Archives For Exhibitions

With his beautiful, crazy, confusing, monumental and must see retrospective winding down at MOMA I could not help thinking about the final project Sigmar Polke spent the most time on. Forget that everyone has found it impossible to decode his enormously confusing body of work (see review links below). It turns out Polke use to be a stained glass artist and he spent the last 3 years of his life designing stained glass windows for the Grossmünster Church in Zurich using a variety of techniques including thinly sliced geodes. Much like the MOMA retrospective that Peter Schjeldahl calls, “the most dramatic (and important) museum show of the century to date”, the final stained glass works are a wonder. 

Sigmar Polke


Sigmar Polke Elijah Chariot

 All Images via


A PDF (from the church web site) explaining the entire project can be viewed here.

via Sigmar Polke – Church Windows Grossmünster Zürich from ikonoTV on Vimeo.



The Final Art Work of Sigmar Polke

Back in 1999 Hiroshi Sugimoto made a very large set of images depicting The Last Supper, which were photographs of wax models from a wax museum based on Di Vinci’s famous painting. (He did an entire series of portraits of wax models called Portraits and this work is from that series). This particular piece was in storage in a basement in New York when hurricane Sandy hit. The piece was severely damaged by the waters in the flooded basement. Instead of destroying the work Sugimoto has deemed it an act of God and is selling as such with a new title: The Last Supper: Acts of God now showing at the Fraenkel Gallery.

When god is your partner in making an artwork how can you go wrong in turning what is actually a destroyed work into an even more collectable piece? I will let you be the judge….

“I chose to interpret this as the invisible hand of God coming down to bring my monumental, but unfinished Last Supper to completion. Leonardo completed his Last Supper over five hundred years ago, and it has deteriorated beautifully. I can only be grateful to the storm for putting my work through a half-millennium’s worth of stresses in so short a time”. 

Hiroshi Sugimoto 


Hiroshi Sugimoto, The Last Supper: Acts of God, 1999/2012. © Hiroshi Sugimoto, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Hiroshi Sugimoto, The Last Supper: Acts of God, 1999/2012. © Hiroshi Sugimoto, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

The Last Supper: Acts of God (detail), 1999/2012 © Hiroshi Sugimoto, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery,

The Last Supper: Acts of God (detail), 1999/2012 © Hiroshi Sugimoto, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery,


Hiroshi Sugimoto and The Last Supper.  All photos and quotes via the Fraenkel Gallery.

During her long illustrious career Sarah Charlesworth has explored a haunting and beautiful body of work about the power of the image. In her legendary series Objects of Desire her minimal presentations translate to a very powerful body a work that explores how images and our subconscious attractions collide.

It’s been a long, long time since these wonderful works have been on view. Most are from private collections.  Not to be missed.

Objects of Desire: 1983-1988
April 25, 2014 – June 21, 2014

Maccarone Gallery, 630 Greenwich Street, NYC

c AM

Via the artist’s website

“There’s something about the surface of a photograph, how it acts, and about the coherence of photographic illusion that both fascinates and disturbs me. To me, there’s something mysterious about what’s physically there and how it acts on our psyches…how it connects us to some other thing-to a chair, a human being, to a different reference point, a moment in time, and finally, to desire itself.”
Interview with David Deitcher, Afterimage, Summer 1984


Via the artist’s website



SARAH CHARLESWORTH: Objects of Desire: 1983-1988




The biggest biannual photography event in the USA is FotoFest. It is the birthplace of photographic careers; Just ask my good friend Thomas Kellner. But this year its all about Arab Photography, Video and Art but mostly its about and breaking down all our western assumptions about the Middle East. They did a great job bringing in a busload of artists to exhibit their work all over Houston. Hats off to the the folks at FotoFest who do it better than just about any other arts organization when it comes to opening minds and hearts through the power of ART.


FotoFest has commissioned German curator Karin Adrian von Roques as
the Lead Curator for the Biennial. Ms. von Roques is known for her work,
over the past 20 years, bringing contemporary Arab art to international
museums and galleries throughout the world. She is working with FotoFest
Co-Founder and Senior Curator Wendy Watriss to organize the 2014 Arab
“Our focus on Arab art was not motivated by opportunism related to the Arab
world’s current prominence in the media, but rather by a genuine conviction
that the U.S. and Western audiences should have the opportunity to hear from
more voices in the region and see the Arab world in more nuanced ways,” says
Ms. Watriss. “Finding high quality art from around the globe that engages with
the issues of our world is what FotoFest does.”

via FotoFest

Want to see more? Check out these Arab Galleries:

