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Archive for the Curiosa & Forteana category

Ryo Arai in "Essence of Edo-Tokyo" at ICN, London

by Suzanne on November 4th, 2011


Jorogumo by Ryo Arai - click to enlarge

This is an exhibition announcement for a brand new gallery space London, i.e. myself, has been waiting for: ICN Gallery has officially set foot in Leonard Street to FINALLY bring some much needed japanophilia to East London's art scene and will therefore from now on be my first automatic stop to check out in town - just like the always yummy sushi counter at the Japan Centre.

Essence of Edo-Tokyo presents the works of Ryo Arai & ITARO - both are showing to a London audience for the very first time.


Ubume (detail) by Ryo Arai - click to enlarge

You can tell I'm particularly enamored with Ryo Arai's papier-mâché yokai and I cannot wait to see his works in person. The images featured here are all from his Yokai Hariko series but from what I can see in the press release, only the top sculpture, Jorogumo, will be exhibited - together with other recent oeuvres by him.

The press release states very correctly:

"Utilizing techniques from Edo karakuri, transom sculpture, netsuke and noh theatre mask making, his transcendent techniques makes it hard for the viewer to believe that his work is actually made out of paper."

Oh, and did I mention ICN also has a café specializing in Japanese tea?! Details below.


Mouryou (detail) by Ryo Arai - click to enlarge

On show: Oct 27 - Nov 19, 2011

Address: ICN, 96-98 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4RH, UK, tel: 020 7729 7977, email: info@icn-global.com

Hours: Mon - Sun: 12 - 7 PM

Press release

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"Memories of the Future - The Olbricht Collection" at Maison Rouge, Paris

by Suzanne on November 4th, 2011


Sex I by Jake and Dinos Chapman, 2003, painted bronze, 246 x 244 x 125 cm, courtesy Olbricht Collection, see my detail of the sculpture here - click to enlarge

There's those types of collectors who simply got it all: The Dürer, Schongauer and Goya engravings, the Chapman Bros and Berlinde de Bruyckere sculptures, the cabinet de curiosités, basically, the most drool-worthy art from the 16th century to dato.

Such a person is Thomas Olbricht - a medical doctor and totally compulsive art collector from Essen.

His modern art segment alone includes artists such as Glenn Brown, Maurizio Cattelan, Mat Collishaw, John Currin, Nathalie Djurberg, Marlène Dumas, Katharina Fritsch, Julie Heffernan, Ron Mueck, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Patricia Piccinini, Pierre et Gilles, Floria Sigismondi, Kiki Smith and Sam Taylor-Wood.

But yeah, you guessed it, I could go on forever and ever. DAYUM.

Anyways, for the first time ever, a fantastic chunk of some 150 works of his collection is traveling to France to go on show at the phenomenal Maison Rouge in Paris that I reported about back in March when they had the tasty Tous Cannibales exhibition there.

Olbricht's Memories of the Future opened in late October and will remain on show until mid-January of 2012. All details below.


Elements from the Wunderkammer © me Collectors Room Berlin, Photo Bernd Borchardt, courtesy Olbricht Collection - click to enlarge

On show: Oct 22, 2011 - Jan 15, 2012

Address: La Maison Rouge, 10 Boulevard de la Bastille, 75012 Paris, France, tel: +33(0) 1 40 01 08 81 | Map

Hours: Wed - Sun: 11 AM - 7 PM, late-night Thu until 9 PM

Admission: €7

Press kit | Petit journal

Catalogue: Published in French and English with colour illustrations, €25.

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Leopold Rabus & Rabus Family at Cueto Project, New York

by Suzanne on October 30th, 2011


Neige et Renard by Leopold Rabus, oil on canvas, 230 x 300 cm, 2007 - click to enlarge

From this coming Saturday onwards, Swiss Family Rabus will be presenting works by Papa Alex, Mama Renate, sons Till & Leopold in a family show entitled The Rabus Go West at Cueto Project in New York.

Artist families showing together is an extremely sweet thing and way too rare in this age, so even though I have no clear idea of what's going to be on show, rest assured that it will be a highly personal and emotional show that you shouldn't miss.

And look, aren't they just the cutest?!


Le Point d'Eau by Leopold Rabus, oil on canvas, 240 x 300 cm, 2008 - click to enlarge

My favourite of the bunch is obviously young Leopold Rabus from Neuchâtel - whom I featured here a couple of times in the past and whose artistic proficiency continues to amaze me with his Tauwetter aesthetic, his collapsed perspectives, his honest and so very non-Swiss look at filth, anatomy and degeneration, his Balzacian description of landscapes that look like eternal battlefields - forever picturesquely traumatised.

Details to The Rabus Go West below.


Veau en train de brouter (detail) by Leopold Rabus, oil on canvas, 240 x 300 cm, 2008 - click to enlarge

Opening reception: Saturday, Nov 5, 2011, 6 - 8 PM

On show: Nov 5 - 26, 2011

Address: Cueto Project, 551, West 21st Street, New York, NY 10011, USA, tel : + 1 212 229 2221, email: info@cuetoproject.com | Map

Hours: Tue - Sat: 10 AM - 6 PM

Artist's website

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Mirka Lugosi's "Datura Park" at Galerie Chantiers BoîteNoire, Montpellier

by Suzanne on October 16th, 2011


© Mirka Lugosi, coloured pencil on paper, 58 x 78 cm, 2010 - click to enlarge

I assume that life is pretty sweet when your surname is Lugosi. If in addition, you possess some kickass graphite, ink, gouache and shading skills, you might really be Bela's granddaughter.

Muse to the great Gilles Berquet, Mirka Lugosi has clearly taken some of his approaches and motives on board but made up her very own distinctive language of visual storytelling.

Blending together a rather Helmut Newtonesque understanding of the female body, a love affair with Bellmeresque legscapes and Ruppertesque hair tornados, a ritualistic naivety and playful alchemy reminiscent of Marcel Dzama, she entraps us in a weirdly ravaged and thorny Jurassic landscape with phallic plants and rock formations, masochistically detailled anatomies, écorché dresses, gothic shrouds like Daniel Rabel was still walking amongst us and tight catsuits à la Les Vampires.

I know that all sounds pretty kaotic, but that's how it is, and I think if I had to summarise what Mirka's art is all about, I would tell you to go have a look at one of her earlier series, La Malaise Enchanté from 2002/03.


© Mirka Lugosi, graphite and coloured pencil on paper, 43 x 31 cm, 2011 - click to enlarge

According to the French press release, her show Datura Park features 20 recent and slightly older drawings and one installation piece:

"DATURA PARK propose un parcours en vingt dessins et une installation. Les paysages fétiches de l’artiste, l’évocation de la plante hallucinogène puissante et très toxique, parfois utilisée en fleur d’ornement sont au coeur de cette exposition."

For further reading, Mirka has some great books on offer on her own site - plus, you can also get her 80/90 book from the amazing Timeless Shop.

The show opened its doors earlier this month and will remain on view until shortly before Christmas.


© Mirka Lugosi, graphite and pigment ink on paper, 67 x 52 cm, 2010 - click to enlarge

On show: Oct 6 - Dec 23, 2011

Address: Galerie Chantiers BoîteNoire, Hôtel Baudon de Mauny, 1 rue carbonnerie, F-34000 Montpellier, France, tel: +33(0) 6 8658 2562, email: info@leschantiersboitenoire.com

Hours: Wed - Sat: 3.30 - 7 PM

Artist's website

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Felicity Powell's "Charmed Life - The Solace of Objects" at Wellcome Collection, London

by Suzanne on October 15th, 2011

© Felicity Powell, wax on back of mirror - click to enlarge (slightly)

As part of the Wellcome Collection's Miracles & Charms exhibition exploring objects of faith, hope and chance, artist, miniature sculptor and medal-maker Felicity Powell has been invited to enchant us with her vision of the Charmed Life by breathing new life into 400 carefully selected amulets from Henry Wellcome's collection - presented alongside her own mythological works.

Powell is a bit of an elusive one and information about her scarce on the web which is why I'm all the more excited to finally be given the chance to see her work in London.


Skull by Felicity Powell, wax on back of mirror, 2009 - click to enlarge (slightly)

The wonderfully bright and eloquent art historian Andrew Graham-Dixon once said about her work:

"[...] a series of astonishingly virtuoso, utterly compelling and haunting miniature bas-reliefs on the theme of strange Ovidian metamorphoses – human heads that are turning into outcrops of coral, figures shape-shifting into trees, or octopi, faces wreathed in snakes. Worked, with wondrous subtlety, from white wax on dark mirror glass, each one is a miracle of ingenuity."

Well there... he said it, the word I'm always afraid to use, "miracle", and he embedded it in a correct and justified context. Because watching Felicity create her works is truly that: Absolutely miraculous.

