Opening today, the great Danish-Icelandic visionary Olafur Eliasson returns with another prestigious show taking the exhibition of his creative vision to the next level, being located in the most remarkable environment until date — having been the home of cutting edge art and design from different eras since the moment it was finished by French King Louis XIII in 1623: Château de Versailles. Herewith he follows the likes of Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Anish Kapoor, amongst others, who in the modern art program that started in 2008 have brought their vision to France's most famous chateau and gardens.
Earlier shows by Eliasson in contexts like the Louisiana and Fondation Louis Vuitton underlined that he is undeniably part of the most influential artists of this time — the show in the Versailles could be seen as a marker that he will continue to be seen that way even in the far future. Seeing the highly aesthetic creations full of narrative by Eliasson in the historically charged context, having (and still does so) housed centuries of French aristocratic splendor, forms a fascinating clash of representational icons of different stretches in space of time, without it feeling unnatural in any way. The different creations that can be found in the estate, partly having been created exclusively for the exhibition, came to life in Eliasson's head while wandering the grounds, sometimes alone at night, when no one was around. Among the most impressive creations is the structure named 'Waterfall', fulfilling an original idea of the 17th Century landscape architect André Le Nôtre, which couldn't be realized at the time when the Château and its gardens were originally constructed. Finishing a story which first grew in someone's imagination centuries ago and seeing the for the artist familiar immaculate execution of such idea hits a delicate nerve, which inspires us deeply.
Looking backwards, sketching out what lays ahead.
Make sure to travel to Versailles and step into this remarkable collision of past and future before the show closes on the 30th of October. We will. [ Continue reading ]
We just discovered the inspirational work of Danish painter Lars Tygesen, who last week opened a new solo exhibition named 'Svundne tider' ('Bygone times') at the Viborg Kunsthal in Viborg, Denmark. Two years earlier, Tygesen showed a series of remarkable paintings named 'Nøgen' ('Naked') in the Copenhagen-based Ringsted Galleriet, being the specific works which recently, by coincidence, we stumbled upon to discover his extraordinary artistic vision. Subsequently, seeing all of his creations of the last few years on his website definitely made an impression. Tygesen works with oilpaint on canvas, which in a signature fashion he affixes in numerous thick layers of paint. The images he creates are figurative, but through an interesting use of different color surfaces and the multiple layers on the canvas an abstract collage-like effect is created, resulting in a intriguing level of ambiguity which we really appreciate.
His 'Naked' series deals with the specific subject matter of female form, which he approached by creating collages out of old erotic pictures from the 1940’s and 1950’s portraying lush, fertile women that formed the basis of his own abstracted colorful naked depictions. This method, creating on the basis of collage imagery, can be detected throughout the artist's career, having collected numerous motifs from magazines and uncountable pictures of royal interiors, forming the fundament in the paintings he creates from his fascination with the representation of the grandiose, the pompous and even snobbism. We love how in recent years a new level abstraction can be detected in this captivating artistic vision, showing Tygesen's discerningly intuition for colors and the interaction between different surfaces in the creation of incredible composite imagery.
We can't wait for more by this inspirational new discovery! [ Continue reading ]
We first discovered the incredible work of New York City-based artist Landon Metz when he had created the cover for the fourth issue of The White Review in 2012. In the same year we sold his 'Painter Painting Surface' publication in the Another Shop and have ever since followed his development step by step. Looking back four years ago and seeing the recent work Metz created for exhibitions in New York City, Brescia and Milan shows a new direction in his creative vision which we really appreciate. From the very beginning Metz has been creating biomorphic forms splayed across, in the earlier years often times eclectic and overlaying, which slowly moved towards more abstract shapes.
Recently, and especially for the shows in Italy, his flat work has progressed to a new place that remarkably extends and redefines his already significant achievement. In his latest three series Metz isolated forms from earlier works, which he blows up to an epic scale and executes as large-scale monochromes, having irregular stretchers specially fabricated and thinking to an unprecedented degree about their display in relation to the architecture of the exhibition space. For his two recent shows in Italy he even took his forms beyond just the wall and materialized the shapes into sculptures placed on the floor and the ceiling of the exhibition space. The new direction shows the artist' remarkable focus and dedication to investigate the scope and depth of his unique artistic vision, in our eyes putting himself in one league with some of the most interesting abstract artists working today (and in the past for that matter). We can't wait to see where the artist will take this in the near future. [ Continue reading ]
Iris van Dongen at the Bugada & Cargnel Gallery in Paris
Dutch artist Iris van Dongen, who was born in Tilburg but lives and works in Berlin, has grown into a respected name in the art world in the last years. In 2014 she was commissioned to create an official portrait of the Dutch King and her work has been exhibited worldwide. A remarkable new series of work travelled to Paris two weeks ago, where on the 14th of April a new solo exhibition at her gallery Bugada & Cargnel opened for the public. With the exhibition named 'The Hunter from Noland', van Dongen presents a series of new drawings mixing gouache, soft pastel and pressed charcoal, and in which the artist recomposes elements from different styles and cultures, from Art nouveau to Asiatic art. The exhibition displays works that, although entirely autonomous, are part of a whole, a fragmented fresco, a story that unfolds on several levels of interpretation. Representing landscapes, characters and a suspended temporality, these new productions are like contemporary vanitases, in which the protagonists are the for the painter familiar young ghostly women. With their slender arms, and dressed in colorful, printed kimonos, these female figures remind of Indonesian Wayang dolls and the iconic work of Gustave Klimt and emphasis the incredible artistic vision of the highly gifted Dutch artist. We love the new influences in van Dongen's pieces and can't wait to visit Paris and see and experience her new captivating works in person. [ Continue reading ]
Last month, the New York City-based Robert Miller Gallery closed the first major solo exhibition of the inspirational American painter Ran Ortner, forming the perfect showcase of his incredible talent, which we encountered online recently by chance. Using oil paint, the painter plays mastefully on the lights, the focal length and the details of the huge waves he represents on canvas, making the result very realistic. The artist's process focuses on his unique relationship with the ocean which is reflected in large-scale paintings of bodies of water. His new work examines the tender and terrifying interplay that occurs as waves crash against one another. An autodidact, Ortner has spent the past two decades creating a singular language with the ocean. It is in moments in the rhythm of moving water where Ortner finds inspiring potential. The intoxication he experiences through the elegant rage of the endless sea is what sparks each intricately layered painting, being some of the most impressive hyperrealistic work we have laid eyes on in a long time. [ Continue reading ]
Thijs Zweers at Unfair Amsterdam and TORCH Amsterdam
Today marks the opening of a new edition of Unfair Amsterdam. After debuting in 2013, the Dutch platform set up by a generation of young artists working together as a creative community looking for new ways to show and sell their work present another great edition. In the coming four days those artists in the Netherlands are showcased which in the eyes of Unfair need to be seen by the public. One of them is Thijs Zweers, who together with TORCH gallery Amsterdam, presents his 'The Land of Virtually Nothing' series which after Unfair will be on display in the gallery from the 16th of April. Although we haven't mentioned him here before, we have been following the talented Amsterdam-based artist for a while now and really appreciate his raw aesthetic. In his imposing drawings Zweers describes the new habitat for the younger generations; a digital wilderness of subcultures, images and stories with a very distinct romanticism. Using pitch black Siberian charcoal he describes the digital existence in detail. All works by Thijs Zweers start from the thought that the digital universe has become an autonomous biotope. Although all things seen on a screen are created by human fingers, the scale and expansion of this universe are way beyond human control. Simultaneously, staring at screens has become both a form of entertainment and a guideline for existence. Make sure to visit Unfair and don't miss the haunting work of the Dutch artist. [ Continue reading ]
Michael De Feo at The Garage Amsterdam
After we wrote about the inspirational 'Ceasefire' show by Pryce Lee at The Garage last Summer, the new upcoming show by the ambitious gallery is another reason to visit the beautiful 17th century carriage house in the canals of Amsterdam. With the show named 'The Fashion Pages' The Garage will present the international premiere of the latest body of work by the renown New York City-based artist Michael De Feo. The new series were created atop fashion editorials and advertisements and stems from De Feo’s recent takeover of the ad spaces of New York City bus stop shelters, with many of the photographers, models and brands involved applauding his unlawful 'collaborations'. Through his floral interventions De Feo transforms these images and the models within, blurring the line between unsanctioned and authorized works, which are both as aesthetic as subversive, forming a beautiful constructive statement in the overload of content one encounters these days. When in Amsterdam, make sure to not miss this when it opens on the 8th of April! [ Continue reading ]
