MoMA PS1 To Present Major Group Exhibition Exploring The Artistic Legacy Of American Military Engagement In Iraq

MoMA PS1 will present a large-scale group exhibition examining the legacies of American-led military engagement in Iraq beginning with the Gulf War in 1991. Through more than 250 works, the exhibition explores the effects of these wars on artists based in Iraq and its diasporas, as well as those responding to the war from the West. Featuring the work of over 75 artists including Afifa Aleiby, Dia Azzawi, Thuraya al-Baqsami, Paul Chan, Harun Farocki, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Guerrilla Girls, Thomas Hirschhorn, Hiwa K, Hanaa Malallah, Monira Al Qadiri, Nuha al-Radi, and Ala Younis, Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991–2011 will be on view across the entire MoMA PS1 building from November 3, 2019 through March 1, 2020.

Sue Coe. Bomb Shelter. 1991. Photo-etching on white heavyweight Rives, 9 5/8 × 10 1/2″ (24.4 × 26.7 cm). Courtesy Galerie St. Etienne, New York. Copyright © 1990 Sue Coe
Dia al-Azzawi. War Diary No. 1. 1991. Gouache and charcoal on paper, 28 pages, 12 5/8 x 9 1/2” (32 x 24 cm). Courtesy the artist
Harun Farocki. War at a Distance. 2003. Video (color, sound). 58 min. The Museum of Modern Art. Committee on Film Funds. © 2019 Harun Farocki Filmproduktion

While brief, the 1991 Gulf War marked the start of a lengthy period of military involvement with Iraq that led to more than a decade of sanctions and the 2003 Iraq War. The invasion in 2003 galvanized a broader international response, prompting anti-war protests around the globe. Though the Iraq War officially ended in 2011, artists have continued to explore these conflicts and their ongoing impacts. The works in Theater of Operations reveal how this period was defined by unsettling intersections of spectacularized violence, xenophobia, oil dependency, and new imperialisms.

Michel Auder. Gulf War TV War (still). 1991 (Edited 2017). Hi8 video and mini-DV transferred to digital video. 102 min. Courtesy the artist and Martos Gallery, New York
Guerrilla Girls. Estrogen Bomb. 2003–2017. Poster. 24 × 24″ (61 × 61 cm). Courtesy the artists

In conjunction with Theater of Operations, MoMA PS1 is publishing a catalog with contributions by Zainab Bahrani, Rijin Sahakian, Nada Shabout, McKenzie Wark, and the exhibition curators, addressing art historical and political subjects relating to the exhibition.

Monira Al Qadiri. Behind the Sun. 2013. Video (color, sound). 10 min. Courtesy the artist

Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991–2011 is organized by Peter Eleey, Chief Curator, and Ruba Katrib, Curator, MoMA PS1.

Afifa Aleiby. Gulf War. 1991. Oil on canvas, 39 3/8 x 27 1/2” (100 x 70 cm). Courtesy the artist

Major support for Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991–2011 is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Generous funding is provided by The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art. Additional support is provided by the MoMA PS1 Annual Exhibition Fund.

Himat M. Ali. Al Mutanabbi Street Baghdad. 2007 Mixed media on paper;12 bound books in wooden slipcase, Each: 13 3/8 × 9 13/16″ (34 × 25 cm). Courtesy the artist and Azzawi Collection, London. Photo: Anthony Dawton

PS1 MoMA PS1 is devoted to today’s most experimental, thought-provoking contemporary art. Founded in 1976 as the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, it was the first nonprofit arts center in the United States devoted solely to contemporary art and is recognized as a defining force in the alternative space movement. In 2000 The Museum of Modern Art and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center merged, creating the largest platform for contemporary art in the country and one of the largest in the world. Functioning as a living, active meeting place for the general public, MoMA PS1 is a catalyst for ideas, discourses, and new trends in contemporary art.

Hours: MoMA PS1 is open from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Thursday through Monday. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Admission: $10 suggested donation; $5 for students and senior citizens; free for New York City residents, MoMA members, and MoMA admission ticket holders within 14 days of visit. Free admission as a Gift to New Yorkers made possible by the AnnaMaria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.

