Saturday, December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


I want to wish all my followers and viewers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. For this year's Christmas post, I've invited some artist to contribute their work to this post. Artists Molly Segal and Steven Wolkoff contributed their art to this year's Christmas posting. Thank you for an amazing year and I am looking forward to sharing and continuing to bring you the best that the art world has to offer.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Molly Segal,
Christmas Painting
watercolor on yupo
35 x 23 in
Courtesy of the artist.
mollysegal.com

Steven Wolkoff
"Christmas"
media: digital
Courtesy of the artist.
https://www.instagram.com/baldessariyourlife/

Steven Wolkoff
"Christmas 4"
media: digital
Courtesy of the artist.
https://www.instagram.com/baldessariyourlife/

Anselm Reyle,
Xmas Scrap, 2017,
mixed media, ca. 10x17x17cm

Mark Rothko
Yellow and Orange, 1949
Oil on Canvas
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Daniel Buren
Photo-souvenir: Peintre acrrylique blanc sur tisso raye blanc et rouge, 1971
Acrylic on woven red and white fabric
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Jim Hodges
Give More Than You Take,
Hammer Museum, Contemporary Collection


Mario D. Vasquez
Untitled (Christmas Beverly Hills)


Arthur Hughes
Nativity, 1857-58
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

Gerard David
The Nativity with Donors and Saints Jerome and Leonard, 
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Jules Bache Collection, 1949












Monday, December 18, 2017

Interview with Dan Cameron on Kinesthesia and Kinetic Art in Latin America

Exhibit Entrance to “Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954-1969,” Palm Springs Art Museum. Photograph by Lance Gerber


Curator Dan Cameron in this interview talks about his exhibition "Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954–1969"currently at the Palm Springs Art Museum for Pacific Standard Time, which is on view until January 14, 2018. Cameron talks about Modernism, the Kinetic, and its role in the development of Latin American art. This interview occurred before my review of the exhibition, which can be read here. Kinesthesia can be viewed at the Palm Springs Art Museum until January 15th, 2018.

Since we last spoke a few years ago, you were working on what you described to me as an exhibition about Latin American Kinetic Art. Tell me what prompted your interest in kinetic art in Latin America?

                I had the good fortune of being in Buenos Aires in 2012, at the same time that an exhibition called ‘Real/Virtual: Arte Cinetico Argentino de los Anos Sesenta’ was at the National Fine Arts Museum. I was curious, and as I love Julio LeParc’s work but didn’t know the other names, I expected to be there an hour or two. I think I stumbled out 4 hours later completely disoriented, which is always a good sign. From there, it was a matter of meeting the curator of ‘Real/Virtual/, Maria Jose Herrera, to discuss her curatorial approach and research. She explained that it hadn’t been possible to do that show until recently because of the fact that half the artists of that generation ended up moving to Paris and never coming back to Argentina, so the question of just how ‘Argentine’ their work was remained somewhat contested. And as I was wondering to what degree this happened in other South American countries, the Getty announced its initiative.

During the time that is covered by Kinesthesia, Oscar Niemeyer was building Brasilia and Lina Bo Barti was designing her glass house in Sao Paolo. How do you think kinetic art fit in the development of modernism in Latin America at the time?

                If you look at the case of Brazil, of course it’s a very close connection. But I think an even more clear-cut case can be found in Venezuela, where Carlos Raul Villanueva’s monumental Ciudad Universitaria, which took twenty years to design and build, truly changed everything, particularly the relationship that sculptors would have with architecture, and the role kinetic art would play in that scenario. Such artists as Victor Vasarely, Alexander Calder, Jesus Soto, Alejandro Otero and even LeParc created new site-specific sculptures for the university campus, laying the groundwork for the massive architectural commissions that Soto, for instance, would take on a bit later in his career, or Otero’s visionary ‘Zona Feerica,’ which was essentially a field of large kinetic structures.

Carlos Cruz-Diez, Chromosaturation, 1965/2017 “Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954-1969,” Palm Springs Art Museum. Photograph by Lance Gerber

While you were doing the research and preparation for this exhibition, what was the most surprising fact or aspect that may have changed your perspective?

                What really startled me was the fierce resistance shown toward Kinetic Art in this country. I think a lot of it had to do with the Parisian origins of the Kinetic Art movement, and its unfortunate contrast to what the U.S. was focused on at the time, which was promoting the New York School of Pollock, de Kooning, etc. With many of the Latin American experts I consulted, there was a persistent rumor that MoMA had scheduled a sequel to the famous ‘Responsive Eye’ exhibition of 1965, which dealt mostly with Op Art, and this sequel was going to be about Kinetic Art. The concern was that ‘The Responsive Eye’ was so unexpectedly popular, at a peculiar moment in history when the temples of modern culture actually didn’t want crowds, and there were so few American artists in the Kinetic Art movement, that the curator of ‘Responsive Eye’ was quietly packed off to the West Coast, and the kinetic show never spoke of again.

