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The Human Factor: The Figure in Contemporary Sculpture, Hayward Gallery, London

Part of the Southbank Centre’s Festival of Love, The Human Factor will bring together major works from 25 leading international artists across the last 25 years. The artists involved have all fashioned new ways of using the figure in contemporary sculpture and confront the question of human representation today. The exhibition focuses on sculpture that explores a variety of social, political, cultural and historical concerns and it incorporates diverse references from science fiction to war monuments.

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Review of Spencer Finch: The Skies can’t keep their secret

Spencer Finch has on the wall of his studio a postcard of a watercolour by Turner. Impressed by its dynamic of figuration and abstraction, and the fluidity of the watercolour echoing the motions of the sea, Finch seems always to have had Turner in mind with his own manipulations of the elements. Taking as his starting point Turner’s A Wreck (possibly related to Longships Lighthouse, Land’s End) (1834-40), Finch has selected from the Tate collection works on paper by Turner of the Margate coast. Displayed in a dimly lit corridor before you enter the exhibition, these works are a window onto the very world that Finch employs – a world of ever-changing light.

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Genius Loci: Spirit of Place, Palazzo Franchetti, Venice, Italy

This summer the Lisson Gallery collaborates with Berengo Studio to present an exhibition that coincides with the occasion of the 14th International Architecture Biennale in Venice. The show examines the complex spheres of the public realm and the built environment, existing beyond the walls of the museum or gallery space. In this manner public art can help define the landscape it inhabits, functioning either harmoniously or in dialogue with its environment.

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Shelagh Wakely, Camden Arts Centre, London

This summer the Camden Arts Centre dedicates all of its galleries and gardens to a large-scale, major exhibition of work by Shelagh Wakely (b.1932 – d.2011). One of the UK’s most influential artists, the exhibition provides the rare opportunity to experience the ephemeral magic of Wakely’s work.

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Review of Ai Weiwei: According to What? Brooklyn Museum

Ai Weiwei is a master craftsman. Over the years, some critics have suggested he is a great activist but not a good artist. However, Weiwei’s work in porcelain, marble and wood, in particular, is astonishingly complex and comparable in vision and execution to the design talents of Leonardo Da Vinci. Running at the Brooklyn Museum until 10 August, Ai Weiwei: According to What? surveys a wide selection of the artist’s work from 1983 to the present.

Interview with Aesthetica Art Prize 2014 Winner Sybille Neumeyer

German artist Sybille Neumeyer stunned judges with her eloquent piece, Song for the Last Queen (2013) in the Aesthetica Art Prize, a beautiful light installation comprised of 7,614 bees collected from a naturally collapsed beehive framed within vials of natural honey. Captivating at first glance, the work also invites audiences to reflect upon global issues and imbalances in our ecosystem; at once appreciating the pure and natural beauty of raw materials while confronting the growing gap between consumption and food production, as bees face an ever-rising risk of decline. We speak to Neumeyer about her practice and what inspired her to enter the Aesthetica Art Prize.

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Narrating Objects: Unlocking the Stories of Sculpture, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds

Leeds Art Gallery presents its new sculpture collection, showcasing a number of recent acquisitions for the first time. The display is designed to explore the relationship between sculture and narrative, unlocking the stories that surround key works in the Leeds collection. All sculptures contain stories, whether they are the result of the artist’s thinking, the process of making, display or reception, or the context in which the works are experienced. Inevitably, these narratives influence the ways in which the art is perceived and, in turn, help to shape our understanding of the world.

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Aesthetica Art Prize Announces £5,000 for the Main Prize Winner

The Aesthetica Art Prize is a celebration of excellence in art from across the world and offers artists the opportunity to showcase their work to wider audiences and further their involvement in the international art world. This year the Main Prize winner, as chosen by an impressive panel of judges including curators, artists and the Editor of Aesthetica Magazine, Cherie Federico, will be awarded £5,000 prize money courtesy of Hiscox – presenting career-boosting opportunities for the artist.

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Final Week to Visit the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition

This spring and summer, the Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition presents eight shortlisted artists contributing outstanding works to contemporary art and will continue to run until 22 June showcasing artistic talent from around the world in a ground-breaking group show.

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5 To See at Art Basel

Art Basel brings together contemporary works in its expansive art fair with 300 participating galleries from across the globe. Running 19-22 June, the event includes the highest quality of art in a wide range of forms, such as painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, photography and video. Every year Art Basel attracts tens of thousands of visitors, entertaining everyone from art enthusiasts to collectors. We take a look at five of the galleries participating and the artists represented on their stands this year.

