Feature: Sunday Painter | Bob Law

Feature: Sunday Painter | Bob Law

One of the founding artists of British Minimalism, Bob Law, this week’s #SundayPainter

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English painter and sculptor. He was taught drawing and watercolour painting as a child by his maternal grandmother but otherwise received no formal artistic training. In 1957 he moved to St Ives, Cornwall, where he painted and made pots. In 1959 he made his first ‘field’ images (see 1978 exh. cat., figs B, C and D), mystically minimalist records of his response to the natural environment, which set the pattern for all his subsequent work. Between 1961 and 1964 he extended these into Metaphysical Field Paintings (see 1978 exh. cat., fig. L) incorporating hieroglyphic symbols. The paintings of Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman were to prove a particular inspiration to him, as was his exploration of both Eastern and Western philosophy, psychology, palaeontology, poetry and alchemy. In the mid 1960s he instituted a long series of ‘black’ paintings, which were his best-known contribution to Minimalism. Although they might at first appear to be dark monochromes, they in fact consist of a subtle layering of different colours in a particular sequence as indicated in titles such as No. 88 Black Black Blue Violet (1974; Amsterdam, Stedel. Mus.). From 1978 he concentrated primarily on sculpture, with which he had experimented briefly in the early 1960s.

( http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/bob-law-1476 )

Jonathan Meese | 12 Mar – 25 April 2015

Exhibition: JONATHAN MEESE | Tim van Laere Gallery | Belgium | 12 March 2015 – 25 April 2015

German artist Jonathan Meese’s new exhibition featuring his paintings and drawings of women; including Cara Delevingne, Scarlett Johansson and his own mother.  On from tomorrow until April in Antwerp, Belgium

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Tim Van Laere Gallery is pleased to announce Spitzenmeesige Women (Schniddeldiddelson). In his second solo exhibition the German artist
Jonathan Meese (b. 1970, Tokyo, lives and works in Berlin and Hamburg)
is presenting a new series of paintings and drawings focusing on women.
They are starring his mother, Barbarella, Lolita, Fräulein K.U.N.S.T.,
Scarlett Johansson, Mumina, Nofretete and Cara Delevingne, who currently
is not only Britain’s favourite Topmodel but also Topgurner—making fun
of herself by playing with her face, showing what a useful mask it is: a
subversive, humorous and playful performative act Meese deeply relates
to in his art.

Women—this theme seems unusual for Meese at first sight, whose work is
mainly identified with rather masculine dominated subjects like world
history, original myths and heroic legends. On closer examination one
discovers, though, that from the beginning women play an important role
in Meese’s painterly and also sculptural work. His early paintings from
2000, show an almost classical approach of act painting, following the
tradition of the femme fatale. Although his artistic expression has
changed to a more and more abstract expressionist style, his women still
often appear in the role of an enchantress, seductress, vampire or
witch. But Meese was never really concerned with the destructive power
of the female sex inherent in this theme. Nor was he intent upon
gender-specific questions. He even queries them in his performances,
playing the role of a woman (Zarathustra – Die Gestalten sind unterwegs
with Martin Wuttke in 2006), and in paintings showing figures with
genitals of both sexes. To Meese the femme fatale is only interesting as
an archetype of art, as a symbol of power. That applies to the image of
the mother, too. Meese depicted his own mother, Brigitte, in many
portraits and installations (MOR with TAL R in 2005)—as an animal, a
general, a vampire and the goddess Isis and many more. Following
Nietzsche, the mother in the artist’s eyes is “the industry of nature.”
Known for the deconstruction of pictorial codes, Meese renews in his
latest work the persistent power of often clichéd symbols which relate
to the women as much as to love, the origin and nature: the heart, the
spiral and the strawberry.

While dealing with a subject that has been discussed throughout the
history of art, these works are a fine example of Meese’s ability to
play with the seemingly banal and renew its forces. Using his fingers
for some paintings in his incomparable expressive manner, he even lends
physical power to his figures.

Jonathan Meese has exhibited globally with museums and leading art
galleries including solo shows at Museum der Moderne, Salzburg; Gem, The
Hague; CAC Málaga, Málaga; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; De
Appel Center for Contemporary Art, Amsterdam; group shows at Middle
Gate, curated by Jan Hoet; Museu de Arte de São Paulo, São Paulo;
Guggenheim Museum, New York; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; National Center
for Contemporary Art, Moscow; MARTa Herford, Herford; Centre Pompidou,
Paris; The Saatchi Gallery, London; MoMA PS1 Contemporary Art Center,
New York. His work is included in several public and museum collections
a.o. Centre Pompidou, Paris; Dela Cruz Collection, Miami; Musée de
Strasbourg, Strasbourg; Thyssen Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna;
Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg; Sammlung Falckenberg, Hamburg; Rubell,
Family Collections, New York; Sammlung zeitgenössischer Kunst der
Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn; Sammlung Goetz, München; Statens
Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.

( http://www.timvanlaeregallery.com/artists/overview )

Feature: Sunday Painter | Georg Baselitz

Georg Baselitz

German Neo-Expressionist painting, Georg Baselitz (zʇᴉlǝsɐq ƃɹoǝפ) is this week’s #SundayPainter.

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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
language.

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.

 

( http://www.gagosian.com/artists/georg-baselitz  )

Feature: Sunday Painter | Amy Sillman

Powerful, chaotic absraction from this week’s #SundayPainter, American artist Amy Sillman.

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Amy Sillman’s work foregrounds the materiality of painting and its formal, psychological, and conceptual dimensions. She constructs her work in a physical way—through gesture, color, and drawing-based procedures—and imbues it with questions of feminism, performativity, and humor. Sillman earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and her MFA from Bard College in 1995. She has received numerous awards and grants, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Louise Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, the Guna S. Mundheim Fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin in 2009. Her work has been widely exhibited and is included in numerous public collections, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. The first large scale survey of her work, curated by Helen Molesworth, will premier at the ICA Boston in October 2013. The exhibition will also travel to the Aspen Art Museum and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.

Exhibition: Joan Mitchell | The Sketchbook Drawings | Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany | 27 February – 21 May 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.

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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.

( http://www.museum-folkwang.de/en/exhibitions/future-exhibitions/joan-mitchell.html )

Marlene Dumas | The Image as Burden 5 February – 10 May 2015

Tate Modern
London

Marlene Dumas is one of the most prominent painters working today. Her intense, psychologically charged works explore themes of sexuality, love, death and shame, often referencing art history, popular culture and current affairs.

‘Secondhand images’, she has said, ‘can generate first-hand emotions.’ Dumas never paints directly from life, yet life in all its complexity is right there on the canvas. Her subjects are drawn from both public and personal references and include her daughter and herself, as well as recognisable faces such as Amy Winehouse, Naomi Campbell, Princess Diana, even Osama bin Laden. The results are often intimate and at times controversial, where politics become erotic and portraits become political. She plays with the imagination of her viewers, their preconceptions and fears.

Born in 1953 in Cape Town, South Africa, Dumas moved to the Netherlands in 1976, where she came to prominence in the mid-1980s. This large-scale survey is the most significant exhibition of her work ever to be held in Europe, charting her career from early works, through seminal paintings to new works on paper.

The title of the exhibition is taken from The Image as Burden 1993, a small painting depicting one figure carrying another. As with many of Dumas’s works, her choice of title deeply affects our interpretation of the work. It hints at the sense of responsibility faced by the artist in choosing to create an image that can translate ideas about painting and the position of the artist. For Dumas it is important ‘to give more attention to what the painting does to the image, not only to what the image does to the painting.’

In an age dominated by the digital image and mass media, Dumas cherishes the physicality of the human touch with work that is a testament to the meaning and potency of painting.

A survey of works by the South-African born artist gives reason to why she is perhaps the world’s most interesting figure painter
FT

a thrilling retrospective
The Guardian

Sex and death — Dumas always keeps us on our toes.
Ben Luke, The Evening Standard

even in a world awash with imagery, painting can still move, even haunt
The Daily Telegraph

Banner image credits:Marlene Dumas Rejects 1994–2014 Private collection © Marlene Dumas

Exhibition organised by Tate Modern in collaboration with Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam

( http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/marlene-dumas-image-burden )

Feature: Sunday Painter | Marlene Dumas

South African born artist and painter Marlene Dumas is this week’s #SundayPainter

Marlene Dumas (1953) grew up with her two older brothers in Jacobsdal, her father’s winery in Kuilsrivier, South Africa. With Afrikaans as her mother tongue she went to the English-language University of Cape Town in 1972. There she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts in 1975. With a two-year scholarship, she opted to come to Europe and more specifically to the Netherlands because of the language kinship. As well as visual art, language is an important means of expression for Dumas. She gives her exhibitions and individual works striking titles, writes texts about her paintings and makes commentaries on her own pieces. These texts are collected in the publication, Sweet Nothings (1998).

In the Netherlands she worked at Ateliers ‘63 in Haarlem from 1976 to 1978. Twenty years later, in 1998, she returned to art school De Ateliers, now based in Amsterdam, as a permanent staff member. In addition, Marlene Dumas has taught at several other Dutch art institutes.

