Immaculate White: Art and Winter

Brilliant sunshine, deep blue skies, powdery snow - that's how we're used to seeing the winter presented in pamphlets and brochures. Artists are also fascinated by the chilly season, albeit usually in very different ways. For them, winter can be a period of threat and harsh contrast, a time of drama, loneliness, and the passing of life. An essay exploring the icy regions of photography, painting, drawing, and video art.

True North: Isaac Julien

"True North" is the most recent work by the British video artist Isaac Julien. It leads us to the Arctic: inspired by the notes of the African American explorer Matthew Henson, who reached the North Pole in 1909, Julien's video installation portrays a young black woman as a polar pioneer who embarks on a symbolic reenactment of the former slave's journey through Western modernism. Cheryl Kaplan met Isaac Julien for an exclusive interview.

Frozen Sculptures: Marc Quinn

The British artist uses liquid silicone and complicated cooling devices to create frozen and conserved sculptures of fragile beauty. In making his works, the artist uses ingredients such as strands of DNA, chemical substances, exotic blossoms and plants, sperm, and excrement. The London art critic Ossian Ward describes why Quinn's abysmal approach to science and technology is unique in art today.

Felt and Fat: Joseph Beuys

The nourishing energy of fat and the warming effect of felt were two symbols Joseph Beuys frequently used in the immediate expression of his ideas. His basic principle was using social warmth to break through the hardened crust of society in order to make a "social sculpture" that could be formed by everyone. Ulrich Clewing on the metaphors of warmth and coldness in Beuys' work.

Cold World

Winter landscapes, pristine deserts of ice, crystals: in keeping with the chilly season, db artmag's current issue investigates art below freezing – works that address the theme of coldness either in a concrete way or on a symbolic, social, or metaphorical level. +++ Isaac Julien is considered to be one of the most important video artists of the present day; his works have often been the subject of controversial debate. His latest video installation addresses the sublime in landscape and juxtaposes the apparently immaculate Arctic panorama with the history of racism, colonialism, and slavery. Cheryl Kaplan met Julien in New York and interviewed him exclusively for db artmag. +++ Pure white: the winter inspires not only vacationers and athletes, but artists, as well. Ulrich Clewing introduces works from the Deutsche Bank Art Collection that deal with the season's dramatic heights and its sharpest and most exquisite contrasts. +++ For Marc Quinn's installation "Garden," plants from Asia, Africa, and Europe were sealed in a stainless steel freezer at four degrees below zero Fahrenheit – flowers that will never wilt, arranged together in disregard of every existing botanical system. The promise of eternal life in Quinn's works, however, contrasts with a complicated technique without whose support his still lifes would otherwise melt and rot away. A portrait by Ossian Ward. +++ Joseph Beuys passionately and idealistically cultivated his legend of felt and fat as an original experience bestowing life and warmth. An essay on the polarity of warmth and coldness in Beuys’ work.