Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back for P.3

Camille Henrot and Hew Locke , respectively featured at the New Orleans Museum of Art and at the Pérez Art Museum Miami are back to the USA for Prospect.3.

Camille Henrot

Camille Henrot is a French multimedia artist living in New York and Paris. Born in 1978, she graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs and was noticed in 2005 after an exhibition at the Cartier Foundation.
A prolific multi-disciplinary artist, known for her video clips, her work includes sculptures, drawings, photographs and displays on computers through which she translates her fascination with symbols of the past, myths which she reinterprets for a modern time.
She combines anthropology, philosophy, literature, history in her multicultural view of the world.
She participated to the Paris Triennale and was recently awarded the "Silver Lion" at the Venice Biennale with her video Grosse Fatigue.

The New Orleans Museum of Art presented her fist solo exhibition in the United States with Cities of Ys at the end of 2013.

Her work has been exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London, Chisenhale Gallery in London, the Centre Pompidou, the Louvre, the Musée d’Art Moderne, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the New Orleans Museum of Art, Schinkel Pavillon in Berlin, and the New Museum in New York. In 2013, she was the recipient of the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship in Washington, DC, where she produced the video Grosse Fatigue awarded by the Silver Lion at the 55th Venice Biennale. Camille Henrot currently has a solo exhibition at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, which will travel to Bétonsalon – Centre for art and research, Paris and the Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster. She is nominated for the 2014 Hugo Boss Prize. Camille Henrot is represented by kamel mennour, Paris; Johann König, Berlin; and Metro Pictures, New York. 

Hew Locke

Hew Locke was born in 1959 in Edinburgh to a British mother and a Guyanese father, both of them artists. Locke lived in Scotland until 1966 when the family moved by boat to Guyana, a former British colony on the Caribbean coast of South America. He earned a B.A. in fine art from Falmouth School of Art and Design (now Falmouth University) in 1988 and a M.A. in sculpture from the Royal College of Art in 1994. He currently lives and works in London. Through a wide range of media including painting, drawing, photography, relief, fabric, sculpture, casting, found objects and collage, Locke developed his practice which  first was misread as folk art and has now reached its full impact. Through his works, Locke tackles diverse subjects like globalization, colonization, immigration, power, trade, architecture, history. His ambivalent relationship with the British monarchy is treated with humor in House of Windsor, ultimately engaging in a reflection about power.    
Despite the variety of materials he employs, Locke regards all of his art as interconnected—“like DNA,” he explains, “it loops and twists around.”
His recent installation For Those in Peril on the Sea, (2011) at the Perez Art Museum Miami reflected the longstanding place of boats in Locke’s iconography.

Selected shows include  National Portrait Gallery (London), El Museo de Bario (New York),  Fondation Clément (Martinique), The Bell House (Prague), Kunsthal KAdE (Netherlands), Tate Britain (London), V&A Museum (London), The New Art Gallery (Walsall), Rivington Place (London), The Bluecoat Gallery (Liverpool), The British Museum (London), The New Art Exchange (Nottingham), The Luckman Gallery (LA), The New York Museum of Art and Design (New York), Atlanta Contemporary Arts (US) and at The Brooklyn Museum (New York).  In 2010 Locke's work, Sikandar, was shortlisted for the Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square (London).

Locke's work is represented in many collections including The Government Art Collection (UK), Miami Art Museum (US), The Tate Gallery (UK), The Arts Council of England (UK), The Collection of Eileen and Peter Norton (US), The Brooklyn Museum (New York), The Arnold Lehman Collection (US), The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (US), Kansas City Collection (US), The RSID Museum (Rhode Island), The New Art Gallery (Walsall), The Victoria & Albert Museum Drawing Collection (London), The British Museum (London) and The Henry Moore Institute (Leeds).

