The Städel Museum in Frankfurt presents the exhibition “Outstanding! The Relief from Rodin to Picasso” through September 17. For the show, the museum has selected relief works created over 160 years, from 1800 to the 1960s.
Relief is an engraving technique that produces embossed lettering or drawings on a flat surface. Relief has been a staple of art history, beginning with ancient architectural decoration and continuing through Renaissance art and avant-garde modern art. It blurs the distinction between painting and sculpture, two and three dimensions, surface and space, and is visual and tactile at the same time. Because of its ability to stimulate the eye’s senses in new ways, many renowned artists have created works in relief.
For this exhibition, leading European museums have joined forces. Museums in Germany, France, the Netherlands, and Switzerland have lent their collections. Artists represented include Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844), Jules Dalou (1838-1902), Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), Medardo Rosso (1858-1928), Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973), Alexander Archipenko (1887-1964), Jean Arp (1886-1966), and Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948), Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889-1943), Yves Klein (1928-1962), Louise Nevelson (1899-1988), and Lee Bontecou (1931-2022).
The Secession in Vienna, Austria, presents “1 Million Random Numbers,” a solo exhibition by Lazar Lyutakov (1977) through September 3. Lyutakov is a contemporary Slovak artist who uses ordinary objects and simple manufactured goods from popular culture to explore their meaning and ambiguity. By carefully selecting and intervening with his objects, he aims to analyze and reflect on contemporary conditions of production and consumption, flows of capital and commodities, and the aesthetics of popular culture.
For this exhibition, Lutakov filled over 100 different lava lamps with wax. The bubbles in the lamps constantly sink and rise, creating hypnotic images. Lutakov then mounted the 100 lava lamps on a steel structure derived from an IT company. Since the mid-1990s, IT companies have used lava lamps as random number generators for Internet encryption.
Despite this appropriation of the IT company’s use of lava lamps, there are also interventions and variations by the artist. Through the lava lamp’s various provenances, forms, and sculptural reinterpretations of frameworks, the viewer is invited to examine the lava lamp in various contexts of histories, cultures, and sensibilities.
The National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens (EMST) presents “Mikhail Karikis: Because We Are Together” through October 8. Mikhail Karikis (b. 1975) is a Greek artist who has been more known on the international stage. The show is the first time for his work to be presented comprehensively in Greece.
Karikis creates audiovisual installations utilizing moving images and sound. He collaborates with different groups of people, including students, workers, pensioners, activists, and care workers, and brings what they say and do into his work, drawing attention to contemporary social, political, and environmental issues.
The exhibition features six of Karikis’ works. ‘Weather Orchestra (2022),’ ‘Surging Seas (2022),’ ‘Ferocious Love (2020),’ ‘No Ordinary Protest (2018),’ ‘Children of Unquiet (2014),’ and ‘Sounds from Beneath (2011-2012)’ all deal with the sounds of people in solidarity for the better future.