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Cast Your Vote in the Aesthetica Art Prize People’s Choice Award

Aesthetica is inviting visitors to cast their vote for the Aesthetica Art Prize People’s Choice Award. The exhibition, housed at York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space, runs until 22 June and presents the work of eight shortlisted artists. Following on from the official announcement of the winners of the Main Prize and Student Prize Awards, Sybille Neumeyer and Harriet Lewars respectively, Aesthetica is giving audiences the opportunity to choose their winner. Additionally, voters are entered into the Free Prize Draw with a chance of winning an exclusive evening in York, including a meal for two at Le Cochon Aveugle, cinema tickets for Reel and champagne cocktails at 1331.

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Review of The Strange City, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov at The Monumenta, Grand Palais, Paris

Ilya and Emilia Kabakov had set their Strange City under the glass-and-steel passages of Grand Palais. Commissioned by the Monumenta, the exhibition proposes a double total installation: these are already known to Kabakov’s viewers and are situated in featureless pavilions of a total city installation formed under the cupola of the Grand Palais. It is explicitly echoed in the forms of The Dome, positioned at the entrance of the city. Inspiration for this soaring colour-changing installation takes its roots from the theory of the Russian musician, Alexander Scriabin, who created a colour organ, “‪clavier à lumières”, appropriated the synesthetic system, and who was influenced by Newton’s Opticks and theosophical theories of Jean Delville and Helena Blavatsky.

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Serpentine Park Nights 2014. Serpentine Pavilion, Kensington Gardens

Throughout the summer and autumn, the Serpentine Galleries will once again present Park Nights, an annual series of live art events, incorporating poetry, music, film, literature and performance. It takes place on selected Friday evenings in the Serpentine Pavilion 2014, which has been designed by architect Smiljan Radic.

Review of Lynn Chadwick: Retrospectives, Blain|Southern

The works of a familiar face from the recent past are paying London a visit to mark the centenary anniversary of their creator’s birth. Despite his initial training as an architectural draughtsman, Lynn Chadwick (1914-2003) is widely known today as a sculptor and began to participate in several exhibitions (such as those at Gimpel Fils gallery) in the late 1940s and 1950s. His work is now on display at Blain|Southern, London, until 28 June.

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Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition, York St Mary’s

The Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition is a dynamic display of innovative artworks from artists all over the world, spanning genres from painting to drawing, video to installation and three dimensional design to sculpture. Running until 22 June, the Art Prize exhibition presents an opportunity to engage with today’s leading contemporary artists in a major group show.

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START Art Fair, Saatchi Gallery, London

START is a focused art fair, limited to 44 young galleries showcasing new artists from around the world. The aim is to give young galleries a global platform to display their artists’ work at an important stage in their development and to bring them to the attention of a culturally engaged audience. This year the international line-up includes exhibitors from Australia, Turkey, South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, India, Italy, Myanmar, the UK and the USA.

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Review of Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo, MCA Chicago

Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, running until 5 October, illuminates how the ideas at the heart of Mexican Surrealist Frida Kahlo’s paintings still resonate with contemporary artists around the world. The exhibit juxtaposes two of Kahlo’s works with sculptures, video, paintings, photographs and drawings which explore the many facets of identity.

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Aesthetica Art Prize: Call for Entries

The Aesthetica Art Prize, which is now open for entries, is an annual award given by the international art and culture publication Aesthetica Magazine, distinguished by its dynamic content, merging compelling critical debate and stunning images, to engage with all aspects of visual art and culture. The Aesthetica Art Prize celebrates excellence in art from across the world and offers both budding artists and established practitioners the opportunity to showcase their work to wider audiences and further their involvement in the international art world.

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Aesthetica Art Prize Talks: Mark Doyle, Head of Collector Development North for the Contemporary Art Society

The series of contemporary art talks at the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition concludes with a discussion led by Mark Doyle, Head of Collector Development North for the Contemporary Art Society. Topics discussed include the Contemporary Art Society’s aim to widen the appreciation and understanding of contemporary art. Join Doyle on Wednesday 4 June at York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space in the setting of the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition, from 12.30pm. The talk is free to attend and open to all.

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London Festival of Architecture, 1 – 30 June

The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) takes place throughout June, presenting a city-wide celebration of the capital’s extraordinary buildings and landmarks. 2014 is the 10th year of the festival, and its role has consistently developed to include transforming public perception of architecture from a niche interest to a recognition of it as a vital element of the UK’s cultural, economic, social and financial framework.

