is an oil on canvas triptych, painted between 1998-99. The history is of special interest, unusual yet evolutionary. In 1998 Twombly was working on three related but at the time independent canvases on three adjacent walls of his Gaeta studio. The theme was these ancient vessels and all the senses of myth and history they inferred - there was originally neither particular thought of Turner, an artist who he had always especially admired, nor of the three panels as a single work. Gradually they coalesced into a single epic event and were shown in the National Gallery in London in the exhibition "Encounters: new art from old" in the year 2000 alongside Turner's famed 'The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, 1838', which was painted in 1839. The theme of this exhibition was 'great artists of our time converse with the greatest artists of all time'... and of course Twombly's pictures assumed their role as contemporary evocations of Turner's 'The Fighting Temeraire'.
Elijah Burgher vernisaj at Ivan Gallery in Bucharest
By Eugen Berlo
I had the pleasure of meeting and discussing with Elijah at his first show in Bucharest at IvanGallery the other day. Born in 1978, Kingston, NY, USA, he is an American artist in residency at Horton Gallery studio in Berlin, Germany. Burgher works with the language of magic and the mystical seals and symbols to address sexuality, the nude subject and its capacity to convey meaning. Most of his presented artworks are luscious prints on paper realized with handmade heavyweight paper stencils and printmaking techniques.
“Titles are important, they’re like breadcrumb trails. The nude is an age-old subject of art. Most crucially for me, the nude has frequently served as a vehicle for expressing love, desire, and beauty, as well as erotic frenzy, terror and pain. The sigils represent desire too, and, like an aroused or arousing nude, they appear in the red alphabet blushing, hot and bothered, full-frontal or spread-eagle, totally naked. I am hoping that the title will be reminiscent of the well-known Baudelaire poem, “Correspondences”, which features the phrase, “forêts de symboles,” usually translated into english as “symbol forest” or “forest of symbols,” but also “cabalistic wood.” I enjoy contemplating being lost in a forest of symbols, of going for a walk in Grunewald, for instance, and seeing the tree branches spell out strange signs, or, alternatively, experiencing Kottbusser Tor, so full of blinking signage, as a wilderness, a place in which to lose oneself. Chants, of course, are simple, repetitive songs or intonations used in ritual. I enjoy the implication that the Chants are the voices of the Nudes, or that there are chanting voices in the forest.“ (Elijah Burgher)
/ Fondazione Del Monte – Palazzo Paltroni / Bologna Italy
by Renay Elle Morris / January 2018
Looking back on 2017, I was fortunate to engage in several photographic presentations that offered specific themes, albeit quite different. In particular, with an invitation to participate in the prestigious 2017-18 Mdina Cathedral Art Biennale in Malta’s The Mediterranean: A Sea of Conflicting Spiritualities, as an exhibiting photographer and the only American to receive this honor, I navigated with both intention, and agenda working in tandem to add Bologna Italy to my itinerary. I boarded planes, trains, buses and such for the 3rd edition of Foto/Industria in association with MAST Fondazione’s BIENNIAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY ON INDUSTRY AND WORK. It was for me, a tasting _a mixture of art and cuisine, as Bologna is Italy’s capital of food. And, I wasn’t disappointed on both counts.
The Biennial (12 October-19 November) highlighted the work of 14 extraordinary image-makers at exhibitions located in galleries throughout a city shrouded by architecture of medieval beginnings. My arrival on 17 November afforded me an opportunity for a quick viewing. Having this very short window, I decided to limit my coverage to the images of Lee Friedlander. The Palazzo Paltroni, was the designated space to host his presentation of At Work.
