Tate Etc.

Highlights include…

Francesco Bonami on the everyday
Jeremy Wood and Adam Nicolson on van Dyck
Martin Herbert on new modernism
Christina Kiaer on female artists in Stalin’s Russia
Elisabeth Lebovici and Mark Godfrey on Roni Horn
Sam Smiles on Turner
Charlotte Klonk visits Katja Strunz in her studio
Rochelle Steiner and Alison Gingeras on Glenn Brown

Alison Gingeras notes of Glenn Brown, ‘He has an unabashed love affair with paint. This passion runs throughout all the different subject matters, forms and methods.’

While the Russian female avant-garde artists like Natalia Goncharova, Varvara Stepanova and Liubov Popova are relatively well-known, the work of their successors in the 1930s under Stalin has been largely forgotten. While often dismissed as propaganda art or social realism, many worked in a modernist figurative style and, as Kiaer writes, “saw themselves as every bit as revolutionary as the previous generations.” The Short Life of the Equal Woman, by Christina Kiaer.

Can a book with no text paint a portrait of a writer? Such a question was asked when Roni Horn published Index Cixous with the writer Hélène Cixous in 2005. Elisabeth Lebovici examines the challenging representation of identity in her work. Plus: Horn is better known for her sculptures, books and photographic installations. Yet, as the artist has said: “If you were to ask me what I do, I would say that I draw – this is the primary activity.” Mark Godfrey examines how the enquiry into the process of their making is part of the rewarding experience of her enigmatic drawings.

Turner’s late pictures were dismissed as works of “senile decrepitude” and questioned by even his most devoted disciple, John Ruskin. Their modern appreciation owes much to the emergence in the early 1900s of a new enthusiasm for the “late style” of artists as various as Titian and Rembrandt. As Sam Smiles explains, it would transform how Turner’s work was both displayed and perceived over the following decades.

A gaze into Stanley Spencer’s wrinkly neck; why Robert Ryman continues to rescue Esther Stocker from having to remember whose teacup it is she is drinking from; perambulatory reflections on a forever crustless egg sandwich; and a noble cloud spotter spots a painterly problem. Microtate, by Ewan Gibbs, Esther Stocker, Rachel Kneebone and Gavin Pretor-Pinney.

Otto Muehl’s 1970 performance Manopsychotic Ballet was recently unearthed in the archives of the Kölnischer Kunstverin having been forgotton for almost forty years. The grotesque performance featured “naked protagonists who were mimicking acts of sexual violence, sadism, masochism and the devouring of animals such as pigs and hens”. Philip Urspring asserts his theory that such a rebellious work was “more than the art world could tolerate”.

Nicholas Bourriaud, curator of Tate Britian’s Triennial, discusses his aims “to extend his thinking into a form of uncharted territory”. He speaks of an “interest in migration linked to ideas around disconnected, dispossessed and transient lives without roots: a journey drawn in space and time”.
“…hot, sensual, engaging and insincere.’ Martin Herbert on Anselm Reyle’s canvases.

“I am staying at a really hot stuff tip-top hop-scotch luxury dive for old dames.”
Lucian Freud, p112.

Martin Herbert
TATE ETC. is published three times a year.
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