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Review of Sky Academy Arts Scholarships Showcase Event

Since 2011 Sky Academy Arts Scholarships (previously Sky Arts Futures Fund) have supported five promising artists under 30 annually with a £30,000 bursary and mentoring opportunities. The Scholarships aim to release the financial and second-job shackles of life as a young artist and provide an opportunity for each to take their practice to the next level with the help of dedicated mentors in their field. Last year’s Scholars were visual artist James Lomax, dancer and choreographer Eleesha Drennan, theatre designer David Shearing, jazz drummer and composer Ollie Howell and creative producer Tom Mcdonagh.

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5 To See This Weekend

This week’s 5 To See features work from the internationally renowned, the critically acclaimed, the culturally overlooked, and promising newcomers. Mima presents the fine art of David Lynch, charting a relationship with names and identity which has come up time and again in his filmography. Belgian designer Dries van Noten invites visitors to explore his creative inspirations at the MoMu in Antwerp. Meanwhile, the work of Georges Noël is on display at the Musée d’Art Moderne, paying tribute to the Béziers-born artist.

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Victoria Miro, Art Basel Hong Kong

Victoria Miro, London, will be showcasing a selection of international artists at Art Basel Hong Kong from 15-17 March. Exhibiting artists include Yayoi Kusama, Grayson Perry and Isaac Julien. The newest Art Basel show, the Hong Kong edition features a wide variety of galleries from Asia, Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world.

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The Tell-Tale Heart, Chi Art Space, Hong Kong

The Tell-Tale Heart, a group exhibition curated by Pilar Corrias (London) and Leo Xu Projects (Shanghai), will open on 13 March to coincide with Art Basel’s Hong Kong fair. The show will feature new works from a line-up of internationally acclaimed artists, including Rirkrit Tiravanija and Ian Cheng.

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FORMAT15: EVIDENCE, Derby

The FORMAT biennale, one of the UK’s leading international contemporary festivals of photography, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and will bring together top contemporary photography under the curatorial theme of EVIDENCE. Rivalling international peers, FORMAT champions photography from all over the world and introduces new talents to the UK; this year the festival will show artists from North America, Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, India, China, South East Asia and Eastern Europe in the historic city of Derby.

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Review of History Is Now: 7 Artists Take On Britain, Hayward Gallery, London

The Hayward Gallery has put on a brave set of displays curated by seven artists, who each look at elements of British history from 1945 to the present day. Running until 26 April, the central part of the exhibition is deeply political. This section of the show openly and proudly displays a fusion of art with contemporary politics. “Ulster is Protestant” and “We stand by the IRA” are just two statements Conrad Atkinson included in his piece Northern Ireland 1968 – May Day 1975 (1975-76). In 126 photographs and statements typewritten onto orange, white and green card, Atkinson takes the visitor on a journey through the “troubles” where Catholic and Protestant both uphold their political campaigns through graffiti on the streets of Northern Ireland. One anonymous statement that stands out is: “Northern Ireland has a problem for every solution”. This display highlights the idea that art should create questions, and ask the viewer to explore.

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Adam Magyar: Kontinuum, Julie Saul Gallery, New York

Experimental video and still photography artist, Adam Magyar is now showing for the first time outside of Europe and Asia, with various works including six videos, images from his Stainless series, and new prints from the Urban Flow series.

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Ricardo Brey: Fuel To The Fire, Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp

This exhibition bridges the gap between the two figures Ricardo Brey sees within himself: the historical artist working at a critical time in the history of Cuban art; and the highly contemporary artist who lives and works in Flanders, whose artworks discuss the widespread consumption of slick, mass-produced imagery.

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Review of Trove, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

It is difficult to write about Trove at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, without first working outwards from the old military hospital it is housed in. Before casting one’s eye over the river Liffey as it drifts gently through the city then north to the mountains and southbound towards the Irish Sea. Like lines of lineage and age on the trunk of a felled tree, Trove marks boundaries in landscape and history from the eastern tip of the island as it faces Europe to the west looking outward to America. The Irish contemporary artist, Dorothy Cross, was invited to select artefacts and works housed in the national collections at the National Museum of Ireland, the National Gallery of Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Crawford Gallery in Cork.

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5 To See This Weekend

This weekend’s 5 To See reflects on photography, looking at several large-scale exhibitions as well as more personal and subjective projects. Tate St Ives presents its largest display of photography, spanning several continents and decades to chart the development of Modern Art practises. João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva present a Western African voodoo ritual from the perspective of the performers, whilst Renzo Martens questions the ethical integrity of Western journalists documenting African poverty. The CAM Houston blurs lines of performance and real world encounters, and Iveta Vaivode connects with her family home on a personal journey.

