Category Archives: Exhibitions

Sverre Fehn’s Venice pavilion drawings to be shown for the first time

Sverre Fehn’s original drawings for the Nordic Pavilion in Venice will be presented alongside Ferruzzi’s gorgeous black-and-white photographs of the building. The exhibition Venice: Fehn’s Nordic Pavilion will be on display 20 June–31 December 2014 at the National Museum – Architecture.

In 1958 the Norwegian architect Sverre Fehn, at the age of thirty-four, won the competition to design the Nordic Pavilion for the Venice Biennale. The building was completed in 1962 and earned Fehn international acclaim.

The exhibition presents original material related to the pavilion, such as sketches, competition drafts, and preparatory drawings. The exhibited drawings and the photos by Ferruzzi have been culled from Fehn’s personal archives, which were incorporated in the National Museum’s collections in 2008.

The exhibition also features publications that write about the pavilion, as well as information about the architecture competition in 1958 and the pavilion’s usage since 1962.

The exhibition’s curator is Eva Madshus.

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The world’s premier exhibition of architecture
The exhibition takes place simultaneously with the Architecture Biennale in Venice, which is regarded as the most important showing of international architecture.

In 2014 the National Museum will serve as curator and project manager for the Nordic Pavilion, a responsibility that alternates between Finland, Sweden, and Norway. This year’s exhibition has been given the title FORMS OF FREEDOM: African Independence and Nordic Models. The exhibition will investigate and document how modern Nordic architecture became an integral part of Nordic aid to East Africa during the 1960s and 1970s, and presents architectural projects that were developed during these brief, hectic years and that have been largely overlooked ever since.

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EXHIBITION OPENING
Thursday 19 June, 17:00, at the National Museum – Architecture.

FORMS OF FREEDOM: African Independence and Nordic Models

In 2014 the National Museum in Norway will be in charge of curating and organizing the Nordic Pavilion at la Biennale di Venezia, in collaboration with the Museum of Finnish Architecture and the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design in Stockholm. The Nordic Pavilion at the “Biennale Architettura 2014” is co-owned by Sweden, Finland, and Norway. La Biennale di Venezia, regarded as the world’s premier architecture exhibition, takes place this year from 7 June to 23 November.

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Architecture in Nordic development aid
The exhibition at the Nordic Pavilion has been titled “FORMS OF FREEDOM: African Independence and Nordic Models”. The exhibition will explore and document how modern Nordic architecture was an integral part of Nordic aid to East Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. The resulting architecture is of a scope and quality that has not previously been comprehensively studied or exhibited.

Mutual belief in progress
The liberation of Tanzania, Kenya, and Zambia in the 1960s coincided with the founding of development aid in the Nordic countries, where there was widespread belief that the social democratic model could be exported, translated, and used for economic growth and welfare. The leaders of the new African states, for their part, wanted partners without a murky colonial past and looked to emulate the progressive results achieved by the Nordic welfare states after WWII. The Nordic social democracies and the new African states established solid bonds built on a mutual belief in progress.

An unexplored field in architecture history
The Nordic architecture in East Africa has yet to be studied and documented by historians of Nordic and international architecture. The exhibition, which the National Museum in Norway is developing in collaboration with the architectural firm Space Group, revolves around two concepts. “Building Freedom” denotes the architectural nation-building where master plans were used to build cities and regions, prototypes and prefabricated systems were used to build education and health centres, and so on. “Finding Freedom”, conversely, denotes the experimental free area that emerged from this encounter between Nordic aid and African nation-building, where progressive ideas could be developed as architectural solutions on a par with the international avant-garde.

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Kenya: Karl Henrik Nøstvik
Karl Henrik Nøstvik, one of the few architects of the era whose archives remain intact, was among the first group of experts sent to Kenya in 1965 as part of the Norwegian aid package. Employed by the Kenyan government, Nøstvik was commissioned to design the country’s first government building. The Kenyatta International Conference Centre (1966–73), which adorns the Kenyan 100 shilling note, was East Africa’s tallest building until the 1990s and remains a national icon of independent, modern Kenya.

