Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos / NEW MUSEUM, New York October 24, 2012 - January 13, 2013
Co-curated by Rosemarie Trockel and Lynne Cooke for the Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, “Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos”—encompassing all three main gallery floors of the New Museum building on the Bowery—will present a world shaped by Trockel’s ideas, interests, and affinities. Instead of a traditional retrospective, this exhibition takes the form of an artistic self-portrait in which Trockel’s work shares space with objects that have influenced her thinking and her practice. Spanning different eras and cultures, “A Cosmos” brings together objects from disparate fields to compose a cartography of Trockel’s influences.
Since the early 1970s, Rosemarie Trockel has produced an impressive body of work that includes drawing, collage, installation, “knit paintings,” ceramics, videos, furniture, clothing, and books. She brings together a range of associations and references from art history, philosophy, theology, and the natural sciences. For “A Cosmos,” the dense field of Trockel’s influences will be articulated in installations that illuminate the intellectual and formal connections between her practice and that of a range of historical figures including self-taught artists James Castle and Morton Bartlett, and the botanist/mathematician José Celestino Mutis. Objects whose impetus was primarily aesthetic will be juxtaposed with pieces that more conventionally belong to the realm of science. Trockel’s roughhewn glazed ceramics from the past several years will be displayed in conjunction with Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka’s delicate glass models of sea creatures created in the nineteenth century. A selection of new drawings by Trockel can be examined along with watercolors by the seventeenth-century artist Maria Sybilla Merian, whose impeccably precise yet beautiful renderings of flora and fauna proved invaluable to scientific study.
Trockel’s well-known disregard for the conventional hierarchies in the visual arts, together with her longstanding appreciation of media and materials once categorized as crafts or vernacular art forms, is demonstrated throughout the exhibition. She has adopted a fluid and radical approach to gender, combining activities typically considered feminine in terms of production with aggressive mechanical and industrial forms. This facet of her practice is emphasized through the inclusion of Judith Scott’s obsessively wrapped yarn sculptures alongside Ruth Francken’s plastic and metal assemblages from the 1970s. In addition, Trockel’s celebrated “knit paintings” will be integrated into the exhibition, along with new works made of glass.
Rosemarie Trockel was born in 1952 in Schwerte, Germany. She studied at the Kölner Werkschulen in Cologne, Germany. Since 1998, she has been a professor at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. She lives and works in Cologne.
Crafts were prominent among the first works of art to enter the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art when it was founded in 1876, and the Museum has continued to collect and exhibit crafts. Today, thanks in large part to the Women’s Committee and gifts from individuals, the Museum is particularly well-known for its holdings of twentieth-and twenty-first-century American, European, and Asian craft.
With Craft Spoken Here, the Museum seizes the opportunity to experiment with its collection and to understand craft in an international context. Some forty contemporary works from 1960 to the present in ceramic, glass, metal, wood, lacquer, paper, and fiber—some by living, acclaimed artists and others by lesser-known creators—are on view. Representing the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe, the works highlight formal qualities that cross cultures, time, and media.
Craft Spoken Here features an array of engaging education programs and interpretive materials, including on-site artist demonstrations and hands-on craftmaking activities for the public.
The exhibition is divided into three sections. Essential Element looks at continuing importance of line—the graphic gesture—as an expressive and compositional element in the work of artists. Rebecca Medel’s The One (1985) uses a network of lines to form a dense cube of knotted cotton and linen threads, dark on its fringes and progressively lighter towards the center, which creates the illusion of a luminous sphere floating in an atmospheric haze. The second section, Shape Shifting, includes works in clay, glass, wood, metal, paper, and fiber materials that have been fashioned into sculptural forms. Motoko Maio’s Kotodama (2008) is a folding screen in silk and linen that can be adjusted to divide a room, provide privacy, or rest decoratively in a corner. The final section is Gesture, which includes works that offer visual and emotional cues, such as the chaotic, seemingly uncontrollable framework of Jessica Jane Julius’s Static (c. 2008), in which hundreds of black glass flameworked threads combine in a sculptural evocation of the artist’s reoccurring dream.
Curator Elisabeth Agro, The Nancy M. McNeil Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts
The exhibition is made possible by The Leonard and Norma Klorfine Foundation Fund for Modern and Contemporary Craft. Additional support is provided by the Windgate Charitable Foundation and the Center for American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In-kind support is provided courtesy of Lion Brand Yarn.
Marianne McGrath: Thoughts on Long Drives (gallery shot), 2009, porcelain, earthenware, plywood, steel rod, plaster, dimensions variable
Suzanne Stumpf: Nest with Eggs III, 2011, 10”w x 2.5”h, altered wheelthrown with handbuilt components; porcelain and porcelain paperclay; oxidation fired to cone 10
Both nests and eggs hold important concepts for reflection and meditation for me. Eggs represent new beginnings, promise, mystery, and fragility. Nests signify “home,” with the intention of comfort and protection, and in the case of wildlife, camouflage. As an avid birdwatcher, amateur naturalist, and sculptor, I am intrigued by the variety of nests found in nature for both their architectural inspiration and symbolism. These three works are from a series of nest sculptures I am making.
Kathy Pallie: From Generation to Generation. Stoneware, glazes, 13”H x 18”L x 10”D, 2010
Artists interpretation of the living world in Sculpture, Painting & Installation.