For introductory purposes, one learns Friedlander is considered one of the foremost photographers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. American born (Aberdeen Washington (1934), his images detail America’s social landscape. They have been noted as “keen depictions” that include the worlds of jazz, television, urban landscapes and deserts. At Work, is a monograph dedicated to the urban life of largely the anonymous worker photographed over a 16 year period beginning in 1979. It is a commissioned work offering a cultural fabric woven with images of factories and offices, as well as tools, work practices, and relationships in professional settings. Shot in black and white with the use of a 35mm Leica, the work defined an era. “Friedlander has acknowledged the largely anonymous worker, making inventive pictures of the familiar, humdrum, yet overriding role of work in America.” Throughout the course of this assignment, Friedlander maintained his personal artistic freedom and integrity. True to his aesthetic, it is an outstanding selection of photographs that give homage to a place and time_ a brilliant documentation and archive of Middle America and its working class and social structure.
“Friedlander has acknowledged the largely anonymous worker, making inventive pictures of the familiar, humdrum, yet overriding role of work in America.”_ Fraenkel Gallery
What was of great fascination was the play between the view and the viewer. I buried myself between young students engaged in dialogue with professors, individuals from foreign lands, like me _ just enough to catch a few remarks in English and Italian. At various moments, noting the crowds, I thought of how different this all must seem _a retrospective of working class Americans in past decades, in black and white, before digital, before selfies. It was profound.
As a student, I was fortunate to have the experience to work only in black and white, capturing images with the use of 4×5, 2¼ and 35mm cameras_ bracketing exposures. And not to forget, spending countless hours in darkrooms, adjusting enlargers, and submerging hands in developers and fixers. Now, when I stare at Friedlander’s work, I am reminded of how artfully we were trained. How precise we were with every shot. Kudos for MAST and Foto/Industria for its presentation of At Work which ultimately reminds us of this lost art.
Lee Friedlander is represented by Fraenkel Gallery – San Francisco, CA. USA
Image: #1 Renay Elle Morris / renayellemorris.com
Images: #2, 3, 4 / courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery + Foto/Industria + MAST
foto by Corneliu Cazacu
Corneliu Cazacu is a Danish-Romanian photographer and writer based in Munich, Germany. Specialised in nature/architecture/reportage and music photography.
Published in newspapers and magazines such as Romania libera, Foreign Policy, EUobserver, Dilema veche, etc. Winner of two first prizes and a second prize in the "Mihai Vasile" photography contest organised by the Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism, Romania, 2015 Winner of the SIR photo contest Munich, 2016 Published in the April 2015 National Geographic US edition IPA - int´l professional awards 2016 - Honorable Mention - Nature Winner of Travel Photographer Society contest 2017
As publisher of Arstler, the web-based fine and applied art magazine, I am pleased to announce that Renay Elle Morris, our editor of photographic and fine art development has been selected to exhibit her photographic images at The APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale to be held in Malta. The theme “The Mediterranean: A Sea of Conflicting Spiritualties”will be on display in the magnificent baroque halls of Malta’s Mdina Cathedral_famed for its rich archive of paintings, sculptures, drawings and artifacts of the decorative arts, architectural fragments, and curios. The 2017-2018 edition is a large-scale contemporary art exhibition, and follows the success of 2015-2016 where it initiated a framework for artists, curators and researchers to work together to establish a creative space. With a global following, invitations have been sent to Maltese and international artists who have set in motion the development of new works that challenge artistic and political conventions.
The Mediterranean region encompasses various cultures and religions. From the interaction between East and West has emerged a history of conflicts and struggles that are represented by the powerful visual cultures of each diverse community. The contemporary political scenario emphasizes the need for the arts to respond to an era of crisis and destruction. Being at the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta is a significant place for such an artistic dialogue to be exposed and challenged. Furthermore, the city of Mdina was home to multiple faiths and artistic cultures.
The Mdina Biennale started as an exhibition of solely Catholic and religious art. The immensity of the contemporary world was somewhat ignored in favour for the personalised taste of a local few, in an attempt to always safeguard the status quo. The 2015-16 exhibition helped awaken the need for a new contemporary space to welcome both local and international artists. The past has seen great strides in the rejoicement of contemporary art, with several spaces or exhibitions being set up, and with Malta’s recent entry in the Venice Biennale after a long hiatus. Nonetheless, it is this aspect of one-offs that brings peril to the contemporary scene in Malta. The need for continuity, remembrance and vitalisation is at the core of the Mdina Biennale.
