Paul Neagu | Anthropocosmos

An exhibition curated by Maria Rus Bojan

20 January -17 March 2019

OPENING SUNDAY, 20 JANUARY 2019, 3-5 PM

The artist Paul Neagu (Bucharest, 1938 – London, 2004), whose work makes the object of this special exhibition, was a seminal figure of the Romanian and British abstract and conceptual art in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Often considered to be the most important Romanian sculptor since Constantin Brancusi, Paul Neagu left his native country in 1969, and settled in London, where he had a prolific career, and lived until the end of his life. His experimental and philosophical approach to sculpture, as well as his meaningful teaching at the Royal College of Art, and later at Slade School of Art and Hornsey College had an outstanding influence on his students, some of them now famous, such as Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley and Tony Cragg.

This exhibition aims to present for the first time to the Dutch audience key works from his outstanding oeuvre, emphasizing the most important conceptual motifs and recurrent themes from different creative periods, as well as introducing his diverse artistic practices, which integrates performance, sculpture, drawing, painting and photography.

Including a selection of works coming from important private collections from Romania, France and The Netherlands, this exhibition at Parts Project, although rather small, offers a fascinating reading of the multiple significances of Paul Neagu’s work, confirming once again his place, both in the pantheon of British minimalist art and in the Romanian tradition of working primarily with symbolical and universal meanings.

The works for this exhibition were generously loaned by the following private collections: Ovidiu Sandor, Mircea Pinte and Mihai Nazarie from Romania, Artur Trawinski and Irmina Nazar from France, and by Cees Hendrikse and Maria Rus Bojan from The Netherlands.

The exhibition is organized by Parts Project in collaboration with the Embassy of Romania in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Carmen Sylva Foundation, Rotterdam.

Parts Project
Toussaintkade 49 / 2513 CL, Den Haag / +31 (0)6 28 90 06 91 / info@partsproject.nl

Colour Fields | Radu Comsa & Simion Cernica

Curated by Maria Rus Bojan

Opening: 15 January 2019

15 January – 15 July 2019

Europe House, Korte Vijverberg 5/6, 2513 AB Den Haag


With the occasion of the handover ceremony of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Radu Comsa and Simion Cernica propose a site-specific presentation that includes a series of paintings and drawings, structured around the concept of Color field.

Colour Field painting is a style of abstract painting, in which “color is freed from objective context and becomes the subject in itself”. Taking its name from the 1950s and ’60s art-historical term Colour Field Painting—coined when a pioneering group of artists chose to isolate and emphasize colour over almost any other aspect of traditional art making, Contemporary Colour Fields notes contemporary abstract works that emphasize the interplay between two or three colors or the predominance of particular colours in a swell of many.

In his approach, Radu Comsa conceives the space of the picture as a field, balancing large portions of primary colours in harmonious compositions articulated on the golden ratio principle. In many of his compositions, the artist alludes to the painting of Piet Mondriaan, however, he is not interested in the geometric composition as such, but rather in obtaining a composition of fields of pure colour. In this respect he makes use of the Indonesian technique “batik” and special water based colours. Sometimes he’s also playing with the size of the wooden stretchers with the purpose of creating an object out of a painting. (the work near the door).

 

In contrast with Radu Comsa, Simion Cernica’s conceptual discourse is based on the idea that each colour is a light frequency that carries a particular energy. In his works, Cernica explores the spectral decomposition of light with the aim of finding a representation that corresponds to the different vibration of light, as he perceived it.  Whereas a faithful rendering of spectral colours is according to scientists rather impossible, in Cernica’s art works this could be accomplished. His works are imaginary representations of coloured vibrations, sunsets, projections of electromagnetic radiations, gamma radiations and so on.By making visible what’s actually invisible for the eye, Cernica’s wish is to draw the attention on the ecological problems of the planet.

Exhibition organized in collaboration with the Embassy of Romania to the Kingdom of the Netherlands

 

Alin Bozbiciu | Mimesis: (Re)Imagining the Real

Curators: Maria Rus Bojan and Magdalena Mielnicka

Assistant Curator: Daria Bojan

17 November, 2018 – 17 January, 2019

Opening reception: 17 November, 7 pm

Dworcowa Gallery
Wroclaw Railway Station, 1st Floor
Pilsudskiego 105, Wroclaw, Poland

Exhibition generously supported by AFCN and Strefa Kultury Wrocław
Sponsors: mia ART GALLERYSleepWalker Boutique HotelMB Art Agency

 

 Mimesis: (Re)imagining the Real is the first solo show of Bozbiciu in Poland; it includes a selection of monumental paintings, majority of which were created especially for the exhibition space, located in Wroclaw’s recently renovated railway station, a building with a remarkable neo-gothic architecture.

Born in the year of the revolution of 1989, Alin Bozbiciu’s personal path coincided with the years of profound change in Romania in the post-Communist era. His own transformative experience forms the basis of a personal mythology in which reality and imagination merge into magical visual installations that dissolve the gap between “real” and “unreal”.

In his elaborate compositions, the artist constantly bounces between the real world and the one that he has imagined, drawing upon references from art history, mythological tropes and theatrical imagery. Making poignant existential statements about the contemporary experience, Alin Bozbiciu articulates a symbolic discourse that goes beyond the boundaries of representation and of figurative painting. Rather than approaching “mimesis” simply as a form of realism, the artist highlights the ambivalence of this concept in his quest to find a new visual solution of how our image dominated world should be represented today.

Through a series of introspective and dream-like compositions, the artist attempts to transgress the traditional perception of time and space, whilst emphasizing the infinite possibilities of painting as means to represent the many facets of the human condition and contemporary experience. By bringing together representations of angels or other imaginary characters inspired by baroque imagery, along with depictions of human bodies in ritualistic movement, the artist challenges viewers to immerse themselves in an imaginary world with a poetic dimension, in which myth and metaphor prevail. The spontaneity of his pictorial gesture accentuates the dynamic between the soft, restricted color palette, and the vigorous darker colors, offering a versatile and refreshing perspective to the medium of painting.

About the artist

Alin Bozbiciu lives and works in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He is one of the most successful emerging artists from the last wave of the Cluj School of Painting; graduating from the Painting Department of the Cluj University of Art and Design in 2013. Since then, he has had his works exhibited at Le Plafond, Amsterdam, Richard Taittinger Gallery in New York, and has had several shows at Untilthen Gallery in Paris. In 2017, he participated in the exhibition “Life as a User’s Manual”, the second edition of the Contemporary Art Biennial Art Encounters, in Timisoara, Romania. In 2018, Alin Bozbiciu had his second solo-show, “Theatre as Life”, at Untilthen Gallery in Paris, France, and participated in the exhibition “Time is the Game of Man”, the second edition of the summer project “Art of the Treasure Hunt” in the Chianti region of Italy, launched by Luziah Hennessy, and curated by Kasia Redzis, the senior curator at Tate Liverpool. His works are part of many important private collections across Europe: in the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, Italy, France, Portugal, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, but also across the world, in countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, China, Japan and Argentina.

Magdalena Abakanowicz | Presence, Essence, Identity

Curated by Maria Rus Bojan

30 September – 30 December 2018

Stara Kopalnia Science and Art Centre, Wałbrzych

 

Presence, Essence, Identity features a broad selection of works by Magdalena Abakanowicz, one the world’s most acclaimed Polish artist, who gained her international notoriety in the 1960’s for her experimental, and highly uncommon at the time, fiber sculptures. Generically entitled Abakans, these fluid woven structures made of organic materials, challenged traditional sculpture by transforming the flat surface of a tapestry into a spatial and dynamic form that triggers complex visual and tactile experiences.

Throughout her entire life, Magdalena Abakanowicz devoted her entire creative energy to the restless exploration of the dialectical relationship the human being shares with the larger natural world, translating her awareness about the essence of things into unique sculptural representations. Resisting all categories, Abakanowicz’s representations are intelligent forms of physical thinking that challenge conventional ideas of art and raise questions that are essential and universal to human experience.