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International Kontinent Photography Awards Open for Entries

The international Kontinent Photography Awards are now open for entries. The competition honours the best of the photography world, providing global recognition and new opportunities for artists. In previous years, Kontinent has received submissions numbering in the thousands from more than 100 countries. Every year top professionals within industry come together to select the best photographers of the year. There are six main categories for the awards, incorporating Advertising, Fine Art, Editorial/Documentary and Nature.

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Review of Guy Bourdin: Image Maker, Somerset House

From the glossy veneer of the pages of Vogue to the polished presentation of fine art, Alistair O’Neill and Shelly Verthime galvanise the work of Guy Bourdin within the galleries of Somerset House in Image Maker. Bourdin was the first photographer to present a fashion item through a crafted, complex narrative that is at once provocative, shocking, exotic and ominous. Truly legendary in his image making, Bourdin’s works were uncanny and mysterious, full of violence and charged with sexuality and surrealism.

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Barbara Kruger: Early Works, Skarstedt London

Presenting large-scale works from the 1980s, this exhibition surveys the beginning stages of influential American artist Barbara Kruger. Her black and white photographs are overlaid with boldly printed provocative captions such as “don’t buy us with apologies” and “we are your circumstantial evidence” to examine power, identity, gender and sexuality. These texts juxtapose their accompanying imagery to, as she explains, “question the seemingly natural appearance of images.”

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Encounters, Art Basel, Hong Kong

Encounters, comprising of 20 large-scale projects by artists from across Asia and beyond, opens to the public on 15 March. A sector of Art Basel‘s Hong Kong show, this year’s edition of Encounters will present artworks from a wide selection of countries including Indonesia, Germany and the United States.

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5 To See This Weekend

Our 5 to See This Weekend focuses largely upon the power of retrospect. Our retrospective society can help to preserve art movements and the oeuvres of influential figures, such as the work of avant-garde Sonia Delaunay, as well as shape the future of the art world. Mark Klett constructs a conversation with the writing of Raphael Pumpelly by traversing the same stretch of desert, and the artists at Saatchi Gallery examine the amazing power of Pop Art. Meanwhile, Iris Van Herpen uses her knowledge of traditional craft techniques to shape a new form of couture with 3D printing.

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Andi Schmied and Sofia Valiente: Jing Jin City and Miracle Village, Daniel Blau, London

Andi Schmied and Sofia Valiente are two photographers whose focus has consistently been the social space: Schmied’s practice is concerned with the architectural and urban; yet Valiente’s work looks to human relationships. Both artists spend time living in the locations that they photograph, yet their approach in terms of documenting strategy and interventions are very different.

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Iris Della Roca, The Little Black Gallery, London

The first major UK solo show of French photographer, Iris Della Roca, comprises a selection of prints taken throughout her six-year transatlantic series, which sees children born into poverty transform their lives through the lens of the camera. Della Roca, having spent much of her childhood on her father’s sailing boat, travelling from continent to continent, travelled to Rio de Janeiro in 2009 at the age of 24 and since then has lived between her home, Paris, and what might be considered its polar opposite, the largest favela in South America.

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Review of India Art Fair, 29 January – 1 February

Unlike many juried art fairs in the West led by a selection committee that evaluates the quality of work being displayed, the India Art Fair has been indiscriminately open to galleries across the globe. This seemingly democratic process has often resulted in a disparate show of works in the past. Artists such as Marc Quinn and Atul Dodiya have been shown alongside decorative works of glittering dancing peacocks. The resulting hodgepodge of fine art with commercial bling has dismayed collectors, museums and seasoned viewers looking for consistently high quality art.

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The Other Art Fair 2015

The UK’s leading artist fair has announced the details of its line-up for April 2015. Now in its eighth edition, The Other Art Fair opens on 23 April at its new location in Bloomsbury, London. The new venue, Victoria House, will provide 22,000 sq. ft. of space for an extended live programme and more opportunties for rising stars of the art world to showcase their work to the public.

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Ken Schles: Night Walk/Invisible City, 1983-1989, Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Ken Schles, born in Brooklyn in 1960, has been making photographic books for over a quarter of a century. Now, his portrayal of his own home shows in 40 black and white photographs a gritty and penetrating view of 1980s New York’s Lower East Side.

