Interview with the Director & Curator of Galería Rafael Pérez Hernando

Although its origins date back to 1996, Galería Rafael Pérez Hernando officially opened its doors in Madrid in 2004. It has since concentrated on promoting unknown or little-known artists. The gallery’s main interests lie in young emerging artists. It’s therefore no surprise to see them host an exhibition titled EMERGE. The show is a joint collaboration with Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (a university in the outskirts of Madrid), who annually hosts a prize for graduating art students from all over Spain. This year, they were given the opportunity to see their work shown at this gallery. The exhibition runs until 2 February, Aesthetica writer, Rubén Cervantes Garrido, speaks to  Francisco Carpio (the curator, as well as a professor at the university) and Rafael Pérez Hernando himself.

Richard Wentworth, Lisson Gallery, London

New British Sculpture Richard Wentworth presents an exhibition at the Lisson Gallery, London, from 30 January until 9 March. His seventh solo exhibition with Lisson Gallery, Wentworth continually challenges the way we approach the material world. His artistic language questions the way in which objects are used and experienced in everyday life. Often working with found items, the sculptor transforms and manipulates them into arrangements that change their intended use and, as such, undermine their supposed role and “fixed” nature.

Interview with Young Gods’ Artist, Christopher Kulendran Thomas

Young Gods is a multi-disciplinary presentation of London’s most exciting graduates from the summer of 2012. Curated by Zavier Ellis, director of Shoreditch gallery CHARLIE SMITH london and co-founder of THE FUTURE CAN WAIT, the artists are selected based on their innovation and artistic promise. The exhibition takes place simultaneously across two locations in west and east London, at the Griffin Gallery and CHARLIE SMITH london until 16 February. Aesthetica speaks to one of the selected artists, Christopher Kulendran Thomas, who presents his work, When Platitudes Become Form. Born in London after his parents fled Sri Lanka, the artist’s work offers a unique approach to contemporary art and engages with his Sri Lankan heritage.

Review of Charles Atlas: Glacier at Bloomberg Space, London

The current exhibition at Bloomberg Space, located on Finsbury Square, amongst the suit-filled pavements of London’s financial district, is an experiential exhibition, deliberately distanced from the streets just beyond its walls. The piece, Glacier by Charles Atlas, uses a 360-degree projection to create an immersive environment. Atlas, best known for his work with Merce Cunningham, conceived the project in collaboration with the South London Gallery. Similar to his work with dance composed for film, this piece has an undeniable rhythm. In this case however, the rhythm is not contained in any exterior gesture, but held within the motion of the edit.

The Ultimate Form Trailer

The Ultimate Form is a live action response to Barbara Hepworth’s work. Primarily produced by Linder Sterling, the performance is a unique collaboration between fashion designer Pam Hogg, Northern Ballet choreographer Kenneth Tindall and composer Stuart McCallum. Sterling has been working with collages for over three decades, and in The Ultimate Form she presents a “living collage” in the innovative combination of artistic skills employed. 

Frieze New York 2013: Projects Announced

Today Frieze announced that the Frieze Projects programme of specially commissioned works will be realised at Frieze New York, 2013 from 10 until 13 May and will present over 180 of the world’s leading galleries. The fair is located in the unique setting of Randall’s Island Park, overlooking the East River. The five artists participating in the Frieze Projects program this year are: Liz Glynn, Maria Loboda, Mateo Tannatt, Andra Ursuta and Marianne Vitale. 

Review of Klein + Moriyama, London

It might be considered to be a curatorial risk to combine the works of William Klein and Daidō Moriyama in two mellifluous exhibitions that in effect is one massive display of work, as they are both immensely important and vivacious artists of our time. Though, that is exactly what the Tate Modern’s strong-willed team have managed to pull off with what seems to be great comfort and assurance. The exhibition titled, Klein + Moriyama spread across almost the 2nd entire floor of the Museum. Every film, every painting, every photograph had to be watched and observed… It was all attention deserving, it was all monumental.

Schwitters in Britain, London

Tate Britain open a new show on Kurt Schwitters (1887 – 1948), running from 30 January until 12 May. As the first exhibition to examine the lat work of Schwitters, one of the major artists of European Modernism, the show focuses on his work in Britain which began in 1940 when he arrived as a refugee until his death eight years later. Forced to flee Germany when his work was condemned as “degenerate” by the Nazi government, Schwitters in Britain includes over 150 collages, assemblages and sculptures. 

