sam smith - grant pirrie, sydney
anne landa award - agnsw, sydney
sneakers - ngv international, melbourne
light sensitive - ngv ian potter, melbourne
migrating within - first draft, sydney
emma van leest - first draft, sydney
ben quilty - grant pirrie, sydney
michael zavros - wollongong city gallery
david shrigley - kings ari, melbourne
helena leslie - mop
damian dillon/phil wilson - mop
sharjah biennale - various locations (sharjah)
the artists' dining room - tate level 2 gallery
idea & object - tate modern
...light reflecting booster technology - vinespace
jake & dinos chapman - tate britain
giacometti, twombly, serra, fontana - gagosian london
permanent collection - wallace collection
northern renaissance room - national gallery, london
wrong gallery - tate modern
rothko room - tate modern
surreal things - victoria & albert museum
john maeda - riflemaker
anja niemi - riflemaker
mahony - austrian cultural forum, london
zaha hadid - design museum, london
permanent collection - imperial war museum, london
panic attack! - barbican, london
alice neel - victoria miro gallery, london
two feel in one show: armen eloyan - parasol unit, london
permanent collection, musee du louvre
post-impressionist room - national gallery, london
leon kossoff - national gallery, london
joseph beuys' felt room - centre georges pompidou, paris
monument to the iraq war - ica, london
antony gormley - hayward gallery, london
damien hirst - white cube(s), london
helio oiticica - tate modern
play yourself - gimpel fils, london
medicine now - wellcome collection
the end begins - the hospital, london
banksy vs warhol - the hospital, london
heart - wellcome collection
titian room - national gallery, london
gilbert & george - hausderkunst, munich
susanne wagner/yong seok oh - zk max, munich
von rembrandt bis picasso - hypo-kunsthalle, munich
seestücke - kunsthalle, hamburg
group show - helium cowboy, hamburg
goodbye privacy, ars electronica - linz, austria
egon schiele - leopold museum, vienna
8th floor - momok, vienna
traum & trauma - kunsthalle wien, vienna
a_schau - arkitekturzentrum wien, vienna
held together with water (sammlung collection) - MAK, vienna
great britain pavillion - venice biennale, italy
french pavillion - venice biennale, italy
korean pavillion - venice biennale, italy
USA pavillion - venice biennale, italy
italian padaglione - venice biennale, italy
australian pavillion - venice biennale, italy
turkish pavillion - venice biennale, italy
destroy athens - athens biennale, greece
silenzio - fondazione sandretto re rebaudengo, turin
arte povera permanent collection - GAM, turin
san lorenzo, turin (ok, so not technically an exhibition, but still blew my mind)
permanent collection - castello di rivoli, turin
institut d'art contemporain - lyon biennale, lyon
fondation bulukian - lyon biennale, lyon
la sucriere - lyon biennale, lyon
louise bourgeois - tate modern
doris' crack - tate modern
*supported by my trusty offline blog, jo.urn.al. check out ben terret's nifty way of doing a yearly re-cap, thanks to de.licio.us
sam smith - grant pirrie, sydney
... you even made to Munich for fuck's sake!"
-marcus brown, the kaiser edition, contributor
i don't know if i ever did one of these last year, but i kind of feel the need to do a recap post at the end of this year. probably because it has been one of the most intense learning experiences of my entire life:
1. i turned 30
thanks to sesom on flickr
the first major thing that happened to me in 2007 was that i turned 30. i'm grateful that i didn't really avoid or have a huge breakdown around it, in fact, i had a massive rooftop party that almost all my friends came to [including 3 separate surprise guests!], but it was still kind of a major deal. on the down side i found myself feeling incredibly single and suddenly stressing about how/when i was going to have children [WTF!! where the hell did that came from??], but on the up side, i realised that i'm getting too old to worry about petty shit, and started rockin' the "i'm too old for this shit" line, regularly.
