Interview with Lemaitre

Lemaitre haven’t even released an album yet, but the two 20-year-olds, Ketil Jansen and Ulrik Denizou, are already causing a stir in the electronic universe. Taking inspiration from an assimilation of influences ranging from Daft Punk, Röyksopp, Justice, Ratatat, Phoenix and Noisia, Lemaitre have reached number one in the iTunes Electronica chart in the USA and Canada, and number nine in the UK. They EP Relativity 3 was released at the start of March and Aesthetica speaks to the Norwegian duo about their work and future projects.

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Aesthetica Art Prize Interview with Winner Poppy Whatmore

The Aesthetica Art Prize is a celebration of excellence in art from across the world and offers artists the opportunity to showcase their work to wider audiences and further their involvement in the international art world. Previous finalists include Julia Vogl, who was shortlisted for New Sensations – Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4′s Prize – and has exhibited at Zabludowicz Collection; Marcus Jansen, a leading modern expressionist who joined a legacy of artists by featuring in Absolut Vodka’s artistic campaigns, and Bernat Millet, also shortlisted for National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. The 100 long-listed artists are published in the Aesthetica Art Prize Annual and the short-listed artists are currently exhibited at York St Mary’s until 28 April. Aesthetica speaks to the winner of the student prize, Poppy Whatmore about her approach to sculpture and her involvement in the art prize. 

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Man Ray: Portraits, London

The works showcased in this exhibition are arranged chronologically according to specific stages of Man Ray’s artistic career, commencing in New York and concluding in Paris. Some of the artist’s most celebrated images including his portrait of Marcel Duchamp dressed as his alter ego Rrose Sélavy and the now iconic Le Violon d’ingres are among the first we encounter. Despite having been reproduced ad nauseam Le Violon d’ingres still retains a unique aura, commanding our attention and piquing our curiosity. The image reveals the artist as a a man before his time, exploiting the conceptual possibilities of image manipulation in a pre-photoshop era.

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David Bowie Short Films

The Space presents five short films, made in collaboration with the Victoria and Albert Museum, which each explores the genius of David Bowie on occasion of the first full-scale retrospective of his career, David Bowie is, at the V&A in London. Featuring insight from the curators of the exhibition, Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh, music journalist Paul Morley as well as film-maker Alan Yentob, the films examine the many facets of David Bowie, as well as the fascination with his creative output across the past five decades.

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Jimmy De Sana at Wilkinson Gallery, London

Wilkinson Gallery announces it’s third solo exhibition by Jimmy De Sana (1950 – 1980). The exhibition will open on 5 April and will include colour photographs, produced during the late 70s and 80s. The enhanced colour and staged compositions of De Sana’s photographs highlight his photography as art, photographs that are made rather than taken. In the darkroom he enhanced colours and used solarisation to create his own particular photographic language. He played with the idea of the body as sculpture and the sometimes extreme sexual imagery was informed by the punk scene of downtown New York. The figures in the photographs were his friends. He also used his own body in some of the images, all of which were staged in his home and studio.

Brett Weston: Nudes and Dunes, Michael Hoppen Gallery

For the first time in the UK, the Michael Hoppen Gallery exhibits a comprehensive vintage selection of Brett Weston’s Nudes and Dunes. As the son of legendary photographer Edward Weston, Brett was bound to end up on a similar path and he applied himself to the practice from an early age. He moved to Mexico with his father where he was introduced to Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco and Tina Modotti. Due to his father’s radical sense of composition and his exposure to modern art, Weston developed a clear sense of form and an interest in abstraction.

6 To See this Bank Holiday Weekend

With four days off and weather that doesn’t compliment outdoor activities or picnics, art exhibitions are an obvious solution for Bank Holiday boredom. However, wherever you are in the world, the weekend is always a great time to leisurely explore local art exhibitions. From Amsterdam to New York we uncover the best in contemporary art in both Public and Private galleries across a variety of practices. Whether it be fandom at David Bowie Is… or destruction in Sara Cwynar’s Everything In the Studio (Destroyed) these shows provoke a range of responses.

Syngenta Photography Award Finalists Announced

The finalists of the Syngenta Photography Award, a new international competition aiming to stimulate dialogue around key global challenges, were announced today. The three finalists for the Professional Commission are: Jan Brykczynski (Poland), Pablo Lopez Luz (Mexico) and Mimi Mollica (Italy). The three finalists in the Open Competition are: André François (Brazil), Holly Lynton (USA), Vitaliy Popkov (Ukraine).

Todd James: World Domination, London

There still is a certain mystery to the artistic character of the celebrated New York artist Todd James. When researching about him on the internet, there really isn’t much about his upbringing other than a sentence on the “About” section of his website that reads: “Todd James (a.k.a. REAS) is an internationally recognized artist who began his career as a child in the New York City subway system.” This mystery around the artist’s experiences of life and how he came to be such a recognised artist surely makes him a self-taught “underground artist” – even though it is well known that he designed the Beastie Boys’ Brooklyn Elephant Dust logo, as well logos for Eminem and Kid Rock. Even though his work is shown in some of the most globally renowned museums such as the Tate Liverpool and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia there is still a lot to discover about the artist himself. The exhibition, entitled Todd James: World Domination, represents his works as “underground pieces” in a world thousands of miles away from our cradle of Western civilisation.

Johan Van der Keuken: Up to the Light, Amsterdam

Up to the Light is a celebration of the outstanding work of filmmaker and photographer Johan Van der Keuken. Running 30 March until 9 June at EYE (Amsterdam), the exhibition focuses in particular on the extraordinary way in which Van der Keuken brought together contrasting images in his films and observed a world in constant transition. The artist was a constant traveler, recording what he saw both at home and abroad, and he punctuated his observations in Africa, Asia or Latin America with similar or indeed diametrically opposed situations. He was also one of the first filmmakers to attempt a cinematic translation of time into space.

Review Of Kochi-Muziris Biennale

The announcement of a new biennial inevitably prompts the question: Why? The art world is saturated with these large-scale recurring exhibitions, of which there are around 250 in operation in places as diverse as Dakar and Folkestone. A mass outbreak of biennials during the 1990s led to serious questioning of their significance as an exhibition form that has yet to subside. Too big; too uncomfortably Western; too many of the same artists and display methods: the biennial has long been labeled a stale proposition.

Art Paris Art Fair

Art Paris Art Fair arrives this weekend at the Grand Palais, hosting 20 countries and 143 galleries the fair presents modern and contemporary art. Taking time to focus on the art scene in the East, galleries from Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia will be represented and for the first time Russia has been invited as a guest of honour. The event opens for the preview 27 March and runs 28 March – 1 April for the public.

Cristina Iglesias: Metonymy, Madrid

Since the beginning of last month, the Museo Reina Sofía is hosting the largest retrospective to date of the work of Cristina Iglesias, one of Spain’s major artists. Her work began to be widely known in the 1980s. She represented Spain at the Venice Biennials of 1986 and 1993, and received the National Prize for the Arts in 1999. A key figure in the innovation of contemporary sculpture, she is one of Spain’s most celebrated contemporary artists. Aside from her work, which can be seen all over the world, Iglesias (born in San Sebastian in 1956), is also known for having been the wife of the late Juan Muñoz (1953-2001).The current exhibition spans her whole career, from her early mature works right through to her latest creations.

Interview with Film Poster Designer Sam Smith

For Carlos Reygadas’ new film release Post Tenebras Lux, the ICO commissioned American graphic designer, Sam Smith to produce the poster artwork.  Both an artist and a musician (Smith is the drummer for Ben Folds) he approached the project as a film fanatic and an admirer of Reygadas’ Silent Light. Smith’s bold, abstract and colourful designs tap into Mexican and European illustrative poster traditions. Aesthetica speaks to Smith about his ideas for this project and his continued love for film poster design.

Jan Dibbets: Land Sea Colour, London

Land Sea Colour is a solo exhibition by Dutch artist, Jan Dibbets, examining his focus on Land-Sea horizons and Colour Studies. Running until 20 April at the Alan Cristea Gallery, London, the show exposes Dibbets role as a pioneer of conceptualism in the 1960s. As one of the first to question the traditional perceptions of the photographic image, his work seeks to deconstruct the role of the camera as simply a mechanical tool whose primary function is to capture three-dimensional images to be printed onto a two-dimensional surface. 

