Capturing Four Decades of Groundbreaking and Provocative Work from the Artists’ Artist
An unsettling line of inflatable dolls sits at the window of the Serpentine Gallery in London’s Hyde Park this summer. It comes as part of the Ohio-born, Paris-based artist Sturtevant’s first exhibition at a public institution in the UK, almost half a century after she began “repeating” the works of such New York art-world giants as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. For Sturtevant, the repetition for which she became so notorious is a way of shedding light on art’s inner workings: “It seems so simplistic,” she says, “but it’s oftentimes true that when something is simple, it’s powerful.” Ever rigorous, Sturtevant made a point of learning the techniques used to create the work of art she was repeating, normally choosing iconic pieces––like Warhols, which “work better” because they are recognizable––and executing them again, looking to find out what made them tick. In one famous anecdote, when Andy Warhol was asked about his screen-printing technique he is said to have replied: “Ask Elaine Sturtevant.” Having repeated Joseph Beuys, Paul McCarthy and other significant figures in 20th-century art, Sturtevant has now taken on the 21st century by making work that deals with the culture of repetition in the digital age, some of which can be seen in the video installation in today’s film. “Don’t call it a retrospective,” she says of the exhibition. “When you’re in a certain space, you try to create tension—via tonality, or rhythm—in order to trigger thinking. This shows a certain dynamic, and that’s very good.”
Sturtevant: Leaps Jumps and Bumps will be on view until August 26 at the Serpentine Gallery, London.
Inflatable Originals from Jeremy Deller and Paul McCarthy Command Hong Kong’s Shoreline
A large-scale pig and a bouncy re-imagining of Stonehenge star in Mobile M+: Inflation!, an exhibition that taps into the irreverent side of Hong Kong’s contemporary art scene. To mark the awakening of a cultural district in Kowloon, M+, the city’s new museum for visual culture, has installed six huge inflatables on a stretch of once-derelict land along the Victoria Harbour waterfront. Documented here by photographer Kurt Tong, the public show incorporates the work of influential and often X-rated Los Angeles sculptor and performance artist Paul McCarthy, and Britain’s Turner Prize-winning conceptual artist Jeremy Deller. Asia is represented by South Korea’s master of inflatable art Choi Jeong Hwa, China’s Cao Fei, renowned for works that incorporate role play and simulated reality, and Hong Kong artist Tam Wai Ping, who once floated a blow-up temple above the original holy site that inspired it in Taiwan. M+ will not open until 2017, but in the meantime curator Tobias Berger will be taking full advantage of the surrounding park land. “There are already plenty of MoMAs out there,” explains Berger. “We are open to all fields of visual art and want to be more fluid and inclusive than those who have gone before us.”
The New York Video Artist's Many Personalities Shine in an Art Basel Hong Kong Debut
Florida-born, Brooklyn-based artist Kalup Linzy casts Michael Stipe and Leo Fitzpatrick as his co-stars in the tragi-camp world of the fictional Braswell family in his newest feat, Conversations wit de Churen X: One Life to Heal. The video revisits characters that Linzy has been working with for over a decade in acclaimed soap opera-inspired films such as All My Churen (2003). From overbearing mama to wayward son, Linzy plays nearly every character in his draggy world of high drama, song and dance, where disturbing effects such as voice modifiers give foreboding electronic depth to the Braswells' skewed universe. Though a celebrated figure in the art world, with work housed in MoMA’s permanent collection among others, Linzy's engagement with the vocabulary of daytime television runs surprisingly deep. He has crossed into more popular forms, appearing in episodes of soap General Hospital during the same period in which his sometime collaborator James Franco infamously guest-starred. While here Linzy follows the disappearance of a camp chanteuse named Taiwan from a cruise ship, leaving us with her body slumped on the shore, this weekend at Art Basel Hong Kong fair the artist will reincarnate his tragic diva at a dinner for art-world luminaries organized by Yana Peel, held on an old boat decorated in the style of 1930s Shanghai.