COVID-19 and Cultural Life in Bahrain

COVID-19 and Cultural Life in Bahrain

COVID-19 and Cultural Life in Bahrain

With the movement of people limited; museums, theatres, and heritage sites have all been halted due to the crises that struck the cultural life and tourism industry. COVID-19 took the whole world by surprise. No one was prepared for the crisis and thoughts of when will it end lingers on every single person’s mind.

We, as human beings, share this issue with all individuals across the world. As an artist, field exhibitions, events, and performances are either canceled or postponed. In order to keep the creative spirit alive, intensive efforts to provide alternatives through digital platforms are visible. In the case of Bahraini artists, we have maintained a positive attitude and proactively participate in online events that allow us to continue exchanging ideas and convey our creativity between each other and to the online presence.

Additionally, art has been keeping us all motivated and alive. visuals, tangible items of all shapes and sizes, and our everyday creations empower us to overcome this void that has been left due to the COVID-19. With the assistance of art, we can feel limitless, even during the lockdown. After all, we are vulnerable individuals that suffered from sudden detachment from our daily routines.

Yet, I still consider this period a golden phase for artistic and creative production in general, for I am one who took advantage of this period of creativity and as the writer, Daniel Carnegie says ‘the ideas of a positive man do not end, and the negative however has no end to his excuses.’ An example of this is seen through one of Picasso’s most influential pieces that he drew in only in black and white. It was a result of what happened in the village of Guernica after the extermination of 2,000 people and the destruction of an entire village.

Like the Ying-Yang philosophy, this issue can be viewed through the same lenses. Due to the cancelation of most social events and postponed deadlines, artists can now dedicate a considerable amount of time to further discover themselves. Related to Picasso’s art, this enables them to push their limits by stepping out of their comfort zones and attempt different types of art and all forms of artistic expressions.

Schopenhauer says, that ‘The less one has to have contact with others, the better for him.’  Personally, I could not agree more. By having less contact with the outside world and more time to myself, I was able to become more productive. Adding all those tiny details on my artwork, writing articles, and reading all of the books left unread on the shelves for months.

I was also able to further my understanding of many topics all thanks to the unity and compassionate academic world. Universities and organizations started to offer unlimited workshops and courses for free. I was able to widen my scope of understanding in topics such as history, world affairs, art, and heritage. It is very fascinating to see how every sector played a role in combating the results caused by the pandemic. Another factor that also played a significant role in social media. This pandemic has almost eradicated all communication with society, even with family members, but social media has played a significant role in giving us this tool to remain connected despite these circumstances.

To Heal the World (15 June-18 August 2020) is one of many virtual exhibitions that I recently participated in—it is an international online artistic reflection on mending the damage to our global family (https://www.oncaravan.org/tohealtheworld). Another art exhibition arranged by  the US Embassy in Bahrain is in collaboration with Bahrain Arts society, and titled “Creativity in the Age of Corona virus exhibition.” Also, social media played a vital role in spreading art during this period @makan.artgallery is another virtual art exhibition where I exhibit three artworks.

 Instagram @mayasa205

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Mayasa Sultan Al Sowaidi is a self-taught artist from the Kingdom of Bahrain. She earned a BS degree in Mathematics from the University of Bahrain and an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology. With a background in mathematics, balance and order are important components of her artistic practice. Al Sowaidi is a member of the Bahrain Art Society and has participated in numerous exhibitions in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Dubai, and Oman.  She has been recognized with numerous other prizes and awards. 

I’ve Grown Roses in this Garden of Mine

I’ve Grown Roses in this Garden of Mine

I’ve Grown Roses in this Garden of Mine

I’ve grown roses in this garden of mine takes its title from Gabrielle Goliath’s latest work This song is for…, a cycle of dedication songs chosen by survivors of rape, that evokes for audiences a sensory world of memory and feeling. This work sets the framework for a wider exploration of processes of healing from multiple geographies and generations.

The exhibition reflects Goodman Gallery’s long-standing commitment to artists whose practices confront entrenched power structures and champion social change. It is anchored by seminal works by major contemporary artists: Ghada Amer, El Anatsui, Broomberg & Chanarin, David Goldblatt, Alfredo Jaar, William Kentridge, Shirin Neshat, Yinka Shonibare CBE, Mikhael Subotzky, Carrie Mae Weems and Sue Williamson.

A new generation of international artists originating from Africa and the Middle East are introduced to UK and European audiences, including Kudzanai Chiurai, Nolan Oswald Dennis, Gabrielle Goliath, Haroon Gunn-Salie, Grada Kilomba, Gerhard Marx, Misheck Masamvu and Naama Tsabar. Many of these artists address postcolonial contexts by placing emphasis on personal experience and ‘alternative’ approaches to healing while rejecting the possibility of being cured.

Kudzanai-Violet Hwami An evening in Mazowe, 2019 Oil on canvas – Work: 180 x 130 cm

A number of featured works use language as a lens to confront wounding experiences of ‘othering’. Whereas Kudzanai Chiurai perceives language as a silencing, colonizing tool, Grada Kilomba embraces words as a means of owning the narrative.

Alfredo Jaar and Shirin Neshat also treat language as a valuable tool, believing in the power of words to connect people and, in the case of Jaar’s text-based neons, to inspire empathy with the demonized ‘other’. Neshat’s meticulous hand-written Arabic inscriptions overlaid onto portraits of Iranian and Arab youth poignantly link contemporary Iran with its mythical and historical past.

