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Motion Science at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT: Interview with Seiichi Hishikawa
02/07/2015
Motion Science at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT: Interview with Seiichi HishikawaStarting on June 19, the Tokyo exhibition space 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT will be showing an exhibition on motion design. Titled Motion Science, the exhibition will provide a comprehensive, insider's look into motion design, motion graphics, and the notion of movement more broadly. Curated by Seiichi Hishikawa, motion designer and director - renowned not only for opening visuals for Japan's national broadcaster NHK's historical drama series, but also for the viral video Xylophone, triple winner at Cannes Lions in 2011 – the exhibition promises to be a treat for the design audience.   Motion Science promises a rather broad look into motion as a concept, not simply a field of design. Among motion installations, animations and graphics, the exhibits will include a replica of the first gasoline-powered car (a Mercedes-Benz built in 1885). Introducing the exhibition, Hishikawa writes: "I planned this exhibition in the hope of making it a place where children and students, who are the designers and artists of the future, can come and see the works of older people and play with them, like a drawing and manual arts room in a school. By opening up the flow of production, including how works are made and their mechanisms, instead of just having visitors view them, we are striving for an impulse of 'I can do it, too.'"   The exhibition will include the first release in Japan of works by the world-renowned media artists Zimoun and Nils Völker, a new work in the large-scale "LOST" series of Ryota Kuwakubo, and a hands-on work by Euclid (Masahiko Sato and Takashi Kiriyama). An animation produced by DRAWING & MANUAL, led by Seiichi Hishikawa, will show the fundamentals behind movement design, its science and mechanisms.   We have caught up with Seiichi Hishikawa and asked him a few questions about his work on the exhibition.   What is motion design? Where do we see it employed in everyday life? I don’t think there is a certain definition. Any kind of activity, from cell division to the Big Bang, involve motion and emotion. I would say motion design is a term for ideas and wisdoms of people.   You are a director, filmmaker and photographer. How did you decide to curate this exhibition? I was appointed by 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT directors, Mr. Issey Miyake, Mr. Naoto Fukasawa and Mr. Taku Satoh as creative director to curate an exhibition which can open up the creative field to a wider audience and bring back the energy at the same time. I myself work borderlessly thinking: being creative doesn’t necessarily involves job titles. And that is exactly how I wanted this exhibition to be. All the works put together for the exhibition are wonderful and I hope people will be aware of what is underneath them.   What do you think are the qualities to look for in motion design? One of the most important qualities of motion design is how nicely it influences others. If a work triggers someone else’s life to change or to make it even better and richer, I would say it is a very high quality.   Your short film Xylophone was seen by millions of people around the world in 2011 and won many awards. It is an interesting example of motion design, because it works with real objects to create music. How does your background in music influence your work? Sound and vision are meant to be as one by nature. Music can bring imagination, poetry evokes scenery and beautiful art work can inspire people how it smells or how it sounds. Sound is a vibration of air and water and something absolute since we listen to our mother’s heart beats in her womb. Sound or music is inevitable and natural to us all.   You have chosen to represent 'motion' in a very broad sense. How are you asking us to look at motion? Especially the young visitors and kids, I expect them to be more interested in creating wonderful things for the future. These days people are more into network and programming. I would like to bring real thing/object back into their considerations.   What designers have you chosen to exhibit? How will they be presented? From inside and outside Japan, I picked artists with originality. What they have in common is their creative and independent mind. They all respect the rules and the principle of nature to design and make art works Besides I include students who are studying that. My request was to present as friendly, open and comprehensible as possible.   What is your personal favourite piece in the exhibition? All of them are carefully selected and splendid.   For more images from the Motion Science exhibition, see the slideshow.   The exhibition Motion Science will run from 19 June till 27 September 2015 at 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT, Tokyo. Select Photo Gallery: 21_21 Design Sight Exhibition: Motion Science Published: July 2, 2015 Read full article here

Manchester’s Whitworth Wins Art Fund Museum of the Year
02/07/2015
