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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.