Monthly Archives: April 2010

Go to Hell


Leg of Lamb likes nothing more than downing beers, eating sausages and looking at a bit of art at Hell Gallery.  They’ve recently been invited to partake in No Soul for Sale, a festival of independent galleries curated by none other than Maurizio Cattelan (along with Cecilia Alemani and Massimiliano Gioni) at Tate Modern.  Art collectives from around the world will create projects in the Turbine Hall as part of the Tate’s 10th birthday celebrations.  To help Hell get there, come to their fundraiser this Friday (see flyer above for details).

One Night Only, Hell Gallery, 5A Railway Place, Richmond, Melbourne, Friday April 23

No Soul for Sale, Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG, 14 – 16 May

Want to smash Andy Warhol in the face?

Brooklyn Museum's Andy Warhol pinata

Now’s your chance.  Brooklyn Museum has installed a 7 metre tall piñata in his likeness for their annual gala on April 22nd.  Apparently he’s filled with candy.

Foodies – Daniel Spoerri and Vera Mercer

Daniel Spoerri, 'Eaten by Marcel Duchamp', 1964

Swiss artist Daniel Spoerri is the originator of Eat Art.  Also associated with the New Realist and Fluxus movements, he created his first signature ‘snare picture’ in 1960.  These works consist of objects – often upon tables – found in chance positions of order or disorder.  Each item is fixed or ‘snared’ into place as is.  Only the plane changes, from a vertical to a horizontal format – these works are hung on the wall.  The artist’s most well-known snare picture consists of left-overs of a meal consumed by friend Marcel Duchamp (above).

Spoerri’s interest in food doesn’t end there.  He sold canned food in galleries, wrote a multicultural history of meatballs and opened restaurants staffed solely by members of the art world (he currently has a slow food joint in rural Austria).   It seems only natural then that his former wife, photographer Vera Mercer should be into food too.  Not only did she photograph their contemporaries including Marcel Duchamp, Nikki de St Phalle and Jean Tinguely during the 1950s and 60s, she also photographs fresh produce.  Mercer’s interest in the subject stemmed from her documentation of Paris’s central marketplace, ‘Les Halles’, before its demolition in 1971.

Vera Mercer, 'Naked Deer Head, Omaha', 2008

Since then, food has been the central theme of her work.  The photographs currently on display at Kommunale Galerie, Berlin, sit outside of contemporary art trends, drawing instead on the tradition of the still life  and its symbolism.  Fresh vegetables, withering flowers – a combination of the living and the dead – point towards life’s beauty and its transience.

Vera Mercer, Portraits and Still Lifes, Kommunale Galerie, Hohenzollerndamm 176, Berlin, until April 25.

New kid on the block – Robert Heald

Leg of Lamb reckons Ivan Anthony is one of the best dealer galleries in New Zealand.  Ivan’s stable is impressive, his artists are fiercely loyal and the man himself is both forthright and accommodating.  For many years, Robert Heald has been his right-hand man (you can see Robert immortalised in a painting by Liz Maw here).  So Leg of Lamb was interested to learn that Heald has recently moved to Wellington to start an eponymously titled gallery of his own.  Robert Heald Gallery opens on April 22 with Patrick Lundberg: No Longer Exactly the Same (as Before).  Watch this space!

Hot Photo Friday – Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe, 'Untitled (Patti Smith)', 1973/1975

Robert Hughes tells it like it is

Your very own Q&A with the Director of Tate Modern

What would you ask Tate Boss Sir Nicholas Serota if you had the chance?  To celebrate Tate Modern‘s 10th anniversary the director will be responding to questions from the public, that means you!   But think quick, submissions close tomorrow.  You can send yours here.

Polaroid is back! Sort of…

Dash Snow, 'DS129 final flat', n.d.

A group of scientists and engineers have hired out one of Polaroid’s old factories in Enschede, Netherlands, and are generating black and white film that is compatible with Polaroid cameras.  Called The Impossible Project, the company plans to start making colour film as well.

Jeff Koons, painter of cars

Jeff Koons' design concept for BMW

First it was Dakis Joannou’s yacht, now Jeff Koons is having a go at a racing car.  The artist is decorating BMW’s next ‘art car’ for the Grand Prix at Le Mans this June.  It’s the 17th in a series that began in 1975 with a paint-job by Alexander Calder.

Conceived after driving past Christmas lights at speed, Koons claims his design expresses “the aesthetics of winning”.   The artist will sign the vehicle during a ceremony at the Pompidou Centre, Paris on June 1.

Laibach – Life is Life

Slovenian band Laibach have sung some interesting covers in their time.  In 1988 they re-recorded The Beatles’ album ‘Let it Be’ and generated seven different versions of ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ by The Rolling Stones.  Leg of Lamb’s personal favourite is their stern rendition of ‘Life is Life’ (above) originally a feel-good anthem by Austrian rockers Opus.

Laibach also represent the musical wing of Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK), an art movement created in 1984 of which they were founding members.  Later this month a selection of Laibach’s paintings, prints, posters, record covers, photographs, stage designs and videos created in the first decade of their career will be the subject of an exhibition at the International Centre of Graphic Arts in Slovenia.

GESAMTKUNST LAIBACH Fundamentals 1980–1990, International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 21 April – 12 May 2010.