As the international tour of the last Gilbert & George retrospective (2007–2009) did not include Berlin, Arndt & Partner are now presenting a solo exhibition of the celebrity artist duo in its gallery rooms behind the Hamburger Bahnhof. It is the first Gilbert & George solo show in Berlin for 14 years. The exhibition features a selection of 20 large-scale pieces from the Jack Freak Pictures, the largest Gilbert & George group of pictures to date. The thrust of the content is given by the colors and shapes of the Union Jack flag that dominate the bulk of the pictures as well as the recurring motive of medals, emblems and trees. In the Jack Freak Pictures the artist duo explores aspects of nationhood and of the sentient individual in the nets of society. In his essay published in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition the British writer Michael Bracewell describes these pictures as “the most iconic, philosophically astute and visually violent works that Gilbert & George have ever created…” On view 16 June through 18 September, 2009.
Gilbert & George, who met as students of sculpture at St. Martin’s School of Art in London 42 years ago, embarked on a joint artistic career that was to encompass a wide range of media from drawing to video and their trademark pictures. Further, the pair revolutionized the concept of sculpture by presenting themselves as “living sculptures” dressed in the quintessentially British tailored suit, shirt and tie. But it was their monumental trademark pictures composed of a gridlike array of smaller images which they began to create in the early 70s that first brought them international fame. Figures, cityscapes, symbols, plants, bodily fluids, excrements and text interlock in pictorial messages as visually powerful as their content is provocative. The pictures, which started out in black and white and later assumed increasingly luminous, bold colors, generally also depict portraits of the artists themselves and seize on taboo subjects like sexuality, race, religion and national identity with a brash and fearless candor.
The Jack Freak Pictures again feature the bodies and/or faces of the artists. In these compositions, their bodies function as stylized representatives of the individual in society, whose relationship to social norms and categories, to national, religious and sexual identification processes is relentlessly explored and commented upon. Departing from their earlier oeuvre, some of their new pictures split the raw images into much smaller fragments before merging them into new forms. The result is a fascinating kaleidoscopic mix of the monstrously grotesque with an intricate ornamental structure reminiscent of sacred art. In ever new variations, Gilbert & George order the signs and fragments of social life they find in their neighborhood – the multicultural East End of London –, where solidarity and friendship are as visible as intolerance and marginalization.
Gilbert & George
Gilbert, born in 1943 in the Ladin Dolomites, Italy, studied at the Wolkenstein School of Art in South Tyrol, the Hallein School of Art in Austria and the Munich Academy of Fine Arts before coming to London and enrolling at St Martin’s School of Art. George, born in 1942 in Devon, England, studied at the Dartington Hall College of Art, the Oxford Art School and St. Martin’s School of Art, where he met Gilbert in Anthony Caro’s sculpture class in 1967. They have lived and worked together in London ever since.
The duo has accumulated a long list of international distinctions and exhibitions at major institutions. They were awarded the Turner Prize in 1986, a prize they had already been nominated for two years earlier, and represented the UK at the 51st Venice Biennial in 2005. Solo exhibitions of their art have been held at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1971 and 1996), the Guggenheim Museum, New York (1985), Wiener Secession, Vienna (1992), the National Art Gallery, Beijing (1993), the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris (1997), the Kunstmuseum Bonn (1999), the Serpentine Gallery, London (2002), and the Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht (2006). Their second retrospective, which toured museums including the Tate Modern, London (2007), and the Haus der Kunst, Munich (2007), was on show at the Brooklyn Museum, New York, until the beginning of the year.
Visit Arndt & Partner at : http://www.arndt-partner.de/
A hope the Jewish Museum Berlin has had for some time is now to be realized: The Museum will be granted its much-needed expansion into the area on the opposite side of the road which currently houses Berlin ’s Central Flower Market. The space provided by expansion into the market hall will satisfy the Museum’s urgent need for additional room for educational programs, the archive, the library, and research. André Schmitz, State Secretary for Cultural Affairs in Berlin , has approved the project, ensuring that the state of Berlin will hand over the use and management of the whole hall to the Jewish Museum Berlin . The Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg District Authority is seeing to the alteration of the land-use plan for the area between Lindenstrasse and Friedrichstrasse, in which the Central Flower Market premises are currently a designated “mixed-use” area. This will enable the hall to be used as a cultural center in future.
Hall Conversion Financed Through the Generous Support of the State and Private Sponsors
The building planned by the architect Bruno Grimmek between 1962 and 1965 will not be demolished, but merely modified to suit the requirements of the Jewish Museum Berlin . Construction work can begin in 2010 when the approximately 6,000 m² hall will be vacated by the Berlin Central Market, which will move to the Beusselstrasse. The costs are estimated at 10 million euros, of which the state – under the direction of Bernd Neumann, Minister of State for Cultural and Media Affairs – will cover 6 million. The remaining 4 million euros will be raised by the Jewish Museum Berlin through sponsors. Amongst the Museum’s supporters are a generous sponsor from the US and the American Friends of the Jewish Museum Berlin : Their gift to the Museum is the design for the hall’s modification, for which it is hoped the Daniel Libeskind Studio can be won. Berlin ’s Kreuzberg district would thus gain a further architectural attraction, which alongside the Libeskind Building and Libeskind-inspired Glass Courtyard would complete the Lindenstrasse ensemble – without burdening public coffers with the expense of a star architect’s design.
