- Julie Umerle great exhibition at the Art Bermondsey Project Space, London.
- National Portrait Gallery and the first major exhibition Picasso Portraits for twenty years.
- Anniversary of Freud and his Museum in London marked by Mark Wallinger’s self –reflections exhibition.
- Fascinating Metaphysical Spaces at the Blain Southern gallery, London, by Carlo Carrà.
- The V&A Museum exhibition Undressed leaves London in underwear.
London - The National Portrait Gallery staged a major exhibition of portraits by Pablo Picasso.
The exhibition Picasso Portraits included over 75 works by the artist in all media, varying from well-known masterpieces to those less famous. Some pieces have never been exhibited in Britain before, including the extraordinary cubist portrait of the German art dealer and early champion of Picasso’s work, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler (1910), loaned by the Art Institute of Chicago; and from a private collection the exquisite portrait (1938) of Nusch Eluard, acrobat, artist and wife of the Surrealist poet Paul Eluard.
The National Portrait Gallery discloses a different side of Picasso, who generally has been always considered a selfish lady-killer. Here, the Spanish artist is presented as caring lover and kind father. Portraits of his children Maya, Claude and Paloma are beguiling, revealing his profound and genuine love for them. Equally, his lovers, Marie Therese Walter and Dora Maar, he often used at the edge of personal narcissism in his art production.
However, Picasso Portraits confirmed the humanity of his art, spanning through his entire career, from the first displayed piece, his self-portrait as a teenager, and ending with his own skull. It was the first large-scale exhibition devoted to his portraiture since “Picasso and Portraiture” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Grand Palais, Paris in 1996.
Picasso did not work to commission and, usually, sitters were his friends or relatives. The exhibition includes a group of revealing self-portraits as well as portraits and caricatures of Picasso’s friends, lovers, wives and children. As a portraitist, he liked to have special autonomy and worked using different approaches, as well as many styles. Formal posed portraits coexisted with witty caricatures, classic drawings from life with expressive paintings created from memory reflecting his interpretation of the sitter’s individuality and personality.
The major lending was from the Museu Picasso, Barcelona where the exhibition will tour from 17th March until 25th June 2017. Other lending institutions included: the British Museum; Tate; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Musée national Picasso, Paris; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Musée national d’art moderne de la ville de Paris; Museum Berggruen, Berlin; Fondation Hubert Looser, Zurich; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Philadelphia Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Iceland. The exhibition also benefited from important loans from the artist’s heirs and other private collectors.
Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ‘We are delighted to stage Picasso Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, a collaboration with Museu Picasso, Barcelona, which focuses on the artist’s reinvention of time-honoured conventions of portraiture, and his genius for caricature. The exhibition gathers together major loans from public and private collections that demonstrate the breadth of Picasso’s oeuvre and the extraordinary range of styles he employed across all media and from all periods of his career.’
Bernardo Laniado-Romero, Director, Museu Picasso, Barcelona, says: ‘The two organising museums, one dedicated to portraiture and the other to Picasso, are the natural instruments to bring forth a reassessment on how Picasso, time and time again, redefined portraiture throughout the twentieth century. The exhibition will surprise and confront one’s preconceived ideas of what a portrait should be and how a portrait by Picasso ought to look like.’
The exhibition Picasso Portraits has been sponsored by Goldman Sachs, including a wide ranging Learning programme linked to the exhibition.
Picasso Portraits was curated by Elizabeth Cowling, Emeritus Professor of the History of Art at the University of Edinburgh and an expert of Picasso.
The exhibition “Picasso Portraits” has been running at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 6th October 2016 until 5th February 2017.
Anniversary of Freud and his Museum in London marked by Mark Wallinger’s self –reflections exhibition.
London – “Self Reflection” by Mark Wallinger has been an interesting exhibition, which also marked the 30th anniversary of the Freud Museum, but also the 160th anniversary of the birth of Sigmund Freud.
Turner Prize winning artist Mark Wallinger made a transformative exhibition of the study of Freud, together with a permanent sculpture situated in the Museum garden.
For “Self Reflection” exhibition, the artist has installed a mirror across the entire ceiling of the archetypal study. The public received an impressive new point of view with the feeling to be in doubled space. “The relative posture of the sitting analyst and the recumbent analysand are latent in Freud’s chair and the couch. We can easily imagine his patient’s self-reflection”, Mark Wallinger said.
