Featured artist: Vanessa Beecroft | ITSLIQUID

Featured artist: Vanessa Beecroft

Art | May 24, 2012 |

Vanessa Beecroft, vb45.9043.ali, 2001, performance at the Kunsthallie Wien, Vienna, image courtesy of Vanessa Beecroft

Vanessa Beecroft

Vanessa Beecroft, born April 25, 1969, is an Italian contemporary artist from Genoa living in Los Angeles. The artist’s work is a fusion of conceptual issues and aesthetic concerns, focusing on large-scale performance art, usually involving live female models (often nude). At her performances, video recordings and photographs are made, to be exhibited as documentation of the performances, but also as separate works of art.

Vanessa Beecroft, VB67_kor4, 2010-2011, image courtesy of Galleria Lia Rumma, Milano-Napoli

The work and her conceptual approach is neither performance nor documentary, but something in between, and closer to Renaissance painting. She sets up a structure for the participants in her live events to create their own ephemeral composition. The performances are existential encounters between models and audience, their shame and their expectations. Each performance is made for a specific location and often references the political, historical, or social associations of the place where it is held. Beecroft’s work is deceptively simple in its execution, provoking questions around identity politics and voyeurism in the complex relationship between viewer, model and context.

Vanessa Beecroft, VB48.014.dr, 2001, performance at the Palazzo Ducale, Genoa, image courtesy of Vanessa Beecroft

Beecroft’s performances have been described as art, fashion, brilliant, terrible, evocative, provocative, disturbing, sexist, and empowering. The primary material in her work is the live female figure, which remains ephemeral, and separate. These women, mainly unclothed, similar, unified through details like hair color, or identical shoes, stand motionless, unapproachable and regimented in the space while viewers watch them. Neither performance nor documentary, Beecroft’s live events are recorded through photography and film, but her conceptual approach is actually closer to painting: she makes contemporary versions of the complex figurative compositions that have challenged painters from the Renaissance onwards. Beecroft’s more recent work has a slightly more theatrical approach; the uniforms are period clothing, not nudity, and some of her performances include food, while others have featured men in military attire.

Vanessa Beecroft, VB52.02.nt, 2003, performance at Rivoly, Italy, image courtesy of Vanessa Beecroft

Beecroft’s first exhibition was VB01, in Milan, 1993, in which she presented a series of drawings along with the past eight years of her Food Diary. The following year she exhibited in New York for the first time, at the Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York. Beecroft’s performances have taken place at many notable art institutions: VB28 at the Venice Biennale in 1997; VB35 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York in 1998; VB40 at the MCA, Sydney, Australia in 1999; VB43 at the Gagosian Gallery in London in 2000; VB45 at the Vienna Kunsthalle in 2001; VB50 at the São Paulo Bienal, Brazil in 2002; VB52, part of a retrospective show, at the Castello di Rivoli in 2003; VB54 at an exhibit called Terminal 5 at the TWA Flight Center of JFK Airport in 2004, an exhibition that closed abruptly after the building itself was vandalized during an opening party.

Beecroft’s work, specifically VB48, at the Gagosian Gallery in California, has come under fire by feminist artist groups like the Toxic Titties. Beecroft does not acknowledge the time commitment, exertion, and treatment endured by her models, leading critics to question the conceptual ideas put forth in her work.

more. www.vanessabeecroft.com

Are you an artist, architect, designer? Would you like to be featured on ITSLIQUID platform? Send an e-mail to info@itsliquid.com or fill the form below

RELATED POSTS


Ebony G. Patterson

Art | January 22, 2021

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM) presents an exhibition of new works by Ebony G. Patterson, reflecting on her evolving exploration of the garden as metaphor. The exhibition combines an immersive installation in the Front Gallery juxtaposed to a monumental, multilayered paper collage extending from CAM’s 60-foot-long Project Wall. The new works represent Patterson’s expansion into a new phase of her practice, emerging from the foundation of her past garden-themed constructions. Read more


GERHARD RICHTER: CAGE PAINTINGS

Art | January 19, 2021

Gerhard Richter’s Cage paintings (2006) will remain at Gagosian Beverly Hills until April 3. They were a cornerstone of the artist’s retrospective, Gerhard Richer: Painting After All, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York last year. In conjunction with this key group of six paintings, a new group of drawings created by Richter on consecutive days during the summer of 2020 is being shown for the first time. Read more


LEE BUL: UTOPIA SAVED

Art | January 12, 2021

Lee Bul (b. 1964) is an artist based in Seoul, South Korea. Trained as a sculptor during the period of social and political upheavals of the 1980s, she started off her artistic career with performative pieces that incorporated wearable soft sculptures. In the 1990s she gained international recognition with a series of provocative works, including her scandalous installation of fresh fish left to decay and her Cyborg sculptures, hybrids of machine and organic forms. Read more


Ado Vabbe. Kumu Art Museum

Art | January 8, 2021

From 28 August, Kumu Art Museum will host Ado Vabbe: Wunderbar, the largest ever exhibition of the works of Ado Vabbe (1892-1961), who is one of the most intriguing names in Estonian art history and a forerunner of avant-garde art. Read more


Sign up for our Newsletter.

Enter your email to receive our latest updates!