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Category: Munich

Hans Abrahamsen’s ‘Snow Queen’ at Bavarian State Opera premiere, December 21, 2019

Rachael Wilson (Kay ) Thomas Grässle (Kay double), Kinderstatisterie der Bayerischen Staatsoper, Hans Abrahamsen: THE SNOW QUEEN | Premiere: 21. Dezember 2019 | Musikalische Leitung: Cornelius Meister | Inszenierung: Andreas Kriegerburg,photo ©Wilfried Hösl

 

Snow Queen (premiere, Dec 21, 2019 at Bayerische Staatsoper)
musical direction……………..Cornelius Meister
stage design……………………Andreas Kriegneburg
stage………………………………Harald B.Thor
costumes………………………..Andrea Scharaad
light………………………………..Michael Bauer
choreography…………………..Zenta Haerter
Choir……………………………….Stellario Fagone
dramaturgy………………………Malte Krasting

 

A musical triumph Hans Abrahamsen’s The Snow Queen,  was celebrated its Danish-language world premiere,  October 2019, at the Royal Danish Opera , directed by Francisco Negrin. The Bavarian State Opera produced its own version in english-language premiere, Dec 20th, 2019.  So very fortunate indeed I was while landed in Munich that rainy morning on December 21st,2019 to attend an evening invitation for the premiere of this new fabulous contemporary performance, with a new star, Barbara Hanningan, a reigning soprano of contemporary music, for which the opera was originally written.

From fairy-tale to trauma drama; In the literary original, Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy-tale Die Schneekönigin, little Kai loses all emotion with a diabolical troll-mirror shard in the eye and heart, and is kidnapped by the Snow Queen. But his friend Gerda begins an arduous journey to rescue Kai. Andreas Kriegenburg places Gerda’s unconditional devotion to her friendship with Kai at the centre. With this story he is interested in the notion that, “someone in society becomes so cold that they withdraw into their very own inner snow-covered landscape.”

Joshua Baron writes at the New York Times, during the rehearsal previews, “And there is no metaphor more apt to describe Mr. Abrahamsen’s music than a snowflake: pleasantly soft and simple from a distance, mathematically precise and complex under a microscope.”He continues.. His song cycle “let me tell you” evokes a landscape as wintry as one in a Bruegel painting. And there is no metaphor more apt to describe Mr. Abrahamsen’s music than a snowflake: pleasantly soft and simple from a distance, mathematically precise and complex under a microscope.(New York times,review rehearsal, dec, 2019)

The Snow Queen: Peter Rose (Snow Queen), Rachael Wilson (Kay), Statisterie de Bayerischen Staatsoper,photo ©Wilfried Hösl

 

The Snow Queen: Peter Rose (Reindeer),photo ©Wilfried Hösl

 

The role of Kai, conceived as a breeches role, is embodied by mezzo-soprano Rachael Wilson. The Snow Queen is interpreted by Peter Rose. (bass baritone). Hans Abrahamsen does not only see the Snow Queen as a negative force’s or in his case him has also a good side. The idea of choosing a bass baritone for the role of the Snow Queen came from one of the leading role of Greta, Barbara Hannigan, “a bass baritone can be very seductive.. or even moving and comforting” (Mr Abrahamsen’s interview at the Bayerischen Staatsoper magazine, 2019)

The Snow Queen: Barbara Hannigan (Gerda), Thomas Grässle (Kay double), Chor de Bayrischen Staatsoper,photo ©Wilfried Hösl

 

In the Munich production Gerda and Kai are a grown-up pair. Possibly traumatised, Kai has withdrawn into a silence similar to the phenomenon of mutism and refuses all communication..The Snow Queen is staged by Andreas Kriegenburg, who has already brought Der Ring des Nibelungen, Wozzeckand Die Soldaten to the stage at the Bayerische Staatsoper turns the fairy tale into a psychological drama, that oscillated between dream and reality. Gerda and Kay, in Mr. Kriegenburg’s production, are a middle-aged couple. The mirror splinters have always suggested psychological trauma; Kay’s condition is an actual mental illness.  The mental institution, takes place in different way in both acts (the opera is a two act opera ); the adventure of the tale is choreographed between the large rooms of the institution and the intense lab factotum of the surgery room; Fantasy blurs with reality under Gerda’s hopes and fears.

