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In this ground-breaking collection of critical essays, 15 writers explore the experimental, interdisciplinary and radically transgressive field of contemporary live art in South Africa.
Set against a contemporary South African society that is chronologically `post' apartheid, but one that continues to grapple with material redress, land redistribution and systemic racism, Acts of Transgression finds a representation of the complexity of this moment within the rich potential of a performative art form that transcends disciplinary boundaries and aesthetic conventions. The collection probes live art's intersection with crisis and socio-political turbulence, shifting notions of identity and belonging, embodied trauma and loss, questions of archive, memory and the troubling of colonial systems of knowing,
an interrogation of narratives of the past and visions for the future.These diverse essays, analysing the work of more than 25 contemporary South African artists and accompanied by a striking visual record of more than 50 photographs, represent the first major critical study of contemporary live art in South Africa; a study that is as timeous as it is imperative.
Taking their cue from Okwui Enwezor’s title for the 56th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia, All the world’s futures, Rose and Till present an array of works by artists who are deeply invested in local iterations of power, freedom, and civil liberty. The curators wish not only to represent recent, important work from South Africa, but also to set in motion a complex and dynamic debate about the relationship between the contemporary moment and the narratives of the past. With this in mind, they have sought ways of inserting new works into a series of historic moments without, in any way, making those moments explicit or suggesting a crass opposition to or identification with history. Rather, they see—and seek to represent—the past as an alluvial undertow in South Africa’s fractured and multivocal present, a stream of dreams, desires, and memories that frequently boil to the surface in ways both useful and destructive. The contemporary works on the exhibition pose a series of counter moves. Some are little interested in history and focus instead on ruptures in the present. Some embed themselves in regurgitated narratives of liberation and national identity with the view to unsettling the certainties of these narratives. Some, through their representation of the fraught particularities and singularities of individual lives, interrogate the grand myths of democracy and nation building. Some are subtle meditations on loss or escape or hope; others, strident refusals of the normative. Given the strength of the works to be presented, the curators face the challenge of saying too much or offering too confused an experience of the works and their disparate imperatives. They thus bring to bear on the conceptualising of this exhibition, their combined experience—from work in the public sector, the management of museums and biennales, curatorship, architecture, gallery and museum design—of locating and communicating a strong but multilayered curatorial idea that encourages critical debate and brings fresh insights to our own particular contemporary moment.
In the east end of the inner city of Johannesburg, a former textiles factory undergoes a dramatic transformation to become, over the next several years, one of the city’s foremost artists’ studios. When the sale of the building seems imminent, not only must the artists face the daunting prospect of relocation, but a remarkable chapter in the complex narrative of contemporary South African art seems about to close. Sensing the importance of this moment, Kim Gurney, herself a former tenant of the atelier, follows the stories of several of the August House denizens through some of the artworks that came to life in their studios. The result is a fascinating study of the role of the atelier and its artists in South Africa’s fractious art world, and a consideration of the relationship between art and the ever-changing city of Johannesburg.
With the eye of an urbanist, artist and resident, Kim Gurney [constructs] a compelling assemblage of individual, visual and urban narratives brilliantly illuminates the complex life of a building, August House, located in inner city Johannesburg. Her cast of characters—artists, workers, neighbours, August House and the city—lend poignant contours to the ebbs and flows of daily life,the pressures of gentrification, the ruthlessness of poverty, the radicality of the imagination and the ghosts of history.
This almanac of overlooked vintage subject matter has an emphasis on art, design, photography and culture. With an extensive array of rare images, Outr Journal presents a curated compendium of the unusual that takes its cues from cabinets of curiosities and journals of miscellany such as The Saturday Book of old. The focus on underground topics and pop culture extends across time and continents to include highlights such as: religious architecture in the Space Age, found photos and images of masked people, Satan, pop culture and many more.
In June of 2010, William Kentridge asked Denis Hirson to join him in a public conversation at the opening of Cinq Thèmes, the artist’s retrospective exhibition at the Jeu du Paume in Paris. So fruitful was this event that the two decided to have further conversations, public and private, whenever the time and the occasion seemed right. Nine engagements followed, allowing them to explore at great length the many issues and themes arising from Kentridge’s work. These conversations, in which a writer and an artist grapple with the enormous complexities of making art, grow out of a friendship that stretches back to the 1980s and that is deeply entwined in the fortunes of the city where they both grew up and the country that is the wellspring of their work.
Born in Cambridge in 1951, Denis Hirson lived in South Africa until the age of twenty-two, studying social anthropology at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. In 1975 he settled in France, where he has worked as an actor and lecturer at the École Polytechnique. He has written seven books, almost all of them at the frontier between prose and poetry and concerned with memories of South Africa in the time of apartheid. The most recent of these is the novel The Dancing and the Death on Lemon Street. He has also assembled and edited three anthologies of South African writing, including In the Heat of Shadows: South African poetry 1996–2013. Ma langue au chat, a book in French about the delight and torture experienced by an Anglophone when speaking and writing in French, is forthcoming from Les Éditions du Seuil in October 2017.
