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Aesthetica Issue 62 December / January Out Now

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.

Close Up Detail: The Work of Stephen J.E. Davies

From an early age Stephen J.E. Davies was fascinated by aeroplanes and flight, especially when studying the Airfix artworks by Roy Cross and the paintings of Michael Turner, as well as many comic book illustrations. Inspired by these artists, he began to create work ranging from World War II German Panzer’s and aircraft to RAF Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancasters. As an artist, he aims to inspire the viewer to marvel at the close detail of each work, from complete subjects to close ups alike, and find enjoyment from discovering something new each time they view the work.

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Inclusive Practice, Martin Creed in Aesthetica Magazine

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.

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Jake and Dinos Chapman: In the Realm of the Unmentionable , Jerwood Gallery, Hastings

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.

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Elephant in the Room, Brenda May Gallery, Sydney, Australia

Humans have shared a complicated and necessary history with animals. Loved or abused, these relationships vary greatly depending on our view towards each particular species. There are times where the importance of animals in the lives of humans is misunderstood or forgotten, and so circumstances have risen where certain animals are treated with apathy, neglect and mistreatment. A recent group exhibition, Elephant in the Room is currently on display at Brenda May Gallery. This selection of work highlights the importance of animals in the lives of humans. Elephant in the Room is not only a conceptual display of art that sheds light on unspoken realities; it also serves a purpose of giving back to the animal community as a portion of sales goes directly to the Animal Welfare League NSW. This generous charity assists with the care of surrendered, neglected and abandoned animals.

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Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection

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.

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Interview with Shortlisted Jarman Award Nominee, Laura Buckley

Laura Buckley expertly combines moving image, kinetics, sound, light, sculpture and digital print, to recontextualise the everyday. She uses scanned imagery to create projected videos that are combined with footage from her life. The resulting pieces create an immersive and highly abstract environment. Buckley is shortlisted for the Jarman Award, an annual prize inspired by one of Britain’s most innovative, esteemed and controversial artists of the late 20th century, Derek Jarman. Aesthetica speaks to Buckley about her admiration for Derek Jarman and her approach to art.

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Shezad Dawood: Towards the Possible Film & Elín Jakobsdóttir: Eyes Cast, Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds

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.

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Interview with Noise Photographer Christine Eastwood

Noise is Europe’s biggest open community for the best up and coming talent who want to break into the Creative Industries, network and self-promote with an outstanding online portfolio recognised by top professionals. The artists who submit to the online community are judged by a panel of experts. Photographer Christine Eastwood was Elaine Constantine’s Curator’s Choice. Eastwood shoots captivating images of dilapidated spaces. She speaks to Aesthetica about her unconventional photography career and her plans for the future.

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Art Basel Presents its 2014 Film Programme, Miami Beach, Miami, Florida

Since a few Basel gallerists put their passion and determination behind an ambitious vision in 1970, Art Basel has continued to grow in size and is now recognised as the premier international art show, held annually in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong. Providing a platform for artists and gallerists from around the world, Art Basel supports galleries in nurturing their artists, and is a driving force in the development and promotion of visual arts.

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Joachim Brohm: Vernacular & Modern, Grimaldi Galvin, London

Joachim Brohm rose to prominence in the early 1980s as one of the first photographers in Europe to shoot exclusively in colour. From the late 1970s Brohm connected the visual possibilities of colour photography with a newly defined “everyday cultural landscape.”

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Realigning Architecture, Bernard Tschumi in Aesthetica Magazine

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.

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Interview with Oliver Hickmet, Artist in The Catlin Guide 2015

The UK’s most talented new artists appear in the much-anticipated sixth edition of The Catlin Guide. Over the years the volume has become an indispensable reference for followers of contemporary art. The publication highlights prevailing and future trends, and has become a collectable item in its own right. Oliver Hickmet’s work is due to appear at the London Art Fair on The Catlin Guide stand. He speaks to Aesthetica about the origins of a new piece and the illusion of reality. 

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The Moderna Exhibition 2014: Society Acts, Moderna Museet Malmö, Sweden

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.

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Nordic Film Festival, Institute of Contemporary Arts and Other Venues, London

Presented by London based independent film company Day for Night, Nordic Film Festival returns to the UK with a diverse mix of fresh and classic features, documentaries and shorts, showcasing some of the most celebrated and emerging filmmaking talent of the Nordic region.

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Review of Artes Mundi 6, Cardiff

Artes Mundi 6 opened in Cardiff on 24 October at the National Museum Cardiff, Chapter and Ffotogallery, features a varied and thought provoking collection of work from nine international artists. Artes Mundi is an exhibition with a difference – both an opportunity to see bold, original art and also to study the entries in an internationally renowned competition before its closing stages when the winner is announced. A panel of independent judges will award one of the artists featured £40,000 on 22 January.

