Happy New Year

2013 Is Coming…
Before 2012 ends,
Let me thank all the good people like You,
Who made 2012 beautiful for me.

Thank you for following and participating to this amazing trip in contemporary art.

© Elad Lassry

© Elad Lassry

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for us.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 41,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 9 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report

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At the edge of Moscow – Alexander Gronsky

Alexander Gronsky was born in Tallinn, Estonia in 1980 and began working as a press photographer in 1998. He gradually moved from editorial photography to working on personal documentary projects focusing on the contemporary Russian landscape.

© Alexander Gronsky

© Alexander Gronsky

© Alexander Gronsky

© Alexander Gronsky

Gronsky explores the ambiguity of the spaces that are on the border between large towns and rural areas. I particularly like the series The Edge, set in Moscow, with in the background, the Soviet apartment blocks, the geometric shapes of objects in the foreground and the lights of the typical Russian cold days.

© Alexander Gronsky

© Alexander Gronsky

© Alexander Gronsky

© Alexander Gronsky

He has won numerous awards, including the 2011 Prix Levallois-Epson, the 2012 Foam Paul Huf Award, the 2010 Silver Camera Grand Prix, Moscow, the 2009 Critical Mass Top 50, the 2009 Aperture Portfolio Prize, and the 2009 Linhof Young Photographer Award. His work has been presented in solo exhibitions in Moscow, Paris, New York, Amsterdam, Bogota, and Levallois, France, as well as in group exhibitions. He was a participant in the 2003 World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass.

© Alexander Gronsky

© Alexander Gronsky

© Alexander Gronsky

© Alexander Gronsky

Alexander Gronsky 

Journeys, Wanderings in contemporary Turkey

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

Journeys, Wanderings in contemporary Turkey, is closing. Don’t miss the dancing performance on 6th January, inspired by the works in the exhibition. I went to the opening at Espace culturel Louis Vuitton, thanks to Onfair, the art club for young collectors.

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

After Indonesia in 2011, the Espace now turns the spotlight on Turkey. With its mosaic of populations, Turkey is home to a vibrant art scene, which shows the modern face of this rapidly changing country.

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

Eleven artists from different generations use a variety of techniques to evoke, each in their own way, the theme of travel, dear to Louis Vuitton. Some wander through their country – vast not only in geographical terms, but also in the scope of its history and the multicultural essence of its people – while others embark on an intimate, introspective journey, touching on the universal.

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

The strength, beauty and immensity of the Turkish landscape unfold in Murat Morova’s polyptych, in the surprising photographic mise-en-scene by Halil Altindere, and in the installation by Murat Akagündüz, which brings together video and resin painting. Photographer Silva Bingaz shows a reportage featuring the inhabitants of Istanbul, while Ali Taptik creates a patchwork of intimate urban photographs, revealing the mystery of this enigmatic country. Ceren Oykut, meanwhile, takes inspiration from everyday life to express, through her drawings, the fevered, chaotic activity of the city.

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

Childhood and the past provide another rich vein of inspiration: Ihsan Oturmak paints uniformed schoolchildren from class photographs, while Tayfun Serttas appropriates an astonishing series of archive images in which young girls adopt the same hackneyed pose before the photographer’s lens. The artist Canan goes back over the history of her country with a video portrait of a woman, offering a contemporary vision of Turkish society somewhere between classic ottoman calligraphy and illumination, collage and animated film.

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

Finally, Gözde Ilkin’s embroideries, composed of objects the artist found on her travels, and Hale Tenger’s globes hanging beneath a starry vault, invite the visitor to wander beyond the borders of this fascinating country.

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

A romantic and poetic, sometimes even melancholic, bias is expressed in this selection of artworks on the theme of travel, the leitmotif of all exhibitions at the Espace culturel Louis Vuitton.

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

Espace culturel Louis Vuitton

Onfair 

Selection and photos by Ingrid Melano

Contemporary Soviet Photography: Arsen Savadov

© Arsen Savadov

© Arsen Savadov

I am more and more convinced that Ukraina has been, and is again, one of the European centers for creative photography. In particular, after Roman Pyatkovka, I would like to go back to the works by Arsen Savadov, made ​​in 1997.

© Arsen Savadov

© Arsen Savadov

© Arsen Savadov

© Arsen Savadov

I warmly suggest to have a look of the series Donbass-Chocolate and Fashion at the Graveyard. I find that in both series Savadov has faced and caused a little ‘stir on issues that are really reflecting our present age. At the same time poetic and sensual, these images are certainly worthy of being rediscovered.

© Arsen Savadov

© Arsen Savadov

© Arsen Savadov

© Arsen Savadov

Arsen Savadov was born in 1962, Kyiv, Ukraine. He currently lives and works in Kyiv and New York. Graduated from Kyiv State Institute of Art in 1986, his works were presented within the First Ukrainian Project, La 49 Biennale di Venezia (2001); Sotheby’s, Modern and Contemporary Russian Art, London and New York (2009); New Ukrainian painting, WHITE BOX, (2008) and many others institutions.

© Arsen Savadov

© Arsen Savadov

Arsen Savadov

Selected by Ingrid Melano

Not Precisely Knowing, Not Precisely Knowing Not

Lisson Gallery, Milan, presents Spencer Finch’s series of new works including a site-specific LED installation, a suite of photographs and a large watercolour that explore memory, colour and the relationship between the conscious and the unconscious.

© Spencer Finch

© Spencer Finch

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a large, outdoor installation that comprises a forest of barely perceptible vertical brass rods of varying heights, each with a tiny LED at its tip. Like fireflies against the night sky, the LEDs light up intermittently and in different configurations, choreographed to ‘perform’ a scene from Shakespeare’s play. The spectator is invited to track these blinking LEDs in their jerky, unpredictable trajectory.

© Spencer Finch

© Spencer Finch

At the core of Finch’s practice is his on-going investigation into the nature of light, colour, memory and perception. He uses scientific method to poetic effect, examining the mechanics and mystery of perception.

© Spencer Finch

© Spencer Finch

Finch is fascinated by the process of taking a beautiful, natural phenomenon and re-contextualising it in the cultural space of the gallery: a transformation that provokes a meditative observation that in turn inspires wonder. It is an arguably crude, theatrical animation that, in this suspension of disbelief, becomes a serene and mesmerizing experience.

© Spencer Finch

© Spencer Finch

Lisson Gallery

Contemporary Shapes: Diamond

Johannes Wohnseifer

Johannes Wohnseifer

Johannes Wohnseifer’s Diamond is painted with comic mysticism: its corporate logo a meditative fixation, accompanied by a haiku-like slogan. Humorously playing on spiritualism as a by-product of global enterprise, Wohnseifer’s Diamond places advertising as the new religious art, extolling the virtues of faceless powers.

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

Celebration, the series of large-scale sculptures and paintings by Jeff Koons, includes among others balloon dogs, Valentine hearts, Diamonds (in blue, red and green), and Easter eggs, and was conceived in 1994. Some of the pieces are still being fabricated. Each of the 20 different sculptures in the series comes in five differently colored “unique versions”, including the artist’s proof, all in high-chromium stainless steel with mirror finish surfaces.

© Jeff Koons

© Jeff Koons

Olafur Eliasson,  whose large-scale immersive environments, installations, sculptures, and photographs elegantly recreate the extremes of landscape and atmosphere in his native Iceland, at the same time as they foreground the sensory experience of the work itself, used the shape of diamond to create a corridor to access to the exhibition space in Take your time: Olafur Eliasson at MoMA and PS1.

© Olafur Eliasson

© Olafur Eliasson

Diamonds have remarkable optical characteristics and this is probably the reason why so many artists are still working on this shape. Combined with wide transparency, this results in the clear, colorless appearance of most natural diamonds. Small amounts of defects or impurities color diamond blue (boron), yellow (nitrogen), brown (lattice defects), green (radiation exposure), purple, pink, orange or red.

© Mustikka

© Mustikka

Diamonds also have relatively high optical dispersion (ability to disperse light of different colors), which results in its characteristic luster. Excellent optical and mechanical properties, combined with efficient marketing, especially by N. W. Ayer & Son, the advertising firm retained by De Beers that in the mid-20th century, succeeded in reviving the American diamond market, make diamond the most popular gemstone and iconography in general.

Ingrid Melano