Monday, August 31, 2020

Venice: Alma Zevi – The Venice Show – Exhibition - Party Photos

Alma Zevi
The Venice Show

 At Alma Zevi gallery, The Venice Show, until October 31, a group exhibition with the city at its core. This show is a celebration of the enormous potential existing within Venice; both in terms of homegrown talent as well as the magnetism which brings artists working today back to the city time and time again. This magnetism is conveyed through a varied, multi-generational selection of artists; ranging from the emerging to established and including both Venetians as well as international figures. 

Marcantonio Brandolini d'Adda, Heidi Bucher, Simone Carraro, Juliana Cerqueira Leite, Tereza Cervenova, Charlap Hyman & Herrero, Michael Craig-Martin, Andrew Huston, Bice Lazzari, Katy Stubbs and Joe Tilson.

Rosy Kahane and Alma Zevi

An important recent addition to Venice is Michael Craig-Martin. The Irish-born conceptual artist, has been living partially in Venice since 2017. On view for the first time Untitled - watch fragment turquoise – 2019 - above title - it encapsulates several key themes and characteristics in the artist’s work, where everyday objects are transformed by a precise, linear aesthetic.

Untitled – Barcelona chair fragment black – 2019
Michael Craig-Martin

Karol Vail and Norbert Salenbauch

Melba Ruffo

 Another stalwart of the British art scene who has lived between Venice and the UK for many years is Joe Tilson. Tilson, who just turned 92, is one of the leading figures of British Pop Art. Tilson’s relationship with Italy began in 1955 when he won the Prix de Rome. His association with Venice, and particular the Biennale, began in 1964 when he exhibited in the British Pavilion. The piece included is part of Tilson’s Stones of Venice series, which features his iconic reinterpretation of Venice’s architectural features in the bright colours which have dominated his work over the past few decades. Highlighting a specifically Venetian vernacular style – including tile mosaics and religious symbolism – these paintings can be interpreted as a joyful portrait and celebration of the city.

Joe Tilson
The Stones of Venice - Deposito del Pane – 2015

Judi Harvest

 Martin Craig-Martin, Andrew Huston, Beatrice Burati Anderson and Tristano de Robilant

 The youngest artist in the show is a recent graduate of Accademia di Belle Arti in Venice, Simone Carraro, who has created a commissioned piece on the occasion of this exhibition. The painting is based on the ecosystem of the Venetian Lagoon, creating an original and lively aesthetic born of researched scientific findings. The combination of traditional imagery with a critique on the fragile state of Venice’s environment is an apt metaphor for the city’s position as a place where the ancient and the contemporary must co-exist together in harmony.

Simone Carraro
Almanacco Organico Lagunare – 2020

Continuing the topic of the Biennale, the gallery is showing for the first time the work of Bice Lazzari, arguably the most important female Venetian artist of the 20th Century. Lazzari was born in Venice in 1900 and studied music at the Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello in Venice, before going to the Accademia di Belle Arti. Her work was included in the 19th Biennale of 1934. Lazzari had close ties with Carlo Scarpa and Gio Ponti, with whom she often collaborated with on decorative commissions. Her work was extremely radical; combining great beauty with a remarkably pared down, minimal aesthetic that linked her passion for music with that of architecture, modernism and abstraction.

Bice Lazzari
Senza Titolo – Untitled - 1974

Stefano Gris and Silvia Dainese

Cristina Beltrami

 Alma Zevi
Salizzada Malipiero - San Marco 3208

In the Salizzada gallery space, the sculptures by Marcantonio Brandolini d’Adda, a Venetian artist working with Murano glass. He has developed a revolutionary technique and practice that takes a fresh perspective on the place of glass in contemporary art. These objects, which are described as vessels, surprise by the vivacity of their colouring and their unexpected compositions; both of which remain at the core of the artist’s innovative approach to working with this medium.

Marcantonio Brandolini d’Adda
Unknown – 49 – 2019

Shown for the first time in the gallery is Andrew Huston, an adopted Venetian and a painter. He established his studio in Venice in 2017 after 20 years of living and working in New York City. The influence of Venice continues to seep into his work in recognisable yet subtle ways. These include the silhouetted, abstracted forms of Venetian round glass windows, fragments of traditional boats and elements of gold leaf. All of these can be identified in the artist’s thoughtful and distinctive palette used for the majestic painting selected for this exhibition.

