Editor’s Pick – Top International Shows: April 11 – April 17, 2011

9 April – 15 May 2011
Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art
Copenhagen, Denmark

What happens when the functional design object meets art? In this exhibition 18 trend-setting international and national artists and designers present their perceptions on this question, including Maarten Baas, Fos, Tobias Rehberger, Martino Gamper and Louise Campbell. The participating artists and designers share the desire to challenge and overstep each other’s artistic domains and experiment in a cross-over field where it is no longer possible or relevant to categorize and define the objects. Recognisable everyday objects lose their original function and sculptural and aesthetic qualities are added. There is a conceptual expansion of concepts in which humour, irony and play are elements that seem to characterize the works.

Laure Prouvost
9 – 21 May 2011
MOT International
London, UK

Having embarked on a year-long project to produce a film based on Rory Macbeth’s The Wanderer, itself a mistranslation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Prouvost has created an ambitious new installation which grounds itself in a form of prologue to the film. Through a cacophony of sound, image and objects Prouvost creates the surreal narrative of Jenny as she seeks Gregor, in a world of broken mirrors, misunderstandings and confusion in which the audience is both a participant and foil to Jenny’s quest, sending her drunk and spinning out of control. The only things holding the narrative together are a series of story-boards, drawing a line between the separate elements. Prouvost has increasingly developed work that spills out of the frame of her previous medium of film. Her installations aim to create a portal to her cinematic environments, breaking free of their frames, becoming a celebration of imperfection and conjuring a state before we can talk about anything.

Agathe Snow: Men Oh Men
Rüdiger Schöttle Gallery
1 April – 14 May 2011
Munich, Germany

The sculptures and collages of the Corsican New York artist Agathe Snow exemplify the way she creates her worlds – worlds that are at once pervaded with an apocalyptic mood of doom and decay and with an earnest, optimistic belief in a changing society. The exhibition starts out from an experimental investigation into how our memories and feelings are influenced by our multimedia world. To this end, MEN OH MEN has as its theme those men that have left their mark on her life so far. Seven hanging sculptures, still-lifes consisting of found, partially transformed objects and materials, symbolize her erstwhile lovers. Snow works in many widely differing techniques and materials, and is known for her performances as well as for her collages, sculptures, installations, videos and texts.

Chris Marker: Passengers
2 April – 4 June, 2011
Peter Blum
New York, US

This exhibition is comprised of more than two hundred photographs, his first in color, taken by Marker between 2008 and 2010 of passengers traveling on the Paris Métro. The pictures capture the many private actions and gestures that take place daily in the public sphere. Mothers cradling their children, couples whispering intimately, women wistfully staring out the window or into the middle distance, engrossed in their own personal thoughts. In several of the shots, we see whole train cars filled with similarly disengaged people. Taken as a complete body of work, this series clearly illustrates the various ways in which people create invisible walls and boundaries in order to cope with modern urban life. Chris Marker further to the photographs he takes, enhances, changes or colors his images on the computer, giving them often an eerie, almost otherworldly presence. The exhibition will travel to France where it will be included as part of the internationally renowned Les Rencontres d’Arles Photographie Festival in the Summer of 2011.

L N Tallur – Chromatophobia: The Fear of Money
4 – 30 April 2011
Nature Morte
New Delhi, India

The title of this exhibition of new sculptures by L N Tallur ironically situates the artist’s practice within the intersections of desire, value, pedigree and psychology. Known for his kinetic sculptures which often comment on society and politics, the work of L N Tallur combines a sharp wit along with a prodigious use of materials. Many of the works in the exhibition use the classical sculpture of India as their starting points. These ‘found objects’ are then combined and manipulated, confounding the established categorizations with which we usually interpret art: figuration and abstraction, traditional and contemporary, decorative and functional, creative and destructive, religious and secular. Tallur’s works may appear quintessentially ‘Indian’ at first, but on closer inspection they reveal themselves to be both cosmopolitan and historically astute.

