Ah the terrible void! No, I’m not talking about Sir Anish Kapoor and his art-fair friendly kooky mirrors. I’m talking about the emptiness when one leaves a long-established position. For sad news reaches me that Magnus Renfrew, fresh from plummeting down and out of ArtReview’s Power100, has taken his bow from Art Basel Hong Kong. I shall be sending Magnus a copy of this wishlist’s first item, Hamish Fulton’s book Keep Moving which I note is available from the marvellous 20th Century Art Archives at a very reasonable £30.
In the spirit of this gnawing yet beautiful emptiness I shall pay many a visit to Malevich at Tate Modern. Many, not least Benjamin Buchloh, have mis-read the great artist’s last works as a retreat to conservatism, part of the 'Call to Order' across Europe that reversed avant-garde experiments. Nonsense! The wonderful Tate exhibition curated by Achim ‘Two brains’ Borchardt-Hume, is a great chance to mull over these late works. After all what sort of retreat to conservatism involves substituting a black square for one’s signature? When you’re at Tate, make sure you pick up the second item on this week’s wishlist, the black Square and circle espresso cup and saucer that’s available in the shop for a mere £15.
Then quickly head to London Euston and hop on the train to Manchester to catch Ryan Gander’s solo show at the Manchester Art Gallery, where there is lots of playful, rather than gnawing voids where there should be content. Gander’s edition Unfortunately that street is in 1983 and blocked off by police tape, 2013, is still available from MOREpublishers complete with instructions for hanging that include saturating the work with water from a plant spray. Competitively priced at €60 (£47.50), this is third on this week’s wishlist.
And then how could I miss out Blain|Southern’s group show The Space Where I Am which, according to its press fluff explores ‘ideas of the void and emptiness from the 1960s to the present day.’ One has to applaud an exhibition which manages to yoke together the gallery’s loveable rogues Tim Noble & Sue Webster with Judd, Andre, Richter, Fontana and Pistoletto. For sheer chutzpah I shall buy the curator (if there is indeed one) the fourth item on my wishlist: a copy of the marvellous book Tim Noble & Sue Webster: British Rubbish which comes complete with a foreword by Nick Cave.
My fifth item on this week’s wishlist is a DVD of Klimt, 2006. The Austrian art-house film has Klimt (played by John Malkovich) dying of pneumonia in a Viennese hospital having flashbacks about the sexy-times in his life. The best scene involves Klimt and a friend donning gorilla masks and cavorting in cages with women wearing false moustaches. And if you’re destined for the ultimate void, this is certainly the way I recommend you go about it!
28 July 2014