Spreading fear and mayhem in the visual arts.

Archive for the Erotica category

"Love & Cruelty" feat. Thom Puckey et al. at Gerhard Hofland, Amsterdam

by Suzanne on November 3rd, 2011

Installation view of Love & Cruelty at Gerhard Hofland, Amsterdam, showing Beretta M92 by Thom Puckey - click to enlarge

If you're in Amsterdam and you fancy some cruel lovin', you should head down/up to Gerhard Hofland where martial marble sculptor Thom Puckey has brought together three artists - including himself - for an impressive group show.

It's particularly beautiful to see how the smooth skin textures of Thom's marble Amazons compliment Michael Kirkham's hypersexualised yet nonchalant characters (... and aphrodisiac rooms with strangely erect non-phallic furniture and objects).

Beretta M92 by Thom Puckey - click to enlarge

Love & Cruelty opened last Saturday and will remain on view until December 10.

Details below.

Beretta M92 (detail) by Thom Puckey - click to enlarge

On show: Oct 29 - Dec 10, 2011

Address: Gerhard Hofland, Bilderdijkstraat 165-c, 1053 kp Amsterdam, The Netherlands, email: mail@gerhardhofland.com, tel: +31(0) 20 4121772

Hours: Wed - Sat: 1 - 6 PM

Press release

WurzelForum discussion

Richard Stipl & Co.'s "Savant" at High Roller Society, London

by Suzanne on November 1st, 2011

Installation view of Savant at High Roller Society, London, showing Richard Stipl's work - click to enlarge

When I first got an invite to this show, I couldn't believe that a London gallery would put together so many of my favourite young international artists for a group show. And a street art gallery on top of that!

Then I heard that artist Joe Becker was in charge of curating Savant and the epicness of it all immediately made a lot of sense.

Savant shows the works of Richard Stipl - who I still suspect to be the great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson (YES, OF COURSE I calculated that!) of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt - Rory Dean, Peggy Kouroumalos, Joe Becker, James Unsworth et al.

I sincerely wish they hadn't slapped the term "New Gothic Art" into their press release and what exactly is supposedly "idiotic" about any of this art I will never understand; as a matter of fact, I don't even find any of it "offensive", but oh well, this is the UK, I come from a different school of cannibalist Marxist thinking and I guess this type of work seems somewhat "strange" and "wacky" to the lazy European eyeball.

So let's just agree that they're fantastic works by very talented young international artists, ja? Danke.

Do go see this. It's rare to get a group show like that in Londinium. Trust me.

Oh, and if someone could please tell me whether Stipl's The Ritual has indeed dentures on it or whether someone just left them there by accident, that would be much appreciated. They only appear in this installation view and the whole thing really confused me. Thanks.

Installation view of Savant at High Roller, London, showing Joe Becker's and Richard Stipl's work - click to enlarge

On show: Oct 29 - Nov 27, 2011

Address: High Roller Society, 10 Palmers Road, London, E2 0SY, UK, tube: Bethnal Green, Mile End, email: info(at)highrollersociety.co.uk, tel: +44 (0)208 981 8177 | Map

Hours: Thu - Sun: 12 - 6 PM, and by appointment

Press release | Installation views

WurzelForum discussion

Fu Lei print exhibition at ART Gallery, Beijing

by Suzanne on October 29th, 2011

© Fu Lei - click to enlarge

I don't really have much on this exhibition other than that prints by Fu Lei will be on show and that it closes tomorrow, well today in Chinese terms, at 6 PM sharp at ART Gallery in Tongzhou District in Beijing, so if you're out there, do go check it out.

In the exhibited works, Fu Lei's (does anyone have a link with more works by him?!) Brancusiesque bunny character voyeuristically disrupts Rubenesque scenes of intercourse and autoerotic thrombosis taking place amongst silken pillows, nooses, pearls and rotting food... which is PRECISELY why I'm posting this here in the first place.

