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Interview with Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell on Art Fund and cazenove+loyd’s Inspired Journeys

The Art Fund has teamed up with one of the most respected names in the travel industry, cazenove+loyd, to offer audiences insightful and luxurious art tours to international destinations. The Inspired Journeys programme unites industry experts with art lovers in various locations across the globe, offering them a behind-the-scenes look at revered artistic locations. Some of the trips in 2015 will see Princess Xenia Hohenlohe present the hidden treasures of Bavaria; Director of Wilfredo Lam Centre of Contemporary Art, Jorge Fernandez, uncover the cultural heritage of Cuba and artist Olivia Dalrymple explore the creative history of India. We speak to Co-founder and director at cazenove+loyd, Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell, about the initial idea behind the tours and his favourite destinations. 

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Shih Hsiung Chou: Wait Until It Dries, Encounter Contemporary, London

Taking place in Encounter Contemporary, a nomadic gallery initiating unexpected ‘encounters’ with cutting-edge contemporary art practice, Wait Until It Dries is a major exhibition of new works by acclaimed, engaging and forward-thinking, Taiwanese artist Shih Hsiung Chou.

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Review of Jeff Koons, Pompidou Centre, Paris

In this retrospective exhibition of American artist Jeff Koons, the Pompidou Centre has provided viewers with an illuminating chronology on the evolution of one of contemporary art’s most controversial figures. Koons is best known for his reproductions of ordinary shopping-mall items – like blow-up dolls and balloon animals – into metallic and glossy stainless steel objects. His work has fiercely divided many in the art world who argue that Koons offers a wonderfully ironic comment on the normative aesthetic value of art, while others condemn the pieces as kitschy self-merchandising for the Koons brand.

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Rights of Nature: Art and Ecology in the Americas, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham

In Nottingham Contemporary‘s latest exhibition, 20 international artists reflect upon the ecological, economic, political, and cultural crises of our modern world, opening up topics such as the current and catastrophic climate change, runaway global warming, and environmental destruction worldwide. Rights of Nature reveals how contemporary art contributes to the global rethinking of our species’ relationship with other living things – upon whose regeneration and survival our future depends.

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Christian Marclay, White Cube Bermondsey, London

Continuing Christian Marclay’s long-standing interest in the relationship between image and sound, this exhibition is comprised of a series of new works on canvas and paper that feature onomatopoeia taken from comic books as well as a lively programme of weekly performances.

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Sidsel Christensen, Andrew Leventis and Lisa Slominski: We Never Dream Alone, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London

In We Never Dream Alone, works by Sidsel Christensen, Andrew Leventis and Lisa Slominski see the borders between real and unreal, fact and fiction, virtual and visceral, and blurred and explored. Diverse media, from video and painting to installation, bind together the diverse yet complementary practices of these three artists, as each navigates the ‘other’ space.

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Highlights of London Art Fair, 21 – 25 January, 2015

The UK’s premier fair for Modern and contemporary British art opens for its private view today. Situated in the Business Design Centre, Islington, the 27th edition of the London Art Fair will be on view to the public 21-25 January. With 128 exhibtors from across the world, the fair gives a unique overview of the art world and has an exiting programme of curated exhibitions, talks, films and performances. There are a number of highlights at this year’s event, including the inaugural Art Projecs Artist Award and the premiere of William Mackrell’s North South live performance on 22 January.

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. 

Laurie Simmons, The Love Doll Day 31 (Geisha Close-Up), 2011, Fuji Matte Print, 101.6x76.2cm (40x30inches), Copyright the Artist. Courtesy Wilkinson Gallery, London

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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Athena Papadopoulos, Zabludowicz Collection Invites, Zabludowicz Collection, London

The Zabludowicz Collection Invites series is a unique opportunity for UK-based artists without commercial gallery representation to showcase their work in a solo exhibition at a dedicated project space at Zabludowicz Collection. This spring, Canadian born artist Athena Papadopoulos (b. 1988) presents her multidisciplinary practice. Following her MFA at Goldsmiths, London, Papadopoulos shows a new group of works made especially for the exhibition at Zabludowicz Collection.

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The Collective Conscience, Susan Hiller in Aesthetica Magazine

In 2011 Susan Hiller took London by storm with a massive retrospective at Tate Britain and new works at the Timothy Taylor Gallery. We delve into the Aesthetica archive and reflect on the American-born artist’s career explored in The Collective Conscience, which featured in Issue 39. Hiller’s work can currently be viewed at Den Frie, Copenhagen, until 5 March.

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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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Self: Image and identity – self-portraiture from Van Dyck to Louise Bourgeois, Turner Contemporary

Artists have been recreating their own image for centuries, from self-advertisement and preserving legacy, to figurative studies, political commentary and biographical exploration, self-representation via portraiture has shaped Western art. In more than 100 artist self-portraits from the 16th century to the present day, from Sir Anthony van Dyck and JMW Turner to recent work by Louise Bourgeois and Yinka Shonibare, this exhibition explores the diverse ways in which artists have chosen to represent their identities. These works give an expansive look at the self-portraiture genre by covering mediums including drawing, painting, sculpture and even film, and derive from institutions such as the National Portrait Gallery as well as public and private international collections.

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Sotto Voce, Dominique Lévy Gallery, London

The second show at Dominique Lévy’s new London space will map the progression of the abstract white relief geographically and through time, with a focus on the 1930s to 1970s. Alongside the earliest unfolding of figuration by Henri Laurens produced in Paris to the harmonious constructions of the Brazilian Sergio Camargo, the exhibition will feature works by Jean Arp, Ben Nicholson, Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, Enrico Castellani, Agosto Bonalumi, Fausto Melotti, Günther Uecker, Luis Tomasello, Mira Schendel, and Sol LeWitt, amongst others.

