Fresh from New York, The Still House Group brought its brand of ever-evolving DIY art to London for the first time in Testing Ground: Still House Group. The exhibition, which took place at the Zabludowicz Collection, saw the group – founded in New York in 2007 by Isaac Brest and Alex Perweiler as an online platform – exercising the multi-disciplinary, artist-led, curatorial platform that it has rapidly matured and developed in to.
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s new three-week, annual classical music and fine arts festival is centered in the Dallas Arts District and anchored by orchestral and collaborative performances, the commissioning of new works of art and the exhibition of works by internationally acclaimed visual artists. This year the theme is to be Destination: (America), and new works will come from international artists such as Alex Prager, Pipilotti Rist, Yael Bartana, Kevin Beasley, Monte Laster and Francisco Moreno.
Discover the best in contemporary art exhibitions from across the world in our 5 to See. This week, we have compiled a fantastic list of shows to see over the weekend, throughout the rest of April and beyond. From the gratuitous, as yet largely undiscovered visual art of Osvaldo Lamborghini to respective snapshots of the 1970s in the art of Hans Peter Feldmann and Penelope Slinger, and from Mark Harris’s journey through architectural history to an audio tour of the old Millbank Prison at Tate Britain, there’s something on offer to suit a spectrum of tastes.
Photographer Todd Antony has been longlisted in the Aesthetica Art Prize 2015. Born in New Zealand, Antony travels across the world to capture people and communities who live extraordinary lives. Alongside his work shooting for top advertising clients including Sony, Shell, Lucozade, Virgin, O2, and the BBC, Antony creates personal projects which capture exuberant characters from diverse contexts and far-flung locations. Longlisted work, Sun City Poms, documents a group of 12 retirees from Sun City Arizona who formed a cheerleading troupe. We speak to Antony about his experiences of working in the U.S. and his photographic projects which seamlessly marry characters to their native surroundings.
Celebrating a century of resort and swimwear style, publishers King & McGaw have delved into the image archives of its partners to present a series of iconic and stylish prints evoking the glamour and the sense of endless possibility that characterised swimwear in the 20th century.
The Other Art Fair opens at Victoria House, London, today. Placing the spotlight on the artists themselves, visitors to the fair can converse with established and emerging practitioners and purchase art as they go. There are a number of highlights at the first 2015 event, including Ukrainian artist, Anastasiya Lazurenko, who presents a tender momento mori of her friend and model, Valeria Koshkina in a series of portraits that explore and question female body image. We speak to Lazurenko about her relationship with Koshkina and her quest to reflect the truth in photography.
With a career spanning more than 40 years, Susan Hiller is one of the most influential artists of her generation. Expanding the boundaries between different media, American-born Hiller now resides in the UK. Last year, to coincide with group exhibition, Slow Learner, which took place at Timothy Taylor Gallery from 1-29 August 2014, Aesthetica spoke to the artist about her ongoing practice and artistic influences.
There is something disarming about Tim Etchells’ immersive environments in which the ordinary and the mundane suddenly become laced with an unknown potency. Two walls of the Bermondsey Street gallery are covered in sheets of paper, some nicely framed, others just tacked to the wall. They bear messages which are at first unremarkable in their quotidian nature or simply appear to be ramblings of a lunatic. They say things like “The more you look at it the more it looks like a warning” and “Something that could have been not something that was”. They feel like warnings, incantations and predictions that neither have basis in reality nor an audience apart from their author.
Personne et les autres: Vincent Meessen and Guests, Belgian Pavilion, International Art Exhibition, Biennale di Venezia, Venice
This year, the Belgian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale will present the work of Vincent Meessen together with a series of carefully selected international guest artists. Inspiration for the exhibition has been taken from the history of the Belgian Pavilion in combination with the international flavour of the Biennale. The Pavilion itself was founded by King Leopold II, who is better remembered for his founding and exploitation of the Congo Free State. Drawing on this colonial history, Meesen’s work has consistently explored the legacy of colonialism and its lingering influence in the form of colonial modernity.
Alexander Whitley is one of Britain’s most exciting young choreographers. Continuing his collaboration with visuals artists Tuur Van Balen and Revital Cohen with whom he created 75 Watt, Whitley has created a piece that explores how ideas of production relate to and make an impact upon the body. Entitled Frames, the work is set to be performed by Rambert dance company at Sadler’s Wells this May. Whitley speaks to us about the ideas behind the new performance and his collaboration with other artists.