Ashkan Honarvar at CES Gallery Los Angeles
We are big fans of the work of artist Ashkan Honarvar, being among the most thought-provoking collage artist working today. At the end of February the Iranian-born, Utrecht-schooled artist celebrated another milestone in his career with the opening of his very first solo exhibition at CES Gallery in Los Angeles named 'Sometimes I forget myself'. The exhibition features new works on paper from two recent bodies of work. The first series titled 'Denial of Death' is inspired by the writings of cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker, in particular his Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name. The second series titled 'King of Worms', which we premiered online, references radical feminist filmmaker Jane Arden’s 'The Other Side of the Underneath' and its exploration of corruption, abuse of power, and gender inequality. Working exclusively in hand-cut collage Honarvar presents a mythic and visceral vision of humanity and its qualitative constructs. [ Continue reading ]
After the impressive Cleon Peterson exhibition closed in Antwerp last Saturday and the Panos Tsagaris' 'apocatastasis' closing in Brussels this coming Saturday, the next reason to visit the country already arises on Friday the 4th of March, when another thrilling exhibition will open its doors, this time at the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst in Ghent. The Antwerp-based 'Crown prince' (after heavyweights Tuymans, Dillemans and Borremans) of Belgian contemporary painting (and Paul Smith's favorite); Rinus Van de Velde created a new extraordinary series named ‘Donogoo Tonka’ in which he draws himself as the leading player in the biography of an imaginary artist for the museum. Inspired by an existing French novel, Van de Velde presents nine new life-size drawings in S.M.A.K. The works in his signature charcoal looks are as virtuosic and light as ever, demanding total engagement of its spectator to find the layers beyond just the highly impressive aesthetic side, showing great visual intelligence, cutting irony, a free imagination and great sensitivity. Without a doubt Van de Velde, who's work reminds us strongly of another favorite of ours; Marcel van Eeden, is the next Belgian painter in the Hors catégorie. [ Continue reading ]
The Judgement at PLUSONE in Antwerp
It is always special to meet an artist you admire. Especially when that artist is the incredibly talented Cleon Peterson, who is one of our undisputed favorite contemporary artists - both because of his highly distinctive style and unfiltered observations on the world around us. Not to mention the turbulent life he has lived before he got where he is today. So therefore last week was an exciting moment, to say the least. In 2015 the American artist seems to indefinitely have joined those who work on a global level, having moved all over the globe for shows and projects; from Paris to Detroit, followed by Hong Kong, before setting foot in Belgium for a 5 day stay in Antwerp where we sat down for a little talk. Parallel to this development, or maybe because of this new level of worldwide interest in his work, Peterson has been stretching the scope of form he creates in, debuting in Antwerp with a life-size sculpture, next to several new paintings and a black rendition of his porcelain sculpture he created with Case Studyo, together forming the exhibition named after the large sculpture; ‚The Judgement’, presented in the last year opened PLUSONE gallery of Jason Poirier dit Caulier. [ Continue reading ]
In the Summer of 2014 we discovered the inspirational work of Japanese designer Kouichi Okamoto and his Kyouei Design when he released his elegant 'Square Wind Bell'. This year Okamoto has returned with another remarkable project named 'Re-rain', which was presented to the world at the Shizuoka Prefectural Museum of Art. In his inspirational project the designer created a sound installation through which he aims to express non-visible elements such as gravity, magnetic force, and sound as physical elements. Created with the sound of rain recorded in Japan during the early days of 2016 as its soundtrack, 'Re-rain' is constructed out of a set of umbrellas placed on top of speakers. The vibrations of the sounds out of the speakers are transmitted through the umbrella to make a sound, but an umbrella cannot vibrate if the magnetic force of the speaker is too small or if the rain hitting the umbrella is either too high or too low in pitch. For this reason a device picking out a state in which the magnetic force of the speaker, weight of the umbrella, and pitch extent of sound are all in a perfectly balanced state forming this beautiful installation. [ Continue reading ]
Last year we first mentioned the thrilling New York-based Greek artist Panos Tsagaris. To our great excitement, the 14th of this month marked the day that the work of the artist crossed the ocean and travelled to Brussels once more (after his show at BOZAR), where it is being exhibited at Pascaline Smets' inspirational Stems Gallery. Given the moniker 'apocatastasis', the exhibition features two series of works; on the one hand the truly incredible 'Golden Newspapers' works on paper, next to a group of dark shaded abstract paintings. Despite its differences, the two series are very connected - aesthetically and conceptually - inspired by the same search for the emanation of the Divine which is the great motivation in all of Tsagaris' creations. Combining a societal arena of great relevance in subject-matter (the financial crisis in Greece) and immaculate style, Tsagaris' works are a hybrid of extraordinary aesthetics and a sharp thought-provoking frame, making it the epitome of what in our eyes great contemporary art could (or should) be. [ Continue reading ]
