Friday, February 24, 2012

Beyond Shapes, Colours, Words

"Robert Indiana Figures of Speech" written by Susan Elizabeth Ryan is a three-hundred plus pages book about the artist and his work. After the introduction, it consists of six chapters, followed by appendixes with poems from Indiana, artist's statements, notes and index.

In chapters one and two, titled respectively " The Making of Autobiography (Robert Clark)" and "Constructing Robert Indiana", the author writes a biography, insisting on the traumatic events in the artist's life and describes how she will develop the subject later, relating childhood traumas and the subsequent works from Indiana. These two chapters could have been condensed in one, avoiding some repetitions.

She then tackles the real material: how to interpret the works from Indiana. The detailed analysis of major works made me discover this hermetic artist. Till reading this book, I considered Indiana a pop artist, a graphic designer. I discovered the symbols, mantra, orbs, herms and the depth of his message. The poet gives their full impact to the words enhanced by their visual display. They become mantra. The last chapter discusses his "LOVE " series, and replace them in the social and political context of the sixties.

The text is condensed and dry but the illustrations are plentiful, well annotated and allow the reader to discover or rediscover Indiana's major works.

All aspects of the artist are represented in the book with his poems at the end and it should be recommended for novices or experts.
The author brings the reader on a very intellectual journey.

photographs by the author:
"Love, Red Blue", Robert Indiana, 1966-1967
"Art", Robert Indiana, 1972-2001

Saturday, February 4, 2012


My first visit at the art fair from my living room started February the 3rd and ended February the 8th, thanks to VIP Art Fair. The website is "Connecting the Worlds Collectors to Leading Art Dealers Online" and my interest brought me on the site almost daily, tagging along collectors, artists, galleries. I am an amateur. Like for any other visit, I started to look at the website to become familiarized with the map of the fair, the galleries, the artists. The map of the fair looks like any other map of a fair: I will not be able to walk along the aisles, just navigate with my mouse.

I can choose to look at the site by galleries (123), artists, size, price range, continent (every continent is represented). I can take a peak at galleries I will most likely never visit in Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, Qatar... All the big galleries are present Pace gallery, Gagosian, White Cube...

Each gallery presents a photograph of the pieces on sale, sometimes several views. The size and material are described and a biography of the artist is attached.

Short videos are available on different topics related to art, I listened to Lowell Pettit at the Marianne Bosky gallery.

One can also follow an insider tour: Pedro Velz from Artnet, or John McEnroe tour, Lowell and courtney Pettit etc....

The pros: cheap, fun , convenient, very relaxing, informative, easy access,

The cons: miss the excitement of going to the fair, discussions, measure and feel the works, few installations, limitation due to two dimensions, size of screen,

Just too business oriented, I feel like starting a shopping cart.

I could upgrade to Elite year.

VIP Art Fair offers several fairs during the year, next Works on Paper in April, Photographs in July and Contemporary Art in September.