“And Now The Good News” traces the dialogue in the last 150 years between press and art

April 12 2022

Pera Museum presents new exhibition “And Now The Good News”, bringing together a comprehensive selection of works from the Annette and Peter Nobel Collection. The exhibition focuses on the dialogue between art and the mass media, taking the invention of the printing press in the late 18th century and the formation of periodic journalism in the 19th century as a starting point. “And Now the Good News: Works from The Nobel Collection” brings together around 300 works of “Press Art” by significant artists such as Alberto Giacometti, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Andy Warhol, Andreas Gursky, Jenny Holzer, Bedri Baykam, Barbara Kruger, Christo, David Hockney, Dennis Hopper, Elmgreen & Dragset, Fernand Légér, Georges Braque, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Joseph Beuys, Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt, Le Corbusier, Malevich, Man Ray, Mayakovski, and is on view through August 7, 2022 at Pera Museum.

Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Pera Museum welcomes Spring 2022 with a comprehensive selection of works tracing the relationship between press and art. Comprised of Annette and Peter Nobel’s Press Art Collection, And Now the Good News exhibition is curated by Christoph Doswald. The exhibition discusses the most critical issues in science, culture, and politics in the last 150 years, and reveals the important changes occurred in the last 20 years and their impact on the press art.

Taking the newspaper as an intellectual starting point, And Now the Good News focuses on the relationship between text and news, how the invention of photography shaped society and the powerful effect totalitarian systems have on mass media. The exhibition highlights turning points such as the peace movement following World War II, the relationship between media industries and consumer culture, and the critical media discourse that emerged in arts in the wake of globalization. It also depicts the transformation of concepts such as gender, religion, and ethnicity in art and media, as well as the development of social media society.

Around 300 works by 164 artists
And Now The Good News: Works from The Nobel Collection features around 300 works by 164 artists who have used a variety of media such as painting, photography, collage, drawing, installation, and video, such as Alberto Giacometti, Aleksandr Rodchenko, Andy Warhol, Andreas Gursky, Jenny Holzer, Bedri Baykam, Barbara Kruger, Christo, David Hockney, Dennis Hopper, Elmgreen & Dragset, Fernand Légér, Georges Braque, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Joseph Beuys, Özlem Günyol & Mustafa Kunt, Le Corbusier, Malevich, Man Ray, and Mayakovski.  Annette and Peter Nobel, who have brought together the works that allow the viewer to track the most significant periods of modern and contemporary art, say “Firstly, technical fascination, then the intellectual scope and finally the change played a role in our decision to collect press art. It is astonishing how many artists have temporarily, incidentally or repeatedly used newspapers as a basis for their works, even painted from newspapers or even designed them themselves. This is a conscious act and can be seen as a call to deal aesthetically with everyday phenomena. Art becomes a symbolic living world.”

“Credibility of the media and the autonomy of art are being put to the test”
While the idea of art having to be unique is prevailing since the Enlightenment, newspapers and magazines are seen as a category of mass consumer goods, produced anew every day and disposed of again immediately after reading. On the other hand, photographic and print-chemical processes and the method of simultaneously communicating different contents in newspaper layouts stimulate artistic techniques and strategies. Describing “And Now the Good News” exhibition as an illustration of this stimulation, curator Christoph Doswald says:

“Under the genre term ‘Press Art’, artistic products are gathered that are related to the printed word and the printed image in the broadest sense, that elevate the cheap, daily renewable consumer good to an expensive individual item: Collages made from newsprint; paintings whose model was provided by a press image; photographs showing a magazine cover; gouaches applied to newsprint; silkscreens based on a star photograph from a celebrity magazine. The paintings, collages, assemblages, drawings and prints in the collection of Annette and Peter Nobel tell of a time when the relationship between the direct original and the media image still existed.”

Pointing out that this relationship, once irrevocable, has never been so much in question, Doswald states “This discourse about original and fake is no longer just an aesthetic marginal phenomenon but of public interest. The separation of information procurement, media mediation, and commercial exploitation is under great pressure. More than ever, not only the credibility of the media but also the much-cited autonomy of art is being put to the test.”

A memory-stimulating and inspiring art experience
M. Özalp Birol, General Manager of the Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Culture and Art Enterprise, emphasizes the Museum’s pride in hosting the exhibition “And Now the Good News” and bringing a contemporary debate between media, society, and art to Turkey. Birol says “The whole world is living in a 'post-truth' era. Of course, the enormous transformation, digitalization, and the emergence of social media in the last 20 years have a great role in the formation of this age. However, how much insight into understanding the present can we get only looking at the last 20 years? We are expanding the boundaries of our world of references we refer to while conducting today's economic, political, social, and artistic discussions with the exhibition And Now the Good News. As we look into the past, we realize that it also broadens our horizons about today. We look at the inspiration exchange between the press and art in the last 150 years, from the invention of the printing press, and the traces of the rapid transformation in art in the last 20 years. While doing this, we remember the important political and social developments of the last 150 years, as our material is newspapers, magazines, and media. And the Good News Now exhibition offers an art experience that both stimulates memory and inspires those trying to understand the present.”

A catalog and a newspaper dedicated to press art accompany the exhibition
The curatorial framework of the exhibition is based on the articles “Violence of Images, Violence Against Images” by Jean Baudrillard, “More Light! Reading Pictures” by Dorothea Strauss, “Ten Thesis On Artistic Freedom and the Promotion of Art” by Felix Uhlmann and Cristina Bognuda. These texts accompany the artworks in the catalog, as well as Christoph Doswald’s curatorial text, and Annette and Peter Nobel’s notes on the exhibition. The exhibition is also accompanied by a newspaper, which comprises of texts by Ahu Antmen, Süreyyya Evren, Esra Özdoğan, Ece Temelkuran, Evren Savcı, and Erkan Saka. The exhibition, its catalog, and the accompanying newspaper are designed by PATTU.

“And Now the Good News: Works from the Nobel Collection” will be on view until August 7, on the 3rd, 4th and 5th floors and the café of Pera Museum, Istanbul.

Pera Museum can be visited Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 to 19:00 and on Sundays between 12:00 – 18:00. Free entrance for all on Fridays between 18:00 – 22:00 and free entrance for students on “Young Wednesdays”.