2. i moved to london for 6 months
a while ago i realised that, in the whole scheme of things, that i knew fuck all about what was really happening in the art world and the world in general. i mean, i read a lot, kept up to date with the news, engaged in discussion and was interested in life, but i just felt like there was a certain kind of experience that comes from travelling, for an extended time, away from one's comfort zones. i chose london because, for me, the london art/architecture/design scene is SO HOT RIGHT NOW and i wanted a piece of it and loads of my all-time favourite artists are english (as opposed to americans from the NYC hood).
in that time, i discovered some amazing things about myself:
★ that i am actually much more of an anxious person than i originally thought (especially if i don't have a place to live or if i don't have a job);
★ that i do, actually, have quite a good sense of humour;
★ that i can make friends easily;
★ that i relish the honesty and forthright-ness, a dominant gene in most australians (and a recessive ones in most brits);
★ in that time i wrote and drew a lot, developed a keener eye, and hung out with a lot of creative/thinkin' types (and stoke fans... ha!) and doing that i realised that i do know a little bit about this art business.
i also did some amazing and cool things in london, including:
★ had a solo exhibition/residency-of-sorts in london;
★ went to interesting 2007 and coffee mornings
★ met a whole bunch of bloggery/twittery types who i now consider friends. in fact, meeting these people and having them as friends was actually the highlight of my trip. my time would not have been the same without them;
★ went to [pretty much] a gallery every day, including the national gallery and the tate modern once a week
★ went to swan lake, performed by the english national ballet, at royal albert hall;
★ danced to banghra and indie brit pop in the middle of the night and jungle drum'n'bass in the middle of the day;
★ walked along the moors of west yorkshire and visited the graveyard where sylvia plath is buried!
★ visited almost every place on the monopoly board (except vine st, whitehall and fenchurch station). [ok, well that was more as a bonus of actually living and checking out london, but hey, it's a cool thing to be able to have done!]
3. visited dubai.
i did this on the way to and the return from london and as i posted here, it was an amazing experience that gave me a level of experience, empathy and cultural insight that i really did not expect. in fact i relish the time i got to spend here. it was only a small amount of time, but it was incredibly meaningful to me. one of my best mate's lives there, which helped, and i would easily go back there for a visit.
4. did a 5.5 week mega art grand tour around europe.
i documented this trip on this blog (here, here, and here - actually pretty extensively, really), but it was the most amazing thing to happen to me this year. i visited munich (for fuck's sake), hamburg, berlin (briefly, but enough to have a pic featured on a schmap guide!), prague, linz, vienna, venice, milan, athens, turin, lyon and paris. i can't really articulate in this post what a fucking amazing time i had, but it was life-changing. i also went to 3 biennales in that time, an electronic arts festival and a swag of great galleries.
5. moved back to melbourne (and lived with my folks) for the first time since i was 17...
and spent just a little bit more time being poor and looking for work (ha!). i love my folks. my mum and i are like two peas in a pod, but after having had a huge level of independence and a sense of my own identity for such a long time, going back to live with my folks, in an area where the buses often only run once every 2 hours, has been intense. revisiting areas i used to live as a kid has been eery, and it's yet another time of discovery and making new/regaining old friends. i'm still in the process of this and it's still kind of nutty (eased when i finally get into melbourne in the new year), so it's hard to write about it with a level of pragmatism just yet, but i do know that it has highlighted some of my core character traits, good and bad.
despite some of the difficulties, i am getting to hang out on the aussie coastline, with country skies, the smell of eucalypt and sound of magpies and cicadas, in a beautiful house with a view. now that #6 has happened, i'm better able to enjoy this time and take advantage of my good fortune.
6. got a great job at an arts org and accepted into a post-grad course for next year.
talk about a great way to end an intense year. i'm looking forward to settling in a little this year, putting on an exhibition, studying, maybe doing a wee bit of a travel, but generally having a nice and relaxed year.
thanks to everyone who read this pile of drivel this year, put up with the slight madness and who even came back more than once. love and kisses to those regular commenting-types and you gorgeous people that i met through this and other blogs.
happy new year and have a great 2008!
i got some really cool stuff this year!
a subscription to parkett. this 'magazine' is more like a book published every 4 months, a collaboration between artists and writers and usually features some really kick-arse artists from around the world. woo hoo!
a lovely red mohair rug by mercer + reid. warm, red and with a lovely checked weave, it's perfect for slightly chilly melbourne evenings.
a lightly "fly on the wall" mirror. i saw these a few weeks ago and put one one on layby. some sneaky family member spilled the beans and paid it off for me! how cool is that!
an old-school map of paris. ah, one of my spiritual homes, it's lovely, doesn't even feature l'avenue des champs elysees and i'm looking forward to framing it to put up in my new place (wherever that may be).
i hope santa was good to all of you as well!
