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Flash News: Delta at Mima – And the winner is… – Tefaf continues its expansion

[28 Apr 2017]

Delta at Mima

The Millennium Iconaclast Museum of Art (MIMA) is a resounding success on the Brussels cultural scene with over 41,000 visitors since its opening in April 2016. Situated on the canal, in the former Bellevue breweries of Molenbeek, far from the luxurious Sablons district, its 1,200m2 spread over 4 floors are entirely dedicated to the new generation of contemporary artists. Unique in Europe, MIMA aims at exhibiting artists reflecting the change in the cultural paradigm of our society in the era of the internet. To build a permanent exhibition while not benefiting from public funding, the museum has been lent some forty works by collectors, notably by artists such as Blu, Banksy or Invader. The inaugural exhibition, City Lights, brought together four installations by international street artists: May Hayuk, Swoon, Momo and the Faile duo.

Boris Tellegen aka DELTA (1968), a pioneer of Dutch graffiti, is the guest of the 2nd annual edition. Entitled A friendly Takeover and organised in collaboration with curator Daniel Hofstede, this exhibition gives visitors the opportunity to see 20 years of work by the artist, from the street to the museum. Sketchbooks, photographs, and a personal collection of manga figurines are exhibited alongside iconic works that brought him international fame, such as record sleeves made for the Ninja Tune music label. The closed environment of the exhibition space replaces the street, which is the first medium where the word progressively becomes the surface and where the letters fade, replaced by an architectural combination with new dimensions. The skilfully designed presentation encourages the visitor to lean, bend over and climb on the work for a real urban exploration that culminates on the top floor with a robot so large that visitors must walk on it to comprehend it, part of which is even hanging out of the windows. After the Palais de Tokyo in 2013, this is not Delta’s first big show as MIMA seems to select artists worthy of its own success! More than anything, this space shows that street art no longer only belongs to the street, which has a positive impact on the market; the Artcurial auction house notably reached $1,807,250 on February 28th for its sale entirely dedicated to street art.

And the winner is…

Viva Arte Viva: this is the catchy title of the 57th edition of the Venice Biennale. From May 13th until November 16th, visitors will be able to explore the pavilions as if flicking through the pages of a book. Christine Macel, curator-in-chief at the Pompidou Centre and commissioner of this edition, will present the Golden Lion. For her, Carolee SCHNEEMANN (1939) was the obvious choice. Rewarding the artist for her entire career was indeed a brave decision. Born in 1939 in Pennsylvania, Carolee Schneemann began her career after leaving Bard College, in the midst of New York abstract Expressionism. A pioneer of feminist performance, she turned to experimental films, music, poetry, dance and artistic happenings. In 1964, she presented her Meat Joy performance during the Festival de la libre expression in Paris, which she described as an erotic rite and a celebration of the flesh as a material for artistic creation. The second performance that confirmed her status as a feminist artist was Interior Scroll, which she presented to the public in 1975. Vulva’s Morphia (1992-97) is a collection photographs and drawings of prehistoric representations of the female genitalia. In 2014, Carolee Schneeman told the Guardian: « My work has become a kind of bridge that every young woman working with her own body must pass across. » There is a keen interest from collectors as shown for her work Eye Body: 36 Transformative Actions that reached nearly $200,000 at Christie’s NY in 2015. MoMA PS1 will honour her next winter with the exhibition Kinetic Painting, the artist’s first retrospective on American soil. From one woman to another… The presentation of the Golden Lion on May 13th in Venice is a true momentum for feminism in the arts.

Tefaf continues its expansion

Created in Maastricht 30 years ago, Tefaf (The European Fine Art Fair) has established itself as the most qualitative and most intense art fair in the world, covering seven thousand years of art at its best. Tefaf is the only international exhibition where masterpieces from ancient Egypt are shown alongside Old Masters. Paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens and Cranach hang next to Renoir and Monet’s modern masterpieces, as well as major contemporary figures such as Pierre Soulages, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons. The Tefaf looks like the ideal museum, with the difference that the thousands of exhibited works are for sale… As the first buyers in the most elitist art market, i.e. Americans, have had a tendency to lose interest in European art recently, the Tefaf organisers have decided to bring the fair to them by relocating this second edition to the most dynamic city in the art market, New York (4 to 8 May 2017). This new spring event brings together 92 world-renowned exhibitors – as opposed to 270 in Maastricht – offering their best selection of modern and contemporary art as well as design. The May fair complements the New York edition that focused on decorative art and antiquity in October. Among the prestigious exhibitors at Park Avenue Armory in May, some are more accustomed to contemporary art fairs than to the Tefaf brand, notably Perrotin, David Zwirner or White Cube. Their arrival at the New York show brings a wind of change compared to its big sister in Maastricht. Although the exhibitors provide us with exceptional works by Miro, Dubuffet, Cy Twombly and Picasso, there is also an increased presence on several stands – including those of Tornabuoni, Robilant+Voena, Karsten Greve and Ben Brown Fine art – of major works by Lucio FONTANA (1899-1968), a very strategic choice since the artist reached his absolute record in New York in 2015 (La fine di Dio, $29.1m at Christie’s) and New York auction houses sold more than $71 million worth of works by Fontana in less than a year and a half…

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