Andrew Whaley’s play, The Rise and Shine of Comrade Fiasco at Gate Theatre transports the audience back to Zimbabwe in 1986. The piece focuses on Comrade Fiasco, a man who came out of a cave, seven years after independence claiming to be a freedom fighter. Fiasco finds himself in a cell with Chidhina, Febi and Jungle, who attempt to come to terms with Fiasco’s confused accounts of the war and their own personal feelings on what happened. We speak to writer Andrew Whaley about his initial idea for the play and the importance of considering independence now nearly 30 years later.
In a career spanning more than 50 years, Mimmo Rotella experimented with a number of different working methods, trying to overcome the traditional languages of expression and representation. This exhibition at Robilant + Voena, London, curated by Antonella Soldaini, brings together work from across his entire career, demonstrating an array of forms and styles which remain as powerful now as they ever were.
Our 5 to See This Weekend focuses largely upon the power of retrospect. Our retrospective society can help to preserve art movements and the oeuvres of influential figures, such as the work of avant-garde Sonia Delaunay, as well as shape the future of the art world. Mark Klett constructs a conversation with the writing of Raphael Pumpelly by traversing the same stretch of desert, and the artists at Saatchi Gallery examine the amazing power of Pop Art. Meanwhile, Iris Van Herpen uses her knowledge of traditional craft techniques to shape a new form of couture with 3D printing.
Curated by Turner Prize winning artist Jeremy Deller, Love is Enough explores the relationship between two artists whose lives and artistic practices belonged to different centuries, William Morris, (1834-1896) and Andy Warhol (1928-1987). The comparison might be bold, and Deller admits to having taken liberties with two artists who are no longer living, by placing their works side by side: “But having said that, I imagine Warhol would have approved, as he always had a keen sense of art history.” The presence of a third artist is suggested by the exhibition, as indicative of a personal influence, Deller citing both artists as influential on his own work.
Recently awarded a Creative Wales Major Award by the Arts Council of Wales, internationally-renowned artist Brendan Stuart Burns presents his first solo exhibition in London with intimate studies in oil and wax on linen, which explore the fine line between figuration and abstraction. Burn’s work mainly focuses on the ecology of the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales, a dramatic coastline which also inspired Graham Sutherland in the 1930s and the work of John Craxton.
The story behind the latest sculptures of Daniel Silver (b. 1972) at Frith Street Gallery makes the work all the more compelling. It sounds like an old wives’ tale: Silver found ancient marble in a stone yard in the Italian town of Pietrasanta, blocks buried in the undergrowth, quarried years ago but now merely strange stone ghosts of the landscape. After closer inspection Silver saw that some of the stones were carved with mysterious numbers, others retained the wear of chisel marks and workman’s tools, scars that had yet to heal. It was a feature that drew Silver to the stone, to rescue these leftover fragments of a forgotten time.
This exhibition offers an overview of the career of Bridget Riley, one of Britain’s most significant Postwar artists, taking a selection from Riley’s complete catalogue of prints which punctuates specific turning points in her career. Riley’s printmaking over the last 50 years has run parallel to the developments in her painting, the artist’s imagery consistently evolving and innovating, as she is still working today.
Created by The Legacy List and Bow Arts, the East London Painting Prize offers artists living and working in east London the chance to win a £10,000 cash prize and a solo exhibition in an east London gallery.The shortlist meanwhile, will take part in a group exhibition in a unique east London venue, showcasing the best of contemporary painting to come from this creative hub.
Acclaimed artist Andy Holden has teamed up with Roger Illingworth, Johnny Parry, John Blamey and James MacDowell to form The Grubby Mitts, an experimental band breaking the boundaries between art and music. Known for utilising everything from homemade instruments to repeating lyrics, The Grubby Mitts spent their most recent tour performing in art galleries rather than typical venues. The band’s new album, What The World Needs Now Is, is due out 9 March on Lost Toys Records. Aesthetica speaks to Holden about his latest release and his decision to move into the world of music.
American artist Sarah Sze is known for large scale works that penetrate walls, hang from ceilings, delve into the ground, and stretch across museums; now her installations run throughout Victoria Miro’s London gallery spaces.
Now in its 16th year and continuing to grow in both scale and ambition, Art Rotterdam is the international art fair that turns the circuit’s attention to up-and-coming talent. Since moving to UNESCO World Heritage Site the Van Nellefabriek in 2014, Art Rotterdam’s Main Section has swollen to 103 galleries. The fair is supplemented by the Mondrian Fund show, which supports artists at the very beginning of their careers. It also features an impressive range of outdoor work, and in We Like Art there is even an affordable art fair. New this year is Intersections, giving art fair coverage to artists’ initiatives and non-profit galleries.
