The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) (2 June 2019–5 January 2020) is an inter-generational show of 21 Chinese artists working from the 1980s to the present, including Ai Weiwei, Cai Guo-Qiang, Lin Tianmiao, Song Dong, He Xiangyu, Yin Xiuzhen, and Ma Qiusha.Staged on Level 2 of LACMA's Renzo...
When the London-born artist Thomas J Price graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Chelsea College of Arts in 2004, the school's college art prize was by no means his most notable accomplishment as an emerging artist. In 2001, Price presented his much-talked-about work Licked, a daring performance, later profiled on the BBC 4 television...
To coincide with Art Basel 2019, which opens to the public from 13 to 16 June, galleries and institutions across the city are presenting a range of stellar exhibitions. From Rebecca Horn at Museum Tinguely to Geumhyung Jeong at Kunsthalle Basel, here is a selection of what to see.William Kentridge, Dead Remus (2014–2016). Charcoal on found ledger...
Exhibition view: Carsten Höller, Berlin Biennale (1998). Courtesy Berlin Biennale.
Many of the art spaces in early '90s Berlin were located in vacant, abandoned, often ruined buildings that artists had taken over. Artists were running studio collectives and co-ops, outfitting surprising storefronts, and creating nightclubs and music programs. One very influential artist for me was Daniel Pflumm, who was organizing the experimental club Elektro and at the same time working on his light sculptures, logos, and video works.
Best known for large-scale sculptural installations that employ different materials and mediums, Monica Bonvicini incorporates elements of architecture, performance, photography, video, painting, and collage in her work. Using dry and direct humor, she confronts issues of subjectivity, power, barriers, control, and institutional critique. Bonvicini’s art establishes a critical connection within the space where it is exhibited, the materials that define it, and the roles of spectator and creator.
Bonvinci was born in Venice, Italy in 1965 and currently lives and works in Berlin. She holds degrees from the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin (now known as the Universität der Künste) and from the California Institute of the Arts.
Since 2003, she has held a position as Professor for Performative Arts and Sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Notably, Bonvinci’s work has been featured in many prominent biennials, including the Berlin Biennale (1998; 2003; 2014); La TriennaIe, Paris (2012); the Istanbul Biennale (2017; 2003), and the Venice Biennale (1999; 2001; 2005; 2011; 2015). She has had solo exhibitions at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK (2016/17); Kunsthalle Mainz, Germany (2013); Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany (2012); Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Malága, Spain (2011); the Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2011); Art Institute of Chicago, IL (2009); Modern Art Oxford, UK (2003); and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2002). Bonvicini also received the Golden Lion at the 48th Venice Biennale (1999) and she was appointed Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2012.
Olafur Eliasson is a Danish-Icelandic artist known for his sculptures and large-scale, immersive installations. Eliasson completed his studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Art in 1995 and relocated to Berlin upon graduating where he established Studio Olafur Eliasson. Today it employs around seventy professionals working in various fields such as architecture, geometry, and art history.
Eliasson works across a diverse variety of media including sculpture, painting, photography, film, and installation, although it is his installations which have undoubtedly gathered the most attention. Audiences are able to actively engage with Eliasson’s installations which are immersive environments of colour, light, and movement that endeavour to prompt a greater understanding about the way people can engage with and interpret the world. Many of Eliasson’s works seek to inspire public action against climate change.
Eliasson led the Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments) for five years from 2009 during his time as a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts. The artist launched his solar products business at London’s Tate Modern in 2012 alongside engineer Frederik Ottesen. The organisation aims to promote sustainable global development and provides affordable light sources to communities that are without access to electricity.
Eliasson has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career including, most recently, a Crystal Award in 2016 for showing commitment to improving the state of the world. In particular praise was given to his works The New York City Waterfalls, Ice Watch, Riverbed, and The Weather Projects. Other awards granted to the artist have included the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT (2014); the Wolf Prize in Painting and Sculpture (2014); The European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture - Mies van der Rohe Award - alongside Henning Larsen Architects and Batterid (2013); the Joan Miró Prize (2007); and the 3rd Benesse Prize (1999).In 2007, the first retrospective of Eliasson’s work, Take your time: Olafur Eliasson, was held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, before travelling to the Museum of Modern Art and PS1 Contemporary Art Center in New York. Olafur Eliasson’s work is held in major public and private collections worldwide, including institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo; Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge.
