Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

Archive for the Eyecandy category

Max Klinger at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Strasbourg, and OH MAH GAWD IS SHE BACK OR WAT

by Suzanne on July 22nd, 2012


An die Schönheit; Vom Tode Zweiter Teil by Max Klinger, etching, 1890, courtesy V&A London - click to enlarge

Hi. I guess I'm back. Let's see whether I can still werq dis blog, yo.

In case you were wondering, I've been mainly hanging out over on FB (yes, yes, I know... stop looking at me like that - it just so happens that most of my online contacts are over there and it's just been too convenient to stay in touch). Anyway, just like most other anti-social online platforms, I'm using FB in a very unusual and actually useful way so if you care about getting a more daily dose of Wurzeltod®, you can subscribe to its public updates.

I'll try to do a better job at mirroring my FB posts to my Twitter like I used to do in the past for all those of you who rightly boycott FB, but let's face it, it's just not in my nature to ever be concise enough to tweet successfully.

I have also fed the forum with loads of new content, so go check it out and please note that a lot of the posts are NSFW. I can highly recommend the Symbiosis/Parasitism/Mutual Decay, the Eros & Thanatos as well as the Eyeballs thread. They make me happy. Yes they do.

Flickr update is also imminent, btw, maybe this news is of interest to those of you who still mainly remember me for sporting industrial insulation tape on nipples and other shit we used to do on Fotolog in the early noughties for reasons I now ABSOLUTELY cannot remember.

NEVER MIND.. on to more important matters now: Art that doesn't suck. We'll start with painter, sculptor and engraver genius Max Klinger.


Brahmsphantasie, Opus XII: Abduction of Prometheus by Max Klinger, etching, 1894 - click to enlarge

Max Klinger. We had him here back in 2008 with two examples from his magnificent dream-inspired Paraphrases about the Finding of a Glove series from 1881.

Now the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Strasbourg is presenting a vast range of his engravings in a show called Max Klinger - The Theatre of the Bizarre which, as the title suggests, hopes to focus on how Klinger was forever driven by dream imagery and the relentless search for ways to visualise the cryptic, the elusive, the primordial, the eldritch, the uncharted, the subconscious.

Strasbourg hasn't sent me the press login through yet but with the museum's graphic arts room housing nearly 200 of Klinger's engravings, I can guarantee you that you will find some fantastic oneiric trouvailles at this retrospective.

Details below.


Rettungen Ovidischer Opfer, Opus II: Erstes Intermezzo by Max Klinger, etching, courtesy British Museum London - click to enlarge

On show: May 15 - Sep 16, 2012

Address: Museum of Modern and contemporary Art (MAMC), 1, place Hans Jean Arp, Strasbourg, France, tel: +33 (0)3 88 23 31 31 | Map

Hours: Tue - Sun: 10 AM - 6 PM

Admission: €7

Press release

WurzelForum discussion

Julie Heffernan's "Infinite Work in Progress" at Oklahoma City Museum of Art

by Suzanne on March 2nd, 2012


Self Portrait as Post Script by Julie Heffernan, 2007, oil on canvas, 67 x 56 inches - click to enlarge

Announcements of new Heffernan shows (thank you, Phantasmaphile!) are always a good excuse for me to go for a dive in the endless pool of her archived works - and realise that Booty (see image above and below) remains my favourite series to date.

And although I'm not entirely sure which of her flora-and-fauntastical self-portraits will be on show at the Infinite Work in Progress solo show, the well-chosen title and the fact that there's over 20 works on display both suggest that the probability that you'll get to see something from the Booty series is mathematically speaking relatively high.

I know I normally tend to post free exhibitions here but yes, I would still say that it's worth the $12 (OUCH, Y THOUGH?!) admission fee.

Details below.


Self Portrait as Spill by Julie Heffernan, 2007, oil on canvas, 68 x 60 inches - click to enlarge

On show: Feb 16 - May 13, 2012

Address: Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, Oklahoma City, OK 73102, USA, tel: (405) 236-3100 or (800) 579-9ART, email: info@okcmoa.com | Map

Hours: Tue - Sat: 10 AM - 5 PM, Sun: 12 - 5 PM

Admission: $12

Press release

WurzelForum discussion

Nazif Topçuoğlu at Green Art Gallery, Dubai

by Suzanne on February 23rd, 2012


Like Thieves at Midnight by Nazif Topçuoğlu, c-print, 121 x 210 cm, 2011 - click to enlarge

Ah, I missed the glorious opportunity to tie this post in with my recent article on Hisaji Hara - it would have been a very smooth and insightful transition as both Nazif and Hisaji sure are experts in the complex inner workings and psychopathologies of Balthusesque girlhood.

