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Archive for the ‘Germany’ Category

Stop…look again! Work of Iranian activist artist Parastou Forouhar is not what it seems…

Posted by artradar on September 22, 2009


CONTEMPORARY IRANIAN ART

For a revealing insight into contemporary art and its relationship with political and gender issues in Iran today, don’t miss this intriguing interview with Parastou Forouhar in which she describes how she challenges viewers to take a second look.

Parastou Forouhar

Parastou Forouhar, from Series II, Tausend und ein Tag, 2009.

Art by Iranian artist Parastou Forouhar takes on political proportions with her intriguing delicate imagery of torturous acts being perpetrated by Iran’s authoritarian regime.

Political violence is a deeply personal issue for the activist artist, whose parents were the victims of a politically motivated murder in Iran.

In an interview with DB Art Magazine, she discusses this trauma and her artistic style of creating beautiful ornamental artworks, which upon closer inspection reveal twisted scenes of cruelty.

Forouhar, who is now based in Germany, has exhibited at the 2nd Berlin Biennial in 2001, the Global Feminisms show in 2007 at the Brooklyn Museum of Modern Art, and her works can currently be seen in Iran Inside Out — a comprehensive exhibition at the New York Chelsea Art Museum. However, at the moment the artist is “more involved with politics than with art.”

Forouhar says she consciously intended for viewers to first see her ornamental images and feel they are beautiful, and then become shocked when the true subject matter becomes apparent. She says:

I challenge the viewer to take a second look. At first glance, you see the beautiful pattern and think you’ve understood it. And then you get a little closer and realize, no, it’s completely different, I didn’t understand anything at all. To challenge the viewer to take a second look is exciting to me. The viewer is thrown back on himself and is forced to reevaluate his perception.

This compelling interview also covers whether Islamic art is becoming ‘more Catholic’, (and yes, she agrees it is leaning more towards visual Islamic-pop elements and ritual), and questions the attitude of the young male Iranian generation towards their patriarchal past (they are reportedly ‘fed up’ with the traditional masculine character.) Read full interview here.

-contributed by Erin Wooters

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Posted in Activist, Germany, Iranian, Museum shows, Parastou Forouhar, Political | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Indian art gallery Bodhi closes New York, soon to close elsewhere

Posted by artradar on February 9, 2009


INDIAN ART GALLERY

Bodhi art gallery, the sole Indian art gallery that had branches in three international cities, has shut shop in New York and will soon close down in Berlin too. Remaining quite tight-lipped, Sharmistha Ray from Bodhi art gallery confirms, “We have closed down the New York gallery and we will be closing the one in Berlin by mid-February.” Sources allege that they will soon close their galleries in Delhi and Singapore as well.

Sources: Groundreport

Related categories: recession, Indian artists, reports from India, reports from New York, gallery news

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Posted in Galleries, Germany, Indian, Market watch, New York, Recession | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Azerbaijan builds on its first Venice Biennale appearance with two group shows abroad in 2008

Posted by artradar on January 9, 2009


AZERBAIJAN ART

 

Azerbaijan map

Azerbaijan map

 

 

After its first appearance with its own pavilion at Venice Biennale in 2007, Azerbaijan continues its efforts to build its cultural profile abroad says Nafas art magazine. In 2008 two group shows were held in Germany:

  • Steps of Time. Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan in Dresden’s Residenzschloss (June 13 – July 20, 2008) and
  • Art is not only ugly in the atrium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin (July 14 – Aug. 7, 2008).

Steps in Time, Dresden

Steps of Time presents Azerbaijan’s modern art in three chapters, aiming to show the specific characteristics of three generations of artists.

The two artists Leyla Akhundzade and Sabina Shikhlinskaya, together with Mathias Wagner of the Dresden Art Collections, conceived the exhibition. Leyla Akhundzade, who is also a curator and Professor for Art History at the State Academy of Art, founded the artists association Zamanyn ganadlany (wings of time) at the end of the 1990s, when the social and political situation in Azerbaijan had stabilized again after the war with Armenia and domestic political tensions.

