Thursday, 30 June 2011

Playgirl

Ladytron from their brilliant 2001 debut, retro-sounding electronic 604:


Video from  's youtube channel

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Endnote, pink

I went to see Ian Kiaer's show Endnote, pink at Kunstverein München exactly 363 days ago.  Kiaer, known for his spatial installations of found objects and materials carefully placed on and around the gallery floors, created a poetic landscape inspired by the architecure and the history of the gallery space.





Kunstverein München is one of my favourite galleries in Munich.

Monday, 27 June 2011

München sketches

I will be flying to München next week to kick off my annual summer trip to Europe.  I am posting some sketches from my previous visits in 2009 and 2010.  Although it will be my fourth consecutive summer visiting München, I am still feeling excited.


Sunday, 26 June 2011

Ambiente Bianco

I was ecstatic to find Lucio Fontana's Ambiente Bianco when I visited Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art in 2009.  Fontana, best known for his slashed monochromatic canvases, believed that an image should not be confined to two dimensions.  His attempt to transform the painted surface to a three-dimensional spatial experience culminated in the creation of this work.  Walking into this totally white room is like immersing yourself into his white slashed canvas.  Ethereal is the word to describe it.



Saturday, 25 June 2011

Davidson's zencrushing strokes

I went to see Michael Davidson's show Zencrusher at Toronto's General Hardware Contemporary yesterday.  Davidson's powerful brush strokes create interesting positive and negative spaces that allow viewers a lot of freedom to roam and ponder.  This fantastic show nicely echoes the Abstract Expressionist New York exhibition currently on view at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario).



I remember Pierre Soulages' breathtaking large scale black paintings ...

Façades

Having studied architecture, I always find myself biased toward art with an architectural bent.  Currently showing at Toronto's Shopgirls, Gordon Leverton's paintings of building façades got my immediate attention when I saw them yesterday.  The deep shadows remind me of Edward Hopper.


Image courtesy of Gordon Leverton

Friday, 24 June 2011

Anti-architecture

I am easily captivated by buildings in ruin, abandoned and uninhabited.  The chilling sense of surrealness can be compelling.  I know I will never be an architect ... , at least not for living souls.

Neustrasse, Düsseldorf 2009:


Queen's Street West, Toronto 2010:


Main Street, Cincinnati 2010:


I remember being captivated by Rachel Whiteread's powerful Ghost.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Graham's yellow rendition of the invisible urban infrastructures

Sara Graham's art originates from her concern with the contemporary city: its architectures, infrastructures, histories and psychogeographies.  Apparently, yellow is her favourite colour.

Graham at MKG127, Toronto 2010:



Graham at MKG127, Toronto 2008:

Burges' reverse glass paintings

Seeing German artist Michael Burges' reverse glass paintings is like watching the everdrifting clouds through a window.  The plexiglass behind which Burges applied his vivid colours is the magical window pane.  I first saw Burges' reverse glass paintings at Toronto's Lausberg Contemporary in 2007.  His second solo exhibition currently showing is long overdue - I have been waiting for it for three and a half years.



Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Lefkowitz's improvised structures*

I saw David Lefkowitz's very unique drawings at Minneapolis' Weisman Art Museum last summer.  Lefkowitz rendered imaginary architectural structures on such everyday materials as corrugated cardboards and styrofoam.  Creativity does thrive out of the mundane.



*Improvised Structures is the title of Lefkowitz's show at DCKT Contemporary, New York 2004.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Hopper melancholy

Did I mention that I love Edward Hopper?  Not really a fan of realism, I only love Hopper's dramatic treatment of light and shadow, which delivers a lasting feeling of loss and melancholy.




The first drawing is based on Hopper's 1943 painting Summertime.  All drawings are from 2009.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

A faceless portrait

I usually have absolutely zero interest in portraits.  They are boring.  When I saw Chris Cran's intriguing painting at Clint Roenisch Gallery on Saturday, I remember seeing it there two years ago.  It is an unboring portrait painting.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Grid on grid

... on grid on grid on grids, 2009-2010.



The second drawing is based on a work by S Chuklov and V Chuklova.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Valentina

Kraftwerk-inspired Komputer's 1997 tribute to Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space:


Video from komputermusik's youtube channel

Thank you, R, for showing me this video.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Literary translation to colours

Francine Savard's show at Toronto's Diaz Contemporary earlier this year consisted of a series of minimalist paintings on horizontal canvas stripes.  Each painting is a colour translation of the first line of a famous novel, with the length of each word determining the length of the respective colour block.  Interesting idea.



That reminds me of Stefanie Posavec's very clever Writing Without Words project.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Foil Problem

For his show Foil Problem at Toronto's Paul Petro Contemporary Art earlier this year, Sandy Plotnikoff resurrected an obsolete foil stamping press, using it to produce his latest works with holographic foils.  The resulting series of dazzling pieces were both old and new at the same time.



Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Abstract expressionist T.O.

The AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) is currently showing abstract expressionists' works from the MoMA.  I am not particularly crazy about the show.  I went there today mainly to see Barnett Newman.  But it was Ad Reinhardt's black painting that stole my heart.  Unfortunately, I could not take a good picture of Reinhardt's excellent piece.  Here are my other favourites.

Willem de Kooning:


Barnett Newman:

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Circles

Karen Taylor has been an active participant of Toronto's Riverdale Art Walk for the past few years.  I was glad to see her works there again this past weekend.  Taylor's free-flowing curves and circles are strangely refreshing for a geometrist like me.




My geometrist's circles are more like this, 2010: