Archives for drawing

Monochrome: Painting in Black and White at National Gallery, London

THIS AUTUMN the National Gallery will exhibit Monochrome: Painting in Black and White. The collection of more than 50 painted objects explores the use of shadow and light, over the past 700 years, analysing what happens without colour and the compelling use of black and white.

The exhibition, showing paintings and drawing, unites works of the old masters such as Jan van Eyck and Rembrandt with contemporary artists including Gerhard Richter and Chuck Close. The major, worldwide loans allow Monochrome to give an insight into the use and choice of colour, or lack of it. Each of the five rooms shows the viewer a different aspect of grisaille – black, white and grey painting.

Curators of Monochrome, Leila Packer and Jennifer Sliwka remark, “Painters reduce their colour palette for many reasons, but mainly as a way of focusing the viewer’s attention on a particular subject, concept or technique.” Devoid of colour, artists can focus greatly on form and texture within the work.

im1Jacob de Wit, Jupiter and Ganymede, 1739, Oil on canvas, 36.9 × 55.5 cm © Ferens Art Gallery, Hull Museums

Some of the earliest Western artworks in grisaille date back to the Middle Ages, for the purpose of focusing the mind and for spiritual connection. For some religious orders avoiding colour was a form of self-discipline, in the 12th century French Cistercian monks created grey stained-glass windows, with images painted in black and yellow.

From the 15th century, artists used black and white to simplify challenges when drawing their desired subject. The lack of colour allowed the artist to focus solely on light and shade, these studies could even act as a reusable template.

The question for many artists was how to replicate stone sculptures on canvas. Highly decorative and illustrative art, including wall paintings and sculpted stucco, popular in the 15th and 16th century, Northern Europe brought attention to works such as Jupiter and Ganymede by Jacob de Wit, 1739. With the development of printmaking, to fascinate audiences’ artists paintings would often replicate a printed work. The later development of film and photography, beginning in 1839, prompted artists to recreate the effects of this media to respond or challenge specific elements created in the photograph.

In time, grisaille developed from a tool used to assist the painting, into a complete and independent work. As the pieces were inspired, so well considered and demonstrative of the artists skill they became highly demanded.

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Hendrik Goltzius, Without Ceres and Bacchus, Venus Would Freeze, 1599. Chalk, ink and oil on paper, 43.5 × 32.1 cm. The British Museum, London © The Trustees of The British Museum

Colour used by an artist as well as light and space can manipulate viewer reactions and emotions. In abstractions and installations, an absence of colour can often be more thought-provoking.

Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery explains, “Artists choose to use black and white for aesthetic, emotional and sometimes even for moral reasons. The historical continuity and diversity of monochrome from the Middle Ages to today demonstrate how crucial a theme it is in western art.”

by Pierra George-Robertson

Front Page Image: Olafur Eliasson, Room for one colour, 1997. Installation view at Moderna Museet, Stockholm 2015. Courtesy of the artist; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; neugerriemschneider, Berlin© Olafur Eliasson. Photo: Anders Sune Berg

Book tickets for Monochrome: Painting in Black and White

Admission is charged. Members and under 12s free

The exhibition will be open from October 30, 2017 until February 18, 2018

The collection will be displayed in the Sainsbury Wing of The National Gallery, London WC2N 5DN

The exhibition is organised by the National Gallery in collaboration with Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf and is supported by Howard and Roberta Ahmanson and other donors

National Gallery Shows Masterpieces by Michelangelo and Sebastiano

AN UNUSUAL relationship between the Renaissance master, Michelangelo and lesser known Venetian artist, Sebastiano del Piombo is the focus of a new exhibition at The National Gallery in London. The show, which opens this spring, endeavours to gain greater recognition for Sebastiano whose talents have been largely overshadowed by his association with Michelangelo but whose work was highly regarded by 19th century collectors.

Their creative partnership, which is evidenced through paintings, sculptures and working drawings, took place during a time of great political upheaval, heated theological debate and in powerful opposition to their artistic rival, Raphael. Central to the show are Michelangelo and Sebastiano’s remarkable collection of original letters, which disclose the intriguing details of their professional and personal life and whose writing styles reveal much about the artists’ respective personalities.

The National Gallery, Michelangelo, Sebastiano, painting, sculpture, drawing, lettersThe Visitation by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1518-19, Musée du Louvre, Département des Peintures, Paris, Courtesy of RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski

Michelangelo’s controversial sculpture, The Risen Christ, condemned by the biographer Romain Rolland to be “the coldest and dullest thing he ever did”, although much-admired by the artist’s contemporaries, is displayed for the first time in contrast with a plaster cast from his second version. The exhibition also presents a rare opportunity to view Sebastiano’s work, the Lamentation over the Dead Christ, also known as Viterbo Pietà which marks the beginning of the artists’ collaboration.

The National Gallery, Michelangelo, Sebastiano, painting, sculpture, drawing, lettersChrist carrying the Cross by Sebastiano del Piombo, c.1513-14.
Courtesy of Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Sebastiano, who was ten years younger than Michelangelo, was born in Venice 1485. The artists first met in Rome while Michelangelo was just completing  work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling.  Sebastiano, a talented oil painter was an ideal partner for Michelangelo who was eager to undermine the success of his rival, Raphael.

After their initial success with Viterbo Pietà, the artists collaborated on two other major projects, the decoration of the Borgherini Chapel in S. Pietro and the Raising of Lazarus which was created in fierce opposition to Raphael’s Transformation for the Cathedral of Norbonne in France. However, their friendship ended acrimoniously when Sebastiano tried to force Michelangelo to paint the Last Judgement for the Sistine Chapel in oils rather than his preferred medium of fresco.

The National Gallery, Michelangelo, Sebastiano, painting, sculpture, drawing, lettersLamentation over the Dead Christ by Sebastiano del Piombo, c.1512-16,
Museo Civico, Viterbo. Courtesy of Comune di Viterbo

by Miranda Charalambous

The Credit Suisse exhibition, Michelangelo & Sebastiano opens from 15 March to 25 June 2017 at The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN.

Email: information@ng-london.org.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7747 2885

Front page image: The Visitation by Sebastiano del Piombo, 1518-19, Musée du Louvre, Département des Peintures, Paris, Courtesy of RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski

Artists Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen Unleash Our Primal Instincts

A MACABRE repertoire of half-human beasties is unleashed at Le Musée de la chasse et de la nature in Paris this spring.  Collaborating miles apart, South African photographer Roger Ballen and Netherlands-based illustrator  Hans Lemmen create Unleashed, an unsettling combination of re-appropriated imagery which unearths Modern Man’s animalistic tendencies.

Ballen’s photographic scraps merge with Lemmen’s drawings to create a contemporary cave painting alongside animistic sculptures of the artists with their pets. Individual works by each artist are also on display including a video which documents their project. The show endeavours to convey the creative process of each artist and how their art thrives from the fusion of their differing practices. The collaboration has been an exciting challenge, as Lemmen explains, “This is the hardest thing I‘ve ever faced in my career. Until the last moment, I did not know if it would be possible to combine photographs and drawings.”

Roger Ballen, Hans Lemmen, Photography, Drawing, Roger Ballen/Hans Lemmen, Entanglement 2016. Courtesy of Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen Private Collection

Ballen, a master of psychodramas creates highly original sets in unknown locations near Johannesburg in which marginalised individuals improvise their strange narratives and where animals mingle. His scenarios allude to human survival but man’s inability to escape from nature. Ballen explains, “I think that my works seek the animal at the heart of the human mind, the point where a man turns into an animal … ”

Ballen’s nebulous forms free repressed characters from wires and cables, as if releasing them from the constraints of modernity.

Roger Ballen, Hans Lemmen, Photography, Drawing, Le Musée de la chasse et de la natureHans Lemmen/Roger Ballen, Unicorn 2016. Courtesy of Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen Private Collection

Lemmen’s graphics and sculptures are fictional works which explore the domains between animals and people. He is fascinated by pre-historic times when our ancestors lived in empathy with, not against, nature. Lemmen alludes to our primeval instincts,

“We are simply animals. We are animals with, of course, a more developed brain.”

Occasionally his work displays a curious role reversal in which Man appears to become a sacrificial offering, and animals are invited to take charge.

Roger Ballen, Hans Lemmen, Photography, Drawing, Le Musée de la chasse et de la natureHans Lemmen, Untitled 2014. Courtesy of Hans Lemmen Private Collection

The show parades a grave and male-dominated world but also a few surprises, like this grisly cytoplasm ingesting human remains.

Roger Ballen, Hans Lemmen, Photography, Drawing, Le Musée de la chasse et de la natureRoger Ballen/Hans Lemmen, Oh No! 2016. Courtesy of Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen Private Collection

by Miranda Charalambous

Unleashed: Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen, which is co-produced by the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht, until June 4 2017 at Le Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature, 62, rue des Archives 75003, Paris

Tel: 01 53 01 92 40

Front page image: Roger Ballen/Hans Lemmen, Oh No! 2016, Photograph, Courtesy of Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen Private Collection

Kröller-Müller Museum Presents New Show of Sculpture

THE Kröller-Müller Museum, Holland presents Move On, a new exhibition of 20th century drawing and sculpture which opens later this month. The show, which is based on the theme of movement displays work by Dutch artists Gerrit van Bakel, Tom Claassen, Constant, Martin van Oel, Panamarenko and Carel Visser. Either painfully slow or alarmingly fast, movement is conveyed through an eclectic mix of visionary ideas and humour from the futuristic machine to the tatty soft toy.

Tom Claassen’s sculptures are found in public spaces such as airports, parks and carriageways. His cutesy cartoon animals are monumental pieces but deflate any sense of importance. Claassen’s over-sized rat is sluggish and fat. Divested of razor sharp teeth and scurrying feet, it defies the aggressive nature of its real life counterpart.

Kröller-Müller Museum, Dutch, sculpture, drawing, artTom Claassen, Untitled (Brigid), 1998, latex, sand, burlap, synthetic textile and polystyrene foam,
130 x 390 x 860 cm, Courtesy of Kröller-Müller Museum. Photograph: Cary Markerink

Fascinated by the mythical possibility of human flight, Panamarenko creates imaginary vehicles inspired by existing designs. His jet-propelled rubber car, Polistes is based on the Porsche 917 and takes its name from a species of wasp that fly to a high altitude.

Kröller-Müller Museum, Dutch, sculpture, drawing, artPanamarenko, Polistes, jet-propelled rubber car, 1974, steel, wood, polyurethane foam, rubber,
fabric, glass fibre, silicon, pvc, 98.5 x 209 x 378 cm, Courtesy of Kröller-Müller Museum. Photograph: Cary Markerink

Carel Visser, a constructivist sculptor and collagist from Raavenswaay is celebrated for his elegant minimalist works from metal and concrete. Visser incorporated collage into his sculptures using a variety of materials which included iron, sand, cardboard, glass and even walking sticks from the British Rail lost property office. His work, Cart implies movement with a neat trail of sand which appears to reference the slow drudgery of historical farming techniques.

Kröller-Müller Museum, Dutch, sculpture, drawing, artCarel Visser, Cart, 1981, photo: Marjon Gemmeke, steel, wood, rubber, glass, plaster, cardboard, rope, sand, 117 x 455 x 170 cm, Courtesy Kröller-Müller Museum / Photo: Marjon Gemmeke

by Miranda Charalambous

The exhibition, Move On opens is on from November 26  until April  23, 2017 at The Kröller-Müller Museum, Houtkampweg 6, 6731 AW Otterlo, Holland

Email: info@krollermuller.nl
Telephone: +31 (0)318 591 241

Front page image: Panamarenko, Polistes, jet-propelled rubber car, 1974, steel, wood, polyurethane foam, rubber, fabric, glass fibre, silicon, pvc, 98.5 x 209 x 378 cm, Courtesy of Kröller-Müller Museum / Photo: Cary Markerink

 

Artists Leap Towards New Forms of Knowledge at Modern Art Oxford

IN CELEBRATION of its 50th anniversary, Modern Art Oxford stages the third exhibition of Kaleidoscope, a programme that showcases significant art of the past and new commissions from well-known contemporary artists. The exhibition, Mystics and Rationalists comprises drawing, sculpture and video animation by Daniel Buren, Sol Le Witt, Dorothy Cross, Ibrahim El-Salahi, Dan Graham, Yoko Ono, Karla Black and Amy Silman.

art, exhibitionsDorothy Cross, Doorway (detail) 2014. Photograph © The artist and Kerlin Gallery, Dublin.

Informed by the words of Sol Le Witt that “conceptual artists are mystics, rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach”, this exhibition defies traditional convention by offering an alternative view of the world. These artists push boundaries or challenge the processes of modern day technology using a range of materials as paradigms for their unusual creations.

Ibrahim El-Salahi, The Tree, 2000. India ink and coloured ink on Bristol board. Photo © Vigo Gallery and the artistIbrahim El-Salahi, The Tree, 2000. India ink and coloured ink on Bristol board.
Photograph © Vigo Gallery and the artist

by Miranda Charalambous

The exhibition, Mystics and Rationalists at Modern Art Oxford runs until July 31, 2016.