Intricate pretty art pieces

Anni Albers
11 October 2018 – 27 January 2019
Tate Modern, London, UK

We were at Tate Modern last week visiting the art exhibition of Anni Albers (1899-1994), an artist who combined the art of hand-weaving with the language of modern art and what I believe is one the best art shows in London at the moment. Do not miss it, because it’s finishing soon.

Featuring over 350 objects from small-scale pieces and studies to large wall-hangings, jewellery and textiles designed for mass production, the show explores the intersection between art and craft, hand-weaving and machine production, ancient and modern art. It opened ahead of the centenary of the Bauhaus in 2019 and recognises Albers contribution to modern art and design.

I believe that the hand-weaving pieces presented at the art show are really diverse in shape, colour and size. It seems to me that she kept experimenting with design, techniques and materials all her life, yet keeping a very personal style.

Each artwork is like a little treasure made with great care and deep thinking. For instance, she turned everyday objects into precious jewellery pieces, and explored the use of many textures and materials for different and interesting results.

I liked the large wall-hangings with abstract patterns as well as the small-scale pieces that show a great attention to detail. In addition, there’s a central big room in the exhibition that displays various wall-hangings similar to blinds of Japanese inspiration that we decided to use for our photos, as they are good to reflect about the contemporary art space and the interaction of the body within that space.

Born in Berlin at the turn of the century, Annelise Else Frieda Fleischmann became a student at the Bauhaus in 1922, where she met her husband Josef Albers and other key modernist figures like Paul Klee.

The Bauhaus was a German art school that was opened from 1919 to 1933 and had a profound influence upon subsequent developments in art, architecture, graphic design, interior design, industrial design and typography. Although, the Bauhaus aspired to gender equality, women were still discouraged from learning certain disciplines including painting. Anni Albers began weaving by default, but it was in textiles that she found her means of expression, dedicating herself to the medium for the majority of her career. 

With the rise of Nazism and the closure of the Bauhaus, Albers left Germany in 1933 for the USA where she taught at the experimental Black Mountain College for over 15 years. She made frequent visits to Mexico, Chile and Peru, where she bought an extensive collection of ancient Pre-Columbian textiles.  In both her work and her writing, she presents a vastly expanded geography of modern art, drawing on sources from Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Visiting the show was a very stimulating experience and I feeI that it would be so for those of you who like modern art, crafts and design as much as I do.


Piezas de arte intrincadas y bonitas

Anni Albers
11 de octubre de 2018 – 27 de enero de 2019
Tate Modern, Londres, Reino Unido

Estuvimos en Tate Modern la semana pasada visitando la exposición de arte de Anni Albers (1899-1994), una artista que combinó el arte del tejido a mano con el lenguaje del arte moderno y la que en mi opinión es una de los mejores muestras de arte que hay ahora en Londres. No te lo pierdas, porque termina pronto.

Con más de 350 objetos, desde piezas a pequeña escala y estudios hasta grandes tapices, joyas y textiles diseñados para la producción en masa, la muestra explora la intersección entre arte y artesanía, tejido a mano y producción de maquinaria, arte antiguo y moderno. Se inauguró antes del centenario de la Bauhaus en 2019 y reconoce la contribución de Anni Albers al arte y diseño modernos.

Creo que las piezas de tejido a mano presentadas en la muestra de arte son muy diversas en forma, color y tamaño. Me parece que Albers siguió experimentando con el diseño, las técnicas y los materiales durante toda su vida, pero manteniendo un estilo muy personal.

Cada obra de arte es como un pequeño tesoro hecho con gran cuidado y pensamiento profundo. Por ejemplo, convirtió objetos cotidianos en preciosas piezas de joyería, y exploró el uso de muchas texturas y materiales para obtener resultados diferentes e interesantes.

 

Me gustaron los obras mas grandes con diseños abstractos, así como las piezas a pequeña escala que muestran una gran atención al detalle. Además, hay una gran sala central en la exposición que muestra varias obras similares a estores o cortinas de inspiración japonesa que decidimos usar para algunas de nuestras fotos, ya que nos parecieron buenas para reflexionar sobre el espacio contemporáneo y la interacción del cuerpo dentro de ese espacio.

Nacida en Berlín a principios de siglo, Annelise Else Frieda Fleischmann se convirtió en estudiante de la Bauhaus en 1922, donde conoció a su esposo Josef Albers y otras figuras modernistas clave como Paul Klee.

