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Art diary

 

Chronicles of an undercover reporter From Paris to New York

 

Richard Prince was unable to attend his Paris opening at Almine Rech, having returned to New York after his mother was taken ill. A shame. His work was priced at $700,000 a piece. It was expensive. 

 

As for Jeff Koons, he brought along his entire family for his retrospective at the Centre Pompidou. He has at least six children, a wife, nannies, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc., and a mother in a wheelchair, who he asked when passing his earliest works, the plastic inflatables, “Hey Mom, do you remember when I did this?” (They date from the late 70s.) Never in the living memory of art criticism has such a swarm of society photographers been seen at one opening. It was familial and glamorous.

 

In Bottrop, at Wade Guyton’s opening, there wasn’t a single society snapper in sight. Bottrop? It’s a small provincial town 45 minutes from Cologne. The Galerie Gisela Capitain had assembled a dozen or so people to visit the Josef Albers Museum, which had commissioned Guyton to rehang its permanent collection as well as to produce new work for it. The trip had something of a this-was-how-modern-art-used-to-be feel to it. 

 

It was great.

 

In New York, in his enormous Brooklyn studio, the same Wade Guyton had asked John Armleder to create a series of canvases, which themselves turned out to be gigantic, in a palette of iridescent colours. Armleder was on form: he produced so many canvases that there wasn’t actually room to hang them all (despite its being one of the biggest studios I’ve ever had the privilege to visit). So he piled them up one on the other. The viewing took place during the big-bucks week for New York auction houses, when the circuit of ticketed galas and chic fundraisers for all manner of institutions is at its highest pitch. At Wade’s there were only friends, a pizza van parked out front and trestle tables. It was free. 

 

Paris Photo: I laughed a lot over my fellow critic Éric Troncy’s review of the Mapplethorpe exhibition which Isabelle Huppert “curated” at the Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery. “I hope she won’t feel qualified to perform open-heart surgery should I someday I require it…” It must be said that by making him so respectable and so barely sexual, Huppert seemed to have disactivated Mapplethorpe. It was a bit sad and prudish.

 

The Galerie Balice Hertling organized an Olivier Zahm exhibition without in the least disactivating the erotic charge of his photos. A wonderful print of his very pregnant wife, enthroned in an armchair with legs-akimbo in high heels, welcomed gallery goers in Belleville. It was cool.

 

At Ropac once again, but this time in Pantin, Sylvie Fleury – who we haven’t seen in Paris for almost five years – conjured up a performance in which actresses produced sounds with gestures transmitted by motion sensors to a computer programmed by IRCAM (the Institute for Musical and Acoustical Research and Coordination). There was a piece by Loïe Fuller, a sort of trance dance, then a femme fatale drying her hair, but it was the jogger that stole the show. In a very 80s leotard, up and down she skipped on the very stepper marketed by Jane Fonda in her fitness-queen heyday. Fleury could hardly hide her joy at its finally having arrived, since eBay had initially sent it to Swaziland, thinking that was the same as Switzerland. It was experimental. 

 

Interview with Takashi Murakami, a pop icon
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Interview with Takashi Murakami, a pop icon

Art Drawing from Japanese popular culture and the world of manga, his spectacular artworks have brought him global fame and have been shown at such diverse and prestigious locations as New York’s MoMA, London’s Tate Modern and the Château de Versailles. Takashi Murakami was also a pioneer with respect to his iconoclastic fashion collaborations, an approach that he continues to explore today by co-producing exhibitions with the designer Virgil Abloh. Drawing from Japanese popular culture and the world of manga, his spectacular artworks have brought him global fame and have been shown at such diverse and prestigious locations as New York’s MoMA, London’s Tate Modern and the Château de Versailles. Takashi Murakami was also a pioneer with respect to his iconoclastic fashion collaborations, an approach that he continues to explore today by co-producing exhibitions with the designer Virgil Abloh.

Albert Oehlen, the painter of pop culture exhibited at Palazzo Grassi in Venice
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Albert Oehlen, the painter of pop culture exhibited at Palazzo Grassi in Venice

Art Like a free-jazz jam session, his canvases bring together a whirlwind of references, from pop culture to figuration to abstraction, blended in hyper-controlled chaos. François Pinault’s Venice museum is currently celebrating the work of German painter Albert Oehlen. Like a free-jazz jam session, his canvases bring together a whirlwind of references, from pop culture to figuration to abstraction, blended in hyper-controlled chaos. François Pinault’s Venice museum is currently celebrating the work of German painter Albert Oehlen.

Who is Yuko Hasegawa, a japanese art authority ?
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Who is Yuko Hasegawa, a japanese art authority ?

Art 2018 is a great year for japanese art in France, with a whole host of concerts, dance shows, theatrical events and exhibitions being planned. Top of the bill is hang at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, the work of Yuko Hasegawa, the greatly respected chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. 2018 is a great year for japanese art in France, with a whole host of concerts, dance shows, theatrical events and exhibitions being planned. Top of the bill is hang at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, the work of Yuko Hasegawa, the greatly respected chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo.

How Art Basel moved from must-see fair to global brand
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How Art Basel moved from must-see fair to global brand

Art Basel, Miami, Hong Kong and soon Buenos Aires – Art Basel keeps on expanding its horizons, to the point where its name now rivals big global brands like Coca Cola in fame and recognition. Basel, Miami, Hong Kong and soon Buenos Aires – Art Basel keeps on expanding its horizons, to the point where its name now rivals big global brands like Coca Cola in fame and recognition.

Artists and hackers, they hijack new technologies
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Artists and hackers, they hijack new technologies

Art Algorithms, coding, data, hardware – what use (or misuse) can artists make of all these new technological tools? This is the fascinating question asked by a double exhibition at the centre pompidou, to which Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda has been invited as guest of honour. Algorithms, coding, data, hardware – what use (or misuse) can artists make of all these new technological tools? This is the fascinating question asked by a double exhibition at the centre pompidou, to which Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda has been invited as guest of honour.