Carnegie International promises artistic surprises

The global art show breaks away from predecessors in its approach


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The Carnegie International, a more or less triennial report on the state of contemporary global art, upends expectations in every incarnation. But the 2013 edition, which opens in October, is presenting a mix that will set a new course for audiences.

The following list of International participants released today by the Carnegie Museum of Art signals that change by including collectives and collections as well as artists.

International curators Daniel Baumann, Dan Byers and Tina Kukielski adopted an expansive view that represents the vast territory of global creative expression and new directions in the very way art and art institutions are perceived. The 35 individuals or groups from 19 countries work in a wide range of media and include well established and emerging talents. Two are deceased. The museum tantalizingly cites a "series of large-scale commissions throughout the museum and beyond" to be revealed later.

The accompanying thumbnails are first impressions that hint at the burst of creative energy and outside-the-box thinking arriving in the fall. Watch for extensive regular coverage of CI13 leading up to the show's opening weekend Oct. 4-6:

Ei Arakawa/Henning Bohl

The artists are producing a film in collaboration for the International.


The International

  • Andrew Carnegie established and exhibition series now known the world over as the Carnegie International in 1986, the year after he founded the Carnegie Institute. The exhibition of global contemporary art is generally held every three years. The last one was in 2008-09.


Born: 1977, Fukushima, Japan

Lives: New York City

Etc.: A film, video and performance artist, Mr. Arakawa earned degrees from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. His 2012 "performance-cum-exhibition, 'I Am An Employee of United, Volume 2,' " included "a vision of excess compressed into a YouTube clip. The artist dimmed the lights and hit play on his MacBook Pro, projecting a video of a death metal band performing in a low-ceilinged wooden coop, complete with chickens, spilled blood, heavy guitar riffs and an appearance by performance artist Bob Flanagan," according to Paul Soto, writing for Art in America magazine.

Henning Bohl

Born: 1975, Oldenburg, Germany

Lives: Hamburg, Germany

Etc.: "Hovering between figuration and abstraction, minimalism and the decorative, Henning Bohl deconstructs the meaning of found objects by systematically creating new way(s) to represent and understand them." The artist's 2007 exhibition "History of Garden Theory" presented mixed-media works in an installation of landscapes, fences, ceramic frogs and lanterns that create a metaphorical garden in the gallery space. (Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York City)

Phyllida Barlow

Born: 1944, Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Lives: London

Etc.: A sculptor, painter and installation artist whose "sculptural installations function somewhere between the autonomous and the associative. By shifting scale and composition, her structures and objects play with the familiar and seem to take command of a space whilst appearing temporary and incomplete. Her work references painterly abstraction both through the deployment of colour and the materials she uses." (http://frieze.com/issue/review/phyllida-barlow)

Yael Bartana

Born: 1970, Kfar Yehezkel, Israel

Lives: Tel-Aviv and Amsterdam

Etc.: A video artist who explores the imagery of cultural identity. In Ms. Bartana's photographs, films and installations, she critically investigates her native country's struggle for identity. Her early work documents collective rituals introducing alienation effects such as slow-motion and sound. In recent work, the artist stages situations and introduces fictive moments into real existing narratives. (www.annetgelink.com.)

Sadie Benning

Born: 1973, Milwaukee, Wis.

Lives: New York City

Etc.: Began making videos at age 16 when her father, experimental filmmaker James Benning, gave her a Pixelvision camcorder for Christmas. "Play Pause," a two-channel video that offers a rhythmic and affectionate view of contemporary life in a city's streets, parks, and gay bars, comprises hundreds of Ms. Benning's drawings and was exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Bidoun Library

What: "The Bidoun Library, founded in 2009 by Bidoun Projects, is a mobile library consisting of books, magazines and other printed matter. Since the turn of the last century, the term 'Middle East,' which was coined in the West, has existed more as a subject for discussion and study than a geographical area. Bidoun Library is an attempt to survey this territory through its printed matter.

"Bidoun Projects are conceived and managed by a collective of curators, editors, and artists based in Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, the UAE, the UK and the U.S. Bidoun commissions and curates unique artists' projects, exhibitions, and educational events around the world." (www.bidoun.org/bidoun-projects/bidoun-library)

Carnegie Museum of Art Collection

What: When Andrew Carnegie established the exhibition now known as the Carnegie International, one goal was to build the museum's collection through the purchase of "the old masters of tomorrow." In recognition of this goal and the fact that the International is the only international exhibition of contemporary art tied to an institution, the curators have designated the collection a player in the 2013 International and will reinstall the permanent collection of modern and contemporary art to highlight the International's legacy.

