after she had moved to Vétheuil from Paris. These paper drawings represent the inspirations she gained from her immediate surroundings.
1967 24.5×19.5cm ⓒ Estate of Joan Mitchell
Fiber-tip pen on paper 24.5×19.5cm ⓒ Estate of Joan Mitchell
24.5×19.5cm ⓒ Estate of Joan Mitchell
1967 24.5×19.5cm ⓒ Estate of Joan Mitchell
HONG KONG, HONG KONG <Life is Only One: Yoshitomo Nara>
6 March ~ 26 July 2015_Asia Society Hong Kong
A major solo exhibition of one of the world’s most celebrated contemporary Japanese artists, Yoshitomo Nara, is on view.
Born in 1956, he is internationally known for his illustrations of young girls with big eyes. However, he works in a wide range of medium, including painting, photography, sculpture and mixed media installation.
The exhibition title comes from his painting <Life is Only One>. The little girl and the pile of human skulls depicted on the canvas encourage visitors to question the nature of life and death.
It reflects an abiding subject matter in Nara’s work, and the artist unveils his open-ended interpretation of life through the title.
The show includes a selection of the artist’s extensive oeuvre from the last two decades, in addition to three new evocative paintings, 17 new drawings, and recent sculptures commissioned for the exhibition. The show also organizes a public lecture series and educational programs to help the audiences to understand the artworks. ■ with ARTINPOST
Exhibition view of <Life is Only One: Yoshitomo Nara> at Asia Society Hong Kong
ⓒ Yoshitomo Nata
2014 ⓒ Yoshitomo Nata
<Life Is Only One>
2007 ⓒ Yoshitomo Nata
2006 ⓒ Yoshitomo Nata