Dan Graham is an artist, writer, musician and intellectual whose practice over the last 50 years has combined the aesthetics and concerns of Minimalism with the fundamental inquiries of Conceptualism. Throughout a shape-shifting and wide-ranging practice, Graham has often utilised the human body to explore the role of the spectator. Although curators and critics have found Graham's oeuvre difficult to summarise—due in no small part to the artist's own elusiveness about his art—Graham's practice has long been an important reference point for later generations, if not a cornerstone of Conceptual art.
Graham grew up in Winfield and Westfield, New Jersey, and in 1963 moved to New York City, where he would later publish a series of texts on art, architecture, music and television. In 1964, at the age of 22, he co-founded the John Daniels Gallery, which exhibited the work of Minimalists and Conceptual artists such as Donald Judd, Robert Smithson, Dan Flavin and Sol LeWitt, the latter of whom had his first solo show at the space before it closed. Following the closure, Graham continued to write music and art criticism while using magazines as outlets for early text pieces—a move seen as a rejection of the elitist limitations of the white cube. Printed in a fashion periodical, Graham's 1965 work Figurative is a reproduction of a supermarket register receipt, while his most well-known early work, Homes for America (1966–7) is a photo-based essay published in Arts Magazine. Embracing the ephemerality of the periodical with a dry humour traceable throughout his practice, the work comprises a series of photographs of homogenous suburban houses, emphasising the similarities between the repetition of post-war residential architecture and the starkness of Minimalism as he saw it at the time.
Long-engaged with the Punk and Hardcore movements, in 1987, Graham designed the cover of Sonic Youth's album Sister, while his 55-minute 1982–4 quasi-documentary Rock My Religion draws parallels between rock-and-roll culture and religious ecstasy. In 2004, Graham collaborated with the punk group Japanther and the artists Laurent P Berger, Rodney Graham, Bruce Odland and Tony Oursler on the rock opera Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty, which featured puppets, live music, sound recordings and video projections. However, Graham is now most recognised for the combination of architecture and art in his 'pavilions'—although he has suggested he doesn't like the word, and prefers to refer to them as public sculptures. Begun in the late 1970s, the semi-functional sculptures combine curving mirrored glass, steel, and sometimes hedges and grass to distort perception and refashion the stoicism of Minimalist forms. Incorporating elements of bus shelters and skyscrapers, the semi-reflective pavilions act as bisecting structures and interventions in urban spaces, engaging a range of perceptual experiences, as artist/curator Peter Scott has written, 'from detached voyeur to entranced narcissist'.
In 2009, Dan Graham: Beyond (25 February–25 May, The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles; 25 June–11 October, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York), the artist's first significant American retrospective, was exhibited, co-organised by The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
Carsten Höller is an artist working in the realm of rapture. From carnival rides to flying machines, slides and otherworldly sculptures, Höller generates opportunities for his audiences to experience whimsy and delight. He is often associated with relational aesthetics—a style coined in 1996 by Nicolas Bourriaud that focuses on human exchange and social context over object-based art. Born in 1961 to German parents in Brussels, Höller holds a doctoral degree in agricultural science and worked as a research entomologist until 1994. He began to make art in the late 1980s, alongside other artists experimenting with space and experience such as Pierre Huyghe, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Philippe Parreno.
One of Höller's earliest works was Flugmaschine (Flying Machine) (1996), a large steel structure to which viewers are strapped with a paragliding harness and hoisted through the air by an electric motor. Yet Höller is perhaps best known for his enormous, tubular slides, the first of which were made for the 1998 Berlin Biennale. Interested in the temporary loss of control while descending a slide, Höller compares the slider's experience to a phrase describing vertigo by the French writer Roger Caillois: a 'voluptuous panic in an otherwise lucid mind.' Or, in the artist's words, it is 'an emotional state . . . somewhere between delight and madness.' In 2000, Höller installed a slide in the office of Miuccia Prada in Milan, and in 2006, he erected what came to be his most widely recognised project: Test Site—a set of five giant slides in the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall.
