Wednesday, 26 October 2011

50th anniversary : Fluxus at Rutgers

at/around/beyond: Fluxus at Rutgers
September 24, 2011 - April 01, 2012
Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
71 Hamilton St., New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Tel 732.932.7237, ext. 659
Fax 732.932.8201
The spirit of Fluxus imbues Art After Hours on Wednesday, November 2, at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers. An exhibition tour, Flux Concert, and chess tournament spotlight at/around/beyond: Fluxus at Rutgers, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of this radical international art movement that has historic ties to the university. Art After Hours is the popular eclectic evening series held on the first Wednesday of the month from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Zimmerli. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for adults over 65, and free for museum members, as well as Rutgers students, faculty and staff (with ID), and children under 18.

As a prelude to the concert, a tour of at/around/beyond: Fluxus at Rutgers begins at 5:30 p.m. More than 60 sculptural objects, games, photographs, assemblages, ephemera, books, and films are assembled from the museum’s permanent holdings and private collections. Long associated with the movement, artist Larry Miller conducts a Flux Concert at 6:30 p.m. Miller first became involved with Fluxus during his student days at Rutgers University, where he received his M.F.A. in 1970, before moving to New York City to establish a career as an installation and performance artist. The Flux Concert is free with admission, but reservations are required at 732.932.7237, ext. 615. The Zimmerli Student Advisory Board (ZSAB) hosts a chess tournament beginning at 4 p.m. Players have the unique opportunity to play Miller’s Fruit and Vegetable Chess. Finalists face off following the Flux Concert. To participate, contact ZSAB at

“Fluxus has been described as an attitude, a way of experiencing the world, and as a laboratory of ideas,” notes Donna Gustafson, Andrew W. Mellon Liaison for Academic Programs and Curator. “Interaction was so integral to Fluxus attitudes towards life and art that the display of objects alone can’t completely convey the spirit of the movement.” This philosophy inspired Gustafson and Gerry Beegan, who teaches design at Mason Gross School of the Arts, to develop the Byrne Family First-Year Seminar, Artists, Musicians, and Poets in the Museum. A contingent of the students from the course is scheduled to perform with Miller.

Visitors to Fluxus at Rutgers also have the opportunity to interact with several Fluxus games during Art After Hours. Larry Miller’s Fruit and Vegetable Chess features fresh produce pieces, while Sound Chess by Mieko Shiomi (reconstructed by C. Greg Hagerty) has identical wooden chess pieces, requiring players to distinguish the hierarchy by shaking them to hear the rattles inside. Fluxus Balance, another game by Shiomi, allows visitors to conceptually weigh words and ideas on a tiny scale, and Ay-O’s Finger Boxes allows brave souls to insert their fingers into the mysterious holes of five small wooden boxes.

The exhibition has been organized by Donna Gustafson, Andrew W. Mellon Liaison for Academic Programs and Curator, and Eveline Baseggio Omiccioli, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art History and Zimmerli Graduate Assistant, with the assistance of Heather Cammarata-Seale, MA Candidate in the Department of Art History, and Dodum Chun, Museum Interns.
at/around/beyond: Fluxus at Rutgers is on view through April 1, 2012. Support for the exhibition and related programs has been provided by an endowment established by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Class of 1937 Publication Fund, and the Dorothy Dehner Foundation for the Visual Arts.

George Maciunas
Gift Box for Jerold Ordover: Spell Your Name With These Objects, ca. 1970
Assorted objects in leatherette and velvet-lined box
Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers
Museum Purchase, Class of 1921 Acquisition Fund
Photo Peter Jacobs

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Publication: G: An Avant-Garde Journal

G: An Avant-Garde Journal of Art, Architecture, Design, and Film, 1923-1926
Edited by Detlef Mertins and Michael W. Jennings
Getty Research Institute : 2010
280 pages; 22 color and 134 b/w illustrations
ISBN 978-1-60606-039-1.

First published in 1923, the journal G: Material zur Elementaren Gestaltung (G: Materials for Elemental Form-Creation) helped shape a new phase in the history of the European avant-garde. Founded by Hans Richter, a pioneer of abstract animated film, G featured works by some of the important names in the advanced cultures of Europe: Hans Arp, Walter Benjamin, Theo van Doesburg, Viking Eggeling, Naum Gabo, Werner Graeff, George Grosz, Hugo Häring, Raoul Hausmann, Ludwig Hilberseimer, Frederick Kiesler, El Lissitzky, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Antoine Pevsner, Man Ray, and Tristan Tzara.

This edition, the first in English translation, preserves the original design by Lissitzky, Richter, and Graeff, and includes essays that explore the role of the journal in its time and in relation to contemporary culture. An introduction analyzes the principles of the journal, situates it in the culture of the early 1920s, and evaluates its achievements.