William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1955. He is a graphic artist, filmmaker and theatre artist renowned for his humanist and poetic perspective on apartheid, colonialism and totalitarianism, and on their lingering effects. Best known for his allegorical animations of charcoal drawings that he erases and appends frame by frame, Kentridge has explored disciplines ranging from sculpture to books, stereoscope to opera. His works are included in numerous international collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam and the Albertina Museum, Vienna. His acclaimed production of Wozzeck travels to the Metropolitan Opera, New York, for the 2019–20 season.
Helen Bellany, twice married to the artist John Bellany, recalls their lives together in Scotland, London, and Italy, John's rise from poverty and obscurity to worldwide recognition, and the human cost inherent in creating great art. The sea was in both their hearts and in John's work from its earliest stages. From there, he deepened into a profound exploration of the human condition. The Restless Wave reflects the mystery, poetry and passion that was at the core of the inner life John and Helen shared. The couple had great friendships with such fellow artists as David Bowie, and John painted such internationally known figures as Billy Connelly, Sean Connery and Peter Maxwell Davis, as well as many portraits of his muse, Helen.
Indonesian art entered the global contemporary art world of independent curators, art fairs and biennales in the 1990s. By the mid-2000s, Indonesian works were well-established on the Asian secondary art market, achieving record-breaking prices at auction houses in Singapore and Hong Kong. This comprehensive overview introduces Indonesian contemporary art in a fresh and stimulating manner, demonstrating how contemporary art breaks from colonial and post-colonial power structures, and grapples with issues of identity and nation-building in Indonesia. Across different media, in performance and installation, it amalgamates ethnic, cultural and religious references in its visuals, and confidently brings together the traditional (batik, woodcut, dance, Javanese shadow puppet theatre) with the contemporary (comics and manga, graffiti, advertising, pop culture). Spielmann's Contemporary Indonesian Art surveys the key artists, curators, institutions and collectors in the local art scene, and looks at the significance of Indonesian art in the Asian context. Through this book, originally published in German, Spielmann stakes a claim for global relevance of Indonesian art.
First published to accompany Piano Nobile's exhibiton at Piano Nobile Kings Place, Thomas Newbolt: Drama Paintings - A Modern Baroque, this fully colour illustrated book presents a substantial publication on contemporary artist Thomas Newbolt. Newbolt's dedication to the figure in art, and the vitality of his work have gained him international recognition. An artist of talent and intellectual integrity, he was Harkness Fellow at the University of Virginia and the University of Wisconsin, and a Fellow-Commoner at Trinity College, Cambridge, as well as a respected teacher at Camberwell, Anglia Ruskin and The Royal Drawing School, London. Recent exhibitions include Ely Cathedral, the Estorick Collection, and a group show, Vital Signs, at Clifford Chance in 2015. His work is held in major international public collections. With essays by Mark Hudson, arts critic at the Telegraph, Professor Maurice Biriotti, and Martin Gayford, critic at the Spectator, this catalogue provides fresh insight into the work of this most enigmati and powerful of artists. Lavishly illustrated and beautifully designed as a work of art in its own right, Thomas Newbolt: Paintings is a reflection on Newbolt's career thus far, and a testament to the significance of his work. The publication includes three essays, a catalogue of works selected by Thomas Newbolt, a chronologyof the artist's career and an index.
For the Haus der Kunst in Munich, the question of how to deal with its own past arose directly after the end of the Second World War, when the building once again served as an exhibition space . This richly illustrated volume spans the key historical dates during which a social and political development took place, at whose beginning stood the ideology of the National Socialists and whose end marked the start of Germany's transformation into a democratic state. In this time period, it was not only the orientation of the Haus der Kunst's content that changed; as a result of the cultural-historical upheavals of this time, the basis for the building's development as an international exhibition venue was also laid. Today the Haus der Kunst plays a formative role in the discussion of relevant positions in contemporary art. It documents the historical developments within the context of political and cultural transformations, as well as their international parallels and references. Large exhibitions that were influential for the topography of the art of the twentieth century such as the World Exposition in Paris in 1937, the biennials in Venice, and the first documenta in 1955 provide the coordinates for the international dimension of the Haus der Kunst's story.
In 2011, on a trip to South Africa for an exhibition, Gary Schneider began a series of handprint portraits of South African artists. Having grown up in South Africa, which he left in 1977 at the age of twenty-three, Schneider realised that this would not be an overview of South African art but rather a way to reconnect with a country that still has an enormous influence on his work. On several subsequent trips, he travelled widely to make handprint portraits in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown and Durban. Included in the book are seventy-seven handprint portraits. Each imprint is a record as singular and individual as a fingerprint but, at the same time, free of all the usual markers of physical identity.
"Patience, patience, because the great movements of history have always begun in those small parenthesis that we call 'in the meantime.'" --John Berger The last book that John Berger wrote was this precious little volume about time titled What Time Is It?, now posthumously published for the first time in English by Notting Hill Editions. Berger died before it was completed, but the text has been assembled and illustrated by his longtime collaborator and friend Sel uk Demirel, and has an introduction by Maria Nadotti. What Time Is It? is a profound and playful meditation on the illusory nature of time. Berger, the great art critic and Man Booker Prize-winning author, reflects on what time has come to mean to us in modern life. Our perception of time assumes a uniform and ceaseless passing of time, yet time is turbulent. It expands and contracts according to the intensity of the lived moment. We talk of time "saved" in a hundred household appliances; time, like money, is exchanged for the content it lacks. Berger posits the idea that time can lengthen lifetimes once we seize the present moment. "What-is-to-come, what-is-to-be-gained empties what-is."