La Bauhaus fue una escuela de arte alemana que se abrió de 1919 a 1933 y tuvo una profunda influencia en los desarrollos posteriores en arte, arquitectura, diseño gráfico, diseño de interiores, diseño industrial y tipografía. Aunque, la Bauhaus aspiraba a la igualdad de genero, las mujeres fueron desanimadas a aprender ciertas disciplinas, incluida la pintura. Anni Albers comenzó a tejer por defecto, pero fue en los textiles donde encontró su medio de expresión, dedicándose a ello durante la mayor parte de su carrera.

Con el auge del nazismo y el cierre de la Bauhaus, Albers abandonó Alemania en 1933 para ir a los Estados Unidos, donde enseñó en el experimental Black Mountain College durante más de 15 años. Hizo visitas frecuentes a México, Chile y Perú, donde compró una extensa colección de textiles antiguos precolombinos. Tanto en su trabajo como en su escritura, presenta una geografía muy amplia del arte moderno, basándose en fuentes de África, Asia y América.

Visitar la exposición fue una experiencia muy estimulante y creo que lo sería para aquellos de vosotros a los que os guste el arte moderno, la artesanía y el diseño tanto como a mi.

anni albers-the art blueberry backanni albers-the art blackberry standinganni albers-the art blueberry pregnant

anni albers-the art blackberrry lying

 

The stories that resonate with us

Joan Jonas
Tate Modern, London, UK
14 March – 5 August

If you’re interested in performance art, you’re in luck, because there’s now an art exhibition at Tate Modern focused on the work of Joan Jonas, a pioneer of performance, video and installation and one of the most important female artists to emerge in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Jonas was born in 1936 in New York City and after finishing her degree in Art History, she went to specialise in sculpture. But, immersed in the New York’s downtown art scene of the 1960s she  began experimenting with performance, video and props after studying with influential choreographer Trisha Brown for two years, and working with choreographers Yvonne Rainer and Steve Paxton in the 1960s.

This art exhibition at Tate Modern showcases Joan Jonas’s great contribution to art over the last five decades, uniting some of her most important pieces. The exhibition is curated by Andrea Lissoni in close collaboration with the artist.

The show is ordered by subject, as we can see how Jonas sometimes revisited topics various times throughout her career. She takes inspiration from different cultures and sources, from fairy tales to myths and local folklore, adapting them to relate to contemporary life.  Using props, mirrors and video screens she creates a complex layering of images that serve her to convey her interest in music, female identity, the environment, as well as natural and urban landscapes.

As we came into the show we could see a range of objects from Jonas’ personal collections, such as masks, wooden animals and items collected on her travels, and the following text in a caption: “one object next to another is like making a visual poem”. It was certainly like entering the individual universe of the artist, something I particularly enjoy.

The second room gave us a selections of the different art performances Jonas had done throughout the years in collaboration with other artists listed here: Benjamin Blackwell, David Crossley, Babette Mangolte, Richard Landry, Gwen Thomas, Gianfranco Gorgoni, Peter Moore, Larry Bell, Roberta Neiman, Beatrice Heyligers and Giorgio Colombo. This room gave us a view of two of her earliest performances such as “Mirror Pieces” (1968-71), in which she alters the audience perception of space using mirror as the central motif, and “Organic Honey Visual Telepaphy” (1972), where Jonas scans her own fragmented image onto a video screen.

The next room of the exhibition was “The Juniper Tree” an installation created in 1994 that evolved from performances staged in 1976 and 1978. I was mesmerised by this installation and intrigued by the story in which it was based. It refers to the Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a little boy who was beheaded by his stepmother and eaten by his father, before being reincarnated as a bird with the help of this stepsister. The juniper tree is where the boy’s mother had been buried and where he was buried by his stepmother before a beautiful bird flied out from it. The bird kills his stepmother by dropping a stone on her head and turned back into a boy to live happily ever after with his father and stepsister. Joan Jonas performed with this installation in various places, alone and collaboratively, and the version conserved here is the last one from 1978.

The art raspberry used her own intuition to perform next to “The Juniper Tree”, adding a new interpretation to the artwork. She saw herself as the tree that was present and muted throughout the story, and somehow an ally to the boy.

Jonas’ passion of story-telling was evident also in “Lines in the Sand” (2002), an installation and performance created for Documenta 11, in which Jonas reworks the myth of Helen of Troy to explore contemporary political events. And by the end of exhibition, we could see “Double Lunar Rabbits” (2010) in which she draws inspiration from the story of a rabbit on the moon, both a Japanese myth and Aztec fable.

However, some of my favourite pieces in this show were contained in a room with multiples references to birds. We could see them projected on screens, hanging from the ceiling, painted on canvas. I remembered how I used to dream that I could fly when I was little and I felt tempted to become one of them once again.

