Exposition Art Blog: September 2018

Evelyne Axell - Pop Art

Evelyne Axell (16 August 1935 – 10 September 1972) was a Belgian Pop painter. She is best known for her psychedelic, erotic paintings of female nudes and self-portraits on plexiglas that blend the hedonistic and Pop impulses of the 1960s.Axell's first painting were more classically based on oil. Axell soon after evolved a groundbreaking signature technique by using transparent and translucent plastic sheets from which she cut silhouettes of her voluptuous females and self-conscious heroines absorbed in (homo)erotic poses and activities. She enamel painted these contoured-cut sheets, often painting on both back and front surfaces, and mounted them on background panels to create layered, low relief images of the figures imbued with an opalescent, dream-like quality. With their upfront sexual imagery, the use of bright colors and manufactured plastic materials, their intense monochromatic surfaces and canvasses shaped like large sign post and public tableaux's, Axell's paintings owned the immediacy and commonality of Pop..Wikipedia
"Cutting female silhouettes into translucent plastic sheets and enamel painting, she created provocative works infused with desire and eroticism. From her early works until her premature death, Axell has depicted the female body and glorified female sexuality and fantasies ackling the deep changes occurring within an increasingly disputed, gendered, social order, Axell’s early works Licensed in Both Ways 1965 and Valentine 1966 depict the liberation of the female body and the uncovering of a feminist intimacy, within the context of the 1960s space race. Licensed in Both Ways builds on the motif of erotic voyeurism with added complexity: the viewer is at the same time being watched and invited to watch through the holes of the helmet, a metaphor for the head in which hidden erotic desires take place. .." .Elsa Coustou
September 2015 (tate.org.uk)

Issa Samb - African Culture - Dada Africa

Issa Samb, also known as Joe Ouakam (31 December 1945 – 25 April 2017) was a Senegalese painter, sculptor, performance artist, playwright and poet. Issa Samb was born on 31 December 1945 in Dakar, Senegal.He graduated from the University of Dakar, where he studied philosophy and the law.
Samb took up the pseudonym Joe Ouakam. He did inter-disciplinary work that encompasses sculpture, performance, painting and theatre. His work was considered to draw from both African tradition and the European avante-garde movements such as Dada, Surrealism, Situationism and Fluxus.Samb was one of the founding members of the seminal Laboratoire Agit'Art in 1973. His work was exhibited at Whitechapel Gallery, London in its ‘Seven Stories of Modern Art in Africa’ exhibition in 1995 and the 2008 the Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain, Dak'Art in Dakar. In 2010, a retrospective of his work was held at the National Art Gallery, Dakar.[5] His work was also exhibited at the 2012 documenta in Kassel, Germany. By 2014, InIVA, an art gallery in London, curated 'Issa Samb: From the Ethics of Acting to the Empire without Signs


Jacek Sempoliński - Original Abstract Expressionism

"In 1943-1944 Sempoliński studied painting in Konrad Krzyżanowski's underground school in Warsaw. After World War II he studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw under, among others, Eugeniusz Eibisch (1946-1951, obtained degree in 1956). He has been teaching at his alma mater since 1956. Initially he designed scenery and painted frescoes as well as engaging in traditional easel painting.Between 1953 and 1957 he executed polychrome murals on the facades of reconstructed townhouses of the Old Town and New Town of Warsaw. His paintings should be viewed in the context of two important phenomena in Polish post-war art: the tradition of Polish Colorism (The Capist School), and the ethos of the generation of artists that exhibited at the Arsenal in 1955. While the Capist School saturated his paintings with what can be referred to as a "culture of painting", the experience of the "Arsenal" show added drama to his work and resulted in moral and ethical values informing his canvasses to the same extent as did formal values.In his series dating from the second half of the 1950s (Organy / Organs, Viola da gamba, Kompozycja z trąbką / Composition with Trumpet), the artist focused on music as his subject, drawing from it iconographic themes and simultaneously treating it as a symbolic realm. In the 1960s he began to combine motifs from landscape and architectural studies with color and texture solutions akin to those found in allusive abstract painting (the series Łysica / Lysica Mountain, Wiązy w Machocicach / Elms in Machocice).In the 1970s Sempoliński focused on the relatively abstract issues of color, light, the canvass as painterly space, and textures, for which nature nevertheless remained a legible point of reference (see the series Swiatlo i mrok / Light and Dark, Łąka - zachód słońca / Meadow - Sunset, Studium przestrzeni / Study of Space). In the late 1970s Sempoliński's paintings began to reflect dramatic existential themes, expressed through a change in color scheme (towards dark blues, shades of violet, and cold grays) and even the physical dismantling of the surfaces of his canvasses. His new series Twarz / Face (1971), Ukrzyżowanie / Crucifixion (1975), Moc przeznaczenia Verdiego / The Power of Verdi's Destiny (1977) and Czaszka / Skull (1980s) touched upon issues of religion, culture, and philosophy of life. These works, themselves a sign of important experiences and deep reflection, were a sign of the shift in values that occurred in the 1980s. Jacek Sempolinski's stance in this period gained him the position of both an artistic and intellectual authority, a status he achieved by making numerous public statements, publishing essays, and in other ways. During Martial Law Sempolinski developed links with the independent cultural movement supported by the Catholic Church. He participated in many exhibitions organized by its members, including the memorable projects of Janusz Bogucki and Nina Smolarz (Znak krzyza / Sign of the Cross, Parish on Żytnia Street, Warsaw, 1983; Labirynt - przestrzeń podziemna / Labyrinth - An Underground Space, Church of the Lord's Ascension, Warsaw, 1989), Marek Rostworowski (Niebo nowe i ziemia nowa? / New Sky and New Earth?, Parish on Żytnia Street, Warsaw, 1985), and others."( culture.pl Author: Maryla Sitkowska, Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, December 2001.)