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Review of Drawn by Light, Media Space, The Science Museum, London

In 1853 The Photographic Society of London was founded “to promote the art and science of photography” and converted into The Royal Photography Society in 1894. Today the Society has more than 11,000 members ranging from world famous documentary, portrait, landscape and fine art photographers to amateurs and students, and it is the UK’s largest photography organisation. Drawn By Light at the Science Museum’s Media Centre, showcases the extraordinary breadth of the Society’s collections, both historical and contemporary.

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Human Nature, Flowers Gallery, London

Three photographers, Nadav Kander, Boomon and Mona Kuhn, explore a complex and personal relationship between mankind and the landscape, reflecting upon our connection with, and impact on, the surrounding environment.

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Chu Enoki: Enoki Chu, White Rainbow, London

For his first solo show in Europe, seminal post-war Japanese artist Chu Enoki presents his pioneering performance pieces of the 1970s, photographic works, exquisite, previously unseen drawings and his later sculptural works made with deactivated guns and cannons.

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Aesthetica Issue 63 February / March Out Now

Issue 63 of Aesthetica hits shop shelves 1 February. In the February / March edition we explore innovation through experimentation with the new. Moving outside of comfort zones can be invigorating. It’s in these moments that we have the opportunity to embrace fresh ideas and apply them to everyday life. Drawing upon a range of influences can create something entirely original and interdisciplinary. Each artist featured in this issue follows that ideology. Many of the practitioners are people that have backgrounds in other areas but have moved between art forms and disciplines cross-pollinating their output along the way. 

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5 To See This Weekend

Our 5 to See this Weekend provides plenty of opportunities to interact with the artists, whether it’s discovering the quiet life of photographer Vivian Maier, whose work was encouraged by the children she’d cared for as a nanny, or catering to Bruce Asbestos’ marketing whims. There’s also the chance to meet Alec Soth at his Songbook exhibition in New York on Saturday 31st January, or discuss DIY culture with Graeme Durant in Newcastle, and Pep Dardanyà’s exhibition at MACBA includes a QR code to encourage the further discussion of his work with visitors.

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Anna Parkina, Contemporary Life & Avant-Garde Russian Art in Aesthetica Magazine

Anna Parkina’s work defies categorisation; appropriating the human ephemera of modern day culture and society, she creates works that reflect the human experience and environment. A Russian contemporary artist who grew up in one “country” (under two very different ruling classes, that of the Soviet Union and Russia under Yeltsin), social agitation and revolution were part and parcel of her youth and thus of her development. When faced with her work one immediately recalls to mind the propaganda posters and art works of the Russian constructivists, film noir of the 1940s and 1950s, and Pop Art, with the collages of pop artists such as Richard Hamilton.

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We Could Be Heroes, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

In 20 bittersweet photographs taken over the last century from master photographers, this exhibition explores youth culture and the various rites of passage towards adulthood. We Could Be Heroes reflects the rebellious bravado of the ‘teenager,’ a character which appeared during a new wave of post-war freedom, as younger western generations seized their opportunity to turn away from tradition and assert new attitudes and subcultures. 

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Realism in Rawiya: Photographic Stories from the Middle East, Impressions Gallery, Bradford

Six female photographers Myriam Abdelaziz, Tamara Abdul Hadi, Laura Boushnak, Tanya Habjouqa, Dalia Khamissy and Newsha Tavakolian comprise Rawiya, the first all-female collective to emerge from the Middle East. With this exhibition they hold a specific focus on gender and identity, depicting the contradictions, stereotypes, social and political issues of a region in flux.

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Interview with Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell on Art Fund and cazenove+loyd’s Inspired Journeys

The Art Fund has teamed up with one of the most respected names in the travel industry, cazenove+loyd, to offer audiences insightful and luxurious art tours to international destinations. The Inspired Journeys programme unites industry experts with art lovers in various locations across the globe, offering them a behind-the-scenes look at revered artistic locations. Some of the trips in 2015 will see Princess Xenia Hohenlohe present the hidden treasures of Bavaria; Director of Wilfredo Lam Centre of Contemporary Art, Jorge Fernandez, uncover the cultural heritage of Cuba and artist Olivia Dalrymple explore the creative history of India. We speak to Co-founder and director at cazenove+loyd, Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell, about the initial idea behind the tours and his favourite destinations. 

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Simon Norfolk: Stratographs, Benrubi Gallery, New York

Two series of long-exposure photographs document the impress of days, months, and years on the surface of the planet, one capturing the heat and ice of Kenya’s Lewis Glacier, the second depicting the war-ravaged Bamiyan Valley of Afghanistan.

