Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty at Sadler’s Wells, London

Matthew Bourne’s haunting new production at Sadler’s Wells is a gothic romance; a supernatural love story that even the passage of time cannot hinder. Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty sees the choreographer return to the music of Tchaikovsky to complete the trio of the composer’s ballet masterworks that started in 1992 with Nutcracker! and, most famously, in 1995, with the international hit Swan Lake.

James Capper: Open Air at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

A new exhibition by James Capper, whose extraordinary sculptures can walk, swim and climb mountains, opens at Yorkshire Sculpture Park on 5 January 2013. Featuring three large-scale walking sculptures in the landscape and models, drawings and films in the Bothy Gallery, this project is a timely showcase of the artist’s career to date and shows the evolution of his practice and fascinating exploration of the potential and aesthetics of the machine.

Review of Kate MccGwire: LURE, London

Occupying a liminal space between nature, science and art, Kate MccGwire’s sculptures are both ominous and sensuous. Made from masses of delicate feathers, they are “impossible creatures”, spilling from gallery walls, or crouching in dimly lit vitrines. Unlike the carefully preserved animals we see in museums, MccGwire’s creatures are faceless and ultimately abstract. Often asphyxiated by scientific clamps, they bend into and onto themselves – revealing the delicate imbalance between nature and science on epistemological and emotional levels.

Joel Meyerowitz 50 Years of Photographs Part II: 1978-2012 at Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Howard Greenberg Gallery presents its worldwide representation of Joel Meyerowitz, whose first solo show with the gallery, 50 Years of Photographs, is a full survey of the artist’s career in two parts: November 2–December 1, 2012, and December 7, 2012–January 5, 2013. One of the foremost photographers working today, Joel Meyerowitz is renowned for his crucial role in the establishment of colour photography as a fine art. His work has appeared in over 350 exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world.

Review of Bloomberg New Contemporaries, London

Once again the Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition, having begun its nationwide tour in Liverpool, has come to rest at one of its regular stops, the ICA London. For those unfamiliar with the New Contemporaries premise, the exhibition contains a small selection (29 selected from over 1,200) of this year’s crop of British art school graduates, picked by a panel of previous New Contemporaries. From Jackson Sprague’s astonishing Crystacal plaster sculpture, white and tiered on a pink, spiralled, cylindrical base, like a grandiloquent wedding cake (untitled, 2011), to Freya Douglas’s Elysian watercolour, They Visited Twice (2012), and Simon Senn’s Meadowlands Zone 1 (2010) in which a dynamic twenty-second documentary sequence set in Soweto is unveiled as fabrication, the works at this year’s New Contemporaries do not disappoint in breadth or ambition.

Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella Award Winners Ed Atkins and Naheed Raza at Jerwood Space, London

This January, the recipients of the Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella Awards, Ed Atkins and Naheed Raza, premiere their ambitious new commissions at Jerwood Visual Arts (JVA), Jerwood Space, London.  Presented as the second part of the exhibition Tomorrow Never Knows, the new works will be on show from 16 January until 24 February 2013.

Review of Beat Streuli: New Street, Birmingham

Triumphantly harbouring the works of Beat Streuli’s latest exhibition New Street, Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery has been transformed into an ensemble of diverted perception and indirect human observation. Streuli uses both floors in the gallery and the tower room to allow the viewer to become both provocateur and voyeur of the variety of works on display. Streuli’s output spans photography, projected images and video. These detached mediums can sometimes sit rather unnvervingly, due to the lack of direct contact with the characters in the work, alluding to an ethical issue of privacy and display without consent. But at the same time the pieces mesmerize and perplex through their minimal and clinical white interior.

Mark and Kristen Sink: New Work, New York

Mark and Kristen Sink present a new body of work at the Robin Rice Gallery on 16 January until 24 February. Only their second photography exhibition, their intriguing images blur faces, sharpen eyes and crinkle petals in subjects that appear to have fallen out of a Victorian-era fairytale. In order to create works with a bold vintage effect, the husband and wife utilised one of the oldest techniques in photographic history: the collodion wet plate process. This is a laborious method where the error of the human hand renders each piece a unique expression of beauty. 

