Tag Archives: Contemporary art

Featured Exhibition: Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico, MFA Boston, until 12 May 2019

iturbide-publication-coverThe photographs of Graciela Iturbide not only bear witness to Mexican society but express an intense personal and poetic lyricism about her native country. One of the most influential photographers active in Latin America today, Iturbide captures everyday life and its cultures, rituals, and religions, while also raising questions about paradoxes and social injustice in Mexican society. Her photographs tell a visual story of Mexico since the late 1970s—a country in constant transition, defined by the coexistence of the historical and modern as a result of the culture’s rich amalgamation of cultures. For Iturbide, photography is a way of life and a way of seeing and understanding Mexico and its beauty, challenges, and contradictions.

This is the first major East Coast presentation of Iturbide’s work, featuring approximately 125 photographs that span her five-decade-long career. Organised into nine sections, the exhibition opens with early photographs, followed by three series focused on three of Mexico’s many indigenous cultures: Juchitán captures the essential role of women in Zapotec culture; Los que viven en la arena (Those Who Live in the Sand) concentrates on the Seri people living in the Sonoran Desert; and La Mixteca documents elaborate goat-slaughtering rituals in Oaxaca, serving as critical commentary on the exploitation of workers. Thematic groupings highlight Iturbide’s explorations of various aspects of Mexican culture, including fiestas, death and mortality, and birds and their symbolism. Her more recent work is presented in two series related to Mexico’s cultural and artistic heritage, featuring plants—mainly cacti—in “intensive care” at the Oaxaca Ethnobotanical Gardens, as well as El baño de Frida (Frida’s Bathroom), a selection of photographs in Gallery 335 depicting personal belongings in Frida Kahlo’s bathroom at the Casa Azul that had been locked away for 50 years after the artist’s death.

Iturbide’s powerful and provocative photographs are anti-picturesque, anti-folkloric. Her work embodies her empathetic approach to photography and her deep connection with her subjects, asking questions through its capacity for imaginary associations. Drawn primarily from Iturbide’s own collection, Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico also includes the Museum’s recent acquisition of 37 works by the artist, as well as loans from museums and private collections throughout the US and Mexico. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue produced by MFA Publications.

Click here for more information on the exhibition, and here for the accompanying publication

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Closing soon: 2018 Turbine Hall Installation by Tania Bruguera, Tate Modern, London, until 24 February 2019

hyundai_turbine_hallThe Cuban artist Tania Bruguera (born 1968) has been selected to create the 2018 Hyundai commission for Tate Modern’s central four-stories high Turbine Hall. She is best known for her socially and politically engaged installations, which have in the past addressed topics of migration, border control and institutional power structures. She has created a unique concept for her political approach to art – Arte Util (useful art) – which is developed in her new work for the Turbine Hall. In 2012 Bruguera was also in residence at Tate Modern with her ongoing project Immigrant Movement International, in which visitors were required to line up and pass a lie detector test based on questions from the UK immigration form before being granted access to the Tate Tanks display. The installation is curated by Catherine Wood, Senior Curator of International Art (Performance) and Isabella Maidment, Assistant Curator of Performance, and accompanied by a new book from Tate Publishing (forthcoming March 2019). 

Click here for more information

Featured Exhibition: Futuruins, Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, until 24 March 2019

palazzofortunyinterniBorn in Granada in 1871, Mariano Fortuny trained as a painter in Paris before settling in Venice at 18. Moving in international artistic circles, he befriended Gabriele D’Annunzio, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Marchesa Casati and Prinz Fritz Hohenlohe-Waldenburg, among others. He was fascinated by the idea of the Gesamtkunstwerk, a total union of music, drama and visual presentation which he strove to realise in his set designs. In addition to his work for the theatre, he decorated aristocratic homes and museums. His luxury textiles were produced in a factory on the Guidecca in Venice and sold in shops in all European capitals. Towards the end of the 1930s Mariano Fortuny retired to a palace in the San Beneto district of Venice. Decorated by the artist, the palazzo now hosts the Fortuny Museum.

04-muve-san-pietroburgo-web-banner-quadrato-mobile-px-443-x-443Currently on show at the museum is Futuruins. The exhibition focuses on the the multiple meanings attributed to ruins through the centuries. Works from Venetian Civic Museums, the State Hermitage Museum and other international collections explore the architectural and sculptural remains of the Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Assyrian-Babylonian and Syrian civilisations. Contemporary art looks at the physical and moral ruins of today’s society. This is an exploration of the ruins of architecture, cities and suburbs, but also of men and ideas, as the result of time, negligence, degeneration, natural or political tragedies such as war and terrorism.

Ruins are an allegory for the inexorable passage of time, always uncertain and changeable, disputed between past and future, life and death, destruction and creation, Nature and Culture. The aesthetics of ruins is a crucial element in the history of Western civilisation. The ruin as concept symbolises the presence of the past but at the same time contains within itself the potential of the fragment. Fragments of antiquity, covered by the patina of time, hold cultural and symbolic implications that turn them into valid ‘foundation stones’ for building the future. Coming from the past, they confer a wealth of meaning on the present and offer an awareness to future projects.

Curated by Daniela Ferretti, Dimitri Ozerkov with Dario Dalla Lana, the exhibition includes works by such modern artists as Acconci Studio, Giorgio de Chirico,  Jean Dubuffet, Anselm Kiefer, Alberto Burri. Franco Guerzoni, Christian Fogarolli, Giuseppe Amato, Renato Leotta and Renata De Bonis have realised new commissions for the event. In addition, the State Hermitage Museum has lent more than 80 pre-modern works,  including paintings by Albrecht Dürer, Monsù Desiderio, Giovanni Paolo Pannini, Jacopo and Francesco Bassano, Parmigianino, Veronese, Jacob van Host the Elder, Arturo Nathan and Alessandro Algardi.

Click here for more information.

Featured Exhibition: After ’68. Art and artistic practices in the Basque Country 1968–2018, Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao, until 28 April 2019

exposicion-2-800-268Survey exhibition of some 150 works, including painting, sculpture, photography, video art and works on paper, by nearly 100 artists, covering the five decades from 1968, when a new generation of Basque artists born in the 1940s was joining the art scene, to 2018 when art made by women has become increasingly prominent. It also assesses the importance that the individual and collective careers that emerged in the region have had on both Spanish and international art. The show’s point of departure will be the collection of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, which will be joined by important loans from private collections and fellow public institutions—such as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, ARTIUM and the Kunstmuseum of Basel—that have placed particular emphasis on acquiring contemporary Basque art. The exhibition, which is curated in-house by Miriam Alzuri, Begoña González and Miguel Zugaza, will be accompanied by a catalogue. Click here for more information.

After ’68. Art and Practices in the Basque Country 1968–2018 is completed in gallery 33 by an exhibition space curated by the musician, producer, journalist and sound artist Xabier Erkizia. This gallery presents original materials—record covers, posters, sound recordings, etc.—which provide a historical view of the musical and sound practices in the Basque Country over these past five decades. This section of the exhibition can be explored through a dedicated microsite at this link.

Opening Event: Enrique Vila-Matas in conversation with Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 17 January 2019

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Carlos Pazos, Milonga, 1980 (detail), Hand-coloured photograph with collage and fluorescent light, 105 × 100 cm. © Carlos Pazos, A+V Agencia de Creadores Visuales, 2019

An exhibition dedicated to “la Caixa” Collection of Contemporary Art opens today at the Whitechapel Gallery, London (17 January–28 April 2019).

Works in the exhibition have been selected from one of Spain’s leading collections of contemporary art by the Spanish novelist Enrique Vila-Matas (born 1948). During 2019 the Caixa collection will be explored at the Whitechapel in four separate displays curated by internationally acclaimed authors, who have also been invited by the Gallery to contribute a fictional text based on their selection. Vila-Matas seeks truth through fiction and values ‘the ambiguity of experience’. Among his selected works is a video by Dora García (b. 1965, Spain) featuring a girl receiving strict instruction on how to perform breathing exercises. In a staged self-portrait by Carlos Pazos (b. 1949, Spain) the artist appears lost in melancholic reverie at a Barcelona nightclub. These small dramas contrast with seemingly timeless landscapes. A mixed media painting by Miquel Barceló (b. 1957, Spain) and a digitally collaged photograph by Andreas Gursky (b. 1955, Germany) take a ground level and an aerial perspective on the land, where the human figure is absent or minute. Click here for more information.

At 7pm on 17 January Vila-Matas will be in conversation in French (with English translation) with his long-time friend the artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and signing copies of his specially written novel Cabinet d’Amateur. Click here for further information and tickets (£9.50).

 

Closing Soon: Cortés. Retrato y estructura, Fundación Unicaja de Cádiz, until 31 January 2019

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The painter’s study. Estudio del pintor. Private collection, Madrid. Photo: María Bisbal.

Hernán Cortés Moreno (Cádiz, 1953) has succeeded in renewing the genre of Spanish portraiture by introducing to it elements of abstraction, pop art and cinematography. This exhibition of some 130 portraits of key individuals important to the history, politics and culture of Spain over recent decades and includes a portrait of Sir John Elliott, the historian of Spain and the Americas and Emeritus President of ARTES. Other sitters include the former Socialist prime minister, Felipe González, the historian, physician and philosopher Gregorio Marañón and the British-born architect Norman Foster as well as friends and family members from the 1980s onwards. 

Click here for more information, and here for the artist’s website

Featured Exhibition: ‘Southern Geometries, from Mexico to Patagonia’, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, until February 24, 2019

CartierThe exhibition Southern Geometries, from Mexico to Patagonia celebrates the wealth of color and diversity of styles in the geometric art of Latin America, bringing together 250 artworks made by over 70 artists from the Pre-Columbian period to present. Including modernist abstract art, sculpture and architecture as well as ceramics, weaving, and body painting, the exhibition explores the wide range of approaches to geometric abstraction in Latin America, whether influenced by Pre-Columbian art, the European avant-garde or Amerindian cultures. Southern Geometries weaves visual relationships among diverse cultures and regions across time, inviting visitors to discover the vibrant patterns and designs of Latin American art.

Click here to find out more.