A cooperation of the International Summer Academy Venice
A networking tour not only gives the chance to build networks between artists, curators and gallery owners, but also gives insight to the ways different artists managed their break through. It also gave insight to art training on the most prominent academic sites.
The International Summer Academy Venice supports networking activities between its participating artists and the art-world. Within this frame we invited Beat Wyss and Harry Lybke to talk on “art and the art-market” in Venice last year. During the same period we had Ole Lindboe as a teaching professor of the class “The Artist’s Career”.
Continuing these ambitions we developed together with Ole Lindboe from KUNST-journal a program of oneweek in New York to offer optimal contacts to artists, galleries and curators and have an exchange of experiences between artists of Europe and the United States. At the same time art-collectors are interested in upcoming artists and trends and can gain an insight through this Networking-Tour.
During the same week the participating artists will have the possibility to present their own work in an exhibition space in the center of Manhattan.
Parallel to these activities there is a program of exhibitions and night events.
"Venice meets New York" is a market place for art-contacts.
"Venice meets New York" brings together artist, art collectors, curator, and art critiques from Europe and the United States. It is a chance for meeting personally, building contacts and project cooperation. It is a project made by artists for artists to cooperate in exhibitions and art events in the different parts of the world.
"Venice meets New York" is a project within the Summer Academy Venice of Fine Art and Media program for the "Artist's career".
This program consists of: the master class "Artist's career", the plenary sessions with worldwide active gallery owners and curators, and an exchange platform for art collectors. "Venice meets New York" The opening is on Thursday May 5th at 7 pm at 32 Union Square East, no 606.
Sunday, May 1st 2011 19.00 – 22.00 Dinner in a small restaurant. We visit Times Square and take a drink at the rotating bar at Marriott Hotel.
Monday, May 2nd 2011 09.00 – 14.00 We will visit artists living in New York, see their work in their ateliers, talk with them on their experiences with galleries, curators, colleagues, collectors, the media, etc. “The living of an artist in New York”: - Clifford Owens (Photography) - Halsey Rodman (Painting)
16.00 – 18.00 Gallery – surfing in the famous art district in Chelsea.
19.00 – 20.00 Visit of the famous artist – hotel, Chelsea Hotel.
20.00 Dinner at Havanna Central, a Cuban restaurant. Blues in the famous “Terra Blues” club.
Tuesday, May 3rd 09.00 – 14.00 “The living of an artist in New York” continued: - Gert Mathiesen (Paintings) - Zipora Fried (Installation Art, Drawing)
16.00 – 18.00 New York’s biggest book store for art books, Strand Bookstore.
20.00 Dinner at a little restaurant in Greenwich Village. Continued at jazz club.
Wednesday, May 4th 09.30 – 13.00 Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). Introduction to American Art.
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch at the MOMA.
15.00 – 18.00 Visit and discussion with curator Emma Balazs and art students at Columbia university, School of Art. Columbia University – Art School at present is the most prominent place of emerging artists in New York. Major galleries from Manhattan are visiting the annual exhibition of student works when looking for new artists. Our trip to New York takes place at this time to participate. We will contact professors and artists and be part of these talks.
18.00 – 20.00 Visit of our exhibition room at Union Square (National Art Academy – Prof. Sam Adoquei). The showroom is close to the famous Factory, where Andy Warhol and friends were located. During our first visit we will prepare the space distribution between the participants.
20.00 Continuation of discussions at Columbia University and/or dinner at Cornelia Street Café.
Thursday, May 5th 09.00 – 12.00 MOMA – PS1, the most prominent museum of contemporary art in New York (alternatively Metropolitan Art Museum – one of the biggest art museums in New York, with a lot of classic art works). This morning also is a reserve for the preparation of our own show at Union Square: framing, stretching, video installation work, etc.
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch.
14.00 – 19.00 Preparing the exhibition at Union Square.
19.00 – 21.00 Reception at the exhibition. 21.00 Dinner at the oldest stake house in New York, Gallagher’s. Afterwards: uptown jazz club Cleopatra’s Needle.
Friday, May 6th 09.30 – 13.00 Visiting artists living in Brooklyn… - Julie Tremblay (Sculpture)
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch at Bedford Avenue, the fascinating street with different street art activities and a lot of special shops.
