Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Gerhard Richter

Cork, Ireland - Gerhard Richter is the most internationally recognized German artist today, with his work spanning nearly fifty years. Gerhard Richter: Survey is a retrospective exhibition presented by ifa, the German Institute of Cultural Relations, continuing its series of exhibitions dedicated to individual contemporary artists, which began in 1989 with the artist Joseph Beuys. In this case ifa invited the artist to actively participate in the selection process. The resulting collection of twenty-seven works give an insight into all the phases of Richter's creative work .

The title is taken from a work by Richter from 1998 in which he made a chart listing important artists, poets, philosophers, musicians and architects by date, without any evaluation or commentary. This process of noting the individual figure, or in this case, artwork, seeing it as a part of a historical sequence, is well suited to the current exhibition, which includes work exemplifying many of the motifs and ideas addressed by Richter in his work.

The fundamental theme of Gerhard Richter’s artistic practice – underlying the various motifs, stylistic approaches and art historical references – is and remains the art of painting itself. Richter is credited with reviving painting as a medium during a period many artists preferred to work in performance and ready-made media. He saw the need to separate art from art history, and strove for new ways of painting, focusing on the image rather than the reference and the visual rather than the statement.

As a contrast to painting, Gerhard Richter uses its modern counterpart in the depiction of reality, photography. It was the year 1962 that he first took a photograph as the starting point for the act of painting. Since then, he has systematically collected photographs as patterns or 'first layers' for his paintings. Thus emerged an archive of private and public photos from 1945 up to today, consisting of newspaper photos, snapshots by amateurs, as well as his own photographs – all of which were exhibited for the first time in 1972 under the title 'Atlas'. From this storehouse of photographs, Gerhard Richter chooses his motifs, which he then enlarges or perhaps uses only a detail from.

Through the precise reproduction of the original with all its lack of sharp definition, the picture points to the fact that it comes from the realm of photography, and to its origins in the banal world of pictures in mass media or amateur photography. The motive of the painting remains vague, as Richter reduces to tones of gray, in his translation of photography into painting. Thus he removes painting from the object, which, at the end of the 60s in the so-called 'Grey Pictures', completely disappears in the colour grey – for Richter, this is the colour of indifference, of nothing. The artist later returns to colour and finds his way to a complex method of painting in layers, producing the abstract paintings of the 1980s.

A catalogue of the exhibition is available. An Exhibition of the Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa), Stuttgart, Germany Visit Lewis Glucksman Gallery, University College Cork, Ireland - Website www.glucksman.org

Julika Rudelius

495 Broadway, 3rd floor

Before entering the dark room in which Julika Rudelius presents Forever, 2006, her latest video, one notices a group of photographs portraying five beautiful, mature women. Later, one recognizes four of these ladies as the subjects of the artist’s two-screen projection. In various yet uncannily similar settings—among the luxurious grounds of various Hamptons estates—the women express in a confessional manner their thoughts on such universal topics as beauty, aging, and privilege. Lounging on poolside chairs or wandering through gardens, they respond to an absent interviewer’s prompts, narrating their hopes and anxieties as if analyzing their own emotional condition while ostensibly posing for the camera. Revealing the creative apparatus challenges the truthfulness of these seemingly personal accounts, leading the viewer to wonder whether the stories are factual or fictional and whether these figures exist or whether they are hybrids composed, psychologically, by actresses in consultation with the artist. This fabrication of the real is one of Rudelius’s preoccupations, as exemplified by Economic Primacy, 2005, in which five successful men meditate on the omnipotence of money. However, it hits a more disquieting note in Forever, as the characters, though realistic, offer opinions that sound patently contradictory. For example, one woman, possessing unnaturally smooth skin for someone her age, recounts a conversation with her son in which she declared she would never undergo grotesque plastic surgery; here the assertion seems to belie the visual evidence. This exhibition, Rudelius’s first solo outing in New York, thus furthers her quest to draw together the intimate dimension of individual lives with a politically engaged sensibility.

—MIguel Amado

Monday, July 23, 2007

It’s definitely a bubble, but when it will burst is anybody’s guess

By Richard Feigen |

Almost by definition, bubbles, whether of soap, oil, water or art, eventually burst. So as art prices rocket ever more skyward with each auction, the word “bubble” is heard ever more frequently: is the art market a bubble? Will it burst? When? All this is taken seriously enough that I was asked to give a talk on the subject on 2 June at the Harvard Business School.

