Events


Serpentine Pavilion 2018 review

Serpentine Pavilion 2018 review

by Tiziana Maggio

Serpentine Pavilion: unveiling a concrete tapestry in a garden…

Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Serpentine Pavilion 2018

This summer a dark fence is going to stand in the lawn of the Serpentine Gallery in London’s Kensington Gardens. On Tuesday 12th June, the new Serpentine Pavilion 2018 opened to the public giving at a first view very little of itself away, if not just two textured overlapping rectangles. In fact, as soon as I arrived my partner of adventures Roro stated: “It looks like a prison”.
However, from a closer look the structure reveals to be formed by undulated roofing tiles stacked together and romantically woven on to steel poles which welcome us in a courtyard-like space with a shallow triangular pool covered by a curved mirrored canopy. Also we realised that the two nested rectangular spaces are wisely placed parallel to the Serpentine Gallery one and the Prime Meridian of Greenwich the other.
Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Serpentine Pavilion 2018

I have to say that after the tree-inspired Pavilion created last year by Diébédo Francis Kéré, this black textured walls are everything but unwelcoming or rough: in fact with a cafe, chairs and light and breeze filtering through the decorative tiles, they will offer for the next four months a relaxing and intimate place to recover from the either rainy or hot city’s buzz and enjoy a calendar filled of art events.
Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Plus, the distorted images reflected by the ceiling and the water highlight how simple materials like cement can create complex pieces of tapestries. The Mexican architect Frida Escobedo, who was mingling around at the opening, invites us to enjoy the water and a cool splash for our suffering soles in the hopefully warm days of this London’s summer.
Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Mexican architect Frida Escobedo’s pavilion for the Serpentine Gallery, in London. Photograph Ray Tang Rex Shutterstock

Establishing her practice in 2006, she led several projects in her country, London, California and Lisbon. After Zaha Hadid inaugural Pavillion in 2000, Frida is the second solo woman to be chosen for the Serpentine Gallery’s annual commission. Also, at 38 years old, she is the youngest architect of any of her predecessors achieving the prestigious leading role, becoming the 18th architect selected to design the Pavilion.
My design for the Serpentine Pavilion 2018 is a meeting of material and historical inspirations inseparable from the city of London itself and an idea which has been central to our practice from the beginning: the expression of time in architecture through inventive use of everyday materials and simple forms” stated Escobedo.
Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Serpentine Pavilion 2018

Serpentine Director Hans-Ulrich Obrist and CEO Yana Peel explained that Escobedo’s Pavilion is “a beautiful harmony of Mexican and British influences” and an “architecture for everyone which promises to be a space of reflection and encounter”. In fact the young architect wanted to reinterpret the permeable ‘celosia’, a type of breeze wall which is a common element in the Mexican residential properties to get some restorative and cool siesta-times, creating a very previous British reference for us.

Go: the Pavilion is always worth a detour from your running around.
Don’t go: if you prefer your sofa, couch potato!
Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of mediterranean

Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of mediterranean

by Eugenia Bertelè

The 12th edition of Manifesta, the European Nomadic Biennial will open its doors in Palermo, a crossroad city located in the heart of the Mediterranean, next June 16th, 2018 until November 4th, 2018

Manifesta 12 Palermo, Palazzo Butera, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio - Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of Mediterranean

Manifesta 12 Palermo, Palazzo Butera, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio

Manifesta, originated in Amsterdam during the early 1990s, was born in response to the political, economic and social change following the end of the Cold War and beginning of the European integration process. This time the exhibition titled The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence, explores coexistence in a world moved by invisible networks, transnational private interests, algorithmic intelligence and ever- increasing inequalities.
Manifesta 12 Palermo, Chiesa dei Santi Euno e Giuliano, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio - Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of Mediterranean

Manifesta 12 Palermo, Chiesa dei Santi Euno e Giuliano, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio

According to the words of Hedwig Fijen, art historian Director and Founder of Manifesta: “Today biennials should be more than the sum of a series of exhibitions. The added value of Manifesta 12 is the fact that the biennial programme takes place in 2018 in the Sicilian city of Palermo, where important geopolitical, social and ecological realities of our times are arising. Palermo constitutes the deep complexities that people worldwide are facing. We hope that Manifesta 12 creates new perspectives in terms of staging the immaterial and material legacy for the future of the city.
Manifesta 12 Palermo, Orto Botanico, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio - Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of Mediterranean

Manifesta 12 Palermo, Orto Botanico, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio

There are then a present and a future imagined for Palermo: a long- term series of education projects that will kick-off during the biennial in order to create a sustainable impact after the exhibition, using the fantastic energy and vibrant culture of the city. This year the international creative team is interdisciplinary and includes Bregtje van der Haak (Dutch filmmaker and journalist), Andrés Jacque (Spanish architect founder of Office for Political Innovation), Ippolito Pestellini Laparelli (Sicilian born architect Partner at OMA) and Mirjam Varadinis (Swiss contemporary art curator at Kunsthalle Zurich).
Manifesta 12, Palermo, Teatro Garibaldi Venue, Copyright Manifesta 12, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio - Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of Mediterranean

Manifesta 12, Palermo, Teatro Garibaldi Venue, Copyright Manifesta 12, 2017. Photo by CAVE Studio

The concept was inspired by the city itself through a preliminary phase of investigation made by the international architecture firm OMA, Palermo Atlas, which allowed a deeper understanding of social, cultural and geographical texture of the city. Manifesta 12 will look at the idea of the garden, exploring its capacity to aggregate difference and to compose life out of movement and migration. Palermo has historically been a laboratory for diversity and cross-pollination, shaped by continuous migration and mixing a vegetation from Asia, Middle East, Australia, etc.
Forcella De Seta3 Copyright Manifesta Photo by Cave Studio - Manifesta 12 will shine from the heart of Mediterranean

Forcella De Seta3 Copyright Manifesta Photo by Cave Studio

The exhibition is articulated in 4 sections: Garden of Flows, exploring toxicity, plant life and the culture of gardening in relation to global common goods; Out of Control Room investigating power in today’s regime of global flows; City on Stage, addressing the existing opportunities in the center and in the suburbs of Palermo to carry out projects so far interrupted and never realized; Teatro Garibaldi hosting a library, café and program of public events, including debates, workshops and film screenings.
Manifesta 12 features 30 new commissioned art works, public installations, performances and urban interventions, taking place in 15 iconic venues of the city. Among others, Nigerian contemporary art performer, Jelili Atiku, will set up a processional performance on June 15th, through the streets of Palermo. French contemporary landscape architect and philosopher Gilles Clément, who inspired the biennial’s curatorial concept with his book The Planetary Garden will engage in collaboration with the multidisciplinary design studio Coloco and create an urban garden in the Zen district of Palermo. Maria Thereza Alves will dedicate a site-specific work dedicated to the floral syncretism of Sicily at Palazzo Butera. London-based collective Cooking Sections will show a project on agricultural irrigation systems held in various venues. Marinella Senatore, will feature on June 16th a collective dance movement in the streets of the historic centre and Giorgio Vasta, with the project City Scripts, a digital app dedicated to the narration of Palermo. More information, click here See collateral events, click here
Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

By Tiziana Maggio

Interview with Giorgio di Palma, who is pushing ceramic forward

Just one heartfelt advice: remember his name. For his disruptive approach to the ceramic, we could define him the Damien Hirst of this craft, but actually to be more precise, Giorgio di Palma is like Damien before getting his god-like attitude and marketing power.
Giorgio di Palma, Tools, Hand sculpted ceramic, glaze and platinum, Dimension Real dimension, 2013 - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Giorgio di Palma, Tools, Hand sculpted ceramic, glaze and platinum, Dimension Real dimension, 2013

In fact from his workshop in a tiny centre in the south of Italy, Giorgio is revolutionising his art. Class 1981, he studied Archeology to then actually started working as IT technician. However, after few years he finally decided to listen to his true passion, the ceramic craft, and follow his call back home in the small town of Grottaglie, which actually is historically well known for its century old ceramic tradition. It is not a coincidence then that since he moved back home in 2010, Giorgio has been producing an incredible collection of ceramic art which are starting to attract interior designers and art collectors’ interests.
Cartucce, photo Dario Miale - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Cartucce, foto-Dario-Miale

