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A Fantastic Start: ASFF 2014 Opening Night Launches the Fourth Edition of the Festival

Attendees at the ASFF Opening Night launch party were treated to a special preview selection of the incredible films on offer at this year’s festival. Showcasing the high quality of the programme available over the next few days, the opening night films included Nicolas Novak’s hilarious French comedy, Entretien D’Embauche (Job Interview), Alex Turvey’s stylish film for River Island featuring model collective Justanorm, The Ringer by Chris Shepherd, Robert Hackett’s music video for Public Service Broadcasting and the frozen documentary Zima by Cristina Picchi.

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Anna Oppermann: Cotoneaster Horizontalis, Cooper Gallery, Dundee

Cooper Gallery, Dundee showcases the first major exhibition in the UK of the work of pre-eminent German conceptual artist Anna Oppermann. Centring on one of her crowded ensembles completed in 1982, the show also catalogues her history through drawings, prints, gallery invites, Polaroids and documentary films. While an interactive archive forms an invitation to scrutinise, through detailed annotations, the intricate complexities of her practice.

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75 Years of Walker Collections The Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis

Although it was more than 125 years ago that lumber baron Thomas Barlow (T.B.) Walker built a room onto his Minneapolis home on Hennepin Avenue, mounted his 20 favourite paintings on the walls, and opened his home to the community, it was the year 1940 that marked the birth of the Walker Art Center we know. To celebrate the 75th anniversary of its founding as a public art centre, the Walker Art Center presents a series of WAC@75 exhibitions and programs. This begins with Art at the Centre: 75 Years of Walker Collections, which looks at 75 years of collecting at the Walker—a history distinguished by bold acquisitions that challenge artistic conventions and examine current social and political conditions.

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Alex Prager, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

A new solo exhibition of the work of American photographer and filmmaker Alex Prager, opens at the National Gallery of Victoria from 14 November. Founded in 1861, Australia’s oldest public art gallery proudly introduces its audiences to Prager’s lusciously rich photographic oeuvres. In her elaborately conceived and poignantly staged photographs, Prager freely references the aesthetics of mid-20th century American cinema and photography.

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All That Matters Is What’s Left Behind, Ronchini Gallery, London

All That Matters Is What’s Left Behind at Ronchini Gallery brings together abstract works from a distinct group of young international artists, each of whom explore the act of “leaving their mark.” These artists – Alex Clarke, Phoebe Collings-James, Ziggy Grudzinskas, Prem Sahib, Rebecca Ward and Jens Wolf – do so in a repertoire of mediums from sculpture to hand-drawn scrawls, to painted bodily imprints and lyrical abstractions. Each of the exhibition’s heavily experimental works reveal the artistic process alongside the completed art form: the manipulation of materials is evident and a gestural style allows for imperfections which add to the physicality of the work, and actively remind the viewer of the artists’ bodily presence.

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Seventh Year for Artist Rooms On Tour, The National Galleries of Scotland and Tate Galleries.

The National Galleries of Scotland and Tate announce their schedule for the seventh year of Artist Rooms On Tour. Next year, the Artist Rooms travelling project will see Robert Mapplethorpe in Clydebank, Aberystwyth and County Durham, Don McCullin in Shetland, Diane Arbus in Kirkcaldy and Francesca Woodman in Powys. An outstanding year for photography, 2015 will see pioneers of this seductive medium reach new audiences.

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The ASFF 2014 Festival Hub is Officially Up and Running at Visit York

Taking place across the city of York, ASFF celebrates independent short film from around the world. This morning, the team officially opened the Festival Hub at Visit York. In preparation for the busy four days ahead, audiences will be able to purchase and pick-up their festival passes and tickets every day from 9.00am until 5.00pm.

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Suspension Art at FIAC 2014, Grand Palais, Paris

This year FIAC was once again a resounding success. While the Grand Palais hosted well-established artists, and a few no-risk galleries, the (Off)icial branch of FIAC held in the Cité de la Mode et du Design allowed visitors to get a taste of less well-known artists. A few of the exhibits are destined to become iconic. The larger pieces are, as usual, the best contenders in this respect. Richard Jackson’s Bobble Head is probably the one that most would have selected as the mascot of the fair. It’s an overlarge kitsch car gadget bearing the artist’s own traits. The touch that made the sculpture more than just striking were the tips of the puppet’s fingers, coated in a green substance that evoked both blood and paint, suggesting the intimate link between madness and art. Jackson’s mixture of the sinister and the comic make his work memorable. Jan Fabre’s giant marble representation of a brain with a marble corkscrew sticking out of it struck a similarly pathological serio-comic note.