Broomberg & Chanarin’s recent series Bandage the Knife not the Wound layers photographic images, using deconstructed cardboard packing boxes as the printed surface to play with contemporary ideas around image overload. The piece selected for the exhibition is a homage to the South African landscape merged with an image of a man taking his pulse. It is displayed unframed with perforated folds exposed, lending the work a frail, bodily quality.

In her experimental practice, Naama Tsabar invests in the power of charged everyday materials as subversive tools for transformative thinking, challenging oppressive gender roles.

Ghada Amer’s explicit embroideries use a needle and thread as radical tools of seduction, creating obscured pornographic forms that transform this traditional ‘women’s craft’.

Ghada Amer -WHITE GIRLS, 2017 -Acrylic,embroidery and gel medium on canvas Work: 162.6 x 182.9 cm

 

Racial bias in contemporary America and apartheid South Africa is exposed in the photographic works of Carrie Mae Weems and David Goldblatt respectively. Mikhael Subotzky expands on this interrogative approach by deconstructing colonial maps and piecing them back together using sticky-tape, which appear like plasters over a battered image. Using a distinct visual language of ‘folds’, ‘collapses’ and ‘entanglements’, Gerhard Marx also works with reconfiguring fragments of decommisioned maps, working to shift perception and disrupt hierarchies.

Yinka Shonibare’s famous ‘African print’ sculptures convey the hybrid nature of cultural identities, challenging an ‘essential’ visual language that is assumed to be African. Also embracing fragmentation to create iconic large-scale works, El Anatsui uses discarded materials to reveal the ongoing effects of colonialism on consumption and the environment. Here thousands of tightly stitched together bottle tops form grand glistening metallic tapestries and become a tool for radical transformation.

Yinka Shonibare CBE – Planets in my Head, Young Navigator, 2019

The exhibition presents as yet unseen work in the UK by Paris-based artist Kapwani Kiwanga and digital healer Tabita Rezaire who have recently produced significant projects at London institutions. Both artists address the exhibition concept by uncovering African narratives of healing.

Kiwanga engages with methods of colonial resistance taken up during Tanzania’s Maji Maji war (1905-1907) – one of the first major uprisings on the African continent – by highlighting the rallying impact of traditional healer Kinjeketile and comments on how this has been ethnographically documented in Europe’s museums.

Kapwani Kiwanga – Rumours that Maji was a lie…, 2014 Mixed-media installation -Variable Dimensions
Photo: Romain Darnaud / Jeu de Paume

Through a lens of uncompromising self-care, Rezaire lays out the insidious histories of systemic social prejudice and uses ancient African technologies to restore physical and spiritual health with an emphasis on elevating women of colour. Kudzanai-Violet Hwami’s vivid paintings draws on digital representations of Diasporic black bodies to ask questions around colonial routes, displacement and spirituality.

Works by artists Misheck Masamvu and Nolan Oswald Dennis highlight  a layered web of post-colonial wounds through distinct abstract visual languages. Masamvu’s pioneering approach to oil paint-on-canvas combines German Expressionism with visual commentary on the Zimbabwean context, lulling audiences into a sense of familiarity in order to evoke a surprising sense of discomfort. Dennis’s site-specific approach to exploring ‘a black consciousness of space’ brings diagrams and drawings together to unveil hidden narratives of oppression alongside healing technological and spiritual systems in view of reconfiguring the limits of our social and political imagination.

My wounds will never ever heal completely, and I grow them (I have grown roses in this garden of mine). I care with much tenderness for this little corner of myself, because I know there is no cure, there are but ‘remedies’ taken in small doses to alleviate the symptoms of this silent wound.  

A woman who chooses to withhold her name, in Gabrielle Goliath’s, This song is for…, 2019

Miguel Chevalier Digital Supernova at Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rodez

Miguel Chevalier Digital Supernova at Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rodez

Miguel Chevalier Digital Supernova at Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rodez

Chevalier will be exhibiting a new  generative virtual reality installation. Thirty different colored networks of light, combine with beautiful pictures explosions of massive stars and supernova remnant, develop one after the other. For this monumental creation between art and science, Miguel Chevalier worked with astrophysicist Fabio Acero, a specialist in supernova remnant to create a virtual reality projection that brings viewers outside of their reality and transcend the walls of the church to the projected astral heavens above. 

In part with the Siècle Soulages, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rodez will present the large-scale art installation of renowned digital artist— Miguel Chevalier. The exhibition titled Digital Supernova, will be on view from August 8-18 on the vaults, ogives, and transepts of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rodez in Rodez, France— an exhibition from a larger program of events celebrating 100 years of the artist Pierre Soulages. Chevalier previously showed another installation Pixels Noir in April at the Soulages Museum as another event of this program.

The installation combines not only Chevalier’s recognizable generative realities and light networks but also brings viewers into this virtual world through the music of Jacopo Baboni Schilingi, Adam Bernadac, and for the opening — Frédéric Deschamps. A long collaborator, Schilingi has worked hand in hand on  numerous installs by Chevalier. Combining visual visions and fantasies with music audiences are brought into the seemingly endless astral realms of Chevalier’ universe in the gothic structures of the cathedral.