This exhibition proposes a consistent overview of the artist’s creation, highlighting key works from all stages of her career, revolving around crucial themes, such as freedom and loss, resurrection and destruction, identity and difference. Featuring more than 100 sculptures, the exhibition aims to provide an understanding of the recurrent issues in Abakanowicz’s works: presence, essence, identity, and to illustrate the ways in which the Polish artist revolutionized the history of sculpture through a lifelong commitment to constant reinvention. The unique post-industrial location of the old mine offers an ideal setting to experience the full impact of the work of Abakanowicz.

This presentation at Stara Kopalnia (The Old Mine Center for Science and Art) is a sequel to the exhibition Effigies of Life, A Tribute to Magdalena Abakanowicz (Wroclaw, 2017) curated by Mariusz Hermansdorfer and Maria Rus Bojan. This exhibition offers a new selection of works, celebrating the lifelong collaboration and friendship between Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930-2017) and the visionary curator and art historian Marius Hermansdorfer (1940-2018).

This exhibition is produced by Magdalena Mielnicka and All That Art Foundation, Wroclaw in collaboration with the Estate of Magdalena Abakanowicz, Warsaw.

The works come from the artist’s estate, Irmina Nazar and Artur Trawinski collection, MARe Collection and NOWA 20_21 Collection.

The exhibition was made possible with the generous support from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage through the Cultural Promotion Fund.

Main Sponsor: European ArtEast Foundation, London
Sponsors: The City of Wałbrzych, All That Art Foundation, SleepWalker Boutique Hotel

 

Poetry of the Flow, Yahon Chang | Collateral Event at Manifesta 12 in Palermo

Poetry of the Flow

Yahon Chang

Curated by Maria Rus Bojan

Collateral event at Manifesta 12 in Palermo

 

Yahon Chang, Untitled, 2018, Oil on canvas

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

17 June – 19 August 2018

Inauguration 15 June 2018, 6pm – 8pm

Sala delle Armi, Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri, Palermo, Italy

  

In the exhibition Poetry of the Flow, Taiwanese artist Yahon Chang’s site-specific installation converts the monumental space of the Sala delle Armi in Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri into an interactive environment, tackling philosophical, spiritual and existential issues that revolve around the contemporary human condition. Employing Chinese ink painting techniques, Poetry of the Flow shows multiple large-scale ink paintings that cover the entirety of the exhibition space that surround the viewer.

Over the last 2,000 years, Palermo has been occupied by numerous European countries and has long-term connections with North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. The artist draws inspiration from the social context of the city which hosts Manifesta 12, with its lavish historical, syncretic and cultural values.

Ink painting and calligraphy have been an integral part of Chinese literati culture for thousands of years. Chang uses these classical techniques and aesthetics to create a new language that is relevant to a contemporary society. Rather than focusing on the process of creation, the artist works similarly to the western art movement, Expressionism, whereby the artworks are expressive of the artist’s inner feelings or ideas.

Creating an open and performative element, the artist involves visitors and the local community with the exhibition by inviting them to daily workshops at his temporary studio on via Pantelleria during the vernissage week. He will be teaching Chinese calligraphy as well as how to paint on traditional lanterns.

The artist integrates local materials through painting on bedsheets acquired in Palermo, which are hung in the outdoor garden of his studio. This mirrors the urban landscape within the city, where citizens hang their laundry on balconies in abundance. The combination of the large-scale Chinese ink paintings and paintings on locally sourced bedsheets comments on the layering of histories that have saturated the city for thousands of years. Chang creates a bridge between his own culture and the multicultural Palermo.

 

About the artist

Born in 1948, Yahon Chang lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan. He has shown in numerous international solo and group exhibitions including the recent solo show The Question of Beings at MACRO in Rome (2016) and the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia (2015). Raised in post-Japanese-colonial Taiwan, his works portray a particular visual language that voices the agony, rejection, struggle, adversity, acceptance and love as well as his quest to find a higher spirituality and peace. There is a mysterious quality to Yahon’s paintings that cements serenity within the viewer, rendering the work in a state of timelessness.

 

Exhibition

17 June – 19 August 2018

Sala delle Armi, Palazzo Chiaramonte-Steri, Piazza Marina 61, 90133, Palermo, Italy

 

Opening Hours:

Daily 10am – 7pm (closed on Mondays, except 18 June)

Free entry

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Workshop and painting studio

14 – 20 June 2018, 4-5pm 

Via Pantelleria 18, Palermo, Italy. (10 minutes walk from the exhibition space)

The workshop is open for visits from 14 – 20 June for an hour daily from 4-5pm. Embracing inclusivity and connecting local and international audiences, the artist invites the diverse communities of Palermo and the surrounding region into his personal space through an accessible public programme that incorporates dialogue and a unique opportunity to perform ink painting with the artist. Activities include painting Chinese lanterns with messages, as well as drawing and ink drawing workshops. These activities are part of the collateral event programme of Manifesta 12.

 

 

Artist: Yahon Chang (b. 1948, lives and works in Taipei, Taiwan)

Curator: Maria Rus Bojan

Assistant Curator: Francise Chang

Organiser: MDCA Foundation, Taipei, Taiwan

Coordinator: Paolo de Grandis & Carlotta Scarpa, PDG Arte Communications, Venice, Italy

Sponsors: BANK / MABSOCIETY, Shanghai, China, C-Space + Local, Beijing, China

Supporter: Valorizzazioni Culturali, Venice, Italy, Universita degli studi di Palermo

Under the patronage of: Città di Palermo

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Press Contact

Carlotta Dennis-Lovaglio at Pelham Communications

carlotta@pelhamcommunications.com

+44 (0)20 8969 3959

 

Organisation Contact

Francise Chang                     francise@mac.com

 

 

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Website

www.yahonchang.com

Social

www.facebook.com/yahonchang

Hashtag

#yahonchang

 

 

 

EUROPEAN ARTEAST | A New Foundation Supporting Art from Central and Eastern Europe

European ArtEast Foundation, recently founded by the collectors Irmina Nazar and Artur Trawinski, together with Maria Rus Bojan, curatorial advisor and executive director, Jonathan Tybel, will officially launch in London in October 2017. The Foundation is dedicated to supporting visual art from Central and Eastern Europe through international projects – including exhibitions, research and publications – in collaboration with art institutions and organisations.

Aiming to provide a global perspective on Eastern European art and culture, the Foundation encourages the development of projects that expand the discourse around contemporary art from this region. Irmina Nazar and Artur Trawinski were both born in Poland, a country that has gone through dramatic changes over the decades like many of its neighbours. Under communism, Polish artists became isolated from the international art-world through a lack of access to exhibitions, art criticism, education and the market. Despite this, many post-war artists still boldly developed their own vision independently from the standardized canon of Socialist Realism. The Foundation therefore has a particular interest in encouraging the rediscovery of seminal Eastern European artists from the 1950′s and 1960′s and maintaining their legacy. It also embodies the values of patronage as a context and framework to encourage creativity, innovation and cultural production among contemporary artists.

The Foundation’s first project was Effigies of Life, A Tribute to Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930 – 2017). Featuring over 120 works across multiple museums, venues and outdoor public locations in Wroclaw, Poland, in summer 2017, the retrospective exhibition was curated by Maria Rus Bojan and Mariusz Hermansdorfer, the former director of Wroclaw’s National Museum. Following on from the exhibition, through the publication programme of the Foundation, two editorial projects dedicated to Magdalena Abakanowicz are supported: the catalogue of the exhibition in Wroclaw alongside with the artist’s catalogue raisoneé, the lifetime research of Mariusz Hermansdorfer and Polish art historian Jola Gola.