His artistic statement is all about a personal and ironic approach: ‘I work my own way, without focusing on the technique, and I always avoid giving my objects a real function. I produce ceramic items which are not needed. In an era of excess and wastefulness, my aim is to create objects fallen into disuse, useless, but impossible to leave behind. They will outlive us, because now they are made of terracotta, hence immortal. Through a special time machine called ceramics I enjoy transforming the useless into the eternal and consecrating the moment.’ I have got to know Giorgio primarily via email and it immediately transpires how down to heart and committed this artist is.
Giorgio di Palma - Cercamic objects. Photo: Dario Miale - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Giorgio di Palma – Cercamic objects. Photo: Dario Miale

Do you have a mentor in your professional and personal life?
In my life I have always been surrounded by people who inspired me, hence I don’t think I have ever had only one mentor. I might sound pretentious but I believe in myself so much that I could call myself the Giorgio di Palma’s mentor. This does not mean that I believe I can do anything I want. With time I have learnt that in every craft and industry there are experts that could be my teachers and mentors. Hence if I want to make marinated anchovies I will ask for my mother’s instructions and if I want to create a complex ceramic piece, I will ask my father for some advice.
Giorgio di Palma, Cappello, walkman, borraccia e twix in ceramica - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Giorgio di Palma, Cappello, walkman, borraccia e twix in ceramica

Who is a living artist you admire and you would collect?
My house and studio are full of art made by artists I was lucky enough to meet and get to know closely. I need to know the artist personally in order for me to collect his pieces, in fact behind every piece I have, there is a story to tell. Hence I would say I collect stories, not art.
Giorgio di Palma, Balloons Permanent Installation on a wall in Vizzini, Sicilia, Italia, Ceramic, glaze, 2015 - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Giorgio di Palma, Balloons Permanent Installation on a wall in Vizzini, Sicilia, Italia, Ceramic, glaze, 2015

What can you not stand in the art world?
I have to say I cannot stand the art world as a whole. I never wanted to call myself ‘artist’ and I always avoided the path of art galleries-collectors-price politics. Some of my pieces are displayed in museums where a wider audience can see them and enjoy them. However, I usually sell in my studio and in few selected shops: my buyers can be either the kid who needs to buy a gift for his aunt and the person who falls in love with a unique original piece.
Photo @lucamarianaccio - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Photo @lucamarianaccio

What’s your biggest achievement so far in life and career?
Maybe my biggest one has been to came back and make a living in my hometown Grottaglie, in Southern Italy.
Giorgio di Palma, Detergents, Handsculpted ceramic, glaze and decal, Dimension Real-dimension, 2016 - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Giorgio di Palma, Detergents, Handsculpted ceramic, glaze and decal, Dimension Real-dimension, 2016

Are you interested in Italian politics?
Fundamentally no. I voted just three times in my life and I deeply regretted each time. I believe citizens can’t really decide on complex topics like vaccines, Euro, etc..There are designated people with specific expertise who know what and how to decide on those matters. We should just convince them to do that. Instead on ethical choice, rather economic-political matters, citizens should decide.
Baloons phone, Giorgio di Palma, Isculpture Gallery San Gimignano, Tuscany Contemporary Art - Casole d'Elsa - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Baloons phone, Giorgio di Palma, Isculpture Gallery San Gimignano, Tuscany Contemporary Art – Casole d’Elsa

Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
I see myself ‘escaping’ from Italy often but also having Grottaglie as a base for me to come back.
Artist studio, photo Dario Miale - Giorgio di Palma: a ceramist to watch out for

Artist studio, photo Dario Miale

Like his ceramic lollipop and balloons, Giorgio is a straightforward and extremely enjoyable artist who can surprise you with a genuine approach that will definitely further his career in the directions of being internationally collected and unanimously acclaimed.
Freespace: the 16th International Architecture Exhibition

Freespace: the 16th International Architecture Exhibition

By Eugenia Bertelè

Open to the public from Saturday May 26th to Sunday November 25th 2018, at the Giardini and the Arsenale, Freespace, the 16th International Architecture Exhibition

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia - Freespace: the 16th International Architecture Exhibition

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Titled FREESPACE, will be curated by Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, Directors of the Irish firm Grafton Architects, winners of numerous international awards and recognized for a relevant academic activity. La Biennale di Venezia President, Paolo Baratta, explained that this edition focuses on the question of space, the quality of space, open and free space. The fundamental parameter of reference is indicated with great clarity. «The desire to create FREESPACE can become the specific individual characteristic of each individual project. But space, free space, public space can also reveal the presence or absence of architecture, if we understand architecture to be thinking applied to the space where we live, that we inhabit.»
Arsenale, photo Andrea Avezzù, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia - Freespace: the 16th International Architecture Exhibition

