art 2004/1

Heimo Zobernig. Videofilmas Nr. 18. 2000, fragmentas

Jessica Stockholder. Instaliacija On The Spending Money Tenderly (Apie pinigų leidimą švelniai). 2002

Something New in the West

by Raminta Jurėnaitė

The article looks at the new trends emerging on the art scene in the West, focusing in particular on the relationship between art and design, new realism and abstract painting. The observations are based on the experience of the art critic commuting between Vilnius and Düsseldorf.
The Austrian Heimo Zobernig (b.1958) was represented in his first retrospective exhibition launched by the Venice Modern Art Museum, the Exhibition Palace of Basel, and the "K21&" Art Collection of Düsseldorf, Rhine-Westfalen. Of numerous artists utilizing the theme of art and design relationship, Heimo Zobernig stands out as controversial and minimalist. His artistic vision integrates painting, sculpture, video art, and the ‘total space’ of the exhibition premise, relying on concise geometrical forms, bright fluorescent colours as well as on the impact by music, theatre and poetry. The boundary between works of art, other cultural production and design is obliterated. Art becomes pragmatic and functional. Jessica Stockholder’s (b.1959) was featured in a joint project by the "K21&" Art Collection of Düsseldorf and Lehmbruck Museum in Duisburg. The installation On the Spending Money Tenderly, on display in Düsseldorf, employs vast multicolour surfaces, smaller patches of colour, and multiple viewing points that allow for the diversified perspective and introduce structure into the chaotic space of exhibition hall. The artist utilizes the principle of the diversity of the essence of things and reflects on the human perception of colour and substance.
Of recently, painting has integrated the methods of new media, and in this new shape is regaining its positions in exhibition venues and art fairs.
The American Eric Fischl (b. 1948) expressed his passion for voyeurism in developing a special project for the Haus Ester, the Krefeld Museum of Art. He photographed the German actors simulating the former inhabitants of the Haus Ester and produced a 12-picture cycle, exploiting the theme of intimate man - woman relationship, the eroticism, routine and boredom of it, inducing the effect of TV "reality show&" in his art.
Younger representatives of the new realism manifest a wider and more incoherent scale of the means of expression.
Daniel Richter (b. 1962), a younger figure of the new realism utilizing an eclectic set of expressive media, was also represented by the "K21&" Art Collection in the Gruenspan exhibition. Employing the figurative principle, he narrates violent and emotive stories, thrilling if not dramatic, fast changing to produce the effect of flipping through TV channels, almost devoid of colour culture, message or artistic mastery. Abstract painting continues to be no less influential than new realism. Jonathan Lasker (b.1948), of New York, with his synthesis of abstract, intuitive and accidental, as well as complete reduction of colour, was also represented by the "K21&" Art Collection of Düsseldorf Rhine-Westfalen and the Reina Sofia National Centre of Art.
After decades of oblivion, the mural painting is emerging on the artistic scene with a new prominence. In the form of graffiti or floral, ornamental patterns, it is exploited by Paul Morrison, Katharina Grosse, Peter Pettibon, and Richard Wright.