New York, USA
"When most people think of Pop art, the big names come to mind: Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jasper Johns. The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis reminded the art world that the genre is actually a much larger phenomenon with its critically-acclaimed 2015 exhibition, "International Pop." As the show travels to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, opening on February 24, here are 10 under-appreciated masters of the field whose work you can see in the show. And for more Pop art on offer, check out artnet Auctions's Pop art sale, which runs through February 24. 1. Antônio Henrique Amaral (1935–2015) Pop goes political in this piece by Antônio Henrique Amaral, who was an outspoken critic of the military dictatorship in his native Brazil in the 1960s, as well as US involvement in Latin America. He maintained an appreciation for the absurd up until his death at 79, last year. 2. Evelyne Axell (1936–1972) Belgian feminist artist Evelyne Axell is pushing the envelope with this colorful, female-focused piece, which was recently censored by Facebook for its suggestive imagery. 3. Rosalyn Drexler (1926–) This Rosalyn Drexler work, with its subject matter and dramatic contrast, recalls Robert Longo's classic "Men in the Cities" photographs of men in suits, but was painted by the American artist over a decade earlier. 4. Erró (1932–) This eye-catching commentary on consumerism by Icelandic artist Erró is almost good enough to eat. “I paint because painting is a private Utopia," he once wrote. (To catch the artist's work in New York, check out "Erró: Paintings from 1959 to 2016," March 1–April 16, 2016, at Galerie Perrotin.) 5. Jirí Kolár (1914–2002) With this Mona Lisa-inspired work, Jirí Kolář, a Czech poet, writer, and painter, embraced Pop art's appropriation of the zeitgeist in its various forms. 6. Anna Maria Maiolino (1942–) After emigrating to Brazil from her native Italy, Anna Maria Maiolino was featured in the 1967 exhibition "New Brazilian Objectivity," an important international show in the worldwide Pop movement. 7. Kojima Nobuaki (1935–) Jasper Johns himself once posed with a group of these ominous American flag-clad figures during a two month artist's residency in Kojima Nobuaki's native Japan. An untitled flag work featuring a similarly draped figure is in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection. Nojuaki grapples with themes involving US power and individualism, throughout his decades-long career. 8. Dalila Puzzovio (1945–) Born in Argentina, Dalila Puzzovio was also a fashion designer, as evidenced by this stylish—and prizewinning—footwear. The Buenos Aires native created the iconic “Dalila doble plataforma" (Dalilia Double Platform), which she frequently invoked in her artwork. 9. Yokoo Tadanori (1936–) As a well-known artist and graphic designer in Japan, Yokoo Tadanori was inspired by traditional Japanese motifs, as well as psychedelia—influences that are easy to spot in this trippy painting above, which references the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. 10. Jana Želibská (1941–) Slovakian artist Jana Želibská told the Tate Museum in 2015 that she was not a Pop artist, but admitted that "I have used some expressive means of pop art in my work." She arrived in Paris during the 1968 student revolutions, and was steeped in nouveau réalisme as well as Pop." By Sarah Cascone
"The 14th Istanbul Biennial SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms, organised by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV) opens to the public on 5 September 2015. The biennial, drafted by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev with a number of alliances, presents over 1,500 artworks by over 80 participants from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and North America. The biennial will be open until 1 November 2015. Encompassing 36 venues on the European and Asian sides of the Bosphorus, SALTWATER takes place in museums as well as temporary spaces of habitation on land and on sea such as boats, hotels, former banks, garages, gardens, schools, shops and private homes. The 14th Istanbul Biennial’s opening week will host nearly 5,000 guests from the international art scene, including critics, curators, museum and gallery directors, and media. SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev: “This citywide exhibition on the Bosphorus hovers around a material– salt water –and the contrasting images of knots and of waves. It looks for where to draw the line, to withdraw, to draw upon, and to draw out. It does so offshore, on the flat surfaces of our devices with our fingertips, but also in the depths, underwater, before the enfolded encoding unfolds. It considers different frequencies and patterns of waves, the currents and densities of water, both visible and invisible that poetically and politically shape and transform the world. There are arrested movements that suspend time (the knots of human transport across seas and oceans, the knots of war, of labour, of ethnic cleansing) and there are repetitive and dispersive