Contemporary painter, sculptor and performance artist Jannis Kounellis exhibits his early works at Parasol unit from 28 November to 17 February. Considered a protagonist of Arte Povera, an art movement that emerged in Italy during the 1960s, Kounellis embarked on his artistic career by creating some of the most radical art works of the time. Often combining the inanimate and animate, he boldly incorporated things such as propane torches, plants and animals as integral if not vital parts of his works.
Lawrence Weiner, widely recognised for his pioneering role in the development of conceptualism in the 1960s, has spent the last five decades deconstructing artistic practices into various concepts of language and idea. In his new show at the Lisson Gallery, Weiner focuses on the concept of truncation, a mathematical term referring to the discarding of unnecessary digits, as an inherent meaning and material reality. Weiner’s works will populate the gallery walls on a grand and small scale, and will include a new piece occupying the entirety of a 12 metre wall.
Mannequins and prosthetics provide a new way for us to view the human body, with a more objective outlook these plastic representations separate humanity and body. The Vivisector, curated by Todd Levin, investigates this idea through two bodies of work by Cindy Sherman; the photographic series Sex Pictures (1989-1992) and a series of black and white images entitled Broken Dolls (1999). Opening at Spruth Magers, London, on Friday 23 November the show runs until 26 January 2013 and seeks to reexamine and contextualise the importance of these works within Sherman’s oeuvre. Although Sherman’s work takes centre stage, works by Morton Bartlett, Georges Bataille, Hans Bellmer and Frederick Sommer also present articles of their work that further engage with the transgressive figurative form. Along with the works on show, part of Jacques Offenbach’s opera The Tales of Hoffmann, Les oiseaux dans la charmille (also known as “The Doll Song”), will play throughout the exhibition as it recounts a story of a poet who is fooled into falling in love with a mechanical doll.
Cutting edge work will be available to both view and purchase tomorrow as The Other Art Fair opens it’s second exhibition this year, following the success of it’s earlier May edition. Running from 22 November until 25 November, visitors and art lovers will have the chance to delve into the world of alternative art and even take a piece of it home for themselves. In May, the three day event, attracted nearly 7,000 visitors from gallerists and seasoned collectors to first time buyers and art fanatics. The success of the show is evident in the fact almost a quarter of the exhibiting artists were approached to work with galleries afterwards. Unique in its ability to unite over 100 emerging artists directly with the public, The Other Art Fair has already gained a reputation of one of the best venues for collectors to uncover new talent. The underlying aim of the fair is to put the building blocks in place for artists and collectors to forge long lasting links.
When the first printing press was invented in the mid-fifteenth century by Johannes Gutenberg, it was a scandal. The source of the scandal was the replacement of hand-made works with thoughtless reproductions, i.e. the cheapening of valued goods. The book was an object revered for its unique ability to communicate knowledge; so some were worried that just anybody could get a book now, shattering a solid network of social classes. And to nobody’s astonishment, the printing press realised most of the worries – it was the sole source of widely distributed texts for the first time. So it’s a wonder that after 500 years printing is still making leaps and bounds, giving rise to bombastic new abilities in expanded fields. Wade Guyton’s mid-career retrospective, Wade Guyton OS – currently mounted at the Whitney Museum, is momentous both for Guyton and for the next generation of artists who wish never to pick up the brush. Filled with attractive, sizeable stretched linen that has been printed upon, as well as small book sized images, almost everything in the exhibition was created using large format inkjet printers (with the exception of a few chair sculptures, and a sculpture consisting of a woodpile that reeked of afterthought). The show is, ceteris paribus, a solid accomplishment – a glimpse of the possibilities wherein digital media and manual labor synaptically combine, laden with both traditional formal properties and new technological channels.
