"Miquel Barcelo': The African Work" comprises some 90 works, the exhibition ranges over the entire period of his association with West Africa, presenting works on paper - some being shown for the first time - large and small-scale paintings, sculptures, ceramics and sketchbooks. "Janaina Tschape - Chimera" is structured around the genetics of this fabled beast from ancient myth, to create a very specific atmosphere. The exhibition focuses on her recent paintings that embody a sense of the extraordinary through bright and colourful botanical notations.
Miquel Barceló: The African Work
Miquel Barceló: The African Work focuses on works inspired by Barceló’s frequent stays in West Africa, where he has been a regular visitor since 1988 and where he has had a home, in the Dogon area of Mali, since the early 1990s. Comprising some 90 works, the exhibition ranges over the entire period of his association with West Africa, presenting works on paper – some being shown for the first time – large and small-scale paintings, sculptures, ceramics and sketchbooks.
Miquel Barceló is renowned for the extraordinary diversity and originality of his work, which has ranged from a series of spectacular terracotta murals for a chapel in the cathedral in Palma de Mallorca to a mesmerizing performance piece/living sculpture with the Hungarian/French choreographer Josef Nadj. He is currently creating a ceiling painting for the Human Rights Hall at the United Nations offices in Geneva, his most ambitious project to date. Barceló’s amazing creative output has been compared to such great Spanish masters as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Antoni Tapies and to outstanding contemporaries European artists such as Francesco Clemente and Anselm Kiefer. Alongside these major projects, for the past 20 years West Africa has played – and continues to play – a particularly important part in Barceló’s practice. Unlike many artists who have been fascinated with the region, Barceló is drawn not to the exoticism of the area but rather to the daily life of its inhabitants, which he presents in a series of portraits, domestic scenes, landscapes and still lifes.
Born in Majorca in 1957, Miquel Barceló studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Palma and the Fine Arts Academy in Barcelona. In 1974 he held his first solo exhibition at the Galería d'Art Picarol, Cala d'Or, Majorca. During the 1980s he traveled in Europe, the United States and West Africa and in 1982 he achieved international acclaim for his participation in Documenta 7 in Kassel. Barceló works with a wide-range of media and projects, from paintings and drawings, to backdrops for opera, murals and engravings, and terracotta and ceramic sculptures. From 2001 to 2006 Barceló worked on a project for the cathedral in Palma, covering an entire chapel in terracotta and then decorating it with images relating to the sixth chapter of the gospel of St John. Recent solo exhibitions include Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo, 2003; Musée du Louvre, Paris, 2004; Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zürich, 2005, and Sala Kubo, San Sebastián, 2005. Barceló currently lives between Paris, Majorca and Mali.
This exhibition will travel to CAC Málaga, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga in Spain from 11 November 2008 to 15 February 2009.
A fully-illustrated catalogue has been published with texts by Irish novelist Colm Tóibín and the Spanish poet and novelist José Carlos Llop, a chronology of Barceló’s time in Africa compiled by Amelie Aranguren, former assistant of the artist and an interview between myself and Barceló. We are delighted to collaborate with Turner Libros on the English and Spanish editions of this publication. The catalogue has been produced with the assistance of Marie Donnelly.
Janaina Tschäpe: Chimera
This is the first solo exhibition in Ireland by the vibrant German/Brazilian artist Janaina Tschäpe. Entitled Chimera, this exhibition is structured around the genetics of this fabled beast from ancient myth, to create a very specific atmosphere. The exhibition focuses on Tschäpe’s recent paintings that embody a sense of the extraordinary through bright and colourful botanical notations. Displayed and intertwined amongst these paintings are her film and photographic works. In this exhibition Tschäpe creates an environment of dream and fantasy, where the everyday world metamorphoses into a mythical place, populated by fabricated creatures and florescent vegetation.
The four screen video installation, Blood Sea, 2004, is a mesmerizing example of Tschäpe’s fantasy worlds. Its narrative plays with the evolutionary biology of sirens and fishtails from fables such as the water sprites of Irish lore to Iemanja, spirit of the seas, lakes and fertility, from the Candomblé religion in Brazil. In this work Tschäpe plays creator to magnificent and fantastical creatures and environments. The fertile worlds found in Blood Sea and the photographic series Botanica’s, 2004-05, are juxtaposed in this exhibition with the simplicity of an earlier series that spans over four years, 100 Little Deaths, 1997 - 2001, explores the dangers in art and the horror for an artist in coming up empty. The exhibition is a unique opportunity to discover Tschäpe's contemplative and melancholic, yet surreal, practice.
Janaina Tschäpe was born in Munich, Germany, in 1973, but spent a great deal of her childhood in São Paulo, Brazil, her mother’s hometown. In 1992 she moved to Hamburg and attended the Hochschule für Bildende Küste where she received her degree in fine art. Tschäpe has exhibited extensively in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Her most recent solo shows include Galerie Xippas, Athens, 2007; Sikkema, Jenkins & Co., New York, 2007; Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo, 2006; Contemporary Museum of Art, St Louis, 2006, and Paço das Artes, São Paulo, 2006. She currently lives and works in New York.
A fully-illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition with texts by Rachael Thomas, Senior Curator: Head of Exhibitions, IMMA; Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, curator Angela Kingston and writer/curator Germano Celant. A discussion between the artist and curator is also included.
Image Miquel Barceló
Opening june 24 2008
Irish Museum of Modern Art - IMMA
Royal Hospital Military Road Kilmainham 8 - Dublin