OCULA CONVERSATION: Charles Nodrum  - Founder, Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne.
“While he downplays his own role, preferring to foreground the artists and their talent, it’s likely the market for abstract art in Australia would be very different without the support of such champions. ” - Jane O’Sullivan
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Stephen Bush Open the Boxoctosis at Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
06 September 2014 - 04 October 2014

Sutton Gallery is pleased to present Open the Boxoctosis, an exhibition of new works by Stephen Bush. Following on the heels of Steenhuffel, The Vizard Foundation Award exhibition presented by the Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne University, the collected works encompassing Open the Boxoctosis mines the archive of Bush’s pictorial illusionism. Read More.

Sun Xun, What Happened in the Year of the Dragon, 2014, Ink and watercolour on paper, 30 x 42, Image courtesy of Ota Fine Arts

Solo Exhibition Karel Appel at Blum & Poe, New York
06 September 2014 - 01 November 2014

Blum & Poe is pleased to present an exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Karel Appel (1921-2006). Organized in collaboration with the Karel Appel Foundation in Amsterdam, this exhibition represents the first significant overview of Appel in New York City in more than forty years and will be comprised of works dating from 1947-1981.

Throughout a nearly six-decade career, Appel pushed his studio practice to extremes, often shifting between abstraction and figuration, never content to settle on one signature style, media, or body of work. His earliest works, created during the time he co-founded the COBRA group with Asger Jorn, Christian Dotremont, and Constant, make evident his interest in the uninhibited artistic experience. As a member of the Dutch Experimental Group and later Art Informel, Appel drew his earliest and possibly greatest inspiration from folk art, children’s drawings, and the works of the mentally disturbed. This is perhaps most clear in The Psychopathological Notebook, a collection of free-form drawings on pages of catalogue text from the International Exhibition on Psychopathological Art (1950) at the Saint-Anne Hospital for the mentally ill in Paris. Visiting this exhibition on multiple occasions proved impactful for Appel and would inform much of his work in the following years.

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(Source: blog.ocula.com)

BERLIN ART WEEK BUILDS ON ITS STRENGTHS

 Berlin Art Week, now in its third year, has quickly established itself as the city’s leading autumn event (until 21 September). It was started to support the plunging gallery sales reported after Art Forum, Berlin’s primary art fair, which closed in 2010. But it has expanded beyond its commercial roots and now boasts 13 institutional partners, with more that 300 participating venues and several project spaces selected by a jury to highlight the most interesting non-commercial qualities of the city’s art scene. The programme also receives funding from Berlin’s Senate Administration and Deutsche Bank.

Among the museums taking part is the Akademie der Künste, which hosted a jam-packed official opening on Tuesday night, 16 September.

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Yason Banal, Patterns of Drift, 2014, Super 8 film transferred to film, variable dimensions

Dave Muller Sublime Memory Garden at Blum & Poe, Tokyo
19 September 2014 - 15 November 2014

Blum & Poe is pleased to announce the inaugural exhibition of its Tokyo gallery at 1-14-34 Jingumae. Dave Muller: Sublime Memory Garden will be the Los Angeles-based artist’s ninth solo exhibition with the gallery and his first solo presentation in Japan.

Dave Muller’s acrylic-on-paper paintings and multimedia installations are rooted in his deep fascination with music, how it infiltrates and shapes our realities, and the communal dialogue it generates across cultures. In his characteristically loose yet deliberate painterly style, Muller depicts the iconography of his musical obsession: record sleeves, CD cases, disco balls, iPods, as well as appropriated images familiar and forgotten.

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(Source: blog.ocula.com)

DESIGNS FOR BEIJING MEGA-MUSEUM UNVEILED

 The French architect Jean Nouvel has announced details of his design for the National Art Museum of China in Beijing. The new 130,000 sq. m institution, the centrepiece of a vast museum park on the former Beijing Olympics site, will house works dating from the Ming era (1368-1644) to today. “The National Art Museum of China represents an incredible opportunity for the most ambitious materialisation of a place of expression… a place that witnesses the vitality of a civilisation, the civilisation of the greatest people on earth,” say the organisers. In 2012, four high-profile architects—Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Moshe Safdie and Nouvel—were invited to submit designs for the new National Art Museum venue, which will be seven times larger than the current institution based near the Forbidden City in central Beijing. The museum will be built in collaboration with the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design.