Arsenale, photo Andrea Avezzù, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

This year the exhibition includes 71 participants between Giardini and Arsenale with 63 countries represented; they will be joined by others gathered in two special sections: Close Encounter, meetings with remarkable projects (16 participants) where will be presented well- known buildings of the past to install a new reflection; and The practice of teaching (12 participants) that collects projects developed as part of teaching experiences. Curators explained they discovered «invention and creativity at the micro and macro scales historic buildings liberated by the intelligence of the architects; forgotten buildings re-visited and brought to life; transformative typologies of habitation; infrastructural needs translated into public and civic facilities.» Furthermore, «a key component in attending to the continuity of tradition in architecture is the practice of teaching».
Álvaro Siza, Evasão, 2018, photo Jacopo Salvi, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia - Freespace: the 16th International Architecture Exhibition

Álvaro Siza, Evasão, 2018, photo Jacopo Salvi, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Curators have used the Manifesto FREESPACE, issued in June 2017, as a reference point for putting the exhibition together. This text contains a vision of architecture as the translation of a need in a significant space. They believe that everybody has the right to benefit from architecture emphasizing its role in the choreography of life. They see earth as a client. This brings with it long-lasting responsibilities. Architecture is the play of light, sun, shade, moon, air, wind, gravity in ways that reveal the mysteries of the world. All of these resources are free.
Allison Brooks Architects, ReCasting, 2018, photo Andrea Avezzù, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia - Freespace: the 16th International Architecture Exhibition

Allison Brooks Architects, ReCasting, 2018, photo Andrea Avezzù, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

The exhibition promise is to have a spatial, physical presence of a scale and quality to communicate architecture’s complex spatial nature.
Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia - Freespace: the 16th International Architecture Exhibition

Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

Some of the most well known architecture firms of the world are represented at the Architecture La Biennale exhibition, as Álvaro Siza (Portugal); Atelier Peter Zumthor & Partner (Haldenstein, Switzerland); Benedetta Tagliabue – Miralles Tagliabue EMBT (Barcelona, Spain; Shangai, China); David Chipperfield Architects London, UK; Berlin, Germany; Milan, Italy; Shanghai, China); Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York, USA); Elemental (Santiago, Chile); Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa / SANAA (Tokyo, Japan); Paulo Mendes da Rocha (São Paulo, Brazil); Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects (Tokyo, Japan). The Awards Ceremony will take place on Saturday May 26th, 2018 during the opening of the 16th Exhibition. The international jury will announce the winners of the internationals awards: -Golden Lion for best National Participation -Golden Lion for best participant in the International Exhibition FREESPACE -Silver Lion for a promising young participant in the International Exhibition FREESPACE The Jury may also award a maximum of one special mention to National Participations; a maximum of two special mentions to the participants in the International exhibition FREESPACE
Kenneth Frampton, Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia - Freespace: the 16th International Architecture Exhibition

Kenneth Frampton, Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia

During the time of the event La Biennale will also host the 12th International Festival of Contemporary Dance (June 22nd- July 1st 2018); the 46th International Theatre Festival (July 20th- August 5th 2018); the 75th Venice International Film Festival (August 29th- September 9th, 2018) and the 62nd International Festival of Contemporary Music (Sevptember 28th- October 7th, 2018). For more information: www.labiennale.org
Photo London 2018-savvy: who and what to look out for this year

Photo London 2018-savvy: who and what to look out for this year

By Tiziana Maggio

Look Lateral reporting from the opening night on the artists and galleries to discover this year

Bieke Depoorter 2017 FRANCE. Paris. Agata. 2017 - Photo London 2018-savvy

Bieke Depoorter 2017 FRANCE. Paris. Agata. 2017

At its fourth edition, the UK photography event of the year opened with a preview yesterday Thursday and promised to wow its visitors until May 20th at Somerset House in in the heart of London. After a very successful third edition, the fair is in fact coming back this year with more than 100 national and international specialist galleries and publishers from 18 countries and establishing itself as a must for all art and prints hunters and lovers.
Carolyn Drake 2014 -UKRAINE. Ternopil. Petrykhiv. 2014. Marishka, 20 - Photo London 2018-savvy

