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Art of the Moment

English
  • Art of the Moment

    • The National Museum of Computing presents an exhibition that shows how women have influenced the development of computing, reclaiming their role in this sphere.

    The ‘Women in Computing’ exhibition: a tribute to the heroines of computer science / 

    Even with the presence of a liberal ideology in most developed countries, the percentage of female engineers is minimal. The ‘Bachelor of Arts’ remains the preferred professional field for this gender, and statistics confirm that women continue to choose humanities. According to a study made by the community statistics office (Eurostat), in the European Union, the average of female scientists or engineers is 29%, while in the United States the number reaches 30%.

    Women have never been protagonists, at least not within the mainstream world, but the latter however does not mean they have been absent from the development of this science. Due to the latter, the National Museum of Computing in the United Kingdom will be showing the historical manifestations by women that have contributed to this science. The exhibition plans to inspire more women to participate in this sphere so that they will contribute to its evolution from a different perspective, perhaps one that is more sensitive.

    Using multimedia technology on touchscreens, this exhibition will present interactive videos and graphs that narrate the stories of cyber-heroines, according to a museography conceived to make the visitors interact with its contents. The organisers in this exhibition, named “Women in Computing”, also published an email where people can send the stories of transcendental women in the development of the informatics world, the latter in order to widen the scope of the exhibition.

    Among the protagonists in Women in Computing, we can find Sophie Wilson, the co-designer of the BBC Micro and ARM chips, Joyce Wheeler, one of the first researchers to use a computer (EDSAC), Mary Coombs, the first commercial programmer to use (LEO) and Margaret Bullen, who worked in the construction of the first original Colossus computers.

    Although the professional women in the world continue to prefer social sciences, perhaps by employing intelligent advertising, and the expansion of electronic culture, exact sciences usually considered a complicated and boring world, will be more attractive for both genders: some women —as this historical exhibition evidences, adapted to digital art, have already successfully begun, this adventure. 

    Tagged: women, exhibitions, computing
  • Art of the Moment

    • After an exhaustive study made by several institutions over the course of four years, the result of this wonderful exhibition is this beautiful catalogue.

    Oriental eroticism at the British Museum: ‘Shunga, sex and pleasure in Japanese art’ / 

    Exploring the sexual imagery of their time, the master engravers of Japan journeyed into the delicate art of Shunga, a beautiful erotic-creative manifestation, highly popular from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. At times humorous and at times evil, always creative and unconcealed, these stamps were thought of for large audiences, designed to please both sexes and different social classes. They were widely distributed throughout the Japanese territory until they were forbidden in the nineteenth century, at the precise moment when westerners where beginning to fall in love with their charms.

    “Shunga” is literally translated as spring images and were crafted by the same artists that worked on the impressive “Floating Life” and ukiyo-e styles. Inspired by sensuality they began experimenting with sexuality and the popular imagery that surrounded it —resulting in sublime stamps of a remarkable complexity that were massively printed and distributed. It’s generally believed that this graphic style inspired what today is known as manga, anime and the popular figures of Japanese tattoos. Its influence was widespread; echoed in the works of Toulouse-Lautrec, Beardsley, Rodin and Picasso.

    Within the frame of the 400th anniversary of British-Japanese relations, the British Museum is exhibiting Shunga: sex and pleasure in Japanese art. This wonderful exhibition shows this enriching artistic manifestation in London for the first time ever; sponsored by Shunga in Japan LLP; it was the product of four years of research made by The British Museum, the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), the International Research Centre for Japanese Studies and Ritsumeikan University.

    These institutions’ fortunate encounter and joint efforts, as well as their shared enthusiasm for Shunga, has burgeoned a magnificent catalogue that complements the exhibition, and is also accompanied by a series of lectures and conferences. The exhibition will be open from October 3rd to January 5th 2014. 

    Tagged: shunga, eroticism, Ukiyo-e, Japanese art, Hokusai, exhibitions, shunga British Museum
  • Art of the Moment

    • It’s about time that a renowned and prestigious institution like MoMA exhibited this type of work.

