FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9 – August 7, 2015
Photography was destined to be involved with death. Reality is in color, but at its beginnings photography always discolored reality and turned it into black and white. Color is life, black and white is death. A ghost was hiding in the invention of photography.
- Nobuyoshi Araki, in an interview with Nan Goldin, 1995.
June 23 — Nobuyoshi Araki’s latest exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery, EROS DIARY, is comprised of a series of 77 new black and white photographs, which break from his traditional ruminations on eroticism and death to reflect more inwardly on the artist’s own life and mortality. These photographs highlight an unusual softness and sombre introspection as Araki internalizes recent personal traumatic events including the loss of his beloved cat, Chiro, his fight with prostate cancer, and later, the loss of vision in his right eye.
Each photograph is timestamped in reference to Araki’s anniversary of his marriage to his wife Yoko, who died in 1990. This date also coincides with the Chinese Qixi Festival, also known as the Tanabata Festival in Japan, a celebration of the annual meeting of “The Cowherd and Weaver Girl,” an ancient Chinese folktale where two forbidden lovers reunite once a year for a single night. The persistent repetition of this date speaks at once to both the artist’s reverence for his spouse and original muse, while also highlighting her absence in his life.
For Araki, photography itself represents a diary: a record of what happens day to day in his life, and the act of taking a photograph represents the killing of a moment or life, where his “self” is pulled out through the subject. In consequence of this action, as well as his age, illness, and life experience, the images in EROS DIARY become memorialized, showing us the distinct humanistic truths of joy, sorrow, life and death. These images, which are at times humorous, sexual, melancholy, and reflective, depict the entire spectrum of life from a personal perspective foreshadowing death.
With a career spanning six decades, Nobuyoshi Araki is one of the most prolific photographers of all time, having published over 400 books and exhibited in over 280 solo shows worldwide. Born in 1940 in Tokyo, Araki began his career as a commercial photographer, before making the intensely sexual Kinbaku bondage photographs he became known for. In 1971 he published his seminal book Sentimental Journey, and in 1991, Winter Journey, documenting both the euphoria of his honeymoon and sadness from his wife’s death. EROS DIARY is Araki’s fourth exhibition at Anton Kern Gallery.
Recent solo shows include KaoRi Through the Looking Glass: Photo-Mad Old Man A 2015.5.25 75th Birthday, Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2015); Love on the Left Eye, Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (2015); Ojo Shashu - Photography for the After Life: Eastern Sky, qARADISE, Shiseido Gallery, Tokyo, Japan; Ojo Shashu - Photography for the After Life: Love Journey, Niigata City Art Museum, Niigata, Japan; Ojo Shashu - Photography for the After Life: Faces, Skyscapes, Roads, Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota, Japan (2015); Ojo Shashu - Photography for the After Life: Alluring Hell, Foam, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2014). Recent group shows include In the Wake: Japanese Photographers respond to 3/11, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (2015); Schlaflos – Das Bett in Geschichte und Gegenwartskunst, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, 21er Haus, Vienna, Austria (2015); Conflict, Time, Photography, Tate Modern, London, UK (2015).
The exhibition opens on Thursday, July 9 and runs until August 7, 2015. The gallery’s summer hours are Monday through Friday from 6-8pm. For further information and images, please contact at gallery at 212.367.9663 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continuing its programme of exhibitions with notable curators, Blain|Southern is delighted to announce an exhibition of sculptural work curated by Tony Cragg. The exhibition features work by German artists Mathias Lanfer, Gereon Lepper and Andreas Schmitten; all alumni of the renowned Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. Blain|Southern aims to showcase the most exciting international artists at work today; these sculptors have been selected by Cragg, who has a unique perspective as Professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Director of the Sculpture Park Walfrieden and one of the world’s foremost sculptors.
JAMES LEE BYARS: THE POETIC CONCEIT AND OTHER WORKS
24 JUNE THROUGH 22 AUGUST 2015
For summer, VW (VeneKlasen/Werner) is pleased to present James Lee Byars: The Poetic Conceit and Other Works. This exhibition is one of three James Lee Byars shows simultaneously on view this summer, alongside The Figure of Death and The Moon Column at Michael Werner Gallery, New York and The Diamond Floor at Michael Werner Gallery, London.
