A net of human connections

Chiharu Shiota
Me Somewhere Else
28 November 2018 – 19 January 2019
Blain Southern London gallery, London, UK

The art berries visited the art exhibition of Chiharu Shiota at the Blain|Southern London gallery and really enjoyed it. The gallery is nearby Regent’s Street and Oxford Street, so you may want to fit the visit in with your seasonal shopping or just go for it. I hope you like it too.

As you come into the gallery space, you’ll be surrounded by a mesmerising billowing net of red yarn that seems to rise from a pair of feet up to the ceiling from where the installation is suspended. The solid material of the feet, casted from the artist’s own feet, contrasts with the lightness and ephemerality of the net above. The big size of the installation and boldness of the red colour of the net makes you want to immerse yourself in the installation and be a part of it.

Red yarn is a strong symbol in Asia; is the red of blood and also a symbol for relationships between people. For Shiota, the red yarn alludes to the connectedness to each other, the interior of the body and the complex relationship between the body and the mind; a network of neural connections in the brain making the body to react.

With “Me Somewhere Else” the artist examines the idea that human consciousness could exist independently of the body, somewhere else beyond. She said: ‘I feel that my body is connected to the universe but is my consciousness as well? When my feet touch the earth, I feel connected to the world, to the universe that is spread like a net of human connections, but if I don’t feel my body anymore where do I go? Where do I go when my body is gone? When my feet do not touch the ground anymore.’

Finally, in the last room I liked another art piece consisting of a big white empty dress enfold by black threat. For Shiota, an empty dress is a lack of presence, yet it has its own imprint. The memory cannot be washed away. This work seemed to have like a haunting presence and was somewhat unsettling. In addition to this, we can see a few other geometrical sculptures and a couple of two dimensional canvas made also with threat, a medium widely used by Shiota on her work.

Based in Berlin, Shiota (b. 1972, Osaka, Japan) is best known for her immersive installations, such as “The Key in the Hand”, with which she represented Japan at the Venice Biennale in 2015. Using thread to ‘draw’ in three dimensions, she weaves intricate networks of yarn into and across spaces. Personal experiences are the starting points for her works, which explore the relationships between the body, memory, life and death.

Shiota studied painting early in her education but felt restricted by the use of canvas and paint, so she began using her own body in performance pieces, and later began to use thread as a mode for formal and conceptual expression. It allowed her to remove her physical presence yet still address the ideas that are central to her practice.


Una red de conexiones humanas

Chiharu Shiota
Me Somewhere Else (Yo en otro lugar)
28 de noviembre de 2018 – 19 de enero de 2019
Galería Blain Southern, Londres, Reino Unido

The art berries estuvimos en la exposición de arte de Chiharu Shiota que se encuentra ahora en la galería Blain | Southern en Londres y realmente la disfrutamos. La galería está muy cerca de Regent´s Street y Oxford Street, por lo que puede que quieras aprovechar para visitar la galería cuando hagas las compras de temporada o ir exclusivamente a verla. Espero que también te guste.

Al entrar en el espacio de la galería, te verás rodeado/a por una fascinante red de hilos rojos que parece elevarse desde un par de pies hasta el techo, donde se suspende la instalación. La solidez de los pies, replica de los pies de la artista, contrasta con la ligereza y transitoriedad de la red de arriba. El gran tamaño de la instalación y la audacia del color rojo de la red hacen que quieras sumergirte en la instalación y formar parte de ella.

El hilo rojo es un fuerte símbolo en Asia; es el rojo de la sangre y también un símbolo de las relaciones entre las personas. Para Shiota, el hilo rojo alude a la conexión entre nosotros, el interior del cuerpo y la compleja relación entre el cuerpo y la mente; una red de conexiones neuronales en el cerebro que hace que el cuerpo reaccione.

