Giangiacomo Rossetti: painting as a form of hospitality

Giangiacomo Rossetti, Fantasia n.9 – la casa dagli spiriti buoni, 2020 Oil on aluminum panel, artist’s frame 18 x 14 inches (45.7 x 35.6 cm) Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York.

When it comes to young artists like Giangiacomo Rossetti (born Milan, 1989), the comfortable art writing technique of interviews leaves us wondering. There is a clear responsibility in putting forward an interpretation of an emerging practice in the form of an essay. Even if a young artwork and author can speak for themselves, a specific reading by an external viewer is more than mere decoration. Perhaps this act of interpretation is even a necessary condition for properly showing or collecting any work of art. 

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Artist Creates Powerful Dragon Sculpture Out of Trees Destroyed by a Storm

After a brutal storm, Italian sculptor Marco Martalar was moved to transform the damage into something beautiful. Sitting atop a mountain in the northern Trentino region of Italy, an enormous dragon has become a symbol of Mother Nature’s force. Martalar created the magnificent creature from the scattered branches of the storm, turning tragedy into art.

In 2018, the Vaia storm ripped across northern Italy. With winds reaching up to 125 miles per hour, a tremendous amount of forest was destroyed. In Trentino alone, over 18,000 trees were uprooted by the devastating storm, which was unprecedented. Vaia had a profound effect on Martalar, changing the way that he viewed his art. “The type of sculpture that I was doing before no longer made sense,” he tells My Modern Met. “So I started using what the storm had destroyed and gave it new life as art.”

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Clement Greenberg: Collage

Georges Braque, Man with a Guitar, 1911

COLLAGE WAS A major turning point in the evolution of Cubism, and therefore a major turning point in the whole evolution of modernist art in this century. Who invented collage–Braque or Picasso–and when is still not settled. Both artists left most of the work they did between I907 and 1914 undated as well as unsigned; and each claims, or implies the claim, that his was the first collage of all. That Picasso dates his, in retrospect, almost a year earlier than Braque’s com-pounds the difficulty. Nor does the internal or stylistic evidence help enough, given that the interpretation of Cubism is still on a rudimentary level.

The question of priority is much less important, however, than that of the motives which first induced either artist to paste or glue a piece of extraneous material to the surface of a picture. About this, neither Braque nor Picasso has made him-self at all clear. The writers who have tried to explain their intentions for them speak, with a unanimity that is suspect in itself, of the need for renewed contact with “reality” in face of the growing abstractness of Analytical Cubism. But the term “reality,” always ambiguous when used in connection with art, has never been used more ambiguously than here. A piece of imitation-woodgrain wallpaper is not more “real” under any definition, or closer to nature, than a painted simulation of it; nor is wallpaper, oilcloth, newspaper or wood more “real,” or closer to nature, than paint on canvas. And even if these materials were more “real,” the question would still be begged, for “reality” would still explain next to nothing about the actual appearance of the Cubist collage.

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Merzzeichnung: Typology and Typography

Kurt Schwitters
Aphorism 1923

When Kurt Schwitters began making collages in 1918, the initial term he used to describe them was Merzzeichnungen (Merz drawings). This article considers the place of drawing in the development of Schwitters’s Merz practice and argues that the close connection he made between drawings and collages was not merely because of their common status as works on paper. By analogizing collage and drawing, Schwitters gave new priority to the latter but not as immediate access to the artist’s thought. Rather, drawing was a medium that could meld together elements of painting, printmaking and writing, disrupting conventional artistic categories and demanding a greater role for the viewer in creative interpretation.

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Chaos, Complexity, & Collage

Beauty on Trial by Stephen M. Specht
collage. Courtesy of the artist.

Unpacking the Psychology of the Creative Process

“I have scores of vintage LIFE magazines in my chaotic (dictionary definitional use) studio, as well as dozens of vintage books, including books about steam engines, anatomy, photography, insects, and history,” writes Steven M. Specht, Ph.D. in Kolaj 34. “Of course, I also have many contemporary magazines and books from which to choose potential collage elements. Although all of these sources seem quite static as they sit stacked on the floor or on bookshelves; they create the potential for an extremely complex dynamical system. What may seem like a random act of selection of an element, perhaps is not random at all, but determined by a myriad of slight perturbations in ‘initial conditions’ of the artist and the environment. Artists sometimes refer to the role of ‘intuition’ in their creative process. In Simonton’s analysis, this may be the source of ‘blind variations’.