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Rights of Nature: Art and Ecology in the Americas, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham

In Nottingham Contemporary‘s latest exhibition, 20 international artists reflect upon the ecological, economic, political, and cultural crises of our modern world, opening up topics such as the current and catastrophic climate change, runaway global warming, and environmental destruction worldwide. Rights of Nature reveals how contemporary art contributes to the global rethinking of our species’ relationship with other living things – upon whose regeneration and survival our future depends.

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Alec Soth: Songbook, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

With 20 new and never-before-seen photographs Alex Soth moves away from the haunting and influential portraits and landscapes that he has become known for, and turns his lens toward life in the country. These photographs are gathered together in Songbook, which is due to go on display at Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, 5 February – 4 April.

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5 To See This Weekend

There’s plenty to get involved with this weekend in the art world. Ronchini Gallery, London, is home to the UK’s first solo exhibition of Pier Paolo Calzolari, an influential figure in the Arte Povera movement. The works of Michelangelo Antonioni are compiled with new contemporary photography to explore themes of voyeurism and media theory from the 1960s to the present day. Meanwhile, the Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014 showcase is still available to view, using a plethora of new media to explore current affairs, human nature, and desire.

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Max Neumann: New Works, Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York

“The strange thing about heads is that the more you leave out, the more intense the expression becomes. In a different way than in portrait painting. It has absolutely nothing to do with that. These figures are just that to me: figures. They’re sexless, they have no special attributes. They are specters, shadows. What’s very important to me is the intensity, the presence. What that does. What it does in the painting. What it does with the viewer.” – Max Neumann.

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Highlights of London Art Fair, 21 – 25 January, 2015

The UK’s premier fair for Modern and contemporary British art opens for its private view today. Situated in the Business Design Centre, Islington, the 27th edition of the London Art Fair will be on view to the public 21-25 January. With 128 exhibtors from across the world, the fair gives a unique overview of the art world and has an exiting programme of curated exhibitions, talks, films and performances. There are a number of highlights at this year’s event, including the inaugural Art Projecs Artist Award and the premiere of William Mackrell’s North South live performance on 22 January.

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Q&A with Sophie Hall, Gallery Director at Flowers Gallery, London

In the build up to its 45th anniversary, Flowers Gallery brings a diverse showcase of international practitioners to the London Art Fair. Established in 1970 by Angela Flowers, the family run gallery was one of the first to open in London’s East End – now known as the capital’s most vibrant art scene. Growing into two spaces in London and one in New York, Flowers prides itself in its dynamic programme of all media by both established and emerging artists. The gallery is also an active publisher of prints and multiples. Aesthetica speaks to Sophie Hall, Gallery Director at Flowers, about the upcoming art fair and the gallery’s plans for 2015. 

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Laurie Simmons, The Arts Club, London

Ahead of new museum exhibitions in the USA, The Arts Club in London presents a selection of work spanning the career of American photographer Laurie Simmons. Born 1949 and working in the same period as Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger, Simmons uses photography to expose and critique media representation of women. Gender and sexuality are recurring themes in her work and she is notorious for using dolls and miniature objects to create staged realities.

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In Conversation with Anna Vogel, in Aesthetica Magazine

Living and working in Düsseldorf, Germany, artist Anna Vogel (b. 1981) transforms found photography with painting techniques, such as varnish, acrylic, ink and pigment, to manipulate the reality of the natural landscape into a surrealist scene with exaggerated elements. Her work recently appeared in a solo exhibition at Sprüth Magers, Berlin, from 8 July until 30 August 2014, and a set of new photobased works are currently on display at CONRADS, Düsseldorf.

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Two Hundred Years of the Kingdom of the Netherlands: The Atlas Van Stolk, Kunsthal Rotterdam

This spring, Kunsthal Rotterdam presents Two Hundred Years of the Kingdom of the Netherlands: The Atlas Van Stolk until 8 March. The exhibition includes hundreds of prints, drawings, photographs, cartoons and posters from the Atlas which illustrate the lives of the Dutch people during two centuries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and show how they have viewed themselves over the years. 

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Nástio Mosquito: Daily Lovemaking, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham

This is a bold, provocative exhibition of the work of emerging artist, Nástio Mosquito. Exciting, contemporary and devoid of delineation, his work defies categorisation and points towards a new culture of art that combines pop, performance, fine art and politics. Hailing from the broadcast industry, where he worked previously as director and cameraman, this is Mosquito’s first solo exhibition.