Very urgent life matters to deal with - no time for this.
I'll be back. I always am.
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
Hours: Mon - Fri: 10 AM - 6 PM, Sat: 12 - 6 PM
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.)
ART FEATURES & REVIEWS
HISTORY & SCIENCE
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.
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
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
Hours: Fri - Wed: 10 AM - 6 PM
© 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 5 49 46 08 08, email: box[at]confort-moderne[dot]fr
Hours: Mon - Fri: 2 - 6 PM
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
Hours: Tue - Sat: 12 - 6 PM
Just a quick heads up for Londoners that great things will be taking place at the Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury these coming weeks:
From December 1 - 4, the London Underground Film Festival takes place, this year featuring lots of live acts, DJs, an exhibition of Emily Rose England's work and great movies such as THUNDERCRACK! presented by the amazing people of Today Is Boring. Check out the full programme here.
And the day before the LUFF starts, you have a chance to see a screening of Of Dolls & Murder the documentary about the fantastic forensic Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death dioramas - I posted about them back in.. Christ.. 2004!
The Cure by Cris Brodahl, oil on glued canvas, 2009, courtesy Marc Foxx - click to enlarge
Like every so often
and just to piss you off, I'm hijacking yet another exhibition announcement (I am apparently not the only one to not be terribly convinced/slightly confused by) to introduce you to the work of Cris Brodahl (top & middle) and Duncan Marquiss (bottom), two great young artists that haven't been featured here yet - at least not that I know of and I'm way too lazy to do a search. Y? Cause.
Reality (detail) by Cris Brodahl, oil on glued canvas, framed, 2009, courtesy Marc Foxx
Don't get me wrong, Secret Societies has a pretty epic line-up of artists that, taken per se, are often great talents - particularly the brilliant Markus Schinwald (showing his Untitled/Radetzky) and the ontologically ingenious Suzanne Treister who has created a plethora of vast artistic universes like few other artists.
However, the specific works selected seem to mainly underline something I find a bit problematic with young hyped contemporary art: It all looks rather pseudo-alchemical, faux-mysticistic, ironically psychedelic, post-neo-pagan, and in the end and upon closer inspection, it's really just rather superflat on neon (no, srsly, there's plenty of neon in the exhibition design...). In this context, all seems a bit like someone's Tumblr has come alive and even the minimalist sculptural pieces don't work anymore and look more like lost furniture from some space opera.
However, as always, please do enlighten me if you've seen the show and actually enjoyed it - I'm honestly just making all these observations based on the installation views and the press release I was sent.
Secret Societies - To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silence opened earlier this month and will remain on show until February 2012. All details below.
Please note that the artworks shown here will not be on display and serve merely to portray the artists' oeuvres.
Untitled by Duncan Marquiss, coloured pencil on paper, 2008, courtesy Dicksmith Gallery - click to enlarge
On show: Nov 9, 2011 - Feb 26, 2012
Address: CAPC musée d'art contemporain, Entrepôt. 7, rue Ferrère, Ville de Bordeaux, F-33077 Bordeaux, France, tel: +33 (0)5 56 00 81 50
Hours: Tue - Sun: 11 AM - 6 PM
La poupée by Hans Bellmer, painted wood, papier-mâché, mixed media, 1935/36, 61×170×51 cm, courtesy Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, photo © Collection Centre Pompidou/Vertrieb RMN/Georges Meguerditchian/ProLitteris - click to enlarge
I dislike the way big art metropoleis *cough* London *cough* always label their sell-out shows *cough* Leonardo da Vinci *cough* as "Shows of the Century" when - IF you can afford the outrageous admission prices at all - these shows are normally so totally overrun you really can't appreciate the art or are even given a specific time slot and need to get the hell out after 30 minutes. Trust me, I know. I actually went to the last "big da Vinci thing" in London a couple of years back but I can't even recall whether it was at the V&A, the Royal Academy or the British Museum. All I remember is that I COULDN'T SEE SHIT and people had the NERVE to bring their Dan Browns along. Jesus Christ.
Anyways, so thankfully, there's always the smaller, quieter places that put on masterpieces of curating in the middle of nowhere - pretty much overlooked by the international media.
Well, one such tremendous art historical chef-d'oeuvre of a show is currently taking place at the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen near Basel.
Amongst the usual suspects that I won't even bother mentioning here because the Beyeler is pretty notorious for its huge collection of surrealist art, you will meet the conjoined limbs of Hans Bellmer, the giant eyes of Paul Delvaux, the apocalyptic dreamscapes of Max Ernst and the sculptural synaesthesia of Méret Oppenheim.
Yes, I know right?! o_O
The exhibition looks also very stunning from an interior design point of view and a lot of effort, time.. and obviously money.. has been spent to contextualise and document the pieces. Definitely one to check out if you're in Switzerland.
Surrealismus in Paris runs until the end of January 2012. Details below.
Der Gegenpapst by Max Ernst, oil on canvas, 1941/42, 161x127 cm, courtesy Peggy Guggenheim Collection, photo © David Heald/The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation/ProLitteris - click to enlarge
On show: Oct 2, 2011 - Jan 29, 2012
Hours: Mon - Sun: 10 AM - 6 PM
Admission: CHF 25.– (but special deals with public transport!)