    MoMA Soundings: A contemporary Score, the first great exhibition of sonorous art within this enclosure / 

    The interdisciplinary creative spirit twenty-first century art has undoubtedly been actively spread; since the late 1990s and due to communication technologies, any artist is now able to share their work. The flow of urban, sonorous and photographic creations has intensified exponentially.

    A clear example of this profound interdisciplinary activity has been developed in the MoMA exhibition Soundings: A Contemporary ScoreSixteen of the preeminent creators in the field of sonorous arts have conjugated their creations to burgeon the first great exhibition of its kind within the walls of the MoMA. The exhibition consists of projects which are explored using different optics, working towards the challenge of creating interactive pieces and immersive sonorous landscapes.

    This exhibition is the result of a joint effort between professionals in performance, visual art, programming, music and architecture. It was inaugurated the 10th of August and will remain open until November 3rd. Following the premise which states “the way we listen determines what we hear”, a series of surprising aesthetic experiences appear before our eyes: immersions in grainsound environments, composed by multiple and minuscule sounds, pieces that remit to inaudible sounds, and discourses that use the viewer’s body as a resonant medium. 

    Tagged: MoMA, exhibitions, Soundings: A Contemporary Score, sound art, sounds Credits: Image (Hong-Kai Wang. Still from Music While We Work. 2011. Multichannel sound and two-channel video installation)
  • Art of the Moment

    • We can appreciate the anatomic preciseness of the work compared to modern body scans.

    “The Mechanics of Man”: exploring the anatomical works by Leonardo da Vinci / 

    The enigmatic intentions of the renaissance genius, Leonardo Da Vinci, have maintained alive the research in several fields of study that this genius creator practiced. A particularly interesting aspect of his work was his exploration of human anatomy, an adventure that even led him to dissect two dozen bodies in order to develop the famous sheets we now know.

    These anatomic studies, their sophistication, detail and naturalism remained hidden for centuries. By the time the artist’s studies were found, medicine had already surpassed said knowledge, although we still recognise Da Vinci’s ability when it comes to making remarkable discoveries, and mainly, to delve in a practical study of functional anatomy, beyond the religious hurdles, and preposterous medieval speculations and expressions.

    In any case, recognising Da Vinci’s genial anatomic exploration with a beautiful exhibition called The Mechanics of Man is long overdue; this will be presented in The Queens Gallery inside Buckingham Palace, which will be open from the 2nd of August until the 10th of November.

    Perhaps the most notable aspect of this exhibition is the opportunity to compare works by Leonardo with three dimensional scans and cutting edge scientific research maps; a technologic juxtaposition that manifests the privileged vision of this tireless creator.

    We now leave you with some words by this incomparable explorer, which strongly reflect his intuitive precision and sensibility:

    The deity which invests the science of the painter functions in such a way that the mind of the painter is transformed into a copy of the divine mind, since it operates freely in creating the many kinds of animals, plants, fruits, landscapes, countrysides, ruins, and awe-inspiring places.

    Also in Sphere: View Leonardo Da Vinci’s annotations from home

    Tagged: Leonardo da Vinci, geniuses, exhibitions, The Mechanics of Man
  • Art of the Moment

    • The Hayward Gallery in London presents an exhibition of heterogeneous artists gathered for the extravagant reinvention of reality.