Meet the artist at Tate
represented by Hales Gallery

photographs by the author

 Detail of the installation "The Descendants of Pirogue", 2013, from Camille Henrot at the NOMA
Detail of the installation " For Those in Peril on the Sea", 2011, from Hew Locke at the Pérez Museum of Art Miami

Monday, July 28, 2014

Meow Wolf, Past and Present

The subject of two pages of reviews in the Summer edition of ARTnews, Santa Fe's art scene must not be that boring. The city is also hosting its own International Biennal since 1995. But what appears to be an energetic environment to outsiders like me is not perceived as such by all the members of the local community, mostly younger members who are feeling excluded. Their premises are that the establishment is getting stuffy and smothers creativity, prompting the creation of their own collective Meow Wolf born in 2008. Moving Still, the exhibition at The Front  in the St Claude Arts' District is a retrospective of a kind,  a recapitulation of the group's history. It allows the viewer to go through a detailed chronological timeline, starting in the gallery's front room, which includes a "manifesto" delineating the principles and goals: a collaboration between emerging artists of all ages, all levels of skills, in any artistic realm, fostering "creative expression and political activism, not supported by Santa Fe's current cultural landscape" which "omits local and youthful expression and supports boring elite and tired old ideals" in reaction to "boring galleries with white walls."
Illustrated by a clear display, the history of the group unfolds along the walls of two adjacent rooms. We meet  members like a poet, a psychology student, a musician, a self-educated artist, a show promoter, follow the collective's migration to a new location and discover the projects through photographs, texts, videos and a few small pieces of art. The fate of the multimedia collaborative works from their conception to their realization is described in details, including number of  man hours, time for completion, financial constraints... Successes like the ambitious Meow Boat project, failures like Auto Wolf , the first sponsored project like Glitteropolis,  impact on the destiny of Meow Wolf. A splinter group writes an operating manual, tries to organize the anarchic gathering, establishes rules to be broken. Success brings pressure to perform and financial responsibilities, to incorporate or not, become a business reality?
There are lessons to be learned from the experience which offers material for reflection about group dynamics, collective art including economic models and possibly for a study in sociology.

But art needs to be experienced and this is the goal of the two works in the backrooms, a journey back to the 60's, colors and smoke included for psychedelic effects. A subdued version of Kenny Scharf's Cosmic Cavern or decorations for a Halloween haunted house, the two installations are somewhat disappointing and fail to show a renewal of the art landscape. Dada, Gutai, were reaction to wars, social upheavals, Meow Wolf is a reaction to exclusion from a local art establishment and stays a local phenomenon. The collective needs to break barriers, promote creativity, have new visions to reach goals other than existing and surviving... which is a challenge in itself. Meow Wolf needs to take a deep breath and move on.
Known for creating immersive, theatrical installations or experiences, Meow Wolf has also been a music venue, a music promoter, a theater company, an arts educator and a voice of youth culture.  - See more at: book geodecadent for donors.geodome. 50 people weekly

photographs by the author at the Front

Friday, July 25, 2014

Deeper Questions

The latest show at the Staple Goods gallery is filled with energy. Colors, rhythms from the music composed by Carl Joe Williams hit the visitor attracted to the old revamped television sets aligned along the wall. With decorations, new attributes, bright Caribbean colors, he reinvents a common reality and finds a new status for the unavoidable TVs which brought the world in our living rooms. Now sculptures, they become kitschy symbols of the power of the object with their crowning adornments. But his transposition of the television set into an icon also signals its upcoming death in the age of the Internet.
Carl Joe Williams's message goes further, projecting edited episodes of Good Times, a sitcom from the 70's with an original soundtrack from the artist, a medley including cheering, laughing crowds interrupted by gunshot noises creating tension or with Deeper Questions, treating of race with its succession of portraits of males melting into females, African-Americans metamorphosing into Asians, Afros replaced by blond flat hairs. Some screens are partly covered by collages, like giant pixels and the images fade in the background. The new works from Carl Joe Williams include also Urban Series, figurative scenes, short visual stories accompanied by text, in the same verve than the multimedia pieces.
The artist tackles different subjects like politics, violence, the influence of media and through cliches and stereotypes, the divisive influence of bigotry. If the colors are bright and sharp, the innuendos are subtle (sometimes not) and the artist is not afraid of using light humor and even a touch of derision.
Re-staging objects, using visual cues to suggest ideas, the artist claims his role as a catalyst for thoughts and revives the concept of art for goals other than purely aesthetics.
An interesting exhibition which provides food for thoughts and conveys sobering conclusions.

photographs by the author:

