Siezure, (2008), Roger Hiorns. An Artangel commission. Photo by Marcus Leith.

Artangel Open – Deadline 28 February 2014

Artangel Open is inviting artists working in all media across the UK to submit bold, site-specific proposals that will transform and enrich the UK’s cultural landscape. Championing innovation and creativity is at the heart of this project; a £1 million initiative running in alliance with BBC Radio 4. Deadline for submissions is 28 February 2014.

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Art Projects at London Art Fair 2014

In a new section of Art Projects, a pivotal component of the annual London Art Fair, a series of collaborations between emerging UK and international galleries is to take place. Curated by MOSTYN Wales‘ Adam Carr and entitled Dialogues, this new initiative on display at the Fair from 15-19 January sees galleries and artists join forces, promising a unique exhibition of critical conversations, awash with the excitement of shared ideas and common visuals. Aesthetica partners with the London Art Fair and exclusive copies of the magazine will be available for guests.

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5 To See This Weekend

Running into the mid-point of December and with just days to go until the all-important business of Christmas truly begins, this weekend is unquestionably the one to take a breather from the festivities to revel in the best exhibitions still on offer at galleries around the world. From stylish fashion illustration to prize-winning portraits, a cobbled road in Bradford to the streets of Italy, there’s plenty going on this Saturday and Sunday to drag you away from the mince pies and Christmas shopping. Here’s five of the best.

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The Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2014: The Perfect Gift for Literature Lovers this Christmas

With the countdown to Christmas well and truly underway, look no further for festive inspiration than the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2014. The perfect gift for any literature lover, the Annual promises to inspire, stimulate and intrigue with an outstanding celebration of poetry and short fiction. This compelling collection unites established and emerging literary talent from across the world, featuring the winners and finalists from this year’s Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition. Covering a broad range of topics, the anthology invites the reader to explore the different facets of contemporary life, resonating on many levels. The collection can be returned to time and time again, sparking a passion for new writing.

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Art Basel Miami Beach Opens Today

Classic art deco boulevards, long white beaches and a glitzy night life provide the backdrop to Art Basel Miami Beach. Art Basel – which began in 1970 and also shows in Hong Kong and Basel – is recognised as a premier international art fair and attracts more than 50,000 visitors and 250 of the world’s leading galleries each year. Presented across eight sectors, the ocean-front located event allows visitors to explore some of the world’s best sculpture, film, art publications, paintings and classical photography, as well as site-specific works which take advantage of the iconic Miami Beach setting. Aesthetica takes a look behind the scenes at a selection of galleries to look out for at this year’s event.

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Issue 56 December / January Out Now

Issue 56 December / January of Aesthetica is in shops now! In this edition we consider the importance of reflecting upon the things you have done, as well as those you didn’t do and will go on to do in the future. We start with Hello, my name is Paul Smith, which is on now at the Design Museum, London, and looks at the art, fashion and creative ingenuity of one of Britain’s leading designers. We also examine The Desire for Freedom. Art in Europe since 1945 at MOCAK in Krakow, Poland. At MoMA in New York, European art is also being showcased: Isa Genzken’s installations and sculptures are the subject of a massive retrospective, which surveys the layers of her work.

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Interview with John Cheim of Cheim & Read

John Cheim is primarily known as one half of influential New York gallery Cheim & Read. However, Cheim is also an outstanding book designer and has produced a number of important artist publications over the last 30 years including monographs on Louise Bourgeois, Alice Nell, Jack Pierson and Bruce Weber, to a name a few. From 15 October until 17 November his work appears at the ICA in a presentation that sheds light on his career as a book designer. Aesthetica speaks to Cheim about his design projects and his new exhibition.

Interview with Desmond Morris on The Artistic Ape

Long before Desmond Morris had startled the world with his book The Naked Ape, Morris has already gripped public attention as a painter. Now ranked as one of the foremost exponents of surrealism in Britain, Morris encapsulates the sociological importance of art through his paintings and books. His new book The Artistic Ape looks at artistic production in humans – how it began and why we pursue it with such intensity all over the world. We asked Desmond what we can expect from The Artist Ape and his relationship with zoology and art.

