Monday, May 7, 2007

Ansel Adams first time in Vienna, Austria

Photo gallery WestLicht in Vienna became a point of overview of one of chapters of photographic history. It is dedicated to Photography lovers , and especially those engaged to Ansel Adams (1902-1984), Californian photographer classic and member of group f/64(which is mark for shade that makes very deep sharpness; he found it together with Edward Weston, William Van Dyk and Imogen Cunningham),who with his amazing black and white landscapes and his typical atmospheric effects, exact compositions and and with filing for individual objects gave big support to create a global visual image of west of united states. Central position in his photography goes to Californian Yosemite natural park, which brought him to status of author of many ontological photography books and his open important role in establishing photographic cabinet in New York MOMA. In Vienna where exhibition will be open till 03.06.07 they took his opus in cut of 75 photographies from collection of his family exact from Anne Adams Helms, and they looked for partners in The Ansel Adams Trust. Specialty of selection of this exhibition is, that in last days of his life Adams created this selection by him self in sens of narrow of his classical works which build him. These are shots of landscapes, nature and nature details and portraits and architectural studies. For all info follow link.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

decline Turner, good girl!

Yes it is all deal about Sarah Lucas.
Lucas's 2006 solo exhibition at Tate Liverpool was criticized by Jonathan Jones in The Guardian as mediocre.

sarah Lucas was born 1962 in London. She came to prominence as one of young British artist.
her work is just her own and se usually make a use of ready made.
She studied at the London College of Printing before switching to fine art at Goldsmiths College from 1984 - 1987, where she had a relationship with Damien Hirst, before forming one with Gary Hume. Her early work was sculptural installations, and with this work Lucas took part in the Freeze exhibition.
In interviews she has admitted that after Freeze her career languished for a few years and she was known primarily as Gary Hume's girlfriend. After spending a year with him in New York in 1990, the relationship ended and Lucas returned to London, where she began a long-lasting relationship with Angus Fairhurst, i will write about him in mzy next blog.
She had a solo exhibition at City Racing of collages based on spreads from British tabloid newspapers. The lurid pieces emphasising sex, deformity, violence and sensationalism, typified many of the elements associated with the YBAs. Charles Saatchi bought the entire set and they were exhibited at his then-North London Saatchi Gallery the following year. Lucas used the money from the sale to finance "The Shop", a project run with friend Tracey Emin as "The Birds" in 1993. Many of Lucas's works from this period were subtle parodies of the work of more famous contemporaries.
Apart from contributions to group shows such as Brilliant! (1995) and Sensation (1997) Lucas did not have a major solo exhibition until 1998, when one was organised by her dealer Sadie Coles in an empty building in Clerkenwell. The exhibition featured Lucas's signature of cigarettes, stuck onto objects such as crash helmets. In 2000 Lucas was commissioned to install a series of works at the Freud Museum; this was accompanied by an exhibition at Sadie Coles' Gallery. These works were female-type forms made using tights and inspired by Louise Bourgeois. Lucas's 2006 solo exhibition at Tate Liverpool was criticized by Jonathan Jones in The Guardian as mediocre.

It is reported that Lucas has declined nomination for the Turner Prize on a number of occasions.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


It is by a conspicuous coincidence that a show devoted to Jasper Johns's paintings of ''The Seasons'' should be on view through March 7 at the Leo Castelli Gallery, 420 West Broadway, while simultaneously there can be seen in the new Lila Acheson Wallace wing at the Metropolitan Museum what may well be the single largest work of contemporary art ever to be mounted in a great American museum.