I didn’t really get to many galleries this week. I’ve spent quite a bit of time working at European electro-trash gigs and getting some Christmas stuff done. plus, it’s all winding up in Melbourne town.
However, I did go to the McCelland Gallery in Langwarrin to see the biennial Sculpture Survey. They had both indoor installations/sculptures, outdoor sculpture and a student ceramic prize (where I saw an artwork that looked scarily like my red eggshell works!! it was weird seeing work that so closely resembled mine). It’s a bit ranty this week.
Rick Amor, Relic, 2006Winner of the 07 Survey prize.
congrats to Mr Amor and image thanks to the McClelland gallery website.
Now, I actually quite like the McClelland gallery and prize. The dosh is quite a chunk of money [$100,000 thank you very much]. And I think it gives large sculpture a place outside the city of Melbourne and the opportunity to work in a natural but not-so-usual environment. The surrounds are amazing and it gives artists a different task than either white-walled rooms, or busy, bustling streets.
And in my opinion, some of the sculptures just don’t use that opportunity. The best sculptures actually capitalised on the open areas, the Australian bush landscape, the slightly spooky nature of a path through the land. And not to diss Rick Amor as an artist (he is an amazing painter), but the winning work was not one of those works. In fact both years I’ve seen the Survey, I’ve thought that the winning work was uninteresting, unresponsive and, well, cheap (on ideas and audience engagement). And weirdly there seems to be a running animal theme – last year’s winner was Lisa Roet’s Chimp Head and this year’s winner was a jackyl/human morph figure. Amor’s work is good sculpture. You can tell it’s by an accomplished artist/craftsman and would look quite amazing much larger, atop a lonely hill somewhere. But that’s not where it was and it’s not what it was, so it was a bit, well, meh. Perhaps the prize is chosen from a series of documentary photos like the gorgeous one above, taken on a glorious day.
[And I go on about that stuff because, while I believe certain elements of sculpture can be assessed and judged on merits outside of its environment, being a spacial medium, a large aspect of outdoor sculpture, especially set like this in a particular setting, is the consideration of the surrounding space.]
Some of the sculptures that I really liked, that I thought worked well included Urban Real by Gary Deirmenjian, a chunk of metropolitan ‘greenery’ – pavement, a bin, a No Standing sign and a plane tree – all dumped into a section of the bush;
The pan-type figure by William Eicholtz, which was glazed, like porcelain, added a beautiful Watteau-type enchantment to the collection. "Impossible Cornucopia presents..." had the right amount of whimsy and slight spook, plus it was technically well-made. It might not have been the coolest ‘style’ nor the best title, but I actually thought it was well done.
Same with the kinetic works of Laura Woodward, which were simple, spidery looking automatons triggered by sensors, but in hanging them from the trees, they were an effective experiential work [and made the right kinds of scraping eery noises too.]
Briele Hansen's Sink, the running tap and porcelain sink sculpture was great – especially in the middle of the bush, in the middle of a drought and I had to resist hard the urge to turn the tap off. While I appreciated the digital imagery within the work, I actually was slightly disappointed by its presence and just wanted the running tap/sink. But then that’s the kind of humour I like in my sculpture.
In terms of more trad sculpture, Belgian artist, Koen Wastijn made a baby tapir-looking-thing in bronze, which was well-placed on dried scrub, in a section just off the path, looking like you’d stumbled into a nesting area. Well-curated there.
