A lingering look back at works of art from the 1980s, early ’90s

In the field of contemporary art, a time distance is often required in order to appraise the works of emerging artists and to place them in context. Young artists sometimes rise to success but are soon forgotten, and passing ideas do not always withstand the test of time; what remains is usually the most interesting. «Yesterday Begins Tomorrow,» on view for a few more days at the DESTE Foundation of Contemporary Art, offers a flashback into the art of the 1980s and early ’90s and reconsiders it from the standpoint of the present. Drawn from the collection of Dakis Ioannou, it is an exhibition that makes a collector think about the choices he made in the past while also stimulating some thought about changing aesthetics. The exhibition is organized by the DESTE Foundation in cooperation with Charley magazine, a sporadic, New York-based art publication which is exclusively based on visuals. The magazine is powered by the DESTE Foundation and edited by artist Maurizion Cattelan and curator Massimiliano Gioni (he is also artistic director of the Trussardi foundation in Milan), as well as art critic and curator Ali Subotnick. All three of them are also the founders of «Wrong gallery» in New York’s Chelsea area, a non-commercial gallery that opened in 2002, which is modeled after a vitrine and hosts special projects by both emerging and established artists including Martin Creed, Paul McCarthy, Jason Rhoades, Lawrence Weiner, Paolo Pivi, Sam Durant, Pawel Althamer and Tino Seghal. The exhibition at the DESTE coincides with the publication of Charley’s third issue which, like the exhibition, explores the art of the ’80s. Meant as time machines, both the exhibition and Charley magazine aim at discovering the future by excavating the past. They bring out aspects of the art of the past, casting them under a different light each time. The next issue of Charley magazine, for example, will look into recent acquisitions by contemporary art museums worldwide. Former themes included a selection of exhibitions held in Manhattan during 2000-02. One of the issues that both Charley’s current, third issue on the art of the ’80s and the exhibition at the DESTE Foundation raise is the ways in which the art media (and in the case of the exhibition, art collections) helped shape the art of the time and enhanced the boom that occurred in the art market. There was both high demand and supply for works, and artists who are nowadays completely forgotten were, back then, sought-after names in the market. «Yesterday Begins Tomorrow» asks why certain artists have not been looked at for a while, considers how fashions come in and out of art, and looks into the relevance of art from the ’80s up to today. By reappraising the past, it also helps us see clearer into both the present and the future. At the DESTE Foundation (8 Omirou, Neo Psychico, 210.672.9460) through 13/3.

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