    Follow “The Alternative Guide to the Universe” and reinvent your reality / 

    Reality is unique but also multiple. Reality is collective and individual also, there is a common ground we all tread, but we all do it in our own way. There exists an absolute reality that we all share and also a personal reality that only belongs to whoever experiences it —with the possible or consistent opposition between one and the other.The Hayward Gallery in London recently inaugurated an exhibition which stands out for its dual character, as well as for this dual character of reality, and for certain extravagance that seems to run secretly below the surface of the world: The Alternative Guide to the Universe.The pieces shown are made by characters that, beyond the curatorial will, seem to have at least one circumstance in common: marginality. For one, all the participants are fairly unknown in the art world, and on the other hand, most of them inhabited at some point or another, the very frontiers of this world, whether this was because of madness or because they are self-taught, or in general, because when they confronted reality they found it to be insufficient. Perhaps it was because physical, social laws, the structure of existence itself, forced them to build a parallel route following their imagination’s unbridled path, delirious construction, and inordinate invention.The exhibit also features pieces by Lee Godie, a homeless woman from Chicago who worked during the Sixties, and who considered she was an impressionist, just like Monet or Renoir. Godie sold her paintings to pedestrians on the stairs of the Chicago Art Institute. In this case, however, what she is showing are her photographic self-portraits, in which she played with the appearance we show the world on a daily basis, with a style that we now believe only belongs to the renowned Cindy Sherman.The Alternative Guide to the Universe also gathers a couple of extravagant architects. The first is Bodys Isek Kingelez, a sculptor of Congolese origin, who shows his series Extrêmes maquettes, which are imaginary, at times futurist cities of a childish daydream charm. The exhibit will also feature the photographic archive of the houses that Richard Greaves built in the forests of Canada, while lacking practically any technical construction knowledge, reusing materials from abandoned mills.Lastly, following this tendency to rescue or re-signify things society has discarded, we can find the work by Wu Yulu, perhaps one of the few known artists featured in the exhibit. Yulu has gained some recognition because of his domestic robots, which he also builds from discarded materials he finds in dumpsters in the area surrounding the farm where he lives. Some do the cleaning, some do the dishes or light cigarettes. In The Alternative Guide to the Universe he shows a robot that can climb the wall and another which looks like a child and chases people around.Evidently, this is an eccentric but falsely heterogeneous collection. Towards the end we can discern certain logic, characteristic of the artists and the work. Similar to what is said in the review in the We make money not art website, these pieces say a lot less of themselves than of “the stories and personalities of the individuals behind them”.Which is the common thread? Perhaps the always present possibility of superimposing planes onto reality, of modifying or imagining it with other forms, seeing it through a different filter: re-inventing it.  ImagesI. Alfred Jensen, Twelve Events in a Dual Universe (1978) ©ARS, NY and DACS, London 2013, Photo: Linda Nylind, Courtesy Hayward Gallery.II. Paul Laffoley, The World Self (1967), (Installation view ‘Alternative Guide to the Universe’), Courtesy Hayward Gallery 2013, © the artist, Photo: Linda Nylind.III. Rammellzee, Color Letter Racer Set (c.1988) and White Letter Racer Set (c.1991), (Installation view ‘Alternative Guide to the Universe’), Courtesy Hayward Gallery 2013, © Estate of Carmela Zagari Rammellzee, Photo: Linda Nylind.

    Tagged: art, contemporary art, installations, The Alternative Guide to the Universe Hayward Gallery, exhibitions
    • The Gagosian Gallery presents Lichtenstein: Expressionism, a magna exhibition that we should not miss.

    Paris exhibition shows Lichtenstein’s pop art studies on German Expressionism / 

    Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997) was a pioneer when it came to projecting the inclusive vision we now know in art, which is not against popular forms of creation, nor against the incorporation of industrialised processes; this American artist’s pop art projects a precise synchrony with its time, it implies a specific way of seeing the world and perceiving art; while at the same time, his research reached an incisive vision of aesthetic interests, as did his perception of expressionist art.

    The Gagosian gallery in Paris presents Lichtenstein: Expressionism, in which the painter’s interest in the vanguards’ artistic notions are highlighted, his research on Picasso’s, Paul Klee’s and Miro’s work is reflected through the techniques he adopted from advertising, to show his works contribute a perception of art someone had to project.

    On the other hand, the exhibition also manifests that the Lichtenstein’s expressionist incursions are, to a certain degree, an actualisation of what artists such as Kirchner or Otto Dix did, painters who also caricatured the representation of their times, employing physiognomic distortions and harsh colours and themes.