Carolyn Drake 2014 -UKRAINE. Ternopil. Petrykhiv. 2014. Marishka, 20

Magnum Photos at stand G6 is presenting a selection of prints, from the contemporary to the classic, from Bieke Depoorter, Alex Majoli, Matt Black, to Jim Goldberg, Carolyn Drake and Mikhael Subotzky. In particular with the last one, well-renowned for being an innovative creator, the visitors can actively be captured by the gigantic images. By just downloading the Avara application on their devices or borrowing an available iPad, they can direct them at the print and an Augmented Reality (AR) will bring the still photo alive, showing what was happening during the shoot.
Mountainscapes, 2018, by Pacifico Silano, archival inkjet print. Courtesy of Rubber Factory - Photo London 2018-savvy

Mountainscapes, 2018, by Pacifico Silano, archival inkjet print. Courtesy of Rubber Factory

We recommend getting lost in the Discovery section, curated by art consultant Tristan Lund and hosting 22 emerging galleries and artists in a newly expanded dedicated space. First Chinese gallery in the Discovery, ON/Gallery from Beijing is presenting works by Shen Wei, which have a oneiric allure in their glossy fashion-magazine with a photo-journal’s authenticity. Rubber Factory (New York) is instead bringing an america allure with Pacifico Silano’ works where from few very measured details the viewer is free to guess an untold story of images.
Also this year Photo London is hosting a compelling talk-programme, installations, book signings and two awards, Magnum Photos Graduate Photographers’ Award and the MACK First Book Award. As it happens for the most popular fairs, also this fair is magnetising an increasing number of satellite events all over London: from Peckham 24 to Offprint at the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, lovers of this medium will be ensured to have a busy weekend.
Before leaving, we stopped for a Japanese sake at the ‘Lip bar’ hosted by Hamiltons Gallery, which we recumbent and not just for the liquor. Replicating Bar Kuro in Shinjuku where the Tokyo’s independent photographer Daido Moriyama, recognised as one of the few living modern masters photographer from Japan, used to go for many years, this intimate special installation allows visitors to enter in a travel capsule where they can get closer to Daido’s oeuvre. It cannot be missed!

Go: to feed your mental database with the most solid reference for prints and to feel part of the always more demanding photography community.

Don’t go: if you don’t like the overwhelming Louvre’s effect.
Glasgow International 2018, what a fair!

Glasgow International 2018, what a fair!

By Tiziana Maggio

The short post-guide: Glasgow International finishes and this is our take

After almost three very busy weeks, the free GI festival finished yesterday, on a very fortunate combination of the Bank holiday weekend and temperatures reaching a high of 22 degrees. Glaswegians and fair visitors in fact have made the most of this warm weekend visiting and enjoying the festival fully for the last few days.
Rose Marcus, GW (Double you), 2017 (Image Facebook GI festival) - Glasgow International 2018

Rose Marcus, GW (Double you), 2017 (Image Facebook GI festival)

From artists’ studios through to major museums, several locations across the city were involved, including the Forth and Clyde Canal and Glasgow’s network of subway stations and carriages. The art-hunters started every day touring from the city centre hub of Trongate 103 in the Merchant City where they could grab a coffee and GI map and plan their art walk and even bike tours leading to Tramway, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Kelvin Hall and the Gallery of Modern Art and many other locations.
Which i which... by Layla Roxanne Hill - Glasgow International 2018

Which i which… by Layla Roxanne Hill

As the director Parry said ‘I got the Subway this morning and came out at St Enoch and the whole floor of the station was covered in these vinyl artworks. They have transformed the space while not being overpowering. It lets everyone get on with their thing while being very beautiful.’
Untitled by Najma Abukar - Glasgow International 2018

Untitled by Najma Abukar

The performance and works displayed by Yon Afro Collective– YAC (Najma Abukar, Layla Roxanne Hill, Rhea Lewis, Sekai Machache, and Adebusola Debora Ramsay) appeared one of the post-brexit most significant events of this Biennial. Hosted by Govanhill Baths Community Trust and titled (Re)imagining Self and Raising Consciousness of Existence through Alternative Space and (Re)imagined Place, it very effectively pointed the attention on the lives of women of colour in Scotland narrating stories often ignored and and how the Black Other is viewed.
Musoro 2 by Seki Machache - Glasgow International 2018

