PLANET ART: The Best Art From Around the World, April 2013

Each month we ask the editors of ARTINFO sites around the world to tell us the most significant work of art or art happening of the month, and gather them together for our column “Planet Art.” (NB: Since we have contributions only from where we have editors, this feature does not literally represent the art of the whole planet.)

To see the artworks mentioned in this piece, click on the slideshow.



Laercio Redondo, “Tales Without Kings,” 2013?
Casa França-Brasil, Rio de Janeiro

In his earlier work, Laercio Redondo showed interest in the dynamics of personal memory; today, his exhibition “Tales Without Kings,” curated by Frederico Coelho, reveals how his investigations have expanded to incorporate the collective dimension of memory. Characters representing the constructed identity of Brazil, such as Carmen Miranda and images by the painter Jean-Baptiste Debret, are the starting point for his recent work, which also incorporates the history of the France-Brazil House itself — the most important neoclassical building in Rio de Janeiro and now the host of this exhibition. — Fernanda Lopes, BLOUIN ARTINFO Brazil


Jon Rafman, “545 Viito Stie Kainuu, Finland,” 2012
Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran in 

Amid the intimate art fair Papier13, Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran stood apart for its quiet presentation of four large-scale Jon Rafman photographic prints. Renowned for works that harvest images from Google Street View, Rafman here presents particularly sumptuous snapshots, suggesting a heightened aesthetic turn to his Internet-based practice. “545 Viito Stie Kainuu, Finland” captures a rural field brindled with 1,000 scarecrows. Draped in colorful clothing, the silent mob faces the waning sun while anchored in hoarfrost. They appear as though in prayer. In a twist, Rafman has in fact captured a public art installation by Finish artist Reijo Kela, “The Silent People of Kainuu,” which haunts the farmland with its ambiguity. —Sky Goodden, BLOUIN ARTINFO Canada


Yu Ji, “Flesh in Stone No. 2,” 2013
Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai

Exhibited in a Bund building with no shortage of marble, Yu Ji’s concrete and steel torsos “Flesh in Stone No. 1 and 2” are construction site Michaelangelos for contemporary China.  Sam Gaskin, BLOUIN ARTINFO China


Ugo Rondinone, “primal,” 2013 
Esther Schipper, Berlin

Second in a line of three exhibitions, which started with “primitive” at the Common Guild in Glasgow with bronze birds and will end with fish, Rondinone fills out the middle part of his trilogy here with 37 diminutive horses. Placed on plywood sheeting covering the gallery floors, the rough-hewn stallions, geldings, and mares are simultaneously artificial and animate seeming. —Alexander Forbes, BLOUIN ARTINFO Germany


Samson Young, “Memorizing the Tristan Chord (Institute of Fictional Ethnomusicology),” 2013
Goethe-Institut, Hong Kong

New media artist Samson Young asked nearly 70 people to listen to the so-called “Tristan Chord” and invent a string of Cantonese characters that mimic the pitch contour of this famous musical phrase from Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde.” Participants were asked to repeat their nonsensical musical phrases, and the chord, which has a sacred status in Western classical music, is simultaneously corrupted and localized through this project. “Memorizing the Tristan Chord” is part of the Goethe-Institute’s “My Personal Wagner” program to celebrate the 200th birthday of Richard Wagner. —Zoe Li, BLOUIN ARTINFO Hong Kong


Atul Dodiya, “Spider & the Lamp,” 2013
Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi

Atul Dodiya’s latest three-piece installation of wooden cabinets marks a strategic move by one of India’s leading contemporary artists, locating himself within a historic lineage, a trajectory of thought that harks back to the birth of the modernist moment in Indian art history. It isn’t just the title, which has its origins in an early work by M.F. Husain, that Dodiya has borrowed; his legless cabinets contain photographs, sculptures, paintings, and found objects that refer to some of the legendary figures responsible for shaping India’s recent art history, from the celebrated Progressives to art critic Richard Bartholomew and painters Nasreen Mohamedi and Bhupen Khakar. The cumulative effect is to create both a shrine and a museum vitrine. Dodiya’s sense of humor, though, outweighs the dangers of memorializing the past. —Rosalyn D’Mello, BLOUIN ARTINFO India


