Patti Smith: Higher Learning, Parma

Patti Smith, Slippers of Pope Benedict XV, New York City, 2007, 10 X 8 in (25.4 X 20.3 cm) (Large)

Patti Smith, Slippers of Pope Benedict XV, New York City, 2007.

A review by guest author Clare Ann Matz.

 PATTI SMITH „Higher Learning“

120 photographs by Patti Smith and THE NY SCENE „Art, culture and the new avant-garde movement in the 70s – 80s“
150 works of art by Galella, Ginsberg, Gorgoni, Makos, Warhol …

Palazzo del Governatore
Parma, Italy
Until July 16, 2017.

Patti Smith, Auto Portrait 2, 2003, 10 X 8 in (25.4 X 20.3 cm) (Large)

Patti Smith, Auto Portrait 2, 2003.

Higher Learning is a meditative journey on creativity and the passage of time, presenting 120 black and white Polaroid photographs taken by Patti Smith during her travels around the world, its title comes from the record Land, published in 2002.

Gianfranco Gorgoni, Jean Michael Basquiat, NYC, 1983, Lambda print mounted on aluminum, 180x130cm, -®Gianfranco Gorgoni _ Courtesy Photology.jpeg

Gianfranco Gorgoni, Jean Michael Basquiat, NYC, 1983, Lambda print mounted on aluminum, 180x130cm, ©Gianfranco Gorgoni _ Courtesy Photology.

The exhibition, organized by the University of Parma, the City of Parma and produced by International Music and Arts, celebrates the work of Patti Smith in occasion of  the honorary doctorate in classic and modern literature awarded her by the University of Parma on May 3rd, 2017.

The small photographs, taken with a vintage Land 250 Polaroid camera, are a visual diary showing the locations, the furniture, the statues, tombstones, and other objects which belonged to artists who contributed in developing Patti Smith’s cultural heritage, including Herman Hesse’s typewriter, Frida Kahlo’s bed, corset, crutches and medicine bottles, Paul Verlaine’s revolver, Margot Fonteyn’s ballet slippers and other relics.

Printed with gelatin silver process in limited 10 copy editions the photos defy the modern concept of digital photography, most images are out of focus and badly exposed, as if on a nostalgic quest, a longing for artistic masters and mementos from the past.

Patti Smith, Hermann Hesses's typewriter, Lugano, Switzerland, 2003, Gelatin silver print, edition of 10, 14 X 11 in (35.6 X 27.9 cm)

Patti Smith, Hermann Hesses’s typewriter, Lugano, Switzerland, 2003.

A yearning which has been at the heart of Patti Smith’s visual work from the very beginning, and whose embryo can be found in the book Babel published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in New York in 1974.

Patti Smith, Pier Paolo Pasolini's grave, Giulia, Italy, 2015, Gelatin silver print, edition of 10, 8 X 10 in (20.3 X 25.4 cm)

Patti Smith, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s grave, Giulia, Italy, 2015.

Speaking about the honor of receiving a Laurea honoris causa Patti Smith comments:

„When I was young I dreamed of going to a big university. It is an honor to receive  the  Laurea honoris causa from Parma University, one of the oldest and most prestigious universities of Europe. I have always believed in the importance of education, and receiving this award from this eminent institution for higher education both embarrasses and stimulates me. This exhibition is a homage to another form of education. The university of life, of travelling, of books, artists, poets and teachers.

The images are visual representations of the pilgrimages and of gratitude, an ongoing love and respect for our cultural voices, for their great works and the humility of their instruments. A brush, a typewriter, the beds on which they dreamed. The places of their eternal peace.“

Patti Smith, gods hand rome, 2007, gelatin silver print, 20.32 X 25.4 cm

Patti Smith, God’s hand, Rome, 2007.

Gianfranco Gorgoni, Keith Haring in Front of Queens Bridge_, NYC, 1985, Vintage Gelatin Silver Print, 35,6x28cm, -®Gianfranco Gorgoni _ Courtesy Photology

Gianfranco Gorgoni, Keith Haring in Front of Queens Bridge, New York City, 1985.

The THE NY SCENE „Art, culture and the new avant-garde movement in the 70s – 80s“, produced by Photology in collaboration with the City of Parma, exhibits 150 images linked to the artistic environment which developed in New York City between the 70s and the 80s, when the city became the world capital of contemporary art and launched the Pop Art  movement and the Beat Generation.

The photographs exhibited illustrate a cauldron of art, sex, drugs, pop culture and literary avant-garde through the eyes of the artists that contributed in the creation of these movements: Galella, Ginsberg, Goldin, Gorgoni, Makos, Mapplethorpe and Warhol and others.

