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Alfredo Jaar, Realities Represented, in Aesthetica Magazine

This year’s edition of the Venice Biennale is fast-approaching. To celebrate the forthcoming Biennale, we take a look at our feature on Alfredo Jaar, who, in 2013, represented Chile at the esteemed event. In Issue 53, we spoke to curator Madeleine Grynsztejn about Latin American art and Jaar’s installation Venezia, Venezia.

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Milan Image Art Fair, The Mall, Porta Nuova Varesine, Milan

The fifth edition of the Milan Image Art Fair, dedicated to photography, will open in the new location of Porta Nuova Varesine this April. The event will take place in The Mall, a centre nestled among the skyscrapers that have changed the city skyline, which has become a symbol of the new Milan. A section on the main themes of Expo 2015 will be presented as part of the fair. This year sees the richest and most wide-ranging edition of MIA Fair with an anticipated 145 exhibitors and a broad cultural programme, all directed by Fabio Castelli.

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Aesthetica Art Prize: Interview with Saliha Elhoussaini, Shortlisted Artist

To celebrate the opening of the Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition at York St Mary’s and current call for entries for next year’s award, we speak to finalist Saliha Elhoussaini about her intricate drawing series Interdependence. Shortlisted in the Painting and Drawing category, Elhoussaini’s work reflects on aspects of the Chaos Theory. Her seemingly plain compositions, constructed using layers of tracing paper and thread, investigate the complex notion that simplicity gives rise to complexity.

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Review of Wild Card, Tim Casson, Casson & Friends, Sadlers Wells, London

Sadlers Wells has always celebrated innovation in dance and their new Wild Card series is the latest expression of their commitment to upcoming dance talent. Specially curated by the next generation of dance masters, Wild Card is an opportunity for a dancer, choreographer or producer to take the reins and present a selection of exciting work for the Sadlers Wells’ audience.

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5 To See This Weekend

Our 5 To See This Weekend features not to be missed exhibitions around the world, reflecting on personal and national narratives. The Henri Cartier Bresson Foundation presents Pieter Hugo’s latest photography collection for the first time in France, while in London at the Serpentine Galleries, Pascale Marthine Tayou presents his first solo show in the capital.In a retrospective of the multifaceted work of Björk, the Museum of Modern Art exhibition draws on over 20 years of daring innovation of the internationally-acclaimed singer, composer and musician. The Site Gallery, Sheffield, showcases Rory Pilgrim’s work that explores the potential that words have as the relationship between people, technology and language develops. Finally, Liu Wei’s Colors features a constellation of new works by the internationally renowned artist at Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing.

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Review of Masterpieces of Fashion Photography, LUMAS, London

Fashion, when not falling under the category of Anna Wintour’s “dirty word” trend, can be iconic and timeless. Even more timeless than the high-end garments themselves are the photographs taken to capture their elegance. Fashion photography has been evolving over the past 100 years, and Mayfair’s LUMAS gallery is currently shining light on the genre’s masterpieces in a preview for a few short days before opening the official exhibition across its 35 galleries around the world.

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The Aesthetica Art Prize 2015: Exhibition Launch and Call for Entries

The Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition is open to the public. On display at York St Mary’s until 31 May, the Art Prize is a celebration of excellence in contemporary art from across the world. Championing and supporting the work of both established and emerging artists, it is an important opportunity for practitioners to showcase innovative concepts and pioneering designs to a wider audience. The annual award, now in its eight year, is currently accepting submissions in a wide range of disciplines.

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Review of Pushing an Ism, Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires

Pushing an Ism, at the Museum of Modern Art of Buenos Aires (MAMBA), is a contradictory proposition. It urges us to re-acquaint ourselves with the original inspiration of much abstract art of today and the last century: the body. However it also presents us with much that has a tenuous relationship with the outside world.

The Aesthetica Art Prize: Winners Announced for the 2015 Awards

John Keane was announced as the winner of the Main Prize for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2015 at the exhibition preview at York St Mary’s yesterday evening. Keane rose to national prominence in 1991 when he was appointed as the official British war artist during the Gulf War, and has continued to investigate the most pressing political questions of our time while producing portraits of notable individuals such as Mo Mowlam, John Snow and Kofi Annan.

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Make Yourself Comfortable at Chatsworth, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

Contemporary chair design exhibition, Make Yourself Comfortable at Chatsworth, brings forth the private collection of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, which includes work commissioned from leading artists and new makers dating back to the the 17th century. These pieces will be showcased alongside furniture by innovative designers such as Thomas Heatherwick and Amanda Levete, Marc Newson, Tokujin Yoshioka, Piet Hein Eek and Moritz Waldemeyer.