Installation View of Digital Supernova at Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rodez.

Enthusiasts of Chevalier may find Digital Supernova reminiscent of his 2015 installations  Complex Meshes and Dear World… Yours, Cambridge installation in Durham Cathedral and King’s College Chapel in England. It seems Chevalier, following his theme of expansion and generation developed the original idea further in this upcoming presentation. Viewers be in awe of the astral projections and then find themselves noticing the intricacies of Chevalier’s displays with the light networks they are projected through— adding complexity and depth.

Chevalier has long been influenced by patterns, networks, and systems that reveal themselves through nature. This is evident through installations such as Extra-Natural and Trans-Nature. Arguably most representative of this theme could be Fractal Flowers a giant virtual garden that evolves to ad infinitum. Chevalier refers to this work as a garden which show his constant reflection and reference back to nature. This balance between nature and computer generation are what give Chevalier his distinct aspect of  surrealism. Showing us the realities and systems of nature through computer generation, Chevalier acts as a figurative translator. His works are able to serve as evidence of reality explaining these systems and fundamentally meta. Digital Supernova shows us the extents to Chevaliers interests in nature and generative worlds on a new,  astronomic level . 

Digital Supernova
August 8-18, 2019
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rodez, Rodez, France

Carlos W. Desrosiers:  The Experience, an immersive exhibition in Paris

Carlos W. Desrosiers:  The Experience, an immersive exhibition in Paris

Carlos W. Desrosiers:  The Experience, an immersive exhibition in Paris

“When a piece is done, it always feels like a complete song to me.
There is no more instruments, notes, or tones needed.“

 

Carlos W. Desrosiers’ upcoming exhibition from June 23 to July 31 at VOS Paris challenges the status quo of exhibiting art on limited formulated canvas. The American self-taught artist from New York presents The Experience, revealing his original 9 paintings from his “What you see” The collection splashing out from their core basis and becoming materially alive in the entire space.  

 

 

Liberated from its frame, the vitality of the painting invades the room on various supports, which results in an augmented viewing experience. Like independent phenomenons emerging from the original work of his paintings, his ‘Figures’ take up space on the windows or walls. Fragments are hanged to the ceiling, while three-dimensional sculptural unities become autonomous living organisms. The jumping off point art piece multiplies itself through an explosion into other lives in the exhibition.

Through an organic body of work of installations, photographs, signed multiples, or prints, the artist cultivates his aesthetic of vibrant colors surge. He incorporates writings and natural elements as energies that assist the work in the creative process.

The exhibition is accompanied by music as a means to awaken awareness for the vibrations of the art. The artist becomes aware of the completion of the work when it resonates wholly, as both music and art can touch a higher frequency. The colors tones he applies frenetically, like music notes dancing on the drawings, interact with what is true to the soul, and trigger all the senses.  

On the main original canvas, the thick layers of paint are the essence of his “panning technique”, a process usually associated with audio recording. Infinitely adjustable and rotative, his works exceed the fixed gaze and suggest an expansive view and endless possibilities of interpretations.

 

 

The Experience is thus incredibly immersive and takes the individual into the heart of the latter’s self universe. Moving forms devoid of a figurative depiction, his collection of paintings morphs depending on what resonates to the viewer’s subconscious. Carlos W. Desrosiers is adamant about knowing what people perceive in his abstract landscapes, unfolding what is beyond our past and life experiences. He always seeks to manifest a different reality with innovative perspectives, and to truly engage with the everyday curious onlooker, stating that his work is “a clear mirror of self for the observer.”

Carlos W. Desrosiers’ artistic expression hinges indeed upon this notion of movement and collective subconscious. His genius resides in his creative power and spiritual overview, his belief that every object of the world possesses innate wisdom. Before considering himself as an artist 6 years ago, he had an inner desire to transfer his knowledge of the mind and “the esoteric and healing power of men” into a tangible way to awaken humanity.

 

 

Very passionate about all healing techniques including Taoism, self-development, and kinesiology, he was impacted from a young age by the “healing world” as his father is a naturopathic doctor. His thirst for knowledge, the consciousness of his self-awakening paved the way for the discovery of his real duty as an artist, and each crafted piece revealed him new techniques.

When first meditating on art history, he felt an immediate connection with Jackson Pollock’s artistic splattering as an intuitively free and uncontrollable process. What Carlos W. Desrosiers calls his “subconscious reprogramming” techniques takes on form in the painting act through losing control of his hands, leaving the physical element and unlocking his hidden potential.

 

“Beautiful images emerge out of the erratic and out of the chaos”

 

 

 

With parents coming from Haiti to America, Carlos W. Desrosiers was born in New York City in 1988. While not having an economically privileged background, Desrosiers worked at a golf course for 12 years only to later be emerged into the world of Rap music as an A&R manager at the age of 17. Developing a strong rapport with artist and working on different projects and albums, Desrosiers quickly became a key component to artists and their recording process. He has been evolving in the highest spheres of the Rap/Trap music industry, being very close to top renowned artists like Rihanna, Travis Scott, and Migos.

He created in 2012 his first body of art still in progress named “What You See Collection Private Experience”  including over 20 artworks exhibited at Art Basel Miami and at The Fearless Artist Art Basel Pop Up Gallery in December 2015. His “Living abstract” body of artworks and murals were shown in Lower East Side Manhattan, New York City in February 2016.

