Home » On Curatorship (and the artist Peter Callesen)

On Curatorship (and the artist Peter Callesen)

In his (VoCA recommended) book Art Power, Boris Groys argues for the emergence of the curator as an important figure in art today. Noting that originally, art became art through decisions made by museum curators rather than artists, he goes on to say “Sacred objects were once devalued to produce art; today, in contrast, profane objects are valorized to become art.” It is therefore necessary to have curators. “The artwork needs external help, it needs an exhibition and curator to become visible.”

It seems curatorship has, again, stepped into the limelight.

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Peter Callesen, Bound to be free, 2008. Image: helenenyborg.com

We will see what curator Daniel Birnbaum has in store for us at this year’s Venice Biennale in June, but from what I hear from Leah Sandals, who was in Madrid recently for ARCO, the city’s museums had some pretty interesting exhibits on, including one that looks fascinating on the subject of Shadows.


Francesca Gabbiani, The End, 2007 Coloured paper, gouache and acrylic on paper.
Image: friezeartfair.com

Over in California, the Armory Center for the Arts will present Under the Knife, a group exhibition exploring the technique of cutting in contemporary art.

The show will be on from March 22 through May 10, 2009 and will feature artists including China Adams, Francesca Gabbiani, Ellen Gallagher, Sherin Guirguis, Charlotte McGowan-Griffin, Wangechi Mutu and Winnipeg’s own Paul Butler.

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Peter Callesen, Half Way Through, 2006 (detail) Image: petercallesen.com

Using saws, lasers, Xacto knives and scissors, the twelve exhibiting artists in Under the Knife employ a variety of media to sculpt, paint, and draw with cut lines and forms. What emerges are graphically complex works that examine process, materiality, layering, elimination, and the relationship between positive and negative space.

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A collage work by Winnipeg artist Paul Butler. Image: theotherpaulbutler.com

Speaking of paper cuts, one of VoCA’s very very favorite artists is Peter Callesen, whose work we discovered in the late 90s, when Callesen was studying in London. It’s only gotten better – we love the performances, installations and of course the brilliant papercuts – and we’d love to see an exhibit of his work in Canada.

Callesen is represented by Helene Nyborg Contemporary. Click HERE.

5 Responses to “On Curatorship (and the artist Peter Callesen)”

  1. Jeff says:

    If you’re talking about paper cut-outs, you can’t miss Yuken Teruya: .

  2. Nicholas Brown says:

    There’s also NYC’s Swoon, whose “Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea” is absolutely incredible:
    http://artforum.com/video/mode=large&id=21628

    Also, on a very different scale, BC’s Kristi Malakoff’s cut paper pieces are not to be missed:
    http://www.kristimalakoff.com
    She’s got a number of pieces in the VAG’s roundup show “How Soon is Now” on, well, now.

  3. Andrea says:

    Oh yes, those are lovely Malakoffs in the show you curated, Nick.

    And, btw, Swoon is featured in the Reel Artists Film Festival this weekend. The Canadian premiere of Our City Dreams, a doc about 5 women artists living in NYC.

    Check it out here: http://www.canadianart.ca/microsites/REELARTISTS/schedule/

    And it’s a free student screening!

  4. Very, Very Nice.. Very Cool

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