Nicole Eisenman

Born: 1965, Verdun, France

Lives: New York City

Etc.: "Nicole Eisenman's exhibitions have taken the shape of installations of paintings, drawings, collages, assemblages, found objects and murals. Piles and spills, wall-bound works on paper and canvas, and things hanging from ceilings are there to make her subject matter and form enjoyable to the viewer. Her installations seem to be transported from the room of a very talented teenager whose moods shift effortlessly from nice to nasty." (Arnold J. Kemp, www.queer-arts.org)

Lara Favaretto

Born: 1973, Treviso, Italy

Lives: Turin, Italy

Etc.: Has worked with a range of media throughout her career including performance, sculpture, installation and video. Ms. Favaretto provokes and engages her audiences with work that is both playful and celebratory while paradoxically evoking the inevitability of failure and decay. A Sharjah Biennial installation paired multi-coloured car wash brushes that spun provocatively perhaps like the couples whom each pair was named after including Amamiya and Sasayama, Bobby and Laura, Harold and Maude. (www.sharjahart.org/people/people-by-alphabet/f/favaretto-lara)

Vincent Fecteau

Born: 1969, Islip, N.Y.

Lives: San Francisco

Etc.: Explores the limitations and possibilities of sculpture through works such as those in his "360-degree sculptures" series -- two-sided, wall-hung works that were periodically rotated or reversed to present a perceptively different artwork with overt and subtle changes that alter the viewer's experience. Through such actions, Mr. Fecteau also asks what determines when an artwork is completed.

Rodney Graham

Born: 1949, Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada

Lives: Vancouver

Etc.: Considered both a philosophical and historical artist, Mr. Graham has worked across a variety of media, including photography, music, sculpture, books and painting. His work often examines social, historical and philosophical systems as well as literature and popular culture. (www.artspace.com/rodney_graham.)

Guo Fengyi

Born: 1942, Xi'an, Sha'anxi Province, People's Republic of China. Died there in 2010.

Etc.: When severe arthritis forced Ms. Guo from her rubber factory work at age 39, she turned to alternative medicine and found a new spiritual path in Qi Gong. She started experiencing visions in 1989, which inspired her to draw, first on the backs of calendar pages and then on rice paper. She worked with Indian ink and brushes, producing works up to five meters long, drawn with no initial plan in mind, discovering her own creation as she worked. The multitude of delicate lines form ghostly figures, dragons, phoenixes and faces, sometimes interwoven, smiling and serene or terrifying and monstrous. (http://edlingallery.com/artist/guo-fengyi.)

Wade Guyton

Born: 1972, Hammond, Ind.

Lives: New York City

Etc.: Hot off a 2012 solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Mr. Guyton "has pioneered a groundbreaking body of work that explores our changing relationships to images and artworks through the use of common digital technologies such as the desktop computer, scanner and inkjet printer." (Whitney Museum)

Rokni Haerizadeh

Born:1978, Tehran, Iran

Lives: Dubai, Emirate of Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Etc.: Works ranging from painting to collage, sculpture and animation explore the extremities of human behavior. Mr. Haerizadeh distorts, ravages and regenerates narratives mimicking those of ephemeral oral cultures from Coffee House painting narrative to contemporary news broadcasts. He depicts a decadent world, exaggerated by a fantastical sense of the absurd. (www.ivde.net/artists/Rokni_Haerizadeh_bio.html)

He An

Born: 1971 Wuhan, Hubei, People's Republic of China

Lives: Beijing, People's Republic of China

Etc.: Mr. He's works "reflect the impact of western mainstream culture upon the emergent youth culture in China, and its enthusiasm for contemporary music, fashion, art and ideas." His 2007 "Matrix," based on the 1999 film, "portrays a future in which reality as perceived by humans is actually simulated, created by sentient machines in order to pacify and subdue the human population while their bodies' heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source." (www.initialaccess.co.uk/artist.php?aid=96&id=14.)

Amar Kanwar

Born: 1964, New Delhi, India

Lives: New Delhi

Etc.: Mr. Kanwar is an artist and filmmaker whose poetic documentaries and video installations examine nationalism, politics, violence and social performance in the Indian subcontinent (www.sharjahart.org/people/people-by-alphabet/k/kanwar-amar.)

Dinh Q. Lê

Born: 1968, Ha-Tien, Kien Giang Province, Vietnam

Lives: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Los Angeles

Etc.: A filmmaker and photographer whose family fled southern Vietnam in 1978. He earned degrees from the University of California-Santa Barbara and The School of Visual Arts in New York City and returned to Vietnam in 1993. Mr. Lê co-founded Vietnam Art Foundation-VNFA, a Los Angeles-based organization that supports Vietnamese artists and promotes artistic exchange between cultural workers from Vietnam and others around the world. Through VNFA, Mr. Lê and three other artists co-founded San Art, a nonprofit gallery in Ho Chi Minh City.