Manchester’s Whitworth Wins Art Fund Museum of the YearManchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery has been announced the winner of this year’s £100,000 Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year, the biggest museum prize in the world and the largest arts award in Britain. The Whitworth was one of six world-class museums shortisted for the Prize: Dunham Massey (National Trust), Altrincham; IWM London; the MAC, Belfast; Oxford University Museum of National History; HM Tower of London (Historic Royal Palaces); the Whitworth, Manchester. Judges described the Whitworth “as an impressive institution that has cemented its place at the centre of the cultural national stage” and praised the museum for its impressive £15m reinvention which they said redefines the way it engages with the public. Stephen Deuchar, chair of the judges and director of the Art Fund, commented: “The transformation of the Whitworth – architecturally, curatorially, and as a destination – has been one of the great museum achievements of recent years. “Its galleries offer intellectual, visual and creative stimulus of the highest order; the collections are innovatively presented, the community engagement programmes are both original and unusual, and the visitor experience is exceptional throughout. “We were particularly taken with the relationship between the reconceived building and its surrounding park: museum, locality and community merge as if one. And in a wider sense the Whitworth has changed the landscape: it truly feels like a museum of the future.” Published: July 2, 2015 Read full article here

NGV Melbourne Announces Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei Blockbuster
02/07/2015
NGV Melbourne Announces Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei BlockbusterThe National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) has announced that its major 2015–16 summer exhibition, on show from December 11, 2015 – 24 April, 2016, will bring together the work of two of the most significant artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries: Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei.  “Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei” will explore the major influence of these two artists on modern and contemporary life, focusing on the parallels, intersections, and points of difference between the two artists’ practices. “Presenting the work of both artists’ in dialogue and correspondence, the exhibition will explore modern and contemporary art, life and cultural politics through the activities of two exemplary figures,” states the NGV. Ai Weiwei commented, “I believe this is a very interesting and important exhibition and an honour for me to have the opportunity to be exhibited alongside Andy Warhol. This is a great privilege for me as an artist.” The exhibition will survey the scope of both artists’ careers through more than 300 works including major new commissions, immersive installations, as well as a wide representation of paintings, sculpture, film, photography, publishing, and social media. “Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei” will bring together more than 200 of Warhol’s most celebrated works including portraits, paintings, silkscreen, early drawings and commercial illustrations, sculpture and installation, music and publishing, more than 500 Polaroids, and previously unseen works. Ai Weiwei will contribute a number of new works which will be presented alongside key works from throughout his career including early drawings from the 1970s, readymades from the 1980s, as well as paintings, sculptures, and photography from the 1990s and 2000s. The NGV will also premier a suite of major commissions by Ai Weiwei including a new installation from the “Forever bicycles” series, a new monumental work from his chandelier series, as well as new configurations of major works such as “S.A.C.R.E.D.” 2013 and “Trace 2014.” “Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei” is a collaboration between The Andy Warhol Museum and The National Gallery of Victoria, with the participation of Ai Weiwei. The exhibition will subsequently be presented at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh in North America during summer 2016. Published: July 1, 2015 Read full article here

Sotheby's Big But Bruising Contemporary Art Evening Sale in London
02/07/2015
Sotheby's Big But Bruising Contemporary Art Evening Sale in LondonLONDON—Raucous protesters crowded the sidewalk in front of Sotheby’s posh New Bond Street entrance on Wednesday evening, shouting and blasting air horns at arriving auction goers, “Shame on You!” The protest was about wages and sick pay for Sotheby’s cleaners and porters, and added a jarring note to a highly anticipated auction that ultimately realized £130.3/$204.7 million, the firm’s highest total for a contemporary art sale in Europe. The tally came close to the London record of £132.8 million set by Christie’s sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art in June 2012. In spite of the record, the result failed to meet pre-sale expectations of £142.2-202.6/$223.6-318.2 million on 58 lots offered. Nine of those 58 went unsold for what might have been a reasonable 15.5 percent buy-in rate by lot—except that three of those casualties carried a combined pre-sale low estimate of £43 million pounds. Still, the result easily trumped last June’s £93.1/158.9 million result for 51 lots sold and also surpassedthe house’s February record of £123.5/$188.2 million. Twenty-three of the 49 lots that sold went for over a million pounds, and 29 exceeded one million