Nazif has a particularly great eye for all those (mind) games girls play and he uses the anachronistic form of the tableau vivant as his artistic modus operandi and way to study these games.

They're not too overcrowded tableaux though so every single protagonist becomes an integral part of the plot. The girls strike pathos-laden meandering poses reminiscent of distant art history - to mind come motives such diverse as the Pietà, the Deposition from the Cross, the Incredulity of Saint Thomas, Salome, even the Raft of the Medusa, Liberty Leading the People and famous death scenes from Jacques-Louis David’s Marat to Henry Wallis' gorgeous Death of Chatterton. I could go on. I want to go on as this is exactly what makes Nazif's work so very rich but I'm afraid I'd never get to an end.


The Turtle Charmer by Nazif Topçuoğlu, c-print, 167 x 120 cm, 2011 - click to enlarge

The details of the scenes are staggering too and always spot on: We see seductively parted lips, extruding collar bones, golden glowing skin - youth doesn't come much more beckoning than as it's captured in Nazif's work.

It's also fascinating to observe that his group scenes never seem staged, but narrated; his girls are never exposed but embedded; they are not vulnerable and exploited but self-conscious and very much in charge of the scene - in one sentence: They have definitely grown up.

In a way, it could be argued that Nazif is just as much a director or a choreographer as he is a photographer because getting these nuances right is something that has a lot to do with understanding every single bone and muscle of the body and face - and that's also precisely what gives his tableaux a very painterly, very warm, very intimate, very incarnate and very baroque atmosphere.

I know it's probably rather unlikely you are in the United Arab Emirates right now but if you ARE, do go check out his very comprehensive solo show at Green Art Gallery in Dubai until March 5. Details below.


Introspection by Nazif Topçuoğlu, c-print, 120 x 168 cm, 2010 - click to enlarge

On show: Jan 11 - Mar 5, 2012

Address: Green Art Gallery, Al Quoz 1, Street 8, Al Serkal Avenue, Unit 28, P.O.Box 257 11, Dubai, UAE, tel: + 9714 346 9305, email: info@gagallery.com | Map

Preview

Artist's website

WurzelForum discussion

Hisaji Hara at Michael Hoppen Gallery, London

by Suzanne on February 18th, 2012


A Study of "Because Cathy taught him what she learnt" by Hisaji Hara, 2010 - click to enlarge

I think it must have been the lovely Nana Rapeblossom who first introduced me to Hisaji Hara's work a few months back and I must admit that it comes as a bit of a surprise to see him showing at Michael Hoppen now.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Hoppen as it's a fantastic gallery with superb curating and as a matter of fact, they're also hosting a marvellous Guy Bourdin show at Hoppen Contemporary right now - but it seems I had just subconsciously assumed that for his first solo show on European soil, he would choose a museum rather than gallery context given his penchant for highly composed arrangements and established European painters, especially (and obviously) Balthus.


A Study of "But it was one of their chief amusements to run away to the moors" by Hisaji Hara, 2010 - click to enlarge

There's softened spatial serenity, composed simplicity, powdered sexuality, layered architecture, and ahistorical frozen theatricality to his works which are all aspects that are becoming ever rarer in a contemporary photography landscape which often seems dominated by the ironic dirty scenester snapshot so it's a huge joy and inspiration to see such works being appreciated "over here". Definitely a must-see for all London folks.

Opens Feb 24. Details below.


A Study of "Katia Reading" by Hisaji Hara, 2009 - click to enlarge

On show: Feb 24 - Mar 31, 2012

Address: Michael Hoppen Gallery, 3 Jubilee Place, London SW3 3TD, UK, tel: +44 (0)20 7352 3649, email: gallery@michaelhoppengallery.com | Map

Hours: Mon - Fri: 10.30 AM - 6 PM, Sat: 10.30 - 5 PM

Preview

Artist's website

WurzelForum discussion

Stuart Pearson Wright's "Together in Electric Dreams" at Riflemaker, London

by Suzanne on January 11th, 2012


Dicky by Stuart Pearson Wright, oil on oval canvas, hand-carved frame, 40 x 50cm, 2011 - click to enlarge

I remember being two days early to the opening reception of Stuart's previous I Remember You solo show at the Riflemaker (somehow, those Monday evening opening receptions seem to confuse me a great deal) but the staff was lovely enough to let me in despite being in the midst of show preparation works and I could even say hello to Stuart and get my book signed, yay.