Flashback: Painters born 1920s to 1940s

They worked in a time dominated by the doctrine of Socialist Realism; but they began to modernize it, especially in the 1960s. Taking up national traditions like carpet art, with its rich, colorful ornamentation, and medieval miniature painting, they found their own independent pictorial solutions beyond the ideologically-freighted narrative style.

Interaction with the neo-abstract tendencies of Western art of the 1960s to 1980s also provided  new impulses. This development in painting was most concentrated in the School of Absheron, named for a peninsula in the Caspian Sea where many painters spent time working. But the great painter figure in Azerbaijan is Tahir Salahov, known as a proponent of the Rigorous Style in the 1960s of the Soviet era and famed for his 1959 painting Oil Tanks.

Artists: Kamal Ahmad, Eldar Gurbanov, Farhad Khalilov, Javad Mirjavadov, Ashraf Murad, Altay Sadigzade, Tahir Salahov, Mir Nadir Zeynalov

 

USSR-Remix: Painters born 1950s and 1960s

An interesting intermediate link is the chapter USSR Remix, which includes works by artists who artistically question their own Soviet molding. The representatives of the middle generation reflect their personal fates as well as collective experiences and often use the media, in part new for them, of photography, video, and installation. Here, not only are outlived cultural codes rethought; artistic forms of language are also actively explored. Rena Effendi’s 2006 photograph Robots in Front of a Soviet Machine Factory impressively contrasts the rusted symbol of a once-promised technical and social progress with the mostly deserted post-industrial landscape.

Rena Effendi Robot in front of a Soviet Factory

Rena Effendi Robot in front of a Soviet Factory

Primarily works by this generation were to be seen at Azerbaijan’s pavilion at the Venice Biennial 2007; Leyla Akhundzade was its commissioner and curator.

Artists: Yeshim Agaoglu, Leyla Akhundzade, Sanan Aleskerov, Chingiz Babayev, Rena Effendi, Hussein Hagverdiyev, Bahram Khalilov, Aga Ousseinov, Sabina Shikhlinskaya

Sabina Shikhlinkshaya The cargo ship

Sabina Shikhlinkshaya The cargo ship

 

Azerbaijan today:

The third chapter shows works by mostly very young artists who experienced the time before 1991 only as children and who today are concerned with questions of national identity and the consequences of the radical economic and societal transformations in their country.  Rashad Alekberov’s installation Made in China reflects the relationship between the globalized world’s mass culture shaped by cheap Chinese goods and the former Asian high culture, barely visible as a shadow of itself.

 Artists: Faig Ahmed, Rashad Alekberov, Babi Badalov, Teymur Daimi, Elshan Ibrahimov, Rauf Khalilov, Farkhad Farzaliyev, Orkhan Huseynov, Shahin Malikzadeh, Fakhriyya Mammadova, Jeyhun Ojadov, Farid Rasulov

 

Art is not only ugly, Berlin

Leyla Akhundzade also curated the exhibition Art is not only ugly in the atrium of the Foreign Office in Berlin. The title refers to a challenge that Azeri artists feel confronted with by the international art discourse: they want to preserve traditional artistic values like aesthetic beauty, while simultaneously reflecting current societal and artistic developments. Leyla Akhundzade writes that for Azeri art the fascination and diction of Realism is always countered by the dream of a different and wonderful world.

08_elchin_musaoglu

Elchin Musaoglu Glass Toy

Artists: Sanan Aleskerov, Rashad Alekberov, Orkhan Aslanov, Rena Effendi, Rauf Khalilov, Vugar Muradov, Elchin Musaoglu, Niyaz Najafov, Farid Rasulov, Teymur Rustamov, Makhmud Rustamov  

For more images and original article NAFAS art magazine

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Posted in Azerbaijani, Germany, Miniatures, Overviews, Photography, Political, Ships, Surveys, Video | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »