Review of Julio Le Parc, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London

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.

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Jason Rhoades, Four Roads, BALTIC, Gateshead

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.

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The Other Art Fair 2015

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.

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Lynda Benglis, The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield

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.

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Ken Schles: Night Walk/Invisible City, 1983-1989, Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

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.

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Review of Drawn by Light, Media Space, The Science Museum, London

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.

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Human Nature, Flowers Gallery, London

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.

Creating Playful Abstractions- The Work of Simon Kirk

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.

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Chu Enoki: Enoki Chu, White Rainbow, London

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.

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Aesthetica Issue 63 February / March Out Now

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. 

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5 To See This Weekend

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.

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Corinne Felgate: Bigger Than The Both of Us, The Rook and Raven Gallery, London

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 : A Love As Old As Water, Beaux Arts, London

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. 

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Anna Parkina, Contemporary Life & Avant-Garde Russian Art in Aesthetica Magazine

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.

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Stephen McKenna and Derek Eland Exhibitions at mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

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.

Mimmo Rotella, Robilant+Voena, London

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.

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We Could Be Heroes, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

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. 

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Realism in Rawiya: Photographic Stories from the Middle East, Impressions Gallery, Bradford

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.

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Interview with Christopher Wilmot-Sitwell on Art Fund and cazenove+loyd’s Inspired Journeys

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. 

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Shih Hsiung Chou: Wait Until It Dries, Encounter Contemporary, London

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.

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Simon Norfolk: Stratographs, Benrubi Gallery, New York

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.

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Review of Jeff Koons, Pompidou Centre, Paris

In this retrospective exhibition of American artist Jeff Koons, the Pompidou Centre has provided viewers with an illuminating chronology on the evolution of one of contemporary art’s most controversial figures. Koons is best known for his reproductions of ordinary shopping-mall items – like blow-up dolls and balloon animals – into metallic and glossy stainless steel objects. His work has fiercely divided many in the art world who argue that Koons offers a wonderfully ironic comment on the normative aesthetic value of art, while others condemn the pieces as kitschy self-merchandising for the Koons brand.

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Rights of Nature: Art and Ecology in the Americas, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham

In Nottingham Contemporary‘s latest exhibition, 20 international artists reflect upon the ecological, economic, political, and cultural crises of our modern world, opening up topics such as the current and catastrophic climate change, runaway global warming, and environmental destruction worldwide. Rights of Nature reveals how contemporary art contributes to the global rethinking of our species’ relationship with other living things – upon whose regeneration and survival our future depends.

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Ali Banisadr: At Once, Blain Southern, London

Ali Banisadr’s first ever UK solo show emerges as a series of oil paintings created over the last two years, including a 7-metre long triptych, his largest work to date. Banisadr’s fantastical landscapes, populated with grotesque hybrids in a perpetual state of frenzy, oscillate between the abstract and the figurative.

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Alec Soth: Songbook, Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

With 20 new and never-before-seen photographs Alex Soth moves away from the haunting and influential portraits and landscapes that he has become known for, and turns his lens toward life in the country. These photographs are gathered together in Songbook, which is due to go on display at Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, 5 February – 4 April.

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5 To See This Weekend

There’s plenty to get involved with this weekend in the art world. Ronchini Gallery, London, is home to the UK’s first solo exhibition of Pier Paolo Calzolari, an influential figure in the Arte Povera movement. The works of Michelangelo Antonioni are compiled with new contemporary photography to explore themes of voyeurism and media theory from the 1960s to the present day. Meanwhile, the Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2014 showcase is still available to view, using a plethora of new media to explore current affairs, human nature, and desire.

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Interview with Linda Ingham, Curator at Abbey Walk Gallery, Grimsby

Abbey Walk Gallery, a premier art venue located in Grimsby, focuses on showcasing an exciting and diverse rolling programme of modern and contemporary art in North East Lincolnshire and across the UK. Established in 2008, the gallery works with a fantastic selection of established and emerging practitioners, and hosts an innovative programme of exhibitions, workshops and events. Supporting artists’ through its in-house artists’ studios, the gallery seeks to promote the development of artists’ careers. This week Abbey Walk is at the London Art Fair. We speak to Linda Ingham, Curator and Project Officer at Abbey Walk, about the gallery’s attendance at the fair. Alongside her involvement with Abbey Walk’s programming, Ingham is also a gallery artist.

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Hello, My Name is Paul Smith, The Hasselt Fashion Museum, Belgium

The world’s leading museum devoted to architecture and design, The Hasselt Fashion Museum, takes audiences behind the scenes of Paul Smith’s world, which is dominated by intuitive creativity, in Hello, My Name is Paul Smith. Running 30 January – 7 June, the show, which previously appeared at Design Museum, London, unveils the expert craftsmanship and individual talent of a top designer.

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Christian Marclay, White Cube Bermondsey, London

Continuing Christian Marclay’s long-standing interest in the relationship between image and sound, this exhibition is comprised of a series of new works on canvas and paper that feature onomatopoeia taken from comic books as well as a lively programme of weekly performances.