It is by a conspicuous coincidence that a show devoted to Jasper Johns's paintings of ''The Seasons'' should be on view through March 7 at the Leo Castelli Gallery, 420 West Broadway, while simultaneously there can be seen in the new Lila Acheson Wallace wing at the Metropolitan Museum what may well be the single largest work of contemporary art ever to be mounted in a great American museum. The work in question is ''1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece'' by Robert Rauschenberg, who rather more than 30 years ago was jointly responsible with Jasper Johns for a historic shift in the ambitions of art. Quite apart from that coincidence, major early paintings by both Rauschenberg and Johns can be seen through March 7 in Part 1 of Leo Castelli's 30th-anniversary show at 142 Greene Street. Quite clearly, therefore, this is a good moment at which to look back at careers that have left a permanent mark upon the history of 20th-century art.

When Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg first came before the public in the mid-1950's, they were widely regarded as vandals, saboteurs and wreckers. When faced with Johns's flags and targets, one well-known New York abstract artist said, ''If that's painting, I might as well give up.'' And when Rauschenberg painted directly onto his own narrow bed and hung it up on the wall, you would have thought from the rumpus that he had violated some kind of loyalty oath. Who were these two, anyway, to dump on the American art scene just as it was beginning to be acclaimed the world over?

But then, with time, it became clear that far from being an act of frivolity that verged on a Federal offense, Johns's ''Flags'' had brought back into painting a sensuous delicacy of touch that had had few equals since Georges Seurat was painting on cigar boxes in the 1880's. It also became clear that far from aiming to create an ephemeral sensation, he was a partisan of the long, solitary, hermetic haul. His paintings were about multiplicities of meaning, rather than about their ostensible subjects, and it was his ambition, as far as possible, to banish himself from them. (In 1971 he said in an interview that ''I have attempted to develop my thinking in a way that the work done is not me.'') Already in 1955, a close look would have disposed of the notion that Johns and Rauschenberg were virtually interchangeable newcomers, bent primarily on outrage. Johns's work was about paradox and introspection. Rauschenberg wanted, on the contrary, to reach out to the whole world and welcome it into his work. (In 1961 he said that ''there is no reason not to consider the world as one gigantic painting.'') Then as now, they both seemed to a foreign observer to be deeply, unalterably American. When Johns drew a penetrating poetry of his own from a light bulb, a drawer, a beer can, a wire coathanger, the numbers from 0 through 9 and the alphabet from A through Z, the result had philosophical overtones, but it also had echoes of the plain speaking and plain dealing that John Frederick Peto, for one, had brought to the painting of common objects in the 19th century. In his ''combine paintings,'' in which found objects and readymade images of every imaginable kind were combined with passages of pure painting, Rauschenberg dealt with the poetics of metropolitan glut in much the same way that Charles Ives in his Fourth Symphony had dealt with the manifold sound structure of New England in an era when music came live, and raw, and unamplified.

As time went by, their differences became ever more marked. Johns developed a complicated code system that often seemed intended to cover his tracks. But, when cracked in however small a degree, that system could have a universal poignancy. As Johns is well known to be a close reader of Hart Crane, we have no trouble relating the outstretched hand and elongated arm that have long been a part of that system to Crane's suicide by drowning. Equally well, many other seemingly cryptic images in Johns's work relate to poetry, to older art and to private perturbations. Though for years turned away at the front door of Johns's work, autobiography soon found a way in at the back - so much so, that in recent years Johns has developed into one of the great American soliloquists

Friday, April 20, 2007

made in heaven

1. Artworks, which are apparently fashioned to be defiant of existing norms, are often unfocused, incoherent, opportunistic, and not well thought out.

2. The critical community can be seen to have a vested interest in protecting its artists from the masses and the reactionary guardians of the existing canons of taste. They cling like grim death to this charitable endeavor, when a little critical reflection on their part might win them some respect from the soldiers of the status quo.

I don't expect there to be any consensus on what is rebellious, or what the value-significance of the defiance might be. The discernment of rebellion and its value in the above cases, I will grant happily, is at best relative to my system of values, commitments, expectations, and modes of aesthetic reception. I hope in conceding this point, it doesn't mean that my judgments are merely personal, irrational, groundless or without reasons. Concerning the above cases, my judgments are packed with reasons. They are not in themselves capable of providing the end of the story, the foundation, so to speak. They are no more that the basis of my judgments. My skepticism over these cases, moreover is not airtight. In my limited understanding of the works, this is my current judgment. That I may someday change my mind about Ron Jones's chair or Jeff Coons's club-basement iconic sculptures doesn't necessitate that I cease my debasement of them to the condition of con-artistry. The possibility of change of mind has never silenced the yea-sayers, why should it, me?

