Saturday, November 25, 2017

Exhibitions | New York, November 2017

Perhaps the most outstanding November exhibition in New York, was 'Geta Brătescu. The Leaps of Aesop’, a comprehensive series of works by to the 91 year-old Romanian conceptual artist–presented in the Chelsea space of the Hauser & Wirth Gallery. Brătescu works spans in multiple forms– from two-dimensional media (drawing, collage, engraving, textiles, photography) to film, video, performance and artist books and "mines themes of identity, gender, and dematerialization, often drawing from the stories of literary figures and addressing the symbiotic relationship between art making and working environments.  From Magda Radu's essay:
The exhibition ‘The Leaps of Aesop’ tracks the many implications generated by Aesop, the writer of the ancient fables, who, in Geta Brătescu’s system of thinking, becomes a playful and mischievous character and can be regarded as a metaphor for the condition of the artist. Right after the fall of the Communist regime in Romania, Geta Brătescu declared Aesop a symbol of ‘everything that stood against totalitarianism.’ But Aesop, like Medea, is a sign encompassing so many overlapping meanings that his literary embodiment is transcended and endlessly modulated in the artist’s practice. Aesop is, above all, an agent of freedom, the entity responsible for sparking the creative process in the studio. His leaps are so many movements of the mind, while his undisciplined nature channels the creative energy in countless directions. Aesop is a catalyst of ideas, rejecting the barriers between genres. His characteristic irreverence constitutes the ferment that pushes the artist to experiment in a plethora of forms of expression: drawing, collage, object, printing techniques, experimental film, performance, and animation.

On view at the first floor of the 22 Street building of Hauser & Wirth (former home of the Dia Foundation) were sculptures and drawings by David Smith (1909-1965) presented in an exhibition titled 'Origin & Innovations' focusing mainly on works creating around the 1930s.

Another remarkable exhibition was at the Lévy Gorvy Gallery: 'Ileana Sonnabend and Arte Povera' presenting other outstanding examples of the Italian movement, curated by Germano Celant. The exhibition included works by Mario Merz, Jannis Kounellis, Giovanni Anselmo, Pierpaolo Calzolari, Gilberto Zorio and Michelangelo Pistoletto.