Directions: MoMA PS1 is located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Ave in Long Island City, Queens, across the Queensboro Bridge from midtown Manhattan. Traveling by subway, take the E, M, or 7 to Court Sq; or the G to Court Sq or 21 StVan Alst. By bus, take the Q67 to Jackson and 46th Ave or the B62 to 46th Ave.

Information: For general inquiries, call (718) 784-2084 or visit momaps1.org.

The Whitney To Present Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium

Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium, to be presented at The Whitney Museum of American Art from July 14 through October 1, 2017, is the first retrospective to survey the groundbreaking Brazilian artist’s entire career, including the formative years he spent in New York in the 1970s. One of the most influential Latin American artists of the post–World War II period, Oiticica (1937–80) was a tireless innovator, from his start with the Neo-Concrete movement to his groundbreaking environmental installations. Co-organized by the Whitney together with the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago, the exhibition presents a wide array of his paintings, interactive sculptures, films, audiovisual works, writings, and environments.

Hélio Oiticica (b. 1937), PN1 Penetrable (PN1 Penetrável), 1960. César and Claudio Oiticica Collection, Rio de Janeiro. © César and Claudio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro

Hélio Oiticica (b. 1937), PN1 Penetrable (PN1 Penetrável), 1960. César and Claudio Oiticica Collection, Rio de Janeiro. © César and Claudio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro

Oiticica was one of the most daring artists to appear anywhere in the years following World War II,” said Elisabeth Sussman, co-curator of the exhibition. “In conceiving this show, it was particularly important to us to focus attention on Oiticica’s presence in New York City in the 1970s, a time when many international artists came to live and work here. The expansion of his ideas into film, photography, and writing has been fully explored, as never before, in the research for this exhibition, and the works, some displayed for the first time, identify Oiticica as a paradigmatic presence in the global expansion of art practice in that decade.

Co-curator Donna De Salvo commented: “Oiticica’s departure from traditional notions of the static art object and his transformation of the viewer into an active participant were part of a larger, international desire to integrate art and life. Though his reputation is due primarily to his earlier work in Brazil, Oiticica was drawn to the scene of artistic experimentation in New York, and the eight years he spent working in the United States had a huge impact on his thought and continued to shape his art after his return to Brazil. By calling attention to the distinct differences that he absorbed in each locale, we hope to further the notion of art history as one comprised of multiple stories, and emphasize the Whitney’s expansive definition of who belongs in a museum of American art. This openness to patterns of artistic migration and cross-cultural thinking has a long history at the Whitney, which we are delighted to extend with this important exhibition.”

During his brief but remarkable career, Oiticica seamlessly melded formal and social concerns in his art, seeking to be internationally relevant and, at the same time, specifically Brazilian. The exhibition begins with elegant, geometric works on paper (1955–58): formal investigations in painting and drawing. These dynamic compositions gave way to more radical works as Oiticica became increasingly interested in surpassing the limits of traditional painting. By 1959, his painterly-sculptural Spatial Reliefs and Nuclei broke free of the wall and morphed into three-dimensional investigations of color and form. The Nuclei, composed of panels suspended from the ceiling, created areas through which the viewer could walk.

Throughout the 1960s and ’70s, Oiticica moved further toward the destabilization of the art form, making art that is intended for the viewer to manipulate, wear, and inhabit, including his Parangolés, wearable paintings inspired in part by samba schools in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, and Penetrables, colorful structures for viewers to navigate. In addition to viewing works on display, visitors will be invited to engage interactively with some of the artist’s works.

As Oiticica became further interested in bringing his art into the everyday, he began to create total environments suffused with color, texture, and tactile materials which were increasingly immersive in nature and transformed the viewer from a spectator to an active participant. The exhibition will include a number of these large-scale installations, including Tropicália and Eden. “Tropicália,” a name subsequently borrowed by the musician Caetano Veloso for his anthem against Brazil’s dictatorship, became an important and powerful movement in all the arts. Continue reading

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Presents Major Alberto Burri Retrospective, Alberto Burri: The Trauma Of Painting

First Exhibition in the United States in Over 35 Years Devoted to the Italian Artist

Alberto Burri in his studio in Case Nove di Morra, Città di Castello, Italy, 1982 Photo: Aurelio Amendola © Aurelio Amendola, Pistoia, Italy

Alberto Burri in his studio in Case Nove di Morra, Città di Castello, Italy, 1982. Photo: Aurelio Amendola © Aurelio Amendola, Pistoia, Italy

From October 9, 2015, to January 6, 2016, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum ( 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York) will present a major retrospective—Alberto Burri: The Trauma Of Painting–the first in the United States in more than thirty-five years and the most comprehensive in this country—devoted to the work of Italian artist Alberto Burri (1915–1995). Exploring the beauty and complexity of Burri’s process-based works, the exhibition positions the artist as a central protagonist of post–World War II art and revises traditional narratives of the cultural exchanges between the United States and Europe in the 1950s and ’60s.