Throughout his prolific career Byars pursued with tireless curiosity his life-long obsessions with ideal form and a personalized notion of “perfect”. This exhibition traces issues of perception, language, and contemplation in Byars’ oeuvre: “The Capital of the Golden Tower” (1991), “The Poetic Conceit” (1983) and the performative “Hole for Speech” (1981) each exemplify the artist’s philosophical ideals and his quest for a new, spiritual form of pure communication. On view in the gallery´s cinema is the 16mm film “Autobiography” (1970), a rare example of James Lee Byars’ use of film in which the artist appears on screen for a fraction of a second. Together, these four pieces form a distinct body of work that explores and questions the ethereal nature of language and communication.
James Lee Byars was born in Detroit in 1932 and studied art and psychology at Wayne State University. He presented his first museum exhibition in 1958, a legendary event that took place in the stairwell of New York's Museum of Modern Art and lasted only one day. Over the following decade Byars lived and worked in Japan where he presented many performances and exhibitions, including “The Performable Square” in the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, in 1962. In 1964 he was invited to present three performances at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Byars returned to America in 1967, dividing his time between New York and Los Angeles; by the 1970s he began to spend increasing amounts of time in Europe. Since that time Byars has been the subject of numerous gallery and museum exhibitions worldwide, including Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; IVAM Centre del Carme, Valencia; Castello di Rivoli/Museo d'Arte Contemporanea, Turin; The Henry Moore Institute, Leeds; and Fundaçao de Serralves, Porto. Byars died in Cairo in 1997. Important posthumous exhibitions include The Epitaph of Con. Art is which Questions have disappeared?, Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (1999); The Arts Club of Chicago (2000); Life Love and Death, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt and Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de Strasbourg (2004); The Perfect Silence, Whitney Museum of American Art (2005); I'm Full of Byars, Kunstmuseum Bern (2008); The Perfect Axis, Schloss Benrath, Düsseldorf; and Klein Byars Kapoor, Musée d'art Moderne et d'Art Contemporain, Nice and ARoS Kunstmuseum, Århus, Denmark (2012-2013). In 2013, “The Figure of the Interrogative Philosophy” and “The Figure of the Question of Death” were included in the 55th Venice Biennale exhibition The Encyclopedic Palace, curated by Massimiliano Gioni.
Last summer, MoMA PS1 in New York presented James Lee Byars: 1/2 an Autobiography, the most comprehensive survey of Byars organized in North America since the artist's death in 1997. Organized in cooperation with Museo Jumex in Mexico City, where it debuted in spring 2013, the exhibition featured a selection of sculptures, fabric works, performable paper pieces, ink paintings, live performance and ephemera.
The Poetic Conceit and Other Works opens on 24 June and remains on view through 22 August 2015. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11AM to 6PM. For more information please call the gallery at +49 30 8161 60418, write to email@example.com or visit vwberlin.com.
“Tennis Court” is artist Xu Qu’s first large scale outdoor installation, and the second installment of the terrace project since our initial collaboration in the project “Control” with architect Wang Zhenfei. “Tennis Court”continues Xu Qu’s interest in studying movement of his previous line of thoughts, in focusing the momentary state observed in the movement of the object. The artist presents a 1/6 of a regular size tennis court for the viewers, and with the help of mechanical power, we can see the unique moments of a tennis ball in this court. This installation prompts us to inquire into the new ways of observation and the right of imagination.
Xu Qu, born in Jiansu Province in 1978, received a master degree in painting and film studies from the Braunschweig University of Art, Germany in 2008, who currently lives and works in Beijing.
The Terrace Project is an outdoor project established in 2013 at Taikang Space, a platform for cross-disciplinary artistic experiment. In collaboration with young artists, architects and designers on the third floor terrace of Taikang Space, it allows them to create works in an outdoor space of approximately 90 square meters, that aims to effectively explore on subjects such as public space in the contemporary artistic discourse, public art practice, concepts of the spectacle, and the multiple possibilities of the artist’s identity and etc.
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