PRESS ENQUIRIES

Sophie Campos | Rebekah Humphries

sophie@pelhamcommunications.com | rebekah@pelhamcommunications.com

+44 20 8969 3959

NOTES TO EDITORS

European ArtEast Foundation will launch in London in October 2017

Founders: Irmina Nazar and Artur Trawinski

Executive Director: Jonathan Tybel

Curatorial Advisor: Maria Rus Bojan

For further information, please see www.europeanarteast.com
Instagram.com/europeanarteast

Effigies of Life | A Tribute to Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930 – 2017)

All That Art Foundation / European ArtEast Foundation / Wroclaw 2016 Capital of Culture

Curators: Mariusz Hermansdorfer and Maria Rus Bojan

Dworcowa Public Gallery
Wroclaw Railway Station, 1st Floor
Pilsudskiego 105, Wroclaw, Poland

23rd of June – 25th of August 2017

Produced by Magdalena Mielnicka in cooperation with the Magdalena Abakanowicz Studio
Project generously supported by Irmina Nazar and Artur Trawinski

Sponsors: Mia Art Gallery, Szczawno-Jedlina, Sleep Walker Boutique Hotel, Libra Auction House and FF Fracht sp z o.o.
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A major retrospective Effigies of LifeA Tribute to Magdalena Abakanowicz (1930 – 2017),  features the work of this leading Eastern-European avant-garde artist, notable for her use of textiles as a sculptural medium.

Starting in the 1960s and 1970s, Magdalena Abakanowicz revolutionised the traditional language of tapestry by transforming it into forms meant to elicit complex visual and tactile experiences. With an emphasis on texture and surface, Abakanowicz’s works investigate the dialectics between the organic and inorganic in an attempt to touch upon the limits of life. The heterogeneous shapes and mediums of her work challenge conventional ideas of art and raise questions that are essential and universal to human experience.

The exhibition features major works from all stages of the artist’s career across a series of different venues and public spaces. Opening with the artist’s earliest series of textile works, and concluding with her last monumental sculptures, the exhibition emphasises Abakanowicz’s contribution to the enrichment of twentieth-century art, and her enduring influence on contemporary artists, both in Poland and worldwide.

The exhibition is co-curated by Maria Rus Bojan, an international curator who specialises in Eastern European art, and Mariusz Hermansdorfer, a close friend and life-long collaborator of the artist, and former director of The National Museum in Wroclaw. In one of his seminal texts on the artist Hermansdorfer notes: “Abakanowicz rejects everything that is beautiful and decorative, all wrappings and camouflage. She strips down layer after layer as if flaying a man. Only what is essential remains, what perhaps constitutes the only relevant truth.”  Continuing this reflection curator Maria Rus Bojan remarks: “Abakanowicz’s works are effigies of life. They emphasize everything that for us in Eastern Europe is considered to be important: a form is not only the mould of its content, but also an effigy for eternity, where meaning cannot be detached from form. No other Eastern European artist had been able to capture so profoundly in form and content the essence of the human condition experienced by entire nations under communism.”

The main exhibition takes place in the recently inaugurated city’s public Dworcowa Gallery at the Railway Station and features approximately 150 works. The Public Library’s Gallery at the Swidnicka Passage will house several large pieces from different periods, including the monumental series War Games. Key sculptural works will be installed in other prominent locations across the city including: the square situated in front of the Railway Station; the Starchowice Airport; the Jewish Synagogue; The Bastion Ceglarski; The Contemporary Museum of Wroclaw and The Museum of Architecture.

About Magdalena Abakanowicz

Abakanowicz won the gold medal at the 7th International São Paulo Art Biennial in 1965 and represented her country in the Polish Pavilion at the 1980 Venice Biennale. The artist presented her works in more than a hundred solo exhibitions in museums globally, including: the Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem (1968), The National Museum Stockholm (1970), Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1975), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (1982), Das Städel Museum, Frankfurt (1989), Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (1991), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1999), Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris (1999), Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague (2003) and more recent retrospectives staged at the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest (2005), Trondheim Art Museum (2008), Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2008), the Museum Kunst Palast, Düsseldorf (2008) and many other institutions and galleries.

Her works form part of the permanent collection of major museums worldwide, including: Australian National Gallery of Art; Busan Museum of Modern Art; Hiroshima City Museum; Centre Pompidou; Tate Modern; Metropolitan Museum of Art; MoMA; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC.; Walker Art Centre and the National Museum in Warszawa and Wroclaw.

CrazinisT artisT| Rituals of Becoming

Curator: Maria Rus Bojan
Exhibition dates: February 26 – March 12, 2017
Venue: Gallery 1957, Gamel Abdul Nasser Ave, Accra, Ghana

PUBLIC OPENING
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2017, 10:30 AM – 11:00 PM

Join us as we celebrate the opening of crazinisT artisT’s debut solo exhibition at Gallery 1957: ‘Rituals of Becoming’.

10:30 AM – Artist in Conversation Breakfast and a panel talk from the artist alongside the curator of the exhibition, Maria Rus Bojan, and CCQ Magazine co-editor Ric Bower
5:00 PM – crazinisT artisT (Va-Bene Elikem Fiats) performance

Gallery 1957 is proud to present Rituals of Becoming, a new exhibition by the Ghanaian-Togolese artist Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi, who works under the pseudonym crazinisT artisT, from 26 February – 12 March 2017.

Consisting of a theatrical installation that displays multichannel video projections, a readymade sculpture and a performance from the artist, the exhibition explores the assumed distinctions between gender identity, class, political injustice, violence and the objectification of humans. The performance will give the exhibition a tangible sense of the ritual involved in his process of stripping one identity in order to assume another.

ULAY | THE ANIMIST

Exhibition dates: 28 January – 1 February 2017
Venue: DEPART Foundation, 9105 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90069

Los Angeles, CA.,–DEPART Foundation announced that it will present Ulay: The Animist, its first solo exhibition and the first West Coast presentation for German artist Frank Uwe Laysiepen, known by his pseudonym – Ulay (b.1943).

This landmark exhibition highlights key features of his oeuvre, unfolding the main trajectories that draw on his performances and photographic works. A pioneer of body art, performance art and Polaroid photography, Ulay is well known for Relation Works – his collaborative period with Marina Abramović, between the years 1976 and 1988. Recently, Ulay’s individual work achieved newfound attention, culminating with the 2016 retrospective exhibitions at Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Nederlandse Fotomuseum, Rotterdam and GNYP Gallery Berlin.

The Animist unfolds Ulay’s individual oeuvre by exploring the hidden connections between seemingly disparate aspects of his work and his passionate life. The exhibition traces the genealogy of Ulay’s self-performative Polaroid photography from the early 1970s to the life size experiments he conducted with large format Polaroid technique in the 1990s. This presentation also includes photographic documentations of his travels throughout China and Australia, bringing together a body of works that truly reflects the artist’s underlying preoccupation with the expression of reality in its most immediate and intense form.

The show takes its title The Animist from a 1995 performance of the same name, in which Ulay tests the boundaries of perception and public participation through a subversive combination of sounds and ritual gestures. Considering the metaphor of “the animist” as the most appropriate expression of the core of Ulay’s work – a figure that joins together and reconfigures the relation between the spiritual and material world – the exhibition invites viewers to discover the artist’s intense experiences and insights into what constitutes Reality.

Ulay’s commitment to showing life in its most basic, raw, and truthful form poses an existential and ethical dimension, where the Polaroid is the preferred medium to embody his take on reality by capturing the image’s process of becoming. At a retrospective glance, these images stand out through a personal aesthetic purged of emotion and stylistic artifices. They go beyond the crust of conventional thought in order to penetrate at the heart of what constitutes subjective reality, thus encouraging us to fundamentally reconsider our relationship with ourselves and with the world.

ULAY
Ulay is the pseudonym of Frank Uwe Laysiepen. He was born in 1943 in Solingen, Germany. Ulay was formally trained as a photographer, and between 1968 and 1971, he worked extensively as a consultant for Polaroid. In the early period of his artistic activity (1968–1976) he explored identity and the body through a series of Polaroid photographs, aphorisms, and intimate performances. At that time, Ulay’s photographic approach was becoming increasingly performative and resulted in performative photography (FOTOTOT, 1976). From 1976 to 1988, he collaborated with Marina Abramović on numerous performances; their work focused on questioning perceived masculine and feminine traits and pushing the physical limits of the body (Relation Works). After the break with Marina, Ulay focused on photography, addressing the position of the marginalized individual in contemporary society and re-examining the problem of nationalism and its symbols (Berlin Afterimages, 1994–1995). Nevertheless, although he was working primarily in photography, he remained connected to the question of the ‘performative’, which resulted in his constant ‘provocation’ of audiences through numerous performances, workshops and lecture-performances. In recent years, Ulay is mostly engaged in projects and artistic initiatives that raise awareness, enhance understanding and appreciation of, and respect for, water (Earth Water Catalogue, 2012). Ulay’s work, as well as his collaborative work with Marina Abramović, is featured in many collections of major art institutions around the world such as Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Centre Pompidou Paris; Museum of Modern Art New York.

DEPART Foundation
DEPART Foundation provides an alternative platform for creative experimentation and exploration, set within a global context, that thrives outside of conventional, cultural structures. The impact of its work can best be understood as the charting of new artistic destinations with every project and program it undertakes
Since its founding in 2008, DEPART Foundation has served as a catalyst for the Italian art and cultural community, strengthening the dialogue between Italy and the international art world. Like multiple outposts in Europe and U.S., DEPART Foundation has actively encouraged artistic production through sponsorship of young and established artists and the provision of spaces and resources conducive to the research, production and exhibition of new work, and to the presentation of educational and public programs.
Some of the most interesting and dynamic artists of our time, from around the world, have been presented for the first time in Rome by DEPART Foundation. They include Cory Arcangel, Joe Bradley, Nate Lowman, Ryan McGinley, Tauba Auerbach, Darren Bader, Louis Eisner, Roe Ethridge, Sam Falls, Mark Flood, Elias Hansen, Brendan Lynch, Oscar Murillo, Sarah Braman, Seth Price, Jon Rafman, Stephen G. Rhodes, Amanda Ross-Ho, Sterling Ruby, Lucien Smith, Valerie Snobeck and Frances Stark.
DEPART Foundation in Los Angeles has presented solo exhibitions of work by Gabriele de Santis, Kour Pour, Grear Patterson, Petra Cortright, Mark Horowitz, Giorgio Andreotta Calo, Cameron Platter and Edward S. Curtis.

THE WANDERERS | Contemporary Painting from Cluj

Selected works of: Marius Bercea, Alin Bozbiciu, Cornel Brudascu, Oana Farcas, Robert Fekete, Aurelian Pirosca, Victor Racatau, Ioan Sbarciu, Sergiu Toma
Curator: Maria Rus Bojan
Exhibition dates: 11 January – 19 February 2016
Venue: Richard Taittinger Gallery, NY

The Richard Taittinger Gallery is proud to present The Wanderers, one of the first attempts in the United States to examine the context behind the emergence of the Cluj School, a phenomenon of the last decade related to several generation of artists that graduated the painting department from the Art University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Moving beyond the restrictive concept of a school of painting, the present exhibition aims to create a context for a better, more inclusive, understanding of the core of the phenomenon, presenting nine artists of different generations, who contributed essentially to this outstanding development. Beyond the label attributed by the international media, the Cluj School is primarily an artistic phenomenon rooted in the rich historical tradition of Romanian figurative painting with a complex background, which is still to be explored.

Emphasising the crucial role played by the two masters of the Cluj art scene, Cornel Brudascu (1937) and Ioan Sbarciu (1948) – the mentors and creators of the main artistic directions that influenced the development of the following generations of artists – this exhibition offers a unique perspective on the unexplored formative context, which generated this phenomenon with internationally recognized names such as Adrian Ghenie and Victor Man.

Conceived as a trans-generational dialogue, this presentation aims to underline the continuity of a certain tradition of figurative painting without resorting to the idea of a school of painting. Alongside the two masters Cornel Brudascu and Ioan Sbarciu, the show features also mid-career painters like Victor Racatau and Aurelian Pirosca, internationally acclaimed artists such as Marius Bercea, as well as the representatives of the youngest generation: Oana Farcas, Alin Bozbiciu, Robert Fekete, and Sergiu Toma. By bringing together these generations of artists with different positions, conceptual principles, and pictorial approaches, this show proposes a deconstruction of the very notion of the school, while thematising it as a multifaceted and interrelated phenomenon.

What all these artists share is not only a specific national or local identity, but rather a common feeling of longing, a nostalgia for the past as well as focusing on expressing the anxiety of a precarious present. However, despite their different life experiences under communism and during the dramatic changes that followed in the long years of transition, these artists surpassed the trauma of history by embracing a new paradigm that combined the conceptual approach of the Western art with the historical tradition of figurative painting. The success of this phenomenon lies in a reflexive attitude that involves not only a filtering of past ruptures between history and time, presence and memory, but also a process of transfiguration that aims at self-rediscovery.

The romantic metaphor of The Wanderer seems to be the most appropriate for a definition of the common trait that pervades the selection of works included in this exhibition. First, because it points towards a mode of self-discovery as an opening to the world that entails a reconfiguration of place and time. Secondly, it revisits the lyrical features of the Romanian painting tradition by infusing conceptual positions that are both figurative and abstract, realist and magic, nostalgic and critical. Finally, the paintings gathered in this exhibition shows us a multiplicity of experiences that turns us all into wanderers of each individual artistic universe.

No Light | Jurriaan Löwensteyn

Curator: Maria Rus Bojan
Exhibition dates: 24 – 27 November 2016
Venue: KOEP, Hazenstraat 17, Amsterdam

In his new series of works Jurriaan Löwensteyn questions conventional perceptions of the expression of light, through a photographic technique that paradoxically records the shadows of an analogue process. Far from being simple photograms, the images made by Jurriaan Löwensteyn are representations of a complex phenomenon that gives new ways of engaging with the tactile dimension of photography.

Tapping into the metaphorical use of light and darkness, Jurriaan Löwensteyn shows how darkness unexpectedly can appear as a projection of light. Light is not implied in these images as a natural phenomenon in the physical world, but as an invention in its own right. The effects of artificial light are contrasted with the physical properties of natural light in order to produce a figuration that is projected onto the paper as shadows. This technique is original as it is challenging in its execution, as there can be only one copy of the photographic image resulted from this long and difficult analogue process.

Making absence an irrefutable presence, the forms produced through this process border on the abstract, while all the time subtlety retaining the essence of the object’s figurative presence.

www.jurlow.com

ULAY | POLAROIDS at the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam

ULAY_NFM

ULAY | POLAROIDS

Opening: 23 January, 5 pm
Exhibition dates: 23 January – 1 May 2016

Nederlands Fotomuseum
Las Palmas Building
Wilhelminakade 332
3072 AR Rotterdam
www.nederlandsfotomuseum.nl

We are pleased to announce ‘ULAY | POLAROIDS’, the solo exhibition of Ulay at the Nederlands Fotomuseum. It is the first-ever exhibition dedicated solely to his Polaroids. It will feature both his early and most recent works, some of which will be on loan from the Rabo Art Collection, partner of this exhibition, documentary and publication.

Ulay
Ulay (born in Solingen, Germany, 1943) pioneered the use of the Polaroid as an art medium and is widely known for his unusual experiments, such as his ‘Polagrams’, the life-size Polaroids he created by literally ‘stepping into’ a large format camera. One of his Polaroids is more than 2.5m tall.
Ulay was introduced to Polaroid in the late 1960s, when he moved to Amsterdam. Since then, he has spent much of his artistic career working with a Polaroid camera. Owing to his technical aptitude and knowledge, he soon acquired a name as an expert and consultant in the field. Polaroid was happy to provide unlimited supplies of film and the latest cameras for him to use. In the early 1970s Ulay embarked on a very personal search for identity, particularly in relation to social issues and areas of tension between men and women.
Polaroid’s instant photography was a perfect match to his need to registrate his performances. He would photograph himself dressing up and applying his makeup, meticulously capturing each and every move, often creating a complete photo series which he referred to as ‘auto-Polaroids’.
From 1976 until the late 1980s, he was closely involved with Marina Abramović, and their intense personal relationship and creative collaboration lead to radical performances, both in a physical and psychological sense. When they parted ways, Ulay returned to his Polaroid photography once more, though he no longer put himself in front of the camera. Although his quest for personal identity remained a central theme, he now pointed his lens at those in the world around him, people from all social strata – the Aboriginals of Australia, the homeless of New York, the young people of Dordrecht, visitors to the Albert Cuyp market in Amsterdam, and the young models of Chisinau (Moldova).
More recently, his work has highlighted the importance of water in sustaining life on earth. Ulay’s work can now be found in numerous museums as well as corporate and private collections worldwide.

