Archive for July, 2007
In Matthew Monahan’s signature sculptural assemblages, wax, paper and plastic take on barbaric forms of bodies and faces. They are then smothered and captured in perfect glass cases or teetering precariously in open air on primitively constructed pedestals made of shoddy materials. Two-dimensional charcoal drawings are crumpled and manipulated into a three dimensional form. Their gray surface gives the illusion of heavy stone, juxtaposed with the reality of the feather-light paper.
Monahan’s sculptures often feature enormous faces, expressively twisted and folded in a lawless Origami. Their enigmatic expressions loom and haunt, invoking references to the archaic heads of Easter Island. Monahan’s pedestals of cheaply constructed drywall are the precarious foundations for his visually richer assemblages of shards and scraps gathered and displayed by geometrically severe glass cases. (more…)
London’s Serpentine Gallery, located in Hyde Park’s Kensington Gardens, literally received a new twist thanks to the joint efforts of artist Ólafur Elíasson and architect Kjetil Thorsen. Together, the duo designed the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, a wooden “spinning-top” that will offer guests views across Kensington Gardens.
Last year Mass MoCA invited the Swiss sculptor Christoph Büchel to create a giant installation entitled Training Ground for Democracy. On paper, it sounded like it would be a fruitful pairing; a standard type of relationship between artist and institution. Büchel has an international reputation for creating ambitious, marvelously complex walk-in environments using all kinds of found materials, and Mass MoCA is known for sponsoring artists with ambitious, big ideas. Büchel, who was recently exhibited in this year’s Art Basel Unlimited, is known for creating unsettling and disturbing scenarios. Whether its winding through piles of obsolete cameras or walking through an abandoned sweat shop filled with sewing machines, Büchel forces his audience into cramped and creepy spaces intending to provoke deep, unsettling feelings in the viewer.
On display through September 16th at Bard College’s Center for Curatorial Studies is “Feelings,” the latest exhibit produced by British artist Martin Creed. Creed is the same artist who caused a stir in 2001 after he received the Tate’s Turner Prize for his “Work No. 227: Lights Going On and Off,” a piece that incorporated a given space that may or may not contain his art, complete with lights that are set to go on and off at regular intervals. “Work No. 227″ can be viewed now at Bard’s Hessel Museum of Art, which contains a collection of Creed’s own work interspersed with the Hessel Collection’s older pieces that seem to influence Creed’s craft.
More controversial is the exhibition’s inclusion of two videos. Both are set in a completely white space, into which a person enters and either vomits or defecates before walking away. Creed’s “Work No. 628: Half the Air in a Given Space” fills half a room (eight-feet high) with balloons that respond to the viewer’s every move.
“Feelings” also features over 100 of Creed’s works that include paintings, sculptures, drawings and music. --Andrew Eisen
Forecasted to open early next year, the latest gallery of London’s Charles Saatchi, one of the largest and most successful art collectors in the world, will be admission-free. Though London galleries do not commonly charge for admission, Saatchi’s newest, which expects more than one million visitors a year, will forgo any entrance fee for special exhibitions. Said Saatchi of the admissionless Chelsea gallery, “We hope that free admission will enable many more state schools to organize school visits and bring in more students who can’t always afford normal gallery charges. Free entry can only help spread the interest in contemporary art.” (more…)
Last week, billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen offered visitors of New York’s Metropolitan Museum the opportunity to behold one of the prized pieces of his collection: a 13-foot tiger shark suspended in a glass case full of formaldehyde. Titled “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” by British artist Damien Hirst, creator of the renowned $100 million skull piece (“For the Love of God“). (more…)
Jose Berado Opens Museum in Lisbon [WashPost]
Russian Collectors Making a Presence by Buying… Russian? [Economist]
Summertime Art Lull Also Brings Discounts [NYSun]
Just several days after the much-publicized opening of Damien Hirst’s exhibit “Beyond Belief” at White Cube Gallery, these photos were submitted to Wooster Collective.
A faux Hirst skull – this one adorned with 6522 Swarovski Crystals, was placed in an display case and outside the gallery along with the garbage in Masons Yard. It took Laura Keeble, the artist, a month to create.
The original piece by Hirst uses a real human skull and covered with 8,601 pave diamonds, totaling 1,106.18 carats.
Fucking With Perception – Hirst’s “For the Love of God” Diamond Skull [Wooster Collective]