FACT, the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, is one of the UK’s leading media arts centre whose forward-thinking, all-inclusive programme of exhibitions, film and participant-led art projects intends to inspire and enrich. For 2015, its four annual exhibitions includes a selection of international new-media art, beginning with Group Therapy: Mental Distress in a Digital Age.
Mythopoeia: Mequitta Ahuja, Kapwani Kiwanga, Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum and Alida Rodrigues, Tiwani Contemporary, London
Tiwani Contemporary, London, gathers together four international artists for its latest group exhibition, Mythopoeia. Drawn from the Greek muthopoios and meaning composer of fiction, the exhibition title highlights the age-old role of storytelling in rationalising the unknown. Featured artists, Mequitta Ahuja, Kapwani Kiwanga, Alida Rodrigues and Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, work across a variety of media in order to craft their own, new mythologies. Mythopoeia suggests that contemporary art can offer an opportunity to re-interpret the world.
Flore Nové-Josserand creates visually captivating installations. She draws upon the histories and the forms of painting, design and architecture to produce surprising pieces that combine a number of decorative modes and artistic concepts. In April her art was part of Zabludowicz Collection Invites series. She speaks to us about her interest in London’s housing problem and her plans for 2015.
Founder of the Japanese Mono-ha and Korean Dansaekhwa Modern art groups of the 1960s-1970s, painter, sculptor, writer and philosopher Lee Ufan presents new work which arrives from a practice dominated by minimalism.
Cuban art collective, Los Carpinteros is formed of duo Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodríguez who create humorous installations and sculptures which point towards whimsy yet really probe into politics, conveying their own political viewpoints. In alluding to playful comedy, the two are able to criticise without intimidating audiences or alienating the viewer – creating an accessible platform from which they can be heard.
In many ways, this new exhibition of sketchbooks at the Hunterian Art Gallery establishes Scottish artist Duncan Shanks as the Robert Macfarlane of paint. Macfarlane, a poet, anthropologist, philosopher of walking and travel writer, has most recently published Landmarks, a book that attempts to preserve and rekindle some of the localised language we use to describe the landscape around us. Shanks’s sketchbooks perform a similar function, and the visual vocabularies he explores of the upper Clyde are compelling: skewed fence posts, bushy clouds, birds, tree roots, branches, trunks and fields. If these form the vocabulary, the grammar is one of pencil, pastel, charcoal and watercolour.
The ideal of art as an experience has been a subject of reinterpretation by several artists and philosophers throughout the years. It is a concept that faces constant reinvention both in and out of the books, partly due to the fact that in most cases it’s up to the audience to determine the process of the work with their involvement and subsequent reflection. The participation of an external element within the process of the artwork can broaden the artist’s perspective and allow for his/her concept to reach new ends that hadn’t been previously considered. Carrying an advocacy for sociopolitical projects that transcend the limits of what is considered art in this contemporary context, Francis Alÿs is constantly reinventing his work and finding new ways for it to create a dialogue within itself in order to be progressively reinterpreted by the audience.
This weekend’s exhibition round-up traverses the divide between art and politics, appearance and reality to explore fresh perspectives of history and human experience and to challenge the narratives which shape our lives, our sense of self, and our perceptions of the world around us according to these paradigms. From New York to London, Madrid to Dublin, we reflect on some of this season’s most innovative and enticing displays taking place across the world. Beginning with 20th century post-war photography in The Modern Eye at Edwynn Houk Gallery and moving onto fascinations with the American South at ICA Boston, our 5 to See features a fantastic selection of exhibitions to discover.
One of the greatest tests of the power of pictures and words to explain reality must be the Jewish holocaust. We’ve seen images of emaciated bodies and heard survivors describe their ordeals. The pain we feel, we know, is only a faint replica of theirs. This is what we can know: the concept – the systematic elimination of an entire race; the terrifying detail – babies thrown against walls, people digging their own mass graves; and statistics – the extermination of 6 million Jews. But these lead us only to mute incomprehension. The philosopher, Theodore Adorno, may have alluded to this impenetrable silence when he wrote that there could be no poetry after Auschwitz.
