Despite nationwide strikes that continue to hobble the country the french international art fair, FIAC, came to town (Oct. 21-24th) for a week and enabled collectors and artists get down to the business of selling art. Not a riot could be heard within its walls, and business was brisk. Attendance was up. Prices were up 5.4% ( after a 42% plunge in 2008/09). Art is more affordable now then during the boom, and the volume sold is stable, according to the Financial Times. Good news, then, since the crisis broke.
Anyone concerned with contemporary or post WWII art should get to Washington by Sept. 12 to see this exhibition. Yves Klein is an essential figure in post war art whose work resonates through much of what followed: happenings, performance (and films of performance), installations, minimal and conceptual art. For a current generation of young artists making their way in a world shadowed by the threat of environmental annihilation, his work will have particular resonance.
London, Kensington Gardens, August, Sunday, blue skies, warmish. Just off the entrance to The Serpentine Gallery stands a temporary pavilion in hospital white. I approach the small building just as one of the last English heartbeats is recorded for posterity; that is, copied to a fat hard drive to be added to yet another fat hard drive then shipped to the uninhabited Japanese island of Teshima and digitally secured at the Benesse Art Site Naoshima…until Doomsday. This is the premise of the expanding and ongoing work of Christian Boltanski, Les Archives du Coeur, registering a rambling sample of the world’s ... More » »
The massive two-museum blast of Dynasty, an exhibition of 40 artists at the Palais de Tokyo and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, is something of a moveable feast of contemporary French art – a collision of dust and Disney with a bit of dinnertime thrown in. The concept, launched by directors Marc-Olivier Wahler and Fabrice Hergott was to invite youngish artists working in France to exhibit two sets of works in each museum. (The two art spaces sit side-by-side looking out towards the Seine River). A stereo effect was anticipated across the vast 5,000-square meters of ... More » »
“Le Zoo de Vincent” by Vincent Who at Substance in Paris stopped me in my tracks like a deer caught in headlights. Traffic signs, small logs, branches and rubber are assembled with great wit to create representations of stuffed heads from the antler class of mammal. What tickles is the transformation of the work of art into quarry to be bagged.
As luck would have it I went to see the work of a young French artist named Alba Pistolesi. Alba is , in her words, obsessed with cancelling the usefulness of objects as well as with table legs and their standard 72cm length. A week earlier she had shown me a large wooden die and a faggot of table legs that were meant to be screwed into the die on each face. The number of legs per face were to correspond to the number on the face of the die. This results in an object that evokes either a virus or ... More » »
Christian Boltanski’s installation at the Grand Palais in Paris entitled “Personnes” is a monumental culmination of the artist’s lifetime of work. Situated with perfect harmony in the giant, airy, steel and glass structure in the heart of Paris, Boltanski’s show offers a lean view of “homo-industrialis” and his output in the face of history.
Rick Tulka, Paris-based artist and illustrator best known for his on-the-spot sketches of flâneurs burning daylight and washing back kirs at Le Select, the famed café on Boulevard Montparnasse, offers a self-portrait greeting for 2010. Yes, that was him, penciling in your double chin last Tuesday! Only kidding. Bonne Année… See his site here: Rick Tulka and his portraits of people on his Flickr Page.
In 2007, Gilbert & George mounted a massive retrospective at the Tate Modern that included “Mullah.” The tremendous work (2.42 x 2.02m) from 1980, featured a stone-faced icon seemingly cast from the Magic Forest. Composed of photographs of cut planks of wood (knots for eyes, nose and mouth) and collaged together in Gilbert & George’s signature multi-panel digital print in black and white, the work seems prescient these days as “mullah” gains traction across the Internet following the violent crackdown on the post-election street demonstrations in Iran.
My find at the Marche aux puces — a cigar band collage plate Staying in the 14th arrondissement near the end of the #4 Metro line was nice. It’s not a touristy part of town and feels like a real neighborhood. Among other things we were very near the market street Rue Daguerre and a short walk away from the marche aux puces (flea market) at Porte de Vanves.« Previous Page — Next Page »