Gregor Schneider

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

Gregor Schneider has returned to haunt us. At the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester he has brought his actual nursery, transplanted the entire room from the Rhineland where it once belonged. Anyone who thinks he might have done this because he was fond of the old space, or feels nostalgic about it and wishes to share his happy memories of days gone by with us all is in for a great long shock.

Giacometti

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

Alberto Giacometti was an artist both rooted in the exact and transported by the visionary. He was both a maker and a seer, both a craftsman and an alchemist. He was interested in the deepest and most precise contours of the face but had no interest in making mere representations of those who sat for him. His drawings, which are exquisite, do not read like preparations for his sculpture; it was as though everything he touched he sought to perfect, knowing all the time that he would fall short.

Gerhard Richter

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

Gerhard Richter has one of the most interesting minds in Europe and one of the bravest talents. To say that he is the result of two worlds is to belittle the originality and excitement of his vision, but it is nonetheless helpful to know that he was born in Dresden in 1932 and educated as a painter in the old German Democratic Republic where no nonsense was tolerated. In 1959 he saw work by Pollock and Fontana, which, in its energy, looseness and individuality (the word he used later was ‘brazenness’), was the very opposite to the work he had been taught to make.

Gabriel Orozco

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

For all of the twentieth century in the cities of South and Central America, there have been artists and writers working with a small coterie of friends who have produced work of real originality and self-conscious importance. In literature, for example, the work of Borges or Julio Cortazar in Argentina, or the work of Clarice Lispector in Brazil, has displayed a mixture of intellectual rigour and pure playfulness. Slowly, this work has moved from the periphery to the centre; it was read by writers before it was read by readers, and was later adapted and devoured in Europe and North America.

Franz Ackermann

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

No one will believe me when I insist that when I went to live in Barcelona in 1975 there were no tourists. Tourists went to the beaches. Sometimes, bewildered, they came into the city on a bus, but they did not spend the night. Recently, one of the planners of the modern Barcelona remarked that he and his colleagues had got everything right – the city traffic, the ring roads, the port access. But the problem now was the people.

Francis Alys

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

Some contemporary artists approach cities in the same way as their predecessors approached landscape. They love the idea, say, of a figure moving through a city as earlier painters loved brushstrokes. Choosing the right city has become as important for an artist as choosing a palette or a studio once was.