The Snow Queen: Barbara Hannigan (Gerda), Kevin Conners (Waldkrähe), Statisterie de Bayrischen Staatsoper,photos ©Wilfried Hösl

 

The Snow Queen: Barbara Hannigan (Gerda), Ensemble der Bayerischen Staatsoper,photo ©Wilfried Hösl

The Snow Queen: Peter Rose (Snow Queen), Kinderstatisterie der Bayerischen Staatsoper,photo ©Wilfried Hösl

 

The Snow Queen: Rachael Wilson (Kay), Thomas Gräßle (Kay Double), Statisterie der Bayerischen Staatsoper,photo ©Wilfried Hösl

 

Mr. Abrahamsen said he had wanted to write an opera since the 1980s. But it was only after “let me tell you” that he felt ready to fulfill a commission from Royal Danish Opera. Although “The Snow Queen” was written with Ms. Hannigan in mind — and although Mr. Abrahamsen had wanted the libretto to be in English — that company insisted on it being in Danish. But the language, Mr. Abrahamsen said, is difficult to sing, with “words in the back of the mouth, and the vowels very near each other.(Joshua Baron, New York Times, Dec 2019)

 

The Snow Queen: Dean Power (Prince), Barbara Hannigan (Gerda),photo ©Wilfried Hösl

 

Shirley Apthrop writes for the Copenhagen premier, (Det Kongelike Teater, (the Royal Danish Opera) “…Abrahamsen’s score is a work of obsessively fine detail, of immense complexity calibrated to sound beguilingly simple, of silvery, perfumed lyricism overlaid with hallucinatory effects. Everything sounds both familiar and strangely warped. There are delicate references to familiar works — Strauss, Mahler, Bach, Wagner — more like snatches of memory than quotes; but just when things seem about to become recognisable, Abrahamsen will bend away from pure tonality to warp a note or twist an interval, to stab or spike through an arpeggio, to hurt us just enough to make us come back wanting more.” (Financial Times, October 14, 2019)

The Snow Queen: Ensemble und Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper, photos ©Wilfried Hösl

I  treasure the beautiful book “Hans Abrahamsen_The Snow Queen”published by Bayerische Staatsoper Spielzeit 2019-2020 (Bureau Mirko Borsche) and to a wonderful surprise with photos by Mark Mahaney, and his fabulous project, ‘Polar Night’ who travelled to Utqiagvik last January, during the final days of the season’s polar night. “Landing, it looked like we were dropping down onto the moon,” he said to Coralie Craft (photo editor, contributor to the New Yorker)

Life in Alaska in the Round-the-Clock Darkness of Polar Night,published at Photo Booth/The New Yorker  by Coralie Craft,Sept 29, 2019, photo ©Mark Mahaney

Mark Mahaney’s Polar Night is a passage through a rapidly changing landscape in Alaska’s northernmost town of Utqiagvik. It’s an exploration of prolonged darkness, told through the strange beauty of a snowscape cast in a two month shadow. The unnatural lights that flare in the sun’s absence and the shapes that emerge from the landscape are unexpectedly beautiful in their softness and harshness. It’s hard to see past the heavy gaze of climate change in an arctic town, though Polar Night is a visual poem about endurance, isolation and survival.

Mark Mahoney’s fabulous photo book ‘Polar Night’ has been published by the Texas-based independent art book publisher TressPasser Publications  His work  is represented by Kominek Gallery, Berlin 

Life in Alaska in the Round-the-Clock Darkness of Polar Night,published at Photo Booth/The New Yorker  by Coralie Craft,Sept 29, 2019, photo ©Mark Mahaney

The Danish composer Hans Abrahamsen is one of the most original and independent voices in contemporary music. He started his career by studying horn and composition. This was followed by the first own works that already met with international resonance, such as winter night. During a creative break of several years, which he called “Fermate”, he orchestrated and edited pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach, György Ligeti, Carl Nielsen, Robert Schumann, Arnold Schönberg and Claude Debussy, whose music also influenced his own compositions. His work Snow for Chamber Ensemble was premiered in 2008. A cycle of compositions that is connected in terms of content and motivation is constantly growing around this work. His piano concerto for the left hand (left, alone) and the monodrama let me tell you, which he wrote for Barbara Hannigan and with which his music finally became known worldwide, are just as much a part of it as his first opera The Snow Queen after Hans Christian Andersens eponymous fairy tale.