SPILL Festival of Performance, London

Collating experimental theatre, live art and performance, SPILL Festival of Performance is a presentation of exceptional artists from around the world. Now in it’s fifth edition, the event was established in 2007 by performance maker Robert Pacitti and is now recognised as the UK’s premier Artist-led festival of innovative live work. The event opens 3 April and runs in various venues across London, including the Barbican, National Theatre Studio, Soho Theatre and the Whitechapel Gallery, until 14 April. This years event is curated around the notions of contact and explores ideas of connection, exchange and advocacy. 

Asian Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane

The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT), on at the recently revamped GOMA in Brisbane, Australia, is a pastiche of works from the many regions of Asia, the Pacific, and Australian Aboriginal communities. Because of the vastness and variation of the regions and styles covered by the triennial, APT curators focus for each event on a loose theme, this year’s being ephemeral structures based on the Spirit Houses of the Papua New Guinean people of the Sepik river region.

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NOMADIC FURNITURE 3.0. New Liberated Living

In today’s world, do-it-yourself culture is practically omnipresent: be it fashion, furniture, cooking or communication—hardly a single area of everyday life and our material culture has not been swept up in the DIY revolution. With its emphasis on the field of furniture design, the exhibition NOMADIC FURNITURE 3.0. New Liberated Living is the first to examine this movement situated on the threshold between the subcultural and the mainstream including a look at its historical context: as early as the first half of the 20th century, home-built furniture came to be regarded as a suitable approach for socially conscious and (since the late 1960s) ecologically sustainable design.

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Andy Warhol, Belfast

This exhibition at The Mac, Belfast, is the first significant Andy Warhol exhibition to be presented in Northern Ireland and brings together pieces drawn from the Artist Rooms collection, which was acquired by the Tate and the National Gallery of Scotland in 2008. The works are thematically grouped into three sections, the first of which focuses loosely on the subjects of war, religion and death. Displayed within this section are large-scale canvases in monochromatic tones, which offer a contrast to the artist’s quintessential colourful aesthetic. In the second exhibition space, an expansive array of framed posters jostle for attention. With little breathing room in terms of hanging, the display forms a concentrated exposition of how Warhol dissolved the borders dividing commercialism and fine art.

Interview with Heidi Kilpeläinen, HK119

Heidi Kilpeläinen, or HK119 as she is otherwise known, has a new album out on 25 March. Her third album, Imaginature embodies nature in a surrealist and spectacular recording of electronic chirps and howling lyrics. With each song named after an aspect of nature, IcebergWhale and Milky Way for example, Kilpeläinen was inspired by a holiday in her native Finland. Both an artist and a musician, she approaches her work under the identity HK119, a hyperreal character invented to front her performance-art pop project. Aesthetica speaks to Kilpeläinen about her work on Imaginature and the influence of the Finnish text, Kalevela, on the final work.

Scotland + Venice 2013

At this year’s Venice Biennale once again Scotland + Venice partnership will be present and their 2013 presentation is curated and organised by The Common Guild, Glasgow. The exhibition will feature new work by Hayley Tompkins, Duncan Campbell and Corin Sworn, three of the most consistently interesting artists working in Scotland today, all of whom studied at The Glasgow School of Art and have earned growing acclaim and attention in recent years.

Hans-Peter Feldmann at Simon Lee Gallery, London

Simon Lee Gallery’s new show features a solo exhibition by the influential German artist Hans-Peter Feldmann from 5 April. The exhibition follows the success of Feldmann’s recent travelling solo survey at the Serpentine Gallery in London and BAWAG Contemporary in Vienna (both 2012), which is currently on view at Deichtorhallen in Hamburg. Feldmann has had a life-long fascination with, and an obsessive attitude towards, collecting everyday images and ephemera which he often assembles in the form of books, posters, postcards, paintings and installations. His works present a blend of readymade material and minimal artistic intervention, achieving unexpected, humorous outcomes that often verge on the absurd and challenge our aesthetic sensibilities.

Birds Eye View Preview: Wadjda

In advance of the Birds Eye View film festival, the BFI preview Wadjda, which tells the remarkable story of a young girl growing up in modern-day Saudi Arabia, and her quest to buy her own bicycle. Seemingly unaware of just how unconventional her interest in owning a bike is, Wadjda tells anybody who will listen about her plan to save up for a bike, encountering the ridicule of her mother and just about everybody else in the process.

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Interview with Reid Peppard: Roadkill Cats and Dead Rats – From Kerb To Catwalk, Gutter To Gallery.

Crafting ornate, delicate and sometimes shocking body adornments from the tiny frames of lifeless animals, the work of artist, jeweller and taxidermist Reid Peppard is truly unique. Her work is split between a fine art practice creating artworks including actual taxidermy animals; and her jewellery label, RP/Encore for which she makes intricate metal castings of fragile bones and beaks, hearts, tongues and other minute features.

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New online project: Antipodes by Layla Curtis

A new online art project has launched today on www.antipodes.uk.com alongside a photographic exhibition at Spacex from 18 May. British artist Layla Curtis’ Antipodes is an online and photographic project which pairs webcam images from places on opposite sides of the globe. Curtis’ work has a focus on mapping and the ways we represent terrain and locate ourselves and our movements through space.

Metropolis: Reflections on the Modern City, Birmingham

Collating a significant collection of international contemporary Art, Metropolis: Reflections on the Modern City opens this week at  Gas Hall, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Running from 23 March until 23 June, the exhibition contains over 60 works by some of the world’s most exciting artists. All the works display different perspectives of the modern global city from around the world.

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Louis Vuitton unveiles Stéphane Couturier’s first solo exhibition: Mutation in Hong Kong

Louis Vuitton unveiled today Stéphane Couturier’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong: Mutation at Espace Louis Vuitton Hong Kong opening to the public tomorrow, Thursday 21 March. Curated by William Zhao, the exhibition will feature a survey of Couturier’s work with key photographs from the Melting Point, Landscaping and Urban Archeology series, alongside a new series of photographs and videos drawing out the architectural themes and details of the current construction of the Frank Gehry designed Louis Vuitton Foundation For Creation in Paris.

Interview with Fashion Designer, Peter Jensen

Fashion designer Peter Jensen has made the innovative decision to debut his Spring/Summer’13 collection for the first time in Britain at The Hepworth Wakefield. Under the same roof as many of Barbara Hepworth’s works, Jensen uses the artist as a starting point for his newest designs. With contemporary exhibitions from Linder Sterling, Alice Channer and Jessica Jackson Hutchins also celebrating Hepworth’s legacy at The Hepworth this spring, Jensen’s creations offer an alternate response to Hepworth’s body of work, representing her far-reaching influence. On 27 March, Jensen showcases a new angle of fashion and Barbara Hepworth’s vast archive. 

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Melanie Jackson, The Urpflanze (Part 2) at Flat Time House, London

Melanie Jackson’s The Urpflanze (Part 2), commissioned by the Arts Catalyst, will be presented at Flat Time House from 28 March. In a series of moving image works and ceramic sculptures, Jackson continues her ongoing investigation into mutability and transformation, which takes its lead from Goethe’s concept of an imaginary primal plant, the Urpflanze, that contained coiled up within it the potential to unfurl all possible future forms.

Between the Lines, All Visual Arts, London

This spring All Visual Arts, Kings Cross is saturated with surrealist sketches, uncanny inks and impossibly detailed drawings. Not just limited to the eight AVA represents, over 21 artists feature in this vast show – ranging from the sublimely grotesque erasure of contemporary German artist Dennis Scholl, to the carefully contoured illustrations of the infamous Salvador Dali. For a show entirely based upon a single medium, the variety is astonishing; as we see here, drawing does not only refer to graphite doodles but instead stands for anything put on a page by expert craftsmanship and the cultivated imagination. AVA’s shows often display a penchant for the bizarre and Between the Lines is no different, with artists from across the globe and centuries brought together by a common theme.

Arrrgh! Monsters in Fashion at Gaite Lyrique, Paris

Lady Gaga famously refers to her followers as “little monsters”, presumably hoping by this to encourage them to reclaim the darker elements of their psyches and feel more comfortable in themselves. She is by no means the first popstar to have urged fans to embrace their idiosyncrasies, but she probably is the only one to have lived so devoutly by her own creed: dressing, acting and music-making like the mother of all pintsize monstrosities.

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Interview with Fossil Collective

Fossil Collective are a Leeds-based band duo who next month launch their UK debut album tour. The duo is made up of multi-instrumentalists Jonny Hooker and David Fendick. To date they have released highly acclaimed EP’s On and On and Let It Go both of which have secured the bands must hear and must see status. This April they release their debut album Tell Where I Lie, we spoke to Jonny about the impending tour and what to expect from their album. 

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Design Museum Invites The Public To Collaborate On Design For Exhibition

The Design Museum in collaboration with MADE.com invites the public to commission a new piece of furniture for display in upcoming exhibition, The Future is Here: A New Industrial Revolution, 24 July until 3 November. Anyone can submit a design that responds to the brief, and a shortlist will be compiled by the Design Museum and MADE.com and posted online for public vote.

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David Bowie Is, V&A, London

In the year of his 66th birthday, David Bowie is back at the centre of the public’s consciousness. To celebrate his birthday on 8 January, Bowie released a surprise single, Where Are We Now?, with the announcement of an album, The Next Day which was released 8 March. To add to this recent flurry of activity, the V&A opens David Bowie Is 23 March. With ticket sales that look to be record breaking before the exhibition even opens, David Bowie Is demonstrates Bowie’s ability to continually inspire and interest the general public. In Aesthetica Issue 51 we speak to gallery curator, Geoffrey Marsh about the work behind David Bowie Is and what it was that drew the V&A to exhibit this show.

Exhibitions At Ikon Gallery, Birmingham

The first exhibition of the New Year at Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery sees John Flaxman, Timur Novokov and Nastio Mosquito enter a fascinatingly provocative symposium of culture, history and imagery. The exhibition runs until the 21 April allowing each artist’s work to uniquely illuminate the areas in which they are displayed, leading to an intriguing discourse. Despite there being a variety of completely segregated mediums and subject matters, they irrevocably interact through the viewer’s interpretation and perception of each floor of the building.

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Performance / Audience / Film at John Hansard Gallery

Featuring Artists: Oreet Ashery, Franko B, Blast Theory, Ian Breakwell & Ron Geesin, Jean Dupuy, Rachel Gomme, Dan Graham, Joshua Sofaer. Performance / Audience / Film at John Hansard Gallery, aims to look at the different relationships that are established between the artist and the audience within the realm of performance art, examining the role of the audience in relation to the completion and meaning of the work. The exhibition will include early work from the 1970s, involving pieces that played with the ideas of how artists and audiences interact, before tracing the influence of those experiments on subsequent artists and how they have also approached the idea of ‘audience’.

5 To See This Weekend

The weekend really is the best time to relax and soak up our cultural surroundings. With this in mind, Aesthetica has compiled the very best in international art available to appreciate this Saturday and Sunday. Beginning with Bill Brandt’s stunning photography at MoMA in New York, we take a little detour online and look at the exhibitions you can view from your own laptop with Paul Hart’s Truncated. We take a minute to consider the most inspired contemporary art currently hanging in local galleries.

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Reza Derakshani at Salsali Private Museum, Dubai

Salsali Private Museum unveils their new solo exhibition by critically acclaimed Iranian artist Reza Derakshani on 18 March, opening to coincide with the citywide Art Week. Renowned for his vibrant, richly-textured canvases, Derakshani draws inspiration from his Iranian heritage, while simultaneously exploring modern-day conceptual and philosophical preoccupations. Marrying a vivid colour palette with esoteric mediums such as tar and sand, Derakshani held his first solo exhibition at the age of nineteen and has since, gone on to captivate critics, collectors and art-lovers worldwide with his unique creations.

Nur Skulptur! Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany

Nur Skulptur! (Only Sculpture!) is a collection of around 400 works from the Mannheimer Sculpture Collection, including key works from art history, forgotten pieces and artworks from the depot. Spread across 20 rooms in total, the artists, scholars and designers who prepared the exhibition have set up a space for experimentation with the theme of sculpture. The Mannheimer Sculpture Collection is captivating and complex and provides an overview of sculpture from modernism to the 21st century. In its largest sculpture exhibition to date, the Kunsthalle Mannheim makes use of this collection and casts a contemporary eye over the works.

Mike Brodie: A Period of Juvenile Prosperity, California, New York

For the first time in six years, Mike Brodie exhibits a solo show of new colour photographs at M+B, Los Angeles. Running 16 March until 11 May, A Period of Juvenile Prosperity is a presentation of 30 images currently on show at Yossi Milo Gallery, New York ( 7 March – 6 April). For three years, Brodie travelled across states hopping trains, hitchhiking and inventing whatever methods were necessary to maintain movement. Consequently, the photographs map out an insightful photo narrative, overrun with the spirit of adventure and unbridled freedom.