Lee Ufan is associated with two of the most important currents in the Asian art of the last half-century: Mono-ha or the “school of things” in Japan (as a participant and theorist); and (as a promoter and fellow traveller) Dansaekhwa or Korean monochrome painting—a “movement” that was recognized as such only in retrospect. But as with most outstanding artists, Lee has mostly gone his own way, and the only movement that’s been entirely relevant to his work has been the movement of his own thought. Not only a painter and sculptor but also a critic and theorist of art—his collection of writings in English translation, The Art of Encounter, 2008, is well worth seeking out—Lee was born in Korea in 1936, and in 1956 went to Japan to study philosophy (with a particular interest in phenomenology). He’s remained there since, though later spending part of his time in France as well. Keep Reading
Mika Rottenberg’s eccentric visual narratives use video and sculpture to create relations among seemingly unrelated economies, collapsing space, time and subjectivities. In her exhibition “Bowls Balls Souls Holes” at Sprueth Magers in Berlin, Rottenberg investigates the cyclical nature of luck under the auspices of capitalistic culture. Featuring her signature eccentricity, the exhibition analyzes and reveals the patterns of production and consumption while confusing the boundaries between interior and exterior. Keep Reading
Redaction (along with its bedfellows censorship and erasure) may be the archetypal bugbear of democracy—one only has to point to examples like Joseph Stalin’s excising disfavoured figures from Soviet history to stir up fears of state paternalism and oppression. Nevertheless, the increasingly fraught political and media landscape of today’s West may also be prompting a kind of redaction renaissance.
How do you begin to write an art history and what are the vital questions to ask? Which marks are most prominent in the visual culture of a particular place, and which are nearly invisible? What narratives exist and why; where the gaps and erasures?
Walter Scott’s recent exhibition, “Betazoid in a Fog,” at Saskatoon’s Remai Modern was a complicated mash-up of visual signs that hint at much but resist easy reading. Rather than neatly summing up the exhibition’s theme, its title introduces an offbeat element—Star Trek’s race of telepathic empaths, Betazoids—to create an analogy between reading artworks and reading minds. Keep Reading
Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art’s “Days of Reading: beyond this state of affairs” is a tightly edited exhibition of objects, performances, works of sound and light performed on Nuit Blanche, panels, a book fair and lectures. Works by 14 artists are associated by syntactic flow, conceived through four themes: “Appropriated,” “Collecting,” “Cloaking” and “The Reveal”—adjectives, gerunds and nouns that get us on our way.
Opening this book, I must also open the conversation of a city in crisis. A timely, if tragic, motivation for the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery retrospective and subsequent publication of the work of Canadian artist Tom Burrows is the sudden and surely irreversible lack of affordable housing in the city.
Dear Tammi, I want to start this letter, this meditation on your work, by expressing my gratitude for what you have put out into the world. Your exhibition “Dear Agnes” is a beautiful rendition of the epistolary form that I have come to love in literature, and that you translate so elegantly into the visual.
Italian-born artist Salvatore Arancio has created an unusual one-room exhibition. It combines historic objects from the collection of London-based retired banker and author George Loudon with his own works, integrating the whole into a display akin to the tradition of the cabinet of curiosity.
Janice Kerbel’s wide-ranging practice—from typographic posters to choreographed performances of synchronized swimming—can be divided into two broad bodies of work: those to be read, and those to be seen or heard, typically through live performance. LIVE, a new publication of three scripts and a score written by Kerbel over the past ten years, provides the textual counterparts to four of her major performed works. Keep Reading
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