As part of ZKM’s “Digital Imaginaries – Africas in Production” exhibition will be a lecture introducing the work of South African performance artist and filmmaker Francois Knoetze and will place a special focus on the work “Core Dump”.
Cy Twombly: In the studio
From May 31, 2016
Cy Twombly returns to the top floor of the Museum Brandhorst with a new presentation: a retrospective selection ranging from his early-1950s paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs to a work from his final series, completed in 2011 shortly before his death. With more than 200 works—half of which will now be displayed—from different stages of his career at its disposal, the Brandhorst Collection contains the most significant survey of the artist’s works anywhere in Europe.
Throughout his life, Twombly attributed central importance to the specific places in which his works were made. Especially in his photographs, Twombly frequently represents the creative process and the particular atmosphere that accompanied the creation of his paintings and sculptures. In his Interiors, Twombly takes his domestic spaces and elevates them to poetic sites of imagination where nature and culture, banality and refined taste meet. In keeping with this practice, the exhibition juxtaposes photographs with Twombly’s monumental roses that the artist arranged for the central gallery on the museum’s upper floor. The photographs reflect the context in which the paintings were made: intimate scenes from Twombly’s studio, lemons from his garden, seashore photographs, gaudily coloured pictures of sweets and poetic flower arrangements. Taken together, they illustrate the broad range inherent in Twombly’s representations of roses.
Cy Twombly’s late rose paintings incorporate verses by renowed poets. The following is a list of the verses Twombly used and their respective sources.
For the first time since the collection’s opening, all 18 sculptures belonging to the Brandhorst Collection are being exhibited: a collection of everyday objects taken from his immediate environment, including a broomstick, a straightedge, the dregs of bottles of wine and olive oil, and a wooden case of Johnnie Walker whisky. Twombly uses these ‘humble’ materials to recall an entire panorama of traditions and periods from art history. Associations that surface range from archaic kuroi and antique inscriptions, Egyptian and Persian monuments, African fetish objects, and neoclassical figures to references to modern art movements such as Dada and Arte Povera.
A new Cy Twombly acquisition will also be available for the first time for visitors to discover: the work ‘Untitled (Camino Real)’, 2011, from a series of paintings Twombly left behind in his studio in Gaeta. Loops of red, yellow and orange extend across a light green background, forming radiant colour chords. To paint this piece, Twombly used wide brushes which he bound to long sticks. The dynamic quality of the sweeping strokes almost gives the viewer the impression that Twombly intended, with his ‘stick technique’, to widen his aging body’s radius of action.
Born in 1928 in Lexington, Virginia, Cy Twombly was one of the most influential figures in contemporary art. Coming out of Abstract Expressionism, he developed his own gestural style with calligraphic, ‘gawkily’ scribbled signs that he enlarged to monumental scale on massive canvases. No other 20th-century artist committed him or herself as fully to the ‘zero point’ of modern art as Twombly. Children’s handwriting exercises, absentminded scribbling and graffiti serve as contemporary points of departure from which to actualise experiences of mythical tales and trace the arc of Mediterranean cultural history’s major themes. In the final years of his life, Twombly created an impressive late work reminiscent of the painterly abundance typical of William Turner and Claude Monet near the end of their careers.
Cy Twombly and Munich
Throughout his life, Twombly was closely intertwined with Munich’s cultural life. His relationship with the city began in the 1960s with his friendship with Lothar Schirmer, whose publishing firm Schirmer/Mosel took charge of many of the artist’s catalogues, monographs and catalogues raisonnés. Beginning in the 1970s, Twombly exhibited regularly in Munich: in 1973, the Lenbachhaus presented his work in a museum context, followed by exhibitions at the galleries of Heiner Friedrich, Schellmann und Klüser, Helmut Klewan, Lothar Schirmer and presentations of his Lepanto cycle (2002) and sculptures (2006) in the Alte Pinakothek. With the opening of the Museum Brandhorst, Cy Twombly’s presence on the museum’s light-suffused upper floor became an integral part of the cultural life of Munich.
The exhibition is funded by PIN. Freunde der Pinakothek der Moderne e.V.
More information: www.museum-brandhorst.de
Otto Freundlich: Cosmic Communism
February 18 – May 14, 2017
Otto Freundlich, one of the most original abstract artists of the twentieth century. Nearly forty years after the large retrospective, the Museum Ludwig will now present the oeuvre of Otto Freundlich (1878–1943). With around eighty objects, ‘Otto Freundlich: Cosmic Communism’ traces the work, thought, and life of an artist who produced not only paintings and sculptures but also stained-glass windows and mosaics, and who in a searching reflection on the leading art movements of his time found his own path to abstraction—before being marginalized by the Nazis, denounced as “degenerate,” and ultimately murdered as a Jew.
