Exposition Art Blog: April 2017

CoBrA Group - Anders Österlin

Anders Österlin was a Swedish visual artist born in Malmö. He was an autodidactist artist and has mainly created abstract works in strong color. Österlin is a member of the artist group Imaginists in 1945, together with Carl Otto Hultén and Max Walter Svanberg. He was also a member of the Cobra Group.


Exploration of space through color and structure - Ralph Humphrey

Ralph Humphrey (April 14, 1932 – July 14, 1990) was an American abstract painter whose work has been linked to both Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism. He was active in the New York art scene in the 1960s and '70s. His paintings are best summarized as an exploration of space through color and structure. He lived and worked in New York,The Estate of Ralph Humphrey is represented exclusively by Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

 Humphrey’s artistic style went through several phases and developments, which can be roughly outlined in the following way: monochromes from 1957–60; frame paintings 1961–65; shaped canvases 1967–70; constructed paintings 1971–1990.Throughout these phases, Humphrey kept a keen eye on color, light, and space while he moved between abstraction and representation. As Kenneth Baker explains in Art in America in 1984, “Each of his works defines an ideal viewing distance that can be discovered only by patient observation of the focus of the details, the resolution of the image and the proper relationship between body and object. Finding the apt distance from which to contemplate Humphrey’s new paints is thus not something you do discursively: it is an exercise in feeling your way silently towards a correct spatial interval.

 The last definable phase of his artistic style approaches representation at times, sometimes calling to mind an open window. These constructed paintings also border on sculpture, often coming ten inches out from the wall, directly confronting the viewer in real space. The paint, too, is considerably built up, giving the surface of the paintings considerable texture that was not previously seen in his work. Ellen Schwartz writes in 1977 about his show at John Weber, where his constructed paintings were still abstract: “Humphrey’s latest works, meditative rather than communicative, require the suspension of conscious efforts to grasp them before they will yield their secrets, which lay within ourselves all the while. The rich blue variegated surfaces are like blotters onto which we pour our own fantasies.”Deborah Phillips, writing about his Willard Gallery show in 1982, explains how his constructed paintings are natural extensions of the earlier frame paintings: “Frames-within-frames have long provided the structural basis for Humphrey’s colorful designs; he has simply made his window allusion literal.” She explains, too, that these paintings are a step forward: “The shift does, however, bring greater variety and complexity to the artist’s constructions. There is a more explicit sense of space, of indoors and outdoors.”Beyond content, we see Humphrey using a brighter color palette and inserting vaguely figurative, whimsical patterns onto the surface.Yet, by the mid 1980s, the paintings return to a more ambiguous, abstract state.Wikipedia

Chris Burden - performance and installation art

Christopher Lee "Chris" Burden (April 11, 1946 – May 10, 2015) was an American artist working in performance, sculpture and installation art.Christopher Lee Burden, the son of Robert Burden, an engineer, and Rhoda Burden, a biologist, was born in Boston in 1946 and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts,France and Italy.[4] When he was 12, he endured emergency surgery — performed without anesthesia — on his left foot after having been severely injured in a motor-scooter crash on Elba; during the long convalescence that followed, he became deeply interested in visual art, particularly in photography.Burden studied for his B.A. in visual arts, physics and architecture at Pomona College and received his MFA at the University of California, Irvine – where his teachers included Robert Irwin – from 1969 to 1971

 Burden began to work in performance art in the early 1970s, he made a series of controversial performances in which the idea of personal danger as artistic expression was central.
One of Burden’s most reproduced and cited pieces, Trans-Fixed took place on April 23, 1974 at Speedway Avenue in Venice, California.For this performance, Burden lay face up on a Volkswagen Beetle and had nails hammered into both of his hands, as if he were being crucified on the car. The car was pushed out of the garage and the engine revved for two minutes before being pushed back into the garage.
Later that year, Burden performed his piece White Light/White Heat at the Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York. For this work of experiment performance and self-inflicting danger, Burden spent twenty-two days lying on a triangular platform in the corner of the gallery. He was out of sight from all viewers and he could not see them either. According to Burden, he did not eat, talk, or come down the entire time

 Many of Chris Burden’s later sculptures are intricate installations and structures consisting of many small parts. A Tale of Two Cities (1981) was inspired by the artist’s fascination with war toys, bullets, model buildings, antique soldiers, and a fantasy about the twenty-fifth century—a time when he imagines the world will have returned to a system of feudal states. The room-filling miniature reconstruction of two such city-states, poised for war, incorporates 5,000 war toys from the United States, Japan, and Europe – on a 1,100-square-foot (100 m2), 20-short-ton (18 t) sand base surrounded by a “jungle” made of houseplants.The gallery-sized installation All the Submarines of the United States of America (1987) consists of 625 identical, small, handmade, painted-cardboard models that represent the entire United States submarine fleet dating from the late 1890s, when submarines entered the navy’s arsenal, to the late 1980s. He suspended the cardboard models on monofilaments from the ceiling, placing them at various heights so that as a group they appear, to be a school of fish swimming through the ocean of the gallery space. In 1992, he exhibited his Fist of Light during the Whitney Biennial exhibition in New York. It consisted of a sealed kitchen-sized metal box with hundreds of metal halide lamps burning inside. It required an industrial air conditioner to cool the room.

