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Nicolás Muller: Traces of exile, Château De Tours, France

Organised by Jeu de Paume in collaboration with the City of Tours, and curated by Chema Conesa, this is the first show in France dedicated exclusively to Hungarian photographer Nicolás Muller; bringing together a hundred images and documents from the archives kept by his daughter Ana Muller.

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Jean Desmet’s Dream Factory: The Adventurous Years of Film (1907- 1916), EYE, Amsterdam

The beginning of the 20th century was an era of new technology, artistic ingenuity and creative entrepreneurship — comparable to today’s world where developments in the field of digital imagery succeed one another rapidly. This winter EYE highlights one of the most interesting periods in film history, through the collection of one of the biggest Dutch names in the field of theatrical film screening and distribution, Jean Desmet (1875-1956).

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Murray Fredericks: Recent Works, Hamiltons Galleries, London

For his latest series Australian photographer, Murray Fredericks, travelled alone with a bicycle and trailer, carrying his large format camera and supplies to capture a vast area of Southern Australia in severe weather conditions; taking both a physical and mental toll in order to capture the perfect frames.

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Olafur Eliasson: Contact Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

Designed by Frank Gehry and having opened to the public in October 2014, Fondation Louis Vuitton is now launching the second phase of its inaugural programme with an expansive exhibition of work by artist and inventor of Little Sun, Olafur Eliasson.

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Mapping the City, Somerset House, London

Mapping the City is an innovative exhibition of works by over 50 rising stars and internationally recognised artists from the street and graffiti art scenes who seek to inspire their audience to re-evaluate their own relationship to the cities in which they live. Curated in collaboration with A(by)P, the display will be complemented by a diverse programme of events including a series of film and music evenings, artists talks, performances and interactive workshops.

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João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva: Papagaio, Camden Arts Centre, London

For their first major show in London, Portuguese artists João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva will present a magical, immersive film installation. Their kaleidoscopic world created by 27 16mm films and two camera obscura installations, takes viewers on an imaginative journey into science, philosophy and religion with each film examining a particular consideration of material, animal or human behaviour that probes at the nature of truth and perception.

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Hiroshi Sugimoto: Still Life, Pace Gallery, London

Thirteen large-format photographs from conceptual artist Hiroshi Sugimoto’s ongoing Diorama series, executed between 1976 and 2012, feature far-flung landscapes which initially seem to be documents of the natural world. However, in fact taken from various museum dioramas, the pristine quality and stillness, tonal richness and seemingly infinite palette of blacks, whites, and grays of these large-scale pieces reveal their artificiality.

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Robert Heinecken: Lessons In Posing Subjects, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool

This is to be the first UK exhibition dedicated to the artist Robert Heinecken (1931–2006), widely regarded as one of America’s most influential post-war photographers and a pioneer of 20th century photographic experimentation. Describing himself as a “para-photographer” whose work stood beyond traditional photography, Heinecken rarely used a camera preferring to cut up and rework images found in newsstand and pornographic magazines to create a satire of American consumerism, the use of sex in sales, and the relationship between media and art.

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Don Gummer presents a new work for FAPE’s Site-Specific Collection

In collaboration with Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE), Don Gummer is to present a major site-specific sculpture for the US Embassy in Moscow, Russia, as part of its Site-Specific Collection. Founded in 1986, FAPE is the leading public-private partnership dedicated to providing permanent works of American art for U.S. embassies worldwide through site-specific commissions, original print and photography collections, preservation projects and other arts initiatives.

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Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014, ICA, London

For its 65th anniversary, Bloomberg New Contemporaries arrives at the ICA for the fifth time and selectors Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Enrico David and Goshka Macuga have chosen works by 55 of the most promising artists emerging from UK art schools out of 1,400 submissions. This year printmaking, moving image and performance comprise the majority of the final selection as well as an interest in modes of production and materiality, with artists exploring themes linked to current affairs, human behaviour and desires, the construction of language and narrative, and the ‘body’ in performative practices also takes centre stage.

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Sophie Calle’s First Solo Exhibition in China, Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong

For Sophie Calle’s first solo exhibition in China, the artist has covered an entire wall with images from her Cash Machine project. The piece first originated in 1988 and was extended 15 years later with the 30 minute film Unfinished. Calle used the video camera recordings of an American bank, which depicted clients going about their business, first as a series of stills and then as material to interview bank workers.

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Claude Rutault, Galerie Perrotin, New York

Incorporating 16 “de-finition/methods”, as well as four new pieces, this collection of works by Claude Rutault is the artist’s first solo exhibition in America following four decades of prominent and influential practice in France. Rutault’s work, beginning with a 1974 show staged at the office of a Parisian psychoanalyst, has consistently approached painting as a social practice embedded in the living relationships between artwork, artist, gallery, collector, museum and auction house.