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Issue 55 October/November Aesthetica Out Now

Issue 55 of Aesthetica is in shops now. This issue concentrates on redefinitions as a way of constructing new meaning. The artists featured expand across decades of contemporary practice, and the works included test the resilience of the artist. Inside we start with a look at Elmgreen & Dragset’s latest installation Tomorrow, which takes over the former Textile Galleries at the V&A, London. The artists have created an apartment belonging to a fictional, elderly and disillusioned architect to comment on the loneliness and alienation ever-present in today’s society.

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Buy Art Fair, Manchester

The largest art buying events in the North of England open later this week. Buy Art Fair and The Manchester Contemporary will return to Hardman Boulevard, Spinningfields, Manchester from 26 to 29 September. Following its unparalleled success in 2012, Buy Art Fair, the UK’s biggest contemporary art fair outside London, celebrates its sixth year, while its sister show, The Manchester Contemporary, will mark its fifth anniversary showcasing world-class, critically engaged contemporary art.

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Formento+Formento: Circumstance

This September Formento+Formento celebrates the launch of a new artbook, Circumstance. The book will be released by YellowKorner internationally and will arrive in the UK on 12 September and in France on 18 September. The photographic duo, made up of BJ and Rochelle Formento, will attend a special evening event on Wednesday 18 September at the YellowKorner gallery in the Pompidou centre. Featured on two covers of Aesthetica, Formento+Formento’s striking frames uncover cinematic beauty and theatrical stories.

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Susan Yardley: SCAR, Finalist in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012

There’s still over a week left to enter the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2013. Now in its sixth year, the competition is a fantastic opportunity for emerging and established writers to showcase their work to a wider, international audience. Register your poetry or short fiction by 31 August for a chance to win publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual, £500 prize money and a selection of inspirational books. To mark this exciting event in the Aesthetica calendar, we’re taking a look at one of last year’s finalists Susan Yardley with her short story SCAR.

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Isabel Bermudez: January, Mortlake, Shortlisted for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012

Shortlisted for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012, Isabel Bermudez was born in Bogota in 1968 and grew up in London. Her poetry has been shortlisted in a number of competitions including the Bridport Prize, and published in a range of magazines. She also writes short stories. Read Bermudez’s poem January, Mortlake published in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2013.

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Anna Wallace-Thompson: Shortlisted for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012

Shortlisted for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012, Anna Wallace-Thompson is a Middle Eastern contemporary arts journalist who grew up predominantly in Dubai. Writing for Canvas, The Art Newspaper and Frieze, and featured in the anthology Des Autres/Of Others, she is working on a collection of short stories inspired by the region. Anna Wallace-Thompson’s short story Taxis pour les Galaxies was published in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2013. Read an extract from Wallace-Thompson’s short story below.

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Nick Boreham: Red, Shortlisted for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition

Shortlisted for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012, Nick Boreham writes poems and short stories which have appeared in a number of publications including Poetry Scotland, Equinox and several anthologies. His works were published in the Aesthetica Creative Works Annual for 2009 and 2011. As indicated by its title, Red is an exploration of colour and powerfully speaks about the changing significance of the colour red in different contexts. Read Nick Boreham’s poem Red below.

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One Month To Go: Enter the Aesthetica Art Prize

In a celebration of contemporary art, innovative and outstanding works shortlisted from the Aesthetica Art Prize will be displayed in the enchanting setting of York St Mary’sYork Art Gallery’s contemporary art space next spring following the great success of last year’s inaugural exhibition held at the same venue. With only one month left to enter, we take a closer look at this one aspect of the Art Prize which offers both emerging and established artists the opportunity to showcase their work to a wider audience in an innovative and fascinating setting.

