José Antonio Suárez Londoño @ the 2013 Venice Biennale’s Encyclopedic Palace

The Labs happened upon José Antonio Suárez Londoño in Venice. Born in Medellín, Colombia in 1955, he is a persistent draftsman and documentarian of the imagined.london

His practice is to create a drawing a day. Originally this charge came from writer friend, Héctor Abad. Abad proposed a collaboration where Suárez Londoño would make work to inspire the author’s writing. At the end of each month, Suárez Londoño was to share his drawings with Abad, who would then create a work from these 30 or so drawings. In the end, at least in the story we were told, the output coming in proved too overwhelming for old Héctor, who backed out of his end, even though it seems to us that our guy was doing all the heavy lifting. Still the Labs sends many thanks to Abad for inspiring Suárez Londoño to make these intimate, outstanding, imaginative, tedious, whimsical, and mysterious gems.londono londono1

Suárez Londoño remained engaged in the rigor of this encyclopedic way of working, and decided to continue making daily work tied to his daily readings, starting with Brian Eno’s A Year with Swollen Appendices. The images pictured here are from his collection “Franz Kafka, Diaries II, 1914-1923”. Our understanding is that there are 365 of these bad boys, all done in 2000, all mixed media, all 13 x 20 cm, and all better than anything you made all year!

Enjoy, readers!

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All The World’s Futures

 

The title chosen by Okwui Enwezor for the 56th International Art Exhibition is: All the World’s Futures. A theme that Futurelab find very fitting in deed.
Okwui Enwezor has explained his project as follows:
« The ruptures that surround and abound around every corner of the global landscape today recall the evanescent debris of previous catastrophes piled at the feet of the angel of history in Angelus Novus. How can the current disquiet of our time be properly grasped, made comprehensible, examined, and articulated? Over the course of the last two centuries the radical changes have made new and fascinating ideas subject matter for artists, writers, filmmakers, performers, composers, musicians. It is with this recognition that the 56th International Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia proposes All the World’s Futures a project devoted to a fresh appraisal of the relationship of art and artists to the current state of things ».
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We are looking forward to the many apocalyptic themes that will no doubt be found in the 56th Venice Biennale. The lab agrees with New Zealand’s representative artist Simon Denny that invasion from giant mechanized predator aliens are in our future.www.labiennale.org

BGL to represent Cananda in the Venice Biennale

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After seeing this fox impaled by a plexi spire, the Futurelab is excited to see what BGL, an artist collective established in 1996, comes up with for this year’s Venice Biennale.

The three artists live and work in Québec City.

From the Parisan Laundry website:

Renowned for cheeky, critical and explosive works, BGL creates self-referential, site-specific installations that seek to re-contextualize the space of the gallery. These artworks are at once nostalgic, while simultaneously indebted to contemporary culture. The trio often utilizes local signage, foodstuffs and urban clichés as references into a long-term investigation of our own unpredictable relationship with nature and consumer culture. Within BGL’s playful scenarios, we are able to witness the transformation of the Canadian landscape: an ongoing battle between the organic and the artificial. As a result, the viewer becomes more aware of their personal implication in a disposable consumer culture. This is precisely what BGL is engaging with in their artistic practice: a process of recycling and reusing that is then restaged and recontextualized within the gallery space. The collective’s massive exhibitions have included the staging of a seasonal ornamental tree factory, a bonfire and even a ‘Marché aux puces’ (flea market). Such works reposition found objects, cultural ephemera and unique sculptures in new and thought-provoking ways.

BGL was created while the three members—Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère and Nicolas Laverdière—were students at Laval University. For almost two decades now, the collective has presented major installations and performances and participated in innumerable group and solo exhibitions. BGL has been invited to show their work by a variety of institutions, including the first edition of the Bienal del fin del mundo (Ushuaia, Argentina), the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Musée d’art moderne Lille Métropole (France), Mercer Union (Toronto), Hart House (Toronto), The Havana Biennale (Cuba) and The Montreal Biennale. More recently, the artists have enchanted their public with the installation Fancy Canada conceived especially for the 2013 major group exhibition Oh Canada! at MASS MoCA (Massachussetts). In 2012, the members of BGL took part in the Louis Odette Sculptor-in-Residence Program at York University (Toronto). Recent notable projects include Alberta’s Nuit Blanche, Cultiver son jardin at the UQAM gallery,Marshmallow, Cauldron + Fire at the Vancouver Art Gallery and Le discours des éléments at the National Gallery of Canada, among others. The collective has been recognized by the Canada Council for the Arts and The Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec on numerous occasions and has twice been a finalist for the Sobey Art Award. Their work is found in the collections of The Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and The National Gallery of Canada. BGL was chosen to represent Canada at the 2015 Venice Biennale.


