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Review of Contemporary African Art Fair 1:54, London

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.

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Enrique Martínez Celaya, The Seaman’s Crop, Parafin, London

A selection of new work by Enrique Martínez Celaya is currently on show at Parafin. In The Seaman’s Crop, the Cuban-American artist’s first exhibition in London since 2010, Martínez Celaya presents a collection of painting, sculpture and installation made during a recent residency at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. 

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Interview with Interdisciplinary Artist, Gayil Nalls

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. 

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Ida Ekblad, A Day of Toils Among its Ruins and A Gentle Looking Little Alien of Sorts, Herald St and Herald St Golden Square, London

In her second solo show at Herald St, Ida Ekblad presents two new bodies of work in painting, stretching across the gallery’s twinned sites: A Day of Toils Among its Ruins at Herald St and A Gentle Looking Little Alien of Sorts at Herald St Golden Square. Fuelling the Norwegian artist’s chance-based practice, is an eager search for renewal and nourishment in an urban context. Foraging, collecting and inspired by the resources found on her daily walks, Ekblad brings the essence of everyday, discarded materials into the painter’s process. 

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Juan Fernando Herrán is Awarded The Fifth Prix Pictet Commission

The Colombian photographer Juan Fernando Herrán has been announced as the winner of the fifth Prix Pictet Commission. Selected by partners of the Pictet Group, Herrán will respond to the commission’s theme of Consumption and produce a series of photographs examining the material culture in three of Colombia’s indigenous communities.

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Review of Horst P. Horst: Horst Vintage, Hamiltons London

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.

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Review of Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963 – 2010, Tate Modern, London

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.

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Multiplied Contemporary Editions, Christie’s South Kensington, London

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.

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Jonas Burgert: STÜCK HIRN BLIND, Blain|Southern

In his first solo show in London in over five years, acclaimed German artist Jonas Burgert exhibits an exciting new body of work, exploring the notion of a world suspended in time. STÜCK HIRN BLIND at Blain|Southern presents the artist’s largest painting to date – a monumental work spanning eight metres – along with two figurative bronze sculptures, offering viewers an insight into Burgert’s shadowy reflections on the detritus surrounding the existence of mankind.

Interview with Gemma Metheringham, Chief Creative Officer at Karen Millen

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.

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Helen Chadwick, Bad Blooms, Richard Saltoun Gallery, London

One of the most important women artists to emerge in the last 30 years, Helen Chadwick stands at the intersection of conceptual-performative art and feminist thinking. Through her teaching posts she has influenced an entire generation of contemporary British artists, and in her career as a practitioner, Chadwick is recognised as one of the first women artists to be nominated for the Turner Prize.

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Review of Frieze London: The Acrobatic Rise of Performance Art

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.

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Howard Hodgkin, Green Thoughts, Alan Cristea Gallery, London

Alan Cristea Gallery presents Green Thoughts: a showcase of new work by one of Britain’s most admired abstract painters and printmakers, Howard Hodgkin. Previous Turner Prize-winner, British representative at the 1984 Venice Biennale, and CBE for his services to the arts, Hodgkin is an artist not to be missed. In his latest exhibition, 19 limited editions, including a special hand-painted carborundum relief entitled For Alan (2014), are revealed to the public for the first time. Printed in seven colour variations, these new works are a testament to both Hodgkin’s inspiring creative achievements, and his close long-standing working relationship with gallery owner and publisher Alan Cristea.

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Frieze London 2014: Highlights for the 12th Edition

The leading international contemporary art fair, Frieze London, returns to the heart of the UK’s capital, London’s Regent’s Park, for its 12th edition. Sponsored by Deutsche Bank and designed by Universal Design Studio, this autumn’s fair sees a few changes with the inclusion of two specialist sections: Focus, a celebration and fostering of emerging galleries up to 12 years old, and Live, a haven for performance or participatory-based work. Also new to 2014, is the fair’s novel allegiance to public space, using themes of contract, texture and tone. Design highlights of the fair’s bespoke housing include a timber-lined entrance courtyard and dedicated ancillary spaces.

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Jean Tinguely, Hauser & Wirth, Frieze Masters, London

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.

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Alighiero Boetti: i Colori, Luxembourg & Dayan, Frieze Masters, London

A special presentation of Alighiero Boetti’s post-war conceptual work graces the Frieze Masters programme, 15 – 19 October. The exhibition, staged by Luxembourg & Dayan, focuses on i Colori (1967) : a series of Boetti’s early monochromes, first shown at Galleria Stein, Turin, back in 1967. The prints feature superimposed, prefabricated cork letters on square wood and metal panels, and are uniformly coloured by a single industrial pigment. With their hard-edged, modern, glossy and urban feel, these works have been relatively unexplored and uncelebrated, until now.

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Kinetica Art Fair Artist Interview: Alex May

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.