Andrew Huston
Mascareta – 2019

‘The insects are there because I was right next to the little garden while making the piece in the Arsenale where there are lots of little bugs and spiders. I like how insects have many different meanings to different people.’
Katy Stubbs

Katy Stubbs, a South African-British artist working with ceramics, completed her residency in Venice in 2019. Stubbs made a number of exquisitely crafted, witty pieces, many of which were influenced by Old Master paintings that she studied in the Gallerie dell’Accademia. Her Insect Vase is a characteristic example of Stubbs’s rendering of both Classical Antiquity and the natural world. Stubbs used for the first time a granular clay which is local in Italy, where she is based. The residency provided her with not just a wealth of new visual references, but also the chance to develop new techniques and material variations.

Katy Stubbs
Insect Vase – 2019
Marcantonio Brandolini d’Adda
Untitled – 2020

Bikem de Montebello and Tristano de Robilant

Juliana Cerqueira Leite lives between New York and Sao Paulo.  She was amongst the first of Alma Zevi’s artists in residence in Venice in 2017. The artist spent much of her time here walking through the city - making frottages -rubbings - of different historical and architectural surfaces such as doors, floors, windows, railings and more. This led to an important body of work which the artist has continued throughout her practice.

Marcantonio Brandolini d’Adda
Untitled – 2020
Juliana Cerqueira Leite
JT201603 – 2016

Giorgio Mastinu and Antonia Miletto
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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Summer in the Hamptons - 1960s- 1970s - Recollections of Artist Jane Wilson by her Daughter Julia Gruen

Photo ©Michael Leonard
My parents bought a house in Water Mill, NY, in 1960. Previously, they had spent summers with friends in the area: Jane Freilicher and Joe Hazan; Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale; Fairfield and Anne Porter; Ell. en and David Oppenheim, among others. I was born in 1958, so I also stayed with the above-mentioned friends, though I know this only from photographs and my parents’ stories.
Julia Gruen

Recollections of Jane Wilson
Julia Gruen

Over the past few months, DC Moore Gallery in New York, has been providing inside views into how their artists continue their practices to create new works of art, while sharing perspectives of their current, everyday lives. For Contessanally Julia Gruen looks back on her summers with her mother artist Jane Wilson (1924-2015), in Water Mill, NY.

 Jane Wilson and Julia Gruen – New York – NY – 1980c.

Photo ©Estate of John Gruen

Once my parents bought their own house, a 1920s carriage house with a huge studio upstairs, we would spend most of our summers in Water Mill. My mother didn’t paint every day, but when she did, it was often in the mornings and after lunch. The studio has ten incredible north-facing skylights, and those were one of this home’s great features. But even when my mother wasn’t painting in Water Mill, she painted almost daily in her various city studios.

We would often go to the nearest (Flying Point) beach for hours on end, just she and I, or with my father and groups of their friends, including Willem de Kooning, Jane Freilicher, Fairfield Porter, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, Jasper Johns, and the writers, poets and playwrights Frank O’Hara, James Schuyler, Janice Koch, John Ashbery, Edward Albee, Arnold Weinstein, and many performing artists, as well.

Southampton - NY - 1962
Mary Rattray Kanovitz, Howard Kanovitz, Clarice Rivers, Willem de Kooning, Jane Wilson holding daughter JuliaLarry Rivers 

Photos ©Estate of John Gruen

The summers of the 1960s and 1970s, when my parents and their wide circle of friends were mostly in their 40s, were a time of great freedom and creativity. But also, of endless parties! The social scene during that era in the Hamptons was incredibly active, and the art community was creating and celebrating in what was then a uniquely affordable, beautiful, and serene setting, far from the steamy city summers with no air conditioning. Out here, the sea breezes and periodic dramatic summer storms were more than sufficiently cooling.

Montauk - NY – 1963  
Jane Wilson and daughter Julia
Water Mill - NY – 1962
Tibor de Nagy, Rudy Burckhardt, Roland Pease
Jane Wilson, Yvonne Jacquette, Jane Freilicher
Arthur Gold, Robert Fizdale, Joe Hazan

Photo ©Estate of John Gruen

Water Mill – NY – 1960

As with many artists who frequented the East End of Long Island, it was the unique light that drew them to this region. The air, the sea, the clouds, the fields, and the then openness of the landscape provided so many artists of my parents’ generation with the inspiration to summer out here.

