MAM Saint-Étienne welcomes a retrospective of Jannis Kounellis

From 11 October 2014 until 15 February 2015, the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Saint-Étienne, France, is to show a retrospective dedicated to Jannis Kounellis. Jannis Kounellis (born 1936) is a Greek artist based in Rome, who is associated with the Arte Povera movement. After studying art in Athens, he left his home country to study at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. His first exhibitions consisted soley of paintings using numbers, letters and words on canvas, evoking the imagery of advertising. It was only in the 1960s that the artist started to introduce objects into his work; gradually distancing himself from the canvas by replacing it with doors and windows, or sometimes creating his work directly on the walls themselves; even his own body became a work of art. Arte Povera is an Italian movement which began in 1967 when artists started attacking the government. Arte Povera, which translates as ‘poor art’, was coined by curator Germano Celant; the concept is to take objects belonging to the everyday and place them in parallel with nature and industry. Other artists who have contributed to the movement include Luciano Fabro, Lucio Fontana, Mario Merz, Pino Pascali, Giuseppe Penone and Michelangelo Pistoletto....

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Animating the city through the eyes of OakOak

Saint-Etienne, 29 May 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). OakOak is a street artist whose artistic practice places a focus on the spaces and environments in which he works. Driven by a desire to bring sunshine on a daily basis, the artist not only wants to decorate the city, but to bring it to life in order to create a reconnection with passers-by. His art is not based on any aesthetic norms but rather on a concept, that of playing around with the potholes in the streets and transforming ordinary objects. His work does not aim to be provocative or imposing, but seeks to throw a wink at passers-by. Art Media Agency met with the street artist. Here is OakOak’s interview: AMA: Where are you from? What is your background? Did you study art? OakOak: I am originally from Saint-Etienne. I did not at all study art. In fact, I would say the contrary… I am actually a self-taught artist and I only started working in the streets in 2006. AMA: When did you become interested in Street Art? OakOak: I think it all started on the day when I said to myself that, by adding eyes and a mouth to a fire hydrant, I could make it look way funnier and make it human. Then, with time, I looked for new projects, new ways to transform the objects I found in the city. AMA: Can you name some artists whose work you admire? OakOak: I really like artists who play with urban spaces, like Varini, SPY and Fra Biancoshock. Thinking about other genres, I also like artists like Monsieur Chat, Ella and Pitr, Ghyslain Berholon. As for more classical pieces, I very much appreciate Modigliani and Tamara de Lempicka. AMA: What inspires you? OakOak: I am greatly inspired by my childhood, mostly by the video...

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Benjamin Mecz at the Bernard Ceysson Gallery

Saint-Etienne, 27 May 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). From 23 May to 31 July 2013, the Bernard Ceysson Gallery in Saint-Etienne is to present works by Benjamin Mecz. Art critic Alexis Jakubowicz has described Benjamin Mecz as being “like a child and his art, like a game”. Entitled “Taille Unique” Mecz’s exhibition presents sculptures and installations produced from simple objects-  modest materials which “fragment, re-form, conglomerate or disperse”. Amongst the diverse array of works on display is Queeny, a giant ant made of playing cards, around which the artist has spread hundreds of eggs containing taxidermied flies. Other notable works include Mille Lions (2011), a cube made of small toy lions, and Sans Titre (2012), a horse-shaped hanging created using razor blades threaded onto polyster...

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Graffiti at the Galerie Berthéas – Les Tournesols

Saint-Etienne, 18 March 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). The Galerie Berthéas – Les Tournesols will be hosting within its two spaces an exhibition of ten Graffiti artists, from 6 to 27 April 2013. Among the members of this artistic movement, American artists Crash, Quik and Profécy, as well as the French Miss.Tic, Speedy Graphito, Psyckoze and JonOne will be on display. New promising artists will also be on show, as for instance M.Chat, Zalez and Benjamin SPaRK. On the occasion, both galleries will be welcoming numerous hitherto unseen works, mixed with older items. The Galerie Berthéas – Les Tournesols, established in 1989, and located in Saint-Etienne and Vichy, specialises in contemporary art. It is part of the Committee of Art Galleries...

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8th Edition of the Design Biennale in Saint-Etienne

Saint-Etienne, 24 january 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). From 14 to 31 March 2013, Saint-Etienne will host the Biennale Internationale du Design (International Biennial of Design). This event is expected to attract 85,00 visitors with 40 countries represented. This year’s theme is “empathy or the experience of the others”. Five prizes will be awarded: the “Prix Marc Charasse Création & Invention” to a young designer, the “Prix Design et Prospective” to an innovative company anticipating lifestyle changes, the “Prix Design de Serves-Groupe La Poste” rewarding innovative projects in terms of services invented by people under 35 or students, and the “Prix Atelier Visionnaire” rewarding project linked to the theme of empathy. Visitors will enjoy 50 exhibitions scattered through different spaces: “Prospective et Innovation”, a space dedicated to the Ecole Supérieure d’Art et de Design de Saint-Etienne, “International dans la biennale”, Design as an expertise, “Biennale sur le territoire de Saint-Etienne métropole” (Biennale on the territory of the metropolis of Saint-Etienne), and les “Résonances de la biennale sur le pôle métropolitain” (Effects of the Biennale on the metropolitan area). The biennial is intended as a place for discussions, through forums, conferences and seminars and visitors of all ages will be able to enjoy the event with a space for children imagined by Matali Crasset and named...

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