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Arturo Herrera’s Latest Works Reinvigorate Modernist Collage Practices

ArtNews News Feed - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 13:18

View of Arturo Herrera’s 2019 exhibition at Corbett vs. Dempsey.

Venezuela-born, Berlin-based artist Arturo Herrera breathes life into well-worn practices of modernist collage, exploring the tensions between exactitude and spontaneity, placement and displacement. As chameleonic as he is consistent, he also plies such tensions in many other mediums, ranging from wall painting to screen prints to stainless steel relief and glass sculpture. This latest show featured a few recent series that employed different formats, scales, and materials yet shared some common tropes—most notably, the playful, partial occlusion of figurative imagery by nonobjective forms, and motifs concerning modern dance and the body’s movement in space.

Seven collage works, “I Heard Them and I Still Hear Them/Elements Nº 1–7” (2018), feature materials in arrangements of nested rectangles. Found black-and-white photographs of anonymous individuals engaged in various everyday activities float atop reproductions from a French catalogue of Picasso’s work and pieces of colored paper, the layered compositions pasted onto plywood supports painted in various modes of abstraction. The most salient feature of the pieces is their proliferation of right angles, a quality in many cases enhanced by the artist’s cropping of the Picasso plates. In one collage, Herrera has emphasized the empty space around the Picasso reproduction, using that blankness to set off a rectangular slice of abstraction at left. In the same work, the rippling reflection of an anonymous man wading into water in a photograph rhymes subtly with the black-and-white Picasso reproduction to which the image is affixed. The Spaniard’s legacy informs these works not simply through imagery but also through the anxiety of his influence, both as the preeminent avant-garde artist and the co-originator of modernist collage.

In fifteen collages titled “Set Design Studies for Dance/Elements Nº 1–15” (2019), Herrera has created more chaotically organized compositions, layering swatches of painted canvas, screen-printed imagery, photographs of dancers, and strips of felt on pink construction paper. Rather than presenting practical set designs, these studies evoke the potential (and lyrical) intersection of dancing bodies with sets, props, curtains, and other scenographic elements. Here, too, Herrera obscures and reveals in equal measure. A slice of felt descends over the photograph of a dancing figure, leaving only her feet exposed. If the photographs offer glimpses of some larger narrative, their partial concealment reveals the proverbial dance of form—the play of shapes torn from and shorn of context—to be the real subject of the works. Some of the pieces’ formal consonances—an arm rhyming with a wayward felt swatch, for instance—would have benefited from more breathing room. The works were hung in a tight grid that somewhat obscured the cadences within and among the compositions. 

Arturo Herrera: Body and Feet Positions in Relation to Line of Dance Nº6, 2019, clear and black glass panel over pencil drawing on wall, 16 1/2 by 23 2/5 inches; at Corbett vs. Dempsey.

As optically striking as they are conceptually beguiling, nine works combining glass panels and wall drawings were displayed in the final gallery with enough room around them to accommodate the athleticism to which their title alludes: “Body and Feet Positions in Relation to Line of Dance Nº 1–9.” Based on the imagined trajectory of a dancer across a stage, a single abstract form was drawn at even intervals and the same height on three walls. Before each drawing hung an individual glass plate topped with black glass shapes in different configurations that partially filled in the outline on the wall, evoking the gestures and pauses that punctuate a dancer’s movement. The works’ diagrammatic nature calls to mind graphs or maps, while their conceptual and structuralist dimensions conjure installations by Barry Le Va, Sol LeWitt, and other artists concerned with the potential intellectual depth of flatness. The dance motifs, in other words, become abstracted and schematized, inevitably recalling Duchamp’s glass works. Yet Herrera’s slick panels also have a sensuous materiality: the black areas have a liquid, pooled quality—as if the results of pouring molten glass on the surfaces and allowing it to cool—appearing, by turns, pictorial and sculptural, flat and subtly bulbous. Dance, in short, anchors the artist’s latest series less as an end in itself than as a point of departure for formal and conceptual experimentation, the works shifting between bodily sensuality and cerebral pure form.

This article appears under the title “Arturo Herrera” in the March 2020 issue, pp. 86–87.