15.00 – 19.00 Visiting artists living in New York… - Charles Dennis (Video-Art) Gallery talks at “On Stellar Rays” with Candice Madey
19.00 – 21.00 Gallery Talk at Union Square exhibition 21.00 Dinner at Rosa Mexicano, one of the best restaurants in New York
Saturday, May 7th 09.00 – 12.00 Visit of the most famous antique market in New York. After that: Ground Zero and the new buildings coming up.
14.00 – 19.00 Free afternoon 19.00 Taking down the exhibition at Union Square
21.00 Dinner at Brazil, a fine Brazilian restaurant
Sunday, May 8th 09.00 – 12.00 Subway to Harlem and listen to Gospel music 14.00 Departure from Hotel, flight back to Europe
With this internet blog I would like to invite all participants of the “New York Networking-Tour”, but also other experts of the art world to discuss in a controversial and critical way what have been the most important experiences during this tour.
There are two different kinds of experiences we did:
a. Experiences related to the art we are doing
b. Experiences related to networking, galleries and proceedings in the art market
a. Experiences related to the art we are doing
For a long time my view on art and the question what is good art and bad art could be described by a two dimensional coordinate system, where time is depicted on the horizontal axis and the depths of the art work on the vertical axis. This means that the more avantgardistic and future oriented a piece of art is, the more it progresses to the right on the time line and the more it has a high quality standard elaboration, creativity or emotionality the higher up, it can be located. (fig 1)
When I talked to Chrissie Iles, curator of the Whitney Museum, curator also of several Whitney Biennales, she explained, that the art world has developed in a very dramatically way during the last decades, in so far as the quantity of the art and art collectors, gallery owners and artists has increased so enormously, that an art market with its own economic dynamics developed. These dynamics can be observed as an intense urge for something new happening. It is as if the artist is not driven by him- or herself to express his or her feelings and attitude towards time and society, but rather driven by a development of a whole industry of innovations and new ideas to saturize a market of art consumers. Art becomes a commodity like souvenirs or the news market, where the urge for most dramatic and shocking news is overriding what a journalist would really investigate and describe. For a curator of a museum of contemporary art, this development is crucial, as this museum should buy today for its collection representing arts throughout the 21st century.
If a whole additional economic sector of art production is added to the making of art until now then this decision becomes very difficult.
During the last decades a (separate?) market of art developed, which is driven mainly by economic interests and driven for ever new ideas and attractions to surprise the viewer, to entertain, to shock. (fig 28)
Ariane Mnouchkine once said, her theatre company plays for the gods, not for the auditorium. What a difference! (fig 26, 27)
It is interesting to compare three different exhibitions:
We have been to the 2011 Columbia University MFA Exhibition in Long Island City. At the moment the MFA Thesis Exhibition is the most prominent place for New York gallery owners coming to find new and upcoming artists. We have been introduced by Emma Balazs, Director of Academic Administration, Visual Arts and three of the artists explained the exhibited work to us and discussed it:
Guy Ben-Ari (fig 2), Tracy Malis (fig 3) and Leah Wolff (fig 4)
Guy applied the metaphor of Jacques Lacan when depicting the relationship between human beings in our society of media and technology resulting in its narcissistic isolation.
Tracy experimented with different photographic and print media, airbrush photographs, Photoshop, 35mm slide negatives on to a scanner, etc. producing very different kinds of representations.
Leah developed a set of spherical geometric sculptures with drawings on them, positioned in a way, to use anamorphic effects. Starting from the feeling of infinity of the universe she sees in the sky at night and the complexity of the world, she tries to express in more than three dimensions.
Please find full description at: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/arts/mfathesis2011/students-lopez.html
The second exhibition we went to was the Columbia University Alumni Exhibition (fig 5) where artists who have been studying at Columbia University and have been working throughout several years already as successful artists presented their newest work. In this show, Ronnie Bass, a photography and video artist presented his work to us for discussion. His work had a lot to do with the question of young people that should go out into the world and do their mission. Should they stay together in a group or do they dare on their own or do they feel too much in danger? It is a video presentation, but at the same time it is also music and photography, sculpture and painting. (fig 6)
Please find full description at:
The third exhibition was the exhibition of paintings and photography of the participants of the New York Networking-Tour at Union Square Gallery. This work can be seen on the internet blog of www.summeracademyvenice.com at “artists”.