Irena Nakhova, represents Russia in 2015 Venice Biennale

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Irina Nakhova (b. 1955) graduated from the Moscow Institute of Graphic Arts in 1978. She is an installation artist and an academically trained painter who “parlays art historical references into interactive environments that are humorous and poignant” (Marina Mangubi). She has had a long and distinguished career with numerous solo exhibitions in New York, Moscow, Austria, Estonia, Chicago, and London. She is a member of unofficial artists’ group, now known as the Moscow Conceptual School. She is also a member of the Union of Russian Artists since 1986. Since 1992 Irina lives and works between Russia and the US. Nakhova taught contemporary art at Wayne State University in Detroit (MI), Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh (PA), and International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg, Austria. Her artwork is in museums and private collections in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.

content from Nailya Gallery website


Sol Lewitt @ Mass MoCA: A Wall Drawing Retrospective

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From the Mass MoCa website:

Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective comprises 105 of LeWitt’s large-scale wall drawings, spanning the artist’s career from 1969 to 2007. These occupy nearly an acre of specially built interior walls that have been installed—per LeWitt’s own specifications—over three stories of a historic mill building situated at the heart of MASS MoCA’s campus. The 27,000-square-foot structure, known as Building #7, has been fully restored for the exhibition by Bruner/Cott & Associates architects, which has closely integrated the building into the museum’s main circulation plan through a series of elevated walkways, a dramatic new vertical lightwell, and new stairways.

The works in the exhibition are on loan from numerous private and public collections worldwide, including the Yale University Art Gallery, to which LeWitt designated the gift of a major representation of his wall drawings, as well as his wall-drawing archive.

Jock Reynolds, the Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Yale University Art Gallery, states, “Watching this grand installation of Sol LeWitt’s wall drawings progress over the past six months has been nothing short of thrilling. In addition to providing an enduring exhibition of great beauty, this retrospective will enable visitors to behold for the first time the full trajectory of a major aspect of Sol’s artistic career. Until today, the only way to view multiple LeWitt wall drawings has been to travel far and wide, pursuing them individually in situ or in temporary museum exhibitions. Now, visitors will be able to return to MASS MoCA again and again to experience this visual feast of Sol’s wall drawings in a single location, doing so at their leisure over the next twenty-five years.”


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LeWitt—who stressed the idea behind his work over its execution—is widely regarded as one of the leading exponents of Minimalism and Conceptual art, and is known primarily for his deceptively simple geometric structures and architecturally scaled wall drawings. His experiments with the latter commenced in 1968 and were considered radical, in part because this new form of drawing was purposely temporal and often executed not just by LeWitt but also by other artists and students whom he invited to assist him in the installation of his artworks.

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Each wall drawing begins as a set of instructions or simple diagram to be followed in executing the work. As the exhibition makes clear, these straightforward instructions yield an astonishing—and stunningly beautiful—variety of work that is at once simple and highly complex, rigorous and sensual. The drawings in the exhibition range from layers of straight lines meticulously drawn in black graphite pencil lead, to rows of delicately rendered wavy lines in colored pencil; from bold black-and-white geometric forms, to bright planes in acrylic paint arranged like the panels of a folding screen; from sensuous drawings created by dozens of layers of transparent washes, to a tangle of vibratory orange lines on a green wall, and much more. Forms may appear to be flat, to recede in space, or to project into the viewer’s space, while others meld to the structure of the wall itself. IMG_1932

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Ellen Altfest @ the Venice Biennale, 2013

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Ellen Altfest, born in 1970 in New York, creates modestly scaled, hyerrealistic paintings of still lives, landscapes, and truncated male nudes that are exceptionally labored. All work is done from life, using natural light. Works take months, even years to complete. Futurelab first encountered her work, pictured below, at the 2013 Venice Biennale show, The Encyclopedic Palace, curated by Massimiliano Gioni.

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Matt Bollinger at Zürcher Gallery, December 2014

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