The world’s foremost architecture exhibition
The International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia is considered to be the world’s foremost architecture exhibition. The appointed curator for Biennale Architettura 2014 is the renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. The biennale’s overarching title is Fundamentals, while the exhibitions at the national pavilions will address the theme “Absorbing Modernity 1914–2014”. Koolhaas’s idea is that each nation shall narrate its history of modernization over the past century in various ways, using their own approaches and hopefully presenting unofficial and hitherto untold stories. The biennale takes place in two larger areas in Venice: Arsenale and Giardini. The Nordic Pavilion, situated in Giardini, was designed by Sverre Fehn and built in 1962.

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About the curators
The National Museum in Oslo is the Commissioner for the Nordic exhibition 2014, and Dr. Nina Berre, Director of Architecture at the National Museum, is the main curator. Gro Bonesmo, partner in the architectural firm Space Group, was appointed co-curator and exhibition architect. Space Group has its headquarters in Oslo, with local offices in São Paulo and New York. The three partners Gro Bonesmo (NOR), Gary Bates (US), and Adam Kurdahl (DEN) worked for several years with Rem Koolhaas at OMA in Rotterdam, before the three of them teamed up to found their own firm in Oslo in 1999. Gro Bonesmos is a Professor at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, and has also taught at Columbia University, Harvard, and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.

Conference Tour 14th International Architecture Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
The official programme for la Biennale di Venezia was presented to international architectural communities and media on Monday, 10 March, in Venice. The Conference Tour in its entirety is as follows:
Venice, March 10th– 12.30 p.m. (Ca’Giustinian)
London, March 11th – 11.30 a.m. (Italian Cultural Institute)
Berlin, March 12th – 11.30 a.m. (Italian Embassy)
Paris, March 13th – 11.30 a.m. (Italian Cultural Institute)

Italian Futurism

First Comprehensive Overview of the Influential Movement to Be Shown in the U.S.
Featuring Over 360 Works, Including Several Never Before Seen Outside of Italy

Exhibition: Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe
Venue: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York
Location: Full rotunda and ramps, High Gallery, Annex Levels 5 and 7
Dates: February 21–September 1, 2014

Exhibition Overview

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Italian Futurism unfolds chronologically, juxtaposing works in different mediums as it traces the myriad artistic languages the Futurists employed as their practice evolved over a 35-year period. The exhibition begins with an exploration of the manifesto as an art form, and proceeds to the Futurists’ catalytic encounter with Cubism in 1911, their exploration of near-abstract compositions, and their early efforts in photography. Ascending the rotunda levels of the museum, visitors follow the movement’s progression as it expanded to include architecture, clothing, design, dinnerware, experimental poetry, and toys. Along the way, it gained new practitioners and underwent several stylistic evolutions—shifting from the fractured spaces of the 1910s to the machine aesthetics (or arte meccanica) of the ’20s, and then to the softer, lyrical forms of the ’30s. Aviation’s popularity and nationalist significance in 1930s Italy led to the swirling, often abstracted, aerial imagery of Futurism’s final incarnation, aeropittura. This novel painting approach united the Futurist interest in nationalism, speed, technology, and war with new and dizzying visual perspectives. The fascination with the aerial spread to other mediums, including ceramics, dance, and experimental aerial photography.

The exhibition is enlivened by three films commissioned from documentary filmmaker Jen Sachs, which use archival film footage, documentary photographs, printed matter, writings, recorded declamations, and musical compositions to represent the Futurists’ more ephemeral work and to bring to life their words-in-freedom poems. One film addresses the Futurists’ evening performances and events, called serate, which merged “high” and “low” culture in radical ways and broke down barriers between spectator and performer. Mise-en-scène installations evoke the Futurists’ opera d’arte totale interior ensembles, from those executed for the private sphere to those realized under Fascism.

Italian Futurism concludes with the five monumental canvases that compose the Syntheses of Communications (1933–34) by Benedetta (Benedetta Cappa Marinetti), which are being shown for the
first time outside of their original location. One of few public commissions awarded to a Futurist in the 1930s, the series of paintings was created for the Palazzo delle Poste (Post Office) in Palermo, Sicily. The paintings celebrate multiple modes of communication, many enabled by technological innovations, and correspond with the themes of modernity and the “total work of art” concept that underpinned the Futurist ethos.