We recently discovered the beautiful work of Glasgow School of Art graduate Euphrosyne Andrews, who's not just blessed with a first name reminding of an ancient Greek goddes, but also with a remarkable talent in creating incredible motifs which she applies in multiple numbers on different materials. Motivated by the modern conflict between the ornamental motif and the multiple, Andrews plays with typical procedures applied in traditional print methods; always aiming to change the traditional process by incorporating techniques inspired by modern printmaking, searching for a unique contemporary hybrid between decorative and fine arts. Subsequently, in the exhibition of her work, she underlines her vision by presenting her processes on various materials, ranging from textile to paper, creating the best possible framework on the intersection between the applied and fine arts, where her work can be fully appreciated. [ Continue reading ]
We continue to stay in Japan, bringing you another Japanese artist whose exceptional work we recently discovered - in this case through a feature by the always inspirational Phases Magazine. Although the excellently curated platform almost always succeeds in curating captivating imagemakers, the work of photographic artist Yuichiro Higashiji stands out in the most subtle way possible. Reminding us strongly of the work of another photographic imagemaker which we hold in the highest esteem; Adam Jeppesen, the Japanese photographer's works from the principle of reproducing his images to the point of fading. In this proces a fascinating dynamic is instilled through which his - in the case of his 'Everybody Knows, Nobody Knows' series - grainy black and white representations come to life and fade away, almost mimicking the way affect and memory are sometimes stimulated in the brain. As a result the series of images by Higashiji become their own profound kind of projection on anyone who takes the time to really indulge in the images. [ Continue reading ]
During the weekend of the 5th of February, Amsterdam will welcome a new initiative by the name of MONO JAPAN. The debuting event organized by the Japan Cultural Exchange offers a stage to acclaimed Japanese masters of traditional practices next to the new generation of ambitious and enthusiastic creators from the country famous for its craftsmanship and design vision. The inspirational new platform has curated a diverse selection of exhibitors, presenting their products which range from pottery, washi (paper), textile, clothing and furniture to teas, sakes and art in the iconic rooms of the Lloyd Hotel & Cultural Embassy. Out of this beautiful lot of ambassadors of the Land of the Rising Sun we particularly love the work of multidisciplinary artist Ryo Okamoto, who is present with fellow artist Daimon Kanno, to introduce his totally unique, yet very Japanese vision on contemporary art. [ Continue reading ]
As much as we love elegant well-balanced design, it are those makers who create with a similar precision, but always inhabiting a certain element of friction, who continue to stand out rather than loose real relevance over time. Among the artist who have proven to be just that; exquisitely precise but always finding ways to be represent friction into in their case timeless sculptural creations based on animals and nature - full of humor - are the French artist duo Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne, who have inspired us with their timeless work since we discovered it through the Yves Saint Laurent art sale in 2009. Following a retrospective exhibition in 2009, inspired by the death of François-Xavier, last month on the 12th of December, the Paris-based Galerie Mitterrand opened another grande exhibition devoted to extraordinary work of Les Lalanne, celebrating 40 years of collaboration between the artists and Jean-Gabriel Mitterrand, and 25 years with the gallery. This exhibition is the opportunity to discover (or rediscover) the art works of this internationally renowned, extremely talented couple of sculptors. [ Continue reading ]
Although the project was first presented (to great critical acclaim and public amazement) in 2012 at The Barbican in London, last November's (second) reprise of the extraordinary 'Rain Room' by Random International at LACMA in Los Angeles continues to be one of our clear favorites in sensory design, being some of the most gracious construction we've encountered in the last few years. The London-based innovative studio brought its installation to LA via Shanghai, where it was also shown - partly simultaneously with its presence in the USA - during the last months of 2015, proving interest in the work to be worldwide. The highly elegant 'Rain Room' is an immersive environment of perpetually falling water that pauses wherever a human body is detected. It offers visitors an opportunity to experience what is seemingly impossible: the ability to control rain. The creation presents a respite from everyday life and an opportunity for sensory reflection within a responsive relationship. [ Continue reading ]
Last month we discovered the extraordinary 'Yo + Yo' project by New York-based Brazilian typographic artist and graphic designer Yomar Augusto. The start of the new project leads all the way back to a period between 1960 and 1962, during which Augusto's father was deployed to the Gaza Strip as part of the United Nations emergency force where he combined his work as a soldier with photography. The insightful images he shot there show the daily life inside the military compound, the region and numerous charismatic self portraits of the young lieutenant. As fans of vintage photographs with a beautiful weathered look these images really appeal to us to begin with, but Yomar's vision to hybridize his personal talents with their shared passion for photography makes 'Yo + Yo' a next level project of a son who's father died when he was 5 years old. Having printed the photographs on 1 meter wide paper, Yomar adds a distinct layer of both typography and graphics, giving the images a strong new meaning, both on the mentioned deep personal level, but even more as remarkable imagery with an extraordinary raw aesthetic. [ Continue reading ]