Located in the garden, the sculpture “Self” has the form of the letter ‘I’, in a self-supporting shape. It indicates probably the most basic expression of human existence for an individual. It is placed in the garden in clear view from Freud’s desk. In the environment of the Museum the sculpture has clear and strong significance; the formation of the id, ego, and superego is affirmed by knowledge of the self and how it is constituted.
These new works, alongside a selection or the artist’s earlier Self Portraits offered an inspiring and kind meeting with the collections of the Museum and the work of Freud himself.
The exhibition confirmed that the Freud Museum is a lively institution but also a patron for contemporary art exhibitions of indisputable intellectual meaning.
Mark Wallinger is one of the leading contemporary artists of the UK. He is born in Chigwell, Essex. His formative schooling, from the age of 11, was undertaken at West Hatch High School, Chigwell, Essex. He first studied art at the Chelsea School of Art and later at Goldsmiths College where he was also a tutor from 1986. He exhibited throughout the 1980s.
Wallinger won the Turner Prize in 2007 for his installation ‘State Britain’. His work ‘Ecce Homo’ (1999) was the first ever work to occupy the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square. Later it was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2001 where Wallinger was Britain’s representative. As part of the Transported by Design programme of activities, in 2015, after two months of public voting, Mark Wallinger's Labyrinth work was elected by Londoners as one of the 10 favourite transport design icons. ‘Labyrinth' was also a major and permanent commission for Art on the Underground, was created to celebrate 150 years of the London Underground.
Wallinger has held solo exhibitions at the Serpentine Galleries, London, England (1995); Museum for Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Switzerland (1999); Palais Des Beaux Arts, Brussels, Belgium (1999); Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, England (2000); Vienna Secession, Vienna, Austria (2000); Neu Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany (2004); Museo de Arte Carillo Gill, Mexico City, Mexico (2005); Aargauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland (2008); Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway (2010), Museum de Pont, Tilburg, Netherlands (2011); and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, England (2012). His work is also displayed in the collections of many leading international museums including Tate, London, England; MoMA, New York; and Centre Pompidou Paris, France.
His exhibition, ‘ID’ at Hauser and Wirth in London last year and his curated H&W stand, “A Study in Red and Green” at Frieze 2014 drew on his engagement with Freud.
The exhibition was curated by Natasha Hoare. She is a curator and writer, currently living between London and Rotterdam. She holds an MA in Curating from Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, and a BA in English Literature from Edinburgh University. In 2014 she was appointed Curator at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam. Previously she worked as Assistant Curator for the Visual Arts Section of the Marrakech Biennale 5 (2014) and for On Geometry and Speculation, a parallel project for the Marrakech Biennale 4 (2012). She was also Studio Manager for artist Mark Wallinger and Special Projects Manager for artist Shezad Dawood.
The exhibition has been kindly supported by Arts Council England and Hauser & Wirth. Mark Wallinger’s work "Self" was acquired with Art Fund support.
The exhibition “Self Reflection” by Mark Wallinger was at the Freud Museum, London, from the 28th July until the 25th September 2016.
Revolution exhibition at the V&A Museum, the years from 1966 to 1970 changed the mankind, London. (Part one)
London – “You Say You Want a Revolution?” exhibition positively transforms the approach to the 1996 – 1970 period, at the V&A Museum.
This major exhibition from the V&A Museum, London, is focused on the implication and influence of the late 1960s upon the life of today. From global civil rights, multiculturalism, environmentalism, consumerism, computing, communality to neoliberals politics, the world we live in today has been vitally influenced by five revolutionary years of the period 1966 – 1970.
“You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970” explores the turmoil, the strong feeling of freedom, and the legal variations that took place resulting in a deep shift in the attitude of the Western world.
The exhibition “You Say You Want a Revolution?” explores the way that youth culture catalysed an optimistic idealism, motivating people to come together and question established power structures across every area of society. More than 350 objects on all sides of photography, posters, literature, music, design, film, fashion, artefacts, and performance illustrate the way that this counterculture generation shook off the confines of the past, legacy of the Second World War.
“You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970” is organised in seven distinct sections, each presenting a different but very distinctive revolutionary environment. It provides a chronological and psychogeographical journey through five amazing years, from 1966 to 1970.
The exhibition starts with an introduction which shows up key events that had begun to challenge the prevailing conservative society of the early 1960s. The hope for a better world has been present throughout history, and at the V&A Museum is illustrated with an original copy of ‘Utopia’, written by Thomas Moore in 1516.