Deeper Questions, 2014
I Knew Something Was Wrong, 2013
Urban Series, 2014

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

At Prospect.3

Hayal Pozanti

Hayal Pozanti was born in 1983 in Istanbul, Turkey, obtained a BA in Visual Arts and Communication Design at Sabanci University in Istanbul and an MFA in 2011 in painting/printmaking at Yale where she studied with Peter Halley. She is presently living in New York City.
Collecting images found on the Internet, she started making digital collages that referenced the visual culture issued from the new tool and created digital collages.
Multilingual and with a background in graphic design, she developed a cross-cultural "alphabet" composed of 31 letters born from a single image inspired by the formats in which we receive digital images: the 4:3 ratio of iPhone screens and the 612 pixel square Instagram image, creating an abstract universal language born from simple shapes like a circle or square.  
Hayal Pozanti states her goal “To me, the world of the screen is an infinite universe of daydreams, much like the Surrealists aimed to reconcile the world of dreams and reality, I would like to explore the possibility of inventing a new reality from the merging of the virtual and the tactile.”

studio visit from the Paris Review
review from the Los Angeles Times
Jessica Silverman Gallery

Mohamed Bourouissa

Mohamed Bourouissa is a well known photographer who has chosen to depict the tensions and issues affecting daily life of young people living in the suburbs of France. Born in 1978 in Blida, Algeria, he currently lives and works in Paris. He graduated in Visual Arts from the Sorbonne in 2004 and from the photography department of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs. His documentary-style images are careful compositions influenced by traditional paintings from Masters like Caravaggio, Delacroix or Géricault. After planning the elaborate scenes in note and sketches to the minute details, the artist allows a chance to hazard and hopes for the unexpected, catching emotions and ultimately the threat of violence. While depicting stereotypes about life in the suburbs of Paris and other cities in France, the artist explores the social and economic issues of the surroundings in which he grew up.
His work has been presented in a number of solo and group exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou, the Palais de Tokyo, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Palazzo Grassi – François Pinault Foundation in Venice, the MAXXI in Rome, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the SCAD of Atlanta, the Finnish Museum of Photography of Helsinki, the Muzeum Sztuki in Lodz, the Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, the Nikolaj Kunsthal of Copenhagen, the KW Institute for Contemporary Art of Berlin, as well as during the Berlin Biennale and the 2011 International Biennale of Contemporary Art in Venice. He is represented by Galerie Kamel Mennour in Paris.

press release Yossi Milo Gallery
review Art in America

Piero Golia

Piero Golia, born in 1974 in Naples, Italy, is a conceptual artist based in Los Angeles where he has lived and worked since 2002. He studied engineering at Universitá Federico II. His work is defined by "constant accuracy" and humor. From the outset of his career, Golia’s principal focus has been the theatrical and the conceptual in art, specifically supreme gestures and the completion of seemingly impossible acts. As artist, organizer, teacher, innovator, and catalyst for broad experimentation in culture, Piero Golia celebrates the paradox of seriousness and its impossibility. In his practice, the artist pushes situations to absurdity and erases the boundaries between reality and fiction, the real becomes unreal and the fictive becomes plausible.
A solo exhibition “Double Tumble or the Awesome Twins,” was presented at the Stedeljik Museum, Amsterdam in 2010. His work has been shown in major exhibitions in the United States and Europe, including “The Gold Standard,” P.S.1, New York (2007); “Vesuvius,” Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2007); “Artist’s Museum,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art (2010), and “Premio Italia,” Museo MaXXi, Rome (2011). In 2004, his film Killer Shrimps was selected for the Venice Film Festival. Golia founded the Los Angeles-based Mountain School of Arts with Eric Wesley in 2005.

Gagosian Gallery
blog Ceci n'est pas...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Dreams

This Summer, Du Mois Gallery offers Voyages from Ken Nahan, a combination of previous works, minimalists in scale and new larger abstract landscapes built in the same vein where the artist lets our eyes and minds wander in compositions made of colored hieroglyphic messages floating on nautical charts.
Without focal points, the paintings give a sense of infinity, spill out of their frames and get us lost in the meanders of our subconscious.
The language has no limits and few signs repeat themselves. There is no end to the artist's imagination fostering new landscapes, new dreams and stimulating our collective and personal memories.
In the best tradition of Miró, Klee and Surrealism, his colored alphabet dances in front of our eyes, and if some may find the subject passé, others find it inexhaustible. Kandinsky chose celestial backgrounds, Kenan favors  the unexplored world of the deep ocean. The technique combining a scenery of soft curvy lines with a foreground of geometric and biomorphic symbols builds a playful world of fantasy. With a whole gamut of colors, from primary to in between variations like flat and augmented notes, the juxtaposition of hues creates musical compositions which can be enjoyed as a whole, or one drawing at a time like we would savor the licks of a Jazz piece. It is no surprise that reference to music comes to mind. The artist was born and raised in New Orleans, obtained a BFA from Tulane University, spent some time in Paris learning new techniques and collaborating with local artists, stayed for a period in the Northeast and is back home.
Ever changing landscapes for voyages of the mind.

