Artist Taloi Havini and Ruth McDougall, curator of Pacific art at Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, discuss Havini's first Australian solo exhibition, Reclamation .
'This year's Biennale of Sydney seems like a corrective,' writes Soo-Min Shim, 'prioritising autonomy in an international exhibition format that has all too often omitted or sidelined First Nations artists.'
In the United States, parallels have been drawn between the HIV/AIDS crisis and what is unfolding with Covid-19. These connections feed into P·P·O·W's online exhibition, Hell is a Place on Earth. Heaven is a Place in Your Head .
Known for his kaleidoscopic abstract works, Simon Hantaï (1922–2008) originated the technique of pliage (folding), in which a canvas is crumpled and knotted, uniformly painted over, and then spread out to reveal a matrix of alternations between pigment and ground. Born in Bia, Hungary, Hantaï studied at the Budapest School of Fine Arts from 1941 to 1946. In 1948 he moved to Paris after receiving a government grant to study there; after his grant was later revoked in the wake of the escalating Sovietisation of his homeland, he decided to stay. In Paris, he met André Breton in December 1952 and quickly became associated with the Parisian Surrealists, completing several fantastical animal-themed paintings before encountering the work of Jackson Pollock and breaking with the Surrealist ideologies in 1955. Pollock’s action paintings and the work of the Abstract Expressionists directly inspired Hantaï’s own turn toward monumentally scaled abstraction.Read More
Hantaï began creating pliage paintings in 1960, conceiving of the process as a marriage between Surrealist automatism and the allover gestures of Abstract Expressionism. The technique dominated the work he made during the rest of his career, re-emerging in diverse forms–sometimes as a network of crisp creases of unpainted canvas spanning the composition, and at other times as a monochrome mass manifesting in the centre of an unprimed canvas. Hantaï left Paris and moved to Meun, France, in 1966, becoming a French citizen that year. He gained increasing recognition in France throughout the 1960s and 1970s, culminating in his selection as the country’s representative at the 1982 Venice Biennale. Months later, however, he withdrew from the public eye and chose not to exhibit new works until 1998, when he ended his self-imposed retreat. In 2008 Hantaï died at his home in Paris, leaving behind a corpus of fractal-like compositions whose surfaces exist in flux between deliberate and arbitrary mark making.
Text courtesy Gagosian.
The Blancs, a series of paintings that Simon Hantaï (1922-2008) created in the early 1970s, have shards of transparent color that are arrayed over expanses of white space. These delicate large-scale works vary in the intensity of their tonalities, but all have a kind of wind-blown unpredictability, so that we are not exactly sure of how the pieces...
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