dollars. Surprisingly, only four of the offerings were backed by financial guarantees, one from Sotheby’s and three others in the form of so-called “irrevocable bids” that guarantee a sale even if no other bidding emerges. The guarantees add up to pre-sale estimates of £21.5-31 million. On Tuesday evening at Christie’s, by contrast, fifteen lots carried guarantees. Could this be the beginning of a Guarantee Lite Era? (Prices reported include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium for each lot sold, calculated at 25 percent of the hammer price up to and including £100,000; 20 percent of any amount over £100,0000 up to and including £1.8 million; and 12 percent of any amount in excess of that. Pre-sale estimates do not include the added premium.) The sale opened with a bang as a work from On Kawara’s conceptual date painting series, “Oct. 14, 1981” (lot 1), in liquitex on canvas along with newspaper clipping in artist’s cardboard box, sold to the telephone for £509,000/$799,283 (est. £250-350,000). Next up was Andy Warhol’s “Flowers” diptych from 1964 (lot 2), in acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas, with each panel measuring 14 ¼ by 14 inches. It sold to another telephone bidder £1,445,000/$2,269,084 (est. £600-800,000). Christopher Wool’s own flower series version, “Untitled (S127)” from 1994 (lot 3), radiant with cobalt blue flowers and executed in enamel on aluminum, measuring 54 by 40 inches, bloomed at £2,277,000/$3,575,573 (est. £1.3-1.8 million). London dealer Jay Jopling of White Cube was the underbidder Seven-figure sums went higher with Jean Michel Basquiat’s baseball inspired “Orange Sports Figure” from 1982 (lot 4), comprised of acrylic, oilstick and spray paint on canvas, which brought £5,637,000/$8,851,781 (Est. £5-7 million). The disembodied head with its three-pointed crown came to bat with an irrevocable bid backer. It had last sold at Sotheby’s London in February 2012 for £4,073,250, and made a fairly tidy return in just over two years. A second third-party backed picture, David Hockney’s wildly colored East Yorkshire landscape, “Arranged Felled Trees” from May 2008 (lot 5), a veteran of the artist’s Royal Academy of Art show in 2012, realized a sizzling £3,397,000/$5,334,309 (est. £1.5-2 million). “There’s very little on the market,” said David Juda, Hockney’s London dealer, shortly after the fireworks. “And everybody is looking for a Hockney landscape.” He estimated the price achieved in the salesroom was about 30 percent higher than the amount he sold it for in the primary market. Hockney’s countryman Lucian Freud had the smallest offering at 4-by-6 inches, but “Four Eggs on a Plate” from 2002 (lot 7), dedicated to his close friend and fresh egg provider, the late Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, flew the coop at £989,000/$1,553,027 (est. £100-150,0000). A larger Freud, measuring 16 by 23 inches, “After Breakfast” from 2001 (lot 40), featuring a nude female figure reclining on a rumpled bed, brought £1,145,000/$1,797,994 (est. £1-1.5 million). It has last been offered at Sotheby’s London in June 2006, when it went unsold. The build-up to three of the big evening offerings didn’t take long, as Francis Bacon’s riveting “Self-Portrait” from 1975 (lot 9) in oil on canvas with uneven rows of Letraset type running along the bottom of the 14-by-12 inch canvas, sold to a telephone bidder for £15,269,000/$23,976,911 (est. £10-15 million). It was acquired by the Belgian collector Jacques Casier from the Marlborough Gallery in 1976, and has not been shown in public since, or hadn’t until Sotheby’s placed it on view this year. Bacon had told the critic David Sylvester in 1975, “I’ve done a lot of self-portraits, really because people have been dying around me like flies and I’ve had nobody else to paint but myself.” The self portrait was part of a group of works from the same Belgian family being marketed by Sotheby’s under the heading “Figure and Form: Works from an Important Private Collection,” and being sold in various venues and categories. Another example, Bacon’s stunning “Three Studies for Self-Portrait” from 1980 (lot 10), with each 14-by-12 inch canvas set against a surprisingly cheery pale turquoise background , followed immediately after. It also sold to the telephone, for £14,709,000/$23,097,543 (est £10-15 million). Much like its single-panel compatriot, the triptych, had not been seen in public and had been virtually unknown since it was acquired from Marlborough—in 1980—until this sale’s viewing. (Marlborough was Bacon’s primary market dealer until his death in 1992). Casier previously sold a full-figure Bacon “Self-Portrait” from 1978 at Sotheby’s London in June 2007, for £21.6/$42.9 million. Before the evening’s cover lot, another Bacon,appeared, Yves Klein’s classic and iconic “Untitled Blue Monochrome (IKB 239)” from 1959 (lot 11), sold to another telephone bidder, for £5,525,000/$8,675,908 (est. £4-6 million). Everything seemed to be going swimmingly. Then the Bacon cover lot, the magisterial “Study for a Pope I” from 1961 (lot 14)—inspired by and based on the Diego Velasquez masterpiece “Portrait of Pope Innocent X” from circa 1661—upturned that impression and bought in at a chandelier bid £23.5 million (est. £25-35 million). The painting—which features the scarlet robed and capped figure seated and gripping the armrests of a green accented throne, looking out