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Journeys & Location: Frank Bowling RA, ROLLO Contemporary Art, London.

Review by Emily Sack, a candidate for the MA in Art History at Richmond the American International University in London.

Six years after being elected a Royal Academician, Frank Bowling remains an integral figure in the London contemporary art world. With the current exhibition entitled Crossings: From New Amsterdam, Berbice to New Amsterdam, New York via Holland and London, ROLLO Contemporary Art explores the artist’s recent works. Using acrylic on canvas with a frequent inclusion of found materials, Bowling’s work displays such an intense impasto that the paintings become almost as three-dimensional as sculpture. It is difficult to resist running a hand across the surface to explore the differences in texture between the rough canvas and the heavily layered paint.

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Announcing the Aesthetica Short Film Festival – Submit Your Film

Aesthetica Short Film Festival: Drumroll please! Announcing the launch of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival!

The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is a celebration of independent film from across the world. The Film Festival was created as an outlet to support and champion short filmmaking and has developed from the Aesthetica Magazine Short Film Competition.

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New Connections Within The Polyphonic Whole: Janet Cardiff, Fabrica Gallery, Brighton

Review by Amy Knight

Sound has, perhaps more than any other sensory stimulation, a transcendental power that can immerse the listener in an all-encompassing awareness of being. It is this notion that forces itself into consciousness at the entrance to the Fabrica gallery on a small street in Brighton, where a sublime, choral sound seeps out the open doors of the building and catches the unsuspecting ears of passers-by. The choirs of voices that come from within are not emerging from human throats, but an oval arrangement of electronic speakers, each emitting the recorded sound of one person in a Forty Part Motet.

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The Globe Shrinks for Those Who Own It: Barbara Kruger, Sprüth Magers, London.

Review by Laura Bushell

There’s a game children play when they want to enrage their siblings; that of repeating verbatim everything the other says. Maintained to a suitably relentless level, this method of throwing someone’s utterances straight back in their face is passive-aggression at its most potent, with humiliating and infuriating results.

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Two Portrayals of Life: Miroslav Tichý and Shimabuku’s My Teacher Tortoise, Wilkinson Gallery, London.

Review by Mallory Nanny, a candidate for the MA in Art History at Richmond the American International University in London.

Located in the lively art scene of Vyner Street, Wilkinson Gallery currently boasts two exhibitions with work reflecting different approaches of life. The lower gallery contains a collection of untitled photographs by Czechoslovakian artist Miroslav Tichý from the 1960s, as the floor above houses a conceptual exhibition entitled My Teacher Tortoise by contemporary Japanese installation-artist, Shimabuku.

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Sam Knowles, Fearful Sphere, at Simon Oldfield Gallery, London

Sam Knowles’ first solo exhibition, Fearful Sphere opens tonight in London.

Knowles’ (b.1983) practice deals with metaphysical concerns, and the notion that the world – and man’s existence in it – can be explained by the “grand” theories of philosophy, art and science. Fearful Sphere explores and questions the narratives that have become enshrined in our physical libraries and internal consciousness. Presenting new wall based works as well as a group of sculptures, Knowles dissects and splices, sometimes line by line. The “truths” which flow from these carefully selected texts and bindings are interrupted by Knowles’ intricate and graphic gold markings or by the artists’ slicing into and restructuring of these historical tomes.

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Ian Hamilton Finlay | Definitions at Victoria Miro, London

By Sarah Richter, a candidate for the MA in Art History at Richmond the American International University in London.

Ian Hamilton Finlay’s show currently at the Victoria Miro Gallery is evocative of classicism, coupled with an informed philosophical and historical glance into tradition. The show is entitled Definitions and is punctuated throughout the gallery with Finlay’s often witty and multivalent definitions of words such as Purity, Apollo, Inspiration and Militaria. Illustrate Finlay’s desire to explore the materiality of words in relations to the sculptures which are the other aspect of the culture. The presence of these classical sculptures it feels like one is walking the mystical carnage of a preserved world of antiquity, only intact to share knowledge and predict the future, which alas remains uncertain and far removed from the seeming certainty of antiquity.

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Vija Celmins, Television and Disaster (1964 – 1966), LACMA, LA.

Review by Jareh Das

Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents an intimate exhibition of Vija Celmins works, focusing on the artist’s time in Los Angeles between 1964 – 1966. These works comment particularly on the media’s representation of disasters, at a time when war, guns and other images of death and disaster were repetitively prominent and reported. Having escaped Soviet invasion in Europe as a child and emigrated to the USA, as a young adult, Celmins was about to experience a different type of war given that 1960s America was characterised by The Cold War. This began with the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, through to the easing of relations between the Soviet Union and The Unites States of America in 1969 to late 1970s. Other significant unsettling events included the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War antiwar movement.

Articulating Sounds As Visual Imagery: Sam Belinfante, Penumbra, mima, Middlesborough

Review by Jareh Das

As you approach mima (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art) in Centre Square the viewer is confronted by a resounding female operatic voice. One wonders where this voice is coming from; it starts, stops and as you listen attentively, words are not being sung but rather, short energetic hums float through the open space. At the entrance of mima, there is a muted video on a screen. It keeps going in and out of focus, the singer unrecognisable as it zooms in on her mouth, but where is the sound being emitted? I take a seat and then viola! I hear that voice I heard earlier in the square, it’s very faint in the gallery’s atrium but the longer I sit, the more prominently the voice oscillates.

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The Wider Narratives of the Middle East: Rabih Mroué, The People Are Demanding, Iniva, London.

Review by Jareh Das

Lebanese artist, theatre director, playwright and actor, Rabih Mroué presents his first UK solo show at iniva which centres around ongoing conflicts in Lebanon and the Middle East since the Lebanese Civil War. The Lebanese Civil work ended in 1990 and lasted for fifteen years. Its effect was devastating as it resulted in almost 300,000 civilian casualties as well as a mass displacement of Lebanese people.

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Predominantly Political Art? Peter Kennard, At Earth, Raven Row, London

Review by Kara Magid, a candidate for the MA in Art History at Richmond, The American International University in London.

Painters George Shaw and Karla Black, sculptor Martin Boyce and video artist Hilary Lloyd are shortlisted for this year’s Turner prize, to be held at Baltic, Gateshead. Hilary Lloyd is nominated for an exhibition at Raven Row gallery in London, which she filled with video projections that also became, along with their AV equipment, a sculptural installation. Raven Row is a relatively new non-profit contemporary art space in Spitalfields. Their latest show, Peter Kennard’s At Earth is a captivating look at Kennard’s practice of forty years through photomontages, paintings, and new digital images made with Tarek Salhany.

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Contemporary Lighting Design: WOKA, Vienna

WOKA was born in 1900, they produce handmade reproductions of exclusive lighting-fixtures from the early 20th century. Handmade in Vienna, with original tools using the highest quality materials, these lamps represent design at its best. We caught up with Christiane Büssgen, Creative Director.