(alphabetized by last name with country of origin)

Ebtisam AbdulAziz (UAE)
Khalil Abdul Wahid (UAE)
Ammar Al Beik (Syria)
Manal Al Dowayan (Saudi Arabia)
Shadia Alem (Saudi Arabia)
Reem Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia)
Sadik Alfraji (Iraq)
Tarek Al-Ghossein (Palestine/Kuwait)
Boushra Almutawakel (Yemen)
Khalifa Al Obaidly (Qatar)
Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad
Bin Ahmad Al-Thani 
Jowhara AlSaud (Saudi Arabia)
Sama Alshaibi (Iraq)
Karima Al Shomely (UAE)
Sami Al-Turki (Saudi Arabia)
Tammam Azzam (Syria)
Lara Baladi (Egypt)
Hicham Benohoud (Morocco)
Ayman Yossri Daydban (Saudi Arabia)
Shady El-Noshokaty (Egypt)
Ayman El Semary (Egypt)
Lalla Essaydi (Morocco)
Mounir Fatmi (Morocco)
Lamya Gargash (UAE)
Abdulnasser Gharem (Saudi Arabia)
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (Lebanon)
Khaled Hafez (Egypt)
Hassan Hajjaj (Morocco)
Rula Halawani (Palestine)
Nermine Hammam (Egypt)
Hazem Harb (Palestine)
Hazem Taha Hussein (Egypt)
Georges Fikry Ibrahim (Egypt)
Noel Jabbour (Palestine)
Ahmed Jadallah (Palestine)
Mohamed Kanoo (Bahrain)
Mohammed Kazem (UAE)
Huda Lutfi (Egypt)
Maha Malluh (Saudi Arabia)
Ahmed Mater (Saudi Arabia)
Hassan Meer (Oman)
Samer Mohdad (Lebanon)
Youssef Nabil (Egypt)
Ayman Ramadan (Egypt)
Steve Sabella (Palestine)
Faisal Samra (Saudi Arabia)
Wael Shawky (Egypt)
Camille Zakharia (Lebanon)

Contemporary Arab Art & Photography at FotoFest 2014

There is a long history of photography as sculpture in art but most don’t think of Robert Mapplethorpe’s work. They will now.  Maybe one of the most interesting shows (possibly ever conceived) of the two exhibitions now up in Paris of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs.

“If I had been born one hundred or two hundred years ago, I might have been a sculptor, but photography is a very quick way to see, to make sculpture,”

Robert Mapplethorpe 

Screen shot 2014-05-05 at 11.59.22 AMScreen shot 2014-05-05 at 12.01.07 PM



“I see things like they were sculptures. It depends on how that form exists within the space”. Robert Mapplethorpe

In a single exhibition, the Musée Rodin brings together two forms of expression – Sculpture and Photography – through the works of two major artists: Robert Mapplethorpe and Auguste Rodin. Thanks to exceptional loans from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, this exhibition presents 50 sculptures by Rodin and a collection of 102 photographs, in a bold dialogue revealing the enduring nature of these great artists’ favourite themes and subjects.

There would appear to be little similarity between these two renowned figures, even though Mapplethorpe continually sought to sculpt the body through photography and Rodin used photography throughout his career.

Robert Mapplethorpe sought the perfect form, while Rodin attempted to capture a sense of movement in inanimate materials. There is no spontaneity in Mapplethorpe’s work, everything is constructed, whereas Rodin retains the traces of his touch and takes advantage of the accidental. One was attracted to men, the other to women, obsessively in both cases. But this did not stop Mapplethorpe from photographing female nudes, or Rodin from sculpting many male bodies.

Here, however, the differences between these two artists are instantly transformed into an unexpected dialogue. The curators have chosen seven themes, common to the work of both, revealing connections in form, theme and aesthetic. Movement and Tension, Black and White/Light and Shadow, Eroticism and Damnation are just some of the major issues running through the works of the two artists.

This exhibition invites visitors to challenge the dialogue established by the curators, and to make their own comparisons. This “sculpture and photography” approach is unprecedented, the first time such a confrontation has been presented, and looks at both photography and sculpture from a new angle. In parallel with this, the Réunion des musées nationaux is organising a Mapplethorpe retrospective at the Grand Palais, from 26 March to 13 July 2014.

Exhibition curators

  • Hélène Pinet Head of Photography Collections at the Musée Rodin
  • Judith Benhamou-Huet Art critic and journalist
  • Hélène Marraud Assistant curator, responsible for sculptures at the Musée Rodin


via Musée Rodin


Mapplethorpe & Rodin Exhibition / Paris