Alejandra de Argos by Elena Cué

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Michael Raedecker
Andrea Rosen Gallery

 

Michael Raedecker Andrea Rosen Gallery 1

English Teacher

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Group of teachers

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Dormitory, Model 1:5

 

 Michael Raedecker Andrea Rosen Gallery 4    Michael Raedecker Andrea Rosen Gallery 5 

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This stunning retrospective of John McCracken (1934-2011) consists of approximately fifty works that make a tour of what it has meant the career of this artist. It is a very important figure in the history of American art mixing qualities of Minimalism with sensitivity for color, shape and distinctive finish of the West Coast.
My favorites are the steel sculptures to become polished mirrors are placed in such subtlety in nature are almost invisible.

 

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Surprising Miquel Barceló

This Mallorcan artist's latest venture, presented in the fabulous New York gallery Acquavella, was a surprising turn from his previous works. The fruits of this ceaseless experimentation have proved to be very powerful.

This is the first exposition in New York dedicated solely to Barcelo in the last ten years. Two series are exhibited; one is very striking, featuring portraits of the artist's family and friends on linen treated with bleach and charcoal. They are disturbing portraits with a forceful impact.

The other series consists of very expressive/symbolic white paintings where the circle plays an important role, metaphorically alluding to the sun, the bull-fighting arena, the bull's eye...The artists sees these works as akin to paintings on cave walls.

 

 

 

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Marcella

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Adam

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Cécile

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Mére y Marcella

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Gimferrer y Modiano 2

 

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Colm

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Yasuo

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HUO

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Eusebio Lazaro

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Eric Mézil

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Dore

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Planés

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Vista Alegre

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17 Vagues

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Plaza de Toros de Ronda

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Plaza Mayor

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Dos Triples y N NW très léger

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Ouvert

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1,2,3,4 M

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5 petites Vagues y Trois petites Doubles

 

 

 

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Last night was the premiere of Aída at San Carlo's Theater to mark the bicentennial of Giuseppe Verdi's birth.
The special thing about this performance is that it was commissioned by Franco Dragone, theater director, well known for his work with the Cirque du Soleil.
The staging was simpler than other productions of this Opera and much moré timeless; Ancient Egipt themes were intermingled with classic ballet and contemporary tecnological effects.
The staging was magnificent, more minimalist but also more intimate.
The cast included the great Lucrecia García in the part of Aída, Jorge de León as Radames, Ekaterina Semenchuck in the role of Amneris and Marco Vratogna as Amonasro. It also included the Opera legend, bass singer Ferrucio Furlanetto in the role of Ramfis.
The orchestra and the choir of San Carlo's Theather made for an outstanding evening.

 

 

 

 

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 la foto 4 (11) la foto 5 (9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Velazquez Felipe IV

 

 

 

Velázquez and the family of Felipe IV represents an unmissable experience of art in all its aesthetic beauty. After visiting the Chapman retrospective, I was deeply thankful for such visual delicacy. The exhibition is small, consisting of 15 paintings by Velázquez during the last 11 years of his life. It was precisely during this time that he decided to specialise in portraits. The rest of the exhibition contains a selection of paintings by his successors Juan Bautista Martínez de Mazo and Juan Carreño. It's a pity that Mazo's paintings, which are copies of Velázquez's ones, are displayed next to those of the great master, as although they are of a high standard in their own right, they inevitably pale in comparison to the original.

From the first room of the exhibition I would particularly recommend the sheer strength of the portrait of Pope Inocencio X, painted during his second and final visit to Italy. This is smaller in size than the first one he painted, - the latter being one of the painter's masterpieces - but still retains all the expressive intensity of the previous one.

The other portraits are of Felipe IV, his wife Mariana of Austria - whom he had recently married - and his sons. His use of colour is extraordinary, considering how limited his palette was. His meticulous pictorial technique, visible in suits, curtains and decorative elements, is extremely precise, creating a wonderful sense of realism and beauty. But what really stood out for me was how he handles his characters' eyes and stares, giving each character a life and personality of their own - this is what most differentiated the copies of his successors from his own.

 



Velazquez Meninas

 

 

 

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Brian Eno 2 

 

 

Musician Brian Eno, best known as member of Roxy Music and creator of the ambient sound, is exhibiting his sound-and-image installation at the Alcalá 31 gallery.
77 Million Paintings is a unique audiovisual experience - it would take 400 years to see every possible combination of images projected on the 12 screens. Visitors sit on a sofa and variations of images almost without noticing the subtle changes, while listening to calm, peaceful sounds which leave one in a state of contemplation and introspection.
As the artist himself perfectly describes, "It is a space where viewers surrender to the images, colours and music around them - their senses are sharpened, and they reach a state of complete tranquillity where the only thing that's possible is to just let oneself go and give in to the experience."

 

 

Brian Eno

 Author: Elena Cué

 


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Wagner’s magnificent opera, performed at the Teatro Real, saw the composer’s intensity and passion merged with Bill Viola’s beauty and subtlety, greatly enhancing the work.

