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Guggenheim Bilbao Honors Oskar Kokoschka as “A Rebel from Vienna”.. and More


Guggenheim Bilbao Honors Oskar Kokoschka as “A Rebel from Vienna”

Oskar Kokoschka, ‘The Painter II (The Painter and His Model II), 1923. Saint-Louis, Saint Louis Art Museum, Bequest of Morton D. May, 1983. © Fondation Oskar Kokoschka, 2023, VEGAP, Bilbao

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents “Oskar Kokoschka: The Rebel of Vienna” through September 3, an exhibition dedicated to the Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980).

Kokoschka, along with Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, was one of the founding fathers of Viennese modernism at the turn of the 20th century. His first works shocked the public and critics, earning him a radical reputation as  Oberwildling—“the most savage of them all.” During the two world wars, he fought against fascism with his critical art, later becoming a target of the Nazis, who considered him a representative of “degenerate art.” After the wars, he was active in the restoration of afterwar European culture. He lived through the historical turbulence of the 20th century not only as a painter, but also as a poet, writer, essayist, and playwright, describing himself as an “expressionist of life,” going beyond any particular artistic movements or genres. 

The show features around 120 works, including portraits, landscapes, and fables, providing the viewer with the track of Kokoschka’s long and colorful painterly journey. Organizers are the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris.

Guggenheim Bilbao

Oskar Kokoschka: A Rebel from Vienna

March 17, 2023 – September 3, 2023


Chiyu Uemae’s Solo Show in Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Belgium

Installation view, “Chiyu Uemae,” Axel Vervoordt Gallery, Wijnegem, 2023. Courtesy Chiyu Uemae Estate and Axel Vervoordt Gallery.

Axel Vervoordt Gallery in Antwerp, Belgium, presents the first solo exhibition of Japanese artist Chiyu Uemae (1920-2018) through April 22. Chiyu was one of the founding members of the seminal Japanese avant-garde collective ‘Gutai,’ and remains an important figure in Japanese modern art history. Gutai was a mid-20th-century movement in which Japanese artists developed a unique interpretation of the abstract expressionism of American artist Jackson Pollock. Like Pollock, they were concerned with revealing the materiality of paint. As a member of Gutai, Chiyu used a painting knife to create tiny pieces of oil paint to create finely detailed pointillist paintings.

His style of creating delicate, tactile paintings through a laborious process continued after the Gutai disbanded, working with various materials and techniques. In particular, his ‘Nui’ series of stitched works since 1975 have earned him a distinctive reputation. He had developed his sewing skills from the age of twelve when he was an apprentice in a kimono laundry, this long history making his ‘Nui’ works unparalleled.

This exhibition brings his unique focus and work, known to a few, to a wider audience.

Axel Vervoordt Antwerp

Chiyu Uemae

February 11, 2023 – April 22, 2023


Iconic British Artist Duo ‘Gilbert & George Center’ Opens in London

Gilbert and George posing in front of ‘The New Normal Pictures (2021).’ Photograph: David Levene; Credit: The Guardian

On April 1, the ‘Gilbert & George Center’ in London opens, a museum dedicated to the iconic British artist duo. Gilbert Prousch (b. 1943) and George Passmore (b. 1942) have been together as a couple and an artistic duo since the 1960s.

In 1969, they declared themselves “living sculptures” and began taking photographs of themselves with the idea that everything an artist does is art. Their work exposes and satirizes the anguish and tumult of modern life by incorporating cityscapes, graffiti, cartoonish figures, and symbols into photographs of the two posing with playful yet enigmatic expressions and attire. The duo was recognized alongside Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg for their innovative idea of integrating life, art, and love, and has remained one of Britain’s leading artist duos to date. The new center, funded by the artists themselves, will bring together their work. Like their belief that art should be rooted in life, the center will be free and hold public programs.

To coincide with the opening of the ‘Gilbert & George Center’, London’s White Cube Gallery will open the new exhibition of Gilbert & George on April 12. In the new show “The Corpsing Pictures,” two artists are posing surrounded by bones, making macabre jokes about death and the afterlife.

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