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Aujourd’hui, le monde est mort

« Imagining the worst conceivable tomorrows gives me tremendous pleasure at the artistic level. The darkness of the future lights up my present, and foreknowledge of a coming end guarantees my happiness in living today. In this exhibition you will find the worst scenarios created by my imagination regarding the future of humankind. It is up to the younger generations to take every possible step to prevent them from becoming a reality. Where I am concerned, I choose to give completely free rein to my intuitions as an artist. That does not mean that we should not continue to hope for the future. I leave it to the last survivor to record the actual course of the end of the world, and to preserve the genetic information of the human species, either by metamorphosing into a mummy, by preserving his genes in a test tube, or else by handing on a DNA map of his genome. » Hiroshi Sugimoto

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Via a body of work in which technical virtuosity is backed by a sound conceptual framework, Hiroshi Sugimoto (b. 1948, lives and works between New York and Tokyo) explores the nature of time and perception, and the origins of consciousness. Among his most famous photographic series, mention may be made of Dioramas (1976-), taken in natural history museums, these photographs depict stuffed animals displayed in artificial habitats, Theaters (1978-), photographed by exposing the photographic film throughout the entire projection of a film, and Seascapes (1980-), which capture the essence of marine landscapes throughout the world, retaining only their crucial elements, air and water.

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“Aujourd’hui le monde est mort [Lost Human Genetic Archive]” is a new facet of a series of exhibitions Hiroshi Sugimoto has been elaborating for about ten years, juxtaposing his collections of objects, coming from a range of periods and cultures, and his photographic works. The objects in his collection are his “doubles,” and are indispensable to the artist as sources of lessons
that enable him to renew his art. Drawing on references to Albert Camus’s novel L’Étranger [The Stranger] and Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades, the artist has staged a world after human beings have ceased to exist: a personal vision of history, seen from the future. The exhibition consists of around thirty scenarios, narrated by different fictitious characters: a bee-keeper, a specialist
in comparative religion, and a politician, who choose to preserve (or not to preserve) their individual genetic information for the future.

Devised as a kind of ruin, resonating with the atypical architecture of the Palais de Tokyo, the exhibition is not only the largest the artist has ever staged in Europe, but also a unique project that bears witness to his wide field of activity, ranging from literature to architecture. It is in the image of his attempt to understand art and human history according to a vast
time scale that goes well beyond that of the human species, at the same time including science, religion, economics, etc. Where is this human race heading, incapable of preventing itself from being destroyed in the name of unchecked growth? Guided by this question, Hiroshi Sugimoto lets his imagination and his creativity drift to meet up with both the past and the future.

Curator: Akiko Miki

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Non Basta Ricordare

Christian Boltansky, Elisabetta Benassi, Maurizio Cattelan, Alberto Campo Baeza, Teddy Cruz, Giancarlo De Carlo, Gilbert&George, Alfredo Jaar, Ilya ed Emilia kabakov, Paul Mccarthy, Nobuyoshi Araki, Tony Oursler, Adrian Paci, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Gerhard Richter, Aldo Rossi, Doris Salcedo, Carlo Scarpa, Superstudio, Lara Favaretto, Toyo Ito, Vedovamazzei, Kara Walker, Lawrence Wiener, Cino Zucchi. Just some of the over 70 artists and architects featuring in the exhibition Remembering is not enought.

The exhibition of MAXXI collection emphasizes the necessity to embrace a more open vision and dynamic approach to develop and manifest the collection of the museum: not only conserving and presenting some excellent works from history and contemporary times, but moreover activating a living process in which the memories of history are continuously reconstructed in order to provide new vitality that keeps the work alive so that it continues to produce meaningful inspiration for us to understand our own time. Bringing art and architecture collections together, the current project intends to put forward the dialogues and interactions between both fields in order to create a new cultural context for innovative debates and exchanges about the significance of contemporary creation and democracy. Eventually, it seeks to open further discussions on the reinvention of art museums in our time.