Andreas Kriegenburg became a director at the Volksbühne Berlin in 1991 after training as a craftsman at the Magdeburg Theater. In 1996 he moved to the Hanover State Theater and in 1999 to the Vienna Burgtheater. From 2001 to 2009 he was senior director at the Thalia Theater Hamburg and from 2009 to 2014 chief director at the Deutsches Theater Berlin. He directed and directed the Munich Kammerspiele. a. in The Trial and Maria Stuart. After his opera debut in Magdeburg in 2006, further work followed at the opera houses in Dresden, Frankfurt, Berlin, Hamburg, Barcelona, Paris and Tokyo. At the Salzburg Festival he directed Lady Macbeth von Mzensk in 2017 and Simon Boccanegra in 2019. In 2014, his production of The Soldiers at the Bavarian State Opera was voted Production of the Year by the Opernwelt magazine. He also directed Wozzeck and The Ring of the Nibelung.

 

Thank you Christoph Koch (Head of Press & Editorial Content, Bayerische Staatsoper)for your invitation to the premier & cooperation for submitting  all photo  materials on my desk. (january 20, 2020)

 

 

 

Munich;African Ceramics. Collection of Franz, Duke of Bavaria donation and permanent loan to Die Neue Sammlung

Clive Sithole, Gefäße, 2014 (rechts) und 2015 (links), Südafrika / Zulu,
Sammlung S.K.H. Herzog Franz von Bayern. © Die Neue Sammlung (Foto. A. Laurenzo)

 

A warm July afternoon I attended a lovely event at the Rotunda of the Die Neue Sammlung at the Pinakothek der Moderne, as Franz Duke of Bavaria generously grants a gift from his important African ceramics collection.

“The donation and permanent loan of African ceramics form an important extension to our collection and a major addition to our non-European holdings. We are very grateful for the exceptionally generous gift,” comments Angelika Nollert, Director of Die Neue Sammlung.

The African Ceramics collection closes the unfortunate geographical gap in the holdings with an inventory that is as outstanding in terms of quality as it is in quantity.’

Over 1,300 items of African ceramics from the collection of Franz Duke of Bavaria are going to Die Neue Sammlung.

Gefäß, 2013, Jabu Nala, Südafrika / Zulu Sammlung S.K.H. Herzog Franz von Bayern © Die Neue Sammlung (Foto. A. Laurenzo)

 

Starting in the 1960s, His Royal Highness the Duke of Bavaria has established an important collection of African ceramics. The collection comprises examples from different African regions and focuses in particular on ceramic vessels from the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection is regarded as one of the most important collections of African ceramics worldwide; highly aesthetic objects are formally very diverse and include items of everyday use as well as ritually employed vessels. The range of designs oscillates between the abstract and the figurative.‘ (Die Neue Sammlung official press news)

Voania Muba, Gefäß, Ende 19. Jh. – Anfang 20. Jh., Demokratische Republik Kongo / Woyo Sammlung S.K.H. Herzog Franz von Bayern © Die Neue Sammlung (Foto. A. Laurenzo)

 

Figur, 19. – 20. Jh., Togo / Ewe oder Fon (Mono Fluß?) Sammlung S.K.H. Herzog Franz von Bayern
© Die Neue Sammlung (Foto. A. Laurenzo)

 

Vessel, beginning of 20th century, Democratic Republic of Congo / Teke (Utyo area), Collection of Franz, Duke of Bavaria. © Die Neue Sammlung (Photo: A.Laurenzo)

 

My dear colleague and friend, Ashley Booth Klein, in her beautiful publication, “Obelisk” notes on ‘painting in ceramic art’…

….painting in ceramic art was being treated in two different ways in the 1950s: ceramic artists, including Voulkos, Mason, and Price, were treating painting as the end of multi-step individualized processes—to push of craft into the territory of fine art, while painters like Picasso and Joan Miro were learning craft in order to exploit ceramics as, simply, another medium employed in a broader art practice. All of these artists would continue in the 1960s to pursue and refine their different methodologies and define ceramic art as something exceeding craft to the end of the century.

