The Hayward Gallery has put on a brave set of displays curated by seven artists, who each look at elements of British history from 1945 to the present day. Running until 26 April, the central part of the exhibition is deeply political. This section of the show openly and proudly displays a fusion of art with contemporary politics. “Ulster is Protestant” and “We stand by the IRA” are just two statements Conrad Atkinson included in his piece Northern Ireland 1968 – May Day 1975 (1975-76). In 126 photographs and statements typewritten onto orange, white and green card, Atkinson takes the visitor on a journey through the “troubles” where Catholic and Protestant both uphold their political campaigns through graffiti on the streets of Northern Ireland. One anonymous statement that stands out is: “Northern Ireland has a problem for every solution”. This display highlights the idea that art should create questions, and ask the viewer to explore.
Experimental video and still photography artist, Adam Magyar is now showing for the first time outside of Europe and Asia, with various works including six videos, images from his Stainless series, and new prints from the Urban Flow series.
For its second exhibition, Mazzoleni Art, London, welcomes a retrospective of Italian artist Agostino Bonalumi’s innovative work. The collection serves not only as a comprehensive study of Bonalumi’s enduring artistic interests; namely the importance of aesthetic and form but also signifies an important step in reinforcing the artist’s reputation on the international art scene. Indeed, the exhibition coincides with the international presentation of a large scale monograph, Bonalumi Sculptures; a collaboration between Mazzoleni gallery and the artist’s estate.
This weekend’s 5 To See reflects on photography, looking at several large-scale exhibitions as well as more personal and subjective projects. Tate St Ives presents its largest display of photography, spanning several continents and decades to chart the development of Modern Art practises. João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva present a Western African voodoo ritual from the perspective of the performers, whilst Renzo Martens questions the ethical integrity of Western journalists documenting African poverty. The CAM Houston blurs lines of performance and real world encounters, and Iveta Vaivode connects with her family home on a personal journey.
The international Kontinent Photography Awards are now open for entries. The competition honours the best of the photography world, providing global recognition and new opportunities for artists. In previous years, Kontinent has received submissions numbering in the thousands from more than 100 countries. Every year top professionals within industry come together to select the best photographers of the year. There are six main categories for the awards, incorporating Advertising, Fine Art, Editorial/Documentary and Nature.
Artists Lisa Wright, Emma Vidal, Penny Byrne, Aaron Smith and Henry Hussey reference historical imagery and objects in a selection of new works, ranging photography and painting to porcelain fig-urines, charcoal and pencil sketches to bronze sculpture.
From the glossy veneer of the pages of Vogue to the polished presentation of fine art, Alistair O’Neill and Shelly Verthime galvanise the work of Guy Bourdin within the galleries of Somerset House in Image Maker. Bourdin was the first photographer to present a fashion item through a crafted, complex narrative that is at once provocative, shocking, exotic and ominous. Truly legendary in his image making, Bourdin’s works were uncanny and mysterious, full of violence and charged with sexuality and surrealism.
Four artists reconfigure and manipulate the conventional idea of photography using strange new processes and transforming traditional methods in a new group show at Vitrine, London. A nostalgic exhibition, this collection of works looks back to the traditions of the medium with an incredibly contemporary eye.
Performance group Cirque Eloize mixes acrobatics, juggling, cyr wheel and German wheel performances. The company are due to tour the UK with their visually arresting Cirkopolis, a stylish and sophisticated production, full of awe-inspiring acts. We speak to performer Ashley Carr ahead of the opening tonight at Sadler’s Wells’ Peacock Theatre. Carr, who the Jerwood Award and founded his own company Kicking The Moon, talks us through the creation process and the pros and cons of performing in different spaces.
Presenting large-scale works from the 1980s, this exhibition surveys the beginning stages of influential American artist Barbara Kruger. Her black and white photographs are overlaid with boldly printed provocative captions such as “don’t buy us with apologies” and “we are your circumstantial evidence” to examine power, identity, gender and sexuality. These texts juxtapose their accompanying imagery to, as she explains, “question the seemingly natural appearance of images.”
