Leslie Rankow Fine Arts


Airport, please! heads to the beautiful Petit Palais, in Paris, for Ugo Rondinone’s exhibit

Ugo Rondinone 
Petit Palais


Every autumn since 2015, the Petit Palais, located at Avenue Winston Churchill, in the Eighth Arrondissement, has invited contemporary artists to exhibit alongside its permanent collection. This year, the Swiss artist, Ugo Rondinone, will present an exclusive exhibition opening October 18.  The title is:


This exhibition was organized by Juliette Singer, Chief curator, in charge of contemporary projects at the Petit Palais and Erik Verhagen, Professor of contemporary art history, Université polytechnique Hauts-de-France

Built for the 1900 Exposition Universelle, the Petit Palais now houses the City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des beaux-arts de la ville de Paris). Located across from the Grand Palais on the former Avenue Nicolas II, today Avenue Winston-Churchill, the other façades of the building face the Seine and the avenue de Champs-Elysees.

The Petit Palais is one of fourteen museums of the City of Paris that have been incorporated since  January 2013 in the public corporation Paris Musees. It has been listed since 1975 as a historic monument by the Ministry of Culture.


Ugo Rondinone





Ugo Rondinone (Swiss, b.1964) is an installation artist best known for his circular spray paintings and video environments that convey a sense of melancholy and alienation. Born in Brunnen, Rondinone graduated from the Hochschule für angewandte Kunst in Vienna in 1990. Starting in the 1990s, he has produced a series of circular paintings that are titled by number and resemble Kenneth Noland’s target paintings. Rondinone works with different media, such as photography, video, sculpture, and drawing, and often appropriates phrases from literature and popular culture. For his series I Don’t Live Here Anymore (1995-1998) Rondinone digitally manipulated photographs of fashion models in suggestive poses, so that his facial features replace those of the models.

Hell Yes!

Many of his works involve signage, such as the rainbow colored sculpture Hell, Yes! (2001), which stood on the facade of the New Museum in New York. By contrast, the installation Roundelay (2003) sets a melancholic tone with six video projections of a man and woman walking through the streets of Paris; the spatial distortions and score by composer Philip Glass evoke alienation in an urban environment. Rondinone has held solo exhibitions at several museums around the world, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla in León, Spain. In 2007, he represented Switzerland at the 52nd Venice Biennale. He currently lives and works in New York.

Ugo Rondinone is one of the most important contemporary Swiss artists of his generation. Working as a painter, sculptor, and photographer, he is most concerned with the perception of space and time and how humanity interacts with its natural environment. In 1996 Rondinone represented Switzerland at the São Paulo Biennale and in 2007, together with fellow Swiss creator Urs Fischer, he built an impressive large-scale installation at the 52nd Venice Biennale.

Ugo Rondinone
Ermatigen Mountain
UBS Commission

Rondinone began elaborating his series of monumental mountain sculptures in 2011, when commissioned by the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno in the United States to create a site-specific public installation. With the aim to begin a new chapter in the history of Land Art, an art movement that emerged towards the end of the 1960s and is characterized by artistic interventions in nature, he remained indebted to his historical forebears, while being simultaneously influenced by Pop Art and comic culture. By stacking between two to six huge boulders of various shapes painted in Day-Glo colours, he creates giant rocky spires that protrude from the landscape. Reminiscent of the naturally formed hoodoos in the deserts of North America, but also of the age-old spiritual practise of piling stones, these sculptures pose a stark contrast to their surroundings.


ermatingen mountain is a unique sculpture commissioned by the UBS Art Collection. The artist was inspired by the beautiful landscape surrounding the Wolfsberg – UBS Center for Education and Dialogue in Ermatingen, Switzerland. By playing on our perception of scale – the piles look small from a distance, but huge when close-by – the artist elevates the surrounding landscape and invites us to broaden our perspective. He wants to produce a democratic art, that everybody can relate to and share. Overwhelming and powerful, yet balanced and meditative, Rondinone’s ‘Mountains’ highlight the contrast between the organic and constructed, between nature and civilisation.

Ugo Rondinone

Rondinone’s work has sharpened our awareness and appreciation of the natural environment, it recollects the mysterious legend of Stonehenge and makes us question our perception of scale, the artificial and the real. It is the perfect reflection of the current state of the world, our concerns with the threat to the environment and the mysteries of the time in which we live.


Airport, please! to Sonoma Valley’s Donum Estates where wine makes a delicious mix with Olaf Eliasson’s sculpture

‘Vertical Panorama Pavilion’, designed by Studio Other Spaces is now complete at the Donum Estate in Northern California.


Founded in 2011, The Donum Collection is one of the world’s largest accessible private sculpture collections. More than 50 monumental works, including open-air sculptures, are placed on The Donum Estate, with over a third being site-specific commissions. Throughout our 200-acre estate, each piece plays with scale, nature, and imagination. This evolving collection brings together a global community of artists, including works from leading practitioners from 18 nations, across six continents. Donum brings to life a delicate balance between wine, land and art that has made it an international destination.

‘Vertical Panorama Pavilion’, designed by Studio Other Spaces is now complete at the Donum Estate in Northern California.
Taking inspiration from the history of circular calendars, the wine-tasting pavilion has an elevated conical canopy lined with recycled glass panels. Stacked up vertically above 12 columns that emulate the months in a year, the colourful hues of the glass panels depict the weather conditions essential for the creation of Donum’s wine – solar radiance, wind intensity, temperature, and humidity. (Photo: Adam Potts)

For Eliasson and Behmann, the pavilion is in fact for all senses as well as discoveries. “Look into your glass when you are having a glass of Pinot Noir under the pavilion,” says Eliasson. “You will see an incredible reflection of colors and shapes in moving inside.” 

Tripadvisor quote

Olafur Eliasson
The Moss Wall, 1994


Vertical Panorama Pavilion at the Donum Estate by Studio Other Spaces.PHOTO: ADAM POTTS

Wind, earth, sun, and microbes… The natural ingredients to transform grapes into wine have remained unchanged for millennia, although, over the years, mass production has altered wine-making’s inherently organic process. Upon an invitation from Sonoma’s Donum Estate  to build a wine-tasting pavilion, Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson and his German architect partner Sebastian Behmann in their firm,Studio other Spaces, (SOS), realized they could reverse our bacchanal habits back to its roots. 

“We started with an attempt to ‘un-numb’ our tastes and free the wine experience from everyday corporate side elements,” Eliasson said, standing underneath SOS’s 22 feet high color-busting canopy, Vertical Panorama Pavilion. Perched close to the 200 acres estate’s David Thulstrup–designed main tasting center, the Donum Home, the oculus is built with 12 intertwined stainless steel columns and 832 colored recycled glass panels.

Throughout the past two and a half decades, Olafur Eliasson’s sculptures, installations, paintings, photography, films, and public projects have served as tools for exploring the cognitive and cultural conditions that inform our perception. Ranging from immersive environments of color, light, and movement to installations that recontextualize natural phenomena, his work defies the notion of art as an autonomous object and instead positions itself as part of an exchange with the actively engaged visitor and their individualized experience. Described by the artist as “devices for the experience of reality,” his works and projects prompt a greater sense of awareness about the way we engage with and interpret the world. Not limited to the confines of the museum and gallery, his practice engages the broader public sphere through architectural projects, interventions in civic space, arts education, policy-making, and issues of sustainability and climate change.


Olafur Eliasson
Performance, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

As fires rage in California and the world turns upside down on its axis, as we are threatened with Covid-19 and monkeypox, illness and solitary angst when all our customary pastimes are taken away, Olafur Eliasson’s immerse works celebrate the environment and our perceptions of it.

Born in Copenhagen in 1967, Eliasson grew up in both Iceland and Denmark, where he studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Art (1989–1995). Upon graduating, he relocated to Berlin, where he established his studio in 1995. Today it is comprised of craftsmen, architects, archivists, researchers, administrators, cooks, programmers, geometers, and art historians. From 2009 to 2014, as a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts, Eliasson led the Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments), a five-year experimental program in arts education located in the same building as his studio. Eliasson currently lives and works in Copenhagen and Berlin.

Since the mid-1990s, the artist’s work has been at the center of numerous exhibitions and projects around the world. In 2003, Eliasson represented Denmark at the 50th Venice Biennale with The blind pavilion and, later that year, he opened the celebrated work The weather project at Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.

The Weather Project
Turbine Hall, Tate, London

The artist’s first retrospective, Take your time: Olafur Eliasson, opened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2007 before traveling to the Museum of Modern Art and PS1 in New York; The Dallas Museum of Art; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, through 2010. His second retrospective, In real life opened at the Tate Modern, London in 2019 before traveling to the Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain in 2020.

Olafur Eliasson
Tate Turbine Hall
The Weather Project

Other significant solo exhibitions include Sometimes the river is the bridge, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2020); Symbiotic seeing, Kunsthaus Zurich (2020); Y/our future is now, The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art (2019); Reality Projector at Marciano Foundation in Los Angeles, CA (2018); The unspeakable openness of things, Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, China (2018); Olafur Eliasson WASSERfarben, Graphische Sammlung – Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, Germany (2018); Olafur Eliasson: Multiple shadow house, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, Canada (2017); Olafur Eliasson: Nothingness is not nothing at all, Long Museum, Shanghai, China (2016); Olafur Eliasson: Verklighetsmaskiner, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2016); Olafur Eliasson: BAROQUE BAROQUE, The Winter Palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy, Vienna, Austria (2016); Olafur Eliasson: Riverbed, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (2014); Olafur Eliasson: Contact, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France (2014); Olafur Eliasson: Your trust, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany (2014); Olafur Eliasson: Your emotional future, PinchukArtCentre, Kiev, Ukraine (2011); Olafur Eliasson: Seu corpo da obra, 17th International Contemporary Art Festival SESC_Videobrasil, São Paulo, Brazil; Innen Stadt Außen at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin (2010); Your chance encounter at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan (2009–2010); The New York City Waterfalls, a major public art project for the city of New York (2008); Notion motion at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam (2005); Colour memory and other informal shadows at Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst in Oslo (2004); Chaque matin je me sens différent, chaque soir je me sens le même at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in France (2002); Your only real thing is time at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston (2001); and The curious garden at Kunsthalle Basel (1997), among many others.