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Review of Niki de Saint Phalle, Guggenheim Bilbao

Niki de Saint Phalle’s Mamas are huge, bounding, ecstatic forms, but this major retrospective at Guggenheim Bilbao shows that there is much more to the artist than her voluptuous figures. Commencing with her early assemblages, the exhibition then moves to the Shooting Paintings of the 1960s, which are eye-opening in their simplicity, and, accompanied by wry contemporary footage of the event, remind of how surprising a figure Saint Phalle must have cut: a beautiful woman, with a French aristocratic name, pacing out in front of a crowd to attack pristine white canvases and release a riot of colour. 

The Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition 2015 Preview Launches Today

Today marks the exhibition preview of the Aesthetica Art Prize 2015, with the show opening to the public from 10am tomorrow. Taking place in the historic setting of York St Mary’s, the exhibition champions excellence in contemporary art from around the world. The eight artists selected for exhibition hail from Japan, Germany, Australia and the UK, and were chosen from over 3,500 submissions from 60 countries worldwide.

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Interview with Electronic Musician Christian Fennesz

Christian Fennesz, Austrian electronic producer and musician, teamed up with Lillevan, German video artist and performer to celebrate the work of fellow Austrian Gustav Mahler. This weekend the duo transformed Mahler’s music with unique electronic compositions at the Howard Assembly Room, Opera North, Leeds. The beautiful and evocative piece used Mahler’s symphonies as its starting point, giving it new life as contemporary performance. Fennesz speaks to Aesthetica about his work with Lillevan and the process of producing this arresting new piece of music.

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Bruce Nauman: Transgressing Conventional Boundaries in Aesthetica Magazine

In 2011 Kunsthalle Mannheim celebrated Bruce Nauman’s 70th birthday with a retrospective examining the artist’s fascinating body of work. Now, the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris presents Nauman’s first major solo show in France in over 15 years. To coincide with this new exhibition, Aesthetica delves into its archive and reflects on a feature article from Issue 41.

Review of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, V&A, London

The “enfant terrible” of British fashion, Alexander McQueen, rose from obscurity to become one of the world’s top fashion designers until his untimely death in 2010. His pieces were deliberately provocative and yet also sensual. In the first room of Savage Beauty at the V&A, London, his 2006 collection, Widows of Culloden, features a range of silk black lace dresses and suits that McQueen referred to as reflecting “the dark side of my personality.” These clothes clearly demonstrate how he utilised gothic themes to make the women wearing them feel powerful.

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Aesthetica Art Prize: Interview with Owen Waterhouse, Shortlisted Artist

This year’s Aesthetica Art Prize sees a stunning collection of contemporary artworks grace the medieval interior of York St Mary’s. One of eight finalists presenting work in the 2015 exhibition, Owen Waterhouse will be showcasing his sculpture Möbius 1.00. A commission from Galvanize Sheffield and Outokumpu, the piece marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of stainless steel in Sheffield by Harry Brearley.

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Art Paris Art Fair, Grand Palais, Paris

140 galleries from 20 countries will converge at Paris’ colossal Grand Palais for an art fair focusing on new discoveries, including a plethora of modern and contemporary art forms as well as design, photography and art books.

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Garry Winogrand, Fundacion Mapfre, Madrid

North American photographer Garry Winogrand has been cited as the central photographer of his generation, named alongside greats such as Walker Evans and Robert Frank. For his first major retrospective in 25 years, Fundacion Mapfre combines the most iconic works and previously unseen gems from his near 70 year career.

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Review of Richard Long: The Spike Island Tapes, Alan Cristea Gallery, London

For The Spike Island Tapes at Alan Cristea Gallery, London, Richard Long has created his largest and boldest collection of print works to date. This is Long’s first solo exhibition at the gallery, and sees heavy experimentation with carborundum; a material that Long is using for the first time by means of smearing it hands to produces gestural marks. Carborundum is a compound of silicon and carbon that is normally used as an abrasive to produce very hard ceramics.

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5 To See This Weekend

Our 5 To See This Weekend reveals fascinating insights into the creative world. Nick Waplington’s backstage photographs from Alexander McQueen’s final show reveal the couturier’s raw energy as he finalised designs on Horn of Plenty (2009), and MACBA presents the previously unseen collage collection of writer Osvaldo Lamborghini. A series of artists at ICA Philadelphia consider the margins of history in Traces in the Dark, and Paul Seawright’s latest series of photographs highlights the lack of mobility in the USA which lies beneath the American Dream.

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Masterpieces of Fashion Photography, LUMAS, London

Fine art photography gallery LUMAS has announced an exclusive event showcasing limited editions of iconic works by the foremost fashion photographers of the 21st century, which will introduce previously unreleased masterpieces to the public. The gallery will be premièring 10 new works, including Edward Steichen’s legendary portrait of actress Gloria Swanson.