Musoro 2 by Seki Machache

Each YAC artist self founded the event and explored the topic through their media and craft, from paintings, photography to sculpture and text exploring the challenges of women of colour living in different socio-political environments.
Adebusola Debora Ramsay - Origins (2014) - Glasgow International 2018

Adebusola Debora Ramsay – Origins (2014)

Planning already the next fair, the director Parry said he wants to increase access. “Within England, across Europe and internationally, Glasgow is really respected in terms of the artwork on show. And while there are a lot of people who know and love the festival, I think the biggest thing for us to do is to reach and invite as many people as possible to come and discover the amazing work being made here.”
Simon Buckley and Othmar Farre Present FOUNDATION PAINTING SHOW gallery - Glasgow International 2018

Simon Buckley and Othmar Farre Present FOUNDATION PAINTING SHOW gallery

We can definitely say that also this year the festival has again succeeded in drawing a wider attention on the city vibrant artistic production and in positioning the Scottish artistic power-house in the centre of the international art plethora.
The Ey Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, fame, tragedy

The Ey Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, fame, tragedy

By Tiziana Maggio

London, Tate Modern, 8 March – 9 September 2018 – Tate Modern recently opened a new exhibition and its curatorial concept immediately caught my curiosity. It is the first ever solo Picasso exhibition at the Tate and the curators are offering a fascinating focus on a specific year in the career of the master: 1932

Pablo Picasso, Sleeping Nude with Blonde Hair, 1932 - The Ey Exhibition: Picasso 1932

Pablo Picasso, Sleeping Nude with Blonde Hair, 1932

I decided to pay a visit, along with my friend and artist Christina. Visitors are afforded a very privileged opportunity to appreciate over 100 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs displayed in a month-by-month journey through Picasso’s ‘year of wonders’.
People attending the EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 Love, Fame, Tragedy - The Ey Exhibition: Picasso 1932

People attending the EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 Love, Fame, Tragedy

As soon as I enter the first room, I am already ecstatic: The Great Depression is about to hit the art market and the Master is in his fifties and at the peak of his success, going around in a chauffeur-driven car and living in grand apartments in Paris with Olga Khokhlova, the Russian ballet dancer and mother of his son.
Pablo Picasso, The Dream (Le Rêve) 1932, Private Collection © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2018 - The Ey Exhibition: Picasso 1932

Pablo Picasso, The Dream (Le Rêve) 1932, Private Collection © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2018

His talent has reached a new height of sensuality now, mainly inspired by his 17 year old muse and mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter, featured in numerous works, from Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, to Nude in a Black Armchair and The Mirror.
Pablo Picasso, Woman in a yellow armchair, 1932. Private collection © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2016 - The Ey Exhibition: Picasso 1932

Pablo Picasso, Woman in a yellow armchair, 1932. Private collection © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2016

At the end of our viewing, I turn to my friend Christina with my elated smile of fulfilment and an unexpected comment breaks my euphoria: ‘Although prolific, he was a narcissistic, macho, lavish, misogynistic, exploitative, over-idolized , male dominatrix of an artist! Sadly this is what Western art society and art educational system still admire and promote…!!
Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, 8 March 1932. Photograph: Andy Paradise/PA - The Ey Exhibition: Picasso 1932

Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, 8 March 1932. Photograph: Andy Paradise/PA

I was speechless. In only one comment, she opened a vortex of thoughts that I couldn’t suppress for days. I rewinded the whole exhibition in my mind several times and in the end I came to a conclusion. If on one hand this exhibition shows us the magnificent artistic peak reached by Picasso, on the other it opens the archives of his love life. There is nothing better than an exhibition that is able to create debate and open discussions. #Payavisit
Glasgow International 2018

Glasgow International 2018

By Tiziana Maggio

20 Apr 2018 – 7 May 2018 – How knew Glasgow could be the city to go for contemporary art too!?

The international biennial opened last week its eighth edition and it is already showing an ambitious programme under the direction of Richard Parry: more than 80 events, 45 group shows, 40 solo exhibitions, pop-up performances, talks in conventional venues and unusual locations too. They are popping all across Glasgow, placing the art and the city itself among the most talked-about for the next two weeks internationally. How knew?
Who is Heinztien - Glasgow International 2018

