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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From a casual glance at the advertising for Conflict, Time, Photography you might assume it to be an exhibition of war photojournalism; in fact the concept is far more novel. The images on display show the aftermath (rather than the unfolding of) the conflicts they depict.
The end of November saw canvas and canapés meet at the opening night of Diversity: Malaysia Arts. Organised by the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), the evening was a cavalcade of speeches, ceremony and gift-giving intended to showcase the country’s up-and-coming artists. Opening proceedings was Tony Devenish, Councillor to Knightsbridge and Belgravia and who, to the great surprise of many attendees, recounted with fondness his years spent in Kuala Lumpur (or ‘KL’, as he familiarly called it); laughter exploded from the audience as Devenish name-dropped the Proton car he once drove about the city.
The Photographers’ Gallery announces Nikolai Bakharev, Zanele Muholi, Viviane Sassen and Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse as the four shortlisted artists for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2015. The annual prize, established by the gallery in 1996, aims to recognise and reward the exhibited work or publication of a living photographer of any nationality, who has significantly contributed to photography in Europe over the past 12 months. This year’s selection showcases a diversity of photographic approaches, which include video, object and text based works and encompass social documentary, portraiture and contemporary art photography.
For those who are passionate about contemporary art and culture, Aesthetica Magazine is the ultimate guide for keeping up-to-date with the latest news from the international art scene. Order a Gift Subscription for someone special this Christmas and save 20% off newsstand prices while also benefiting from a free gift wrapping service and a chance to write a personal message.
Art Basel Miami Beach brings together contemporary works for its extensive art fair from over 250 participating galleries worldwide. Running from 4-7 December, the exhibition is inclusive of photography, paintings, sculptures, multimedia and many other mediums. The annual event attracts tens of thousands of visitors, and each year, it grows. Everyone from admirers to collectors will attend. We feature five of the galleries and some of the artists represented this year.
The December/ January issue of Aesthetica is now available to purchase online and in stores internationally. In Issue 62, Aesthetica focuses on the idea of the unconventional. It’s a celebration of practitioners who are experimenting in their field by working in interdisciplinary ways and introducing concepts from other areas of art and design into their work.
With the start of advent it is time to write those Christmas lists and get shopping. We’ve curated a selection of goodies for a variety of tastes from independent businesses, high-end fashion houses and cultural institutions. From candles to trainers, books to skirts, we’ve got it covered. Read on to find out more about each of our top products.
Issue 62 of Aesthetica is out in shops now. One of the most thrilling discoveries is someone who is breaking new ground and embodying the word “innovation.” It’s important to look at both established and emerging artists that are the driving force behind this type of progress. At Aesthetica, we are interested in people who are experimenting while stepping outside of the everyday. We want to engage with works that challenge us and change perspective.
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s new exhibition introduces the future museum’s curatorial vision through a theme-based collection presentation, featuring artworks by 18 international artists from the 1960s to today and exploring the theme of light. The gallery’s curatorial vision endeavours to foster a transcultural perspective on the history of art, encompassing both modernism and the emergence of contemporary cultural thought in an increasingly interconnected world.
Noise is Europe’s biggest open community for the best up and coming talent who want to break into the Creative Industries, network and self-promote with an outstanding online portfolio recognised by top professionals. The artists who submit to the online community are judged by a panel of experts. Photographer Christine Eastwood was Elaine Constantine’s Curator’s Choice. Eastwood shoots captivating images of dilapidated spaces. She speaks to Aesthetica about her unconventional photography career and her plans for the future.
Joachim Brohm rose to prominence in the early 1980s as one of the first photographers in Europe to shoot exclusively in colour. From the late 1970s Brohm connected the visual possibilities of colour photography with a newly defined “everyday cultural landscape.”
Over 40 photographs by Vivian Maier, dating from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, are on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York – many of which are here exhibited for the first time. Not only does the exhibition present rare lifetime prints, but it also include prints made this year, since the vast majority of Maier’s work was never printed. In addition, a selection of Maier’s black and white 35mm has been printed and shown for the first time.