Review of Tokyo 1955 – 1970: A New Avant-Garde, New York

Possibly proof of Japan’s miraculous determination following WWII, the exhibition Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde at MoMA demonstrates a manifold of approaches to making artworks in Japan’s post-war period. A show of elusive paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and videos, the broad selection embodies radical dissent, new political visions, and revelations (though not always convincing), all of which result from an artist community’s attempt to reestablish itself in a westernized world. Though the show is a little packed, it is demonstrative of the multifarious works made during this period. While the show spans a rather small amount of time – just fifteen years – it has a rapid rate of growth, somewhat astonishing as one strolls through the space. One of the most visible progressions in Japan’s art-world would have to be their increasing proclivity towards the fantastic. As time moves on for them, the art gets weirder and more immersed in fantasy. This could be looked at in several different ways, but to say that it is a direct response to a moment of intense destruction followed by a patriarchal rebuilding by the USA does not seem to be too far off point.

Jane Edden: Ornithomorph, London

Running until 5 January Jane Edden’s Ornithomorph is built upon the artist’s fascination with the way animals are collected, classified and catalogued. She has adopted a scientific system of labelling and nomenclature. Featuring within the exhibition is Flying Jackets, which investigates our attitudes towards nature and the desire behind consuming natural materials. Each jacket is just the size of a humming bird  and is created from hundreds of tiny feathers to produce a series that inhabits a hybrid space between avian and human. Linking back to the human attraction to natural materials, Edden also inspects the tribal, sacred use of feathers that is internationally recognised. 

Review of David Shrigley, Bradford

The point was made fairly clearly that absurdities and banalities from the mundane were given centre stage in the artwork of David Shrigley at the preview night. When he addressed the assembled audience of devotees and art students at Bradford 1 Gallery, it proved that such phenomena, when elevated in this way, are recorded with an imperfect, naïve sort of economy. This intended imperfection and naivety of style is achieved with the use of heavy outlines and deliberately crude execution in his drawings. The way in which he explained his methods was deadpan and illustrated with the use of a slideshow highlighting humorous situations in which he had found himself in his own life. In delivering this information to the audience in this oblique yet slightly blunt way he added a personal touch to, and compounded, the unique angle from which the everyday is observed, as imparted by the work. Most of the work currently exhibited at Bradford 1 Gallery is drawn in pen. However, there are a healthy number of colour monoprints also on display.

Winter Sparks, Liverpool

In line with the current season, FACT Liverpool presents: Winter Sparks. Running until 24 February, this interactive programme of works is literally electric. Visitors can expect to experience a personal light and sound show with electric sparks, interact with the charges from Tesla coils and explore the mysteries of the Wilberforce pendulum, which is all work from four emerging international artists, showcasing in the UK for the first time. 

Review of Mariko Mori: Rebirth, London

This winter Mariko Mori invites visitors of the Royal Academy to take part in “a prayer for peace and harmony for each living being on Earth” with immersive installations which reflect the artist’s own Buddhist beliefs and reverence for the natural world. This exhibition, which studies the winter solstice amongst other ecological miracles, is perfectly timed as Mariko’s pieces glow ice-white, mirroring the frosty glaze which currently covers Burlington Garden’s entrance on the coldest day of the year so far.

Floris Neusüss: Ancient and Modern, London

A pioneer of photographic art, German artist Floris Neusüss depicts the human form, nature, and aspects of domestication through his camera-less photographs. Currently on view at ATLAS Gallery, Ancient and Modern unveils original works by Neusüss from the 1960s and 1970s that have not been previously released from his studio until now.


Sandra Johnston: The Shadow of a Doubt, The Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast.