Fondation Beyeler,

Eliasson’s work is represented in many prestigious collections worldwide, including those of the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Tate Collection, London; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh; The Art Institute of Chicago; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C.; Leeum Samsung Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark; MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Dallas Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston,

New York City Waterfalls is a public art project by artist Olafur Eliasson, in collaboration with the Public Art Fund, consisting of four man-made waterfalls placed around New York City along the East River.

The artist has been granted numerous awards over the years, including the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT (2014), the Wolf Prize in Painting and Sculpture (2014), the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award (2013) (with Henning Larsen Architects and Batterid), the Joan Miró Prize (2007), and the 3rd Benesse Prize (1999).

http://Olafur Eliasson | Tanya Bonakdar Gallery.pdf

Olafur Eliasson
VR experience Your view matter


The artist Olafur Eliasson has been working in virtual and augmented reality for six years, but his latest piece, Your view matter, is far more ambitious artistically and technically than any VR work he has shown before. It also exists as an NFT, commissioned by one of the pioneers in crypto art, MetaKovan (aka Vignesh Sundaresan), who caused a global stir in April 2021 when he paid $69.3m (with fees) at a Christie’s auction for Beeple’s NFT Everyday: The First 5000 Days (2021).

The NFT of Your view matter is a one-off, non-editioned, token created for MetaKovan —its ownership and provenance captured on a permanent ledger on the blockchain —and has been minted on Polkadot, a platform regarded as having the lowest total electricity consumption and total carbon emissions-per-year of all crypto platforms.

Olafur Eliasson
‘Your view matter’, 2022.
A VR artwork by Olafur Eliasson presented by Metapurse & Acute Art. A new immersive artwork exploring bodily perception in the digital space

Being conscious of the environmental cost of minting NFTs is, Eliasson says, of enormous importance, and something that he discussed with MetaKovan. “It is a relatively new field, [and] there has been a quite strong increase in that consciousness … The truth is the whole blockchain universe is actually quite progressive. It is remarkably similar to the rest of our world. A lot of talk and not as much doing. But a group of doers, too.”

AR and VR versions of the piece will be available free to view on the Acute Art app and via a link for viewing on a computer or in a VR headset . The commission came to Eliasson through Acute Art, one of the cutting-edge players in presenting art in all forms of extended reality. Both AR and VR versions “are really made to work with the largest possible audience,” Eliasson said. “Acute is very conscious of that. That was also an aim for both the client and for myself.”

For Eliasson, the NFT commission worked much as it would have with a more traditional format: “It was very much centred [on] making a great work of art.” And, on the contract implicit in the NFT format, he says: “Normally when you buy an artwork off me, you get a paper that this artwork is authentic artwork by me. There is a picture of the artwork, and a little bit of technical information. Now that is an NFT.”

For Acute Art, the piece is part of a move into the NFT space. Their artists had “perhaps been a bit hesitant” to date, according to Acute’s artistic director, Daniel Birnbaum. but working on Your view matter with Eliasson represented a chance to take the NFT into a rich, more technically ambitious space. The company’s chief technical officer, Rodrigo Marques, has created some new VR functionality specifically for the piece, according to Jacob de Geer, chief executive of Acute Art.

Eliasson was featured on Acute Art early in the Covid-19 pandemic, withWunderkammer, a charming collection of AR pieces, including a puffin, a rain cloud, and a haloed sun, well-calibrated to delight the spirits of users mired in lockdown. Your view matter exists on a higher, more primal, plane, one aligned with Eliasson’s experimental work, much of it carried out in his Berlin studio, on movement and human interconnectedness.

In Your view matter, the user moves between linked geometric spaces based on the Platonic solids, the tetrahedron, octahedron, icosahedron, dodecahedron, and cube, before concluding in a sphere. The Platonic solids—each made up of regular, identical shapes, joined in the same way at every apex—are, says, Eliasson, “mathematical small miracles. They are pre-Renaissance. They [do not subscribe] to the sense of perspective like modern architecture. They suggest ‘let’s see what dimensions are’.”

Eliasson was inspired to move into VR, he says, “from my interest in dance and movement”, and in cognition and motor skills. He has no patience with VR that suffers from what the calls the “dolphin effect”, typified by a user in VR who passively luxuriates in observing a dolphin swim around them in a “blue lagoon”. The format only comes alive for Eliasson when it is triggered by the user’s movement and visual interconnection with the artwork. In Your view matter, that “disturbance”, the distortion of the moiré effect, is animated when the user moves their head and eyes, overlaying the close-hatched patterns in his surfaces—some brilliantly coloured, some in black and white—over the pixels of a computer or phone screen, creating a scintillating, ambiguous, random, effect. The user is the “you” who “matters” in the piece.


Airport, please! heading to view Sir Anish Kapoor’s installations, Palazzo Pruili Manfrin, Venice and Wuppertal Sculpture Park, Germany

Anish Kapoor



Anish Kapoor is one of the most influential sculptors of his generation. Perhaps most famous for public sculptures that are both adventures in form and feats of engineering, Kapoor maneuvers between vastly different scales, across numerous series of work. Immense PVC skins, stretched or deflated; concave or convex mirrors whose reflections attract and swallow the viewer; recesses carved in stone and pigmented so as to disappear: these voids and protrusions summon up deep-felt metaphysical polarities of presence and absence, concealment and revelation. Forms turn themselves inside out, womb- like, and materials are not painted but impregnated with color, as if to negate the idea of an outer surface, inviting the viewer to the inner reaches of the imagination. Kapoor’s geometric forms from the early 1980s, for example, rise up from the floor and appear to be made of pure pigment, while the viscous, blood-red wax sculptures from the last ten years – kinetic and self-generating – ravage their own surfaces and explode the quiet of the gallery environment. There are resonances with mythologies of the ancient world – Indian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman – and with modern times.

Palazzo Priuli Manfrin


The Palazzo Priuli Manfrin, in Venice, was purchased four years ago by the artist Anish Kapoor. It was constructed in the sixteenth century for the aristocratic Priuli family, but it is thanks to the efforts of a later owner, Girolamo Manfrin, that the palazzo has its storied place in Venetian art history. Manfrin was an outsider from Dalmatia—born “in the midst of mud and shit,” as one detractor put it—who amassed a fortune in the tobacco trade. He bought the palazzo, which featured a ballroom with a thirty-foot-high frescoed ceiling, in the late seventeen-eighties. Manfrin wanted to decorate his new home with “pictures of the highest quality,” but, not being a connoisseur, he had advisers find him paintings by such masters as Mantegna, Giorgione, and Tiepolo. Manfrin boasted of acquiring masterpieces “without paying any attention to the expense involved,” and his expenditures had the desired result: the palazzo became a required destination for any cultivated visitor to Venice, and remained so after his death, in 1801. Three decades later, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley wrote that “the collection is in every respect magnificent, and deserves many visits.”

http://Anish Kapoor, Material Values, The New Yorker, August 15, 2022

Manfrin’s art was sold off in the late nineteenth century, with many works going to Venice’s Gallerie dell’Accademia. Thereafter, the palazzo changed hands repeatedly, and eventually fell into dilapidation. By the end of the twentieth century, the building was serving as a convent for a community of nuns, who had converted its upper floors into monastic cells. By 2012, it was deserted and on the market for twenty million euros: a crumbling fixer-upper with faded frescoes and a courtyard that, if not quite filled with mud and shit, was prone to frequent flooding.


Anish Kapoor


Famous for his use of abstract biomorphic forms and his penchant for rich colours and polished surfaces, Anish Kapoor was the first living artist to be given a solo show at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.

Born to a Hindu father and a Jewish mother from Baghdad, Kapoor had an Indian- Jewish upbringing. He was educated in the prestigious all- boys boarding school, The Doon School in Dehradun, India and in 1971 moved to Israel to live in a kibbutz. He later began his study in electrical engineering and after finding out that the discipline is not for him, he quitafter 6 months. While in Israel he decided to become an artist, he soon moved to Great Britain to attend Hornsey College of Art (1973-77) and Chelsea School of Art and Design (1977-78). He went on to teach at Wolverhampton Polytechnic in 1979 and in 1982 was Artist in Residence at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. During a return visit to India in 1979, he had sparked a new perspective on the land of his birth and started on his early sculptures. Characterized by simple and curved forms, usually monochromatic and brightly colored, he used powdered pigment to define and percolate the architectural forms with the loose pigments spilled beyond the object itself and onto the floor or wall. With this methodology, Kapoor produced bodies of work such as 1000 Names which became part of his first high-profile exhibit in the New Sculpture exhibition at the Hayward Gallery London in 1978.

Kapoor, who was born in Mumbai in 1954, and has lived in Britain since the early seventies, is the kind of blue-chip artist who, had he been working in the eighteenth century, might have sold some pieces to Manfrin’s advisers. Kapoor is best known for works that explore the interplay of mass and void, and for beguiling experiments with optics. His sculptures induce both awe and disquiet. His mirrored works—in particular, concave disks that measure several feet across and cast complex patterns of reflection—have regularly been snapped up by collectors at art fairs ever since he started making them, in the late eighties. The mirror sculptures not only create a destabilizing aura; they reflect light and sound in ways that tend to enhance whatever room they are displayed in. Museums and foundations have an equally large appetite for what Kapoor calls “non-objects”—such as twisted stainless-steel works so reflective that their shapes are hard to discern—and also for sculptures, made from natural materials like sandstone or alabaster, that are punctured with mysterious holes.


Although these signature pieces are alluring, some of Kapoor’s work is alarming, even repulsive. For an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, in London, in 2009—the first solo show there by a living artist— he presented “Grayman Cries, Shaman Dies, Billowing Smoke, Beauty Evoked,” an array of lumpy forms made from coils of concrete extruded from a 3-D printer. Kapoor’s working title for this installation was “Between Shit and Architecture.” In 2015, the Rijksmuseum, in Amsterdam, displayed his “Internal Object in Three Parts,” a triptych of canvases thickly encrusted with red and white silicone that evoked freshly slaughtered viscera. One of his most celebrated works, “Shooting Into the Corner,” consists of a cannon that fires off bucket-size cannisters of blood-colored wax at regularly timed intervals; Kapoor has spattered the walls of many a museum with his gory goop.