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Freezer Burn, Hauser and Wirth, New York

Drawing its title from the antithesis inherent to the making and the experience of art, Freezer Burn focuses on the idea that artists are able to experience powerful forms of life and subsequently transform them into subtle yet potent sensorial realities, expanding the smallest sentiment into a world of its own. Organised by Hungarian-born, New York based artist Rita Ackermann, this group exhibition unites the work of 15 individual practitioners, each exploring the juxtaposing emotions of freeze and burn. 

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Interview with Artist Stuart Semple: Anxiety Generation

Stuart Semple’s Anxiety Generation opens at Delahunty, London, 13 November. Running until 4 December, Semple focuses his language of sampled popular culture, intense imagery, song lyrics, direct humour and text towards a very defined agenda of playing the image world at its own game. Just as poignant, potent and outspoken as any of his previous projects, the exhibition of painting will be presented in his trademark colour-fuelled style. Aesthetica speaks to Semple about his love for painting and the collective anxiety of young people today.

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Interview with Artist, Aemilia Papaphilippou

Have you ever thought that contemporary art could play a pivotal role in the understanding of our past through our present and future hypostasis? Contemporary Greek artist Aemilia Papaphilippou explores the interconnection of realities with a major intervention set at the iconic public site of the Ancient Agora of Athens, right at the foot of the Parthenon. Papaphilippou’s Pulsating Fields (commissioned and produced by NEON and part of its City Project for 2014) is an installation triptych embracing a site-specific marble sculpture, a video projected on a surface of 440 x 40 feet of the 2nd century BC monumental Stoa of Attalos, and a performance.

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Review of Tracey Emin: The Last Great Adventure is You

This exhibition is – as it always has been –all about Tracey. But it is about a mature Emin who has absorbed the ravages of time and embodied them in a new materiality. Somewhere beneath the layers of gouache and the surfaces of the bronze, Mad Tracey from Margate is lurking, but the seriousness and resolve of this new body of work keep her at bay. This is a sober, provocative show, where traditional notions of beauty collide with the ugly truth of human striving.

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Interview with Moisés Hernández, Winner of the British Council’s Creative Economy YCE Fashion and Design Award

Designer Moisés Hernández produces work influenced by his colours, traditions and textures of his hometown, Mexico City. Hernández was recently awarded the British Council’s Creative Economy YCE Fashion and Design Award for his brand, Diario. His studio redesign everyday Mexican objects as he rediscovers classic handcraft techniques.The objects of Diario respect tradition but they are also simplified from their original versions, leaving and exhalting the characteristics that make them Mexican but in a more contemporary way. We speak to Hernández about his company and how he felt to win the British Council award.

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Women Fashion Power, Design Museum, London

Innovative and forward-thinking, Women Fashion Power at the Design Museum celebrates the exceptional and influential women from the spheres of politics, culture, business and fashion, and features cutting-edge creatives who have had an impact on our wardrobes and the world stage. Showcasing the work of 25 high-profile women through the presentation of clothing, photography, archive footage and interviews, this trailblazing exhibition looks at how iconic women of the past and present have used fashion to define and enhance their position in the world.

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Review of Richard Serra, Gagosian Gallery, London

Currently on display at Gagosian Gallery at Britannia Street, London, Backdoor Pipeline, Ramble, Dead Load, London Cross sees acclaimed sculptor Richard Serra’s signature aesthetic extended to four very distinct sculptures. The works demand and promote their own unique presence and metaphysical interplay with the architecture of the space and the viewer.

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Interview with Writer of Pomona, Alistair McDowall, at Orange Tree Theatre

Pomona is a sinister and surreal thriller from Alistair McDowall, writer of Talk Show, Brilliant Adventures and Captain Amazing. The play rotates around Ollie whose sister is missing. Searching Manchester in desperation, she finds all roads lead to Pomona, an abandoned concrete island at the heart of the city. The performance runs at Orange Tree Theatre, London, 12 November – 13 December. Aesthetica speaks to McDowall about the process of writing the piece and his work with director Ned Bennett.