Finally, we saw some of her latest pieces in a different room downstair, with not much lighting and a really strong ritualistic feeling. There Jonas touches issues of climate change and animal extinction, subjects that are central to the artist’s current practice.


Las historias que resuenan con nosotros

Joan Jonas
Tate Modern, Londres, Reino Unido
Del 14 de marzo al 5 de agosto

Si te interesa el arte del ‘performance’, estás de suerte, porque ahora hay una exposición de arte en Tate Modern (Londres) centrada en el trabajo de Joan Jonas, pionera del arte del ‘performance’, video e instalación y una de las artistas femeninas más importantes que surgieron a finales de la década de 1960 y principios de la de 1970.

Jonas nació en 1936 en la ciudad de Nueva York y después de terminar sus estudios en Historia del Arte, se especializó en escultura. Pero, inmersa en la escena artística del centro de la ciudad de Nueva York de la década de 1960, comenzó a experimentar con performance, video y accesorios después de estudiar con la influyente coreógrafa Trisha Brown durante dos años y trabajar con los coreógrafos Yvonne Rainer y Steve Paxton en la década de 1960.

Esta exposición en Tate Modern muestra la gran contribución de Joan Jonas al arte en las últimas cinco décadas, uniendo algunas de sus piezas más importantes. La exposición está comisariada por Andrea Lissoni en estrecha colaboración con la artista.

La muestra está ordenada por temas, ya que Jonas vuelve a tocar los mismos temas varias veces a lo largo de su carrera. Se inspira en diferentes culturas y fuentes, pasando por cuentos de hadas, mitos y folclore local, y adaptándolos para relacionarlos con la vida contemporánea. Utilizando accesorios, espejos y pantallas de video crea una compleja colección de imágenes que le sirven para transmitir su interés en la música, la identidad femenina, el medio ambiente, así como en paisajes naturales y urbanos.

Cuando entramos a la exposición pudimos ver una variedad de objetos de la colección personal de Jonas, como máscaras, animales de madera y objetos recogidos en sus viajes junto con el siguiente mensaje escrito en una leyenda: “un objeto al lado del otro es como hacer un poema visual “. Ciertamente fue como entrar en el universo individual del artista, algo que disfruto particularmente.

 

La segunda sala ofrece una selección de las diferentes representaciones artísticas que Jonas hizo a lo largo de los años en colaboración con otros artistas incluidos aquí: Benjamin Blackwell, David Crossley, Babette Mangolte, Richard Landry, Gwen Thomas, Gianfranco Gorgoni, Peter Moore, Larry Bell, Roberta Neiman, Beatrice Heyligers y Giorgio Colombo. Esta sala presenta dos de sus primeras actuaciones como: “Mirror Pieces” (1968-71), en la que altera la percepción del espacio en el público utilizando el espejo como motivo central, y “Organic Honey Visual Telepaphy” (1972) , donde Jonas proyecta su propia imagen fragmentada en una pantalla de video.

La siguiente sala de la exposición es “The Juniper Tree”, una instalación creada en 1994 que evolucionó a partir de las ‘performances’ realizadas en 1976 y 1978. Me cautivó esta instalación y me intrigó la historia en la que se basaba. Se refiere al cuento de hadas de los hermanos Grimm sobre un niño que fue decapitado por su madrastra y comido por su padre, antes de reencarnarse en un pájaro con la ayuda de su hermanastra. El árbol de enebro es donde la madre del niño había sido enterrada y donde el niño fué enterrado por su madrastra antes de que un hermoso pájaro volara desde allí. El pájaro mata a su madrastra arrojándole una piedra en la cabeza y se vuelve a convertir en un niño que vive feliz para siempre con su padre y su hermanastra. Joan Jonas actuó con esta instalación en varios lugares, sóla y en colaboración, y la versión que se presenta aquí es la última de 1978.

‘The art raspberry’ usó su propia intuición con esta obra de “The Juniper Tree” para el ‘performance’ y añadió una nueva interpretación a la obra de arte. Ella es el árbol de enebro que esta presente y en silencio a lo largo de la historia, y es de alguna manera un aliado del niño.

La pasión de Jonas por contar historias también se hizo evidente en “Lines in the Sand” (2002), una instalación y performance creada para Documenta 11, en la que Jonas recrea el mito de Helena de Troya para explorar eventos políticos contemporáneos. Y al final de la exposición, pudimos ver “Double Lunar Rabbits” (2010) en el que se inspira en la historia de un conejo en la luna, un mito japonés y una fábula azteca.

Sin embargo, algunas de mis piezas favoritas en esta muestra de arte están en una sala con múltiples referencias a pájaros. Se pueden ver proyectados en pantallas, colgando del techo, pintados sobre lienzo. Recordé cómo solía soñar que podía volar cuando era niña y me sentí tentada a volver a ser uno de ellos.