Photographs by the author

The gallery may be closed at times this Summer, contact the artist for personal visits.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

About Farmanfarmaian (P.3)

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

Born in 1924 to educated parents in the ancient Persian city of Qazvin, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Tehran (1944-1946). Her plans to pursue further education in Paris were derailed by WWII and instead she went to New York City where she attended the Parsons School of Design and Cornell University. During the 40's and 50's she worked as a fashion illustrator for the department store Bonwit Teller, alongside Andy Warhol and mingled with artists like Louise NevelsonJackson PollockWillem de KooningBarnett Newman, Frank Stella and Joan Mitchell. She returned to Iran in 1957 and the following decades developed her practice defined by a combination of traditional Persian techniques and geometric patterns reinvented in a modern abstract expressionist and minimalist aesthetic, in mirror mosaics and reverse-glass paintings. The resulting works are complex geometrical patterns that reference a range of influences in Islamic art, architecture and science. She reached international recognition and held exhibitions in Tehran, Paris, Venice and New York. After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, during which most of her works were confiscated, destroyed or sold, she took refuge in New York and settled back permanently in Iran in 2004.
With a career spanning over 50 years, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian is widely recognized as one of the most influential artist working in Iran today.

links to references:

book: "Monir Sharoudy Farmanfarmaian: Cosmic Geometry"

Haines Gallery
The Guardian
Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Solo Mosaico

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Flat and Fantastic

... wild and tame, hot and cold... The contrast between the two exhibitions at the MOCA North Miami stirs a gamut of emotions born from the aesthetic experiences and the reflections brought up by the visit of a Fantastic Journey from Wangechi Mutu and Flat Rock from Virginia Overton. It seems that the only links between the two artists are their gender and present location in Brooklyn.

Due to the configuration of the museum, an unavoidable walk through the display from Mutu to reach Overton's show made it even more shocking in its spareness. Two slanted parallel wood panels on each side of the room enclose an unstable space filled with a few objects: a fan hanging from the ceiling moving rhythmically like the pendulum of a grandfather's clock, a giant tire with a battery, heavy industrial pieces... The cold, static objects (except the fan) appear abandoned and if the minimalist work of art includes its surrounding space, in this show, it generates a feeling of mournful emptiness. The visit gets quite short when minimalism has nothing else to say.
In contrast, the exuberant exhibition from Wancheti Mutu gathers collages, drawings, videos, sculptures and installations with a total of 50 works made from the 90's till present.
Her figurative collages are constructed with cutouts from medical texts, glossy magazines, ethnographic periodical  or pornographic publications and materials like fur, feathers, baubles, glitter, fake pearls... result in lush compositions centered on a female character surrounded by luxuriant vegetation. Her "hypersexualized" heroins could be found in science-fiction cartoons and the mythical creatures made of human, plant, animal and machine parts become modern, trans-cultural  Eves, mixture of African goddesses and high class socialites. However, the excitement generated by the view of the large works quickly fades as one progresses along the visit. The repetitious themes, techniques, colors, engender monotony and transform powerful symbols in mere clichés.
The music from Amazing Grace (2005) gives a religious vibe to a video playing on a small screen but the blue sea and the African female swimmer built like a model made it difficult to stay focused on the grim subject, the slave trade.
The installation includes trees built with felt, brown tape and kinky red lingerie tucked into the trunks and branches, Daphne revisited? Suspended Playtime (2008) occupies the whole center of the room with balls made of plastic bags attached to twines hanging from the ceiling. The allusion to a world where children play with discarded material is quite obvious. The simplicity of the installation contrasts with the sophistication of the collages and maybe this is the idea.
 I found the most enthralling piece in the smaller room, next to a display of  drawings in glass cases. Eat Cake, 2012 is a performance piece recorded in a black and white video near a river. It features the artist in full garb, white dress, platform shoes, nails like claws, unveiling a chocolate cake and then stuffing herself, smearing herself with it in this scatological piece about gluttony well illustrated by this quote from Mutu "... in your mind you envision yourself a butterfly but still you find yourself on your knees".

...overwhelming and underwhelming...