 

The Experience by Carlos W. Desrosiers
From 23 June to 31 July 2019
VOS Paris
21 avenue Kleber 75016 Paris

Mayasa Al Sowaidi : Revisiting the essence of Tea

Mayasa Al Sowaidi : Revisiting the essence of Tea

Mayasa Al Sowaidi : Revisiting the essence of Tea

Bringing together historical narratives of the West and the Middle East and to demonstrate the cultural richness of Bahrain, Mayasa Al Sowaidi will be presenting her series Art of Tea”  in collaboration with Corinne Timsit Art Advisory (CT2A). More than 20 artworks will be exhibited in this exploration of the theme of tea, its transcendence and essence through its transformation as a tool for artistic creation and expression.

Mayasa Al Sowaidi builds metaphorical bridges between the art of ceremonial tea-tasting and aesthetical and visual art. Artifact of everyday life, tea is nevertheless one of the most fundamental products of globalization, historically significant and culturally important as a ritual experience, also spiritual, creating social unity.

“Tea is a drink of rich heritage. Just as a collage relies on the recycling of used materials, so the tea leaves were given another chance at immortality, by affixing them onto a canvas for us to taste in another form, to sip art differently.”

Like papyrus or parchments, the tea leaves are fully integrated on the eroded canvas, colored in imitation of the brewing water. Tea bags are covered by recurring motifs of static birds anchored on branches, or keys and locks images. They reveal themselves as symbols of freedom to reach in our materialistic world of over-consumption, as human beings or ‘non-beings’ reduced to numbers.

Mayasa Al Sowaidi had also been part of the Bahrain Art Week 2018 at the Grand Palais, showcasing many artists of the Bahrain art scene, growing with emerging talents and artistic energy. Far from misconceptions, the important position of women artists in Bahrain is not new, regarding the cultural and unique specificity of the island country globally renowned for its natural pearl production. While men went fishing for months to find pearls, the country’s responsibility was left to the female population who still hold today a great power in the society.  

Not solely a self-taught painter, Mayasa Al Sowaidi also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Bahrain and is currently completing her doctorate – with her research paper focusing on emotional intelligence – at the Management School of Grenoble, France.

The artist explores in her artistic practice since 2005 her own freedom of expression and creativity, and the notions of harmony, balance, and order as components of her apparent fragile collages. Her pieces reflect her skills as a writer as well as that of an artist, each telling a unique story.

 

 

 

The continuously blooming Contemporary African Art auction results

The continuously blooming Contemporary African Art auction results

The continuously blooming Contemporary African Art auction results

The global art market is essentially characterized today by geographical regions, countries or continents. In that perspective, African art gaining momentum is reflected in the latest Sotheby’s London art sales of their new 2017 department on modern and contemporary African art. Already showcased worldwide in dedicated art fairs, exhibitions, foundations or museums, the contemporary African art scene is indisputably a hotbed of major talents. The most famous names under the spotlight are El Anatsui, Hassan El Glaoui, Skunder Boghossian, Ibrahim El Salahi, Ablade Glover, and Cheri Samba. With some entering auctions for the first time, they exceeded the price expectations, establishing new auction records for 11 artists. Congolese Cheri Samba’s painting “J’aime la couleur” from 2005 estimated around  £40,000-60,000 resulted in a £93,750 – $122,344 auction selling.

As expected, Ghana with the famous sculptural installation artist El Anatsui ranked at the top,  with the bottle tops tapestry  Zebra Crossing 2sold for about $1.5 million.

The works of the most recent and nonetheless swiftly growing artists like Congolese Eddy Kamuanga Ilunga are sought to become more and more in demand, and the current estimated prices are thus unlikely to remain the same.

Eddy Kamuanga -Illunga Palm

Morocco and Ethiopia’s art heritage are introduced with the paintings of Hassan El Glaoui “La sortie du Roi” and Alexander Skunder Boghossian “Harvest Scrolls”, the countries’ aiming to be the heart of Africa’s art, giving their national artists new platforms.

Nigeria, South Africa as major players already thrive through their own fine art auction houses, and through their artists’ international renown in the past years. (Nigerian artists like J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, Ben Enwonwu, Uzo Egonu were sold at the auctions)

The past sales by Bonhams had shown immense promise, but the London April 2 sales of over 75 lots are a testimony of a stratospheric rise, demonstrating the continuous chain effect for long-time celebrated masters but most importantly for young and booming contemporary artists. While native African collectors represented the majority of the buyers by far, Western collectors as well have shown a surge of interest for the important investment opportunities that the sales’ total of $3 million foreshadows. The interest from wealthy collectors and art institutions like Sotheby’s is influential in assessing once again that the African art market has a positive future and a global audience.

Kehinde Wiley : “A history of complicated gazing“

Kehinde Wiley : “A history of complicated gazing“

Kehinde Wiley : “A history of complicated gazing“

In the continuity of the history’s invisible, repressed figures or colonial controversial episodes, Kehinde Wiley’s upcoming exhibition at Galerie Templon in Paris, from 18 May to 20 July 2019 comes from his observations and works created in Tahiti this past year.

The exhibition will be showing a series of paintings and a video installation on Tahiti’s Māhū (‘‘in the middle’ of male and female) community, who had a spiritual and high social role until they were persecuted and banned by missionaries who implemented transphobic laws. Wiley will be reflecting on both the notion of identity and gender – as it refers to the traditional Polynesian classification of people of a third gender – but also echoing France’s art and tackling renowned and hailed Paul Gauguin’s works, nonetheless tinged with sexual objectification and a particular vision of the transgender Māhū figures portraits.

Kehinde Wiley on location filming in TahitiCourtesy Templon, Paris & Brussels, © 2018 Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley had exhibited in Paris for the first time at the Petit Palais with “Lamentation”, exploring religious iconography and revisiting church stain glasses through his own idiosyncrasy, with black Americans and hip hop culture.

His world is one of the interconnections and questioning the present. He composes his aesthetic by incorporating black figures in art history masterpieces, challenging, therefore, the academic portraiture canon, and politically exploring colonialism history through his vibrant and colourful works.  

After graduating from Yale University in 2OO1, Kehinde Wiley completed a residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2002. He is mostly renowned for becoming in 2018 the first African-American artist to paint an official U.S. Presidential portrait, for the former U.S. President Barack Obama.

Portrait of Jazon Ralph, 2018 Oil on canvas182,9 x 152,4 cm / 72 x 60 in.
Photo B. Huet/ Tutti Courtesy Templon, Paris & Brussels, © 2018 Kehinde Wiley

Regarding Kehinde Wiley’s other projects, Black Rock Artists Residency is something not to miss. Launching it in Dakar, Senegal, the new multi-disciplinary artist-in-residency program comes from Wiley’s personal desire to create a workplace for West Africa and particularly Senegal where he instantly felt an intimate proximity when he first encountered Dakar in 1997. Black Rock aims to support the creation of a blend of international and multigenerational artists from hybrid fields (visual artists, writers, filmmakers etc). He intends to set a creative hotbed of talents in Africa, living immersively for a few months in the cultural richness of the city.

Image on the top:
Three Girls in a Wood, 2018, Oil on canvas, 274,3 x 366 cm / 108 x 144 in.
Courtesy Roberts Projects, © 2018 Kehinde Wiley

1968 – Sparta Dreaming Athens at Château de Montsoreau-Museum Contemporary Art

1968 – Sparta Dreaming Athens at Château de Montsoreau-Museum Contemporary Art

1968 – Sparta Dreaming Athens at Château de Montsoreau-Museum Contemporary Art

The late 60’s marked the rupture of painting, where artists started turning to alternative forms of expression as a reaction against the changes and tensions brought about by contemporary society, that which the exhibition ‘1968. SPARTA DREAMING ATHENS’ is a reflection of.

It is dedicated to the 50th anniversary “1968”of a monumental moment in art history which all these changes took place, and poses the question as to whether this rebellion against the established model gave rise to a new contemporary language. The exhibition takes one on a visual journey through major figures of Minimal Art, Pop Art and Conceptual Art, featuring the talent of Art & Language, Victor Burgin, Toni Smith, Dan Graham, Maria Marshall, Claes Oldenburg, Les Levine, Edward Ruscha, and Bernar Venet.

Edward Rusha

Edward Ruscha, Every building on the sunset strip

‘1968. SPARTA DREAMING ATHENS’ is an echo of the two mythical cities of Ancient Greece Sparta and Athens, offering a transversal reading of this period. Tackling two forces, two ideologies and two visions of society where the future clashes to give place to a new (dis) order, bringing hope, creative energy, and change. It presents works of art that have helped change the history of art draw a path between memory, reverie, and utopia, generating a movement dedicated to new forms of articulation.

Art & Language Collection

Housing the largest collection worldwide of the radical conceptualists Art & Language, Château de Montsoreau-Museum of Contemporary Art was founded in 2016 by Philippe Méaille, after having loaned his collection between 2010 – 2017 to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona (MACBA). The pioneering movement envisions a separation between the art object and the artwork, and the name was adopted in parallel with the creation of the magazine Art-Language created in 1968, which has profoundly influenced contemporary art. 20 years after its creation in 1986 the movement was nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and stretching for more than 2,000 m², the private museum remains a forward-thinking institution located in the Loire Valley with a cultural program that is organized around temporary exhibitions, events, meetings, concerts, and performances, breathing artistic life into the surroundings. Innovative, experimental and unexpected, these events and space as a whole mirror the creative wealth of today’s artists.

Dan Graham

Dan Graham, Rock My Religion

Art & Language includes artists such as Michael Baldwin, Mel Ramsden, Charles Harrison, Joseph Kosuth, Terry Atkinson, Harold Hurrell, David Bainbridge, Andrew Menard, Michael Corris, Ian Burn, Philip Pilkington, Kathryn Bigelow, David Rushton, Mayo Thompson, Sarah Charlesworth, Christine Koslov, Paula Ramsden, Preston Heller, Lynn Lemaster, Howard Graham, Sandra Harrison, Nigel Powell, Terry Smith, Nigel Lendon.

History of Château de Montsoreau

Holding the title as the only château in the Loire Valley built in the riverbed itself, Château de Montsoreau holds a lengthy history dating back to 1450 where it was originally commissioned by Jean II de Chambes, a close advisor to King Charles VII. The architecture of the Château de Montsoreau acted as a pioneer of the renaissance in France, being the first example of sailing architecture located in the heart of the Loire Valley, inspiring artists from Rodin to Turner and writers from Flaubert to Alexandre Dumas. Many famous figures have left their mark on its histories, such as Mary, Queen of Scots, Anne of Brittany, Claude of France, Henry IV of France and Francis I.