Andi Schmied and Sofia Valiente are two photographers whose focus has consistently been the social space: Schmied’s practice is concerned with the architectural and urban; yet Valiente’s work looks to human relationships. Both artists spend time living in the locations that they photograph, yet their approach in terms of documenting strategy and interventions are very different.
The first major UK solo show of French photographer, Iris Della Roca, comprises a selection of prints taken throughout her six-year transatlantic series, which sees children born into poverty transform their lives through the lens of the camera. Della Roca, having spent much of her childhood on her father’s sailing boat, travelling from continent to continent, travelled to Rio de Janeiro in 2009 at the age of 24 and since then has lived between her home, Paris, and what might be considered its polar opposite, the largest favela in South America.
There is a tension in Sarah Gillespie’s work between an otherworldly stillness and the innate energy of nature. Landscapes, birds and insects are captured with a sense of detail that arrests the passing of time, giving a glimpse, as if through a surgeon’s eye, into the inner workings of life. Her practice is currently celebrated at Beaux Arts, London, in Sarah Gillespie: A Love as Old as Water.
Housed within the Upper Sculpture Study Gallery of the Henry Moore Institute the visitor finds a retrospective exhibition dedicated to the interlacing professional lives and practices of Dorothy Annan (1908-83) and Trevor Tennant (1908-80). Both were members of the Artists International Association, which was established in 1932 and was aimed at the sodality of artists and designers in order to produce pamphlets, posters and public art commissions. The achievement realised was the introduction of artistic creativity into the mundane with the goal of promoting peace and unity.
Several retrospective exhibitions are on view this weekend in our 5 To See, ranging from the organic and detailed oeuvre of Alvar Aalto, to the controversially stimulating work of Lynda Benglis. Robilant + Voena presents the work of Mimmo Rotella, looking back to his upbringing in war-torn Rome, whilst Loretta Fahrenholz imagines a modern disaster in New York, as part of the Hammer Museum‘s project, This Is The End. Charlotte Dumas’ work also focuses on human vulnerability, through the photography of wild and domesticated horses at The Photographer’s Gallery in London.
Unlike many juried art fairs in the West led by a selection committee that evaluates the quality of work being displayed, the India Art Fair has been indiscriminately open to galleries across the globe. This seemingly democratic process has often resulted in a disparate show of works in the past. Artists such as Marc Quinn and Atul Dodiya have been shown alongside decorative works of glittering dancing peacocks. The resulting hodgepodge of fine art with commercial bling has dismayed collectors, museums and seasoned viewers looking for consistently high quality art.
In a major two-part solo exhibition at South London Gallery and Spike Island, French artist Isabelle Cornaro presents a series of installations which explore themes of cultural heritage and the value attached to objects when placed in a gallery or museum context. Paysage avec poussin at South London Gallery and Témoins oculaires at Spike Island is the first collaboration of its kind between two leading public British galleries.
For her second solo exhibition, Mary Ramsden has created new abstract compositions that embed the tension between action and redaction, noise and quiet, attraction and repulsion.
The solo show of Julio Le Parc at Palais de Tokyo in Paris back in 2013 was a blockbuster that the French capital will remember for a long time. In a more compact format this time but still with the same fervour, the Argentinean-born (1928) Parisian artist presents his first major UK exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London.
A student of Paul McCarthy, Jason Rhoades (1965-2006) lived and worked in Los Angeles and built what he claimed was the world’s largest sculpture at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg, Germany in 1999, and had a major installation at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007. Despite these achievements, the sculptor did not have a major UK exhibition in his lifetime – having died in 2006 at age 41. BALTIC‘s upcoming celebration of the artist’s work in four interpretive paths will be Rhoades’ first large-scale show in Britain.
The UK’s leading artist fair has announced the details of its line-up for April 2015. Now in its eighth edition, The Other Art Fair opens on 23 April at its new location in Bloomsbury, London. The new venue, Victoria House, will provide 22,000 sq. ft. of space for an extended live programme and more opportunties for rising stars of the art world to showcase their work to the public.
Starting on 6 February and running until 5 July, The Hepworth Wakefield presents the greatly anticipated exhibition of Greek-American artist and feminist Lynda Benglis. The show will be the first museum survey of Benglis’ work in the UK, spanning the entirety of her impressive career in approximately 50 pieces.
Ken Schles, born in Brooklyn in 1960, has been making photographic books for over a quarter of a century. Now, his portrayal of his own home shows in 40 black and white photographs a gritty and penetrating view of 1980s New York’s Lower East Side.
In 1853 The Photographic Society of London was founded “to promote the art and science of photography” and converted into The Royal Photography Society in 1894. Today the Society has more than 11,000 members ranging from world famous documentary, portrait, landscape and fine art photographers to amateurs and students, and it is the UK’s largest photography organisation. Drawn By Light at the Science Museum’s Media Centre, showcases the extraordinary breadth of the Society’s collections, both historical and contemporary.