Víctor Grippo - Conceptual Art

"He was born in Junín, Buenos Aires Province, on May 10th 1936. In his native city, he learnt some aspects of the sculptor's art with an Italian blacksmith. He settled in La Plata where he studied chemistry in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry. He soon gave chemistry up in favour of design, studying at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in La Plata, where he attended the decisive courses on Vision given by Héctor Cartier.He put on his first solo exhibitions in Junín in 1953 and, in 1958, in Tandil newspaper, Nueva Era.In 1961, he took part in the Grupo SI, a group of young artists in La Plata that followed informalism. In 1966, he held his first solo exhibition in Buenos Aires at Galería Lirolay. That same year, he participated together with Kenneth Kemble, Emilio Renart and Enrique Barilari in Investigación sobre el proceso de la creación (Investigation into the process of creation) exhibition held at Galería Vignes. There, he exhibited Sistema (System) in which he incorporated the scientific paradigm on which many of his later creations were to be based.
Around 1970, he joined the Grupo de los Trece (Group of Thirteen), later the Cayc Group, organised by Jorge Glusberg and which also included Luis F. Benedit, Jacques Bedel, Alfredo Portillos, González Mir, Vicente Marotta and Leopoldo Maler among others. With them, he promoted the various aspects of conceptual art in Argentina. In 1977, the group won the Grand Prix at the XVI São Paulo International Biennial.Between 1971 and 1977, Grippo produced a series of works called Analogías (Analogies), in which he emphasised the energy contained in natural products such as the potato, cereals and vegetables, as opposed to the cultural world constructed by man. His installations, objects and working methods, materialised with great refinement, lead to the reflection of universal and eternal subjects, such as life, death, Nature and the ability of man to transform himself through his work. The recognition of crafts in his work emphasises the conviction that the craftsman-artist proceeds as an alchemist who is able to transform material into a medium for ideas and poetic metaphors.Valijita de panadero (Baker's little suitcase) (1977), in which the burned bread shows the devastating consequences of an unrestrained, furious application of energy, follows this same line. The text that accompanies the work, "Baker's little suitcase: Flour + Water + (excessive) Heat", merely ratifies the factor of imbalance: excess, as a symbol of the violence then rife in the country at the worst moment of the military dictatorship. The reference to these events is completed with the presence of the suitcase that alludes to exile.Major solo exhibitions of his work were organised: Algunos oficios (Some Crafts), presented at Galería Multiple in 1976; V{ictor Grippo - Obras 1965-1987 (Víctor Grippo - Works 1965-1987) held in 1988 at Fundación San Telmo; La comida del artista (The artist's meal) at the Instituto de Cooperación Iberoamericana in 1991; Mesas de Trabajo y Reflexión (Tables of work and reflection) held in 1994 as part of the V Havana Biennial and, in the same year, Víctor Grippo-Energía-1971-1994 (Víctor Grippo - Energía - 1971 - 1994) held at the Museo Carrillo Gil in Mexico City.In 1995, the largest retrospective of his work was held at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham (Great Britai ) and at the Palais de Beaux Arts in Brussels (Belgium). In 2001, he held his last solo exhibition in Buenos Aires at Galería Ruth Benzacar, where he again took up his reflections about the realm of work and crafts.Among his numerous participations in important international exhibitions, he was selected to participate in the XI Documenta in Kassel, Germany, held in 2002."(cvaa.com.ar)