Investigating youth environment in 1966, the first section is dedicated to Revolution in Identity. It explores the world of fashion, style music, art and photography pioneered in Carnaby Street. This was the year Time magazine dubbed London ‘The Swinging City’, thus confirming it as an amazing cultural centre. The flourishing fashion scene centred on new clothing boutiques on Carnaby Street and King’s Road designed for younger generation, illustrated with a Biba minidress, Mary Quant skirt suit, flamboyant striped suit by Mr. Fish, and a man’s jacket from Granny Takes a Trip. The V&A Museum exhibition explores connections between boutiques and art galleries, displaying to art happenings and works by Bridget Riley and Yoko Ono. Costumes designed for Mick Jagger and Sandie Shaw underline the importance of pop music during this time – soundtrack by The Kinks, Beach Boys and Martha Reeves & the Vandellas. The icon of the youthful London look was ‘the Face of 66’, the androgynous teenage model Twiggy; objects including a dress from her eponymous boutique and Cecil Beaton portrait indicate her fame and influence. Photography studios particularly thrived during the period, and works by David Bailey and Terry O’Neill depict figures from Michael Caine to The Rolling Stones, Robert Fraser and the Kray brothers. The main film screened is Blow Up (1966) by Antonioni.
“Section 2: Revolution in ideas” examines how individuals sought to discover themselves through alternative lifestyles, often with the assistance of drugs. Focusing on clubs and counterculture, it explores forms of experimentation, alternative lifestyles and the idea of revolution and it is concentrates on drugs, psychedelia, occult, underground literature and pirate radio. It presents a mesmeric evocation of London’s UFO club, an experimental venue known for combining live music with light shows and avant-garde film, where Pink Floyd were the house band and the UK’s first macrobiotic food was on sale. Audio-visual material including Jerry Abrams’ Be-In (1967) and examples of pioneering liquid light shows are presented against a background of psychedelic music from Cream, Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floyd. Artworks by the most significant graphic designers of the period including Hapshash and the Coloured Coat, Bonnie MacLean, Rick Griffon and Stanley Mouse are also on display. Alternative lifestyles are described through countercultural publications like The Long Hair Times (precursor to International Times) and objects relating to the occult. The significant influence of The Beatles is examined, with an area dedicated to the landmark release of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in June 1967, displaying handwritten lyrics for Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, the suits worn by John Lennon and George Harrison on the album cover, original illustrations by Alan Aldridge and George Harrison’s sitar and 1967 diary.
The focus of “Section 3: Revolution in the Street” is on how political protest increasingly turned violent from 1967, as opposition provoked a backlash from the authorities whether in May 1968 in Paris, in Prague or the Pentagon.
The third section explores revolution on the street, showing how youth cohesion crossed causes and continents into politics, leading to physical protest during the late 1960s. It centres on the 1968 Paris student riots, an explosive period of civil unrest. On display, Atelier Populaire posters pasted on walls during the protests, newsreel footage and music relating to the striking demonstrations. The period was also marked by extensive opposition to the war in Vietnam; propaganda material collected by an American soldier in Vietnam and puppets used in theatrical anti-Vietnam demonstrations in San Francisco are on display. Footage, literature, a wall of protest posters and photographs reveal the variety of causes and calls for solidarity, especially for civil rights, from gay rights to women’s liberation groups, by showing counterculture icons, including Che Guevara, Martin Luther King, the Black Panthers.
The unexpected “Section 4: Revolution in consuming” explores the consumer upheaval encouraged at World Fairs, Expo ’67 (Montreal, Canada) and Expo ’70 (Osaka, Japan).
Ongoing alongside the new counterculture, revolution in consumerism was fed by a rapid increase in personal wealth and the arrival of the credit card. The 1967 Montreal and 1970 Osaka World Expos presented ideas of a consumer-led future and welcomed tens of millions of visitors to an enormous showcase of mass design and technology products. Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome for the USA pavilion at Expo 67 presented a futuristic architectural vision. Film, sound and still footage from the expos are displayed together with innovative marketing materials. Highlights of this section include a Pan Am air hostess uniform worn both on commercial flights and on Vietnam Service to transport soldiers into the warzone; futuristic furniture and fashion, from Oliver Goldsmith eyewear to a Pierre Cardin dress; and furniture by Eero Aarnio and Olivier Mourgue. This section also analyses the increasing TV ownership and first real-time news coverage of the Vietnam War and moon landings. The space suit worn by William Anders, who took the defining ‘Earthrise’ photograph on the Apollo 8 mission, is on display alongside a moon rock on loan from NASA. A cinema area plays selections from a range of protest and avant-garde films including Yoko Ono’s Bed Peace (1969) to Jonas Mekas’ Hare Krishna (1966).