But. I'd be lying if I said that Together in Electric Dreams, his 2nd Riflemaker show, made me want to be there two days early again because well, the works really don't look nearly as detailed, vibrant and grotesquely distorted as last time.

Maybe too much time was spent on hand-carving the nautical frames? I'm not sure but for me, this is all going a bit too much in the direction of Turf One/Jean Labourdette which is weird because just like John Currin, Stuart's got a fantastic eye for the caricaturesque and grotesque in human forms, camp postures, hyperbolized sentiments and satirized landscapes.

The press release states:

"[...] The works are presented in neo-baroque frames which have been hand-sculpted in jesmonite by the artist. The painting’s luxurious surfaces are peppered with real diamonds, precious stones and metals, pearls, real hair, make-up, sequins and glitter. [...]"

Which is all very nice - don't get me wrong - but I just hope he'll come back to focus on the weird, awkward and uncanny rather than trad tattoos and the burlesque *yawn* - cause that's really bindun all over the place - particularly in lowbrow/street/new contemporary/whatever-you-call-it art. Stuart's way better than that.

Show opened on Monday and will remain on view until Feb 15. Details below.

On show: Jan 9 - Feb 15, 2012

Address: Riflemaker, 79 Beak Street, London, W1F 9SU, tel: +44 (0) 20 7439 0000, email: info@riflemaker.org | Map

Hours: Mon - Fri: 10 AM - 6 PM, Sat: 12 - 6 PM

Preview | Press release

Artist's website

WurzelForum discussion

20 Most Popular Posts on Wurzeltod in 2011

by Suzanne on December 26th, 2011

To wrap up 2k11 on the Wurzelblog, I decided to post the 20 articles you guys liked best - according to likes, shares and reactions - and I must say, you've got a rather amazing and futureproof taste in the arts, people.

Many thanks for taking the time to submit stories, comment and interact in the past year(s).

(In order of popularity and ordered into rather random categories. Click on images to read stories.)

JAPANOPHILIA

ART FEATURES & REVIEWS

HISTORY & SCIENCE

INTERNA

(Late) Crismis YouTube Special

by Suzanne on December 25th, 2011

Please excuse the lack of updates in the recent past, gentle reader. It's due to very bad internet access that pretty much only allows me to update my Facebook with the usual award-winning and highly offensive daily dose of anti-information.

Anyways, because this is an oh-so special time of consumerist rubbishness, I decided that I should really annoy you and your family with some very obnoxious LOLmas videos for absolutely no reason.

Featuring an awesome Jewish kid, a very disappointed non-Jewish kid, Heino, as well as Irish and 3D creepiness. Thanks to PoE for the inspiration and beautiful and very talented Suzanne Walsh for the Moving Crib video from her homeland.

Enjoy.

Oh, and if you made it this far without an intracerebral hemorrhage, I suggest you now lock yourself in a pitch-black room with this video projected onto all four walls. Then swallow the key.

Merry Whatever from Wurzeltod. x

Matsui Fuyuko print editions and exhibition at Yokohama Museum of Art, Japan

by Suzanne on December 6th, 2011


Keeping Up the Pureness by Matsui Fuyuko, 2005 (original) and 2010 (reproduction) - click to enlarge

Matsui Fuyuko. Insanely talented, bright, stunningly beautiful. And modest. There's more than enough reasons to worship this artist but for me personally, it's the fact that she wrote her doctoral dissertation on The Inescapable Awakening to Pain, through Visual Perception via the Sensory Nerves. *bites lips*

If you don't want to take my word for it but convince yourself of her many talents, please watch this footage of her working on Carved Limbs on an Altar over here on YouTube (sadly, embedding has been disabled).

I must say it's an absolute mystery to me why she's not as big in the occidental art world as back in Japan but it seems that enthusiasm for her work is slowly growing and as every so often, it's French galleries and publishing houses leading the way. And anyways, it's not like art appreciation in the West in this apathetic and ironic century still has ANYTHING whatsoever to do with technique, ingenuity, originality, imagination or vision. Sometimes it actually seems like it's the very opposite that's in demand.

Anyways, back to Matsui Fuyuko: First of all, Gallery Naruyama in Tokyo in conjunction with Galerie DA-END in Paris has released a beautiful signed and limited edition box sets of Matsui's oeuvre containing 20 of her artworks, including the very popular Nyctalopia and Keeping Up the Pureness (above). It can be pre-ordered from Naruyama for JPY 46,000. There's also a "KIRI" special deluxe set in an edition of 45 only which includes an engraving of the gorgeous Rough Draft for Virgin Specimen (2009, bottom) for JPY 480,000. More details on how to reserve and order here.

And before you go "Uh, that's very pricey. Bitch!" think about what sums the likes of Mark Ryden sell BOOKS full of repetitive iconography for these days. Also check the edition size on that. Exactly. I rest my case.

And in other brilliant news, Matsui Fuyuko will have an exhibition entitled Becoming Friends with All the Children in the World which opens later this month at Yokohama Museum of Art and will remain on view until March 2012. I know it sounds like a Michael Jackson manifesto, but I'm somehow sure that's not what it's about at all. More details about the show below.


Rough Draft for Virgin Specimen by Matsui Fuyuko, 2009 - click to enlarge

On show: Dec 17, 2011 - Mar 18, 2012

Address: Yokohama Museum of Art, 3-4-1, Minatomirai, Nishi-ku, Yokohama 220-0012, Japan, tel: +81 (0)45 221 0300 | Map

Hours: Fri - Wed: 10 AM - 6 PM

Admission: ¥1,100

Preview & press release

Artist's website

WurzelForum discussion

Mirka Lugosi at Confort Moderne, Poitiers, France

by Suzanne on December 2nd, 2011


© Mirka Lugosi, 2008

I posted an introduction to Mirka Lugosi's work only back in October when she was showing her work in Montpellier and well, she's already having another exhibition entitled L'Homme Invisible on French soil, this time held at Confort Moderne in Poitiers.


© Mirka Lugosi, 2006 - click to enlarge

It'll remain on display until January 2012 and from what I can see it's a very comprehensive show focussing on her drawings and presenting works from pretty much the entire past decade of her artistic shenanigans.. but wait, there is more:

"[...] L'exposition au Confort Moderne se construit autour d'un ensemble représentatif de son travail des dix dernières années et inclut d'autres travaux comme des illustrations des années 80 et 90 ou encore des archives des lives du Syndicat. Enfin, quelques photos vintage de Gilles Berquet et des éléments mobiliers qui l'accompagnent lors de ses séances de travail donnent une vue élargie de l'œuvre et du parcours de Mirka Lugosi."

Ouais! Do go check this out, les enfants! Details below.


From the Le malaise enchanté series by Mirka Lugosi

On show: Nov 19, 2011 - Jan 13, 2012

Address: Le confort moderne / Association L'Oreille est Hardie, 185 rue du Faubourg du Pont-Neuf, 86000 Poitiers, France, tel: +33 [0]5 49 46 08 08, email: box[at]confort-moderne[dot]fr

Hours: Mon - Fri: 2 - 6 PM

Preview & press release

Artist's website

WurzelForum discussion

Christopher Conn Askew's "96 Tears" at Merry Karnowsky, Los Angeles

by Suzanne on December 1st, 2011


A Teardrop and a Flame by Christopher Conn Askew, watercolour, ink, graphite, nail polish & gouache on paper, 18 x 24 inches, 2011 - click to enlarge

96 Tears is one of the very few exhibitions where I don't even mind looking at the opening photographs because for once, they're full of beautiful and inspiring people - amongst them, obviously, the brilliant Askew-san himself.

For me, it has become ever clearer over the years that CC Askew is one of those rare artists who - rather than beginning to focus on the easy recipe of iconography that works and recurring themes that sell - constantly expand their intellectual and occult horizons, artistic heritage and understanding of foreign cultures and thus manage to integrate ever new aspects into their works.

In a way, CC has sometimes almost been a bit of a reverse Suehiro Maruo to me because just like Maruo - who has an obsession for blending motives from the Golden Age of Hollywood into his works - Askew does something similar with oriental cultures. And just like a Vania Zouravliov he does it with the utmost respect, admiration and sensitivity.

But this simple analogy would not do the master justice as he's an iconosynthesist in his own right who has created his very own visual language and narrative codes.

So YEAH, what am I even writing this all for? It's all pretty self-evident from the two new works posted here that you should absolutely go see 96 Tears if you're in L.A. before December 10.

And in the meantime, I'll be sitting here praying to the Elder Gods that Askew will be asked to design Shin Megami Tensei: Persona characters some fine day in the future.


No Golden Years by Christopher Conn Askew, watercolour, ink, graphite, nail polish, gouache & gold leaf on paper, 12 x 27 inches, 2011 - click to enlarge

On show: Nov 12 - Dec 10, 2011

Address: Merry Karnowsky Gallery, 170 S. La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA, tel: 323.933.4408 | Map

Hours: Tue - Sat: 12 - 6 PM

Preview | Opening photos

WurzelForum discussion