With four days off and weather that doesn’t compliment outdoor activities or picnics, art exhibitions are an obvious solution for Bank Holiday boredom. However, wherever you are in the world, the weekend is always a great time to leisurely explore local art exhibitions. From Amsterdam to New York we uncover the best in contemporary art in both Public and Private galleries across a variety of practices. Whether it be fandom at David Bowie Is… or destruction in Sara Cwynar’s Everything In the Studio (Destroyed) these shows provoke a range of responses.
1. Sara Cwynar: Everything In the Studio (Destroyed), Foam, Amsterdam.
Beginning with obsession, Sara Cwynar combines photography, installation and collage to produce outstanding visual works that record experience by capturing a small piece of the world and rebuilding it on her own terms. The resulting archive is composed of images saved from years of photo-taking, from encyclopedias, flea markets, and people she knows, as well as objects she encounters. For the Foam exhibition, Cwynar removed all of the materials in her studio at one time, documented each item and arranged it into a digital plan where she could fit the entire contents into a corner of the gallery.
2. Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years, ICA, London.
For the first time, New York based collective Bernadette Corporation exhibit a retrospective, 2000 Wasted Years at the ICA. Back in the 1990’s Bernadette Corporation began with the organisation of parties in downtown New York, their mock incorporation and ambiguous branding strategies eventually developed into a women’s fashion line. Subsequently, their unique approach to fashion, utilising quotation, concepts, fictions, appropriation, provocation, hoaxes, and anti-artistic postures of crass commercialism, eventually reached into the world of magazine publishing, film production, political activism, literature and the market-driven art sphere.
3. James & Karla Murray: New York Nights, Clic, New York.
Exhibited in conjunction with the release of the book by the same name, James and Karla Murray reflect a cultural history of New York through photographing the illumination of the city after dark. Using 35 mm cameras, the Murray’s examined all types of nighttime businesses, including establishments like Trash & Vaudeville, Apollo Theater, along with bars and taverns, restaurants, cafés, diners and bistros, drugstores and record shops and Broadway theatres too. The resulting images are not only visual delights they are portraits of New York life, representing companies that have survived decades and many with histories going back to the nineteenth century.
4. David Bowie Is, V&A, London.
In the year of his 66th birthday, David Bowie is back at the centre of the public’s consciousness. To celebrate his birthday on 8 January, Bowie released a surprise single, Where Are We Now?, with the announcement of an album, The Next Day which was released 8 March. To add to this recent flurry of activity, the V&A has opened David Bowie Is. With record breaking ticket sales, David Bowie Is demonstrates Bowie’s ability to continually inspire and interest the general public. The exhibition is the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of the artist and it explores the creative processes of Bowie as a musical innovator and a cultural icon, tracing his ever changing style across five decades.
5. Beastly Hall, Hall Place and Gardens, Kent.
With the subtitle: “A place where artists and creatures collide”, Beastly Hall is a collection of mythical creatures and world famous artists, paying tribute to Hall Place’s magnificent lawn that features the historic Queen’s Beasts, real and mythical creatures that were planted to mark the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 and still stand proud today. Curated by London-based collective Artwise, the exhibition includes international work by Damien Hirst, Hyungkoo Lee, Nina Saunders and Mat Colliishaw. Producing new pieces and adapting old ones, the artists created art for display in the house and the grounds, and much of the collection is presented in the UK for the first time.
6. Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition, York St Mary’s, York.
Showcasing innovative and outstanding pieces, the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition features shortlisted works from artists in the following categories: Photographic and Digital Art; Three Dimensional Design and Sculpture; Painting and Drawing, and Video, Installation and Performance. The medieval backdrop of York St Mary’s, York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space, provides a unique setting for the exhibition, challenging the notion of the white cube and inspiring a dialogue between the historic and the contemporary. This show highlights artistic talent from locations including the USA, South Korea, Australia, Denmark and the UK.
1. Everything In The Studio (Destroyed), 2012, Mixed media installation, © Sara Cwynar / courtesy of COOPER COLE, Toronto, Canada.
2. Hell Frozen Over 2000, ICA, Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years I 26 March – 16 June 2013.
3. The Wonder Wheel, Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York Nights, James and Karla Murray.
4. Album cover shoot for Aladdin Sane, 1973 Photograph by Brian Duffy © Duffy Archive.
5. Mat Colliishaw, Exhibition view of Superveilance at Raucci/Santamaria Gallery Naples 2010, Image courtesy Raucci/Santamaria Gallery – Photo E. Velo Image © the artist.
6. Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition, courtesy of Aesthetica.