Aesthetica Art Prize Interview: Mary Humphrey

An international celebration of innovation and brilliance, the Aesthetica Art Prize is an opportunity for emerging artists across the globe to showcase their work to a wider audience. Going on to great success, previous finalists have included Julia Vogl (Winner of the Catlin Art Prize 2012 and shortlisted for Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4′s New Sensations), Marcus Jansen (leading modern expressionist who joined a legacy of artists by featuring in Absolut Vodka’s artistic campaigns) and Bernat Millet (shortlisted for the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.) We spend some time speaking to the short-listed artist Mary Humphrey, whose photographic works will appear in the Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition at York St Mary’s, York. Her series of images, Roma : Transylvania (2011) narrates the experiences and situations that she encountered whilst meeting and photographing Roma families living on scraps of land situated on the outskirts of a Transylvanian rural village. The portraits represent proud and defiant people who have suffered and are still suffering.

London Art Fair Review

The London Art Fair at the Business Design Centre in Islington ran for five days from 16 January until 20 January. Among this year’s participating galleries were The Fine Art Society, Charlie Smith London, Union Gallery, and Nick Hackworth curated A Cyclical Poem, which was part of the Photo50 section. The venue was overwhelmed by a multitude of passages and routes on which to navigate the enormous collections of work. The works themselves ranged from painting to sculpture to photography and everything in between. Dissecting a large spectrum of styles and schools of thought, the pieces offered something for everyone – not just to simply admire, but to buy.

Wolfgang Laib: Pollen from Hazelnut, New York

Pollen from Hazelnut is a constructed pollen field by artist Wolfgang Laib. Running at MoMA from 23 January until 11 March, this work is Laib’s largest pollen-based installation to date,  taking up a huge 18 by 21 feet. The artist produced his first pollen field in 1977 and has since collected pollen on a yearly basis from spring to summer in various locations from forests and meadows near his home in southern Germany. 

Aesthetica Art Prize Interview: Timothy Lee

The Aesthetica Art Prize is an international celebration of innovation and brilliance in contemporary art. Offering entrants an opportunity to showcase their work to a wider audience, previous finalists have included Julia Vogl (Winner of the Catlin Art Prize 2012 and shortlisted for Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4′s New Sensations), Marcus Jansen (leading modern expressionist who joined a legacy of artists by featuring in Absolut Vodka’s artistic campaigns) and Bernat Millet (shortlisted for the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.) The prize is comprised of four categories: photographic & digital art, three dimensional design & sculpture, painting & drawing video and installation & performance. The long-listed artists are featured in the accompanying Art Prize publication, while the short-listed artists appear in an exhibition at York St Mary’s, York. We catch up with long-listed emerging Korean-American artist, Timothy Lee. Raised in New York City and  having studied Neuroscience & Behavior, Studio Art (Drawing), and Biology (Developmental) at Wesleyan University, his artistic practices have been heavily influenced by the imagery of cytology and his research in a neural stem cell laboratory as an undergraduate student.

Piero Gilardi: Collaborative Effects, Nottingham

Turin-based artist Piero Gilardi comes to Nottingham Contemporary to present Collaborative Effects. Running from 26 January until 7 April, Gilardi has engaged with ecological and socio-political issues for years. A pioneer of socially-aware art practices, his work emphasises concept, process, site, collaboration and participation.


Review of Three Points of Contact, Penzance

An important part of a museum or gallery curator’s role is to engage with the visitor and make their experience an exciting and fulfilling one. Three Points of Contact is the first of a new “roving residency” concept that focuses on the collaboration between artists, curators and gallery visitors and allows the latter not only to view artworks in an exhibition, but also to witness the creative process and the environment in which they came about.

Interview with Photographer Guillaume Simoneau

Montreal-based photographer, Guillaume Simoneau opens his solo exhibition Love and War this week at CONTACT Gallery, Toronto. An intimate portrayal of a young U.S. Army Sergeant’s love life, Simoneau followed Caroline Annandale’s development between the ages of 16 and 25. His thoughtful and telling portraits represent Annandale’s transformation as she learns to balance her personal world with her deployment to Iraq. With work that centres primarily on transitional spaces within universal themes, Love and War is a unique look at youth and the poetry of romance. Aesthetica speaks to Simoneau about his approach to photography and his new exhibition.

Review of Tim Walker: Storyteller

In his unique and extravagantly innovative way, photographer Tim Walker has yet again captured style and narrative in his recent works, currently on display at Somerset House until 27 January. The photographer’s newest exhibition Storyteller, collates his images featured in Vogue, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, representing exactly how he can click fashion into life. With the use of large-scale props and installations the exhibition brings you inside the mind of a truly fascinating artist.

