Monthly Archives: June 2010

Some recent paintings by Marcin Cienski

'Exaltation', 2009, oil on canvas, 160 x 200 cm

'Nightwatch', 2010, oil on canvas, 160 x 200 cm

'Worship', 2009, oil on canvas, 160 x 200 cm

Marcin Cienski, Galerie Römerapotheke, Rämistrasse 18, Zürich, until July 10.

Todoli to Judge 2010 Walters Prize

Vicente Todoli

Vicente Todoli has been announced as the judge of this year’s $50,000 Walters Prize.  The Tate Director steps down from his position at the end of the month and will visit Auckland Art Gallery to view the work of finalists Dan Arps, Fiona Connor, Saskia Leek and Alex Montieth before the opening of the exhibition on July 24.

The Walters Prize, Auckland Art Gallery, corner Wellesley & Kitchener Streets, 24 July – 31 October 2010.

Of Skins and Heart – Colleen Ahern at Neon Parc

Colleen Ahern, 'There Is a Light That Never Goes Out', 2010

Of Skins and Heart, Colleen Ahern’s current exhibition at Neon Parc is a slow burner. Earlier oil paintings depicting rock and roll heavyweights like David Bowie, Johnny Winter and Prince have been replaced by enigmatic works on paper.  Music provides a starting point here – the artist paints performances by T-Rex, The Clash and The Who, but she concentrates on abstracted TV stills, not money shots.  Each painting is rendered in delicate layers of colour that convey a technical sophistication less evident in earlier works.  The show trades swagger for subtlety – Ahern is one to watch.

Of Skins and Heart, Neon Parc, 1/53 Bourke Street, Melbourne, until July 3.

Hot Photo Friday – Malick Sidibé

Malick Sidibé, 'Taximan', 1970

Koons’ Art Car unveiled in Paris

Jeff Koons with the 17th BMW Art Car

In April Leg of Lamb revealed Jeff Koons’ plans for BMW’s latest art car.  The project has now reached fruition (see above) with the car set to race in the Le Mans 24 hour rally this Saturday.  In an interview with Art Review, Koons said his design “symbolises the force of life, the microsecond of creation” which might explain why – with a stretch of the imagination – some have identified sperm-like designs across the car’s body.  This is the guy responsible for Made in Heaven after all…

Bryan Ferry, Art Collector

Bryan Ferry is not only the smoothest of crooners (see above for hot evidence), he’s also a discerning art collector.  Pieces from his collection have gone on public display for the first time at the London International Fine Art Fair in Olympia.

Consisting mainly of modern British paintings by the likes of Augustus John and Walter Sickert, the musician’s collection is untarnished by faddish, showy pieces.  While Ferry admires some contemporary art, he states; “…it is like music: there is a lot of it so most of it is bad.”

Wrong, wrong, wrong

Susan Anderson, 'Savanha' from the series 'High Glitz'

American photographer Susan Anderson has released High Glitz, a book that examines the perverse world of child beauty pageants and accompanies her photographic series of the same name (recently on display at acte2galerie, Paris).

The photographer has spent the past three years on the pageant circuit, snapping Southern Belles in between their time on stage and in the make-up chair.  Despite minimal encouragement from Anderson, the living dolls ham it up for the camera, flashing their flippers (prosthetic teeth) and sometimes a bit of skin as well.

Susan Anderson, 'Mary Ashton' from the series 'High Glitz'

Some of the girls’ parents were upset with these photos.  Why?  The shots aren’t retouched and contain ‘imperfections’ that are normally airbrushed out of conventional pageant headshots.  While Anderson takes a sociological approach that neither approves of nor condemns pageant culture, the photographs speak for themselves; no child should be preened to look like a mini-hooker, it’s just plain wrong.

Hot Photo Friday – Stephen Shore

Stephen Shore, 'Michael and Sandy, Amarillo, Texas', 1974

Christo & Jeanne-Claude vs. AT&T

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, detail of 'Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado', 1970-72

American mobile phone company AT&T’s recent advertisment (below) copies the work of American artists Christo and the late Jeanne-Claude so overtly that they’ve had to include a disclaimer at the end of their commercial.  Surely the BBDO advertising ‘creatives’ behind the ad should offer them a cut of their fee too.

Louise Bourgeois dies aged 98

Louise Bourgeois photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe, 1982

French-American artist Louise Bourgeois, renowned for her explorations of birth, sexuality and death, died last night.  She was 98.  Perhaps best-known for her enormous spider sculptures (a 9 metre tall version entitled Maman – below – was one of the first works to be exhibited at Tate Modern), the artist only came to prominence in her 70s following a 1982 solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Louise Bourgeois, 'Maman', 1999 outside Tate Modern