It is very interesting to compare these three exhibitions: the MFA Exhibition showed an exuberance of new experiments. In some parts there was also high quality of elaboration, but this was not so important. The important aspect has been new ideas, new effects, and new interesting things.
The second exhibition, Columbia University alumni artists showed much more developed and refined art work, but also not as experimental, entertaining, and exuberant as the MFA Exhibition.
The third, an exhibition of the participants of the Summer Academy Venice Tour has been showing art of a high standard, but at the same time this art had a tendency of timelessness. There is no 2011.
Young students of art do not carry the weight of discipline, routine and experience. They start from scratch. They can mix, they can experiment, and they can do whatever they want in order to develop something new, something attractive, something exploding.
It is important for more experienced and elder artists, not only to relate to the time they are living in, but also to further develop their techniques of work. They never will be exuberant as young students, but they will show a refine development of new approaches. The great masters like Cy Twombly or David Hockney, show this in an extreme way, and people like Georg Baselitz for instance, also relate their innovation to the time they live in. (fig 7)
What about Lucien Freud? Isn’t he timeless?
Lucien Freud and his technique of painting may be rather timeless, but the way he is posing his figures and what is expressed by them can be compared to Francis Bacon or Edward Hopper expressing the depressiveness of human beings in their relationship to each other. (fig 8,9,10)
The new dynamic of a separate consumerist art world also endangers the whole gallery system. Until now the “good and successful gallery owner” has been able to work on a few artists career together and by his knowledge of art can give also the art collector the security that the art he or she is buying is art which keeps its value and standard also in the future. This is a system of galleries like “On Stellar Rays”(fig 24) or Marian Goodman. They are together with their artists over decades and try to provide an atmosphere where they can develop in a very prosperous way over time. But if gallery owners are more and more absorbed by the growing art market, at the end the “elder artists” will have to leave. Then galleries will have many more artists on their schedule and changing them much more often. If gaining new effects is a rule, then this trend is inevitable.
Please find full description at: www.onstellarrays.com
b. Experiences related to networking, galleries and proceedings in the art market
1. Matthew Turov
Please find full description of art work at: http://matturov.tripod.com
he started from figurative painting, going through a process of abstraction. He sells paintings to private collectors directly. (fig 11, 12)
2. Gert Mathiesen
Please find full description of art work at: www.gertmathiesen.com
Working with different printing techniques, rice paper, oil painting on Plexiglas to be pressed on canvas, etc.
For Gert the breakthrough was the Google-show (a big exhibition sponsored by Google). He was recommended to the show by a curator who coincidently knew him and his work. (fig 13)
“You can follow me every day on my internet blog.”
3. Zipora Fried
Please find full description of art work at: www.onstellarrays.com
Her work is photography (portraits with elements of alienation) and drawing monochrome big surfaces.
She became well known by writings of an art critic who has been sub renter of a room in her apartment. That is coincidence, but if you are good and your work is interesting, then there are always coincidences and you are taken into the public.
4. Julie Tremblay
Please find full description of art work at: www.julietremblay.net
She started from sculpture, then went on with photography but wanted to work with physical material again and came back to sculpture in a new way. (fig 17, 18)
Julie lives in Bushwick, an area in Brooklyn, which has been very cheap and attracted a lot of artists. There is a local art community where people are visiting each other, having local exhibitions and events.
In terms of networking and career she suggests all different strategies:
- There are artists who are very much focussed on museum shows.
- Other artists are competing in public commissions for sculptures and art work.
- Other artists are trying to get into contact with their neighbourhood. (fig 19)
- Other artists try to work together with interior designers.
- Others are chosen from the internet, for instance the internet magazine yatzer.com
- Julie herself has profited from the fascination between the art worlds of Europe vis a vis the US. As a New York artist she managed to start with a small gallery in Denmark, working there several years and became interesting also in New York as a “European artist.”
5. Overview on exhibition spaces in New York
In New York there are
a) commercial galleries,
b) non for profit spaces for exhibitions (fig 21, 22, 23)
c) and museums.