Racist German Shooter Exposes the Global Network of Hate

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 13:08

BERLIN—Late Wednesday night in the central German city Hanau, a gunman that police have identified as 43-year-old Tobias Rathjen opened fire at two shisha bars. They’re the kind of places favored by people who enjoy a laid-back atmosphere as they puff tobacco bubbling through water-filled hookahs, and on any given evening, many of those folks may be from Turkish, Kurdish, or North African backgrounds. They’re quiet places for conversation and minding your own business. Do Germans Know a Hate Crime When They See It?But Rathjen just started blowing people away. He first opened fire at a hookah bar called Midnight in the center of Hanau. He then drove five minutes away to the Arena Bar and Cafe, where he opened fire again. He killed nine and injured several others at the two locations, then fled. Police swarmed into the neighborhood. When they tracked Rathjen down and stormed his apartment at 5 a.m., they found his dead body next to that of his 72-year-old mother. Apparently he had shot her, too.Investigators also found a manifesto with racist and ultranationalist views, and the federal prosecutor is treating the case as an example of extreme-right terrorism and it is already clear the shooter was drawing on the international propaganda of hate that has inspired murderers from New Zealand to the United States. It is also apparent that, despite condemnation of the killings by the ascendant far-right German opposition party AfD, or Alternative für Deutschland, it has contributed to this country's increasingly incendiary atmosphere.Witnesses were stunned.“I got a call from a colleague that there was a shooting,” Can Luca Frisenna, the 24-year-old son of the owner of a convenience store next to the Arena Bar, told reporters in front the taped-off crime scene. “I drove here directly. First I thought that my father had been hit and my little brother... and then I saw both of them, they were in shock, they were crying. Everyone was shocked.“Things like this do not happen in this area,“ Frisenna said. "It’s like a film, like a prank. I can’t yet believe what has happened. I think all of my colleagues, they are like my family, they cannot believe it either.”Both the Midnight and the Arena have owners with Kurdish backgrounds, according to Mehmet Tanriverdi, the chairman of the Kurdische Gemeinde Deutschland, or Kurdish Community in Germany.Tanriverdi said that five of the nine victims have Kurdish backgrounds, but “They are German citizens.” One witness, Kenan Kocak, told the television network station NTV, “It’s very sad in particular that young people—a young lad, and a young girl about 20 or 25 years old—have died. I was there with them yesterday. Someone who worked there was also taken to the hospital. It looks very bad.”The news agency ANF has identified two of the people killed as Ferhat Ünvar and Gökhan Gültekin, both young men. A week ago the killer, who described himself as a bank teller, published a video on YouTube in which he addressed “all Americans.” He spoke English in a light German accent and mouthed bizarre conspiracy theories about “underground military facilities” on U.S. soil. He referred repeatedly to 9/11 as an example of the imminent threat. He said that he, for one, has been under surveillance since birth and called on American citizens to wake up and “fight now.” The video appeared to have been recorded in a private apartment; a bookshelf in the background was stacked with dozens of binders. Meanwhile, Rathjen uploaded a 24-page text on his personal website. It included long sections of white supremacist, ethno-nationalist rambling. He wrote that “not everyone who owns a German passport is purebred and valuable.” He talked about one German Volk—“the people” in the ethno-nationalist sense—which he describes as being the best. Otherwise there are only “destructive races.” The “solution to the puzzle,” he wrote (misspelling “puzzle”—is that billions of people (he named Arab countries and Israel) be “annihilated.”If such demented ravings were limited to one unhinged bank teller with a gun, society might rest easy in spite of the tragedy. But they are not. Last week, police in Germany arrested 12 right-wing extremists who allegedly had been planning terror attacks on mosques across the country, inspired by those carried out in New Zealand last year. They had plans to provoke revenge attacks and bring about a “civil war,” authorities said.This often is part of the global hate network's gospel. The young white supremacist who murdered nine black men and women in a Bible study group in Charleston, South Carolina, one evening in June 2015, preached much the same philosophy.Inside the Head of Dylann Roof, Jihadist for White HateRathjen also wrote about the coming “war” on his website, claiming that it would be a double blow, both against the secret organizations that he says are reading his mind, and against the “degeneration of the Volk.”Right-wing extremists who turn to terror rely on apocalyptic scenarios (“civil war”) to characterize their targets as a threat and thus justify their criminal acts as “self defense.”Politicians from Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), now Germany’s biggest opposition party, have spurred this narrative by spreading conspiracies about “ethnic replacement” and disinformation campaigns about non-existent crimewaves—as exemplified by campaign posters that accused hookah bars of being places of “rape “ and “poison.”For Germany’s radical right, escalation is the goal. Crime levels in Germany are still at an all-time low. Right-wing terrorism aims to spread fear and potentially bring about authoritarian measures that the AfD cannot implement directly. So of course AfD politicians have condemned the terror attack—one AfD politician wrote on Twitter, “Is this still the ‘Germany in which we live well and happily’ that Merkel’s CDU (Conservative party) conjured up in 2017?”Four months ago, 27-year-old Stephan Balliet tried to commit a terror attack against a synagogue in the city of Halle an der Saale, and killed two bystanders. As was the case with Rathjen, he had not been known to intelligence services prior to his act of terror. Meanwhile, Stephan E., the man accused of murdering conservative politician Walter Lübcke on his front porch in June, was a neo-Nazi in the '90s, but only became active again in the past few years. The German newspaper Die Zeit reported Thursday that police found a New Right book in his apartment that propagates the same ethnic replacement theories AfD politicians have cited. In 2016, 18-year-old student David Sonboly killed nine people in Munich on the fifth anniversary of the terror attack in Norway by Anders Breivik. He had been bullied at school, but turned his resentment and fury on people simply for their appearance, claiming that refugees and immigrants were a threat to Germany’s future. In 2018, reporters from the newspaper Taz uncovered a network of people (including soldiers from the German army) who were preparing “kill lists” of left-wing politicians and activists, whom they could execute on the apocalyptic “Day X.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


