Showing posts with label Contemporary art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Contemporary art. Show all posts

yayoi kusama

Yayoi Kusama was born in Matsumoto City, Japan in 1929. She studied Nihonga painting, a rigorous formal style developed during the Meiji period (1868–1912) to deflect the wholesale influence of Western art through the revitalization of the traditions of Japanese painting and their synthesis with aspects of Western art. Attracted by the experimental promise of the postwar international art scene, Kusama moved to New York City in 1958.

As a young struggling artist in New York, Kusama produced her first astonishing Net paintings in 1959— vast canvases measuring up to 33 feet in width, entirely covered in rhythmic undulations of small, thickly painted loops. The inherent philosophical paradox of these paintings—that "infinity" could be quantified and constrained within the arbitrary structure of a readymade canvas—combined with the more subjective and obsessional implications of their process, distinguish these works from Minimalist abstraction, which would dominate the New York art scene several years later. The mesmerizing, transcendent space of the Nets was further reinforced by Kusama's own insistent psychosomatic associations to her paintings. She went on to develop other striking bodies of work, including the phallic soft-sculptures AccumulationSex Obsession, and Compulsion Furniture, which she later incorporated into full-scale sensorial environments. From 1967 she staged provocative happenings in various locations, from the New York Stock Exchange to Central Park to the Museum of Modern Art. Painting the participants' bodies with polka dots or dressing them in her custom-made fashion designs, she created risqué situational performances that merged her inner artistic world with external realities.

In the early 1970s Kusama returned to Japan, where she began writing shockingly visceral and surrealistic novels, short stories, and poetry, including The Hustler's Grotto of Christopher Street (1983) and Violet Obsession (1998). Later, in her art, she began to revisit earlier themes, including theInfinity Net paintings and Accumulation sculptures. In recent years she has continued to invent ingenious embodiments of infinity in dizzying walk-in mirror rooms and freestanding sculptures, such as Passing Winter -- hand-beveled mirrored cubes that yield an abyss of endlessly repeating self-portraits to their viewers.
Following the success of her project for the Japanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1993—a dazzling mirror room filled with pumpkin sculptures, like an artful pumpkin patch over which she presided in magician's garb—Kusama went on to produce a huge, vivid yellow pumpkin covered with an optical pattern of black spots as an outdoor sculpture. The pumpkin, like the infinity net, became a kind of alter ego for her. She has since completed major outdoor sculptural commissions, mostly in the form of brightly hued, monstrous plants and flowers, for public and private institutions including the Fukuoka Prefectural Museum of Art, Fukuoka, Japan; Benesse Art Site Naoshima, Japan; Matsumoto City Museum of Art, Matsumoto, Japan; Eurolille, Lille, France; and Beverly Hills City Council, Beverly Hills, California.

Kusama's work is in the collections of leading museums throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Tate Modern, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
Major exhibitions of her work include Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art, Kitakyushu, Japan, 1987; Center for International Contemporary Arts, New York, and the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, 1989; "Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama, 1958–1969", Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 1998 (traveled to the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, 1998–99); Le Consortium, Dijon, 2000 (traveled to Maison de la Culture du Japon, Paris; Kunsthallen Brandts, Odense, Denmark; Les Abattoirs, Toulouse; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; and Artsonje Center, Seoul, 2001–03); KUSAMATRIX, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2004 (traveled to Art Park Museum of Contemporary Art, Sapporo Art Park, Hokkaido); Eternity's Modernity, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, 2004 (traveled to the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto and other venues in Japan, 2004–05); and "The Mirrored Years," Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2008 (traveling to Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, and City Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand, 2009).
Kusama lives and works in Tokyo.

Sandy Skoglund

Sigmar Polke

Born in Oels, Silesia in 1941, Sigmar Polke moved from Thuringia to Düsseldorf in 1953, where he embarked on an apprenticeship as a glass-painter in 1959. He spent the years 1961 - 1967 at the Düsseldorf art academy under Gerhard Hoehme and Karl Otto Götz, where he also met Gerhard Richter and others.
In 1963 Richter and Polke joined forces with Konrad Fischer-Lueg and Manfred Kuttner to organize an exhibition entitled "Eine Demonstration für den kapitalistischen Realismus" ("A Demonstration for Capitalist Realism"). The exhibits were marked by their ironical treatment of consumer products and the critical use of everyday clichés. 
Even in his early pieces, Polke's art was marked by wit and irony, most noticably so when he featured socks, sausages or interchangeable advertisements from travel brochures. The first grid and strip pictures as well as paintings on decorating fabrics emerged. 
In 1966 Sigmar Polke was awarded the "Kunstpreis der Jugend" and had his first solo exhibition. During the 1970s he travelled extensively, working intensively in photography. Both in this field and in painting, Polke's work often has an experimental flavor, with coincidence and autonomous chemical processes becoming discernable. 
In 1972 Polke first exhibitied his work at a "documenta". In 1977 he became a lecturer and in 1991 he was appointed professor at the "Hochschule für Bildende Künste" in Hamburg. 
Sigmar Polke's work can regularly be seen at exhibitions in Germany and abroad. In 1997 the largest retrospective of his works up to date took place at the Federal German Art and Exhibition Hall in Bonn and at the "Galerie der Gegenwart", Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin.
Sigmar Polke died on 11 June 2010 in Cologne.



Red is the warmest of all colours. It is the colour most chosen by extroverts and one of the top picks of males. On the other hand, red symbolises temper, agitation and excitement. I am an introverted person, full of pessimism and doubt, unwilling to engage in confrontation. Red is not my colour. It overwhelms me. It makes me uncomfortable. I squirm and writhe when faced with passion - both positive and negative. Perhaps this is why I am most happy being left alone with my thoughts. Oddly enough though, Salustiano’s work do not put me in an agitated state. I do not know why, and I cannot understand why, but there is a very serene quality to them all. It is a quality I have never associated with the colour red. Perhaps it is the subject matter - that quiet, docile nature of the gestures and poses? Whatever it is, I am beginning to look at red in a different light…
Please go to Salustiano’s website to see more of his work.