Found Objects have been popular as a medium since Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) began experimenting with the discarded and lost in the 1950s. The idea of making something out of nothing was intriguing for many post-war artists. Finding beauty in superfluous scrap is perhaps more challenging than putting paint to canvas, and the new exhibition at Manchester’s Cornerhouse, Creative Stars: Lost is Found, is a celebration of such. Lost is Found is a group show of work from nine artists based in the North of England. The exhibited works find beauty in the redundant and discarded, explore past lives and find new stories in transformations and fleeting identities.
Aesthetica Magazine is proud to announce The Aesthetica Art Prize, a celebration of excellence in art from across the world. The Aesthetica Art Prize has developed from the Aesthetica Creative Works Competition, and is an invaluable platform for artists of all disciplines and offers the contenders a £1,000 first prize and a group exhibition hosted by the magazine.
Text by Angela Darby
Since its inception in 2008 The F.E. McWilliam Gallery has gained an impressive reputation for programming important retrospectives of Irish Modernists and innovative thematic exhibitions. The latest project entitled Home Grown consists of 26 selected artists who have an association to the Banbridge region either through birth or domicile. The curators Dr Riann Coulter and Aoife Ruane, Director of the Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda invited selected artists to “create work in response to the themes of momentum, energy, experience or connection.” Within this thematic context the collective works feature a significant contribution from established, internationally known and emerging artists.
Text by Emma Cummins
Spanning 25 years of a practice embedded in historical and empirical research, Zarina Bhimji portrays buildings and architectural surfaces as “protagonists” in an unpeopled, yet politically charged landscape of violence, migration and complex, colonial histories. Opening with two black and white seascapes and a vast selection of prints from the series Love (1998-2007), the exhibition segues from hazy horizons in Zanzibar, to abandoned residences and bullet encrusted walls in Uganda, with an ostensibly effortless sweep.
Last Days of the Arcticis a moving and insightful photographic portrait of a disappearing landscape and the Inuit people who inhabit it, by celebrated photojournalist Ragnar Axelsson. Inspired by the fast-diminishing way of life of communities dependent on nature and the land around them for survival, Axelsson presents us with a breathtaking introduction to a life of Greenlandic hunters in one of the most remote regions of the world, and at once demonstrates its temporality.
Text by Daniel Potts
The Sound of Two Songs is Mark Power’s photographic survey of Poland, formed and collected over a period of five years. He made his first visit to the country in 2004 as part of a project intended to record and document ten countries joining the European Union in that year. Power’s survey takes place over a period when around a million Poles migrated to the UK to live and work: a period of fascinating social change. As the title of the exhibition suggests, Power engages and captures more than one force in the visual aspect. He presents Poland as a land “bursting with visual contradictions…like listening to several melodies at once to the point where it’s difficult to hear anything clearly.”
Text by Bethany Rex
Alex Dordoy’s work exists at the threshold of completeness and often retains the potential for change, or even destruction. Using materials including glass and plaster, on occasion the glass is broken or the plaster precariously vulnerable. Dordoy’s current exhibition at The Modern Institute, Glasgow, includes a series of paintings on canvas and wall mounted plaster objects. The new paintings are based on the image of a figure in the landscape, with the form digitally re-worked and then meticulously reproduced in paint by Dordoy to create what he describes as highly worked photorealist, psychedelic mindsapces. The plaster objects will include objects based on the figure’s head, and also several Folded, Unfolded, Sunk and Scanned works which take their shape from an unfolded paper aeroplane. Here Dordoy talks to us about his work and his plans for the future.
Text by Karla Evans
There are certain exhibitions whose titles are so ambiguous and nonsensical that even before attending the show you are met with a quiet sense of dread on whether you will get it. Don’t let that opening sentence put you off this one though. The Jerwood Space’s remotely vague title of Formed Thoughts does give off a whiff off indeterminate expectation but what it lacks in an enticing name it makes up for in an intriguing collection of works on a subject matter rarely discussed.
The fifth annual Northern Art Prize, worth £16,500, has been won by Merseyside-based artist Leo Fitzmaurice, it was announced at Leeds Art Gallery last night. Three remaining short listed artists; Liadin Cooke, James Hugonin and Richard Rigg each walk away with £1,500. Not bad for a Thursday night in Leeds.
Text by Leaf Arbuthnot
Vorticist!, Kettle’s Yard’s latest show, draws deserved attention to a sculptor whose career was as important and impressive as it was brutally short. The exhibition showcases a small but intense core of some of the most striking sketches, ink drawings and sculptures of Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (1891-1915), key exponent of the Vorticist movement that began in London, 1914. The group was distinctive for its interest in the machine age and its reactionary attitude to the Victorian civic setup, regarded by its members as disadvantageous to individual sovereignty and maturity.
Irish photographer Richard Mosse is known for his restraining and highly aestheticised views of sites associated with violence and fear, such as his 2008 depictions of the war in Iraq, and his large-scale photographs of aeroplane crash sites. For his new series, Infra, Mosse used Kodak Aerochrome – an infra-red film designed in the 1940s to assist the U.S. military in detecting camouflage – to photograph the people and landscape of the Eastern Congo.
Text by Bethany Rex
A new exhibition of 33 drawings by Donald Judd (1928-94) opens tomorrow at Sprüth Magers London. Covering nearly the entire period he made three-dimensional work, the show is curated by Peter Ballantine, who since 1969 has specialised in almost all aspects of the artist’s work. Peter Ballantine discusses Judd’s radical type of delegated fabrication and his own connection to the work.
Installation & Interactive Monuments | Brook Andrew: Travelling Colony | Carriageworks | New South Wales
Text by Ella Mudie
This is not the sort of behaviour typically encountered in an art installation. In the foyer of Sydney’s inter-disciplinary performance venue Carriageworks, seven hand-painted caravans are being poked and prodded by curious audiences. Visitors duck their heads as they step into each van, look around inside to check out the tatty, retro 1970s décor then sit back on the vinyl lounges. Hyperactive children are climbing the furniture, inspecting the cupboards and testing the taps.
Text by Travis Riley
Entering Asier Mendizabal’s solo show at Raven Row, the friendly greeting of the gallery receptionist is perfectly complemented by, what seem to be, two mock-worn, ornamental park benches. They are entitled Hard Edge #5 and #6 (both 2011), and look very much at home in a white-walled foyer. The sham wood effect is produced by several sheets of affixed MDF, the dark glued edges imitate the appearance of a wood-grain, albeit much too uniform to be natural. Angled swathes have been cut from the sculptures, giving the impression of use, but the cuts are symptomatically precise. These works are emblematic of what is to come in the show.
Text by Bethany Rex
The importance of creativity in advertising has been widely recognised for decades. A creative ad campaign has to be both divergent and relevant. It is a difficult scale to balance and the failures certainly outweigh the triumphs. Advertising is about more than promotion of any given product; it’s centred on communicating a message, managing expectations, and brand positioning. There is no measure of success, however any advertising campaign that succeeds in stimulating interaction between these three subsystems: creator, domain and field, is certainly moving in the right direction.
Global Lens is a touring film exhibition, organised annually between MoMA and the Global Film Initiative (GFI). Designed to encourage filmmaking in countries with emerging film communities, the select of 10 programs, which include films developed with seed money from GFI, represents a concise survey of contemporary filmmaking from areas where local economic realities making such expensive and technology-driven endeavours a challenge. Accomplished, entertaining, and thought-provoking, the films are deeply rooted in the social and political realities of the countries where their talented and resourceful makers live and set their stories. Taking place from 12 – 28 January in The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters at MoMA, the screening schedule is packed. Here are our recommendations for those of you lucky enough to be in NY at the moment:
Text by Asana Greenstreet
Graham Sutherland (1903-1980) was an official World War II artist from 1941-44. He was commissioned to paint scenes of bomb devastation, as well as work in mines, quarries and foundries. He is a modernist painter who stands on his own two feet: moving away from the traditional representation of landscapes, however formerly innovative, treating the paper and the relief as a live entity. As a doctor would a patient, Sutherland examines every possibility and change through the medium of painting, and produced a vast collection of works on paper that scrutinise, explore and spiritualise the landscape he sees before him.
Happy New Year!
2012 looks set to be an exciting year and we’ve certainly got plenty of great things lined up here at Aesthetica.
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