Francesco Clemente’s first Berlin show in six years is a definitive effort at a Gesamtkunstwerk. Bridging installation, painting, drawing, and sculpture, Clemente has created three unique tents within the former Tagespiegel building’s cavernous hall painted and scrawled on, embroidered and eventually inhabited. Produced in India, where the Italian-American artist has spent a good portion of his time, the tents allow the viewer to enter his painterly world. The visual language, symbols, brushstrokes, and figures are familiar, but entering the tents allows for an experiential understanding of Clemente’s work that standing in front of a flat painting might otherwise deny. Continue Reading
Alexander Forbes' Berlin Art Brief
B.Wurtz, David Renggli, Benja Sachau, Gwenneth Boelens, and Awst & Walter with Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson top our list of must see Berlin art exhibitions for the weekend of November 1st. Continue Reading
Where festival concepts are concerned, one titled “Why Painting Now?” as is Vienna’s annual curatorial fête, Curated By, might as well be phrased as, “Why Not Painting Now?” Safety is assured by the medium’s shear market dominance. As seen last month in Berlin with “Painting Forever!” — a slightly more tongue in cheek phraseology that melds both art historical and economic forces in opposition to voices that might otherwise decry canvas’s anachronism — there’s really not much that can be said against a solid display of mark making material on a flat surface. The theme attracts shrugged critical shoulders, “Sure, why not’s,” and actually, a lot of great work.
To, head curator of Curated By’s fifth edition, Eva Maria Stadler’s credit, “Why Painting Now?” also gives the invited international curators — Gürsoy Dogtas, John Peter Nilsson, Lucie Drová, Franklin Melendez, Jan Verwoert, Martin Prinzhorn, Lina Dzuverovic, Sophie O’Brien, Anthony Hudek, Gerwald Rockenschaub, Bart van der Heide, Christiane Meyer-Stoll, Ei Arakawa, Tyler Coburn, Miguel Wandschneider, Nav Haq, Antonia Lotz, Caroline Smulders, Marion Piffer Damiani, and Yve-Alain Bois — a practically unrestricted playing field on which to set their individual artistic agendas. Continue Reading
BERLIN — Bernd Neumann has opted not to seek a further term as Germany’s culture minister, the dpa reported on Tuesday. According to a statement, he informed Chancellor Angela Merkel directly after September’s election that he wished to pursue other interests after this term’s close. Continue Reading
Munich based auction house Ketterer Kunst has jumped into the online arena with a new, proprietary auction platform for netizens worldwide. Since last week, www.ketterer-internet-auktion.de has taken over Ketterer’s online presence with over 150 original artworks and editions for sale, ranging from garage sale gems to major, well researched works. Continue Reading
Walking through the medieval European Gallery of the Met last year, New York based artist Keith Edmier happened upon a 14th century sculptural depiction of the Visitation. Attributed to Master Heinrich of Constance, it’s a curious rendition in which the Virgin Mary and St. Elizabeth’s wombs are carved from their chest cavities, covered over with vertical ovals of silver like a locket. For Edmier, this was just one of several jumping off pointes for “Crystalline Wombs and Pregnant Hearts,” currently on view at Berlin’s neugerriemschneider.
The exhibition takes its name from an essay by Jacqueline Jung about that sculpture Edmier happened upon in the Met. “It led me to this question of what it would be like to be a young nun in contemporary society,” he says. Many a YouTube documentary later and Edmier found Sister Alicia Torres, a young Chicagoan — Edmier is as well, though he says her home town didn’t play into his fascination — who entered the church after college. “She had glasses and a wristwatch, elements that take it into the present,” he explains of the elements that drew him towards Torres. “I wanted to portray a symbolic, spiritual manifestation of pregnancy through the material and formal language of medieval Visitation sculpture.” Continue Reading
Dor Guez’s latest video and photographic installation, “40 Days” is deceptively simple in its execution. On one side of its current showing at Berlin’s Carlier Gebauer, homemade video footage rolls by with the handheld camera being rested on a side table or kitchen countertop while Guez speaks with elder family members about the desecration of Christian Palestinian cemeteries in his home town of Lod. Located about 15 kilometers southeast of Tel Aviv (it’s also home to Israel’s Ben Gurion airport), the city is home to a little over 1000 members of this minority within a minority, or 1.5% of the city’s population, of which Guez’s family is also a member. In the adjacent room, high dynamic range scans of photographs Guez’s late grandfather Jakob took documenting one such instance of desecration are displayed as large format photographic prints, some even showing the decomposing skeletal remains, which lay beneath the shattered headstones.
Though on one hand a highly personal story — at the end of the film we see Jakob’s memorial service, which ostensibly precludes his interment in just such a cemetery — the highly affective result is much more wide reaching. “40 Days” is as much a story of repeated persecution and the blind eye cast on minority, disenfranchised issues regardless of their face, as it is of the specific conditions that Guez’s family faces in Lod. Here, Guez speaks with BLOUIN ARTINFO’s Alexander Forbes about making that leap and the project at large. Continue Reading
Founded by Parisian Romain Chenais and L.A. expat Jason Hwang in 2011, independent exhibition space Shanaynay has invigorated the cultural scene in Paris’s 20th Arrondissement with a steady flow of curated shows featuring artists such as Kirsten Pieroth, Nina Canell, and Liam Gillik, as well as many lesser-known artists. For its Art Berlin Contemporary project, “Upcoming Exhibitions,” Shanaynay has devised an innovative exhibition format, giving 14 international project spaces — Cleopatra’s, Ohio, Generation Works, Gasconade, 1857, Bétonsalon, Am Nuden Da, Treize, Works Sited, The Ister, Auto Italia South East, Lulu, Peles Empire, and New Theater — a two-hour slot on a specially designed stage to do essentially as they please. Alexander Forbes talked to Chenais and Hwang about the decisions behind their innovative offering. Continue Reading
Berlin Art Week’s painting theme not only takes hold at the capital’s institutions, but pops up in the galleries quite often as well. In one such exhibition, Galerie Kornfeld presents a new series of paintings and etchings by emerging British painter, Robert Fry. BLOUIN ARTINFO caught up with Fry to discuss his fascination with nudes and their ability to illustrate both our socially constructed body-image and the fragmented psyche created by getting lost in that gaze. Continue Reading
For the Dorotheum’s sixth-ever auction of tribal art, the house will highlight 14 pieces from noted Austrian composer, musician, and musicologist René Clemencic’s collection of sculptures and artifactual objects, assembled over a period of more than 50 years. All told, 253 lots will be offered at the sale from Africa, the Orient, Asia, Indonesia, Oceania, and the Americas. Continue Reading