Type Motion at FACT Liverpool features over 200 outstanding examples of text and typography being used alongside the moving image. Currently on display and running until 8 February, the exhibition showcases the creative possibilities of opening up uses of text, extending the medium beyond print and highlighting the importance of writing as an artform in itself.
Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry presents a provocative and fascinating new exhibition which makes us question identity in modern day Britain. Perry has become a celebrity on the modern art scene, regularly presenting a refreshingly subversive view of British life. In his latest exhibition, 14 portraits of individuals, families and groups, which represent many different aspects of modern day Britain, including a disgraced politician, a young female-to-male transsexual, Northern Ireland Loyalist marchers and X-Factor contestant Rylan Clark, occupy the Gallery’s nineteenth and 20th century rooms on Floor 1.
“Illusion does not free us from reality. Ironically, through employing the very medium I critique, my work speaks to the disenchantment of the social psyche, which takes place at the hands of the modern media apparatus and at the expense of the natural world.” Through photography Sam Heydt comments on consumerism and constructed narratives of the past with a concern for the perversity of production, consumption and decay. We speak to Heydt about her ideas and what inspired her work Chrysanthemums in particular, selected for the Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology 2014.
We spend our lives immersed in ever-changing environments of light, where no two moments are ever quite the same. Whether it’s a cloud acting as a gauze over the sun, a glorious sunset or a total eclipse, we tend only to notice the most pronounced effects of light, and ignore the constant flux of conditions that plays out in our everyday existence. However, it is just these shifts in our perceptions that the work of Arizona-based artist James Turrell (b. 1943) has been drawing attention to for over half a century. Creating work with light as its principal medium and object, Turrell makes immersive environments that encourage the viewer to be more aware of changes in the illuminated landscape and, by extension, the act of observation itself. Previously the subject of three major exhibitions at The Guggenheim in New York, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the artist’s hallucinatory, epiphanic and sublime installations are recognised as among the most searching and affecting of our time.
HADA Contemporary is the first East Asian art gallery on Vyner Street, London. Representing a number of stunning artists, the gallery cultivates a conversation between art in the East and the West. Founder and director Tom Woo seeks to recognise the rich history of art from East Asia with an emphasis on Korea, showcasing both established and emerging artists. Aesthetica speaks to Woo about his selection of practitioners and his future plans for the gallery.
A new solo exhibition of the work of American photographer and filmmaker Alex Prager, opens at the National Gallery of Victoria from 14 November. Founded in 1861, Australia’s oldest public art gallery proudly introduces its audiences to Prager’s lusciously rich photographic oeuvres. In her elaborately conceived and poignantly staged photographs, Prager freely references the aesthetics of mid-20th century American cinema and photography.
The National Galleries of Scotland and Tate announce their schedule for the seventh year of Artist Rooms On Tour. Next year, the Artist Rooms travelling project will see Robert Mapplethorpe in Clydebank, Aberystwyth and County Durham, Don McCullin in Shetland, Diane Arbus in Kirkcaldy and Francesca Woodman in Powys. An outstanding year for photography, 2015 will see pioneers of this seductive medium reach new audiences.
Drawing its title from the antithesis inherent to the making and the experience of art, Freezer Burn focuses on the idea that artists are able to experience powerful forms of life and subsequently transform them into subtle yet potent sensorial realities, expanding the smallest sentiment into a world of its own. Organised by Hungarian-born, New York based artist Rita Ackermann, this group exhibition unites the work of 15 individual practitioners, each exploring the juxtaposing emotions of freeze and burn.
The 41st edition of leading international art fair, FIAC brings 191 galleries from 26 countries into the vast space of Paris’ Grand Palais. The fair’s founding principles are to be attentive to the evolutions and concerns of contemporary creation, to question the transformation of the careers of gallerists as well as artists themselves, to lead prospective actions, and to be creative and responsive while ensuring a spirit of continuity across each edition of FIAC.
At BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival: ASFF, we welcome Turner Prize nominee Isaac Julien for a special Q&A hosted by Art Historian Dr James Boaden on Friday 7 November. This presents a rare opportunity to hear directly from and gain insight into the practice of one of Britain’s leading artists’ filmmakers. Julien will explore how the genre is developing inside and outside of the gallery as well as audiences’ responses to changing techniques in artist filmmaking.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.