A daily bulletin of news & opinion

15 March 2014


Paul Gauguin: ‘Metamorphoses’

French post-impressionist artist Paul Gauguin may be primarily known for his modernist paintings during the later half of the 19th century but he has worked extensively across multiple mediums. New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has gathered around 160 rare works – woodcuts, transfer drawings, sculpture and ceramics, to name a few – from public and private collections locally and internationally. Now on show on the sixth floor's special exhibition gallery, the eclectic mix reveals Gauguin's willingness to allow cross-fertilisation of ideas. Take the recurring South Pacific motifs, for instance: Gauguin's version of a demon, the 1895-97 wooden bust sculpture “Head with Horns” reappears in Gauguin's 1900 “Tahitian Woman with Evil Spirit”, in both oil transfer and pencil drawings.

MoMA, 11 West 53 Street. Open Monday to Saturday, 10.30-17.30; Fridays until 20.00. Until 8 June.


‘Beyond Reach’

Denmark's Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art has invited four artist duos (three Danish and one from Iceland) to explore the intersection of artworks and the physical space that houses them – in this case the Den Frie's exhibition halls. Copenhagen’s Benandsebastian duo is made up of Oxford-born Ben Clement and local Sebastian de la Cour. Their “Museum of Nothing” installation replicates a traditional art gallery with an abundance of empty wooden displays and stands. Meanwhile, Icelanders Margrét Bjarnadóttir and Elín Hansdóttir, choreographer and visual artist respectively, have hung up various fabric prints that channel the very showroom they're exhibited in. This work is aptly titled "Denfrie Refined".

Den Frie, Oslo Plads 1. Open Tuesday to Friday, 14.00-19.00 (Thursdays until 21.00); Saturday and Sunday, 10.00-17.00. Until 13 April.


Bicycle Film Festival

The travelling Bicycle Film Festival was kickstarted in New York in 2001 and has made its way around the world's major cities – including Basel, Buenos Aires and Tokyo – since. Arriving in Portland on Saturday, the one-day affair at the Clinton Street Theater will screen over 20 local and international short films from both fictional and documentary genres. While they all revolve around cycling, naturally, these videos open up the audience’s imaginations to the multifaceted world of the sport. US filmmaker Morgan Kranz's romantic comedy The Cyclist is about how an underwhelming first date turns into a hunt for a bicycle thief, while Sister Session by Estonian filmmakers Helen Habakuk, Doris Taaker and Brett Astrid Vomma documents an all-female cycling team competing at a professional level for the first time.

Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton Street. Timings vary; see website for details. All-day event on 15 March.


Hong Kong Arts Festival

Every year around February and March, Hong Kong hosts a month-long arts festival offering a broad spectrum of programmes that range from classical music and ballet to contemporary dance, theatre productions and traditional Cantonese opera. This year’s edition features 138 performances by local art collectives and cultural organisations from Finland, Russia, Sweden and Korea. While the festival will close on 23 March with performances of Wagner’s Lohengrin and Shakespeare’s African Tales, this weekend don’t miss the opportunity to catch Iphigenia in Tauris by the late Pina Bausch, one of the most important German choreographers of our time.

At various locations in Hong Kong; see website for details. Until 23 March.


Elisabeth Scherffig: ‘Mappa Mundi’

Multimedia artist Elisabeth Scherffig is currently presenting her new series Mappa Mundi at London's Faggionato gallery – her fifth show in the capital. Scherffig, who was born in Dusseldorf but has been lived in Milan since 1970, maps said cities and the way they have changed over time, giving them her own perspective. Instead of limiting herself to creating traditional maps, Scherffig incorporates various types of media – such as paper prints, perforated steel and sculptures – that help her to allude to seasons and geographical locations.

Faggionato Gallery, 49 Albemarle Street. Open Monday to Friday, 10.00-17.30; Saturdays until 16.00. Until 11 April.


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