Luc Tuymans returns to David Zwirner, London, for the second time with a new body of work, The Shore. Drawing upon a diverse cross-section of subjects including a Japanese cannibal, footage from a British World War II film and portraits by Henry Raeburn, Tuymans’ work silently glides from subject to subject. However, the longer the viewer spends with the paintings, the more you are forced to confront topical socio-cultural and historical issues.
Based in Auckland New Zealand, Kenneth Merrick’s work orbits around drawing, painting and digital/analogue media. Merrick graduated with a Bachelor of Design and Visual Arts, Unitec, Auckland in 2012 and completed a Bachelor of Music, University of Auckland in 2004. Over the past five years his works have featured in a variety of exhibition settings and spaces in New Zealand, and overseas. Through image making Merrick seeks to convey perspectives that form a basis for a type of visual thinking, underpinned by explorations into cultural experience, speculative spaces, and myth. The resulting work attempts to further hack and refract historical and contemporary paradigms, via unique and fragmented view-points filtered through Merrick’s European, Tongan, and Maori heritage.
Encounters, comprising of 20 large-scale projects by artists from across Asia and beyond, opens to the public on 15 March. A sector of Art Basel‘s Hong Kong show, this year’s edition of Encounters will present artworks from a wide selection of countries including Indonesia, Germany and the United States.
Andrew Whaley’s play, The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco at Gate Theatre transports the audience back to Zimbabwe in 1986. The piece focuses on Comrade Fiasco, a man who came out of a cave, seven years after independence claiming to be a freedom fighter. Fiasco finds himself in a cell with Chidhina, Febi and Jungle, who attempt to come to terms with Fiasco’s confused accounts of the war and their own personal feelings on what happened. We speak to writer Andrew Whaley about his initial idea for the play and the importance of considering independence now nearly 30 years later.
In a career spanning more than 50 years, Mimmo Rotella experimented with a number of different working methods, trying to overcome the traditional languages of expression and representation. This exhibition at Robilant + Voena, London, curated by Antonella Soldaini, brings together work from across his entire career, demonstrating an array of forms and styles which remain as powerful now as they ever were.
Our 5 to See This Weekend focuses largely upon the power of retrospect. Our retrospective society can help to preserve art movements and the oeuvres of influential figures, such as the work of avant-garde Sonia Delaunay, as well as shape the future of the art world. Mark Klett constructs a conversation with the writing of Raphael Pumpelly by traversing the same stretch of desert, and the artists at Saatchi Gallery examine the amazing power of Pop Art. Meanwhile, Iris Van Herpen uses her knowledge of traditional craft techniques to shape a new form of couture with 3D printing.
Curated by Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller, Love is Enough explores the relationship between two artists whose lives and artistic practices belonged to different centuries, William Morris, (1834-1896) and Andy Warhol (1928-1987). The comparison might be bold, and Deller admits to having taken liberties with two artists who are no longer living, by placing their works side by side: “But having said that, I imagine Warhol would have approved, as he always had a keen sense of art history.” The presence of a third artist is suggested by the exhibition, as indicative of a personal influence, Deller citing both artists as influential on his own work.
Recently awarded a Creative Wales Major Award by the Arts Council of Wales, internationally-renowned artist Brendan Stuart Burns presents his first solo exhibition in London with intimate studies in oil and wax on linen, which explore the fine line between figuration and abstraction. Burn’s work mainly focuses on the ecology of the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales, a dramatic coastline which also inspired Graham Sutherland in the 1930s and the work of John Craxton.
The story behind the latest sculptures of Daniel Silver (b. 1972) at Frith Street Gallery makes the work all the more compelling. It sounds like an old wives’ tale: Silver found ancient marble in a stone yard in the Italian town of Pietrasanta, blocks buried in the undergrowth, quarried years ago but now merely strange stone ghosts of the landscape. After closer inspection Silver saw that some of the stones were carved with mysterious numbers, others retained the wear of chisel marks and workman’s tools, scars that had yet to heal. It was a feature that drew Silver to the stone, to rescue these leftover fragments of a forgotten time.
This exhibition offers an overview of the career of Bridget Riley, one of Britain’s most significant Postwar artists, taking a selection from Riley’s complete catalogue of prints which punctuates specific turning points in her career. Riley’s printmaking over the last 50 years has run parallel to the developments in her painting, the artist’s imagery consistently evolving and innovating, as she is still working today.
Acclaimed artist Andy Holden has teamed up with Roger Illingworth, Johnny Parry, John Blamey and James MacDowell to form The Grubby Mitts, an experimental band breaking the boundaries between art and music. Known for utilising everything from homemade instruments to repeating lyrics, The Grubby Mitts spent their most recent tour performing in art galleries rather than typical venues. The band’s new album, What The World Needs Now Is, is due out 9 March on Lost Toys Records. Aesthetica speaks to Holden about his latest release and his decision to move into the world of music.
American artist Sarah Sze is known for large scale works that penetrate walls, hang from ceilings, delve into the ground, and stretch across museums; now her installations run throughout Victoria Miro’s London gallery spaces.
Now in its 16th year and continuing to grow in both scale and ambition, Art Rotterdam is the international art fair that turns the circuit’s attention to up-and-coming talent. Since moving to UNESCO World Heritage Site the Van Nellefabriek in 2014, Art Rotterdam’s Main Section has swollen to 103 galleries. The fair is supplemented by the Mondrian Fund show, which supports artists at the very beginning of their careers. It also features an impressive range of outdoor work, and in We Like Art there is even an affordable art fair. New this year is Intersections, giving art fair coverage to artists’ initiatives and non-profit galleries.
Andi Schmied and Sofia Valiente are two photographers whose focus has consistently been the social space: Schmied’s practice is concerned with the architectural and urban; yet Valiente’s work looks to human relationships. Both artists spend time living in the locations that they photograph, yet their approach in terms of documenting strategy and interventions are very different.
There is a tension in Sarah Gillespie’s work between an otherworldly stillness and the innate energy of nature. Landscapes, birds and insects are captured with a sense of detail that arrests the passing of time, giving a glimpse, as if through a surgeon’s eye, into the inner workings of life. Her practice is currently celebrated at Beaux Arts, London, in Sarah Gillespie: A Love as Old as Water.
Housed within the Upper Sculpture Study Gallery of the Henry Moore Institute the visitor finds a retrospective exhibition dedicated to the interlacing professional lives and practices of Dorothy Annan (1908-83) and Trevor Tennant (1908-80). Both were members of the Artists International Association, which was established in 1932 and was aimed at the sodality of artists and designers in order to produce pamphlets, posters and public art commissions. The achievement realised was the introduction of artistic creativity into the mundane with the goal of promoting peace and unity.
Several retrospective exhibitions are on view this weekend in our 5 To See, ranging from the organic and detailed oeuvre of Alvar Aalto, to the controversially stimulating work of Lynda Benglis. Robilant + Voena presents the work of Mimmo Rotella, looking back to his upbringing in war-torn Rome, whilst Loretta Fahrenholz imagines a modern disaster in New York, as part of the Hammer Museum‘s project, This Is The End. Charlotte Dumas’ work also focuses on human vulnerability, through the photography of wild and domesticated horses at The Photographer’s Gallery in London.
Unlike many juried art fairs in the West led by a selection committee that evaluates the quality of work being displayed, the India Art Fair has been indiscriminately open to galleries across the globe. This seemingly democratic process has often resulted in a disparate show of works in the past. Artists such as Marc Quinn and Atul Dodiya have been shown alongside decorative works of glittering dancing peacocks. The resulting hodgepodge of fine art with commercial bling has dismayed collectors, museums and seasoned viewers looking for consistently high quality art.
In a major two-part solo exhibition at South London Gallery and Spike Island, French artist Isabelle Cornaro presents a series of installations which explore themes of cultural heritage and the value attached to objects when placed in a gallery or museum context. Paysage avec poussin at South London Gallery and Témoins oculaires at Spike Island is the first collaboration of its kind between two leading public British galleries.
A student of Paul McCarthy, Jason Rhoades (1965-2006) lived and worked in Los Angeles and built what he claimed was the world’s largest sculpture at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, Germany in 1999, and had a major installation at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. Despite these achievements, the sculptor did not have a major UK exhibition in his lifetime – having died in 2006 at age 41. BALTIC‘s upcoming celebration of the artist’s work in four interpretive paths will be Rhoades’ first large-scale show in Britain.
The UK’s leading artist fair has announced the details of its line-up for April 2015. Now in its eighth edition, The Other Art Fair opens on 23 April at its new location in Bloomsbury, London. The new venue, Victoria House, will provide 22,000 sq. ft. of space for an extended live programme and more opportunties for rising stars of the art world to showcase their work to the public.
Starting on 6 February and running until 5 July, The Hepworth Wakefield presents the greatly anticipated exhibition of Greek-American artist and feminist Lynda Benglis. The show will be the first museum survey of Benglis’ work in the UK, spanning the entirety of her impressive career in approximately 50 pieces.
In 1853 The Photographic Society of London was founded “to promote the art and science of photography” and converted into The Royal Photography Society in 1894. Today the Society has more than 11,000 members ranging from world famous documentary, portrait, landscape and fine art photographers to amateurs and students, and it is the UK’s largest photography organisation. Drawn By Light at the Science Museum’s Media Centre, showcases the extraordinary breadth of the Society’s collections, both historical and contemporary.
Three photographers, Nadav Kander, Boomon and Mona Kuhn, explore a complex and personal relationship between mankind and the landscape, reflecting upon our connection with, and impact on, the surrounding environment.
Issue 63 of Aesthetica hits shop shelves 1 February. In the February / March edition we explore innovation through experimentation with the new. Moving outside of comfort zones can be invigorating. It’s in these moments that we have the opportunity to embrace fresh ideas and apply them to everyday life. Drawing upon a range of influences can create something entirely original and interdisciplinary. Each artist featured in this issue follows that ideology. Many of the practitioners are people that have backgrounds in other areas but have moved between art forms and disciplines cross-pollinating their output along the way.
Our 5 to See this Weekend provides plenty of opportunities to interact with the artists, whether it’s discovering the quiet life of photographer Vivian Maier, whose work was encouraged by the children she’d cared for as a nanny, or catering to Bruce Asbestos’ marketing whims. There’s also the chance to meet Alec Soth at his Songbook exhibition in New York on Saturday 31st January, or discuss DIY culture with Graeme Durant in Newcastle, and Pep Dardanyà’s exhibition at MACBA includes a QR code to encourage the further discussion of his work with visitors.
This solo exhibition by acclaimed artist Corinne Felgate is comprised of two new major installations: Bigger than the Both of Us (MOMA) and Studio X Y Z. Both draw on the artist’s on-going research into our collective relationship with the man-made environment, and how society’s perception of the manufacturing industry shapes our understanding the world today.
Sarah Gillespie’s works on paper depict, in simple ink and charcoal, ghostly landscapes and images of flora and fauna reminiscent of photograms, heavily saturated photographs or even paintings. She is fascinated by the play of light and dark, the boundaries between solid and liquid and how these change when drawn, and the ways in which a flurry of tangled lines can knit together. Her stunning painting is currently on display at Beaux Arts, London, until 28 February.
Anna Parkina’s work defies categorisation; appropriating the human ephemera of modern day culture and society, she creates works that reflect the human experience and environment. A Russian contemporary artist who grew up in one “country” (under two very different ruling classes, that of the Soviet Union and Russia under Yeltsin), social agitation and revolution were part and parcel of her youth and thus of her development. When faced with her work one immediately recalls to mind the propaganda posters and art works of the Russian constructivists, film noir of the 1940s and 1950s, and Pop Art, with the collages of pop artists such as Richard Hamilton.
Through work spanning 50 years of the artist’s long career, right up until some of his final works in the early 2000s, this exhibition at Robilant+Voena, London, will focus on Italian artist Mimmo Rotella’s fascination with innovative techniques, and bring to light the way that he manipulated material to achieve a conceptual framework, which extended from his studio into society.