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Review of Post-War Italian Masters, Mazzoleni Art, London

Founded in 1986, the commercially successful Turin gallery, Mazzoleni Art, last week expanded into the illustrious Mayfair art scene. Located in Albemarle Street with a 3,000ft exhibition space spread over two floors, the gallery presents some of the great masters of Post-war Italian Art, with a focus on Arte Povera. Francesco Poli, Italian art critic and curator, creates an elegant display of what is one of Italy’s most prominent artistic periods. The artists displayed include Lucio Fontana, Enrico Castellani, Agostino Bonalumi, Alberto Burri, Piero Manzoni and Paolo Scheggi, all of whom have featured heavily on the auction house circuit this month.

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Damien Hirst: Schizophrenogenesis, Paul Stolper Gallery, London

Schizophrenogenesis is an exhibition of new work from Damien Hirst, currently on display at Paul Stolper Gallery. The art combines a variety of new prints and sculptures reflecting the simple aesthetic of the medicinal pill. The new collection is described as a furtherance of Hirst’s continual study into the, somewhat spiritual, relationship of consistencies between science and the pharmaceutical industry.

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The 41st Edition of FIAC, Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, Grand Palais, Paris

The 41st edition of leading international art fair, FIAC brings 191 galleries from 26 countries into the vast space of Paris’ Grand Palais. The fair’s founding principles are to be attentive to the evolutions and concerns of contemporary creation, to question the transformation of the careers of gallerists as well as artists themselves, to lead prospective actions, and to be creative and responsive while ensuring a spirit of continuity across each edition of FIAC.

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Interview with Artist, Alison Carlier, Jerwood Drawing Prize Winner

The year 2014 marks the 20th Jerwood Drawing Prize, making it the largest and longest running annual open exhibition for drawing in the UK. For the first time in the history of the prize, the award has gone to a sound artist, Alison Carlier, for her 1 minute 15 second audio work entitled Adjectives, lines and marks, which she describes as “An open-ended audio drawing, a spoken description of an unknown object”. Carlier speaks to Aesthetica about how she won a drawing prize with a sound piece and her admiration for the other nominated artists.

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Q&A with Turner Prize Nominee Isaac Julien: Aesthetica Short Film Festival

At BAFTA Qualifying Aesthetica Short Film Festival: ASFF, we welcome Turner Prize nominee Isaac Julien for a special Q&A hosted by Art Historian Dr James Boaden on Friday 7 November. This presents a rare opportunity to hear directly from and gain insight into the practice of one of Britain’s leading artists’ filmmakers. Julien will explore how the genre is developing inside and outside of the gallery as well as audiences’ responses to changing techniques in artist filmmaking.

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Interview with Jewellery Artist Caroline Broadhead

A new Jewellery Gallery has opened at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. With an outstanding contemporary collection of jewellery, the institution has opened a special space for the beautiful, provocative and fascinating pieces to be appreciated by the general public as one whole collection. The display includes work by Ted Noten, Caroline Broadhead, Gijs Bakker, Karl Fritsch, Wendy Ramshaw, Otto Künzli and Felieke van der Leest. Broadhead speaks to Aesthetica about her interest in movement and the jewellery she has on display.

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Local History: Enrico Castellani, Donald Judd and Frank Stella, Dominique Lévy, London

Taking place concurrently in London and New York, Local History captures a fleeting but profound moment of creative intersection in the careers of three exalted Post-war artists: Enrico Castellani, Donald Judd and Frank Stella. The exhibition will include rarely seen early works of the 1950-70s, juxtaposed with important later pieces to reveal the gradual and distinct evolution of each artist’s practice.

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Post-War Italian Masters Mazzoleni Art, London

One of Italy’s most prestigious art spaces, Mazzoleni Galleria d’Arte, opens its new London gallery with a showcase of iconic works by major post-war Italian masters. For its inaugural exhibition, the entire 3,000 square foot space of Mazzoleni Art is occupied by some of the most significant practitioners from the post-war period, such as Agostino Bonalumi, Alberto Burri, Enrico Castellani, Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni and Paolo Scheggi. These artists contributed to the evolution of a new aesthetic and raised the profile of Italian art internationally through painting that used the defining visual and conceptual elements of colour, industrial materials and the iconography of the monochrome.

