Exposition Art Blog: May 2018

Mogens Balle - Avant-garde artist of the CoBrA group

"Mogens Balle (1921-1988) is an artist from Copenhagen. Mogens Balle began with a training in architecture and finished his studies in painting, in a private institution. His time in the French capital influenced his orientation towards Picasso's cubism and inaugurated a style in the artistic vein. In 1947, during the Spirale fair, he met Asger Jorn who invited him to join the Cobra group. His various inspirations include Ejler Bille, Egill Jacobsen, Carl-Henning Pedersen and Asger Jorn. Mogens Balle claims a breach from surrealistic-figurative painting and Danish surrealism, the aim of the Cobra movement. The entire inner notion is toned down. He shapes the abstract-surrealistic movement, celebrating material spontaneity, merging surrealistic automatism with abstract. Asger Jorn named their entity as "Danish experiment". Mogens Balle illustrated texts of Noiret, Harder and collaborated with Dotremont on word paintings. He signed twelve issues of the Helhesten magazine, ancestor of the Cobra magazine (mixing popular art, ethnology, cinema, photography and painting)." (artsper.com)


Ryszard Warsinski

Ryszard (Richard) Warsinski was born in 1937 in Gdynia (Poland) and died in Oslo in 1996.  Among painters and black-and-white artists living and working in post-war Norway he was one of the most original, having great influence on younger, contemporary colleagues, such as Kjell Erik Killi Olsen, Bjørn Carlsen and Knut Rose.

Olga Albizu - Abstract Expressionism Art

Olga Albizu Rosaly (1924–2005) was an abstract expressionist painter from Ponce, Puerto Rico.Albizu was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where she studied painting with the Spanish painter Esteban Vicente from 1943 to 1947. She received a B.A. from the University of Puerto Rico in 1946. She moved to New York City on a fellowship for post-graduate work at the Art Students League in 1948. After that, she did further studies in Europe at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. Later, she spent a year painting in the Provence as painters such as Van Gogh and Cézanne had done before her. In 1953 she returned to New York.Her works have been used in the artwork of various record covers, including a number of albums by Stan Getz.Wikipedia

Terry Adkins - Conceptual Art

"Terry Adkins, who passed away unexpectedly in 2014, left behind a multidisciplinary body of work that is hard to grasp in his absence. ‘My quest has been to find a way to make music as physical as sculpture might be,’ he said of his practice, ‘and sculpture as ethereal as music is’, which speaks to his work’s evanescence and its strong sense of ‘live-ness’. To fully appreciate Adkins, the artist should be present and, in death, he is not. Curated by the artist’s longtime friend and collaborator, Charles Gaines, ‘The Smooth, the Cut and the Assembled’ is an attempt to sample from Adkins’s sculptural side, and to develop a new life for the work now that he has entered the ‘spirit world’ which animated his approach to art.A native of Washington, D.C., Adkins studied and worked in printmaking, free jazz, found-object sculpture, installation and live-score performances – the latter often called ‘recitals’ – each of which obliquely meditated on prominent figures from African American history, including abolitionist John Brown, botanist George Washington Carver, Arctic explorer Matthew Henson and blues singer Bessie Smith. The recitals involved a rotating group of collaborators that Adkins dubbed the Lone Wolf Recital Corps, which New York’s Museum of Modern Art honoured this past autumn with an exhibition. At Lévy Gorvy, this crucial aspect of Adkins’s work is relegated to a small monitor with headphones showing a portion of Firmament, a 2005 performance at the Bronx River Art Center during the exhibition ‘Black Beethoven: Recital in Nine Dominions’.Entering Lévy Gorvy’s two-floor gallery, one is immediately confronted with music-oriented sculptures: Native Son (Circus) (2006/15), a circular mound of cymbals, slightly elevated from the floor, with hidden servomechanisms that very infrequently strike the cymbals from below, and Horus (1986), a found kick-drum head with a ghostly trace of its mallet dividing the white space, resembling a pressed flower. Synapse (1992) evokes another large drum head from a distance but, upon closer inspection, it’s clearly a found industrial object. In one corner, Bessie Smith Head, Frosted (2007) – an elongated egg made of blown white glass, its crown topped with two semi-spheres reminiscent of Princess Leia’s hair buns and one on its lower left side – stands as if in whimsical pirouette.Upstairs, Gaines included more complicated and puzzling pieces. Prophet (2010) is a mixed-media assemblage consisting of a bunched-up parachute with attached rope and nautilus shells sitting atop a glass cabinet full of dried starfish. The piece may reference Jimi Hendrix, an early musical hero of Adkins’s; the guitarist had served as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division of the US Army. Two large spheres with smaller black balls covering their surfaces sit on the floor – untitled works from ‘Sanctuary’ (2003) – resembling giant blackberries that recalled, for me, the folk adage ‘the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice’ – most recently employed by Kendrick Lamar.Conceptually, the most challenging piece is Darkwater Record (2003–08): a stack of five Nakamichi tape decks with a porcelain bust of Mao Zedong on top. The tape decks play cassettes of W.E.B. Du Bois’s 1960 speech ‘Socialism and the American Negro’, but you wouldn’t know that without the catalogue. There are no speakers or headphones; the only evidence the speech is playing is the visual dance of the bouncing VU meters. The work possibly comments on Gil Scott-Heron’s proto-rap ‘Brother’ (1970), a critical look at 1960s black radicals that includes the couplet ‘Never can a man build a working structure for black capitalism / Always does the man read Mao or Fanon,’ but it is the work’s irreducible enigma that remains so alluring. This is generally true of Adkins’s art; it is topical but gnomic. We’ll have to wait for a larger retrospective, fitted with more monitors and speakers, for a fuller picture of his oeuvre; Lévy Gorvy’s show, while striking, is a bit too quiet."
(‘Terry Adkins: The Smooth, The Cut, and The Assembled’ runs at Lévy Gorvy, New York until 17 February..frieze.com )