Turbine Hall
Anish Kapoor

Kapoor has often embraced the challenge of working on an enormous scale. In 2002, he became the third artist to receive a commission from the Tate Modern, in London, to create an installation for the gigantic Turbine Hall, part of a former power station. In collaboration with the architect and engineer Cecil Balmond, Kapoor installed a vast red membrane— manufactured in France, by a company that usually makes coverings for sports stadiums—then stretched it over and between three giant steel rings. The work, which fully occupied the daunting space, was titled “Marsyas”—an allusion to the myth, also depicted by Titian, in which a satyr is flayed for defying Apollo. Even for those visitors for whom the reference was unfamiliar, the work still packed a wallop. “It looked like some part of the body, except you were not really sure what it was,” Donna De Salvo, who curated the installation, and is now at the dia Foundation, in New York, told me. “Anish’s view of things is deeply rooted in the physical, the bodily, the psychological, and in how those things intersect.” In 2009, in Kaipara, New Zealand, he inserted an even larger steel-and-membrane sculpture, “Dismemberment, Site I,” into a hilly landscape; shaped like a double-sided trumpet, the work, which is more than eighty feet tall, resonates with the wind.

Anish Kapoor Dismemberment, Site 1 Kaipara, New Zealand

These large pieces were praised for creating in the viewer an almost terrifying sense of immersion—and an inescapable confrontation with mortality. Some of Kapoor’s creations, however, can tip over into bombast. In 2010, in preparation for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, he was commissioned to make the U.K.’s tallest public work of sculpture: the ArcelorMittal Tower, named for the steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, who helped finance its construction. Designed in concert with Balmond, and three hundred and seventy-six feet in height, it is a swirling network of red-painted steel tubes that might, poetically, be said to resemble the arterial system of the flayed Marsyas; the sculpture was more commonly compared to a tangled hookah pipe. One wit dubbed it the Eyeful Tower. In 2015, in the gardens of the Palace of Versailles, Kapoor installed a colossal structure, resembling a funnel laid on its side, fabricated from Corten steel. He declared that the work, titled “Dirty Corner,” was “very sexual”—something that could be said of much of his œuvre. The sculpture appalled rather than seduced many onlookers, though, and vandals repeatedly covered it in graffiti. The French press renamed the work “le vagin de la reine.”

Void Field 1989
Anish Kapoor

In the 1980s, Kapoor became know for his geometric sculptures using materials such as granite, limestone, marble, pigment, and plaster. His works begun to show his explorations of matter and non-matter,

Void Field (1990)specifically evoking the void in both freestanding sculptural works and ambitious installations. Many of his sculptures seems to distort distance and space around them. By 1987, he was working with quarried stones from which he carves cavities and apertures on in a play with the dualities of nature. Kapoor’s big break came in 1990 when he was chosen to represent Great Britain at the Venice Biennale. His installation, Void Field, received huge acclaim and catapulted him to prominence and recognition. His success continued and in the following year he was honored the Turner Prize, a prestigious award for contemporary art. With the accolades, he was increasingly recognized and respected in the world of art.

Starting 1995, he has worked with the highly reflective surface of polished stainless steel. These works are mirror like, reflecting or distorting the viewer and surroundings.

‘Anish Kapoor: Sculptures’ at Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden, Wuppertal, Germany

12 August 2022

On Saturday 13 August, Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden opens a presentation of monumental sculpture from the past decade by Anish Kapoor in its Central Exhibition Hall.

Since the 1970s, Anish Kapoor has embodied the artistic search for the ‘non-object’ that oscillates between the physical and the non-physical. Many of his objects play with our notions of perception not only through a transgression of negative and positive form but through the absorption or reflection of light on their surface. Kapoor has also achieved renown for his monumental sculptures; overpowering by virtue of their sheer scale, they obscure the boundaries between architecture and sculpture. His newer works, many site-specific, play with metaphysical opposites and encourage an immediate and direct personal experience of transcendence.

Anish Kapoor
Sectional body preparing for Monadic Singularity, 2015

Skulpturenpark Waldfrieden was established by artist Tony Cragg in 2008 under the auspices of the Cragg Foundation.


It was thanks to the private initiative of Tony Cragg, a British sculptor living in Wuppertal, that the Sculpture Park was founded and established. Thirty years after Cragg took up his exhibition activity, he began looking for a permanent site for presenting sculpture outdoors and discovered the abandoned Waldfrieden property, which he bought in 2006. That very same year he began redesigning the park grounds and the buildings that, after long years of vacancy, needed to be thoroughly renovated and modernized. In appreciation of the historical estate, its former structures and material substance were preserved to the greatest extent possible, thus keeping its historical dimension intact despite the conversion of the park and buildings to accommodate their new use. In 2008, the Sculpture Park was opened under the auspices of the Cragg family’s nonprofit foundation. It houses a steadily growing collection of sculptures, including examples from Tony Cragg’s own large oeuvre. All is accompanied by changing exhibitions of internationally known artists, lectures on culture and the humanities, as well as concerts. Beyond this, the Cragg Foundation is also dedicated to research on, and the publication of, the subject of the fine arts.


Interestingly, both artists purchased  important palatial spaces and parks to best exhibit their works  and to establish the importance of monumental sculptures as venues for their work. It is a stunning experience to walk these expansive spaces and confront their works in the natural terrain.

Anish Kapoor

Airport, please! the LRFA blog revisits the Fondation Maeght in Saint Paul de Vence, France

St. Paul de Vence France

One of the great joys of being an  art dealer and advisor  is the opportunity  to revisit a familiar place that had an important impact on your perception of 20th Century art. About fifteen years ago, the LRFA blog visited the Fondation Maeght for the first time and discovered this superb collection of 20th century icons of European art. It set the bar for all the artworks that subsequently have appeared at auction, in galleries and on the secondary market, so it was particularly moving to revisit the collection and reevaluate its holdings with eyes that are fifteen years older and more jaded.

Fondation Maeght


Some of the biggest names in 20th-century European sculpture, including Georges Braque, Joan Miró and Alberto Giacometti, came together to help create La Fondation Maeght, which has become France’s most important art foundation and is among the world’s leading cultural institutions. La Fondation was established by Aimé and Marguerite Maeght, a visionary couple who were publishers and art dealers, and who represented and were friends with some of the most important artists of the era, including Braque, Miró and Giacometti, as well as Alexander Calder, Fernand Léger, Marc Chagall, and many others.

Marc Chagall
Fondation Maeght

La Fondation Maeght was opened on July 26, 1964, by Charles de Gaulle’s legendary Culture Minister André Malraux, a close friend of the Maeghts. It was France’s very first private art institution and was modelled on American institutions such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the Barnes Collection and the Phillips Collection, which Aime and Marguerite Maeght had  visited during their frequent trips to the US in the 1950s.

Aime and Marguerite Maeght, 1951

La Fondation Maeght is home to one of the largest collections of modern art in Europe, featuring paintings, sculptures, drawings and graphic works by renowned 20th-century figures including Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Diego Giacometti, Wassily Kandinsky, Barbara Hepworth, Fernand Léger, Joan Miró, Pierre Tal Coat, Germaine Richier, and Raul Ubac. The collection also contains work by post-war and contemporary artists including Anna-Eva Bergman, Pier Paolo Calzolari, Eduardo Chillida, Christo, Marco Del Re, Gérard Garouste, Jörg Immendorff, Ellsworth Kelly, Wifredo Lam, Joan Mitchell, Takis and Antoni Tàpies.

Eduardo Chillida
Fondation Maeght

On its opening in 1964, La Fondation Maeght prefigured the modern concept of a cultural centre by organising exhibitions, dance events, concerts and works of theatre. This continued range of programming runs alongside an annual roster of temporary exhibitions, providing a panorama of modern and contemporary art.

Aimé Maeght acquired a rich collection of books and reviews throughout his life. As a former lithographer, he also produced remarkable artist’s books in collaboration with artists Marc Chagall, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder and Jacques Prévert, to name a few. All of these are stored in the library at La Fondation Maeght. Open to researchers and members of la Société des Amis, the library is a testiment to the collective of artists who helped create it.


Fondation Maeght


The library was founded in 1972 as a reference centre for students, researchers, art historians and curators containing books and journals specialising in modern and contemporary art. With more than 35,000 items, it includes not only Marguerite and Aimé’s personal collection, but also poet Pierre Reverdy’s original literary works, several acquisitions by la Société des Amis, and many exchanges with galleries and museums from all around the world.

Fondation Maeght
Architecture by Louis Sert


Architect Josep Lluís Sert designed a vast and impressive studio for his friend and fellow Catalan, the surrealist artist Joan Miró, in Palma de Mallorca in the 1950s. It was this sculpture-like architecture that led Aimé Maeght, Miró’s gallerist and editor since 1947, to entrust his major project to Sert: the creation of the first private foundation dedicated to the visual arts in Europe.

La Fondation Maeght is not a museum. It was born from the desire for a place in which Aimé and Marguerite Maeght could present modern and contemporary art in all its forms; and where their artist friends could visit to create and exchange ideas as much as to exhibit work. Sert created La Fondation hand in hand with the Maeghts, Miró and a number of artists, who gave life to some of its main features: the sculpture garden entrance; the Giacometti Court; buildings wrapped around patios; a bell tower for the chapel and a home studio.

Fondation Gandur

CURRENT EXHIBITION: Fondation Gandur July 2 – November 2022

Home to a collection of more than 13,000 works, Fondation Maeght is always keen and honoured to showcase other collections, some of which are rarely accessible to the public, as it has consistently done in the past. This summer, from 2 July to 20 November, it is unveiling some 120 works from the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art (Geneva) and offering a riveting immersion into abstraction from the 1950s to the 1980s.

In the wake of Second World War, as many European artists exiled in the United States headed back to France, Paris regained its status as a hotbed of creativity and a global cultural capital. Driven by a thirst for freedom and a craving to rethink painting in the post-war years, artists from all over the world returned to their studios, abandoned during the German occupation, and engaged in an era of creative effervescence, be it in the arts, literature or filmmaking. While the breakthroughs by the vanguards of the first half of the 20th century were an invaluable post-war stimulus, abstract art renewed itself from the most gestural expression to the interrogation of materials, mediums and techniques.

Georges Mathieu

The Fondation Gandur pour l’Art’s outstanding collection displayed at Fondation Maeght reveals the variety of forms embraced by abstraction during these creative years. Works by Hans Hartung, Martin Barré, Simon Hantaï or Pierre Soulages trace the evolution of non-figurative art over four decades. In a thematic and chronological layout, the exhibition invites the viewer to discover lyrical and gestural abstraction by Georges Mathieu, abstract expressionism by Sam Francis and Joan Mitchell, geometric abstraction by Victor Vasarely, kinetic works by Alexander Calder and Jean Tinguely, through to the rethinking of painting by the Supports/Surfaces group. The 1980s ushered in an era of revitalized abstract art, building on the hectic experimentation of earlier years.


