June 6, 2009 - Parkett - Maria Lassnig, Beatriz Milhazes, Josh Smith, and Jean-Luc Mylayne
June 6, 2009

Maria Lassnig, Beatriz Milhazes, Josh Smith, and Jean-Luc Mylayne

New Parkett with Maria Lassnig, Beatriz Milhazes, Josh Smith, and Jean-Luc Mylayne


Celebrating its 25th year, Parkett comes face to face with itself in a special anniversary section of vol. 85 titled “Transatlantic”. Assembled are remarks by Daniel Baumann, Ina Blom, Maurizio Cattelan, Lynne Cooke, Kurt W. Forster, Boris Groys, Kathy Halbreich, John Kelsey, Josephine Meckseper, Andrzej Przywara, Beatrix Ruf, Matt Saunders, Josef Strau, and Tirdad Zolghadr.

Also in this section is a transatlantic conversation between Editor-in-Chief, Bice Curiger, and Senior Editor U.S., Bettina Funcke, discussing woven and contrapuntal discourses across the Atlantic as a motivating force behind Parkett.

Also in this issue: texts by Mark Godfrey (on Sharon Lockhart); Cumulus texts by Rainer Michael Mason and Andrew Weiner; an Insert by Markus Uhr; and a spine and cover designed by Josh Smith.

Veteran Austrian painter Maria Lassnig, now in her nineties, remains remarkably under U.S. radar. Stated with perfect irony, Robert Storr jests: “Some people simply lack a talent for acting their age… scenes of oh-so-very-naked men and women … alternate with others in which cartoonish monstrosities clash or cavort with manic intensity… Lassnig has not settled down; she has geared up.” Additional texts are by Ludmilla Vachtova and Manuela Ammer.

For her Parkett edition, Lassnig has produced a tri-color silkscreen depicting a deformed pair of ambiguously amputated limbs shockingly affixed to a pair of sparkling yellow gloves.

According to Tanya Barson, the paintings of Rio de Janiero-based artist Beatriz Milhazes‘ paintings depict life as a “perpetual process of renewal and decay.” In her conversation with musician Arto Lindsay, Milhazes conjures the claustrophobic terror of the blank canvas and the intimidating presence of two of her greatest influences, Matisse and Kahlo: “I might start a painting with a washy green field and every step thereafter will remain in conversation with that green. But the conversation is also an expression of a deeper conflict.” Barry Schwabsky acknowledges the musicality inherent to Milhazes’ uninterrupted continuity of output from artist book to public mural: “The flourishes somehow correspond… to the longing a song can leave at work, spiraling into you, as it were, after it’s ended.”

For her edition Milhazes produced an 18-color silkscreen print with foil stamping. It is intricately designed to imitate the layered, overlapping papers used in its collaged source. Striking, and daringly sentimental, is the glowing heart at the piece’s rhythmic core.

On Josh Smith, Anne Pointegnie notes: “With the letters of his name occupying center stage of all his early works, he is perfectly blunt about his intention to abolish the distance between the work and its author, and to thus license himself to explore the contemporary potential of conveying emotion.” According to Ira Wool, “The paintings are lush, lush in all the meanings of the word—delicious, opulent, sumptuous, luxuriant, and intoxicating.” But Wool goes on to assert that “Despite these qualities they remain tough.” As Christophe Cherix states, Smith’s “production appears to be exponential. Each painting or poster is automatically recycled into the whole…. In the artist’s economy, nothing ever seems to get lost.”

For his edition, Smith produced a series of one-of-a-kind double-sided panels: each presenting some combination of collaged newspaper sheets, word-strewn recycled posters, and a few juicy brush marks. The edition is in keeping with Smith’s bountiful and bold production values, while juxtaposing the mechanical with a stubborn, almost Sisyphusian, insistence on the hand made.

Appearing in Parkett again after 12 years, Jean-Luc Mylayne continues his unique voyeuristic obsession with birds, drawing him nearly into the nest—a time consuming process indeed, and one performed with the dreamiest aspiration of disintegrating the line between photographer and nature. And yet, claims Josef Helfenstein: “Birds never appear in an anthropomorphized, romantic relationship to the viewer. They remain distant, untamable,” as Mylayne searches for “a coincidental encounter” with his subject. As Fionn Meade speculates, the months waiting for the bird’s summons are not spent in vain. Meade confirms how “Turned away from the camera but with a discerning glance back at the man behind, Mylayne and bluebird collaborate across the divide.”

For his edition, Mylayne gives us a backyard glimpse of an old brick wall, a tree trunk, and a bird that inhabits this shady enclave with an apple. The image is not a print, but a positive transparency suspended in a prismatic, plexiglass frame—a photograph that continues to deflect light, thus echoing the photographer’s transfixed gaze upon his winged peripatetic muse.

For more details on the new Parkett, its content and artist editions, as well as for subscriptions and back issues, please go to www.parkettart.com

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