Film-maker Jonas Mekas, a figure who loomed large in the New York cinematic landscape, and an artist widely considered the godfather of underground cinema, has died at the age of 96. A founder of both the famed Film Culture magazine and the still operating Anthology Film Archives in Manhattan, his energetic engagement with all aspects of filmmaking helped to nurture the careers of filmmakers like John Waters and Jim Jarmusch, among others. “Jonas passed away quietly and peacefully early this morning,” the Film Archives wrote online. “He was at home with family. He will be greatly missed but his light shines on.”
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Currently on view at Bortolami Gallery this winter, artist Lena Henke has opened her first solo exhibition with the space, delving back into her ongoing exploration of diverse historical convergences, cultural forms and the history of sculpture as both aesthetic field and technical necessity. Read More »
Artist Rodney Graham returns to 303 Gallery this month, bringing with him a new series of works that blend together his ongoing investigations of the iconography of various social spheres with a body of works that simultaneously seem to blend his constructed worlds with the space of the viewer. The show, which opened this past week, includes both lightbox works and paintings, each informing a shared space that Graham allows to float in a certain degree of indeterminacy.
On view at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York, artist Charles Long has rendered an impressive and intricately immersive installation on the lower floor of its two-floor space, part of a body of work that the artist has created over the last year. Continuing a studio output that charts interrelations between the vernacular interests and modernist leanings of the twentieth century with more recent adventures into spatial arrangements, psychological personae and historical deconstruction, his exhibition poses a poetic socio-political examination of our present moment, to nuanced and playful ends.
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Delving into the varied psychological and ephemeral aspects of Josef Albers’s practice, and his strong affinity for music, David Zwirner’s current exhibition at its 20th Street location, Sonic Albers, is a flowing, fluid affair. Taking a far-reaching look at often overlooked prominence of music in both the artist’s sites of personal inspiration, and on the material aspects of his practice, Sonic Albers features a selection of paintings, glassworks, drawings, and ephemera from throughout Albers’s career, including a number of the album covers he designed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Read More »
Over the course of the last decade, photographer James Welling has branched out into a series of more experimental modes of image production, often welcoming degrees of abstraction and indeterminacy into the creation of his photographic images. Using unorthodox photographic procedures in conjunction with varied processes that see his works moving between abstraction and representation, his recent series of work are emblematic of the breadth of his ongoing experimentation with the conventions and materials of photography. Read More »
Drawing together a body of new photographs, ceramics and sculpture from the past year of artist Richard Deacon’s ever-evolving studio practice, the current solo show at Marian Goodman Gallery, House & Garden, explores relationships between materials and processes, representing innovations in Deacon’s thinking about sculpture, and the relationships of image to surface, object making to the pictorial, and sculpture to the plinth, all notions that have been present in his work and are at the nexus of his steadfast interest in a multiplicity of modes of production. Read More »
It’s been a long time coming for the Swedish painter Hilma af Klint. Born in 1862 in Stockholm, her works during the years leading up to and after the turn of the 20th Century marked an increasingly surreal departure from the studied realism of her peers, and into a state of abstraction the made her a leading voice in the development of the language and practice of modernism. Yet af Klint’s work is also frequently held aside from her peers of the era, that is, until now, with an ambitious and thrilling Guggenheim exhibition aiming to put her work back into its proper historical and aesthetic context. Read More »
Spanning the breadth and depth of the artist’s work in both sculpture and land art, Gagosian’s Paris in Le Bourget is currently presenting a body of work by Michael Heizer that moves from 1968 to the present. Over fifty years, Heizer has redefined the very idea of sculpture in his explorations of size, mass, and process. His earth-moving constructions, paintings, and drawings explore the dynamics of positive and negative space. With this show, the magnitude and nuance of his work is allowed to breathe at scale, presenting a body of works that underscore his evolution and incorporation of increasingly complex methodologies into his practice. Read More »
London – Robert Rauscheberg: “Spreads 1975-83” at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Through January was 26th, 2019January 7th, 2019
Over the course of his career, Robert Rauschenberg occupied an almost innumerable series of critical and theoretical positions in the practice and production of art objects, often bounding from material to material and technique to technique in bounds that often moved beyond the scope of any single artists entire oeuvre. His relentless interest in particular with the picture plane itself, and its capacity for interruption or disruption through the inclusion of ready-made objects, collaged pieces and even the scraps of other paintings, Rauschenberg produced what could best be considered as a career in a constant state of flux caused by its own movements.
Robert Rauschenberg, Rodeo Palace (Spread) (1976), via Rauschenberg Foundation
This winter, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in London is presenting the artist’s iconic Spreads series, reflecting on the artist’s work pioneering new ways of painterly construction while remaining focused on his own painterly language. The large-scale Spreads encapsulate many of Robert Rauschenberg’s best-known motifs and materials, and the twelve works from the series―the largest of which stretches to over six metres wide are presented alongside a series of paper collages from the same era. In the Spreads the artist’s familiar motifs from his object-laden Combines is reprised, incorporating car tires, doors, bedding and other materials in conjunction with fabric materials and canvas, all conspiring to create a dense, multilayered series of materials that challenges and reframes the canvas as a collecting pool for both materials and ideas, reference systems and the objects that contain them, all negotiating within the canvas as one potential conclusion of the project of the 20th Century avant-garde.
Robert Rauschenberg, Rumor (Spread) (1980), via Ropac
Rauschenberg himself was well aware of these conversations of object and image, referring to the “Spreads” as both a negotiation of history and “something you put on toast.” The language of his materials laid across the canvas negotiate with their mode of presentation, ultimately creating even more dense linguistic networks alongside the concepts explored within the works themselves. Rather than a purely retrospective exercise, the development of his Spreads is also suggestive of a more complex relationship between past and present, integrating not only elements from his earlier work but also reflecting changes in his life, his practice and in contemporary art at the time. Rauschenberg’s use of fabric color blocks in his Spreads not only represented a shift in his color palette from the urban experience of New York to the bright oranges, pinks and yellows of life in Florida, but also engaged with recent artistic developments such as Color Field painting and Minimalism, incorporating references to a new generation of artists.
This series of works, a vast trove of historical touchstones and concepts united by Rauschenberg’s hand, makes for a striking investigation of the artists’s work, and his vantage point from the vanguard of 20th Century art.
The show closes Janaury 26th.
— D. Creahan
Thaddaeus Ropac [Exhibition Site]
Comprising work made between 1960 and the present, Bridget Riley: Painting Now at Sprüth Magers LA surveys the development of the British artist’s career-long exploration of looking and seeing in relation to the capacities of painting and picture making. Her work, consisting of tightly-interlocked bands of color and explorations of the potential for relief and tension in the presentation of visual stimuli, is presented here in its development of optically-elusive, challenging pieces, ones that make the viewer acutely aware of the act of looking. Read More »