Within the remits of the Mdina Biennale, this space was transformed from just being a sphere of sanctimonious sentiment to encompassing the spirit of the new age, through the exhibition of local and foreign contemporary artists. Artists from Malta, Italy, UK, USA, Germany, France, Jordan, Israel, Poland, Lithuania, Georgia, Latvia, Greece, Australia, Portugal, Serbia, Russia, Austria and Lebanon will be participating.
Each artist has been assigned a particular space within the museum and will be developing projects that respond to its permanent collection and this year’s subject. Once again, an exhibit dedicated to Maltese modern artists will hang alongside medieval, baroque and contemporary artworks, bridging different eras and art historical periods by focusing on the overlapping nature of art across time. Frank Portelli and Esprit Barthet are the chosen artists of this year’s exhibition. As a prelude to the main event, an exhibition of nude figure drawings by the Maltese twentieth-century artist and designer Giuseppe Galea was held from 7th-31st October.
“As the only American artist to be chosen to participate in this important exhibition, I will present six large-scale photographic images, ethereal in nature, that I believe capture the essence of the theme of this year’s Biennale. The photographing of the great seas has led me to discover the richness of this earth’s treasure, and of the passion of its ancient and current passengers.”_Renay Elle Morris
The APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale is under the artistic direction of Dr Giuseppe Schembri Bonaci with a curatorial team led by Nikki Petroni. APS Bank is the main partner. The exhibition endeavours to bring out the past with the marriage of the present and future. It is this duality, of both idea and space, which allows the APS Mdina Biennale to take ownership of a new style of curatorship, dialogue and commemoration.
Facebook: The APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale
Steven Kasher Gallery_Leonard Freed: Six Stories / Renay Elle Morris_ September 2017
Hassidics of Brooklyn, 1954
Black in White America, 1963-65
Israel, 1962 and 1967
As fellow Magnum photographer Cornell Capa expressed in The Concerned Photographer, “… he (Leonard Freed) was a photographer of ordinary people going about their every day lives – at home, at work, and in the streets. He has a keen eye for social hierarchies and, in part because of his working class origins; he felt great solidarity with outsiders, and the oppressed.”
Mario Testino OBE is widely regarded as one of the most influential fashion and portrait photographers of our times. His photographs have been published internationally in magazines such as Vogue, V Magazine and Vanity Fair. He has contributed to the success of leading fashion and beauty houses, creating emblematic images for brands from Gucci, Burberry, Versace and Michael Kors to Chanel, Estée Lauder and Lancôme.
Alongside his 40-year practice as a photographer, Testino has realised a body of work as a creative director, guest editor, museum founder, art collector/collaborator and entrepreneur. In 2007, at the request of his clients to provide full creative direction services, he formed MARIOTESTINO+ which today is a growing team of individuals who support Testino to realise the breadth of his creative output.
by Eugen Berlo 2017-07-15
Tomorrow is the last day, but it’s worth to make an appointment and pay a visit to the gallery. The group show is also a statement by Raluca Soaita and Andrei Breahna. As I like to follow up with a few galleries, I have (Yahveh) to say go and see it!; it is a good one and it will please you to see a nice range of artists, from Razvan Anton, Pavel Braila, Radu Cioca, to Tania Mouraud, Karolina Bregula and Mircea Stanescu. Many thanks to Răzvan Băbiceanu who walked me through.
“This public showing is the way Raluca Soaita and Andrei Breahna responsibly position themselves as related to the artists hosted by their gallery. The constant presence of video in the public space, the American-school photo, the drawing, the installation, the performance, the animation – they all have shaped a certain artist / intellectual profile in the gallery space, one bearing various practices, which EASTWARDS PROSPECTUS is supporting and developing. The exhibition is a coherent and clear discourse about the gallerist/artist relationship, about the exhibition space and the challenges raised by certain works that one feels connected to.” - read more