José Parlá, “Prose,” 2013
Yuka Tsuruno, Tokyo

Hot on the heels of his solo show at London’s Haunch of Venison in February, Brooklyn-based artist José Parlá brings a series of new works to Tokyo to inaugurate Yuka Tsuruno’s new space in the TOLOT/heuristic complex in Shinonome. Among these works is a large painting measuring 15 meters across that, freshly completed in Tokyo just days before the exhibition opened on March 21. Parlá’s signature layered pictorial surfaces seem to both disclose and conceal the writing inscribed on them in equal measure, a morass of hatchings and frantic line work that viewers tend to “parse” as an image, rather than as language. —Darryl Jingwen Wee, BLOUIN ARTINFO Japan


Carlos Amorales, “Germinal,” 2013
Museo Tamayo, Mexico City

Carlos Amorales explores language in “Germinal,” his latest exhibit at the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City. During a recent interview, Amorales told ARTINFO that “Germinal” (from “germinate”) comes from the idea of language as means of conception — something akin to tilling a field and creating life. Amorales questions the use of language, its limitations and the possibilities of communication through pieces that include sculptures, multimedia installations, posters, and video, eachof them representing a particular pursuit and aiming to produce a different language or form of communication.  —Aline Cerdán, BLOUIN ARTINFO Mexico


Ivan Plusch, “The Process of Passing”
Innovation Prize, Moscow, Russia

The winners of Russia’s one and only national art prize, the Innovation Prize, were announced on April 9. Although critics have pronounced the decisions of the jury biased, this year Innovation’s uncontested hero seems to be the emerging artist Ivan Plusch (nominated in the “New Generation” category). The winning entry – an installation titled “The Process of Passing” was created for the special project of the 2nd Ural Industrial Biennale of Contemporary Art and housed in the Center of Culture “Ordzhonikidze” in Yekaterinburg. — Anastasia Barysheva, BLOUIN ARTINFO Russia


Youn Myeung-Ro, “From Plateau MXII-0103,” 2013
National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul

Pioneering Korean veteran Youn Myeung-Ro was a founding member of an artists’ association in the 1960s that held a guerilla exhibition on the walls of Seoul’s Deoksu Palace. His non-conformist spirit led him to join the country’s first abstract art movement, which broke away from the Japanese influences that had taken root during the colonial period (1910-45). This ongoing retrospective looks back to his half-century career and also debuts some of the artist’s latest large-scale paintings. — Lee Hyo-won, BLOUIN ARTINFO Korea


John M Armleder, “Quicksand”
Dairy Art Centre, London

Armleder has been given free rein at the Dairy Art Centre, London’s latest private foundation (brainchild of collectors Frank Cohen and Nicolai Frahm). Remarkably, it is the Swiss’s first major solo exhibition in the British capital — and a fantastic opportunity to immerse oneself into his flamboyant cast of conceptual art. Armleder, who was associated with Fluxus in the 1970s, has filled the former milk depot with disco balls, abstract paintings, and a kinetic installation in the old fridge. A solo show of this scope was a daring choice for an inauguration, but it paid off. —Coline Milliard, BLOUIN ARTINFO U.K.


Matthew Chambers
Untitled, 30 Orchard Street, New York

After opening a door painted with a question mark at Untitled, visitors were immersed in the great frenetic bazaar of hotly colored, coolly felt, elongated canvases by Matthew Chambers — depicting a series of seemingly unrelated images, including a painting of a tiger with a bloody arm in its mouth, a still-life of corn-on-the-cob with melting butter, and a snapshot-like painting of a woman dancing. These were commingled with textural pieces made from strips of dyed canvas (Chambers’s “strip paintings”), whose presentation, mixed and matched in tightly packed rows, seemed to simulate the Internet-trolling habits of a quick and observant mind under the influence of the newest synthetic drug of choice. — Rozalia Jovanovic, BLOUIN ARTINFO U.S.