Google Translate spits out stuff like this when trying to translate the press release so go figure:

"Fu Lei, deconstruction is the period of history (the history of the digestion period of the structure) still adhere to the pure spirit of the legacy of ancient beads. He was forgotten in the old grid deepest material, as has been forgotten in the appendix in the digestive system of a hard rice."

Oh, and anyone who says "Oh cool, reminds me of Botero!" will have their fucking IP blocked for good.

Details below.

© Fu Lei - click to enlarge

On show: Oct 16 - Oct 30, 2011

Address: ART Gallery, East Region Songzhuang, Tongzhou District, Beijing, China, email: art@ccartd.com

Hours: Tue - Sat: 10 AM - 6 PM

Chinese press release

WurzelForum discussion

Iwajla Klinke's "Crowns and Gladiola" at Galerie Suvi Lehtinen, Berlin

by Suzanne on October 29th, 2011

Lots of announcements to post so I'll keep these all fairly short.

From the Ritual Memories series by Iwajla Klinke

This coming Friday, November 4, Iwajla Klinke will be opening her solo show Crowns and Gladiola at Galerie Suvi Lehtinen in Berlin.

On show will be a new series of works, but I decided to illustrate this post with one of her most powerful past series: Ritual Memories - for all those of you who are new to her haunting work.

From the Ritual Memories series by Iwajla Klinke

Crowns and Gladiola will investigate the following:

"The photographic portraits featured in “Crowns and Gladiola” take as their inspiration the Yona Wallach poem, “Jonathan,” in which the author imagines herself a young boy being slain by other children wielding gladiola as swords.

Here, Iwajla Klinke’s fascination with human ritual – previously explored through portraits of young male subjects adorned in arcane religious cloths – is expanded to explore cultural practices situated even further from the center of mainstream Occidental discourse.

Idylls from Wallach’s poem are interpreted almost literally in portraits of fencers; a series of models bearing bridal crowns evoke a not-so-distant time when girls of a similar age had their futures determined for them through arranged marriage."

You can read the full press release here. The show will remain on view until November 26. Details below.

From the Ritual Memories series by Iwajla Klinke

On show: Nov 5 - Nov 26, 2011

Address: Galerie Suvi Lehtinen, Novalisstrasse 7, 10115 Berlin, Germany, email: info@galerielehtinen.com, tel: +49 (0)176 3240 6673 | Map

Hours: Tue - Sat: 12 - 6 PM

Press release

Artist's website

WurzelForum discussion

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

WurzelForum discussion

Ray Caesar's "A Dangerous Inclination" at Corey Helford Gallery, Culver City

by Suzanne on October 13th, 2011

Self Examination by Ray Caesar, edition of 20, ultrachrome ink on paper, 30" x 30" (unframed) - click to enlarge

I know I haven't really written that much about Ray Caesar in a while but there is now a fantastic reason to rectify that situation and it's called Self Examination (c.f. image above).

As you all know, I have followed Ray's work since the very early days and after a while, his love for very particular motives emerged quite clearly.

While I found that the vast majority of art blogs, critics and curators obsessed over the actual breathtakingly Victorian imagery per se, you could almost say that I soon reached a level of certain happy visual saturation and as a result and after I first saw one of his pieces in real life, my curiosity got drawn to a completely different aspect of his work: The minute details of insect life, veins, skin translucency, drapery and other insanely small things not really visible on the interwebs. It's like his work truly revealed itself in all the intricate little microcosms it was really made of.

At the same time, I wasn't sure in what direction his work and therefore my appreciation of it would drift after I had gotten so very and literally close to the subject matter and I was somewhat anxious what to expect next - particularly after 2008 having been such an insanely prolific and technically highly diverse and experimental year for him. Since then, I have been waiting while Ray has been searching in his box, it seems:

"I look inside myself and see very difficult and wonderful memories I have forgotten; things I tucked away in a secret box 45 years ago. I am now sitting by that box and opening up what’s inside. [This exhibition] communicates what I am finding.”