 

Manofim Festival Celebrates 10th Edition in Jerusalem

Manofim Festival Celebrates 10th Edition in Jerusalem

Manofim Festival Celebrates 10th Edition in Jerusalem

Launching the exhibition season in Jerusalem, Manofim Festival kicks off on October 23rd and runs for a period of 5 days until the 27th. This independent initiative run by Rinat Edelstein and Lee He Shulov is currently celebrating its 10th year, and will be showcasing a multiple array of events including exhibitions, performances, music events, film screenings, tours, conferences, parties, and workshops to name a few. Each evening the festival will move to a different part of Jerusalem, bringing art to unconventional places, ultimately reaching a broad audience boasting an all inclusive attitude by being open to the public and free of charge. Free shuttle buses transport visitors between locations during the vernissage. Celebrating the capital’s thriving culture, the festival acts as the flagship event of Jerusalem’s contemporary art scene.

 

 The Floating Life (2017), Ran Slavin at Manofim Festival in Jerusalem

The Floating Life (2017), Ran Slavin

 

By encouraging new creations, the festival generates a discourse and dialogue between artists and facilitates the accessibility of culture and art to residents and visitors, connecting the Eastern and Western sides of the city through art. The aim being to expose the contemporary art scene in Jerusalem to diverse crowds, as well as strengthen and empower Jerusalem’s artists. The festival is made possible with the support of Beracha Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and Sport, Jerusalem Municipality, Jerusalem Foundation, Mifal HaPais Council for Culture and Arts, Eden, and Manofim Friends Association. The project partners include all the contemporary art venues in Jerusalem, independent artist groups, culture institutions and artists from various disciplines.

 

‘Properties’: Exploring the Cultural Significance of Talbiya Neighbourhood

The main exhibition of the 2018 Manofim Festival entitled ‘Properties’ will take place in Talbiya neighborhood, located in the heart of Jerusalem on the edge of the city center. A green and leafy suburb, it also consists of many layers that store diverse historical narratives. It was established in the 19th century by wealthy Palestinian Arab Christians, reaching it’s architectural peak in the 1920’s. To this day Arab villas still stand, acting as a mark of historical significance. After the war in 1948, Palestinian residents that occupied the neighbourhood forcefully fled, and in due course, was populated mostly by Israeli Jews. Today its residents consist of mainly professionals, academics, diplomats, and government officials. It is also home to an unusual assortment of institutions that coexist in the same space including the President’s Residence, Prime Minister’s Residence, as well as various research and cultural institutions.

Newer Jerusalem and suburbs Talbieh, a Christian Arab community. Unknown Photographer, approx 1920-1933 at Manofim Festival in Jerusalem

Newer Jerusalem and suburbs Talbieh, a Christian Arab community. Unknown Photographer, approx 1920-1933 © American Colony collection

The exhibition aims to spotlight this diversity of the neighbourhood, held in various spaces – both public and private – creating a dialogue surrounding the contradictions that are present. Through various art actions, the exhibition will introduce critical questions that call for a reexamination of this exceptional, multi-faceted space whose residents may have come to see it as mundane and banal.

 

Manofim : Homage to Anna Ticho

Lifescape: The Work of Anna Ticho (b.1894 – 1980) presented at Ticho House, focuses on the depth and breadth of the artists work covering 70 years of her artistic endeavour. It showcases the range and richness of her oeuvre including early watercolour works from her days as a young girl in Vienna to her final works. The exhibition is complemented by the debut of Dorian Gottlieb’s new video, which acts as a homage as well as contemporary response to Ticho’s drawings of the historically significant Jerusalem hills. Anna Ticho: Rhythms in Landscape, another exhibition presented by The Jerusalem Print Workshop in collaboration with the Israeli Museum, highlights the artists landscape etchings, some of which were created at the workshop in the 70’s.

Judean Hills (1972), Charcoal on paper 100x70 cm, Anna Ticho at Manofim Festival in Jerusalem

Judean Hills (1972), Charcoal on paper 100×70 cm, Anna Ticho © The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

 

Themes of Displacement and Global Warming

Maries Gallery presents Plastik Arts, focussing on the dilemma surrounding the threatening impact of plastic on our environment, and the ghostly presence and ultimate worsening of global warming through over consumption. It explores the vast range of polymeric materials and products that are used in everyday life, and for the rest of our lives, exploring the impending fate of Earth. The exhibition offers an artistic and philosophical meditation on the gap between the “magic of synthetic ease” and the weight of its price. The group exhibition features the likes of artists Riva Pinski Awadish, Yoel Gilon, Alon Even Paz, Smadar Tsook and Hadar Amit amongst others.

‘Homes’ by Niv Rozenberg, an exhibition presented by The Photographic Communications Department at Hadassah Academic College, explores the body of work created by the artist between 2000 and 2018 – where he was inspired by changes in the urban landscape in which he was surrounded – namely New York and Tel Aviv. Taking a closer look by examining this familiar yet unknown environment with a conflicted gaze, his manipulated images create an aesthetic that shifts between photography, architecture, and graphic design with an emphasis on colour, shape, space, and time. It also underscores themes of displacement that are so prevalent in our current society regarding the conflict of war leading to the separation of people from their families, as well as their homeland.

