In Family Secrets: Acts of Memory and Imagination, Annette Kuhn commented that a photograph should not be considered a ‘mirror of the real’ but ‘material for interpretation, evidence in that sense: to be solved, like a riddle; read and decoded, like clues left behind at the scene of a crime. Evidence of this sort, though, can conceal, even as it purports to reveal, what it is evidence of. A photograph can certainly throw you off the scent’. While Kuhn’s comments may be applied to any genre of photography, they are particularly relevant to family photography in which, when face to face with a camera, the conventional response is to smile, an act which often masks a much wider range of emotions.
Exciting times lie ahead as we move into the phase of one month left to submit your work to the Aesthetica Art Prize. Cass Art highlights this Prize as a must for emerging artists wanting to make a significant impact upon the art world today. With prizes ranging from up to £5,000 to editorial coverage in Aesthetica Magazine, which has an impressive readership of 168,000 worldwide, this is a unique opportunity to generate greater exposure. Read Cass Art’s recommendations here.
Jeff Wall pioneered large-scale photography, transcending the classical into the contemporary. His critically acclaimed work, produced in the form of colour transparencies displayed in lightboxes since the 1980s, was inspired by the backlit advertisements found at bus stops in Europe. The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam highlights his oeuvre since 1996, featuring over 40 works in his second exhibition with the museum, entitled Jeff Wall: Tableaux, Pictures, Photographs, 1996–2013. At first, the scale and presentation of the photographs of commonplace scenes are impressive, but it is their enigmatic element that make them magnetic. The artist captures pop culture in a classical sense. His tableaux, with the potential to transform into 19th and 20th century master paintings, illuminate the allusions to art historical and philosophical notions of representation.
Appropriately enough, with the UK recently basking in a rare summer heatwave, the Photographers’ Gallery’s latest Print Sales selling exhibition evokes the British seaside holiday – complete with ice creams. Didn’t We Have A Lovely Time, featuring the work of five leading British photographers, celebrates the landscape, traditions and rituals of the seaside.
We are delighted to present the Judging Panel for the Aesthetica Art Prize 2015. The Prize is open for submissions until 31 August 2014. Spanning the arts, film, music and cultural industries, our judges lend their expertise to support the next generation of leading practitioners. The panellists will be looking for innovative artworks that display excellence in technical skill and ability. The Judging Panel includes the following art-world professionals.
Austrian artist Franz West (1947 – 2012) was a pioneer in viewer participation. He achieved worldwide fame with his furniture and sculpture for exterior and interior spaces, and his Passstucke (Adaptives). The Hepworth Wakefield currently hosts a loosely chronological course of his work, distinct for an impression of charisma born of modesty. The impression of modesty comes from light-hearted good humour in the general invitation to visitors to participate and seek dialogue with the work. The charisma that crowns this exhibition emanates from the scale of the works, and the knowledge that their conceit was grounded in involved philosophical consideration.
This is the last chance to see Sean Kelly’s latest group exhibition presents ancient objects alongside contemporary paintings and offers a visual dialogue between old forms and those being investigated today by young painters working with abstraction.
Artist Filmmaker and Designer Sarah Jane Palmer was selected for the Aesthetica Art Prize longlist with her film Net. The work is an ongoing performance/installation in which she continues to produce a net drawing on a 10-metre paper roll during her residency at the Lace Market Gallery in Nottingham. Net is part of a body of work based on research into Nottingham’s historic lace trade and Palmer’s own ancestral connections to lace design.
As Exciting As We Can Make It: Ikon in the 1980s, currently on display at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, is a departure from the solo and two-person exhibitions that have become synonymous with Ikon’s programme. Instead, this latest exhibition presents a culminating survey of the decade of decadence and excess. The exhibition features 29 artists that exhibited at Ikon, then located at John Bright Street, including Dennis Oppenheim, Charles Garrad, Cornelia Parker, Susan Hiller, Sean Scully, Richard Wilson and many more during the 1980s. Their works span across the two floor gallery and the tower room project space illuminating cutting edge philosophies and advancements in technologies that now look incredibly dated almost to the point of redundancy or have transitioned to become artefacts. However, as one intriguingly admires and creates rapports with these “artefacts” an astute sense of nostalgia envelops the celebration of the artists, their works and the legacies they leave behind.
The Zabludowicz Collection – which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year – is presenting four solo exhibitions of sculpture, taking place simultaneously at its North London home in a former Methodist chapel. They combine new site-specific works with pieces selected from the 3,000 works spanning 40 years of modern art which are held by the Collection. Each of the artists contributing engages in a distinctive way with the question of how to make sculpture today, while at the same time a number of threads can be seen which link their approaches. A central concern is an evocation of the human body and its fragile, messy nature, as well as the passing of time.
Aesthetica celebrates the work of writers through its Creative Writing Award, championing outstanding short fiction that demonstrates creative content and quality of form. Now in its eighth year, the Award supports writers who are longlisted for the Award and publishes their selected works in the Creative Writing Annual. We look in depth at short fiction writer Gemma Hawdon and present an extract from her selected story.
Becca Pelly-Fry is Director of Griffin Gallery and Global Artist Outreach Programme Manager for ColArt. Based in London, Griffin Gallery supports emerging artists through its diverse programme of exhibitions and its annual art prize, Griffin Art Prize. Above the gallery space are two fully equipped artists’ studios available for short and long term residencies, and adjoining the studios is the Innovation and Development Laboratory where new artists’ materials are developed for Winsor & Newton, Liquitex, Conté á Paris and more. Pelly-Fry speaks to Aesthetica about her interest in new artists and the hurdles they have to overcome to succeed.