(Press release to A Dangerous Inclination)

And well, today, I received a preview for Ray's new show entitled A Dangerous Inclination at Corey Helford that opens October 20 and I am glad to say that my doubts were unfounded and that I have fallen in love with the boldness, the simplicity (well, on a Caesaresque scale...), the much more anatomically grown-up femme fatale nature of his new piece Self Examination and I truly believe it to be his most exciting and enticing work in years.

I had a secret love affair with those underpants since his Blessed (2006), and fucking hell, I never expected them to make such a smoking hot comeback. So thanks, Ray.

The full preview isn't online yet but there will be some 30 pieces on show including classics and rare editions so keep your eyes peeled. I don't know why they always say that - it's kinda gross.

Details for the show are below.

Little Miss Sardonicus by Ray Caesar, 1 of 1, ultrachrome ink on paper, acrylic & varnish on panel, 6" x 6" (unframed) - click to enlarge

Opening reception: Saturday, October 22, 2011, 7 - 10 PM

On show: Oct 22 - Nov 12, 2011

Address: Corey Helford Gallery, 8522 Washingto Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232, USA, tel: 310-287-2340

Hours: Tue - Sat: 12 - 6 PM

Press release

Artist's website

WurzelForum discussion

Confessions of an Ill-Fitting Mask

by Suzanne on October 13th, 2011

Sometimes I write notes on Facebook - of all places - and sometimes they get really long so I thought I might post this one here as well because there's a certain lack of personal articles here. Thanks to Nana for reminding me about the book and to Rob for letting me (accidentally) rip apart his copy.

I knew I'd fall in love with Yukio Mishima's Confessions of a Mask and it's probably one of the main reasons I hadn't read it before. I wanted to read it at the right time and place where a hard look at my own childhood would be undisturbed.

I could always identify with male book characters way easier than female heroines and the only female characters I could ever fully immerse myself in were the doomed and downright pathetic ones like Madame Bovary - the ones "strong" only in their subconscious determination to really fuck things up big time.

So while I always understood stories better from a male perspective, this is the absolute first time I can also physically identify with a male character because my childhood body, my "bad habit" as Mishima calls it, awoke in a similar way - albeit a lot earlier. So early, I had to completely stop talking about it because if there's something curious about human nature, it's how we completely deny and repress the fact that we're extremely horny little animals from a very early age.

So whenever someone embraces that fact - be it in art or literature - and explains and yes, in Mishima's case you could say, exploits it passionately and vividly, I'm all ears.

It means writing against the forces who find honest looks at our early lives "disgusting", "perverted" and "misguided" when it's really just that: Brutal honesty and the willingness to remember and chronicle PRECISELY.

It's probably one of the most exhausting mental acts to bring back those memories - and in many cases, they've obviously been repressed for a reason and should maybe even stay that way forever.

In my case, however, the only reason they've been tippexed is because if there was one constant in my early childhood, it was the feeling of doing something wrong, something bad... essentially of BEING wrong, of BEING bad. I don't even know where that feeling came from as it didn't come from my parents so I have to blame generations of genetic devout Roman Catholicism for it.

Anyways, I don't really want to write about how, in a way, we're all born "perverts" but more about how we're all born guilty, all born sad.

The main reason apart from the very obvious ecological ones why I never want to put a life into this world is because I firmly believe that we are born with all the sorrow, all the weariness, all the longing, all the guilt, the Weltschmerz, the incessant coming of death (I don't believe for a second that children don't "get" the concept of death because they're so very close to it, so very mortal, so utterly incapabale of survival) but, perhaps most importantly and painfully, the full realisation that we'll never understand anything.

Babies look like old men, like used star dust thrown back together to form something really useless and compared to other animals, frankly quite ugly in shape.

One of my first childhood memories is, very similar to Mishima's actually, how some old lady bent down to take a good hard look at me when I was out with grandma and said - addressing me in the third person as if I didn't have ears.. or indeed, wasn't present: "She looks like she's carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders, that little thing. Does she ever smile?"

