Juergen Teller at Grisebach

If you read my journal or follow my Instagram for a while, then you’ve surely noticed my obsession with Juergen Teller and his work. So when I discovered that his two exhibtions open at Grisebach (one of the oldest auction houses in town), I marked 12th of September right away in my calendar as a mandatory trip to Berlin. And… my dream came true. He was there with his partner, Dovile Drizyte, they both signed books and talked with guests. I even took a photo with him – just couldn’t resist that opportunity (sorry not sorry)! He was happy I came especially from Poland to attend the opening… Ok, back to the exhibitions. Grisebach presents precisely two exhibitions with the photographer: “If You Pay Attention” and “Araki Teller, Leben und Tod”. “If You Pay Attention” was completed in collaboration with Drizyte, and features a series of photographs that were taken at the end of 2019 to the beginning of 2020, on an adventurous, heavenly, yet life-threatening journey through Iran. Drizyte, Teller’s partner, wore a chador during a part of their trip and consequently discovered a new identity whilst following this dress code. Teller recalled how: “I didn’t just want to take tourist pictures, I wanted to put something of myself or us into the pictures of Iran, but I didn’t know what or how in the beginning. At the same time, I haven’t yet quite found a way of photographing Dovile, my girlfriend. Sometimes it is difficult with people who are very close to you. It took me years to photograph my Mother.” Next door, at Villa Grisebach, Teller presented his new book, “Araki Teller, Leben und Tod” which was made in collaboration with the Japanese photographer, Nobuyoshi Araki. “Leben und Tod” is the culmination of their joint exhibition at artspace AM, Tokyo held at the end of 2019 and is published by Steidl. This deeply personal project centres on Teller’s “Leben und Tod” (Life and Death) series, in which he reflects upon the death of his uncle and stepfather Artur. Teller juxtaposes photographs of his mother and their hometown in Bubenreuth, Bavaria with images from his journey in Bhutan with Dovile that epitomize life and fertility. Inspired by this series, Araki asked to photograph Teller’s “childhood memory objects”, items that carry special emotional significance to both him and his parents. Teller eagerly collected these personal treasures, gathering toys, a porcelain figurine, and bridges created in the family’s string instruments’ bridge-making workshop. Araki’s resulting images are haunting, yet playful, creating a spellbinding tale once paired with Teller’s original story. Here’s a mix of my favourite works, juxtaposed with Grisebach’s beautiful space.

The exhibitions are on until the 7th of November! More information is available right here.

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Gallery Weekend Berlin 2020 Picks

I love Berlin. And I love it even more during Gallery Weekend! During this event, the city transforms into an art sponge, and really, anything can happen (another post is coming on this today…). Every year, traditionally in springtime (due to coronavirus it was postponed to September 11-13), around 50 galleries open their exhibitions by young and established artists and welcome numerous visitors. Gallery Weekend Berlin was founded back in 2005 as a private initiative by Berlin galleries and soon became one of the highlights of the international art calendar. The weekend celebrates galleries and artists within this unique format providing high-calibre exhibitions and an unparalleled experience of Berlin. Here are my three picks from yesterday, but stay in tune, as more posts are coming!

Ugo Rondinone‘s Nuns + Monks at Esther Schipper

Stones have been a presence and recurring material and symbol in Ugo Rondinone’s art. They are the subjects of the stone figures that he began with the monumental Human Nature installation at the Rockefeller Plaza in 2013 followed by Seven Magic Mountains in the Nevada Desert in 2016. Both groups are the study and enjoyment of naturally formed stones as objects of beauty and contemplation, and in turn generate personal, meditative states of looking in which the boundaries between the outside world and internally visualized spaces break down. In doing so, Rondinone makes sculptures of what it means and feels like to see, whether this is understood to be a physical or metaphysical phenomenon. Nuns + Monks continue to address the dual reflection between the inner self and the natural world. Just as the external world one sees is inseparable from the internal structures of oneself, Nuns + Monks allows such layers of signification to come in and out of focus, prompting the viewer to revel in the pure sensory experience of color, form and mass while simultaneously engender in an altogether contemporary version of the sublime.

The exhibition remains on view through October 17, 2020. More here.