Of particular note were Marc Piollet’s music direction, the Lithuanian Violeta Urmana’s powerful voice (in the role of Isolde) and Franz-Josef Seling’s masterful performance as King Marke. Bill Viola's video-art played a prominent role, thanks to director Peter Sellars' understated scenery and the seamless integration of his video-art into the opera.

Love, desire, emotion, drama, all expressed with an immediacy that only music, of all the arts, is capable of. The expressive music together with Viola’s unique visual poetry, form a powerful creative combination.

Love, desire, emotion, drama, all expressed with an immediacy that only music, of all the arts, is capable of. The expressive music together with Viola’s unique visual poetry, form a powerful creative combination.

 

Wagner, composer from the Romanticism era, raises Tristan und Isolde to its pure Romantic essence, praising emotion over reason. A romantic, like Tristan, lives and is consumed by his emotions, and perishes from his desires. In this context, death is understood as the beginning of life.

 

 

 

 

To yearn, to yearn!
Dying, still to yearn,
not of yearning to die!
What never dies
now calls, yearning
to the distant physician
for the peace of death.
No healing,
no sweet death,
can ever free me
from the pain of yearning:
nowhere, ah nowhere
can I find rest:
night casts me
back to day
so that the sun can for ever feast
its sight upon my suffering. 



 

 

 

 

 

 

According to Schopenhauer, desire and longing are at the centre of human life: we are made up of wants and needs. Our lives are but a fight for survival towards an irreversible end (death). But our desires and aspirations also lead us to suffering, Schopenhauer says. To finally reach our goals is to experience something even worse than death: emptiness and boredom. Life is nothing but a pendulum swinging between need and tedium.

The influence that Arthur Schopenhauer’s thinking had on the composer is well documented. Buddhism, widely present in the philosopher’s writings, was also an influence on Wagner while he was writing the libretto for Tristan und Isolde (as well as composing the music for his operas, Wagner would always write his own librettos).


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The question of spiritual influence is in fact something else the two have in common: Viola, whose roots can be traced back to the spiritual traditions of Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, uses video-art as a channel for self-discovery, evident in the mystical visuals by the artist that complemented the opera.



The four elements - fire, water, air, earth - feature prominently in his work, as well as the concept of decelerating time and an aesthetic style influenced by artists such as Zurbarán, Velazquez, Goya, Ribera, el Bosco… Water, essential for life, is often used symbolically in his work since he almost drowned at the age of six. He speaks of this experience as calming and peaceful, not as tragic or fearsome. Water is indeed the great constant throughout his videos: life, movement, birth, cure, pleasure, pain, death, mystery...

The four natural elements were also how the pre-Socratics explained the origin and cause of the cosmos.

 

 

Throughout the performance, Viola's videos gradually aligned more and more with the opera's storyline, becoming one and the same in the last act - the best, in my opinion.

“A lot of my work is based on bringing opposites together. White and black, light and darkness, fire and water, day and night, man and woman, birth and death. These are the elements that Man has been experiencing since the beginning of time.” Bill Viola.

   



Act One began with sea scenes and images of Shakespearean actors (some nude) that Viola used as symbols to represent the characters of the story. These were followed by superb scenes of the titular lovers of great intensity, romanticism and drama, whereas Viola's screen depicted a purification ritual of the main characters, water symbolizing the beginning of life and atonement.

 

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The next element was fire, used here as a symbol of the fight between life and death - great scenes of huge flames burning away accompanied by intense music.



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The water scene where Tristan’s dead body rises up to the heavens was the climax of a sublime Bill Viola at work.

 
 
 

 tristan 3          bill-viola-tristans-ascension 

 

As sublime as Wagner's music. He does not preted that we take a pasive attitude of pure pleasure towards his music, he desires much more. He wants us to suffer an interior transformation and for us to transcend by forsaking our individuality, and embrazing others as a whole through the common experience of joy (Dionysian ectasy) and pain (tragedy). Like Isolde at the end.
 
 
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Friedrich Nietzsche was a composer as well as a philosopher. His troubled relationship with Wagner went from deep admiration after discovering his Tristan und Isolde, to terrible hatred and the subsequent end of their friendship. Nietzsche did not take kindly to Wagner’s Parsifal and its strong religious centre, especially its Christian idea of compassion.

All qualities are united in music: it can lift us up, it can be capricious, it can cheer us up and delight us (...). Its main purpose, however, is to lead our thoughts upward, so that it elevates us, even deeply moves us (...). Music often speaks to us more deeply than the words of a poem, as it is able to enter into the smallest corners of our heart.” F. Nietzsche.

 

 

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  • Miguel Barceló: Biography, Works & Exhibitions
  • Cindy Sherman: Biography, works, exhibitions
  • John Currin: Biography, works, exhibitions
  • Marlene Dumas: Biography, works, exhibitions