Christopher Makos, Altered Image-Portrait of Andy Warhol, NYC, 1981_82, 50x40cm, Installation of 9 digital pigment print, -®Christopher Makos _ Courtesy Photology

Christopher Makos, Altered Image-Portrait of Andy Warhol, NYC, 1981_82, 50x40cm, Installation of 9 digital pigment print, ©Christopher Makos _ Courtesy Photology.

However the alembic container of the Palazzo del Governatore purges them of the nitty-gritty, grubby, noisy reality of the Big Apple, distilling an essence of refined photographs, carefully enclosed in sober frames, which defy the very purpose of the exhibition, which is to illustrate the energy in the Big Apple in the 70s and 80s.

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Ron Galella, Mick Jagger, NYC, 08_09_1983, Vintage Gelatin Silver Print, 25,2×16,3cm, ©Ron Galella _Courtesy Photology.

The exhibition is divided in two sections „The East Side“ with Allen Ginsberg’s „Beat+Pieces“ portraying the poets of the Beat Generation with refined gelatin silver prints, including John Giorno, Gregory Corso, Julius Orlovsky and other interesting players of the scene such as Annie Leibovitz, John Cage and Judith Malina.

Allen Ginsberg, Francesco Clemente, Greenwich Village, N.Y.C., June 1992, Gelatin Silver Print, 30x40cm, -®Allen Ginsberg Estate, New York_ Courtesy Photology.jpg (Large)

Allen Ginsberg, Francesco Clemente, Greenwich Village, N.Y.C., June 1992, Gelatin Silver Print, 30x40cm, ©Allen Ginsberg Estate, New York_ Courtesy Photology.

Gianfranco Gorgoni who focuses more on visual artists with both b/w as well as striking, large Lambda color prints depicting Richard Serra, Francesco Clemente, Claes Oldenburg, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring.

Nan Goldin’s Cibacrome „Everyday“ photographs recall the more familiar atmospheres of those years.

There are also two films: A documentary by Gianfranco Gorgoni about the owner of renowned art gallery Leo Castelli and the work of Swiss filmmaker Albert Schepflin shot in Sandy Daley’s room at the Chelsea Hotel with a soundtrack by Patti Smith chanting the poem „Thief“.

Patti Smith, Winged Cherubim, San Severino Marche, 2009, 14 X 11 in (35.6 X 27.9 cm) (Large)

Patti Smith, Winged Cherubim, San Severino, Marche, 2009.

The second section „The West Side“ begins with Andy Warhol’s „Instant Polaroids“ of artists and the jet set which gravitated around each other including Jane Fonda, Ryan and Tatum O’Neal, John McEnroe, Joan Collins, John Denver and artists Jasper Jones and Roy Lichtenstein. „Altered Images“  by Christopher Makos is a series of stark portraits of Andy Warhol in normal clothes, but heavy facial make up. „Not a drag act but 8 wigs, 2 days and 349 shots“, as Makos recalls, to capture the king of Pop Art in his multiple facets. At last Ron Galella’s „Disco years“ are just that, Polaroid pictures of celebrities at the Studio 54.

Patti Smith, Gabriele D'Annunzio's bed, Brescia, 2015, Gelatin silver print, edition of 10, 10 X 8 in (25.4 X 20.3 cm)

Patti Smith, Gabriele D’Annunzio’s bed, Brescia, 2015.

A small room with just one large photograph of a skull is dedicated to Robert Mapplethorpe yet one can spend a good hour there (they have placed comfortable benches) watching a clever 2016 HBO documentary film by Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey. „Look at the pictures“ depicts the extra-ordinary life of the controversial photographer through interviews with friends, school mates, colleagues, clients and gallery owners, plus historic footage, drawings made as a child, multimedia experiments at Pratt Institute and of course many exceptional photographs. Especially touching is the extensive interview with Robert Mapplethorpe’s brother Edward and the trial during which the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center was charged of obscenity twenty-five years ago.

Patti Smith, Michelangelo, David, Florence, 2007, Stampa su gelatina al bronuro d'argento, 35.56 X 27.94 cm (Large)

Patti Smith, Michelangelo, David, Florence, 2007.

As one exits the gallery a final room houses the double screening of Andy Warhol’s 1967 film „Chelsea Girls“, maybe an interesting experiment for the time, but quite insignificant after the overwhelming experience of a full immersion in Robert Mapplethorpe’s world.

Patti Smith, Columns (Gabriele D'Annunzio's garden), 2003, Gelatin silver print, edition of 10, 10 X 8 in (25.4 X 20.3 cm) (Large)

Patti Smith, Columns (Gabriele D’Annunzio’s garden), 2003.

 

 

Art collection Gunter Sachs in Schweinfurt

andy warhol, gunter sachs, 1972 (Large)Art all the time accompanied the fascinating life of Gunter Sachs. After his death his family decided to exhibit about 165 pieces of his art collection in his hometown Schweinfurt, Germany till March 30, 2014.