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Samuel Wright: Simple Present, Short Fiction Finalist in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012

Shortlisted for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012, Samuel Wright is an English teacher. His stories have appeared in a variety of collections and magazines, including the 2011 Bristol Short Story Prize anthologies, and have been performed on stage at Liar’s League events in London. He is currently working on a collaborative story and image project on Hackney Marshes. Themed around daily habitual life, Samuel Wright’s short story Simple Present is a captivating read seeking to address the routine and unchanging events occurring in a day. The introductory paragraphs are captured here in an extract; the full story was published in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2013, along with other finalists and the winning entries. The deadline for this years competition is 31 August. 

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Interview with Creative Writing Competition 2012 Finalist, Susan A. Katz

Susan A. Katz has been writing and loving poetry all her life. Her work has appeared in The American Scholar, The Kansas Quarterly, The Anthology of Magazine Verse and Yearbook of American Poetry, besides dozens of other literary publications. As a finalist in last year’s Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition, her poem Born Twice was published in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual 2013. Here, Susan talks in an interview about her creative inspiration, passion for interdisciplinary art practice, and how publication in the Aesthetica Annual sparked new creative ideas.

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Aquatopia, Nottingham Contemporary

Even in the modern age, 90 percent of the earth’s oceans still remain unexplored. Every time the ocean is further investigated many “new” species are uncovered. Due to the lack of facts surrounding the deep, imagination takes the reins and as such legends of monsters and mermaids have long been popular. The sea has often embodied subconscious fears and unnamed desires and Aquatopia examines how the ocean comes alive in human minds. Running at Nottingham Contemporary, the major exhibition continues from 22 July until 22 September.

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Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition Prizes: Bloodaxe & Vintage Books

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2013 is open for entries. Now in its sixth year, the competition offers both existing and aspiring writers the chance to showcase their work to a wider, international audience. It celebrates and nurtures creative talent, and previous entrants have gone on to achieve success and recognition across the world. Prizes for the winners of the Poetry and Short Fiction categories include a selection of books by our competition partners Bloodaxe Books and Vintage Books, who have inspired poets and writers for generations. The collection of prize books will provide a platform to gather inspiration and creative writing ideas, helping to propel your writing career onto new ground.

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Interview with Sylvia Adams: Winner of the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012

Sylvia Adams is author of a novel, a poetry collection, an award-winning chapbook and a children’s book. She speaks to Aesthetica about  her career as a writer and also her experience  in taking part in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition last year. Her poem Water was the winning entry in the Poetry category, and was published along with the Short Fiction winner and finalists in the Creative Writing Annual 2013. The deadline for the 2013 competition is 31 August.

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Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition at York St Mary’s

With the Aesthetica Art Prize open for entries, we take a closer look at one of the opportunities available for both shortlisted and longlisted artists. In a celebration of contemporary art, innovative and outstanding works entered into this year’s Prize will be displayed in the enchanting setting of York St Mary’s, York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space. The group exhibition forms part of the prize for eight shortlisted artists; the remaining longlisted works will also be projected within the space in a fantastic opportunity for 100 entrants to gain significant exposure and introduce their work to a wider audience.

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Winning Poem Water by Sylvia Adams, the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012

Sylvia Adams is author of a novel, a poetry collection, an award-winning chapbook and a children’s book. As a writing instructor, book reviewer and former poetry columnist for The Ottowa Citizen, her contributions to the literary world have been great and far-reaching. Sylvia’s poem Water was the winning entry of the Poetry category in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012, which features in the Creative Writing Annual 2013 and can be read here. This year’s Creative Writing Competition is now open for entries, providing both aspiring and established writers the opportunity to showcase their work to a wider, international audience. Deadline for entries is 31 August 2013.

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Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition Prizes: Win publication within the Creative Writing Annual

Inside the Creative Writing Annual 2013 you will find short fiction and poetry to stimulate, intrigue and inspire you long after reading. The writers included in this collection are the winners and finalists from the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012. Covering a broad range of themes, this anthology invites you to explore the different facets of contemporary life, resonating on many levels.

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Interview with Kate Nowakowski: Winner of the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition

Winner of the Short Fiction category of the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012, Kate Nowakowski speaks to Aesthetica about her success and her advice to writers. There is still chance to submit Short Fiction or Poetry to the Creative Writing Competition 2013. The final deadline for submissions is 31 August.