Vessel, 19th – 20th century, Ghana / Ashanti, Collection of Franz, Duke of Bavaria. © Die Neue Sammlung (Photo: A.Laurenzo)

 

‘Ceramic art, at times functional, at times purely decorative or symbolic, in its original capacity was used to tell myths and stories. In Ancient Greece, small figurines symbolized Gods and the human form, while vessels were etched and painted with a range of pictorial narratives from funeral scenes to sea battles, to dances and boxing matches. Ceramic art was essentially a type of visual history, and much of our understanding of the ancient world and the first civilizations has been discerned by the unearthing and analysis of its worn fragments. In my eyes, the medium, throughout centuries of adaptation and reinvention, has remained and will always remain, a vestige of its primary and vital function as an embodiment and conveyor of human life and its essence.’ (Ashley Booth Klein, on Origins andPhilosophy,boothceramics,com)

 

all photos above courtesy & by permission (press office, Die Neue Sammlung, 2018)Thank you Verena Sanladerer for providing me with these special photos.
installation view, Die Neue Sammlung, (rotunda, Pinakothek der Moderne), July 2018,photo©Venetia Kapernekas

 

Munich “IL TRITTICO”, Giacomo Puccini at Bayerische Staatsoper_ a brilliant performance

IL TRITTICO: Il tabarro / Suor Angelica / Gianni Schicchi

Three operas in one act each: Composer: Giacomo Puccini ; Libretti by Giuseppe Adami and Giovacchino Forzano  (In Italian with German and English surtitles)

 IL TRITTICO (Suor Angelica): Ermonela Jaho (Suor Angelica), Ensemble und Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper photo©Wilfried Hösl

 

musical direction: Kirill Petrenko  production: Lotte de Beer
Conceptual advice: Peter te Nuyl 
stage: Bernhard Hammer 
Costumes: Jorine van Beek 
light: Alex Brok 
dramaturgy: Malte Krasting 
choirs: Sören Eckhoff 

Last December, few days before Christmas, I had a lovely invitation for “Il Triticco, one of the most underrated opera by Giacomo Puccini, for the Bayerische Staatsoper_Munich,   one of the most triumphant opera houses of our contemporary time.

Three radically different sets being demanded for this 3-act opera and a balanced ‘marriage’ of Ms Lotte de Beer ( production /stage design), the music direction by Kirill Petrenko and the performers, principally Ermonela Jaho on the role of Suor Angelica emanated  to an astonishingly outstanding performance.

Simply stunning, simply gorgeous….And then something very rare happens: De Beer takes the stage, and instead of the usual boos the applause gets even louder. The spinning spaceship has done it to the audience. “(Sueddeutsche Zeitung”)

These three self-contained operas whose stories have nothing to do with each other  act as strange neighbors; First,  ‘Il Tabarro’ (The Cloak), a melodramatic slice of life and marital sleaze, a chill drama on the Seine; then follows the delicate tragedy of Suor Angelica, a religious tale set in a convent, (location:near Siena), featuring an entirely female cast; and the third act comes a devilish comedy of Gianni Schicchi (location; Florence) in which a family of hypocrites are duped out  of their inheritance by a perfect villain.

 Giacomo Puccini has summarized under the art historical term “triptych” – Il tabarro, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi  three one-act operas,  scenes of reality. Puccini ventures to narrate the world as a whole in a grand opera as in a great novel.  Puccini sets three historical highlights, bundled by a music that understands the human impulses of relentless coldness to glowing passion.

Ms. de Beer doesn’t think operas should abandon the audiences they already have in favor of new audiences, but “I think they should get a second brand, like a younger version run by young artists who get a chance to try and communicate with their contemporaries.(NY Times, 2014, Breaking the Rules of Opera for a New Generation)

Il trittico (Sour Angelica): Michaela Schuster (Die Fürstin), Ermonela Jaho (Suor Angelica) photo ©Wilfried Hösl

Around 1904, Puccini first began planning a set of one-act operas, largely because of the success of  Cavalleria Rusticana.  Originally, he planned to write each opera to reflect one of the parts of Dante’s Divine Comedy However, he eventually based only Gianni Schicchi on Dante’s epic poem; the link in the final work is that each opera deals with the concealment of a death. 

Il trittico (Sour Angelica): Ermonela Jaho (Suor Angelica) photo©Wilfried Hösl

“Il Trittico is not only a showcase of some of Puccini’s best writing, but it can also be a showcase for a director who is unable to resist the temptation to try to link them at least thematically, since there is little common convergence of tone, period or character between the three short works. Lotte de Beer connects the three pieces in only the most abstract of ways for the new production in Munich. Each of the one-act operas remains in the period of its original setting, and plays out closely to the libretto, but each take place within the wide opening of what looks like a large tunnel. The concept behind this is something to do with time, connecting the past with the future, but it’s not something that makes a great impression or present the works in any new or revelatory way.” (Opera Journal, Puccini, Il Trittico, Munich 2017) 

Il trittico (Sour Angelica): Ermonela Jaho (Suor Angelica) photo©Wilfried Hösl

After the extensive music dramas of Richard Wagner and Giuseppe Verdi, the music world occupied itself with the question of what can follow those form-perfect opera dramas with leitmotif technique and a duration of many hours of performance; an increase no longer seemed possible. In Italy, therefore, people around the year 1880 recollected the short form of one-act play, which was not completely unknown. As early as the 16th century, it was customary to insert smaller and stand-alone “mini-comedies” as intermedia between the acts of tragedies, in order to make the evening evenings more varied. Over time, the comic intermezzi between soprano and bass buffo developed out of these, while in France they created variety through ballet inserts between the tragedy files. (Amelie Langermantel, Il Trittico-Die Kunst Des Einakters, 12.20.2017)

 IL TRITTICO (Il tabarro): Eva-Maria Westbroek (Giorgetta), Wolfgang Koch (Michele), Yonghoon Lee (Luigi); photo©Wilfried Hösl

 IL TRITTICO (Il tabarro): Eva-Maria Westbroek (Giorgetta), Wolfgang Koch (Michele), Yonghoon Lee (Luigi); photo©Wilfried Hösl

The idea of the one-acter Puccini did not seem to have let go since then. At the turn of the century, he focused more intensively on the idea of three co-ordinated short operas dedicated to various episodes of the Divine Comedy Dante, each depicting the areas of Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso (Hell, Purification Mountain and Paradise). Both the unsatisfactory libretto search for three matching stories, and in crucial instance Puccini’s publisher Giulio Ricordi spoke against the implementation of this fabric idea. However, Puccini thus laid the foundation for his Trittico, which should unite as well as the Divine Comedy in three initially independent parts under a theme. Over the years, the composer tried repeatedly  to implement the idea of the three separate acts and thought, for example, in 1907 to set to music by Maxim Gorki. Again publisher Ricordi expressed his concerns that those topics would not be suitable for an opera and would never sell to the public.

 IL TRITTICO (Suor Angelica): Ermonela Jaho (Suor Angelica), Ensemble und Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper photo©Wilfried Hösl

 

Many thanks to Christoph Koch (Head of Press & Editorial Content /STAATSOPER) for his invitation and  support  and patience to finalize this post.

 

 

‘Lightscape’ porcelain quietness creations of Ruth Gurvich

‘Lightscapes ‘: light and delicate as paper, precise as an origami object, and pure  and clean as freshly fallen snow.

all photos, courtesy of Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg

When the days are heavy and stormy, as last days in New York, my luxury refuge memories is my passion for porcelain.  About a year ago, a very misty morning, while living in Munich, having an invitation to visit the Porzellan Manufacturer Nymphenburg, I drove to Nymphenburg Palace, where springtime I visited often the gardens, to experience the creations of Ruth Grulich.

Porcelain has been made for 1,000 years, traded for 1,000 years. And it has been in Europe for 800 of these.  You can trace a few shards earlier.  These broken fragments of Chinese for gleam provocatively alongside the heavy earthenware pitchers they were found with an no one can work out how they got to this Kentish cemetery, the Urbino hillside. There are scattering of porcelain across medieval Europe in inventories of Jean, doc de Berry, a couple of popes, the will of Piero de’Medici with his ulna copper di porcellana, a cup of porcelain. (Edmund de Waal, The White Road, a pilgrimage of sorts,

….Marco Polo reaches ‘a city called Tinju’.

Here, they make bowls of porcelain, large and small, of incompatible beauty. They are made nowhere else except in this city, and from here they are exported all over the world. In the city itself, they are so plentiful and cheap that for a Venetian groat you might buy their bowls of such beauty that nothing lovelier could be imagined.  These dishes are made of a crumbly earth or clay which is dug as though from a mine and stacked in huge mounds and then left for thirty or forty years exposed to wind, rain, and sun. By this time the earth is so refined that dishes made of it are of an azure tint with a very brilliant scene. You must understand that when a man makes a mound of this earth he does so for his children; the time of maturing is so long that he cannot hope to draw any profit from it himself or to put it to use, but the son who succeeds him will repay the fruit. (Edmund de Waal

.