 Hell Gate (1998), is a 28-foot-long (8.5 m) scale model, in Erector and Meccano pieces and wood, of the dramatic steel-and-concrete railroad bridge that crosses the Hell Gate segment of the East River, between Queens and Wards Island.In 1999, Burden's sculpture When Robots Rule: The Two Minute Airplane Factory was shown at the Tate Gallery in London. It was a "factory-like assembly line which manufactures rubber-band-powered model aeroplanes from tissue paper, plastic and balsa wood". Each plane had a propellor powered by a rubber band, and when each was completed, at a rate of one every 2 minutes, the machine launched it to fly up and circle around the gallery.Unfortunately, the machine was non-functional for at least two months of the installation, leading World Sculpture News to question the intent of the piece and remark that "the work illustrated that robots, in fact, don’t rule everything, and for the time being, are still subjected to individual and groups shortcomings."

 First presented at the Istanbul Biennial in 2001, Nomadic Folly (2001) consists of a large wooden deck made of Turkish cypress and four huge umbrellas. Visitors can relax and linger in this tent-like structure, replete with opulent handmade carpets, braided ropes, hanging glass and metal lamps, and wedding fabrics embroidered with sparkling threads and traditional patterns.
In 2005, Burden released Ghost Ship, his crewless, self-navigating yacht which docked at Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 28 July after a 330-mile (530 km) 5-day trip from Fair Isle, near Shetland. The project was commissioned by Locus+ at a cost of £150,000, and was funded with a significant grant from Arts Council England,being designed and constructed with the help of the Marine Engineering Department of the University of Southampton. It is said to be controlled via onboard computers and a GPS system; however, in case of emergency the ship is 'shadowed' by an accompanying support boat.In 2008, Burden created Urban Light, a sculptural work consisting of 202 found antique street lights that had once stood around Los Angeles. He bought the lights from the contractor who installed Urban Light, Anna Justice.The work is on view outside of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the solar-powered lights are illuminated at dusk.Wikipedia

Józef Hołard

Józef Hołard (born 22 March 1957 in Oświęcim, died 19 January 2015 in Cieszyn) is a Polish professor, artist, painter, graphic artist, pedagogue


Art informel Jean Fautrier

Jean Fautrier (May 16, 1898 – July 21, 1964) was a French painter, illustrator, printmaker, and sculptor. He was one of the most important practitioners of Tachisme.Jean Fautrier was born in Paris in 1898. He was given his unwed mother's surname and raised by his grandmother until she and his father both died in 1908. He then moved to London to be with his mother. There, in 1912, he began to study at the Royal Academy of Arts. Unsatisfied by instruction he thought too rigid, he left to study briefly at the Slade School, which was reputed to be more avant-garde. He was disappointed again and decided to go it alone, devoting himself to painting. The works he saw in the Tate Gallery made a far greater impression on him; he especially admired the paintings of J. M. W. Turner. He was called up for the French Army in 1917, but was discharged in 1921 due to his poor health.

 He first exhibited his paintings at the Salon d'Automne in 1922 and at the Fabre Gallery in 1923. It was at the Galerie Fabre that he met art dealer Jeanne Castel, his first collector and friend. In 1923 he began producing etchings and engravings. His first solo exhibition was at the Galerie Visconti in Paris, in 1924.
In 1927, he painted a series of pictures (still lifes, nudes, landscapes) in which black dominates. In 1928 he met André Malraux through Castel. Malraux asked Fautrier to illustrate a text of his choice, but copyright issues kept him from using his first choice, Arthur Rimbaud’s ‘’Les Illuminations’’, and he settled instead with Dante’s Inferno. He produced 34 lithographs, but the publication, proposed by Gallimard, was deemed impossible and the project was abandoned in 1930. Until 1933 he divided his efforts between sculpture and painting. Short on funds, he spent the years 1934–1936 living in the resort of Tignes, where he made his living as a ski instructor and started a jazz club

 In 1939, just as World War II was beginning, Fautrier left the mountains, moving to Marseille, Aix-en-Provence, and Bordeaux before finally returning to Paris in 1940 and starting to paint once again. In Paris he met several poets and writers for whom he created illustrations. In January 1943, he was arrested by the German Gestapo. After brief imprisonment, he fled Paris and found refuge in Châtenay-Malabry, where he began work on the project of the Otages (or "Hostages"). These paintings were a response to the torture and execution of French citizens by the Nazis outside his residence, and were exhibited in 1945 with the Drouin gallery. In the years that followed, Fautrier worked on the illustrations of several works, among them L'Alleluiah by Georges Bataille, and made a series of paintings devoted to small familiar objects.
His late work is abstract, generally small in scale, often combining mixed media on paper. In 1960 he won the international grand prize at the Venice Biennale as well as another major award at the Tokyo Biennale the following year. He died in Châtenay-Malabry in 1964, the same year in which he had made donations to the Musée de l’Ile-de-France in Sceaux and Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. A retrospective of his work opened there later that year. and was organized by the Gianadda Foundation at Martigny in January–March 2005.Wikipedia