Some of b) are run by artists themselves, others are sponsored by foundations.
It is no problem to exhibit in some of b) when financing the show and the rent on your own. The problem is, that not many art interested people of potential collectors, or art critiques will come to these places and also no listing in the media like Time Out, Village Voice or New York Times will occur.
If you want to exhibit in non for profit spaces sponsored by foundations you have to submit your work to an evaluation procedure.
The chance of walking with one’s catalogue into a gallery and get into contact with the gallery owner, to be interested in one’s work is very small, but Ole says he has managed it several times. (fig 20)
We thank Sam Adoquei for cooperating with him and his gallery.
Corina Brandl comments on the New York Networking Tour
I saw a lot of Contemporary Art in New York, but I still don’t know what makes art “contemporary”. I also don’t know if contemporary art is good quality art, or if I like it, but it seems to be an expression of our age and time. Even if we prefer the great masters like Rembrandt, Tizian, or Manet, the fact is: contemporary art exists and needs to be looked at.
I believe certain emotional qualities are missing in today’s world, so maybe contemporary art, being an reflection of today’s world, reflects the missing human dimensions of this world today - like love, spirituality, sensuality, passion, the numinous, etc. But nobody dares to talk about this. Contemporary art is sometimes ugly, provocative and uncomfortable. I wonder if it is leading us to new ways of perceiving our world, so that we get the distance that is necessary for discovering what humans are missing in today’s world. If we would allow ourselves to feel the pain, anger and disgust, that contemporary art sometimes provocates in us, we would be able to see our world at it is, not liking what we see. So now we can act on our feelings and maybe find the courage to DO something for this world. Then art would again become a social-political act, distinguishing it from pretty decoration.
Perhaps art also needs to inspire us again and give us hope, beauty and love – which is what we feel when looking at the old masters of painting. I agree that I like art when it opens our hearts, so that “we can see the world as if we were seeing it for the first time”.
At home I found Kandinsky: “Every work of art is the child of its age and, in many cases, the mother of our emotions. It follows that each period of culture produces an art of its own which can never be repeated. Efforts to reproduce the art-principles of the past will at best produce an art that is still-born.” ( Kandinsky: Concerning the Spiritual in Art.”)
So what is the art of our age? What are the emotions of today’s art? Which emotions are missing?
I would like to continue the stimulating discussions with Wolf about timeless art versus contemporary art.
Some highlights for me personally in New York: 1. Graffiti in Queens and Brooklyn 2. American abstract art ( Cy Twombly, Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Joan Morris, Helen Frankenthaler, Hans Hoffmann, Adolf Gottlieb and others) at the Moma and Metropolitain Museum. 3. At night we went to some wonderful jazz and blues music places.
An interesting topic: Becoming visible as an artist: Julie Tremblay in her studio in Brooklyn told us how she was very lonely and had no recognition in her early years as an American-Canadian artist in New York. After she moved to Denmark, she was suddenly the fascinating artist from New York and began to be successful. When she returned to New York after some years, she was suddenly the exotic artist from Europe and had much more recognition in New York than before. It seems to me that artists need to create a myth or a story around themselves, so that they are recognized.
A further discussion: Does the artist need a myth around him? Is his work better when there is a myth? Maybe living in a different place/ country/ continent has an influence on the artist’s development ? What other myths can an artist create? Provocation and shocking the audience is a way of becoming visible. But is it good art? How can artist produce good work and become visible? What myths do we need?
In the midst of this huge city of New York, we became visible with our group exhibition “Venice meets New York” in the gallery on the 2nd floor, Union Square. Perhaps the title “Venice meets New York” helped create the “European” or the “Venice myth” which attracted numerous visitors on their Saturday tour of the New York galleries. Our works of art did not reflect the topic of “Venice” , but we explained that we were all past participants in the Venice Summeracademy . I don’t know if there was anything “European” about our art. But we were definitely a very European group originating from such different countries as Austria, Germany, Italy, Denmark, England, Rumania, Switzerland. Although our individual works of art were quite different in style ( figurative painting, abstract painting, drawings, water colour, photography, sculpture) the exhibition had an unexpected homogenous effect.
I look forward to more trips like this one to New York.
Corinna Brandl, Bernau am Chiemsee, Germany, June 11, 2011