And then indoors, the best works were Richard Giblett’s Container World. I liked the large dystopia, but I thought the smaller container work was fantastic. As was the over-sized waterbottle that showed a moving image of the sea through its top (I didn't get the name of the artist though, dammit). Glenn Clarke’s folded currency Laotian landscape was also great, as a consistent, meaningful work.
I know that some of you Melbournians might be afraid of the trek, but it’s well worth it to visit the gallery – it's on about 15 hectares of land and there is an amazing permanent collection too, tracking the history of Australian sculpture. Open over summer, it’s a nice place for a picnic and some spatial consideration.
I’m going to try and see some gallery stuff over Christmas – go to some of the big state institutions: NGV Ian Potter, ACMI and the State Library, but if I don’t post about it next week, I’m sure you’ll cope.
I've had the weirdest year this year. There have been all kinds of exciting travels, new friends, great shows, lots of job hunting, moving states, etc, etc. But this isn't about my 2007 round-up. (I'm indulging in that next week.)
This year I had contact from 3 (separate) old friends whom I hadn't seen in 10 years. Yes, 3. With 2 we had parted friendship under difficult circumstances. 1 just drifted apart. But they're all boys and all exactly 10 years since I had seen them last. And facebook was responsible for none of them.
WHAT THE FUCK???
What is it about 10 years down that track that encouraged these guys to get in touch. All in the one year!! OK, Joel is excused - it was a random meeting at the Daft Punk gig last week, although it was still eery in its replication of running into him at the first gig I ever went to, both of which went something like this:
J: What the fuck are you doing here?!
L: What the fuck are you doing here?!
[Hugs all 'round]
But I digress.
Can someone please update me on some kind of planetary, emotional, psychological rite of passage that happens to men at about 30 that might be responsible for this need to reconnect with 'a girl i used to know'? It's weirding me out.
so, here's my latest lust - a trip to:
Gwangju Biennale, Korea with a side trip to Seoul to hang out with my favourite ex and fab printmaker Chris McC
Shanghai Biennale, China with a side trip to see Puff Charlie F, punk planner doing amazing things in Beijing
Singapore Biennale, Singapore with a side trip to see Rob C and the rest of the nutty Singapore crew rockin' the equator.
All of which would come after a field trip in September to the Venice Architecture Biennale with my course (and a hop, skip and jump to London, München and Hamburg ['türlich] to visit my NthHem peeps).
well, a girl's gotta dream, doesn't she??!!
I don't actually want to tell you all about this: I hate seeing myself on film (especially after a shot of the heathrow injection), don't necessarily feel proud of my presentation (although I'm proud of the set) and it's altogether quite embarassing.
Hell, I haven't even watched it....
But I promised.
And I like to think that if I promise people that i'll do something, then I'll do it.
So, here's the link.
Please check out the others' presenations on the interesting south website too - they're absolutely brilliant!
while hush puppies have trademarked ‘bounce factor’ for their shoes [stupidly, in my opinion, as their shoes, while cushy and supportive, hardly embody bounce or factor], I think bounce factor is an important element in this uber-technological age.
when I say ‘bounce factor’, I’m talking resilience to ‘wear and tear’.
in the first instance, it’s imperative in mobile phones. one of the main reasons I’m still a loyal nokia fan is that my first nokia phone not only bounced, but the way it was constructed meant that when the front, the back, the keypad and the battery splattered on the sidewalk, as it jumped out of my hand, it still worked, perfectly.
I’ve come to expect this from phones, and for anyone who saw my phone (above) in fine working order recently, without a face, keys or cover, will know what I mean. this is vi.ta.l in developing techie gadgets that we own, carry, idolise.
in current climate of preserving resources, reducing environmental impact and aiming for longevity of use (as opposed to unbiodegradable), making a phone that bounces is surely high on the list of priorities.
second instance is the ipod. my original ipod didn’t have much of a bounce factor – it’s screen cracked after a tiny bit of pressure (although I did get it replaced, only to have it stolen). however, my 1st generation ipod shuffle hand-me-down has great bounce factor. the amount of times it has fallen out of my pocket or been flung out of my pocket by my headphones getting caught is too numerous to mention. it has a great feature that if the headphones are ripped out, the track pauses (intuitive design, right there) AND last night, when I was charging it, I accidentally busted it off the side of the computer, but it didn’t break – the main body came away from the USB attachment, but with a bit of clickety clack, it was all back in and played from the original point in the song! how’s that for bounce factor!
it is these little design features that account for the everyday ‘oops’ that endear me to a product, brand, ideal. it means that I, as a human being – faults and all, am being considered during the design of a process and that’s such a nice feeling!
ok, so turn up your shitty computer speakers, play this track and bounce around the room for a bit.
now you know how I feel today ‘cos I got a j.o.b!
