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Dada Exhibitions etc.

Visual arts: "Cafe Dolly" at the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale

What do a French rebel, a Danish hero and an American bad boy have in common? That's the question the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale hopes to answer with "Cafe Dolly," a show that connect the dots between three painters who lived in different countries during different time periods but whose works manage to intersect at every corner.

The artists in question are J.F. Willumsen, Francis Picabia and Julian Schnabel. Willumsen, who lived from 1863 to 1958 in Denmark, had largely worked in Expressionism and Symbolism. Picabia, who was born in Paris in 1879 and died there in 1953, was most associated with Cubism and Dadaism. The American-born Schnabel, the only living artist in the show, is often known for his figurative works, particularly large-scale portraits.

Despite such disparate origins, these artists have much more in common than one would think. Perhaps most significantly, these artists were all painting figurative works at times when tastes favored abstraction. [...]

Picabia — who will be the subject of a Museum of Modern Art retrospective next year in New York — was best known for his Cubist paintings and for being one of the first artists associated with the Dada movement that his colleague Marcel Duchamp helped put on the map. But the works on display for this show are far removed from what most know about the artist. Instead of the artist's trademark abstractions, you'll find a body of almost entirely representational works of of mostly women.

Through these works you can see the artist exploring reproduction in interesting ways. Many of the paintings were inspired by magazines of the period, particularly tabloids and pornography.

His take on innocuous portraits sees Picabia manipulating sentimentality, distorting the images into something so saccharine they become nearly repulsive. His reproductions of photos of women in various states of undress can be particularly distressing. While some of them retain their seductive charms, most are shown with wax-like skin and dead eyes, rendering them with a bloodless quality that can be disquieting.

Picabia's ability to capture the grotesque in the beautiful is uncanny. In Andalusia, his portrait of a woman would be conventionally beautiful, but he manages to quash expectations by highlighting her deformed eye; this relatively small distortion has a huge effect on the work and drops his impressionist work into the surreal. [...]

Through Feb. 1, 2015
Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, 1 E. Las Olas Blvd., 954-525-5500

'The Great Artist Of Tomorrow Will Go Underground' - Marcel Duchamp

A new exhibition at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre doesn't look like it's ready for public viewing yet. At the opening reception last Friday, some space at the seventh floor gallery was still empty. In some corners, random objects such as tables, wooden panels, a fan and a fishing rod were lying about. [...]

But all this, as I later learned from curator Pichaya Suphavanij, is what this exhibition is about. "[The exhibition] presents the standpoint of the 'underground'," wrote Pichaya in a statement. "It regresses to fundamental points, raises open-ended questions for young art and young artists and explores a discourse for understanding different contexts." [...]

'The Great Artist Of Tomorrow Will Go Underground' - — Marcel Duchamp is on display at Bangkok Art And Culture Centre until February 1, 2015.

"Audience as Participant" - by Kaona Pongpipat in The Bangkok Post - December 17, 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.