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.
India’s premier modern and contemporary art fair returns to New Delhi for its 7th edition. Supported by YES Bank, India Art Fair is one of the most important platforms for facilitating creative dialogue and promoting art trade in the region. The 2015 fair, commencing on the 29 January, sees 85 galleries exhibiting across 90 booths, each stand showcasing a breath of modern and contemporary art practices including painting, sculpture, new media, installation and performance art. The upcoming fair promises to offer a curatorial focus on international diversity.
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.
Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas’ sculptures appear haphazard, disjointed and improvisational – and they are. Inspired by his parental home in Ajusco, a district in the south of Mexico City, he calls the sculptures autoconstruccións (or “self-construction”), as he sees them arising out of the environment that surrounds them. His parents, like many of their neighbours, built their house themselves, creating an improvisatory domestic edifice contingent on the availability of materials and the environment in which it was situated.
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.
The Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year launches its competition for 2015. The search for the next top UK museum or gallery begins this week, after director of the Art Fund and chair of the judging panel, Stephen Deuchar, revealed the international jury line-up of artist Michael Landy; design critic Alice Rawsthorn; Fiammetta Rocco, arts editor of The Economist , and Axel Rüger, director of Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum. This year’s arts institutions will be competing for recognition as one of the UK’s most outstanding venues, through the demonstration of their bold artistic vision and engaging visitors’ programme.
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.
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.
Latitude Platform for Brazilian Art Galleries Abroad brings an energetic programme to Art Basel Miami Beach. Over the next few days, the Latitude programme will support 15 Brazilian galleries in showcasing leading contemporary art at Art Basel’s 13th Miami Beach edition. As a premier international destination for Latin American galleries, Latitude’s creative platform also invites nine additional Brazilian galleries to display work at three satellite art fairs across the region: Context, Untitled Art Fair and Pinta Miami.
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.
A Hayward Touring Show with support from the Art Fund, Art from Elsewhere brings together works that depict different realities of profound global change. This Hayward Touring exhibition, curated by David Elliott, runs at the Gallery of Modern Art before touring to five museums and galleries across the UK. This exhibition recognises the vital importance of continuing to enrich collections of contemporary art throughout the whole country.
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.
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.
At the 2001 Tate Turner Prize, Yorkshire-born artist Martin Creed (b. 1968) presented Work No. 227: The lights going on and off. Consisting of an empty room, the work existed as, quite literally, the lights in the room going on and off every five seconds, cyclically submerging the room in darkness only to be lit up again. The work prompted outrage from both critics and visitors, a problem revisited again in 2013 when the Tate announced that it had purchased the work for its permanent collection. The upset is undeserved, and this winter, Creed has the chance to answer the critics with his first ever retrospective, which opens at the Hayward Gallery. The exhibition, curated by Cliff Lauson, is described as “genre-defying” and includes works from the past 25 years. Although, Creed has been the focus of several recent solo exhibitions (Museum De Paviljoens, Almere, 2013; Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 2012) this will be the first major survey of his work, and it is a long time coming.
Contemporary art duo known for their provocative and confrontational art, Jake and Dinos Chapman return to the town in which they grew up with previously unseen works and brand new commissions, in an exhibition at Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, crowd-funded through the Art Fund’s new Art Happens platform. This scheme was launched in June 2014 to help UK museums raise money for new, small-scale, achievable and highly creative projects, with the Realm of the Unmentionable standing as the second project to take rise from it.
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.
Shezad Dawood’s Towards the Possible Film brings together new film, textile painting and neon work, alongside his selected works from the collection to inspire a meeting point between modernism and mysticism, mapping out enquiries into histories of place and the significance of landscape and culture. Meanwhile, Elín Jakobsdóttir’s Eyes Cast, is a commissioned moving image work shot in Super 8 on location in Leeds Art Gallery. This silent visual poem traces a route through the building with a focus upon two bronze portrait busts by the sculptor Jacob Epstein. This new film is shown alongside plumpe Denken Modalities, a new series of paper cut-outs and drawings.
In recent years cultural institutions across the world have seen a renaissance in architecture and architectural presentation. The vigour and enthusiasm with which the development of London and Bejing’s respective Olympic parks were reported in the mainstream press reached a fever pitch unfathomable 15 years ago. The constant development and new witty monikers of the latest high-rises to crop up on London’s skyline has become common parlance while the phenomenal growth in Dubai is a source of fascination with the ability of architects and engineers to achieve ever-higher feats.
Every four years, the Moderna Exhibition presents an inventory of Swedish contemporary art, however this year the the focus is not only on Swedish, but contemporary art from six other Baltic countries; Finland, Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Sarah and Joseph Belknap’s current practice reflects upon our place in the cosmos, their newest works which have been made for the exhibition include sculptures, a site-specific installation, and a multi-channel video. The Belknaps, who were married in 2008 and began working together in the same year, have an interdisciplinary practice which draws from a range of sources including the history of science, notions of space in the popular imagination, and personal observations.
A key strand of Asia Triennial Manchester 2014, Harmonious Society is a major exhibition of new commissions and UK premieres featuring over 30 major artists from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Exhibited across six key spaces in Manchester, the project curated by the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art is on view until 23 November.
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.
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.
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.
This year FIAC was once again a resounding success. While the Grand Palais hosted well-established artists, and a few no-risk galleries, the (Off)icial branch of FIAC held in the Cité de la Mode et du Design allowed visitors to get a taste of less well-known artists. A few of the exhibits are destined to become iconic. The larger pieces are, as usual, the best contenders in this respect. Richard Jackson’s Bobble Head is probably the one that most would have selected as the mascot of the fair. It’s an overlarge kitsch car gadget bearing the artist’s own traits. The touch that made the sculpture more than just striking were the tips of the puppet’s fingers, coated in a green substance that evoked both blood and paint, suggesting the intimate link between madness and art. Jackson’s mixture of the sinister and the comic make his work memorable. Jan Fabre’s giant marble representation of a brain with a marble corkscrew sticking out of it struck a similarly pathological serio-comic note.
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.
Currently on display at Gagosian Gallery at Britannia Street, London, Backdoor Pipeline, Ramble, Dead Load, London Cross sees acclaimed sculptor Richard Serra’s signature aesthetic extended to four very distinct sculptures. The works demand and promote their own unique presence and metaphysical interplay with the architecture of the space and the viewer.
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.
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.
A selection of new work by Enrique Martínez Celaya is currently on show at Parafin. In The Seaman’s Crop, the Cuban-American artist’s first exhibition in London since 2010, Martínez Celaya presents a collection of painting, sculpture and installation made during a recent residency at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire.
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.
The Turner Prize is an annual arts event never to be missed, and this year the shortlisted artists – Duncan Campbell, Ciara Phillips, James Richards and Tris Vonna-Michell – have the added prestige of appearing at Tate Britain alongside an exhibition showcasing the work of the great J.M.W. Turner himself.
In a sprawling megalopolis like Mexico City it can be a pain to get from one place to the next, making it complicated to coordinate group gallery openings. However, with the explosion of contemporary art in the Mexican capital galleries are becoming more integrated, connecting through mutual interests when its not possible to connect by proximity.
The work of Japanese artist Shinro Ohtake appears in a solo exhibition at Parasol Unit, London, this autumn. Running 12 October – 12 December, the presentation showcases Ohtake’s extensive, diverse and innovative body of work. With a practice spanning 30 years, the artist has positioned himself as one of the most important creative forces in contemporary Japanese art. His expansive output is based primarily around the activity of cutting and pasting, but also includes drawing, pasted works, painting, sculpture and photography, as well as experimental music and videos.