(German translation see below)

The exhibition is at the same time a tribute to the Family Sachs, which has its roots here in Northern Bavaria. The exhibition is located in the art museum of Schweinfurt. The building was given once – in 1933 – as a present of Sachs’ grandfather Ernst to the city of Schweinfurt.

Gunter Sachs (14 November 1932 – 7 May 2011) was a German photographer, author, industrialist, and latterly head of an institute that researched claims of astrology. As a young man he became a sportsman, then gained international fame as a documentary film-maker and documentary photographer. He was interested in astrology and its connection with mathematics and statistics.

The early years

Sachs was born in Mainberg near Schweinfurt in Germany. His mother was the daughter of Wilhelm von Opel; his father was Willy Sachs, sole owner of Fichtel & Sachs, a leading manufacturer of ball bearings and one of Germany’s biggest automobile suppliers.

A playboy in his early years, Sachs was romantically linked to the former Iranian queen Soraya. He married three times. His first wife, Anne-Marie Faure, died in 1958 during surgery. He courted his second wife, Brigitte Bardot, by flying over her villa on the French Riviera in a helicopter and dropping hundreds of roses. The couple were married on 14 July 1966 in Las Vegas, they divorced in 1969. His final marriage was to Swedish former model, Mirja Larsson, (who was 26 at the time of their engagement), which lasted from 1969 until his death. He had a son Rolf Sachs (born 1955),with his first wife, and a further two sons (Christian Gunnar and Claus Alexander) with his third wife. In addition to his German nationality, Sachs received Swiss citizenship in 1976.

Art Collector

Sachs‘ extensive art collection included works by Jean Fautrier, Andy Warhol, René Magritte, Salvador Dalí, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann, Mel Ramos, and Allen Jones. He also owned important pieces from the Nouveau réalisme school including Yves Klein, Jean Tinguely, Arman, and Martial Raysse. Many of these artists were involved in the 1969 design of the legendary pop-art-apartment in the tower of the Palace Hotel in St. Moritz, which quickly gained the art world’s attention. From 1967 to 1975 Sachs, together with Prince Konstantin of Bavaria, co-founded and headed the association for the Modern Art Museum in Munich (MAM), which lobbied for the construction of a comprehensive museum of contemporary art in Munich and mounted monthly exhibitions at Villa Stuck. Victor Vasarely, Georg Baselitz, Heinz Edelmann, Christo, Cy Twombly, Alexander Calder, Heinz Mack and Jean Tinguely, Roy Lichtenstein, and Gotthard Graubner found their way into the rooms of the museum. In 1972 he opened a gallery in Hamburg and organised the first European exhibition of his friend Andy Warhol.

In May 2006, Sachs sold one of Warhol’s silk screens of Bardot at auction for 3 million US-Dollars. After his death the Sachs family sold part of his collection of Pop Art and Nouveau Realisme through Sotheby’s in May 2012.

Being a photographer

Since 1972, Sachs was working professionally as a photographer, in 1973 he caused a stir with the first nude photograph of French Vogue. In 1991 he worked with Claudia Schiffer on the „Heroines“ series. He gained international recognition in 1974 with a special show at the Photokina trade show for which he also designed the official exhibition poster. In 1976 he was awarded the Leica Award. At the “German photo days” and the Photokina he received prizes for „Die Farbe Weiss“ in 1994 and for „Die Farbe Rot“ in 1995.

The focus of his photography are surreal nudes and landscapes, which were published in no less than seven image volumes. Early on, Sachs also experimented with digital photography. The proceeds from the sale of his photographs and illustrated books went into the Mirja Sachs Foundation, which helps children in need.

The end

Sachs committed suicide on 7 May 2011 by a gunshot wound to the head at his home in Gstaad, Switzerland. In a note distributed to Swiss and German media by his family, Sachs said he had been suffering from a “hopeless illness” and that he felt he was losing his memory, ability to think and communicate clearly.

“That menace was for me always the lone criteria for putting an end to my life”, Sachs stated in the note. His family said it had been Sachs‘ “expressed wish” to have the note published after his death.

“I have always stood up to big challenges”, his statement ended.