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Important issues related to urbanity, public space, political history and reality, body, soul, spirituality, as well as environmental future have been raised from the rich and multifaceted ensemble of the collections, revealing the great potential of their public interests. The project is also one that evolves in time and open up public interactions.

The artworks are not just put in critical dialogue with the specific architectural context. More remarkably, they are also triggers for further activities of research, public engagement and expansions, including diverse models of supporting the institution, with civic passions and participatory actions. On this perspective depends the rich program of related learning activities and initiatives for the audiences you are welcome to join.

Italy in SongEun : We Have Never Been Modern

Exhibition Title : Italy in SongEun : We Have Never Been Modern
Exhibition Period : Thursday, May 8th – Saturday, August 9th, 2014

In May 2014, SongEun Art Space will present its third special annual project, titled Italy in SongEun : We Have Never Been Modern featuring promising Italian young artists who are showing for the first time in Korea.

The exhibition We Have Never Been Modern aims at questioning the disappearance of guarantees and foundations for the future. We are left with the gaping ideological void of a modernity that has failed, or indeed perhaps never existed, and the impression of having been divided, segmented and trained. Rethinking the mechanisms of construction of the work of art, this exhibition tries to question where we can situate the artistic production of today and of Italy in particular and what the answer is.

The works of twenty-two Italian artists of the younger generations featured in the exhibition are indicative of the way in which Italy’s artistic life has addressed facts and values over the last few decades, calling into question the power that determined them and the discourse that transmitted them.

Uninventing modernity – Francesco Arena, Elisabetta Benassi, Rossella Biscotti, Valerio Rocco Orlando, Alberto Tadiello consider the phenomenon of hybridization which has given rise – in the last two decades – to a multifaceted and heterogeneous artistic process that draws equally from the past and the present, for both contents and means of expression.
Plurality of worlds – Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Piero Golia, Giulia Piscitelli, Paola Pivi, Luca Trevisani belong to the era of globalization and diaspora, where it is not important to belong to a territorial geography, but rather to be tuned to a conceptual nomadism that can reflect, on every occasion, our existential and creative processes.
Parallel cosmograms – Meris Angioletti, Tomaso De Luca, Chiara Fumai, Nico Vascellari go to the heart of the principles that define the most essential truths and the quality of the present time.
Policies of nature – Ettore Favini, Margherita Moscardini, Adrian Paci, Moira Ricci are aware of the disappearance of movements and currents; perhaps such orphanage is why artists often cultivate the cult of memory and use expressive forms.
Thinking about the present – Francesca Grilli, Adelita Husni-Bey, Marinella Senatore, Diego Tonus’s videos are more like containers of time that is eternally present.

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The exhibition takes its title from an essay by Bruno Latour in which the French anthropologist of science reflects on the idea of modernity seen as progress advancing rationally and evenly throughout all corners of the earth. At the core of his critical thinking are the paramount issues concerning those Western societies who have imposed their own modern mind-sets on individual local cultures. What does it mean, today, to be modern? Being modern no longer means riding on that time arrow that drew a clear line between the past and the future. On the contrary, more and more art evades the modernist requirement and aspires to a timeless condition while, at the same time, addressing present-related issues or engaging with the more recent history and localized situations that then become the starting point for a range of subjective but nonetheless universal explorations. These are the questions at the core of the project. The twenty-two Italian artists selected for the show were born in the years from 1965 to the mid ’80s and are grouped according to a sensibility that is shared across the generations and to lines of research that appear in the various artistic paths. The aim is that of showing, although not exhaustively, the aesthetic and expressive changes experimented by the latest generation of Italian artists. What emerges is an artistic production in line with other contexts such as: architecture, media, literature, philosophy, anthropology, social sciences and with areas adjoining the field of the visual arts.
The exhibition will be part of the Italian Cultural Institute in Seoul program to promote Italian contemporary art.
‘We Have Never Been Modern’ is a process of analysis and mapping of the Italian art scene through five separate sections, each one addressing an aspect of the artistic take on a certain idea of modernity.