Rosso plastica (Red Plastic), 1961 Plastic (PVC), acrylic, and combustion on plastic (PE) and black fabric, 142 x 153 cm Modern Art Foundation © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello/2015 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome Photo: Massimo Napoli, Rome, courtesy Modern Art Foundation

Rosso plastica (Red Plastic), 1961. Plastic (PVC), acrylic, and combustion on plastic (PE) and black fabric, 142 x 153 cm. Modern Art Foundation. © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello/2015 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome. Photo: Massimo Napoli, Rome, courtesy Modern Art Foundation

Burri broke with the gestural, painted surfaces of both American Abstract Expressionism and European Art Informel by manipulating unorthodox pigments and humble, prefabricated materials. A key figure in the transition from collage to assemblage, Burri barely used paint or brush, and instead worked his surfaces with stitching and combustion, among other signal processes. With his torn and mended burlap sacks, “hunchback” canvases, and melted industrial plastics, Burri often made allusions to skin and wounds, but in a purely abstract idiom. The tactile quality of his work anticipated Post-Minimalist and feminist art of the 1960s, while his red, black, and white “material monochromes” defied notions of purity and reductive form associated with American formalist modernism. Bringing together more than one hundred works, including many that have never before been seen outside of Italy, the exhibition demonstrates how Burri blurred the line between painting and sculptural relief and created a new kind of picture-object that directly influenced Neo-Dada, Process art, and Arte Povera.

Grande cretto nero (Large Black Cretto), 1977 Acrylic and PVA on Celotex, 149.5 x 249.5 cm Centre Pompidou, Paris, Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle, Gift of the artist, 1978 © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello/2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome Photo: © CNAC/MNAM/Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, New York

Grande cretto nero (Large Black Cretto), 1977. Acrylic and PVA on Celotex, 149.5 x 249.5 cm. Centre Pompidou, Paris, Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle, Gift of the artist, 1978
© Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello/2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome. Photo: © CNAC/MNAM/Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, New York

Francesca Lavazza said: “Alberto Burri’s birth date of 1915 represents a major moment in Italian history, marking the nation’s entrance into World War I, but also the establishment of Lavazza’s longstanding headquarters in Turin. This year, Lavazza is proud to celebrate its own 120th birthday with support for this sweeping exhibition of one of the pioneers of modernism, and by joining the Guggenheim in showing Burri and his enduring influence upon the art world on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Grande ferro M 4 (Large Iron M 4), 1959  Welded iron sheet metal and tacks on wood framework, 199.8 x 189.9 cm  Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 60.1572  © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello/2015 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome  Photo: Kristopher McKay © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

Grande ferro M 4 (Large Iron M 4), 1959. Welded iron sheet metal and tacks on wood framework, 199.8 x 189.9 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 60.1572. © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello/2015 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome. Photo: Kristopher McKay © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

Burri is best known for his series of Sacchi (sacks) made of stitched and patched remnants of torn burlap bags, in some cases combined with fragments of discarded clothing. Far less familiar to American audiences are the artist’s other series, which this exhibition represents in depth: Catrami (tars), Muffe (molds), Gobbi (hunchbacks, or canvases with protrusions), Bianchi (white monochromes), Legni (wood combustions), Ferri (irons, or protruding wall reliefs made from prefabricated cold-rolled steel), Combustioni plastiche (plastic combustions, or melted plastic sheeting), Cretti (induced craquelure, or cracking), and Cellotex works (flayed and peeled fiberboard).

