Art Brussels 2011
(May 1, 2011) We didn't have a chance to attend Art Brussels this year, but our good friends at Happy Famous Artists did. Here are some of their highlights from the fair.
Matthew Day Jackson
During the last couple of days, Brussels has been the epicenter of contemporary art with the yearly Art Brussels fair and its numerous corresponding events (our two personal favorites being the opening of the Vanhaerents Art Collection and the Gallery Night on Friday).
Some picks from the fair: great booth of Grimm Gallery from Amsterdam, with e.g. Matthew Day Jackson's Nagasaki. ArtInfo reported the piece has been sold the first day for cca $200.000. Other great work @ Grimm was a light box work by Adam Helms. Don't miss his solo at Grimm Gallery at the end of May!
We loved the paintings & installations of Julien Prévieux shown on Art Brussels by Galerie Jousse Entreprise.
The wall installations, called "The Universal Argumentation", consisted of several wooden circles attached to each other in their centres so they could spin in various combination, carved with economical terms and abbreviations. The visual impression immediately made one think of secret society organigrams: mysterious and impenetrable to the outsiders.
The meticulously executed paintings were part of "F.A.Q." series from 2007, presenting a number of geometric motifs associated with terms concerning social issues (education, sexual deviance, psychiatry, public interest…). These patterns, often used for book covers, involve the relation between accumulated knowledge and over-interpretation, formulation and formalization: to what degree do these motifs model the concepts referred to?
By looking further through Julien's online portfolio (u gotta download a PDF to see it, but we promise it's worth it), we discovered plenty of other interesting projects, such as the "Letters of Non-Motivation", the series of drawings "Looking for an Economic Miracle" or the "Post-Post Production" video work in which the artist adds a completely new set of effects to an penultimate James Bond movie: each shot is enhanced by additional explosions, flames, smoke, torrents of water and avalanches.
At the end of this month, Jousse Entreprise presents a solo show of Julien Prévieux, titled "Dimensions in Modern Management". So if you're in Paris at that time, don't miss it!
The Tehran-born artist fled Iran in the turbulent period following the Islamic revolution & preceding the Iran-Iraq war. After her escape Rahbar studied in London and New York and now spends most of her productive life between Tehran and New York. In this going back and forth, an apocalyptic memory has been revised in her reworking of traditional materials into proto-contemporary textiles and textures of national belonging. The most frequent theme in her work is the Flag, seen as a symbol of ideological and nationalistic violence.
The pieces presented on Art Brussels belonged to her "War Series", consisting out of various used military equipment (empty backpacks, stretchers, coats, belts etc), beautifully embroidered with somewhat sarcastic messages and lyrical ornaments.
Sara Rahbar's upcoming solo show at Hilger Contemporary, aptly titled "I have no faith left for the devil to take" starts in Vienna on the 19th of May.
Mumbai-based artist Shilpa Gupta creates artwork using interactive video, photographs, objects, sound and public performances to examine such themes as desire, religion, the psychology of fear and notions of security. Concerned with our vision of today's world, Gupta often uses interaction as a means to invite us to participate in exploring the above mentioned themes.
One of her works shown on Art Brussels was entitled ʻThreatʼ and consisted of hundreds of pieces of soap embossed with the word ʻthreatʼ and arranged in a brick wall-like installation. During the original exhibition in 2009 at Yvon Lambert in Paris, viewers were invited to take a piece of soap home to be used.
Another of Gupta's fantastic pieces (fortunately only seen in a book) is 'Singing Cloud', a large amoebic-shaped form consisting of thousands of microphones suspended from a ceiling. Rather than just amplifying sounds & sentences from a speaker, the microphones whisper and sing by themselves, as an autonomous entity.