Sunday, August 17, 2014

Meta Cool Places, or: Paintings about painting - an art short trip

At the start of the year, I was in Stuttgart city for some meetings, and knew I might have some spare time at the end of the day before the museums close. In the end, all that remained were 30 minutes. I still went, and what seemed to be just a short art moment at the end of a winter day turned into a rough plan for the year:
"Trying to make space and time for mini-trips and for art - that's what I started in January 2014, and each time, I was glad for it." (Places & Links: art short trips)"

Cool Places

Last week, I was in Stuttgart again, and revisited the same museum, with its new exhibition "Cool Places". The exhibition features paintings that together form a reflection on modern painting, it was rather varied and colorful, with good contrasts, but also a bit abstract. I probably wouldn't have visited if I hadn't been in Stuttgart anyway. But again, I am so glad that I went.

Here are some impressions from the museum, combined with the official introduction - the museum is rather modern in architecture, constructed as a cube made out of cubes. The different rooms and levels open into each other, which creates open connections between the paintings and scultpures on display:

"With "Cool Places", the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart is devoting a large exhibition to important aspects of current painting, ranging from abstract and figurative to conceptual approaches. It includes examples of Neorealism, as well as works influenced by Appropriation Art, Constructivism, and Op-Art."

"On view will be over sixty keyworks, with numerous large scale pieces by Glenn Brown, André Butzer, Günther Förg, Philip Guston, Jeff Koons, Beatriz Milhazes, Albert Oehlen, Neo Rauch, Daniel Richter, Bridget Riley, Julian Schnabel, and Christopher Wool. The selection will be supplemented from sculptures by Glenn Brown, Jeff Koons, and Rebecca Warren, as well as films from Darren Almond that highlight the impact of painterly modes of expression in other media."


Beyond the paintings

While at the exhbition, I enjoyed being there, but felt a bit overwhelmed, too - both by the abstract theme, and by the open space that keeps pulling your attention to the next thing to see, wherever you are.

Also, I felt that the exhibition for me felt a bit too mixed with the different styles and topics, many different painters. But then, you probably need this kind of variety to develop a self reflective meta-theme and its many layers.

A day later, I looked up one of the painters, Bridget Riley, and was fascinated.

I saw some of her work before, and always thought she belonged to the current contemporary group of artists, but she is a pioneer really – and is 80 now! And still working and giving interviews and being part of exhibitions. I was stunned, and read an interview with her. Here is an image collage of Riley's work:

And now I am curious for the other painters, too. So maybe this is an exhibition that grows slower from effect. And good that there is the internet, which makes it possible to continue the exhibition in another way. Just following links to Riley's work brought me to 2 art network webites with blogrolls and exhibition links:

So the Cool Place (which actually is the name of both one of Riley's featured paintings, and of the exhibition itself) now leads to more cool places..

And finally, to follow the series of art selfies I started to take, here's the one from last week:


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