Travel: Frieze London

The Frieze week is an amazing time to be London! The fall weather, along with all the new shows ignites an amazing energy across the cith. This year the fair was really at high level, including new work by Jeff Koons, among many others. A special section devoted to feminism of 70’s and its relevance to current day issues of sexuality in western culture. The segment was titled “Sex Work” and included a solo show by the late Birgit Jürgensen, one of my graduate school professors and mentor, presented by Galerie Winter.

I was also able to meet up with several childhood friends and visit a number of studios in London: Anna Freeman Bentley, Nikolai Ishchuk and Hannah Brown.

Notable shows I was able to visit outside of the Frieze fair were Juliana Cerqueira Leite at TJ Bouting and Nick Goss at Josh Lilly

IMG_3659.jpg
IMG_3665.jpg
IMG_3678.jpg
IMG_3680.jpg
IMG_3686.jpg
IMG_3708.jpg
IMG_3720.jpg
IMG_3715.jpg
IMG_3731.jpg
IMG_3741.jpg
IMG_3740.jpg
IMG_3767.jpg
IMG_3773.jpg
IMG_3785.jpg
IMG_3803.jpg
IMG_3814.jpg
IMG_3831.jpg
IMG_3836.jpg
IMG_3837.jpg
IMG_3856.jpg
IMG_3853.jpg
IMG_3859.jpg
IMG_3848.jpg
IMG_3862.jpg
IMG_3866.jpg
IMG_3916.jpg
IMG_3919.jpg
IMG_3925.jpg
IMG_3927.jpg
IMG_3935.jpg

Jake Ziemann

My first encounter with Ziemann’s work was in the first group show for the launch of HILDE gallery in Mid-City, Los Angeles this winter. His odd ceramic shapes, counterbalances and seeming found building materials intrigued me. I often find myself attracted to objects that are part fabricated, part appropriated, engages with themes that are characteristic of the Zeitgeist. His amorphous hand built ceramic shapes seem to suggest characters….So much so that it feels like if were one to leave the room, they might change into figures in your absence. 

As complete assemblages they seem to teeter between abstract narratives and absurd commentary. The vibrant colors of the painted surfaces of the hand sculpted forms are reminiscent of melting lava, as though a violent act had produced something beautiful. Ziemann sees his work as metaphors for the labor it takes to develop relationships with friends, lovers, and the world around me—a way to formally investigate notions of intimacy, codependency, and vulnerability. Each of these objects played with the notion of counterbalance, some more obviously than others. That idea extends to the materials in how he works with construction material in his base elements, which are contrasted with the sensual, beautiful ceramic objects. 

IMG_2709.jpg
IMG_2710.jpg
IMG_2711.jpg
IMG_2713.jpg
IMG_2718.jpg
IMG_2720.jpg
IMG_2724.jpg
IMG_2728.jpg
IMG_2736.jpg
IMG_2737.jpg
IMG_2739.jpg

Thomas Linder

It was a pleasure to meet Thomas Linder and for him to allow me a brief glimpse of how he works in the studio. Thomas had a recent show at Ibid Gallery in Los Angeles titled “Primary Grid.” Thomas Linder’s artistic process as a sculptor utilizes wood and fiberglass to create paintings and modular sculptures that interact with natural light. The lightness and beauty of the sculpture is how the translucent material is activated by the light to both reflect and project rainbow like planes of color. For Linder, this approach is similar to painting; Wood frames are built, fabric is stretched, and pigmented resin is painted, sprayed, and/or poured. 

The less three-dimensional works use wood strip frames to create cavities for him to pour pigmented resin into. These hand-built, irregular grids loosely reference stained glass windows in how they allow the available light to pass through them. One possible reading is that geometry has been abandoned in favor of a playful, joyful interpretation of abstraction. Linder’s recent work also explores the imagery of his past in the Midwest, which included growing up around greenhouses and experimenting with LED light installations, with materials and colors of Southern California. His oeuvre is heavily influenced by the light and space movement, which blossomed in Los Angeles in the 1970s, but is a departure with its conscious reference to the human hand by how he treats the material. There is a rawness to his objects that clearly implies human imperfection and manual labor. 

IMG_2741.jpg
IMG_2747.jpg
IMG_2750 (1).jpg
IMG_2752.jpg
IMG_2757.jpg
IMG_2758.jpg
IMG_2759.jpg
IMG_2763.jpg
IMG_2764.jpg
IMG_2767.jpg
IMG_2769.jpg
IMG_2784.jpg

Travel: Hong Kong

This September I was able to visit Hong Kong and explore some of the art scene outside of a typical Art Basel week. My interactions included meetings wth the director of CoBo Social, Selina Tang, as well as Alexandra Seno from Asia Art Archive. It was great to speak with several artists and curators how have witnessed the explosion of the art scene over the last five years. It was particularly valuable to connect with a long time friend Aenon Loo, who is the former director of White Cube HK and has an incredible knowledge of art in the region and beyond. The influence of Western galleries is quite strong, however I am most excited about seeing the private collections that have encouraged various forms of galleries to flourish and many have settled in the new gallery neighborhood of Aberdeen. The night I landed I was able to attend an opening at one of the K11 Foundation galleries, featuring several artists around the them of nature and sustainability, organized by a talented young curator and artist Enoch Cheng. 

