Friday, October 21, 2011

Expressionismus & Expressionismi

Pinacothèque de Paris‏ presents "Expressionismus & Expressionismi" this title is a neologism, in reference to the major exhibition on Futurism that was held in the Palazzo Grassi in Venice in 1986 which the late Pontus Hutten had entitled Futurismo & Futurismi to show the diversity of movements that made up Italian Futurism. This neologism also illustrates the diversity of German Expressionism’s origins. Often perceived as monolithic, or, at the very least, grouped together under a single name, this movement was nonetheless made up of two diametrically opposite approaches.

The exhibition shown in the Pinacothèque de Paris is interested solely in the two founding currents of German Expressionism, very distinct, very opposite, but also very representative of that movement. Principally around Kirchner, Nolde, Schmitt-Rottluff as well as Kandinsky, Marc and Jawlensky, the exhibition will bring together about one hundred and fifty works.

Such a study has never before been put together in the many exhibitions shown on the subject in Germany. As always interested in dialogue and confrontation between the arts, the Pinacothèque de Paris invites you to discover the important and diametrically opposed nuances, by confronting the artists and the works, instead of showing them, as was the case up till now, artist by artist.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Istanbul Art: Galeri Manâ

The inaugural exhibition, Nereden Nereye, a Turkish phrase that translates “From Where to Where,” includes sixteen works by eleven artists, and explores the function of images and the nature of representation. Nereden Nereye features paintings, drawings, photographs and video works by a number of internationally recognized artists such as Murat Akagundüz, John Baldessari, Lewis Baltz, Mel Bochner, Diana Al-Hadid, Tamar Halpern, Sol LeWitt, Albert Oehlen, Robin Rhode and Charles Sandison, many of wom are showing their work in Istanbul for the first time. The exhibition runs through July 23, 2011.

How we perceive images and their underlying meaning is explored by many artists in the show. John Baldessari, for example, incorporates found images such as film stills, which he alters to tease out multiple meanings contained in the image. In doing so, he exposes how images work in our culture and the assumptions that we make on a daily basis.

Galeri Manâ, located in the Tophane district of Istanbul, is a converted wheat mill that dates to the 19th century and features 400 square meters of exhibition space. The gallery takes its name from the Turkish word mana (concept or meaning in Turkish) and was founded by Mehves Ariburnu and Suzanne Egeran in 2011.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Vindolanda - A Must See!

A £6.3m revamp to the fascinating Vindolanda fort in Northumberland, has created a modern Museum where visitors gain unprecedented access to Roman psyche. Nowhere else can one feel so close to the personal lives of the men and women of the Northern frontier.

The remains of the fort are impressive and the experimental reconstruction leaves nothing to the imagination. However, the real adventure begins in the Museum building where the lives of the site’s inhabitants are told in the most lucid way, aided by a multitude of personal objects from the camp commandant’s wife’s shoes to remains of the soldiers’ leather tents.

The Museum’s crowing glory is the incredibly unique Vindolanda Tablets display, where visitors can enjoy a selection of precious letters unearthed on site and only recently returned here on loan from the British Museum in London. This sophisticated gallery opens with a well-edited video showing the way they were unearthed (1800 of them have been found since 1973), studied and interpreted. The journey continues to a vault-like, environmentally controlled room where a selection of 9 tablets is shown along with their translation and a full interpretation of the contents. These range from a letter from the camp commandant inviting someone into camp for a probable census to a seemingly banal shopping list showing the array of products available to Roman soldiers at Vindolanda.

These tablets are the oldest surviving handwritten tablets in Britain and show the official and private correspondence of the men and women who lived at Vindolanda nearly 2000 years ago. They all date to the year immediately before the construction of Hadrian's Wall and form the earliest archive of written material in British history. This is a breathtaking and utterly irreplaceable account of Roman Britain shown in the most approachable manner and should not be missed by anyone travelling through the region.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

United Arab Emirates: A New Silk Road

It is an audacious experiment: two small, oil-rich countries in the Middle East are using architecture and art to reshape their national identities virtually overnight.

On the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, workers have dug the foundations for three colossal museums: an $800 million Frank Gehry-designed branch of the Guggenheim 12, times the size of its New York flagship; a half-billion-dollar outpost of the Louvre by Jean Nouvel; and the Zayed National Museum to be built by Foster & Partners, the design for which was recently unveiled. And plans are moving ahead for yet another museum about maritime history, to be designed by Tadao Ando.

These cultural megaprojects will be joined by a campus of New York University on Saadiyat Island’s southern shore and, in a location to be determined, a four-million-square-foot development for media companies and film studios meant partly to provide job training and opportunities for young Emiratis.

Nearly 200 miles across the Persian Gulf, Doha, the capital of Qatar, has been mapping out its own extravagant cultural vision. A Museum of Islamic Art, a bone-white I. M. Pei-designed temple, opened in 2008 and dazzled the international museum establishment.

Last December the government opened a museum of modern Arab art with a collection that spans the mid-19th-century to the present. Construction has just begun on a museum of Qatari history, also by Mr. Nouvel, and the design for a museum of Orientalist art by the Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron is to be made public next year.