Before even trying to come up with answers, it is important to note that just as there is no single art market, but many, prices in some areas have barely budged in almost 20 years. And the works which have soared in price are not necessarily the most important historically, while those which have stagnated or declined in price are sometimes of great artistic and aesthetic merit. If a bubble, or bubbles, exist in the fine arts—as opposed to the decorative arts—it is in the highly-touted trendy contemporary market; in the late 19th and 20th centuries; and in markets that appeal to Russia and the newly super-rich Asian countries. The 16th and 17th century Italian, French and Flemings; the 18th and 19th-century British; and the pre-Impressionist French have been forgotten in this inundation of liquidity into the art market.

The sources of the “bubble”, if such it be, trace back to the mid 1980s. It was then that art began its transformation from luxury to fungible asset, from bagatelle to investment. Banks started to lend money on art and form “art advisory” departments. Auction houses began providing “guarantees”, “advances” and “financial services” to buyers and sellers. Art had been monetised.

It had become clear that, as the Japanese poured money into the market and came to dominate it, the problem in the future was to be supply, not demand; that money could be printed but art could not, and that the supply could run out. Most importantly, and largely at the time to service the Japanese market, the auction houses spawned ravenous monsters—marble palaces all over the world, huge staffs, sumptuous cataloguing departments, catering staffs—which required massive feeding, and the food was running out.

Then suddenly, in the mid 1990s, the Japanese vanished. Despite the fact that Japanese buying had focused primarily on the impressionists and the school of Paris, the whole art market collapsed. The banks and auction houses pulled in their horns, laying off staff, closing branches, withholding guarantees. Weaker firms like Phillips were taken over. Trendy contemporary artists were no longer trendy, aggressive dealers who had pirated them from their old galleries now hid under their desks when clients tried to unload the work. The auction houses were losing money and Sotheby’s shares plunged. The bubble had burst.

Few professionals could have imagined another bubble, more than a decade later, bigger by far than the Japanese bubble. No one could have imagined the Russian government lavishing its national assets on a handful of “oligarchs”; a bellicose band of Washington neo-cons printing hundreds of billions of dollars to devastate Iraq; or the immense potential of the Chinese economy, and its apparent and by no means inevitable affinity for western art. Even if one anticipated an eventual shift of economic primacy from West to East, there was no assurance that Asians would cleave to western art. After all, the newly affluent Indians, even in diaspora, focus entirely on indigenous painters.

But on 16 May, in Christie’s contemporary sale in New York, the Warhol Green Car Crash was rumoured to have been bought by a Chinese collector for $71,720,000, and the same buyer supposedly underbid the Rothko White Center which sold for $72,840,000. At the Sotheby’s sale on 8 May, a Russian was seen in a sky-box in a black shirt, with a bottle of champagne and a blonde, bidding on and apparently buying for $23,280,000 a second-rate Feininger that would not have fetched $3m two years earlier. There was a time, not long ago, when if a painting appeared within five years of a previous auction sale, it would be deemed “burned” and unsaleable. The auctioneers wouldn’t even accept it. Now works appear almost immediately after previous sales, and it doesn’t matter. There is a new supply of speculators at each sale who are either unaware of the past or don’t care. The new bubble is filling with vast liquidity from all over the planet.

Now absurdities abound in the market. Which supports the presumption that this is indeed a bubble, that there is almost infinite liquidity out there looking for places to park, and that one of the parking lots, along with over-valued assets like real estate, is art. Are we deceived by limited price inflation into ignoring the kind of asset inflation we saw in the 1980s? The question is: just because something is called “art”, is it really art? Does hype and brilliant marketing create any genuine art-historical significance, any permanent value? Are these new mega-buyers using their eyes or their ears? Not long ago, one of the major contemporary collectors intimated to me, in all seriousness, that Andy Warhol was a greater artist than Leonardo da Vinci. I knew Andy Warhol, and liked him, but a genius he was not. Notwithstanding that, a private sale of his Turquoise Marilyn at $80m followed the $72m Christie’s sale.