Mira Hnatyshyn: a Closer Look at Culture, Gender and Human Behavior

Mira Hnatyshyn is a San Antonio-based artist who uses her work to explore issues of culture, gender and human behavior. Referencing her original photographs of women from around the world, Mira’s installations are modern simulacra constructed with painted canvasses, sculpted appendages and found objects. She seeks to present an amplified version of reality that capture isolated moments in time but carry a sense of timelessness. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally and is included in the Saatchi Gallery in London as well as private and public collections.

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Vivian Maier: In Her Own Hands, Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Over 40 photographs by Vivian Maier, dating from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s, are on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York – many of which are here exhibited for the first time. Not only does the exhibition present rare lifetime prints, but it also include prints made this year, since the vast majority of Maier’s work was never printed. In addition, a selection of Maier’s black and white 35mm has been printed and shown for the first time.

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Knitting Nottingham Bonington Gallery, Nottingham

Major exhibition, Knitting Nottingham places the spotlight on the Nottingham’s position as a world centre of creativity and innovation. It has been organised by Nottingham Trent University at Bonington Gallery, as part of this year’s anniversary of 170 years of art and design. Rather than just include conventional knitted pieces, on display will be tea sets made from electro-plated knit, exhibits by internationally renowned designers, samples of 3D print combined with knitwear and technology embedded into yarn.

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Sacred, Chelsea Theatre, London

This autumn, the seventh Sacred season of live art and contemporary performance at Chelsea Theatre premieres new work from interdisciplinary artists, who explore our taboos, examine assumptions about gender and family love, challenge public art policies and toy with the boundaries of multimedia. Some investigate consumption, compulsion, and mental health, and others wonder what happens when the label of ‘human’ no longer applies.

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Sarah and Joseph Belknap: BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works, MCA Chicago

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.

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Type Motion, FACT, Liverpool

Type Motion at FACT Liverpool features over 200 outstanding examples of text and typography being used alongside the moving image. Currently on display and running until 8 February, the exhibition showcases the creative possibilities of opening up uses of text, extending the medium beyond print and highlighting the importance of writing as an artform in itself.

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Harmonious Society, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester

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.

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Review of Who Are You? Grayson Perry, National Portrait Gallery

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.

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Rediscovering Domesticity, Elmgreen & Dragset in Aesthetica Magazine

The first person to have driven by Prada Marfa (2005), Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset’s re-creation of a Prada store set within the desolate Texan landscape, must have thought they had stumbled upon a mirage. A window display showcasing Prada shoes and handbags interrupts the minimalist white stucco walls of the store, illustrating the discrepancy between the luxurious products and the building itself. The Scandinavian artists, who live and work in Berlin and Los Angeles, have created these shocking sculptural tableaux again and again throughout their career, each time hitting upon an element of society perhaps less than complimentary, whether it be our greed and consumerism or – as with their installation, Tomorrow, at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London – loss, loneliness and alienation. In collaboration with the V&A and curator Louise Shannon, the duo has created a fictional architect’s apartment, which has transformed the former textile galleries of the museum into an abandoned home.

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Interview with Artist Sam Heydt, Longlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize

“Illusion does not free us from reality. Ironically, through employing the very medium I critique, my work speaks to the disenchantment of the social psyche, which takes place at the hands of the modern media apparatus and at the expense of the natural world.” Through photography Sam Heydt comments on consumerism and constructed narratives of the past with a concern for the perversity of production, consumption and decay. We speak to Heydt about her ideas and what inspired her work Chrysanthemums in particular, selected for the Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology 2014.

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Form Follows Function, Louis Kahn in Aesthetica Magazine

Described in his New York Times obituary as having been “one of America’s foremost living architects”, Louis Kahn (1901-1974) was an expert manipulator of form and space, a masterful choreographer of light, and a trailblazing visionary amongst the architects of the mid-20th century. Both a contemporary of and influence on leading names such as Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Peter Zumthor and Sou Fujimoto, Kahn was categorised as a Modernist, and although his design ethos is certainly in keeping with the movement’s principle of “form follows function”, his heavy aesthetic is far removed from the light panels and glass panes that were favoured by Modernist architects such as Le Corbusier or Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.

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Diversity – Malaysia Art, La Galleria, Pall Mall, London

Diversity – Malaysia Art reflects the nature of Malaysia and its people. Curated by Tony Godfrey and featuring 10 contemporary artists, the exhibition opens at La Galleria, Pall Mall, London, on 23 November. Running until 5 December, the showcase brings together some of the outstanding art coming out of the region in 2014.

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Perceptions of Light James Turrell, Aesthetica Magazine Archives

We spend our lives immersed in ever-changing environments of light, where no two moments are ever quite the same. Whether it’s a cloud acting as a gauze over the sun, a glorious sunset or a total eclipse, we tend only to notice the most pronounced effects of light, and ignore the constant flux of conditions that plays out in our everyday existence. However, it is just these shifts in our perceptions that the work of Arizona-based artist James Turrell (b. 1943) has been drawing attention to for over half a century. Creating work with light as its principal medium and object, Turrell makes immersive environments that encourage the viewer to be more aware of changes in the illuminated landscape and, by extension, the act of observation itself. Previously the subject of three major exhibitions at The Guggenheim in New York, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the artist’s hallucinatory, epiphanic and sublime installations are recognised as among the most searching and affecting of our time.