Finalmente, vimos algunas de sus últimas piezas en una habitación inferior, sin demasiada iluminación y con un fuerte sentimiento ritual. Allí Jonas toca los problemas del cambio climático y la extinción de los animales, temas que son fundamentales para la práctica actual de la artista.

Joan Jonas-Juniper Tree1

Joan Jonas-Juniper Tree3

Joan Jonas-climbing

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Joan Jonas-Bird2

1932: A year of renewed creativity

Current art exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy
Tate Modern, London, UK.

8 March – 9 September 2018

I’m delighted to cover the first ever solo exhibition of Pablo Picasso at Tate Modern and what is certainly the blockbuster art show of the season here in London. I believe that Picasso was one of the most relevant figures in the arts in the 20th century, and a great artist who kept exploring new artistic avenues all his life.

I liked the curating work done for this EY exhibition at Tate Modern, as I did like the one done at The National Portrait Gallery at the end of 2016 based on “Picasso Portraits“. I found the latter was excellent to showcase the artist’s capacity to redefine the portrait with each woman in his life.

Picasso said once that “The work one does is a way of keeping a diary.” The current art exhibition at Tate Modern is like a diary that takes visitors on a month-by-month journey through 1932; a year that’s been called his ‘year of wonders’ for how relevant it was from a personal and career perspective.

In his personal life, he was 50 years old and his marriage with Olga Picasso (previously Khokhlova) was under strain. The affair he was having with the significantly younger Marie-Thérèse Walter, a young woman of 22, offered him a escape and a source of inspiration for much of his work in this period. Walter is the central presence in this exhibition and who inspired him to reach a new level of sensuality with his paintings.

From a career perspective, this was the year that cemented Picasso as a celebrity within the art world. A group of Paris dealers competed to launch the first ever retrospective of his work, when retrospectives of living artists were still unusual. Matisse’s retrospective at the Galeries Georges Petit in 1931 had been a rare exception and Picasso wanted to have his own too. He even declined offers from the MOMA in New York and the Venice Biennale to have his own retrospective at the Galeries Georges Petit, which happened in June 1932. Picasso took full control of the show to avoid giving too much power to his dealers. But, then he didn’t attend the opening, choosing to go to the cinema instead. That art show cemented his celebrity status and offered the first hint of having a new woman in his life.

He escaped to Boisgeloup with Marie-Thérèse Walter in July and August, and his style became faster and more fluid. She was a great swimmer, so he used this fact to showcase similarities between women and sea creatures with a strong surrealist influence.

This art exhibition presents also some of the drawings he did in charcoal in 1932. Some of them in canvas as they were works in their own right, not preparatory studies. For some paintings, he liked focusing on line and shape rather than in colour. I was lucky to see the fantastic “Picasso Black and White” exhibition held at the Guggenheim in New York in 2012, which explored the fantastic use of black and white he did throughout his career. It’d be good to see a similar art show like that in London sometime soon.

Towards the end of the show, we could see the series of drawings and paintings inspired by classical themes, both secular and religious, such as the Crucifixion, by Matthias Grunewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece and  scenes of reclining nudes and flute players, mostly associated with surrealism. Although he was sceptical of group membership of any kind. The flute players in purple and green reminded me of Chagall’s figures with a whimsical and magic touch.

The year that started with sensuous exuberance progressed into a more darkened mood after Marie-Thérèse fell very ill after swimming in the river Marne. His paintings reflected scenes of rescue and struggle. What’s more, he became increasingly anxious about the political situation there was in Europe at the time with populist nationalism and totalitarian regimes, which would eventually finish with tragedy first in Spain and then all over Europe.

Some of Picasso’s most iconic and loved works like ‘Nude woman in a red armchair’ from the Tate collection, ’Girl before a mirror’ from The Museum of Modern Art in NY or ‘The dream’ are displayed in this show . Also, I enjoyed to see two of the sculptures shown in this show created in Boisgeloup, a big bust of Marie-Thérèse and the ‘Cock’ that was a rare example among all the female figures he made; it shares the sweeping curves with them and includes a profile beneath the tail feathers. The original plaster was cast in bronze in 1952. One of The art berries’ pictures captures the ‘Cock’ and adds another profile to it.

I enjoyed this exhibition because at a time in which critics were questioning his ability to create new work, he once again redefined the tradition of western art with a new style full of sensuality, fluidity and vibrancy. Something only a great artist can do.

Fashion notes:
Raspberry wears a dress from COS stores.
Blueberry wears a shirt from Cynthia Rowley and a vintage jumper.
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