Tony Cragg’s work, which has been charting new ground since the 1970s, is part of a busy dialogue with matter. Whether made of wood, glass, plastic or bronze, his sculptures associate the particular qualities of a material with the vitality of a form. This major exhibition offers the public a chance to discover the oeuvre of one of the most important contemporary sculptors.
A TRIBUTE TO AD REINHARDT
In tandem with his writings on art and his pictorial praxis, which would culminate in the radical and emblematic works which his monochrome paintings turned out to be, in the 1930s Ad Reinhardt developed an activity as an illustrator, and published caustically witty drawings in the American press. Through a broad selection of illustrations and drawings, the exhibition underscores the artist’s great freedom of tone and commitment as much with regard to political and social issues as to art, and abstract art in particular.
As a painter and musician Martin Eder, who is a charismatic figure from the Berlin art scene, develops pictorial work that combines kitsch, eroticism and mythological figures. Known for his brightly coloured paintings of pets or girls in suggestive poses, he portrays a singular universe in which his realistic style and classical compositions are combined in a dream world which is often disturbing. His most recent work explores the relationship between dream and reality and states of consciousness that oscillate between these two dimensions.
The starting point of the exhibition, the artwork by Andrea Mastrovito entitled Non ci Resta Che Piangere (There's Nothing Left To Do But Cry) encourages us to refuse any unambiguous reading of history. When invited to exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the artist, in response to the presence of a statue of Christopher Columbus in front of the museum, decided to literally reverse the explorer’s caravel and thereby question the benefits of the discovery of America.
Trained as a painter, the American artist Mary Reid Kelley nevertheless rapidly engaged with the video medium to develop a singular visual universe. Her black and white films, with their expressionist look, sometimes recall the early days of cinema. In costume and make up, she embodies the main character she portrays in a historic setting, whether it be the Second Empire or the First World War.
Borrowing its title from a book written in 1884 by Edwin A. Abbott, where the leading characters are geometric forms, and the narrator, a Square, describes his discovery of a three-dimensional world, this group show deals with the way in which, from the 1960s on, artists have drawn inspiration from the formal abstract vocabularies which ran through the 20th century, infiltrating them with narratives. Flatland / Abstractions narratives #2 brings together some thirty artists from different generations.
Marked by her cosmopolitan origins, between Europe and Asia, and by her interest in the world’s acoustic dimension, Su-Mei Tse’s praxis is permeated by issues such as time, memory, rhythm, and language. Assuming the most varied of forms – sculptures, videos, photographs, installations –, her works invariably create shifts between different fields.