 

Rina Nikova in a Contemporary Context

Rina Nikova (b.1897 – 1973), a pioneer of classical and biblical ballet in Palestine, will be celebrated at Hacubia gallery. She founded the Yemenite Dance Ensemble, engaged in ethnic and biblical choreography, and explored the link between dance and the land. A solo performance by dancer Shira Eviatar in collaboration with Eviatar Said, will be held at the exhibition. This visual story delineates a personal Yemenite cultural landscape: movements, dances, rhythms, gestures, values, and patterns of thought and communication that altogether compose a language practiced inside the home. When this language entered the public space, it was identified and labeled as “other.” On stage, Said, an immigrant in his own home, unravels and re-links physical memories of the past, bodies of knowledge, sensations and emotions, as he celebrates his existence as an independent body in the present.

Rina Nikova, prima ballerina, in Swan Lake,The Palestine Opera,1925-1928, Photographer Zvi Oron at Manofim Festival in Jerusalem

Rina Nikova, prima ballerina, in Swan Lake,The Palestine Opera,1925-1928, Photographer Zvi Oron © Courtesy of the Zionist Archives, Jerusalem

 

Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty at The Dallas Museum of Art

Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty at The Dallas Museum of Art

Günther Förg: A Fragile Beauty at The Dallas Museum of Art

Opening on October 21, 2018, and running through until January 27, 2019, the first major museum presentation of Günther Förg ’s work in the United States since 1989 appears at The Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas, Texas. The show is co-organised with the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, and will explore the artists’ lifelong fascination with modernism. Diverse in his artistic practice, the exhibition brings together over 40 years of the artist’s multimedia practice – including works on paper, photography, sculpture, and rarely- exhibited late-career paintings.

An acrylic artwork of Günther Förg, Farbfeld (Colorfield) 1986, Gayle and Paul Stoffel, Deutsche Bank Collection, Dallas Museum of Art

Günther Förg, Farbfeld (Colorfield) (1986), acrylic on wood © Deutsche Bank Collection

With a constant renewal of his artistic practice, A Fragile Beauty traces the development of Förg’s pioneering cross-disciplinary work from 1973 – 2008, offering a fresh perspective and deeper understanding as well as appreciation of the artist’s place in history. The exhibition includes major loans from private collections and notable German institutions such as the Städel Museum, Frankfurt and the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, Munich.

Reaction against Modernism

Günther Förg was closely associated with the Cologne scene of the 1980’s and experimented with abstraction as well as monochrome painting, a rejection against figurative painting that was more prominent at the time. He was heavily engaged with the formalism of 20th-century avant-garde movements and adopted a utopian idea that the purity in the use of materials contributes to a better society, setting him apart from his contemporaries. Förg utilized materials in an unconventional manner, leading them to adopt a more ‘impure’ quality, evident in his series of lead paintings. His clashing use of color was a direct criticism of modernism.

Universal concepts of form, mass, proportion, rhythm and structure constitute a common thread in his work, and his early style was reminiscent of Cy Twombly and Ellsworth Kelly. He implied a more painterly approach to his photography with its grainy focus and unique perspectives, and created art not simply as object, but also as commentary, seeking out to explore the legacy of the modernist aesthetic in a postmodern age. His work has been closely aligned to modern masters including Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still, Mark Rothko and Edvard Munch, that too which he was heavily influenced by.

An abstract artwork of Günther Förg, Untitled (2009) from the Max Hetzler Gallery, Berlin

Günther Förg, Untitled (2009) © Max Hetzler Gallery, Berlin

Spotlighting Günther Förg ’s Diverse Artistic Practice

The exhibition begins with a recreation of a seminal wall mural from 1986, monochromatic paintings, an important gray painting from 1973 featuring undecipherable text, as well as and a monumental gray grid painting from 2009 that the artist layered over one of his vibrant Spot Paintings. It also includes many of the artist’s multimedia paintings, such as a multi-panel work of painted lead, which is presented alongside a large diptych featuring acrylic and gold leaf. Five plaster and mixed media sculptures from 2000 are also featured in the exhibition. Many are composed of found household objects enveloped in plaster, renouncing their original forms to the amorphous plaster encasement. His interests are highlighted in architecture and history, featuring twelve photographs ranging in subject from portraits to modernist constructions in Italy from the 20’s and 30’s.

An abstract acrylic painting by Günther Förg Untitled (2008) courtesy of Matthew B. Gorson

Günther Förg, Untitled, 2008, Acrylic and oil on canvas, courtesy of Matthew B. Gorson

Concluding the exhibition is a group of the artist’s late works, Förg’s Spot Paintings from 2007 to 2008, signaling his return to painting to manifest the expressive freedom he allowed himself towards the end of his life. These distinctive paintings feature large swathes of color on white ground, which lay bare the artist’s gesture and emphasize the activity of painting itself.

A Fragile Beauty reignites an exciting dialogue with the artist, who was driven by a boundless urge for freedom in his experimental artistic practice. Today, his works can be seen in collections of the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, the Kunstmuseum Bonn, the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt am Main, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, amongst others.