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Review of Contemporary African Art Fair 1:54, London

The alternate title of the Contemporary African Art Fair is a neat reference to its unification of the continent’s 54 constituent countries. Yet though the titular focus of the fair may be continental, its reach is global: 1:54 sees an astounding geographical array of galleries, from Abidjan to Seattle via Cape Town, meet in London to exhibit their artists. The sense of cultural exchange is almost overwhelming, the proliferation of visual stimuli replicated aurally in the French, Italian and Danish that can be heard drifting along the corridors.

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Enrique Martínez Celaya, The Seaman’s Crop, Parafin, London

A selection of new work by Enrique Martínez Celaya is currently on show at Parafin. In The Seaman’s Crop, the Cuban-American artist’s first exhibition in London since 2010, Martínez Celaya presents a collection of painting, sculpture and installation made during a recent residency at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. 

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Interview with Interdisciplinary Artist, Gayil Nalls

American artist Gayil Nalls is a philosopher and theorist. Her work explores the individual’s internal wilderness within greater ecological and social systems. Nalls’ major social olfactory sculpture, World Sensorium, is the result of over a decade of research into neuroaesthetics, botany, the anthropology of olfaction (or smell), and the “aesthetics of mass anatomy.” She speaks to Aesthetica about the initial ideas behind this project and her plans to produce a second version. 

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Ida Ekblad, A Day of Toils Among its Ruins and A Gentle Looking Little Alien of Sorts, Herald St and Herald St Golden Square, London

In her second solo show at Herald St, Ida Ekblad presents two new bodies of work in painting, stretching across the gallery’s twinned sites: A Day of Toils Among its Ruins at Herald St and A Gentle Looking Little Alien of Sorts at Herald St Golden Square. Fuelling the Norwegian artist’s chance-based practice, is an eager search for renewal and nourishment in an urban context. Foraging, collecting and inspired by the resources found on her daily walks, Ekblad brings the essence of everyday, discarded materials into the painter’s process. 

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Juan Fernando Herrán is Awarded The Fifth Prix Pictet Commission

The Colombian photographer Juan Fernando Herrán has been announced as the winner of the fifth Prix Pictet Commission. Selected by partners of the Pictet Group, Herrán will respond to the commission’s theme of Consumption and produce a series of photographs examining the material culture in three of Colombia’s indigenous communities.

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Review of Horst P. Horst: Horst Vintage, Hamiltons London

Horst P. Horst is one of the most iconic fashion photographers of the mid-20th Century. Known by the one-word photographic byline “Horst”, his expansive oeuvre of fashion and portraiture photography was a collaboration of talent, glamour and imagination. Spanning from the 1930s through a career of 60 years, Horst mastered an unrivaled technique in his image making. Of its time his use of lighting and composition were but two significant factors that helped contribute to a definitive and iconic style that would help to deem his work revolutionary; not singularly in terms of photography, but also with regards to advertising editorial, fashion and design. Noted as the primary photographer for Vogue by the mid 1930s, the artist’s images involved art directors, fashion editors and set technicians in precise and often intricately arranged studios.

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Review of Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963 – 2010, Tate Modern, London

The career of Sigmar Polke is the restless search for the optimum means of expressing the truth of the static past in the fluid present. It is the courageous indictment of a tendency to negate catastrophe with a simple alibi, which only denies having seen anything at all. Polke deconstructed his sensuous now in order to get to the bottom of a national conundrum that remained locked, and this exhibition reveals that his key was always nothing more or less than the unstable boundaries of art.

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Multiplied Contemporary Editions, Christie’s South Kensington, London

The UK’s only art fair dedicated to contemporary prints and editions opens today at Christie’s South Kensington. Multiplied returns for the fifth year and takes place during Frieze Week, one of the most important periods in the contemporary art calendar. 40 contemporary galleries from around the world will showcase an extensive and eclectic range of prints, photography, digital art, artist books and multiples. In addition, there will be art from a number of important artists, such as Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, William Kentridge, Sarah Lucas, Daido
Moriyama, Cornelia Parker, Yinka Shonibare, David Shrigley, Gavin Turk and Rachel Whiteread.