Con “Me Somewhere Else”, la artista examina la idea de que la conciencia humana podría existir independientemente del cuerpo, en otro lugar más allá. ‘Siento que mi cuerpo está conectado con el universo pero, ¿es mi conciencia también? Cuando mis pies tocan la tierra, me siento conectado al mundo, al universo que se extiende como una red de conexiones humanas, pero si ya no siento mi cuerpo, ¿a dónde voy? ¿A dónde voy cuando mi cuerpo se ha ido? Cuando mis pies ya no toquen el suelo’.

Finalmente, en la última habitación me gustó otra obra de arte que consiste en un gran vestido blanco vacío envuelto en hilo negro. Para Shiota, un vestido vacío es una falta de presencia, pero que tiene su propia huella. El recuerdo no puede ser borrado. Esta obra me pareció de aspecto inquietante. Además de esto, podemos ver algunas otras esculturas geométricas y un par de lienzos bidimensionales hechos también con hilo, un medio ampliamente utilizado por Shiota en su trabajo.

Con sede en Berlín, Shiota (n. 1972, Osaka, Japón) es mejor conocida por sus instalaciones inmersivas, como “The Key in the Hand”, con la que representó a Japón en la Bienal de Venecia en 2015. Utilizando el hilo para “dibujar” en tres Dimensiones, ella teje intrincadas redes de hilo en el espacio y a través de espacios. Las experiencias personales son los puntos de partida de sus trabajos, que exploran las relaciones entre el cuerpo, la memoria, la vida y la muerte.

Shiota estudió pintura al principio de su educación, pero se sintió restringida por el uso del lienzo y la pintura, por lo que comenzó a usar su propio cuerpo en piezas de performance, y más tarde comenzó a usar el hilo como modo de expresión formal y conceptual. Le permitió eliminar su presencia física y aún así abordar las ideas que son fundamentales para su práctica.

Chiharu Shiota exh viewChiharu Shiota - The art blackberry 2Chiharu Shiota - View 2Chiharu Shiota-The art blackberry 1Chiharu Shiota - The art blueberryChiharu Shiota - feet detailChiharu Shiota - feet and netChiharu Shiota- The art blackberry 3

Chiharu Shiota - State of being dress

 

Shared memories in colour

Howard Hodgkin
Last Paintings
Gagosian, Grovenor Hill, London
June 1 – July 28, 2018

The Gagosian gallery at Grosvenor Hill is now showing a show of Howard Hodgkin, a widely known British contemporary painter I first discovered with an exhibition there was at Tate Britain, London, in 2006. That show spanned his entire career from the 1950s, despite he wasn’t celebrated as a major figure in British art until the 1970s, but it revealed the early development of his visual language. The memory I keep of it is that it was a fest for the senses due to the vibrancy of the colours and expressiveness of the artworks.

The current exhibition at the Gagosian gallery showcases the final six paintings he completed in India before he died in March 2017, including more than twenty other paintings never displayed before in Europe. I was pleased to see his work again, and the final evolution of it as a gold brooch to the show I saw at Tate more than ten years ago.

Despite his work seems abstract at first sight, Hodgkin stated clearly that he wasn’t an abstract painter. The artist did a a continuos exploration of the representation of emotions, personal encounters and above all, memories of specific experiences that the viewer can relate with going back to his/her own experiences.

In an interview with Kenneth Baker in the Summer of 2016 Hodgkin said: “I can’t control the viewer. But I tell them what the picture’s about, always. I’ve never painted an abstract picture in my life. I can’t.”

He showed a passionate commitment to subject and said also in this interview that it’s when the physical reality is established that the subject can begin to show itself. But, he lamented that people didn’t usually see that his pictures where made of shape, drawing and composition.

Shared memories are a key part in his work. And it was very insightful to read the title of the works to know what he had in mind when he made a new painting. That reading was very evocative to me with some works. Like the painting titled “Portrait of the artist listening to music” displayed below, or the one titled “Darkness at noon” where The art raspberry performs as if she were a sculpture in the shadow.