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Tom Butler: Inhabitants, Charlie Smith London

Charlie Smith London presents new work by artist Tom Butler in his second solo show this year, Inhabitants. The exhibition, which opened to the public on 20 Febuary, will be on display until 28 March. After exhibiting across Europe and America, Butler’s latest show builds on the ongoing series of appropriated Victorian cabinet cards. Each subject is transformed as the artist paints the cards with intricate and delicate gouache, engaged with an inexplicable shape, pattern or species.

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New Art West Midlands 2015: Shortlist of 30 Emerging Artists

Four of the UK’s leading galleries will host new works by 30 of the most talented emerging artists as part of the New Art West Midlands 2015 fair. All of the artists presented at the event have graduated from one of the region’s fine art degree courses in the past three years. A collaboration of five universities and four galleries, NAWM is the largest partnership of its kind in the country and the exhibition offers the exciting opportunity for postgraduate artists to exhibit their work alongside collections of national significance.

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Review of Hugo Canoilas: Someone a long time ago, now, Cooper Gallery, Dundee

The late American artist Jason Rhoades said that parking a car was like “placing a sculpture” then Vienna-based Portuguese artist Hugo Canoilas crashing a car must be an act of performance. His current solo show, which starts with the image of an overturned car, is a collision of paintings, wall fresco drawings, hand painted texts, suspensions, comic books and photographs projected onto draped painted canvasses. A sense of disproportionate scale, like scenes from Gulliver’s Travels, see large-scale imagery offset by small tree bark stool sculptures, floor-level painted metal objects, pairs of stuffed penguins and tiny angular hurdle-like frames.

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Aesthetica Art Prize: Interview with Finalist Suzanne Mooney

As we enter the final week countdown until the Aesthetica Art Prize opens at York St Mary’s, we speak to Irish artist Suzanne Mooney to learn more about her shortlisted pieces Come Away, O’… and Tokyo Summit A. Living and working in Japan, Mooney’s visual arts practice explores human perceptions of natural and manmade landscapes. Transferring an interest in organic scenery to the constructed environment of Tokyo, the artist examines cityscapes through the eyes of an urbanite. Taking into account themes of globalisation and urbanisation, Mooney uses photography and installation to stimulate new dialogues between city-dwellers and their surroundings, whilst drawing comparisons between natural and manmade ways of life.

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Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2015: Call for Entries

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award, now in its eighth year, is open for entries and is looking for poetry and short fiction submissions from writers around the world. Accepting works by both budding and established practitioners, the Award is an opportunity for writers at all levels in their career to engage with a wider, international audience and further their involvement in the literary world.

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Interview with Agnieszka Perche, Gallery Mananger at Darren Baker Gallery, London

Darren Baker Gallery opened summer 2014 and works to promote both established and emerging artists. Named after the artist in residence, the gallery aims to break down the barriers between artist and audience. Baker has spent the last two decades perfecting a hyperrealist technique. Gallery manager, Agnieszka Perche, speaks to Aesthetica about her appreciation of Baker’s work and the company’s upcoming exhibition programme.

From Tokyo to Paris- Insight into the Work of Rikka Ayasaki

Ayasaki expresses a variety of emotions using red as her theme colour in a very distinctive movement. This style stems from the time where she initially painted in black and white and reflects the strong personality of a unique woman who loves the colour red. The halfway abstract landscapes are poetic with a striking use of colour . Ayasaki exhibited in the prominent French art salons, notably in the French National Galleries of the Grand Palais and the Louvre Museum. Her work is held in many private collections by medical centers, famous musicians in France, Japan, UK, USA and others.

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Interview with Anna Lilleengen: Longlisted Artist in the Aesthetica Art Prize 2014

Fine art photographer Anna Lilleengen was longlisted in last year’s Aesthetica Art Prize with her piece Sublime Forest. Based in Yorkshire and Sweden, Lilleengen uses a physical process and deteriorating camera to create sculptural pieces that explore transient states of being and materiality. We catch up with her a year on to find out where the prize has taken her after her work was published in the Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology. Developments include funding from Arts Council England and her first commissioned public art piece in Rothwell, near Leeds.

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Review of Pronoia: Paranoia In reverse, Curated by Sophie Nibbs

Pronoia: Paranoia In reverse, an exhibition curated by Sophie Nibbs, at 12 Felstead Street, London, threw up all sorts of questions. The various works provoked the audience to consider the pressure to constantly pursue happiness, despite depressing economic realities, the way American mantras of positive thinking have infiltrated UK culture, how governments are measuring growth in terms of happiness (rather than GDP) and if unhappiness could be a new form of dissent. In a world where aspiration and positivity are sacrosanct, the idea that pursuing happiness might be self-destructive seems kind of taboo.