Charmed Life is part of the Miracles & Charms season and will remain on show until the end of February 2012.

Also on show at the Wellcome is Infinitas Gracias - a grand display of over 100 Mexican votive paintings.

Further details below.

© Felicity Powell, wax on back of mirror - click to enlarge (slightly)

On show: Oct 6, 2011 - Feb 26, 2012

Address: Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK, tel: +44 (0)20 7611 2222, email: info@wellcomecollection.org | Map & Directions

Hours: Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat: 10 AM - 6 PM, Thu: 10 AM - 10 PM, Sun: 11 AM - 6 PM

Admission: FREE

Miracles & Charms | Charmed Life

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Nathalie Djurberg's "A World of Glass" at Camden Arts Centre, London

by Suzanne on October 6th, 2011


A World of Glass (film still) by Nathalie Djurberg, 2011, courtesy of Zach Feuer Gallery NY - click to enlarge

You pretty much know it's going to be a great exhibition when the press release states that "some works in this exhibition touch on issues of a sensitive nature that may not be suitable for children."

So we're coming from one hot young female artist to another hot young female artist: This time, it's Nathalie Djurberg who I've featured here a couple of times before.

From tomorrow Friday, October 7 onwards, Nathalie will be showing A World of Glass, four new claymation pieces with music by the always faithful Hans Berg at the Camden Arts Centre in London.

The show will be on until early 2012 so you'll have plenty of time to check it out. AND YOU SHOULD!

Because they're new films, video footage itself is obviously not online yet so all we have are still images but it does all look very promising indeed.

From the press release:

"A World of Glass consists of four new synchronised films with a soundtrack produced by Djurberg’s collaborator Hans Berg, presented amongst an immersive installation of glass-like objects. Another new installation will flood the central space with luminous colour, and a series of earlier animations will be shown in the Reading Room."

The press release creeps me out a bit because I was just thinking of Goya when it mentioned Goya further down so I won't be quoting any more from it but fetch the tinfoil hat.

And in case you've never heard of Nathalie Djurberg until just now, here's what you can expect (well, it's one of her more creatively perverted pieces, and therefore one of my very favourites...)

On show: Oct 7, 2011 - Jan 8, 2012

Address: Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, London NW3 6DG, UK, tel: +44 (0)20 7472 5500, email: info@camdenartscentre.org | Directions

Hours: Tue - Sun: 10 AM - 6 PM, Wed: 10 AM - 9 PM

Press release & preview

WurzelForum discussion

In unrelated yet somewhat related news since I’ve been writing, editing, researching, coding, heck, even napping and falling in love on Macs for ages now:

R.I.P. Steve Jobs. You’ll live on in all these shiny things that have enabled me to do what I love doing. You have improved my life tremendously and in return I’ve given you lots of money, so I see it as a clear win-win situation.

Thank you and goodbye.

P.S.: Comments containing the phrase "capitalist pig" will be ignored for at least 24 hours.

Cristina Vergano at Islip Art Museum, East Islip

by Suzanne on October 5th, 2011


Please Leave When It Is Wise To by Cristina Vergano, 2006 - click to enlarge

Information about this exhibition/print release is a bit sparse but it seems that Cristina Vergano is currently presenting works from her brilliant Figure of Speech series in a group show at Islip Art Museum in East Islip.

There's nothing on their site about this though and the information I have comes directly from Cristina's gallery Woodward, so maybe contact Islip Art Museum itself first if you're planning to attend.

Woodward Gallery also seems to have released a number of motives from the Figure of Speech series as giclee prints (two of which are featured here - please pardon the bad resolution) and if you're interested to know more about them, please get in touch with Woodward Gallery. Seems like the edition size is limited to 12 only so I'm not sure how long they'll be around for.

Wow.. that was a lot of really useful information, innit? (¬_¬)


When, What, Why? by Cristina Vergano, 2006 - click to enlarge

On show: Sep 14 - Nov 13, 2011

Address: Islip Art Museum, 50 Irish Lane, East Islip, NY 11730, USA, tel: (631) 224-5402

Admission: Suggested donation is $3.

Hours: Wed - Sat: 10 AM - 4 PM, Sun: 12 - 4 PM

Artist's website

WurzelForum discussion

Madeline von Foerster's "Cabinet" - Exhibition and Print Release

by Suzanne on October 5th, 2011


Redwood Cabinet, 2008 by Madeline von Foerster, giclée print on Hahnemühle 310gsm, cotton rag paper, 28" x 20", ed. of 50, $240 - click to enlarge

Fantastic news for the lovers of symbiotic Wunderkammer art as Brooklyn based Skink Ink have just released beautifully lush and vibrant giclee prints of eight of Madeline von Foerster's most iconic works.

