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Editors' Pick January 2015: Post-Holiday Hype

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February 3, 2015
Ana Bambic Kostov is an art historian with passion for contemporary art.

After the roller-coaster of 2014, art scene entered this year livelier than ever! January opened more than a few amazing shows, while the art market is thriving, and accelerating towards the spring season. Taking a look back on the previous month, there were several shows we feel deserve special attention, along with several viewpoints we would like to emphasize once more. We are happy to have featured the Chinese artist choice by Meg Maggio, one of the leading experts on Chinese contemporary art. Another exclusive, besides our newly introduced podcast, was a feature interview with acclaimed Japanese artist Riusuke Fukahori. Shows we want to remind our readership about include photography, painting and conceptual work, all of which address seminal issues beyond a specific time or age. When photogrpahy is in question, we have started featuring various sub-genres of the genre, such as LGBT. And as a fun touch of the month, we had a gossipy feature about who’s rich and artist, in New York – where else?

Now, click away through the most fun articles of January 2015!

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  • Pekin Fine Arts

Meg Maggio's Selection: 10 Chinese Brilliant Artists

Commenting on our selection of 10 Chinese Artists, the Beijing gallerist Meg Maggio suggested an alternative version. We were happy to accept her view, given that Meg is the pioneer at the eastern art market, one of the leading gallerists in China today. We were quite excited to learn about her views and let them be known, since there are little figures in contemporary art that fit a description of a true pioneer like Maggio does. Her choice of 10 artists encompasses artists from the generation that matured in the 80’s till today, showing various levels of thinking and performance, as well as different expressions. We caught a glimpse of the full glory of Chinese artistic abundance in the 10 amazing thinkers the famous Beijing galleris picked out.

Featured image: Zhang Xiaotao

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  • interview

Interview with Riusuke Fukahori

An acclaimed Japanese artist agreed to speak to Widewalls, revealing the ways of his thoughts, sharing bits of the secret behind his work. Goldfish magic intertwined with life, without a trace of kitsch. Asking crucial questions, we wondered what could be considered an innovative approach to a creative expression today – not only in Japan, but the entire world? How important is it to understand your own existential situation in order to channel it into an artistic expression? Somewhere between the realms of materialism and spiritualism, between Eastern and Western cultural heritage, between the mediums of painting and sculpture – Widewalls has had a chance and an honor to explore the concept of art with an inspiring artist Riusuke Fukahori.

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  • Marian Goodman Gallery

Rineke Dijkstra at Marian Goodman

A renowned photographer and one of the most acclaimed women artists of the contemporary art, Rineke Dijkstra is having an exhibition at Marian Goodman gallery in Paris. The Gymschool project by the artist involved young subjects – girl athletes and ballerinas from St. Petersburg, examining multiple questions of identity through portrayals of these dexterous child subjects. The two new videos by Rineke Dijkstra which will be on show at Marian Goodman in Paris have both been filmed in Russia and had been commissioned by Manifesta (European Bienal of Contemporary art). The pieces are achieved through a particular relationship which the artist creates with her models and through artist’s extraordinary and inspiring observational skills of complex notions.

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  • Hauser & Wirth Gallery

Djordje Ozbolt at Hauser & Wirth

Current exhibition by Djordje Ozbolt at Hauser & Wirth gives an elaborate view of the artist’s latest painterly endeavors, delving into installation and rendering of real space. Entitled entertainingly, filled with thought-provoking and visually interesting work, it’s definitely a must-see. Focus of the exhibition at Hauser & Wirth is a comprehensive painterly installation comprised of fifty Djordje Ozbolt paintings, entitled 50 ways to leave your lover. Said work, completed in 2014, is the largest serial work created by the artist so far, and it includes of fifty separate pieces lined up in a row on the second floor of the gallery. Central space of the installation is given to a custom-made trolley, specially designed as a carrier for the 50 paintings, an original and integral part of the piece, an homage and a mockery of Modernist sculpture.

Feature image: Djordje Ozbolt – Releasing the Demons of Creativity, 2014 – Acrylic on icon board – Photo Genevieve Hanson – detail

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  • photography

Pieter Hugo at Priska Pasquer

The first German solo exhibition of Pieter Hugo, an acclaimed South African photographer, brings the spirit of his homeland into Europe.

The relationship Pieter Hugo has with his home Africa is translated through his photographic work. He started traveling across the continent in his early twenties, and to this day he continues to portray marginalized or unusual groups of people: honey gatherers in Ghana, boy scouts in Liberia, taxi washers in Durban, judges in Botswana. By documenting different layers of society, he shows theradically critical realities, struggling since the get-go and not knowing any better.

On view at Priska Pasquer.

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LGBT and Photography

Always hot in one way or another, topics about LGBT population will not cease to arise interest, until the world ceases to treat them as unusual. Whichever stance a person may be behind, it’s indisputable that LGBT community has given us some of the most brilliant artistic minds, from the antiquity and on, which is no different in photography. Observed from an angle of the author and the thematics, homosexuality is highly inspirational, provocative, enticing.

When it comes to photography, it has always had a great, rather plain role: to document and capture moments of life. Before it became a narcissistic tool for selfies and a commercial success, it revealed the invisible individuals and groups and it helped them be seen and more importantly – understood. It followed the upheaval of many movements whose existence was heavily ignored and tyrannized, including feminism and African-American civil rights, which often intertwined with the LGBT rights movement. Photography gave testimony of parallel lives that were led simultaneously, protests, events and violence, but also the love of queer couples and the stories behind the curtains. Through its lens, it managed to redefine love and to propose a new, humble, beautifully human and quietly courageous definition of it. And while it was often condemned as blasphemy and even pornography, a part of it persistently moved from documentary to fine-art, changing the means of censorship and gaining much attention, be it because of the subject or its tremendous visual impact. [mc4wp_form]

Sittin' on Dough

The richest of the rich – who are those NY aritsts who actually make MONEY by selling their works? And just money. BIG money.

According to London-based art market guru Georgina Adam, author of Big Bucks: The Explosion of the Art Market in the 21st Century, only in the New York area around 75 artists are notching a net worth in excess of $1 million. First five places on the list of richest artists, all New Yorkers, are Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Richard Prince and Chuck Close.

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