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Infrared Photos Capture Breathtaking Views of France in Cotton-Candy Pink Hues

Infrared photographer Paolo Pettigiani transformed his road trip across France into a three-week photographic adventure. From Provence to Normandy to the Palace of Versailles, Pettigiani allows us to experience France in a way that’s new and fresh. The work is an expansion of his Infraland project, which has been ongoing since 2015.

For Infraland, the Italian photographer uses a converted full-spectrum camera to capture the unseen electromagnetic radiation of infrared light. From New York to the Italian Dolomites, he’s continued to wow us with the cotton-candy hues of these photos. And his infrared images of France are no exception.

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Uncanny Assemblage

Suzanne Moxhay

Suzanne Moxhay’s (b. 1976) work developed out of an interest in the constructed domain of film, where natural and artificial elements merge to immerse the viewer in a fictional world. Drawing from an archive of collected material that ranges from mid-century books to contemporary, found photographs, she creates narrative photomontages reminiscent of empty sets, uniting the exterior and the interior.

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Incredible Installations of Cube-Shaped “Chandeliers” Cover Rooms With Ornate Geometric Shadows

Anila Quayyum Agha, “Shimmering Mirage,” lacquered steel and halogen bulb, 36” x 36” x 36”, 2016. Installation at June Collins Smith Museum, Auburn, AL, 2021. (Photo credit: Mike Cortez)

Pakistani American artist Anila Quayyum Agha uses her many varied experiences as inspiration for her incredible installation art. She constructs intricate cubes that, when illuminated, cast beautiful Islamic patterns on all sides of the room. Not only do these precious lanterns explore the visible dynamic between light and shadow, but they also embody other polarities such as masculine and feminine, and religious and secular.

Originally from Pakistan, Anila has been living and exhibiting her art in the United States since she received her MFA from the University of North Texas. “Having lived on the boundaries of different faiths such as Islam and Christianity, and in cultures like Pakistan and USA, my art is deeply influenced by the simultaneous sense of alienation and transience that informs the migrant experience,” Agha explains to My Modern Met.

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In ‘Architecture in Music,’ Striking Photos Reveal the Hidden Structures of Instruments

Fazioli Grand Piano

A cellist since childhood, Auckland-based photographer Charles Brooks spent twenty years performing with orchestras around the world, an experience that incited curiosity about the inner workings of the instruments surrounding him. “I never really knew what was going on inside. That was a realm reserved for the luthier. Occasionally, when an instrument was being repaired, you’d get a rare glimpse inside, which was always a thrilling experience,” he shares with Colossal.

This interest culminates in Brooks’s ongoing Architecture in Music series, which peers inside pianos, winds, brass, and strings to unveil their hidden anatomies. Structural and often flanked by repeating elements, the composite images frame the shadows cast by a cello’s F holes, the seemingly endless rungs of a flute’s sound chamber, and a piano’s row of hammers, all of which appear more like buildings or public infrastructure than musical components.

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Boris Lurie’s Search for Historical Truth in Trauma

Boris Lurie, “Liberation of Magdeburg” (1946), pastel and gouache on paper, 19 x 25 inches

Born in St. Petersburg in 1924, Boris Lurie grew up in Latvia. When he was 16, that country was occupied by the Nazis, and much of his immediate family was murdered. Lurie, who died in 2008, survived several labor and concentration camps, in part because he was treated as a skilled laborer but also because he was accompanied by his father, who was a shrewd networker. After the war, he served with the United States Counter Intelligence Corps and then migrated to New York City. There, he learned to make art and, due to his highly successful real estate dealings, created a foundation devoted to the preservation and promotion of what he dubbed his NO!art. Although Lurie’s art has been the subject of a number of exhibitions, Nothing To Do But To Try at the Museum of Jewish Heritage is the first show of his earliest work: paintings, drawings, and sketches, most made immediately after the war, works that he kept private. Two paintings depict wartime scenes: “Roll Call in Concentration Camp” (1946) and “Liberation of Magdeburg” (1946). Also included are a self-portrait, an image of his mother made from memory (“Portrait of My Mother Before Shooting,” 1947), and one later painting, “In Concentration Camp” (1971). The artworks are accompanied by a presentation of his texts and photographs of the camps, as well as family photographs, correspondences, and diaries. 

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