Group Exhibition of contemporary Filipino artists, Curated by Norman Crisologo "Manila: The Night Is Restless, The Day Is Scornful" (Maynila: Mahapdi Ang Araw, Maalinsangan Ang Gabi) at ARNDT, Singapore
12 July 2014 - 30 August 2014

"Manila: The Night is Restless, The Day is Scornful" features works by Mike Adrao, Gabriel Barredo, Santiago Bose, Zean Cabangis, Jigger Cruz, Alfredo Esquillo, Dex Fernandez, Kawayan de Guia, José Legaspi, Pow Martinez, Alwin Reamillo, Kaloy Sanchez, Norberto Roldan, Jose Tence Ruiz and Tatong Torres.


                  
Manila is a city of extremes, and at a time that only the extreme makes an impression, it still manages to shock. To wander into its streets, to be among the crowds, to be caught in the din of history that barrages you at every corner is to participate in a drama that began centuries ago, but whose cries and whispers echo resound well into the present. The sacred and the profane, the amatory smiles and the feral gaze are all on display here, as the unforgiving sun of its days give way to the artificial neon of night.

This exhibition is a guided tour of Manila, by asking its best contemporary artists to act as Virgils ushering us into its depths as well as pointing out the stars of the darkened heavens above this infernal city.
Erwin Romulo, 2014

More info here

(Source: blog.ocula.com)

SAMSTAG MUSEUM CELEBRATES CONTEMPORARY INDONESIAN ART

The Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art has collaborated with Berlin- and Singapore-based gallerist Matthias Arndt to develop an exhibition celebrating the diverse, culturally aware, and social engaged art of one of Australia’s nearest and most important neighbors: Indonesia.
“Mooi Indie – Beautiful Indies” opens on July 31 as part of the Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival. The exhibition features works by Jumaldi Alfi, Arin Dwihartanto Sunaryo, Eko Nugroho, Wedhar Riyadi, Entang Wiharso, and the Indonesian artist collective Tromarama.
Taking as its starting point the social, political, and cultural factors that have contributed significantly to the identity and character of Indonesia’s contemporary art scene, Mooi Indie explores themes such as gender, culture, identity, human rights, and the environment.

Read more here. 
Katsushika Hokusai, Suspension bridge between Hida and Etchu Provinces, 1833-34, colour woodblock print, variable dimensions
Curated by Zhu Zhu The Sociology of Oneself at Eslite Gallery, Taipei16 August 2014 - 21 September 2014

Following Nobuo TAKAMORI’s Lost Garden (Taipei), ESLITE GALLERY’s Cross-Strait Young Artists Exhibition Program is pleased to present The Sociology of Oneself (Beijing) curated by ZHU Zhu from 16 August to 21 September 2014. In the exhibition, ZHU Zhu seeks to show a fresh outlook and the exciting potential of young artists from mainland China with works by CHENG Ran, Qingtai HU, LI Qing, NI Youyu, YANG Xinguang, and ZANG Kunkun.

With his insightful discussion of contemporary art, ZHU Zhu has won himself the 2011 CCAA (Chinese Contemporary Art Award) for Critics. “In the past social context, artists in mainland China used to fight against totalitarianism. Nowadays, individuals are tightly intertwined in the enormous web of power and capitalism, thus binary opposition no longer exists. ‘Anger’ gives way to ‘emptiness’, and ‘suffering’ gives way to ‘vapidity’…… As discrete individuals, artists no longer deal with a collective political goal. Rather, they work on microcosmic motifs derived from the surroundings of their own lives,” commented ZHU in his curatorial statement.