To even postulate that a diamond-encrusted Damien Hirst skull, For the Love of God (left), at £50m ($100m) can be even remotely compared to Lord Halifax’s Titian portrait, one of the great pictures remaining in English private hands, still on the market at a comparable price, is patently absurd. To equate flashy materials, a pretentious title, and platoons of security with aesthetic significance is naive. There has been no question of Titian’s essential place in art history, even since his own long life-time, of his influence on generations of artists. There can never be a reassessment of Titian’s place. But Damien Hirst, despite his own and his dealers’ brilliant public relations, is being increasingly regarded as derivative, a businessman promoter, as is his colleague Jeff Koons. One can imagine, when this bubble bursts, as burst it must, the platinum diamond-encrusted skull being melted down for whatever value can be salvaged. Does mere shock or incongruity, upon which such artists as Hirst, Koons, and Cattelan and Murakami rely, suffice?

That we are in the midst of a bubble seems apparent. But what kind of bubble, what will cause it to burst, and when will it happen? The bubble certainly doesn’t span the whole art market because there are significant undervalued lacunae. Now it seems that even if there is a geographical shift in economic power, and even if there is a shift away from the dollar, art—even western art—will survive as an alternate repository of wealth. But trendiness must shift, and what is now merely trendy will not remain trendy. There will be much carnage. Speculators will be burned, and their burning will trigger a selective flight from the market and the bursting of one of the “bubbles”. The auction houses won’t care because they have no ongoing responsibility to their clients, and there will be an endless supply of contemporary art, of the newly trendy, that they can help promote to feed these insatiable monsters.

Perhaps the bubble-burst will be triggered by a western economic downturn, affecting Asian markets as well. Perhaps a decline in hedge fund prosperity will hit the equities markets and the contemporary art market. Perhaps national or international politics, wars or energy prices, will intervene. Something is bound to happen. The distortions in art market values are too blatant to be sustained. But when? Who knows?

The writer is director of Richard L. Feigen & Co. in New York and author of “Tales from the Art Crypt” (Knopf, 2000)


Fernand Leger: Above all, it is a matter of loving art, not understanding it.

Henry Moore: There's no retirement for an artist, it's your way of living so there's no end to it.

Balthus: Painting is a language which cannot be replaced by another language. I don’t know what to say about what I paint, really.

William Dobell: A sincere artist is not one who makes a faithful attempt to put on to canvas what is in front of him, but one who tries to create something which is, in itself, a living thing.

Jim Morrison: O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives.

Damien Hirst: I just wanted to find out where the boundaries were. I've found out there aren't any. I wanted to be stopped but no one will stop me.

Jackson Pollock: The method of painting is the natural growth out of a need. I want to express my feelings rather than illustrate them.

Pierre Bonnard: It's not a matter of painting life, it's a matter of giving life to painting.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Swetlana Heger

Thierry Goldberg Projects, New York, USA

In East Berlin in 1961, following Nikita Khrushchev’s public disclosure of Stalinist atrocities, Stalinallee, the city’s grand postwar boulevard and a prime example of ideological city planning, was abruptly renamed Karl-Marx-Allee. The bronze statue of the dictator that capped the avenue was torn down. But other cracks in GDR ideology soon appeared, and to prevent the migration of people from East to West, the Berlin Wall was erected the same year.

The fate of that forgotten statue is at the core of Swetlana Heger’s newest work, ‘Animal Farm’ (2007). Starting with concrete fact, Heger quickly delves into a territory that indexes the points at which urban myth blurs with historical accuracy. She faithfully delineates a narrative that may or may not be factually true, but which almost certainly points to a larger truth about the rapid remoulding of ideologies. According to the story doggedly pursued (or constructed, depending on your point of view) by Heger, the defunct Stalin monument was melted down and its bronze recycled and reincarnated as animal statuettes. Scattered throughout the parks of Berlin, these representations of apes, giraffes, chickens, bears and donkeys stray into the territory of public kitsch, even as they effectively enact a humble antithesis to the bombast of the original statue.

For ‘Animal Farm’ Heger methodically tracked down and photographed these sculptures, recording them in a series of sombre black and white images. Despite the grim quality of the images – the parks are devoid of human life, and the sky seems permanently overcast – there is a sly humour derived from the inconsistency between the deadpan documentary tone of the photography and the childishly whimsical forms of the statues themselves. Certainly anti-heroic, seemingly anti-ideological, the statues – by way of their origin – are nonetheless infused with historical and ideological significance. ‘Animal Farm’ has to do with the persistent contamination of history and the residue left in the wake of grand historical gestures, whether physical or ideological.