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Aesthetica Art Prize Open for Entries

The Aesthetica Art Prize 2013 is now open for entries, offering both budding and established artists the opportunity to showcase their work to a wider, international audience. Now in its sixth year the competition is a celebration of visual art, inviting all artists to submit imaginative and innovative work that pushes the boundaries of their chosen medium. Committed to nurturing new and existing talent, the Aesthetica Art Prize is a fantastic opportunity to develop your presence in the international art world. Prizes include up to £1000 in cash, a group exhibition, six months studio space, six mentoring sessions and editorial coverage in Aesthetica Magazine, which has a readership of 140,000 worldwide.

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A Cuckoo’s Broken Wing, Short Fiction Winner from Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012

Kate Nowakowski’s captivating short story A Cuckoo’s Broken Wing, is the winning entry for Short Fiction in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012. There is still chance to submit Short Fiction or Poetry to the Creative Writing Competition 2013. The final deadline for submissions is 31 August and the following is an extract from Nowakowski’s story.

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Interview with Artist & Creator of Playlust, Play Hunter

Born and bred in Zurich, Play Hunter is an artist, author and creative entrepreneur. Studying Fine Arts at Saint Martins College of Art, London, Hunter set up her website Playlust back in 2007. Six years later, what began as just a space for portraits of artist friends, transformed into a hub of artistic discussion across the world. Aesthetica speaks to Hunter about her inspiration, her exhibitions and her first photo book Now & Wow – A Style Hunter’s Book of Photographs.

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Aesthetica Issue 54, June/July Out Now

We are living in interesting times. The past five years have seen a dramatic shift in our attitudes and behaviour, however I have recently noticed an undercurrent of optimism. I am excited by this, and it can be seen in new works by a range of artists. I pose a question: is the age of doom and gloom over? I think so.

Review of Oat Montien’s Ex-Libris at The Book Club, London

The enchanting nature of books is a childhood gift experienced long before we are able to understand the words on a page. This experience is something artist Oat Montien successfully evokes through his first solo show in London. The Book Club, based in London’s east end, plays host to the innovative Ex-Libris collection and sees the natural collaboration of books in The Book Club.  Each work reflects the comforting retreat books offered in our early years. 

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Review of Bowie Is, London

When an important, popular figure dies, fans seem to need more than their legacy – more than their work – to remember them by, to cling to them through. Physical mementoes, objects – things which that specific person touched, used, loved – are obsessed over; particles of skin and saliva on a napkin George Harrison used take on strange importance. Voyeurism and celebrity obsession have grown to a point now where people are paying up to $15,000 for a pair of stained underpants worn by Elvis Presley, a rumoured million for a pair of John Lennon’s glasses, and, perhaps most bizarrely, $45,000 for a set of three X-rays of Marilyn Monroe’s chest. However, this strange obsession we seem to have with the physical remnants left in the wake of our popular icons can be traced back a surprisingly long way. Darwin’s beard, for example, Abraham Lincoln’s hair and even Galileo’s finger have survived decomposition and remain, today, preserved behind glass for us all to gawk at.

Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography

Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography is a city-wide event, featuring exhibitions, screenings, performances and events showcasing outstanding photographic work from around the world, and providing a major new platform for Welsh artists. Hosted by Ffotogallery, the month long celebration (1 – 31 May) of photography includes highlights such as the world premiere of award-winning filmmaker Gideon Koppel’s B O R T H and Lure, a major exhibition of new work by Helen Sear, another of Wales’ most important and insightful artists.

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Aesthetica April/May Out Now

Aesthetica Issue 52 is now out in the shops. Inside this issue, we start with Amalia Pica’s latest exhibition, which opens in April at MCA Chicago and is the artist’s first major solo museum show in the USA, including 15 of her most significant works. We also look at the Julio Le Parc retrospective on now at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, presenting a vast survey of the artist’s work from the 1950s to the present day. European Chronicles opens this May as part of Diffusion in Cardiff, which is Wales’ first international photography festival. NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star is the latest exhibition to open at the New Museum in New York City, capturing a specific moment at the intersection of art, pop culture and politics.

