“I have to deal with the fact that people walk through every exhibition, not just mine, with their phone in front of their face. What I think is going on is a sort of physical attention deficit, a new type of numbness. I think it’s a fair argument that there’s a sort of physical disconnect. But on the other side I see the increased democratisation of accessibility to culture and the demystifying of elitism in museums and of who owns the narrative. I would like to be positive, even though my art has lot to do with the phenomenology of tangibility. Now it’s up to me to find a way to react to that and come up with an answer to what is a revolution, whether I like it or not. The question is not whether I would consider making art where the phone is part of the experience, because the phone is a part of the work already, now I just need to find a way to deal with it.”
Sculptor Antony Gormley talks to Tate and The Guardian about his early years squatting in various buildings across North London and warns against losing the city’s richness of texture and welcoming character.
Judith Wilkinson has written an interesting account of Samuel Beckett‘s friendship with the Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti. In a recent piece published on the Tate website, she describes how they came to know one another:
“At the time of Giacometti and Beckett’s first meeting, Beckett was living at a modest artists’ hotel in Paris called Hôtel Libéria. Located down a narrow alleyway, Giacometti’s studio (and home) was a mere twenty-minute walk from Beckett’s accommodation. The two would meet late at night, when they had finished work, in one of the Parisian cafés, such as Café Flore, Le Dôme or La Coupole, to drink and socialise. The cafés were the central hub of French cultural and intellectual life during the period, and other notable artists and thinkers, such as philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Genet, as well as painters Jean-Paul Riopelle, Joan Mitchell and Bram van Velde also visited these establishments.
The pair would often leave the cafés in the early hours of the morning to embark on long walks around the city together. During their nocturnal rambles they frequently discussed each other’s work, although Giacometti is believed to have dominated these conversations with his anxieties concerning his artworks. Beckett and Giacometti’s nights routinely concluded with a visit to a brothel – the favourite being the legendary Sphinx located behind Montparnasse train station.”
Wilkinson will be giving a Tate Modern Tour that explores the links between Beckett and Giacometti on 24 July and 31 July 2017, respectively. For more information, take a look at the event page on the Tate website.
There are few artists in history whose work is consistently reduced to the single question: flowers or vaginas?
But a new Tate Modern retrospective of Georgia O’Keeffe, a giant of American 20th-century modernism, is to challenge the “conservative male” – and widely accepted – assumptions that her famous flowers paintings are depictions of female genitalia.
The show, which opens in July, will be the UK’s largest ever exhibition of O’Keeffe’s work and will be Tate Modern’s first show since its £26m revamp. Featuring more than 100 works, which have rarely left America since her death in 1986, it will display her 1932 Jimson Weed painting, which in 2014 became the most expensive painting sold at auction by a female artist when it was bought for $44.4m. (more…)