Ruth Gurevich’s models have not created additively; she does a model with paper, she constructs, usually starting with a single sheet of paper.  She cuts, folds, and designs according to a precisely calculated plan.  Like a true architect, Gurvich leaves nothing to chance.  And this is true when it comes to choosing the paper as well; she uses silky soft, absorbent paper made from cotton fibers, like the packing paper used for rolls of film. To fix the models in place, she uses off-the-shelf paper glue.  This creates tensions, kinks, and seams that give the vessel support and structure. (Nymphenburg Manu Factum)

Ruth Gurvich to the question ‘how do you transform paper into porcelain’,  She says: …‘for the production, we had to take a completely fresh approach.  The idea was always to translate the paper character of the models as accurately as possible, even including to the feels of it, but I also wanted to expose the construction process and structure. The cuts and splices, the kinks and curves, even the measurements I had written in pencil on the model, which provides the idea for the decorative painting.’

Ruth Gurvich originally studied architecture before she turned to painting, and this is reflected in her creations. The major theme of her life’s work is the examination of spatiality and dimension, and the passion to captivate space in delicate porcelain vases.

all photos, courtesy of Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg

‘Porcelain had interested me for a long time, so the idea was to translate the feel and character of the paper models, as accurately as possible, to porcelain,’ the Paris-based Argentine, who is known for her three-dimensional work with paper. A beautiful video, (Ruth Gurvich: An artist with scissors and paper): camera by Frank Becker.

Ruth Gurvich was born in Cordoba, Argentina in 1961. Initially, she studied architecture in her homeland, but in 1979 she switched to art, continuing her studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1987 to 1991. In her designs, Ruth Gurvich aims to show the shapes and structures of everyday things the way they are. Her ‘lightscape teapot 2011’, manufactured by Nymphenburg Porzellan, is part of the Product and Decorative Arts department at Cooper Hewitt, New York.  Ruth Gurvich lives and works in Paris.

 

 

 

 

Munich; the elegant “Claire Obscure” at Galerie Andreas Binder

“Claire Obscure”, 5th of February till 16th of April 2016 at Galerie Andreas Binder 
with Philipp Lachenmann, Matthias Meyer, Yigal Ozeri, Stefan Hunstein, Jan Davidoff, Anna Krammig, Rolf Walz, Dieter Rehm, Julio Rondo, Anna Navasardian, Gerhard Richter, and Sigmar Polke. (curated by Veronika Binder)
finissage reception :  Thursday, April 7th
binder_020Installation View, CLAIRE OBSCURE @ Galerie Andreas Binder 2016
Yigal Ozeri
Photo: Kilian Blees

Coming back from small vacation in Toscana, was refreshing to see again this beautiful and elegant exhibition at the Andreas Binder gallery yesterday afternoon.  The gallery bathed in natural brightness and  the elegant and careful arrangement of the works captivated me for few moments;  the recently retouched small rooms in  melancholic grey colour supplemented to a serene engaging dialogue between the works.

binder_022 2Installation View,CLAIRE OBSCURE @ Galerie Andreas Binder 2016
Yigal Ozeri, Gerhard Richter
Photo: Kilian Blees

 Based on the French translation of the style concept Chiaroscuro, the exhibition ‘Claire Obscure’ is devoted to contemporary artworks, which are especially marked by their play with a brightness darkness contrast.  Interpreting the concept as a since the Renaissance prevalent aesthetic technique to dramatize and vitalize the scene by bathing the motif in light against a dark background does, however, not exhaust the possible readings of Claire Obscure. (galerie press)

AM_Yigal_Ozeri_wT_Olya@ Galerie Andreas Binder 2016

…..Interestingly, photography became a reference point for contemporary painting with respect to ways of how to confront a possible reality……

binder_002Installation View, CLAIRE OBSCURE @ Galerie Andreas Binder 2016
Matthias Meyer, Gerhard Richter, Philipp Lachenmann
Photo: Kilian Blees

..the visitor of the exhibition ‘Claire Obscure’ sees himself/herself confronted with works that appear in their superficial, decorative aesthetic immediately accessible. Despite a commonly dark coloring and a romantic and mysterious charm the works still allow to be understood and felt in a from postmodern art discourses and from an autonomous aesthetic removed manner.