If you're local, you can go check out the prints in person at The Gallery at Skink Ink until October 23, for the worldwide audience:

This is a fantastic opportunity to get your filthy hands on Madeline's work for a very fair price and generously low edition size. The paper is Hahnemühle cotton rag and I know from my time working with prints that this gives a very haptic finish and A LOT of depth.

The details are as follows:

"Skink Ink is publishing an edition entitled 'Cabinet' which will comprise of a collection of six images, each 20” x 28”, which will be sold individually, each in an edition of 50. Ten copies of the complete Cabinet collection will be presented in a handmade portfolio case with printed interleaves offering additional information about each work. In addition there will be two further prints outside of the collection; a larger version of 'Amazon Cabinet' 24” x 36” in a an edition of 50 and a smaller print 'Invasive Species' (13” x 17”) in an edition of 100. All works are signed and numbered."

So that's 8 prints altogether, 6 of which are an edition of 50 that can be purchased individually or in a collected set and 2 hors-série prints - just to repeat everything and be generally annoying and patronising.

If you've still got questions about pricing and ordering, contact Philip Riley at 917 536 8347 or email him here.

Details about the exhibition are below.


Invasive Species II, 2008 by Madeline von Foerster, giclée print on Hahnemühle 310gsm, cotton rag paper, 13" x 17", ed. of 100, $125 - click to enlarge

On show: Sep 22- Oct 23, 2011

Address: Skink Ink Editions, 177 North 10th Street, Room G, Brooklyn NY 11211, USA, email: events@skink-ink.com, tel: 917 536 8347

Hours: Tue - Sun: 11 AM - 6 PM

Press release

Artist's website

WurzelForum discussion

Gabríela Friðriksdóttir's "Crepusculum" at Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt

by Suzanne on September 23rd, 2011


By Gabríela Friðriksdóttir, courtesy Cueto Project - click to enlarge

From the witchy hands of Gabríela Friðriksdóttir comes Crepusculum - her newest archaic-organic, proto-pagan, neo-ritualistic, chaos-elemental project . Yes, I made all these words up.

And to be even more annoying, I decided to not give you a preview of the actual work on show at Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt but of past works, because, to be quite frank with you, Crepusculum reminded me very much (too much?) of my esteemed friends Kahn & Selesnick's work - only in a slightly more Burning Man fashion.

Opens this coming Wednesday, Sep 28 - the artist will be in attendance. Details below.


Still from Björk's Where is the Line? by Gabríela Friðriksdóttir, courtesy Cueto Project - click to enlarge

Opening reception: Wed, Sep 28, 2011, 7 PM onwards - artist will be in attendance

On show: Sep 29, 2011 - Jan 8, 2012

Address: Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Römerberg, 60311 Frankfurt, Germany, tel: +49.69.299882.0, email: welcome@schirn.de | Directions

Hours: Tue, Fri - Sun: 10 AM - 7 PM, Wed-Thu: 10 AM - 10 PM

Admission: €5

Press release

WurzelForum discussion

Idiots' "Romantic Decay" Retrospective at ArtKitchen, Amsterdam

by Suzanne on September 20th, 2011


Hangjongeren by Idiots, taxidermy squirrel, hoodie, 2007, French private collection - click to enlarge

I first posted about Afke Golsteijn and Floris Bakker - better known as Idiots - in my Taxidermia Wurzeltodensis post over 4 years ago.

The taxidermists haven't been idle since then and are currently presenting their most recent creatures, sculptures and embroidery works at Amsterdam's artKitchen Gallery in a retrospective entitled Romantic Decay.

Sadly, the gallery never replied to my image request so I therefore have no clue what's precisely going to be on show and have decided to feature two of my old Idiots favourites here instead. Details for the show below.


Niet aaien! (Do not pet!) by Idiots, taxidermy hedgehog, pins, antique wheel, 30 x 20 x 15 cm, 2006, French private collection - click to enlarge

On show: Sep 18 - 27, 2011

Address: artKitchen Gallery, 1800 Roeden, Joris van den Berghweg 101, 1067 HP Amsterdam, The Netherlands, tel: +31 (0)20 6223422, email: info@artkitchen.nl | Directions

Opening hours: Wed - Sat: 1 - 6 PM, and by appointment

Press release

Artists' website

WurzelForum discussion