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Ronchini Gallery, London, Sean Lynch: DeLorean Progress Report

This solo show from Irish artist Sean Lynch takes as its focus the DeLorean car factory, which operated in Dunmurry, Belfast, for one year from 1981-1982. Lynch is part storyteller, part artist – often exploring forgotten histories and disregarded stories – and here he narrates a tale of dashed hopes, wrongful accusation and unlikely celebrity via a series of photographs and installations.

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Review of 12th edition of the Sharjah Biennial

The 12th edition of the Sharjah Biennial, in the UAE, curated by Eungie Joo, opened on 5 March to a relatively small exhibition of 51 artists that were representative of the region and from across the globe. Its open-ended theme titled The past, the present, the possible, allowed for a wide selection of works that were the most persuasive when history and nostalgia served as important sources to inspire and empower a new generation of artists. Expressed in minimalist forms, the best works came together when the recollection of the past in the Middle East reclaimed what was once glorious, and provided sufficient grist to conjure recent political strife and the dismemberment of social and family life.

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Interview with Jerwood/FVU Award Winner, Marianna Simnett

This March artists Lucy Clout and Marianna Simnett, winners of the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2015, premiere new moving-image works in an exhibition at Jerwood Visual Arts. Created in response to the project title What Will They See of Me?, the two artist have spent the last year expanding on their initial proposals in the first stage of the Awards in April 2014. We speak to Simnett about her work Blood and her use of untrained actors in her films.

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Edmund Clark: The Mountains of Majeed, Flowers Gallery, London

Edmund Clark’s work has always explored politics on a domestic scale, through photography, found imagery and text. His most recent series have explored the War on Terror and 2014 collection, The Mountains of Majeed, is currently on display at Flowers Gallery, London. The arresting images examine the experiences of the military personnel who have been engaged in “Operation Enduring Freedom” in Afghanistan.

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5 To See This Weekend

The exhibitions in our 5 To See This Weekend are not to be missed. The Royal Academy of Arts in London has brought together works by Ruben, Picasso and Van Dyck to show visitors the legacy of portraiture, and the BALTIC remembers the accessible and detailed work of Jason Rhoades. An exhibition of Alec Soth’s photography reveals a backstory of posing as a newspaper reporter, which he later detaches from a news-story context to generate stand-alone pieces. Meanwhile, Galerie des Galeries invites visitors to enter an immersive, theatrical space generated by painter Karina Bisch’s large-scale works on canvas.

Opening of the Davidoff Art Residency in the Dominican Republic

Thoughts of the Caribbean often evoke rum, beaches and palm trees. Paradise looms for tourists, and artists, who have also been drawn by this idyllic vision. Renowned creators like André Breton, Ernest Hemingway and Hunter S Thompson formed their work and made history on Caribbean islands. However, what is known of the islanders themselves? There is a thriving art community throughout the Caribbean that is struggling to emerge beyond these postcard projections to speak of their subjective realities: issues of race and class, alienation and identity, feminism and pragmatism in a post-colonial world.

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Aesthetica Art Prize: Interview with Denys Blacker, Longlisted Artist

Conceptual artist Denys Blacker has been longlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2015. Living and working in Spain, Blacker uses performance, sculpture and drawing to explore themes of symmetry and precision. Her selected piece The Noble Gases will appear in the Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition and anthology later this month. A series of seven performances for camera, The Noble Gases is based on Blacker’s research into the Periodic Table.

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Mariko Mori: Cyclicscape, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York

A Möbius strip is a surface with only one side, it is non-orientable and can be easily emulated by taking a strip of paper, twisting it once and attaching the two ends. If an ant was to walk the length of a Mobius paper strip, back to its starting point, it could cover the entire length of the paper on both sides without walking over a paper edge. These forms are at the heart of a new physics theory – “ekpyrotic” or “cyclic” cosmology – which hypothesises that the universe did not begin from one singular “Big Bang.” Instead, our cosmos contains continuously repeating cycles of evolution, parallel universes and the ever-expanding creation of new galaxies and planets.

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Testing Ground: The Still House Group, Zabludowicz Collection, London

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Zabludowicz Collection, and for its spring exhibition the gallery is showing work by multi-media, innovative and self-supporting artist organisation, Brooklyn’s The Still House Group.  Founded in 2007 by Isaac Brest and Alex Perweiler as an online collective, the group now includes eight members and one artist in residence.

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Maggi Hambling: War Requiem & Aftermath, The Cultural Institute at King’s College London, London

Encompassing painting, sculpture, installation and film, War Requiem explores victimhood, violence, and the imagination through thick impasto paintings which transform before the eyes into nameless portraits and the broad expanses of emptied battlefields. Hambling’s paintwork is turbulent and emotionally charged, Indian yellow pigment running through the series as bold fanfare, hints of gold and bursts of fire.