    Reds, blues, yellows involved in the Benday printing process make up dotted faces that are synthetic versions of what the Germans’ did decades before; the graphic black dots are a direct allusion to the etching prints which proliferated during Expressionist times. The reflections on the medium, materials and the aesthetic that Lichtenstein makes surrounding expressionism, elicits the viewer to undergo a necessary reflection on tradition and historical consciousness.

    The exhibition opened on the 1st of July and it will close on the 12th of October, giving us plenty of time to make the most of this opportunity to explore this facet, in the work of a man whose work has influenced our era profoundly.

    For further information about Lichtenstein: Expressionism, follow this link.

     

    Images

    I

    The White Tree, 1980

    Oil and Magna on canvas

    105 x 204 inches (266.7 x 518.2 cm)

    © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

    RL 0870

     

    II

    Portrait of a Woman, 1979

    Oil and Magna on linen

    70 x 54 inches (177.8 x 137.2 cm)

    © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

    RL 0824

     

    Dr. Waldmann, 1980

    Woodcut with embossing on Arches Cover paper

    41 5/8 x 34 1/4 inches (105.7 x 87 cm)

    Edition of 50 + 13 AP

    © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein / Gemini G.E.L.

    RL 3673

     

    III

    Female Figure, 1979

    Oil and Magna on canvas

    70 x 50 inches (177.8 x 127 cm)

    © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

    RL 0822

     

    Portrait of a Woman (study), 1979

    Graphite and colored pencil on paper

    8 1/8 x 5 7/8 inches (20.6 x 14.9 cm)

    © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

    RL 2206

     

    IV

    Head, 1980

    Oil and Magna on canvas

    50 x 36 inches (127 x 91.4 cm)

    © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

    RL 0846

     

    Woman Drying Her Hair, 1980

    Oil and Magna on canvas

    46 x 42 inches (116.8 x 106.7 cm)

    © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

    RL 0848

    Tagged: Roy Lichtenstein, Lichtenstein Gagosian Gallery, painters, twentieth century art, exhibitions
  • Art of Inspiration

    • This exhibition, which studies the creative evolution in the life of the Oriental master engraver in the Art institute of Chicago, is a must.

    The stylistic culmination in Hokusai’s legacy: 36 views of Mount Fuji / 

    Katsushika Hokusai (1790-1849) is the Oriental master of Japanese engraving that influenced art, life and the unconscious. His editions where magnanimous, his name and several aliases multiplied throughout Japan. Among his series, the one that probably stands out the most is the one the artist entitled: Thirty-six views of Mount Fuji (1826-1833); the most renowned impression of the series is what today we know as The Great Wave off Kanagawa, in sum, the complete series is a masterpiece of graphic art.

    Mount Fuji is the highest in Japan, and in Hokusai’s times, the clear natural spectacle commended the figure of the giant —an earthly titan that throughout history inspired great works in different disciplines. At the elderly age of 70, the artist decided to homage the sacred mount, and the daily life the giant oversaw. The thirty-six visits were made on multiple wooden boards, each one made of at least three boards, which the artist then assembled to the size that culminated in the virtuous matrices; afterwards the master imprinter was in charge of the engraving process.

    Beyond the Great Wave: Hokusai’s Images of Mount Fuji, is the exhibition that the Art Institute of Chicago is hosting from the 20th of July, through to the 6th of October. The works on display show how the mastery of the series, in the latter years of this genius’ career, is the climax of multiple stylistic experiments, throughout Hokusai’s life.

    During the Edo period, appreciating the works that now hang in the most distinguished museums, in the streets was a popular practice, the stamps were coveted in Europe and squandered in Japan; an estimated thirty thousand works were made by Hokusai under a series of different pseudonyms, in different currents which encompassed everyday life, the landscape, eroticism and the extraordinary tales of his time. This creative genius left a millenary legacy, an artist who permeated his own time and whose influence continues to thrive even to this day. 