Tim Head, Fictions 3 (‘Invisible Cities’), 2013-14. Detail. Unique UV inkjet print on acrylic. © Tim Head 2014. Courtesy Parafin, London

5 To See This Weekend

Discover the best in contemporary art exhibitions from across the world in our 5 to See. This week, we have compiled a fantastic list of shows to see over the weekend, throughout the rest of January and beyond. Bringing you into 2015 is Parafin‘s showcase of British artist Tim Head’s latest innovations in print. In Australia, Carriageworks‘ colossal Zhang Huan installation challenges the viewer’s thoughts on life cycles, whilst in the U.S., MMoCA presents the first installation of Narayan Mahon’s photographic exploration of living in unrecognised countries. Over the weekend, don’t forget to check out an Aesthetica Subscription – yours to own for as little as £12 a year.

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Theatre of Light, Julio Le Parc in Aesthetica Magazine

A pioneer of “Op” and kinetic art, artist  Julio Le Parc’s ongoing contribution to contemporary art is currently being celebrated at the Serpentine Galleries in London. In Issue 52, Aesthetica looked at a landmark exhibition of Le Parc’s work at Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

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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Henry Moore, Back to a Land, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton

From 7 March, Yorkshire Sculpture Park will reunite an expansive selection of work by British sculptor Henry Moore (1898-1986) with the park’s vast and rolling landscape. In a major exhibition of over 120 iconic works, YSP, in partnership with The Henry Moore Foundation, will highlight Moore’s steadfast relationship with the land in Yorkshire and his unwavering exploration of the interplay between internal and external spaces of the human body and the earth.

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Tunga: From “La Voie Humide”, Pilar Corrias London

The enigmatic, almost totemic, structures currently on view at Pilar Corrias in London, are the new body of work by Brazilian artist Tunga. Entitled From “La Voie Humide” (translated The Humid Way), this is his second solo show at the gallery. Encompassing six mixed media sculptures and six works on paper and linen, the exhibition spans across the ground floor and lower ground floor areas.

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A Sensory Experience: Ernesto Neto, in Aesthetica Magazine

The organic sculptures and magical universe of Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto take over the gallery at Guggenheim Bilbao, allowing audiences to engage with art using their senses. Neto’s practice combines an interest with the biological form, as with Anthropodino, as well as the traditional artisanal culture of his upbringing.

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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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Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson: Song for Coal, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield

Looking at human-induced climate change and exploring apocalyptic fears, Song for Coal considers the Industrial Revolution as an ongoing process. The project coincides with the end of the 30-year anniversary of the UK miners’ strike and an ongoing collaboration with the National Coal Mining Museum to give a poetic and historical response to an industry which still figures large in the cultural memory of the region. The work is ideally sited at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, an institution that has grown from the Bretton Estate which is situated on the Yorkshire Coalfield and drew its wealth from the commodity.

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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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Bonalumi Sculptures, Mazzoleni, London

Curated by Francesca Pola, this exhibition features a selection of significant sculptural works exemplifying the influential six decade career of Italian artist Agostino Bonalumi (1935-2013). The bold sculptures and inventive canvases of this pivotal figure of Post-War Italian Art helped to shape the course of Abstract Art, alongside artists such as Piero Manzoni and Enrico Castellani who sought to blur the boundaries between the two and three dimensional.

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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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Jerwood Encounters: The Grantchester Pottery Paints the Stage

The next exhibition in the Jerwood Visual Arts’ Encounters series will be curated by The Grantchester Pottery, an artist collaboration between sculptor Giles Round and painter Phil Root that takes the structural framework of an artist’s decorative arts studio, itself drawing on the historical precedent of Roger Fry’s Omega Workshops. Its manifesto, is to substitute the directly expressive quality of the artist’s handling for the deadness of mechanical reproduction.

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Olafur Eliasson: Contact Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris

Designed by Frank Gehry and having opened to the public in October 2014, Fondation Louis Vuitton is now launching the second phase of its inaugural programme with an expansive exhibition of work by artist and inventor of Little Sun, Olafur Eliasson.

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Mapping the City, Somerset House, London

Mapping the City is an innovative exhibition of works by over 50 rising stars and internationally recognised artists from the street and graffiti art scenes who seek to inspire their audience to re-evaluate their own relationship to the cities in which they live. Curated in collaboration with A(by)P, the display will be complemented by a diverse programme of events including a series of film and music evenings, artists talks, performances and interactive workshops.

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Don Gummer presents a new work for FAPE’s Site-Specific Collection

In collaboration with Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies (FAPE), Don Gummer is to present a major site-specific sculpture for the US Embassy in Moscow, Russia, as part of its Site-Specific Collection. Founded in 1986, FAPE is the leading public-private partnership dedicated to providing permanent works of American art for U.S. embassies worldwide through site-specific commissions, original print and photography collections, preservation projects and other arts initiatives.

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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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Akram Khan Curates One Side to the Other at The Lowry, Salford Quays

Renowned choreographer and dancer, Akram Khan curates the second in The Lowry’s Performer as Curator series, bringing together a personal selection of his influences in the form of sculpture, painting, photography, film, live installation and performance.

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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. 

Iconic Shrine Lost Soul Chintan Upadhyay Supported by Espace gallery

India Art Fair 2015, New Delhi

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.

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.

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Built from Life, Abraham Cruzvillegas in Aesthetica Magazine

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.

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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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The Art Fund Launch Nationwide Search for Museum of the Year 2015

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. 

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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.