With clear nods to George Orwell and Alain Robbe-Grillet, it’s difficult to ignore the distinctly allegorical strain of this new work. Heger is well known for her ‘Playtime’ series (2002), a set of collaborations with luxury brands ranging from Hermes to Adidas, in which the artist posed with various status objects. ‘Animal Farm’ maintains Heger’s clear concern with the role of cultural artefacts in our society, with the ways in which we use them to construct, to obscure or to deny meaning. That thematic preoccupation with interpretation follows on a fascination with methods of production (a process Heger refers to as ‘construction plates’) as well as a recurring preoccupation with distribution – the networks, likely and unlikely, that distribute material and objects through our society.

Formally the presentation of the photographs – all of which are placed in customized candy-coloured frames, a jarring contrast that positions them more as seductive products than the result of an investigative photographic survey – provides a visual link between this project and Heger’s previous work and her ongoing interest in the act of contextualization and dislocation. The artist is clearly concerned with the reproduction and proliferation of the image. At the same time she is well aware of the way in which context alters meaning (in Quite Normal Luxury, her 2001 work made in collaboration with Plamen Dejanov, the significance and value of everything from a BMW car to vehicle engineering drawings is changed by their placement in a gallery) and is specific with regard to the context in which the ‘Playtime’ fashion images are seen.

Highlighting the recontextualization and recycling of cultural products – whether designer goods or political monuments – is hardly ground-breaking. But in her current project’s examination of long-standing historical and cultural facts and fictions Heger achieves something new. In this more sober series she demonstrates the range of her thought, and argues that, in a culture dominated by shiny surfaces and increasingly short-term memories, the dark past is unexpectedly present, lingering in the child-friendly forms of a baby giraffe or a cuddly bear in a quiet city park.

Katie Kitamura



Photography can easily fake things. In order to fake them, you have to know the subject even better than usual: you must become the creator, the primus movens. GOD BEFORE THE SEVEN DAYS. But seven days are not enough for Thomas Demand to create his Processo Grottesco, because - lets say it - God can make mistakes, but Demand can’t. The grotto took him two long years to be accomplished.
After many great shows, (to mention also Comizi di Non Amore by Francesco Vezzoli in 2005) Fondazione Prada is hosting Processo Grottesco by Thomas Demand at Isola of S. G. Maggiore in Venice.
The idea of the re-enactment, re-stage is becoming a big topic nowadays. There is a need of coming back to primordial, more primal images rather than being forced to produce original yet not so original new ideas. Without prehistory there wouldn’t be cavemen. I even suspect that prehistoric inscriptions were the first movies (don’t bullshit me with the Lumiere Bros).

When you enter Processo Grottesco you start feeling like a child in front of a big aquarium. This real size cave, illuminated from the back by a strong cold white light with all the possible stalagmites + stalactites (not even one was missing!) can give you quite a feeling. Before the Big Thing there are 2 long displays showing studies and researches of the Grotto. It must have been a long journey for Demand, not only to build such a huge cave, but all the acknowledgments took probably even more than 2 years.
Shall I carry on with the description or should I leave it to some Darwinist bystander? I think it’s better in order not to get insulted by the real experts…

While Processo Grottesco is emotional and colossal, Yellowcake is witty and dry. Essential in their presentation, the photographs stand out for their subtle political aspect and for their ‘sad story’. Demand re-staged the offices of the Nigerian embassy in Rome, located in an ex fascist building, after being robbed and messed up by the burglars. Obviously the story is more complex than that.

The Niger uranium forgeries refers to falsified classified documents initially revealed by Italian intelligence. These documents depict an attempt by the regime of Iraq's Saddam Hussein to purchase yellowcake uranium from the African country of Niger during the Iraq disarmament crisis.

On the basis of these documents and other indicators, the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom asserted that Iraq had attempted to procure nuclear material for the purpose of creating what they called weapons of mass destruction, referred to as WMD, in defiance of United Nations sanctions.
Yellowcake, a mixture of different uranium oxides and other uranium compounds, is a product of an intermediary stage in the production of enriched uranium for use in a nuclear reactor or a nuclear weapon.

