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Secundino Hernández and Art News of the Week 16 – 22 November 2020

Secundino Hernández. Photo: elpais.com
Secundino Hernández. Photo: elpais.com

The Meadows Museum, SMU acquired two recent paintings by contemporary Spanish artist Secundino Hernández (1975). Prabal Gurung celebrates this year 10 years of his brand with a new book called “Prabal Gurung”. The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) presents “New Photography: Create, Collect, Compile”, on view from November 16 to March 7, 2021. These are the Art News of the Week 16 – 22 November 2020.

Meadows Museum acquires two paintings by Secundino Hernández

November 20, 2020 – Via artdaily.com

The first of our Art News is about The Meadows Museum. This week the museum announced that it acquired two recent paintings by contemporary Spanish artist Secundino Hernández (1975). The connection between The Meadows and the Madrid artist began in February 2018. During the visit of the museum management and sponsors to the artist’s studio.

On this trip, they began discussions about bringing Hernández’s work to the museum. The painting Untitled (2019) has been in the Virginia Meadows galleries for over a year and Hernandez visited Dallas in March 2020. Hernandez announced that along with the museum’s purchase of Untitled (2019), he will also donate Secret Origins (2020) to the museum. Untitled (2019) is a painting part of Hernandez’s “monochromatic series” that measures 13 by 9 feet. And Secret Origins (2020) belongs to a genre he describes as “palette painting”.

Secundino Hernández, Untitled, 2019. Photo: Kevin Todora

Hernandez made Untitled (2019) with pieces of canvas, scraps of other works, which are sewn, washed, and dyed. This process creates a mixture of hard-edged lines and washed color. But Secret Origins (2020) is a much smaller painting and began as a palette on which Hernandez mixed the colors before applying them to a painting.

The diferent styles of Secundino Hernández

Hernández describes his “monochromatic” works like Untitled (2019) with the metaphor “the first is flesh, the second is bone”. But he describes his palette paintings, such as Secret Origins (2020), as a kind of antithesis.

“Untitled (2019) felt at home in the Meadows from the moment we hung it in the museum. The dialogue creates with other works in our collection and the enthusiasm it inspires among our visitors encouraged its purchase as we expand our commitment to collecting contemporary Spanish art. Hernández has a unique place in the Meadows Museum’s history, as our work with him kicked off our new partnership with ARCO Foundation. We’re thrilled that Hernández chose to celebrate our relationship with a gift alongside our purchase,” said Mark A. Roglán, the Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum.

“During my trip to Dallas earlier this year, I was struck not only by the hospitality of the Meadows community. But also the genuine passion and dedication to Spanish art among museum patrons. I wanted my work to be permanently surrounded by this kind of enthusiasm and energy, and so decided to donate Secret Origins (2020) to the Meadows. It is an honor for my work to be housed alongside the Spanish masterpieces held by the museum,” said Hernández to sum up. He was born in 1975 in Madrid, where he currently lives and works.

Fashion Designer Prabal Gurung Talks About Art, Activism, and the Importance of Emphasizing Feminine Power

November 19, 2020 – Via artnews.com

The next of the Art News of the Week is about Prabal Gurung, a Nepalese-American fashion designer based in New York City. He born in Singapore in 1979, but he grew up in Kathmandu, Nepal. The designer celebrates this year 10 years of his brand with a new book called “Prabal Gurung”. He spoke to ART News this week about activism, art, and the importance of emphasizing women’s power in his work.

In 1999 Gurung moved from New Delhi to New York City, where he attended the Parsons School of Design and studied with Donna Karan. He worked with Bill Blass for five years as a design director after an apprenticeship with Cynthia Rowley. His own collection is called “PRABAL GURUNG” and was launched during February 2009 as part of New York Fashion Week at the Flag Art Foundation in Chelsea.

Prabal Gurung. Photo: time.com

From there his brand became an overnight success. This book explores the designer’s spiritual and artistic journey through his life. It includes runway images, sketches, and editorial content that have influenced the brand since its founding.

Gurung felt that no one in the fashion industry was doing what he wanted to do at the time. “There is no formula for success, working hard and finding out what your true passion is, where work does not feel like work. The greatest thing you can have is the courage to tell your own story, to be yourself,” said the designer.

Female artists as reference points and inspiration

He considers some female artists as reference points and inspiration for his work. He mentions several in his book, artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Cecily Brown, Cindy Sherman, Frida Kahlo, Tracey Emin, and the late architect Zaha Hadid. Gurung even named the different models of his first shoe collection in honor of each of these powerful artists. This collection debuted in the spring of 2015.

Known for challenging the conventions of the fashion world, Gurung found inspiration in these women. In their ability to struggle within a male-dominated art world and still achieve success. He was raised by his single mother in Singapore, then spent most of his childhood in Nepal, and later lived in Australia, Europe, and the United States. Gurung has felt a great passion since childhood to celebrate women and matriarchal energy.

In conclusion, Gurung, who has been labeled an activist on several occasions, wants to break down the boundaries that society imposes on women. “All these artists for me, their existence, their work, their presence, within real-life and within history was a challenge, it was a protest against patriarchal beliefs and systems. That for me is really powerful,” said Gurung.

Four Contemporary Artists Explore the Language of Photography at NOMA

November 16, 2020 – Via myneworleans.com

The last of our Art News is that the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) presents this week “New Photography: Create, Collect, Compile”, on view from November 16 to March 7, 2021. The exhibition brings together the work of four contemporary photographers who work with and critique the new practices of photography. They are:
Esther Hovers born in Holland in 1991.
Dionne Lee, born in the USA in 1988.
Celiot Jerome Brown, Jr, born in the USA in 1993.
Guanyu Xu, born in China in 1993.

They wonder what and how the new open-source language of photography can communicate in today’s world. Susan Taylor, Director of Montine McDaniel Freeman says that “NOMA has a rich tradition of presenting important contemporary photographs, dating back to the museum’s first photography exhibition in 1918. We are pleased to open a new chapter in this tradition with New Photography: Create, Collect, Compile.”

Guanyu Xu, Rooms of Convergence. Photo: myneworleans.com

Making and sharing photographs has changed dramatically over the past two decades. The artists featured in New Photography are responding to the new ways in which this art has been transformed. Therefore they also ask how these changes can lead to issues of access, privacy, and control of one’s image and history.

Brown, Hovers, Lee, and Xu work in a committed way with these concerns. Reaffirming control over one’s photographic history through the creation, collection, or compilation of images. All of them work with and against new photographic practices to chart stories about issues of power, identity, and community.

Photographs and the spaces interact to create a new meaning

Each one considers in a personal way how photographs and the spaces in which they are found interact to create a new meaning. Hovers interrogating the collection of images using surveillance cameras. Lee by appropriating and transforming images of landscapes. Brown embedding photographs in the architecture of the museum. Finally, Xu distributes magazine images with his own photographs to create installations.

In conclusion, New Photography is organized by Brian Piper, Assistant Curator of Photographs at the Mellon Foundation, and by Russell Lord, Curator of Freeman Family Photographs. Piper said, “We hope that the way these photographers weave stories about their identities will inspire deep thought about the language of photography,” and Lord said, “It is an honor to work with four such insightful photographers and to explore how their work signals an important shift in our understanding of photography,”. See you next week with more Art News here at ina Contemporary Art.


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