Although we both liked most paintings, my favourite paintings didn’t necessarily coincide with the ones loved by The art raspberry. And, therefore, each of us performed with the ones we liked the most. In some cases, adding a new interpretation. Like with the work titled “Don’t tell a soul”, where mi position in front of the green brushstrokes over yellow seem to suggest “The birth of an idea” or “A moment of inspiration”. Finally, with the painting “Love song” I felt like a butterfly over some flowers and I truly felt connected to it.

Hodgkin represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 1984 and received the Turner Prize in 1985. In addition, he was included by the newspaper The Independent in a list of the 100 most influential gay people in Britain.


Recuerdos compartidos en color
Howard Hodgkin
Últimas pinturas
Gagosian, Grovenor Hill, Londres
1 de junio – 28 de julio de 2018

La galería Gagosian en Grosvenor Hill, Londres, muestra ahora una exposición de Howard Hodgkin, un pintor británico ampliamente conocido que discubrí por primera vez con una exposición en Tate Britain, Londres, en 2006. Esa muestra abarcaba toda su carrera desde la década de 1950, a pesar de que no fue celebrado como una figura importante en el arte británico hasta la década de 1970, pero revelaba el desarrollo temprano de su lenguaje visual. El recuerdo que guardo de esta muestra es que fue un festival para los sentidos gracias a la vitalidad de los colores y la expresividad de las obras de arte.

La muestra que hay ahora en la galería Gagosian expone las últimas seis pinturas que completó en la India antes de morir en marzo de 2017, incluyendo más de veinte pinturas que nunca antes se habían expuesto en Europa. Me gustó ver su trabajo de nuevo, y la evolución final de este como un broche de oro para la exposición que vi en Tate hace más de diez años.

A pesar de que su trabajo parece abstracto a primera vista, Hodgkin afirmó claramente que no era un pintor abstracto. El artista realizó una exploración continua de la representación de emociones, encuentros personales y, sobre todo, recuerdos de experiencias con las que el espectador puede identificarse fijándose en sus propias experiencias.

En una entrevista con Kenneth Baker en el verano de 2016, Hodgkin dijo: “No puedo controlar al espectador. Pero les digo de qué se trata la imagen, siempre. Nunca he pintado una imagen abstracta en mi vida. No puedo “.

Mostró un compromiso apasionado con el sujeto pictórico y dijo también en esta entrevista que cuando se establece la realidad física es cuando dicho sujeto puede comenzar a mostrarse. Pero, se lamentó de que la gente no suele ver que sus imágenes están hechas de forma, dibujo y composición.

Los recuerdos compartidos son una parte clave de su trabajo. Y fue muy interesante leer el título de las obras para saber lo que él tenía en mente cuando hizo una nueva pintura. Esa lectura fue muy evocadora para mí con algunas obras. Como la pintura titulada “Retrato del artista que escucha música” que se muestra abajo, o la que se titula “Oscuridad al mediodía” donde The art raspberry actúa como si fuera una escultura en la sombra.

Aunque a los dos nos gustaron la mayoría de las pinturas, mis pinturas preferidas no coincidieron necesariamente con las que le gustaron a ella. Cada una hizo su ‘peformance’ con la obras con las que mas conectó en aquel momento. En algunos casos, añadiendo una nueva interpretación. Al igual que con el trabajo titulado “No le digas a un alma”, donde mi posición delante de las pinceladas verdes sobre amarillo parecen sugerir “El nacimiento de una idea” o “Un momento de inspiración”. Finalmente, con la pintura “Canción de amor” me sentí como una mariposa sobre algunas flores y me sentí conectada con la pintura.

Hodgkin representó a Gran Bretaña en la Bienal de Venecia en 1984 y recibió el Premio Turner en 1985. Además, fue incluido por el periódico The Independent en una lista de los 100 gays más influyentes en Gran Bretaña.

