Irving Penn: On Assignment is an eclectic collection of photographs and media taken or published between the 1940s and 2008. Yet there is a unity to the pictures that derives from excellence. Beyond the artistic vision and pushing-the-envelope elaboration of form and style of the images as pictures or icons which many before have archived in the annals of art and media history, there is also the total mastery by Penn of the print.
Zoe Strauss’s most interesting work may be her most abstract — pictures of construction materials, earth moving machines, geometry of interiors and exterior façades, lights in a night sky. But it is easy to see why critical attention is mostly directed toward her man-in-the-street images. She captures with uncanny precision the psychoses and traumas, sometimes jubilant, of the harrowed and haunted underclass. While there may be an aura of celebration in some of the direct and jaunty portraits she takes, ultimately a vaunted sense of ego captured photographically cannot transcend an obvious underlying marginality.
With an interest in the challenges and changes in the art world, FIAC returns for its 40th edition to asses the industry it has been a part of for several decades. Opening on 24 October and running until 27, the fair aims to be creative and responsive while maintaining a spirit of continuity. The participating galleries went through a rigorous selection process in order to maintain high standards, and they also represent a balanced view of modern art, contemporary art and emerging artists.
Frieze London is over for another year and now is the time to reflect upon the many works on display. Drawing visitors in immediately was Dan Graham’s plexiglas spiral sculpture that enabled a moment to consider the art and the surrounding crowds. Perhaps this single show-stopping piece on view at Lisson Gallery’s booth served as a metaphor for the carefully curated array of art exhibited, as audiences were lured in by the presentation and then instantly moved on to see what was next.
As October charges on ahead, hurtling towards a season of winter festivities and celebrations, this weekend offers an ideal chance to take a pit stop before all the revelry begins. Soon clocks change and figures of Hallowe’en and even Christmas time emerge so make the most of one of the last autumn weekends by indulging in some of the very best exhibitions and events across the globe. Here’s a list of our top suggestions for this Saturday and Sunday.
Opening today, The Social: Encountering Photography is the first festival of international contemporary photography in the north-east of England. The event collates new commissions and UK premieres with iconic works from leading international practitioners in museums, galleries and found spaces across the region. Running until 23 February, the images are spread between Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art and a selection of other venues.
As the autumn chill sets in, this weekend is the perfect time to seek refuge in the hottest exhibitions around the world. From the blustery streets of Gateshead to the warming city haze of Los Angeles, there’s ample opportunity to find a warming weekend treat this October. Here’s a look at five of the best shows on offer this Saturday and Sunday.
Gathering together some of the most iconic female figures of the last century, Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli’s (b.1971) debut exhibition in the Middle East celebrates the feminine in its most admired and glamorous form. On view in the QMA Gallery in Katara from 7 October until 30 November, the show will display Vezzoli’s most striking portraits, embroideries and needleworks depicting famous women, from Joan Crawford to Elizabeth Taylor to Lady Gaga.
American photographer Leonard Freed (1929-2006) was recognised as being an outstanding documentary photojournalist and a long-time member of Magnum Photos. Shooting his images from a distance, he allows his subjects to remain natural and undisturbed by his camera. His observations of people in their social surroundings, at work, at street festivals, in public parks and elsewhere reflect Freed’s curious nature and deeply ingrained interest in life.
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.
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.
Spanning over nine countries from 1973 to 2007, Pentti Sammallahti’s work is an outstanding example of the beauty of black and white photography. His solo exhibition Here, Far Away at The Photographers’ Gallery opens 10 October and runs until 5 January. Showcasing over 20 images, the presentation will demonstrate the brilliance of Sammallathi’s landscape and figurative works.