In 1978, she exhibited her work for the first time, at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Work by René Daniels and Ansuya Blom also featured in this exhibition, called Atelier 15 (10 Young Artists). In 1982, her work was shown in Basel, in the exhibition Junge kunst aus die Niederlanden. In the same year, Rudi Fuchs asked her to take part in Documenta 7. In 1983, she got her first solo show, Unsatisfied Desire, at Gallery Helen van der Meij / Paul Th. Andriesse in Amsterdam. In 1984, the Centraal Museum Utrecht became the first museum to invite her to do a solo exhibition. Dumas responded with a collection of collages, texts and works on paper under the title Ons Land Licht Lager dan de Zee. In 1985, The Eyes of the Night Creatureswas her first exhibition devoted solely to painting.

Since the late eighties, her work has been featured in European group exhibitions in museums such as the Tate Gallery in London, under the title Art from Europe (1987) and in Bilderstreit in Cologne (1989). Her first major solo exhibition opened abroad three months after the birth of her daughter in the Kunsthalle in Berne: The Question of Human Pink (1989). In 1992, all the halls of the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven were dedicated to her exhibition Miss Interpreted. This solo show was followed by a tour of Europe and then America. In 1992 her work was also shown at Documenta IX, at the invitation of Jan Hoet. Her first solo gallery show in New York at Jack Tilton received the appropriate title Not from Here. That was in 1994, the year of the first free democratic elections in South Africa. It was also the year in which she exhibited at the Frith Street Gallery in London, along with her contemporaries Juan Muñoz and Thomas Schütte. In 1995, Chris Dercon made the selection for the Dutch contribution to the Venice Biennale, choosing three women: Marlene Dumas, Marijke van Warmerdam and Mary Roossen.

From the mid-nineties, Dumas’ work featured in exhibitions of art from the Netherlands, such as Du concept à l’image (Paris, 1994). She also participated in international, interdisciplinary projects including The 21st Century (Basel, 1993), with Damien Hirst, Roni Horn and others, and the Carnegie International (Pittsburgh, 1995). In 1996, her sparring partners at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC included Mike Kelley, Thomas Schütte, Robert Gober and Rachel Whiteread. The exhibition was entitled, Distemper: Dissonant Themes in the Art of the 1990s. In 1993, Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp, staged Dumas’ show, Give the People What They Want. The works in this exhibition then went on to become part of the ‘Der Spiegel zerbrochene’, Positionen zur Malerei (1993), curated by Kaspar König and H.U. Obrist. Other participating artists included Luc Tuymans and Gerhard Richter. Other important exhibitions devoted to painting in which Dumas was represented included Trouble Spot: Painting (1999), Painting at the Edge of the World (2001) and The Painting of Modern Life (2007). Her work has also featured in exhibitions with a focus on Africa, such as the Africus Biennale in Johannesburg (1995) and in Africa Remix (2004-2006).

Although Marlene Dumas has had Dutch nationality since 1989, she has said:

Someone once remarked that I could not be a South African artist and a Dutch artist,
that I could not have it both ways.
I don’t want it both ways.
I want it more ways.

Dumas’ work spans over thirty years. In 2001, Jonas Storsve of the Centre Pompidou staged the first retrospective of her works on paper under the title Nom de Personne. This exhibition was subsequently featured in the New Museum, New York, and in the De Pont Museum in Tilburg, under the title, Name no Names. Between 2007 and 2009 a retrospective of her entire oeuvre, in varying combinations, toured three continents. Starting in Japan under the name Broken White, the overview travelled to South Africa with the title, Intimate Relations. It was the first time that so much of Dumas’ work could be seen on her native soil. The retrospective concluded its tour at the Museum for Contemporary Arts in Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and The Menil in Houston, where it was called, Measuring Your Own Grave.

( http://www.marlenedumas.nl/biography/biography-johannes-vermeer-prize/ )

Paul Gauguin | Nafea Faa Ipoipo sells for $300m

 

The record for the sale of painting has been broken with the £300m sale of Paul Gauguin’s Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) Gaugin died penniless in 1903.

Retired Sotheby’s executive and art collector Rudolf Staechelin sold the piece, reportedly to state-financed Qatar Museums, breaking the previous record of $259 million for The Card Players by Paul Cezanne which also went to a buyer in Qatar.

Sunday Painter | Ian McKeever

This week, the English artist Ian McKeever is featured in our weekly #SundayPainter series.  Huge, abstract paintings often inspired by natural forms, the artist once said:

“Light in a painting intrigues me enormously: how to imbue a painting with light so that one is not actually depicting it, but somehow its
quality is implicitly within the painting— […] emanating from it.”

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English painter and printmaker. Self-taught as an artist, he began to paint in 1969. Influenced by land art and especially by the writings of Robert Smithson, he first exhibited installations of large paintings that envelop the viewer, and that incorporate material taken from the
wild. In the mid 1970s he also realised a number of projects in the
countryside around London. In the late 1970s he changed direction when
he began to make more gestural abstract paintings; these were still the result of research on site, in the form of drawings and photographs (which were often attached to canvas to form a ground for the paint), but they marked a decisive move towards more subjective and Romantic interests. Typically at this time he worked with diptych formats, pairing a large photographic image with a painted surface. Beside the Bramble Ditch
(1983; Preston, Harris Mus. & A.G.) is typical of his violent,
choppy and gestural abstraction of the early 1980s, the strong contrast
of white against darker colours suggesting a pattern which would
continue over the next two decades. In the early 1990s he evolved a
softer style of billowing veils and dramatic spatial effects. Hartgrove Painting No. 2
(1992–3; see 1994 exh. cat., p. 13), a large black and white canvas
from a series made at his rural Dorset home, exemplifies McKeever’s use
of grid structures in this period, and further demonstrates his interest
in colour contrasts.

( http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/ian-mckeever-2335 )

Feature: Sunday Painer | Josef Albers

Following on from the abstraction of last week’s Sunday Painter Carol Robertson, this week we have a master of the art and pioneer of the Bauhaus and the Black Mountain College; Josef Albers.

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Josef Albers, who played a leading role in transmitting the modern design principles of the Bauhaus to the United States, was born in Germany in 1888. As a young man he was a teacher, but also spent much time visiting museums in Hagen and Munich, where he was first exposed to the paintings of Cézanne, Matisse, van Gogh, and Gauguin. In 1915 he earned a diploma from the Royal Art School in Berlin and later attended the School of Applied Arts in Essen. He moved to Munich in 1920 to study at the academy, and one year later enrolled at the Bauhaus in Weimar, where he met leaders of avant-garde art: Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Walter Gropius, and Mies van der Rohe. He began to work in stained glass and printmaking and in 1923 became the first Bauhaus student promoted to the role of instructor, teaching the introductory course. When the Nazis closed the school in 1933, Albers and his wife Anni, a textile artist at the Bauhaus, were invited to Black Mountain College in North Carolina. This important school of art attracted leading artists and talented students, many of whom forged notable careers in later years.

Albers is well known for his compositions that explore the relationships of color through a single, simple form, usually the square. In choosing the square, Albers revealed his knowledge of the work of Kasimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian, both of whom had explored the form’s spiritual and formal possibilities. Albers was also aware of the Neo-Platonic significance of the square as a pure form. His main interest, though, was in color and understanding the rules guiding visual experience, an interest that had been sparked at the Bauhaus by Paul Klee’s introductory courses, where superimposed squares demonstrated compositional and spatial effects. Albers developed his own theories regarding spatial effects, contrasts, and harmonies of colors and in 1963 published an influential book Interaction of Color, which elucidated his color theories. He was a key faculty member at Black Mountain College until 1949, though he also taught at times at Harvard University and lectured in Latin America. In 1950 Albers became the head of the Department of Design at Yale University. A venerated teacher and theorist, Albers died in New Haven in 1976.

( http://www.phillipscollection.org/research/american_art/bios/albers-bio.htm )

Feature: Sunday Painter | Carol Robertson

Featured in our #SundayPainter series this week, the abstract paintings of Carol Robertson.

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Carol Robertson’s paintings are firmly rooted within reductive abstract conventions. Although she doesn’t seek to confirm or record the way the world looks, her work is never disconnected from it. In earlier work Robertson choose to use the square, rectangle and circle for their ideal power and aesthetic beauty. Recent work has moved towards a more informal relationship with landscape, architecture, nature and the environment, encompassing notions of transience and change.

Multi-coloured arcs or circles now loosely traverse her canvases, with collisions and crossovers registering flashes of chance and coincidence, reminiscent of small arcane details that fleetingly curve across one’s vision. Every painting is prepared with poured and stained grounds, unstructured atmospheric colour fields that deliberately highlight and complement carefully over-painted arcs as they collide and cross in their individual orbits. The expression of flux and impermanence in this work reflects her changing response to the world.

Carol Robertson lives and works in London. She was Research Fellow in Painting at Cardiff School of Art & Design from 2003 – 2008. Her work has been exhibited internationally, most recently in Japan, USA and Austria.

( http://www.flowersgallery.com)