with a stony, savage gaze—had last sold at auction at Christie’s New York in November 2005 for $10 million. It was offered then by Gunter Sachs, the German industrialist, playboy and onetime husband of Brigitte Bardot, who committed suicide in 2011 at age 78. Sachs had acquired the painting from the Marlborough-Gerson Gallery (as it was then called) in New York in 1966, and had displayed it in his Paris apartment for almost forty years. It is one of six monumental pope studies Bacon created between April and May 1961, shortly before his groundbreaking retrospective in 1962 at the Tate Gallery. One of the series (Study for a Pope II) is in the Vatican Museum in Vatican City. The painting was last exhibited at the Fondation Beyeler in Basel in 2004. Despite its history, the market wasn’t convinced. “I was very glad the other Bacons sold well,” said dealer Gilbert Lloyd of Marlborough Gallery as he exited the salesroom, “but the Pope had an accident. It happens sometimes in an auction.” Despite that pricey hiccup, sale highlights continued with Lucio Fontana’s Ferrari-red and multiply-slashed canvas, “Concetto Spaziale” from 1966 (lot 15, which sold to private dealer Michaela de Pury for £4,405,000/$6,197,172 (est. £4-5 million). Another Italian import, Paolo Scheggi’s cut-out and multi-layered “Senza titolo (Intersuperficie curva rossa)” from 1969 (lot 16) brought £617,000/$968,875 (est. £400-6000,000), a rousing testament to the mid-century artist’s recent secondary market renaissance. After a rough and tumble evening on Tuesday at Christie’s, where four out of five entries failed to sell, the fortunes of Gerhard Richter markedly improved , as the color-charged and waterfall-like abstract “A B, Brick Tower” from 1987 (lot 17), standing 78 ¾ inches tall, sold to the telephone for £14,149,000/$22,218,175 (est. £12-16 million). It had last sold at auction at Christie’s New York in November 2001, two months after 9/11 and before Richter’s market ignited, for $534,000. Richter’s “Portrait Schmela” from 1964 (lot 18), a photo-realist style (though seemingly out-of-focus) homage to his bespectacled and goateed Dusseldorf dealer and patron, sold to the same telephone bidder (identified as paddle #LO142) for £3,285,000/$5,158,436 (est. £3-4 million). A third Richter, “Stadtbild M 6” from 1968 (lot 20), an overhead cityscape view that was backed by a Sotheby’s guarantee, brought in at £1.8 million and became the property of the auction house (est. £2-4 million). With so much talk of money and of global, 24-7 art transactions, it’s not surprising to see Sotheby’s come up with an art marketing gimmick like “To the Bearer On Demand: An Important Private European Collection,” dedicated to “Andy Warhol: The Art of the Dollar.” Sotheby’s went to great lengths to make an impression, building a movie-set like bank vault in one of its New Bond Street gallery rooms to house the collection. Kitschy or not, the campaign seemed to work as Warhol’s super-sized “Dollar Sign” from 1981 (lot 23), measuring 90by 70 inches and set against a gun metal gray background, sold to New York dealer Jose Mugrabi for £4,685,000/$7,356,856 (est. £4-6 million). The seller is understood to be the Swiss property developer and Polo enthusiast Urs Schwarzenbach, who grabbed UK-wide headlines when he acquired an entire English village in Buckinghamshire in 2007. The standout of the vault and the evening’s top lot was Warhol’s stunning, hand painted “One Dollar Bill (Silver Certificate)” from 1962 (lot 24), in casein and pencil on linen, considered the last of his hand-painted works before he switched to his silkscreen technique. It sold to the telephone for £20,869,000/$32,770,591 (est. £13-18 million). Gerard Faggionato of David Zwirner Gallery was the underbidder. Competition was also fierce for Warhol’s multi-colored “Dollar Signs” from 1981 (lot 25), which sold to dealer Larry Gagosian for £6,925,000/$10,874,328 (est. £4.5-6.5 million). Even with the huge price fetched for the hand-painted Warhol, the collection made just £34.3 million, trailing pre-sale expectations of £39.37-56.78 million. Two major lots from the group inexplicably flopped, “Front and Back Dollar Bills” and “Two Dollar Bills (Back) (40 Two Dollar Bills in Green),” both from 1962 and carrying respective estimates of £12-18 million and £5-7 million. The up and down gyrations of the evening proved somewhat difficult to explain. “The auction houses keep pushing the estimates higher so much every time,” said Paris/Salzburg dealer Thaddaeus Ropac. “We don’t realize how strong the market is.” Select Photo Gallery: Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Auction London — July 1, 2015Published: July 1, 2015 Read full article here

Video: Marina Abramovic on Her Sydney Residency Project
02/07/2015
