The National Galleries of Scotland and Tate announce their schedule for the seventh year of Artist Rooms On Tour. Next year, the Artist Rooms travelling project will see Robert Mapplethorpe in Clydebank, Aberystwyth and County Durham, Don McCullin in Shetland, Diane Arbus in Kirkcaldy and Francesca Woodman in Powys. An outstanding year for photography, 2015 will see pioneers of this seductive medium reach new audiences.
Taking place across the city of York, ASFF celebrates independent short film from around the world. This morning, the team officially opened the Festival Hub at Visit York. In preparation for the busy four days ahead, audiences will be able to purchase and pick-up their festival passes and tickets every day from 9.00am until 5.00pm.
This year FIAC was once again a resounding success. While the Grand Palais hosted well-established artists, and a few no-risk galleries, the (Off)icial branch of FIAC held in the Cité de la Mode et du Design allowed visitors to get a taste of less well-known artists. A few of the exhibits are destined to become iconic. The larger pieces are, as usual, the best contenders in this respect. Richard Jackson’s Bobble Head is probably the one that most would have selected as the mascot of the fair. It’s an overlarge kitsch car gadget bearing the artist’s own traits. The touch that made the sculpture more than just striking were the tips of the puppet’s fingers, coated in a green substance that evoked both blood and paint, suggesting the intimate link between madness and art. Jackson’s mixture of the sinister and the comic make his work memorable. Jan Fabre’s giant marble representation of a brain with a marble corkscrew sticking out of it struck a similarly pathological serio-comic note.
Drawing its title from the antithesis inherent to the making and the experience of art, Freezer Burn focuses on the idea that artists are able to experience powerful forms of life and subsequently transform them into subtle yet potent sensorial realities, expanding the smallest sentiment into a world of its own. Organised by Hungarian-born, New York based artist Rita Ackermann, this group exhibition unites the work of 15 individual practitioners, each exploring the juxtaposing emotions of freeze and burn.
Stuart Semple’s Anxiety Generation opens at Delahunty, London, 13 November. Running until 4 December, Semple focuses his language of sampled popular culture, intense imagery, song lyrics, direct humour and text towards a very defined agenda of playing the image world at its own game. Just as poignant, potent and outspoken as any of his previous projects, the exhibition of painting will be presented in his trademark colour-fuelled style. Aesthetica speaks to Semple about his love for painting and the collective anxiety of young people today.
Have you ever thought that contemporary art could play a pivotal role in the understanding of our past through our present and future hypostasis? Contemporary Greek artist Aemilia Papaphilippou explores the interconnection of realities with a major intervention set at the iconic public site of the Ancient Agora of Athens, right at the foot of the Parthenon. Papaphilippou’s Pulsating Fields (commissioned and produced by NEON and part of its City Project for 2014) is an installation triptych embracing a site-specific marble sculpture, a video projected on a surface of 440 x 40 feet of the 2nd century BC monumental Stoa of Attalos, and a performance.
This exhibition is – as it always has been –all about Tracey. But it is about a mature Emin who has absorbed the ravages of time and embodied them in a new materiality. Somewhere beneath the layers of gouache and the surfaces of the bronze, Mad Tracey from Margate is lurking, but the seriousness and resolve of this new body of work keep her at bay. This is a sober, provocative show, where traditional notions of beauty collide with the ugly truth of human striving.
Interview with Moisés Hernández, Winner of the British Council’s Creative Economy YCE Fashion and Design Award
Designer Moisés Hernández produces work influenced by his colours, traditions and textures of his hometown, Mexico City. Hernández was recently awarded the British Council’s Creative Economy YCE Fashion and Design Award for his brand, Diario. His studio redesign everyday Mexican objects as he rediscovers classic handcraft techniques.The objects of Diario respect tradition but they are also simplified from their original versions, leaving and exhalting the characteristics that make them Mexican but in a more contemporary way. We speak to Hernández about his company and how he felt to win the British Council award.
Innovative and forward-thinking, Women Fashion Power at the Design Museum celebrates the exceptional and influential women from the spheres of politics, culture, business and fashion, and features cutting-edge creatives who have had an impact on our wardrobes and the world stage. Showcasing the work of 25 high-profile women through the presentation of clothing, photography, archive footage and interviews, this trailblazing exhibition looks at how iconic women of the past and present have used fashion to define and enhance their position in the world.
Currently on display at Gagosian Gallery at Britannia Street, London, Backdoor Pipeline, Ramble, Dead Load, London Cross sees acclaimed sculptor Richard Serra’s signature aesthetic extended to four very distinct sculptures. The works demand and promote their own unique presence and metaphysical interplay with the architecture of the space and the viewer.