My mother’s landscapes were most inspired by the meeting of the sky, the sea, and the potato fields that she found in Water Mill. She was born and raised in land-locked Iowa, so the essential horizon line in her landscapes was not only that line between sea and sky and fields, but between the huge skies and endless plains of her birthplace.

Robert Rauschenberg, Maxine Groffsky, Fairfield Porter, Larry Rivers, Morton Feldman
Rene Bouche, Jane Freilicher, Jane Wilson
holding daughter Julia, Arthur Gold, Katie Porter, Naomi Newman, Anne Porter, Robert Fizdale, Lizzie Porter

“My mother’s subject matter evolved during these and the following decades. She painted cityscapes, portraits, still lifes, and even abstractions, but ultimately, her soul was most connected to landscape, and it is in those landscapes that she found her truest self.”

Jane Wilson
Receding Sea
 – 1987 - Oil on canvas, 80 x 74 inches

 Jane Wilson
Green Palisade1997 - Oil on canvas, 30 x 36 inches

“Even while teaching at Columbia (and previously at Parsons, Pratt, the New School, Dartmouth, the Vermont Studio School, and others), my mother ALWAYS painted. But during the summers, while happy to be in this beloved place, she sometimes felt pressured to create, and that pressure was rarely productive. To be creative without feeling obligated, she would turn and return to drawing and watercolors, largely landscapes and nature.”

Jane Wilson
1991 - Oil on canvas, 74 x 80 1/4 inches

“It must also be said that my parents put the house in Water Mill to good use by renting it out, facilitating frequent summers in Europe, where my mother would spend hours in the great museums and do many, many watercolors and drawings. She was, in a sense, documenting the places visited, but also finding inspiration in simply being elsewhere, absorbing the astonishing history of European art that she had studied for her entire life.”

Jane Wilson
Fourth of July
– 2003 - Watercolor on paper, 8 x 8 inches

“My mother was a loner, as am I. Difficult as this period is for the whole world, I think my mother would have eventually thrived, and would be painting more than ever. She always loved being in Water Mill for its serenity and abundant nature. With the city being under lockdown for so long, I believe she would have been perfectly happy to spend much more time out in Water Mill. Although renowned for her wit, intelligence, talents, and great beauty, my mother was not a particularly social animal (nor am I). It was my father who most needed other people – both professionally and personally. He would have gone completely mad during this period of isolation and social distancing!”

Jane Wilson
Blue Carafe
- 1979-81 - Oil on linen, 30 x 30 inches

Photo ©Estate of John Gruen

In the city, when cooking for just the three of us, or for an intimate dinner party, she would sometimes prepare elaborate meals. Somehow these always felt relatively informal, and she loved to experiment with cuisines from all over the world. Whenever my parents hosted large parties in the city (these were always my father’s idea), she would pull out all the stops. With no assistance, she might make, for example, cassoulet for 50! During our Water Mill summers, however, her meals were simpler, making use of the abundant fresh produce and seafood. She often made gazpacho and other cold soups such as lettuce, cucumber, and potato-leek, as well as a multitude of salads, grilled fish, raw clams, the occasional lobster, and anything incorporating corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and greens.

I have written these words in Water Mill, in the very house my parents bought 60 years ago. I feel my parents all around me here. Although I was born, raised, educated, and employed in New York City, I have always thought of Water Mill as my heart’s home. As I read the newspaper, listen to classical music, play the piano, or take long beach walks, my father is omnipresent in my mind. But it is my mother’s essence that inhabits this place. I cook in her kitchen, I cultivate her garden, I am surrounded by her paintings, and upstairs in her studio, the fading scent of turpentine remains for me the smell of home.