Monika Sosnowska
9 April – 7 August 2011
Museo Rufino Tamayo
Mexico City, Mexico

The vast sculpture court of the Museo Rufino Tamayo has been transformed by Monika Sosnowska’s new sculpture ‘The Fire Escape’. Conceived especially for the space and taking inspiration from the ubiquitous fire escapes in her native Poland, Sosnowska’s imposing construction creates a fascinating dialogue between sculptural identity and architectural critique.

Kehinde Wiley – The World Stage: Israel
9 April – 28 May 2011
Roberts & Tilton
Culver City, California

The World Stage: Israel is the latest installment of Kehinde Wiley’s colossal The World Stage series. Through Wiley’s comprehensive exchange, the artist’s contemporary yet historical oeuvre accentuates international cultures and their denizens, evoking discourse on an ever-expanding examination of globalization. The hand carved frames created for The World Stage: Israel combine orthodox imagery of the Hands of Kohen (the blessing hands of a Kohen—a person descended from Aaron, the high priest) and the Lion of Judah (symbolizing power and majesty and often represented in symmetrical, confronting pairs.)

Prague Photo Festival
April – may 2011
Prague, Czechoslovakia

In Prague every April is dedicated to photography. The fourth annual festival takes place this year at a number of venues and presents a wide variety of photographers, galleries, and institutions that are engaged in photography. Exhibitions curated in conjunction with the festival can be seen at the Museum of Applied Arts, Galerie Rudolfinum, DOX – Centre for Contemporary Art, Gallery Artinbox, the Gallery of Josef Sudek, Langhans Gallery, the Leica Gallery Prague, the Gallery of Vaclav Spala, New Town Hall and elsewhere. Every year the winner of the UniCredit Bank Young Prague Photo Award is announced by a selection committee during the festival, honoring a young photographer under the age of 35.

New Work: Anna Parkina
25 February – 19 June 2011
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco, US

Emerging Russian artist Anna Parkina boldly explores the dynamics of history and perception. Her richly layered pictorial works often evoke the forms and imagery of Russian Constructivism but also draw on her own contemporary lexicon of mass-culture motifs and abstraction to reflect on changes in the artist’s home city of Moscow since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Parkina’s project for SFMOMA, entitled Fallow Land—the artist’s first U.S. museum exhibition—premieres her latest body of work and showcases the range of her practice with a large suite of new works on paper (including watercolors and tissue paper collages), all created specifically for this presentation.

Michael Stevenson
6 April – 19 June 2011
Museum of Contemporary Art
Sydney, Australia

Michael Stevenson, a New Zealand artist based in Berlin, has been described as an ‘anthropologist of the avant-garde’. This exhibition is the first survey of his work. Stevenson’s work re-tells recent histories using allegory in and amongst historical fact. His work—paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations and film—utilises narrative forms that transform truth and fable. It engages with absurdities that arise when universal ideas relating often to culture or economics take hold in insular situations and seem to be both radical and perplexing. Stevenson’s practice constantly reveals the fascinating and complex relationship between notions of the specific and the universal. The exhibition reviews a broad selection of the artist’s works drawn from his diverse practice and includes ambitious projects realised in the last 10 years such as major screen-based works and installations. It also provides an opportunity to see his recent activities in relation to earlier drawings, paintings and objects produced in the 80s and 90s in Australia and New Zealand.

About the author

In May 2006, Rebecca Wilson brought her expertise from 14 years in book and art magazine publishing to the Saatchi Gallery, where she launched an online daily magazine for the gallery's expanding website. In 2007 she created New Sensations, a prize for art students which identifies and supports the most exciting emerging artists. The prize is run in the UK with Channel 4 and will be launch in North America in 2011. As well as working on Saatchi Online, she is Associate Director of the Saatchi Gallery in London. Prior to joining The Saatchi Gallery, Rebecca was editor of ArtReview, and before that deputy editor of Modern Painters.

One Comment

  1. Seraphine Pick says:

    Great to see a New Zealander in an international listing! Michael is one of our best and most interesting too. Good choice.


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