Video: Marina Abramovic on Her Sydney Residency Project“Marina Abramović: In Residence” at Pier 2/3 in Walsh Bay, Sydney is a groundbreaking two-part project that represents the latest developments in world-renowned Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović’s four-decade-long career. For 12 days, from June 24 to July 5, Abramovic is working with a group of assistants to engage directly with visitors through a series of exercises from the Abramović Method and is also mentoring 12 Australian artists as part of a groundbreaking, intensive Artists Residency Program. Abramovic says, “In Sydney, for Marina Abramović: In Residence, I will be like a conductor in the exhibition space, but it will be the public who will take the physical and emotional journey. We constantly like to be entertained, to get things from outside. We never take time to get in touch with ourselves… our inner self. “My function in this new kind of performance situation is to show you, through the Abramovic Method, what you can do for yourself. I wanted to make this big change because I understood that actually you can’t get any experience by me doing it for you… So I’m completely shifting the paradigm, changing the rules.” “Marina Abramović: In Residence” is the 30th project of the Sydney-based Kaldor Public Art Projects, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the creation of groundbreaking projects with international artists in public spaces that are inspired by place and time and explore the links between art, creativity, education. Select Photo Gallery: Marina Abramovic’s Australian ProjectsPublished: July 1, 2015 Read full article here

Les Blank’s Rock-Doc “A Poem is a Naked Person” Finally Arrives
01/07/2015
Les Blank’s Rock-Doc “A Poem is a Naked Person” Finally ArrivesWhen Les Blank died in 2013, he left behind one of the most respected bodies of work in documentary film. Best known for “Burden of Dreams” (1982), his documentary about the making of Werner Herzog’s opera-in-the-jungle epic “Fitzcarraldo” (1982), he began his career with a string of movies about musical subcultures in the deepest pockets of America: “The Blues Accordin’ to Lightnin’ Hopkins” (1968) focused on the titular guitar player secluded in his hometown of Centerville, Texas, while “Always for Pleasure” (1978) looked at the music and social traditions of New Orleans, to name just two stand-out works.   In contrast, Leon Russell was at the height of his fame in 1972 when Blank began filming him at his recording studio compound situated on Grand Lake o’ the Cherokees in Northeast Oklahoma. Russell was well known at the time for both his work with the famous session-group the Wrecking Crew (where he played on recordings with Phil Spector and the Beach Boys, among others) as well as his successful solo career. But when Blank arrived Russell was at a crossroads, splitting his time between performing his lively brand of southern-soul for packed audiences, and recording nostalgic and esoteric country records under the pseudonym Hank Wilson. For two years, Blank and a small crew lived on the compound, filming Russell and friends in the studio, following them on the road, and, when nobody was around, turning their camera on the people and places of the surrounding area. The result was “A Poem is a Naked Person,” which will finally arrive, after decades of never being released, in theaters on July 1. The exact reasons for why it took so long for the film to come out remain a mystery. “All we knew during all those years was that there was some kind of tension and Les was very limited when he could show it,” said the editor Maureen Gosling, who worked with Blank on “Poem” and many other films. “He couldn’t announce it publically, he had to be there in person, he couldn’t make any money on it,” she added, comparing it to photographer Robert Frank’s Rolling Stones concert film “Cocksucker Blues,” which has never seen a proper release but screens occasionally with Frank in attendance. “I think Les thought this was going to be a big deal for him. The fact that it didn’t get released at that time was a big disappointment.” Russell himself has been quiet on the subject. According to Gosling, he told the audience at the film’s premiere at SXSW earlier this year that he couldn’t even remember the reasons “Poem” was held for so long. It’s hard to believe it’s because of anything offensive in the film, which shows Russell in nothing but generous spirits, enjoying the familial atmosphere of the recording studio and at peak form on stage, his live performances emotional and freewheeling. It’s as loving a portrait Blank has ever made, with his camera going beyond the documentation of Russell and finding images in the Oklahoma landscape — ripples in the lake, a sunset — that visually capture the mood of the music. “It was Les’s big dream to see the film released,” said Harrod Blank, the filmmaker’s son. “That was number one on his list for me to deal with, after his death.” Not long before the documentarian died, Harrod got in touch with Russell through Facebook. It was a shot in the dark, but the singer responded the next morning. Eventually the two struck an agreement about finally releasing the film, even if Russell is still reluctant. “It’s something that hopefully Leon’s becoming used to,” Harrod added. “I think it’s going to help solidify both of their careers in peoples’ minds.” Published: July 1, 2015 Read full article here

See Highlights from Greece
01/07/2015
Language English Featured: 0Order: 0Author(s): Jacqueline MermeaSub-Channels: FeaturesShort Title : See Highlights from Greece Read full article here

Little Cactus Flowers: Art in the Shadow of #Grexit
01/07/2015