I hope I haven't given the impression that I am against art that challenges. For each case of critical failure above, a host of examples of artistic rebellion spring to mind. They tower as monuments that changed not merely our aesthetic attitudes, but our lives. For me, reading through Mary Kelly's Post-Partum Document, or attending several of Jonathan Borofsky's installations, expanded more than my sense of artistic boundaries. For one thing, Mary Kelly deconstructs and reconstructs motherhood in a way that expanded the horizons of my male consciousness. Borofsky's work showed me that creativity is more important than mastery of a medium. I am sure anyone touched by art, music, dance, or literature, has a few special aesthetic experiences tinged by the prick of the conscience--the moments when their assumptions were overturned. Art critic for Time Magazine, Robert Hughes, in The Shock of the New, saw this as the dynamic hope of modernism: that art through perpetual challenge and shock will lead to the progressive humanization of individuals and society. Likely many of us have echoes of this modernist optimism floating about our consciousness. I hope so.

Jeff Koons did not become the most famous artist to emerge from the milieu of '80s New York because of his paintings--but they have always been there. He produced works on canvas as early as 1986 in his "Luxury and Degradation" series, which appropriated liquor ads from magazines and reproduced them without alteration in oil ink on canvas. In 1992, an adamant Koons designated the photographs in his notorious "Made in Heaven" series as "paintings." Consisting of images of Koons and his porn-star wife, Ilona Stahler (aka La Cicciolina), engaged in uninhibited sex, the works were printed with oil ink on canvas, each in an edition of three. The designation couldn't account for the loss of uniqueness that echoed in their hybridized status; nonetheless, the series marked the first time the subject of painting usurped the place of sculpture in Koons's practice.

"Made in Heaven" was obviously a major turning point in the artist's career. His personal life collapsed: a significant problem, considering that Koons's life and art had become synonymous; and support for appropriation art was waning as the art market went deeper into recession. That same year, however, he began a series of paintings called "Celebration," which were made the old-fashioned way (as have been all his subsequent paintings)--though not by Koons's hand but by legions of professionally trained artists rendering his computer-generated maquettes. The shift in production values from machine-printed to painted-by-hand coincided with a larger agenda in the art world in the early '90s to reinstate sincerity in place of irony (which had become synonymous with "cynicism"). At the same time, a refrain echoing throughout Koons's art from the '80s to the present--"Everybody I Love You," to cite one of his magazine ads--was brought to the fore through the instrumentality of stock images associated with happy t imes: ribbons and bows, jewelry, toys, birthday cake, and lots of shiny new stuff.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Everyone is afraid of modern art

Why should this be the so? Why is modern art apparently so intractable? Are the artists simply emperors parading in their new clothes? What lies at the root of a fear that we are being deceived or tricked? Is this art which can have meaning for the many or is it simply for the few, those critics, curators and collectors who form an inner circle? To try to give some answers I shall have to examine my own experience.

A painting or sculpture may be a window on the visible world; it may heighten the sense of your place in that world or engender reflection on the nature of being. It may also provoke joy, laughter, anger or pain. Many of us would associate these attributes with the art of the past: the experience of space, light and colour in Chartres Cathedral, the muscular beauty of a young male torso in a Michelangelo drawing, the poise of Vermeer's Girl reading a letter, the radiance of nature in a Constable oil sketch. But for many people it remains hard to see how similar qualities can be found in the art of our own time.

