Closing after this long weekend is the Power Plant’s sprawling summer exhibition, Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art. Curated by Andrea Andersson and Nora Burnett Abrams, this multi-sensory feast for the eyes, ears, and mind is a testament to the variety and richness of artistic and poetic approaches to language undertaken by conceptual artists and writers since the 1960s.
The Future Perfect: cinema and obsolescence in contemporary art
Today’s post is a virtual exhibition featuring historic and contemporary film, video, installation, and performance works that utilize film and analogue technologies in a search for the cinematic, even as these materials and methods become obsolete and disappear.
Based in part on a reading of Matilde Nardelli’s essay, Moving Pictures: Cinema and Its Obsolescence, this exhibition addresses the widespread use of outmoded or obsolete technologies in recent art and questions the interpretation that artists are engaging in acts of fetishization, nostalgia or mourning for analogue in the wake of digital technology.
Taken together, these works from the past and recent history of contemporary art resonate visually and conceptually with each other and with the poetic potential for cinema in a digital future.
In the air: Postscript to open and other news
Opening tomorrow at MCA Denver is Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art, a wide-ranging exhibition that features the work of over fifty artists and writers including Carl Andre, Fiona Banner, Erica Baum, Christian Bök, Marcel Broodthaers, Ryan Gander, Michelle Gay, Dan Graham, Sol LeWitt, Glenn Ligon, Gareth Long, Michael Maranda, Seth Price, Kay Rosen, Dexter Sinister, Andy Warhol. Presenting works from the 1960s to the present, the exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, installation, video and works on paper which explore the artistic possibilities of language.
One from the road: Mona Lisa Overdrive
This past week saw Leonardo da Vinci in the news again, this time popping up in the dusty farmhouse of some unbelievably lucky Scots. Poking around our own version of a dusty farmhouse while on vacation this summer, we were not so lucky. However we did manage to dust off another sort of Leonardo-based fascination, buried in a barely cracked edition of Time-Life’s populist Library of Art book series from 1971 (click image to enlarge).
Published in a lavishly illustrated volume titled The World of Leonardo (and authored with help from H.W. Janson of Art History 101 fame), this strangely engaging spread depicts eight early copies of da Vinci’s masterpiece, variously attributed and painted between the early 1500s and the 17th century.
Ambiguous Figures: Max Ernst and Dorothea Tanning
It’s the beginning of April, and in honour of Max Ernst’s birthday (April 2) and National Poetry Month, we thought we’d do a little feature on Ernst, key figure in the history of Dada and Surrealism, and Dorothea Tanning, prolific artist and late-blooming poet who also happens to have been Ernst’s fourth wife.
A dashing and charismatic pair, they met in New York in 1942, when Ernst was still married to Peggy Guggenheim. Four years later, upon his divorce from Guggenheim, Ernst married Tanning in a double Beverly Hills wedding with Juliet Browner and Man Ray. Settling first in Sedona, and then the south of France, Ernst and Tanning continued their innovative and ever-evolving artistic practices, encompassing painting, collage, printmaking, sculpture, filmmaking, costume and set design, book illustration, and writing.
Typologies within typologies: 100 Abandoned Houses and the Heidelberg Project
We love typologies here at Typologica—quite obviously, considering they are our namesake. All that collecting and categorizing serves us curatorially-inclined folk well, facilitating critical connection-making on so many levels. As a scientific method, the use of typologies has existed for centuries within a tradition of exploration, classification, and analysis, but from the late 1950s when Hilla and Bernd Becher famously debuted their photographic archive of industrial structures, calling it Anonymous Sculptures: A Typology of Technical Constructions, typological methods within art have become widely appropriated and applied to all manner of people, places, and things.
100 years ago this week: A great-grandfather is born and Futurism takes Europe by storm
We celebrated the 100th birthday of a family member this past weekend, a rare and momentous occasion indeed. What stunning change he has seen, having lived through the past century’s exponential social and technological growth. In the days since, we’ve been wondering about the world into which he was born so long ago. A new century was just hitting its stride, and among many other international developments, the year 1912 proved to be a pivotal moment in the world of art when the first exhibitions of Italian Futurist paintings were held in Paris and London.
It was then that the painters Balla, Boccioni, Carrá, Russolo, and Severini made their now famous declarations against commercialism, academicism, and traditionalism: “For we are young and our art is violently revolutionary.” Vaunting new pictorial laws which would “deliver painting from the uncertainty in which it lingers” the Futurists boldly equated art with sensation, simultaneity, and discontinuity through a rendering of the invisible rhythms and forces between all things. In employing such “physical transcendentalism”, the painter—and by extension, the viewer—could become a full participant in the chaos and clash of contemporary life at the height of the 20th century Zeitgeist.