Little Cactus Flowers: Art in the Shadow of #GrexitI was in Athens last week, listening to a curator from Los Angeles as he attempted to tease out some apparent similarities between Salt Lake City, Utah, and the former East Germany. The occasion for such a creative comparison, courtesy of Paul Schimmel, was the opening of “In Between,” a joint exhibition of work by Georg Baselitz and Paul McCarthy, held at the George Economou Collection. (It’s the first time the two artists have been shown together in such a way.) Upstairs, one could see Utah-born McCarthy’s “Alpine Man,” a kinetic sculpture from 1992 depicting a man, pants around his ankles, tirelessly humping a large barrel. Downstairs, the artist’s “SC, ECK,” 2014, loomed — a mixed-media painting showing two nude figures hanging by nooses, one of whom has an erect penis built from a stuffed animal of Rafiki from “The Lion King.” Penises were everywhere, in fact: Baselitz had his own version in “P.D. Stengel,” 1963, in which the phallus looks more like a bent-necked, bashful swan. All of these erections were countered by procreation’s opposite number, Death: a life-sized, hyper-realistic self-portrait by McCarthy, showing him lying, in a moment of rare beardlessness, on a table, as if on a mortuary slab; some skulls and a seemingly expired eagle from Baselitz. To make matters weirder, Baselitz and McCarthy were at the Collection’s public exhibition space for their artists’ talk — a sort of cheery, mutual love-fest, albeit an enlightening one — in the midst of Greece’s continuing financial meltdown. The week I was there, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hinted at a debt deal, then said it was a no-go, finally putting the terms to a public referendum to be held in early July. Days after I returned to New York banks were abruptly closed, with strict limits put on daily withdrawals. Tsipras railed against the terms imposed on Greece, which would have affected everything from the retirement age to taxes on the nation’s islands; more recently, his government suggested they’d be willing to accede to those terms in return for an additional bailout, referendum or not. Germany’s Angela Merkel has flatly rejected that notion, insisting on learning the results of the public referendum before any further negotiations with Greece. (If you’re interested in reading more, start here, or here, or with any number of commentators better versed than I am on all of this.) Greeks certainly have a lot more pressing things to worry about right now than, say, the new Kim Gordon show at the Benaki Museum in Athens, but hey: Political and economic chaos aside, and as superfluous as it may seem in the current climate, there’s a surprising amount of art to see in the city right now, as well as on the nearby island of Hydra. (I’ll play the Thomas Friedman card here and share that I spoke with at least one bartender who seemed unconcerned about the crisis, and assured me that, regardless of what happens, Greeks know how to party). Besides “In Between” at the Economou Collection, sited in the suburbs outside of the city center, there is an array of other exhibitions, a good number of them supported by the Deste Foundation, launched by Dakis Joannou in 1983. Let’s start with the best of the bunch: “Ametria,” organized by Deste but hosted at the Benaki Museum’s outpost on Pireos Street. It includes dozens of artists from wildly different eras, and was supposedly born from “an idea” by Roberto Cuoghi. I would love to see what that napkin sketch looked like, because I can’t recall a more wonderfully deranged and overloaded show, one that pushes exhibition design to its logical (and illogical) extremes. A gallery attendant offered me a map when I entered, along with a gentle warning that “Ametria” is organized “like a labryinth.” The map in question made the schematic to Christopher Williams’s MoMA show look intuitive. Artworks are hung on monolithic black plinths suspended from the ceiling. The lights are down waaaaaay low. “Ametria” starts with a confounding slew of Athenian maps, all tiny notations and perfectionist draftsmanship, and then moves into a suite of work that puts a similar kind of cramped, minute detail to more aesthetic use: violent phantasmagorias by Ralf Ziervogel; intricate collages by Elliot Hundley; proudly abrasive, political drawings by Dominic McGill. Just as things start to settle, you round the corner and there’s a wall of maritime-themed works from the early 19th century, as well as a selection of 18th- and 19th-century Grecian textiles (with a much more recent offering by Issey Miyake slipped in). From there, the juxtapositions get more strikingly free-form, as if the curators were given open access to niche collections owned by a dozen very disparate eccentrics. A vitrine holds an elegant metal collar with a chain attached to it, exuding a vague bondage vibe; it turns out to be a “traditional 19th century ex voto for the cure of mental illness.” Above it there’s a contemporary drawing by Fredrich Kunath, depicting a floral spray above hand-drawn text: “My love for you is 98% pure. But the 2% that remains has fried the circuits in my brain.” I hear you, Fredrich! How else but fried to feel when confronted by a Brian Chippendale painting of cartoon freaks running away from a burning house, which stares at a bloody 1794 depiction of the “Last Judgment”? Or an 18th-century marble fountain head from the Cycladic Islands that hangs near a bulky 2002 installation by Gregor Schneider — a sort of non-descript structure with a door that you’re probably not allowed to open, but who knows, and in any case there aren’t any guards to stop you from doing so, or maybe the guards have gotten lost somewhere else in the labyrinth weeks