Tate Modern….SOUL OF A NATION: ART IN THE AGE OF BLACK POWER

 

This morning the Volkskrant mentioned and reviewed another Tate Modern exhibition in which afro-american artists have the leading role. I did not visit this exhibition , but it will be on my list should i visit London in the coming months. The exhibition will be open until the 22nd of October and shows the importance of afro-american artists in the sixties and seventies. None of them have become the household names in Modern Art as we know now and perhaps the only artist who reached “star” status by the end of the eighties was Jean-Michel Basquiat, but he originally was born in Brooklyn and part Haitian, not Afro American.  Then i realized that my inventory has very few books on or by Afro American artist. Is it because their art is less appealing? I do not think so, The Dawoud Bey and Kara Walker books i have, show great art, but i think the true reason is that Afro American artists did not get a good platform to show their art in the best possible way. Fewer Museum and gallery exhibitions have been organized  with them than with non afro-american artists and that is the reason this exhibition is important and possibly paves the way for artists from other cultures and countries which are lesser known. The mentioned artists Bey and Walker are available at www.ftn-books.com

 

Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) at Tate Modern

I just received by Blouin art info the announcement that a large Giacometti retrospective will be held at Tate Modern. read the Blouin article below:

Tate Modern, London presents a retrospective exhibition of works by Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966), celebrated sculptor, painter, and draughtsman, traced the shifting enthusiasms of European art before and after the Second World War in his remarkable career. As a Surrealist in the 1930s, he devised innovative sculptural forms, sometimes reminiscent of toys and games. As an Existentialist after the war, he led the way in creating a style that summed up the philosophy’s interests in perception, alienation, and anxiety. Although his output extends into painting and drawing, Giacometti is most famous for his sculpture. He is perhaps best remembered for his figurative works that helped make the motif of the suffering human figure a popular symbol of post-war trauma.

The exhibition reasserts Giacometti’s place alongside the likes of Matisse, Picasso, and Degas as one of the great painter-sculptors of the 20th century. Through unparalleled access to the extraordinary collection and archive of the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, Paris, this wide-ranging exhibition brings together over 250 works. It includes rarely seen plasters and drawings which have never been exhibited before and showcases the full evolution of Giacometti’s career across five decades.

The exhibition is on view through September 10, 2017 at Tate Modern, London, Bankside, London SE1 9TG, UK.

Alberto Giacometti publications are available at www.ftn-books.com

 

Raquel Maulwurf (1975)

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Raquel Maulwurf at the Livingstone gallery Photograph taken from FLAK/AAA

I first discovered Raquel Maulwurf, after she had her solo exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, at the Livingstone gallery in Den Haag. Large and small canvasses with charcoal drawings depicting scenes from war and destruction. ( one the book titles of her is DRAWN TO DESTRUCTION).Inspired by war (action) photographs she transforms these black and white pictures into large paintings and drawings and because of their size and intensity ( these are all executed in black and white) they impress you immediately. Now the Gemeentemuseum has made a project with her ….titled :

RAQUEL MAULWURF – THE CARBON WAR ROOM

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Raquel Maulwurf (Madrid, 1975) developed the installation ‘The Carbon War Room’ especially for the Gemeentemuseum. It arose from the desire to physically create the depth that is evoked in her charcoal drawings in three-dimensions. By working with a very large format and creating wall drawings that cover several walls, she previously captured the feeling of ‘walking into a drawing’. This third dimension was also added literally from the moment she began scratching the museum board she uses for her drawings with a box cutter. The installation in the museum’s Projects Gallery enables Maulwurf to take the final step.

https://www.gemeentemuseum.nl/nl/tentoonstellingen/raquel-maulwurf-carbon-war-room

Impressive project and a must see for her admirers and for all interested in great modern art. What i do not understand is that almost the same scene is used for the invitation as the one on page 21 of her book “Drawn to destruction”.The one in the book is turned 90 degrees if compared to the one depicted on the invitation….different title /different year, but almost 100% identical …..which one is the right one?…who can help?

Because of my personal interest in her works i have some nice titles available at http://www.ftn-books.com

 

David Robilliard . musician, poet and painter (1952-1988)

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I first encountered the works by David Robilliard at the exhibition which was held at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1993. I learned that he was diagnosed HIV positive and died from aids in 1988. Before that time he was one of the models of Gilbert & George and found for them others who were willing to pose for them.

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During his life he was not that succes full, but after his death his  drawings and paintings were finding their way into museums, art dealers and collectors. Resulting in the 1993 exhibition curated by Rudi Fuchs who is a long time friend of Gilbert & George. They must have persuaded him to organize a Robilliard exhibition because on the invitation for the Anthony d’Offay presentation they described Robilliard as “the new master of the modern person. Looking, thinking, feeling, seeing, bitching – he brilliantly encapsulates the ‘Existers’ spirit of our time. This must have been for Fuchs the trigger to organize the exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in 1993 and publish the book  A ROOMFUL OF HUNGRY LOOKS.

Robilliard is strongly related to the 80’s and together with his partner Andrew Heard, they are two of those eighties artists who deserve to be remembered and must not fall into oblivion.( both books are available at www.ftn-books.com

Bridget Riley

 

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Yesterday we visited the exhibition of Bridget Riley in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. ( the exhibition is till open until the 15th of October 2016).

A fascinating show on the Curved paintings she made from the early sixties until 2014. Paintings which are extremely detailed painted and very well thought out. The sketches and colored cardboard models show the way in which Riley makes these projects from idea into a large canvas. Walking through the exhibition ( yes passing these paintings) shows the effect these patterns have on your eyes. Waves and curves begin to dance before your eyes and show that a still painting can have the effect of movement in your perception. Fascinating to discover this Optical illusion and certainly very effective Op Art . Riley stayed true to this way of painting and did not produce many of these paintings over the years. These paintings take a long time to paint, but when they are ready they are  all masterpieces.

Her first solo exhibion she had at the Gallery One in London in 1964, after that she was invited for the Biennale in Venice and het break through exhibition ” The Responsive Eye” in the Museum of Modern Art in 1965.

Her works can be found in Modern Art Museums all over the world, but the Tate modern has the largest collection of them.

Look at the pictures i took at the exhibition and get an impression how she meticulously prepares each new painting. www.ftn-books.com has some nice early Riley titles available including the leperello which was published on the occasion she received the Sikkensprijs in 1992.