Tag Archives: Art Historian

Video: Artist Talk with Photographer Jeff Cowen

Jeff Cowen Photographic Works, Artist Talk, Köln 2012 from Jim Casper on Vimeo.

Photographer-Artist Jeff Cowen spoke about his work and approach to art in a conversation recorded at Michael Werner Kunsthandel in Köln Germany. Art Historian Jennifer Crowley and Lens Culture Director Jim Casper participated in the conversation with Cowen.

Cowen makes original mural-size, sculptural, painterly photographic works that are visually stunning and beautiful but defy easy categorization. His comments offer insight into his working methods and goals.

This video is a 13-minute edit that contains excerpts from the public conversation that ranged over a wide range of topics.

Jeff Cowen and Jim Casper will conduct a 5-day Masterclass for Photographers, in Paris, October 18-22, 2012. For more details, and to register, see bildernordic.no/en/archive/register-for-the-5-day-photography-masterclass-in-paris-with-jeff-cowen-and-jim-casper-october-18-22/

Gilbert & George: “Two Men, One Artist”

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    Bloody Life, 1975

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    Black Church Face, 1980

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    Hellish, 1980

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    Finding God, 1982

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    Winter Flowers, 1982

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    Youth Faith, 1982

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    Fear, 1984

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    Here, 1987

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    One Way, 2001

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    Mass, 2005

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

When Gilbert Proesch and George Passmore staged one of their first moving sculptures at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam in 1969, they began a performance that has never ended. The duo met while studying at St. Martin’s School of Art and embarked on what is now a 45-year collaboration, an eccentric, independent perpetual ‘happening,’ exploring what art historian and curator Robert Rosenblum called, “the singularity of their duality.”

On Tuesday, April 3, 2012, dawning customary deadpan expressions, the duo will bring what the UK’s Independent calls “their seamless double-act, walking in step and talking in antiphon, all clothes, habits and opinions synchronised, [sic] all sentences prefixed by a regal ‘we’,” to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum for a conversation with novelist and cultural historian Michael Bracewell.

Together known as one Gilbert & George, they’ve produced an enormous body of visceral, often provocative photography-based work—art independent of any school or movement, art of everyday modern urban life, as they deem with their slogan, “Art for All.” Contrary to the work of many contemporary blockbuster artists, their aim is “to speak across the barriers of knowledge directly to the people about their life and not about the knowledge of art.”

George and Gilbert with Gilbert & George: The Complete Pictures, 1971 – 2005

They manipulate images of architecture, lurid graffiti, shop windows and most often themselves on exceptionally powerful computers in their home studio and print on massive, mural-sized panels, 200 of which made up their monumental 2007 retrospective occupying the entire forth floor at Tate Modern, the largest exhibition by a living artist there yet. In collaboration with Aperture Foundation, Tate Publishing also released a unique, two-volume retrospective monograph joined in one carrying case designed and produced by the artists, Gilbert & George: The Complete Pictures, 1971–2005.

In their time together, Gilbert & George have taken tens of thousands of photographs virtually all within walking distance of their East London flat for their art of everyday life. As they often claim, “Nothing happens in the world that doesn’t happen in the East End.” With subject matter covering what the Guardian coupled as “nudity,  bondage, bad language and turds,” and series titles such as Cunt Scum, Naked Shit, New Horny Pictures and Drunk with God, their work has attracted alternatively the outrage and adoration of the media.

Some question it as pure shock value, though Gilbert & George refute this claim, suggesting to the Independent, “We want to un-shock people, and bringing these subjects into the open, allowing them to live and breathe, should un-shock.”

In a four-part video tour of their studio, they say furthermore:

Each of our pictures is a kind of visual love letter from us to the viewer and it is the space between the picture and the viewer that makes art, the thoughts and feelings that go through the person when examining the picture.

Their aim is to confront the viewer with some kind of morality, ambiguous or otherwise, but never to impose. Rather, they explore it together with the viewer.

“We are not sending them to heaven or hell,” says Gilbert in another video interview. “We are sending them,” laughs George, “to the bar instead.”

 

Second Annual Robert Rosenblum Lecture:
Gilbert & George in Conversation with Michael Bracewell
Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 6:30 PM
SOLD OUT

Standby tickets may be available if space allows. Please call the Box Office at (212) 423-3587 for more information. $10, $7 members, free for students with a valid ID.