Jane Wilson in her studio – New York - June 4 - 2000

photo right – Julia Gruen

Water Mill – NY
Jane Wilson
and John Gruen - 2005 c.
 Jane Wilson’s painting table – 2012

Jane Wilson
Still Dawn 2006 - Oil on canvas - 24 x 24 inches

Photo ©Estate of John Gruen

Water Mill – NY – 2005
Jane Wilson and Julia Gruen

Many Thanks
Julia Gruen for her text and use of her father’s photographs and
DC- Moore Gallery New York

You might also enjoy – blog post
New York: DC Moore Gallery – Jane Wilson at 90 – East Village/East End exhibition

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Venice: Punta della Dogana - Untitled 2020


 “Creating a dialogue between artworks that reflects the process of creation itself was the basic intention of the exhibition ‘Untitled, 2020. Three perspectives on the art of the present’.

words of the three curators


 Punta della Dogana


Untitled 2020


Punta della Dogana presents the collective exhibition Untitled, 2020, until December 13. Three perspectives on the art of the present’, conceived and curated by Caroline Bourgeois, artist and art historian, Muna El Fituri and artist Thomas Houseago. Conceived specifically for the spaces of the museum, three perspectives on the art of the present’ is the fruit of discussion and dialogue between the three curators, who are linked by longstanding personal and professional relationships. Stemming from the unique approach established by the curators, the exhibition unfolds along 18 rooms, each dedicated to a specific thread - such as Activism, Utopia and Loss - and explores the genesis and the development of the creative process, as well as the major issues that are central to contemporary art.

Room 14 – Ice

Lorna Simpson – Woman on a Snowball – 2018

This work brilliantly illustrates the difficulties faced by Black women living in a society run by the whites.


Room 1 – Standing

The fundamental fact of the human condition: getting to one’s feet, remaining standing, or refusing to kneel are all philosophical or political issues.”


Paul McCarthy – Henry Moore Bound to Fall Maquette – 2007

Teresa Burga – Sin Titulo -1967



Henry Moore - Shelter Drawing – 1940

Henry Moore Study for “Grey Tube Shelter” – 1940



David Hammons – Untitled – 2008



Nancy Grossman – T.R. – 1968



Room 3 – The Beginnings of Painting

What should be depicted and how can the spirit be freed?”


Markus Lupertz – Helm1 – 1970

Enrico David – senza Titolo – 2012



Room 4 – Death

“What we are all facing.”


 Marlene Dumas – Gelijkenis / I and II – 2002 



James “Son Ford” Thomas - Untitled - 1987

James “Son Ford” Thomas – Untitled – 1986



Room 5 – Mourning

“Mourning as an experience that we must

all deal with in our lives.”


Elliot Dubail – Untitled – 2018


Bernd Lohaus – Untitled – 1969



 Room 6 – Elemental

Natural elements reflecting the climate emergency.”


Georg Herold – Gelandete Horizonte – 1996


Copyright Llyn Foulkes - LF-Deliverance - Pinault Collection – courtesy Punta della Dogana


Room 7 – Howl

“Is howling the only option in the face of growing inequities, racism, etc.?”


Llyn Foulkes – Deliverance – 2007


 Room 8 – Sex, Rock and Roll

“A source of inspiration for many musicians and artists.”


Mike Kelley – Pink Curtain – 2005



 Room 9 - Engagement

“Can we still do something to what end?”


Joan Jonas – Mirror Pieces Installation II – 1969-2004


 The Studio

The Artist’s studio as a place for reflection and creation.”


The thematic path of the show revolves around a site-specific installation conceived by the three curators in The Cube designed by architect Tadao Ando, at the heart of Punta della Dogana: the reconstruction of an artist’s studio - inspired by Thomas Houseago’s own studio - where visitors are invited to interact with the elements that compose the space where the creative process takes place. 



Room 12 – Love is the Message

“This is the title of a work by Arthur Jafa: a collage on the issue of conditions of Blacks.”


Arthur Jafa – Love is the Message, the Message is Death – 2016

video still


Room 13 – Labour

“This work speaks for itself and highlights the exploitation of people of colour.”


Duane Hanson - Housepainter I – 1984-88



 Room 18-19 – Loss

“These two rooms tackle a temporality, existential reflections, the artist’s condition, and our own era among others.”


Thomas Houseago – Machine Wall – 2019



Jan Dibbets – Paestum Panorama – 1980



 Bruce Connor – Crossroads – 1976

film still


The exhibition presents works by over 60 artists from various generations - born between 1840 and 1995 - including an important number of artists who have their studio in Los Angeles, where Thomas Houseago and Muna El Fituri – two of the three curators - live, and who know each other, take inspiration from each other and from their respective artistic practice. The works on view come from the Pinault Collection, international museums and private collections. The show also includes a number of works created specifically for Punta della Dogana.


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