Even though the affirmation was based on false intelligence (Italian and French secret services and CIA were involved) and people were informed after a few months, nobody dares to talk about it or even to mention it. Everybody forgets.

The interesting aspect about these pictures is the calculated realness of them. You wouldn’t guess those are model all made in paper: paper ashtray, paper table, paper pencils, drawers, elevator, doors, EVERYTHING entirely cut and glued together.
The wittiness of all this stands in how real fake things can be, and that art-works can witness a historical – political event better than daily news.
Overall I am utterly surprised by the brave artistic choices of Fondazione Prada, also thanks to Germano Celant’s presence.
Miuccia Prada is not only putting a lot of effort and energy in her art projects – she takes her own risks by showing strong social-political statements.

So if you feel like a good trip to the Dolomiti, don’t bother go there – go to Thomas Demand in Venice, it’s far more realistic than the real cave.

Let’s face it, drinking Negroni suspended on Miu Miu platforms while watching art really pays it off!

Processo Grottesco - Fondazione Prada - Isola of S. G. Maggiore - Venice

Friday, July 13, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

You don't have to be mad...

Linking artistic genius and insanity is a romantic folly - isn't it? Alexander Linklater delves into the sources of creativity in light of a new exhibition

Saturday July 7, 2007

Associations between madness and art are as old as western culture. Aristotle identified a tendency to melancholia in the artistic temperament; Shakespeare produced multiple variations on the theme of lunatics and poets being "of imagination all compact"; and Dryden coined the notion of a "thin partition" between wit and insanity.

In the Renaissance, religious agonies and ecstasies were understood to be both the source of inspiration and its subject. The contortions of bodies in Michelangelo's Last Judgment were not merely depictions of a biblical scene, but manifestations of mental strife. If El Greco's shimmering, elongated figures appear like avatars of the artist's ecstasy, viewers shudder to imagine where the fantastical hells of Hieronymus Bosch came from.

The modern problem with the mad-artist principle emerged from two conflicting urges of the 19th century. The first was a desire among early romantics to view inspiration and psychic disturbance as essentially the same thing: the font of artistic motivation. The second was the less romantic urge to classify as medical conditions extremes of mental distress. Coleridge's opiate vision in Kubla Khan, of a sacred river, deep within tumultuous caverns of the mind, as creativity itself, or the pre-Raphaelites' celebration of mad Ophelia as the image of beauty, were confronted in the 1890s by Emil Kraepelin's definition of the two principal psychiatric diseases: dementia praecox (later, schizophrenia) and manic depression.

Primitivism, naive art, dadaism and surrealism all invoked a realm of fantastic or unconscious disorder, but it was most particularly in expressionism that the notion of the mad artist found its modern incarnation. The pioneers of expressionism were by no means all insane, but enough of them came close enough to keep the idea alive: Van Gogh cutting off his ear and reworking the world in psychotic strokes; Edvard Munch cracking up in 1908; Max Beckmann being discharged from the army, traumatised, in 1915; Ernst Kirchner breaking down in the same year, and never really recovering.

Two strands of work emerged: from artists who had themselves sipped from the cup of madness, and from psychiatric patients who had taken up the tools of art. Between 1919 and 1922, the German art historian and psychiatrist Hans Prinzhorn assembled more than 5,000 works from various mental asylums in Europe. Others had more sinister intent. In 1937, the Nazis put together an exhibition of "Degenerate Art" with the explicit aim of highlighting the shared inferior status of painters such as Paul Klee and Oskar Kokoschka with work by certified lunatics.

What was later named by Jean Dubuffet as Art Brut - "spontaneous expressive outpouring from the well-springs of creativity" - survives today as the idea of "outsider art" and plays its part in that broader romantic notion many artists still cling to, however absurdly, of being outsiders.

Last year, when the Whitechapel Gallery in London staged an exhibition of outsider art called Inner Worlds Outside, it set mainstream figures of 20th-century art, such as Miró, Kandinsky and Schiele, alongside work by untrained psychotics, autistics, criminals and other genuine outsiders - making no distinction between the two kinds of artist.

At the start of the 20th century, there were a mere dozen or so classifications of mental disorder. By the end of the century, the official Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders had defined around 380. One objection to the idea of the insane artist is its glamorisation of what, for most psychiatric patients, is simply excruciating illness. Another is that no single entity called "madness" exists at all.

