September 6th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
MISCHA KUBALL
Wolfsburg and Utopias

August 30th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
IDE TO POLAND II
A new expedition on the CERAMIC & FOOD ROUTE
Bright blue and white ceramics fill the dining room with warmth and visual appeal

August 23rd 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
IDE TO POLAND I
A new expedition on the CERAMIC & FOOD ROUTE
Starts today in Warsaw through 3 October

August 2nd 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ESTHER SHALEV-GERZ
SUMMER IN PARIS

July 30th 2021

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

July 26th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
ARCO MADRID,
1st Art Fair in 2 years

July 23rd 2021

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

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July 19th 2021

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

July 16th 2021

UNAPOLOGETIC CONTENT.

July 12th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
IN THE ARTIST'S STUDIO
JASON BUTLER "THE COLLAGES"
Pop-Up Exhibition, Jersey

July 5th 2021

STILL BEHIND THE SCENES:
NINA NOWAK'S EXHIBITION
Galleri Susanne Ottesen, Copenhagen

June 28th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
PER KIRKEBY UNREALISED BRICK PROJECTS
Galleri Susanne Ottesen, Copenhagen

June 21st 2021

NEW ARRIVALS:
MISCHA KUBALL

June 18th 2021

A WALK IN MY LIBRARY:
HELMUT FEDERLE NIETZSCHE-HAUS SILS-MARIA
Schwabe AG Basel, 2004 Peter André Bloch & Jan Thorn-Prikker
on the occasion of Helmut Federle's "Edelweiss im Nietzsche-Haus, Sils-Maria" exhibition in Nietzsche's Haus, Sept 2004 to July 2005

June 14th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
L'INTERSTICE ARLES OPENING
JOSETTE SAYERS AND GUILLAUME ZUILI'S PHOTOGRAPHS
Brave and fearless

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June 4th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
THE LAUNCH OF REAL TIME AND THE 3BS

May 24th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
MATHILDE BRETILLOT DESIGNS NEW MUSEUM FOR LA MANUFACTURE DE GIEN

May 17th 2021

THIS TIME TWO YEARS AGO:
DRAW ART FAIR, LONDON, 2019, DESIGNER MATHILDE BRETILLOT AND ARCHITECT MISKA MILLER-LOVEGROVE

May 10th 2021

NEW ARRIVALS:
WETTERLING, STOCKHOLM

April 25th 2021

A WALK IN MY LIBRARY:
HELMUT FEDERLE
ABSTRACT PAINTING OF AMERICA AND EUROPE
Ritter Verlag, Galerie nächst St. Stephan, Vienna Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, 1988

April 11th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
LUKAS HOFFMANN, CNAP ACQUISITION AND TWO EXHIBITIONS

April 9th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ESTHER SHALEV-GERZ, WEFRAC 2021

February 22nd 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
RICHARD MILAZZO OBSZINE #3
The Sadness of Bad Thinking

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February 15th 2021

BEHIND THE SCENES:
RICHARD MILAZZO OBSZINE #3, ART, POETRY, AND THE PATHOS OF COMMUNICATION,
The Art of Impeachment

all posts title image
Helmut Federle, “Informal Multitudes (Dark Sky at the Coast of Shikoku)”, 2020, Acrylic, vegetable oil on canvas, 70 x 50 cm

BEHIND THE SCENES:
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
ARCO MADRID,
1st Art Fair in 2 years

July 26th 2021

Part I

Traveling after a hiatus of ten months. Thought you might be interested in what I have seen. You had a glimpse of Copenhagen a couple weeks ago. Was invited to Madrid for ARCO for the first time in ten years. Hard to explain how it would happen that this would be the first art fair in two years, but it has happened that way. The constellations aligned and for a variety of reasons it felt like the right time to look at art in this setting again. A good opportunity to see friends and colleagues.

Curious how art would look in the fair environment. Taking into account the heat of Madrid in July. The experience was a rich overload of sensations. I am still digesting it in small pieces. The visual sensations were strong and lasting, so though it has been two weeks ago now, it has given me ample time to think a bit and reflect.

Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder at ARCO Madrid
With works by: Alice Attie, Herbert Brandl, Helmut Federle, Bernard Frize, Sheila Hicks, Luisa Kasalicky, Imi Knoebel, Daniel Knorr, Caitlin Lonegan, Isa Melsheimer, Natasza Niedziółka, Jongsuk Yoon
Courtesy Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder
Photo: Roberto Ruiz

I first visited ARCO in the mid 80’s again with John Gibson. The gallery in New York was very interested in a new generation of Spanish and international artists clustered around a talented young gallerist, Margo Paz. She was at that time working with Juan Muñoz and Jean-Marc Bustamante among others. I remember her at the time in white blouses and black trousers, elegant and strong. Blazing dark hair; she was formidable. Enough to say no to a well-known New York gallery. We wanted to make exhibitions in New York with them but she said no. ARCO was then very far out of town, busses took all the dealers from in front of the Palace Hotel to the fair and back. Madrid and Spain in general were very different places than we see today. Remnants of Franco still filled the air, even though it was then over a decade since his death.

I recognized anew this murky darkness of Madrid during that first visit only after seeing the extraordinary Turbine Hall installation by Juan Muñoz in 2001-2002, “Double Bind”, the year of his death. Working with Muñoz from 1997-2001, it was obvious that the odd, silent yet chattering, deformed figures set on balconies and window ledges were culled from a childhood of shadows, whispers and fear under Franco.

PART II

In this period of the mid 80’s, international gallerists stayed in the Palace. It was a place to talk at breakfast or before dinner. Had the feeling of a great old hotel in need of love. Today it has been renovated many times over and still functions in much the same way. The invitation to the fair included two nights here.

From the time I moved to London and then Paris we did the fair both for Lisson and Ropac for more than fifteen years, and during this same time I had the occasion to work closely with Juan Muñoz before his untimely death; in different ways there were numerous projects in Spain — museum exhibitions in Vitoria-Gasteiz (Antony Gormley), or CAC Málaga (Art & Language, Kabakov, Mapplethorpe, Deacon, Jason Martin, Gilbert & George), or MACBA Barcelona (Art & Language); collaborations on gallery exhibitions with a great gallery founded in the 90’s by another powerhouse, Distrito 4 by Marga Sánchez. It felt like coming to Madrid after confinement was a homecoming in many ways.

Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder at ARCO Madrid
With works by: Alice Attie, Herbert Brandl, Helmut Federle, Bernard Frize, Sheila Hicks, Luisa Kasalicky, Imi Knoebel, Daniel Knorr, Caitlin Lonegan, Isa Melsheimer, Natasza Niedziółka, Jongsuk Yoon
Courtesy Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder
Photo: Roberto Ruiz

Among the first people I saw was the Berlin gallerist Thomas Schulte in the lobby of the hotel. Ironically, we laughed because among my early memories was seeing John Weber in this same place in the mid 80’s (Schulte was working with him in Soho at the time). We were both starting our careers down the street from each other then. I said something like, “the last time I was in this hotel lobby 35 years ago, the Spanish girlfriend of so and so, was making waves because there was an unexpected baby in the wings”.

Fighting the wall of 35 degrees heat between the airport and the hotel it seemed as if history and time were compressed in a way that felt normal since the third confinement. A year ago in London, I felt the past and present mingling every day. Maybe it was so much time alone with my art books and thinking about the people who were no longer here with us. Colleagues and artists who were gone. I remember them ever so clearly that at times I think they are just standing there. Maybe this is because we have an unusual mix of business and passion in what we do; every time feels like it will last forever, every new body of work, every exhibition, every fair, every museum show, as if we are trying as gallerists to stop time completely. Right there. Stop.

Sheila Hicks, “Cosmic Vibrations”, May 28 – September 11, 2021, Exhibition at Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder
Courtesy Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder
Photo: Markus Wörgötter

PART III

Curious that the two galleries that caught my attention in this large and sprawling ARCO (which was smaller than usual, and with fewer international visitors), but imagine that the colleagues I saw the most were gallerists that I met during that special first decade of my work, in New York in the 80’s. Thomas Schulte and Rosemarie Schwarzwälder of Galerie nächst St. Stephan. It was important to see the Spanish colleagues and the many local galleries that have been the grass roots basis for a wide angle scene and internal market of galleries, collections and institutions supporting Spanish talent. Shout out to Galería Juana de Aizpuru (opened her first gallery in 1970) who is in many ways the grandmother of the Spanish contemporary art scene, along with Helga de Alvear who as a gallerist and collector, just opened her museum in Cáceres.

But in the midst of this brilliant mix, it is important to highlight the clarity that caught me, and you will see some of these works in the photographs here. The edible colourful textures of paintings (Imi Knoebel and Bernard Frize) and vibrant sculpture created a rainbow corona in this vast conventional hall; Schwarzwälder’s selection placed an assortment of seemingly unrelated works in a harmonious swirling coherence. Stopped me every time I turned the corner. Who else could place the nubbly rich textural orbits of Sheila Hicks next to a blazingly condensed dark Basics on Composition by Helmut Federle? Only a gallerist who can see pastel pigments, married to deep indigo threads and twisted yarns as vivid partners for this tough European minimalism.

Helmut Federle, “Informal Multitudes (Dark Sky at the Coast of Shikoku)”, 2020
Acrylic, vegetable oil on canvas, 70 x 50 cm (27 1/2 x 19 3/4 in.)
Courtesy Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder
Photo: Markus Wörgötter

We have talked in the last months of Federle often enough that I can explain my delight in the new work that you haven’t seen much of before. This ravishing (forgive me) pale, mottled, transparent, watery “Informal Multitudes (Dark Sky at the Coast of Shikoku), 2020, acrylic, vegetable oil on canvas, 70 x 50 cm. Imagine the lightest Japanese scroll painted then washed away. In the studio I was paralysed by the delicacy of this. It was on the wall just finished. A rich Basics on Composition next to it like fire on the wall.

Part IV

I asked how he achieved lightness of touch; he said he poured colour, washed it off sequentially. Like rain. Which reminded me of conversations years back with Anselm Kiefer about putting his large paintings outside to dry and cure in the sun and elements. In this mysterious creative process, only an artist who is so certain of his actions, can let the elements be they air, sun or water complete this process.

This light emulsion on canvas lit up the wall with a silken paleness that felt like onion skin pulled back gently. I can’t explain why I felt so breathless in front of this work for the first time in the studio, but I had the exact same sensation in the fair. My arms burned with goose bumps. How hard is it to make an acrylic and vegetable oil painting feel like the most spontaneous watercolours pooling?

Galerie Thomas Schulte at ARCO Madrid
With works by: Angela de la Cruz, Richard Deacon, Hamish Fulton, Rebecca Horn, Idris Khan, Michael Müller, Iris Schomaker, Juan Uslé Courtesy Galerie Thomas Schulte

Floating when I saw a strikingly minimalist white room of the stand where two brilliant artists played like a piano work for four hands. On the left at Galerie Thomas Schulte was a series of wall pieces and a large furniture sculpture by Ángela de la Cruz, and on the right a group of works by the wizard-like Rebecca Horn. I could have not asked for a sequence that offered me the peace and resolve needed most during this most unsteady time. Still, one could imagine in an art fair it might be possible to pretend everything was normal, that the last two years were not as difficult and painful as they were. That we had not all suffered on some level with holding on to our lives and our wits. If you are reading this, we are the lucky ones.

Galerie Thomas Schulte at ARCO Madrid
With works by: Angela de la Cruz, Richard Deacon, Hamish Fulton, Rebecca Horn, Idris Khan, Michael Müller, Iris Schomaker, Juan Uslé
Courtesy Galerie Thomas Schulte

Ángela de la Cruz is an example of someone who is not afraid to pull painting off the wall literally. The exercise of watching the surface of a canvas struggle to be a painting is part of her vocabulary. Splaying a white file cabinet on a white chair abutting a white sofa is pretty much a portrait of how I would imagine my brain got through the last months. Expecting objects to do what they were not meant to do, expecting people to do what they were not meant to do, perching the filing cabinet of my life between two places to sit. A just complement to the often-musical and lyric sculptures of Rebecca Horn.

Rebecca Horn, “Der Blutbaum”, 2011,
Acrylic, pencil on paper, Framed: 207 x 175 cm
Courtesy Galerie Thomas Schulte