Bruce Nauman Retrospective at MoMA & PS1

Bruce Nauman Retrospective at MoMA & PS1

Bruce Nauman Retrospective at MoMA & PS1

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 present the first comprehensive retrospective in 25 years devoted to the work of American artist Bruce Nauman (b. 1941), on view at The Museum of Modern Art from October 21, 2018, through February 18, 2019, and at MoMA PS1 from October 21, 2018, through February 25, 2019. Co-organized by The Museum of Modern Art and Laurenz Foundation, Schaulager Basel, Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts draws upon the rich holdings of both institutions and nearly 70 lenders.

The exhibition will occupy the entire 6th floor of Museum, and the whole of MoMA PS1, providing an opportunity to discover and experience the entirety of the artists oeuvre in a wide range of mediums; from drawing, printmaking, photography, and sculpture to neon, performance, film and video, and architecturally scaled environments. His versatile manipulation of materials makes him one of the most prominent American artists to emerge in the 1960’s.

Bruce Nauman retrospective MoMA and PS1

Human-Nature_Life-Death_Knows-Doesn’t-Know.-1983.-Neon-tubing-with-clear-glass-tubing-suspension-frames

Nauman ‘s Diverse Artistic Expressions

Nauman’s work is not easily defined by the materials that he uses, styles or themes, and is characteristic of Post-Minimalism – he blends his ideas from Conceptualism, Minimalism, performance art and video art. Since the 70’s Nauman has frequently worked on a monumental scale, further reinforcing the fact that it is necessary to present his retrospective across both of MoMA’s locations. Both venues include works in all mediums and from all phases of Nauman’s career, offering distinct but complementary perspectives on his wide-ranging practice.

Disappearing Acts traces strategies of withdrawal in Nauman’s art—both literal and figurative incidents of removal, deflection, and concealment. Close relatives of disappearance also appear in many forms. They are seen, for example, in holes the size of a body part, in the space under a chair, in the self-vanishing around a corner, and in the mental blocks that empty creative possibility. “For Nauman,” said Halbreich, Associate Director and Laurenz Foundation Curator “disappearance is both a real phenomenon and a magnificently ample metaphor for grappling with the anxieties of both the creative process and of navigating the everyday world.”

Bruce Nauman retrospective at MoMA and PS1

Bruce Nauman. One Hundred Live and Die. 1984. Neon tubing with clear glass tubing on metal monolith

Dancing to the Beat of his own Drum

Nauman is an inquisitive artist who explores different avenues testing out what works, and what doesn’t. He has an incredible talent in terms of working with what is available to him – weaving forms together, and never conforming to a signature style. He is obsessed with language which is at the same time the subject and content of his work, music plays an important role as well as one can feel the impulse of it even if you can’t hear it; acting as an all-inclusive universal language. He shies away from the image of an artist as a big personality, instead is more secluded and focussed on the practice of art itself as opposed to the celebrity aspect that comes along with it.

“I’ve always had overlapping ways of going about my work,” Bruce Nauman once remarked. “I’ve never been able to stick to one thing.” Bruce Nauman challenges our perceptions and imaginings in ever new ways with his diverse and uniquely radical works.

 

Bruce Nauman. Pay Attention. 1973. Lithograph, edition of 50; each

The opening of Bahrain Art Week at Grand Palais

The opening of Bahrain Art Week at Grand Palais

The opening of Bahrain Art Week at Grand Palais

Hosted by the office of Her Royal Highness, the Wife of the King of Bahrain, as part of Bahrain’s leading art initiative “Art Bahrain Across Borders,” Bahrain Art Week was welcomed at the Grand Palais on the 13th of September, organised by CT2A and ArtSelect, along with ArtPremium as official media partner. The show was co-curated by Corinne Timsit and Kaneka Subberwal, which provided an in-depth overview of the region’s diversity through both historical material and cutting-edge works by established and emerging artists. 

The Vernissage was well received by the public, with large crowds continuously trickling in with intrigue. There was a truly international audience and the buzz was palpable, people came from near and far including officials from the Gulf embassies, friends from a number of art institutions in Paris, alongside a handpicked selection of esteemed private collectors. Overall the event was an eye-opening success to all those in attendance.

Bahrain Art Week at the Grand Palais

On view were 172 artworks by 17 artists using a wide range of techniques predominantly including paintings, drawings, and collages – along with 20 sculptures being present. It centered around the theme “The Legacy and Contemporary Memory,” which was reflected incredibly well in the layout of the exhibition following a logical, as well as aesthetically pleasing order. Upon entry, the first lot of artists that were showcased made part of the legacy, juxtaposed with that of the younger generation of artists representing the contemporary memory, that made part of the second layout. The exhibition explored a variety of artistic perspectives, the most striking being that of social commentary on the world outside of the exhibition space. There was a contrast between an older generational perspective with that of a more contemporary outlook – at the same time blending the two to make a cohesive presentation.

The show offered the artists’ an opportunity to present their work, connect art and culture in the surrounding area – and successfully exchange in a cross-cultural dialogue between France and Bahrain. It provided a platform to bring their highest quality work to France for the first ever Bahrain Art Week in Paris, which has been met with noteworthy success and will continue at Rabouan Moussion Gallery with the vernissage taking place on Thursday the 20th of September. The exhibition will run for a full week, and the works on show will be a selection of artworks that were presented at the Grand Palais.

Bahrain Art Week at the Grand Palais