My Critics’ Pick on LA based Bulgarian born artist Iva Gueorguieva is now up on Artforum’s website.
Congratulations to the editors Prof. Thomas Frangenberg and Dr. Rodney Palmer on the release of The Lives of Leonardo book, published as part of Warburg Institute Colloquia series. I am honored to participate in the project with an article on the Russian reception of the artist entitled “Three Faces of Leonardo da Vinci in Fin-de-Siecle Russia.”
I finally had a chance to present a paper on one of the most interesting subjects I researched while writing my Remizov book. It has to do with the notion that the so-called hysteria (a diagnosis liberally dispensed to female patience for the good part of the late 19th and early 20th century), is in fact a condition that signals creativity, a performative form of expression akin to artistic expression.
Remizov’s understanding of hysteria and creativity bridges symbolist and surrealist interpretations of mental illness. His version hysteria/possession/creative release was at once a dialogue with contemporaneous artists, particulary French surrealists, and the reevaluation of symbolist notions of mental illness. Please see the abstract below.
Alexei Remizov, Ivashka, Paris, 1941, India ink and color pencil on paper
It is official: the Russian Ministry of Culture finally purchased the Reznikoff family archive in its entirety, including nine illustrated albums created by Alexei Remizov between the mid 1930s and early 50s. Some of these illustrated albums from the Reznikoff collection are at the base of my monograph Beyond Symbolism and Surrealism: Alexei Remizov’s Synthetic Art published by Northwestern UP in 2011.
Before its purchase, the Reznikoff archive was the largest repository of Remizov materials abroad. Its transfer to the Russian Ministry of Culture completes the existing collection already in the Pushkin House (The Institute of Russian Literature) in St. Petersburg. Remizov donated this portion of his archive to the Pushkin House shortly before his death in Paris in 1957. The remaining part was left in the care of the Reznikoff family, who not only helped the writer and his wife to survive the physical hardships of exile, but at the price of personal sacrifices, enabled a series of post-war printings of Remizov’s books containing his own covers and illustrations.
Now, the Moscow Manezh is hosting an exhibit “Alexei Rimizov. The Return” that showcases a selection of works from the the recent Reznikoff purchase. The exhibition is organized by Irina Alpatova, and will be open through May 22, 2013.
ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts will be hosting a talk about China’s most famous international artist, and its most outspoken domestic critic Ai Weiwei. It will take place this Thursday, March 21, at 3 pm in the Lower Level South Gallery of the ASU Art Museum.
The presenter is Lee Ambrozy who is the editor-at-large for Artforum.com.cn and the editor and translator of Ai Weiwei’s Blog: Writings, Interviews and Digital Rants 2006–2009 (MIT Press, 2011 http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/
Chim↑Pom reenact their “100 Kiai” (100 Cheers). Photo courtesy Gadabout.
February 15th I will be giving a paper on Disaster and Creativity panel at the 101st Annual CAA Conference. Here is the short abstract:
“Between Awe and Anger: Young Japanese Artists Respond to Tohoku and Fukushima”
Artistic responses to the twin disasters that struck Northeastern Japan in March of 2011 span the spectrum from aestheticizing the awesome forces of nature to condemnation of human ineptitude and industrial-political collusion. Chihiro Kabata’s series of large-scale paintings depict glistening black water ripples washing back dimly after a climactic surge in which so many lives were instantly obliterated by the wall of murky water.
A different response to the man-made and still ongoing disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is by the Tokyo-based collective Chim↑Pom, whose clandestine insertion of the smoking Fukushima reactor into Taro Okamoto’s 1969 anti-nuclear mural at Tokyo’s Shibuya station landed them in legal trouble. In contrast to Kabata’s existentialist awe at the omnipotence of nature, Chim↑Pom’s reaction is a social critique. Their focus is the mismanagement of atomic power. Yet, ultimately, both Kabata and Chim↑Pom contribute to forming the collective memory of the disasters.
My review of the “Painting” show at The Box gallery is up on the Artforum.com site.
I posted this blog entry exactly one month ago on Le Huffington Post. By the end of the first week if was the most emailed article on the site, and as of today it was still the most emailed entry of the month. Make sure to view the slideshow, the images speak for themselves.
HuffingtonPost.fr 1/09/2012: Le Prix Marcel Duchamp récompense-t-il la créativité? by Julia Friedman http://huff.to/PQ41Pf
My latest Huffington Post article about Arizona based artists Geny Dignac and Rotraut Klein-Moquay is out now. To view full text click here.