Richard Hawkins at Galerie Buchholz

Richard Hawkins moved out of Texas for art school in Los Angeles in 1986. Then, after a few years of writing experimental fiction, he began a career in art that would contain all of American culture in its erotic death grip. As a painter, Hawkins often swims in different directions – mining art history, as he has over the past two decades, to create surrealist, tragicomic scenes of gay cruising zones and exotic hustler bars. He also mines literature for inspiration, character cameos, and excerpts of text inserted directly onto his canvases. Hawkins new group of paintings for his 11th solo exhibition at Galerie Buchholz are brightly colored compositions that contain a constellation of subjects as varied as the celebrity hunk Nick Jonas, the boxer Canelo Alvarez, Justin Bieber, Adam Driver, but also “Death in Venice’s” Gustav von Aschenbach as played by Dirk Bogarde or Alain Delon as Baron de Charlus from “Swann in love”. Two of these paintings include snippets of poetry from the decadent Victorian writer Algernon Charles Swinburne. These new works originate out of the mindset of collage, the medium that is central to Richard Hawkins entire artists practice, but which is here emphatically transformed into painting. Hawkins’ subjects seem to dissolve in glowing, even fluorescent colors, and alongside his ensemble of reoccurring characters painterly references appear: butterflies by Odilon Redon, a dried sunflower and secreting opium.

The exhibition remains on view through October 2, 2020. More here.

Tobias Spichtig‘s Pretty Fine at Contemporary Fine Arts

In his first solo exhibition with CFA, Tobias Spichtig, Swiss artist, combines his new paintings and sculptures. Shell becomes essence, attitude becomes form, the existentialist gesture is being adjusted in the digital age. His work is generated through a vast circulation of reference, media, fashion, humor and materials. Engaging with visual culture through both traditional and experimental means, Spichtig’s conceptual narratives often use color as a means of connecting themes. His installations, sculptures, paintings, photographs and films address ever-changing notions of reality and the temporal nature of images. Also, he has recently collaborated with Demna Gvasalia on installations places at selected Balenciaga stores.

The exhibition remains on view through September 26, 2020. More here.

Photos by Edward Kanarecki, photos of Tobias Spichtig’s works via the artist’s Instagram.

Gallery Weekend Kick-Off

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Made some new friends. Thanks MCM for those pandas!

Even though I couldn’t stay for the entire Gallery Weekend in Berlin (which ends tomorrow), I managed to come for its very kick-off, which happenned at Andreas Murkudis. I’ve written about this store here and there, so I think there’s no need to explain once again why this place is one of the most incredible concept stores in the world. For the occasion, Andreas Murkudis organised an event called Seoul10Soul, which celebrates the leading designers from Seoul. From Blindness and Bourie to Ych and Munn, the magnificent bamboo rack construction placed in the front of the store presented the intricacy and innovative character of Korean brands. Along Céline trench coats and Dries Van Noten dresses, you can also view Murkudis’ personal collection of rare photography books from well-established artists including Larry Sultan, Wolfgang Tillmans or Walker Evans. Plus, every Berliner knows that a party at Andreas Murkudis is a party to be at. And, there’s a large probability that you will meet your Berlin-based Instagram friends, in real life. Nice to meet you, @iampatrickmason!

During Gallery Weekend, nearly every place you visit booms with art. Odeeh, which is just across Andreas Murkudis, had a small party celebrating a Berlin-based artist, Leonhard Hurzlmeier. In the nearby Blain|Southern gallery, which is located in a former warehouse, a private view of Frank Thiel’s Quinceañeras (that examines the tradition of the often lavish coming-of-age celebrations around a young woman’s fifteenth birthday in Cuba) and Liliane Tomasko’s A Dream Of  (paintings that expressively describe the emotions triggered by the artist’s dreams) took place as well. But note: Gallery Weekend spreads across entire Berlin, and I’ve had a chance to see just a bit of it this year. Hope that my next April will be much less hectic and I will be there for all of it!

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

Berlin: Gallery Weekend 2015

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This year’s Gallery Weekend in Berlin was awesome. The people present during the event, the beautiful moments and of course the artworks shown to the public felt fresh and absolutely creative. I discovered a lot of new artists, but two of them were definitely the highlights for me – Hans Aichinger and Philipp Fürhofer. Aichinger’s works are characterised by the sophisticated lighting and his precisely painted figures that are emphasised by the minimal backround. Fürhofer art is totally different, though – his installations suggest the artist implements a range of techniques by working layers of impasto over transparent materials. At times they appear as three-dimensional objects brightened up with light, while at other times they are absorbed into the surrounding space, blurring the reality with imagination. Also, while visiting the whole event, I visited my favourite store, Andreas Murkudis and a pop-up store of vintage furniture which had a great variety of rugs from Nepal.

Here is my photo-recap from this über-Berliner trip.

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Berlin: Gallery Weekend 2014

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Gallery Weekend celebrated yesterday it’s tenth birthday. Every year, since 2004, Berlin hosts a district serie of free opened galleries with modern art. I was present on the Potsdammer Strasse, where young artists and investors meet, presenting and selling artworks. Some are very controversial- for example Jarg Geismar’s Feeling My Own Blood presents a solemnly attached 100 dollar bill to a white wall; or Steffen Junghans dark photographs that look like paintings. The Gallery Weekend is functioning till tomorrow and every there is a new surprise for the guests… so hurry up!

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