IMG_2971.jpg
IMG_2972.jpg
IMG_2976.jpg
IMG_2981.jpg
IMG_2986.jpg
IMG_3042.jpg
IMG_3054.jpg
IMG_3060.jpg
IMG_3070.jpg

Travel: Taipei

This was my second trip to Taipei and it was real honor to be invited by Patrick Sun to experience the historic opening of “Spectrosynthesis” at Taipei MOCA. The exhibition was three years in the making and features a diverse group of Asian contemporary artists around LGBT themes in Asia. Sun’s passion as a collector has included becoming an advocate for the gay community in Asia by supporting many gay artists through his Sunpride Foundation, which in many regions still face systemic oppression and discrimination. MOCA Taipei is the first institution in Asia to acknowledge the contributions of the LGBT community in the art world and how significant they are. Many works in the exhibition were loaned by the Sunpride Foundation Collection. The event included lots of great food, opportunities to connect with artists and collectors from around Asia and a dazzling performance (literally) by Ming Wong and Cheng-Ta Yu. Patrick Sun is an amazing host and generous patron! The beautiful exhibition was curated by Sean C.S. Hu

IMG_3097.jpg
IMG_3139.jpg
IMG_3151.jpg
IMG_3154.jpg
IMG_3169.jpg
IMG_3194.jpg
IMG_3208.jpg
IMG_3231.jpg
IMG_3241.jpg
IMG_3278.jpg
IMG_3321.jpg
Ryan_Adrian_John Silvis_20170908-開幕晚會-s002s.jpg

The Marciano Art Foundatio

The Marciano Art Foundation opened this spring. The collection is composed of 1,500 works from 200 plus international contemporary artists and is shown in the newly renovated, monumentous former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, designed Millard Sheets, in Beverly Hills. The first show “Unpacking” was organized by Philipp Kaiser and will be on view for the next year. There are two underlying themes to the show, one that relates to showcase how artists process their creation and the other to emphasize the artists archaeological impulses. 

The most impressive work in mind in the commissioned, large scale installation by Jim Shaw, titled “The Wig.” The installation highlights the artists engagement with social, political and spiritual histories of a diverse America. 

IMG_2787 (1).jpg
IMG_2788.jpg
IMG_2790.jpg
IMG_2794.jpg
IMG_2795.jpg
IMG_2797.jpg
IMG_2799.jpg
IMG_2802.jpg
IMG_2803.jpg
IMG_2806.jpg
IMG_2807.jpg
IMG_2809.jpg
IMG_2810.jpg
IMG_2812.jpg
IMG_2813.jpg
IMG_2817.jpg
IMG_2818.jpg

Travel: Brussels

To cap off my month long art adventure in Europe, I went to Brussels primarily to interview art collector Alain Servais for PARNASS art journal. This was only my second trip to Brussels and really enjoyed it. The interview with Servais was a tremendous experience, it is so invigorating to be around someone who is so passionate about art and has an internal drive to keep pushing their own boundaries as a collector. 

In particular I love the fact that he is very present in the public sphere and contributes by giving lots of talks and interviews, as well as writing articles, such as “Art in the Shadow of the Art Market Industrialization.” 

In addition, Servais makes parts of his collection available at the Loft in the northern corner of Brussels. The current exhibition was curated by Dragos Olea from Apparatus 22.

Among many galleries like Clearing that I find impressive, my favorite experience was going to the Wiels Center for Contemporary Art

IMG_1615.jpg
IMG_1620.jpg
IMG_1625.jpg
IMG_1632.jpg
IMG_1635.jpg
IMG_1636.jpg
IMG_1641.jpg
IMG_1646.jpg
IMG_1649.jpg
IMG_1654.jpg
IMG_1671.jpg
IMG_1675.jpg
IMG_1684.jpg
IMG_1698.jpg
IMG_1711.jpg
IMG_1726.jpg
IMG_1737.jpg

Travel: Venice

I remember attending the Venice Biennale for the first time in 1993. Although I had been there as a tourist in my youth, it was a transformative experience to see so much high caliber art from around the world. This may have subconsciously been what triggered my interest in contemporary art beyond Berlin and NYC. I traveled there with my then grad school professor Arnulf Rainer.  

This year’s biennial in many ways was not particularly revolutionary, however there was so much powerful work to see, particularly walking through the international pavilions is so rewarding even in hot, humid weather! One of the standouts this year was the performance in German pavilion by Faust, Jr., the Austrian pavilion presenting Erwin Wurm (interactive sculpture) and Brigitte Kowanz, as well as the American pavilion artist Mark Bradford. The installation I was most captivated by was the work of Carlos Amorales in the Mexican pavilion.