In the same year, Höller's carnival rides were exhibited at at MASS MoCA in North Adams. Titled Amusement Park, the machines moved at dramatically slowed speeds and were kinetic sculptures rather than functioning rides. As in his slides, Höller embraced novelty and play while welcoming the viewer's bewilderment upon encountering carnivalesque 'entertainment' in a museum setting. Similarly, in 2014, his Golden Mirror Carousel was installed in an open-air sculpture court at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. The spectacular carousel was a shining, gilded structure that also revolved at a slowed pace—approximately one rotation per five minutes. By extracting velocity from where it is expected, Höller asked viewers to contemplate the speed expected from both the entertainment industry and everyday life. Höller again dramatically transformed the museum environment for the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum's theanyspacewhatever exhibition in 2008, when he presented Revolving Hotel Room: an installation comprising large rotating glass disks that became fully operational hotel rooms at night.
The effect of Höller's scientific studies are still evident in the artworks of his that incorporate plants, birds, animals and insects. Singing Canaries Mobile (2009) is a gigantic mobile comprising seven birdcages housing live singing canaries—one of the many kinds of birds that the artist keeps in his Stockholm home. Höller has incorporated mushrooms into his work since 1994; in 2000, he fixed massive, whimsical fungi sculptures to the ceiling for Upside Down Mushroom Room at Fondazione Prada in Milan. Alice in Wonderland-like mushroom replicas (Giant Triple Mushrooms ) were seen in his aptly titled 2011 survey exhibition Experience at the New Museum in New York. Höller selected the species of mushrooms (often fly agaric) based on their psychotropic properties. Also seen in Experience were: Giant Psycho Tank (2000), a sensory-deprivation pool that invited viewers to feel temporarily bodiless; Experience Corridor, in which viewers were invited to undertake self-experiments; and Animal Group (2011), an assemblage of life-sized and surreally coloured replicas of creatures.
Höller often describes his art as experiments and likes to bring his work outside of museums. In late 2017, he opened a nine-storey site-specific slide at the entrance to a mall, titled Aventura Slide Tower (2017)—his first permanent slide tower in the United States.
Höller is currently based in Stockholm and shares a house in Ghana with Marcel Odenbach.
Often known for his controversial and ambiguous political statements issued through paintings, sculptures, installations, and performances, Meese’s practice is routed in the German traditions of Dada and Fluxus, drawing inspirations from artists like Joseph Beuys. His provocateur disposition and the proclamation of ‘Dictatorship of Art’, often walk the fine line between provocation and blasphemy, catharsis and exorcism, or personal idolization and political criticism.
Meese’s paintings, drawings, and installations, indebted to the German Neo-expressionism of the 1980s, are stylistically garish. His seemingly careless technique feigns then naivete of an enfant terrible. On his canvas, Meese applies tubes of acrylics, crayons, graphite, ink, and watercolour with complete rejection to preconceived notions of painting. His images are often collaged with found objects, original photographs of political figures (or of himself), and written as graffiti of political manifestos (or his own) in untranslatable German and English neologisms.
Born in Oberhausen, Germany, 1960
Died in Berlin, Germany, 2010
Katharina Sieverding’s work, consisting largely of autobiographical photography, has reached international acclaim for more than three decades. After an international career as a student in the fields of political and social science, film, sculpting, and visual arts, Katharina Sieverding (born in Prague in 1944) had her first Documenta appearance in 1972 and has proceeded to take part in many international art fairs.
Important solo exhibitions involve the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York City, the Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, the ICA, Boston, as well as the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Museum Folkwang, Essen, and the Kunst-Werke in Berlin.
Some of Katharina Sieverding’s group exhibitions include The Paris Biennale (1973), the Venice Biennale (1976; 1980), Documenta, Kassel (1972; 1977; 1982), the Shanghai Biennale (2002), as well as extensive shows at the P.S.1 in New York City and Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin.
She has been awarded an array of prizes, containing the prestigious Kaiserring of Golsar (2004).
She lives and works in Düsseldorf and Berlin and is also guest professor at many international universities.
Sarah Sze is an American artist known for her intricate installations and taxonomic arrangements, both consisting of everyday objects. A fluid amalgamation of two-dimensional image, sculpture, video, installation and science, Sze's work not only challenges the convention of sculpture as a static object, but also offers a fantastical investigation into the measurement of time and space.
Sze refers to her artworks as experiments, at the centre of which exist investigations into a certain material's context or qualities. In the case of Cotissi—an installation created for Glasstress in 2017 (an official collateral event of that year's Venice Biennale)—the inquiry is into the properties of broken glass. Set in concrete, the glass shards originally set aside for recycling are both scintillating to look at and dangerous, given their jagged edges. In an earlier installation titled Stone Series (2013–5) (part of Sze's solo exhibition organised by Victoria Miro in 2015), the artist arranged a group of rocks on the floor. At first glance, the rocks appear massive and immovable; however, closer inspection reveals them to be lightweight imitations created by covering wire armature with printed boulder-pattern. On the wall, a row of canvases contains the printed textures of the rocks on display, flattening the weight and volume associated with a rock into two dimensions.
