Maria Stavrinaki


    IN 2011, French artist Dove Allouche suspended a camera at the end of a rope and lowered it into the crater of Mount Vesuvius, blindly capturing a photograph of this monument of ancient, violent rupture. He hasn’t touched a camera since. Instead, as if inspired to seek ever more elemental encounters with the natural world, he has spent the past few years metonymically capturing images of mineral formations via a series of inventive photographic procedures—for instance, placing emulsion-coated glass plates in petrifying caves (that is, caves where objects calcify very rapidly), generating

  • “Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945–1965,” 2016–17. Hanging: Sadamasa Motonaga, Work (Water), 1956/2016. Floor: Anthony Caro, Capital, 1960. Photo: Maximilian Geuter.

    “Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945–1965”

    IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT to overstate the ambition of “Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945–1965.” The exhibition includes hundreds of works by artists from six continents, the checklist is 192 pages long, and the catalogue weighs ten pounds. Yet the show’s material sprawl is dwarfed by an even more monumental historical-theoretical project. An exhibition summary provided by Haus der Kunst offers this description of the enterprise: “Probing differing concepts of artistic modernity . . . the exhibition explores how individual receptions and formulations of modernism informed the

  • Caspar David Friedrich, Die Kathedrale (Cathedral), ca. 1818, 60 x 27 3/4".

    “De l’Allemagne, 1800–1939”

    IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME since an exhibition has provoked the kind of intense debates that greeted the Musée du Louvre’s “De l’Allemagne, 1800–1939: German Thought and Painting, from Friedrich to Beckmann.” All the ambition of the enterprise was contained in its title, which asserted the show’s place within a prestigious intellectual genealogy. In 1813, Madame de Staël published her book De l’Allemagne, a fervent defense of the German thought of her time. She saw in German idealism and Romanticism the very blooming of modernity, the advent of a liberal Christian Europe that would look to the

  • View of “Eileen Gray” 2013. Transat armchairs, from left: 1926–29, 1926–30, 1930. Photo: Hervé Véronese.

    Eileen Gray

    THE RECENT ELLEN GRAY RETROSPECTIVE at the Centre Pompidou aimed to elucidate the work—long underestimated—of a figure identified by curator Cloé Pitiot as a “total” modern artist. Indeed, during a career spanning the first half of the twentieth century, Gray (1878–1976) devoted herself to the design of a stunningly wide array of objects, interiors, and, beginning in the mid-1920s, architecture; she also experimented with photography and collage. This diversity of mediums led Pitiot to locate in Gray’s oeuvre “a conception and creation process that falls under the Gesamtkunstwerk.”