10 Degree Shows To See

Degree Show season is upon us once more and art students up and down the UK are in the process of preparing their final projects for examination. The concluding exhibitions offer a public audience an insight into the brightest new talents at work in the art industry. From Edinburgh to Plymouth, London to Norwich, Aesthetica takes a look at the best emerging artists.

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Ai Weiwei in the Chapel, Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Ai Weiwei in the Chapel marks the world famous artist’s first exhibition in a British public gallery since Sunflower Seeds at Tate Modern in 2010. On display at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, until 2 November, the show is found in the park’s newly refurbished 18th century chapel following a £500,000 restoration. The presentation is  accompanied by poetry readings from the works of celebrated poet Ai Qing, Ai Weiwei’s father.

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Aesthetica Art Prize Talks: Cherie Federico, Editor of Aesthetica Magazine

Cherie Federico is the Editor of Aesthetica Magazine, and judge for the Aesthetica Art Prize. She will be leading the fourth talk in the series held at York St Mary’s as part of the Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition – a dynamic and innovative display of outstanding contemporary art from around the world, running until 22 June.

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GENERATION: Toby Paterson Exhibition, Kirkcaldy Galleries

GENERATION is an ongoing nationwide series of exhibitions celebrating 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland. Toby Paterson’s show, organised by FCA&C with the Scottish Touring Exhibitions Consortium, is one of the first exhibitions to have opened as part of the project, which sees over 100 artists exhibiting works in more than 60 venues across Scotland throughout 2014.

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The Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition Continues for One More Month

Today there is one month left to visit the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition at York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space. Featuring eight artists working in media from photography to film and painting to installation, the show represents the breadth and quality of work being produced today in the UK and internationally. The finalists hail from New Zealand, Chile, Germany, Italy and Britain; and the works of a further 92 international artists is displayed on monitors with the gallery. To celebrate this landmark exhibition in contemporary international art, we highlight works within the Video, Installation and Performance category, which can all be viewed here via YouTube and Vimeo.

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Interview with ICA Curator, Juliette Desorgues on Walerian Borowczyk

A retrospective of the work of Walerian Borowczyk (1923-2006) is due to go on display at the ICA, London, this week. The Listening Eye highlights the artist’s extensive work in filmmaking, painting and sculpture. Primarily know from his erotic films such as Immoral Tales (1974) and The Beast (1975), Borowczyk also produced a number of animations,  including Les Jeux des Anges (1964), Le Dictionnaire de Joachim (1965) and Le Théatre de Monsieur & Madame Kabal (1967). We speak to Associate Curator at the ICA, Juliette Desorgues, about what audiences can expect from the exhibition and their partnership with the BFI.

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Aesthetica Art Prize Talks: James Boaden, Lecturer in History of Art at the University of York

The third in the series of free lunchtime talks taking place as part of the Aesthetica Art Prize is led by University of York Lecturer and Art Historian, James Boaden. From 12.30pm to approximately 1pm on Wednesday 21 May, join Boaden at York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space, as he talks about the evolution of artists’ film, drawing upon the works in the exhibition.

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5 To See This Weekend

Numerous galleries are throwing open their doors this weekend, after lying dormant for the winter months, and there’s some wonderful, fresh exhibitions to be seen. Tate St Ives looks back at its own history in its first show this year and Jupiter Artland explodes in to the season with three shows in its Edinburgh location. The politically charged works of Judy Chicago in New York, and Neal Fox in Paris, address important issues in their own innovative styles, while Rob Tucker’s playful paintings glorify the prosaic. Read on to find out more about our recommended exhibitions for the next two days. 

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Ai Weiwei, Lisson Gallery, London 23 May-12 July

Ai Weiwei is one of the leading cultural figures of his generation and consistently displays great courage in placing himself at risk to affect social change through art. His work often challenges the political systems in place in China and he was secretly detained in 2011, spending 81 days accompanied only by his interrogators and the scant furnishings of his cell.

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5 To See This Weekend

There’s some great art to be found in cities the world over this weekend and we select a list of the top five exhibitions. In Paris, Bill Voila’s video work engulfs the Grand Palais, while photography is the concern in London, as artists look to the medium for formal experimentation as well as political debate. In New York, iconic furniture design is displayed next to a selection of fine art, creating yet another intriguing and innovative discussion within the white space of an art gallery. Make sure you pop in and join the conversation.

