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In Focus Next Week: May 4 - 10

  • 30Works Galerie Ray
  • Yayoi Kusama: World’s Most Popular Artist
  • Dolby Chadwick Gallery
  • Celaya Brothers Gallery
May 3, 2015
Ana Bambic Kostov specializes in contemporary art writing, editing, content creation and management. Connect via LinkedIn

Well, the Biennale week has arrived, as expected. The whole art universe is flocking to Venice hastingly, for another edition of the celebrated Biennale, opening on the evening of May 8 under the theme All the World’s Futures. Leading names of contemporary art, national pavilions, various programming and long duration of the manifestation require a separate address, but this doesn’t mean that the other art centers are going dormant, on the contrary!

Along with the nature, the urban art sphere has awakened across the planet and as we wait for summertime festivals, lots of interesting exhibitions are to come and excite us. Sten & Lex are having a show at Celaya Brothers gallery next week, while Van Ray is hosted at Cologne’s 30works. Even the Venice Biennale is having a separate urban art show – The Bridges of Graffiti – showcasing world’s most active street and urban artists. Photographic world is enriched with an exhibition by Barbara Vaughn at Dolby Chadwick Gallery. Finally, the most popular artist of 2014, Yayoi Kusama is opening a new exhibition at David Zwirner in New York next week as well. So, Venezia is the center of the art world in the week to come, but this should in no case cause depression in other places – on the contrary – some of the gems might be definitely found elsewhere.

Sten & Lex

Paesaggi Industriali

Opening: May 7

Celaya Brothers Gallery

Mexico City, Mexico

Paesaggi Industriali illustrates perfectly the logic and chaos that is present in the astounding artworks of Stex Len. The logical represented by the meticulously crafted stencils, the thousands of hand crafted lines and the applications of the stencil matrices with the huge street art murals. Then we find an element of chaos and destruction, with parts of the matrices removed or left hanging, allowing external influences to help shape the work, also rendering the image impossible to recreate. Sten Lex have taken the idea of stencil art and moved it into a whole new world, creating a range of breath-taking artworks, both in the studio and on the streets. Paesaggi Industriali at Celaya Brothers Gallery promises to be a spectacular and fascinating trip through the industrial landscapes of Stex Len, which should not be missed if you happen to be in Mexico City…

Barbara Vaughn

On the Surface

Opening: May 7

Dolby Chadwick Gallery

San Francisco, USA

…For her second show at Dolby Chadwick Gallery, Barbara Vaughn brings in her trademark imagery of mirrored scenery. This former portrait photographer turned to more natural topics, creating a world of warped pictures and vivid imagination. Her portion of water reflections easily reveal themselves, but the viewer has a hard time seeing through them. Even though they reflect their surrounding landscape, it is very difficult to put a finger on it, as patterns, shapes, colors, curves and grids take over. Looking very much like abstract paintings, they couldn’t be more real at the same time, an effect which resulted from carefully chosen framing, the amount of light, the water movements and of course subjects. These two elements of urban landscape interact in the most mesmerizing way, drawing attention to something beautiful that we otherwise would have missed seeing ourselves…

Biennale di Venezia

Opening: May 9

Venice, Italy

The 56th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia will open on May 9th, a month earlier than recent editions. With its inauguration, [it] celebrates the 120th anniversary of the first Exhibition (1895). The curator’s International Exhibition will expand from the Central Pavilion at the Giardini (3,000 sq.m.) to the Arsenale (8,000 sq.m.) and, in addition, to external areas.

The extensive array of foreign participant countries (89, compared to 58 in 1997) will virtually gather around [the] curator’s great International Exhibition; 29 of them will be in the historic pavilions in the Giardini, 29 in the spaces dedicated to the various national participations within the Arsenale (where restoration work continues on 16th century buildings) and the rest in other buildings in Venice, accompanied by 44 Collateral Events, presented by non-profit organisations and admitted by [the] curator

Yayoi Kusama

Give Me Love

Opening: May 9

David Zwirner Gallery

New York, USA

Kusama continues her recent series of large-format, square My Eternal Soul paintings with a group of canvases conveying extraordinary vitality and passion. With titles such as Fear of Youth Overwhelmed by the Spring Time of Life, I Who Have Taken an Antidepressant, and My Longing, the Unseen Land of Death, the compositions acquire an autobiographic, even confessional dimension. The bold brushstrokes and swirly shapes seem to hover between figuration and abstraction; vibrant, animated, and intense, they transcend their medium to introduce their own pictorial logic, at once contemporary and universal. As such, while they continue Kusama’s innovative exploration of form, subject matter, and space, they also represent a connection to her work from the past six decades


What If It’s All A Lie?

Opening: May 9

30Works Galerie

Cologne, Germany

What if it’s All a Lie? is a proud moment for 30Works Galerie, presenting the first solo exhibition of Bonn based urban artist Van Ray, considered to be one of the most successful of the younger generation of urban artists in Germany. This first exhibition will highlight the distinctive style of Van Ray, fusing elements of pop and street art, created using a range of techniques including spray cans, acrylic paints, collage and décollage. Van Ray also uses What if it’s All a Lie? to put across his commentary on our modern value systems, along with criticism of social injustices and our generally hedonistic contemporary way of life. The urban artist achieves this by creating his striking stencil art on found objects, such as wooden slats and sheets of iron, transforming the often iconic images from their original meanings…

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Slider images:

Biennale di Venezia 2015;

Van Ray – Endless Love, Courtesy of 30Works Galerie;

Yayoi Kusama;

Barbara Vaughn – Ampeli, 2015. Archival pigment print, ed. of 5, Courtesy Dolby Chadwick Gallery;+

Sten Lex – Paesaggi Industriali. Courtesy Celaya Brothers Gallery. 2015.