Another concern that Sze repeatedly returns to is time, as explored in Still Life with Desk and Calendar Series (both 2013–5). Still Life with Desk is a mixed-media sculpture that seems to have been frozen in a moment of disintegration; an intricate wire structure acts as a desk over which the artist has placed office-related objects including photographs, stationery, takeaway coffee cups, bottled water and potted plants. Some objects have spilled onto the floor, while more appear ready to follow. The spillage on the ground also includes silkscreen prints of newspaper front pages that, while all dated January 1, 2014, were each issued in a different location in a different time zone. In a further attempt to mark various moments in time, Sze replaces the photographs in the prints with pictures of the night sky.
Similarly centred on the passage of time, Calendar Series saw Sze collect 90 front pages of The New York Times. The artists again swapped out the newspaper's photographs, this time for images of nature such as the ocean or a snowscape. Discussing the work in an interview with Ocula Magazine in 2015, Sze recalled the questions that arose while working with time: 'How do you measure either space or time through materials or objects? What is our behaviour in doing that? ... How do we mark time not only physically, but emotionally or psychologically?'
Calendar Series—originally conceived for an exhibition at Philadelphia's Fabric Workshop and Museum in 2014—later developed an unexpected political dimension, beginning with its acceptance for the 1st Asian Biennial and the 5th Guangzhou Triennial (both 2015) in China. When Chinese authorities requested Sze remove parts of the newspaper that referenced China, the artist responded by painting over them with black acrylic. In 2016, Sze presented another revision of Calendar Series for Protest—a group exhibition at Victoria Miro in London that showcased artists whose works challenge the status quo—in which she obliterated all written content, save for references to China.
In 2016, Sze expanded her interest in ways of measuring time and space with Timekeeper, a tabletop installation that resembles a scientist's den or a writer's desk with its assemblage of objects including mirrors, lamps, stools, stones, alarm clocks with neon numerals and a metronome, among others. For this installation, the artist projected a diverse range of videos onto a myriad of surfaces, illustrating the many forms of time; the footage includes cheetahs running in slow motion, birds in flight and at rest, and water flowing. Displayed inside a darkened room, the installation was a rich landscape of fragmented and kaleidoscopic imagery.
Reminiscent of Timekeeper is Measuring Stick (2015), another tabletop installation that measures time and space through the moving image. Inspired by the film Powers of Ten (1977) by Charles and Ray Eames and its use of the factor of ten to quantify the universe, Measuring Stick combines mathematics and science with art; one of the installation's projections is a live-feed of data from NASA that charts the distance between Voyager 1 and Earth.
Although she is widely recognised for her sculptures, Sze also considers drawing a significant part of her practice for its sense of immediacy and potential to develop into other mediums. Her familiarity with the two-dimensional form stems from her background in painting, graduating with a BA from Yale University in 1991 and an MFA from New York's School of Visual Arts in 1997.
Exhibiting internationally since the late 1990s, Sze has held solo and group exhibitions at Victoria Miro, London (2018, 2016, 2015, 2012, 2009, 2007); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2017); Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York (2015, 2014, 2010); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2003); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2002); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2002); and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (1999) among others. She has participated in the Venice Biennale and its collateral events four times, and in 2013 she represented the United States with Triple Point—an exhibition of interrelated and immersive installations that examined the notion of the compass and our desire to find equilibrium. Her participation in other international group exhibitions includes La Biennale de Lyon (2009), Liverpool Biennial (2008), Whitney Biennial (2000) and Carnegie International (1999). Sze lives and works in New York.
To those familiar with the work of artist and curator Gabi Ngcobo, it is not surprising that We don't need another hero, the 10th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art (9 June–9 September 2018), resisted the desire for a single heroic conclusion. As the exhibition's curator, Ngcobo sought to create a 'multi-layered referential space' with its own...
One of the pressing threads of curatorial thinking over the last decade has attempted to draw together the ideological stakes of technology with the political realities of globalisation and post-colonialism. These relationships have been articulated in compelling ways in the work of critics and curators like Omar Kholeif, Orit Gat, and Karen...
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.