Brigitte Bardot and Saint Tropez

thumb_IMG_7648_1024The exposition is dedicated to the icon of Saint Tropez: Brigitte Bardot, actress and Femme fatale. And today animal activist. In 1966, it was here at the bay of Saint Tropez where the German industrial Gunter Sachs was flying over her villa „La Madrague“ in a helicopter and dropping a thousand of red roses.

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„La Madrague“ – the house of Brigitte Bardot at Saint Tropez.

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The exposition „Brigitte Bardot. Mythe à Saint Tropez“ is at Le Musée de la Gendarmerie et du Cinéma near the new harbor till January 15, 2018.

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It is an excellent small display especially for the fans of BB and the life at the French Riviera in the swinging 1960s and 1970s.

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„I gave my youth and my beauty to men, now I am giving my wisdom and my experience  and the best of myself to animals.“

Brigitte Bardot

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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.

 

 

Karl Lagerfeld, Modemethode (Fashion Method), Bonn

karl-lagerfeld_schreibtisch1500Bundeskunsthalle Bonn

Until September 13, 2015

Karl Lagerfeld is one of the world’s most renowned fashion designers and widely celebrated as an icon of the zeitgeist. Karl Lagerfeld. Modemethode at the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany is the first comprehensive exhibition to explore the fashion cosmos of this exceptional designer and, with it, to present an important chapter of the fashion history of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Karl Lagerfeld is known for injecting classic shapes with new life and for taking fashion into new directions. For the past sixty years – from 1955 to today – Lagerfeld’s creations have consistently demonstrated his extraordinary feel for the ‘now’. Right from the start of his career, the designer has worked for luxury houses such as Balmain, Patou, Fendi, Chloé, Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel. As creative director and chief designer of Chanel since 1983, he is regarded among experts as the sole legitimate successor to the founder and fashion legend Coco Chanel. Since 1965 Lagerfeld has been designing two – of late even four – collections per year for the Italian house of Fendi, not to mention his own eponymous label.

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Karl Lagerfeld is celebrated as a fashion genius not only for continuously revitalising classics like the Chanel suit, but also for endlessly reinventing himself. Having realised by the early 1960s that the future of fashion could not lie in haute couture alone, Lagerfeld embraced the younger ready-to-wear (prêt-à-porter) lines: „Fashion that does not reach the streets is not fashion“ (Lagerfeld). In addition to clothing, Lagerfeld designs a wide range of accessories to accompany his collections. Equally progressive in matters of distribution and marketing, he advocates bold ideas and a paradigm change in the fashion industry. Since the 1990s Lagerfeld has been complementing his work for luxury brands with collaborations with companies that produce affordable clothes for mass audiences. In 2004 he was the first well-known designer to create an exclusive collection for the Swedish fashion retailer H&M – a successful concept that has since continued with other designers, among them Stella McCartney, Comme des Garçons and Versace.

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‘Modemethode’, Karl Lagerfeld’s ‘fashion method’, is his ambitious, all-encompassing approach: From the initial sketch to the finished garment, from the accessories, the architectural setting and music of the fashion shows, to the photographs and graphic design of press material, advertising, catalogues and window displays –  every last little detail is devised by the designer himself.

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The Film! Click here!

For all Exhibition Views:
Photos: David Ertl, 2015
Courtesy of © Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland GmbH

Bowie in Berlin – Between Expressionism and Nightlife

The international exhibition about the pop and style icon David Bowie in Berlin

Brian-Duffy-Aladdin-Sane (Large)This exhibition curated by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London sees the myth of the exceptional artist returning to the city where he wrote music history at the end of the 1970s. Berlin owes him its links to international pop culture.

Divided Cold War Berlin – which in the 1970s became a refuge for drop-outs, artists, mavericks and draft dodgers – was a safe haven for Bowie and a constant, dynamic source of inspiration. He lived in the city, which was still heavily marked by the War, from 1976 to 1978; these be some of his most productive years, resulting in the three albums of the so-called „Berlin Trilogy“: Low, Heroes (both 1977) and Lodger (1979).

