In preparation for the Summer Olympics and in conjunction with a trend of promoting British culture, the Victoria & Albert Museum explores the many facets of British contributions to modern design. Using the 1948 London Olympic Gfames as its starting point, this exhibition chronicles the character of British design from it’s traditional beginnings, subversive period, and finally the contemporary excellence in technology and engineering.
Bridging the Gap Between Landscape and Abstraction | David Wightman: Paramour | Halcyon Gallery | London
Born in Stockport, David Wightman’s first exposure to art was through the Manchester Art Gallery where he became captivated by the pre-Raphaelite collection and the fantasy worlds of William Holman-Hunt and John William Waterhouse. Wightman has come a long way since those early days. In 2010, Wightman was awarded a fellowship in Berwick-upon-Tweed by Berwick Gymnasium Fellowship, English Heritage and has exhibited at Sumarria Lunn, Cornerhouse, William Angel Gallery and Found Gallery.
Text by Travis Riley
Despite having gained a considerable reputation across Europe, and having won the $100,000 Hugo Boss Prize in New York (2010), this is Hans-Peter Feldmann’s first show in a public gallery in London. Feldmann is known and acclaimed for his artist’s books. Called Bilder (Pictures), each is numbered, and contains a series of related photographs. He has carried this mentality of series and collections throughout his art. One Pound of Strawberries (2004) depicts its title. Although defined by their collective weight, the strawberries have been separated, each isolated into its own small, stark, photographic image.
Jim Dow’s (b. 1942) photographs focus on the passage of time as it is recorded in landscapes from North Dakota to Great Britain to Argentina. Using an 8 x 10 inch view camera, Dow turns his lens to roadside signs, ageing buildings, and interiors that feel locked in another era. His images honestly record the scenes before his camera, avoiding sentiments of nostalgia while paying tribute to lands marked by past and current residents. A leading American photographer, Dow pushes his viewer to reconsider familiar surroundings and discern the beauty and cultural history hidden in modern landscapes.
Text by Bethany Rex
Eva and Franco Mattes’ current exhibition at Carroll/Fletcher was Anonymous, untitled, dimensions, variable on Wednesday, Building Stories on Thursday and today’s exhibition title remains to be confirmed. If you’re interested in the process of naming you can follow the daily change on their tumblr: www.exhibitiontitlechange.tumblr.com
Text by Sarah Richter
El Anatsui is widely recognised as one of Africa’s foremost contemporary artists. Most well known for his signature bottle cap sculptures, his artistic practice is punctuated by artworks that utilise a variety of mediums and explore themes of both personal and wider significance. Born in Ghana but actively working in Nigeria, El is inspired by his surroundings. His use of found materials is not a comment on Western recycling, but on giving discarded objects a new life.
Text by Daniel Potts
Cartwright Hall sits in the award-winning Lister Park – an appropriate venue in terms of its relatively close proximity to the birthplace of the artist. The survey of the work of this son of Ilkley is housed modestly in one room of this grand edifice, which, for its aging, schoolroom-like aromas evokes the surrealistic mental muddles of childhood. Perhaps such early confusions, with all their cross-wired connotations, form the basis of our appreciation of the surreal. The dream-like associations, projected by us on to whatever form of surrealist media, when they are contrived to be invoked by artists betoken profound insight.
We’ve been keeping a close eye on S1 SALON: a series of artists’ film and video screenings that take place at S1 Artspace in Sheffield. Now in its sixth cycle, S1 SALON 2012 presents three new screenings of work by national and international artists selected by artist Linder Sterling, Head of Sculpture Studies at The Henry Moore Institute, Lisa Le Feuvre and artist Ben Rivers.
Text by Regina Papachlimitzou
In her first major solo exhibition in the UK, Mumbai-based artist Shilpa Gupta uses an eclectic variety of media to explore some of the themes most central to her work: namely, censorship, the particularities of text and script as tools of communication, and individuality versus collective experience to name but a few.
Text by Daniel Barnes
Before the mundane and grotesque content of anybody’s life could be accessed at a mere click, there was Gillian Wearing, who made subtle, engaging art about people. Her early investigations of public faces and private lives predate Big Brotherand Twitter, and in this Whitechapel survey the work appears both pioneering and slightly archaic. The Whitechapel gives a welcome glimpse at the work of an artist who is often overlooked because her work no longer seems shocking, since technology has eclipsed the initial surprise.
Text by Bethany Rex
Danse-moi vers la fin de l’amouris the culmination of a two year project by the artists Samuel Levack and Jennifer Lewandowski. The project explores the freedoms that result from the hedonistic ritual of dance, paying particular focus to the aesthetic phenomenon of a dancer isolated from the crowd.
Text by Rachel Van Greuning
BALTIC 39 is a new hub for Contemporary Art in Newcastle upon Tyne opens to the public on Friday 6 April. Aesthetica spoke to BALTIC Director Godfrey Worsdale on the gallery’s recent success.