Imagine stumbling into a room suffused with faces -- winking, chins held erect or cocked to one side, a stray lock of hair tucked behind an ear, eyebrows neatly groomed or akimbo, laughter piercing pursed lips, a measured hazel gaze. All are disembodied, clamoring flirtatiously for your attention. Without averting their eyes, the visages plead with you (or sigh, or say: "come hither") a kaleidoscope of fixed stares awkward enough to make anyone with a keen memory for faces envy the prosopagnosiac. Read More
The art world's Olympics started this weekend in Venice. The journey to the Giardini itself can be a marathon of epic proportions (water hazards and all) but even with some measure of financial restraint, the game is still on. Bruce Nauman is headlining the U.S. pavilion; Elmgreen & Dragset are collaborating on the neighboring stands for Denmark and the Nordic countries; Steve McQueen is going out for England. In terms more diplomatic, the United Arab Emirates participates in the Biennale for the first time this year, as does Montenegro, Monaco, Gabon, and the Union of the Comoros. Read More
Now in its fifth year, Berlin’s Gallery Weekend kicked off last Friday in a pseudo-ritualistic spring awakening for the much-hyped art scene here. As with any fair, curatorial choices are made behind closed doors. Headliners across each of the 38 participating galleries were united under a common commercial goal; a sense of unity amid the disorganization was characteristic of the independent spirit of Berlin’s collective ethic. There was much to be seen, as the event aimed to draw Berlin’s missing population: art buyers. More casual in its approach, the weekend is one in a slew of such city-specific exercises including ArtForum Berlin (September 24-27), Art Berlin Contemporary (September 24-27) and the less commercial, more institutional 6th Berlin Biennial, which will open in the spring of 2010. Read More
This month, the Tate Modern's third floor galleries (in which the museum's latest contemporary acquisitions are arranged, thematically) are chock full of Arte Povera works by Greek artist Jannis Kounnelis and small clusters of equally convention-bucking kids trundling through its daytime education programs. But just one level up, Roni Horn's first retrospective in the United Kingdom unfolds relatively quietly, in a manner not unlike that of slowly dipping one's head into a basin of fresh water. Surely, there is cause for contemplation here, and enough exhibition space -- thirteen galleries altogether -- to allow for plenty of time to linger, even to wallow in it.
When Le Corbusier traveled to Istanbul in 1911, he observed the city as all visitors tend to do: from the sea. A sprawling texture of wooden house frames punctured here and there by masonry towers and slim minarets glowing golden, or in gray repose depending on the intensity and acute angle of the sun, Istanbul's unceremonious dialog with light and shadow divulged itself in dramatic chiaroscuro to the young architect. Later, he asserted that "light and shadow reveal form," a conviction carried fastidiously into each of his building projects, now firmly entrenched in the legacy of architectural modernism.