Mark Leckey

Born: 1964, Birkenhead, England

Lives: London

Etc.: A founding member of the musical collectives Donateller and Jack too Jack, Mr. Leckey was awarded the Turner Prize by Tate Britain in 2008. "Desire and transformation are key motifs in Mark Leckey's work, returning repeatedly in a variety of manifestations. His own state of being -- an artist in London, a participant in contemporary culture, and a man who grew up in the 1980s in the north of England -- is used as a construct through which he can investigate these forces. His wide-ranging and multi-disciplinary practice combines sculpture, film, sound and performance." (Tate Britain)

Pierre Leguillon

Born: 1960, Paris, France

Lives: Brussels, Belgium

Etc.: A curator and critic as well as visual artist, he published the journal Sommaire from 1991 to 1996. Mr. Leguillon "creates slideshows, objects and assemblages using a methodology based on accumulation, selection and sequencing. The content of the non-narrative slideshows -- whether installation photographs, artworks, film stills, postcards, magazines, or music -- is revised for each presentation and often possesses a disarming wit and elusiveness ... . The finely crafted juxtapositions subtly affect the meaning of the components within. (California College of the Arts)

Sarah Lucas

Born: 1962, London, England

Lives: London

Etc: One of the splash-making Young British Artists, her in-your-face sculpture, installation and photography addresses sexual exploitation of the female body. "In the early 1990s she began using furniture as a substitute for the human body, usually with crude genital punning. In works such as Bitch (table, T-shirt, melons, vacuum-packed smoked fish, 1995), she merges low-life misogynist tabloid culture with the economy of the ready-made, with the intention of confronting sexual stereotyping." (www.tate.org.uk)

Tobias Madison

Born: 1985, Basel, Switzerland

Lives: Zurich

Etc: Questions art world hierarchies and art market branding through his own work and with fellow artists who oversee the New Jersey exhibition space in Basel and a cinema and bookshop in the Wipkingen neighbourhood of Zürich. His media include sculpture, video, projection, computer-generated and -assisted painting, audio pieces, texts, photographs and scans.

Zanele Muholi

Born: 1972, Umlazi, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa

Lives: Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Etc: A photographer and founder of the Forum for the Empowerment of Women, a black lesbian organization in the South African province of Gauteng. Ms. Muholi received a Fanny Ann Eddy accolade from IRN-Africa, which supports LGBT research, for her contributions to the study of sexuality in Africa in 2009, the year she was also artist-in-residence at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Paulina Olowska

Born: 1976, Gdansk, Poland

Lives: Mszana Dolna, Poland

Etc: An exhibitor in biennials including Venice (2003), Moscow and Istanbul (both 2005) and Berlin (2008), Ms. Olowska earned a bachelor's degree in fine arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and master's of fine arts at the Academy of Fine Arts, Gdansk. "Employing a wide range of media, including painting, collage, installation, performance, fashion and music, Ms. Olowska explores histories of Modernist and utopian aspiration." (www.thefalmouthconvention.com/paulina-olowska)

The Playground Project

What: One of the first clues that this International was going to be just a little bit different -- and very family-friendly -- is the pocket park/playground with Lozziwurm being built in front of the museum on Forbes Avenue. The related Playground Project, described as the first phase of the International exhibition, will open in June and be the inspiration for summer art camps. Some camp projects may even end up in the big show in the fall.

Pedro Reyes

Born: 1972, Mexico City

Lives: Mexico City

Etc: The Museum of Hypothetical Lifetimes, wherein the visitor moves through his or her life from cradle to grave, and the SANATORIUM, wherein the visitor is invited to tuck into a bottle an anonymous secret and float it in a vessel in exchange for one left by a previous writer, are two examples of what we might expect from this fertile mind. Mr. Reyes studied architecture at the Ibero-American University, Mexico City.

Kamran Shirdel

Born: 1939, Tehran, Iran

Lives: Tehran

Etc: Considered a father figure of Iran's new cinema and documentary school of filmmaking, he is founder and director of the Kish International Documentary Film Festival, the only independent documentary film festival in Iran. Mr. Shirdel studied architecture, urbanism, design and film direction at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome, where he met such seminal film figures as Roberto Rossellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini. He later made documentaries for the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Art that championed the poor and criticized corrupt power. When the government put a stop to those, he turned to industrial and educational films. His films are widely shown in international film festivals.

Gabriel Sierra

Born: 1975, San Juan Nepomuceno, Bolivar, Colombia

Lives: Bogotá

Etc: Trained as an industrial designer, Mr. Sierra transforms the discarded materials of popular culture into "unpretentious yet curious objects that attempt to satisfy the true needs of ordinary people." (centrefortheaestheticrevolution.blog).

Taryn Simon

Born: 1975, New York City

Lives: New York City

Etc: The artist employs photography, text and graphic design to "investigate the impossibility of absolute understanding by opening up the space between text and image where disorientation occurs and ambiguity reigns" (the artist's website). "Contraband" comprises 1,075 images of items removed from passengers or mail entering the United States from abroad, a meld of desired object and perceived threat. For "A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters I-XVIII," Ms. Simon compiled a file of bloodlines and stories both cohesive and arbitrary including subjects as varied as Bosnia genocide victims and Australian disease-infected rabbits.

Frances Stark

Born: 1967, Newport Beach, Calif.

Lives: Los Angeles

Etc: Combining interests in writing and visual arts, Ms. Stark explores sociopolitical concerns of the 1960s and '70s in mixed media works. "Her published writing, ranging from quasi-autobiographical narrative musings to aphoristic essays, is marked throughout by a keen visual acuity, while her art presses language into service as medium and subject" (Whitney Biennial 2008).

Joel Sternfeld

Born: 1944, New York City

Lives: New York City

Etc: A much-awarded photographer for images that come from searching rather than staging including a NEA Photographers Fellowship, Prix de Rome and Higashikawa Festival of Photography, Japan, Grand Prize. "Among American documentary photographers working in large-format color, the pictures set a standard for clarity, sociological breadth and sardonic humor" (New York Times, 2004).

Mladen Stilinovic

Born: 1947, Belgrade, Serbia

Lives: Zagreb, Croatia

Etc: A leading Central and Eastern European Conceptual artist, Mr. Stilinovic began with experimental films and progressed to a 90-part installation incorporating collage, drawing, painting and photography. Through actions, exhibitions and books he has authored, he asserts the position of the artist as a corrective agent in a society, generally from an absurdest viewpoint.

Zoe Strauss

Born: 1970, Philadelphia

Lives: Philadelphia

Etc: An installation artist and photographer who holds an annual one-woman exhibit "Under I-95," displayed under Interstate 95 in South Philadelphia. On her 30th birthday, Ms. Strauss was given a camera and since then has been taking pictures of people, Philadelphia neighborhoods, abandoned places, empty parking lots, etc. She wasn't trained in photography and did not graduate from college. She took only one photography course at a community college as a teenager.

Henry Taylor

Born: 1958, Oxnard, Calif.

Lives: Los Angeles

Etc: One of eight children raised by a single mother, Mr. Taylor worked odd jobs, including a 10-year stint as a psychiatric technician, before earning a bachelor's degree at the California Institute of the Arts in 1995. He paints on a wide range of found materials, including cigarette and cereal boxes, cutting boards and suitcases, but also on traditional canvases.

Tezuka Architects

What: Principals Takaharu Tezuka (born 1964) and Yui Tezuka (1969) established the firm, headquartered in Tokyo, in 1994 and design both private houses and community buildings. Their most innovative concept is the Roof House, in which the daily life of residents expands onto the roof.

Transformazium

What: A collective of five people (Ruthie Stringer, Dana Bishop-Root, Erin Harrell, Leslie Stem and Caledonia Curry) with backgrounds in the arts and arts management. Most moved from Brooklyn to Braddock and North Braddock. "Individually we are artists, designers, farmers, interactivists, communication theorists, neighbors. Together we are an arts-based community organization." Current projects include deconstructing an abandoned church with the dual purpose of recycling materials and perhaps supplementing income.

Erika Verzutti

Born: 1971, São Paulo, Brazil

Lives: São Paulo, Brazil

Etc: A sculptor and painter who studied at Goldsmith College in London. Ms. Verzutti "uses a variety of materials -- from clay, cement and paper to real or fake vegetables and fruits, and ready-mades -- to create imagery of a free and organic nature" (http://tokyojiten.net/presentation/en/957).

Joseph Yoakum

Born: 1890 in Ash Grove, Mo., and died in Chicago in 1972

Etc: A self-taught African-American man whose independent thinking and compulsive image-making fit the profile of Outsider artist. Mr. Yoakum painted "landscapes with mountains, water, trees and winding roads in abstract and complex configurations. His period of greatest activity was 1965 to 1970 when he usually made one drawing a day. He dated his works with a rubber stamp -- an oddly impersonal, labor-saving device." (Lynda Roscoe Hartigan on The Hemphill Folk Art Collection in the National Museum of American Art.)

mobilehome - neigh_city - artarchitecture

Kevin Kirkland contributed research. Post-Gazette art critic Mary Thomas: mthomas@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1925. First Published April 3, 2013 4:00 AM


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