    Tagged: Hokusai, Hokusai Art Institute Chicago, inspiration, exhibitions, Japanese art
  • Art of Inspiration

    • Five videos explore the idea of departure and separation in different spatial, temporal and existentialist fields of humanity, Bill Viola presents his first solo exhibition in the Argentinian capital.

    “Punto de Partida”, Bill Viola’s first exhibition in Buenos Aires / 

    Bill Viola’s name is undoubtedly one of the most meaningful in the history of Video art. This is an artist that has known how to take the expressive possibilities of this multidisciplinary technique towards the explorations concerned with the most essential human issues —queries that are, per se, phenomena, such as the dualisms of life/death, light/darkness, sounds/silence, tension/calm, or even consciousness itself. With influences that range from Renaissance painting to Mark Rothko, Viola’s creations explore the limits of the meaning of these concepts, which to a greater degree constitute our vision of the world, both individually and socially.

    Recently, Punto de Partida, was inaugurated in Buenos Aires, the first individual exhibition the American artist has had in Argentina. In this case, this entails presenting five videos surrounding the ideas and effects of departure, separation, that rupture which at times is painful, at times unpredictable, sudden, that disbands time and space, a person and their surroundings, that differentiates the ‘here’ from ‘there’, the past from the present, life and death, the State and the individual.

    Symbolically, Punto de Partida, is being shown, free of charge, in Memory Park in Buenos Aires, in the "Presentes, Ahora y Siempre" (Present, Now and Always) exhibition room, and will be open until the 2nd of September of the present year. 

    Tagged: Bill Viola, video art, contemporary art, Bill Viola Buenos Aires Argentina, inspiratin
  • Art of the Moment

    • The art forms produced in Mexico by men truly committed to art and their ideologies, is exported to London.

    The artistic production that developed in Mexico between 1910 and 1940 arrives at the Royal Academy / 

    The Mexican artistic renaissance is arriving at the Royal Academy of Arts. All the creative power that was unleashed during the Mexican Revolution will be narrated in the rooms of this prestigious London institution. Works by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco will be shown alongside creators who arrived in the Central American country during that period.

    The heat of repression that was experienced in Mexico during the porfirista dictatorship lead to the indignation of valiant and creative men such as the master engraver José Guadalupe Posada. The technical and officiating men, committed with the social struggle, put their virtue at the service of the ideals of the time, as is shown in photographs by Manuel Ramos and his vision of the México lindo (beautiful Mexico).

    In total, the exhibition will host 120 pieces, from a creative period that ranges from 1910 through to 1940.

    “In this exhibition what is truly important is the way in which outside eyes see Mexico (…) and how it coincides in many aesthetic and figurative aspects with art that is being created in the country”, said Rafael Tovar, the president of the National Council for Culture and Arts in Mexico (CONACULTA),  the institution that collaborated with the project, in allusion to the pieces by foreign artists that are presented simultaneously, as where the works by Jean Charlot, the photographs by Edwards Weston, Tina Modotti, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Edward Burra and Sergei Eisenstein.

    Every single artist that lived in Mexico during that period contributed an important liaison with the country’s history, they identified with the rich culture and tradition they encountered, with the Old World’s Promised Land, and the people who sought autonomy and freedom after being plundered by the coloniser. The showing was compiled due to the collaboration of public and private institutions, and will be shown from the 6th of July through to the 29th of September. As part of this exposition, there will be a series of lectures and studies pertaining to the Mexican Revolution, Surrealist Mexico and other issues that delve into the experience surrounding this fierce stage in Mexican art. 

    Further information about Mexico: A Revolution in Art, 1910-1940, in this link.

     

    Images:

    I: Jose Chavez Morado, Carnival in Huejotzingo (1939).

    II: Tina Modotti, Workers Reading El Machete (c.1929).

    III: Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Lords of the Dance (1931).

     

    Tagged: art, mexican art, Mexico, painting, painters, photographers, exhibitions, Mexico: A Revolution in Art 1910-1940

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