Rabo Art Collection
The Ulay | Polaroids exhibition is a joint project of the Nederlands Fotomuseum, the Rabo Art Collection and Maria Rus Bojan, one of the authors of the book Whispers. Ulay on Ulay (Valiz, 2014), is involved as project consultant. Rabobank – the first commercial organisation in the Netherlands to build its own art collection – has been acquiring Ulay’s work since the 1990s and currently owns a number of his important Polaroid works. Since 2013, Katrin Pietsch, photo restorer at the Nederlands Fotomuseum, has been advising them on the preservation and restoration of their collection, including the Polaroids.

Publication
To complement the exhibition, a new publication will be published by Valiz with the generous support of the Rabo Art Collection in close collaboration with the Nederlands Fotomuseum to bring together all current knowledge relating to art preservation and the restoration of Polaroid photography

Documentary
During the preparations for the exhibition, Charlotte Ebers of AndersDoenProducties will be filming a documentary about Ulay and Polaroid. Made possible through the generous support of the Rabo Art Collection, this film will be showing at the exhibition.

AICA AWARD 2015 | WHISPERS: ULAY ON ULAY

Ulay and the two authors of his monograph: Maria Rus Bojan and Alessandro Cassin have the pleasure to announce that “Whispers: Ulay on Ulay”, published by Valiz Foundation Amsterdam has been awarded the AICA Award 2015 by AICA Netherlands (Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art).

The AICA Nederland Award Ceremony 2015 will take place on
Friday 18 September 2015, 5 – 7 pm
Amsterdam Drawing Fair, NDSM-Plein next to nr. 281033 WB Amsterdam-Noord
(by invitation of AICA Nederland)

Whispers: Ulay on Ulay
Authors: Maria Rus Bojan, Alessandro Cassin
With contributions by: Marina Abramović, Laurie Anderson, Timea Andrea Lelik, Tevž Logar, Thomas McEvilley, Charlemagne Palestine, Lena Pislak, John Reuter, and Silvio Wolf.
Published in 2014 by Valiz Foundation with the generous support of the Mondriaan Foundation, Prins Bernhardt Cultuurfonds and MB Art Agency.

Every year the AICA Award is alternately given to a Dutch institution, a publication or exhibition. For this year’s award the monograph “Whispers: Ulay on Ulay” was chosen from a number of books published during 2013-2015.
This year’s shortlist-jury consisted of the AICA members: Edna Van Duyn, Nat Muller and Wieteke van Zeil.
AICA Netherlands consists of 185 members amongst them art critics, museum curators and museum directors.

From the jury: “The editor Maria Rus Bojan realized a generous book that presents a chronological documentation, spanning more than 40 years of artistic creation, accounting Ulay’s personal artistic philosophy, and also, his ethical and life principles. (…) Published by Astrid Vorstermans and Valiz Foundation Amsterdam this book transcends the usual traditional monograph or catalogue raisonné. In Alessandro Cassin’s interviews the main themes of Ulay’s oeuvre are approached in a non-chronological manner, however both Rus Bojan and Cassin manage to contextualize this body of works both from a critical and art historical perspective. Beyond the introvert and contemplative side of Ulay’s practice, the publisher made a book of international allure aiming to make more comprehensive for a larger audience the lesser-known works of this artist, who used to be for years Marina Abramović’s life and work partner. The book underlines Ulay’s creative development both in relation to his present concerns and the history of the last decades of the art of the 20th century. The images are supporting the text and the full-page illustrations functions like a visual biography. The design by Haller Brun is adequately tailored to the careful approach to content.”

As a response to the AICA Award 2015, Maria Rus Bojan, a member of AICA Nederland herself, said: “My gratitude goes to Ulay for his opening and trust in our editorial project. The sense of his life is the very sense of this book, and we are happy that we were able to emphasize his radical and innovative contribution to the history of performance art and Polaroid photography in the Netherlands and worldwide.  It has been a great experience to collaborate with Alessandro Cassin, a talented interviewer and a wonderful writer from New York City, whose contribution has been essential in accomplishing this endeavor. Many thanks to the other contributors, to Astrid Vorstermans, our publisher, who did literally everything for supporting this publication and to Haller Brun, the designers duo who made this book so beautiful and so appealing to everyone”.

The two other nominated publications are:

  • Hans den Hartog Jager, Het streven. Kan hedendaagse kunst de wereld verbeteren? Amsterdam, Athenaeum Polak & Van Gennep, 2014.
  • Giving and Taking, Antidotes to a Culture of Greed. With contributions by: Peter Sloterdijk, Marcel Hénaff, Zygmunt Bauman, Joris Luijendijk, Frank Vande Veire, Henk Oosterling, Lars Spuybroek, Reimar Schefold, Lewis Hyde, and Arjen Mulder. Ed. Joke Brouwer en Sjoerd van Tuinen. Rotterdam, V2_Publishing / nai010, 2014.

In 2014 the AICA Award was awarded to Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam for the exhibition “The Temptation of AA Bronson”.

The Fracture | Mircea Suciu at MNAC Bucharest

The Fracture
A project by Mircea Suciu

Curated by Maria Rus Bojan
4 June 2015 – 1 November 2015

MNAC/National Museum of Contemporary Art
Palace of the Parliament, wing E4
Izvor St. 2 – 4
050563
Bucharest, Romania
www.mnac.ro

The National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest presents ‘The Fracture’, a solo exhibition of Mircea Suciu, one of the most important young Romanian artists to emerge on the international art scene over the last years.

Imagined as a response to the challenge of exhibiting within a building with a strong symbolic meaning, such as the former ‘People’s House’, and the actual Palace of Parliament, ‘The Fracture’ proposes a reflection about image as a meta-narrative expression of the multiple ruptures and transformations from the contemporary world.

The artist makes use of iconic images that are assimilated as symbols of different historical epochs to indicate that both image and the artistic perception are historically encoded. Through a thorough operation of decoding, translation and reexamination of these symbols in a contemporary context, Mircea Suciu aims to reveal that the figures of history never disappear, but become specters that permanently accompany the present.

Critical approaches of a reality revealed through the fractures of history, the works from this exhibition express a singular artistic position, with a strong humanist content, investigating in depth the relationships between subjectivity, memory, image and representation.

Mircea Suciu’s exhibition ‘The Fracture’ will remain open at MNAC until 1st November 2015. The exhibition will be itinerated in 2016 at MoCAB – The Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrad.

For more information on the exhibition please contact: info@mnac.ro, tel: 0040.21.3189137; 0040.21.3139115 or mbartagency@gmail.com tel: 0031.614789395.

Exhibition realized with the support of Zeno X Gallery Antwerp and Group Transilvae, Bucharest.

The Keen Observer. Works by Cornel Brudascu and Alin Bozbiciu

Bildschirmfoto+2015-07-22+um+17.44.30The Keen Observer
Works by Cornel Brudascu and Alin Bozbiciu

Curated by Maria Rus Bojan

Exhibition dates: 12 June – 20 July 2015

Galleria Doris Ghetta
Pontives 83
9046 Ortisei (Bolzano)
Italy
www.dorisghetta.com

 

 

 

The Keen Observer is the first presentation in Italy of the renowned master of the Cluj School of Painting, the 78 years old painter Cornel Brudascu, in dialogue with the 26 years old artist Alin Bozbiciu, represented by Doris Ghetta Gallery.

This exhibition aims to explore the relationship of trust and mutual admiration between the master and his young disciple that is based on their common passion for painting, and also, on their deep affection for their canine companions.

Investigating the complex mechanisms of identification of the young artist with the master, and also of the master with his youngest student, this dialogue searches for the common features that underlie their decision to portray each other in their work, often accompanied by their dogs.

A source of inspiration for many artists of the Cluj art scene, such as Victor Man and Mircea Cantor, master Brudascu is known for his highly painterly and poetic canvases. Choosing simple themes as flowers, landscapes, and portraits, Brudascu’s paintings wrap his compositions in an aura of mystery that subtly refer to the painting of old masters.