A Closer Look at the Work of New York Artist Barry Grose

Barry Grose is a largely a self-taught painter, who studied briefly at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and also holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York.

“Ethereal”, “…elegantly haunting…”, and “…saturated with emotion and colour…” are but a few of the descriptions critics have penned to define the work of Barry Grose (pronounced gro-z).

Originally from New York, he travels extensively to promote his work and spends the majority of his creative studio time in his atelier in upstate New York.

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Review of Royal Scottish Academy’s Resident ’14 Part 2

The Royal Scottish Academy’s dual-part Resident ’14 exhibition has brought together 15 artists who have undertaken residences at venues across Scotland funded by the Royal Scottish Academy Residences Programme. By its very nature, the exhibition is diverse, with artists included in the show working across the full range of media, with film, multimedia, painting, drawing, photography and sculpture all represented.

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Corin Sworn, Talk & Performance, Max Mara Art Prize for Women, Whitechapel Gallery, London

Collezione Maramotti and Whitechapel Gallery announce a special evening of conversation, reading and performance with Corin Sworn, winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women. The event forms part of the Glasgow-based artist’s showcase of work currently being created during the prize’s six-month Italian residency. An avid storyteller, Sworn uses drawing, video and installation to explore the assemblage of narrative through an infusion of collected and sometimes random stimulus.

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Interview with Tom Woo, Founder and Director of HADA Contemporary

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.

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Review of Artissima, Turin

On 6 November, the city of Turin welcomed the 2014 edition of Artissima, Italy’s largest and most prestigious contemporary art fair. A well-established event already in its 21st edition, it sees 194 galleries exhibit works at Oval Lingotto. A vast space, originally designed for the 2006 Winter Olympics, it is now frequently employed as an artistic arena for the many fairs and festivals hosted by the Alpine city.

Stephanie Rosenthal Curates Mirrorcity at the Hayward Gallery, London

Mirrorcity at the Southbank Centre‘s Hayward Gallery, London, explores the everyday conditions, consequences, and challenges of living in a digital age. Through a selection of recent work and new commissions by established and emerging artists, the exhibition seeks to address the pertinent issues concerning London-living in a technological age. Inspired by JG Ballard’s futurist texts and enthralled by themes of science fiction and new speculative philosophies, Mirrorcity offers an alternative reflection on our current and future existence between the digital and the physical.

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Outstanding Filmmaking Talent Recognised at ASFF Awards Ceremony 2014

The last night of the BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival saw filmmakers and filmgoers alike gathered in the beautiful ballroom of the De Grey Rooms on Sunday evening to celebrate the past four days of international short film screenings and industry events. Originally an officer’s mess for the Yorkshire Hussars and a Grade II listed building, it was a fitting finale for a festival that continues to open the doors of York’s most iconic and beautiful buildings and invite visitors to explore the city’s hidden treasures whilst indulging in some of the world’s best short filmmaking.

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Review of Off the Shelf, Sheffield

The season of literature festivals is well and truly upon us. October saw the 23rd annual Off the Shelf Festival in Sheffield. For as long as the festival has existed, it has attracted plenty of famous faces. This year was no exception. From literary newcomers to veteran writers, the festival was a unique celebration of the written word. This year marked the biggest Off the Shelf festival yet, with over 200 events taking place across the steel city. Aesthetica takes a look at some of the best events across the City.

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The Art of Our Time: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collections, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Located on an old port, on the banks of the river Nervion is the titanium-clad, cathedral like Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Designed by Frank Gehry and built in 1997, the museum resembles a fantasy ship, with soaring elevated arcs and soft sandstone and has become synonymous with cultural regeneration. The once degenerated city has been transformed into one of the most popular tourist attractions in Europe, and is now bustling with Michelin star restaurants, luxury hotels, satellite museums and “starchitecture”. Earlier this month, The Art of Our Time: Masterpieces from the Guggenheim Collections opened at the Bilbao museum, curated to celebrate the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s part in the rebirth of the city.

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Fashion in Motion: Sibling, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Fashion in Motion at the V&A showcases the work of leading international designers through one-off catwalk events. This innovative programme strives to show fashion as it is meant to be seen: in motion. For the museum’s next Fashion in Motion edition, the V&A are collaborating with knitwear collective Sibling to present highlights from the London-based label’s menswear collection.

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Review of Egon Schiele: The Radical Nude at The Courtauld

The Courtauld’s latest exhibition offers a glimpse into the work of Egon Schiele, who can be viewed in terms of the Expressionist tradition. Expressionism evolved as a reaction to the modern world and in its broadest terms can be seen as an approach to art and literature rather than as a coherent movement. Numerous galleries have focused on this renowned period within art, but this is the first UK show to dedicate itself in its entirety to the works of Schiele.