What happens when an artist attempts to liberate the female form from the milieu of society? For centuries, the female form has been a beloved subject in art history. It has been used as an agent of temptation, and has come to symbolize fertility and beauty. The artists we are looking at this week take into account both personal and cultural perceptions of the female form to produce art that is simultaneously engaging and provocative. In Istanbul, a young female artist uses materials commonly associated with the domestication of women to convey her personal experiences living in male-dominated world. In Zug, Galerie Gmurzynska will showcase new works by Fernando Botero including several renditions of the artist’s voluptuous female figures that trump current cultural trends of the ideal woman.
Merve Üstünalp: Once We Were, Once We Weren't will be on view on September 5 at Kemankes Mah, Mumhane Cad., Laroz Han No: 67, Karaköy, 34425 Istanbul, Turkey.
artSümer, a participating gallery in the first edition of ArtInternational Istanbul opening later this month, will be showing mixed media works by emerging artist Merve Üstünalp (Turkish, b.1987) that challenge conventional female roles in a satirical fashion. Üstünalp works with textile and needlework to manufacture the archetypal female image endorsed by society. Once We Were, Once We Weren’t invites viewers to reflect on issues of sexuality and gender hierarchy, and on how these factors work in contradiction to the calm and poised demeanor expected of today’s women. Through a series of visual narratives, the viewer comes face to face with a biographical account of the artist’s struggle to meet the expectations of a demanding society.
Fernando Botero—It is All About Volume will be on view on September 5 at Unter Altstadt 20, CH-6300 Zug, Switzerland.
For over 50 years, Fernando Botero (Colombian, b.1932) has been a seminal proponent of Figurative Art, excelling in both painting and sculpture on an international scale. The aptly titled exhibition, It is All About Volume, is a multi-venue event presented by Galerie Gmurzynska, an established and highly regarded Swiss gallery that will be hosting this major exhibition in conjunction with their 20th anniversary festivities. Among the selection of new works will be paintings of Botero’s societal femmes, female figures portrayed in an array of conventional dress and poses, and devoid of any expression that may threaten their composure and status. La Novia (2013) depicts a full-figured woman in a fitted wedding dress, carefully posed with one hand on her hip. All the elements in this portrait are meticulously placed, not to represent a particular woman, but to reflect a constructed perception of overarching societal divisions and gender roles. Botero is able to keep the mood of his painting light, as he does with many of his works, by infusing social commentary with humor and his idiosyncratic style, “Boterismo.”
Browse openings by city to see where art can be found in your town!
Peter Bynum: Illuminated Paintings at JanKossen Contemporary
September 5–October 17, 2013
101 Haltingerstrasse, BS 4053 Basel, Switzerland
Michael Müller at Galerie Thomas Schulte
September 5–November 9, 2013
Charlottenstraße 24, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Yto Barrada: La courte échelle (Räuberleiter), Hamburg at Galerie Sfeir-Semler
September 5–October 26, 2013
Admiralitätstr, 71, 20459 Hamburg, Germany
Biala and Brustlein and Robert Kulicke: Paintings and Works on Paper 1959-1969 at Tibor de Nagy Gallery
September 5–12, 2013
124 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10019
GLAMOUR IS BACK – Great moments from the Trunk Archive (LUMAS New York - Soho) at LUMAS - PHOTO.ART.EDITIONS.
September 5–October 6, 2013
362 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013
September Artist of the Month: Collage, Watercolor, and Abstract Paintings By Mike Smith at Attic Gallery
September 5–28, 2013
206 SW First Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
Chuck Close: Important Works on Paper from the Past Forty Years at John Berggruen Gallery
September 5–November 16, 2013
228 Grant Avenue, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Floors, San Francisco, CA 94108