This book is structured into two parts: first, a series of essays which provide analysis on the major areas of visual culture explored in G and second, the translated-to-English facsimile of the journal itself. With an overview which situates G and its major contributors in historical context begins the essay portion of the book. Other essays follow, one on each subject in the book’s title: Maria Gough on El Lissitzky’s contributions to G’s graphic design; subsequent essays by Edward Dimendberg on film, and Detlef Mertins on architecture, are also well-researched and informative.

In the second part of the book, a carefully constructed facsimile of G is presented, that is true to original documents held in the Museum of Modern Art, except the German text was translated into English.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Publication : Biography Hannah Höch

Cara Schweitzer
Schrankenlose Freiheit für Hannah Höch
Osburg Verlag : Berlin 2011
439 Seiten
ISBN-10: 3940731641
ISBN-13: 978-3940731647

The life of the Dada artist under the Nazi dictatorship

With her ​​scissors she cut art history, the collages of the grande dame of Berlin Dada movement, Hannah Höch (1889 - 1978), shook the Weimar »Beer Belly Cultural Epoch." Now for the first time a biography of the artist appears, who extensively discussed their predicament under the Nazi dictatorship. Previously undiscovered letters and documents explain why Hannah Höch could not leave Germany at the last minute.

Shortly after the outbreak of World War I in Berlin the Dada movement was formed. Hannah Höch is one of the few women in this illustrious men's club. After the takeover by the Nazis their work was considered as "degenerate". Her closest friends left the country. During the war years, she retired to spend in her garden on the outskirts of Berlin. Her house becomes a secret archive of the avant-garde. The biography focuses on the dramatic circumstances of her marriage to the 21 years younger Heinz Kurt Matthies. In 1938 he was arrested, and for the once cautious artist begins the fight for his release.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Kemzeke : E.L.T. Mesens

E.L.T. MESENS comme nous l'entendons...
Retrospective exhibition
Verbeke Foundation, Kemzeke (B)
14.08.2011 - 16.10.2011
Curators: Geert Verbeke, Simon Delobel
Catalogue: download the catalogue (in Dutch; also in French)

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the death of E.L.T. Mesens the Verbeke Foundation organizes the first retrospective of his dadaist and surrealist oeuvre. The exhibition contains an exceptional selection of about 200 collages, posters, partitions, letters, magazines and books illustrating the diverse talents and activities of Mesens. He was not only a musician, composer, poet, photographer, collagist, editor and polemist but also a gallerist and art collector. In addition ninety-four window displays illustrate the personalities of as much acquaintances of Mesens: from Eileen Agar, Scottie Wilson and Salvador Dali to Desmond Morris and Peggy Guggenheim.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Berlin : Lajos Kassák

Lajos Kassák
Ambassador of the Avant-Garde 1915-1927
Berlinische Galerie, Berlin
17.06. - 17.10.2011

Lajos Kassák (1887-1967) was a key figure of the Hungarian avant-garde. The exhibition focuses on his years of exile in Vienna (1920-1926) and the theory of picture architecture which Kassák understood as an emancipatory form of perception and expression. In addition, it will show his journalistic activity in the circle of the internationally influential magazine MA [Today], which reflected on expressionist, dadaist and constructivist tendencies.

For the first time, the exhibition will be showing works from a private collection in Paris. Supplemented by selected works from the collection of the Berlinische Galerie, it will trace the manifold trends of the avant-garde. In the decade beginning in 1910, Kassak had already founded an international network, which he extended continually through his contacts in Vienna, Paris and Berlin. Besides literary, artistic and theoretical works by Kassák and his contemporaries, the exhibition also visualises the geo-cultural contexts within which Kassák‘s activity unfolded. Contemporary photos, documents and films present groups, centres, publications and famous artist personalities from that period, including Sándor Bortnyik, El Lissitzky, László Moholy-Nagy, Kurt Schwitters, Tristan Tzara and Herwarth Walden. Source: Berlinische Galerie, Berlin.

Monday, 13 June 2011

From Dada to Surrealism

Van Dada tot surrealisme : Joodse avant-garde kunstenaars uit Roemenië, 1910-1938
From Dada to Surrealism : Jewish Avant-Garde Artists from Romania, 1910-1938
Joods Historisch Museum, Amsterdam
June 1 - October 2, 2011

From Dada to Surrealism is the first-ever survey exhibition of Jewish avant-garde artists from Romania. In the early twentieth century, the art world was taken by storm by the fearless experimentalism of Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco, who were among the founders of Dada at the renowned Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. Along with Victor Brauner, M.H. Maxy, and the older artist Arthur Segal, they were present at the birth of several influential avant-garde movements. They also inspired the younger artists Jules Perahim and Paul Páun, two pioneers of Surrealism. Some of these artists are well-known to art lovers, but few people realize that they share a common background: they were all Jewish and born in Romania. The exhibition includes more than eighty works of art, most of them from Romanian museums and private collections but also from other collections worldwide. Most of these works have never been exhibited outside Romania before. A richly illustrated book accompanying the exhibition will be available at the JHM Museum Shop and elsewhere.

Virtual Exhibition: From Dada to Surrealism.