Museum and Museums - tutti i libri per gli amanti del genere Museum and Museums - Johan & Levi Editore | P. 2

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Museum and Museums

Do you have to set the Louvre on fire to establish yourself as one of the masters of your time? In order to answer this provocative question, in the 1960s the art critic Pierre Schneider invited eleven celebrated artists of the day, including Giacometti, Miró, Chagall and Steinberg, to accompany him one at a time through the museum’s sumptuous rooms. None of them refused the invitation and the truth that emerged still holds today. Far from torturing artists, the Louvre casts a spell on them that does not fade over time. Neither discouraged nor uplifted but if anything beguiled by the abyss separating them from the giants that live there, artists alone are capable of addressing them and entering into a dialogue between equals. Schneider records their every comment and gesture, even their silences and alternating moods, outlining the direction of their thinking in a few lines. Then, at just the right moment, comes the insidious question. The answers, sometimes scathing and sometimes admiring but never deferential, reveal uncommon acumen and great intimacy also with artists of a very different mature. We thus find Chagall unforeseeably moved by Courbet (“a great poet”) and irritated with Ingres (“too polished”), Giacometti enamoured of the Tintoretto self-portrait (“the most magnificent head in the Louvre”), and Miró onomatopoeically entranced, whistling with admiration at African mosaics. The eye of each glides over the works to plumb their material depths, comment on their “chemistry” and finally decide how they have stood up over time. These fascinating walks are informed by a spirit of reconciliation between old and new that explodes any notion of the museum as a warehouse of obsolete objects with nothing to say to contemporaries. The Louvre appears to its eleven extraordinary guests as a book from which you learn to read, a gymnasium to build up your strength, a school to hone your vision, the ideal cemetery, a time machine that eliminates millennial gaps, a bridge between past and present and above all the place where it is possible to address the greatest things created since the beginning of time.
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Louvre, mon amour

Undici grandi artisti in visita al museo più famoso del mondo

Pierre Schneider

publisher: Johan & Levi

pages: 192 pages

Do you have to set the Louvre on fire to establish yourself as one of the masters of your time? In order to answer this provocative question, in the 1960s the art critic Pierre Schneider invited eleven celebrated artists of the day, including Giacometti, Miró, Chagall and Steinberg, to accompany him one at a time through the museum’s sumptuous r
There was once the easel painting with a solid frame and a complete perspective system in which a illusion of reality was embedded. Then the Impressionist landscapes appeared on the horizon and began to give instructions to viewers as to where they must stand, the right distance for observation and the attitude to be adopted. But this was not the end. The huge canvases of the Abstract Expressionists, fraught with vital tension, expanded still further laterally and came to break through the border. The frame, now reduced to a parenthesis, dissolved to liberate illusion and its function was transferred as though by magic to the exhibition space. The time was ripe for Marcel Duchamp to hang 1,200 coal sacks from the ceiling of Galerie Beaux-Arts in 1938 and stand the visitors on their heads. For the first time the exhibition space was treated as a box, a display window to manipulate. Duchamp’s gesture “dispatches the bull of history with a single thrust”. The years go by and, as in an echo chamber, it will appear more successful all the time. The white cubebegins to devour the object. The context upstages the work exhibited and becomes a “chamber of transformation” that turns whatever enters it into art. The gallery can also remain empty, be filled with rubbish, remain closed for the entire period of the show, simulate a space of real life, be wrapped with tarpaulin and rope together with the entire museum building, host tableaux vivants or shocking happenings. The same scenes would probably not attract the slightest attention outside the white cube, but inside it even our everyday life – the café, the bedroom, the service station – becomes art, an experience that goes beyond looking. As though on board a spaceship, scrutinizing the Earth as it disappears on the horizon, Brian O’Doherty reconstructs a history of the art of the 20th century from the perspective of the evolution of the exhibition space, now to be regarded as the undisputed arena of discourse.
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Inside the White Cube

L'ideologia dello spazio espositivo

Brian O'Doherty

publisher: Johan & Levi

pages: 146 pages

There was once the easel painting with a solid frame and a complete perspective system in which a illusion of reality was embedded. Then the Impressionist landscapes appeared on the horizon and began to give instructions to viewers as to where they must stand, the right distance for observation and the attitude to be adopted. But this was not the e
Museum S.p.a. is not a book on the Guggenheim Museum or indeed on museums in general but a pamphlet that reveals the perverse mechanisms of art through the example of a museum transformed into a multinational. The museum in question was the New York Guggenheim and its diabolic planner a man named Tom Krens. The formula was simple and wholly in line with the times. Art was a commodity like all the others and to be exploited as such for profit. The speculative bubble was on target once again. The coupling of art and business was now acceptable and the Guggenheim began to open branches all over the world. But can art be treated like a Big Mac or a packet of Corn Flakes? What are the consequences of this absurd plan after the outbreak of the world-wide economic crisis? Paul Werner worked at the New York Guggenheim for nine years and went through this epoch-making change on the inside. A specialist in contemporary art, he was suddenly required to be an expert on everything from Chinese and African art to Armani clothes, motorcycles and even Vaseline. This short, incandescent text takes the lid off that bizarre postmodern museum to reveal its internal dynamics, shedding completely unprecedented light on the path that museums – all museums – have ended up taking over the last twenty years, a slippery slope whose disastrous consequences are clear today. On these ashes, with great acumen and fierce passion, the author indicates a new and exciting path towards a future yet to be constructed.
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Museo S.p.A.

La globalizzazione della cultura

Paul Werner

publisher: Johan & Levi

pages: 80 pages

Museum S.p.a. is not a book on the Guggenheim Museum or indeed on museums in general but a pamphlet that reveals the perverse mechanisms of art through the example of a museum transformed into a multinational. The museum in question was the New York Guggenheim and its diabolic planner a man named Tom Krens. The formula was simple and wholly in line

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