Wednesday, June 6, 2012

dOCUMENTA XIII in Kassell Germany

Even if you aren't going to Europe it is still good to know what shows are going on there. Reading about shows keeps you informed about art and makes you knowledgeable about artists you previously may not have heard of.

dOCUMENTA a modern and contemporary art exhibition takes place in Kassel, Germany every five years and is limited to 100 days. This year 2012 will see dOCUMENTA XIII begin on Jun 9, 2012. It coincides with the Venice Biennale, Art Basel and Skulptur Projekte Münster. It is seen as one of the most important exhitions in the modern art world along with the Venice Biennale. The first documenta took place in 1955 and was begun by artist Arnold Bode. He founded it as part of the Bundesgartenschau (Federal Horticultural Show) which took place in Kassel at that time. From the Artistic Director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev,Over 150 artists from 55 countries and other participants from around the world will gather and present artworks, including sculpture, performance, installation, research, archiving and curatorial projects, painting, photography, film and video, text and audio works as well as other objects and experiments in the fields of art, politics, literature, philosophy, and science. dOCUMENTA (13) that aims to explore how different forms of knowledge lie at the heart of the active exercise of re-imagining the world.”

Arnold Bode choose the word documenta, a word he made up, to be to be a documentation of modern art which was not available for the German public during the Nazi era.(Wikipedia). Documenta of 1955 concentrated on "Entartete Kunst" or degentarte art, the term the Nazi’s used to describe all modern art. Modern art was thought to be un-German or Jewish in nature. Degenerate Art was also the title of an exhibition, mounted by the Nazis in Munich in 1937, consisting of modernist artworks chaotically hung and accompanied by text labels deriding the art. Designed to inflame public opinion against modernism, the exhibition subsequently traveled to several other cities in Germany and Austria.

Bode focused documenta 1 on these artists and art movements that the German public were forbidden to see, Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, Blauer Reiter Futurism, and Pittura Metafisica. Therefore, abstract art, in particular the abstract paintings of the 1920s and 1930s were the focus of interest in this exhibition. Over time, the focus shifted to contemporary art. At first, the show was limited on works from Europe, but it soon covered works of artists from the Americas.

This year dOCUMENTA hosts nearly 300 artists 

Read more about dOCUMENTA at their Facebook page and the Biennial Foundation.

Some books at the Central library that cover the art movements mentioned above:

The Favues
Fauvism was the first of the avant-garde movements that flourished in France in the early years of the twentieth century. The Fauve painters were the first to break with Impressionism as well as with older, traditional methods of perception. Their spontaneous, often subjective response to nature was expressed in bold, undisguised brushstrokes and high-keyed, vibrant colors directly from the tube.(Met).

Abstract Expressionism
A new vanguard emerged in the early 1940s, primarily in New York, where a small group of loosely affiliated artists created a stylistically diverse body of work that introduced radical new directions in art—and shifted the art world's focus. Never a formal association, the artists known as "Abstract Expressionists" or "The New York School" did, however, share some common assumptions. Among others, artists such as Jackson Pollock (1912–1956), Willem de Kooning (1904–1997), Franz Kline (1910–1962), Lee Krasner (1908–1984), Robert Motherwell (1915–1991), William Baziotes (1912–1963), Mark Rothko (1903–1970), Barnett Newman (1905–1970), Adolph Gottlieb (1903–1974), Richard Pousette-Dart (1916–1992), and Clyfford Still (1904–1980). (Met).

Blauer Reiter
(The Blue Rider)
German group of artists active in Munich from 1911 to 1914. The principal members were Vasily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Gabriele Münter (see Still-life with Vases, No. 2, 1914), Alfred Kubin, Paul Klee and August Macke. The group’s aim was to express the inner desires of the different artists in a variety of forms, rather than to strive for a unified style or theme. It was the successor to the Neue künstlervereinigung münchen (NKVM), founded in Munich in 1909. (MoMA).

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