In Focus Next Week: October 5 – 11
Maybe we should take a break from art fairs (at least for a week). We had several important art fairs in September, but there will be some quite exciting fairs in the weeks to come. Until that moment, we all can enjoy some nice exhibitions. We have selected five great shows opening next week. As usual, two of them are taking place in the United States, and three in Europe (UK and Germany).
Those living in New York City or near should visit the exhibition of Kelly Reemtsen entitled Smashing, that is opening next week in De Buck Gallery. More to west, to Colorado, Abend Gallery from Denver is organizing a solo exhibition of Matthew Saba. Back to Europe, and the United Kingdom. Gathered Leaves: Photographs by Alec Soth is the title of an amazing show that is about to open at London-based Science Museum. On amazing site – Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the visitors will have an opportunity to see installations by Bill Viola. And, let’s not forget – there is always (at least) one exhibition in Germany in our In Focus articles. This time, it is Art Is Just a Four Letter Word Gallery from Soest, that is organizing the exhibition of street artist EGS, entitled From Lake Geneva to the Finland Station.
Opening: October 6
London, United Kingdom
…Alec Soth’s previous series, Sleeping by the Mississippi (2004), Niagara (2006) and Broken Manual (2010) have brought him much success and critical acclaim. His lyrical approach to documentary photography has established him as a vibrant, visceral and distinctive voice in contemporary international art. Photography has come a long way, have a look at the evolution of this fascinating medium. As the artist himself stated, one of the perks and joys of being a photographer is the ability to present the work both in the pages of a book and on the walls of a gallery. And with this show being his premiere exhibition at London, Soth said that it feels like he is making up for the lost time by finally presenting four of his major projects at once, with Songbook as his latest achievement. In this new series, Soth, together with his friend and writer, Brad Zellar, took a series of road trips where they posed as local newspaper reporters, attending and documenting hundreds of meetings, festivals, dances, gatherings and other events. All of their vivid and colorful experiences are captured in a compilation of work under the name Songbook, which name was inspired by Walt Whitman’s poem Song of Myself, from 1892…
Opening: October 8
New York, United States
…During the exhibition of Kelly Reemtsen at De Buck Gallery, the visitors will be able to see some of the artist’s latest pieces. In keeping with the glass ceiling idea, the figures that inhabit the works in Smashing are headed upward, as Reemtsen adds in a visual element of climbing in many of her paintings. Alongside their accessories, the women are fitted with office chairs or ladders that allow them to reach new heights, both literally and figuratively. The depicted clothing might be linked to the vintage feeling. Still, the themes of the Kelly Reemtsen’s paintings are very important in our contemporary society, when women make great strides in the professional and political realms…
Opening: October 9
Denver, United States
…Matthew Saba’s figurative works are just as intricate as his still life imagery. The images are made in thought-provoking way. The main subjects are fragmented and their features are hidden or missing, some of their characteristics are emphasized and others left to fade into the background. The secluded elements eventually become more significant than the exposed ones, as it is the human nature to wonder about what’s hidden beneath. Matthew Saba always paints models he knows and objects he uses in his everyday life. However, once he has decided on the actual subject, the artist’s “cold, clinical frame of mind takes over” and he portrays them with a high level of objectivity and emotional detachment….
Opening: October 9
…Quite interesting title of the show is actually a reference to the lyrics line of the famous Pet Shop Boys song West End Girls written in the eighties. Although the song doesn’t specifically deal with the subject of social revolution the lyrics are inspired by the historical work on socialism entitled To the Finland Station: A Study in the Writing and Acting of History, written by the American scholar Edmund Wilson, and it is suggested that Neil Tennant read the book during his history studies. The title of the book and the lyrics invoke the secret train trip to Russia Vladimir Lenin took with the help of the Germans during the World War I. The title seems clever and well-chosen given the fact that EGS often incorporates his interest in cultural history and geography into his graffiti and painting practice…
Opening: October 10
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, United Kingdom
…Bill Viola’s latest work The Trial, to premiere at YSP, shows ”five stages of awakening through a series of violent transformations.” It sees a young woman and a young man standing bare-chested on separate screens, both surprised by the downpour of different coloured liquids. As the cycle of their tribulation progresses and evolves, the range of their emotions broads, until they finally come around to find purification. Among Bill Viola’s older, famous works, there will be Three Women (2008), a video combining analogue and HD digital footage to intensify the story of a mother and her two daughters passing a threshold between the obscurity and clarity, and The Veiling, a 1995 work the artist created for the US pavilion at the 46th Venice Biennale which features scenes of a man and a woman moving through a series of landscapes by night projected through nine large parallel fabric cloths. Other highlights also include Fire Woman and Tristan’s Ascension (The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall) from 2008, among others…
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Images in Slider: Bill Viola – Tristan’s Ascension – The Sound of a Mountain Under a Waterfall , 2005, detail(© Kira Perov, courtesy Bill Viola Studio and YSP); Crazy Legs Saloon. – Watertown New York from Songbook © Alec Soth (courtesy of the Science Museum gallery); EGS graffiti (courtesy of Art Is Just a Four Letter Word Gallery); Kelly Reemtsen – Stiff Competition, detail (courtesy of De Buck Gallery); Matthew Saba – Haunt and Hunger,detail (courtesy of Abend Gallery)