Jacqueline Hassink’s View, Kyoto, is a serene and powerful series of photographs depicting 34 of Kyoto’s 1,600 Zen Buddhist temples and gardens, captured over the past 10 years and across the course of the seasons. Hassink’s works bring a human point of view to these linear, dynamic environments as her lens is positioned at standing height or as if sitting on the tatami mat, pausing in doorways and upon the veranda between temple and garden.
The inaugural exhibition at Home – Manchester’s new venue created from the merger of the arts organisations Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company – opens a year of events themed around the idea of desire and the deepest motivations behind our closest relationships. The heart is deceitful above all things is a Biblical quote from the Book of Jeremiah, but the key text referred to here is Kasimir and Karoline by Austro-Hungarian writer Ödön von Horváth (1901-1938), a play which depicts the impact of external economic forces and recession on a young couple, set against the backdrop of a funfair. These are themes clearly ripe for exploration by artists in the context of today’s globalised and connected world and which lend themselves to Home’s vision of an inter-disciplinary and inter-generational approach to the visual arts.
The Aesthetica Art Prize is a celebration of excellence in art from across the world. The annual award offers artists the opportunity to showcase their work to wider audiences and further their involvement in the international art world. To mark its current call for entries, we shine a spotlight on longlisted artist Annina Roescheisen. Selected for her film What are you Fishing for? (2014), Roescheisen describes herself as a multimedia practitioner who looks to iconographies from the past for inspiration.
Art Brussels returns for its 33rd year this April. As in previous years, galleries will be presented in different sections, with the addition of DISCOVERY, which will feature 14 galleries who represent lesser-known and emerging artists that have yet to find exposure in Europe. Ahead of the opening, we speak to artistic director Katerina Gregos about her favourite parts of this year’s fair and her work with not-for-profit spaces.
A river runs through it: Olafur Eliasson’s immersive installation, Riverbed, took over the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, for the museum’s first solo exhibition of his impressive oeuvre in 2014. In Issue 61, Aesthetica explored the recent survey of the artist’s experimental practice.
Wales is presenting its first solo exhibition by a female artist at the Venice Biennale this year. The Arts Council of Wales has selected Helen Sear to represent Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice at the 56th International Art Exhibition. Curated by Ffotogallery, …the rest is smoke will feature works which connect the local landscapes of Wales to the context of the Biennale. Sear is widely regarded as one of Wales’ most significant contemporary artists, having lived and worked there since 1984. Her body of work explores the crossing of boundaries between photography and fine art, and she was joint winner of the visual art prize at the National Eisteddfod in 2011.
More than 50 photographs, recently acquired from the Black Cultural Archives, document the experiences of black people in Britain during the second half of the 20th century, an area previously under-represented in the V&A’s 500,000-strong photographic collection. These photographs are coupled with works from 17 artists, as well as oral histories gathered by Black Cultural Archives from the photographers themselves, their relatives, and the people captured on camera.
For the second talk in the series that runs alongside the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition, we hear from Dr Sam Lackey, Curator at The Hepworth Wakefield who will discuss “what we talk about when we talk about art”. During this talk at 12.30pm on 16 April, visitors to York St Mary’s will be able to learn more about current approaches to contemporary art in an interactive and engaging session. Ahead of the event, we speak with Sam Lackey about her role at The Hepworth Wakefield.
Subodh Gupta’s solo exhibition, Seven Billion Light Years, at Hauser & Wirth, New York, hardly lives up to the triumph of his mid-career retrospective at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, in 2014. In the earlier show, Gupta’s imaginative use of the Duchampian readymade resulted in monumental sculptures devised from hundreds of shiny stainless steel kitchen utensils. The power of those works stemmed not only from Gupta’s innovative assemblages, but also from his choice of indigenous materials such as plates, boxes and implements that gave potency to ordinary commodities bought by every middle class Indian household.
Our 5 To See This Weekend features some of the top exhibitions currently on display around the world. From The Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s at the Hamburger Kunsthalle, which celebrates more than 30 international artists redefining “the image of woman” during that period, to Magda Biernat’s tranquil Adrift photography series on display at the Robert Klein Gallery in Boston. Our 5 To See This Weekend is our guide to the best exhibitions on offer right now.
Fotomuseum Winterthur launches its new exhibition programme titled SITUATIONS. This innovative platform offers a unique perspective on photographic culture in the digital age. Promoting itself as a new exhibition format, SITUATIONS challenges the boundaries of artistic interaction in the physical realm through an integration of the real with the virtual.