Pomona is a sinister and surreal thriller from Alistair McDowall, writer of Talk Show, Brilliant Adventures and Captain Amazing. The play rotates around Ollie whose sister is missing. Searching Manchester in desperation, she finds all roads lead to Pomona, an abandoned concrete island at the heart of the city. The performance runs at Orange Tree Theatre, London, 12 November – 13 December. Aesthetica speaks to McDowall about the process of writing the piece and his work with director Ned Bennett.
Founded in 1986, the commercially successful Turin gallery, Mazzoleni Art, last week expanded into the illustrious Mayfair art scene. Located in Albemarle Street with a 3,000ft exhibition space spread over two floors, the gallery presents some of the great masters of Post-war Italian Art, with a focus on Arte Povera. Francesco Poli, Italian art critic and curator, creates an elegant display of what is one of Italy’s most prominent artistic periods. The artists displayed include Lucio Fontana, Enrico Castellani, Agostino Bonalumi, Alberto Burri, Piero Manzoni and Paolo Scheggi, all of whom have featured heavily on the auction house circuit this month.
Schizophrenogenesis is an exhibition of new work from Damien Hirst, currently on display at Paul Stolper Gallery. The art combines a variety of new prints and sculptures reflecting the simple aesthetic of the medicinal pill. The new collection is described as a furtherance of Hirst’s continual study into the, somewhat spiritual, relationship of consistencies between science and the pharmaceutical industry.
The 41st edition of leading international art fair, FIAC brings 191 galleries from 26 countries into the vast space of Paris’ Grand Palais. The fair’s founding principles are to be attentive to the evolutions and concerns of contemporary creation, to question the transformation of the careers of gallerists as well as artists themselves, to lead prospective actions, and to be creative and responsive while ensuring a spirit of continuity across each edition of FIAC.
The year 2014 marks the 20th Jerwood Drawing Prize, making it the largest and longest running annual open exhibition for drawing in the UK. For the first time in the history of the prize, the award has gone to a sound artist, Alison Carlier, for her 1 minute 15 second audio work entitled Adjectives, lines and marks, which she describes as “An open-ended audio drawing, a spoken description of an unknown object”. Carlier speaks to Aesthetica about how she won a drawing prize with a sound piece and her admiration for the other nominated artists.
A new Jewellery Gallery has opened at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. With an outstanding contemporary collection of jewellery, the institution has opened a special space for the beautiful, provocative and fascinating pieces to be appreciated by the general public as one whole collection. The display includes work by Ted Noten, Caroline Broadhead, Gijs Bakker, Karl Fritsch, Wendy Ramshaw, Otto Künzli and Felieke van der Leest. Broadhead speaks to Aesthetica about her interest in movement and the jewellery she has on display.
The alternate title of the Contemporary African Art Fair is a neat reference to its unification of the continent’s 54 constituent countries. Yet though the titular focus of the fair may be continental, its reach is global: 1:54 sees an astounding geographical array of galleries, from Abidjan to Seattle via Cape Town, meet in London to exhibit their artists. The sense of cultural exchange is almost overwhelming, the proliferation of visual stimuli replicated aurally in the French, Italian and Danish that can be heard drifting along the corridors.
American artist Gayil Nalls is a philosopher and theorist. Her work explores the individual’s internal wilderness within greater ecological and social systems. Nalls’ major social olfactory sculpture, World Sensorium, is the result of over a decade of research into neuroaesthetics, botany, the anthropology of olfaction (or smell), and the “aesthetics of mass anatomy.” She speaks to Aesthetica about the initial ideas behind this project and her plans to produce a second version.
Horst P. Horst is one of the most iconic fashion photographers of the mid-20th Century. Known by the one-word photographic byline “Horst”, his expansive oeuvre of fashion and portraiture photography was a collaboration of talent, glamour and imagination. Spanning from the 1930s through a career of 60 years, Horst mastered an unrivaled technique in his image making. Of its time his use of lighting and composition were but two significant factors that helped contribute to a definitive and iconic style that would help to deem his work revolutionary; not singularly in terms of photography, but also with regards to advertising editorial, fashion and design. Noted as the primary photographer for Vogue by the mid 1930s, the artist’s images involved art directors, fashion editors and set technicians in precise and often intricately arranged studios.
The career of Sigmar Polke is the restless search for the optimum means of expressing the truth of the static past in the fluid present. It is the courageous indictment of a tendency to negate catastrophe with a simple alibi, which only denies having seen anything at all. Polke deconstructed his sensuous now in order to get to the bottom of a national conundrum that remained locked, and this exhibition reveals that his key was always nothing more or less than the unstable boundaries of art.
The UK’s only art fair dedicated to contemporary prints and editions opens today at Christie’s South Kensington. Multiplied returns for the fifth year and takes place during Frieze Week, one of the most important periods in the contemporary art calendar. 40 contemporary galleries from around the world will showcase an extensive and eclectic range of prints, photography, digital art, artist books and multiples. In addition, there will be art from a number of important artists, such as Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, William Kentridge, Sarah Lucas, Daido
Moriyama, Cornelia Parker, Yinka Shonibare, David Shrigley, Gavin Turk and Rachel Whiteread.
Director Mary Nighy and Karen Millen teamed up to produce No More Tiaras for the launch of the company’s two global flagships. The 3 minute short celebrates individual style and looks at the brand’s recent evolution, and it is due to be screened in the Fashion film strand at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2014. Chief Creative Officer of Karen Millen, Gemma Metheringham, speaks to us about their new film, The Journey, and the rise of the fashion film genre over the years.
Like some sort of spandex-clad somersaulter often found in the medium itself, performance art has, in recent years, acrobatically risen to become the red-hot property in today’s contemporary art world. Ever since the mid-1960s, the likes of Yves Klein and Yoko Ono have been utilising the experimental and anti-commodity form to evoke radical messages and go against the commercial gallery grain. But nowadays, performance art is very much the toast of the establishment; in some cases for the better, and some for the worse.
Frieze Masters, 15-19 October, opens this week with a dynamic selection of galleries representing some inspirational names of the art world. As part of the annual art fair, Hauser & Wirth is celebrating the work of Jean Tinguely. Known for his kinetic and mechanically animated sculptures that explore the aesthetics of movement, Tinguely’s sculptural machines were built from found or familiar objects and rudimentary parts.
Hugh Dunford Wood is an artist designer, classically trained at the Ruskin School of FineArt, Oxford, in the early 1970s. He works in mixed media including painting portraits, murals, engraving on wood, metal and glass, making lino cuts and hand printing wallpapers. Now living in Dorset, Hugh’s work celebrates a rich life and takes a sideways look at tradition while being innovative and in his words “quintessentially English”.
Kinetica Art Fair is now in its sixth year and is a hub for collectors, curators, architects, industry leaders and the public to view and purchase artworks in the thriving field of kinetic, electronic and new media art. Running 16-19 October, the fair has moved to an Autumn date and a new venue: the Truman Brewery in East London. In addition the large number of stands present there will be a number of special programmes including a collection of dynamic live performances, featuring an international line-up featuring the UK premiere of Vitruvian, an “interactive” opera performance from Germany. There will also be a display of Alex May’s luscious interactive sculptures. He captivates viewers by painting with digital video footage in real-time onto physical sculptures with synchronised audio and interactive technology. May speaks to Aesthetica about the origins of his art and his work with Kinetica.
Lacey Contemporary, which officially launched last night, opened its doors for a sneak preview with a diverse and energetic show of painting at the end of September. The gallery, nestled in a quiet corner of Notting Hill, is the brain child of art-lover Andrew Lacey whose passion and ambition shine through in this show as well as in his plans for future exhibitions. Although the gallery’s heart seems to lie with painting, there is no sense of undue restraint in the programme, with a contemporary sculpture show and the final of the Winter Pride awards coming up. Even the selection of paintings on show, not to mention the painters on the roster, belies a genuine passion for the medium untainted by prejudice or fashion, which makes Lacey Contemporary stand out from the crowd.
The Other Art Fair places the spotlight on emerging artists and connects art lovers of all tastes and experience, directly with 130 of the most talented and unrepresented artists. Running 16-19 October at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, the fair presents thousands of pieces of art, starting from just £50. In addition to the various stands on display, the event is an art experience in its own right, featuring an immersive theatre with Non Zero One, art and live music performances, kids create area, Crate Brewery Bar, Soho House’s Dirty Burger pop up and much more.
Throughout the month of October, London is bustling with the annually anticipated Frieze London Art Fair. Alongside the stimulating programme of contemporary art exhibits and events, we take a look at the must see exhibitions opening during Frieze. Highlights include Tate Modern’s retrospective on Sigmar Polke, Marian Goodman’s inaugural show from the celebrated Gerhard Richter, and the launch of Dominique Lévy with a juxtaposing exploration of Post-war artists Castellini, Judd and Stella.
“The book came out of grief,” Annie Leibovitz (b. 1949) told an interviewer, speaking about her photographic memoir Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005. The retrospective exhibition of the same name, which opened at the Brooklyn Museum in New York in 2006 and has since travelled across the USA and Europe, is currently in Singapore until 19 October. Singapore is the only Asian city apart from Seoul to host the exhibition.
In the second edition of the FotoFocus Biennial, a month-long celebration of photography and lens-based art in Cincinnati, Ohio, Artistic Director Kevin Moore has taken the modernist definition of photography and put it under the microscope. The exhibition that examines this definition the most is that of Vivian Maier, the American amateur street photographer of the 1950s-1970s whose work caused a sensation when it was discovered posthumously. In this complex oeuvre, curated by Moore to emphasise self-portraits and portraits of other women, we see not only a playful dialogue with urban life, but a deep dialogue with the self that presages the contemporary selfie, a fact that makes it less than objective. Kevin Moore speaks to Aesthetica about how Maier impacts our understanding of photo art in the context of history, and how poetic photography can point to visions of the future self.
The BAFTA Qualifying ASFF: Aesthetica Short Film Festival is a celebration of independent film from across the world, and an outlet for supporting and championing short filmmaking. One of the UK’s most exciting site-specific events, this year’s festival will take place in 15 iconic venues across the historic city of York from 6 – 9 November 2014. ASFF offers a first look at the latest experimental and artists’ films from leading practitioners working across the UK and the world, focusing on their aesthetic and intellectual contributions to contemporary visual culture.
“I have been thinking of the pieces as participants in the same activity. They are all similar, like patients in a lobby waiting for the therapist…they all need to talk but say different things.” -Justin Adian Featuring a series of new paintings and coinciding with Frieze London, Strangers is the first U.K. exhibition by American artist Justin Adian.The title Strangers is a mediation on the transformation that occurs once the pieces have left Adian’s studio to venture out into the world, revealing the artist’s deeply personal relationship to the works.
In the Special 60th Edition of Aesthetica we celebrate the emerging photographers that are shaping the future of the image-based practice in The Next Generation. We have partnered with the London College of Communication to survey some of photography’s rising stars and showcase their fresh ideas and new concepts. Iranian photographer Sadaf Chezari lives and works in London and began capturing images of her father after she felt intrigued by his apparent level of displacement in the UK. In 2013 she was awarded First Prize in the Michael Wilson Award and the Flowers Gallery Professional Mentorship Award. She speaks to Aesthetica about the way she considers space when shooting and her future plans.
The Turner Prize is an annual arts event never to be missed, and this year the shortlisted artists – Duncan Campbell, Ciara Phillips, James Richards and Tris Vonna-Michell – have the added prestige of appearing at Tate Britain alongside an exhibition showcasing the work of the great J.M.W. Turner himself.
Review of Mary Kelly: On the passage of a Few People through a Rather Brief Period of Time, Pippy Houldsworth Gallery
A famous critique of Jean-François Lyotard’s brassy “I define postmodern as incredulity toward meta-narratives” is that, if you go in for his postmodernism, you have to be incredulous towards this statement as well. You also have to distrust the meta-narrative of postmodernism, and have to distrust the “have to” part, then not take that distrust for granted in turn, and so on and backwards. This quickly becomes recursive, the mental equivalent of looking in a mirror at a mirror behind you. So what starts out as a defence against monolithic and dubiously agenda-driven claims to power becomes paralysing quickly – what possible action can you take when everything triggers an endless chain of distrust? For artist Mary Kelly, whose career has been devoted to a narrative-based analysis of Feminism and post-modernism, flitting between the personal and the theoretical as in her famous Post-Partum Document (1973–1979), this is of crucial importance. How much incredulity, or rather self-incredulity, is needed, is healthy – even towards the narratives of Feminism and post-modernism themselves?
In a sprawling megalopolis like Mexico City it can be a pain to get from one place to the next, making it complicated to coordinate group gallery openings. However, with the explosion of contemporary art in the Mexican capital galleries are becoming more integrated, connecting through mutual interests when its not possible to connect by proximity.
The work of Japanese artist Shinro Ohtake appears in a solo exhibition at Parasol Unit, London, this autumn. Running 12 October – 12 December, the presentation showcases Ohtake’s extensive, diverse and innovative body of work. With a practice spanning 30 years, the artist has positioned himself as one of the most important creative forces in contemporary Japanese art. His expansive output is based primarily around the activity of cutting and pasting, but also includes drawing, pasted works, painting, sculpture and photography, as well as experimental music and videos.
The work of fashion photographer Horst P. Horst, whose evocative images are some of the most well known of the 20th century, is showcased in a new exhibition at the V&A, London. The show features 250 photographs and describes the photographer’s collaborations with leading fashion icons such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Coco Chanel in Paris. Horst began his career as a society photographer in the 1930s and his groundbreaking style and innovative use of light and shadow helped him to create carefully structured shots of models. The perfect blend of light and shadow were used to startling effect in his work and in 1943 his editor at Vogue cited his subtle manipulation of lighting as one his key strengths.
Aesthetica Issue 61 is now available to purchase online and in stores internationally. The new edition considers progress and change. There are a few questions around this including how much time needs to pass before something needs to change, or is it simply the case that progress is continuous? The key element is to recognise developments, keeping your eyes and ears open. This is particularly important in the art world because when you start tracking artists and noticing trends, this is when things start to get exciting, especially when those trends are just under the radar.