Much modern art is, at first sight, unnerving. Personally, I rather welcome this. In the contemporary world we have come to expect instant response and immediate understanding. The very fact that a painting or sculpture can be taken in at a glance encourages the belief that everything should be immediately comprehended. However, new art, like old repays prolonged attention as layers of meaning slowing disclose themselves.
Damien Hirst's Mother and Child Divided 1993 is a work which can at first glance be read as nothing more than two brutally severed carcasses. "A freak show" was how the art critic of the Sunday Telegraph responded to its presentation in the Turner Prize in 1995. For me, the undoubted shock, even disgust provoked by the work is part of its appeal. Art should be transgressive. Life is not all sweet. Walking between the two halves and seeing the isolation of the calf from the cow encourages deeper readings of the work. Perhaps this is an essay on birth and death and on the psychological and physical separation between a mother and her child, especially given that the work was first made for an exhibition in Venice, a city filled with images of the Madonna and Christ child. For me Mother and Child Divided is an unforgettable image, at once raw and tender, brazen and subtle.
But I've come to realise that it's precisely when I am most challenged in my own reactions that the deepest insights emerge. Frequently, the greatest rewards come from the most unyielding. For many years, and like many British people, I had little feeling for the most expressive and roughest form of early twentieth century European painting, the expressionism of German artists around the First World War like Kirchner. In the late Seventies I was confronted by contemporary German painting of an expressive kind. My initial reaction was to dismiss the rough hewn sculptures and aggressively painted figures of an artist like Georg Baselitz. And, of course, Baselitz made it even more difficult by inverting his figures in order to encourage a reading of the painting as a composition of shape and colour rather than primarily as a likeness. Gradually, however, I found myself attracted to this language of raw anguish and emotion. Later I was able to connect the work of Baselitz with the carved figures of German Renaissance limewood sculptors and painters like Gr�newald, whose Isenheim altarpiece showing the removal of Christ's body from the cross is one of the most harrowing images in art. Recently, I came across Nigredo one of Anselm Kiefer's expansive landscapes from the Eighties in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I was surprised that this huge painting of the burning stubble of a razed cornfield which had appeared so rough and incoherent only fifteen years ago, now had an elegaic quality.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Quinn mixing the art sceen

Quinn is no stranger to mixing art with science.
Quinn’s sculpture, paintings and drawings often deal with the distanced relationship we have with our bodies, highlighting how the conflict between the ‘natural’ and ‘cultural’ has a grip on the contemporary psyche. In 1999, Quinn began a series of marble sculptures of amputees as a way of re-reading the aspirations of Greek and Roman statuary and their depictions of an idealised whole. One such work depicted Alison Lapper, a woman who was born without arms, when she was heavily pregnant. Quinn subsequently enlarged this work to make it a major piece of public art for the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square. Other key themes in his work include genetic modification and hybridism. Garden (2000), for instance, is a walk-through installation of impossibly beautiful flowers that will never decay, or his ‘Eternal Spring’ sculptures, featuring flowers preserved in perfect bloom by being plunged into sub-zero silicone. Quinn has also explored the potential artistic uses of DNA, making a portrait of a sitter by extracting strands of DNA and placing it in a test-tube. DNA Garden (2001), contains the DNA of over 75 plant species as well as 2 humans: a re-enactment of the Garden of Eden on a cellular level. Quinn’s diverse and poetic work meditates on our attempts to understand or overcome the transience of human life through scientific knowledge and artistic expression.
Meet Kate Moss - contorted
Useful link
The White Cube gallery

Mark Quinn's Sphinx, after Kate Moss
'This is not a portrait of a person, it's a portrait of an image twisted by our collective desires. She is a knotted Venus of our age' ... Mark Quinn on Sphinx.

Marc Quinn's last sculpture transformed Alison Lapper - a woman lacking arms and fully developed legs - into a dramatic, powerful figure for Trafalgar Square. His new work, Sphinx, takes a woman of unearthly beauty and transforms her into a contorted figure with her ankles uncomfortably wrapped round her ears.

