Born in Glasgow in 1966, Douglas Gordon is today among the most important as well as the most influential artists of his generation. While he is famous for his films and large-scale video installations such as 24 Hours Psycho, his oeuvre also encompasses photographs, texts, sculptures and sound installations. In addition to Play Dead; Real Time, one of Gordon’s chief pieces, the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst also has a number of other photo and video works by this artist in its holdings. Together they will provide the point of departure for the first major retrospective to be presented on Douglas Gordon in Europe since his show at the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg in 2007. With his analyses of images drawn from the collective memory and everyday culture, Gordon exposes basic patterns of perception. Within this framework, his works often revolve around phenomena of duplication and reflection: the couple, the double, light and dark, guilt and justice, etc. His latest work is entitled k.364, which stands for “Köchelverzeichnis No. 364”, the Köchel catalogue number assigned to the Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Vienna in 1779. After hearing this work of chamber music in Poznań (Poland), Gordon organized another performance of it with the well-known musicians Avri Levitan (viola), Roi Shiloah (violin) and the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Polish Radio. The musicians’ journey from Berlin to Warsaw by way of Poznań and the performance of the symphony in Warsaw account for the major proportion of the film. The two musicians’ conversations on their way to Poland reveal that their pasts, and those of their parents, are complexly interwoven with German-Polish relations, and above all with the history of the Polish Jews during World War II. The new film k.364 will be supplemented with the pieces by Gordon in the MMK collection and a large number of other prominent works of the past years to form a comprehensive exhibition – the first to assemble the latest works and thus to provide a concentrated and impressive overview of this multifaceted artist’s oeuvre. On view from November 19 to March 25 at the Museum für Moderne Kunst.
Ancestor skull covered in feathers from Papa New Guinea at the De Young museum. Photograph by Oliver Maxwell Kupper.
Sergeant Kendall, Cypripedia, 1927 at the De Young museum. Photograph by Oliver Maxwell Kupper.
John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Caroline de Bassano, Marquise d’Espeuilles, 1884, at the De Young museum. Photograph by Oliver Maxwell Kupper.
Exhibition view of Ralph Eugene Meatyard: Dolls & Masks, an amazing exhibition as the De Young Museum. Photograph by Oliver Maxwell Kupper.
Talking Pictures brings together over 200 black and white images culled from Ellen Graham’s work for such magazines as People and Time, her personal archives, and her collection of family photographs. Each photograph is accompanied by a personal narrative that takes you behind the scenes of these celebrated images and breathes life into the glamour of Hollywood’s golden age. Each portrait captures a rare and unguarded moment in the lives of these highly-photographed stars, giving a truly intimate and fresh look at such legendary figures as Frank Sinatra, Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, and Prince Albert of Monaco. Whether shooting actors, performers, or European royalty, Graham redefines the resonating myths that have come to surround these iconic characters. Ellen Graham: Talking Pictures is out now on Pointed Lead Press.
Exhibition view of Hedi Slimane’s California Song now on view at MoCA Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. Photograph by Hedi Slimane
No Age performs at Hedi Slimane’s opening of California Song at MoCA Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. Photograph by Hedi Slimane
Performance at Hedi Slimane’s opening of California Song at MoCA Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. Photograph by Hedi Slimane
Thomas Ruff (b. 1958), known for his deadpan portraits and gorgeous views of the night sky and architecture, is one of Germany’s leading contemporary artist/photographers. Among his work is an exploration of the internet, that parallel visual universe teeming with sexuality of every flavor and variety. He gathers from that virtual playground erotic and often pornographic photographs that he subsequently manipulates in his computer, making beautiful–and disturbing–artwork from visual material that, for better or worse, is probably more abundant than any other type of image in our world today. The pictures, which are graphic and abstract at the same time, are accompanied by an excerpt from a forthcoming novel by controversial French writer Michel Houellebecq, whose work is similarly influenced by the sex industry. Reviewing the series in the Village Voice, Jerry Saltz wrote: “Ruff may think these images are analytic or objective, but they’re also sweetly, luxuriantly visual…Sex slips into something ravishingly, optically comfortable, and these everyday, off-world images morph into parapaintings from the Planet Love.”