The book is fully illustrated with full-color images and will inspire anyone with an interest in abstract art and watercolor painting. Over the course of his career, David Whitaker extended the range and resonance of Abstract Art. He established a reputation through investigating the optical effects of color in paintings of extraordinary technical accomplishment and daring. The ambition and the control of these strikingly beautiful effects were continuously developed throughout his career.
This visually stunning survey provides an in-depth look at Eileen Hogan's (b. 1946) working methods. Covering her entire career, it focuses particularly on two dominant themes in the artist's oeuvre-enclosed gardens and portraiture. Her depictions of gardens range from London's well-known Kew Gardens and Chelsea Physic Garden to Little Sparta, Ian Hamilton Finlay's garden in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh. Her portraits include expressive sketches and paintings of veterans of the Second World War, and of HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall. The book includes images from Hogan's sketchbooks, her studies, and finished paintings, accompanied by striking photographs of the artist at work. Essays by scholars and Hogan herself trace the artist's career from her student days at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts through the present. This volume provides an unprecedented, intimate look at the life and work of one of the most interesting and evocative artists working today.
Rob Kesseler works in the liminal space between fine art, design, craft and science. He moves easily between disciplines to engage fully with the art and science of the world around us. From ceramics to furniture and drawing to photography, Up Close presents his most thought-provoking and beautiful works in a creative collage, arranged thematically, mixing images and texts that have inspired him, especially the exotic forms and luscious colours of the plant world.
As one of the leading figurative painters of his generation, the work of Andrzej Jackowski is mostly autobiographical, based on his early childhood memories, recollections of a family history in Poland and the feelings of alienation and enclosure that these experiences roused. Using powerful, insistent images from his past Jackowski explores ideas of human memory and psyche both on a personal and more collective level. As such, his paintings and drawings have come to be imbued with some of the defining imagery of modern European history. The Remembered Present is the first profile on his hugely intriguing artist and includes essays by Gabriel Josopovici, Timothy Hyman and Professor Michael Tucker. Images of dispossession, loss and identity are continually addressed, bringing ideas of betrayal, childhood and nationality to the forefront of current debates concerning painting. Whether personal or private in intention, his work is an embodiment of contemporary historical painting.
A most striking, design-led reference book, A to Z Great Modern Artists features artist and graphic designer Andy Tuohy's portraits of 52 key modern artists, rendered in each artist's own characteristic style - including Aleksandr Rodchenko in his constructivist poster style, Andy Warhol as a classic repeat print, and Barbara Hepworth illustrated to resemble one of her distinctive bronze and rod sculptures. With expert text by art historian Christopher Masters, each artist's entry includes a summary of the essential things you need to know about the artist; their biographical details, why they're so significant, where you can find their works today, and a surprising fact about them plus reproductions of key works. Whether you're already an art expert, or looking for a helpful cheat to navigating around a gallery, you'll love this stunning and intelligent guide to global artists of the modern age.
The work of Joan Rabascall (he has lived in Paris since 1961) was shown regularly in France from the early 1960s to the early 1980s, but is little known in Catalonia. Cultural criticism associated with the politics of revolt lead him to explore the dependency of culture in relation to the economy, fashion and politics in order, in the 1970s, to reflect on the construction of history and how the tourist industry configures landscapes, territories and languages. This book gathers the production from this period, which was key in the artist's career, based around concrete series like the collages done between 1964 and 1968, the first photographic emulsions on fabric and photographic prints on metal, the main works from the 1970s that use texts and statistics about culture as ready mades, as well as the souvenir landscapes of 1975 and the Costa Brava landscapes of 1982.
Pop art is one of the most pivotal movements in modern art. It challenged the conventional idea of fine art and recognised the pervasive nature of materialism and consumerism that had taken over 20th century society. This beautifully illustrated book explores Pop art's origins in modern European avant-garde movements such as Cubism and Dadaism, prior to its true beginnings in early 1950's London with the Independent Group and their fascination with American popular culture - leading to the name "Pop". Guiding the reader through the work of some of the most well-known practitioners, such as Warhol and Lichtenstein, this compelling book also travels the world to examine how Pop art influenced artists as far afield as Italy, Spain, Finland, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Key figures include Japan's Yayoi Kusama and Italy's Mimmo Rotella. POP! The World of Pop Art explains how - and why - this movement appealed to so many diverse artists on so many levels, including often overlooked female artists who were central to the Pop art scene. Finally, POP! considers the influence of Pop art on other genres, in particular as the precursor to post-modernism and contemporary forms of art. With 15 faithfully reproduced documents, including items from the studios of a number of artists, POP! The World of Pop Art gives a unique insight into this celebrated movement.
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