Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dream I Dreamed Last Night

Aggregation: One Thousand boats Show

Tate Modern

After seeing the Yayoi Kusama's exhibit at the Victoria Miro Gallery last year I have been following the buzz around Kusama. Kusama is finally getting the attention she deserves. In the 60's and 70's she was one of the most influential artists in New York, dating Donald Judd befriending Eva Hesse and Georgia O'Keeffe, appearing in exhibits alongside Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, George Segal and James Rosenquist at the Green Gallery. Always doing her own thing she has also been quite influential as you can see here with the repeated wall paper in "Aggregation" (three years before Warhol's cow wallpaper...). But after overworking and in ill health she moved back to Japan. There she found the art world to be a lot more conservative and ended up spending years on writing before she in 1977 admits herself in to a hospital where she still lives.
With her studio conveniently located across from the hospital, she works on her art every day. For the opening of this Tate Exhibit, Yayoi Kusama left the hospital for the first time in 12 years (Guardian).

Following almost chronologically her development as an artist is a treat that I would highly recommend, should you be in London anytime from now until 5th of June. It is a psychedelic trip, quite hallucinatory with a touch of phallic fear, but also filled with humor and great imagination, actually a world it was a bit hard to leave.

Accumulation Sculptures

Accumulation 17A

Eyes of the Night

"If it were not for art, I would have killed myself a long time ago."

Heaven and Earth 1991
Prisoner's Door 1994

Revived Soul 1995
The Clouds 1984

Sprouting (The Transmigration of the Soul)


A green plain

Recently she has painted these captivating paintings, full of life. Kusama now in her 80's looks like she is enjoying life more now, than ever before, blossoming at peace with her demons and life with art.

Serene Mind, 
Dream I dreamed last night
I hope the Boundless love for Humanity will envelop the whole world
Late-night chat filled with dreams
A green Plain
Death in the Field

Infinity Mirrored Room-
Filled with the Brilliance of Life

Filled with "brilliance" I left not completely satisfied... only because I wanted more:)

With Love

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Frieze of Life

Red and White
(insert) 1894

Edvard Munch (1853-1944)
Munch Museum

Last night I came back from a week in Oslo, where I had the privilege of taking time to fall in love with Munch again. At the Munch Museum they were showing some wonderful winter motifs "Sense of Snow" beginning in the 1880s. Curiously snow had not been painted much before, even though the winters are long in Norway. These are far from what Edvard Munch is best known for, which is his "Frieze of Life" series. "Frieze of life" represented Munch's dealing with tragedies in life, love, fear and death, loosely based on notes and sketches that he did in Christiania (Oslo).
Edvard Munch, travelled and lived in various places, had an incredible creative production, and did an impressive amount of art shows. Between 1892 and 1909 it is said that he had 108 shows, many of these in Germany. Although obsessed with death as a subject the thought that I am left with is that he must have been a much stronger man than what he is usually portrayed. Munch is often written about as a lonely, melancholic and mentally unstable person. Truly knowing him we will never, but the paintings live on.

This summer a mayor exhibit of Munch's work "The Modern Eye" will come to Tate Modern. This is a cooperation between the Munch Museum and the Centre Pompidou where it is currently on show.

Hestespann i snø

On the Veranda Stairs

Red House and Spruce Trees

Summer night, the voice

The girl and the death


The original title for this painting was "Loving Woman", said to symbolize the female cycle of life:
Sexual intercourse, causing fertilization, procreation and death.


Death in the sickroom

Munch will also be the theme of the first show at the Gallery that I am opening later this year. 
An exhibit focusing on Norwegian Contemporary Artists inspired or affected by Edvard Munch - but much more about that later.

With Love

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fountain of Light

Fountain of light, 2007
Steel, glass crystals, wood

Ai Weiwei & Andreas Gursky
Louisiana, Copenhagen

My surprise Christmas present this year was to visit my great friend who lives in Copenhagen and to go to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. A small card was given to me with an image of Ai Weiwei on it and the flight informations on the back. Last weekend we went and had a great time, even though it was the coldest and snowiest weekend of the year, and again our return ticket was cancelled so we had to stay an extra night.
For those of you that have followed my blog for a while knows how I have been tracking Ai Weiwei's trail for the last couple of years, now when Ai Weiwei has been named the most powerful person in the Art world it feels quite appropriate. 

Louisiana is one of Europe's most favored Museums, with beautiful surroundings and a panoramic view across Øresund. It has a large sculpture park and great contemporary Architecture linked to the original building. The first owner of the building, Alexander Brun named the house after his three wives that was all named Louise...
The museum though was created in 1958 by Knud W. Jensen who hired the architects Vilhelm Wohlert and Jørgen Bo to do the extensions in both directions coming out from the original building in a beautiful correlation to the nature, now seen as a milestone in modern Danish architecture.

Forever, 2003
42 bicycles

Ai Weiwei's work kept going around the globe and the attention only grew during his detention in China last year for 81 days. It is impressive though that Louisiana Museum managed to arrange this exhibit so shortly after his release. This bicycle piece is inspired by Marcel Ducamp and represents Chinese favorite means of transport and "Forever" as the brand. The bikes though is not going anywhere... 

Trees, 2009-2010
Tree trunks from southern China

These camhorwood tree pieces has been bolted together, and the lifelessness is supposed to be a metaphor for growth and life. Here again he is also adding porcelain sculptures, this time as "Rocks", Ai Weiwei sees Porcelain as characteristic Chinese. How I wish the floor of the Louisiana was different for this exhibit, that the tiles had been covered up, I found it quite "interruptive" to the piece.

The crystal tower "Fountain of Light" (above), refers to a tower that was never built by the Russian architect Vladimir Tatlin in 1919.


The Andreas Gursky exhibit was quite surprisingly awe-inspiring. Every single one of the large C-prints that were shown were worthy a long contemplation. My curiosity goes out to how he actually conceived the final large photographs. At first you might think it is realistic but quickly realizing the impossibility of one image representing the intense amount of "information". Louisiana describes Andreas Gursky´s work of art as "Extreme Sports". Hundreds, of images is being inter-weaved into one image, knowing that, I will leave the rest of the mystery to the visual artist and rather just enjoy.

Nurnberg, Grundig, 2003
C-print (insert)

99 Cent, 1999/2009
C-print (insert)

Pyongyang IV, 2007
C-print (insert)

Hamm, East Mine, 2008
C-print (insert)

The subjects of his images also keep surprising, here are clothes that is hanging by strings in a mining facility. Andreas Gursky has the talent of adding the formula one drivers to be an object of a master piece (unfortunately I don´t have a photo of this).

Paris, Montparnasse, 1993
C-print (insert)

With a large image of a fashion show, I am leaving the Louisiana Museum for this time. Wanting more of all three, Ai Weiwei, Andreas Gursky and the legendary edifice after the three Louise's.

With Love