ago. My favorite touch, and one that exemplifies this exhibition’s aggressively off-centered attitude: A large drawing of a woman’s face by Jim Shaw, which is hung on a wall, mostly obscured by the aforementioned black-plinths-hung-from-the-ceiling. (You can walk behind the plinths if you squish a bit, but then you’re so close to the Shaw that it’s basically impossible to look at.) “Ametria” is uneven and a bit infuriating, but in an ultimately productive way. From now on, any exhibition that doesn’t manage to include both towering chocolate sculptures by Terence Koh and pilgrim tokens from the 6th century is going to seem positively vanilla. Over at the Benaki Museum’s main building there’s another Deste-organized show that’s pretty much the opposite in terms of inventiveness and eclecticism. Kim Gordon’s “Design Office: Noise Name Paintings And Sculptures Of Rock Bands That Are Broken Up” is a useless experience, except as further evidence that Gordon should stick to what she’s great at (making music) rather than the embarrassing alternative (painterly dilettantism that here essentially comes down to band names — Hair Police, Sickness — written in sloppy black letters on spare white surfaces, as predictable as if Adobe Creative Suite suddenly offered a “splattery crustpunk” font). In addition to the paintings there are “sculptures,” which are similar canvases crumpled up and solidified with Aqua-Resin, left to lie on the floor like drawing-board ideas that Gordon should have rejected entirely. One of these, dedicated to the late Syd Barrett, is randomly placed on the second floor of the museum, in a room otherwise occupied by religious paintings, a sad shadow of the interdisciplinary fervor that animates “Ametria.”   Thankfully, there’s another show a short walk away that’s good enough to wash the proverbial aftertaste of this junk out of your mouth. “Terrapolis,” an exhibition of mostly outdoor sculpture (and some videos) in the gardens of the French School at Athens, is supported by NEON, a non-profit initiated by collector Dimitris Daskalopoulos. The show is co-curated by Iwona Blazwick of Whitechapel Gallery in London; it’s a wide-ranging group effort that purports to “explore myth, drama, metamorphoses, and bioethics.” One of the most striking, and timely, pieces is Allora & Calzadilla’s “Hope Hippo,” an enormous sleeping animal composed of polystyrene, mud, plaster, and other materials, upon which a volunteer sits, casually reading the newspaper. (Whenever the reader chances upon a story about “social injustice,” they let loose with a piercing bleat on a whistle.) The public sculpture here ranges from the absurd and whimsical — a 21-foot-tall inflatable depicting ’80s British rapper Betty Boo, by Anthea Hamilton and Nicolas Byrne — to the spare and conceptual (a text-piece by Richard Long derived from a South African walk). Greek artist Athanasios Argianas, now based in London, has a handful of wonderfully spare sculptures that achieve real magic with minimal materials: brass railings, mussel shells, copper wires, cast-bronze hats. Another stunner is Estonian artist Katia Novitskova’s fantastic, tucked-away “Approximation (Toucan),” 2014, a supersized digital print-on-aluminum of the head of the titular exotic bird, which seems literally Photoshopped into the physical garden landscape.  From Athens I took a two-hour ferry ride to the island of Hydra. The boat was called the Flyingcat, appropriate considering that Hydra is essentially a floating feline dictatorship, with legions of quasi-domesticated street cats stalking its alleyways. The long arm of Deste reaches here as well: The foundation runs an off-site project space in a former slaughterhouse a short walk from the main port. This year’s commission is with New York artist Paul Chan. It’s essentially a reprise of his Huge Boss Prize exhibition at the Guggenheim last year — an installation of cement-filled shoes connected to enigmatic powercords, a fan-powered sculpture on the roof that admittedly is much more stirring against an impossibly blue Grecian backdrop than it is in a white cube context. The former exhibition had a publishing project at its heart (“New Lovers,” a series of erotic novellas written by women), and the Hydra show involves a new translation of Plato’s “Hippias Minor,” which toys with the semantic gap between the words “lying” and “cunning.” The show launched about a week before I arrived on the island. Chan evidently had the ambition of turning the opening night dinner into a modern-day Greek symposium. An attendant at the slaughterhouse informed me that it didn’t quite get off the ground: No one, surprisingly, was drunk enough. A slightly scrappier, and arguably more interesting, exhibition is also on view in Hydra, staged in a former schoolhouse under the curation of Dmitris Antonitsis. (You reach the space by ascending a steep road colloquially known as Donkey Shit Alley, for obvious reasons.) Antonitsis has been hosting a yearly group show here for the past 16 years; he’s also a working artist, with pieces currently on view in a pop-up iteration of the Family Business gallery at the Benaki Museum’s Pireos Street location. This year’s theme is “Genuine Fake,” and the exhibition includes work by everyone from Dash Snow to Robert Gober, Gabriel Orozco, Eric Doeringer, Jane Kaplowitz, and others, all of it prodding at the line between reality and artificiality. Chatting