It’s Halloween week! OK, we cannot say “Halloween week” (it does not exist), but we celebrate Halloween on October 31, which means next week. This day is celebrated in different ways – it varies from country to country. In some countries, this holiday is celebrated in more intimate atmosphere, while in some countries (i.e. the United States), it’s widely and publicly celebrated. At Halloween, yards, public spaces, and some houses may be decorated with traditionally macabre symbols including witches, skeletons, ghosts, cobwebs, and headstones. Sometimes it may look like a celebration of the occultism. Speaking about occultism, there is a perfect exhibition opening next week, at Stephen Romano New York. It’s opening on October 29, and it’s entitled Magica Sexualis – so be sure to visit this amazing group show, just before the Halloween. At Halloween, we also have an opening of the exhibition of Takashi Murakami at Mori Art Museum in Tokyo; a different take on this significant holiday.
There are also three great exhibition openings next week – amazing Korean artist Jungjin Lee will have her inaugural exhibition at Howard Greenberg Gallery, opening on October 29. Back in Europe, Lisabird Contemporary from Vienna is organizing an exhibition of Maximilian Prüfer entitled Flug (opening October 29), while the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City prepares major Frank Stella retrospective (opening October 30). We hope you will have a great time at Halloween, and enjoy amazing art next week!
Scroll down and see what’s in focus in the week of October 26 - November 1.
Jungjin Lee’s photography is imbued with elemental vastness and wonder. A former assistant of Robert Frank, she creates meditative landscapes with a unique interplay between image and material, capturing moments in time that are uniquely her own. Using a multilayered process that integrates elements of painting, Lee’s photographs exude a materiality not often found in photography. She aims to find “a fundamental essence of things being captured through my intuition, the inner state of my mind, beyond my thinking.”
Prüfer works on philosophical questions and analogies concerning human beings, and questions the world with regard to its content, independent of the prominent points of view of his own species.What is fascinating about his work is the unique methodological processing as well as the novelty of his aesthetics. Using his method, he widens the potential of drawing when displaying motion independent of tools.
The exhibition Magica Sexualis is following in the series of In Missa Interfectionis, Opus Hypnagogia (at Morbid Anatomy Museum) and the inaugural exhibition at Stephen Romano Gallery’s new Bushwick location Lexicon Infernali, all of which examine the interaction of the esoteric, visionary, outsider, vintage and contemporary art practices. (to be clear, it is not about erotic art. If you like vintage, take a look at our article about vintage erotica). The fact that the title of the exhibition is in Latin provokes esoteric references – in Modern days, Latin has often being linked with occultism. But, still occultism and sexual magic aren’t intrinsically connected – sexual magic refers to an ancient science that has been known and protected by the purest, most spiritually advanced human beings, whose purpose and goal is the harnessing and perfection of our sexual forces. A more accurate translation of sexual magic would be “sexual priesthood”. Therefore, the works that will be exhibited during the Magica Sexualis show are dealing with ecstatic, esoteric, even erotic.
The retrospective of Frank Stella art comes at a time when most of museums and galleries are overwhelmed with the wave of new artists. In fact, the artist admitted he was surprised by the idea of an exhibition covering his entire career and wanted to focus on his more recent works only, which also include his offset lithography. As prolific printmaker as he is a painter, he produces screenprints and etchings in his trademark abstract style, but also collages and sculptures. Always working in series, Frank Stella continues to produce intriguing works, and the latest medium added to his set of skills is computer designing.
Takashi Murakami’s The 500 Arhats painting was created in 2012, as a token of gratitude to the nation of Qatar, which was one of the first countries to offer assistance after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011. Thus, the work had its premiere in Doha, and now it is to be shown in the land of the rising sun for the first time ever. The inspiration behind the painting came from the legend of the 500 arhats, Buddha’s followers who spread his teachings. It is said that the story was introduced to Japan during the Heian period, presenting itself to the public through works on canvas and wood and stone sculptures. Before Murakami, two other Japanese artists also produced related artworks. For his own tribute, the artist engaged more than 200 students from national colleges in order to complete this monumental artwork.
The 500 Arhats consists of four sections named after the legendary Chinese guardians of the four celestial directions (blue dragon – east, white tiger – west, red bird – south, black tortoise – north). A milestone in Takashi Murakami’s career, the piece tackles the topics of religion, mortality and limitations, interpreted through his unique and vibrant style.
Images in Slider: Takashi Murakami - Title TBD, In production (courtesy of Mori Museum); Frank Stella Grajau I 1975 (courtesy of the Whitney Museum); Inge Vandormael, detail (courtesy of Stephen Romano Gallery); Jungin Lee - Unnamed Road 060, detail, 2011 (courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery); Maximilian Prüfer - 4 Spinnen, detail (courtesy of Lisabird Contemporary)
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