Ursula is the digital art magazine of Hauser & Wirth, featuring essays, profiles, films, interviews, original portfolios, and photography by some of the most thought-provoking writers and artists in the world.

Films

Options for How to Be

Voices on the shapeshifting legacy of Cindy Sherman’s landmark ‘Untitled Film Stills’

Conversations

‘The intolerable is a climate we share’

Experiencing one artist’s work through the eyes of another offers a unique opportunity: the conceptual framework of the latter teases out certain elements in the oeuvre of the former, leading to richer interpretations of both practices. This is certainly the case with ‘The Violence of Handwriting Across a Page,’ an exhibition of Louise Bourgeois’ work curated by Jenny Holzer on view this spring at Kunstmuseum Basel. Holzer approaches Bourgeois with a focus on the role of writing in her practice—in her artwork as well as her diaries, letters, and psychoanalytic writings. On the occasion of the exhibition, Holzer corresponded with Sebastian Frenzel, deputy editor-in-chief of Monopol Magazine, discussing Bourgeois’ work and her legacy, art and politics, and—of course—language.
Conversations

Instant Diamonds

On 12 September 2021, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, opened ‘Pipilotti Rist: Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor,’ a long-waited West Coast survey of more than three decades of Rist’s celebrated work, which served as a watershed for the museum for reasons beyond art: It was the first carbon-calculated exhibition to be organized by MOCA, aligned with the museum’s goal to reduce emissions by over 50%. With the exhibition, MOCA joined a small but growing group of pioneering American museums and cultural institutions that are reducing their carbon footprints in accountable ways.

Rist, whose studio has long practiced sustainable methods for shipping, travel, and other activities, sat down recently by Zoom with Johanna Burton, The Maurice Marciano Director of MOCA, for a wide-ranging conversation about both the practical and philosophical considerations of becoming better stewards and citizens of the planet.
Diary

The Radar: Luca Massimo Barbero

In this month’s Radar—our unexpected cultural recommendations from friends and colleagues around the world—we look to Venice, soon be thronged with visitors to the 59th Biennale as it finally returns to the international art calendar. Luca Massimo Barbero, a curator and art historian-globetrotter who has lived and worked in Venice for almost 40 years, joins us to offer a few suggestions for wandering off the beaten path, onto the city’s rich and lesser-known byways.
Essays

A Museum Disguised as a Shop

An oral history: David Hammons, André Leon Talley and others remember Sara Penn (1927 – 2020) and her revolutionary Manhattan clothing store, Knobkerry

Essays

Lived Experience

There’s a particular moment, when you are making an exhibition, in which everything is suspended. Much has already been done: lists of works drawn up and altered several times, loan forms completed. Plinths measured and ordered; walls painted fresh. Press release sent. You feel you have puzzled long enough over the scale model on your office floor.
Conversations

The Heart Has Its Own Intelligence: Legacies of the Gee’s Bend Quilters

Gee’s Bend—or Boykin, as it was officially renamed in 1949—sits at a hairpin turn along the Alabama River in the heart of the state’s Black Belt, a region that was named for its rich topsoil and that remains inextricably intertwined with histories of enslavement, dispossession, and civil rights organizing.
Conversations

Pictures of Sculptures

On the occasion of ‘Fausto Melotti. Theatre’ at Hauser & Wirth London, exhibition curator Saim Demircan spoke about Melotti’s work with Eva Fabbris, who co-curated with Cristiano Raimondi an exhibition on the artist at Villa Paloma, Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, in 2015–16. The two discuss the importance of reproductions for Melotti, particularly in the pages of the influential architecture, design, and art magazine ‘Domus’ and in the photographs of Ugo Mulas. Mirroring the four-decade scope of the exhibition, their conversation tracks several important moments in the trajectory of Melotti’s career—the mid-1930s, the years immediately following World War II, the early ’60s, and the early ’70s—focusing on the unique position Melotti’s art occupied between art and design, self-contained sculpture and immersive environment.
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