Over the past fortnight, in an extreme reaction to the Union Flag’s removal from Belfast City Hall, an outbreak of rioting and death threats to politicians has darkened the political climate in Northern Ireland. This dissonance is a testament to how easily local politics can revert back to the brutal years of civil unrest. En route to The Golden Thread Gallery the main road had been closed to facilitate a march by loyalist protestors. A cavalcade of white police jeeps formed a cordon along the path and the sound of a surveillance helicopter punctuated the tense atmosphere as it hovered over the throng of Union Jack flag bearers. I considered my experience of this uneasy situation in relation to the underpinning concerns of the current GT Gallery exhibition The Shadow of a Doubt by the artist Sandra Johnston.

Art for The World: FOOD, Geneva

Opening tomorrow at the Musée Ariana, Art for The World showcases FOOD, an international travelling art project. Running from 19 December until 24 February, the show is curated by Adelina von Fürstenberg and focuses on the connection between food and environmental concerns, looking particularly at the preservation of the plant, the choice of nutrition, the consequences of climate change, the poising of agricultural products and the food distribution gap. FOOD is made up of the art exhibition, a selection of short movies and a series of keynote conferences.

Alain Rodier: New Paintings in Series 2012, London

Alain Rodier presents New Paintings in Series 2012, a new range of 25 works taken from four different collectionsCollating works from the past 12 months, they stand as the fifth major exhibition the Parisian has housed in London, and the first in almost 10 years. Uniting a rich and diverse variety of thematic focuses, Rodier presents works that are evocative and thought-provoking in their visual effect. Rigorously exploring the many dimensions of modern culture, and what it means to be a human in the 21st century, the exhibition evokes both pleasure and pain, illustrated in delicate and sharp paintings. Previously, a world-wide Fashion Photographer, Rodier began his artistic career in London back in 1991, he returns for the first time since 2003 to showcase his most recent work.

Anish Kapoor at The Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney

Anish Kapoor is one of the most celebrated artists working today and has created some of the world’s most ambitious and recognisable contemporary artworks. This unique exhibition at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) running from 20 December 2012 until 1 April 2013, will be Kapoor’s first major presentation of his work in Australia, and includes works from the early stages of his career to the present day. It explores the artist’s continual experimentation across a variety of materials including clay, plastic, pigment, steel and wax to create works of great visual power and emotional impact.

Dan Flavin: Lights, Vienna

US artist Dan Flavin (b. 1933) presents, Lights at mumok, Vienna. Running until 3 February 2013, Flavin uses commercially available fluorescent tubes in standard sizes and colours to create a (literally) sparkling exhibiton. Bound together with a sensual aura, the artist’s works are precise and carefully calculated. Using objects from everyday life, Flavin draws art and normal living together.  Although an array of fantastical colours, the thin tubes reflect a minimalist sobriety.

Jerwood Visual Arts Announces The Five Artists Selected For Jerwood Makers Open 2013

Jerwood Visual Arts (JVA) has announced today the five artists selected for Jerwood Makers Open 2013: a unique commissioning opportunity which recognises rising stars in the world of applied arts. The completed commissions will be presented for the first time in an exhibition at JVA at Jerwood Space, London from 10 July until 25 August 2013, before touring the UK.

Interview with Martin Crimp, Writer of In the Republic of Happiness

In the Republic of Happiness is Martin Crimp’s newest play currently performed at the Royal Court Theatre until 19 January. A violent satire,  In the Republic of Happiness begins with the unexpected arrival of Uncle Bob who delivers a long and outrageous message. Disrupting a family Christmas, Uncle Bob’s visit throws up many questions and one certainty: the world will never be the same again. Previously working on The City, Attempts On Her Life, The Country, Face to the Wall (to name a few) at Royal Court Theatre, Crimp talks to Aesthetica about his writing and inspiration.


Thames & Hudson 100 Painters of Tomorrow Art Competition

Thames & Hudson has launched a quest to find the best of the next generation of painters. 100 Painters of Tomorrow opens for submissions on 15 January 2013. This ambitious new project, initiated by Kurt Beers, will culminate in a major publication that will introduce and present each winning artist and their work. Internationally advertised, the final book will  create a snapshot of the best new talent in painting across the globe.

