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Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds Ocula Conversation Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds

Geometric patterns, anthropomorphic characters, architectural spatial environments, and relics of the ancient world appear throughout Jess Johnson's artworks.Johnson's solo art-ventures began in drawing, but her long-term collaborative relationship with animator Simon Ward brings her drawings to life in videos and virtual reality. The animator has...

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Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger Ocula Conversation Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger

In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...

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Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City Ocula Report Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City 15 Nov 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Under the direction of Folakunle Oshun, the second edition of the Lagos Biennial (26 October–23 November 2019) includes works by over 40 Lagos-based and international artists, architects, and collectives. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, curator and producer Oyindamola Fakeye, and assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute of...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Related Press

LORNA SIMPSON with Osman Can Yerebakan

Osman Can Yerebakan The Brooklyn Rail 14 June 2019

Lorna Simpson, Blue Dark (2018). Ink and screenprint on gessoed fiberglass. 102 x 144 x 1 3/8 inches. © Lorna Simpson. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: James Wang.

Mammoth scale paintings of glaciers drenched in nocturnal blues guard Lorna Simpson's Brooklyn Navy Yard studio on a rainy April day. This is the type of blue that permeates the sky at the darkest hour of the night, when above us is so pitch black that the sky resembles a dense blue. The same blue is echoed in Tarell Alvin McCraney's play I_n Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue_, which Simpson and I discussed during our conversation between laughter, sighs, commiserations, and hugs towards the end. She is warm, maternal, determined, and ardent, cracking into laughter during hefty conversations about art, social justice, and the history of Black America.

Simpson's benevolent yet piercing approach to life is not far from how her art grasps us under the guise of beautiful images of models from magazine spreads. Her unassuming warmth and determination to always look into my eyes during our conversation melts the breeze emanating from her paintings of mountainous ice chunks gloriously standing at remote corners of the world. She blows up images culled from science publications and prints them onto gessoed fiberglass, after adding occasional cutouts of text. Then, the surface is hers to paint into blue, horizontally or on the floor, letting the blues build serpentine paths on the surface. In the far corner of her spacious studio, blown up images of women pulled from Ebony and Jet magazine ads stare in convincing perfection. Arguably her most extensively know works, her collages of women from vintage magazine ads have over the decades evolved into bridges between America's past and present histories of race and visibility.

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