The work is Quinn's much anticipated sculpture of Kate Moss, seen here for the first time before going on view in the Netherlands this month.

Article continues
"The two sculptures are really about the same thing: why we do, or do not, find a person beautiful," he said.

And no, Moss is not working up to an alternative career in extreme yoga. Though the body depicted is Moss's, and the hands and feet are life casts, another model was used to create the position. "I found a person who could do the yoga pose," said Quinn, "and we made a lot of drawings, photographs and measurements. Then Kate came into the studio. I'd done some life casts of her in the past, and we made more measurements and photos. From all that we sculpted Kate's body in the pose; this is her body and her proportions."

Quinn was drawn to Moss because of her ambiguous place in our culture: a creature who is admired and observed obsessively, but about whom we have little real knowledge.

"She is a contemporary version of the Sphinx. A mystery. There must be something about her that has clicked with the collective unconscious to make her so ubiquitous, so spirit of the age," Quinn said. "When people look back at this time she'll be the archetypal image, just as Louise Brooks was in the 1920s. For me as an artist it's interesting to make something about the time I live in."

This is not a personal portrait of Moss; the work makes no attempt to convey her inner life. "It's a portrait of an image, and the way that image is sculpted and twisted by our collective desire," Quinn said. "She is a mirror of ourselves, a knotted Venus of our age."

Alison Lapper Pregnant was a conscious counterpoint to the Venus de Milo. The latter, though once complete, is now instantly recognisable by its missing limbs. The Trafalgar Square sculpture is complete in itself.

Sphinx, on the other hand, appears to have more limbs than it really does - like a version, Quinn suggested, of the multi-limbed Hindu deity, Shiva. He also pointed to the Hellenistic sculpture of Laocoön, the priest who, with his sons, was strangled by serpents for warning the Trojans about the Greeks' wooden horse. That statue, in the Vatican Museums, is a writhing mass of arms, legs, and thigh-thick snakes. He mentioned, too, the painting by Ingres in the National Gallery of Oedipus and the Sphinx, in which the mythical Greek figure confronts a half-woman, half-lion, and answers her riddle (what goes on four legs, three legs, two legs? - answer: man).

Moss - who has proved an irresistible model for artists including Lucian Freud - had no hesitation in being thus depicted. "She came round to the studio and looked at some drawings. She got it immediately and was really excited about it," he said.

The work is not carved from marble, like Alison Lapper Pregnant. It was cast in bronze and then painted white, creating a flat, blank surface. "Marble is too delicate, Quinn said. "I wanted a screen, something totally neutral."

If anything, said Quinn, Moss's brushes with the law had only made her image more potent. "When she had those troubles there was a collision between her real life and the image. The two didn't fit, and it seemed unacceptable to people.

"Paradoxically, though, it's made her bigger and stronger because it has humanised her. It's a bit like going back to ancient marble sculpture. One of the reasons people like fragmented marble sculpture is that there's a sense of loss that makes it more human.

"Kate's body is perfect, but her problems with the press and drugs and so forth is her lost limb; the one imperfection that makes her more beautiful."

The sculpture is part of a planned series of works of Moss in yogic poses, to be first shown as a group in New York. Quinn's next project is no less striking. The walls of his east London studio are now hung with watercolour sketches of foetuses - over the course of the next year to be transformed into nine three-metre-tall pink marble statues of embryos at each month of gestation, to go on display, he hopes, in London. The man who famously cast his head in his own blood and froze it is still "into birth and life and death - all the usual stuff".

