Marina Abramović’s Latest Immersive Installation Will Take You on a Journey Through Her Life Story

Rose of Jericho, Starry Night, essays by Susan Sontag. If Marina Abramović were to bury a time capsule today, those are some of the items she’d put in. 

That’s the conceit of the performance art star’s upcoming show, “Traces,” a three-day experience in London that will take visitors on a journey through her life in five rooms.

Conceived as an immersive installation, each room will be inspired by an object or idea that, like the aforementioned herb and Van Gogh painting, has proven to be a particular influence on her work. 

The pop-up exhibition, set to go on view September 10 through 12 at Old Truman Brewery in London, will also showcase two of Abramović’s earlier works—Crystal Cinema (1991) and 10,000 stars (2015)—before concluding with a new interview she recently recorded herself.

A still from WeTransfer's presentation of Marina Abramović's <i>The Abramović Method</i>. Courtesy of WeTransfer.

A still from WeTransfer’s presentation of Marina Abramović’s The Abramović Method. Courtesy of WeTransfer.

“Traces” marks the culmination of Abramović’s year-long partnership with WePresent, the editorial arm of the file-sharing platform WeTransfer. Earlier this year, she inaugurated WePresent’s guest curator series, showcasing a handful of up-and-coming performing artists around the world on the site, and sharing a “digital manifestation” of her own participatory form of meditation, the Abramović Method.

“Using WeTransfer’s knowledge of design and media, we have brought her practice to millions of people around the world in a variety of ways, adding something new to the cultural landscape,” the platform’s editor in chief, Holly Fraser, added. “We hope to inspire the general public and artists of tomorrow with the work and life of one of our most important living artists.”

In a statement, Abramović said WePresent “have always been willing to look at new interpretations of my work and passions.”

The show will be free, but advanced tickets are required for entry. They will be available from August 18 here.

For the Abramović heads that can’t make it to London, Traces will also exist as a digital experience on the WePresent website.

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5 Vivid Artworks That Celebrate the Use of Fruit, From a Paul Cézanne Still Life to Maestro Dobel Tequila’s Fruit Chemist Installation

Summer is just around the corner and you know what that means: nature is blooming, flowers are popping up from the once frozen ground, and the literal fruit of farmers’ labor is bountiful and ripe for the picking.

As the art world wakes up for the first IRL art fair at Frieze New York this week, Maestro Dobel Tequila is presenting a lush “Artpothecary” installation to celebrate.

The project, entitled “The Fruit Chemist,” is the brainchild of Dobel’s Creative Director, Alejandra Martinez, who began working in the art world after graduating from college to support the work of local artists from her native Mexico. “Like art, tequila is a precious Mexican export,” Martinez says, explaining that the inspiration for the Artpothecary is the botica, a pharmacy-like store that was once ubiquitous around Mexico, where owners would create specially made, hand-concocted tinctures for the individual needs of their clients.

The piece, which is brought to life by the globally renowned designers Bombas & Parr, takes inspiration from the history of the soda fountain, and will be manned by an anonymous mixologist—the Fruit Chemist himself—who will concoct fruit-inspired cocktails for Frieze attendees.

Read on below to learn more about the project and see artworks that capture the history of fruit in art over the centuries.

Maestro Dobel Artpothecary’s ‘The Fruit Chemist’ is located at the Shed through May 9 at Frieze New York.

Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Vertumnus (1591)

Arcimboldo's Vertumnus, (c. 1590–1591). Courtesy of Wikiart.

Arcimboldo’s Vertumnus, (c. 1590–1591). Courtesy of Wikiart.

The 16th-century artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo is synonymous with paintings of hybridized humans made from brightly colored plants, fruit, and vegetables. In this portrait, conceived to portray the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, Arcimboldo used specific types of fruit and vegetables as allegories of political power and wealth.

Jan Davidsz de Heem, Still Life with Ham, Lobster and Fruit (ca. 1653)

Still Life with Ham, Lobster and Fruit</i> (ca. 1653). Courtesy of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.

Jan Davidsz de Heem, Still Life with Ham, Lobster and Fruit (ca. 1653). Courtesy of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen.

The Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century was marked by a rash of still life paintings which often depicted tableaux of flowers, meat, fruit, and sometimes even insects. Scenes of rotting fruit or dying flowers in particular symbolized the fleeting nature of mortality, while others celebrated the bountiful harvests enjoyed by wealthy citizens and the more humble meals of the lower class.

Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Still Life with Glass Flask and Fruit (ca. 1728)

Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, <i>Still Life with Glass Flask and Fruit (ca. 1728)</i> . Courtesy of Staatliche Kunsthalle.

Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Still Life with Glass Flask and Fruit (ca. 1728) . Courtesy of Staatliche Kunsthalle.

Chardin was a beloved painter of 18th century life, admired by his instructor, Henri Matisse. He was also a great influence on both Édouard Manet and Paul Cézanne. In writings by Marcel Proust, a depressed young man is led toward enlightenment by encountering the paintings of Chardin and Rembrandt, setting the standard for engaging with art as a transformative experience. Still Life with Glass Flask and Fruit is one of Chardin’s more evocative works, and prominently features fruit.

Paul Cézanne, Nature morte pommes et poires (ca. 1888-90)

Paul Cezanne, Nature morte pommes et poires (Circa 1888-90). Image courtesy Sotheby's.

Paul Cézanne, Nature morte pommes et poires (Circa 1888-90). Image courtesy Sotheby’s.

The painter Paul Cézanne was born in Aix-en-Provence when it had not yet become industrialized, like other cities in France. He often returned to domestic scenes where he would experiment with perspective and arrangements. In many of his works, the artist intentionally painted the tables on a tilt, so that the viewer could better appreciate his fruit’s form.