More coherent - though perhaps less intoxicating - than the Whitechapel exhibition is the approach now on display at the Novas gallery in Southwark, gathered by curators from the Bethlem Royal psychiatric hospital. It is an exhibition of more than 200 works, dating from 1948 and the incorporation of mental asylums into the NHS, and includes artworks by current artists who have been through the psychiatric system. It makes no extravagant claims for a relationship between mental illness and artistic talent, starting from the simple, indisputable premise that a selection of psychiatric patients has produced art that is worthy of public attention.

Historically, the Bethlem hospital and museum were home to several significant artists, perhaps most famously Richard Dadd, who in 1843 was institutionalised at the age of 26 after undergoing a psychotic fit during which he murdered his father; he remained committed until his death in 1886. Dadd was a serious painter whose work did come to take on some of the strange juxtapositions and eerie remoteness of his condition, which was probably schizophrenia.

Other cases are more explicit. Until the onset of schizophrenia, Louis Wain had, at the turn of the century, been famous for his comically sentimental cat paintings. Then his cats became transfigured into blazing, insane-looking, cat-shaped abstracts. Put in a certain order, these paintings look like a dramatic chronology of the onset of an extreme psychosis. Unfortunately it is not known if Wain actually painted them in that order, or whether he may have been copying the patterns on his mother's wallpaper.

Perhaps the most extraordinary painting in the museum is The Maze, by the modern Canadian artist William Kurelek. It's a portrait of the deranged contents of the artist's multi-compartmented skull. He painted it while suffering from an acute depression, aged 26. When he got better, he gave one of his subsequent Canadian landscapes to the hospital as a demonstration of his improvement. The correlation between extremely different mental states and the scenes depicted in these two paintings is self-evident. But Kurelek's technical ability as an artist is unchanged; it is a function that was quite separate from his mental dysfunction.

Michael Phillips, head of the Bethlem archives and museum, doesn't believe that talk of a thin line between creativity and insanity is one that current painters in the show particularly relish. As one said: "We don't want to be like Van Gogh; he sold only one painting in his life. We want to be like Picasso; we'd like to be successful." And some of the Bethlem artists have found international success: the Chilean potter Bibi Herrera, painter Sue Morgan, an artist who calls herself "Exaqua".

Karen Risby, who founded the Bethlem's contemporary gallery, says when she first arrived she was curious about why people had the compulsion "to work, create, draw - without wanting anyone to see it. I just wondered why people do that."

Research in the area, though piecemeal, reveals distinctly higher rates of psychiatric conditions - most particularly mood disorders - among artists and writers. In her 1993 study Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness And The Artistic Temperament, Kay Redfield Jamison, professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University, concluded that among distinguished artists she investigated, the rate of affective disorders was 10-30 times more prevalent than in the general population.

Nancy Andreasen, chair of psychiatry at the University of Iowa's Carver College of Medicine, studied 30 authors from the university's famous writers' workshop and discerned that artists, though prone to emotional disorders, do not have high rates of schizophrenia - but their families do. The suggestion is that some features associated with schizophrenia, which haven't developed into a psychosis, may confer some kind of creative originality. Hypomania (moderate levels of manic experience) can produce extraordinary periods of energy and concentration, followed by a plunge into depression. It may, in some people, confer benefits as well as deficits.

Most of us will either experience, or come close to, a mental illness, be it basic depression or a dementia preceding death. The fact that we shun it does not make it any the less a human universal. And it would be odd if such elemental experiences were not connected to creative urges. As Wittgenstein said, reflecting on his own trials with mental illness: "If in life we are surrounded by death, so too in the health of our intellect we are surrounded by madness." ·

Friday, July 06, 2007

Roman Wolgin in LA

Roman Wolgin in a superp show at gallery Blum an Poe in LA.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Mark Nozeman in Tropenmuseum Amsterdam

June 1, 2007 until January 27, 2008
Tropenmuseum Amsterdam

The exhibition 'Grande Sertao' at the Tropenmuseum will appeal to people with an interest in photography, Brazil, literature and poetry. The pictures on display are inspired by the work of the Brazilian author João Guimarães Rosa, who, as a country doctor, gained deep and extensive knowledge of the sparsely populated interior of Brazil and the people who live there. Rosa describes the rigours and hardships of life in this inhospitable, dry region: the Grande Sertao.