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Jonas Burgert: STÜCK HIRN BLIND, Blain|Southern

In his first solo show in London in over five years, acclaimed German artist Jonas Burgert exhibits an exciting new body of work, exploring the notion of a world suspended in time. STÜCK HIRN BLIND at Blain|Southern presents the artist’s largest painting to date – a monumental work spanning eight metres – along with two figurative bronze sculptures, offering viewers an insight into Burgert’s shadowy reflections on the detritus surrounding the existence of mankind.

Interview with Gemma Metheringham, Chief Creative Officer at Karen Millen

Director Mary Nighy and Karen Millen teamed up to produce No More Tiaras for the launch of the company’s two global flagships. The 3 minute short celebrates individual style and looks at the brand’s recent evolution, and it is due to be screened in the Fashion film strand at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2014. Chief Creative Officer of Karen Millen, Gemma Metheringham, speaks to us about their new film, The Journey, and the rise of the fashion film genre over the years.

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Helen Chadwick, Bad Blooms, Richard Saltoun Gallery, London

One of the most important women artists to emerge in the last 30 years, Helen Chadwick stands at the intersection of conceptual-performative art and feminist thinking. Through her teaching posts she has influenced an entire generation of contemporary British artists, and in her career as a practitioner, Chadwick is recognised as one of the first women artists to be nominated for the Turner Prize.

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Review of Frieze London: The Acrobatic Rise of Performance Art

Like some sort of spandex-clad somersaulter often found in the medium itself, performance art has, in recent years, acrobatically risen to become the red-hot property in today’s contemporary art world. Ever since the mid-1960s, the likes of Yves Klein and Yoko Ono have been utilising the experimental and anti-commodity form to evoke radical messages and go against the commercial gallery grain. But nowadays, performance art is very much the toast of the establishment; in some cases for the better, and some for the worse.

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Howard Hodgkin, Green Thoughts, Alan Cristea Gallery, London

Alan Cristea Gallery presents Green Thoughts: a showcase of new work by one of Britain’s most admired abstract painters and printmakers, Howard Hodgkin. Previous Turner Prize-winner, British representative at the 1984 Venice Biennale, and CBE for his services to the arts, Hodgkin is an artist not to be missed. In his latest exhibition, 19 limited editions, including a special hand-painted carborundum relief entitled For Alan (2014), are revealed to the public for the first time. Printed in seven colour variations, these new works are a testament to both Hodgkin’s inspiring creative achievements, and his close long-standing working relationship with gallery owner and publisher Alan Cristea.

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Frieze London 2014: Highlights for the 12th Edition

The leading international contemporary art fair, Frieze London, returns to the heart of the UK’s capital, London’s Regent’s Park, for its 12th edition. Sponsored by Deutsche Bank and designed by Universal Design Studio, this autumn’s fair sees a few changes with the inclusion of two specialist sections: Focus, a celebration and fostering of emerging galleries up to 12 years old, and Live, a haven for performance or participatory-based work. Also new to 2014, is the fair’s novel allegiance to public space, using themes of contract, texture and tone. Design highlights of the fair’s bespoke housing include a timber-lined entrance courtyard and dedicated ancillary spaces.

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Jean Tinguely, Hauser & Wirth, Frieze Masters, London

Frieze Masters, 15-19 October, opens this week with a dynamic selection of galleries representing some inspirational names of the art world. As part of the annual art fair, Hauser & Wirth is celebrating the work of Jean Tinguely. Known for his kinetic and mechanically animated sculptures that explore the aesthetics of movement, Tinguely’s sculptural machines were built from found or familiar objects and rudimentary parts.

Insight into the Work of Artist and Designer Hugh Dunford Wood

Hugh Dunford Wood is an artist designer, classically trained at the Ruskin School of FineArt, Oxford, in the early 1970s. He works in mixed media including painting portraits, murals, engraving on wood, metal and glass, making lino cuts and hand printing wallpapers. Now living in Dorset, Hugh’s work celebrates a rich life and takes a sideways look at tradition while being innovative and in his words “quintessentially English”.