Who is Heinztien

In the last ten years actually, the Scottish festival has been featuring hundreds of contemporary visual art by established and emerging Scottish and international artists and site-specific exhibitions, becoming soon a not-to-be-missed event in the international calendar of most art fair connoisseurs. Formerly the curator of the Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool, Parry in fact says ‘Glasgow has a contemporary art scene to rival that of any city in the world and Glasgow International has played an increasingly significant role since its inception over a decade ago.’
The office of a coffee maker, and then the beach - Glasgow International 2018

The office of a coffee maker, and then the beach

Combining art by more than 260 artists from 33 countries, this year the event is showcasing exhibitions reflecting on critical topics like politics, identity, fatherhood, race, queer feminist photography. It appears like an important sign of the current times, where it is impossible to not reflect topics that have been so drastically redefined and discussed recently. In this Scotland’s hyper art-fair, this is surprisingly made by biblical figures, dragons and elephants!
43 Esther Ferrer Malarme Revise - Glasgow International 2018

43 Esther Ferrer Malarme Revise

Highlights will see a major new group exhibition at the Gallery Of Modern Art (GoMA) and solo exhibitions by international artists including Esther Ferrer, Urs Fischer, the group of black female artists from Cape Town iQhiya Collective as well as commissions by two Turner Prize winners, Lubaina Himid with Breaking in, Breaking out, Breaking up, Breaking down in the main hall of the Kelvingrove and Mark Leckey, the ‘artist of the YouTube generation’ with Nobodaddy (after William Blake’s poem).
Nobodaddy by Mark Leckey at Tramway, Glasgow Photograph Keith Hunter - Glasgow International 2018

Nobodaddy by Mark Leckey at Tramway, Glasgow Photograph Keith Hunter

In particularly Lecky’s work has been the most much-anticipated and talked about: in the darkness of an empty room at Tramway a morbid figure echoing the pose of Rodin’s Thinker expresses melancholy and solitude. Job, this is its name, seems to be the personification of old sorrows and technologically new inputs coming from surrounding screens and speakers in its body. It is a mystical figures and it is creating an hypnotic space for appreciation.
Alongside the official GI calendar, the buzz is ensured all over the city to visitors, me included, in a quest for other spectacular art and some free teas and whiskey too (!), in fact they will have the opportunity to dive into emerging local art promoted by independent galleries and by the alternative platform Glasgow Why Open House Arts Festival (GYFest).
Beyond the Myth: Frida Kalho

Beyond the Myth: Frida Kalho

Original text by Eugenia Bertelè

The Mudec (Museum of Cultures) of Milan hosts until Wednesday June 6th 2018 a can’t-miss retrospective dedicated to the Mexican artist Frida Kalho (1907-1954). An exhibition going “beyond the myth”, that aims at beating all its many competitors born after this unstoppable Fridamania displaying unprecedented material from the archives

Frida Kahlo , Venado herido, The Wounded Deer Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo , Venado herido, The Wounded Deer Frida Kahlo

BIOGRAPHY VS ART

How could we possibly restore the artistic value of a worldwide brand, Frida Kahlo, having her image all over the place, including tampons and nail polishes? And how should we interpret the opening of a museum, by the Riviera Maya, having its whole exhibition path based on a multimedia recreation of Frida Kalho’s life that includes everything but the display of her original works? Frida Kalho has lived the life of a rock star, that’s a fact.
Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress (1926)

Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress (1926)

Looking for some examples? Woman, Latin-American, maverick, wife of the controversial wall painter Diego Rivera. Heroin surviving terrible accidents and exhausting diseases. Mother losing three fetuses. A strong personality, almost multiplying itself in the reproduction of her self-portrait – more than a third of Frida’s whole production (about 200 pieces).
Frida Kahlo, Henry Ford Hospital, © Foto Erik Meza / Xavier Otaola - © Archivo Museo Dolores Olmedo © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida

Frida Kahlo, Henry Ford Hospital, © Foto Erik Meza / Xavier Otaola – © Archivo Museo Dolores Olmedo
© Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida

THE ARCHIVE, A VALUE

However, what is fundamental in this Milan exhibition is the scientific study conducted by the curator Diego Sileo on the documents found by Frida’s house in Mexico City, the Casa Azul, providing a completely new perspective on her career. The exhibition consists in four sections: Woman, earth, politics and pain, and gathers together more than 70 paintings, 40 drawings, 150 letters, pictures and objects loaned by the most relevant international collections (Museo Dolores Olmedo and Jaques and Natasha Gelman Collection).
Firda Kalho, Diego nella mia mente, © Gerardo Suter © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, México, D.F. by SIAE 2018

Firda Kalho, Diego nella mia mente, © Gerardo Suter © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, México, D.F. by SIAE 2018

Not mentioning a couple of slipups, the romantic Italian music juxtaposing a documentary showing scenes from the life of the couple, and the explosive merchandising at the end of the path, the value of Sileo’s research stands incredibly out, making it possible to better understand Frida Kalho’s works and to give her value as an artist, giving new keys to interpretation.
Firda Kalho, La colonna spezzata, © Foto Erik Meza / Xavier Otaola - © Archivo Museo Dolores Olmedo © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, México, D.F. by SIAE 2018

Firda Kalho, La colonna spezzata, © Foto Erik Meza / Xavier Otaola – © Archivo Museo Dolores Olmedo © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, México, D.F. by SIAE 2018

Moving away from all biographical simplifications, we can finally discover how she uses her body as a political and sacrificial manifesto; how she is osmotically bound to nature, how she sees the Earth as the place of both genesis and death; how she shows her femininity, how she constantly reaffirms her being Mexican through symbols like her over-stressed somatic features (eyebrows, light moustache, fuzz, thick black hair turning from pure ornament to a representation of pain), like the use of traditional clothes, through mentioning pre-Columbian characters – destroyed by her typical glance, so ironic, gritty and intriguing. A unique language, where the traditional naïf paint by Rousseau meets the influences of the surrealistic alphabet, creating Frida Kalho’s totally authentic style.
Firda Kalho, Bimba tehuacana, Lucha María (Sole e luna), © Rafael Doniz © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, México, D.F. by SIAE 2018

Firda Kalho, Bimba tehuacana, Lucha María (Sole e luna), © Rafael Doniz © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, México, D.F. by SIAE 2018

BLOCKCHAIN, THE DIGITAL ARCHIVE OF TOMORROW?

The archive is, therefore, one of the funding pillars of knowledge, the place treasuring history. How will archives look like in the future, I wonder? Will the new technologies – blockchain, for instance – be able to ensure data storage and simultaneously keep up with the constant upgrades of the scientific research and of the circulation of artworks?

POPULARITY VS MARKET

The amazing marketing now surrounding Frida Kalho doesn’t seem to depend from the quotations of her original paintings. In fact, if we look at how these quotations have changed from the ‘70s until now, it almost seems that such marketing speculations have not played in her favor.
Frida Kahlo, Dos Desnudos en el Bosque (La Tierra Misma), 1939

Frida Kahlo, Dos Desnudos en el Bosque (La Tierra Misma), 1939

The best result one of her works has ever achieved at an auction house was in fact recorded in 2016 at Christie’s, when Dos Desnudos en el Bosque (La Tierra Misma), 1939, was sold for 8 million dollars. During that same week a 1982 painting with a skull by Jean Michel Basquiat was sold for 57 million dollars. That painting wasn’t one of the most representatives of Frida Kalho’s vision if compared, for instance, to the self-portrait (Retrato con mono y perico, 1942) bought in 1995 by the Argentinian Edoardo Constantini for 3.192.500 dollars at Sotheby’s, New York. Such result looks very much like the cost of an opportunity within a market having a really scarce offer.
Firda Kalho, Diego y yo

Firda Kalho, Diego y yo

In 1990, in fact, Frida had become the most paid Latin-American artist ever, selling the portrait Diego y yo, 1949, for 1.430.000 dollars at Sotheby’s, New York. Today, 20 years later, the prices have not increased significantly.
Frida Kahlo, Natura morta (Sole di Samuel Fastlicht), © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, México, D.F. by SIAE 2018

Frida Kahlo, Natura morta (Sole di Samuel Fastlicht), © Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, México, D.F. by SIAE 2018

The ages will tell how will the market react to this scientific reimagining of Frida Kalho, one of the most cutting-edge artists of the past century.

MUDEC, Museo delle Culture, Via Tortona 56, Milan, Italy – From Thursday February 1st to Wednesday June 6th 2018 – www.mudec.it