Below the sleepy streets of Verona, amongst a network of archaeological ruins, sits the International Centre of Photography, Verona. It is here where a breath taking transcendental retrospective of René Burri is revealed. The lesser portrayed side of Burri’s work is harder to pin down in terms of theme or aesthetics. Yet one quality that is apparent is the depiction of a relationship either physically or through the framing of subjects in the picture.
Jonny Briggs graduated from the Royal College of Art several years ago and has since gone on to feature in numerous solo and group exhibitions. An artist in search of his lost childhood, Briggs speaks to Aesthetica about the influence the RCA had on him and his perception of his artistic practice. This year the RCA graduate show runs 20 – 30 June across six different venues.
Once a contention, now a proverb, “…endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved”, Darwin’s epochal observation at the close of The Origin of Species (1859) might aptly describe Katie Paterson’s theme and agenda in her latest exhibition, at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge. In appointing Man’s place on Earth as her subject, Paterson explores not simply our adaptation to the natural world, but also related issues of social space, our functioning therein, and how evolution conveys as much an aesthetic as a developmental narrative. The centrepiece, Fossil Necklace, charts the unfolding of life over 3.5 billion years.
The title of the exhibition Love Me Love Me Not instantly calls to mind the childhood game of the same name and, much like the stripping of the flower’s petals offers a glimpse at the structure underneath the works offer an insight into the rich and varied cultures of the countries represented. Running at the Venice Biennale until November, the showcase collates the work of 17 artists.
The RA Schools Show, the annual exhibition of works by final year students, will open on 19 June at the iconic Royal Academy Schools. Held in the historic studio spaces of the Schools, situated in Burlington Gardens the exhibition invites students to show works developed over a three-year period of study, providing visitors with a rare opportunity to view and buy exceptional pieces from an aspiring generation of international artists. The RA Schools support a broad range of contemporary art practice, and visitors can expect to see work that includes painting, sculpture, performance, video and digital media.
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.
PINTA is Europe’s only art fair dedicated to modern and contemporary Latin American art. Returning to Earls Court Exhibition Centre for its fourth edition, the event offers visitors the chance to view and purchase work by eminent artists from South America, Spain and Portugal. The programme of events includes speakers from Whitechapel Gallery, Serpentine Gallery, Barbican and Tate, besides Modern PINTA Solo Shows to honour influential painters, Cesar Paternosto and Luis Tomasello. There will also be PINTA Projects curated by Catherine Petitgas and Kiki Mazzucchelli, the UK launch of ART Numérique, a reflection on the relationship between art and technology, curated by Rolando J Carmona and the return of PINTA Design curated by Manuel Díaz Cebrian. The event runs 4 – 7 June.
For 2013, PHotoEspaña expands its programme as it opens 74 exhibitions and activities in Madrid, Alcalá de Henares, Alcobendas, Cuenca, Lanzarote and Zaragoza. Running 5 June until 28 July, the event includes work from 328 artists from 42 different countries. Amongst those involved are Edward Weston, Harry Callahan, Shirin Neshat, Laura Torrado and Mark Shaw, and group shows with works by Ana Mendieta, Robert Doisneau, Cindy Sherman and Marina Abramovic.
At Aesthetica we like to keep an eye on emerging artists, and one of the best ways to do that is to take note of the numerous degree shows open this summer. Picking our ten favourites, we count down the best art presentations this June. We also take a moment to interview a few successful graduates, to investigate the value of an art degree and the benefits of their chosen Universities. Running from Glasgow to Plymouth, we give you a snippet into each show. Keep an eye on the blog for interviews with graduates in the next few weeks.
Tomorrow is the last day to see Polaroid Factory at Printhouse Gallery, London. The series is a collection of photographic images made at one of the world’s last remaining production facilities of traditional instant film in Enschede, the Netherlands. Produced by Sean Raggett using a large-format film camera, the resulting photos document and represent allegories of shifting technology. Fortunately this type of instant photography was saved from extinction by a small group of dedicated visionaries and investors, now collectively known as the Impossible Project. Inspired by the wonderful within the mundane, the collection presents a hyper-real observation of the world using both allegory and formalism in equal measure.
Behind glass doors, in rows on little wooden shelves; spread across rooms, on plinths, on mantelpieces, suspended from ceilings, objects – from sea-creatures to meteorites, from strange bones to unidentified mushrooms, from mummified cats to fragments of ancient pottery – line the “cabinets of curiosities” of history. These objects – however colossal, however miniscule – have for centuries represented the progression, boundaries and limits of our knowledge: little fragments of the world that we are forever attempting to define and understand.
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.