Last week I was in Sarajevo and visited an exhibition opening in gallery Duplex 100m2. The exhibition was great, but I caught this corner in a side room, a painting and poster showing Radenko Milak‘s work, and another wall object. It says: “The war is over! Let’s go to Venice.” Somewhat blurry images, which made my thoughts sharp.
Well, is it? And if yes, what war? As Venice Biennale is indeed celebrating world’s differences and joint life ahead (its slogan being “All the world’s future”), I can’t help thinking about all wars that are currently taking place, world’s past and the future that seems more complicated and blurry as never.
Before going to dOCUMENTA, I had a privilege (with time) to make a stop in Frankfurt and visit a must-see exhibition of Jeff Koons. Enfant terrible of several decades already and highly disputed and discussed about mega-artist has some amazing shows in Frankfurt and Basel. I had a chance to visit both Liebieghaus, for sculptures, and Schirn Kunsthalle, for his paintings.
Paintings were shown in one big hall and were combined there from several series and time periods, ranging from “Celebration”, “Made in Heaven”, “Antiquity”, just to name few.
Jeff Koons, The Painter, Exhibition in Schirn Kunsthalle
However, Koons’ sculptures were the ones that made me think/laugh/look around/smile and again think about them way longer after leaving the space. Not only that his pieces were provocative for themselves (‘balloons’ – that are not; e.g. made of stainless steel, all with ‘creases’, and several tones heavy), but the curatorial design and dramaturgy was amazing. Jeff Koons was placed right in the middle of antique and medieval classics. I have seen his ceramic women taking the bath right in front of renaissance tiles with Venus or Koons Cherubs next to baroque Eros and Psyche. After all, feel free to judge for yourself:
“Popeye”, 2009 – 2011
“Metallic Venus”, 2012
“Hulks (Bell)”, 2004 – 2012
“Woman in Tub”, 1988
To me art is about self-acceptance, and once you learn to accept yourself, automatically there’s a transcendence to going outward; it directs you to the acceptance of others, and everything is a metaphor for that acceptance—whether it’s working with objects, or images, or anything from the external world… [It] is a metaphor for the acceptance of others.
— could not agree more with him.
The exhibition is to be seen by 23 September.