Were there any political aspects associated with the Kinetic art exhibited in Kinesthesia?

                Not so much, other than the fact that LeParc and his crew — Horacio Garcia-Rossi, Armando Durante, Antonio Asia — were well-known in Argentina in the 1950s as student agitators, and some were active members of the Communist Party. While in Paris in the 1960s it was not at all unusual to support Castro’s revolution in Cuba, for instance, anti-Communist hysteria in the U.S. was far more monolithic. If you look at Robert Rauschenberg’s win of the 1964 Golden Lion in Venice as a turning-point in Europe’s opinion of contemporary American art, which most observers do, then Julio LeParc’s win of the same prize two years later must have been galling to those who were hoping the U.S. might triumph two times in a row. In any event, it would be fifty years before LeParc was given a solo museum exhibition in the U.S., long after he was considered one of the most influential artists in the world.

Installation view of Julio Le Parc’s Cloison á lames réfléchissantes, 1966/2005 “Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954-1969,” Palm Springs Art Museum Photograph by Lance Gerber

The period in which this exhibition focuses on ends in 1968 with Julio Le Parc winning the Grand Prize at the Venice Biennale. What happened to the Kinetic art in Latin America after 1968? What do you think was most significant event that affected the production of Kinetic art in Latin America?

                LeParc won in 1966, but the question is still an interesting one. I honestly don’t think there was a single event one can point to so much as a general crisis that was triggered by the wave of military dictatorships established throughout the region by coups. Once artists began to flee countries like Chile and Argentina at the risk of their lives, you can see interest in Kinetic Art evaporate overnight, as artists turned toward other approaches that were more in keeping with critical theory and concept-based art.

Gyula Kosice, La cuidad hidroespacial, 1946-1972 “Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954-1969,” Palm Springs Art Museum. Photograph by Lance Gerber

Other than modernism, what role did science fiction and the space race have in influencing some of the artists in the exhibition? 

                Not much, as far as I can tell. Many of these artists were very interested in technology, of course, but their connection to avant-garde painting in the case of the Argentinians or the fusion of public art and architecture in the case of the Venezuelans, seems to have superseded any connection to popular culture at the time. The exception is, of course, Gyula Kosice, who was a futurist his entire life, and is well-regarded by pop whose life is devoted to creating models for sustaining human life into the distant future. His invention of the Hydro-Spatial City may yet see its day if global warning keeps up.

Was there any kinetic artist that you wanted, but unable to show?

                I became very interested in what happened in Cuba at this time, especially with artists like Sandu Darie, whose work has become extremely popular among major collectors of Latin American art. Unfortunately, because of the surge of interest in showing Darie’s work either by itself or with his contemporaries, there was literally nothing to borrow. So the exhibition quietly became a show of South American artists rather than Latin American artists non the broader sense.

Finally, which of the 11 artists would you like to see have a retrospective or solo exhibition in the future?


                I think a major Gyula Kosice show in the U.S. would be revelatory for a lot of people.


On View through January 15, 2018.

Palm Springs Art Museum
101 Museum Drive,
Palm Springs CA 92262
760-322-4800
http://www.psmuseum.org/



Gregorio Vardánega, Multiplication electronique III, 1966 “Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954-1969,” Palm Springs Art Museum Photograph by Lance Gerber

Installation view of the “Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954-1969,” Palm Springs Art Museum. Photograph by Lance Gerber

Installation view of Julio Le Parc’s Continuel-lumiére cylindre, 1962/2013 “Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954-1969,” Palm Springs Art Museum Photograph by Lance Gerber

Installation view of Julio Le Parc’s Continuel-lumiére cylindre, 1962/2013 “Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954-1969,” Palm Springs Art Museum Photograph by Lance Gerber

Installation view of Julio Le Parc’s Continuel-lumiére avec formes en contorsion, 1966/2012 “Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954-1969,” Palm Springs Art Museum. Photograph by Lance Gerber

Carlos Cruz-Diez, Chromosaturation, 1965/2017 “Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954-1969,” Palm Springs Art Museum. Photograph by Lance Gerber

Carlos Cruz-Diez, Chromosaturation, 1965/2017 “Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954-1969,” Palm Springs Art Museum. Photograph by Lance Gerber


All photographs are courtesy of the Palm Springs Art Museum. 

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