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Dada Exhibitions etc.

Time and space in a new unreality

The Hungarian National Gallery's "Dada and Surrealism. Magritte, Duchamp, Man Ray, Miró, Dalí" exhibition offers an extensive introduction to two of the main art movements of the beginning of the twentieth century. The objects and images of internationally prominent artists are accompanied by works showing the evolution of dada and surrealism in Hungary, adding a unique, national perspective.

The first part of the display focuses on the development of the movements worldwide, showing them in a chronological and thematic order. Throughout the rooms, lengthy descriptions help viewers to fully appreciate the significance in art history of the works they see, which may prove especially useful for the understanding of the abstract and revolutionary style of Dadaist artists, with whose work the exhibition begins.

Dada's aim, essentially, was to question accepted artistic norms and deconstruct traditions in the era after the First World War, which they saw as the final sign of the failure of bourgeois culture. They exploited the technological developments of their age, reflecting on new phenomena in radio, cinema and manufacturing in a humorous and experimental way.

German artist Kurt Schwitters' series on show, titled "Merz", is a prime example of this; his collages are made of cast-off bits of paper, including bus tickets and test prints.

Apart from other assemblages, collages and montages, the exhibition features many three-dimensional objects. Perhaps the most famous among these ready-mades is a 1964 copy of Marcel Duchamp’s "Fountain", signed by the artist himself. The porcelain urinal was first submitted for an exhibition in 1917, causing a huge scandal and starting a debate about the place of the artist and his works in modern society.

Dada and Surrealism. Magritte, Duchamp, Man Ray, Miró, Dalí
Hungarian National Gallery
Buda Palace, Building A,
Szent György tér 2, District I
Until 5 October 2014
Tickets: HUF 2,400

more

18. July 2014 - by Rozália Harsányi in Culture

Duchamp retrospective at Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou welcomes the exhibition "Marcel Duchamp. La Peinture, même". Running from 24 September 2014 to 5 January 2015, it is designed to show "the paintings of the man who, in common modernist opinion, killed painting."

Aiming to shed light on Marcel Duchamp's major works, the retrospective will comprise 100 works, including La mariée mise à nue par ses célibataires, même (The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even), widely known as Le Grand Verre (The Large Glass), which was begun in 1910 and declared unfinished in 1923. Additionally, it is to analyse essential references of his hermetic work including: mathematics, the theme of "the bride", Impressionism, Cubism, the art of Francis Picabia and more.

The retrospective reveals a selection of Duchamp's pictorial studies — relatively unknown in Europe, due to the large part being conserved at Philadelphia Museum of Arts — questioning the myth behind his work: the destruction of painting through the ready-made, following the rejection of his piece Nu descendant un escalier (Nude descending a staircase) exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in 1911.

Paris - 2 July 2014 - AMA

Stories within stories

Izhar Patkin exhibit reveals a brilliant, often humorous intellect

"When I paint I'm just as innocent as ever. I am not letting go of that."

— Izhar Patkin, in a 2012 interview

Visit the cavernous Building No. 5 gallery at North Adams' Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art and you may be transfixed, titillated or bemused by Izhar Patkin's mastery of artistic media. Through Sept. 1, the one-acre gallery is exhibiting a 30-year retrospective of the Israeli-born artist's works. The images range from a unique form of painting to porcelain and glass figures, sculpture and enormous painted veils that surround entire rooms. The show's images and interviews with the artist are also moveable, captured in a 239-page hard-bound companion catalogue, The Wandering Veil (Tel Aviv Museum of Art, The Open Museum, MASS MoCA; $34.95).

An intense and often humorous man now approaching age 60, Patkin's approach to modernist art energized the New York galleries when he debuted in 1981. His eclectic works are now in the collections of New York's Guggenheim, MoMA and Whitney museums, among other venues. During a recent visit, Joseph Thompson, the founding and current director of MASS MoCA, gave us an exclusive, richly detailed tour through Patkin's works.

A Spaniard in the works

When you first enter the enormous gallery, you're met by the backside of a life-sized Don Quixote and the rear of his horse.

"It's completely characteristic of Izhar's sense of wit that he gives you the ass of the horse as a greeting," the director said.

The statue, of anodized aluminum, conveys a rainbow of colors, from the Spaniard's blue eyes and golden sword to a bouquet of red roses. The horseman's face is modeled upon a friend of Patkin's, the late Herbert Muschamp, architecture critic for the New York Times. The work represents a technological breakthrough. Apparently no one had previously been able to create multiple colors in a single casting of aluminum. In a playful nod to Baroque masters, Quixote holds a mirror to capture your momentary reflection, making you a part of the art.

"In the space of the work you'll see that time and time again in this exhibition," Thompson said.

You're entering into an imaginative field produced by a deeply intellectual artist who brings multiple meanings and attributions into play. After Cervantes had written Don Quixote, a fraudulent second book was written by another author. Cervantes published another story with Quixote often quoting from the earlier bogus book.

"So we have a fiction written about a factual rip-off," the director said. "So it's a story within a story within a story."

Duchamp and Kafka

Patkin was raised in Israel by a Russian father who'd fled to Palestine to escape the pogroms. His mother was a Palestinian refugee. The first painting he recalled seeing as a child was a posthumous portrait of his uncle, his namesake, a soldier killed at age 18.

He was viewing a painting of a ghost. His parents were so devastated by the loss of Izhar the soldier that they didn't utter the name of their child until he reached age 3.

"A ghost is essentially an unresolved, or suspended emotion ... I understand that the role of the artist as narrator is to suspend ghosts," Patkin said in a 2012 interview.

A storyteller, he works in a variety of mediums, drawing much of his inspiration from the red-hot Dada Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968). The movement of Dadaism, a peace-loving reaction to the horrors of World War I, sought to bring irrationality, nonsense and surrealism to art. The Frenchman may be best known for his 1912 fractured painting Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2, which one critic likened to an explosion in a shingle factory. Duchamp also found irony in common objects, from bicycle wheels to urinals, displaying them as art.

"Cinema and Duchamp have changed everything in painting," Patkin said in a 2012 interview. "They both threw the canvas into a state of anxiety."

A few paces from the horseman is a barn-board wall of paintings that aren't as they first appear. Two small girls holding a dog also resemble a skull. A house key seen from a distance is actually trompe l'oeil, a three-dimensional painting. For Franz Kafka fans, the key should evoke recognition, alluding to his parable Before the Law. A young man seeks to enter the legal profession, however, he cannot enter a guarded door. He spends his life failing to pass by the guard. As an old man he realizes that his lack of imagination prevented success.

"Everything about him is complicated," Thompson said of the artist.

Patkin is inviting you to use imagination to see beyond just the images that he's created.

[...]

The Wandering Veil continues at MASS MoCA through Sept. 1. "The Octagon Room" continues through Feb. 1, 2015. The museum is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. Adults, $15; students, $10; ages 6 to 16, $5. Directions: take Route 2 to North Adams. At the second set of lights, past Big Y, take a right onto Holden Street and an immediate left on St. Anthony's Drive. The parking lot is directly ahead.

By Don Stewart in The Recorder - April 2, 2014

Dada at the Isaacs Gallery

December 20, 1961 - January 9, 1962
Isaacs Gallery
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Read on if you are interested in what was happening in Canada over fifty years ago. Some of the people involved were Michel Sanouillet, Greg Curnoe, Michael Snow and Joyce Wieland.