Nero bianco e sacco (Black White and Sack), ca. 1954 Oil, fabric, burlap, pumice, and PVA on canvas, 125 x 107 cm Courtesy Galleria Tega, Milan © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello/2015 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome Photo: Paolo Vandrasch and Romina Bettega

Nero bianco e sacco (Black White and Sack), ca. 1954. Oil, fabric, burlap, pumice, and PVA on canvas, 125 x 107 cm. Courtesy Galleria Tega, Milan. © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello/2015 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome. Photo: Paolo Vandrasch and Romina Bettega

The exhibition unfolds on the ramps of the Guggenheim both chronologically and organized by series, following the artist’s movement from one set of materials, processes, and colors to the next. Throughout his career, Burri also engaged with the history of painting, reflecting his deep familiarity with the Renaissance art of his native Umbria. The exhibition also reveals the dialogue with American Minimalism that informed Burri’s later Cretti and Cellotex works and features a new film on his enormous Grande cretto (Large Cretto, 1985–89), a Land art memorial to the victims of a 1968 earthquake in Gibellina, Sicily.

Born in Città di Castello, Italy, in 1915, Burri trained to be a doctor and served as a medic in the Italian army in North Africa during World War II. Following his unit’s capture in Tunisia in 1943, he was interned at a prisoner-of-war camp in Hereford, Texas, where he began painting. After his return to Italy in 1946, Burri devoted himself to art—a decision prompted by his firsthand experiences of war, deprivation, and Italy’s calamitous defeat. His first solo show, at Rome’s Galleria La Margherita in 1947, featured landscapes and still lifes. After a trip to Paris in 1948–49, he began to experiment with tarry substances, ground pumice, industrial enamel paints, and metal armatures and formed accretions and gashes that destroy the integrity of the picture plane. He then traumatized the very structure of painting by puncturing, exposing, and reconstituting the support. Instead of using the traditional cohesive piece of stretched canvas, Burri assembled his works from piecemeal rags, broken wood veneer, welded steel sheets, or layers of melted plastic—stitching, riveting, soldering, stapling, gluing, and burning his materials along the way. His work demolished and reconfigured the Western pictorial tradition, while transforming the scale and affective power of modernist collage.

Rosso gobbo (Red Hunchback), 1953 Acrylic, fabric, and resin on canvas; metal rod on verso, 56.5 x 85 cm Private collection, Rome © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello/2015  Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome

Rosso gobbo (Red Hunchback), 1953. Acrylic, fabric, and resin on canvas; metal rod on verso, 56.5 x 85 cm
Private collection, Rome. © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello/2015. Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome

Though considered an Italian artist, Burri married an American dancer, Minsa Craig, and, beginning in 1963, resided annually in Los Angeles during the winter months. In 1978 the artist established the Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri in Città di Castello. The Fondazione Burri today operates two museums in his hometown that present artwork he personally installed, the Palazzo Albizzini and the Ex Seccatoi del Tabacco. The Fondazione is lending two pictures pulled directly from its permanent collection exhibition: Grande bianco (Large White, 1952) and Grande bianco (Large White, 1956). The former is one of three large textile collages that Robert Rauschenberg saw in Burri’s Rome studio in early 1953. Those three grand works will be reunited in the exhibition.

Installation View: Inaugural Selection, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, October 21, 1959–June 19, 1960 Third from left: Alberto Burri's Legno e bianco 1 (Wood and White 1, 1956) Photo: © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

Installation View: Inaugural Selection, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, October 21, 1959–June 19, 1960. Third from left: Alberto Burri’s Legno e bianco 1 (Wood and White 1, 1956). Photo: © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

Legno e bianco I (Wood and White I), 1956 Wood veneer, combustion, acrylic, and Vinavil on canvas, 87.7 x 159 cm Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 57.1463 © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello/2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome

Legno e bianco I (Wood and White I), 1956. Wood veneer, combustion, acrylic, and Vinavil on canvas, 87.7 x 159 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 57.1463. © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello/2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome

Lo strappo (The Rip), 1952 Oil, fabric, thread, pumice, and Vinavil, 87 x 58 cm Collezione Beatrice Monti della Corte © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello/2015 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome Photo: © Christie’s Image Ltd

Lo strappo (The Rip), 1952. Oil, fabric, thread, pumice, and Vinavil, 87 x 58 cm. Collezione Beatrice Monti della Corte. © Fondazione Palazzo Albizzini Collezione Burri, Città di Castello/2015 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York/SIAE, Rome. Photo: © Christie’s Image Ltd