This discrimination and eradication of both Freundlich and his work have marked the artist’s reception to this day. Many of his works were destroyed in Germany under National Socialism. His Großer Kopf (Large Head), which the Nazis reproduced on the cover of their guide to the Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) exhibition in 1938, remains his most famous work even today. This retrospective demonstrates that the Nazis not only falsified the title of the work (they gave it the title “The New Man” by which it is still known today), but even the sculpture itself: at least at one venue on the Degenerate Art touring exhibition they presented a crude copy in place of the original. The Museum Ludwig is now providing visitors a chance to encounter Freundlich’s entire oeuvre and places it at the center of contemporaneous art-historical developments. It begins with the heads he drew and sculpted around 1910 and features his little-known applied artworks alongside his sculptures, paintings, and gouaches. Moreover, it offers insights into Freundlich’s writings, in which he positioned his work in its social and artistic context.
Freundlich, who lived in Paris from 1924 onward, was friends with many of the leading artists of his time. An appeal to the French state to buy one of his works in 1938 was signed by Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Alfred Döblin, Wassily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, and many others. His singular development was characterized by his initial close engagement with the applied arts. Through carpets, mosaics, and painted glass he continued the medieval tradition of the guilds, which he linked with a collective art of the future. In the luminous flat surfaces of old church windows, he saw a way to overcome the limitations of a plastic art conceived of in terms of the contours of the objects.
With his own applied artworks and above all his abstract pieces, Freundlich took this approach even further. For him, abstraction expressed a radical renewal that went far beyond art. For instance, the curved patches of color in his paintings reflect the concept of space in Einsteinian physics, with which he was familiar from an early age. Still, overcoming representationalism also had a social dimension for him. As he saw it, every form of material perception was permeated with possessiveness and thus outdated: “The object as the antithesis to the individual will disappear, and with it the state of one person being an object for another.” He always viewed the harmony of the colors in his paintings in the context of the greater whole. The Communism, for which he fought, sought to abolish all boundaries “between the world and the cosmos, between human beings, between mine and yours, between all things that we see.”
The retrospective brings together numerous loans. One of the finest objects—and a centerpiece of the exhibition—comes from Cologne: the impressive mosaic Geburt des Menschen (Birth of Man, 1919), which miraculously survived National Socialism and World War II hidden away in a shed. In 1957 the City of Cologne installed it in the newly constructed opera house. Yet although the piece was always accessible to the public, it gradually drifted into obscurity. Now it will be on view at the Museum Ludwig as a major work by the artist, and for the first time in the context of his entire oeuvre. The exhibition was conceived by Julia Friedrich at the Museum Ludwig. After Cologne, it will be presented from June 10 to September 10, 2017, at the Kunstmuseum Basel. It was organized in cooperation with the Musée Tavet-Delacour in Pontoise, which holds Freundlich’s estate.
The exhibition is under the patronage of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grütters. It has received generous support from the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, the Kulturstiftung der Länder, the Landschaftsverband Rheinland, and the Freunde des Wallraf-Richartz-Museum und des Museum Ludwig e.V.
Otto Freundlich: Cosmic Communism Curator: Julia Friedrich
More information: www.museum-ludwig.de
December 10, 2016 – January 28, 2017
Future Gallery presents an exhibition of new works by Spiros Hadjidjanos. Crowd Simulation Breakdown incorporates crowd simulation technology – a technique used in film as a means to create virtual cinematography. This work is Hadjidjanos’ first experiment with the process of simulating the movement of a large number of entities with implicated collective social behavior based on group dynamics. The video exemplifies the breakdown of various simulated scenes in which a crowd runs inexplicably while a densely charged audio plays. Sampling sound from moments after the most fatal suicide attacks of 2016, Hadjidjanos merges in his video work actual audio captured by people’s personal smart phones, or less often, the media. The piece is therefore constructed of actual sourced and artificially generated footage that leads the viewer into a sort of contextualized conflict where reality and authenticity are questioned. Simultaneously, the 3D animation does not intend to deceive; Hadjidjanos’ aim is not to create a high-end film nor a particular narrative but to show the process of doing so. The film compositing techniques are entirely transparent to the viewer, weaving one scene constructed from simulated characters into the next one.
The HD/VR Sculpture–an evolutionary development originating from Hadjidjanos’ Network Sculptures (2010-2016) which incorporates the sine wave form and enables information particles to flow via material connectivity– is a conductor of digital data. It functions as an intermediate input path between two active end-points; the seemingly static bowed legs clandestinely transmit all information that passes from a computer to the destination, a VR headset. The HD/VR sculpture is a spatial portrayal of data in motion, a palpable representation of information we generally perceive as intangible. Donning the headset the viewer is transported to a chimeric virtual space, yet one element remains familiar, for the central virtual subject matter is the sculpture itself, replicated at various scales.
The series of works Taraxacum officinale originate from an image of the German photographer Albert Renger-Patzsch depicting a dandelion seed-head. Hadjidjanos manifests these works, 3D printed in alumide, a derivative of aluminium –the latter developed in the era the particular photograph was taken– and as prints on carbon fibre plates depicting the surface normals, a precise mathematical representation of the orientation of each object’s surface. Using the dimensions of the original photograph to magnify from, with the addition of the third dimension, depth, these works are three-dimensional depth maps of the sourced photograph. By applying forces to these malleable surfaces in a simulated environment, Hadjidjanos transforms their planar surfaces; their form adapts and traces other spatial elements (pedestal, wall, floor). These transformations function as metaphorical reference to the actual plant. The morphology of a Taraxacum officinale seed-head provokes a multitude of associations dealing with transformation.
Spiros Hadjidjanos (*1978, Athens, GR) graduated from Berlin University of the Arts and lives and works in Berlin. This is his third solo exhibition with the gallery. He has had recent exhibitions at venues including: Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Kammerspiele, Munich; Volksbühne, Berlin; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York; Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, San Francisco; CA2M, Madrid; Centre d’Art Bastille, Grenoble.
*The VR/HD Sculpture has been developed in collaboration with Metaphysics VR
More information: www.futuregallery.org
German Neo-Expressionist painting, Georg Baselitz (zʇᴉlǝsɐq ƃɹoǝפ) is this week’s #SundayPainter.
In the 1960s, Georg Baselitz emerged as a pioneer of German Neo-Expressionist painting. His work evokes disquieting subjects rendered feverishly as a means of confronting the realities of the
modern age and explores what it is to be German and a German artist in a
postwar world. In the late 1970s his iconic “upside-down” paintings, in
which bodies, landscapes, and buildings are inverted within the picture
plane, ignoring the realities of the physical world, make obvious the
artifice of painting. Drawing upon a dynamic and myriad pool of
influences, including art of the Mannerist period, African sculptures,
and Soviet era illustration art, Baselitz developed a distinct painting
Georg Baselitz (b. 1938, Deutschbaselitz, Saxony) lives and works near
Munich, Germany and in Imperia, Italy. Public collections include Museum
Ludwig, Cologne; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of
Art, New York; and Tate Modern, London. Major museum exhibitions
include Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1995, traveled to Los
Angeles County Museum of Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden,
Washington, D.C., and Nationalgalerie, Berlin); “Aquarelles
Monumentales,” Albertina, Vienna (2003); Royal Academy of Arts, London
(2007, traveled to MADRE, Naples, through 2008); “Prints: 1964 to 1983,”
Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2008); Galleria Borghese, Rome (2011);
Pinacoteca, São Paulo, Brazil (2011); “Baselitz as Sculptor,” Musée
d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2011–12); Essl Museum, Vienna
(2013); Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2013); Guggenheim Museum
Bilbao, Spain (2013); and “Georg Baselitz: Remix,” Albertina, Vienna
(2014). A major survey of Baselitz’s paintings and sculpture is on view
at Haus der Kunst, Munich through February 1, 2015.
Another fantastic chance to see some of Joan Mitchell’s body of work, this time from a collection of sketchbook drawings on show at Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany.
Joan Mitchell (1925–1992) was one of the greatest artists of the mid to late 20th century. She enjoyed close ties with poets and painters of the New York School, such as Jackson Pollock, Clyfford Still, and Mark Rothko.
The exhibition presents around 60 pastels and felt-tipped pen drawings from a private collection, which have never been on view to the public before. The works are from Mitchell’s sketchbooks from the late 1960s, but they seem to be much more than mere sketches for paintings, being instead fully realised, independent works of outstanding artistic quality.
The exhibition is supported by Merck Finck & Co, Private bankers.
Sunday in London? Howard Griffin Gallery on Shoreditch Highstreet is currently showing a brilliant Thierry Noir retrospective. Exhibition ends tomorrow.
Thierry Noir was born in 1958 in Lyon, France, and came to Berlin in January 1982. In April 1984, Noir began to paint the Berlin Wall and is credited as being the first artist to do so. Noir’s objective was to perform one real revolutionary act: To paint the Berlin wall, to transform it, to make it ridiculous, and to help destroy it prempting its ultimate fall in 1989. Noir covered the Berlin Wall, more than 3 metres high, with bright, vivid colours, aiming not to embellish the wall but to demystify it. Noir’s iconic, bright and seemingly innocent works painted on this deadly border symbolised a sole act of defiance and a lone voice of freedom.