movements like waves (waves of uprisings, waves of ‘jouissance’, electro-magnetic waves). There are literal waves of water, but also waves of people, of emotion and memory. It is through the identification of waves that we acknowledge patterns –underwater patterns of water, or patterns of wind. Perhaps a wave is simply time –the feeling of a difference between its high and low points able to mark the experience of time, and thus of space, and thus of life. With and through art, we mourn, commemorate, denounce, try to heal, and we commit ourselves to the possibility of joy and vitality, of many communities that have co-inhabited this space, leaping from form to flourishing life.” 14th Istanbul Biennial Venues Displayed in the European and Asian sides of the Bosphorus, SALTWATER takes place in museums as well as temporary spaces of habitation on land and on sea such as boats, hotels, former banks, garages, gardens, schools, shops and private houses. There are venues where the visitors will encounter a group exhibition, such as Istanbul Modern, ARTER, the Italian High School, and the Galata Greek Primary School, but most locations host the work of a single artist or artist collective. Exhibition venues at the Galata-Tophane-Beyoğlu route are: SALT Galata, Vault Karaköy The House Hotel, Kasa Galeri, Galata Greek Primary School, Istanbul Modern, a floating boat on Bosphorus, DEPO, two garages on Boğazkesen Street and Çukurcuma Street and a store on Boğazkesen Street, the Museum of Innocence, the Italian High School, one of three fictional venues of the biennial French Orphanage, The House Hotel Galatasaray, a house on Bostanbaşı Street, Cezayir building, another fictional venue of the biennial Casa Garibaldi, ARTER, once the Anatolian Passage and now a shoe store FLO Building, Pera Museum, a room in the Adahan Hotel and the Adahan Cistern. Kabataş-Kadıköy-Büyükada route includes Tunca Subaşı & Çağrı Saray studio in Yeldeğirmeni, Kaptan Paşa Seabus, Büyükada Public Library, Splendid Palas, Rizzo Palace, Mizzi Mansion, Çankaya 57, and Trotsky House in Büyükada, and also Sivriada. The venues in Şişli-the Old City-the Northern Bosphorus route are: Hrant Dink Foundation and Agos as well as Hrant Dink Foundation and Agos – Centre for Parrhesia, Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hammam, Rumeli Feneri, and another fictional venue of the biennial Riva Beach. Finally, a provisional biennial venue will be Kastellorizo, a Greek island two kilometres away from the Turkish coast. The weeklong project in collaboration with the Fiorucci Art Trust titled “The violent No! of the sun burns the forehead of hills. Sand fleas arrive from salt lake and most of the theatres close” will take place there from 7 to 13 September 2015. 14th Istanbul Biennial Participants and Projects The exhibition presents over 1,500 artworks, including commissions by artists as well as other materials from the history of oceanography, environmental studies, marine archaeology, Art Nouveau, neuroscience, physics, mathematics and theosophy, and some crystals that Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev gathered with a friend at Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty on the Great Salt Lake in early 2015. Works at the biennial range historically from an 1870 painting of waves by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, who received a Nobel prize in 1906 for discovering the neuron, to the ground-breaking abstract Thought Forms of Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater (1901-1905), a new work by Füsun Onur where a poem is heard on a moving boat, up to a cultural meeting point between Chicago and Istanbul by Theaster Gates. Amongst the most evident artistic projects to explore irregular wave patterns and organic growth is the work of Christine Taylor Patten, a series of 1,000 tiny one-inch square drawings titled ‘micros’ with minimal materials such as a crow-quill pen and black ink on paper. Anna Boghiguian’s The Salt Traders, a grand, sculptural installation of old sails, paintings, drawings, fragments of a boat and sound recordings, Cevdet Erek’s new installation A Room of Rhythms – Otopark in an old car park built in 1940 in Tophane, the last episode of Wael Shawky’s epic video trilogy, Cabaret Crusades: The Secrets of Karbala, that will include glimpses of the Battle of Karbala, a sculptural installation of crates from which art objects seem to have escaped, referring to the need for art to be freed from its hoarding in the age of creative capitalism by Walid Raad in a former bank vault on Bankalar Street, Kasa Galeri, William Kentridge’s new multi-channel video and sculptural installation, inspired by the presence and exile of Leon Trotsky on Büyükada island in the late 1920s and early 1930s, Adrián Villar Rojas who creates monumental sculptures emplaced in the sea by the shore of the Trotsky House in Büyükada, and Pierre Huyghe’s Abyssal Plain, a long-term underwater project. Conversations between different fields of knowledge occur in a long, narrow space that Carolyn Christov Bakargiev calls the Channel, where works range from