While Alin Bozbiciu’s works address scenes of everyday life, his works never fully reveal themselves to the viewers. While the painterly technique bares clear references to the one of the master, by occulting intentionally the subject, Bozbiciu’s works become specifically contemporary. Focusing on a close study of the relationship between people and animals, his canvases instill a strong feeling of intimacy, revealing to the viewer to a new type of sensibility.

The selection of works that compose the exhibition aims at underlining that the relevant and beautiful things in life are very close. To reach them one should only become a keen and patient observer.

 

“Whispers, Ulay on Ulay”. Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, 09.01.2015

   Official launch of the book Whispers, Ulay on Ulay in collaboration with Valiz

Whispers. Ulay on ULayAuthors: Maria Rus Bojan and Alessandro CassiKeynote lecture by Amelia Jones, followed by a public conversation with the artist Ulay.January 9, 2015, 16 – 17:45 pm 

Teijin Auditorium, Stedelijk Museum. Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ, Amsterdam Reservations via reservations@stedelijk.nl

The Public Program is delighted to welcome the artist Ulay to the Stedelijk Museum for a series of events around his recent work and practice, including the new performance A Skeleton in the Closet on January 15, a book launch and public interview with performance scholar Amelia Jones on January 9, and a screening of the documentary Project Cancer (2013) on January 10. Perhaps best known for a series of intensely physical collaborations with Marina Abramović between 1976 and 1988, Ulay has spent five decades blazing a trail of unwavering vitality and unquestionable integrity. His independent work in photography as well as performance is among the most innovative and groundbreaking in 20th century and contemporary art. This stedelijk|forum afternoon, which is organized in collaboration with Valiz Publishers, is dedicated to the official launch of the publication Whispers:Ulay on Ulay, which offers a comprehensive overview of his oeuvre so far.

Whispers: Ulay on Ulay reveals an extremely innovative oeuvre that is coherently rooted in Ulay’s personal life philosophy, which is guided by strong ethical principles. The book attempts to uncover the threads that weave the seemingly disparate aspects of his work into a fabric of passionate pursuits, driven by a rigorous inner necessity. “I have produced a very bizarre body of work,” Ulay says of his artistic career. “I have experimented a lot. You have to if you are aiming at something that does not yet exist.” More information about Whispers: Ulay on Ulay.

For the official Amsterdam launch of Whispers: Ulay on Ulay, renowned art historian and performance scholar Amelia Jones will present a keynote lecture on the changing position of performance art. Starting in the 1960s and 1970s as a highly experimental art practice, taking place in small, independent art spaces, performance is now fully integrated in contemporary art practice: younger artists are engaging with performance in a way that is radically different from previous generations, museums are presenting ambitious and large-scale performance programs and even acquire them as “objects” for their collections, and performance is a common element of international art fairs and biennials. Jones will reflect on these developments, takingUlay’s broad and diverse artistic practice as a point of departure. Maria Rus Bojan, curator and co-author of Whispers: Ulay on Ulay with Alessandro Cassin, will then introduce the publication and its research premises. The afternoon concludes with a conversation between Ulay and Amelia Jones, focusing more on his contemporary work. Ulay is also available for a book signing.

For further information please access the Stedelijk Museum website. The book can be purchased here.

Mirror Stage, Seven Studies of Composition. Works by Cornel Brudascu and Alin Bozbiciu

Mirror Stage, Seven Studies of Composition
 
Works by Cornel Brudascu and Alin Bozbiciu 
Curated by Maria Rus Bojan

Opening: Thursday, November 27, 18-21 hrs
Exhibition dates: November 27, 2014 through January 31, 2015 

Le Plafond
Hazenstraat 28
1016 SR, Amsterdam
The Netherlands
 
Exhibition organized by Le Plafond and MB Art Agency in the framework of the Amsterdam Art Weekend, 2014.
Le Plafond is a project of Stigter van Doesburg and Martin van Zomeren.

Portrait of a Generation

 

Cornel Brudascu exhibition, 31st Oct. 2013 – 24th Nov. 2013, @Spatiu Intact, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Curator: Maria Rus Bojan

Portrait of a Generation is the first personal exhibition dedicated to the early works of painter Cornel Brudascu, one of the most influential artists in Romania and especially in Cluj, a mentor of many young artists. Along with his friends and colleagues Ana Lupaş and Mircea Spătaru, Cornel Brudaşcu is an emblematic figure of the 1970s neo-avant-garde, as well as one of very few Romanian artists whose early works can be assimilated to Pop Art. Known mainly through the myths that circulated about them and their work, this group of artists active in Cluj in the 1970s contributed to a radical change of paradigm—in both conceptual dimensions and artistic expression—that created a favorable context for artistic innovation for the generations to come.
This exhibition proposes the first historical restitution of Cornel Brudaşcu’s creation of the epoch, by bringing together a selection of rather unknown paintings from the collections of the museums in Cluj and Zalău. The exhibition opens up new perspectives aimed at providing a better understanding of the spiritual and conceptual aspects of his creation. It is therefore not by accident that this first personal exhibition of Cornel Brudaşcu bears the very suggestive title Portrait of a generation, since one of his preferred subjects of the period was the portrait. His compositions include portraits of his peers such as artist Ana Lupaş – the de facto leader of her generation, sculptor Mircea Spătaru, painters Nicolae Maniu and Ion Munteanu.
Assuming that time has a sense and thus also a material content, these compositions refuse to reveal the specific features of the persons in the portraits, therefore individualizing and objectifying them, opting instead for rendering a specific Zeitgeist that sheds a strong light on the group’s spirit of togetherness and cohesion. The only individual portrait in this selection is that of Ion Munteanu (the prematurely departed friend of the artist), a work that contains a conundrum as it questions how to conserve the spirit of the deceased person through a visual articulation that consequently indicates the dominant tendencies and spirit of their times.
In terms of pictorial representation, the portraits use a visual vocabulary that is partially based on Pop Art, although the artist interprets the subject in a highly personal manner. While it seems that Cornel Brudaşcu did not fully comprehend the aesthetic principles of this artistic movement, the artist had a good intuition about the contemporary changes in visual paradigm therefore introducing in his works visual elements appropriated from the Western advertising imagery and the experimental photography. The German magazine Pop Corn and other publications received occasionally form abroad served as his main sources of inspiration, along with the discovery of solarized pictures that were extremely appreciated in his circle.
Other two works included in this selection, “Young Men on a Building Site” and “Traian Vuia”, bridge the gap between artist’s earlier interest for pictorial innovation, and the next phase in his creation that focuses strictly on the artistic expression despite the obvious ideological themes imposed by the political power of the day. While looking to these paintings, the viewer might be confused by the artist’s decision of not clarifying his position about these subjects and the manner in which he has chosen to paint them. However, the colors make the painted surfaces to vibrate and the clash between the various type of artistic gestures are meant to release spiritual “energies”, articulating in this way a new kind of pictorial discourse that is conceptual and not mimetic.
Later, like many artists of the same generation, Cornel Brudaşcu’s interest had turn towards hyperrealism and, in the recent years, towards a highly personal expression that leans on the pictorial representation of the grand masters of universal painting. Although the exhibition gathers only a small number of his works, it allows us to understand the stylistic evolution of the painter, opening at the same time a world of pictorial expressions that are able to convey the philosophy and the truths of his generation.

Text by Maria Rus Bojan, available here.

Ich bin Ich: Ulay on Ulay

7th September – 6th October 2013, Salon Dahlmann, Berlin,
Curator: Maria Rus Bojan
Ich bin Ich: Ulay on UlayIchbinIch-Twee(nieuw)-1
Text retrieved from Salon Dahlmann:

“A pioneer of Polaroid photography and one of the pivotal figures of European performance art of the 1970s and 1980s, Uwe Laysiepen, better known in the art world as Ulay, is a singular presence among the artists of his generation. His radically innovative past work in partnership with Marina Abramovic has lately reached the highest degrees of critical acclaim worldwide. At the age of 70 however, Ulay finally reveals his best kept secrets: a startling oeuvre, coherently rooted in a personal life philosophy guided by strong ethical principles. This inner moral coherence in his approach to art making is only one of the coordinates that distinguishes him from most of his contemporaries. His works assert his commitment to critical thinking, his rejection of any form of authority and the courage to distance himself from market-based criteria of artistic legitimization. After gaining international notoriety during the 1970s and 1980s, Ulay has pursued his artistic endeavors largely away from the limelight of the media. This exhibition searches for the directional threads that merge the seemingly disparate aspects of his work into an ensemble of passionate pursuits, stemming from a rigorous, inner necessity. What transpires is a life lived without compromises, luminous in its intensity, often intersecting major art and social movements without deviating from his own trajectory. Ich Bin Ich: Ulay on Ulay is not a monographic examination of Ulay’s work, but rather an attempt to explore the connective tissue between his life and work, through a series of selected works spanning several important decades in his creation. Generously hosted by Salon Dahlmann, this exhibition is put together by Marta Gnyp, a Berlin based art historian and art advisor and Maria Rus Bojan, an art historian and curator from Amsterdam who, for the past years has been working on Ulay’s first major monograph, to be published in November 2013 by Valiz Amsterdam.

