Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Gonkar Gyatso: Pop Phraseology" solo exhibition opens in Hong Kong

This Fall Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong presents "Pop Phraseology", a major solo exhibition of new works by the internationally acclaimed Tibetan born artist, Gonkar Gyatso.  Gyatso's personal, political and often humorous work bridges Eastern and Western culture. With a long interest in material and pop culture, the artist often combines references to his Tibetan life with references to the global mass-media culture that is constantly interacting and shaping our current perspectives of cultural identity.  By confronting the undeniable bond between his homeland's religion and politics, Gyatso throws into question what is considered traditional while addressing the many new cultural hybrid identities to which globalization has given rise.

Shangri La, 2014
Mixed Media Collage on aluminum backed honeycomb panel
10 x 10 ft (305 x 305 cm)

The artist characteristically juxtaposes the Buddha, a figure of tolerance which used uses as a cultural and aesthetic rather than religious symbol and the geometry of Thangka paintings with Western iconography to express his vision of co-existance. In his new series of works, Gyatso has turned his focus toward phrases found in popular culture. These phrases, generated our of social or political need, are often temporal. In making them the focus of his work, Gyatso creates a tension between the aesthetics of his work and the implicit meaning of the words. As in previous work, Gyatso seeks not to project a specific idea or agenda; each piece serves as a meditation on what it means to be living in a particular place at a particular time.

Exhibition dates: September 18 - October 31, 2014, Mon-Sat, 10am - 7pm
601 -605 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Hong Kong

Edited text and image "Courtesy of Studio Gonkar Gyatso"

Monday, February 17, 2014

When is the Buddha not the Buddha?

Leading contemporary artist Gonkar Gyatso (born Lhasa, 1961) poses this question in Dissected Buddha, 2013, currently on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The Assistant Curator with the Department of Asian Art, Kurt Behrendt's bold decision to include Gyatso's sticker collage work in "Tibet and India: Buddhist Traditions and Transformations" is an enlightened one, and invites a fresh contemporary perspective on the interpretation of the Buddha within the context of the Met's extraordinary collection of Indian and Tibetan Buddhist art.  

The exhibition runs until June 8, 2014 in Gallery 251, for further information about the artist, please contact me here.  A free lecture (with Museum admission) will be held on March 7, 4- 5pm, see here for further details.  The work is a Promised Gift to the Met by Margaret Scott and David Teplitzky.

Gonkar Gyatso, Dissected Buddha, 2013, 
Collage, stickers, pencil and coloured pencil and acrylic on paper.  
Image courtesy of the Artist.

Dissected Buddha presents a compelling contrast to the serene poses of the foundational Buddhist sculpture from the 10th and 11th Century. The viewer is immediately drawn to the central image of the work - a rich surface made up of cartoon stickers, interspersed with magazine and newspaper cuttings that gives form to the Buddha at the moment of enlightenment. However, Gyatso firmly positions his Buddha in the present, successfully juxtaposing the solid mass with a playful hand-drawn background in continuous motion, firmly rooted in the now. Planes, trains and automobiles shoot out from the halo - destination unknown - but carefully offset by a bombardment of urban signage and familiar political iconography all jostling for a position alongside the artist's personal text references to popular culture and politics that preoccupy the mass media and society today.   

Monday, November 18, 2013

Danielle Durchslag: Relative Unknowns Retrospective

I'm delighted to be collaborating on the first New York solo exhibition of rising star artist Danielle Durchslag.  Relative Unknowns will be a comprehensive retrospective of paper collage reliefs based on photographic images of family ancestors whose names and identities have been forgotten over time.  The show opens at Denny Gallery from December 12th, 2013 through January 26th, 2014.  

Works from the Relative Unknown series were originally included in the critically acclaimed exhibition A Cut Above: 12 Paper Masters (see previous post). Since then, Danielle Durchslag's career has gone from strength to strength.  This series has recently been included in various gallery exhibitions and institutions including the Brooklyn Public Library and the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York.   Several major private collections have kindly agreed to loan their Relative Unknown pieces for the show so visitors can enjoy the series in it's entirety.

Please join us for this unique exhibition and opening reception on Thursday, December 12th, 2013 from 6 to 8pm.   Further information and RSVP here.