Howard Hodgkins-The art raspberry

The art raspberry performing next to “Darkness at noon” (2015-2016).

Howard Hodgkin-The art blueberry2Howard Hodgkin-The art blueberry1Howard Hodgkin-The art blueberry3

The art blueberry performing next to “Love song” (2015).

Howard Hodgkin-Red sky at night

Painting above: “Red sky at night” (2001-2011).

Howard Hodgkin-red sky in the morning

Painting above: “Red sky in the morning” (2016).

Howard Hodgkin-Darkness at noon

Painting above: “Darkness at noon” (2015-2016).

Howard Hodgkin-Indian veg

Painting above: “Indian veg” (2013 – 2014).

Art creation as an ongoing process

Past art shows: Giorgio Griffa. A continuos becoming.
Camden Arts Centre, London, UK.
26 January – 8 April 2018

We visited this art exhibition in March this year and got really inspired by the paintings presented by Giorgio Griffa (1936) at the Camden Art Centre. Griffa is an Italian abstract painter who lives and works in Turin and has been closely related to Arte Povera, which stands for ‘poor art’. This is a movement that appeared in Italy in the 1960s and with which artists sought to radically redefine painting by incorporating throwaway or ‘poor’ materials into their work.

Griffa believes in the ‘intelligence of painting’ and allows for every element of the process to influence and form his work, from the type of brush he uses to the nature of the canvas or the dilution of the pain.

Griffa’s approach is performative and time-base, as he assures that painting is “constant and never finished”.

 

His sources of inspiration are quantum energy, time-space mathematics, the golden ratio and the memory of visual experience since time immemorial. The body of work he presented at the Camden Arts Centre spans his career as an artist from the 1960s through to today and it was curated by artist and curator Stephen Nelson.

I found this exhibition visually striking and very much of my taste. The use of bold and primary colours over unstretched raw canvas was reinforced by the white background of the walls. As soon as I went through the door I felt I was entering the artist’s individual universe. The simple shapes and materials he uses on his paintings resonate with me; as if the artist had found a series of universal symbols and shared them with the rest of the world.

Performing as The art berries, we added another layer to these art exhibition and I dare to say that Griffa would approve of this addition to his work, not only for what it brought of improvisation and time-base performance, but also for the “constant and never finished” approach he likes to use on his paintings.

 

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The plasticity of a surreal dream

Past shows: Karla Black, Stuart Shave/Modern Art
17 Nov – 16 Dec 2017

We attended this exhibition in November last year and really liked discovering Karla Black’s new body of work. With this exhibition she attempted to emphasise the importance of mark-making in her practice, which combined with colour and light connects her sculptural practice to painting.

Moreover, she concentrated specifically on one of the many sculptural problems that preoccupies her: how to preserve the precious, formal aesthetic decisions she makes, within the precariousness of the informal materials she favours. Many of the works in the exhibition were conceived and realised within the gallery space. As she’s asserted in the past, her sculpture is absolutely non-representational.

“There is no image, no metaphor,” Karla Black said.

In the first room, there were free standing sculptures made of Vaseline mixed with paint, then sealed between glass screens. In addition, we found hanging sculptures in the same materials and in clay, wool and spray paint across the whole show. In the second room, there were floor artworks of a pink fluff material and thin sculptures made of Johnson’s baby oil bottles, crystal glasses and wax.

Karla Black lives and works in Glasgow. She was born in Alexandria, United Kingdom in 1972, and completed an MA in Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, in 2004. In 2011, Black’s work represented Scotland at the 54th Venice Biennale, and was the same year nominated for the Turner Prize. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at multiple galleries in the UK and abroad.

Black’s works for this exhibition were fragile and evocative. The plasticity of the materials she used for this exhibition, as well as the pastel and shinny colours she employed on most of these artworks remain in my mind as part of a surreal dream.

 

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