binder_009Installation View,CLAIRE OBSCURE @ Galerie Andreas Binder 2016
Julio Rondo, Dieter Rehm, Jan Davidoff
Photo: Kilian Blees

see here an older post on Stefan Hunstein and his book “IM EIS”presented at Kammerspiele Theater 

 Chiaroscuro (English pronunciation: /kiˌɑːrəˈskjʊəroʊ/; Italian: [ˌkjaroˈskuːro]; Italian for light-dark) in art is the use of strong contrasts between light and dark, usually bold contrasts affecting a whole composition. It is also a technical term used by artists and art historians for the use of contrasts of light to achieve a sense of volume in modelling three-dimensional objects and figures.[1] Similar effects in cinema and photography also are called chiaroscuro. (see Wiki)

 

Munich;discussion at Haus der Kunst “Intolerable: Giving Offence and the Limits of Free Expression”

Haus der kunst organized on Thursday night, Feb 13th an evening panel with three leading thinkers to engage in a discussion that tried to  illuminate  critical questions.  Panelists were  Matthias Lilienthal (director of the Munich Kammerspiele from September 2015), Hito Steyerl  (filmmaker and author (born in 1966 in Munich) lives and works in Berlin) and Joachim Bernauer  (director of the Goethe-Institut’s department of culture); the moderator is Okwui Enwezor, director Haus der Kunst.

photo 2 copy

“The recent killings of journalists and police guards in the Paris offices of the satirical French magazine “Charlie Hebdo” have brought to public debate fresh appraisals of the relationship between intolerance, free expression, censorship, and the right to offend sensibilities, be they cultural or religious, political, or ideological. But there is not always an easy distinction of where to draw the limit of free speech and who has the right to impose a limit on expression, regardless of how offensive such expression may be deemed.

At the same time, questions posed by the killings in Paris can be analyzed from the view of the current conflicted state of global, multicultural societies. This issue becomes urgent, particularly when giving offence converges with intolerance under the guise of free expression. But is there a point when offensive images, expressions, and representations become intolerable? Is intolerance of certain types of expression the same as censorship of thought? Can there ever be a limitless sphere of free expression in today’s increasingly plural, multicultural, transnational, and global societies? These questions are all the more pertinent within the realm of artistic and cultural practice, particularly as they meet at the point where institutions must provide an open and unrestricted space for challenging ideas and concepts.” (haus der kunst, press release) 

more at Haus der kunst details 

Munich; Villa Stuck, opening of “Common Grounds”

12 February-17 May 2015 ; a very interesting exhibition opened Wednesday night at  Villa Stuck, “Common Grounds” curated by Verena Hein 

artists: Susan Hefuna, Sophia Al Maria, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige,Bouchra Khalili, Nasser Al Salem, Ahmed Mater,Dor Guez, DAAR ‒ Decolonising Architecture Art Residency (established in in Palestine in 2007 by Sandi Hilal, Alessandro Petti, and Eyal Weizmann),Babak Golkar, Parastou Forouhar, Abbas Akhavan.

photo 1 copy

“The rising cities of the Gulf region and arenas of conflict in the Middle East are captivating subjects of media coverage. Both in terms of their content and through their manipulative aesthetic, the often extreme images from these areas shape our western view of the region. Twelve artists counter this flood of images with more diverse artistic practices that reflect on social conditions. Some of these artists ‒ Ahmed Mater, Hazem Harb, and Nasser Al Salem ‒ are for the first time introduced to the German and Munich public…..   The exhibition title refers to the concept of “grounding” in communication theory, which posits that communication partners share common knowledge, which allows for dialog to be successful.” (Villa Stuck Press release)

more here

following the opening exhibition an Artist Panel followed  with Chris Dercon, Director, Tate Modern, London and the following artists:
Abbas Akhavan, Parastou Forouhar, Babak Golkar, Susan Hefuna, and Ahmed Mater, with an introduction by Maya El Khalil, director of Athr Gallery, Jeddah

full  program

Munich; at Haus der Kunst: Mark Leckey:”As If “and David Adjaye: “Form, Heft, Material”

HdK Preview opening  for  Mark Leckey: “As If “and David Adjaye: “Form, Heft, Material”