Pierre Soulages


Airport, please! A first, the LRFA blog heads to Salzburg for an exhibit of Sean Scully at the illustrious Thaddeus Ropal gallery

Gallery Thaddeus Ropac
Salzburg, Austria


The Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is an art gallery in the Villa Kast right at the Mirabell Gardens with side-branches in the city centre of Paris (France) and a newly developing exhibition venue at the outskirts of Salzburg. Thaddaeus Ropac himself, born 1960 in Klagenfurt (Carinthia), is a highly regarded member of Salzburg′s art benefactor scene. He lives in Schloss Emslieb at the Hellbrunner Allee and is one of only a handful of significant gallerists that Austria has to offer – probably the most important one.

The Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac can be tracked back to small galleries that Ropac opened in Lienz (Eastern Tyrol) and later in Salzburg′s Old Town in the early 1980ies, after giving up his original idea to become an artist himself. From the beginning, his gallery was dedicated to highly regarded contemporary art.

Which is unusual for Salzburg, a city with an “art scene” that normally concentrates on pimping out tacky Mozart-paintings and water colours with Old Town scenes to tourists. In an interview with the Austrian Press Agency APA, Ropac admitted that his beginnings at the Kaigasse were humble and shocked artists like Andy Warhol or Joseph Beuys when they came to visit him.


The “Good Gallery” in Salzburg

Over the course of the years, the Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac became synonymous with all the good things that create a presence in  the art market: A good sense for serious works, access to important people on the art market and – maybe most importantly – for offering manifold opportunities for lucrative investments.

Today, Thaddaeus Ropac is highly regarded in Salzburg, not only because his exhibitions add invaluable elements of contemporary art to Salzburg, but also because of his generous donations for the Museum der Moderne (Museum of Modern Art) and other art-related projects. A collection given to the Museum in 2009 was almost a million Euros worth – equalling the museum′s budgets for new acquisitions of about ten years.

Ropac is involved with the Salzburg Association′s art project as well as with the Salzburg Festival and has close personal and professional links to Anselm Kiefer. The Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac′s headquarter at the Villa Kast has the best exhibitions during the summer season, when the Salzburg Festival brings rich and famous folk to the city. Schloss Elmslieb is Ropac′s private home and not open to the public.


Thaddeus Ropac

Thaddeus Ropac, gallerist

Born in 1960. Klagenfurt, Austria. Lives between Paris, London and Salzburg.

In 1983, Thaddaeus Ropac founded his first gallery in Salzburg, specialising in European and North American contemporary art. Among the first exhibitions organised by the gallery in Salzburg were projects with German artists Joseph Beuys and Georg Baselitz, but also with younger, then-emerging American artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. The gallery now has six distinctive venues in London, Paris, Pantin, Salzburg and Seoul.

With a team of over 100, the gallery currently represents 70 artists and a number of renowned artist estates and shows at all major international art fairs. Active in both the primary and secondary markets, the gallery’s role extends to curatorial work, where it acts as a consultant to public institutions as well as an advisor to private and corporate collections. The gallery runs its own publishing house, producing catalogues and books to accompany exhibitions, inviting prominent international art historians, curators and writers to contribute.

Thaddaeus Ropac is a member of the advisory board of the Salzburg Festival as well as the University of Salzburg and founded the Austrian Friends of the Israel Museum. In 2013 he was accorded the Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur by the French president, François Hollande.



The Shadow of Figuration presents an exhibition of new works by the Irish-born American artist Sean Scully. Conceived for the gallery space in Salzburg, the exhibition brings together large-scale paintings from the artist’s most formative series – including Wall of Light and Landline – as well as a selection of watercolours. Alongside paintings and works on paper, a monumental sculpture titled Indoor Sleeper (2020) will be presented in the gallery’s outdoor space, offering an insight into Scully’s sculptural practice.

Reducing the pictorial plane and exploring different modalities of geometric forms in favor of purer images were the matters of pursuit undertaken by those artists involved with Minimalism back in the late 1960s and 1970s. The movement was primarily centered in the US, but it affected the practitioners living and working in other environments meaning it had an international resonance.

Sean Scully is one of them. In the first place, the Scottish artist found the mentioned framework easy to relate to and then tried to translate it to what he described as Emotional abstraction. Throughout the decades, he has developed a consistent body of work that is part of several museum collections worldwide.

This month, Scully, the lecturer, professor, writer, and twice Turner Prize nominee, returns to the public spotlight with an exhibition titled The Shadow of Figuration at Thaddaeus Ropac Galerie that will bring a selection of his most recent works.

Sean Scully


Over the course of his 50-year career, Sean Scully has created an influential body of work that has marked the development of contemporary abstraction. Fusing the traditions of European painting with the distinct character of American abstraction, his work combines painterly drama with great visual delicacy. Often structured around stripes or layered blocks of colour arranged on horizontal and vertical axes, the layers in his paintings attain a fine balance between calm reflection and an intrinsic vitality.

A forceful, physical artist, Scully creates intentionally compelling spaces, and his art is defined by acute concentration and care, involving constant negotiation between the monumental and the intimate. While giving primary importance to the physicality of the materials he employs, his art is commanded by the idea of humanity’s betterment, and at the heart of each rigorously composed work lies a near-infinite number of expressive, emotional fluctuations.

During a trip to Morocco in 1969, Scully was strongly influenced by the rich colours of the region, which he translated into the broad horizontal stripes and deep earth tones that characterise his mature style. Following fellowships in 1972 and 1975 at Harvard University, he permanently relocated to New York. In the early 1980s, he made the first of several influential trips to Mexico, where he used watercolour for the first time in works inspired by the patterns of light and shadows he saw on the stacked stones of ancient walls. The experience had a decisive effect on him and prompted his decision to move from Minimalism to a more emotional and humanistic form of abstraction.

Thaddeus Ropac
Sean Scully: The Shape of Figuration
Installation view

In 1998, following additional trips to Mexico, Scully began to create his landmark Wall of Light series. These works were shown in 2005–07 at The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In recent years, Scully has also increasingly turned to sculpture, creating monumental structures that engage with the unique energy and history of their locations. As in his paintings, these sculptures feature individual rectangular sections that slot together, maintaining his ongoing interest in interlocking brick forms.Born in Dublin, Scully studied at Croydon School of Art and Newcastle University in the UK, where he began experimenting with abstraction. His work has been exhibited in prestigious institutions worldwide, including the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery, London; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, among others. In 2015 he was the first Western artist to receive a major retrospective at the Shanghai Himalayas Museum and at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing.


Sean Scully
At Thaddeus Ropac Gallery

Scully has been acknowledged for his Wall of Light series, started in 1998, which functions as pictorial formations reminiscent of the brickwork of solid stone walls. A few examples of new works from this series will be contrasted to the ones from the Landline series started in 2013 based on a photograph Scully took in Norfolk. The work Landline Tierra Primavera (2022) is built around a warm palette evocative of European modernists such as Gustave Courbet, while the Landline Verdant Dark F.26.22 (2022) recalls the colors found in the landscapes by the Romantic painter by Caspar David Friedrich.

In recent years, the artist became more interested in sculpture, as seen in his 2021 solo exhibition at the Waldfrieden Sculpture Park in Wuppertal. Scully develops monumental structures that respond to the energy of their locations informed, as his paintings, by life.

Sean Scully Indoor Sleeper, 2020

The upcoming show is specially crafted to fit the Salzburg gallery. The visitors will be able to see large-scale paintings from the artist’s best-known series, a selection of watercolors, and a monumental sculpture titled Indoor Sleeper (2020) that will be installed in a public space in front of the gallery.

The works of Sean Scully  are a result of the mix of European painting traditions with the properties of American abstraction. Centered on horizontally or vertically arranged stripes or layered color blocks, the paintings in the exhibition showcase the artist’s ability to achieve balance, calmness, and vibrancy.

Wall Landline Air

Scully has been acknowledged for his Wall of Light series, started in 1998, which functions as pictorial formations reminiscent of the brickwork of solid stone walls. A few examples of new works from this series will be contrasted to the ones from the Landline series started in 2013 based on a photograph Scully took in Norfolk. The work Landline Tierra Primavera (2022) is built around a warm palette evocative of European modernists such as Gustave Courbet, while the Landline Verdant Dark F.26.22 (2022) recalls the colors found in the landscapes by the Romantic painter by Caspar David Friedrich.

Sean Scully
Landline Tierra Primavera

In recent years, the artist became more interested in sculpture, as seen in his 2021 solo exhibition at the Waldfrieden Sculpture Park in Wuppertal. Scully develops monumental structures that respond to the energy of their locations informed, as his paintings, by life.


The exhibition in Salzburg follows the critically acclaimed fifty-year retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA (until 31 July) and coincides with three further major institutional presentations of Scully’s works – at the Langen Foundation, Neuss, Germany (until 7 August); the Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Italy (until 9 October) and the Centre of Contemporary Art in Toruń, Poland (until 11 September).

Encounter the poetic sensibility and technical virtuosity of one of the leading abstract artists of our time. Sean Scully’s arresting paintings and works on paper, presented here in a comprehensive fifty-year retrospective, explore his signature stripes and reflect the artist’s bold experimentation with scale and composition. From the intimate to the monumental, the works on view stir the spirit and reveal Scully’s tireless dedication to the expressive power of painting.

Philadelphia Museum:
Sean Scully: The Shape of Ideas

Airport, please! to the Long Museum (West bund) Shanghai to experience Full Moon, a solo exhibit by Jennifer Guidi

Long Museum
Shanghai West Bund


The Long Museum(West bund) is proud to present Full Moon, the first institutional solo exhibition in China by Los Angeles based artist Jennifer Guidi, from July 1st until August 21st, 2022. The exhibition is a survey of the artist’s work to date and also premieres a number of important new paintings: Full Moon epitomizes Jennifer Guidi’s practice and the evolution of her artistic process.

Shanghai is a favorite city and Jennifer Guidi a favorite artist so the trip seemed inevitable. One of the great privileges of being an art advisor is the opportunity to meet with astonishingly accomplished collectors, and to have them share their lives with you. I remember planning a trip to Shanghai and being joined by a beloved Hong Kong client who took me around Shanghai and invited me for lunch to his colonial  house that had won an architectural price for its thoughtful restoration. I remember great clients telling me of the joy of their having their first child and sharing in their daughter’s many accomplishments throughout the years. One of the sad things about the pandemic is adjusting to the necessary social distancing, the inability to hop on a plane to visit and the strictures on air travel, art fairs and galleries and the misunderstandings that only email communication encourages.

Jennifer Guidi
Full Moon
Long Museum Shanghai


The LRFA Blog was introduced to the work of Jennifer Guidi by an enthusiastic client and an effort to acquire a work evolved into a dialogue with the artist’s dealers and auction specialists and a deep appreciation of her practice and paintings, both on the primary and the secondary market.

Jennifer Guidi
Installation Full Moon exhibit at Long Museum

Jennifer Guidi’s immersive work operates within both the physical and metaphysical world. Her abstract compositions refer to the natural world literally and visually as she mixes sand with paint to depict arresting natural and cosmological phenomena. Her surroundings of Los Angeles, where she set up her studio after graduating from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, are palpable through her work: the immense skies of California filled with the fleeting color of sunrises and sunsets, the particular hazy light of Los Angeles that blurs colors together and casts deep shadows and the mountains she passes daily on the way to her   studio. Her practice is however deeply rooted in what also lies beyond physical surroundings, in the spiritual and metaphysical worlds. Each of her paintings is an ‘energy source’ indebted to the power of vibrations, and her works incorporate recurring symbols related to Western and Eastern religions, ancient civilisations and the esoteric sciences. Guidi’s very process of creating these serene, repetitive works is akin to a meditative practice. Reveling in external and internal symmetry in her work, such as sunrise and sunset, light and dark, these ideas sit alongside a scientific study of geometry and color theory, creating works that are not only visually in harmony but are epistemologically balanced too.

Jennifer Guidi

Always drawn to sand as a material, Guidi experimented with translating sand to canvas as a permanent material, taking a few years to find the recognizable pattern that is now synonymous with her work. The highly textured works are created either by pressing divots with a dowel into a thick layer of wet sand, the ‘sand mandalas’, or by starting with a smooth sand layer and painting the mandala on top, the ‘universe mandalas’. A formative moment for her composition when ‘everything changed’, came after watching Tibetan monks make sand mandalas, where patterns radiate from one central point. Guidi moved from using horizontal lines as the foundation of her composition along which she placed random marks, to making concentric repeated and formulated holes that radiate from a central focal point. They appeal to our somatic senses, the regular indentations capture the artist’s corporeal presence in the work and encourage awareness of our own bodies’ movement. The meditative sense of calm Guidi reaches when creating the work suffuses through, drawing us into her harmonious and immersive compositions. The tangibility of Guidi’s movements and state of mind within the works makes them in part a self-portrait, with her presence forever fixed amongst the grains of sand.

The artist’s fascination with light is inextricably tied to her attentiveness to color. The visible light spectrum is formed of all the colors of the rainbow, each wavelength of light vibrates at a different frequency to produce a different color. This idea forms the basis of her chromatic explorations and drew her to a study of chakra methodologies, an idea from early Hinduism. Chakras are energy centers within the human body, each giving off a different vibration, like the colors in the light spectrum. ‘Chakra’ in Sanskrit translates to ‘wheel’ or ‘circle’, linking the spiritual idea to that of the nineteenth-century invention of color wheels and broader color theory that associated specific color pairings with emotions and explored in detail connections between nature and color. Reading through these multiple lenses Guidi’s investigation of a rainbow spectrum of color is therefore more than an exploration of pure pigment, but rather a reflection on emotion, shape, nature and philosophy.

Jennifer Guidi
Full Moon: Long Museum

The circle predominates Guidi’s work, geometrically present in the repeated holes, and symbolically representative of the sun and moon. Other shapes recur throughout her work, as an exploration of pure geometry and for their diverse symbolism. Triangles represent California’s mountains and refer to the allusions surrounding Ancient Egyptian pyramids. Guidi is drawn to the symbol of the serpent, relevant to ancient mythologies and mysticism. Their particularly complex symbolism represents rebirth, creativity and immortality through shedding of the skin and as the rod of Ascelplius, the Ancient Greek god of healing, and consequent use as a symbol of medicine. Guidi uses shaped canvases to explore these shapes and meanings, grouping symbols together in tandem and opposition to create dialogue between their formal lines and forge new meanings. These works are an innovative take on the traditional composition of diptychs and triptychs in paintings, using entirely separate canvases to create these formations, constructing works that lie somewhere between painting, sculpture and design.

JENNIFER GUIDI “FULL MOON” EXHIBIT July 1, 2022 – August 21, 2022

The title of Jennifer Guidi’s exhibition, Full Moon emphasizes the cosmological and mystical roots of her practice; the moon is like life: constantly changing; it is representative of peace, prosperity, harmony and luck; the full moon is a time to be receptive and to connect, which we are motivated to do throughout the exhibition. We are encouraged through engaging with her mandala-like works, not only to travel outward to be transported into distant landscapes and watch sunsets through her eyes, but also to travel inward to connect with our minds and spirits. During the full moon we are guided by unusually powerful light, symbolizing, much like the balance strived for in her work, a moment of unity between two dualities, where light can be found in darkness.

Jennifer Guidi
at work


Colors charge us externally and internally. I translate these colors into works every day. On an intuitive level, I am guided by the colors in nature.
—Jennifer Guidi

Light and color pervade every aspect of Jennifer Guidi’s work. The Los Angeles artist’s radiant, mandala-like paintings are marked by tonal and chromatic shifts that operate in concert with richly textured surfaces. The effect echoes natural phenomena and undergirds a powerful archetypal symbolism. Guidi mixes sand into her paints—she uses both oils and acrylics—to produce immersive abstract compositions that borrow from the pared-down structures of Minimalism while evoking ancient theories of energy and perception.

Born in Redondo Beach, California, Guidi received a BFA from Boston University and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. On moving to Los Angeles, she was immediately struck by the city’s distinctive hazy light and blocky 1950s architecture. Basing her early paintings on her own photographs of local domestic interiors, she became increasingly interested in the colors and textures of her subjects’ walls. Following a 2012 visit to Morocco, she began to pursue a more abstract approach, drawing inspiration from the heavy stitching and irregular undersides of the country’s handmade rugs. She made her first abstract “dot paintings” that year, applying small dabs of white paint to black grounds.

Jennifer Guidi
Long Museum West Bund

Light and color pervade every aspect of Jennifer Guidi’s work. The Los Angeles artist’s radiant, mandala-like paintings are marked by tonal and chromatic shifts that operate in concert with richly textured surfaces. The effect echoes natural phenomena and undergirds a powerful archetypal symbolism. Guidi mixes sand into her paints—she uses both oils and acrylics—to produce immersive abstract compositions that borrow from the pared-down structures of Minimalism while evoking ancient theories of energy and perception.

Guidi began incorporating sand into her panels in 2013, using sticks found on the beach in Hawaii as simple mark-making tools. She then developed a system of underpainting in which she first applies a thick layer of sand to the surface of the canvas; while this is still wet, she makes marks with a dowel in controlled and repetitive movements, often adding sand and paint along the edges of the divots. The result of this intensely physical process is a hypnotic swirl of saturated color that is at once contemporary and timeless, prompting consideration of the diversity of cultural and corporeal meanings that have been assigned to shape and pattern.

Jennifer Guidi
The Priestess

Guidi also often explores visual manifestations of duality—light and darkness, abstraction and figuration, science and mysticism—finding symmetry and balance in seeming opposition. This is apparent even when her work returns to representational elements, as it does in the twinned serpentine canvases of To Protect and Hold You Up (2019). (Such imagery has appeared in Guidi’s work since 2013, when she produced a series of “snake stick” sculptures that reference the serpent as a symbol of rebirth and transformation, and sticks as totems of strength, healing, and magic.)

Jennifer Guidi
To Protect and Hold You Up

These diverse interests recur throughout Guidi’s oeuvre, suffused as it is with allusions to spirituality and the metaphysical, and drawing as it does on various practices originating in Eastern tradition. After watching Tibetan monks make a sand mandala, she moved from using horizon lines as the foundational element of her compositions to preferring a central focal point. She has also alluded to chakras (a system of corporeal energy centers with origins in early Hinduism) alongside Enlightenment color theory. Citing the influence of predecessors including Georgia O’Keeffe, Agnes Martin, and Hilma af Klint, Guidi makes work that also resonates with images and methods far beyond the Western art-historical narrative.

Created in response to the covid-19 pandemic, the Artist Spotlight series created by Gagosian Gallery highlights individual artists, one week at a time, whose exhibitions have been affected by the health crisis. A single artwork by the artist is made available with pricing information for forty-eight hours only.



Jennifer Guidi shares a selection of music she listened to in the studio and speaks about its connection to her meditative painting process.



Airport please!to visit Hauser & Wirth Menorca and Rashid Johnson’s extraordinary Sodade exhibition

Rashid Johnson
Hauser & Wirth, Menorca

Rashid Johnson is known for his conceptual works that reflect on the themes of race and class. He studied art at Columbia College Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and he now lives and works in New York. Johnson is a photographer, as well as creates audio installations, videos, and sculptures. In 2019, his first feature-length film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Johnson’s work is included in the permanent collections of many institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.


Young American artist seeks audience to enjoy poly-conscious attempts at post-medium condition production.
Must enjoy race mongering, disparate disconnected thoughts and sunsets (really). Familiarity with the work of Sun Ra, Joseph Beuys, Rosalind Krauss, Richard Pryor, Hans Haacke, Carl Andre and interest in spelunking in the death of identity a plus. I’m looking for an audience with a good attention span that is willing to stay with me through the good and the bad.

I enjoy creating movies, producing sculptures, painting and making photographs. My interests are costuming, Sam Greenlee novels, Godard films and masturbation.
Ability to hold conversation using only rap lyrics, and a sense of humor a must.

Hauser & Wirth Menorca


For his first solo exhibition in Spain, Rashid Johnson continues to work with a complex range of iconographies to explore collective and historical expressions of ongoing and displacement, while speaking to the times we live in. The exhibition, entitled Sodade,  opened on June 19 and continues until November 13, 2022.