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Akram Khan Curates One Side to the Other at The Lowry, Salford Quays

Renowned choreographer and dancer, Akram Khan curates the second in The Lowry’s Performer as Curator series, bringing together a personal selection of his influences in the form of sculpture, painting, photography, film, live installation and performance.

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Julie Cockburn: Waiting Room, Flowers Gallery, London

A new series of hand-altered portrait photographs, transformed by embroidered and painted embellishments, study the social territory of everyday encounters between strangers. With this work, Julie Cockburn draws parallels between the equally contemplative spaces of the gallery and the waiting room and looks to the unspoken human interactions that occur here.

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Brancusi: The Photographs, The Margulies Collection, Miami

Brancusi: The Photographs features 29 rare vintage gelatin silver prints from the early 20th century, produced by Brancusi, “one of the greatest artists of the Modern era” according to collector Martin Margulies. This is the first time that Brancusi has been exhibited in Florida, his prints shown alongside the historical sculptures of Miró and Noguchi – who worked as an apprentice in Brancusi’s studio from 1927-29 and was influenced by the master’s abstract forms.

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Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style, IWM London

To mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, this exhibition will explore how fashion survived and even flourished during wartime. In 300 exhibits including clothing, accessories, photographs and film, official documents and publications, artworks, wartime letters, interviews and ephemera, this display will reveal how men and women found new ways to dress as austerity measures and the rationing of clothes took hold. The pieces on show will demonstrate the amazing adaptability and ingenuity of the war-time public, who adopted more casual styles by renovating, recycling and creating their own clothes.

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Bolt Gallery for Russian Art and Design (GRAD), London

GRAD aims to spark new ideas through providing international audiences with insights into Russian art, design and culture. Through costume designs and period photographs, this exhibition explores Bolt, Dmitri Shostakovich’s ballet written in 1931, a musical experimentation full of skulduggery and drunken conspiracy, which was forbidden to stand on stage for 74 years as it was suspected to be a satirical piece, mocking the Soviet authorities. In fact, constructivist values are reflected in all of Bolt, with Shostakovich commissioned by the Moscow Art Theatre to compose the score to a ballet that would serve and support the goals of socialism and communism. Combining circus music, waltzes, marches and tangos together with popular tunes, the composer envisaged the piece to be a celebration of the proletariat.

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5 to See This Weekend

With the holiday season on its way, there’s plenty of time to squeeze in a few of the best exhibitions taking place around the world. From Mike Nelson’s contemplative installation on British and Canadian culture at Tramway, Glasgow, to an insightful and inspiring showcase of photojournalism in the analogue-age at C/O Berlin, we take a look at a selection of new and ongoing shows that experiment with a range of disciplines including painting, installation and photography. Read on to see our favourite picks for the last weekend before Christmas. 

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Review of Pipilotti Rist: Worry Will Vanish Horizon, Hauser & Wirth, London

Hauser & Wirth’s north gallery on Savile Row is a space that has been transformed in many possible ways, but this time the micro environment created for Pipilotti Rist’s show emerged as an unexpected -nevertheless pleasant- surprise. The entire gallery has been blacked out, carpeted and split into two sectors. At the reception area, where three smaller scale “introductory” video installations puts the audience in the mood for what is ahead, visitors are prompted to take their shoes off and proceed to the main section through a heavy denim curtain. There, white cosy duvets are scattered around the floor and everyone is free to use them as they please and relax while watching the video installation projected on the two large walls of the gallery.

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Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974-1989, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

On 7 February the Hammer Museum presents the first museum survey of LA-based conceptual artist Charles Gaines’ early work. The exhibition, entitled Gridwork 1974-1989, will feature 11 different series of over 80 works and relevant ephemera from the early years of Gaines’ four decade career. A leading practitioner of conceptual art and an influential educator at the California State University, Fresno, Gaines is recognised for his outstanding work in photography and drawing, as well as his use of paper to investigate themes of systems, cognition, and language. 

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London Short Film Festival Announces 2015 Programme

For the 12th year, London Short Film Festival returns with an outstanding programme of events and short films. Running 9 – 18 January at  ICAHackney Picturehouse and Oval Space, the festival aims to be  as confrontational as ever and prove that the UK is truly a hotbed of film creativity. This year, LSFF received an 1,500 submissions in total, including international submissions for the first time, as such the event is sure to showcase the innovation of short filmmakers today.

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India Art Fair 2015, New Delhi

India’s premier modern and contemporary art fair returns to New Delhi for its 7th edition. Supported by YES Bank, India Art Fair is one of the most important platforms for facilitating creative dialogue and promoting art trade in the region. The 2015 fair, commencing on the 29 January, sees 85 galleries exhibiting across 90 booths, each stand showcasing a breath of modern and contemporary art practices including painting, sculpture, new media, installation and performance art. The upcoming fair promises to offer a curatorial focus on international diversity.

Top 10 Exhibitions in 2014

2014 has been a great year for contemporary art exhibitions. The huge range of practices on display demonstrates the variety of artistic approaches being developed across the world. From Guy Bourdin to Barbara Kruger, Martin Creed to Annette Messager, all of the artists listed here demonstrate both skill and thought. We take a look at the top 10 exhibitions from 2014, considering why these shows were so important.

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Interview with Painter and Sculptor Maggi Hambling, Wall of Water at the National Gallery

Known for her sculptures Scallop (2003) and In Conversation with Oscar Wilde (1998), Maggi Hambling has established herself as one of Britain’s most significant and controversial painters and sculptors. In her latest exhibition Wall of Water, Hambling returns to the National Gallery to celebrate her work in painting, with a vivacious presentation of contemporary seascapes inspired by the gigantic crashing waves the artist experienced at Southwold, Suffolk, in 2010. Running concurrently with the more conventional work of  Norwegian artist Peder Balke (1804-1887), the Wall of Water series bursts with a painterly restlessness, and features exuberantly coloured canvases alongside a group of abrupt, stark monotypes. Aesthetica speaks to Hambling about her ongoing motivations as a painter and sculptor working in Britain.

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Interview with Photographer Joël Tettamanti, Featured in Aesthetica Issue 62

In the midst of a white snowscape, Joël Tettamanti (b. 1977) finds moments of captivating colour. While travelling across Greenland, he discovered objects and buildings which had managed to escape the thick layers of snow engulfing the region. The primary coloured houses associated with the Northern Hemisphere stand out against the washed-out streets, and even the most mundane objects become almost mystical half-disguised in the frosty weather. Tettamanti’s beautiful photographs are currently showcased in Issue 62 of Aesthetica. We speak to Tettamanti about his approach to his work.

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Built from Life, Abraham Cruzvillegas in Aesthetica Magazine

Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas’ sculptures appear haphazard, disjointed and improvisational – and they are. Inspired by his parental home in Ajusco, a district in the south of Mexico City, he calls the sculptures autoconstruccións (or “self-construction”), as he sees them arising out of the environment that surrounds them. His parents, like many of their neighbours, built their house themselves, creating an improvisatory domestic edifice contingent on the availability of materials and the environment in which it was situated.

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Reality Departure: Angela Smith, Louis Savage & Katrine Roberts, Lacey Contemporary

The second instalment of Lacey Contemporary’s launch of its gallery artists showcases the work of three young British painters. Reality Departure explores painting’s ability to capture the world as it is mediated by the human mind, in this case by the minds of three aesthetically different but spiritually similar artists.

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Review of Allen Jones, Royal Academy of Arts, London

There is more to Allen Jones than those tables. As if to acknowledge this fact, the curators of this retrospective have placed two of them right at the beginning of the exhibition. Once the shock and awe is over, the show unfolds to reveal the unfailing ingenuity of a British Pop artist who turns out to be both a brilliant painter and an incisive critic of modernity.

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5 To See This Weekend

With Christmas just around the corner, its time to weave some creativity into the busy festive schedule. In our 5 To See This Weekend we select the best in contemporary art from London to Sydney, Paris to New York. In Australia, MCA‘s expansive Chuck Close retrospective pays special attention to the American portrait painter’s lesser-known work as a printmaker and photographer, whilst Marian Goodman opened a new Juan Muñoz exhibition this week, celebrating the artist’s key works in sculpture. There’s also still time to catch Hayward Gallery‘s exploration of London’s digital age in Mirrorcity. Read on to find out more.

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The Art Fund Launch Nationwide Search for Museum of the Year 2015

The Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year launches its competition for 2015. The search for the next top UK museum or gallery begins this week, after director of the Art Fund and chair of the judging panel, Stephen Deuchar, revealed the international jury line-up of artist Michael Landy; design critic Alice Rawsthorn; Fiammetta Rocco, arts editor of The Economist , and Axel Rüger, director of Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum. This year’s arts institutions will be competing for recognition as one of the UK’s most outstanding venues, through the demonstration of their bold artistic vision and engaging visitors’ programme. 

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Review of Marie Lund: Dip, Laura Bartlett Gallery, London

Marie Lund’s new exhibition at Laura Bartlett, her second solo show at the gallery, feels like the most considered and erudite articulation of themes in the artist’s work that have been gaining momentum for a few years now. Work featured at Art Basel this year, as well as in Mexico, Florence and at Frieze, provides the departure point for the sculptures and picture pieces here, which combine to form a particularly cohesive showing.

Disinformation, The Analysis of Beauty, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh

The first instalment of gap in the air festival took place in November with a mesmerising in-situ sound and video piece by noise DJ, artist and researcher Joe Banks. Working under the guise of Disinformation since 1995, Banks has pioneered the use of electromagnetic (radio) noise from sources such as mains electricity, lightning, laboratory equipment, and even the sun, to generate malleable sonic material. For The Analysis of Beauty at the Talbot Rice’s Georgian Gallery, Banks found inspiration in William Hogarth’s famous thesis on serpentine lines and his belief that S-shaped lines were active, lively and stimulating, and therefore beautiful.

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Playtime: Nine Artists Celebrate the Iconic Venue, Cornerhouse, Manchester

Moving sites in spring 2015, Manchester-based cross art form organisation, Cornerhouse, closes its current space with nine international artists, filmmakers and musicians celebrating the iconic venue: Rosa Barba, Niklas Goldbach, Andy Graydon, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Gabriel Lester, Naomi Kashiwagi, Shannon Plumb, Humberto Vélez and Jan St Werner.

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Self, Ordovas Gallery, London

In Self, the current exhibition on display at Ordovas Gallery, London, artistic mastery by four of the most revered artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, is championed. Rarely seen works deliver over a century of captivating self-portrayal, as it develops from the capturing of a moment in time fuelled by an artists’ inner most anguishes, to a tool used to help sculpt further thought on the desire for legacy after death.

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World Wide Women: Ritual, Cob Studios, The Cob Gallery, London

Established by fine-art photographer Anouska Beckwith in 2012, World Wide Women is an all-female international collective of photographers and artists which seeks to represent the free spirit of women in the contemporary art world. The group of 34 female artists defines itself as a sisterhood, united in effecting change through art; their shared vision stands as a feminist one, promoting equality, restoring balance and encouraging female empowerment through entirely positive action.

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Interview with Whitney Hintz, Curator of the Hiscox Collection

The Hiscox Collection comprises approximately 600 works on display across the company’s offices in the UK, Europe and USA. One of the latest acquisitions was 541 días, a photographic series of five portraits by Chilean artist Inés Molina Navea, who was one of the finalists in the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition 2014. In these digital portraits Molina Navea superimposes details taken from photographs of up to five different faces to create images of people who have never existed. We talk to Whitney Hintz, independent adviser and Curator of the Hiscox Collection, previously Associate Director at Frith Street Gallery, about the Collection and how she uses art to enhance the working environment.

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Artist Filmmaker Ursula Mayer Wins the 2014 Film London Jarman Award

Film London has announced Ursula Mayer as winner of the 2014 Jarman Award. The Austrian-born filmmaker was selected from a shortlist of 10 visionary and boundary-crossing visual artists working in the UK. An annual celebration of experimentation, imagination and inspiration, the award recognises artist filmmakers whose creative practice defies conventional classification or definition. As winner of the seventh Jarman Award, Mayer joins the ranks of previous prize recipients Luke Fowler, Lindsay Seers, Emily Wardill, Anya Kirschner & David Panos, James Richards and John Smith.

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Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology Presents the Winners and Finalists for 2014

The compelling collection of poetry and short fiction in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology unites established and emerging literary talent from around the world, and features the winners and finalists from this year’s Aesthetica Creative Writing Award. The prize was established to celebrate writers and poets and showcase their work to a wider audience. With over 140 pages of captivating stories in under 2,000 words alongside contemporary poetry, the anthology is a great opportunity for literary lovers to discover inspirational new writing.

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Review of The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From Catwalk to Sidewalk, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

In recent years, the National Gallery of Victoria has been criticised for shying away from traditional “art exhibitions” and instead playing fodder to the masses with its interest in so-called “blockbuster” fashion and photography shows. Given that the gallery is one of Australia’s major national galleries, many have been suspicious of the programme list for the NGV for the last few years. The new Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition may be yet another (unhappy) instance of the Gallery entertaining mainstream crossovers into the world of star politics and celebrity culture.

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What is David Bowie, David Bowie in Aesthetica Magazine

There are few musicians who can parallel the aesthetic and imaginative influence of David Bowie – master of storytelling, fantasy and re-invention – over the past five decades. Ranging from androgynous alien Ziggy Stardust to the Japanese motifs of the schizophrenic Aladdin Sane, from the monochromatic classicism of the Thin White Duke to the dystopian metropolis of the Diamond Dogs, the characters and constructions of Bowie’s imagination have transcended the traditional boundaries of rock and pop music.