The Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition opens this week on 3 April at York St Mary’s, York. Celebrating innovative and outstanding artworks, the display features shortlisted pieces from artists in the following categories: Photographic and Digital Art; Three Dimensional Design and Sculpture; Painting and Drawing, and Video, Installation and Performance. The presentation highlights artistic talent from locations including Germany, New Zealand, Italy, Chile and the UK. We take a closer look at the eight selected individuals.
Aesthetica Issue 58 April/May is now available online and in stores. We are at a particularly good time for artistic output. It’s not a coincidence that this reflects the extraordinary things that are happening in the world. The first 14 years of this millennium have progressed so exponentially, it’s simply staggering. It’s a moment of reflection, but also one of anticipation; the artists of today are helping us to make sense of it all.
After the devastation caused by World War II Britain was in desperate need of hope, optimism and re-development. During the course of the war Britain suffered the tragic loss of 383,800 soldiers’ lives. The desire to raise Britain from rubble and ash and restore its former greatness found voice through the Festival of Britain organised by the labour government of Clement Atlee in the summer of 1951, exactly one hundred years after the Great Exhibition of Britain in 1851. The exhibition Art and Optimism in 1950s Britain temporarily on display at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art aims to do the same for contemporary Britain. Britain’s post-war period is reminded to visitors through a vast array of works of art, furniture, crockery and memorabilia.
Albert Einstein, when asked why time exists, answered “so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” Some Eastern cultures perceive time as a coil, travelling in cycles; others understand time as travelling through an eternal present, or as water from a spring: with the future underground, the present erupting, and the past all around us. In Western cultures time is invariably linear, and when visually documented, it almost always reads from left to right, such is the extent to which our understanding of the concept is intertwined with the language we use to describe it.
This weekend offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy the best of contemporary art. The Biennale of Sydney and Art Paris Art Fair bring together fascinating and varied selections, while exhibitions at the Camden Arts Centre, Timothy Taylor Gallery and Ffotogallery showcase the impressive work of individual artists. The photography of Paul Reas and paintings of Alex Katz use bold colour to create striking images of their societies, while the delicate beauty of SIlke Otto-Knapp’s art creates a dreamy state inspired by dance and performance. Here is our selection of this weekend’s best exhibitions.
With the Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition opening on 4 April, we speak to one of the finalists, who will be exhibiting in York St Mary’s along with seven other shortlisted artists. Elke Finkenauer was selected from thousands of entries for her piece Draw A Line Somewhere (2012-13) in the Painting and Drawing category. Her work explores languages of drawing, through engagement with surface, line, gesture and process. In Draw A Line Somewhere she has conflated drawing with soft sculpture techniques to produce a soft-drawing. The materiality of the work hints at 3D yet it exhibits characteristics of drawing, with a flat surface as a ground and line created through processes of cutting and stitching.
Art Paris Art Fair opens today at the Grand Palais in a celebration of contemporary and modern art. Running 27 – 30 March, the fair gathers 144 galleries from around 20 countries, offering guests the chance to revel in art that spans sculpture, photography, painting, design and art books. This year, China is the the guest of honour and the fair aims to uncover new art scenes and talents from the area. Young galleries are also highlighted in the Promises section, looking at the emerging art industry across the globe. A variety of strands join together to make a unique art fair, one that seeks to discover new visions of art.
Joyce Pensato: Joyceland at the Lisson Gallery, London until 10 May has brought some of the world’s best known icons of popular culture and transformed the space into an impression of her Brooklyn studio (which she refers to as ‘Joyceland’) in London.
Other Primary Structures is an exhibition of important sculptural work at The Jewish Museum, New York. The works are drawn from around the world and were produced between 1960 and 1970. Building upon the seminal 1966 exhibition Primary Structures, which set up Minimalism as an art class, the exhibition revisits the theme of 20th-century geometric abstraction from a global, rather than strictly Western or Northern, perspective. The first component, Others 1, runs 14 March until 18 May and presents work from 1960 to 1967. Others 2, on view 25 May until 3 August, displays work from 1967 through 1970 and includes pieces directly influenced by the 1966 Primary Structures exhibition. Aesthetica speaks to Deputy Director, Jens Hoffmann, about Minimalism and the construction of an exhibition.
Organised by Aesthetica Magazine, in partnership with York Museums Trust, the Aesthetica Art Prize is a celebration of excellence in contemporary art from across the world, supporting and bringing compelling new works to a wider audience. From thousands who entered, eight have been selected for exhibition. The final eight includes Deb Covell, whose bold and invigorating use of acrylic paint draws out the sculptural potential of the medium. We speak to Covell about her method.
You Imagine What You Desire is a fitting title for Sydney’s 19th Biennale running until 9 June. Spread across five venues – which span the width of the city and includes an island in the middle of Sydney Harbour – the programme forces audiences to slowly absorb the ideas, beauty and creative energy of each venue’s work. This year’s Biennale doesn’t have a didactic theme but simply aims to activate audiences’ desires.
Tom Price, who was born in London in 1981, studied at Chelsea College of Art and the Royal College of Art Sculpture School. In 2009 he was featured on BBC Four television documentary, Where is Modern Art Now? He was awarded the Arts Council England Helen Chadwick Fellowship. In 2010 he featured on BBC Four’s, How to Get A Head in Sculpture. He was also included in 10 Magazine’s Ten Sculptors You Should Meet. His statues, which are currently on display at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, trace the evolution of Price’s approach to the male figure.