Monday, April 9, 2007

Mr. Schnabel dug his own grave

There are six very big paintings in this show and one tall ugly sculpture. If critical judgment must be reduced to "You get it or you don't," then I guess I don't. Five of these paintings are based on a picture of a blonde haired girl that Schnabel allegedly stumbled upon while visiting a thrift store. These enormous canvases range in size from 10 to 13 feet in height and 9 to 12 feet in length. There are enough large patches of sky blue in this room to make you queasy. In each of these paintings a drippy band of paint stretches from the right or left edge of the canvas across the part of the face where the eyes would normally be, but does not quite reach the opposite edge. Schnabel has left the eyes out of every image. These paintings are painfully self-conscious. Schnabel, using wax and oil paint, attempts to emulate the painting style of an amateur. The lips and noses recede, the shadows and highlights float above the surfaces, the flesh tones are smeared on to faces like rouge. The modernists used the visual vocabulary of the insane and primitive cultures to put the final nail in the coffin of academicism. Since we are in the age of "anything goes" I am not sure why post-modernists, including Schnabel, still think that bad painting is interesting or necessary. By aping a distinctly naive painting technique Schnabel tries to elevate the marginal to a higher plane, lending his name to the whole process. According to the press release Schnabel left the eyes out of these giant paintings of faces "as a means to force the viewer to look at the paintings and not the eyes." I for one never felt that the presence of eyes in a portrait interfered with my ability to enjoy the formal qualities of the whole. Removing the eyes undercuts the psychological impact and diminishes the viewer's curiosity. If the eyes were painted in and then scratched out these images would be more unsettling. Judging by the amount of time each gallery-goer I encountered spent looking at these monstrosities, (if you consider spinning around slowly with a smirk on your face and hurrying out of the room to be looking) one wonders if they would have held more interest with the eyes left in.

Also, why bother doing a series of these images? If he spent his time painting one really good portrait of a giant girl it would have greater artistic value then these self congratulatory tributes to bad painting. I can't help but imagine Schnabel whispering in my ear, "Look at what beauty I found in the junk shop." On a formal level, the color schemes are abysmal, the opposite of intoxicating. The forms, self-consciously ill proportioned and insensitively rendered, are as unimpressive as they would if encountered in a much smaller and more modest format in the thrift store racks. The painting and sculpture in the west gallery (Ahab, 2002 and Anno Domini, 1990) are thoroughly unappealing. The bronze sculpture looks like a spiked phallus from hell and the uninspired monument to expressionist brushwork on the wall behind it is a typical Schnabel song and dance: a splatter here, a dry caked up area there, some obscure fragments of text thrown into the mix for good measure. The pointless Latin title really irked me. All that is really impressive, at the end of the day, is that Schnabel owns a big enough warehouse in which to create these half-hearted attempts at great painting.


I think Mr. Schnabel dug his own grave with the comment about "covering the eyes so that you'd appreciate the formal qualities of the painting". For that matter, maybe the whole painting should be covered since the whole thing is a distraction from the formal qualities of painting as a whole.

Born: 1951, New York, New York
B.F.A., University of Houston, Texas, 1973
Lives and works in New York, New York

Julian Schnabel came to prominence in the eighties as a leading figure in what came to be known as "neo-expressionism". Schnabel's work often displays a romantic or heroic content, which was seen, after decades when cool minimalism and conceptual art had completely eclipsed painting, as innovatively emotive and subjective. Along with the attention Schnabel garnered for his painting came a hype and controversial stardom never before seen in the art world. Schnabel was, as one observer puts it, "dealt with more as a phenomenon than as a painter", so that the hype surrounding the artist--often self-generated---occluded the importance of the work.

Schnabel is perhaps most famous outside the art world for painting on broken plates and crockery applied onto typically vast wooden armatures. Though he made many works that did not employ this device, these unusual surfaces became his signature style. According to the artist, the idea came to him during a reverie in Europe, when he "had the funny idea" that he wanted to make a painting the size of the oddly large closet in his cheap hotel room, covered with broken plates. The works he made upon his return possessed a sculptural and tactile vitality that catapulted Schnabel into the limelight. The plate painting Self-Portrait in Andy's Shadow illustrated here, demonstrates Schnabel's frequent use of the plate surfaces for large-scale portraiture, mostly of friends and personalities in the art world. Schnabel here makes his own image and links it, as homage, to Andy Warhol, whose date of death is written on the surface.