Roman Polanski Restrospective at BFI, London

As a 2 month retrospective of Roman Polanski’s films continues to play out on screens at the BFI throughout February, the real gem of this event takes place in a modest and discreet space in the atrium of the Film Institute: the poster exhibition Roman Polanski Actor. Director.

Aesthetica Art Prize Interview: Sara Brannan

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 video artist Sara Brannan, whose submitted piece is based around the appropriation and manipulation of films in the public domain. Using the films as found objects, they are re-edited into short videos focusing on the female lead character.

Interview with Contemporary Art Society North, Mark Doyle

Mark Doyle heads up the Northern division of the Contemporary Art Society. Over the first weekend in February, Doyle and his team ran a unique event entitled Art in the Home. Including works from two commercial galleries (Arcade, London, and WORKS|PROJECTS, Bristol), the event took place in the homes of six Contemporary Art Society members across Manchester and offered visitors the chance to view art in domestic settings. After the success of the event, we speak to Doyle about the project and his plans for the future. 


Interview with Tom Hackney – shortlisted artist for the 2012 Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London

This year’s Summer Exhibition at The Royal Academy of Arts will explore a range of printmaking practices with an emphasis placed on works of a moderate size, and will return to their traditional home in the Small Weston Room. The common ground between photography and painting will be investigated in one of the larger galleries and the meeting points between sculpture and architecture will also be considered.

Entry for the Summer Exhibition is still open, and the winning works will go on display from 10 June. Aesthetica spoke to Tom Hackney, one of the shortlisted artists from last year’s exhibition about his current projects.

Donald Weber: Interrogations, White Cloth Gallery, Leeds

The UK premiere of Donald Weber’s Interrogations arrives at White Cloth Gallery, Leeds this week. This stark series, explores the violence, fear, and power in Post-Soviet Ukraine and Russia. The acclaimed Canadian photojournalist recorded  his seven year journey through the Ukraine and Russia, including a series of portraits taken during the four months Weber spent inside an unnamed police interrogation room in the Ukraine.


Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition Opens in Two Weeks

International artwork will be showcased in York this March as the Aesthetica Art Prize launches its first major exhibition. In a celebration of contemporary art, innovative and outstanding works shortlisted from the Aesthetica Art Prize will be displayed in the enchanting setting of York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space. Organised by Aesthetica Magazine, the international art and culture publication, the Art Prize is a platform for emerging contemporary artists from across the world to bring their work to a wider audience.

Jason Oddy: ‘A is for ….’ at James Hockney and Foyer Galleries, UCA Farnham

In this latest showcasing of his work, the London-based photographer Jason Oddy, continues to explore his interest in the relationship between man and his built environment. Two bodies of recent work are shown alongside each other in this touring exhibition, which both investigate the expressive and symbolic possibilities in the banalities of the structural design of institutional buildings.


Interview with Maria Hayday of Scottish Dance Theatre

The Scottish Dance Theatre heads to London to present two premieres this March at The Place’s Robin Howard Dance Theatre. Running 7 – 8 March, the company perform two new works by international choreographers, Victor Quijada and Jo Strømgren.  Currently directed by Fleur Darkin, the Scottish Dance Theatre showcase the strength of ten of their dancers in these productions. LA-born, Montreal-based Victor Quijada uses the Los Angeles street-dance culture of his youth in his new piece Second Coming, and Norwegian Jo Strømgren takes the dancers on a wild journey through the darkest, coldest season in Winter, Again, set to songs from Schubert’s Eine Winterreise. Aesthetica speaks to Maria Hayday, a member of the cast about the two productions and her work with the company.

The Bride and the Bachelors: Duchamp with Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg and Johns at the Barbican, London

The Bride and the Bachelors: Duchamp with Cage, Cunningham, Rauschenberg and Johns has now opened at the Barbican. The show explores Marcel Duchamp’s footprint on contemporary American art, as well as his relationship with four modern masters in their fields, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns. All four artists came across Duchamp in the founding years of their careers and all embraced his practice to form the beginnings of the pop art movement and the still highly relevant theoretical ideas of bringing art into life. This exhibition displays over 90 works that explore this connection, we’ve picked the top six to keep an eye out for.

Review of Schwitters in Britain, London

Schwitters in Britain is a compelling exhibition because it charts the artist’s interest in ephemera, as well as the formal investigations of figuration and abstraction, painting and assemblage that preoccupied his work. Through these two outlets, we learn the importance of “place” in Schwitters’ practice. Following his inclusion in the Entartete Kunst exhibition in 1937 of “degenerate” art, Schwitters’ exile from Nazi Germany to Norway and then to Britain from 1940 gave him exposure to a new sense of place.

Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos at Serpentine Gallery, London

Rosemarie Trockel: A Cosmos opened at the Serpentine last week, displaying an eclectic mix of the artists works, influences and connected work. In a manner alien to many artists, she has chosen to show her largest retrospective as a museum like collection of the work that surrounds her practice, from animated clips to 19th century botanical drawings and artifacts. The really brilliant aspect is the fact it is so hard to tell which works are who’s and from what era they come. She has always worked in a very open manner, flitting from subject to subject and between materials, meaning that her overall style is difficult to pinpoint. There are central themes that arise, such as our relationship with nature, the idea of craft objects as oppose to fine art objects, and running throughout her work, a strong connection to her feminist roots.


Thomas Joshua Cooper: Messages, Haunch of Venison, London

Running since 1 February, Haunch of Venison present an exhibition by internationally renowned landscape photographer Thomas Joshua Cooper. Choosing some of the remote and isolated locations around the world, Cooper has been capturing landscapes for over 30 years. This exhibition, entitled Messages, brings together over 20 photographs, many not seen in public before, that showcase rare works from the beginning of his career.