The wild life of wildlife. A flower growing through the crack in the pavement, the ivy scaling the fascia of a building, camouflaging, cloaking, pulling it to the ground, the tree growing around a concrete pillar, engulfing it slowly, morphing year on year. The birds nest in the rafters of a roof, made up of twigs and plastic ties, the nested young being fed the preservative pumped, calorie powered garbage bin rewards. These are glimpses of wildlife interacting, adjusting, adapting to the environment that we’ve created, over, around, on top of it, the once green meadow now a sea of steel work, glass and poured concrete, trees confined to their architect planned and perfectly aligned boxes. But our wild life, this wildlife is playing a slow game, a slow deathly dance between the static, lifeless concrete structures we’ve built and the unstoppable force of nature. Adapt or be adapted, adjust or be adjusted, remember me? I was here before you, I’ve always been here, you need me, I am life. Is mother nature reclaiming our temporary oasis or is it adapting to the obstacles that we’ve put in its way or are we now having to listen to the reminder that this place is not ours, we are simply borrowing it?
Confirmed Artists: Josie Morway (Painter) Rose Sanderson (Painter) Jennifer Murphy (Collage) Kelly Allen - (Painter) D*Face (Mixed media) Dan Witz (Mixed media) Jake Wood Evans (Painter) Roxanne Jackson (Sculptor) Kelly McCallum (Sculptor) Jessica Joslin (Sculptor) Kai & Sunny (Mixed media) Katja Holtz (Painter) Renhui Zhao (Mixed Media)
In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia. How long can men thrive between walls of brick, walking on asphalt pavements, breathing the fumes of coal and of oil, growing, working, dying, with hardly a thought of wind, and sky, and fields of grain, seeing only machine-made beauty, the mineral-like quality of life. If I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes. - Charles Lindbergh
StolenSpace Gallery The Old Truman Brewery 91 Brick Lane London E1 6QL +44 (0) 207 247 2684 email@example.com
Ceramics Now Magazine: Not many people know that lacquer is used to make art pieces. Can you tell us more about this material and how do you use it?
Fujita Toshiaki: The Urushi tree (Rhus Vernicifera) is a member of the sumac family of trees, found in various parts of Asia. The trees produce the sap which has been used as the coating and the adhesive material in Japan more than 9000 years. A poisonous substance when in liquid form (causing skin irritation), it becomes non-toxic on hardening and is waterproof and acid-proof. There are some examples that Native American use the sap of sumac, poison ivy or oak with the same purposes.
The season for harvesting sap is from June to October, and an Urushi tree must be between 8 to 13 years old before it is mature enough to produce only one cup of sap. The sap, an opaque light brown color, oozes from the slashes on the trunk, and it’s carefully scraped with a special tool; after this procces the sap is called Arami-Urushi. The Sap is stirred and carefully heated to equalize its components and remove excess fluid. Those Urushi is called Sugurome-Urushi or Kijiro-Urushi and used as the coating material for the upper layers.
The drying system of Urushi is very different from other painting materials. Drying Urushi means to be harden. The laccase enzyme reacts in Urusiol which is hardening constituent and initiates a chemical reaction: oxidation polymerization. To increase the activity of the chemical reaction, the ideal temperature is 77F and the moisture set to 80%. That means if the air is too dry, the lacquer never gets dry.
I focused on this characteristic drying system on Urushi and pursued to create the sculptures called layered forms. I daringly remove other elements in Urushi crafts, because they might interrupt my essential concept for my layered form series. However to understand what is lacquer or lacquer art, I should not deal with only unusual dying systems of Urushi, but also should focus on the traditional techniques, because sometimes we can find the answer in the techniques which were sophisticated and established by our forefathers. For the reason, I worked hard to acquire techniques like woodwork, dry-lacquer, colorings, coatings and decorations.
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Ceramics Now Magazine: You are a very young and talented artist. What was your first experience with art and with lacquer?
Murata Yoshihiko: I wasn’t exposed to the arts that much and didn’t know about Japanese lacquer work very well until I entered the art collage. I was interested in design and woodwork working and wanted to make the furniture for our daily life when I was a teenager. When I was a sophomore student, I choose the Urushi department for my major, but it was something uncomfortable for me. At first, I made many chaotic pieces, however those pieces are supposed to be an origin of my work today.
Silhouette-02, 2010, Maple wood, lacquer, 8” x 2 3/4” x 1 1/2” - View his works
Your works have an extraordinary sense of space and light, their shadows contrasting with the colors and the surroundings. How do you make these fantastic lines of dark? It has to do with the slim silhouettes of your works.
I simulate the three dimensional shapes in my mind, for example, how lines will be flowing or how they are placed on the pedestals or attached on the walls. I believe that only lines which look beautiful from any angles can make the lithe and sharp silhouette.
John Martin: APOCALYPSE exhibition, Opening 21 September at Tate Britain
John Martin (1789–1854) was a key figure in the nineteenth-century art world, renowned for his dramatic scenes of apocalyptic destruction and biblical disaster. While he was hugely popular, he remained something of an outsider, scorned by the art critics of his time.
Organised in partnership with the Laing, Newcastle, this major exhibition will be the first show dedicated to his paintings for over 30 years, and the largest display of his works seen in public since his death. Bringing together his most famous paintings from collections around the world, as well as previously unseen and newly-restored works, the exhibition will reassess this singular figure in art history, and reflect on the enduring influence of his apocalyptic art on painting, cinema and popular spectacle. The show will also examine how Martin’s populism fits into the story of British art, and how his work connects with the culture of today.
I’m Martin Myrone, the curator of the exhibition at Tate Britain, and I’ve been working on the show with the team here at Tate and our exhibition partners at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle and the Millennium Galleries, Sheffield for the last 2½ years on planning, researching, selecting and organising this exhibition. You may have seen the great version of the show which appeared at Newcastle and Sheffield earlier this year. The Tate show is even larger, with a total of over 120 works – major paintings, sketches and watercolours, and his mezzotints and engineering plans. This will be the biggest collection of his works ever seen, and a chance to reassess this fascinating and exciting nineteenth-century artist.