At the 58th Venice Biennale, the Belgian Pavilion is showing MONDO CANE, an exhibition by artists Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, curated by Anne-Claire Schmitz. Taking their cues from a wide spectrum of visual culture, the artists present a local folkloric museum populated by a universe of automated dolls. Akin to an anthropological or touristic experience, the pavilion casts a surreal and unrelenting perspective on reality. Next to the exhibition, MONDO CANE further develops as a publication and a website.
Berlin’s art scene remains in motion and in continuous development with 45 participating galleries presenting highly diverse program at this year’s Gallery Weekend. Here one gets a taste of Berlin’s districts while discovering a global plethora of contemporary works by established artists as well as promising newcomers. With a special boost of activity in Charlottenburg area, the galleries once more open their doors as places for interaction and exchange between artists, curators, collectors and enthusiasts alike.
The archetypal body of a classic sofa gets a textile-rich makeover by the Dutch designer Hella Jongerius’ poetic reworking of weave patterns, colours and textures into an intricate fabric pushing the boundaries of modern day technology. Jongerius’ mastery of weaving and her fascination with colour shapes the visual language of Vlinder Sofa.
Lake Verea photograph the »Guy C. Wilson House« (1939) of R.M. Schindler, Silverlake, California Paparazza Moderna Serie, 2011–2018 © Lake Verea
There is an interesting erotic language surrounding the typology of renowned modernist residencies – made familiar as iconic villas that harmoniously welcome and fulfill all your desires. Mining the corporealized qualities of inanimate structures through a tongue-in cheek manner the Mexican artist duo Francisca Rivero-Lake and Carla Verea haunt their favorite architectural masterpieces like paparazzies – unannounced and spontaneous – with the aim of capturing them in an unembellished, private state.
For Balkrishna Doshi, the architect, urban planner and educator, space is an extension of life and a methodology to look at the world. This humanist sensibility shapes the architectural vocabulary of the Pritzker Prize laureate whose early years were spent under the formative tenure of Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn. His pioneering vision of a holistic habitat grounded in bridging modernist principles with local traditions marks projects ranging in scale from academic campuses to institutions as well as social housing and residences.
EUROTOPIE, 2018 © Philippe Braquenier | Built floating and foldable prototype, Photo: Kayhan Kaygusuz | Lecture at “Garden State” during Basel’s Theatre Festival, in September 2018. Image: Celine Baumann
What do Millennials dream of, against the concrete realities of crushing housing crisis and surging political fragmentation? By giving a stage to emerging creative talents, the Future Architecture Platform, a network comprised of 21 architecture institutions from across Europe, encourages them to articulate thosecollective imaginaries and speculative projections. The platform is not only drawing stimuli from tomorrow’s generations but also from the unique format of discursive collaborations that are emerging from it.
meredith grey (gestern im TV gesehen), 15.7.16, 2015, Photo: Markus Tretter, © Miriam Cahn, Courtesy the artist, Meyer Rieger, Berlin/Karlsruheand Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris | liebenmüssen, 30.05.2017, 2017, Photo: Stefan Jeske, © Miriam Cahn
Transgressing the boundaries of a classical museum retrospective, Miriam Cahn embodies her presence through a personal staging of a non-linear chronology. The exhibition is assembled following Cahn’s own principles of thought. Emerging from performative happenings of the 70s, her work is heavily influenced by the feminist movement of the 1960s. Yet her approach is radically subtler – disturbing, oneiric paintings sparkling with color, showing figures with crude features and grotesquely exaggerated sexual organs.
A selection of Fatma Shana’s work on display at DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM. Untitled, 2014 | Portrait and scarf, 2013 | Floating Portrait, 2018-2019. All images courtesy of the artist and DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM, Berlin
Her youthful arms remained folded over the hips, as if reinstating the grounding weight of the resting figure. This seemingly allegorical scene is ruptured by Israeli artist Fatma Shana’s choice of motive, now on show at Dittrich & Schlechtriem gallery. Female figures inhabit these large-scale canvases, which not only translate the artist’s poetically-inclined narratives but serve as vessels through which she positions complex relationships between bodies and spaces. Another recurring motive are the rugs, both as a reference to her roots within the minority Druze culture in Israel where she was raised, but also more importantly in their function as territories within the picture and mediators between bodies and architecture.
A selection of Pablo Picassos pieces of the rose and blue period. Femme en chemise (Madeleine), 1904-1905 © Succession Picasso / 2018, ProLitteris, Zurich, Photo: Tate, London 2018 | Acrobate et jeune arlequin, 1905 © Succession Picasso / ProLitteris, Zurich 2018 | Famille de Saltimbanques aver un singe, 1905 © Succession Picasso /2018, ProLitteris, Zurich
It’s easy to think of Pablo Picasso as almighty: a painter who changed the course of art history, who unabashedly made art in his boxers, and who responded to questions from critics by firing a gun into the air. But the young Picasso wasn’t always so confident or successful. In fact, his early years were fraught with poverty, tragedy, and emotional frailty—and it was these struggles that he channelled into his first pioneering body of work, known as the Blue Period. One of the first paintings he produced, The Death of Casagemas (1901), responded directly to a suicide of a close friend. But from one artistic revolution followed another, in a rapid succession of changing styles and visual worlds. Indeed, only a few years after finishing The Death of Casagemas, Picasso moved to Paris and emerged from his Blue Period—into a palette of soft, joyful pinks. “Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions,” Picasso later explained. He also met Fernande Olivier that year, a French artist and model who was to become both his muse and mistress. Different facets from this new environment were brought to light on his canvases; friends from the Parisian literary scene, along his fascination with the fairground and circus performers. Many of his works from these years led up to his use of Cubism. As diverse as they seem, the two periods are connected by significants strands of thought, conveyed in this most comprehensive presentation of Picasso’s paintings and sculptures from 1901 to 1906.
Richard Serra, Berlin Junction, 1987 / Otto Herbert Hajek, Stadtzeichen/Gruppe von drei ” Raumzeichen”, 1972–1974 / Ulrich Brüschke, 0° Breite, 2012 | Photo: Mathias Rümmler
Hidden and eye-catching, obsolete and modern, unremarkable and prominent, the sight of public art in Berlin is ubiquitous, and its reception divisive. From larger then life sculptures to subtle textual interventions in unusual urban contexts, “Marmor für Alle” sets the encounter with some of the most important and public art across the city. After 1945, a boom began in the East and West Berlin, punctuating numerous places of assembly with some of the most iconic and cult fixtures: “Hand with Watch” by German artist Joachim Schmettau that featured in Depeche Mode music video, “Denkzeichen Rosa Luxemburg” by the infamous conceptual artist Hans Haacke, or the towering “Molecule Man” by Jonathan Borowsky rising from the Spree. Zooming in on different districts, each section of the book reveals and vivifies elements of the city’s biography through works of public art – evidencing the historical events and political ideas that shaped them.