Now, what society taught me was to put a smile on my face when people ask such questions because I would get lollipops, kisses, friends... yes, money. Instead, I hid behind my grandma's giant leg and started sobbing. I felt like I had let my guard down and that for a second, that woman saw right into me. So much so that it physically hurt.

Don't all children carry the weight of the world on their shoulders though? We are born crying and from the moment we can speak we ask the one essential question over and over and over again: Why. Why. Why.

If you're one of the lucky few, like I was, we get born to patient, imaginative parents who - often not knowing the answer to our whys themselves - just invent something glorious, something pompous, a lie so utterly megalomaniac it stills the thirst for a while, lets the mind go on an exotic journey full of colours and flavours.

I always knew it when I was being fed a make-believe, but then just like now, if the lie was pretentious and ridiculous enough, I would go along with it like a Sturm & Drang hero if it would make my brain stop aching and rotating and take it to some place else, some place far away, some place arcadian.

We are born curious escapists yet we are taught to get a firm cynical grip on reality (whatever that might be).

We are born sad wisemen and -woman yet we are taught to grow a smiling face around our masks and not ask too many questions.

I refuse. This mask and my face, they'll never fuse and when I die, I will take it off and lay it down beside me.

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.

Fuco Ueda at AKI Gallery, Taipei

by Suzanne on September 12th, 2011

Drawing 6 by Fuco Ueda, pencil & acrylic on paper, 295×210 mm, 2010

If you happen to be in Taipei, I'm glad to report that Fuco Ueda - queen of seductively slurping eels and erotically dripping honeycombs - is currently one half of a show taking place at AKI Gallery.

The show's title is Red & Blue and I'm just assuming she's Blue. I guess.

I was particularly excited to see her new drawings being on display - proof, if it were ever needed, that she does really excel in many media and formats.

I'm a bit confused by the exhibition being listed as "private" - this could just be a translation error but please do check with the gallery via email before visiting.

Details below.

Drawing 1 by Fuco Ueda, pencil & acrylic on paper, 295×210 mm, 2010

On show: Sep 10 - Oct 2, 2011

Address: AKI Gallery, 141 Min Tsu W. Road, Taipei 103-69, Taiwan, tel: 886-2-2599-1171, email: aki.taiwan@akigallery.com.tw


Artist's website

WurzelForum discussion

Thom Puckey's "Armed & Relatively Dangerous" at Stichting Kunstfort, Vijfhuizen

by Suzanne on September 11th, 2011

A.V. with Knife and RPG-7 by Thom Puckey, statuario marble, 65 x 72 x 160 cm, 2009, photo by Linda Jansen, courtesy Aschenbach & Hofland Galleries - click to enlarge

My Dutch has clearly seen better days, so I'll keep this post short before I start making stuff up.

What I think I gathered from here is that the great Thom Puckey is presenting five of his recent life-sized sculptural works made between 2009 and 2011 at Stichting Kunstfort in Vijfhuizen in a solo show that's opened today. That's in the Netherlands, in case you're geographically challenged. I wouldn't blame you as it's indeed the first time this institution has been mentioned on the WurzelBlog®. It so happens that the Kunstfort is part of Amsterdam's old defence line and listed as a UNESCO monument.

Thom's selected works for Armed & Relatively Dangerous remind me of a classicistically mellow and more psychologically intimate and innocent version of AES+F's (literally) bombastic Last Riot series - it has to be noted, however, that Thom works with beautifully veined statuary marble whereas AES+F's sculptures are made of porcelain, so their approaches couldn't be more different.

Isabelle Schiltz as Crawling Figure by Thom Puckey, statuario marble, 186 x 67 x 75 cm, 2010, photo Francesco Ozzola - click to enlarge

On show: Sep 11 - Nov 27, 2011

Address: Stichting Kunstfort bij Vijfhuizen, Fortwachter 1, 2141 EE Vijfhuizen, The Netherlands, tel: +31 (0)23 5589013

Admission: € 2

Press release

Artist's website

WurzelForum discussion