I am pleased to be able to present the October Issue of TAS with three articles by our writers. Anna Leung writes about Agnes Martin (1912 – 2004) who was born in Canada but is considered an American artist. Her exhibition at the Tate Modern in London has ended, but I hope many readers will make a pilgrimage to see and appreciate her work somewhere in the world. There is a permanent installation in Taos, New Mexico at the Harwood Museum of Art, and if you can wait until October 2016, the Guggenheim in New York will launch a major exhibition of her work. Recently opened at the Guggenheim is a major retrospective of the Italian artist Alberto Burri, about whom Anna wrote for a past issue of TAS issue. Her essay would make a good read before going to see the show. You can access it here: Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting continues through January 6, 2016. Again, my thank you to Anna.
Venetian architect Monica Trevisan reports on the upcoming Architecture Biennial which will open on May 28, 2016. Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena has been chosen as the curator. I am so pleased to have Monica give TAS an insider's take on this upcoming exhibition. I look forward to more articles by our writers as they cover this aspect of the Venice Biennale. I wish to express my appreciation to Monica for giving us an early peek at this biennial in her home town.
Ai Weiwei's exhibition just opened at the Royal Academy in London and will be on view until December 13, 2015. Floriana Piqué offers us her view of this provocative artist. This socially and politically engaged artist is represented by two major exhibitions: this one in London and simultaneously another one at the Helsinki Art Museum, which will be on view until February 28, 2016. I am very moved by the work Tree in the Royal Academy's courtyard, where eight trees are reassembled from dead trees. There is sadness but also hope in this beautiful work. Floriana writes about Ai's work with great enthusiasm and passion; her reading of the exhibition is both perceptive and poetic.
I leave you with these words about Tree from RA curator Adrian Locke:
Ai’s trees are made from parts of dead trees that are brought down from the mountains of southern China and sold in the markets of Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province. Ai transports these to his studio in Beijing where they are made into trees. As he says, “it’s just like trying to imagine what the tree looked like”. Held together by hidden mortise and tenon joins and large industrial bolts, the trees look natural from a distance and artificial from close up. Tree has been likened to the modern Chinese nation, where ethnically diverse peoples have been brought together to form ‘One China’, a state-sponsored policy aimed at protecting and promoting China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
All my best,
The Art Section
AI Weiwei Trees Royal Academy London