Invitation: Vesi Vatten Water Acqua

Last post about Finland, before Easter holidays, about the invitation i received for the new exhibition at Wäinö Aaltonen Museum in Turkuentitled Vesi (Water) – Sense and Sensation. Part of the European Capital of Culture 2011 programme, the exhibition explores the sensory aspects of water: what does it feel, sound, look and smell like? With focus on photography and video art, the exhibition features 32 works of contemporary artists from Finland, Sweden and Estonia. The experiential side of water points back to its symbolic meanings: fresh, clear water purifies and promotes life, while foul and cloudy polluted water spreads disease and kills. The exhibition also examines the different states of water: what does snow feel like on bare skin? What about sleet in the face, or dipping your toes in cool lake water?The interpretation and approach in the exhibited works reflect on the complex symbolical meanings and visual diversity of water.

Some of the featured artists are: Päivi Eronen, Tina Eskilsson (Swe), Vesa Hannuksela, Eero Hiironen, Markus Henttonen, Antti Laitinen, Harri Larjosto, Peeter Laurits (Est), Renja Leino, Susanna Majuri, Jukka Male, Arno Rafael Minkkinen, Marge Monko (Est). The exhibition is part of the SaunaLab project which is dispersed over various locations in the city. Other events include four Art Saunas designed by different artists, the “Let’s Talk Sauna” series, and the “Sauna Path” exhibition at the museum café.

Wäinö Aaltonen Museum
until 21th August 2011


ARS 11 – Confused organization for the fiftieth of Kiasma

One of the biggest exhibitions in Europe started last week: ARS 11. In winter i received an offer for an unpaid internship opportunity at the organization of ARS 11, after one month negotiations, the person that contacted me literally vanished. ARS 11 is a major international art event filling Kiasma museum of contemporary art of Helsinki with artworks, performances, screenings, discussions and workshops. Even though their confused management, the exhibition celebrates the 50-year history of one of the most important institutions in Finland. Organised since 1961, the ARS exhibitions have played a crucial role in shaping ideas about art and giving a face to contemporary art in Finland.

The ARS 11 exhibition will extend to eight cities in Finland as well as to Stockholm, Sweden. The satellite exhibitions will be curated and produced by the partner museums and will showcase the themes of ARS 11. ARS 11 will be part of the programme of the Turku 2011 European Capital of Culture. The contribution of Kiasma will include two video installations from its collections: Where is Where?(2008) by Eija-Liisa Ahtila and Western Union: Small Boats (2007) by Isaac Julien.
The Centre for Contemporary Art Lagos, CCA Lagos, will participate in the ARS 11 project with an exhibition of photographic work by J.D. ’Okhai Ojeikere from a career spanning more than 60 years.

Kiasma museum 

until 27th November 2011

Richard Prince at Bibliothèque Mitterand

© Richard Prince

Richard Prince is a passionate booklover and a collector of American pop culture and countercultures from the 50s’ to the 80s’. This artistic movement has inspired his work as photographer and painter. Thanks to a musical background – including works by Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan and the Velvet Underground – and to his collaboration with the designer David Adjaye, Richard Prince portrays an American continent scoffing at its myths, introduced in a beat, hippie or punk context.

© Richard Prince

After the Musée du Louvre and the Château de Versailles where Jan Fabre’s and Jeff Koons’ works were respectively presented, the Bibliothèque nationale de France also opts for contemporary creation, inviting the worldwide famous American artist, Richard Prince. Especially well-known for his cow boy photographs illustrating Marlboro advertising campaigns and for his series of « nurse » paintings, the artist is the best at depicting the American fin de siècle. This is the first monographic exhibition on Richard Prince organised in Paris. The title « Richard Prince – American prayer » refers to Jim Morrison’s poem. The exhibition focuses on a feature of personality never presented before.

Bibliothèque Mitterand


Visual illusions by Susan Collis

What you see here is not just a shopping bag. It’s about pure manual expertise of the English artist Susan Collis. The bag is made of paper, is called Conchi and the checked pattern is entirely drawn with biro and pencil, including all the details: handles, zipper, seams. Superb result of hours of work, it has a value of over ten thousand euros. Susan Collis, graduated from Royal College of Art, with a master in sculpture, plays with visual perception, manipulating objects from everyday life, and also with the visitors of her exhibitions, that seldom understand at once her works.

© Susan Collis

Discovered and sustained by Seventeen gallery, London, the series of these super delicate bags, in different colors, have to be added to the precious series of elements in wood, platinum and tissue as in Forever Young. Where have you seen them already? At last edition of Artissima, in Turin. Want to see an exhibition of the artist? Next exhibition will be at Lora Reynolds gallery, Texas, from 14th May.

Seventeen gallery

Lora Reynolds gallery

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Rainbow design by Julien Carretero

Talking about the international furniture show in Milan, one name to keep in mind is Julien Carretero. Member of the Dutch collective Atelierdorp, Carretero is well known for his unpredictable objects. To Be Continued is the series of two benches and a small table made in colorful polyurethane. The title is not random, because the repetition of colors and shapes is exactly what makes the difference in these works, being every new layer the result of the previous process.

© Julien Carretero

The final project is defective, and it’s difficult to predict it would be better for a lounge room or a museum, but that changeability is exactly the main characteristic of these seats with inconstant look. Another newsworthy project is Drag, composed by various object in colored plaster solidified in semi-circular forms, later attached together. A process traditionally used for the production of ornamental frames, that is for Carretero a way to create lamps, jars, small tables and whatever.

© Julien Carretero

Julien Carretero


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Death of mysterious minimalism

John McCracken, a West Coast artist who brought a New Age openness to Minimalist sculpture, along with a vocabulary of bright, sleek slabs, blocks and columns that balanced teasingly between painting and sculpture, died on Friday in Manhattan. He was 76. His death was confirmed by the David Zwirner Gallery, which represents his work. John McCracken differed from the Minimalists in his belief in U.F.O.s, extra-terrestrials and time-travel. In interviews that gave his work a distinct frame of reference, he frequently likened his art to something that an alien visitor might leave behind on earth (The New York Times).

At same time a retrospective is devoted to the American artist, developed in close collaboration with the artist, curated by Andrea Bellini, at Castello di Rivoli, Turin.

The exhibition covers the entire span of the artistic production of John McCracken. The exhibition opens with an initial section dedicated to pictorial works, while a second part focuses on two-dimensional works derived from earlier works, namely the artist’s early sculptures and objects, some of which recall archaic or Egyptian architectural elements. These are followed by a series of the celebrated “Planks” and an entire section dedicated to the Mandala series. The exhibition concludes with recent works, including, among others, wall sculptures and some monoliths.

February 11th – June 19th 2011

Castello di Rivoli – Manica Lunga

Report on The New York Times