Acoustic-guitar-from-Space-Oddity-era-1969-DB-Archive-orig (Large)The exhibition

Relying on state of the art multimedia technology, David Bowie creates an immersive exhibition experience revolving around the exceptional artist, focusing on the many sidedness of Bowie’s oeuvre and the close interplay of his numerous disciplines and forms of expression. The Victoria and Albert Museum, London was given unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive to curate the first international exhibition about Bowie’s extraordinary career and celebrate one of the most pioneering and influential performers of modern times. The exhibition David Bowie explores the creative processes of a musical innovator and cultural icon, tracing his shifting style and sustained reinvention across five decades. The V&A’s Theatre and Performance curators, Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh selected more than 300 objects that were brought together for the very first time. They include handwritten lyrics, original costumes, fashion, photography, film, music videos, set designs, Bowie’s own instruments and album artwork. The exhibition honours Bowie’s progressive approach through its immersive audio-visual design, which fuses image and sound into a unique exhibition experience.

Origional-lyrics-Ziggy-Stardust (Large)The exhibition David Bowie retraces his career in great detail – from David Robert Jones’
early years as a young London artist until he became the global superstar Bowie. 60
stage costumes are presented, including the Ziggy Stardust jumpsuit designed by Freddie
Burretti (1972), Kansai Yamamoto’s extravagant designs for the Aladdin Sane tour
(1973) as well as the iconic Union Jack coat that Bowie designed together with
Alexander McQueen for the album cover of Earthling (1997).

DavidBowie_Sukita25 (Large)Other objects include photographs by Brian Duffy, Terry O’Neill, Masayoshi Sukita, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts and John Rowlands; album covers by Guy Peellaert and Edward Bell, clips from films and live concerts, including The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) and Saturday Night Live (1979); music videos of such songs as Boys Keep Swinging (1979) and Let’s Dance (1983); the stage set for the Diamond Dogs tour (1974); unpublished storyboards, handwritten set lists and song lyrics, word collages as well as drawings, notes and diary entries from Bowie’s personal collection.

Stage-set-model-for-diamond-dogs-tour (Large)David Bowie in Berlin

Due to Bowie’s close ties to the city, the exhibition’s station in Berlin is one of the
highlights of its international tour. The city’s rich cultural past and the buzzing subcultures
of the 1970s provided further inspiration. Exclusively for Berlin, the exhibition’s section on
the German capital has been expanded by the organisers, international communications
agency Avantgarde. Project manager for the exhibition Sarah Zimmermann explains the
idea behind developing the content of the Berlin section: „We never doubted for an
instant that the exhibition David Bowie belongs to Berlin. We quickly realised that we wanted to highlight Bowie’s creative period in the divided city more strongly. The focus lies on his sources of inspiration, the people he met and the places that influenced him.“

Schluessel_zur_Hauptstraße155 (Large)The newly selected exhibits, many of which are on public display for the first time in Berlin, illustrate David Bowie’s artistic development during his time in the German capital. They include sketches for record covers, drawings and paintings by David Bowie, song lyrics and previously unpublished photographs.

bowie_photo_collage (Large)David Bowie was strongly drawn to German Expressionism and the artists of „Die
Brücke“ in particular. He frequently visited the Brücke Museum in Dahlem. Avantgarde is
pleased to be able to show the oil painting Roquairol (1917) and the colour woodcut
Männerbildnis („Portrait of a Man“) (1919) by Expressionist artist Erich Heckel, two
milestones in Bowie’s connection of Expressionist creative forms with his own artistic
endeavours in Berlin. While Roquairol influenced the pose struck on the Iggy Pop cover
for The Idiot (1977, production and cover photograph by David Bowie), the
Männerbildnis influenced the „Heroes“ cover (1977).

Roquairol (Large)A large photo collage of Bowie’s 1970s Berlin, including photographic material that has
never been on public display before, creates a bridge for visitors between the events that
occurred nearly 40 years ago and today’s Berlin. Places and people significant for Bowie
during his Berlin years are introduced, including the Hauptstraße 155 in Schöneberg the
Hansa Studios („The Hall by the Wall“), nightclubs such as Dschungel, Chez Romy Haag
or SO 36, where Bowie and the international bohemian scene honed both their own
myth and the myth of the Berlin nightlife – one of radical constructions of personality, a
radical sound, and a new way of partying.

Heroes_Contact_Print (Large) David-Bowie-and-William-B-terry-Oneill (Large) Striped_bodysuit_for_Aladdin_Sane_tour_1973_Design_by_Kansai_Yamamoto_Photograph_by_Masayoshi_Sukita__Sukita_The_David_Bowie_Archive_2012 (Large)Berlin was also where Bowie filmed „Just a Gigolo“, Marlene Dietrich’s last film. The
exhibition’s extended section will show some of the correspondence between David
Bowie and Marlene Dietrich, which has never been shown to the public before. The
letters date from 1978, when both were working on the film.

CIS: bowie_konrads (Large) Mona_in_Berlin (Large) Brian-Duffy-scary-monsters (Large) Druck_eines_Selbstportraits_von_David_Bowie (Large)www.davidbowie-berlin.de

Until August 24, 2014

Text and Photos: Courtesy of Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin.

 

 

 

 

Ai Weiwei in Berlin

mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_portrait_2012_c_gao_yuan (Large)„Modernism is the original creation of enlightened human beings, it is the ultimate observation of the meaning of existence and the misery of reality; it keeps a wary eye on society and power; it never makes compromises and never cooperates.“

Ai Weiwei 1997 (quoted from “Ai Weiwei – Der verbotene Blog”, Galiani: Berlin, 2011)

In spite of all the hostile oppression he has been facing in his own country, Ai Weiwei has decided to put on his largest one-man exhibition yet at Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau. Across 3,000 square metres, 18 rooms and in the spectacular Lichthof he displays works and installations that were either designed specifically for the Martin-Gropius-Bau or have not yet been shown in Germany. The name he has given to his exhibition is “Evidence”, a word that will be, a term well known beyond the English-speaking world from American crime series on TV to mean proof that will stand up in court. From his simple but spacious studio on the rural outskirts of Beijing, Ai Weiwei has created a deeply political exhibition for Berlin.

mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_07_paint_at_summer_palace (Large)Ai Weiwei is an artist, architect and politician. Very few of his works do not contain hidden allusions to internal Chinese affairs or to the subject of “China and the West” in general. One must learn to spot the ironical historical and political references in his works, which he sends out into the world like messages in bottles.

mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_08_zodiac_heads (Large)Among the works and installations on display at the Martin-Gropius-Bau are a golden copy of the zodiac sculptures (Golden Zodiac, 2011) cast in bronze (c. 1750) by Chinese craftsmen. In 1860, after the end of the Second Opium War, British and French soldiers had conquered Beijing in order to force China to take part in the opium trade. Some of these bronze zodiac figures found their way to Europe, and when they turned up in Paris in 2008 at an auction of Yves Saint-Laurent’s art collection they caused a sensation in the Chinese cultural sphere. Ai Weiwei does not accept the Chinese government’s stance, that these bronze figures are Chinese national treasures, declaring that, rather, they belong to the whole world.

mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_02_stools (Large)mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_02_stools_ausschnitt (Large)Random arrests and corruption happen to regular Chinese citizens on a daily basis. Ai Weiwei refuses to accept this status quo. He demands freedom of speech, a fair distribution of power, and multiparty democracy.

mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_05_diaoyu_islands (Large)The infinite variety of forms offered by conceptual art allows him to express his ideas in a country where freedom of expression does not exist.He is also one of the most famous artists in China. In recent years, official Chinese propaganda has attempted to erase him from public consciousness. He is not allowed to exhibit in any museum in China.

mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_04_souvenir_from_shanghai (Large)mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_03_han_dynasty_vase (Large)Ai Weiwei’s instant response to this tactic was to turn the Internet into his permanent exhibition space: his now banned blogposts are outstanding, as is his current presence on Instagram. Although he is allowed to work in his studio, a dozen surveillance cameras have been placed before his door. His ironic response was to hang red lanterns on them and reproduce them in marble (Marble Surveillance Cameras, 2010). The actions of the regime have been incorporated into his conceptual art. Although he is allowed to travel within China, every step he takes is monitored by undercover agents. His passport has been confiscated to prevent him from travelling abroad.

mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_08_very_yao (Large) mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_09_very_yao (Large) mgb14_p_ai_weiwei_10_very_yao (Large)www.gropiusbau.de

Until July 13, 2014

Text and Photos: Courtesy of Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin.