Yinka Shonibare MBE: Fabric-ation. Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Wakefield was for many years the administrative centre of West Yorkshire. Owing to the city’s prominence in the Industrial Revolution as a centre for mining and the wool trade, it held this position. With a recent history of de-industrialisation, a visitor to the city and its environs might harbour negative expectations. Such expectations and assumptions, however, are thoroughly undermined by the way in which the area’s artistic history is showcased. Yorkshire Sculpture Park is one manifestation of this celebration. This undermining of expectation plants a preparatory seed in the visitor’s mind for the work of British-Nigerian artist, Yinka Shonibare. A very extensive exhibition featuring over thirty works made between 2002 and 2013 is now showing. Fabric-ation includes sculpture, film, photography and painting.

Design Museum Announces Designs of The Year 2013, London

The Design Museum announces the contenders for the sixth annual Designs of the Year. They include the best designs from around the world in the last 12 months across seven categories: Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Product and Transport. Selected by a panel of distinguished nominators, the awards compile the most original and exciting designs, prototypes and designers in the world today – brought together in a Design Museum exhibition from 20 March until 7 July.


Unfolding the Ayran Papers, Coventry

In a celebration of film, unseen footage from the Stanley Kubrick Archive and a film installation by Turner Prize nominated artists, Jane and Louise Wilson, exhibit at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum from 16 March. Entitled, Unfolding the Ayran Papers, the presentation offers the public an incredibly rare insight into Kubrick’s abandoned Holocaust film, The Ayran Papers. The Wilson’s created their installation following extensive research into the Stanley Kubrick archive belonging to the BFI.

Interview with Actress Michelle Terry, Before the Party

The Almeida Theatre, London, opens Before the Party Thursday 21 March. Directed by Matthew Dunster (Mogadishu and A Midsummer Night’s Dream) Written by Rodney Ackland (Absolute Hell), Ackland’s hilarious adaptation of the Somerset Maugham short story is an intense portrayal of how the upper middle classes adjusted to post-war life. The piece revolves around the Skinner family as they try to return to normal and prepare for the latest social gathering where daughter Laura returns from Africa. Aesthetica speaks to Michelle Terry who plays jealous elder sister, Kathleen Skinner about their rehearsal techniques and her appreciation of Ackland’s script.

Franko B: Because of Love, The Place Theatre, London

Taking my seat for Franko B’s latest performance, Because of Love, 2012, it was hard to pre-empt what this evening was about to offer. An artist renowned for using his body and blood in performances, we are in a theatre waiting for his most ambitious production to date to commence, with a title that gives little indication of what to expect from the work. What else can give clues to what we are about to witness? Well, we are at The Place, London’s “place” for Dance training and performance, so this setting is not atypical for this kind of presentation, other than that, we know it is going be quite a spectacle as the artist developed this work in dialogue with Tim Etchells and Giles Jobin with a team of animators, singers set and prop makers. The opening scene sees the stage completely bare except for the distinct light bulb (currently switched off) which is the only “prop” on view. A projected image comes on. It is the familiar grainy image accompanied by white noise commonly used at the beginning of films or at the end.


Contemporary Key, London

Contemporary Key is a London-based contemporary art tour company that puts significant and valuable emphasis on the joy of learning about art. At the start of each monthly tour, the group meets for a coffee and chat. This means that there is the opportunity to browse through material on the upcoming galleries and speak to like-minded people before it starts. After this they usually tour around 3 or 4 galleries in the space of a couple of hours, which means there is never too much time spent in one place.

Michael Eastman: Havana at Michael Hoppen Gallery, London

A photograph shows a tea green room with decorated marble flooring. The back wall is half-covered with jade wood panelling, and against it sit seven wood-backed, red-cushioned seats. Beside them is a black grand piano. The ceiling is an ornate stone carving and the door to the room is surrounded by a simple lead-lined, stained glass design. The image would be an embodiment of affluence, except the fabric of the room and all the furniture in it is in a process of decay. The marble floor is marked and most of the chairs are without their backboards. The piano is missing parts of its shiny black casing. The paint at the bottom of the walls is scuffed and worn, and most of the elaborate ceiling stonework has fallen away, leaving a gaping green hole at its centre.


Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2013 Now Open for Entries

The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is now open for entries. ASFF allows for both budding and established filmmakers to connect with new, worldwide audiences and interact with some of the biggest personalities in the film industry today. Over 200 short films will be screened at this unique event, in 15 iconic locations across the historic city of York, 7 – 10 November 2013. It’s a fantastic opportunity for filmmakers in to showcase their work in an impressive setting to an international audience.


Interview with Abigail Reynolds

For her latest exhibition, Abigail Reynolds borrows the title of Kenneth Noland’s 1953 painting, New Light. Reflecting on the city of Plymouth the exhibition runs until 5 April at the Plymouth College of Art Gallery. Inspired by the city of Plymouth and due to the architecture of the gallery, the fourth wall is completely made of glass, the city literally sits at the centre of her works. The artist’s pieces contextualise the city by placing it as a vision for the future alongside other realisations of communal ideologies striving to shape a better future. Aesthetica speaks to Reynolds about her relationship with Plymouth and her love for both London and Cornwall.


Aesthetica Art Prize Interview: Ben Jack Nash

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 longlisted artists are published in the Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology and the shortlisted artists will appear in an exhibition at York St Mary’s currently running until 28 April. We speak to longlisted artist, Ben Jack Nash, about his sculptural work. Often using the universally familiar as a point of reference, the artist’s work examines the soul of major catastrophes or social issues of our times.

Charles Atlas: MC9, Tate Modern

Charles Atlas, award winning artist and filmmaker, opens MC9 at Tate Modern on 19 March. Running for just a week, his multi-channel video installation explores the intersections of media and dance. Shown in the UK for the first time, MC9 brings together filmed footage spanning the 40 year period of collaboration between Atlas and acclaimed dancer and choreographer Merce Cunningham.


Interview with Fashion Designer, Osman

British Fashion Designer Osman will spend 2013 experimenting with the space at his new atelier by inviting a variety of London’s cutting-edge artists and designers. The programme is set to include exhibitions, performances and other collaborations. Back in February the first part of the series was launched with multidisciplinary artist Gary Card exhibiting a solo show of paintings at the Fashion Illustration Gallery. A graduate of Central St Martins and an accomplished designer, Card whose work encompasses most fields from set design to prop-making has worked with everyone from Lady Gaga to Nick Knight as well as fashion houses and department stores including Lanvin and Lane Crawford. For Osman’s new atelier, Card presented a series of 18 vivid images, entitled The Evolution of Lula. Aesthetica speaks to Osman about his design process and his interest in collaborating with artists. 

Review of Beulah and Some Small Love Story – A Double Bill of New Musicals at York Theatre Royal

Anyone who thought musical theatre was all “jazz hands” and “the three Ts” was given ample cause to think again by York Theatre Royal’s recent presentation of Beulah and Some Small Love Story in the fittingly intimate setting of its De Grey Rooms cocktail bar. Two gentle, reflective and profoundly moving new examples of the form by the theatre’s own Associate Artist, Alexander Wright, the pieces proved to be perfect and complementary partners, addressing the same themes of love, loss and the time we really don’t have, though in quite different ways.

The Armory Show, New York

This year’s Armory Show marked 100 years since the original Armory Show of 1913 – one of the single most important events in contemporary art that had featured art by Duchamp, Picasso, and Brancusi and revealed the European avant-garde to the United States. The centennial of the fair’s namesake was celebrated by paying homage to the original with an inclusion of thematic programming and an abundance of Duchampian references throughout the show.

Jerwood Painting Fellowships 2013 Exhibition Announced

Jerwood Visual Arts (JVA) will exhibit new work by three exceptional emerging painters for the Jerwood Painting Fellowships 2013 from the 13 March. The Fellows are Anthony Faroux, Susan Sluglett and Sophia Starling. This is the second edition of the Jerwood Painting Fellowships, an initiative launched in 2010, designed to provide crucial time and critical support to promising emerging painters in the early stages of their professional practice. The Fellowships offer three artists a bursary of £10,000 coupled with a year-long mentoring relationship of critical and professional development support. Anthony Faroux, Susan Sluglett and Sophia Starling were selected from over 300 applications for the outstanding quality and potential of their work, and partnered by the 2013 mentors: Fabian Peake, Marcus Harveyand Mali Morris RA, respectively.

Aesthetica Art Prize Winners Announced and Exhibition Open

Winners of the prestigious Aesthetica Art Prize were announced last night at the preview of the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition at York St Mary’s, York. Damien O’Mara was awarded the Main Prize and Poppy Whatmore collected the Student Prize. These two outstanding artists fought off competition from thousands of entries, 100 longlisted artists and finally the remaining 8 shortlisted to claim the coveted titles.

Haroon Mirza: Untitled Song, Middlesbrough

British designer, Haroon Mirza opens his exhibition, Untitled Song, this Friday 8 March at mima, Middlesbrough. Living and working in London, Mirza’s influences range from  electronics and science to avant-garde classical music. His primary interest is in creating sensory experiences with strange and startling sounds through a variety of new and old technologies, which in turn draws visitors to question their perceptions of the surrounding space.

The Art of Pop Video, FACT Liverpool

A pop song isn’t quite complete without a short video that can be pasted all over fan’s facebook walls and will pick up thousands of “likes” on YouTube. In celebration of these miniature works of art, FACT, Liverpool are launching their newest exhibition: The Art of Pop Video. Opening on 14 March, the showcase recalls some of the most memorable moments in modern music as it presents 80 years of film clips created to promote classic and contemporary pop songs.

Jessica Jackson Hutchins, The Hepworth, Wakefield.

This spring The Hepworth Wakefield presents Chicago born artist Jessica Jackson Hutchins (b.1971) on her solo debut in a UK public gallery. Hutchins has engaged with the legacy of Barbara Hepworth as part of the process of making this new body of work, housed until May 2013.

Interview with Moving Image Artist, Sam Curtis

Aesthetica speaks to Sam Curtis, who will be presenting work at the Moving Image Contemporary Video Art Fair in New York 7 – 10 March. Curtis is exhibiting two films Did anyone ever tell you that you’re beautiful when you’re following orders? and  In Control. The aim of Moving Image is to offer a viewing experience with the excitement and vitality of a fair, while still allowing moving-image-based artworks to be understood and appreciated on their own terms. He is also due to take part in FORMAT International Photography Festival 8 March – 7 April.

Aesthetica Art Prize Interview: Ben Applegarth

The Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition opens in just two days, the Art Prize is a celebration of excellence in art from across the world, offering 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 longlisted artists are published in the Aesthetica Art Prize Annual and the shortlisted artists will appear in an exhibition at York St Mary’s from 8 March until 28 April. We speak to Ben Applegarth, a British Artist, who graduated from Newcastle University with a BA in Fine Art in 2012. His long-listed work, Tangential Meditation is mostly concerned semiotics and space.

Landmark: the Fields of Photography, London

Landmark: The Fields of Photography, is set to be a sweeping overview of the rich genre of 21st Century Landscape photography. Opening at Somerset House on 14 March, this showcase will be Positive View Foundation‘s next major exhibition. Featuring more than 70 of the world’s most highly regarded photographers, the presentation will be the first to show both the harsh and brutal realities of the changing environment, as well as its enduring and stunning beauty. The wide-ranging event includes artists from North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia, with many of them exhibiting previously unseen and recently completed works.

Matt Calderwood: Paper Over the Cracks at BALTIC 39, Newcastle

Matt Calderwood is known for his often perilous performances, sculpture and film works, his carefully controlled sculptural systems transform everyday household items such as buckets, wine glasses, basketballs and shovels into extraordinary structures where every part is physically essential to maintain a delicate status quo. Friction, counterbalance and leverage between these disparate objects are carefully orchestrated to avoid the system’s complete collapse. Recent works made out of painted plywood, cast rubber and concrete continue his investigation into co-dependent relationships between groups of objects, all towards a common sculptural goal.


KINOTEKA Polish Film Festival

Now in its 11th year, the KINOTEKA Polish Film Festival opens 7 March. Running until 17 March the event offers visitors an opportunity to view the best of Polish Cinema and the visual arts. Taking place across several cities the venues include, the Barbican, Riverside Studios, Tate Modern, Curzon Soho, The National Gallery, Queens Film Theatre Belfast, FACT Liverpool and Edinburgh Filmhouse.

Man Ray: Contacts at Atlas Gallery, London

Alongside Man Ray’s far larger show at the National Portrait Gallery, Atlas gallery is showing an intimate selection of about 45 contact prints from the artists collection. The obscure, mini world of some negative contact print suits his abstract, surreal working style perfectly, and shows not only his ability in conveying all with a simple close up, but also his close circle of friends and fellow artists in much larger prints. An intensely engaged Picasso has a very modern portrait feel to it, alongside the likes of Hemingway and James Joyce. His personal relationship with these esteemed creatives allows a gentle, informal insight into their casual selves and into the creative world that surrounded the birth of surrealist photography.

Erwin Olaf: Berlin, London

Berlin is a significant departure from Erwin Olaf’s previous work. The photographer set and filmed this collection on location in six different historical spaces in the grand city of Amsterdam, rather than constructing them in his studio. Funded in part with the proceeds of his 2011 Vermeer prize, the most important cultural recognition conferred by the Dutch government, this series demonstrates that Erwin Olaf has again shattered the boundaries of contemporary photographic practice. Opening 7 March the exhibition runs until 10 May at Hamiltons Gallery, London.

Simon Periton: The Rose Engine at The Modern Institute, Glasgow

The Rose Engine, an exhibition of new work by London-based artist Simon Periton has been unveiled at The Modern Institute. Periton’s third solo exhibition at The Modern Institute has developed out of his interest in decorative tradition and its link to the world of finance and security. Periton has created intricate cut-outs in steel and aluminium alongside large-scale spray-paintings on paper and glass, which toy with opposing themes and imagery already prevalent in his work, such as: order and anarchy, alchemy, astrology, culture and counterculture. The Rose Engine portrays a scene of decadence bought about by an amalgamation of the decorative and beautiful with allusions to economic decline.

Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2013′s four shortlisted artists are Mishka Henner, Chris Killip, Cristina De Middel and the artist duo Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin. The winner will be announced at a special ceremony at The Photographers’ Gallery in May. The annual award of £30,000 rewards a living photographer, of any nationality, for a specific body of work in an exhibition or publication format, which has significantly contributed to photography in Europe between 1 October 2010 and 30 September 2011.

Flatpack Festival, Birmingham

Spreading across two weekends for the first time, Flatpack Festival returns to Birmingham 21 – 31 March. Including live scores, parties, cycle-powered screenings and a celebration of Birmingham Arts Lab, the event lives up to its slogan, “Film. And then some”, perfectly. As well as the event Film Bug (free screenings, events and installations), Unpacked returns to provide an insight into the arts industry with demos and discussions for artists, curators and filmmakers. One of the most atypical and inventive events in the UK’s cultural and film calendar, Flatpack 2013 looks set to provide the stimulating array of experiential cinematic treats that its growing legion of fans has come to expect.

James Capper: Divisions at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

A visit to Yorkshire Sculpture Park presents the viewer with a multiplicity of environmental factors. Lakes resolve the undulating volatility of the sculpted landscape; such is punctuated with old and new architecture. This territory therefore is an appropriate venue for James Capper’s Divisions. What are these divisions? They are the categories of physical, environmental interaction demarcated by Capper for his moving sculptures. They are: earth marking, offshore, and material handling.


SHIFT; Neal Tait and emerging artists on show at newly opened Hanmi Gallery, London

Hanmi Gallery has newly opened at 30 Maple Street with a showing of 11 artists all exploring the idea of uncertainty. The gallery itself is truly stripped back, having been returned to its’ pre-refurbished state. Many galleries around London try to capture the raw, open brick wall feel, but many still look to be too ‘designed’. Hanmi really succeeds in this, with plaster flaking from the walls, rickety floor boards, and the smell of building work still hanging in the air. Rather than act as a strictly designed space onto which works are placed, the gallery walls and smells merge with the work as a kind of living space. Where the norm in a gallery is to view entirely completed works on whitewashed walls, this brings up questions in itself, of curation and display, and of the point at which the work itself is complete. The works in relation to this idea are hung at random spacings and placements to each other, almost as though placed in a show about to be set up. 

Aesthetica Art Prize Interview: Daniel Shiel

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 longlisted artists are published in the Aesthetica Art Prize Annual and the shortlisted artists will appear in an exhibition at York St Mary’s from 8 March until 28 April. We speak to long-listed artist Daniel Shiel, who uses digital photographic collage work to explore the textures and patterns in everyday objects. His entered works are Blue and Malakoff, works that result from psycho-geographical adventures into marginal and semi-abandoned areas that often lie at the edge of the urban environment and the countryside. 

Interview with Richard T. Walker

Aesthetica speaks to the video-artist, photographer, sculptor and musician, Richard T. Walker about his first survey exhibition in the UK. Taking place at Carroll/Fletcher the presentation includes a selection of new and recent works that offer a compelling view of landscapes, primarily of the American West where Walker has lived for the last 6 years. Entitled, in defiance of being here, the show will run until 13 April and explores the attraction both the viewer and the artist feels towards such moving scenery. 

I Had No Idea and Examination at Platform Arts Belfast

Running concurrently at Platform Arts in Belfast are the exhibitions I Had No Idea by the London-based artist Keef Winter and Examination by the regional artist Sighle Bhreathnach-Cashell. Although autonomous in their conception both exhibitions create an environment within which the viewer is immersed, encouraging connections and relationships with the objects installed within their respective spaces.

Lichtenstein: A Retrospective, London

Lichtenstein: A Retrospective currently on display at Tate Modern showcases the first comprehensive account of his art since his death in 1997. Bringing together 125 of Lichtenstein’s paintings and sculptures, the exhibition is co-organised by the Art Institute of Chicago and Tate Modern.


Fischli/Weiss: Rock on Top of Another Rock at Serpentine Gallery, London

A unique installation in Kensington Gardens presented by the Serpentine Gallery and The Royal Parks, Rock on Top of Another Rock is a large-scale sculpture by the world-renowned artist duo Fischli/Weiss and echoes the earliest and most basic types of monuments found around the world: two colossal rocks seemingly balanced precariously one on top of the other.  This is the first public sculpture by the artists to be presented in the UK and one of the last works they jointly conceived before David Weiss’s untimely death last year.

5 To See This Weekend

The weekend is a great time to leisurely enjoy art. At Aesthetica we have compiled some of the best current exhibitions for you to enjoy this weekend. From Berlin to New York, we take a moment to consider the contemporary art that is bound to inspire. Starting with Jay DeFeo at Whitney, New York, read all about the top five experiences of art across the world. 

Moving Image, Contemporary Video Art Fair, New York

Moving Image, the  contemporary video art fair, opens next week in New York. For its third edition there is a line up of special projects and panel discussions, besides an international selection of single-channel videos and installations from Europe, Asia, South America and North America. Located at the Waterfront Tunnel in the Chelsea district of Manhattan, the event runs 7 – 10 March. The aim of the event is to offer a viewing experience with the excitement and vitality of a fair, while still allowing moving-image-based artworks to be understood and appreciated on their own terms. 

Stuart Semple, Roni Stretch & Antoinette Wysocki at Mead Carney Fine Art, London

Celebrated British artist and curator, Stuart Semple, exhibits alongside two groundbreaking US painters, Roni Stretch and Antoinette Wysocki; both showing work in London for the first time. Roberta Moore Contemporary unveils their group show at Mead Carney Fine Art, unifying three distinctive styles of painting and print techniques; merging cultural influences from the UK and US. The exhibition will take place from 7 March until 16 March.

In Between Time 2013, Bristol

An explosive celebration of performance art, IBT13 provided an inspiring crossroad where audiences experienced precisely crafted, genuinely exhilarating art. A staggering selection of high-calibre work by a multitude of internationally acclaimed artists was performed; the following works exemplify the variety of approaches and mediums showcased.