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Jo-ey Tang, curator at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, discusses Inside China

Palais de Tokyo, Paris, continues to enhance it’s international agenda with Inside China – L’intérieur du Géant, running alongside the major exhibition, Inside, and opening 20 October. Curator, Jo-ey Tang, traveled across China and Southeast Asia to select five Chinese artists to be presented alongside three French artists including the renowned Nadar. Tang speaks to Aesthetica about the outstanding creatives he found and the origins of the project. 

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Lacey Contemporary, London, is Now Open

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.

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The Other Art Fair, 16-19 October, London

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.

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5 Exhibitions To See During Frieze London

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.

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Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life 1990-2005 at ArtScience Museum, Singapore

“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.

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Frank Bowling: Traingone Spritmuseum, Stockholm

British artist, Frank Bowling OBE is widely considered to be one of the most distinguished artists to emerge from post-war British art schools. Traingone features a series of Bowling’s large-scale abstract paintings, informed by the principles of mathematics and symmetry and made between the 1970s and 1990s.

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Artistic Director of FotoFocus Biennial, Kevin Moore, Discusses Vivian Maier

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.

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Justin Adian: Strangers Skarstedt, London

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.

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The Next Generation: Sadaf Chezari

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.

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Turner Prize 2014 Tate Britain, London

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.

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Interview with Aesthetica Art Prize Longlisted Artist Sarah Shaw

Artist Sarah Shaw studied Fine Art at Falmouth College of Art and has since exhibited widely in the UK, her work being purchased by private collectors in both the UK and abroad. She was shortlisted for both the Saatchi and Beers-Lambert competitions and was a finalist in the National Open Art Competition. Shaw’s piece Monolith V, in the painting and drawing category, was selected for the Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology in 2013.

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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?

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Jean Tinguely: Hauser & Wirth at Frieze Masters, London

Running alongside the contemporary art fair Frieze London, Frieze Masters offers a unique view of the relationship between old and new art. Visitors to Booth B5 at the fair this year will be able to enjoy a new solo presentation of works by Swiss artist Jean Tinguely, staged by Hauser & Wirth. Best known for his kinetic mechanical sculptures, Tinguely’s (1925 – 1991) work explores the aesthetics of movement and utilses found objects in a witty and whimsical way.

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Review of Gallery Weekend Mexico

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.

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Fotofever, Photography Art Fair: An All-Encompassing Photography Platform

The Carrousel du Louvre welcomes the international photography fair for the fifth time. Founded by Cécile Schall, grand-daughter to Roger Schall, this is an inimitable Parisian event which presents the opportunity to view works from a young, creative generation, soaring in popularity amongst collectors. For fotofever’s 2014 edition, a selection of over 100 international galleries will take the limelight – over half of which specialise solely in photography – all exhibiting emerging artists of tomorrow.

Shinro Ohtake, Parasol Unit, London

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.

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Review of Horst Photographer of Style, V&A, London

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. 

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Aesthetica Issue 61 October/November Out Now

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.

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The Future: Artist Residency at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge

Wysing Arts Centre celebrates its 25th birthday with a residency programme focusing upon ‘the future,’ exploring future potential through what we know of the past. In response to an open call, almost 300 artists applied to take part in the residency, The Future, and the final selection includes: Olivier Castel, Julia Crabtree and William Evans, Jesse Darling, and Alice Theobald.

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Interview with Artistic Director of Forced Entertainment, Tim Etchells

Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Forced Entertainment has spent the last three decades pushing the boundaries of contemporary performance. Founded in 1984 by six recently graduated artists, the theatrical group have created numerous productions that have continued to play with language, staging, costume, lighting, humour, narrative sound and the very nature of a performance piece. Artistic Director Tim Etchells is also a solo artist and has seen his work exhibited internationally. This year he is officially Artist of the City of Lisbon. He speaks to Aesthetica about upcoming performance, The Notebook, and his ability to sustain a theatre company for 30 years.

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The Next Generation: Alice Myers

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. Award-winning photographer Alice Myers has pursued documentary projects in Mexico, Ireland and France. Her works look at migrants attempting to cross borders and her series Nothing is Impossible Under the Sun captured people in Calais trying to get into the UK. She speaks to us about the impact of winning awards and her interest in border crossing.

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Nabil Nahas, Phoenix Dactylifera, Ben Brown Fine Arts, London

The 16 October hosts the opening of Nabil Nahas’ new exhibition in London. The title of the exhibit, Phoenix Dactylifera, derives from the artist’s heritage and is the name of the native Date Palm tree from the Middle East. As one of Lebanon’s most significant contemporary artists, Nahas will be the most noteworthy and first to exhibit in the UK to date.

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The Modern Lens: International Photography and the Tate collection Tate St Ives

The Modern Lens is the largest display of photographic works ever to be exhibited at Tate St Ives, looking at developments in international photography from the 1920s to the 1960s through the work of pioneering artists from across Europe, the Americas and Japan.