6 To See this Bank Holiday Weekend

With four days off and weather that doesn’t compliment outdoor activities or picnics, art exhibitions are an obvious solution for Bank Holiday boredom. However, wherever you are in the world, the weekend is always a great time to leisurely explore local art exhibitions. From Amsterdam to New York we uncover the best in contemporary art in both Public and Private galleries across a variety of practices. Whether it be fandom at David Bowie Is… or destruction in Sara Cwynar’s Everything In the Studio (Destroyed) these shows provoke a range of responses.

Interview with Photographer Marco Sanges

Photographer Marco Sanges shoots a cinematic world of dreams and drama. Exhibited worldwide, Sange’s clients include Agent Provocateur, Vogue, Sunday Telegraph, Photo, Katalog, Dolce&Gabbana and Eyemazing. He has published three books, Circumstances, Venus, Wild, and Erotic Photography, besides winning several awards for his art  films, The Best Experimental Art Film at the Open Cinema Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia 2009 and Best Art Film at the Portobello Film Festival London, UK, 2008 for the short Circumstances. Currently exhibiting at Eduard Planting Fine Art Photographs at the Rotterdam Art Warehouse, Aesthetica speaks to Sanges about his unique approach to photography.

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Aesthetica Issue 51 Out Now

Inside this issue, we start with Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites, a major exhibition opening at the Walker Art Center that features 35 individual sculptures and installations, along with his recent experiments in video, film and performance. We also look at the latest show to open at the Hayward Gallery, London, Light Show, which is a comprehensive survey of artists who use light as a material. David Bowie is opens at the V&A and is the first major retrospective of Bowie’s significant impact upon the world of visual art and design. Thomas Zanon-Larcher’s Falling: A Part blurs the lines between fashion and fine art photography, using cinema as its reference point. In photography, Garry Winogrand is widely recognised as one of America’s finest photographers, and his retrospective opens at SFMOMA, highlighting 25 years of the artist’s career. Cuba is the subject for the latest exhibition to open at Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, which showcases four decades of Michael Eastman’s work. We also introduce the works of Marquis Montes, a Montreal-based photographic duo, as well as Kevin Cooley, whose use of light creates intense drama.

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Joy Division’s Peter Hook and Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon at MCA Chicago

Joy Division’s bass guitarist Peter Hook is in artist conversation at the MCA on Tuesday 5 February. Reflecting on the band he helped co-found and his new book Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division. Covering the band’s friendships and fallouts, their rehearsals and recording sessions, Hook gives a truly fascinating insight, as only an insider can, into the larger-than-life characters that formed a vital part of the Joy Division legend. The conversation is led by Joe Shanahan who booked Peter Hook (with New Order) for their first Chicago appearance at The Metro 30 years ago.

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Thames & Hudson 100 Painters of Tomorrow Art Competition

Thames & Hudson has launched a quest to find the best of the next generation of painters. 100 Painters of Tomorrow opens for submissions on 15 January 2013. This ambitious new project, initiated by Kurt Beers, will culminate in a major publication that will introduce and present each winning artist and their work. Internationally advertised, the final book will  create a snapshot of the best new talent in painting across the globe.

Finders Keepers A Survey of Collecting, London

The Michael Hoppen Gallery will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in fabulous style by opening a treasure trove of private photography in the gallery’s largest public exhibition to date. Finders Keepers A Survey of Collecting will open on 12 December and run until 30 January, exhibiting 130 photographic gems over three floors. The gallery has handpicked these stunning photographs for their fascinating narrative, masterful technique and historical relevance, ranging from anonymous 19th century pictures to iconic post-war snapshots.

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Aesthetica Christmas Gift Guide

It’s the festive season again, and amidst all the partying, tinsel, mince pies and fairy lights there’s still all the Christmas shopping to be done. To make the process easier, Aesthetica have chosen some of the best art related gifts currently on the market. Picking imaginative products from independent and established companies (and institutions) we count down the top ten presents we want on our Christmas list.