Biography: Born in 1943, in a bomb shelter in Solingen, Germany, Ulay is a war child. His lifelong struggle with his sense of “Germanity” turned him into a modern nomad, a cosmopolitan free thinker whose identity has never been defined by nationality. In the early 1970s, as a young man, he moved to Amsterdam, attracted by the constructive anarchy of the Provo’s Movement, where he began a lifelong adventure in photography. Analogue photography, Polaroid in particular, became the chosen media for an idiosyncratic body of work spanning from early radical self-examinations (Auto-Polaroid , Photo-Aphorisms, anagrammatic collages) to life-size Polaroids and Polagrams, exploring what Andrè Bazin referred to as “the ontological in the photographic image”. His twelve-year partnership with Marina Abramovic, from 1976 to 1988, produced a radically innovative body of work that explored couple dynamics, pushing the boundaries of physical and mental endurance. Their performances, initially carried out in alternative spaces attracted the attention of museum curators and ushered Performance Art into critical and media attention. Ulay and Abramovic’s final act, the Great Wall Walk, during which they each walked 2000 Km on China’s Great Wall toward each other, epitomizes their wish to blur the separation between life and art. Since the 1980s his travels and encounters with different cultures from the Tibetan Buddhists to Australian Aborigines, have broadened the scope of his humanistic approach and his view of mankind as transcending national, geographic and cultural barriers. His latest interest, the concern with artists’ representations of water, further merges ethical principles with a redefinition of art’s contribution to society.”

Ulay-on-Ulay_SalonDahlmann_06 Ulay-on-Ulay_SalonDahlmann_07 Ulay-on-Ulay_SalonDahlmann_15 Ulay-on-Ulay_SalonDahlmann_02 (1) Ulay-on-Ulay_SalonDahlmann_03 Ulay-on-Ulay_SalonDahlmann_05 Ulay-on-Ulay_SalonDahlmann_09 Ulay-on-Ulay_SalonDahlmann_11 Ulay-on-Ulay_SalonDahlmann_13 Ulay-on-Ulay_SalonDahlmann_14

Trauma of the Exposed Body

 

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Exhibition curated by Maria Rus Bojan

“Trauma of the Exposed Body” is the first solo exhibition of Ion Grigorescu at Prometeo Gallery‘s premises in Lucca, Italy. The exhibition revisits an important period from his creation, presenting works from the end of the 1970’s – when the artist investigated body issues through self-performative practices -, but also newer works, in which the body plays a central role. Within the recent history of Romanian art, Ion Grigorescu has been one of the first artists who examined the social and cultural significance of body art, providing a new conceptual framework for defining a particular neo-avantgarde that underlines the dramatic shift in the conception of the artistic subject. Embracing a rather particular mix of approaches and spiritual perspectives, Ion Grigorescu practices body art as a mode of transfiguring himself, and as a tool to interrogate the very meaning of his own existence, and also the human condition in general.

“Trauma of the Exposed Body” is an artistic approach that reiterates the idea that the essence of life is inscribed on our body. Referring to the biblical moment when Adam and Eve, having disobeyed God by tasting fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, lose their innocence, becoming suddenly aware of their naked bodies, Grigorescu emphasizes his own trauma caused by the revealing of his nude body in front of divinity. A practicing Christian and an artist who earned his existence by painting orthodox churches, Grigorescu underlines that the biblical sense of nudity indicates man’s spiritual purity and therefore, it is not a sacrilege or an offense to present himself naked in front of God.

The exhibition describes the artist’s struggle to conciliate the fundamental contradiction between his desire of experiencing the nakedness as an expression of primordial spiritual purity and the traumatic acknowledgement of the original sin. Considering that too many layers had covered the spiritual nakedness of this world, Ion Grigorescu has chosen the oldest churches from Lucca, the 10th century Romanic Basilica San Matteo as a background for a spiritual unfolding of his rituals of harmonizing the body and mind. One can perceive this performative approach as ritual of healing and of liberation from all the dogmas and prejudices.
Conceived to work as a single installation, the display alternates projected images referring to Christianity from his 1970’s most famous series of photographic works, such as “Ritual Bath” and “Washing with Light “ with mundane elements such as, “White Wash”, “ Braiding Hair”, “Athletics” or “Box Yoga”, and with a more recent video projection entitled “Start”. The aim is to create the impression of a performative frieze that adds a different layer to the already sacred and charged space of the church.

Now and Then: Between Layers of Memory

A project by Iosif Király, at Castrum Peregrini, 23rd Nov 2012-7th Feb. 2013. Curated by Maria Rus Bojan.

Now and Then: Between Layers of Memory is a project in two episodes that presents Iosif Király’s ongoing photographic investigation on the dialectical relation between history, architecture and collective identity. The first part of the project consists of a selective presentation of Király’s most famous series – generically entitled “Reconstructions”, works that were recently featured in solo shows at Camera Austria, Kunsthaus Graz (2010), and also in two consecutive exhibitions within Photo Espana, in Cuenca (2009) and Madrid (2011). For the second part of the project, during his residency at Castrum Peregrini in Amsterdam, Király will produce a new work, to be displayed in the foundations “hiding place”, the famous third floor of the building Herengracht 401, where many persecuted youngsters found shelter during the WWII, and which later became an intellectual playground for many generations of Dutch and international artists, writers and philosophers. Trained primarily as an architect, and holding a PhD in visual arts, Iosif Király (born in 1957) is considered one of the most important Romanian artists of his generation. Since 1992 he is an Associate Professor at the National University of Arts Bucharest, where in 1995 he co-founded the Department of Photography and Time-based Media Art. From 1990, Király has been involved in various art projects, individually and in the art group subREAL. Since 2000, he has collaborated with a team of architects for a photo-documentary project on the changes in daily life and urban environment in post-communist Romania.

Like the metaphor of the “longue durée”, a concept launched by the French historian Fernand Braudel and The Annales School, the spatial coherence of Kiraly’s reconstructed images highlights the timeless continuity of all those mental and environmental structures of society that imperceptibly determine the course of the history and a specific cultural identity.
Outlining that architecture and landscape are crucial components in shaping collective memory and in creating and reflecting identities. Király’s “Reconstructions” speak of the need to resist the erasure of history, through a process that emotionally conserves the artist’s most intense remembrances about people and places. Composed by images taken from the same location and approximately from the same vantage point at different moments (minutes, days, even months or years later), these “reconstructions” articulate a multilayered visual field where each snapshot acts as a byte of information and memory. The result is a spatially coherent meta-picture in which, at a closer look, all the historical iscontinuities and ideological breaks are visible.
In various ways and to different extents, Király’s works, which subtly combine humor and melancholy, inform on these key aspects that subliminally work in the collective consciousness of a city, a region or a country, archiving the very process of creation of identity: from the past memory to the present existence and opening up future horizons.’

Text available here.

Performing History – Venice Biennale 2011

Venice Biennale 2011 logo
Romanian Pavilion at the 54th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di VeneziaGiardini di Castello – Venice, 4.06.2011 – 27.11.2011. With Ion Grigorescu and the artist duo Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkacova. Curated by Maria Rus Bojan and Ami Barak with the collaboration of Bogdan Ghiu, the magazine IDEA arts+society and IRES.