Three photographers, Nadav Kander, Boomon and Mona Kuhn, explore a complex and personal relationship between mankind and the landscape, reflecting upon our connection with, and impact on, the surrounding environment.
Simon Kirk free associates images and text to create playful abstractions. He is interested in the ambiguous subjective ‘hidden’ narrative where the ‘story’ remains oblique or partial. The work is multidirectional and open ended. Meaning is inherent but impossible to pin down precisely. The work is primarily layers of painting combined with collaged elements. However, he also uses the decollage technique – cutting, tearing or sanding away parts of the built up surface image to reveal layers below.
For his first solo show in Europe, seminal post-war Japanese artist Chu Enoki presents his pioneering performance pieces of the 1970s, photographic works, exquisite, previously unseen drawings and his later sculptural works made with deactivated guns and cannons.
Issue 63 of Aesthetica hits shop shelves 1 February. In the February / March edition we explore innovation through experimentation with the new. Moving outside of comfort zones can be invigorating. It’s in these moments that we have the opportunity to embrace fresh ideas and apply them to everyday life. Drawing upon a range of influences can create something entirely original and interdisciplinary. Each artist featured in this issue follows that ideology. Many of the practitioners are people that have backgrounds in other areas but have moved between art forms and disciplines cross-pollinating their output along the way.
Our 5 to See this Weekend provides plenty of opportunities to interact with the artists, whether it’s discovering the quiet life of photographer Vivian Maier, whose work was encouraged by the children she’d cared for as a nanny, or catering to Bruce Asbestos’ marketing whims. There’s also the chance to meet Alec Soth at his Songbook exhibition in New York on Saturday 31st January, or discuss DIY culture with Graeme Durant in Newcastle, and Pep Dardanyà’s exhibition at MACBA includes a QR code to encourage the further discussion of his work with visitors.
This solo exhibition by acclaimed artist Corinne Felgate is comprised of two new major installations: Bigger than the Both of Us (MOMA) and Studio X Y Z. Both draw on the artist’s on-going research into our collective relationship with the man-made environment, and how society’s perception of the manufacturing industry shapes our understanding the world today.
Sarah Gillespie’s works on paper depict, in simple ink and charcoal, ghostly landscapes and images of flora and fauna reminiscent of photograms, heavily saturated photographs or even paintings. She is fascinated by the play of light and dark, the boundaries between solid and liquid and how these change when drawn, and the ways in which a flurry of tangled lines can knit together. Her stunning painting is currently on display at Beaux Arts, London, until 28 February.
Anna Parkina’s work defies categorisation; appropriating the human ephemera of modern day culture and society, she creates works that reflect the human experience and environment. A Russian contemporary artist who grew up in one “country” (under two very different ruling classes, that of the Soviet Union and Russia under Yeltsin), social agitation and revolution were part and parcel of her youth and thus of her development. When faced with her work one immediately recalls to mind the propaganda posters and art works of the Russian constructivists, film noir of the 1940s and 1950s, and Pop Art, with the collages of pop artists such as Richard Hamilton.
This February, Stephen McKenna: Perspectives of Europe 1980 – 2014 opens at mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, in partnership with Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, and is the artist’s largest museum solo presentation in a decade featuring work from throughout his career including landscapes and cityscapes, with loans both nationally and internationally.
Through work spanning 50 years of the artist’s long career, right up until some of his final works in the early 2000s, this exhibition at Robilant+Voena, London, will focus on Italian artist Mimmo Rotella’s fascination with innovative techniques, and bring to light the way that he manipulated material to achieve a conceptual framework, which extended from his studio into society.
In 20 bittersweet photographs taken over the last century from master photographers, this exhibition explores youth culture and the various rites of passage towards adulthood. We Could Be Heroes reflects the rebellious bravado of the ‘teenager,’ a character which appeared during a new wave of post-war freedom, as younger western generations seized their opportunity to turn away from tradition and assert new attitudes and subcultures.
Six female photographers Myriam Abdelaziz, Tamara Abdul Hadi, Laura Boushnak, Tanya Habjouqa, Dalia Khamissy and Newsha Tavakolian comprise Rawiya, the first all-female collective to emerge from the Middle East. With this exhibition they hold a specific focus on gender and identity, depicting the contradictions, stereotypes, social and political issues of a region in flux.
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.
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.
Two series of long-exposure photographs document the impress of days, months, and years on the surface of the planet, one capturing the heat and ice of Kenya’s Lewis Glacier, the second depicting the war-ravaged Bamiyan Valley of Afghanistan.