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Max Neumann: New Works, Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York

“The strange thing about heads is that the more you leave out, the more intense the expression becomes. In a different way than in portrait painting. It has absolutely nothing to do with that. These figures are just that to me: figures. They’re sexless, they have no special attributes. They are specters, shadows. What’s very important to me is the intensity, the presence. What that does. What it does in the painting. What it does with the viewer.” – Max Neumann.

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Seven from the Seventies, Flowers Gallery, London

Seven influential abstract painters from the 1970s, Colin Cina, Bernard Cohen, Noel Forster, Derek Hirst, Michael Kidner, Jack Smith and Richard Smith, exhibit works demonstrating a reductive and disciplined articulation of the sensations of light, form, sound, colour and space at Flowers Gallery, London, in Seven from the Seventies.

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Sidsel Christensen, Andrew Leventis and Lisa Slominski: We Never Dream Alone, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London

In We Never Dream Alone, works by Sidsel Christensen, Andrew Leventis and Lisa Slominski see the borders between real and unreal, fact and fiction, virtual and visceral, and blurred and explored. Diverse media, from video and painting to installation, bind together the diverse yet complementary practices of these three artists, as each navigates the ‘other’ space.

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Highlights of London Art Fair, 21 – 25 January, 2015

The UK’s premier fair for Modern and contemporary British art opens for its private view today. Situated in the Business Design Centre, Islington, the 27th edition of the London Art Fair will be on view to the public 21-25 January. With 128 exhibtors from across the world, the fair gives a unique overview of the art world and has an exiting programme of curated exhibitions, talks, films and performances. There are a number of highlights at this year’s event, including the inaugural Art Projecs Artist Award and the premiere of William Mackrell’s North South live performance on 22 January.

Edward Burtynsky, Stepwell #4, Sagar Kund Baori, India, 2013, (c) Edward Burtynsky, courtesy of Flowers Gallery, London

Q&A with Sophie Hall, Gallery Director at Flowers Gallery, London

In the build up to its 45th anniversary, Flowers Gallery brings a diverse showcase of international practitioners to the London Art Fair. Established in 1970 by Angela Flowers, the family run gallery was one of the first to open in London’s East End – now known as the capital’s most vibrant art scene. Growing into two spaces in London and one in New York, Flowers prides itself in its dynamic programme of all media by both established and emerging artists. The gallery is also an active publisher of prints and multiples. Aesthetica speaks to Sophie Hall, Gallery Director at Flowers, about the upcoming art fair and the gallery’s plans for 2015. 

Laurie Simmons, The Love Doll Day 31 (Geisha Close-Up), 2011, Fuji Matte Print, 101.6x76.2cm (40x30inches), Copyright the Artist. Courtesy Wilkinson Gallery, London

Laurie Simmons, The Arts Club, London

Ahead of new museum exhibitions in the USA, The Arts Club in London presents a selection of work spanning the career of American photographer Laurie Simmons. Born 1949 and working in the same period as Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger, Simmons uses photography to expose and critique media representation of women. Gender and sexuality are recurring themes in her work and she is notorious for using dolls and miniature objects to create staged realities.

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Horizon, Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong

This group exhibition explores the concept of landscapes, both traditional and abstract, and the selection of work depicts both the external world and internal responses to nature. The artists featured are all gallery artists and include Tracey Emin, Billy Childish, Angel Otero, Teresita Fernández and Juergen Teller.

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In Conversation with Anna Vogel, in Aesthetica Magazine

Living and working in Düsseldorf, Germany, artist Anna Vogel (b. 1981) transforms found photography with painting techniques, such as varnish, acrylic, ink and pigment, to manipulate the reality of the natural landscape into a surrealist scene with exaggerated elements. Her work recently appeared in a solo exhibition at Sprüth Magers, Berlin, from 8 July until 30 August 2014, and a set of new photobased works are currently on display at CONRADS, Düsseldorf.

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Athena Papadopoulos, Zabludowicz Collection Invites, Zabludowicz Collection, London

The Zabludowicz Collection Invites series is a unique opportunity for UK-based artists without commercial gallery representation to showcase their work in a solo exhibition at a dedicated project space at Zabludowicz Collection. This spring, Canadian born artist Athena Papadopoulos (b. 1988) presents her multidisciplinary practice. Following her MFA at Goldsmiths, London, Papadopoulos shows a new group of works made especially for the exhibition at Zabludowicz Collection.

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Two Hundred Years of the Kingdom of the Netherlands: The Atlas Van Stolk, Kunsthal Rotterdam

This spring, Kunsthal Rotterdam presents Two Hundred Years of the Kingdom of the Netherlands: The Atlas Van Stolk until 8 March. The exhibition includes hundreds of prints, drawings, photographs, cartoons and posters from the Atlas which illustrate the lives of the Dutch people during two centuries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and show how they have viewed themselves over the years. 

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Nástio Mosquito: Daily Lovemaking, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham

This is a bold, provocative exhibition of the work of emerging artist, Nástio Mosquito. Exciting, contemporary and devoid of delineation, his work defies categorisation and points towards a new culture of art that combines pop, performance, fine art and politics. Hailing from the broadcast industry, where he worked previously as director and cameraman, this is Mosquito’s first solo exhibition.