And not just any ol’ job (I’ve had one of those for a couple of weeks), but a proper job, that pays proper wages, with an organisation I like and who I know I’ll be able to help do good stuff for as a communications co-ordinator. fucking brilliant.
to all my family, biological and otherwise (you know who you are) who encouraged me, told me to keep going when all I could see was failure and maybe pulled a few strings with a variety of supernatural powers that be, thank you. your support has meant a shitloads.
antony gormley, splice
thanks to anna schwartz gallery website
I’ve only seen a few shows this week and everything is winding down, but there are still a few gems to be had, especially along the flinders lane strip:
anna schwarz gallery - antony gormley, ataxia
the man is famed for being a prick to work with and many friends have a love-hate relationship to his work (especially in London, where the man is everywhere), but I still really like his work. And this work is a great melding of two previous works I had seen: Allotment and his figures that scared the bejeesus out of Londoners earlier this year. He combines the architectonic works he has done, with the figure to create pixelate figurative sculptures that somehow remind me of work by Sue Webster and Tim Noble. It’s interesting to notice that the figures take on a more anthropomorphic shape in one’s peripheral vision, which added another ‘element’ to the show and the concept for me. The inevitable relationship between the blocks of form and pixels isn’t detrimental in this show and if you wanted to read into the works a commentary on the digitization of humanity, you could. Otherwise, you could simply enjoy the strength, repetition and structural loveliness of the figures and imagine them in the corner of the living room.
arc one - summer show
the summer show is a lovely way to check out the feel and scope of the commercial galleries as they wind down for the summer break. it also gives you an interesting survey of what some of australia’s contemporary artists are up to at the moment. and arc’s stable of artists, mostly painters, is a good solid showing.
while most gallery goers would go ga-ga (how’s the for alliteration!) over janet lawrence’s work, I actually really liked david ralph’s paintings of caravans, campers and tents within an interior space. lyndel brown charles green’s work is intricate and engaging, but not really my thing (I like a little bit less ‘particularity’ about my painting technique). over all, a nice, solid show.
NGV – joseph beuys and rudolph steiner, imagination, inspiration, intuition
i love joseph beuys. having never really experienced much of his conceptual installation before hitting Europe, I’m a late arrival to the beuys fanclub, but I’m now a firm fan. so I was really excited to see this show here, in Melbourne and with an interesting premise – a correlation between the artist and the theosopher. the reality of the show was that I was actually really, really disappointed. I had hoped to see loads of joseph beuys pieces, or at least a couple of really huge works. not so – a felt suit, one of his ‘inspiration’ boxes and a set of his oxidized metal boxes. not a brown painting, felt roll, lump of coal or even a sketchbook in sight! there were loads of steiner blackboard sketches [kind of interesting, but at the same time, some of them made the guy look kookier than l. ron hubbard] and a tenuous link with beuys' pile of blackboards (which were totally crowded in that space), but neither aspect of the exhibition seemed to actually inform or entertain, despite enormous potential to do so. thankfully it’s not a paying exhibition.
craft Victoria – fresh!
December is graduate time, and fresh is a survey of the best of recent graduates across the craft/art and design fields. I love seeing student craft/design works – they seem to have less, I don’t know, green-ness about them than the photo/painter/graphic design crew do. and there’s a sense of abandon that I love, that hasn’t been quashed by the realisation that production processes and longevity are actually major factors in designing a piece.
the map on the wall of the space is actually really cool and a great way to give you an idea of who’s showing and how they fit in, and the huge supermarket-style installation is impressive!