30.01 – 31.05.15  Mark Leckey: As If 

“….The exhibition’s layout at Haus der Kunst is structured according to four chapters: The show opens with autobiographical works – from “Are You Waiting” (1996), a precursor to “Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore”, to “MyAlbum: A Rough-Demo Video,” (2014-15) a filmed autobiography, which is premiered as a demo version. Mark Says Leckey: “‘MyAlbum’ is a record of all the events in my life during the twentieth century that I feel were significant. It is a memoir from 1954 until 1999.” In the central space, all five of the artist’s “Sound Systems” (2001–12) are presented for the first time as an ensemble…” (HdK exhibition release)

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more events for the exhibition here 

30.01 – 31.05.15 David Adjaye: Form, Heft, Material

The heterogeneous work of architect David Adjaye (b. 1966) comprises approximately 50 built projects – from luxury shops and museums to libraries and social housing. His most recent commissions include the design of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., as well as the National Museum of Slavery and Freedom in Cape Coast, Ghana. The buildings of the Ghanaian-British architect are often developed in collaboration with artist friends, including the homes he designed for Chris Ofili, Sue Webster and Tim Noble, and Lorna Simpson and James Casebere…” (HdK release)photo 2

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photos@VK

 

more on lectures and seminars on the exhibition 

Munich; finissage of Florine Stettheimer at Lenbachhaus Kunstbau and at Brandhorst Museum “Dark Pop-Extended Version”

A visit last Sunday afternoon at Lenbachhaus Kunstbau -last day the wonderful exhibition of Florine Stettheimer.   I have written in this blog during the opening of the exhibition, on Sept 27th, 2014 

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Her pictures and poems, her designs for studios and stages constitute a modern synthesis of the arts and a chronicle of urban life. Stettheimer painted beauty contests and the revelries of celebrities, skyscrapers, Wall Street, and consumer culture, anticipating many of the interests that would later animate Pop Art. Her oeuvre is a source of inspiration for some of the most fascinating artists working today.

At Brandhorst Museum, “Dark Pop-Extended Version, new installations of artists: Andy Warhol, Bruce Nauman, Robert Gober, Mike Kelley, Cady Noland, Jeff Koons, Louise Lawler et al.

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Achim Hochdoerfer, the new appointed director in 2014 of the Museum has done a wonderful and playful presentation of the collection and the new pieces that have been added. The Mike Kelley rooms are great, the Bruce Nauman in the same room with Polke and the Louise Lawler installation were my highlights.

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Pop Art’s seemingly blissful embrace of the consumer world was haunted from the first by a gloomy undertone. Warhol’s images of glamorous celebrities and glittering fetishes of consumption were interspersed with motifs of violence, sensationalism and metaphors of death. As if an icon, the tondo of Marilyn Monroe was created after her suicide. For its counterpart of the smiling Jackie Kennedy, Warhol used photos that were reproduced endlessly after the president’s assassination. These works seem to mirror back to us the cynicism of our supposedly enlightened pragmatism. (museum press release)

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and in my favorite rooms, the Cy Twombly sculptures

 

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photos@VK

Munich; exploring the amazing creations of Pellicano design

Recently I met  lovely Maria Livia Pellicano, a new wonderful friend, wonderful jewelry designer,  and while talking over wonderful  tea time at her beautiful house,  I had  the chance and pleasure to explore and adore her unique creations.   Maria Livia is from Rome but the last 22 years lives  in Munich with a short stay in between in Bangkok. In 2005 she founded the jewelry brand Pellicano Design.  Just refined aesthetics;  rooted in love for the art.  Her early education was at  Luceo Artistico Alessandro Caravilani in Rome and then she continued  5 years at the  Instituto Europeo Del Design, in Rome.

Her beautiful house in Munich  is filled with art and her strongest influence in her life, her seven beautiful children.  “They help me in my work, commenting – says Pellicano – support me in every way, are my top fan.”

here some of the exclusive unique pieces

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“Performance Changeable”-architecture collection, copyright, 18 kt w.g Diamonds Pave

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Master Joker “Shaker” Master Joker collection coctail ring 18 KT Y.Gold Prasiolith/Brown Diamonds.

Its four product lines – ranging from pieces of the highest level, worn on occasions like the chic Met Ball in New York, to a younger line in silver.

“The two stones, are close and rendered inseparable by a ring studded with small diamonds that seems to hover around them. The two precious gems and inseparable dance forever “Walzer” of life.
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the younger line,

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“What is required today to a jewel? The exclusivity, replies Maria-Livia Pellicano

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photos@Pellicano design, by  Maria Livia Pellicano’s permission

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