“You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966 – 1970” exhibition runs at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, from 10th September 2016 until 26th February 2017.
London - The V&A Museum exhibition “Undressed” is an involving narrative of the underwear. Spanning from the 18th century to present days, the exhibition “Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear” is focused on the protective character of the underwear, but also its improvement of the body, at the V&A Museum, London.
The V&A Museum exhibition “Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear” displays more than 200 examples of underwear for men and women. It presents the continuing topics of innovation and luxury, from the custom-made, such as a unique model of home-made corset worn by a working woman in England in the 18th century, to examples by designers, including Stella McCartney, La Perla, Fifi Chachnil, Rigby & Peller and Paul Smith.
Though the V&A Museum exhibition is focused on underwear, it considers also the correlated fashion - not only in London. Consequently, it is the notion of ideal body that is explored, and how tailoring, materials and shapes can reveal about gender and sex, so of ethics and morality, passing through the development of design and technology. Another topic that “Undressed” exhibition explores is the health and hygiene, together with the design and technological advances of underwear.
On display there are corsets, crinolines, boxer shorts, bras, hosiery, lingerie and loungewear alongside contextual fashion plates, photographs, advertisements, display figures and packaging. Highlights includes long cotton drawers worn by Queen Victoria’s mother; an 1842 man’s waist belt used on the wearer’s wedding day; a 1960s Mary Quant body stocking; a pair of gender neutral briefs by Acne; a sheer dress by Liza Bruce famously worn by Kate Moss; and flesh-coloured leggings decorated with a mirrored glass fig leaf by Vivienne Westwood.
Underclothes are the most personal garments in our wardrobe. Worn next to the skin and usually hidden, even the most practical garments are intrinsically erotic. Their cut, fit, fabric and decoration reflect changing attitudes to morality, gender and sex; shifting notions of private and public and innovations in fabric technology and design.
Underwear plays several roles. It is worn for modesty, cleanliness and comfort. Some garments such as corsets and contemporary shape wear, mould the wearer's body to match the fashionable ideal. Others are designed to be flattering and alluring.
Men's and women's underclothes from about 1750 to the present day are displayed in this exhibition, alongside garments which have been influenced by underwear or developed from it. Most of the clothes were made in Britain, France and North America.
The exhibition “Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear” is in Room 40, at the V&A Museum, London, on two floors. It opens with a “Fashion, health and hygiene” space. Underwear’s main purpose is to cover the body. Firstly, underclothes worn next to the skin were made of natural fibres which were not coloured and could be washed at high temperatures. This changed with the development of man – made fibres and advances in dyeing and laundry technology.
Until the 20th century women of all backgrounds wore corsets over their body linen. Appearing in public without a corset, or in a loosely laced corset, was considered indecent and immoral. Few men wore corsets to modify their figure or for sport and exercises purposes. Most people accepted corsets as a necessity. However, doctors and reformers constantly tried to discourage women to wear corsets for health reasons, because of breath restriction.
Another space is dedicated to “Volume”. Fashion and underwear are strictly connected. Underwear shapes the body to match the fashionable ideal, together with clothes. The function of structural garments is to separate and exaggerate parts of female anatomy, particularly breast, rear and hips. Nowadays, also male underwear is designed to enhance body parts, such as torso, buttocks, genitals, by using high performance fabrics.
“Lingerie and hosiers” are important underwear. The current use of the word lingerie dates to 19th century and it indicates delicate female underclothes. Before ‘Linge’ is a French word for linen, and it is was used for male and female. The term ‘hosiery’ derives from ‘hose’, which means stockings. Until the 17th century they were made of hand- knitted or woven clothes, and after they were industrially produced. In the 1920s, hosiery started to be produced with artificial silk, nylon and Lycra, so it improved its elasticity. In 1950s pantyhose were launched.
The search for a comfortable alternative to corset ended up in advances to specific garment for women breasts. “Support: bra and girdles” is, in fact, the next space at the V&A Museum exhibition. Patents for ‘bra supporters’ were registered since 1863. The term ‘brassiere’ was introduced in 1940-45. The transformation of corset into fully elasticated ‘girdles’ happened with the introduction of Lastex (1931) and it was surpassed when DuPont patented Lycra (1958).
“Performance underwear” is the next space. New high performance fabrics are constantly being developed. Innovations in design and technology are central to the development of functional, comfortable and attractive underwear.