Kate MccGwire: Lure at All Visual Arts, London

Lure, a new major solo exhibition by Kate MccGwire’s is on show at All Visual Arts in London. The title Lure is a dual reference to the ring of feathers used by a falconer to call and command their birds, and to the siren-like call of the work itself. It evokes the combination of our fascination with the iridescent, exotic specimens on display and the desire to look closer in spite of the disquieting atmosphere they create. 

Art Theatre Guild and Japanese Underground Cinema, 1960 – 1986 at MoMA, New York

The Museum of Modern Art and The Japan Foundation present Art Theatre Guild and Japanese Underground Cinema, 1960–1986, the most comprehensive U.S. retrospective ever devoted to the Art Theatre Guild, running from 6 December 2012 until 10 February 2013, in The Roy and Niuta Titus Theatre at MoMA.

Interview with Marie-Jeanne Hoffner: A Particular Portion of Space

For the first time, Paris-based artist Marie-Jeanne Hoffner presents a solo show in the UK at PayneShurvellA Particular Portion of Space will use photography, drawings, installations, videos and models to explore the contrary notions of fullness, emptiness, construction and deconstruction. Running until 9 February, Aesthetica speaks to Hoffner about her use of space and different artistic forms. 

Finders Keepers A Survey of Collecting, London

The Michael Hoppen Gallery will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in fabulous style by opening a treasure trove of private photography in the gallery’s largest public exhibition to date. Finders Keepers A Survey of Collecting will open on 12 December and run until 30 January, exhibiting 130 photographic gems over three floors. The gallery has handpicked these stunning photographs for their fascinating narrative, masterful technique and historical relevance, ranging from anonymous 19th century pictures to iconic post-war snapshots.


Aesthetica Christmas Gift Guide

It’s the festive season again, and amidst all the partying, tinsel, mince pies and fairy lights there’s still all the Christmas shopping to be done. To make the process easier, Aesthetica have chosen some of the best art related gifts currently on the market. Picking imaginative products from independent and established companies (and institutions) we count down the top ten presents we want on our Christmas list. 

Jim Lambie: Shaved Ice, Glasgow

Shaved Ice, a new exhibition of work by Jim Lambie has landed at The Modern Institute, Aird’s Lane, Glasgow. Running until 9 March 2013, Lambie references popular culture and draws his subject matter from music and iconic figures. Shaved Ice is an installation of sixteen ladders running from floor to ceiling, highlighting both the height and the symmetry of the space. Between the steps there are mirrored inserts, painted in lavish colours, leaving the ladders devoid of function.

Robert Wilson: Ritratti Review

To mark the Prix Italia, one of the most prestigious international competitions for radio, television and the web, Robert Wilson’s Ritratti (portraits) is currently being exhibited at Turin’s Palazzo Madama until the 6 January 2013. In collaboration with RAI, Change Performing Arts have gathered together a collection of Wilson’s most celebrated video portraits and set them amongst the lavishly decorated rooms of the 18th century palace.


Beautiful Objects at The Aram Gallery, London

Beautiful Objects is The Aram Gallery’s first exhibition on jewellery. The exhibition shows beautiful, thought provoking objects by contemporary working designers. The Aram Gallery is eager to compare the design process of the makers with processes they have explored and learnt from in previous exhibitions. Taking these exhibits as their guide they question the motivates and what inspires these designers in a drive to demystify their process.

First Major International Showcase Of Hong Kong Contemporary Art Opens At Saatchi Gallery

Hong Kong Eye presented by Prudential has opened at the Saatchi Gallery, featuring key works by 18 emerging artists from Hong Kong, in the largest touring international showcase of Hong Kong’s contemporary art to date. The majority of works in the exhibition have never been shown outside Asia, giving crucial recognition to Hong Kong’s contemporary art scene on the world stage. The exhibition will run 5 December 2012 to 12 January 2013 and will tour to ArtisTree Gallery in Hong Kong, in May 2013.

