Monthly Archive: February 2004

Dream Factory Communism: The Visual Culture of the Stalin Era

Kunsthalle Schirrn, Frankfurt/M., 24 September 2003 – 04 January 2004 

Max Hollein, Director of the Shirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, relates how he suddenly conceived of the exhibition Dream Factory Communism on a trip to Moscow after a chance encounter with the power and desire that radiate from Socialist Realist painting.

A visit to the Tretyakov Gallery convinced him to discard his original plan for a Kandinsky retrospective, in favour of a controversial art that fascinates the contemporary imagination with its mixture of the “monumental and folksy” on the one hand, and the “postmodern and visionary” on the other.(Max Hollein, foreword Read more

2003 Chalupecky Prize Shortlist: The Jindrich Chalupecky Award Finalists 2003

Futura, Prague, 11 November – 4 January

The exhibition of shortlisted works for the 2003 Chalupecky Prize at Prague’s FUTURA contemporary art space, can best be summed up with two words: Kristof Kintera.

Among this year’s finalists—a list which also includes Ján Manzuka, Michaela Thelenová, Jan Lerych, Michal Pechounek—only Kristof Kintera has presented anything like a credible claim to the Czech Repulic’s premier award for contemporary art—an award which has gained increasingly in notoriety in recent years due more to the quality of the successive scandals surrounding it than to the quality of the competition.

The only artist to approach … Read more

Ondrej Tucek & the Art of Redemption

Namesti Jana Palacha, Prague, June-October 2004

Recently there have been a number of interesting exhibitions mounted at the Philosophy Faculty building on Námesti Jana Palacha, curated by Ondrej Hrab.

One of these in particular stands out and deserves mention: Ondrej Tucek’s series of found objects, previously on show at Klub v Jelení, the Catholic House in Telc, Sazavou castle, and Muncipal Theatre, Cesky Krumlov.

Using plastic bottles, steel wires, torn wrappers, bricks, cardboard tubes, half-eaten biscuits, stiboglyphics, and other ephemeral tracings of industrial and urban activity, Tucek’s work charts what could be called the “inventions” of mimesis in objects which … Read more

Interview with Vladimir Dubosarsky and Alexander Vinogradov

Vladimir Dubosarsky and Alexander Vinogradov are the most promising Russian artists of their generation. They represented Russia last year in the Venice Biennial. Their paintings are included in permanent collections of Le Centre Pompidou in Paris; MAK, Vienna; and The Houston Museum of Art. In 2003 they had five solo exhibitions throughout the world including a show in New York in the Deitch Gallery. Dubosarsky and Viongradov live in Moscow.

Veronika Georgieva: In 1994, the very beginning of your collaboration, your project appeared as a sufficiently radical and confusing gesture –because it didn’t fit into the two main art movements … Read more

How a Genre Exhibits Itself by Discussing the Exhibition

Berlin – Moscow/Moscow – Berlin 1950-2000, Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin, 27 September 2003 – 1 May 2004 

The exhibition review is one of the most unmerciful genres created by literal cultures. In this context the critic’s iconoclasm takes subtle revenge for the disregard of the written word after the so-called “pictorial turn” in Western societies.

Trying a shaky balance between ekphrasis, elevating the review to the status of pictorial art, and textual criticism of pictures demonstrating the domination of verbal over visual discourse, the reviewer shifts from the position of a viewer to that of a reader, often playing off … Read more

Malevich’s Transparency

Kazimir Malevich: Suprematism, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 13 May ­ 14 September 2003

Kasimir Malewitsch: Suprematism, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, 18 January – 27 April 2003

Malevich’s pieces of art exhibited this year at the Guggenheim Museum in Berlin and New York are labeled as “Suprematism.”

There are proper reasons for the title: all works exposed in this canonical collection are related to the doctrine formulated in 1915 (sketches already in 1913) and later developed by Malevich and his followers and disciples into one of the most powerful concepts and stimuli of contemporary art.

The canonical element of the … Read more

Irwin: Retroprincip 1983-2003

“Irwin: Retroprincip 1983-2003” at Kuenstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, September 26-October 26, 2003 

“Irwin: Retroprincip 1983-2003,” curated by Inke Arns (Berlin), presents an extensive survey in the work of Irwin, as well as a collective of Slovenian painters (Dušan Mandic, Miran Mohar, Andrej Savski, Roman Uranjek, and Borut Vogelnik), including some of the most influential artists from the former Yugoslavia.

Their artistic practice, as well as their theoretical writings and research projects, concern the following diverse subjects: the relationship between art and totalitarianism; modernist iconography and ideology; the geo-political impact of the revolutions of 1989-1991; and the historicising of modern and contemporary … Read more

Cy Twombly: Fünfzig Jahre Arbeiten auf Papier

Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, 8 October – 30 November 

Despite the ongoing vogue in rehabilitating “avant-garde” and “experimental” artists within the institutions of art historical orthodoxy, one artist whose work has so far escaped systematic anthologisation is the post-war American painter Cy Twombly.

In Rosalind Krauss and Yves-Alain Bois’s 1997 study, Formless: A User’s Guide, Twombly is enrolled as an exemplar of certain tendencies (otherwise associated with European artists like Wols and Fautrier) towards the scatalogical and deconstructive in American art.

Or, to put it otherwise, a “Europeanisation” of American art—precisely that against which such critics as Clement Greenberg had … Read more

Pierre Daguin: The Frank’s Wild Years

Home Gallery, Prague, 17 December – January 30 

To correspond with its first anniversary, HOME Gallery will be hosting an exhibition of recent works on paper by Pierre Daguin.

This show, Daguin’s first in Prague for several years, represents part of a larger series of recent works including a selection of photographs (“Philip Morris,” “Kuchen und Lugger” and “Psychosex”), several “antipersonnel bombs,” an installation entitled the “Children of Marcos” (weapon-toys) and the White Book (a book of collage about terrorism).

For the installation of “drawings” at HOME Gallery this December-January, Daguin will be exhibiting a series of faux-naif renderings of … Read more