Two Colours are a series of light-based works by Australian-based artist Brendan van Hek. These were exhibited at Anna Schwartz Gallery in Sydney for an exhibition titled Some Kind of Love Story. The exhibition borrows its title from Arthur Miller’s 1982 play which probes the struggle for human connection, set within the plot of a murder case. Considered semi-autobiographical, the play draws upon deeply personal, emotional experience which generalises into universal questions of desire, loneliness and the unrequited. Similarly, Van Hek’s exhibition, while concerned with open-ended questions of love and the nature of relationships and empathy, also begins with personal experience and an ongoing investigation of identity. More broadly, the works in this exhibition illuminate the tension that exists in the physical, psychological and emotional distances between people.
Ryoji Ikeda is one of the most innovative electronic musicians who has a worldwide impact on electronic music development. The Paris based Japanese artist is one of the earliest to reduce electronic music to sheer ultrasonics, frequencies and tonal variations. His work has been internationally exhibited, toured and released. Datamatics is a series of work that takes live, present data as a source to generate visuals and music. Ikeda pushes the limit of minimalism by combining abstract and mimetic presentations of matter, time and space and uses the least of graphics to visualize them. The idea of turning the invisible to visible and how the visualized result interacts with a 3D space and human being offer a powerful and deep reflection of our living in this data exploding century. Ryoji Ikeda’s latest solo exhibition The Transfinite will find its way to the Park Avenue Armory, New York from May 20 to June 11, 2011. Photos courtesy of Liz Hingley, Ryuichi Maruo (YCAM) & Forma
Memes is a series of sculptures by British-sculptor Antony Gormley, recently exhibited at Anna Schwartz Gallery in Melbourne, Australia. According to the publication on the work released by Anna Schwartz in conjunction to the exhibition, Gormley states that the project started as an investigation into scale and modular construction. Of the work, Anna Schwartz Gallery says: A Meme is a cultural analogue to a gene. Forms that are transmitted in thought or behaviour from one body to another, responding to conditional environments, self-replicating and capable of mutation. The miniature or the model allows the totality of a body to be seen at once. These small solid iron works use the formal language of architecture to replace anatomy and construct volumes to articulate a range of 32 body postures. The ambition is to make intelligible forms that form an abstract lexicon of body-posture but which nevertheless carry the invitation of empathy and the transmission of states of mind. Displayed widely spaced within the architecture of Anna Schwartz Gallery in Melbourne, the works interface with the architecture of the gallery. Placed directly on the floor they become acupuncture points within the volume of the space, allowing the viewer to become conscious, through...
I do not honestly know much about opera but I found this stage really interesting. It is the opera Iphigénie en Tauride by Christoph Willibald Gluck that was first performed in Paris on 18 May 1779. It is a drama around a family of complete self-destructs. In this new version, the director Robert Carsen has created something really pure and minimalist, where characters only wear simple white robes or black shirts and pants. The scenery have no unnecessary elements not to distract viewers and to keep focus on the story. The elements used to explain the argument just are swords, chalk, water and light and shadows compositions.
An interesting aspect of Black Swan’s production design is Thomas Leroy’s (Vincent Cassel’s character) adaptation of the Swan Lake ballet. As Leroy says in the beginning of the film, they really strip it down. Swan Lake productions are generally very lush, filled with bystanding (and ultimately useless) characters and overflowingly rich scenarios. But production designer Therese Deprez sheds everything superflous and distracting, recreating the iconic ballet in geometric shapes and light. Coupled with the film’s generally monochromatic color palette and its crucial meaning to the story development, the production design makes a captivating minimalist statement.
nothingtoodoo is the latest work by Beijing-born, Canadian-based artist Terrence Koh. The work is part installation and part performance. It consists of a large mound of white salt, around which Koh circles in a white suit on his knees. Koh has continued this ritual since the opening of the work at Mary Boone Gallery in New York City on the 12th of February, and intends to continue it until its closing on the 19th of March. This kind of duration performance reminds me instantly of Marina Abromovic’s The Artist is Present, which was performed at the Museum of Modern Art midway through last year. Roberta Smith, writing for the New York times, says: This is performance art reduced to a bare and relentless rite in a space that has been stripped down to a kind of temple.
There aren’t many ways to truly intervene into a consolidated space such as the rich interiors of a Venetian palace without the risk of irrevocably altering that space. Lorenzo Vitturi, an Italian photographer and ex-member of Fabrica, Benetton’s communication research center, managed to create a highly dramatic atmosphere (in an already dramatic space) with a very minimalist intervention: a rectangle of white neon light. Vitturi says: The intention was to transform the historic environment of the palace into a metaphysical space playing with the contrast between classic and contemporary.
Larry Bell has had a long and varied career, and also influential enough to land himself on the cover of The Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Born in 1939 in Chicago, Illinois, and now based in Toas, New Mexico and Venice, California, his earliest work were, like Donald Judd, Abstract-expressionist paintings. In the 1960s, Bell began making some of his most recognisable works: Cube structures that sit on transparent plinths. Three of these works were featured in the influential 1966 minimalist exhibition Primary Structures, which also featured the work of Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Ellsworth Kelly, Carl Andre and Sol LeWitt (amongst others). I often see people disregard the relationship between the plinth and a sculpture, and furthermore the plinth’s sculptural presence. It’s always refreshing to look at Bell’s work, because he brings an awareness to the plinth by making it part of the work itself.
American minimalist artist, Carl Andre (1935) is known for his geometrical arrangement of commercial and natural materials such as bricks, blocks and plates. His most significant contribution was to distance sculpture from processes of carving, modeling, or constructing, and to make works that simply involved sorting and placing. Andre has sought to renegociate conventions of display, forcing a dialogue between the object and its surrouding. Carl Andre has received this year the Switzerland’s 2011 Roswitha Haftmann Foundation Prize. I love it because the artist does not want his sculptures to have a fixed view point, but to be experienced as more than areas or paths.
Minimalism is the official language of public sculpture and public memorials. The Indian-born, London-based sculptor Anish Kapoor (1954) lets art and architecture show off. His sculpture is in many ways one long ode to the minimalist monochrome and its emphasis on simplicity and purity, but he has also explored different materials such as fibreglass and reflective metal surface to create organic forms that mirror the viewer. I love his wildly popular Cloud Gate, an enormous, shiny, pillowlike archway at Millennium Park in Chicago. So if you are in the city, check it out yourself!
Untitled (Golden) is a 1995 installation by Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996), an artist born in Cuba who lived and worked in New York. Consisting of strands of beads that fall from a hanging device to the floor, the work functions as a membrane that intersects a room and defines new spaces in the process. Of the work, Lauren Hinkson says: The gentle confrontation of this golden screen provokes the tactile and sensory, inviting the viewer to transform its shape simply by walking through.
Gladstone Gallery recently presented an exhibition of large-scale installations by Sol LeWitt (1928-2007), an American artist primarily linked to the Conceptual Art movement on the 1960s and ’70s, but his influence on minimalism is undeniable. Of Wall Drawing #792 (conceived in 1995), Gladstone Gallery says: It underscores LeWitt’s early interest in the intersections between art and architecture, which he distinguished and admired as a practice structured by predetermination, empirical logic, and collaboration. What an absolutely gorgeous work.