On view through September 30, Meredith Rosen Gallery presents “Irène Zurkinden: The Paris Years,” an exhibition of works from the 1930s by 20th-century Swiss painter Irène Zurkinden (1909-1987). Although Zurkinden is well known in Europe, this is her first exhibition in the United States.
Born in Basel in 1909, Zurkinden went to art school in Paris in 1929. In Paris in the 1930s, Zurkinden joined the community of avant-garde artists and became close to Meret Oppenheim (1913-1985) and the Surrealist group. She was active in the Parisian art scene, taking radical positions on gender, sexuality, and artistic production. The exhibition presents oil paintings, works on paper, and her sketchbook from this period. This period was formative in Zurkinden’s career and had personal significance for her as she moved between her family in Basel and the Parisian artistic community throughout her life.
Zurkinden’s style is characterized by painting techniques based on the various stages of Impressionism, gestural brushstrokes, and deconstructive representations of figures and landscapes.
Brazilian sculptor Tunga (1952-2016) drew on his exploration of alchemy, psychoanalysis, science, and philosophy to create his mythology, in which the issue of immutability and transformation is fundamental. Currently, the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo is presenting Tunga’s solo exhibition “Eu, Você e a Lua (Me, You and the Moon),” on view through January 28, 2024.
Eponymous with the exhibition title, ‘Eu, Você e a Lua (Me, You, and the Moon)’ is later Tunga’s representative installation made of stone, mirrors, crystal bottles, plaster, resin, and plates suspended from arcs and rods, recurring elements in Tunga’s oeuvre.
A hollow and fossilized large tree trunk stands at the center of the work. The fossilized tree shows the passage of time while emitting fragrance, stimulating the sense of smell in real-time.
The Institute of Arab and Islamic Art (IAIA) presents Iranian artist Behjat Sadr’s (1924-2009) posthumous solo exhibition until August. This is the first U.S. solo exhibition of the artist, who died in 2009.
Sadr made a name for herself in the male-dominated art world in pre-revolutionary Iran with her action paintings of biomorphic forms. Her use of deep black pigments, reminiscent of petroleum, drew attention as a symbolic reference to the political situation in Iran.
A special focus of the show is on her small-scale paintings created during the artist’s battle with cancer. During her treatment in Paris, Sadr collaged photographs of Iranian natural landscapes and Parisian cityscapes and combined them with abstract paintings.
The exhibition emphasizes that painting for the artist was an act of exploring the inherent relationship between the body, memory, and the painting medium. By tracing the artist’s immersion in abstract painting that lasted for more than 50 years, the exhibition seeks to reveal the psychology and memories of the artist as an individual who lived through the local community’s instability, exile, and the coexistence of modernity and tradition.