August 25, 1994 |
Ben Vautier's sculpture "Ben's Museum" is a stark encapsulation of the wittily insightful rigor of which Fluxus art of the 1960s and 1970s was capable. In its way, though, it also exposes a certain flabbiness within the movement's core. The sculpture, which turns up near the end of the large and ambitious exhibition "In the Spirit of Fluxus," newly opened at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, is composed of a large wooden packing crate--the kind in which paintings are typically shipped or stored.
May 21, 1989 |
France lost its status as the world's artistic and intellectual capital following a flowering after World War II. Because the French pursue an unquenchable quest for La Gloire they have been trying ever since to recoup. It's really sort of lovable. Governments, however, are incapable of legislating talent, so they usually fall back on the creation of institutions. France is no exception. For a decade and more it has been spawning culture palaces faster than you can flick a dust mote off your lapel.
July 31, 1997 |
For the third time in 20 years, the "Sculpture Project" has come to town. And, it's a pleasure. Organized by the Westphalian Regional Museum and curators Kasper Konig and Klaus Bussmann, the exhibition consists of temporary new work for mostly urban spaces by more than 60 international artists. Blessedly, there is no theme--except to see what a variety of mostly talented artists will do when invited to work in the complicated environment of the public arena.
April 12, 2005 |
On April 2, this city celebrated the 200th birthday of Hans Christian Andersen with an extravaganza called "Once Upon a Time" that featured the likes of Tina Turner and Renee Fleming and was broadcast throughout Europe. Danish politicians were outraged at the tacky image of their country it projected. One member of Parliament likened the stadium show to a cheap, second-class copy of "Holiday on Ice." The minister of culture has been called on the carpet.
January 30, 1997 |
At L.A. Louver Gallery, a well-selected group of 13 oil paintings and eight bronze sculptures by Danish artist Per Kirkeby serves as a substantial introduction to work that's well-known in Europe but rarely seen in the United States. Kirkeby's California debut is an affair of significant magnitude, even though its insistently understated works make such claims sound overblown and pretentious.
June 3, 2005 |
Per Kirkeby's subdued paintings move at a glacial pace: slowly, steadily and with unstoppable forcefulness. At L.A. Louver Gallery, nine new oils on canvas eschew eye-grabbing flash for the incremental processes of nature, both botanical and geological. The life cycles of organic matter, including seasonal moss, perennial underbrush and century-spanning trees, take shape across the densely packed surfaces of Kirkeby's fecund canvases.