Last week I helped out at a friend’s winery by joining the bottling production line team for a day.
Boy it was tough work – lifting bottles of wine off the line and into a box isn’t easy work (esp, with bad sleep, no breakfast and no coffee). And it’s not particularly taxing on the brain either, but with all that head space, I was able to do some thinking and I found the experience to be beneficial relating to two aspects of ‘things I like to think about’.
Firstly, I’m into structure. Rhythm, buildings, systems, grids – you name it and I find it fascinating. In fact I believe that humans have a deep-seated need for structure and it’s the stuff that keeps us going.
And this was confirmed for me again last week, on the ‘line’. I found that the work wasn’t too hard once you got into a rhythm – the line would clunk, bottles clink, you’d lift, two at a time, box sorted, closed, onto the tap line, etc, etc – you had to concentrate a little, but mostly it was about having a groove on. And the hard stuff came when you got out of that rhythm – you’d miss a bottle, the box would be all skewiff, the noise and the mundane nature of the job would get to you and it would all get a bit frustrating – the zen-ness of it all was firmly entrenched in going with a rhythm.
I also realised how beautiful stacks of things are – I want to make a production line of red bottles or red lollies, or something, ‘cos when they’re all together, clunking, and moving, it’s like ballet.
Secondly, in the middle of lifting, boxing, bottling the different varieties and brands of wines, I realised how important a process it was, as a marketing./comms type person. I love coming up with great ideas and a lovely, personal package just looks gorgeous, but if it takes an extra person or 12 people in the production/manufacture/packaging of the thing (like one of the lines actually did!), then financially and practically, it’s questionable (not to mention a right, royal pain in the arse).
The other thing I learnt, in the thick of things, was exactly how much waste and/or produce there really is to make some very simple things. Plastic to wrap palettes of cartons in, plastic to wrap a load of bottles in, distilled, pure water to flush out the lines (and straight down the drain), paper to wrap more paper – it’s incredible! And I was part of a very small, lean system - I'm scared to think about the reality of a monstrous organisation.
I think that anyone in the communications industry really needs to spend time on the production line – a brand manager in charge of FMCGs? go hang out in the cannery for a while, designer for 5 blades of razory goodness? how about you hang out with the peeps that put the things together. Even if it’s just for a day, having empathy for not just the process involved but for the people who do your dirty work is surely valuable! I certainly learned a tonne of priceless stuff (and got some nasty cardboard cuts in the process).
this may end up being a regular part of my blog - i'm going to try and write this once a week, so that if the shows are still on, you can check 'em out and form your own opinions :)
Blindside, BSide B
BSide B is a regular thing at Blindside and it's a fantastic premise for a group show. The artists get to exhibit work that is slightly outside their usual 'thing', perhaps experimental work, or just stuff that you have to get out of your system - a B-Side (or rarity)
This year's crew include a who's who of cool Melbourne artists: Kate Just, Kate Rohde, Sary Zaniniri and Marion Pope. I love previous work of the first 3 and i now love work by Marion Piper, based on her awesome t-shirt shouting video. It shows a woman carting around town a soap box (milkcrate) around town and getting up on it to shoutout a slogan from pedestrian's t-shirts, as though she were a living breathing performative t-shirt herself. It was great to see the pedestrians reactions, considering that we don't really balk at someone non-verbally 'shouting' out such slogans at us. The catalogue was actually one of the coolest i've ever seen - 7" rekkids, with the catalogue insides for $3:
Sutton Gallery Project Space, My Baggage Ain't That Heavy
I went along to support great photographer and friend Izabela Pluta, plus I got to see a couple of other great Sydney artists, including the infamous Ms and Mr and Kate Murphy (both of whom did great works featuring childhood performance). The space is a project space for Sutton Gallery and this exhibition was put on by Shelley at Sutton. I loved the space and the simple, yet powerful show - it's great when commercial galleries have the space and/or the inclination to give themselves some breathing room to curate artists whose work is new, or perhaps a little 'out there', without having to be so driven by sales. I'm looking forward to seeing what else is on at this space.
The Arts Centre, Nick Cave exhibition
I haven't seen the whole show, but from the bits and pieces that I have seen, it's a bloody fantastic show and takes up the exhibition space, plus parts of the Smorgon Family Plaza downstairs. It features a swag of personal memorabilia, interactive sound works, artworks by Nick and of Nick - including a Howard Arkley sketch (not the famous coloured image) and a great series by Jenny Watson of Nick and the Bad Seeds [I think], although he was very young, so it may even be Nick and the Boys Next Door. Even if you're not a huge fan of the poetic prince of bass tones, the show is really quite engaging and I certainly had a sense of pride about having him as a national icon - I wonder what the poor chaplain at Wangaratta Cathedral Choir has to say about that!
Thanks to some mandatory training, I had to miss out on going to this opening tonight, but I will be popping in there to check out the A4 Art show on the weekend, which is the only time this show is open. As the gallery's major fundraiser, there are some specky artists showing their works there and surely a bargain to be had.
i'm not sure if i'll start doing regular book reports, but after seeing Andrew Frost's Fascination in (inside) on a Philip K Dick book, I realised that I don't give much blog time to the books I like. I'm going to try and correct this a little by gushing over a new book that I bought accidentally on purpose from amazon.
Accidentally on purpose? Ok, just quickly: you may remember that I went to the NGV a few weeks' ago. In the interminable mire of satanic temptation, otherwise knowns as the bookstore, I discovered a great book called Colour After Klein. My kind of book, filled with lovely stuff - pics of artists whose work i admire, words by some of the same bunch and all in a nice, large format that you can either keep precious, or scribble over and fill with post-it notes. And it was too expensive for me at the time. I vowed to save up my pennies and get it.
Then I snuck a quick peak on amazon on the day that it was announced that the exchange rate between the US and Australia had jumped to 0.92! With that exchange rate, it was going to cost me less than half the price from the NGV.
So i put it in my shopping cart, to see how much it would be with shipping.
It looked like a fab deal.
I pressed Confirm Order, just on the off-chance that my credit card might squeeze out a drop of blood, but fully expecting the polite amazon equivalent of 'fuck off and earn some money before you bother me with that rubbish'.
What i got in return was 'Your order has been processed and will be shipped as soon as possible'.
So, back to the book:
Anish Kapoor, 1000 Times
It's based on a great exhibition from a couple of years ago at the Barbican in London (great gallery, bad 70s architecture that just manages to scrape into looking good), and is edited by Jane Alison, published by the fabulous Black Dog Publishing (where I would love to work, some day, please).
The subtitle, Re-thinking Colour in Modern and Contemporary Art is short, sharp and nicely to the point too!
The book features a whole swag of images/text and loveliness by some of my favourite artists:
and Joseph Beuys
It also features specific text by Yves Klein, Helio Oiticica, Nuit Banai and Donald Judd and the essay by Jane Alison, Colour Me In is fantastic, covering a variety of theoretical standpoints on colour, including structurally, psychoanalytically, scientifically and phenomenologically. She's pulled out quotes from the big-guns: Wittgenstein, Newton, Kristeva, Merleau-Ponty, plus loads of quotes from the featured artists.
I'm already sticking post-its all over the pages and wrestling with the age-old question of whether I write in the book or try to preserve it. And I'm even taking it on the train with me and reading it in bed! I never do that with art books, they always stay stoically on my bookshelf, but this particular one is like some kind of personal jesus, or something.
On a formal note, the book has just the right amount of big glossy pics that make you want to dive right in, smaller pics that illustrate a point, and text. Given that I've seen some of the works up-close-and-personal, and that the reproduction of colour can be such a fucking farse, the print job is also fantastic. [Oh dear, it's all over, I'm analysing the print reproduction of artworks and judging a book on it accordingly. Hmm]
This is the exactly the kind of publication that glossy art books need to be - the right amount of fetish and education, so that you can either just enjoy, look at the pretty pictures, or you can delve in, pore over it, learn some and get inspired. Well done to all concerned with this one.