Journal

Conceptual art goes molecular with works you can smell but can’t see, and one that ‘sees’ you

Sean Raspet is a 38-year-old conceptual artist in Detroit who used to work with hair gel. These days, his material of choice is even more unconventional. He has literally stripped his practice down to the molecular level, as he considers the role of art in an age dominated by global capitalism, environmental concerns and quantum leaps in technology.
His first Hong Kong solo exhibition is called “New Molecules and Stem Cell Retinoid Screen”, a literal description of the two works he has brought to Empty Gallery’s minimally lit space. Read more on South China Morning Post.

Scented Trip: Sean Raspet

Raspet is an artist; flavor and fragrance chemist; and cofounder of the algae-based food company nonfood. He did not primarily train as a scientist, but developed a visceral interest in chemicals, and in the chemistry and materiality underlying the built environment and the economy at large, as a result of looking into the material conditions of our present times. Read more on Mousse Magazine. 

Artist Lu Yang Selected for Next BMW Art Journey

Art Basel and BMW announced Lu Yang as the next BMW Art Journey winner. The artist was selected by an international jury unanimously from a shortlist of three artists whose works were exhibited in the “Discoveries” sector at this year’s Art Basel show in Hong Kong. Lu Yang is represented by the gallery Société in Berlin. Read more on blouinartinfo.

Lu Yang was named winner of the BMW Art Journey Award

Through the BMW Art Journey Award, Lu will travel through Indonesia, India, and Japan to study traditional and contemporary dance, with the ultimate goal of reinterpreting the movement she witnesses through robotics. She said in a statement, “This is not just an art journey. It will be a wonderful start for me to open a new chapter of my creation.” Read more on ARTNEWS.

The Most Important Young Galleries in the World

At first, it seemed like purely a provocative stunt: At Frieze New York in 2016, the gallery Société had a solo booth by the artist Sean Raspet consisting of fridges filled with Soylent, which the dealers were giving out for free. But as is often the case with Société, there was more than met the eye. Raspet was hired by Soylent to create a new flavor that would be “abstract” in the way that his edible and smellable work usually is—making the meal replacement drink both the medium and message for the artist. Gallery founder Daniel Wichelhaus has built one of Berlin’s most exciting art spaces by pushing his artists to expand their platforms. Read more on Artsy.

Art Basel Highlights

Société’s Unlimited presentation is dedicated to an installation by Cultured 2017 Young Artist Bunny Rogers, “Self-portrait as Clone of Jeanne d’Arc.” For years, the artist has made work about the 1999 Columbine shooting. Here, she continues that series with 15 self-portraits that combine her own presence with that of Joan of Arc. Read more on Cultured.

Lu Yang selected for next BMW Art Journey

Art Basel and BMW have announced that Shanghai-based artist Lu Yang has been named the next BMW Art Journey winner. Born in 1984, Lu creates work that grapples with issues ranging from gender identity and sexuality to neuroscience, death, and the human body. Read more on ARTFORUM.

Artvisor’s Frieze New York 2019 Highlights

Lu Yang‘s disorientating and fantastical visions at Société‘s booth also drew crowds who seemed more intent on new discoveries than the standard blue chip material that this year’s fair calendar has supplied the already crowded art world circuit since the start of the year. Read more on Artvisor.

Innocence Impossible: Bunny Rogers

Bunny Rogers’s practice depicts the impossibility of pure innocence. It concerns topics ranging from school shootings to the agency of nonhuman animals, the sexualization of children, and the romanticization of dying young. This essay traces the persistence of these themes through her expansive body of work, focusing on her deployment of cute objects as both material and metaphor. Read the full essay by Emily Watlington on Mousse Magazine.

The 10 Best Booths at Art Basel in Hong Kong

If you’re yearning for sensory overload, head directly to Société’s solo presentation of the young Chinese artist Lu Yang. For the fair, Lu created four films (all 2019) featuring four different characters—half-robots, half-gods—which play on elevated screens, while lightboxes in the same style hang on the walls. Read more on Artsy.

The artist Bunny Rogers is making the macabre optimistic

“I feel like I have a soul now,” Bunny Rogers said on the phone from Frankfurt, days after the opening of her exhibition Pectus Excavatum at the Museum für Moderne Kunst. Following her 2017 Whitney solo exhibition Brig Und Ladder, which served to complete a trilogy of installations about the Columbine High School massacre, the American-born artist retreated into a year-long hermitage. Read more on Interview.

Bunny Rogers discusses “Pectus Excavatum” at MMK Frankfurt

Questioning how much we think we know, especially within a broader consideration of animal intelligence, is one of the main focuses of the show at MMK Frankfurt. I define intelligence as sensitivity, and in those terms, animals such as squid, octopi, and whales are indicative of the extreme sensory capabilities that we’ve barely scraped the surface of. Read and watch on ARTFORUM.

Petra Cortright at 1301PE

Cortright’s choice of subject lands on the perfect place along the art history spectrum for this conversation. The dozen or so works are variations on the floral still life genre, and “Lucky Duck Lights Out,” the exhibition title, references two varieties of dahlia, the former a sunny yellow and the latter, a velvety scarlet(…) Read more on ARTILLERYMAG.

Mortality in the digital age: the many deaths of Lu Yang

Lu Yang videos burn themselves onto our retinas. Glaring and heady, they construct narratives of self-mutilation, which are used by the artist as a process of enlightenment. Both Yang’s best-known video installations, Delusional Mandala (2015) and Delusional Crime and Punishment (2016), tell the story of a bizarrely manufactured human figure (a 3D genderless simulation of Yang herself) stuck in limbo between a life of synthetic potential and its inevitable condemnation. Read more on Art Basel.

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