Nadim Karam: Shooting the Cloud, London

Already located in Damascus, Beirut and Dubai, the newest Ayyam Gallery opens in London with its first show by Nadim Karam. The Ayyam Gallery is committed to exhibiting the best in emerging Middle Eastern artists, and as such opens Karam’s Shooting the Cloud this month, running 25 January until 9 March. The Lebanese artist and architect will inaugurate the gallery’s first European location at 143 New Bond Street, London. Incorporating painting, drawing, sculpture and writing, Karam’s approach is a multi-disciplinary exploration of various cultural influences that transcend social, political and national borders. He creates a unique picture based language, full of recurring symbols, original characters and innovative narratives, that form a somewhat absurdist exploration of the power of dreams.

Review of Jonas Mekas, London

In 1999, Jonas Mekas, the Lithuanian-born American film-maker, artist and poet, wrote, “I am a film-maker and a poet / I am a huge image projector / I make up, in my mind – or is it in my heart? – images, all the time… Some images I pick up from the ‘real’ world / and I film them; some others come from much deeper / and I do not have any control of them.” How was it possible that Mekas identified and defined his work so thoroughly yet so plainly? How was it possible that despite all the cruelty he witnessed in this world he succeeded in becoming and remaining a productive, self-assured and constructive artist?

Interview with Sculptural Artist Lucy Whitford

Opening tomorrow, London-based artist Lucy Whitford presents her first solo exhibition at Zabludowicz Collection in north London. Running until 24 February, Whitford creates beautiful sculptures that challenge the divide between art and craft. She works with natural materials including fired and unfired clay, wood and ink, as well as man-made materials such as plaster, concrete, steel or cloth. Graduating from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2012, her installation at the Zabludowicz Collection’s 18th century former Methodist chapel is a reflection of her love for materials and their sensory characteristics. Whitford’s show is part of the Zabludowicz Collection Invites series which offers an opportunity for emerging artists without representation to produce a solo show. Aesthetica finds out how Whitford feels ahead of the show and the inspiration behind the pieces.

Rana Begum Review, London

Rana Begum’s current solo show at Bischoff/Weiss consists of a selection of the artist’s recent wall-mounted metal works interspersed across the gallery’s two small rooms. The works can be split into two distinct series, both produced in 2012, and which see each work entitled with an individual three-digit number. The series’ are influenced by the geometry, symmetry, and repetition of Minimalist sculpture and the Islamic art and architecture that surrounded the artist during her childhood in Bangladesh.

Interview with designers Katie Eary and Agi & Sam on

The arrival last year of the first devoted men’s fashion week in London emphasised the importance of the risk-taking British man to the fashion industry. In anticipation of London Collections: Men AW13, talks to some of London’s most celebrated young designers, Katie Eary and Agi & Sam. Capturing the spirit of their idealised modern man is pro BMX rider Kenzo de Witte, who rides around North London in this short film wearing pieces from their latest collections.

Interview with Chris Honer, Director of re:play Festival

Director of the innovative project, re:play Festival and Manchester Library Theatre Company, Chris Honer speaks to Aesthetica about his work and the events involved in re:play 2013. Taking the tiny productions that appear momentarily in pubs and small venues around Manchester, re:play gives emerging writers, directors and actors the chance to perform for a longer period of time at The Lowry. Featuring Manchester’s emerging talent in the theatre scene, the festival seeks to offer opportunities to many (as well as the selected plays) and includes a variety of events, ranging from an Open Space discussion Talking Shop to NewScript Night (a performance of four new short plays.)

London Art Fair

Celebrating its 25th edition, the London Art Fair opens on the 16 January and runs until 20 January. Bringing together over 130 leading galleries from across the UK and overseas, museum-quality Modern British art is presented alongside contemporary works from the world’s top artists, spanning a vast range of works from the 20th century to the present day. Aside from the Main Fair there will also be two curated sections, Art Projects and Photo50, putting the spotlight on younger galleries, new work and contemporary photography. With an inclusive atmosphere and a taste for quality, the London Art Fair will provide viewers with exceptional work from over 1,000 artists all in one location.

