What's Happening In Art This Week

1. Gilbert and George: The Art Exhibition

Installation view Gilbert & George at Mona; courtesy the gallery

Installation view Gilbert & George at Mona; courtesy the gallery

Gilbert & George's Astro Star from the Scapegoat Pictures. Photo: Gilbert & George

Gilbert & George's Astro Star from the Scapegoat Pictures. Photo: Gilbert & George

The exhibition at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) displays the work of the iconic duo Gilbert and George. It is a retrospective that covers nearly 50 years of Gilbert and George’s career. The exhibition was curated by Gilbert and George themselves. “We don’t do exhibitions to make us happy,” they state. “We are here to provide the opportunity for change with the viewer to think or feel something different.”

 The works tackle a diverse range of topics including: sex, politics, homosexuality, class, terrorism, greed, profanity and religion. They address these issues in a critical and mocking fashion. Gilbert and George were keen to include the wall text: ‘We want our art to bring out the bigot from inside the liberal and conversely to bring out the liberal from inside the bigot.’

 As is typical of their work, each work in the exhibition is a collage of photographic images of the artists, found images and slogans.

 Gilbert & George is on view at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Hobart, 28 November – 28 March, 2016.

 2. Breitner: Girl in Kimono

Girl in White Kimono, G.H. Breitner, 1893/94, Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede

Girl in White Kimono, G.H. Breitner, 1893/94, Rijksmuseum Twenthe, Enschede

Girl in a Red Kimono (Geesje Kwak), c. 1895-1896, George Hendrik Breitner. Gemeentemuseum, The Hague

Girl in a Red Kimono (Geesje Kwak), c. 1895-1896, George Hendrik Breitner. Gemeentemuseum, The Hague

 

The exhibition Breitner: Girl in Kimono is the first exhibition that brings together all of George Hendrik Breitner’s versions of a girl in a kimono. Breitner completed these works between 1893 and 1896 and they have become icons of Japonism.

The exhibition features a total of 20 paintings, including 13 Girl in Kimono works and one nude. Included in the exhibition is a painting seen for the first time ‘Girl in a Red Kimono’, from a private collection. There are also sketches, drawing and photographs on display, which the artist used to prepare for his paintings. There are two kimonos on display, from the same period as the ones seen in the works.  

The model in the majority of the paintings is Geesje Kwak. She posed for the painter between the ages of 16 and 18.  The innocence and youth of Geesje Kwak adds to the subtle sensuality that is evident in all of the paintings.  

The exhibition is on display at the Rijksmuseum from February 20 to May 22, 2016.  

3. Richard Kalina: Panamax

Richard Kalina, Resting State - Red, 2015, 32 x 32", oil on linen

Richard Kalina, Resting State - Red, 2015, 32 x 32", oil on linen

Richard Kalina was born in 1946 and started showing his work in 1969, in various places including New York. Richard Kalina constructs his paintings with a unique process of collage. Most of his works are made out of painted rice paper collaged and layered on the canvas. 

 He describes this process as building paintings from a “toolkit of components” that are rearranged differently in each work or group of works. The components he refers to are bars, panels, circles, complex linear connector and different grounds. Kalina states that there is a logic that governs his earlier works: “the number of the internal panel patches the number of the color bars (and no color bar repeats) and the circles always come in two of each color.”  There are, however, some works that are exceptions.

 Richard Kalina: Panamax is on view at Lennon, Weinberg, Inc. from February 18 – March 26, 2016. 

4. Pat Flynn: Half-life of a Miracle

Untitled (smoke 3) (2012)© Courtesy Pat Flynn / The International 3

Untitled (smoke 3) (2012)© Courtesy Pat Flynn / The International 3

 Pat Flynn, Now that it's all over, we can be friends, 2010, Courtesy of the artist and The International 3 

 Pat Flynn, Now that it's all over, we can be friends, 2010, Courtesy of the artist and The International 3 

The exhibition Half-life of a Miracle displays the photographic work and films by Pat Flynn from the period 2005 – 2015. To date the exhibition is the most comprehensive showing of his art. Flynn’s works are digital images created using 3D computer graphic software. Through his work Flynn tells stories drawn from art history, popular culture and his life growing up in Greater Manchester. For example, his work Juice 2015, draws its inspiration form a various sources including: The Wizard of Oz, the Church of Catherine of Siena and the American minimalist artist Dan Flavin. The show as a whole is playful in its use of trickery and deception. He deceives the viewer but also reveals the means of his deception and ‘magic’. At times Flynn questions the viewer’s belief in magic and looks at the human desire to believe in the spectacle. He not only causes the viewer to examine their belief in magic he also calls into question religion, myth, beauty and art itself. The exhibition Half-life of a Miracle is on view at Manchester Art Gallery, from 25 September, 2015- Sunday 17 April, 2016. 

5. Octavia’s Attic: ARTifacts from our possible futures

Ancestral Headwrap by Paul Lewin

Ancestral Headwrap by Paul Lewin

The exhibition Octavia’s Attic:ARTifacts From Our Possible Futures, is being held to celebrate and commemorate the sci-fi writer Octavia Butler. The exhibition displays works done in a wide range of mediums including: sculptures, paintings, videos, interactive installations, and textiles. The artists who are exhibiting their work vary from emerging artists to well established artists.
All works in the exhibition explain a secret left unanswered in Butler’s novel ‘Kindred’. In the book a black woman (who resembles Butler) finds herself back in time on a slave plantation in Antebellum. The way she travelled back in time is never revealed.
Some works in the exhibition are ‘time machines’ or ‘time-navigation tools’ that, according to the shows idea, Butler used to explore time and space. Other artworks are ‘artifacts’ that, it is imagined, Butler brought back with her from other realms.
Octavia’s Attic: ARTifacts From Our Possible Futures is on show at San Francisco’s Live Worms Gallery, February 24 – March 2, 2016.  

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