‘Sodade’ is the title of a Cape Verdean song from 1950s, popularized by Cesária Évora, that narrates a profound emotional state of longing on ‘the long way’ to São Tomé. Originating in the Portuguese ‘saudade,’ the term signifies a feeling of melancholy and missing, and becomes hybridized in the Cape Verdean use with a shift in the spelling. In ‘Sodade,’ Johnson continues to draw from critical history and narratives around migration and journeys, with a similar gesture of hybridization.

Rashid Johnson
Surrender Paintings
Hauser & Wirth, Menorca

The exhibition presents a newly developed series of bronze sculptures and Seascape paintings, alongside Bruise Paintings and Surrender Paintings, the latter of which is the latest offering to evolve from the iconography of his long- established Anxious Men series. The works are accompanied by the Education Lab, which provides a creative learning program for diverse audiences throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Rashid Johnson
The New Black Yoga

Capturing both subjective and collective historical states in real time, the artist has pivoted the Anxious Red paintings iconography, which portrayed crowds of bright red faces, to Bruise Paintings and Surrender Paintings in hues of blues and whites. Johnson selects his typical materials and tools—such as shea butter and black soap—for the importance of their historical narratives. Here he has chosen to use the canonically significant, and universally recognizable, medium of oil paint in order to communicate his message all the more urgently.

Rashid Johnson
Bruise Paintings
Hauser & Wirth, Menorca

For the Bruise Paintings, Johnson has created the color Black&Blue in collaboration with R&F paints, which he layers and stretches across the canvas giving the impression of a wider range of colours from a single hue. The repetition and expressiveness of the blue figures bring mobility to the works, a nod to the importance of gesture in Johnson’s oeuvre. With a lyrical sense of melancholy, the Bruise Paintings speak to the times we live in and create a liminal space where healing has begun but the reminisce of trauma is still evident.

Rashid Johnson
 Hauser & Wirth Menorca

Continuing to pivot the Anxious Men iconography, Johnson applies Titanium White oil paint on raw linen in the series of Surrender Paintings, depicting ghostly faces to suggest acceptance and reconciliation. As the artist explains, ‘Emptied out of color, the Surrender Paintings feature white application only on raw linen canvases, conjuring a feeling of redemption and recognition. There’s a simplicity and quiet nature in how these new series relate to collective experiences of the last months.’

Rashid Johnson
Seascape paintings
Hauser & Wirth Menorca

The newly developed series of Seascape Paintings and boat sculptures draw from historical narratives of migration and journeys. The artist radically engages with the surface of the canvases with a process of removal similar to that of early works such as Cosmic Slops, in which Johnson carved marks into black soap and wax. For the Seascape Paintings, painted canvases are coated completely with Neutral White or Prussian Blue oil paint which Johnson wipes away and scratches with shapes reminiscent of individual row boats. The repetition of the motif and their scale suggest the possibility to escape, as well as of isolation, longing and drifting at sea.

A group of sculptures cast in bronze continue Johnson’s exploration of vessels and act as funerary pyres. Drawing from historical traditions from cultures across the globe in which the boat is a symbol of redemption and rebirth, the boats are cast from clay forms to which the artist has buried an array of objects of symbolic significance. VHS tapes, a CB radio, books and oyster shells are found in the carved sculptures, the latter referencing Zora Neale Hurston’s essay ‘How it Feels to be Colored Me.’ ‘I do not weep at the world, I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife,’ Hurston writes, ambiguously recalling the opulence of oyster eating and the aggressiveness of the knife.

In ‘Sodade,’ Rashid Johnson continues to incorporate diverse materials rich with symbolism and personal history, exploring collective narratives of longing and migration while providing a poignant sense of history now.

Rashid Johnson
Seascape Paintings
Hauser & Wirth Menorca


Born in Chicago in 1977, Rashid Johnson is among an influential cadre of contemporary American artists whose work employs a wide range of media to explore themes of art history, individual and shared cultural identities, personal narratives, literature, philosophy, materiality, and critical history. After studying in the photography department of the Art Institute of Chicago, Johnson’s practice quickly expanded to embrace a wide range of media—including sculpture, painting, drawing, filmmaking, and installation—yielding a complex multidisciplinary practice that incorporates diverse materials rich with symbolism and personal history.

The LRFA blog finds Rashid Johnson’s work to be the perfect example of a Black artist creating of beautiful artworks that stand on their own qualitatively supported by the strongly principled political statements and symbolism of  a black artist coming into prominence in these times.

Rashid Johnson
Bruise Paintings
Hauser & Wirth, Menorca



Boats have been populating Rashid Johnson’s view lately, particularly in the last two years, after the artist started spending more time on the Hamptons side of Long Island. Since then, boats have unearthed connotations beyond vehicles or charming visual accents on the shore. The epiphany coincided with a heightened sense of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and with those struggling through the pandemic – unity, agency and co-existence, Johnson noticed, are notions contained both within his professional and personal circles and the likeness and purpose of a boat.

During those long, idyllic days spent looking at the horizon, he heard numerous expressions of togetherness and, all being somewhat true, he also pondered the meaning of being in the same boat. What was the direction? Or who were his fellow travellers? Johnson’s answers – or at least his searches for them – are a series of paintings and sculptures with boat motifs in his new show at Hauser & Wirth’s art center in Menorca. Proving that motivation works in mysterious ways, the Brooklyn-based artist made the show’s large-scale grid paintings, and four firepit sculptures encrusted with VHS tapes, a CB radio, book and oyster shells, while unaware of their intended venue. ‘When the opportunity to show them surrounded by water arose, it was clear that the works belonged to Menorca,’ he says.

Johnson’s East Williamsburg studio – which could well moonlight as a warehouse or a mini-factory – is occupied by a combination of works-in-progress and those waiting to dry. Standing amid canvases laid atop one another or leaned side by side, Johnson is dressed leisurely, in all black, on a breezy, slow-paced February afternoon, the kind of afternoon that deserves a chunky cookie, which he offers up.

Partly inherent to his aura, Johnson’s calmness also stems from his having bid farewell to the show’s artworks. They are already on a journey across the Atlantic Ocean, perhaps facing the ebbing sea towards the Strait of Gibraltar, through which they will cut for the tiny Spanish island. One can imagine Johnson’s impressions of boats, either nocturnal-hued repetitions over linen or firm formations in bronze, swaying back and forth against the diligent waves. Movement, however, is not always desirable. The history of the Atlantic is awash with forced migration, and Johnson’s show borrows its title, ‘Sodade’, from another piece of art that perfectly captures this reality. The namesake Cape Verdean song, famously uttered in Cesária Évora’s velvety voice, is an ode to the longing and fear of loss promised by the sea. The heart-aching lyrics pay tribute to Cape Verdeans, past and present, who have left the island in search of other opportunities: ‘Quem mostrava esse caminho longe? Quem mostrava esse caminho longe? Esse caminho pa São Tomé (Who showed you this distant way? Who showed you this distant way? This way to São Tomé)’. Written by Armando Zeferino Soares in the 1950s, these lines, in the Cape Verdean Creole version of Portuguese, express sodade, meaning longing.

Johnson’s encounter with the song is intertwined with a sense of melancholy and longing that has lingered over his last few years. When the artist shared his sentiments with a friend, they told him about a Portuguese word that somewhat sums up his state: saudade. One of those words that capture a very specific feeling that lacks a translation in another language, saudade expresses yearning for something so close yet undeniably distant. Johnson’s research into the expression reminded him of Évora’s song and the Cape Verdean Creole version of the word. ‘The Creole telling is about cultural formation through colonialism, but also how language gets deformed and reshaped in the hands of folks dominated by an outside presence,’ he adds. Johnson intentionally used the Creole spelling in his show’s title, to honour the struggle against oppression and resilience in the face of loss, in particular, loss tied to the sea.

Seascape painting
Rashid Johnson
Hauser & Wirth Menorca

Over the past two decades, Johnson’s practice, spanning painting, sculpture  installation and film, has explored notions of authorship, potential, empowerment and even entitlement. All correspond to a sense of agency. His paintings – thick, nearly sculptural and blanketed by grids of faces, or dressed in shards of mirror and mosaic – compel us to think, understand and express. Johnson believes that painting has the function of a soapbox or pedestal, a platform for the exchange of ideas. ‘The visual layer is an entry point for them to penetrate into work and be prompted, or even confused, by what’s beyond.’

More literally, the show’s boat sculptures are also functioning firepits, an invitation to convene, warm up and converse. ‘The vehicle has been so present in my work – language can be a vehicle for ideas, as can paint, aesthetics or mark-making,’ he says. In that sense, he likens a boat to a stage, the kind he built in Astor Place in downtown Manhattan last June, with non-profit arts organisation Creative Time. For a month, his Red Stage was activated by poets, dancers, musicians, thinkers, and anyone who had anything to say. He calls them pyres. ‘An open stage or a burning boat allows the audience to reflect on the ideas of autonomy and collectivity, especially when we are doing so much coalition-building around Black Lives Matter, the environment, and LGBTQIA movements.’

Johnson’s oeuvre, while unifying, does not compromise on subjective and singular experiences. Reflection, both internal and physical, is the key in his mixed-media mosaic and mirror paintings, which have the energy of abstract expressionism and the social heft of murals. Radiant, meticulous and poetic, the coalescence of shards ‘invites the viewers to piece the bits together and build their collective experience’. This subtle invitation to communion is a core element of the Anxious Men and Bruise Paintings series, characterised by determined hand gestures and infinite repetitions. Whether a face or an abstract circle, the army of motifs over linen multiply to hallucinatory masses, challenging the viewer to separate each figure from the next. The effort, however, is futile – better to surrender to Johnson’s orchestration of a painterly cosmos and plunge into the synthesis of brushstrokes in black and blue.

Rashid Johnson
Bruise Paintings
Hauser & Wirth, Menorca

Johnson’s colour palette stems from a dynamic between his cultural observations and the alchemy of oil paint. Blue is the fruit of his contemplation on the history of blues music, as well as many artists’ periods dedicated to the hue. ‘Oftentimes, I allow the colour to think about itself,’ he adds. Yellow, which he commonly renders in an alarming hue, is tied to his occasional use of shea butter in some of the sculptures. ‘There is a snowflakeness to mark-making because a gesture can never be repeated,’ he says. ‘But there is satisfaction in just trying to repeat yourself as a mantra.’ The democracy Johnson finds in the grid form – whether with faces, boats or circles – allows him to honour each gesture equally, ‘and aspires to give every section the same opportunity for amplification’, not unlike a voice to be heard or an arm raised.

