What's Happening In Art This Week

1. Giorgio de Chirico: The Enigma of the World

The Return of Ulysses, oil on canvas by Giorgio de Chirico (1968)

The Return of Ulysses, oil on canvas by Giorgio de Chirico (1968)

Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978), a pioneer of the metaphysical art movement, is returning to his root in Istanbul; his father was a railway engineer and his grandfather was a diplomatic interpreter in Istanbul, with his current exhibition at Pera museum. The exhibition is made up of 70 paintings, 2 lithography series and 10 sculptures.

De Chirico was heavily influenced by the theories of philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Otto Weininger and Schopenhauer. He invented metaphysical art in Florence in 1910 based on ideas he drew from his readings. He often incorporated the subject matter of memories and dreams in his work at as such influenced surrealists such as Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte.

 The curator of the show, Fabio Benzi, writes in his article in the exhibition catalogue:

“… while avoiding formalist and abstractive research such as the chromatic and expressionistic exaggerations of his great colleagues, [De Chirico] projected his own quest into the theretofore unexplored territories of the dream, the mystery of the world and of memory, thus tracing a high road that would lead to surrealism and to all artistic expression that refer to the unconscious”.

The exhibition displays a large selection of works from the 1920s until his final years. It also includes of the earliest works by the artist (1909). Giorgio de Chirico, The Enigma of the World in on Show at the Pera, Istanbul, Museum from 24th February – 01 May 2016.


2.  Sandro Botticelli: Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum  

Sandro Botticelli (1444/45-1510) spent most of his life in Florence and was trained in the studio of Filippo Lippi. Botticelli gained fame as a painter of the House of Medici and under their patronage he created works that varied widely in subject matter; from privately commissioned mythological paintings to large-scale altarpieces. Botticelli’s style is reminiscent of medieval art as it remained decorative and symbolic.

The exhibition includes Botticelli’s religious paintings, mythological works and portraits from his entire career. Also included in the exhibition are works by his master Pilippo Lippi and his pupil Filippino Lippi. 

The exhibition marks the 150th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Italy. More than 20 works sourced from Florence and other regions of the world are featured in the exhibition.

Sandro Botticelli is on show at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, January 16 (Sat) – April 3 (Sun), 2016


3.  No Window Shopping: Mission Coffee

Crowdsourcing by Nina Wright

Crowdsourcing by Nina Wright

No Window shopping is a traveling art residency that responds to current events and local affair from around the world. It is a visual reply to current events, timely topics and local affairs. Curator André Smith, has brought together topical works, that address larger social issues, from emerging artist from various countries.

Smith exhibits emerging artists’ work in atypical places. The idea is to provide the public with access to art in everyday settings. In this phase of the exhibition the work is displayed at Coffee Mission. The title No Window Shopping refers to, according to André Smith, “things we cannot afford to ignore.” The present group show aims to comment on the Bay Area’s most controversial issues; specifically, that of gentrification.

The exhibition features work by Nina “Mobb Pink” Wright; Arrington West; Michael Covington; Analog Monsters; Fernando Garcia and Vanessa “Agana” Espinoza.

No Window Shopping is on view at Mission Coffee from December 18 - February 29


 4. Tom Friedman: Untitled

A life-size sculpture by Tom Friedman (left) corresponds to an ancient Greek figurine from the Mead collection (right).

A life-size sculpture by Tom Friedman (left) corresponds to an ancient Greek figurine from the Mead collection (right).

Tom Friedman is a well-known conceptual artist. His current exhibition takes artistic inspiration from the Mead’s permanent collection and as such his work forms a dialogue with art from the past. He challenges the viewer to rethink the Mead’s art collection in a contemporary context.

Two works in the Mead’s collection that act as inspiration for Friedman’s works are a portrait of Lord Jeffrey Amherst (1765) by Joshua Reynolds and Claude Monet’s “morning on the Seine” (1897). He also finds inspiration in second century Greek sculpture and eighth century Japanese woodworking.

Friedman works in a wide variety of media including Styrofoam and Plexiglas, paint and glitter. The objects he creates are targeted towards a contemporary audience; objects such as pizza, hostess treats, abstract pieces in yarn and figures constructed from stainless steel.

Tom Friedman: Untitled is on view from at the Mead Art Museum from February 16 - June 26, 2016.


 5. Drawing Inventory

Wartburg's Drawing Inventory

Wartburg's Drawing Inventory

Wartburg's Drawing Inventory exhibit draws from University of Iowa Museum of Art's permanent collection. The exhibition is on show at the Waldemar A. Schmidt Gallery at Wartburg College. It is comprised on 46 drawings and works of paper. Sarika Sugla, assistant curator at the University of lowa Museum of Art says, “In curating the exhibition, I focused my attention on works that would inspire Wartburg art student an offer insight into the ever-expanding possibilities of drawing practices.”

A wide variety of approaches to drawing and subject matter can be seen in the exhibition. As Sugla comments, “Initially, viewers may be surprised by the wide variety of the works; as they explore very different subject matter, styles, and mark-making approaches. However, this accurately reflects the wide range of drawing practices that have evolved over time.” 

Drawing Inventory is comprised of seven main sections: Human Understanding, Natural Surroundings, Illustrative Notions, Capturing Locale, Changing States, Expanded Practices and Systematic Approaches.

Drawing Inventory is on show at Waldemar A. Schmidt Gallery from January 8 – March 25, 2016.