First thing I want to say is thanks so much Georgina for holding the fort during my absence. Love your Singapore Biennale posts (slightly jealous)! Lots of exciting stuff has been going on which I’m very happy to share with you all now I’m back on the blog. It’s been a while.
So I’ve started a new job at ACCA, managing visitor services and the volunteer program, which has certainly been keeping me very busy and challenged for the last month or so. We have a really inspiring exhibition on at the moment called NEW11, featuring 10 new works commissioned for ACCA by emerging artists from across Australia. Check it out if you haven’t already, and definitely say hi if you see me at front of house!
I can’t even begin to explain the amazingly relaxing and super fun time I had in South America. I pretty much want to be Argentinean. Shopping in Palermo blew my mind. I wont go into it all too much here but I will share a few highlights from my trip.
Here’s number 1…
Where: MALBA – Museo de Arte Latinamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina
What: Marta Minujín – A Retrospective
Marta Minujín is one of Argentina’s most prominent contemporary artists, and how cool is she! Admittedly I hadn’t actually heard of her before arriving in the country, and I still have no idea how to pronounce her last name, but like Lars Bang Larsen says in Frieze magazine, “it is unforgettable to have missed the retrospective of Marta Minujín - the master of the monumental gesture”. She is more or less a heroine in Buenos Aires, splitting her time between New York and BA, living the dream. I was seduced by the woman and her work.
The exhibition started with photographs and videos of her performance art and happenings, like the highly political Parthenon of books from 1983, where a huge collection of books banned under Argentina’s previous dictatorships were redistributed to the public.
One of Minujín’s most publicised happenings was a collaboration with Andy Warhol highlighting Latin American foreign debt. Three large glossy photos hung in the corridor in which she symbolically handed cobs of corn (Argentina’s top produce) to Warhol in payment for The Debt. Very cheeky.
Apart from the smell of stinky feet as visitors took their shoes off to enter Soft Gallery, this was easily my favourite work in the exhibition. Entering the space was like being transformed to another world. With only a small hole to look back into the gallery, and no view of the security guard from inside, the temptation to jump around was too strong to resist. I totally felt like a kid again waiting to be busted by mum for jumping on the bed. Bliss.
I love the way Minujín continually brings the audience into her work. Here are some visitors just chilling out. Super Argentinian.
The exhibition was huge, with over 100 works. According to curator, Victoria Noorthoorn, the main objective was to bring the public the complexity and coherence, and critical density of a work we know little, and emphasize its contemporary relevance. This was definitely achieved and more.
Pretty damn cool at number 2…
Where: Mac de Niterói – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
What: Patricia Parinejad celebrates Oscar Niemayer
Rio De Janeiro is an amazingly vibrant city. I was there for one week, and much of that time was passed on Ipanema beach in a tiny bikini, sipping caipirinhas. But seriously, a visit to Rio isn’t complete without a ferry ride to Niterói to visit MAC. Almost like a spaceship jutting out from the edge of the coastline, this modern yet completely unconventional gallery was designed by Brazilllian architect Oscar Niemayer. The picture above speaks for itself. Incredible. An absolute must see.
Inside I found a photographic exhibition by Persian-German photographer Patricia Parinejad, documenting Oscar Niemayer’s architecture around the world. The interior of the gallery was like a tunnel that spiraled around, with photographs hanging on the inside wall, the outside wall completely glass overlooking the most spectacular scenery.
I spent a lot of time gazing at that view. Patricia Parinejad’s photographs were good, but for me there really just confirmed the thoughts I had upon arriving at this gallery, that I really must experience more of Niemayer’s work in the flesh.
Number 3, also amazing.
Where: MASP, Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, Brazil
What: Contemporary German Painting: 1989 – 2010
Who: Franz Ackermann, Werner Büttner, André Butzer, Tatjana Doll, Tim Eitel, Katharina Grosse, Eberhard Havekost, Bernhard Heisig, Anton Henning, Andreas Hofer, Jörg Immendorff, Martin Kippenberger, Markus Lüpertz, Michel Majerus, Wolfgang Mattheuer, Jonathan Meese, Albert Oehlen, A.R. Penck, Neo Rauch, Daniel Richter, Gerhard Richter, Thomas Scheibitz, David Schnell, Werner Tübke, Corinne Wasmuht, Thomas Zipp.
I was lucky enough to catch the end of this group show which opened back in September 2010 and was on view during the Sao Paulo Biennale. The show was put together especially for MASP and featured the work of of 26 artists, with lots of work never before exhibited in Brazil. The exhibition looks back at the past 20 years of the art scene in eastern and western Germany, and aims to present the entire bandwidth of contemporary painting – certainly a big task.
I had to think of Georgina and how she’d be kind of jealous when I walked in and immediately spotted a series of paintings by Gerhard Richter, one of her biggest inspirations. I was most excited to see the work of Katharina Grosse. First time ever in the flesh, and I wasn’t at all disappointed.
Phew, I think I’ll leave it at that for now.
See you guys soon with some new Melbourne art updates.