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Guest Curators Angelo Gioè and Maria Rosa Sossai
Angelo Gioè is Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Seoul. He serves for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy and previously has been posted to Cairo, Tel Aviv and Sydney as Cultural Attaché. During his last year in Rome (2012) he was Head of Section of the “Farnesina Art Collection”.
He received his M.A. in Classic Philology (main subjects: Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit Aesthetics and Art) from La Sapienza University in Rome; his post Lauream Specialization in Greek Paleography from The Vatican Library (BAV- 2 years); his second M.A as Curator for Contemporary Art and Architecture from La Sapienza University in Rome; and his PhD in Ancient Greek Language from La Sorbonne University in Paris.
He was Professor of Latin and Ancient Greek at the Liceo Martino Filetico in Ferentino (Italy) and held the chair of Ancient Greek Language and Literature, and Grammar and Linguistics at the Matela Bela University in Slovakia. He organized several exhibitions internationally. The most recent, Sounds and Visions, was held at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 2009. He continues to write articles in the areas of philology, literature, translation studies, and art.

Maria Rosa Sossai is a curator and researcher in the field of artistic practices and educational policies. She lives in Rome, Italy. In December 2013 she was appointed artistic director of AlbumArte, space | projects for contemporary art, Rome. She is also one of the founders of ALA Accademia Libera delle Arti, an independent platform for education and contemporary art that conceives the artistic practice as a process of shared knowledge; As an independent curator she worked on projects and exhibitions for commercial galleries, art foundations and museums both in Italy and abroad; among them MAN Museum in Nuoro, Real Academia de España, the American Academy, Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, AlbumArte and Nomas Foundation in Rome, Institute of Italian Culture in Istanbul, the Tel Aviv Museum.
She is a contributor to Flash Art, Arte e Critica, Artribune and Shifter; and her publications include Arte video, Storie e culture del video d’artista in Italia (Video Art, History and Culture of Video Art in Italy), 2002, and Film d’artista, Percorsi e confronti tra arte e cinema (Artists’ Films, Writings on Art and Cinema), 2009, both published by Silvana Editoriale, Milan.

Art Karlsruhe 2014

Art KARLSRUHE comes up trumps with international newcomers to the event

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With over 220 exhibitors and roughly 50,000 visitors, art KARLSRUHE is Germany’s biggest fair for classic modern and contemporary art. Word soon spreads of its success and gallery owners’ satisfaction. So it comes as no surprise that there were numerous new applicants for the eleventh event. 38 galleries won over the council and the curator Ewald Karl Schrade with their stand design.
Amongst those taking part in 2014 for the first time is Erika Költzsch with the Galerie Haas from Zurich. She sums up her motivation to participate in art KARLSRUHE quite succinctly: “The visitor and buyer potential is big in southwest Germany and there are very good collectors in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate,” an aspect also likely to have played a major part for the other newcomers, half of them from outside Germany. The fact that meanwhile every fifth gallery at the Karlsruhe art fair comes from abroad is clear evidence of the event’s reputation beyond the borders of Germany.

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Stands in the dm-arena are highly sought-after amongst the new galleries. Almost every one of the new applicants had applied for this particular hall. Under the title of “Contemporary Art”, the art fair’s portfolio is enriched by galleries like Rothschild Fine Art from Tel Aviv, the Eva Meyer gallery and Lee gallery from Paris, and the Flowers gallery from London. Also taking part for the first time are the Hasenclever gallery from Munich, the Stefan Hildebrandt gallery from St. Moritz, J&P Fine Art from Zürich, and Nuovo Gallery from Daegu, Südkorea, all of which can be found in Halls 2 and 3. The internationally active galleries of Kornfeld from Berlin and Stephen Hoffman from Munich are making their first appearance in Hall 1 where captivating photography and objects are displayed in the “Limited” section. Exquisite limited editions are to be found here, too. The new exhibitors in this segment include Werner Bommer from Zurich, 2C for ART from Salzburg, and Chiefs & Spirits from Den Haag.

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