Johnson builds his grids as a meditative act, rather than basing them on any numeric order. The facial impression in the Anxious Men series was initially intended as a self-portrait, but the feedback he received proved that the sentiment spoke to many. ‘That moment was satisfying, to recognise that this was an opportunity to think about the world as opposed to being trapped in my own existential conundrum.’ A mosaic interpretation of the series is now a mural at the Delta terminal at New York’s LaGuardia airport. Connecting with people in places where they don’t necessarily expect to experience art, he believes, is a promising endeavour: ‘You can traffic through it; you can engage or totally ignore, but regardless, art should have agency in these spaces.’

Fire Pits: bronze sculpture
Rashid Johnson
Hauser & Wirth, Menorca

The artist’s admiration for the architectural marvels of his hometown of Chicago, and his frustration with its segregated urbanisation, contribute to his understating of the impact and the role of an object within an environment. His philosophy of occupying a space is twofold: ‘I’ve been quite careful about not perverting the work when it travels, because my voice must travel along with the themes, concepts and ideas.’ Johnson visited Menorca and Barcelona six years ago, and found himself inspired by the mosaics of Gaudí and Miró. ‘That trip encouraged me to experiment with the medium,’ he remembers. While his mosaic paintings are not included in the ‘Sodade’ show, a similar reflection on formation and singularity constitutes the show’s Seascape, Surrender and Bruise Paintings series. The idea of people gathering around his boat sculptures is exciting. ‘So rarely do artworks have jobs,’ Johnson says. ‘But in the case of a firepit, there is the potential of heat, energy, and a place of activation.’

Airport please! heading to Seoul for the photojournalist exhibitions of Henri Cartier-Bresson

The Decisiive Moment
photographs by Henri Cartier Bresson

I think just about everyone needs a mental health break these days, and with Covid restrictions still putting a damper on our social lives, the art museums in Seoul have been a nice momentary escape from the ongoing chaos that has rampaged through 2022… Momotherose blog, Seoul, Korea

HCB in America
Magnum Photos

From 26 September 2019 to 2 February 2020

The exhibition “Henri Cartier-Bresson : The Decisive Moment” is on display at the Seoul Art Center Hangaram Design Museum, Seoul, from 26 September 2019 to 2 February 2020, in collaboration with Magnum Photos and the Fondation HCB.

Although HCB is known to have been an avid traveler, the essence of his work remained steadfastly Parisian. Indeed, it was in Paris, after studying painting alongside André Lhote in the Montparnasse quarter during the late 1920s, that HCB took up photography: “the first photographs I saw were those of Atget and Keretsz,” he notes. He secured, over time, his own distinctive photographic style, one inscribed in “a realm of imagination but modelled after life” (l’imaginaire d’après nature).

Henri Cartier Bresson

Endlessly roaming through the streets of Paris, HCB snatched away fleeting scenes, at their decisive moment. In these same streets, he would witness the unfolding of significant historical events such as the Liberation of Paris in August 1944 or the student riots of May 1968, while also commissioned by newspapers and magazines to cover various events such as the “six days of Paris” cycle race in November 1957 for the French periodical, Paris Match.

Henri Cartier-Bresson

It was also in Paris that, during the thirties, his encounters with Robert Capa and David Seymour blossomed into friendships, which proved decisive to his lifework. Shortly after the three friends launched the Magnum Photo Agency, in 1947, HCB undertook a three-year journey through the Far East. His photographs taken mostly in India and China, would soon appear in magazines across the world, including Life, Illustrated, and Paris Match. Some of them quickly acquired iconic status, marking a crowning moment in HCB’s career.

Magnum Photos


This exhibition, whose starting point is the book Paris à vue d’oeil, edited by Lothar Schirmer in 1994, is not a sociological study, but is oriented towards what a man, who considered “photography as lying somewhere between the art of the pickpocket and that of the funambulist,” thought was most important: “the flânerie of the gaze in a state of total and willing openness.”


The Hangaram Art Museum is a modern art museum located at the Seoul Arts Center. It is situated at the center’s left wing and it was specifically designed as a large open space to accommodate large-scale artworks and art installations. The museum has exhibition halls, an art library and an art shop. As the museum is part of the Seoul Arts Center complex, the center’s many arts programs are often hosted at the Hangaram Art Museum. A design market takes place at the museum as well.

This year will mark the 70th anniversary of when the famous French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, penned the book “The Decisive Moment” or “Images a la Sauvette” (Images on the Run) in 1952. The Decisive Moment will be on view at the Hangaram Art Museum (2406 Nambusunhwan-ro, Seocho-gu, Seoul) from June 10th, 2022 to October 22nd, 2022.


Henri Cartier-Bresson, The Decisive Moment (Verve, 1952), cover © Collections Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson

From June 10 to October 2, 2022

Initated by the French publisher Tériade, the project of the famous publication Images à la Sauvette was finally realized on October 1952 as a French-American co-edition, with the contribution of Matisse and the American publishers Simon and Schuster. The latter chose The Decisive Moment as the title of the American version, and unintentionally imposed the motto which would define Cartier-Bresson’s work.

Since its publication in 1952, Images à la Sauvette has received an overwhelming success. It is considered as “a Bible for photographers” according to Robert Capa’s words. The innovative design of the publication stroke the art world with its refine format, the heliogravure quality and the strength of the image sequences. The publication reveals the inherent duality of Cartier-Bresson’s work between the photographer’s intimate interpretation and his documentary approach.

The exhibition presents a selection of vintage prints as well as many archive documents related to the adventure of this book, up to its its recent reprint in facsimile by Steidl.

Fondation Cartier-Bresson
Paris, France


79 rue des archives, Paris

For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. In order to give a “meaning” to the world, one has to feel involved in what one frames through the viewfinder. This attitude requires concentration, discipline of mind, sensitivity, and a sense of geometry. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression.

To take a photograph is to hold one’s breath when all faculties converge in a face of fleeing reality. It is at that moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.

To take a photograph means to recognize, simultaneously and within a fraction of a second‚ both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning.

It is putting one‚ head, one‚ eye, and one‚ heart on the same axis. 

Established by Henri Cartier-Bresson, his wife Martine Franck, and their daughter Mélanie, the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation opened its doors in May 2003. It now preserves Henri Cartier-Bresson and Martine Franck’s archives. Privately owned and recognized as being of public interest, the Foundation is now one of the most prestigious institutions in Paris.

Fondation Cartier-Bresson, Paris


  • To preserve the independence and legacy of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Martine Franck’s work.
  • To retain an exceptional body of work in France.
  • To show – via exhibitions – the “highlights” of the collection and the work of other photographers, painters, sculptors, and illustrators.
  • To enable researchers to carry out their studies with more ease.
  • To provide support to new photographic projects by organizing, every two years, the HCB Award with an international jury.
  • To open up a debate on photography by organizing conferences, round-table discussions and screenings.

Henri Cartier-Bresson


Henri Cartier-Bresson was born on August 22, 1908 in Chanteloup, France. A pioneer in photojournalism, Cartier-Bresson wandered around the world with his camera, becoming totally immersed in his current environment. Considered one of the major artists of the 20th century, he covered many of the world biggest events from the Spanish Civil War to the French uprisings in 1968. “I adore shooting photographs,” he’d later note. “It’s like being a hunter. But some hunters are vegetarians—which is my relationship to photography.” In short, as his frustrated editors would soon discover, Cartier-Bresson preferred taking shots rather than making prints and showing his work.

HCB was a pioneer of photojournalism who took pictures taken on the streets with a small film camera and turned them into art. Cartier-Bresson, who was studying painting as a child, began his career in photography in the early 1930s when he encountered the works of photographers Eugene Atget and Man Ray. The camera was an extension of his eyes, and his way of working was to capture authenticity based on intuition and instinct. He, who said, “I am more interested in life than photography”, opposes any artificiality and instead of excluding directing, flash and photo cropping, the shutter is released only when the subject is perfectly arranged inform and reveals its essence, pressed. Therefore, the world of his work, which contains aesthetic perfection and everyday humanism at the same time, can be condensed into one word: ‘decisive moment’ in his works, we find a keen but warm gaze that looks at life and at the world.


Magnum Photos is an international photographic cooperative  owned by its photographer-members, with offices in New York City, Paris, London and Tokyo. It was founded in Paris in 1947 by Robert Capa, David “Chim” Seymour, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Ridge and William Vandivert, Rita Vandivert and Maria Eisner. Its photographers retain all copyrights to their own work.Magnum is owned by its photographers, who act as shareholders. Each full member of Magnum has a vote in proposals made at a meeting held once a year, called the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Photographers with the status of contributor or correspondent are represented by Magnum but have no voting rights. Full members can choose to become contributors after 23 years of membership; this status gives them increased liberty to work outside Magnum, at the cost of their voting rights.

In February 2010, Magnum announced that Michael Dell’s venture capital firm MSD Capital  had acquired a collection of nearly 200,000 original press prints of images taken by Magnum photographers. It had formed a partnership with the  Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas At Austin to preserve, catalog, and make photographs available to the general public.  In September 2013 it was announced MSD Capital donated the collection to the Ransom Center.A preliminary inventory is available for researchers who wish to use the collection.

Airport, please! heading to London for two favorite experiences: Theaster Gates at the Serpentine Gallery

Serpentine Pavilion
Regents Park, London

Two of the LRFA  blog’s favorite habits in the city of London have coalesced prompting a flight to my second favorite city. Walking through Regent’s Park past the Queen’s Rose Garden to see the just opened Black Chapel, the commission the compelling artist, Theaster Gates, realized for the Serpentine Pavilion.

Designed by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates, the Serpentine Pavilion 2022 Black Chapel draws inspiration from many of the architectural typologies that ground the artist’s practice.The structure, realised with the support of Adjaye Associates, references the bottle kilns of Stoke-on-Trent, the beehive kilns of the Western United States, San Pietro and the Roman tempiettos, and traditional African structures, such as the Musgum mud huts of Cameroon, and the Kasubi Tombs of Kampala, Uganda. The Pavilion’s circularity and volume echo the sacred forms of Hungarian round churches and the ring shouts, voodoo circles and roda de capoeira witnessed in the sacred practices of the African diaspora.