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Golnaz Fathi, Untitled, 2011, Pen and varnish on canvas, 39.4 x 78.8 cm

Group exhibition Arte Povera and ‘Multipli’ Torino at Sprüth Magers Berlin London
18 September 2014 - 01 November 2014

In 1970 Giorgio Persano opened Multipli, his first gallery in Torino. Multipli was exceptional for its time. Working with Arte Povera artists and with other Italian artists linked to the conceptual art of the era, Multipli produced a significant body of multiples from 1970 to 1975. Persano and his artists did not view the multiple merely as a means to circulate or multiply the image through the reproduction of an original. The gallery was founded, rather, on the notion that a work of art could be democratic. Although each piece was made as part of a series, each object would also retain the characteristics and aura of a unique piece. Curated by Elena Re, Sprüth Magers Berlin presents an exhibition that focuses in particular on artists associated with Arte Povera, exploring the idea of the multiple as the driving force behind a new form of artistic production.

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(Source: blog.ocula.com)

INSIDE ANSELM KIEFER’S ASTONISHING 200 ACRE ART STUDIO

Anselm Kiefer is a bewildering artist to get to grips with. The word that comes up most often when his work is discussed is the heart-sinking and slippery “references”. His vast pictures, thick with paint and embedded with objects from sunflowers and diamonds to lumps of lead, nod to the Nazis and Norse myth, to Kabbalah and the Egyptian gods, to philosophy and poetry, and to alchemy and the spirit of materials. How is one to unpick such a complex personal cosmology? Kiefer himself refuses to help: “Art really is something very difficult,” he says. “It is difficult to make, and it is sometimes difficult for the viewer to understand … A part of it should always include having to scratch your head.”

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(Source: blog.ocula.com)

Naoya Hatakeyama, Blast #11106A, 2004, Lambda Print, Edition of 7, 100 x 150 cm, From the Series Blast, 1995-
Courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery

Sterling Ruby VIVIDS at Gagosian Gallery Hong Kong
17 September 2014 - 25 October 2014

Gagosian Hong Kong is pleased to present VIVIDS, an exhibition of new spray paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Sterling Ruby. This is Ruby’s first exhibition with the gallery.

Ruby engages a wide range of aesthetic strategies and mediums—glossy and color-saturated poured-polyurethane sculptures, drawings, collages, richly glazed ceramics, graffiti-inspired spray paintings, and video—maintaining a constant tension within a multitude of elements. His work engages with issues related to the violence and pressures within society, autobiography, and art history. Throughout he vacillates between fluid and static, minimalist and expressionist, pristine and dirty. Of the diverse forms that constitute his oeuvre the paintings are the most formally abstract. Ruby has long been influenced by the sociological implications of urban demarcation, vandalism, and the power struggles of gang graffiti. In his paintings, acts of defacement are transformed into a painterly sublime.

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(Source: blog.ocula.com)

LOS ANGELES, IN ART FORM, COMES TO BEIJING

A new show at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing’s 798 art district brings an eclectic mix of Los Angeles art to the Chinese capital.

“The LA Project” features seven artists’ work sprawled over the center’s cavernous rooms. Each artist was given carte blanche either to create new art for the show or bring in works from his or her collection. Instead of trying to represent all of Los Angeles in one exhibition, Mr. Tinari says, the organizers decided to collect a group of artists living and working in L.A. who “made sense together.” One goal, he adds, was to show the “democracy that comes from having all these ideas in such close proximity.” 

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Giuseppe Penone, Guanto, 1972, colour photograph edition of 50, 34 x 41 cm, Edizioni Multipli – Torino © Giuseppe Penone Courtesy Sprüth Magers