Warhol_Himself, Siebdruck, 1986 (Large) ©dpaSalon-TA (Large) UGA_SnakeCollective, 1974 (Large) Tom Wesselmann,Study for Seascape Woodcut,1981 (Large) Toast_GS, 2007 (Large) Ramos_Bananasplit, 1972 (Large) Hartung_Composition, 1947 (Large) Banksy_Flags (Large) Roy Lichtenstein, Vicki, 1964, Emaille auf Metall, 106 x 106 cm (Large) Ramos_TobaccoRVantage, 1972 Mel Ramos, Della Monty, 1971Die Sammlung Gunter Sachs

Hauptwerke des Surrealismus bis Graffiti

Kunsthalle Schweinfurt (15. November 2013 bis 30. März 2014)

Die Familie von Gunter Sachs hat sich nach seinem Tod im Mai 2011 entschlossen, seine unverwechselbare Kunstsammlung einer breiteren Öffentlichkeit bekannt zu machen. Sie gibt gleichzeitig auch das Interieur seiner Wohnungen weltweit wieder.

Seit dem Beginn seiner Laufbahn als Sammler im Paris der 1950er- und 1960er-Jahre begleitete Kunst das Leben von Gunter Sachs. Mitte zwanzig und als charismatisch-gebildeter Erbe eines Millionenunternehmens bewegte er sich in den Kreisen der Künstler des Informel und des Nouveau Réalisme und lebte das verwegene Savoir-vivre der Pariser Kunstszene.

Sachs kaufte, sammelte und trennte sich wieder von Werken, tauschte und verkaufte sie, um seine Sammlung zu bereichern. Er schuf so kein starr-gewachsenes, Stil- oder Künstler-gebundenes Konglomerat von Wertanlagen, sondern seine Kunstsammlung zeigt einen lebendigen Spiegel seiner Interessen, Bekanntschaften und auch seines subjektiven Geschmacks. In den 1960er-Jahren entdeckte er die Pop Art und ließ sein legendäres Turm-Appartement in Sankt Moritz von befreundeten Künstlern wie Roy Lichtenstein und Andy Warhol einrichten.

Die Ausstellung in der Kunsthalle Schweinfurt präsentiert rund 165 Arbeiten und ist gleichzeitig ein Who´s who der internationalen Nachkriegskunst. Im Zentrum stehen Hauptwerke der Pop-Art, vertreten durch Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Mel Ramos, Robert Rauschenberg und Tom Wesselmann.

Gunter Sachs interessierte sich auch bevorzugt für den Nouveau Réalisme, wofür Arman, Daniel Spoerri, César oder Yves Klein beispielhaft stehen. Vertreten sind mit herausragenden Exponaten die Arte Povera mit Michelangelo Pistoletto, die Fluxus-Bewegung oder berühmte Künstler der Graffiti-Kunst wie TOAST und Shepard Fairey und viele, viele mehr.

Die Schweinfurter Ausstellung der Sammlung Gunter Sachs zeigt sich gegenüber der Präsentation in der Münchener Villa Stuck in neuem Gesicht durch die große Anzahl weiterer Leihgaben aus dem Besitz der Familie.

Warum Gunter Sachs in Schweinfurt? Die Präsentation der Sammlung Gunter Sachs in der Kunsthalle Schweinfurt ist eine Hommage der Familie Sachs an ihre Wurzeln und die Ursprünge ihres sozialen Engagements.

Die Ausstellung wird in jenem repräsentativen Gebäude gezeigt , das 1933 als mäzenatische Schenkung des Firmengründers Ernst Sachs an die Bürger der Stadt gegeben wurde und noch heute engstens mit dem Namen „Sachs“ verbunden ist.

Photos, Courtesy of:

Andy Warhol, Gunter Sachs, 1972
Warhol Foundation for the visual Arts, Inc. New York. / Artists Right Society (ARS), New York; Estate Gunter Sachs, Courtesy Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

Banksy, People Who Wave Flags, o.A.
© Banksy. Estate Gunter Sachs, Foto Walter Bayer, Courtesy Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

Giorgio de Chirico, Edipo e Antigone, 1926
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013; Estate Gunter Sachs, Courtesy Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

Hans Hartung, composition abstraite, 1947.
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013. Foto: Walter Bayer; Estate Gunter Sachs. Courtesy Insitut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

Mel Ramos, Della Monty, 1971
©VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013; Estate Gunter Sachs, Courtesy Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

René Magritte, Colère des Dieux, 1960
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013; Estate Gunter Sachs, Foto Walter Bayer, Courtesy Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

Roy Lichtenstein, Vicki, 1964
©VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013; Estate Gunter Sachs, Courtesy Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

Salon des Tower-Appartements in St. Moritz
© Estate Gunter Sachs

Toast, Gunter Sachs, 2007
© Ata Bozaci „TOAST“ 2013; Estate Gunter Sachs; Courtesy of Instiut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

Tom Wesselmann, Study for Seascape Woodcut, 1981
© The Estate of Tom Wesselmann; VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2013;
Estate Gunter Sachs, Foto Walter Bayer, Courtesy Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen

UGA, Snake Collective, 1974
© United Graffiti Artists (UGA); Estate Gunter Sachs; Courtesy Institut für Kulturaustausch, Tübingen