View of the exhibition  "a Fantastic Journey" from Wangechi Mutu
Site specific installation from Virginia Overton in front of MOCA North Miami

Monday, July 7, 2014

Manal AlDowayan, Huguette Calan at Prospect.3

Manal AlDowayan

Manal AlDowayan is a conceptual artist born in 1973 in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. After completing a Masters degree in Systems Analysis and Design, she worked as the Creative Director of the Saudi Arabian oil company for ten years before becoming a full-time artist. Her work in a predominantly male environment fostered her interest for women's status in Saudi Arabia.
In her practice, she combines photography and mixed media to capture the often contradictory relationships between tradition, political regulation, contemporary Saudi society and raise awareness around gender issues in her country.
She has participated in several residencies including: Delfina Foundation in London, The Town House Gallery in Cairo, Cuadro Gallery in Dubai, and Mathaf Project Space in Doha. Manal has been inducted into various cultural leadership initiatives including the Clore Leadership program and the British Council International Cultural Leaders program. She has also been invited as the key note speaker in many international conferences and seminars; most recently at the Clinton Foundation in Little Rock, Arkansas as part of the Club de Madrid’s 2012 annual conference, entitled “Harnessing 21st Century Solutions: A Focus on Women” and at "Beyond Borders, The Platform for Small Nation Dialogue and Cultural Exchange" in Scotland 2012.
Manal has been included in international exhibitions including the collateral exhibitions in the  Venice Biennial in 2011 and 2009, the Berlin Biennial in 2010, and in Contemporary Istanbul in 2010. Her works are part of the permanent collections of the British Museum, LA County Museum, Mathaf Museum of Modern Arab Art, the Jordan National Museum of Fine Art, the Abdul Latif Jamil Foundation, the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), the Nadour Foundation, and the Barjeel Foundation. Manal AlDowayan is represented by Cuadro Gallery in Dubai. She currently lives and works between her native Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and Dubai, UAE.

links to websites featuring AlDowayan's work,
artists-edge of Arabia
Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art
Delfina Foundation


Huguette El Khoury Caland

Huguette El Khoury Caland was born in Beirut in 1931. She is the daughter of the first Lebanese president after the independence (1943). She studied art at the American University of Beirut from 1964 to 1968 and started her career breaking barriers in Middle Eastern art with her erotic abstract paintings. She treated human anatomy, her main subject, in a playful way. She lived in Paris from 1970 till 1987 and she illustrated books, notably by the poet Andrée Chedid. In 1970, she had her first solo show at Dar El Fan and moved to live and work in Paris where she was  part of many group exhibitions.
Huguette Caland designed a line of clothing for Pierre Cardin in 1978, lived and worked in New York for one year (1981-2) and returned to Paris in 1983 where she worked with Romanian sculptor George Apostu on a series of stone, wood and terra cotta sculptures. Caland moved from Paris to Los Angeles in 1988, where she presently lives and works. She now works her canvas as if it was a world she creates, where distance are distorted and spaces widened. Her recent works often talks about her childhood memories in Lebanon.
"Huguette Caland is part of a generation of artists including Shafic Abboud, Yvette Achkar, and Helen Khal, the main players of the Lebanese art scene after the independence. They were the artists who shaped the artistic identity of their young country. All of them studied and worked in Europe or the USA and were greatly influenced by the artistic periods they experienced there. But they all remained attached to their country and heritage, and one could see that attachment in their art, where they always referred to their native culture."
Since 1993, she had an exhibition at the Galerie Janine Rubeiz in Beirut. Her artwork has also been shown at the Delta Gallery in Rome, at Tokyo’s Museum of Modern Art, the Faris Gallery in Paris, the Monaco Art Center in Monte Carlo, Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona and the International Biennale of Venice in Italy. She also participated in Europ’Art (Geneva), Start’Art (Strasbourg) and the "Brushes for Feathers" exhibition organized by Janine Rubeiz Gallery for the benefit of the Lebanese Foundation of the National Library in 2005.
In the United States her work was acquired by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. Caland’s work hang in the collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale and the Fonds National d’Art Contemporain in Paris. Her work is present notably in the Monaco and Beirut collections of the prominent collector Pierre Naim as well as in numerous private collections in Lebanon, France, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.
More recently she is part of the permanent collection of the Centre Georges Pompidou, in Paris. Huguette Caland will be featuring with a solo show at the first Art Dubai Modern 2014, presented by Galerie Janine Rubeiz.