We all need an Autocenter
Founded in 2001 by Joep van Liefland and Maik Schierloh, the Autocenter has become, in the last months, one of the most important spaces for contemporary art in Berlin. Of course, the invitation from the last Berlin Biennial to show in their fake Gagosian Gallery has been putting a lot of light on that projektraum (for a serious and complete definition of that word, see the special issue “Berlin” from FGA). But the two founding members were clever enough to produce in that context an event that will not establish or promote Autocenter as a “label”. They simply built up with tires and car parts, light and sexy posters, a proper garage in Berlin-Mitte. The name was the program.
The last time I was in the big white cube located in the surroundings of the S-Station Ostkreuz (one of the most depressing locations I have ever seen...), a commercial gallerist that was visiting the opening carefully looked at the portfolio of the previous exhibitions, writing on a piece of paper the names of artists that could be interesting. And his shopping list became quickly longer than a Xmas wish-list. The Autocenter, with exhibitions lasting only a weekend, is a dynamic and exceptional place with a broad view from contemporary art. Within the last months we have seen there Damien Deroubaix, a french painter that deals with grindcore and trash culture. A large video installation of Markus Draper evoking a haunted house. Some sculptural-paintings from Eva Seufert, Ulrich Emmert and Norbert Witzgall made a picturesque duo, and Marike Schuurman hang her black and white photographs... Etc.
But the important fact is that Autocenter has been able to develop some no-profile as a profile. Nowadays many small and young independent art spaces are finding a line that they consciously follow to quickly build up an image and an existence in an over-informed and over-competitive world. One will be dealing with art that thinks about art, another will show figurative-post-expressionist-paintings when the neighbor will focus on scandinavian political art... The Autocenter however, in its large selection and openness, remains a place for surprises and discoveries.
But the point with those spaces is that they can propose things that neither a gallery nor a museum could do. Like the younger place called Homies that was, on sunday november 26th, inviting all the collectors of the artist Tatjana Doll to bring their pieces and leave them there for the duration of the exhibition. The artworks will not be for sale: they are already owned by people. No curator, nothing to buy (except the few beers you might drink during the opening) and a lot of good mood and good food (visitors where invited, on top of bringing their art pieces, to contribute to the buffet). Like the Autocenter, they are building a community of people that share the same hedonistic vision of art. A moment of fun and pleasure, of intellectual quality and unexpected breakthrough.
^Thibaut de Ruyter, curator and editor based in Berlin
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Dual exhibitions showcase new work by Hockney, and his choice of Turners.
Charlotte Higgins, arts correspondent
Monday April 16, 2007
The greatest ever painter of watercolour landscapes will be joined at Tate Britain this summer by one of the most celebrated modern exponents of the form. An exhibition of JMW Turner's watercolour landscapes will be selected by David Hockney, working with Tate curators. And in a parallel exhibition, Hockney's landscapes of the east Yorkshire countryside will be shown, including recent work never seen in this country.
The five new, hitherto unseen Hockney oil paintings, each about 12ft long, depict the same view in Woldgate Woods in east Yorkshire.
Last year, the artist returned to the same spot five times between March and November. At a forking path in the forest he set up his equipment and made his large, six-panel oil paintings. Each took him a couple of days to complete as he worked in situ.
Each painting is strikingly different. In late March, when the leaves have yet to burst their buds, the view is all rich purple, lime and orange, the trees stark and architectural. In May, the colours have softened to luscious greens, which by July have deepened so that they have an almost luminous quality.
Contrasting versions painted in November show the cool clarity of autumn sun, and the greyish-creamy mistiness of a cold, hazy morning.
The Bradford-born Hockney has become increasingly obsessed by the east Yorkshire landscape. His links to the countryside there began when he worked on the land as a young man; and he has returned regularly over the years to visit family in Bridlington.
The landscape, which he describes as having "the sort of wide vistas you get all the time in the American west", started to become his focus around four years ago, when he started to produce watercolours - which allowed him to capture the changing moods of the weather quickly - in situ. Now he is concentrating on painting in oils. He loads up his pickup truck with his equipment and drives until he finds a spot he wants to paint. Then he absorbs the view, looking intently for a couple of hours before picking up a brush and painting quickly, with enormous concentration.
Hockney, who celebrates his 70th birthday next summer, said he was looking forward to the chance to "study in depth the Tate's extraordinary collection of Turner's watercolours. This is one of the most exciting mediums for an artist to work with." As part of his work on the Turner show, Hockney will present a selection of Turner's exploratory colour studies along with his own commentary on the artist's methods in constructing perspectives and patterns of colour and light.
Turner's watercolours have been in the limelight this year after the Tate managed to raise £4.95m to save the late masterpiece The Blue Rigi for the nation after a five-week public appeal. It will be one of the highlights of the exhibition, which will include 165 works, including Turner's beautiful studies of the Thames, which he made on the spot in notebooks.
Stephen Deuchar, director of Tate Britain, said: "This is a rare opportunity for us to mount an exhibition of Turner's greatest watercolours, which due to conservation reasons can only occasionally be exhibited. I am delighted that David Hockney has agreed to work with us on the exhibition. It will show the development of the virtuoso techniques that enabled Turner first to paint watercolours that could compete with oil paintings, and later to transform all aspects of his art by their example."
· Hockney on Turner Watercolours and David Hockney: The East Yorkshire Landscape both open at Tate Britain, London, on June 11
Geplaatst door anonymous op Tuesday, April 17, 2007