Solomon T. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10128

Paris Photo 2011 Spotlights Sub-Saharan Africa

With its grand new setting in the Grand Palais, nearly 120 exhibiting galleries, and tens of thousands of expected visitors, Paris Photo has secured its place as the n’est plus ultra of photography fairs.

That hasn’t kept its new director, Julien Frydman, from having even greater ambitions for the 15th anniversary of the annual event, which begins today and runs through Nov. 13. “It’s about getting out of the ghetto,” says Frydman, the former chief of Magnum Photos in the French capital, who notes that until recently, documentary photography has languished as a sideshow in the history of art. “We want to make sure this photo fair is among the best art fairs of the world.”

Paris Photo 2011 certainly has a lot going for it already. This year, the theme of Sub-Saharan Africa will be marked by a display of portraits from the private trove of German collector Artur Walther and a special exhibition of up-and-coming young African talent. Visitors will be treated to a vast array of images from the continent, from Malick Sidebé’s celebration of Malian pop culture in the 1969′s to Richard Mosse’s pink-hued portraits of modern Congo.

In addition to its usual swarm of galleries, this year’s fair will feature a suite of new attractions intended to up its global profile. Frydman hopes the new Paris Photo Platform, a discussion forum, will debunk the notion of documentary photography as an insular art form. Led by art historian Chantal Pontbriant, the Platform will feature “thinkers, artists, art critics—but not the usual suspects,” he promises. To bring alive this dialogue between photography and other genres, storied curator André Magnin will bring together paintings and photographs by artists such as Yinka Shonibare and Seydou Keïta.

Another new feature, “Recent acquisitions,” uncovers how museums collect their artworks, from the Tate Modern’s focus on the oeuvre of Daido Moriyama to the Musée de l’Elysée’s acquisition of the Charlie Chaplin estate.

In time, Frydman hopes that his innovations will “skyrocket the fair into the top 10” art fairs in the world. It’s important to him, however, that it doesn’t lose its heart along the way. “What I wanted to keep is the conviviality,” he says, noting the fair’s ambiance of friendship and shared passion. “That’s something to keep as a treasure.”

Paris Photo runs through Nov. 13 in the French capital. Read more about it here.

Sonia van Gilder Cooke is a reporter in TIME’s London bureau. Follow her on Twitter at @svangildercooke.

Alex Webb and Max Kozloff in Conversation

Join acclaimed Magnum photographer Alex Webb in conversation with writer and artist Max Kozloff on the release of Webb’s latest monograph, The Suffering of Light: Thirty Years of Photographs. This exquisite book is the first comprehensive monograph charting the career of the acclaimed American photographer. The collection presents his most iconic images, many of which were taken in the far corners of the earth, and brings a fresh perspective to his extensive catalog.

Alex Webb‘s photographs have appeared in a wide range of publications, including the New York Times Magazine, Life, Stern, and National Geographic, and have been exhibited at the International Center of Photography, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. He is a recipient of the Leica Medal of Excellence (2000) and the Premio Internacional de Fotografia Alcobendas (2009). Webb, a member of Magnum Photos since 1976, lives in New York City.

Max Kozloff currently lives in New York City. Kozloff was schooled as an art historian at the University of Chicago and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. He wrote the Art Column for The Nation during the 1960s, was a contributing editor at Art International and Artforum from 1963 to 1974, and was Executive Editor of Artforum from 1974 to 1976. He published a monograph on Jasper Johns, and the books Renderings and Cultivated Impasses. In 1976, he switched his attention to writing on photography. Hot Shot Trucking Denver . His work in that medium includes three collections of essays, a monograph on Duane Michals, New York: Capital of Photography (a catalogue for the show he curated at the Jewish Museum in 2002), and the book The Theatre of the Face: Portrait Photography Since 1900. Kozloff began showing his own color photographs at the Holly Solomon Gallery in 1977 and has exhibited at the Marlborough and P.P.O.W galleries in New York, as well as institutions in Buenos Aires, Bombay, Mexico City and London.

Wednesday, June 1, 6:30 pm

FREE

Aperture Gallery and Bookstore