Museum VILLA STUCK in Munich is presenting Marinella Senatore’s (b. 1977) solo exhibition “We Rise by Lifting Others” through September 10.
Senatore is an Italian artist who has created projects in cities around the world that engage local people. Her projects, which have involved more than seven million people to date, evoke the tradition of European squares. Together, participants make films, write radio scripts, and organize dance performances. By creating frames for people to meet and express their creativity together, the artist aims to embody the public sphere as the foundation of civic identity.
The School of Narrative Dance, a project she has been working on for the past 10 years, is the focus of this exhibition. Through an open call, the artist recruits amateurs of all ages and backgrounds interested in performance, dance, singing, directing, and choreography, organizes workshops in which they teach each other, and provides the museum space for them to use. In July, the participants will take to the streets outside the museum and parade down the central axis of the city that the Nazis used for their propaganda marches. The artist describes it as an anti-fascist parade for the 21st century, an artistic “occupation” of fascism.
The National Gallery of Ireland presents “Lavinia Fontana: Trailblazer, Rule Breaker” through August 27. Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) was born in 16th-century Renaissance Bologna and is considered the first female artist to achieve professional success as a painter.
After receiving an informal artistic education from her painter father, Fontana took the traditional path of becoming a favorite portraitist of her patrons, networking with the elite families of Bologna. The exhibition’s centerpiece, ‘The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon (1599),’ is well-known and familiar to Dubliners and illustrates Fontana’s portraits of upper-class women. Just as male painters populated their crowd scenes with male patrons and celebrities, Fontana included her female patrons in her paintings.
Most importantly, Fontana was the first woman in Renaissance art history to paint the female nude. Women in the Renaissance were not allowed to practice drawing from nude models, so there has been some controversy over how Fontana obtained nude models to paint from. The exhibition explains that though she had no access to outside models, she used herself as a model, allowing herself in women’s nude portraiture, which was the major subject of Renaissance paintings.
British artist Tracey Emin (b. 1963) is widely acclaimed for her work ‘My Bed (1998),’ in which she brought her bed into the exhibition hall. She has constantly created installations, paintings, and drawings that deal with her personal experiences as a woman.
Emin was diagnosed with bladder cancer shortly after her 2019 solo exhibition at Galleria Lorcan O’Neill in Rome. After several years of battling the disease, she is presenting “You Should Have Saved Me,” her first solo exhibition since her diagnosis, at the same gallery in May of this year. The show, which closes on September 9, is dominated by female nudes she created after her recovery, which the artist says are testaments “to the healing power of art’.”
In addition to the exhibition, Emin opened the rental studio TKE and art school TEAR (Tracey Emin Artist Residency) in her hometown of Margate on the Kent coast in March of this year. TEAR is currently home to nine young artists, while TKE offers affordable workspace to professional artists. Emin hadn’t been an educator and says her motivation for founding the art school came from the psychological changes she experienced after her cancer diagnosis. TEAR teaches all kinds of art, but human portraiture is at its core. The school’s hallways are covered with nude drawings done by students in their first classes.