More than half of all coronavirus cases outside China are from the Diamond Princess, but the cruise ship is already planning to set sail again in April

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 12:48

An infectious-diseases expert said the hygiene conditions on the Diamond Princess were abysmal, making him "so scared" of contracting the coronavirus.


Trump’s spiritual guide urges congregation to neglect bills in favour of church donations

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 12:45

Donald Trump’s pastor is telling Florida worshippers to prioritise giving money to her church over paying their own mortgages.Paula White, the controversial televangelist who serves as Mr Trump’s spiritual guide, warned thousands of congregants in Miami to put God before their own financial needs.


New £20 Note Featuring J. M. W. Turner Portrait Begins Circulating in U.K.

ArtNews News Feed - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 12:38

The Bank of England announced that a new polymer £20 note featuring the face of the famed English Romantic painter J. M. W. Turner, who is known for his depictions of dramatic landscapes and major historical events, entered circulation on Thursday. Turner’s portrait replaces an image of the economist Adam Smith, whose picture previously appeared on a paper edition of the note that had been in circulation since 2007.

According to a report by the BBC, the Bank of England has said that transparent and foil elements on the plastic note will make it more secure against forgery attempts. The Bank estimates that half the ATMs across the United Kingdom will be distributing the notes in about two weeks.

The note also features the phrase “Light is therefore colour,” a quote from a lecture Turner gave in 1818, along with a reproduction of the artist’s signature from his will. On the note, a rendering of Turner’s 1799 self-portrait, part of the collection of Tate Britain, appears before his 1839 painting The Fighting Temeraire, which is held in the collection of the National Gallery in London.

To mark this milestone for the artist, Tate Britain, which has the world’s largest collection of works by Turner, is now displaying the new £20 note alongside Turner’s self-portrait. The institution’s forthcoming exhibition “Turner’s Modern World,” opening October 28, will trace the artist’s engagement with transformations in industry, technology, and politics of the 19th-century.

Alex Farquharson, director of Tate Britain, said in a statement that Turner “was certainly a radical artist in his time and he continues to inspire today,” adding that the artist was “innovative and controversial in his own day.”

Roger Stone heckled as a ‘traitor’ at final sentencing

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 12:29

A judge said on Thursday President Trump's longtime adviser Roger Stone engaged in intolerable intimidating conduct toward her, but his lawyer asked that he get no prison time as he awaited sentencing on charges that include lying to lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.


Mormon Brigham Young University has removed its 'homosexual behavior' ban from the school's honor code

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 12:26

BYU said the removal of its "homosexual behavior" ban was made to be in "alignment with the doctrine and policies" with the Mormon Church.


South Korea and Vietnam are asking millions to stay home to avoid coronavirus as more people get infected and die outside of China

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 12:05

The vast majority of the 2,100 deaths from coronavirus remain in China — but rates outside of the country are starting to creep up.


Elizabeth Warren Brings Her Bloomberg Knockout Punch to ‘The View’

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 12:01

In a surprise appearance on The View, via satellite from Las Vegas on Thursday morning, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) picked up where she left off at Wednesday night’s debate hammering Mike Bloomberg both personally and politically. Asked how she felt about her performance, Warren replied, “You know, I feel good about it. I had a job to do and I came and I did it.” From there, Joy Behar—who seems to have taken on the role of reluctant Bloomberg voter in recent weeks—challenged Warren to explain why she didn’t go as hard on Trump as she did on the former New York City mayor. “Look, the Democrats have to pick the person who has the best possible chance at beating Donald Trump,” Warren said. “And yesterday Mayor Bloomberg announced that everyone should drop out of the race except himself and Bernie Sanders and they should decide who the nominee will be. Well, I take exception to that. I've been told to sit down and be quiet enough in my life. I’m ready to stay in this fight.” “We get the wrong nominee, we lose to Donald Trump,” she added, repeating her attack on Bloomberg as a “billionaire who has a history of harassing women” and singling out the two examples of him calling women “fat broads and horse-faced lesbians.” Warren predicted “the American people are not going to take kindly to that.” Samantha Bee Goes Off on CNN: Stop Making ‘Mom and Dad’ Fight!But while Behar questioned Warren’s approach, her co-host Meghan McCain applauded it. “Congratulations on last night,” she said. “I really enjoyed watching you rip out Mayor Bloomberg's jugular.” “That’s so nice,” Warren replied, perhaps before hearing the end of McCain’s sentence. After McCain criticized the media for giving Bloomberg a “huge pass” on his “history of misogynistic and racially charged comments," Warren said, “You know, I think you're asking the question, Meghan, why do they always seem to give the billionaires extra consideration? Because I think that's what's happened here. But you know what I'll bet he's doing right now? I'll bet he's reaching in his pocket and spending $100 million more on advertising to try to erase everyone's memory of what happened last night.”  Speaking directly to Bloomberg’s refusal to let women who worked for him out of their non-disclosure agreements, Warren added, “We cannot let him get away with that. Too many men have gotten away with that for far too long and it stops now.” Following Warren’s appearance, McCain continued to defend Warren against Bloomberg even as Behar suggested that voters will ultimately back Joe Biden and that Warren would “make a wonderful vice president.” “I'm sorry, I'm a woman that may want to run for office someday and she did great last night and she deserves credit for it,” McCain said, revealing her own political ambitions. “Bloomberg tanked, so why are we talking about how he's still going to be the nominee against Trump? I don't understand!” Meghan McCain and Joy Behar Explode Over Bloomberg and TrumpRead more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


After job is eliminated, police chief strips down to underwear and walks home in snowstorm

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 11:59

Richard Lee was the police chief of Croydon, New Hampshire for 20 years. The town's selectboard eliminated his one-man department Tuesday night.


Roger Stone argues he should get reduced sentence because he 'cares about animals'

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 11:59

As Judge Amy Berman Jackson prepares to sentence Roger Stone his defence team offered a unique reason for a more lenient sentence.Mr Stone cares about animals.


A police officer was fired and told to immediately turn in his uniform at a town meeting, so he stripped down to his underwear and walked home in the snow

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 11:55

The Police Chief in Croydon, New Hampshire, was fired Tuesday night and ordered to turn over his uniform. He walked home in his underwear.


'I sleep at night': Ex-Trump adviser John Bolton says his testimony would not have changed impeachment outcome

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 11:55

"My testimony would have made no difference" in Trump's impeachment, John Bolton said. "I sleep at night." He added Democrats "made a mess of it."


US military truck caught on camera ramming Russian jeep off the road in Syria

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 11:48

A video circulating on Twitter shows US military forces in Syria running a Russian military vehicle off the road.


Rare Ethiopian crown, hidden for 21 years in the Netherlands, returns home

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 11:45

Ethiopia's government on Thursday assumed custody of a priceless 18th-century crown that a former refugee had kept hidden in his apartment in the Netherlands for two decades. The handover took place at a ceremony in the capital, Addis Ababa, attended by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Sigrid Kaag, the Dutch minister for foreign trade and development cooperation. Sirak Asfaw, the one-time refugee who is now a Dutch citizen, fled Ethiopia during the late 1970s during the so-called "Red Terror" purges.


US sanctions Iranian officials for barring candidates

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 11:42

The United States on Thursday slapped sanctions on five Iranian officials in charge of vetting candidates for the Islamic republic's parliamentary elections, in which thousands, predominantly moderates, have been barred from running. The officials targeted ahead of Friday's vote include Ahmad Jannati, a 92-year-old cleric who, according to the Treasury Department, oversaw the disqualification of nearly half the 16,033 potential candidates including dozens of sitting MPs. Along with his role on the election-supervising Guardian Council, the ultra-conservative also plays a key role on the body that selects the regime's supreme leader.


Putin hails US for helping prevent terror attack in Russia

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 11:38

Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Thursday hailed the FBI for sharing information that helped thwart a terror attack by adherents of the Islamic State group in St. Petersburg during the New Year holidays. The FSB in December announced the detention of two Russian men who confessed to plotting the terror attacks in St. Petersburg.


Family of man killed by trooper seeking more than $10M

Yahoo - Art News - Thu, 02/20/2020 - 11:38

Relatives of a Connecticut man killed by a state trooper are seeking more than $10 million in wrongful death damages from state and local police, according to legal notices filed Thursday. Lawyers for the family of Mubarak Soulemane, 19, asked the state claims commissioner for permission to sue the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and top state police officials including Public Safety Commissioner James Rovella for $10 million.


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