Black Chapel is a site for contemplation and convening, set within the grounds of Serpentine in Kensington Gardens. The structure’s central oculus emanates a single source of light to create a sanctuary for reflection, refuge and conviviality. The project mirrors the artist’s ongoing engagement with ‘the vessel’ in his studio practice, and with space-making through his celebrated urban regeneration projects.

Drawn to the meditative environment of the Rothko Chapel – which holds fourteen paintings by American artist Mark Rothko in Houston, Texas – Gates has produced a series of new tar paintings specially for Black Chapel. Creating a space that reflects the artist’s hand and sensibilities, seven paintings hang from the interior. In these works, Gates honours his father’s craft as a roofer by using roofing strategies including torch down, a method which requires an open flame to heat material and affix it to a surface.

Theaster Gates: The Question of Clay

Gates’s Serpentine Pavilion 2022 Black Chapel is part of The Question of Clay, a multi-institution project by Theaster Gates taking place in 2021-22 across the Whitechapel Gallery, Serpentine and V&A. The project seeks to investigate the making, labour and production of clay as well as its collecting history, through exhibitions, performance and live interventions with the aim of generating new knowledge, meaning and connections about the material.

Black Vessel
Theaster Gates
Gagosian Gallery

Theaster Gates

A mix of black culture and legacy and the artist’s own practice, he is represented  by the prestigious global Gagosian Gallery. Gates’s first solo exhibition Black Vessel took place in New York at Gagosian, 555 West 24th Street from October 10, 2020- January 23, 2021

I always find myself returning to the vessel. It is part of the intellectual life force of my practice and it precedes all other forms of making.
—Theaster Gates

Gates’s oeuvre is among the most conceptually and materially rich in contemporary art, anchored equally in the canons of art history, the racial ideology of the Black diaspora, and the artist’s own personal history. Through an art practice predicated on cultural reclamation and social empowerment, Gates exchanges and recharges objects and ideas, proposing the artwork as a communicating vessel or sacred reliquary of recollected histories, critical vitality, and shared experience. Traversing a broad range of formal approaches such as painting, sculpture, sound, and performance, as well as the processes of salvaging, archiving, and place making, he delivers penetrating social commentary on labor, material, spiritual capital, and commodity within a close examination of the urban condition.

Grief and Grievance
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

The Brick Reliquaries (2020) are Gates’s latest sculptural experiments. By firing bricks with a strong manganese content to an excessive 2300°F, the known properties of the materials are transformed into the mysteries of heat-based sculpture. In some instances, the material loses its specificity when pushed to such limits; in others, the carbide shelves inside the kiln fuse with the bricks and other sculptural elements that rest on them, becoming host to material transformation.


From February through July, this exhibit coincided with an outstanding exhibit at the the New Museum  “Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America,”  originally conceived by Okwui Enwezor (1963-2019) for the New Museum, and presented with curatorial support from advisors Naomi Beckwith, Massimiliano Gioni, Glenn Ligon, and Mark Nash. “Grief and Grievance” was intended to be an intergenerational exhibition, bringing together thirty-seven artists working in a variety of mediums who have addressed the concept of mourning, commemoration, and loss as a direct response to the national emergency of racist violence experienced by Black communities across America. The exhibition  further considers the intertwined phenomena of Black grief and a politically orchestrated white grievance, as each structures and defines contemporary American social and political life. “Grief and Grievance” includes works encompassing video, painting, sculpture, installation, photography, sound, and performance made in the last decade, along with several key historical works and a series of new commissions created in response to the concept of the exhibition.

Grieve and Grievance
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART: Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America

In 2018, the New Museum invited Okwui Enwezor to organize “Grief and Grievance.” Around that time, Enwezor was also developing a series of public talks for the Alain LeRoy Locke Lectures at Harvard University focused on the intersection of Black mourning and white nationalism in American life as articulated in the work of contemporary Black American artists. The argument put forth in this series–which he unfortunately was unable to deliver–informed the ideas Enwezor would use as the basis for “Grief and Grievance.” Between the fall of 2018 and March 2019, Enwezor tirelessly worked on “Grief and Grievance,” drafting his thesis for the exhibition, compiling lists of artists and artworks, selecting the catalogue contributors, and speaking with many of the invited artists. In January 2019, Enwezor asked the artist Glenn Ligon to serve as an advisor to the exhibition. Given the advanced state of planning and the importance of the exhibition, following Enwezor’s death on March 15, 2019, and with the support of his estate and of many of his friends and collaborators, the New Museum established an advisory team, comprised of longtime collaborators and friends of Enwezor including Glenn Ligon; Mark Nash, Professor at the University of California in Santa Cruz, and co-curator of many of Enwezor’s projects, including The Short Century and Documenta 11; and Naomi Beckwith, the Manilow Senior Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, whom Enwezor had chosen as one of the jurors of his 2015 Venice Biennale. With the assistance of Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director at the New Museum, this curatorial advisory group worked together to realize and interpret Enwezor’s vision for “Grief and Grievance.” The curatorial advisors and the New Museum also see this exhibition as a tribute to Enwezor’s work and legacy.

Okwui Enwezor

Since he began work on the project, Enwezor had expressed a desire to open the exhibition in proximity to the American presidential election, as a powerful response to a crisis in American democracy and as a clear indictment of Donald Trump’s  politics. Although the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the opening of the exhibition, the works included in the exhibition speak powerfully to America’s past, present, and future.



Taxi please, close to home, summer in the city, at Madison Square Park to see the Christine Iglesias installation: Landscape and Memory

Landscape and Memory
Christine Iglesias


On June 3. 2022. the Annual Symposium of the Madison Park Conservancy met to explore the topic of Unearthing Public Art. From his first earthwork, Michael Heizer. the grandfather of all earth works, brought the childhood fascination of ‘playing in the sand’ to entirely new levels. His large-scale sculptures, set in specific environments so as to create dialogue with the land, helped pioneer Earth or Land Art, a distinctly American art movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. This precedent has been explored by a multitude of land artists, who have brought attention to our ecological wealth in the course of their practice its ethic of environmental restoration, preservation, and consciousness. Like Earth Day, Earth art is very much a product of its time.


Madison Square is a  public square  formed by the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway at 23rd Street  in the New York City. The square was named for James Madison,  our fourth President. The focus of the square is Madison Square Park, a 6.2-acre (2.5-hectare) public park, which is bounded on the east by Madison Avenue (which starts at the park’s southeast corner at 23rd Street); on the south by 23rd Street; on the north by 26th Street; and on the west by Fifth Avenue and Broadway as they cross.

Madison Park, New York City


Christine Iglesias





Cristina Iglesias was born in San Sebastián, Spain in 1956. Although American in spirit, the Earth Works movement has been adopted globally and one of the LRFA blog’s favorite artists in this category is Cristina Iglesias. Iglesias works with a wide range of materials, including steel, water, glass, bronze, bamboo, straw. She commenced a degree in Chemical Sciences at Universidad del País Vasco in 1976 before out in 1978 to practise ceramics and drawing in Barcelona. In 1980, she moved to London to study Sculpture at the Chelsea College of Art in London where she met her husband, the brilliant sculptor who stunned the art world  with his figural installation at the Tate’s Turbine Hall, Juan Muñoz and other artists such as Anish Kapoor. She currently lives and works in Torrelodones, Madrid.


JUAN MUNOZ: Collection of the Hirshhorn Museum

Throughout her career, Iglesias has defined a unique sculptural vocabulary, building immersive and experiential environments that reference and unite architecture, literature and culturally site-specific influences. Through a language of constructed and natural forms rendered in various materials and ranging from suspended pavilions, latticed panels, passageways, and mazes, to walls imbued with texts and structural and vegetative forms, she poetically redefines space by confounding interior and exterior, organic and artifice, combining industrial materials with natural elements to produce unexpected new sensory sites for the viewer. Such is the case with landscape and memory.

Madison Square Park Iglesias: Landscape and Memory



Her work has been shown recently in solo exhibitions at Centro Botín, Santander, Spain (2018); Musée de Grenoble, France (2016); BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium (2014); a large retrospective at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid Spain (2013); and at Casa Franças, Rio de Janeiro (2013). Earlier solo shows have been exhibited at the Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan (2009); Ludwig Museum, Cologne (2006); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2003); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2003); Museu Serralves, Fundaçao Serralves, Oporto (2002); Guggenheim New York (1997); and Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain (1999).

Iglesias has participated in a number of international exhibitions and public commissions and has represented Spain at the 1986 and 1993 Venice Biennales and at the Sydney Biennale in 2012. Recent public commissions include Forgotten Streams at Bloomberg Headquarters in London (2017) and the enormous permanent public commission, Tres Aguas – a Project for Toledo, Toledo,Spain (2014). In 2020 she was awarded the Royal Academy Architecture Prize, London.

Tres Aguas- a project for Toledo



Currently she exhibits in the States at the prestigious Marian Goodman gallery, New York, https://www.mariangoodman.com/artists/47-cristina-iglesias/


The installation, entitled Landscape and Memory evokes the Park’s Buried Topography With Large-Scale Bronze Sculptures Set into Lawn, Flowing with Water.

Madison Square Park, New York No Mad

There is a poignancy to the work to which the LRFA blog reacts deeply, to its simplicity and to the depth of its symbolism. When visiting the site at 23rd Street and Broadway, consider the forgotten terrains and geographic history of New York City in a new public art installation at Madison Square Park, marking her first major temporary public art project in the United States. Landscape and Memory places five bronze sculptural pools, flowing with water, into the park’s Oval Lawn, harkening back to when the Cedar Creek coursed across the land where the park stands today. Building on Iglesias’ practice of unearthing the forgotten and excavating natural history, Landscape and Memory resurfaces in the imaginations of contemporary viewers the now-invisible force of this ancient waterway. In the hustle and bustle of 23rd street, Iglesias has created a beautiful respite from our anxieties, and in our post-pandemic culture, an oasis of poetry, peace and fresh air in the middle of New York.

Water Window Walls

On view from June 1 through December 4, 2022, Landscape and Memory is complemented by a slate of interdisclipinary public programs, free and open to the public. Presented within and responding to the work, these include a summer music series curated with Carnegie Hall as well as performance programming organized in conjunction with The Kitchen. Cristina Iglesias is also the keynote speaker for the Conservancy’s annual public art symposium, held on Friday, June 3, 2022. This year’s program investigates the role of public art in shedding new light on buried histories, both metaphorically and physically.


Christine Iglesias
Landscape and Memory