Throwing out the provocative question of, “when is your best friend not your best friend?”, Straight is a play that deals with the intriguing topic of friendship and age. Following a very successful run at the Studio in Sheffield, Straight now arrives at the Bush Theatre, London from 28 November until 22 December. Adapted from the American motion feature Humpday, Straight was written by playwright DC Moore, whose other plays include Alaska (Royal Court), The Empire (Royal Court and Drum Theatre, Plymouth – TMA Award for Best Touring Production), Honest (Royal & Derngate, Northampton and Edinburgh Festival), Town (Royal & Derngate, Northampton) and The Swan. Aesthetica speaks to DC Moore about his approach to Straight and how the play pans out.
At a time when the city of Birmingham seems to be growing to become a viable source of fantastically cutting edge contemporary art, the latest exhibitions to populate Eastside Projects prove to be an example to the rest of the country as to just what Birmingham has to offer. Abstract Possible revisits a quintessential 20th century artistic movement that was also to produce the backbone to many more subsequent movements, but has since taken intriguing routes in the 21st century. Artists have redesigned the process of formal abstraction within a work’s particular aesthetics to now include social abstraction and abstraction as an economic process. This broad range of interpretations of “abstract” is majestically displayed within the seductive confines of the main gallery. This space has had a superficial makeover transforming it into an enchantingly glossy minimal paradise that can’t help but penetrate deep in to the depths of one’s psyche raising and addressing topical issues with a subtle fluidity.
It’s been just over a week since the Aesthetica Short Film Festival closed. Following the Closing Night and Awards Ceremony, at which The Sugar Bowl took Best of Fest and Hollow scooped up the People’s Choice award, ASFF has met with great acclaim. Described by Creative England as “one of the innovative arts events in the UK”, this incredible event took over the city of York from 8-11 November, turning the city, which is one Britain’s greatest cultural treasures, into a series of cinemas that screened over 200 international short films, as well as hosting masterclasses and guests screenings from leading industry figures and organisations such as BAFTA, Warp and Channel 4.
The Underground Roundel is a sign that millions of people see everyday worldwide, mostly during a dreary commute, but don’t attribute much thought to. However, 100 international artists have taken it upon themselves to redesign this iconic image in the newly published: The Roundel: 100 Artists remake a London Icon. Not only do these works celebrate the underground transport system but also capture the Roundel (the disk like Underground sign) in a completely new way. Including artists such as Alice Channer, Jeremy Deller, Sir Peter Blake, Ryan Gander, Roger Hiorns, Cornelia Parker, Olivia Plender, Yinka Shonibare, Gavin Turk, Susan Hiller and Richard Wentworth, this book records the Roundel in painting, drawing, print collage and sculpture.
Inside Chanel, is a retrospective website that is dedicated to rediscovering the history of Chanel. Featuring a timeline of Chanel’s development, the site’s latest release is a glamorous short film about Marilyn Monroe’s famous relationship with Chanel N°5. Created to embrace the ritual of femininity, N°5 has been embraced by women the world over and not least because of Monroe’s favouring of the scent. In the wake of the short film, For the First Time, a four minute short that traces the origins of Chanel right up to their recent work with Brad Pitt, Inside Chanel presents Chapter 2, a snapshot of the intimate relationship between two of the most infamous names in the world.
Éanna de Fréine is the editor of The Velvet Cell, an independent publishing house. Recently releasing Botanica, a book of stunning photography by Dutch photographer Sander Meisner, de Fréine talks to Aesthetica about the ideas and collaborations behind Meisner’s latest works. Including vivid colours and hidden landscapes, de Fréine enjoys exploring the world through the medium of photography. Botanica is The Velvet Cell’s first large format book and is composed by Meisner who is represented by Brandt Gallery in Amsterdam.
Blank You Very Much is a platform for designers to take iconic brands and redesign them. The concept of “blank” is the space where designers are able to make their mark on what is an established and recognisable brand. Currently working with Burton, BYVM has already worked with Coca-Cola, Huf, Bert Rodriguez, Pele, and Dee & Ricky. Designers are able to join the online community and enter the current competitions which are critiqued and commented on by others in the community and finally judged by external judges who will pick one design to be the overall winner. BYVM connects talented designers with huge brands, allowing the brands to instantly access new trends in the design market. Aesthetica speaks to the director and founder of BYVM, Darren Romanelli.