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Contemporary Fine Art Presents: pART3/3, The Crypt, London

pART3/3 is a group show due to open at The Crypt, London. Contemporary Fine Art Presents is a collective of 15 emerging artists from University of Portsmouth’s BA course. Their work will go on display for one week in June, adding to the atmospheric venue with innovative and varied artworks. The art work covers numerous media, including performance, photography, sculpture and printing. George Michels, from the curation team said “I am very excited to be pulling together all our work in this special venue – it’s the culmination of three years of creativity, and it will be an honour to bring our show to London.”

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Turner Prize 2014 Shortlist Announced

The four artists nominated for the Turner Prize 2014 have now been announced. Those shortlisted for the award are: Duncan Campbell, Ciara Phillips, James Richards and Tris Vonna-Michell. Founded in 1984, this year marks the 30th year of the Turner Prize. The competition was launched to promote discussion of new developments in contemporary British art. The variety of media used by the four shortlisted artists this year reflects the diversity of work being made in the UK today, often exhibited globally, from film and video to performance, collaborative working and installation. The art within the shortlist  includes work that manipulates and appropriates found film footage and online imagery, reflecting the impact of the internet, cinema, TV and mobile technologies 

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Review of Bruce Nauman, Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston

Given The Harris’s Grade I listed neo-classical exterior, many people often simply associate the gallery with Victorian paintings and historical collections, and although this assumption isn’t entirely wrong, The Harris is rapidly building a reputation for its strong and innovative contemporary arts programme. As part of this programme and in collaboration with ARTIST ROOMS On Tour, The Harris Museum & Art Gallery is thrilled to be hosting a carefully curated snippet of works by influential American artist, Bruce Nauman.

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As Exciting As We Can Make It: Ikon in the 1980s, Ikon, Birmingham

Exciting As We Can Make It: Ikon in the 1980s is the highlight of Ikon’s 50th anniversary year, taking place between 2 July and 31 August. Featuring  a variety of pieces, the exhibition is a survey of Ikon’s program from 1979 to 1989. This selection of paintings, sculpture, installation, film and photography, much previously shown at Ikon, reveals one of the most iconic decades in England.

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Shezad Dawood: Towards the Possible Film, Parasol Unit

Parasol Unit plays host to the solo show of London based artist, Shezad Dawood. Spanning the gallery’s ground floor and first floor levels, it comprises several sculptures, including some neon light works, five large scale paintings on textile and two videos. A Mystery Play (2010) is the title of the 15 minute black and white video showing upstairs, whereas Towards the Possible Film (2014) is the cornerstone 20 minute colour film that lends its title to the entire exhibition.

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Aesthetica Art Prize Longlisted Artist Kathy Hinde

Piano Migrations by Kathy Hinde features in the Aesthetica Art Prize longlist of 100 artists from around the world. Her work, part of the Video, Installation & Performance category, unites the two practices of visual art and music composing.

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5 To See This Weekend

This bank holiday heralds the northern hemisphere’s beginning of summer, and affords us another chance to explore even more art. There’s the politically themed work of Christian Holstad in London and Khaled Hourani in Glasgow, and also the visual trickery of Patrick Hughes’ paintings in New York and Peter Fischli and David Weiss’ Berlin exhibition. Explore the labyrinths that Mike Nelson has soldered together in Toronto and lose yourself in this extended three-day weekend.

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Haim Steinbach: once again the world is flat. Serpentine Gallery, London

In once again the world is flat., Steinbach investigates the hierarchy of the art object. Within the installation a household object sits next to an artefact from a museum collection and both are given equal stature. Steinbach explores the universality of acquiring and arranging things, looking at the ritual of this practice through the arrangement of found and made objects.

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Vote in the Aesthetica Art Prize and Win an Exclusive Evening in York

Aesthetica is inviting the people of Yorkshire to cast their vote for the Aesthetica Art Prize People’s Choice Award this spring. Following on from the initial success of the exhibition, Aesthetica is giving visitors the opportunity to choose their winner. Additionally, voters are entered into the Free Prize Draw with a chance of winning an exclusive evening in York, including a meal for two at Le Cochon Aveugle, cinema tickets for Reel and champagne cocktails at 1331.

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GAST: Dale Fearnley and Laura Mahony, Lincoln

Home is where the heart is, and artists Dale Fearnley and Laura Mahony have opened theirs to the outside world. A collaborative project with Ian Malicom, GAST is a unique exhibition situated inside the couple’s home and includes film, sculpture, installation and most interestingly, live performance.