Interview with Juno Calypso

Photographer Juno Calypso is lined up to appear in The Catlin Guide 2013. The limited edition collectors item provides a guide to 40 of the most talented artists to have graduated in 2012 from art schools around the UK. Launching at the London Art Fair in January 2013, The Guide has become a vital tool for collectors of emergent art and curators, and provides a platform for young artists. Aesthetica speaks to one of the artists, Juno Calypso, about her development in photography and her future plans.


Aesthetica Gift Subscription

December is finally here and Christmas present planning is a high priority. As a magazine that is committed to covering the best in international art, photography and culture, Aesthetica makes for the perfect gift for any art lover. Including six magazines, a subscription to Aesthetica will keep you engaged with the cutting edge of contemporary art for a whole year. If you subscribe before 18 December, you will receive the following for just £18.95 (plus p&p):

-Celebrate 10 years of Aesthetica with our bumper anniversary Issue 50, gift wrapped for your chosen recipient
-See short film from the rising stars of the film world with our FREE ASFF DVD
-Choose a free personal message to send with the gift subscription


The Great Moon Hoax Review, Leicester

The Great Moon Hoax contains the collaborative installation work of Kitty Wingate and Claire Davies and is currently on display at the Great Central Gallery & Studios in Leicester. The exhibition takes the works of Edward Everett Hale, the American author and historian; Sir John Herschel, the British astronomer who also worked extensively on botany; and Anna Atkins, the English botanist and the first person to publish a book illustrated with photographic images. As its central ideas, the exhibition poses a look at Hale’s story titled The Brick Moon, published serially in Atlantic Monthly starting in 1869, while also diverging from the 143 year-old work of speculative fiction in which the first depiction of an artificial satellite is unravelled. The exhibition poster depicting plants in tones of blue and almost white seems to pay tribute to the work of Anna Atkins, who applied Herschel’s invention of the cyanotype photographic process to algae by making cyanotype photograms that were contact printed.


Unbroken Line, Ovalhouse, London

Opening with previews tonight and tomorrow, the Ovalhouse is set to launch Unbroken Line on the 6 December. Running until 15 December the performance takes place in the Theatre Upstairs. Playing with the question of identity, Unbroken Line, follows the journey of Dolah, a foreigner living in London. Even after living there for 10 years, Dolah struggles with the isolation of London and the ex-accountant takes it upon himself to find the answer to the  timeless questions: How do you identify yourself?

Rokas Darulis: Intimacy, White Cloth Gallery

For the first time in the UK, Rokas Darulis opens his first solo exhibition at the White Cloth Gallery 6 December. Laying bare the subject of intimacy, this unique exhibition showcases the Lithuanian photographers powerful imagery. His editorially strong fashion portraits have attracted the likes of the National Portrait Gallery, London, who displayed one of his images, Ernest and Ernest during the Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize 2010. At just 23, Darulis has already made his mark on the photography world, regularly leading fashion shoots for titles including Pravda and L’autre, the Observer and The Guardian Weekend, as well as working with leading model agencies, Elite and Storm, and photographed behind the scenes at London Fashion Week 2011. 

Edgar Schmitz: Surplus Cameo Decor Review, Dundee

The paraphernalia of the movie saturates the contemporary world. Since the Lumière brothers and George Méliès, artists have appropriated its affects and revealed its fictions. Yet in Edgar Schmitz’ exhibition Surplus Cameo Decor it is not the visual rituals of film that are called into question, it is more tellingly the function of those who perform within and by their presence endorse and activate, the movie’s remotely exotic locales.


Aesthetica Celebrates its 10th Anniversary Out Now

This December, Aesthetica Magazine – one of the most recognised and important art and culture publications both in the UK and internationally – celebrates its 10th anniversary with a spectacular 50th issue, available worldwide from 1 December. Founded in 2002 by Cherie Federico and Dale Donley when both were university students, the publication has achieved a remarkable feat, growing in stature and readership through one of the most challenging economic periods in recent history. A major success story for publishing, it has the distinction of being the only British art magazine to start and be sustained within the past decade.