Contemporary Culture Carousel – 9 Jan 2012


EscapeIntoLife_CultureCarousel_Second SealSecond Seal, Tsang Kin-Wah

Art Theft Breaking News (Art Listings) Thieves carried out a well-organized, pre-dawn heist at Greece’s biggest state art museum on Monday, taking two oil paintings one by Pablo Picasso and the other by Piet Mondrian.

Looking Back

EscapeIntoLife-Carousel-RonaldSearleRonald Searle

Good bye to Ronald Searle (Telegraph) March 3 1920 –  December 30 2011, great parodist, illustrator and cartoonist, and almost certainly Britain’s greatest graphic artist. I was really saddened by this news and touched by the multitude of moving tributes collected here.

EscapeIntoLife_ContemporaryCarousel_EveArnoldEve Arnold photo, Paul Newman at the Actor’s Studio

And farewell also to legendary photographer Eve Arnold (GQ) who passed away aged 99 on January 4th. The GQ magazine tribute is accompanied by an excellent 13 image slide show of a selection of her best photographs here.

Turning now to film, the US National Society of Film Critics awards voted Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia  best film of 2011 (Guardian) and also lauded Malick’s Tree of Life. The writer of the article wrly notes that neither of these films is a front runner for the Oscars, for which the nominations will soon be announced, on 24th January.

Looking Ahead

Guardian 2012 Preview: The London Olympics Opening Ceremony Want a laugh and a bit of light hearted fun? Read this article where six  British art and culture personalities describe what each would like to see in their fantasy Opening Ceremony, which has been entrusted to Oscar winning film director Danny Boyle.  Sorry, sorry, sorry but I can’t resist mentioning I met him and had dinner with him many years back, not long after he first hit fame with the film Trainspotting. So I’m a Danny Boyle fan, though I’m not generally speaking a fan of Olypmic Games opening ceremonies; I mean, they cost mountains of money and  – what are they for??

Week in Arts Jan 8th to 14th (NYT) Nice quick read to check out what is going in theatre, film, dance, television, classical music and photography this week.

Catch before it Closes

EscapeIntoLife_Carousel_PaulMcCarthyPaul McCarthy at Hauser & Wirth, London

In London, at Hauser & Wirth,  Paul McCarthy’s The King, The Island,  The House, The Dwarves, The Train etc etc (ArtLyst) closes in a few days on Saturday Jan 14th. This two location show of massive installations has been described by some as one of the must-see shows of 2011,  while others were…. well, let ‘s say  a little underwhelmed. I’d grab this last chance to go see which side you’re on.  And if you really can’t make it over to London there are 26 slides over at the gallery site, though sadly these are no subsutitute for the “in person” experience of the installations.

EscapeIntoLife_ContemporaryCarousel_WaterdragonWater Dragon, 2011, Miyazaki Yujiro, 90.9×223.4 cm.

Mizuma & One Gallery, Beijing: Seven Dilemmas to Jan 15th How I wish I could fly to Beijing to this Ai Weiwei designed Gallery to view the work of the seven emerging Japanese artists. Cursing and kicking and sulking about the fact that I just can’t and will have to make do with the tantalsing slide show on the website.

Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, to Jan 15th A fascinating show of video installation work by Tsang Kin-Wah ( b.1976  Guangdong province, China, studied Fine Arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and at Camberwell College of Art, London).  It features The Fifth Seal of The Seven Seals series started in 2009, in which he combines digital technology and textual material projected onto the walls and ceilings of dark rooms. Watch Tsang talk about his work and his process in the video interview at the end of this piece.

EscapeIntoLife_Carousel_PaperTalesPaper Tales, The Snow Goddess as rendered by Sum-Sum Tse’s student collaborators

Paper Tales in  Hong Kong (Art Info) looks magical, definitely another one to catch before it closes on January 29th. For this delightful Hans Christian Andersen inspired paper art show, 26-year-old Sum-Sum Tse teamed up with 23 local students. His brief to his collaborators required only that they make their fairy tale installations mainly out of paper – Paper Tales. To quote Art Info “The result is a paean to paper in all its manifestations, from carved-up books to mashed and modeled papier-mâché.” Come on, let’s go see it! The 7 image slide show makes it look so captivating!

Wish I could See

EscapeIntoLife_CultureCarousel_CharlesSowersKinetic wind sculpture by Charles Sowers

…the 500 wind activated sculptures by Charles Sowers, Randall Museum in Santa Monica, CA. “Charles Sowers’s new kinetic art piece will engage our visitors as soon as they arrive at our site. Like a giant school of glittering fish, the little wind vanes will dart and turn in unison, making invisible wind currents into an ever-changing graphic display of a force of nature,” said Randall Museum Executive Director Chris Boettcher. I love that glittering fish metaphor, really makes me want to see it!

…the photo l.a. photography art fair. It sounds well worth a visit from all you west coast photography buffs. Quoting from the official site: “photo l.a. …brings together photography dealers from around the globe, displaying the finest contemporary photography, video and multi-media installations along with masterworks from the 19th century.” It runs from January 14th to the 17th, so once there how about you and I stay on for the opening night party on January 18th of the LA Art Show: Modern and Contemporary (ArtKnowledge)? A little more blurb: “Designed to showcase forward thinking artists, this exciting new show will feature performance pieces, mixed media and video installations, photography, paintings and sculptures, and a series of curated special exhibitions.” Sounds good to me, hype apart, so who wants to go with me to southern California?

Round Europe

EscapeIntoLife_CultureCarousel_JulianOpieJulian Opie at Lisson Gallery, Milan

Julian Opie, Lisson Gallery, Milan Lovely show that ends January 20th, so really hoping I can make it to Milan before then. There’s a very informative Press Release and good quality images of some of the works at the Link. OK, I’m putting this one in my diary for real.

EscapeIntoLife_Carousel_Joel SternfeldNew York City, from the series Rush Hour, 1976, Joel Sternfeld

Joel Sternfeld Colour Photographs, Foam, Amsterdam I am less likely to get to Amsterdam before this ends March 14th so this is for those of you who either live there or can get there or are planning a trip there.  It’s a major restrospective of the work of the New York born colour photography pioneer, and consists of over one hundred photos includung never previously exhibited work from the 1970s. Really great photography it would be silly to miss.

This Week’s Video

Mori Art Museum – Interview with Tsang Kin-Wah about his installations