Obsessed as I am with all things Italian, the thinly disguised text I set out to pen about Paolini at Goodman, rapidly digressed into something bigger, and what I can only describe as a vanishing Italianate sensibility. I can even now feel myself sentimentalising a whole raft of artists who have disappeared – or who may do so soon, and cannot but wonder what they have shown us and what we might lose in consequence of their eventual departures. After years of searching, seeing and researching, the names Parmiggiani, Fabro, Pistoletto, Paolini and Merz will resonate in my heart and brain for as long as I shall live and breathe. READ
Photo credit: In volo (Icaro e Ganimede), 2019, Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery and the Artist
For my 5th birthday, I was presented with a 7” vinyl record of Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles. A strange amazing black disc containing music that I could keep playing, I wore it out. Sad to say that by the time I reached 12, the Beatles were totally uncool, and who was this Yoko Ono woman anyway, was she the reason they split? Of course, now I find myself in awe of Ono the artist, for me a creative with far greater endurance than the musical association. Read my article for Wall Street International here
In May of this year, an exhibition of works by the internationally renowned sculptor, Sir Anthony Caro (1924-2013) will take place in Norwich, England. Items on display span a period from 1951 through to 2011, with 20 works on public view for the first time – some annotated by his mentor, Henry Moore.
Fêted for his monumental, brightly coloured aggregations of objects, Caro was a 1960’s revolutionary who knocked gallery sculpture off its pedestal and into the real-world plane. Shifting sculpture away from the plinth re-positioned work in the realm of the ‘real’ rather than the illusionistic; a profound and unprecedented change in sharing the space for artistic address and audience reception.
Curated by Professor Neil Powell, the research underpinning this exhibition explores a different side to Caro, showing the early signs of the artist’s move away from the figure and towards abstraction. These glimpses into Caro’s archive reveal the artist as a fearless and prolific innovator, rejecting material and aesthetic convention and narrating by implication, the passing of the industrial age.
We go live in Edinburgh – and in esteemed company.
Territory: The Exhibition in a Box. The Created and Contested Territories Group have used conflict theory to create ‘Territory; the Exhibition in a Box’. The vehicle unites disparate creative practitioners to emphasize a materialist and materialized interpretations of history.
The group, consisting of artists, historians, designers, architects and writers, has adopted a critical stance toward past social arrangements, and by implication, contemporary representations of ‘reform’ as embodied by territorial, conceptual or societal change. The Boxed exhibition (an edition of 10) itself is a vehicle to create dialogue, and its sites and related symposia include:
IMPACT 10 Printmaking Conference, Santander, Spain (Sept 2018)
Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (February 2020)
Haus am Lützowplatz (HAL), Berlin (March 2020)
CLB, Berlin (May 2019)
Lust and Apple, Edinburgh (March 2018)
Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI) Library, London (January 2020)
Sight Marmetei, Former Stasi Prison, Romania. (December 2019)
Former Stasi Records Agency, Leipzig (February 2020)Territory: The Exhibition in a Box
Bill Viola and Michelangelo: Life Death Rebirth at Royal Academy of Arts London
Well, call me an old sceptic – and yes, I have read the (largely positive) reviews and seen the show – but for me this juxtaposition is just a bridge too far. Don’t get me wrong, I adore both Bill Viola and Michelangelo for their respective and Herculean contributions to our shared western artistic heritage. But, as a spectator I feel not a little manipulated for: a) being obliged to go, for fear I would be missing out, and b) wanting to see just how daft curatorial permutations could get. read on…
Picture credit: Bill Viola, ‘Tristan’s Ascension (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall)’, 2005. Video/sound installation. Performer: John Hay. © Courtesy Bill Viola Studio. © Photo: Kira Perov.
(c) The Brooklyn Rail September 2018
In writing this short piece for The Brooklyn Rail about Luciano Fabro, I seek to posit a fresh and possibly perverse approach to re-viewing the received wisdom and conditions for understanding the artist’s oeuvre. read on…
‘Mastaba’ at the Serpentine, Hyde Park in London Christo and Jean-Claude’s latest mega (lomaniac) foray into the public eye takes its formal inspiration from the eternal houses of ancient Egypt. The idea is traceable in C. and J-C’s drawings from the late -1960’s, and like so many of their major projects, has a gestation, provenance and resilience that are difficult to contest. In writing this brief note, I came to the startling realisation that I have adored Christo and Jean-Claude’s for absolutely years, they were effectively the visual soundtrack to my late teenage years…read the article
Mastaba. Courtesy of Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Photography: Wolfgang Volz © 1969-2018 Christo
Towards Infinity at Simon Lee Gallery London presents us with a delicious slice through the mid-1960s to early ‘80’s. I don’t say delicious with any sense of irony given that this congregation of artists would probably be the basis of a show that I would have loved to have curated. read on…
Giovanni Anselmo – Infinito 1971-73 courtesy Simon Lee Gallery London