Tuesday, March 31, 2015

camminando | Saturday Artist Talks, March 28

Saturday talks in Chelsea art galleries are becoming a welcomed tradition; gallery art talks are almost an educational event offering a chance to view artwork and listening to artists intentions away from the huge crowds gathering at the vernissages, where often social networking prevails on the art viewing purpose.
This was certainly the case at Tanya Bonakdar gallery, hosting Tomás Saraceno discussion with Leila W. Kinney and Molly Nesbit. Saraceno's work is also on display in the two floors of the gallery which are organized in a clear distinction between the natural world —in display at the ground level— and the man-made webs on view at the second level. I remember Saraceno's manmade webs from La Biennale di Venezia (2009): the site specific installation in Palazzo delle Esposizioni was occupying the whole room, influencing the viewer perceptual and walking paths. 
During the artist I learned about social spider farms in Ecuador and how certain thermodynamics conditions can turn spiderweb into a "magic carpet"; spiders can create webs measuring over 700 kilometers. The transfer between life forms and computational methods was also addressed.. But I was disappointed that there was almost no mention about the relationship between the form of the web and the underlying physical/environmental conditions.

Spider and spiderwebs: Tomas Saraceno at Tanya Bonakdar
The other talk was a conversation between  Adam Magyar and Andrew Zolli at Julie Saul Gallery. The Hungarian photographer was showing photos and videos from subways in major metropolitan areas around the world: Shanghai, Berlin, Tokyo, Beijing, Mumbai, New York, Paris, London, Hong Kong and Rome. The slo-mo videos capturing the almost imperceptible boundary between stillness an movement were captivating. Quite interestingly the issue of privacy was not addressed during the conversation: what would be the reaction of the several thousand people whose faces were clearly recognizable in the photos if they knew of their image public display?
Adam Magyar at Julie Saul Gallery

Friday, March 27, 2015

Vernissages & camminando | Not the Usual Art Materials in Chelsea, March 26

It was a quite inspiring evening, and the theme du jour was finding materials outside art supply stores to make art. Anything goes, from spiderwebs to shoes, nails and broken bottle. Yet a vibrant evening showing that art making is live and well. 

"live" and completed spiderwebs in display in a darkened room
Spiderweb, spiders and manmade networks: Tomás Saraceno at Tanya Bonakdar

"Arman And César" at Allan Stone Project

Joyce Kozloff "Maps + Patterns" at DC Moore

Annette Lemieux "Everybody wants to be a catchy tune." at Kent Fine Art,
West 25 Street

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

exhibition & performance | Fabio Mauri "I Was Not New"

Senza Arte (Without Art), 1990

A few weeks ago, ‘Fabio Mauri. I was not new’ the first New York exhibition devoted to Fabio Mauri opened at Hauser & Wirth. Mauri (1926-2009) was considered one of the most prominent postwar Italian avant-garde artists; his  five decades work in visual and performing arts, film and writing, encompassed several disciplines and media, including drawing, painting, sculpture, performance, film, and site-specific installations. An ante-litteram conceptual artist, Fabio Mauri explored socio-historical issues emerging from the turbulent Italian prewar and postwar political periods, including Fascism and Holocaust. 
The exhibition is organized by the gallery in collaboration with Olivier Renaud-Clément and will remain on view through 2 May 2015; a survey from Fabio Mauri oeuvre will be presented at La Biennale di Venezia – 56th International Art Exhibition. 

On the Liberty, 1990

Immersive installation ‘Luna’ (1968)

Quadreria, 1999

Image from the March 27 recreation of the 1971 performance 'Ebrea' 
Anemografo - misuratore aereo di correnti (Anemograph - airflow measuring device), 2000

Marilyn, 1972

Dramophone, 1975

Dramaphone, 1975

Perche' un pensiero intossica una stanza, 1972

Rebibbia, 2006

Schermo The End (Screen The End), 1970

Saturday, March 21, 2015

camminando & vernissage | A White Equinox Night in New York

Urban snowscape: Broadway, at 71st Street
The March equinox 2015, which is also the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, is greeted by snow in New York, as the latest of the multitude of snowstorms hitting the Northeast extends to springtime. White is color du jour, overpowering the darkness of the night with the snow-laced trees of the New York urban grid streetscapes.

White is also the dominant color of "Cyclicscape", Mariko Mori exhibition which opened at Sean Kelly, in this snow dominated evening. The opening also included a performance in collaboration with composer Ken Ikeda. Excerpts from the press release state the intent of the work:
Cyclicscape will present ten new sculptures exploring Mori’s interest in Möbius forms and the endless universe of new physics theory. Variously called “ekpyrotic” or “cyclic” cosmology, this theory posits that the universe did not begin from one singular “Big Bang” but that our cosmos is filled with continuously repeating cycles of evolution, including possible parallel universes and an ever-expanding formation of new galaxies and planets.
     In Cyclicscape, Mori’s sculptural works play with the infinite loop of the Möbius strip as a visualization of our universe’s never-ending renewal of invisible energy. Futuristic and ethereal, the large-scale aluminum and stainless steel works seem to transcend their physical matter. With no beginning, middle, or end, the forms symbolize an eternal cycle of existence — of nature and the universe in perpetual motion.
    Inspired by nature’s invisible energy, the eight computer-generated photo-paintings in the exhibition are based on drawings Mori made in front of the ocean on Okinawa Island. Focused on a microscopic cosmos we can only imagine, Mori’s swirling particles and rotating atoms seem to radiate a phenomenal light and electricity. From the primal particle to the multiverse, Cyclicscape deepens Mori’s ongoing investigation into the interconnectedness of all things and a belief in a fundamental symbiosis between art and technology.

Mariko Mori
Sculptural explorations of the Möbius strip, in aluminum and fiberglass
Computer generated photo paintings

Images from the performance, with composer Ken Ikeda at the synthesizer
Walk Length: 7.25 km