“The Fruit Chemist” by Maestro Dobel Tequila (2021)

The Artpothecary by Orly Anan for Maestro Dobel.

The Artpothecary by Orly Anan for Maestro Dobel.

Maestro Dobel Tequila’s installation features a cornucopia of fresh fruits and flowers to complement its world-famous tequila, celebrating the return of live art fairs. In addition, the storied Maestro Dobel company, which created the world’s first Cristalino tequila, hired the anonymous Fruit Chemist to not only design, but also execute the most creative beverages with the best tequila for fairgoers. 

The Fruit Chemist project is also the first iteration of the Artpothecary at Frieze New York, described by Martinez as a sort of “botica gone contemporary” with a “fruity and wild” energy. And to celebrate experimentation in mixology and art even further, Martinez also tapped artists Eduardo Sarabia and Orly Anan to create work infused with the same vibrancy and boldness as the rest of the project, thereby rounding out the installation.

Born from 11 generations of tequila-making legacy, Maestro Dobel leans on over two centuries of mastery to innovate through its portfolio of award-winning tequilas. Beyond activity at Frieze New York, Artpothecary will also host art-world experts and artists alike to bring to life a series of events, experiences, and partnerships across the United States.


Maestro Dobel® Tequila. 40% Alc./Vol. (80 proof). Trademarks owned by Maestro Tequilero, S.A. de C.V. ©2021 Proximo, Jersey City, NJ. Please drink responsibly.

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Two Major Museums More Than 1,600 Miles Apart Have Jointly Acquired a Sprawling Sam Gilliam Installation

There is no joy in possession without sharing, Erasmus once said—and it’s a lesson museums are learning.

The Dia Art Foundation and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, have jointly acquired an early landmark work by Sam Gilliam, which the two institutions will share moving forward. The institutions have split the purchase price evenly.

The price for the artwork was not disclosed, though the Financial Times reported that “market experts estimate a seven-figure sum.”

Gilliam’s work, a gallery-spanning installation of hanging canvases titled—appropriately, in this case—Double Merge (1968) has been on view at Dia’s Beacon museum since 2019 through a loan from the artist’s studio.

It is expected to move to Houston in 2022, and will change places roughly every five years after that. Per the terms of the agreement, the institution holding the piece at any given time will be responsible for insuring it; they also have control of how and when it’s exhibited. 

Sam Gilliam, <i>Double Merge</i> (1968). Installation view, Dia:Beacon, Beacon, New York, 2019. © Sam Gilliam/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Bill Jacobson Studio, New York. Courtesy of Dia Art Foundation.

Sam Gilliam, Double Merge (1968). Installation view, Dia: Beacon, Beacon, New York, 2019. © Sam Gilliam/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Bill Jacobson Studio, New York. Courtesy of Dia Art Foundation.

“We have these works in order to show them to a general public, so therefore reaching more of a public in different parts of the country is surely only a good thing,” says Jessica Morgan, Dia’s director. 

This agreement came together quickly and was “miraculously straightforward,” she says: it was simply a matter of reaching out to the Museum of Fine Arts and proposing the idea.

Though the Houston institution has two other works by Gilliam in its collection, museum director Gary Tinterow says Double Merge is in a “league of its own, on a par with Monet’s Nympheas at the Orangerie in Paris.”

Considering the simplicity of the deal, why don’t more museums partner for join acquisitions, especially in an era of depressed budgets?

“It baffles me,” Tinterow says. “I have always approached my job as a curator as a mandate to make the best possible displays for my audience. Ownership of the particular pieces is almost irrelevant.”

“I do believe that this is the future for acquisitions,” Morgan says. 

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Hungarian Conservatives Threaten to Tear Down a Public Art Installation That Has a Black Lives Matter Message

Conservatives in Hungary are threatening to tear down a planned public art installation in Budapest because of its social-justice message. The three-foot-tall sculpture, by artist Péter Szalay, depicts a rainbow-striped Statue of Liberty on bended knee, an allusion to US athletes kneeling during the national anthem to protest police violence against Black Americans. Its right fist is upraised and its left hand holds a tablet that reads “Black Lives Matter.”

Szalay has said that a high-profile right-wing figure emailed him and threatened that he would be “punished” for the art installation.

Prime minister Viktor Orbán, who is president of Hungary’s right-wing, nationalist Fidesz party, has been vocal in his opposition to the Black Lives Matter movement. In response to Szalay’s artwork, Orbán’s chief of staff, Gergely Gulyás, proclaimed that “Black Lives Matter is basically a racist movement. The racist is not the person who opposes a BLM statue, but the person who erects one.”

Hungary’s politics have grown increasingly conservative in recent years. Last May, the government ended legal recognition of sex changes. A few months later, it banned adoptions for same-sex couples and amended the constitution to declare that, in a family, “the mother is a woman and the father is a man.”

Szalay’s statue, 3-D printed in 12 pieces and held in place by magnets, is one of seven winners of a public art contest organized by the deputy of Budapest’s ninth district, Suzi Dada of the Two-Tailed Dog party, a satirical political party known primarily for its street art. Dada serves under the district’s mayor, Krisztina Baranyi, an independent who supports the project, which is slated to go on view for two weeks in the spring.

“The BLM goals of opposing racism and police brutality are just as relevant in Hungary as anywhere else,” Baranyi told the Guardian.

Despite the imagery in Szalay’s installation, the artist told the Guardian that it “does not declare itself on the side of or against BLM. According to my artistic purpose, it is undecidedly swaying between the two readings.”

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