over a portside drink at the Pirate Bar, Antonitsis explained the genesis of his Hydra School Project: “It’s a bubble here,” he said, “both an island-bubble and an art-bubble... and I’m very happy to be in it.” His annual exhibition was previously underwritten by Bang & Olufsen; it’s now supported by NEON. Antonitsis’s own visual arts career was given a significant bump in 1998 by Dakis Joannou, who acquired works and included him in a survey alongside the likes of Matthew Barney and Pipilotti Rist. He reflected on the heady Grecian climate of over a decade ago — “there was an optimism among artists that something could happen,” he said, between the Deste Foundation and the opening of the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens. “Right now [with the crisis], it’s exactly the opposite from the year 2000,” he admitted. “The government has curbed a lot of funding — most of the money of the Ministry of Culture goes toward antiquities. So it’s a struggle. Artists who are Athens-based have a very difficult time making ends meet. A lot of very promising, cool galleries closed in the past five years —and at the same time the price of production materials have gone up. But you should go on doing what you do: a form of resistance to whatever’s happening.” Ultimately, despite the crisis, Antonitsis seemed hopeful. “It’s really interesting that right now a tourist in Greece can see all of these shows,” he said. “We’re in the news for this terrible socio-economic and political situation, but at the same time you see little cactus flowers blossoming around.” Select Photo Gallery: See Highlights from GreecePublished: July 1, 2015 Read full article here

Frederiksen Collection of Prewar Vehicles to Go Under Hammer in Denmark
01/07/2015
Frederiksen Collection of Prewar Vehicles to Go Under Hammer in DenmarkHoused on the grounds of Lyngsbækgaard, a 16th century manor house originally built for Danish Royalty, a collection of prized vehicles, most predating World War II, tells the tale of Danish millionaire Henrik Frederiksen’s dedication not only to automotive history, but also to his late wife, Vivi Frederiksen. The collection, put together piece by piece by the couple over the years, was very much a passion they shared. But the death of Mrs Frederiksen passed away earlier this year has prompted Mr Frederiksen to sell off the cars. “I think cars are a kind of art… [and] I've never sold a car before,” said Frederiksen, all but admitting the shared activity of collecting cars had lost its sparkle. said Mr. Frederiksen. “I’ve always bought with the heart and not with the brain. I go with what I like, so no ‘one’ is my favorite. [But] I’ve used the ex-J.D. Rockefeller Bentley and the Cadillac the most, so I’ll be sad to see them go. I’ve been in the motoring world for a long time now, but it’s time for that door to close and a new one to open.” Mrs Frederiksen, however, appeared to have had a favorite: the 1937 Maybach SW38 Zeppelin Special Roadster. "Because it's perfect," said Mr Frederiksen, who will sell 48 cars (he reportedly has 60 altogether) through Bonhams on September 26 at Lyngsbækgaard. Marking the auction house’s first-ever sale in Denmark, the collection comprises 13 Rolls-Royces, three Mercedes-Benzes, three Cadillacs and two Bentleys, in addition to other marques such as Ahrens-Fox, Alvis, Auburn, Citroën, Chrysler, Duesenberg, Horch, Isotta Fraschini, Jaguar, Lagonda, Lincoln, Packard, Pierce Arrow, Renault, and Stutz — spanning the best of British, European and American classic cars. “Rarely does one see a single-owner collection that showcases such a broad variety of important brands, and yet still keeps to such a clear, historic theme where manufacturers pursue motoring perfection. It’s truly remarkable,” said Bonhams co-chairman, Malcolm Barber, in a statement. Jakob Greisen, head of Bonhams US Motoring Department, added: “It’s certainly one of Europe’s most important motoring collections, with several of these outstanding vehicles having received internationally recognized awards at Pebble Beach and Villa d’Este.” Among the rarest and earliest examples in the collection are a 1905 Woods Electric Queen Victoria Brougham, as well as a 1914 Mercedes 28-95 Phaeton. Meanwhile, a 1939 Lagonda LG6 Rapide Drophead was a Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance winner one year. Mr Frederiksen told reporters of his penchant for such early vehicles: "It was a time before mass production, at least for higher quality cars. You can see the hand of the craftsman, you can see the details, the beauty of each component. Each one is a work of art and each has a story to tell. It's the polar opposite of cars today." The Frederiksen Collection sale will take place at Lyngsbækgaard Manor, in Mols Bjerge national park, Denmark, on September 26, 2015. To view the highlights, click on the slideshow. Select Photo Gallery: The Frederiksen Collection at BonhamsPublished: July 1, 2015 Read full article here

The Frederiksen Collection at Bonhams
01/07/2015
Language English Featured: 0Order: 0Author(s): Michelle TaySub-Channels: Autos & BoatsShort Title : The Frederiksen Collection at BonhamsHome Top Story: Top Story - InternationalTop Story - English, CanadaTop Story - English, Middle EastTop Story - English, Southeast AsiaTop Story - English, United Kingdom Read full article here

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