Monday, 11 April 2011

The first not to be the last

I know already what is the next post  going to be about.  I even have an idea of what i am going to write in this  very post, even though the result might has little in common with the initial intentions. I also know what were the previous posts about,  regardless that the world has never got a chance to read them, since the world can not read my thoughts.
Having said that, I am actually starting. In the next sentence. So!.. 

I would like to  begin  this creative writing with a less creative topic - simply a home task from my teacher.  The accomplishment of this task took place two weeks ago in Maastricht, Holland, TEFAF 2011.  Sorry that you missed this incredible artmoney event! Or you did not miss it: in case you are a dealer, curator, art journalist,  Sotheby's/Christie's employee, critic, amateur, connoisseur, sheik//Hollywood star/Russian oligarch genuinely fascinated by art, or, finally, my lovely classmate!

I would like to present some thoughtless comments considering this-year TEFAF.  Namely, I am going to talk about two galleries, which captured my attention  (along with many others that did not happen to be mentioned). Those two are Röbbig Munich and Blain|Southern. I'll focus mainly on  techincal display of the objects and general outlook of their stands on the fair, ignoring  the art itself.
Both of the galleries excited me a lot even though in a quite different way. 
Let's  start with the Munich Gallery. Röbbig Munich  are specialized in porcelain (Meissen,  Vienna, Frankenthal).  In addition, the gallery claims that it is known "for high-quality 18th century furniture, appointments (?? what would this be?), paintings, bronzes and clocks of French and German origin". However it's not the outstanding porcelain pieces which drew my attention, but the incredible exuberance of the display (which I, personally,  found rather vulgar)
At the entrance two red plastic columns with metal piers in art nouveau, i.e. late 19th century style, are inviting you to enter the stand packed with the 18th century objects. The package is, indeed, remarkable - porcelain pieces are hidden in the cages like if they were exotic birds. In the centre red curtain hangings form a baldachin, almost as magnificent as the one in St.Peter's.   The prevailing red colour  creates a curious combination  with the bunches of bright pink roses, sticked in here and there, which fill the space with the strong odeur.
I deeply regret that this picture (Munich Highlights 2010) gives you an idea of what the TEFAF stand looked like, but can not deliver you the feeling  of insignificance which one immediately got on entering into this kingdom of German porcelain. 

The second gallery, Blain|Southern from London might disappoint you with the simplicity of representation and relatively few objects on display.  However, it's the traditional minimalism of white walls, which is rewardingly kind to your eyes and allows you to focus on the objects rather than interior designs and decorations.

Undeniably, the works are eye-catching on their own, like the one on the picture above - "Yellow Phantasmagoria", provocative within reasonable limits self-portrait of its authors,  Tim Noble and Sue Webster; and the one on the picture below  - "Improved Rack (Elk #18)", an extending nature object by Michael Joo. The ostentatious masculinity and uncovered stubbornness  of the latter caught my attention from 100 meters away where I was standing, so instead of  pointless lounging about, I turned my steps resolutely to the spotted object. 
Blain|Southern  is a newcomer to Maastricht,  as opposed to its owners  M.Blain  and M.Southern , who formerly worked in Haunch&Venison until the last year's divorce. Being a debutant myself,  I felt  their debut was a success, and hope they feel the same!

The observation and contemplation over these two galleries have brought me to a very simple conclusion (my post as well).  The silk red wall will not make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. It might even do the opposite, destroying  the beauty of the art exhibited.   The classical tradition of contemporary art representation (white, rectangular, minimalistic)  should set an example  for "traditional" galleries,  for some unknown reason, trying to go eccentric.  Ultimately,  red walls are not as bad, as the Colnaghi example demonstrates. It's the lack of taste which is bad. 
In the end, we don't know which one out of two sold off on TEFAF, if any did.  My personal admiration  of Blain's stand does not necessarily mean that cages did bad. It is the consumer that matters, not the student  povera who criticizes. 

No comments:

Post a Comment