those by oceanographer Emin Özsoy, and Jeffrey Peakall to D’Aronco’s drawings and drawings of knots made by Jacques Lacan in the 1970’s, alongside the ‘knotty’ paintings of Brazilian artist Frans Krajcberg, as well as a selection of late nineteenth- century Art Nouveau vases by Émile Gallé and drawings by Patrick Blanc for his vertical gardens will be displayed. The biennial speaks about the transformative agency and potential that art can have, its ‘use-ability’, through the struggles for Aboriginal rights of the Yolngu people of North-east Arnhem Land in Queensland, and how their struggles have resulted in laws being changed and rights being acknowledged throughout Australia. A selection of Yirrkala drawings including a colourful series of drawings on brown paper made in 1947, the Bark Petitions of 1963, and the Saltwater Paintings of 1998–2008, are displayed. The 14th Istanbul Biennial is drafted by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev. Interlocutors and alliances include Anna Boghiguian, Aslı Çavuşoğlu, Cevdet Erek, Bracha L. Ettinger, Pierre Huyghe, Emre Hüner, William Irvine, William Kentridge, Marcos Lutyens, Chus Martínez, Füsun Onur, Emin Özsoy, Griselda Pollock, Michael Rakowitz, Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, Arlette Quynh-Anh Tran and Elvan Zabunyan."
Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev's Istanbul biennial, "SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms," opened with speeches and song as the art world gathered eagerly to hear what the famed curator had to say, and how this hotly anticipated biennial would come together. This is Christov-Barkagiev's first major exhibition as curator (or as she prefers to be called, draftsperson) since the rapturously received Documenta 13 in 2012. The salt water theme is multilayered in its meaning, drawing on salt water as a metaphor that ranges from the sea and the Bosphorus of Istanbul to the flow of peoples across the world, the waves of history and trauma in the world, and in the history of the ancient city of Istanbul. Salt water both heals and corrodes, Christov-Bakargiev told the press, explaining rather superfluously that water flows, creates knots and eddies, passage and barriers. “The one reason I am not in politics but in art is because I feel that art has a possibility of shaping the souls of people, and transforming the opinions of opinion leaders who are also then in a trickle-down effect shaping what will be the policies of government," emphasized Christov-Bakargiev in her opening speech. "I am skeptical and I am a skeptic," she added, quoting from the Bible. Theaster Gates (who can really sing!) and Adrian Villar Rojas opened the event with musical performances. Gates sang Walk With Me, a cappella, and Rojas performed an acoustic version of Erasure's A Little Respect, accompanied by an acoustic guitarist and drummer. As soon as the applause echoed across the Italian School and Embassy, where the press conference took place, everyone present, including Hans Ulrich Obrist and Nicholas Serota, scattered into the nearby twisting streets of Istanbul to see what the biennial had in store. First up was Un/fit for Feeling (2015), by British artist and poet Heather Phillipson, whose work was a letter to the human heart comprised of sculpture, film, and installation. The core of the piece was what it meant to be “heartfelt," as the heart as an organ cannot feel. We drown in a sea of love, in a sea of red. There is also an Armenian theme to the biennial, marking a century since the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turkish government of the time. Among sites open to visitors is the building of Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian journalist who founded bilingual paper Agos, and was assassinated in 2007. Also, the Museum of Innocence author and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk is hosting two paintings by Abstract Expressionist artist Arshile Gorky, who survived the massacre in 1915. Theaster Gates' work, also to be found in the narrow streets that surround the Italian Embassy, comprises different elements, all linking back to the city. “I built a workspace that allows me to learn and care for these fragments of Turkish history that in some ways, when I was asked to be a part of the biennial of Istanbul, I really struggled to imagine my connection to," Gates told artnet News. “But the more I considered its history and the more I started to mine the objects that I had, the more I realized that there were all these connections that were not on the surface," he explained. “So, I started to mine my collections and found a Turk who had started Atlantic Records." Gates realized that he had over 200 soul and jazz records from the legendary label started by Ahmet Ertegun. The work also shows slides of Mohammedan sculpture and an intricate 17th-century Iznik bowl. Gates will make and re-make versions of the ceramic. “The bowl is really the heartbeat of the space," Gates explains." Over the next few weeks I will ponder this bowl as a way of pondering Turkey, and that maybe through the recreation of this bowl I might learn something." At Istanbul Modern, Liam Gillick's formula used to create a pulse, or flow, is unmissable on the waterside of the museum, visible to all who look at the city from the other side of the Bosphorus. Then off to an amazing performance surrounding works exploring Aboriginal maps and the notion of reading of their artworks as messages—messages which in some cases saw the restoration of land rights in Australia. The theme of migration, currently a humanitarian and political crisis reaching devastating effects in the region, is on people's minds, in the artworks, and in the media. One of the most striking works of the biennial is the installation work by Egyptian painter Anna Boghiguian at the Galata Greek Primary School. The site was chosen, in keeping with the theme, as it is no longer a school due to longstanding conflicts between Greece and Turkey, so that there are no Greeks left to attend it. The main hall of this impressive space is filled with painted Egyptian sails which hang from the ceiling. This work explores the nature, history, and science of salt, from the scientific formulas and maps of the world that decorate the draped sails to the piles of salt from Ethiopia, Pakistan, and Turkey. As the heat intensified, we crossed the city to Kucuk, Mustufa Pasa Hammam, and Wael Shawky. Shawky's work, displayed on a huge screen bathed in blue light, is installed in a 14th-century hammam, one of the oldest buildings in Istanbul. The work is the final installment of his film trilogy, the Cabaret Crusades, entitled Cabaret Crusades: The Secrets of Karbala (2015). “I'm totally interested in societies in transition," Shawky told artnet News. "And in the idea, or the dream of development, so I'm always running after this topic, really." “The history of the crusades is like a dream for Pope Urban II, who launched the crusades in 1095, a religious dream. I've worked on this series since 2010 and I finished this year with the third film, which I am showing here." The work is the longest and the most complex of the trilogy. It tells the story of the crusades from 1146 to 1204 and starts with a flashback to the battle of Karbala (in present-day Iraq) which caused the split creating Sunni and Shia Muslims. “[The film] ends with the fourth crusades that is mainly political rather than religious." The nature of this work could not speak more to the theme of the biennial, spanning history, perception, cultures and exploring division, and is one of the most successful works on view. The second day we took to the islands in the Bosphorus. Christov-Bakargiev's vision and salt water theme take in everything from the Black Sea to the Princes' Islands in the Marmara Sea surrounding Istanbul. The island of Büyükada has an otherworldly quality to it. Stepping off the sea bus, one enters into a world of horse-drawn carriages and French colonial style mansions. It is behind these whitewashed shutters and floral hedges that the rest of the biennial works are installed. Well, not all of them. As we disembarked from one boat we embarked on another, which held two very different installation works. Pinar Yoldas's conceptual work, on the deck of the boat, used the seawater to explore themes of pollution and nature. Usually working with biological processes reapplied on a small scale, Yoldas was persuaded by Chrtistov-Bakargiev to upscale her vision, and created a sculptural system of clear tubes draped over a metal frame. The size of the boat is comparable to that of a blue whale, 30 to 40 meters in length; the clear blue water that is pumped through flows at the same rate as a whale's heartbeat. Inside the boat is the submerged universe of Markus Lutyens, combining his techniques of histories and hypnosis. Next up was a new work by Ed Atkins, Hisser (2015), which was packed with expectant artists, critics, and curators all sweltering in the intense heat. Viewers enter into a Hitchcock-esque abandoned house full of empty rooms and abandoned furniture. Upstairs, Hisser plays on a huge screen. The work is inspired by the true story of a man whose bedroom fell into a sinkhole and was never found. “I'm sorry I didn't know," the digitally recreated man says and sings as he lies in bed and then walks, bruised, across an empty screen. Another work that was packed with eager beavers was Rojas'. You would be hard pushed to feel nothing walking through the wrecked shell of Trotsky's house. Exiled from Russia, he lived on the island for four years at the end of the 1930s. On a steep and rocky route from the road to the sea, the rotten and rusted shell of the house gives way to the blue waters and the huge sculptures Rojas installed, emerging from the sea like relics of a bygone age. The city of Istanbul has a magical charge due to its history and its location. Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev has captured both this and the mood of the time. "SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms," the 14th Istanbul biennial, runs from September 4 to November 1, 2015. By Amah-Rose Abrams
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