At the first floor of Room 40, at the V&A Museum, London, the exhibition presents four spaces. “Temptation” relates to the possibility that our underwear might be seen, by accident or design, affect us. The potential presence of a viewer is compelling for both designer and wearer. Nowadays, eroticism and sexuality are predominant aspects, and while some believes women are demeaned and objectified by the explicit use of underwear, others argue that those garments give women control and confidence to express their desires.
“Relaxation” explores the meaning of ‘lounge wear’. Used before the 20th century to indicate clothes worn at home to undress, dress codes today are not so rigid and loungewear is now worn both indoor and outdoor.
About “Revelation” space, in Western fashion there is a long history in revealing underwear. Today is widely considered acceptable to show underwear and to display parts of the body. Since 1960s designers have pushed the boundaries between public and private, decent and indecent, by experimenting with visible underwear and underwear worn as outerwear.
The last “Transformation” focuses on how the role of underwear is socially changed. In the past, the shapes, fabrics and techniques used to make underwear were occasionally reflected to in outerwear for decorative or functional reasons. More recently, underwear has been recast in more provocative ways. For example, it has been used by the Punk movement; in pornography and fetish; and to challenge conventional attitudes to nudity, sexuality and gender.
“Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear” presents numerous highlights, spanning from the 19th century until present day. It explores changes and developments in fashion and health, practical and functional underwear, types of fabrics used, approach to anatomy, and the aspects of nudity, gender, and sexuality.
“Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear” is curated by Edwina Ehrman, Curator of Textiles and Fashion at the V&A Museum.
A version of the exhibition previously toured to three Australian venues, the Bendigo Art Gallery, Queensland Museum and Powerhouse Museum
The exhibition “Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear” is sponsored by Agent Provocateur and Revlon.
The exhibition “Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear” takes place in the Fashion Gallery (Gallery 40) of the V&A Museum, London, from 16 April 2016 until 12 March 2017.
London – “Rewind” by Julie Umerle was a captivating exhibition at the Art Bermondsey Project Space.
The exhibition “Rewind: A solo exhibition of recent paintings” presented works by Julie Umerle, including four large-scale paintings, a series of smaller canvases and a series of works on paper.
The exhibition at the Art Bermondsey Project Space showcased the Rewind series of paintings and the Transoxide series of works on paper, together with a group of large canvases.
The main aspect of the Rewind series is that the canvases are not displayed prepared, thus accentuating the minimalism of the images. Essentially, the significant element of the painting is the object itself, which is placed very close to the boundaries of the canvas.
The Transoxide series is instead developed on wet stretched paper, where coloured grounds are layered with white paint and marks of black ink. In an ongoing exploration of materials, this series presented the work of Umerle on the organic qualities of the ink and on the several effects of the various surfaces.
The “Rewind” exhibition was made possible thanks to a Grants for the Arts award from Arts Council England.
Her abstract works are often painted in series, exploring repetition, similarity and difference within each group. The paintings of Umerle are often created in open-ended series with new works being inspired by previous ones.
The practice of Umerle’s suggests continuing creative developments of which interrupted moments are crystallised and thus depicted on canvas. Through a great work of abridgement, Umerle expresses clarity in degrees of precision and harmony.
The work of Umerle is an investigation of materials and the perception of the image. The pressure of the brush, the viscosity of the paint and the speed of application are just some of the variables that play a part in her mark - making process.
A catalogue of “Rewind: A solo exhibition of recent paintings” was being published for the exhibition, with an essay by Anna McNay.
Julie Umerle relocated from the USA to London as a young child with her family. She studied French Literature at the University of Sussex and fine art at Falmouth University, Cornwall where she was awarded a First class Hons degree. She graduated from Parsons The New School for Design in New York City with a MFA in 1998.
From 1991 to 1996, Umerle worked as an artist educator at numerous galleries in London, including The Whitechapel Gallery, The Hayward Gallery and The Royal Academy. She lived and worked between London and New York for a further five years after completing her studies, before returning to the UK and settling again in London in 2003.
She has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad. Umerle held her first solo exhibition in London at the Car Breaker Gallery (located in the squat of Frestonia), followed a few years later by a solo show at The Barbican Arts Centre. In April 1995, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum hosted Umerle’s first museum exhibition of paintings.
She has exhibited in group shows at Flowers Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts. Early exhibitions in New York were at Artists Space and AIR Gallery. Internationally, she has also shown in France and Germany.
Recent solo exhibitions in London include 'Cosmos or Chaos' at studio1.1 in 2010.
“Rewind: A solo exhibition of recent paintings” was at the Art Bermondsey Project Space, London, from 31st August until 10th September 2016.
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