 

In addition to the main show of the Biennale and the Arsenale, there were fantastic installations around the city tucked away in various mansions and palaces; Truly breathtaking. And just being in Venice feels like you are in an important place. 

IMG_1432.jpg
IMG_1438.jpg
IMG_1443.jpg
IMG_1446.jpg
IMG_1447.jpg
IMG_1450.jpg
IMG_1451.jpg
IMG_1453.jpg
IMG_1469.jpg
IMG_1493.jpg
IMG_1506.jpg
IMG_1510.jpg
IMG_1514.jpg
IMG_1515.jpg
IMG_1518.jpg
IMG_1533.jpg
IMG_1539.jpg
IMG_1548.jpg
IMG_1561.jpg
IMG_1564.jpg
IMG_1569.jpg

Travel: Vienna

It was really meaningful to spend a long weekend in Vienna with Karlheinz and Agnes Essl, and re-visit the city where I spent much of my childhood. They have known me since I was born and I went on my very first studio visit with them in 1986. They have been mentors, friends and clients, and have really accompanied my life in the art world at every stage. For this I am grateful and so admire how they have dedicated their life to support art in Austria and around the world! This spring they announced that their collection will be on loan to the Albertina for 25 years. The collection will open at the newly renovated Künstlerhaus in 2019. 

IMG_1333.jpg
IMG_1344.jpg
IMG_1349.jpg
IMG_1376.jpg
IMG_1384.jpg
IMG_1415.jpg

Travel: Münster

The Münster Sculpture Projects began in 1977 and is presented every 10 years. It has created as an amazing forum for public sculpture and brings an exciting group of artists together to challenge our notion of art in the public space. The project has been offering a special exhibition experiences throughout its 30 year tenure: Artists develop site-specific works for Münster—sculptures, but also video installations or performances. These projects inscribe themselves in the city’s structural, historical and social contexts, while simultaneously transgressing its boundaries. The artistic explorations are as much concerned with global issues as they are a reflections on the concept of sculpture in relationship to public and private space. The curatorial team consists of free-lance curator Britta Peters of Hamburg, the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur curator of contemporary art, Marianne Wagner, and the exhibition’s artistic director Kasper König. 

One of my favorite works, by Gregor Schneider "N. Schmidt, Pferdegasse 19, 48143 Münster, Deutschland," definitely had the longest wait times to get in! His strange, empty apartment was created on the top floor of the museum, with access from the street only. Light, smells, lack of sound all set the viewer up for a mind altering experience. Entrance was one person at a time.

Pierre Huyghe, After ALife Ahead, dug up the floor of an indoor skating rink was an impressive immersive feet, but failed to convey his ideas with the distraction of peacocks and fish tanks that seemed way overwrought. 

IMG_1021.jpg
IMG_1026.jpg
IMG_1028.jpg
IMG_1031.jpg
IMG_1037.jpg
IMG_1046.jpg
IMG_1048.jpg
IMG_1049.jpg
IMG_1052.jpg
IMG_1060.jpg
IMG_1067.jpg
IMG_1072.jpg
IMG_1080.jpg
IMG_1095.jpg
IMG_1112.jpg
IMG_1116.jpg
IMG_1117.jpg
IMG_1121.jpg

Travel: Berlin

It is great to see how the Berlin art scene has continued to expand and change at an amazingly fast pace over the last two years. This recent trip confirmed that Berlin is definitely one of the most vital cultural axis of Europe, attracting great talent from all over the world, particularly in the visual arts. The Berlin art scene is unique because it attracts a wide range of artists, from emerging to more established artists. 
There are many new galleries that have popped up in various parts of Berlin, as well as many existing ones which have moved to new locations, often to take over large, cavernous spaces like the Blane/Southern gallery. In addition to the large private collections that are generously open to the public, the Boros, Hoffman and Haubrok collections, there are two new spaces that I find really dynamic and engaging, and are similarly funded by private collectors: The Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin, which focuses on time based art and the Kindl Center for Contemporary Art, a Kunsthalle that will feature engaging one person and group exhibitions focused on contemporary topics. 

Travel: Kassel

This was my third Documenta experience and by far the most engaging exhibition due to the expansiveness of the project and some great international representations. The show is created every five years and is a monumental undertaking. This year Athens was the partner city and by some accounts the more interesting site of the two locations. I personally found it difficult to find a meaningful thread or a meaningful cohesion between the individual exhibitions. The venues were well curated in terms of the placement of the work, however the juxtapositions of imagery did not make sense to me. There were individual highlights in each exhibition, as well as some interesting solo projects, but the incredible effort that was required to reach peripheral sites did not pay off. The strongest show for me was at the Bellevue, as it seemed to have the most consistent theme throughout…..Arguably the most dominant theme of the Documenta 14 was looking at art through the lens of colonialism. This is an extremely timely, yet unruly theme, and walking through the exhibits I got the sense that the curators are preaching to the choir. It would have been better to exhibit fewer works and drill down into some of the urgent themes affecting the irrational state of the world we are living in.