Interview with Fashion Photorgrapher Heiko Laschitzki

Ahead of Berlin Fashion Week, beginning 15 January and running until 20 January, Aesthetica takes a moment to speak to fashion photographer Heiko Laschitzki. After graduating from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague, Heiko made the move to Berlin where he lives and works. Shooting portraits, people and fashion for more than a decade, he has become increasingly known for his stunning portraits of artists, actors and musicians. In approaching a fashion portrait, Heiko cares more about personality and character than just the clothes. He has been commissioned by different international agencies and magazines across Europe. During fashion week Heiko will be capturing backstage moments and style reports.

42nd International Film Festival Rotterdam – A Preview Of Their Regained Programme

This year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) Signals: Regained programme is dedicated to the memory of film from a particular and contemporary viewpoint. Besides topical new documentaries this year’s Regained programme comprises a rich menu of innovative works using cinema’s history as a main ingredient. For performances and introductions within Regained, IFFR welcomes among others avant-garde maestros Michael Snow and Tony Conrad, and Hungarian filmmaker György Pálfi.

Michael Joaquin Grey: Orange between orange and Orange, London

Today sees the launch of Caroll/Fletcher’s new exhibition, Orange between orange and Orange by Michael Joaquin Grey. Running until 16 February, this show marks Grey’s first UK presentation since in 1992. An American artist and inventor, Grey has engaged in a recursive, playful exploration of our concept of development and its consequences. His work represents a distinctive body of work that escapes categorisation within traditional media and tropes. Regarding himself primarily as a “social sculptor”, the artist’s practice brings together computational cinema works, sculpture, paintings, photographs, drawings and installations to present an alternative cosmology that provokes viewers to reconsider the origins and consequences of the forms and frames of life. 

Interview: Yarisal & Kublitz on

This Swiss-Danish artistic couple create decorative sculptures and installations known for their humour and subversion. Ronnie Yarisal and Katja Kublitz met at Central Saint Martins in London and after graduating moved to Berlin where they have started a family. Their most recent exhibition at Gerhardsen Gerner Gallery in Berlin focuses on exploring material, sexual and spiritual desire through ornamental pieces. Here is a film at their home and studio, exploring why investing in both love and art can be a risk. 

Review of Aspen Magazine: 1965-1971, London

“Any understanding of social and cultural change is impossible without a knowledge of the way media work as environments”, says a pull quote in issue four of Aspen magazine, the issue that was guest edited and by Marshall MacLuhan and designed by Quentin Fiore in 1967. The second part of this quote could be a motto for Aspen, as it went far beyond any other magazine would or could go in striving to become an environment. Each issue was a box set containing a plethora of printed items in multiple formats along with records, slides and cine film to be projected, and cardboard models to be built. Perhaps better to think of Aspen as an experiment in postal art, as an exhibition in a box, than a magazine. The magazine was sold only by subscription, so readers would have no idea what to expect before opening each issue. We can imagine the mixture or pleasure, confusion and discovery that would occur while exploring the contents.


Nothing to declare? World maps of art since ’89 at Akademie der Künste in Berlin

Nothing to declare? World maps of art since ’89, is the new documentary project scale exhibition devoted to the global processes of change in the art world since 1989, opening on 1 February at Akademie der Künste. The geopolitical change that took place in 1989 ushered in an era of worldwide biennales, whose geography bid farewell to Western Art, with its old contradiction between the centre and the periphery. With this theme as an art metropolis Berlin presents the world in the context of a reorganisation of the art scenes. 

ON/OFF: China’s Young Artist’s in Concept and Practice, Beijing

Applauding China’s young artists, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art opens its 2013 programme with ON/OFF: China’s Young Artist’s in Concept and Practice. Beginning on 13 January, the show will take over all of the UCCA exhibition spaces and the exhibition marks the most comprehensive survey to date of the generation of artists born after the death of Mao and the end of the Cultural Revolution. The showcase takes on gigantic proportions and will feature 50 commissioned works by 50 artists and artist groups. Entitled ON/OFF in reference to the graphical interface of a common VPN (virtual private network) software used to scale China’s Internet firewall, the exhibition is an attempt to document a new generation of artists.

(On) Accordance, Grand Union, Birmingham

The art scene in Birmingham has been given a new lease of life. Alongside the main commercial galleries there has been an abundance of lesser known exhibitions orchestrated by recent graduates and students as well as emerging artists and curators from the city. This mainly takes place in Digbeth, where studios and exhibition spaces are easily and cheaply occupied. But what happens when a gallery decides to put on an exhibition where the work only exists in a metaphysical state? Grand Union’s latest show (On) Accordance is a unique transgression between the online world and a purposefully directed gallery.

Art on the Underground and BFI Present the Canary Wharf Screen

For the final installment of the Canary Wharf Screen, Art on the Underground collaborate with the BFI to screen a season of films showcasing previously unseen footage, rare and restored film, and newer experimental works by some of today’s most renowned British moving image artists.  The ticket hall of Canary Wharf tube station has been infiltrated by the BFI screen since December 2012 and will remain to entertain commuters until March 2013, all in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the London Underground on 10 January.

Interview with Photographer Richard Gilligan

Photographer Rich Gilligan’s new new body of work focuses on the phenomenon of the guerilla skatepark. His debut photobook entitled DIY is the fruit of a four year labour of love in which Rich travelled extensively photographing these ephemeral constructions. DIY gives a fascinating insight into this subculture as well as a new expression to skate photography. Aesthetica chatted with Rich about this new body of work.

Bedwyr Williams: My Bad, Swansea

With a wry humour and sharp wit, Bedwyr Williams continues to reflect on the human condition, from personal narratives to art world and cultural phenomena. The exhibition feels like a tour around Bedwyr’s mind, his humour, his fears, his annoyance and bugbears. Working with film, sculpture, performance and drawing, the exhibition and accompanying performance displays the whole range of Bedwyr’s output.


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Yaakov Israel: The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey, Bradford

Opening on 18 January, The Quest for the Man on the White Donkey, is a series of Yaakov Israel’s stunning photography. Choosing his home nation and the place with which he shares his name, Yaakov takes his viewers on a geographical and personal journey into Israel. Inspired by a chance encounter with a Palestinian man who rode past while Yaakov was working near the Dead Sea, the title of the exhibition refers to the “Messiah” in the Orthodox Jewish tradition who will arrive riding on a white donkey. Running until 13 April at Impressions Gallery, the images take a more peaceful look at a landscape in turmoil.

Review of Barbara Hepworth: The Hospital Drawings, Wakefield

Between 1947 and 1949, Barbara Hepworth produced around 80 works of surgeons at work in operating theatres. This period of activity followed the friendship that resulted from the hospitalisation of the daughter of Hepworth (and Ben Nicholson) with the surgeon who treated her at the Elizabeth Orthopaedic Hospital, Exeter: Norman Capener. The invitation to witness surgical procedures both at Exeter and the London Clinic bore the fruit now showing in Gallery 7 of The Hepworth, Wakefield. Speaking in a lecture to an audience of surgeons in the late 1950s, Barbara Hepworth said: “There is, it seems to me, a close affinity between the work and approach both of physicians and surgeons, and painters and sculptors”. Certainly, what is captured with the greatest acuity and feeling in The Hospital Drawings of the surgeons are those physical elements most salient to adroitness: the eyes and the hands. However, as we consider the socio-historical context, certain other elements in the style of the work have broader resonance: The Hospital Drawings are to be viewed within the context of the launch of the NHS in 1948.

Eva Hesse 1965 at Hauser & Wirth, London

In 1964, Eva Hesse and her husband Tom Doyle were invited by the industrialist Friedrich Arnhard Scheidt to a residency in Kettwig an der Ruhr, Germany. The following fifteen months marked a significant transformation in Hesse’s practice. ‘Eva Hesse 1965‘ running from 30 January to 9 March at Hauser & Wirth, brings together key drawings, paintings and reliefs from this short, yet pivotal period where the artist was able to re-think her approach to colour, materials and her two-dimensional practice, and begin moving towards sculpture, preparing herself for the momentous strides she would take upon her return to New York.


Mikhail Karikis: SeaWomen at Arnolfini, Bristol

Arnolfini presents Mikhail Karikis’ new film and sound installation SeaWomen, focussing on a vanishing community of elderly female sea workers living on the North Pacific island of Jeju. The work depicts the community of working women called ‘haenyeo’, all now aged between 60 and 90 years old, who dive to great depths with no oxygen supply to catch sea-food, collect seaweed and find pearls. This ancient and exclusively female profession was a dominant economic force on the island, establishing a matriarchal society in an otherwise male-dominated Korean culture, but is now on the verge of disappearance.


Modern Languages at The Lighthouse, Glasgow

Modern Languages is the new exhibition of international perspectives on traditional craft at The Lighthouse from 5 January. Offering the contemporary perspectives of five international artists and designers on the familiar traditions of Irish craft: Nao Matsunaga, Laura Mays, Deirdre Nelson, Ciara Phillips and Barbara Ridland have sought to reinterpret the sometimes forgotten skills of Ireland’s craft tradition.  In doing so they uncover fresh significance and meaning, offering new insights.