TuthankamonIon Grigorescu – Hamlet, 1998, digital print 240cm x 150cm, courtesy the artist:Hamlet, by Ion Grigorescu
Anetta Mona Chișa and Lucia Tkacova – White painted text on the facade of the Romanian Pavilion:Romanian Pavilion, Biennale di Venezia 2011

Tales of the Unexpected

Laurence Aëgerter, John Bock, Rossella Biscotti & Kevin van Braak, Josef Bolf, Călin Dan, Irina Dumitrascu, Liu Gang, Boukje Janssen, Jeroen Jongeleen, Jesper Just, Ana Maria Micu, Ciprian Mureşan, Sanja Medic, Navid Nuur, Ahmet Öğüt, Onno Poiesz, Wilfriedo Prieto, Kathrin Schlegel & Hagen Betzwieser, Daniel de Roo, Ulay, Carine Weve.

Curators: Maria Rus Bojan & Radek Váňa
03.02.2010 – 07.02.2010
Produced by Project Foundation, and MB Art Agency for Art Rotterdam. Hosted by Dek 22 Rotterdam. 

Tales of the Unexpected
Tales of the Unexpected

FAST FORWARD, Romanian Contemporary Painting Today

FAST FORWARD, Romanian Contemporary Painting Today
Oana Fărcaş, Adrian Ghenie, Victor Man, Ana Maria Micu, Cătălin Petrişor, Victor Răcătău, Şerban Savu
Curator: Maria Rus Bojan
28.11. 2009 – 10.01. 2010
C-projects, Toussaintkade 49, The Hague, NL

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“…Expectations” Exhibition

….EXPECTATIONS
Emily Bates, Calin Dan, Sagi Groner, Boukje Janssen, Inti Hernandez, Iosif Kiraly, Matthieu Laurette, Alexandra Leykauf, Sanja Medic, Ana Maria Micu, Sebastian Diaz Morales, Catalin Petrisor, Ilya Rabinovich, Victor Racatau, Kathrin Schlegel, Ulay, Vera Weisgerber, Carine Weve, Xing Danwen, Maria Zervou

Curated by Maria Rus Bojan
16.05.2009 – 4.07.2009
MB Art Agency Project Space
Barbara Strozzilaan 314-316, Amsterdam

Expectation exhibition IMG_5479 IMG_5480 IMG_5494 IMG_5496

Strategies for Concealing – C-Space, Beijing

Artists: Emily Bates, Xing Danwen, Sagi Groner, Boukje Janssen, Chris Jones, Iosif Kiraly, Ana Maria Micu, Sebastian Diaz Morales, Catalin Petrisor, Victor Racatau, Kathrin Schlegel, Marike Schuurman, Levi van Veluw, Carine Weve, Dr. Stefan Tiron & Scientific Secretary Alexandra Croitoru (WMDIC). November 22nd, 2008 – February 8th, 2009.
Curated by Maria Rus Bojan for C-Space, Beijing.

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“C- Space is pleased to present Strategies for Concealing, an international group exhibition curated by Maria Rus Bojan. The exhibition will display over 30 pieces from 15 artists from Argentina, The Netherlands, England, Romania, Israel and China, including newly created work.
Bringing together this international group of artists, many of whom are showing in a Chinese context for the first time, the exhibition Strategies for Concealing proposes an investigation on how artists produce new meanings by using, appropriating or subverting camouflage techniques and practices.
The exhibition intends to question what the role of concealment is and how it manifests itself in a time where everything around us is becoming more invisible. Examples abound, from military advances to financial institutions and the movements of capital to nano-technology and bio-cybernetics.Rather than de-cloaking that which was once camouflaged, the works presented in this exhibition accentuate the contradictions that result at the intersection of various strategies of concealment, pointing with irony to excessive “concealing for concealments sake” techniques and making more visible emerging visual incongruities. Spanning ideas from scientific and technological camouflage to techniques employed by the military, from biology to aesthetics, the artists invited offer a dialectical response to the question of what camouflage means right now.”

Text published on www.catalinpetrisor.com. Catalogue available.

Art in the New Field of Visibility

International Symposium, Friday 19th and Saturday 20th January from 10.00 hour
Concept: Bogdan Ghiu, Maria Rus Bojan
Participants: Pascal Beausse, Corin Braga, Edwin Carels, Emilian Cioc, Irina Cios, Ann Demeester, prof. dr. David Garcia, Bogdan Ghiu, Katarina Gregos, Sagi Groner, Hanneke Grootenboer (o.v.), prof. dr. Boris Groys, Khalil Joreige, Eric Kluitenberg, Vesna Madzoski, Nataša Petrešin, Jean-Christophe Royoux, Bart Rutten, prof. dr. Rolf Sachsse, Ive Stevenheydens, Suzanne van de Ven. Saturday January 20th at 12.00 h. Lecture Prof Dr. Boris Groys

Cristian Pogăcean, “The Abduction from the Seraglio”, 2006 Woolen carpet, manufactured, 110 x 160 cm, Edition of two plus one artist´s proof. Photo: Cristi Pogacean, Sebastien De Ganay Collection. Courtesy: Galeria Plan-B, Cluj-Berlin.24_pogacean3

“Within the context of the debate about the role and function of image in our society, the symposium “Art in the new field of visibility” attempts to create a broader framework for comprehending the recent metamorphosis of all the communication forms and the implications of this process in the art field. The emergence of a new synthesis of the worldwide communications field has generated an interesting process of unifying the semiotic distinctions between words and images, between art and non-art, between visibility and non-visibility. This process reveals a paradigm shift that is dramatically altering the boundaries, calling for new strategies of research and approach, adjusted continuously to the increasing complexity of our world.

Through four interdisciplinary panel discussions, the participants at the symposium will attempt to decipher the various aspects and features of our predominantly visual culture, exploring artists’ reaction to the generalized media experience and to stereotypes and globalization. Topics referring to the new regimes of image as a consequence of living in a transparent society, as well as topics referring to the crisis of representation and the existing situation of visual homogenization, will also be discussed.”

Description of New Media Art Institute. Publication: RE:LOCATION 1-7 / SHAKE – VOLUME 1 + 2, Catalogue (volume 1 + 2) documenting the Re:Location 1-7 / Shake project.

Ready Media

Curator: Maria Rus Bojan

“In the framework of the program Art in the New Field of Visibility and under the title Ready Media, The Netherlands Institute For Media Art presents an exhibition with works by 10 international artists: Pierre Bismuth, Heather & Patrick Burnett- Rose, Claude Closky, Sagi Groner, Sami Kallinen, Matthieu Laurette, Gabriel Lester, Anna Maltz, Cristi Pogacean, Julika Rudelius. The exhibition aims to explore the various intersections and complex interactions between image creation, production and communication, within the context of the debate about the role and the function of image in our society.
Coined in 1995, by the Kinema Ikon artists’ group, Ready Media concept was used to signalize the stereotypical visions induced by the media culture and the self evidence that surrounds the experience of seeing.
Considering this concept as the most appropriate one to define the chameleonic visual synthesis of our time, the curator of the exhibition aims to critically approach this problematic, researching how these visual constructs reveal a new regime of image and artistic language. According to Maria Rus Bojan, Ready Media represents an artistic reality. Following the generalization and standardization of the ready-made aesthetic, we are witnessing now a substantive inversion of art, a complex dynamic which can be understood around two main vectors: on the one hand, a continued and renewed Duchampian aesthetic; on the other hand the traditional ways of expressing the human experience and social interaction overlaid with excessive information from a multiplicity of sources.
Based on an increasingly sophisticated use of images, the Ready Media visual discourses juxtapose references from different contexts, different media, different historical periods and social experiences, weaving all these together into a texture which defines a symbolic construction with new visual qualities. Re-using the already valorized images or other elements from media, which in this context function as signs, artists create new semantic shifts, breaking up the “ready made” perceptions which media generates, making us also more aware about our own process of perception.
The works selected for this exhibition reflect artists’ different strategies, attitudes and reactions to the generalized media experience. Media codifies the human and, in this context, escaping from its bondages, transcending its rules appears to be the only way of re-conquering freedom.”

Exhibited from 18th Jan 2007-10th Feb. 2007. Text published by Netherlands Art Media Institute.