Danielle Durchslag, Relative Unknown 4, 2011, Paper, tape, glue, vintage board, 12 x 9.25 in 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Nova Utopia

Stephen Walter's extraordinary hand drawn map of Nova Utopia revisits Thomas More’s famous fictional island state of Utopia a century after a capitalist revolution has transformed its very essence. Renowned worldwide as a luxury leisure destination, its different regions cater to a wide range of visitors, but risk becoming isolated from each other.  This stunning limited editioned print is hot off the press and was recently exhibited in his solo show Stephen Walter: Anthropocene in London. For further information contact Diana.

Stephen Walter, Nova Utopia, 2013, Paper size 133.5 x 171.5 cm

Nova Utopia is place of dreams! A large leisure island state about 200 miles across, defined by its isolation, its beauty and the immense diversity of its landscapes and resources. As a destination, Nova Utopia sits somewhere between the wonderful, the beautiful, the entertaining, the rich, the sublime and the ridiculous. Despite recent environmental and social concerns, there’s a wonderful array of places to visit, and a tour of the island provides a fascinating insight into this unique and ever-changing country. 

Archival digital print with protective and UV glaze
Somerset enhanced radiant white smooth 330gsm
Edition of 50, signed and editioned by the artist (detial)

Images courtesy of the Artist and TAG Fine Arts

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Cutting Edge: Contemporary Paper Art

I'm delighted to collaborate with the Brooklyn Public Library on a beautiful show of cut paper and book art exhibits.  Cutting Edge: Contemporary Paper Art runs until June 1 and includes delicate works by paper masters Doug Beube, Danielle Durchslag, Irwin Susskind and Thomas Witte.  The exhibition celebrates the renaissance of cut paper as an artist medium and includes work that directly relates to the library's archives and history.

Works are displayed in the main entrance Foyer Cases & Balcony Cases. See here for further information and exhibition notes.

Doug Beube, Masked Vocabulary

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Katsutoshi Yuasa: Miraculous opens at the ISE Cultural Foundation, NYC

Katsutoshi Yuasa, Pseudo Mythology 2, 2011, oil based woodcut with pigment on paper
I'm delighted to collaborate with New York's ISE Cultural Foundation on a stunning show of recent woodcuts by the young Japanese master, Katsutoshi Yuasa. Miraculous opens on November 9, 2012.  The reception, from 6 to 8pm, is sponsored by TAG Fine Arts and Sake Discoveries Inc.  Please join us for a glass to celebrate!

The artist will also be In Conversation on Saturday, November 10, 2012, from noon to 2pm.

Yuasa makes woodcut prints from his own digital photographs. By combining two processes – the camera’s ‘snapshot’ and the woodcut’s lengthy reinterpretation of the same image – he hopes to crystallise the atmospheric and emotional character of his subjects. His pieces take weeks to complete, transforming his ephemeral subjects into haunting images, as beautiful up close as from a distance.

Preview the exhibition catalogue, published by TAG, here.
For further information and to RSVP, contact Diana Ewer.
Katsutoshi Yuasa: Miraculous | Nov 9, 2012 - Jan 4, 2013
ISE Cultural Foundation | 555 Broadway | New York | NY 10012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Printmaking today: a commercial perspective

I've been invited to speak at the Second International Printmaking Symposium (SNAP) in Germany. I'll be talking about my experience in publishing, exhibiting and selling fine art prints.  The lecture will be part of a programme of events that celebrates contemporary printmaking and explores its future. 

SNAP is presented by the Print Association Bentlage and the cultural institution Kloster Bentlage in Rheine, Germany, from 27 - 30 September 2012. Directed at all those who are intellectually and creatively engaged in contemporary printmaking (from students and artists, to dealers and collectors), the symposium will provide an international platform to discuss the aesthetic, philosophical, cultural and technical potential of the medium. The symposium will include lectures, discussions, workshops, trade displays and exhibitions in a programme spanning four days and multiple venues.

Japanese woodcut artist Katsutoshi Yuasa will also be previewing works at SNAP in advance of his forthcoming solo exhibition ‘Miraculous’ that opens at the ISE Cultural Foundation in NYC this November.

Image details: Katsutoshi Yuasa, Listen, nature is full of songs and truth, 2012, woodcut on paper