More info here. 
GILBERT & GEORGE: WE NEVER WANTED TO BECOME THE ARTISTS MOTHER WOULD BE ASHAMED OF

‘Coming from poor backgrounds it’s easier if you’re polite. We had to have a suit on, we had to behave to get on in life.’ London has become the centre of the universe. All the world is here. When we walk to dinner, we sometimes switch off the visual thing, we just listen, and everybody is coming from another language.
The world has to be rethought every day. What to maintain and what to change. And that’s why we don’t like religions, because they don’t want change. They want humans to conform to a structure written in stone.
We only believe in sex. We don’t believe in the dividing of gay and straight.
Coming from poor backgrounds, it’s easier if you’re polite. We had to have a suit on, we had to behave to get on in life. Only the Etonians can be hooligans.

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DeWain Valentine, Nightline Passage, 1992, Polymer resin and acrylic paint, 244 x 427 x 7 
Alasdair McLuckie, Two lovers sit on a beach dreaming at the night sky as the waves wave hello to their eternal moon friend, who smiles and waves right back, 2013-14, 9 inkjet prints on paper, polychrome frames and synthetic polymer wall drawing, 295 x 500 cm 

Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro Venereal Architecture at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
31 July 2014 - 30 August 2014

“Our exhibition, Venereal Architecture, is about the spaces we inhabit. As humans we are forever adapting and manipulating our environment to cope with the elements and creatures that share our spaces. We build structures that enclose and protect us from nature. Air conditioning controls the temperature and we domesticate animals so they can live with us. Our control over nature (or lack there of) is central to this body of work.

Lego and Ikea furniture are very similar in a sense: they are both objects of aspiration that require assembly. Lego, which we grew up with, represents the dreams and fantasies of a child; Ikea furniture, which has become so ubiquitous, represents the dreams and fantasies of an adult. By meshing these two objects together we can think about the gap between our fantastic dreams and our banal longings. Both products represent destruction and re-construction, which are concerns we revisit continually within our practice.

The wall works act as a counterpoint to a possible reading of the sculptural works as a simple man/nature dichotomy. The works represent our sublimated animal urges expressed through shopping. The Lego wall works are based on found screen shots from pornos that utilise Ikea furniture within their set design. The ubiquity and relative economy of Ikea furniture means that it was inevitable that the furniture should share the screen with actors in low budget skin flicks.

More info here

(Source: blog.ocula.com)

MATTHEW BARNEY TO MAKE SOLO DEBUT IN AUSTRALIA

The US artist Matthew Barney is due to have his first solo exhibition in Australia at the collector David Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) in Hobart, Tasmania, in November. “Barney will be incorporating pieces from Walsh’s antiquities collection, along with a selection of the works currently on display at the Haus der Kunst in Munich,” says a spokeswoman for Walsh. The artist’s show in Germany (until 17 August) includes 14 large-scale sculptures, drawings, photographs, storyboards and vitrines relating to Barney’s epic six-hour film “River of Fundament”, which features Maggie Gyllenhaal and the late Elaine Stritch. The film, which was co-produced by the Laurenz Foundation (the organisation behind Basel’s Schaulager), was shown at Theater Basel during Art Basel in June. Conceived as an opera, with a score by the composer Jonathan Bepler, it is loosely based on Norman Mailer’s famously abstruse 1983 novel “Ancient Evenings”.

Read more here. 

Jane Lee, 100 Faces2013, Acrylic paint, heavy gel on mixed materials base, 100 panels, variable dimensions

(Source: blog.ocula.com)

Michael Craig-Martin Recent Paintings at Gagosian Gallery Hong Kong12 June 2014 - 16 August 2014

Gagosian Hong Kong is pleased to present recent paintings by Michael Craig-Martin.

A principal figure of British conceptual art, Craig-Martin probes the relationship between objects and images, harnessing the human capacity to imagine absent forms through symbols and pictures. The perceptual tension between object, representation, and language has been his central concern over the past four decades. During the late 1970s, he began to transcribe everyday items into “pictorial readymades” directly onto gallery walls, and since the 1990s onto canvas in conjunction with vivid artificial color. His drawings, paintings, and monumental steel sculptures are representations in the truest sense of the word, conveying familiar subjects as concisely as possible and thereby inviting each viewer’s personal response.

Recent paintings on aluminum panels, some larger than two meters square, depict a new range of contemporary objects—a high-heeled shoe, a disposable coffee cup, an energy-saving lightbulb—in an electric palette tinged with neon blues, greens, and pinks. The simplest object can become iconic. The amplified archetypes may lure the viewer into associations with his or her own corkscrew, headphones, or prescription pills. Continuing to resist any elaboration of form, Craig-Martin allows himself absolute chromatic freedom, casting the line-drawn silhouettes—which he draws digitally, then executes using paint rollers and thin tape—against vivid backgrounds of turquoise or purple. The selected colors disrupt the usual identity of the explicitly described objects, as in a subtly selfreferential painting of a standard paint roller suspended in a magenta picture plane. “The drawings are as precisely like the thing as I can make them, and the color is as artificial as I can make it,” Craig-Martin has said. In this way, he uses color to “subvert” the image.

More info here. 

MASTERWORKS VS. THE MASSES: MUSEUMS STRAINED UNDER WEIGHT OF POPULARITY

One cloudy afternoon this month, the line to enter the Louvre stretched around the entrance pyramid, across one long courtyard and into the next. Inside the museum, a crowd more than a dozen deep faced the Mona Lisa, most taking cellphone pictures and selfies. Near the “Winged Victory of Samothrace,” Jean-Michel Borda, visiting from Madrid, paused amid the crush. “It’s like the Métro early in the morning,” he said.

It is the height of summer, and millions of visitors are flocking to the Louvre — the busiest art museum in the world, with 9.3 million visitors last year — and to other great museums across Europe. Every year the numbers grow as new middle classes emerge, especially in Asia and Eastern Europe. Last summer the British Museum had record attendance, and for 2013 as a whole it had 6.7 million visitors, making it the world’s second-most-visited art museum. 

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Mathieu Briand, Dali m’aidant á soulever la mer. (Dali helps me to lift the sea.), 2014, Oil on wood, 21.5 x 21 cm
Safaruddin Abdul Hamid (Dyn) Everyday Heroes at Chan Hampe Galleries, Singapore07 August 2014 - 24 August 2014

Singapore, 27 June 2014 - Chan Hampe Galleries is proud to present a new solo exhibition by Safaruddin Abdul Hamid (Dyn), EVERYDAY HEROES.

Dyn’s current series of work documents characters who have played a role in the creation of Singapore—the Samsui woman, candy man, and satay man, amongst others. Although the presence of these individuals exists now only as faint images and snippets of memory, their contribution lives on in the unique complexion of the nation they built. The intent, through a poster art aesthetic reminiscent of the early twentieth century, is to acknowledge these subjects as icons in their own right, worthy of remembrance, gratitude, and pride.

Based on old photographs, the figures appear to be slowly submerging into their backgrounds, leaving only hazy silhouettes of their former selves. As these individuals become one with their painted surroundings, so do their memories become part of the past. These dissolving images, suggesting both longing and loss may trigger specific memories for some or encourage others to look more deeply into their stories. In either case, as Singapore continues to forge headstrong into the future, these paintings serve as a reminder of the significance of these individuals in our remarkable and oft forgotten past.

More info here. 
TATE WILL PUT WOMEN ARTISTS FIRST AND FOREMOST

Women artists come to the fore next year at Tate with shows devoted to Sonia Delaunay, Agnes Martin, Barbara Hepworth and Marlene Dumas announced today, 31 July. The first retrospective in the UK dedicated to the French avant-garde artist Delaunay is due to open in the spring at Tate Modern (15 April-9 August 2015). Delaunay (1885-1979) co-produced with her husband Robert several large-scale mural paintings for the 1937 Paris International Exhibition, and is known for her vividly coloured textiles emblazoned with striking geometrics. The show is co-organised with the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (Paris-Musées).

Read more here.