Education and Research Will be Under One Roof
The expansion has become necessary due to the growth of the education and research areas at the Jewish Museum Berlin . The new building is to bring the education department, the archive, and the library under one roof, thus creating synergies between scientific research and educational work. Direct access to information, a clearer overview of what is on offer, and more room for exchange, transfer of knowledge, and encounters – the new location will ensure all these. The objective is to establish in the Lindenstrasse in Berlin one of the most important research and education centers on the history and culture of German-speaking Jewry.
Increasing Demand for the JMB’s Educational Programs
Since the opening of the Jewish Museum Berlin in 2001, its educational work has more than doubled. In addition to the roughly 7,000 guided tours each year, the Museum holds around 300 educational events such as training courses, seminars for students, vacation programs, workshops on special exhibitions and Jewish festivals, workshops about the archive featuring talks with witnesses, theater workshops, programs against antisemitism, project days, and training courses for teachers. Over 100,000 visitors per year come to these events. Furthermore, at least 10 times a year the Jewish Museum Berlin hosts large-scale educational events with up to 300 school pupils, for example as part of international youth meetings or commemoration days for schools such as the Anne Frank School.
This diverse range of activities and the increase in demand, particularly where whole-day activities are concerned, has resulted in a space shortage that will be solved with the expansion into the Central Flower Market hall. It will enable more events to be held at the same time and a clearer representation of findings. More space will also be available for educational work on a theme the Museum intends to bring into sharper focus: Integration, understanding, and tolerance in a multiethnic society. Moreover, the spatial proximity of the archives, library, seminar rooms, workshops, and multimedia activities will ensure more efficient logistics in the organization of events. Last but not least, it will take the pressure off the flow of visitors into the Old Building and the Libeskind Building , which are frequented by more than 750,000 people a year visiting the permanent and special exhibitions.
Growing Archives and Intensification of Scientific Research
The archival holdings of the Jewish Museum Berlin have likewise more than doubled since its opening. Further growth is expected in the near and mid-term future, since the last generation of Holocaust survivors is passing away. The Jewish Museum Berlin (JMB) has the task of conserving this heritage by continuously adding to its collections. Furthermore, the archive would like to expand its holdings on postwar history of Jews in Germany .
In addition, there are the dependencies of important archives on German-speaking Jewry housed at the JMB: The holdings of the dependency there of the Leo Baeck Institute New York Archive have quadrupled since 2001. The Jewish Museum Berlin opened a dependency of the Wiener Library London in 2008. In cooperation with the British partners, the holdings, which have so far not been inventoried, are to be made accessible at the JMB.
The number of users has also risen appreciably: The holdings of the Jewish Museum Berlin , the Leo Baeck Archive, and the Wiener Library are in international demand. Inquiries from researchers come not only from Europe, but also from other parts of the world such as Israel , the USA , and Canada . The extension will not only ensure improved conditions for using the materials, but will also provide more space for collaboration with universities and other scientific institutions – an area that is to receive sharper focus. Alongside a fellowship program, more scientific events such as conferences, meetings, and lectures are planned.
Library Expansion and Improved Conditions for Users
The library at the Jewish Museum Berlin will also move into the extension. Initially planned as a reference library for employees, it originally housed around 70,000 media and has been used as a specialist reference library since 2001. The holdings have trebled in the past 10 years. As well as literature on German-Jewish history, culture, literature, music, art, and other humanistic sections, it also boasts a historical collection whose oldest book dates back to the 14th century. In 2005, the library began to collect audiovisual materials and thus became a media center.
Hidden away at the back of the Libeskind Building , the current library is not in a part of the Museum to which the public has free access. Therefore prior notification is required of its visitors, who are then accompanied by staff to and from the reading room. In the new building on the opposite side of the Lindenstrasse, the library rooms will be freely accessible making use of them easier and thus more attractive.
The new space from adidas in Berlin No.74 has opened its doors to the world to see, and with this exciting fit out curated along with No.6 in London we can expect to see some big things in the way of pop culture, art, and product. 032c magazine joined adidas to celebrate the sophisticated store’s openingwith a photography exhibit from architect and designer Juergen Mayer H. entitled “Metropol Paraol” that’s currently on display. In addition to the exhibition they released a special limited edition Stan Smith shoe tagged with No. 74 and No. 6, only available in London and Berlin.
Urban Affairs, the largest, most comprehensive Urban art exhibition ever hosted in Germany is scheduled to open from July 5th until August 3rd in Berlin, featuring forty-two artists from nine countries, which includes all major players in the Street and Contemporary Arts genre .
The exhibition will be hosted at a 900 sq. meter exhibition space in Galerie Friedrichshöhe, a new cultural center in Berlin-Friedrichshain. situated in a post-industrial building. Definitely worth checking out if you are in the area. Click here to see more.
Visit their official website here for more details.
Via: Lodown Magazine
Beginning on July 4, 2008, the Neue Nationalgalerie will feature the Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto in what constitutes the most comprehensive retrospective of his fascinating oeuvre to be presented up to now in German-speaking countries. Berlin is the third station of a tour which also goes to Düsseldorf, Salzburg and Lucerne. The exhibition consists of more than seventy photographs, along with a sculpture of the great master of black-and-white photography; it demonstrates the great diversity of his groups of works, whose impressive clarity and precision immediately catch the viewer’s eye.