Edward Burtynsky, Stepwell #4, Sagar Kund Baori, India, 2013, (c) Edward Burtynsky, courtesy of Flowers Gallery, London

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.

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5 To See This Weekend

Help yourself to our selection of the best in international art with our 5 To See. 2015 is a time to look forward to contemporary innovations, as well as reflecting on the iconic past. The Guggenheim Bilbao explores key themes of the last 20 years in its Art of Our Time exhibition, celebrating the changing movements of contemporary artwork. Across in Penarth, Sanja Iveković’s politcal work at Ffotogalley condemns those social activists who are still left without a voice. Meanwhile, looking to the new in London, the Thomas Dane Gallery presents Walead Beshty’s latest work, which takes a new approach to his signature cyantoype process.

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Kevin Cooley: A Thousand Miles an Hour, Ryan Lee Gallery, New York

Throughout his practice, Los Angeles-based artist Kevin Cooley considers our evolving relationship with technology, nature, and ultimately each other. The underlying conceptual framework of his work is how these forces contend with each other and how we exist among them. His art is currently on display at Ryan Lee Gallery, New York, until 21 February.

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Hugh Arnold: Agua Nacida, Mead Carney Fine Art, London

For his first London exhibition, internationally acclaimed photographer Hugh Arnold presents Agua Nacida (water born), a truly unique collection of hauntingly beautiful large-scale nudes, shot underwater on location in Fiji and Gozo.

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Highlights from the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014

During December 2014, the small fishing town of Kochi in South India’s state of Kerala, was besieged by the international art crowd as the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014 (KMB) opened its second edition. India’s first and currently only biennale of contemporary art, the first edition saw a total of 400,000 visitors (just 60,000 less than the Venice Biennale) over its three month run, giving this hotly awaited second edition a lot to aspire to. Unveiling a multi-venue exhibition of 100 works by 94 artists from 30 countries, not including the numerous collateral projects initiated by independents, KMB’s second edition began with a very promising start.

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5 To See at London Art Fair

London Art Fair is the UK’s premier Modern British and contemporary art fair. The 27th edition of the fair is set to feature 128 galleries and will take place at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. Running from 21-25 January 2015, there will be a special display in partnership with Pallant House Gallery called The Figure in Modern British Art. The fair will also feature Photo50, an exhibition of contemporary photography featuring 50 works, which is guest-curated by Sheyi Bankale. The showcase, Against Nature, explores the possibilities of how viewers relate to renewed storytelling within photography. We take a look at five of the stands to visit at the fair next week.

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Shirin Neshat: The Home of My Eyes, YARAT Contemporary Art Space, Baku

Guest curated by Dina Nasser Khadivi and featuring a major new commission, produced following Shirin Neshat’s time in Azerbaijan, alongside two earlier works – the seminal video installations Soliloquy (1999) and Passage (2001) – this exhibition marks the opening of YARAT Contemporary Art Space in Baku.

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Interview with Photographer J. Shotti on Project, Every Two Weeks

Bronx-based photographer J. Shotti works at the intersection between life and art. His first solo project, a collection of instant film images entitled EVERY TWO WEEKS is due to be released in book form in 2015. The work is a series of over 220 instant film images shot during a two week period using two automatic Polaroid Land cameras. The images serve as visual diaries that detail  Shotti’s story for these 14 days and the stories of those he came into contact with. We speak to the photographer about his interest in humanity and his newest project.

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Ori Gersht: Don’t Look Back, Towner, Eastbourne

The practice of photographer and film maker Ori Gersht addresses post war trauma by documenting the landscapes that have witnessed it. Don’t Look Back revisits three bodies of work that capture landscapes that have been the scene of atrocities; their their beauty and serenity sitting in juxtaposition with these previous horrors.

Get 50% Off Aesthetica in the January Sale: 12 Month Subscription for Just £12 Plus p&p

Subscriptions to Aesthetica are now available from as little as £12 in the January Sale, providing readers with a chance to save 50% on subscriptions in the new year and enjoy 12 months of the latest news in contemporary art and culture, direct to their home.

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Transmitting Andy Warhol, Tate Liverpool

Transmitting Andy Warhol is a dazzling exhibition which enables the viewer to discover more about the Pop Art pioneer and founder of the influential Studio 54 movement, whose radical designs transformed the modern art world.

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Temporal Measures: Futo Akiyoshi, Kouichi Tabata and Takahiro Ueda, White Rainbow Gallery, London

Berlin-based Japanese artists Futo Akiyoshi, Kouichi Tabata and Takahiro Ueda hold the first group show to take place within White Rainbow gallery. Each artist used their own signature medium to create works surrounding the themes of time, space and psychology: Futo Akiyoshi with minimal images of spaces; Kouichi Tabata through motion paintings; and Takahiro Ueda utilises naturally occurring phenomena with a series of constructions built around quartz crystals.

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Who Do We Think We Are, Impressions Gallery, Bradford

In the culmination of the Hidden Schools Tour, an innovative two-year project working with young people across Bradford, pupils from 12 schools take over Impressions Gallery with photographic tableaux re-imagining the past, and playful contemporary portraits which explore history and social identity.

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Ponte City: Mikhael Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

Featuring the work of South African photographer Mikhael Subotzky and British artist Patrick Waterhouse, this photographic project documents five years in the lives of the inhabitants of Ponte City: an iconic Johannesburg landmark and the tallest residential skyscraper in Africa.

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The Plot Thickens, 35th Anniversary Exhibition, Fraenkel gallery, San Francisco

Comprised of 100 photographs acquired and assembled over the last five years, The Plot Thickens celebrates the 35th anniversary of Fraenkel gallery. The exhibition revels in the richness of the photographic medium through works by its greatest masters interwoven with prints by the unknown, the majority of which are being exhibited for the first time.

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Jonathan Monk: I ♥ 1984, Lisson Gallery, London

British artist Jonathan Monk replays, revises and re-examines works of Conceptual and Minimal art by acts of witty, ingenious and irreverent appropriation.Through wall paintings, monochromes, ephemeral sculpture and photography he pays homage to leading figures of the art world such as Sol LeWitt, Ed Ruscha, Bruce Nauman and Lawrence Weiner, reflects on the tendency of contemporary art to devour references and asks of it “what next?”

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Maria Friberg: Communicate Over Vast Distances, Pi Artworks, London

For Maria Friberg’s first solo exhibition with Pi Artworks, the gallery has curated a selection of photographic and video works that span the last 10 years. Friberg belongs to a generation of Scandinavian artists often referred to as the Nordic Miracle, a name coined in the late 90’s after a seminal survey exhibition at the Musee d’art Moderne, Paris.

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Penelope Umbrico: Sun/Screen, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

This new work by award-winning New York based artist Penelope Umbrico continues her exploration into the consumption of photographs online, particularly focusing on the persistence of sunset imagery.

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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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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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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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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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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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Paris Magnum, Paris City Hall, Paris

From Henri Cartier Bresson to Martin Parr, Robert Capa and Raymond Depardon, the photojournalists of Magnum Photos immortalise 80 years of the history of Paris in 150 dazzling shots. Paris Magnum reveals the capital’s daring and grand gestures, its revolts and its struggles, its hopes and its victories, and its suffering and passion.

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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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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. 

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.

Joël Tettamanti, Sisimiut, Greenland, 2012. Courtesy of Joël Tettamanti. (12581)

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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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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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.