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Guggenheim Museum led an in-depth conservation study of the artworks assembled for the retrospective as well as numerous other works from the various series. The study, which involved the efforts of a multidisciplinary team of curators, conservation scientists, and painting, paper, objects, and textile conservators, analyzed the wide variety of original and complex materials and working methods Burri used. Continue reading

Fall 2015 Art Preview: “Walid Raad” Career Survey at The Musueum of Modern Art

Special Exhibitions Gallery, Third Floor And The Donald B. And Catherine C. Marron Atrium, Second Floor, October 12, 2015–January 31, 2016

MoMA presents the first comprehensive American survey of the artist Walid Raad (b. 1967, Lebanon), whose work in the last 25 years investigates distinctions between fact and fiction, and the ways in which we represent, remember, and make sense of history. The exhibition brings together over 20 bodies of work across various mediums—including photography, video, sculpture, and performance—identifying Raad as a pivotal figure in contemporary art. Dedicated to exploring the veracity of archives and photographic documents in the public realm, the role of memory and narrative within discourses of conflict, and the construction of histories of art in the Arab world, Raad’s work is informed by his upbringing in Lebanon during the civil war (1975–90), and by the socioeconomic and military policies that have shaped the Middle East in the past few decades.

Walid Raad. Hostage: The Bachar tapes (English version). 2001. Video (color, sound), 16:17 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the Jerome Foundation in honor of its founder, Jerome Hill, 2003. © 2015 Walid Raad

Walid Raad. Hostage: The Bachar tapes (English version). 2001. Video (color, sound), 16:17 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the Jerome Foundation in honor of its founder, Jerome Hill, 2003. © 2015 Walid Raad

Walid Raad. My Neck is Thinner Than a Hair: Engines (detail). 1996-2004. One hundred pigmented inkjet prints, 9 7/16 x 13 3/8″ (24 x 34 cm) each. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Fund for the Twenty-First Century. © 2015 Walid Raad

Walid Raad. My Neck is Thinner Than a Hair: Engines (detail). 1996-2004. One hundred pigmented inkjet prints, 9 7/16 x 13 3/8″ (24 x 34 cm) each. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Fund for the Twenty-First Century. © 2015 Walid Raad

The exhibition focuses on two of the artist’s long-term projects: The Atlas Group (1989–2004) and Scratching on things I could disavow (2007–ongoing). Under the rubric of The Atlas Group, a 15-year project exploring the contemporary history of Lebanon, Raad produced fictionalized photographs, videotapes, notebooks, and lectures that related to real events and authentic research in audio, film, and photographic archives in Lebanon and elsewhere. Raad’s recent work has expanded to address the Middle East region at large. His current ongoing project, Scratching on things I could disavow, examines the recent emergence in the Arab world of new infrastructure for the visual arts—comprised of art fairs, biennials, museums, and galleries—alongside the geopolitical, economic, and military conflicts that have consumed the region in the past few decades.

Walid Raad. Scratching on things I could disavow: Walkthrough. 2011. Performance, Kustenfestivaldesarts, Les Halles de Schaerbeek, Brussels, 2011. Photo © Piet Janssens

Walid Raad. Scratching on things I could disavow: Walkthrough. 2011. Performance, Kustenfestivaldesarts, Les Halles de Schaerbeek, Brussels, 2011. Photo © Piet Janssens

Walid Raad. Civilizationally, we do not dig holes to bury ourselves_Plate 922. 1958-59/2003. Pigmented inkjet print, 10 x 8” (25.4 x 20.3 cm). Courtesy the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. © 2015 Walid Raad

Walid Raad. Civilizationally, we do not dig holes to bury ourselves_Plate 922. 1958-59/2003. Pigmented inkjet print, 10 x 8” (25.4 x 20.3 cm). Courtesy the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. © 2015 Walid Raad

Walid Raad. Section 88: Views from outer to inner compartments. 2010. Single-channel HD video (color, silent), 14:36 min. Courtesy the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. © 2015 Walid Raad

Walid Raad. Section 88: Views from outer to inner compartments. 2010. Single-channel HD video (color, silent), 14:36 min. Courtesy the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. © 2015 Walid Raad

Continue reading