This year Art Paris Art Fair showcased Asian art, once again demonstrating how inventive and abundant the art scene in Asia still is. Of all the artists represented, Korean artists were the most eye-catching. Galerie Géraldine Banier hosted artists like the Korean Jung Min Choi whose wire sculptures added a delicate note of poetry. With its wire spider hanging above orange-tipped wire flowers, his Hommage à Louise is intended as a miniature, non-macabre nod to Louise Bourgeois.
Armenity: Contemporary Artists from the Armenian Diaspora, The National Pavilion for the Republic of Armenia, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice
The National Pavilion for the Republic of Armenia opens at the 56th edition of the Venice Biennale on 6 May. This year, Armenia will focus on the curatorial concept of Armenity, a complex theme which reflects heavily on the centenary of the Armenian Genocide. As part of the country’s commemorations, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia has dedicated its pavilion to contemporary artists from the Armenian diaspora. Works selected for the exhibition will encompass the notions of displacement and territory, justice and reconciliation, and ethos and resilience.
British-born Cig Harvey, now a resident of Maine and a full-time artist after a decade teaching art in Boston, uses photography to reveal the complexities underlying everyday life and our relationships with family and friends. Her work is filled not only with a sense of uncertainty but with moments of sheer elation at the beauty of things. Though her practice is deeply personal – with family members including her young daughter featuring in her latest project – Harvey’s ability to create a visual narrative has also led her to work on innovative international campaigns and features for New York Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar Japan, Kate Spade, and Bloomingdales.
Vera Drebusch has been shortlisted in this year’s Aesthetica Art Prize. Her performance pieces Preservation and Chocolates can be seen in the Art Prize exhibition, currently on display at York St Mary’s. Something as simple as a jar of jam or a box of chocolates can become entangled in questions of political and environmental conflict.
Dark shadows, contrasting colours, smooth and ruptured textures fill the works created by artist Andrew Browne (b. 1960) in his latest series Glimpse, which is currently on display at Martin Browne Contemporary. Glimpse showcases a selection of Brown’s work, which at first appears to be hyperreal photographic snapshots that are in fact oil paintings of recognisable natural scenes. Components within the works appear slightly out of place suggestive of a resistance towards the surrounding environment.
In 2011, Haunch of Venison, London, showcased a collection of work by the highly acclaimed director and photographer, Wim Wenders. Featured in Aesthetica Issue 40, the exhibition highlighted the artist’s distinctive style and sensitive imagery. Now, in celebration of Stiftung Museum Kunstpalast‘s upcoming show Wenders, Landscapes, Photographs in Düsseldorf, which appears in the current edition, we reflect on Places, strange and quiet from the Aesthetica archive.
HOME is an international centre for contemporary visual arts, theatre and film, whose opening programme features new commissions and international collaborations as well as off-site and interdisciplinary productions that represent a new and dynamic force in the UK’s arts scene and beyond.
There are ways in which the internet is like a ghost. It exists in the physical world spectrally, at once oppressively — or conveniently — pervasive and seemingly intangible, invisible and indefinite. The digitally literate know that the internet’s physical infrastructure spans the globe, manifesting in massive data centres, choke points where networks meet and transoceanic fibre optic cables. However, the cables lay deep beneath streets and oceans, and the data centres vanish under high security and into remote, removed landscapes. These literal and metaphorical burials serve to nourish the notion of internet-as-spectre.
Presented by Ikon and Nuova Icona, the Oratorio di San Ludovico will be home to a new video and performance project by emerging artist Nástio Mosquito. Mosquito, recently awarded the Future Generation Art Prize, comes from a career rooted in the broadcast industry, having previously worked as a cameraman and director. Born in Angola, educated in Portugal, and currently located in Belgium, the artist has an excellent world view, which comes through fantastically in his exciting and irreverent installations.
Will Shannon (b.1980) describes himself as: “designer, maker, artist, architect, prototyper, workplace designer, maybe”. The son of a cabinetmaker, he did a Fine Art degree at Chelsea College of Arts and then returned to his more practical roots with a Design Products MA at the Royal College of Art. His exhibition at mac Birmingham, curated by Craftspace, suggests that if art and craft and design are separate camps, he is on the road between them.