On this wonderful day right at the beginning of the new year - but more importantly at the start of the life of a beloved newborn (!) - we will begin our writings in 2016 with a great find of some months ago. With a newfound introspective focus on what really inspires us, rather then just sharing those projects which are universally considered to be relevant or influential, we turn to the art of painting once more. British artist Kes Richardson started figurative, but for some years now has moved all the way beyond most familiar shapes into the geometric abstract, through which he really caught our attention when we discovered his incredible 'Garden Paintings' series, which was presented to the public by London-based Fold Gallery in 2013. [ Continue reading ]
We discovered the talented Dutch painter Jurre Blom when his work was exhibited in last Summer's graduation show of the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. Clearly standing out in the multi-story building filled with fine art graduate work, the captivating realistic paintings of Jurre even proved to be amongst our favorites from all Dutch academies, if not the favorite. The artist, being a child of the digital era, creates work directly representing remarkable scenes he finds on the internet. With an endless stream of photographs being unleashed every day, this field of inspiration proves to serve him endlessly. Rather unusual frames portraying familiar situations, often-times evoking a sense of awkwardness or discomfort, but always succeeding to intrigue - the photographs Blom selects are personal insights found through numerous chains of visually similar image searches through Google images, starting from his personal database of photographs of 'in between' moments. Keep an eye on this highly promising name! [ Continue reading ]
Through the insightful feature by our friends over at yatzer, we couldn't but notice the incredible retrospective on one of the most important contemporary multidisciplinary artists from Belgium; Jan Fabre. Thirty years ago him and gallery holder Mark Deweer started an impressive collaboration, which is translated into the exhibition '30 Years / 7 Rooms', celebrating these thirty years of collaboration for another two weeks at Deweer Gallery in Otegem, Belgium. It extends over all the exhibition spaces of the gallery and is divided into seven themed rooms, built especially for the occasion. '30 Years / 7 Rooms', in this way, presents a broad overview of the first historic objects, drawings, sculptures and installations, up to the latest works. The exhibition offers an exceptional opportunity to become acquainted with the most important groups of works in the oeuvre of Jan Fabre in a unique dramaturgy, created especially by the artist. A must visit! [ Continue reading ]
On the 17th of November, London-based The Redfern Gallery opened the third solo exhibition by one of our favorite contemporary British painters, Danny Fox. The new work of the self-taught St. Ives-born and London-based artist has moved on to become less calligraphic, more solid, but maintaining his signature fluidity. The inspiration for Danny's paintings continues to have strong roots in the heritage of the European Masters, where the subject matter still is the artist's unique non-sentimental vision of cowboys, indians, strippers, cavalryman and those (like himself) who like to drink more than they should. The color palette is as punchy as before, applied more solid compared to his older eclectic works, still grabbing one's gaze by the horns and sucking it into the little narratives they portray. With Danny's star rising in the art world, part of the new works were created through new friends like painter Patrick Heron, who invited him to stay in his old St. Ives studio and a period in Los Angeles, in which he always maintained his fast paced production of some of the most exciting work being created today. [ Continue reading ]
We are very inspired by the incredible 'Atmosphere' series of Chili-born, Berlin-based Macarena Ruiz-Tagle. The images of the artist are immaculately painted on paper, resembling color field paintings to perfection. Each of the works show a different mix of pigments that plays with the viewers’ perception and mood, being the result of an extensive physical movement training process of meticulously hand made accumulation of gradual degrees of saturation. When observed from close, there is a detailed pigmentation of the paper, and from a distance, the color vibration appears to the eye in an effort to focus the wandering mesmerizing tinted-air surface with blurry edges, forming a perfect vision of what the incredibly talented artist sees as atmospheres. [ Continue reading ]
On the 31st of October the Paris-based gallery Air de Paris opened 'Love is Never Enough' by the exciting art collective Claire Fontaine, presenting a new selection of works revolving around the emotional bankruptcy of our times. The title of the exhibition suggests that our need for love is almost unlimited and it cannot be satisfied by the current configuration of society but also that in our world, more than ever before, good intentions cannot be carried out without material means. The exhibition tackles the issues of exclusion and inclusion, security and fear, through the conceptual use of diverse medias. When in Paris make sure to catch the exhibition by one of the more exciting contemporary collectives active, before it closes at the end of December. [ Continue reading ]