This year the arts have been subject to a double squeeze – big falls in business contributions to the arts (making the renewal of BP’s sponsorship deal with Tate even more contentious) coupled with the much documented cuts to funding from the public sector, despite this visitor numbers at galleries have remained stable, highlighting that there is still much to celebrate. Three new public galleries have opened to great success: the Hepworth in Wakefield, the Turner Contemporary in Margate, and Firstsite in Colchester, whilst White Cube opened a third space in October. Perhaps in relation to the Turner Prize at Baltic, Nicholas Serota noted an increase in appetite for contemporary art across the country, which should come as no surprise given the quality of exhibitions coming out of galleries at the moment. At Aesthetica, we have spent 2011 doing what we do best, but better. In November, we launched our film festival, ASFF to great success and to top it all off, we extended the current issue of the magazine to include over 100 pages of visual content.
This was a good year. We’ve racked our brains to choose our favourite exhibitions and features from the magazine in 2011: Issue 39: February/March Susan Hiler: The Collective Conscience The artist who needs no introduction takes over London with a massive retrospective at Tate Modern and new works at Timothy Taylor Gallery. Read the article for free here. Issue 40: April/May A Reaction to Globalised Production: Making is Thinking 15 international artists exhibit at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, in a ground-breaking exhibition exhibition that deciphers new meaning within the difference between making and thinking. Read the article for free here. Issue 41: June/July Transgressing Conventional Boundaries: Bruce Nauman Kunsthalle Mannheim celebrates Bruce Nauman’s 70th birthday with a retrospective examining the artist’s fascinating body of work. Read the article for free here. Issue 42: August/September A Survey of the Postmodern: Postmodernism Style and Subversion 1970-1990 With 20 years hindsight, the V&A’s autumn blockbuster is the first major show to survey the visual products from the postmodern era. Read the article for free here. Issue 43: October/November Photographic Dialogues Photophnompenh: 4th Edition, Various Locations Cambodia, 26 November – 3 December For the forth consecutive year, PPP will present a programme of 30 exhibitions that aim to increase the dialogue between Europe and Asia. As in previous years, there is no dominant theme to the festival, but a selection of exhibitions that provide a genuine discussion on ideas such as the visual environment of Phnom Penh, its architecture and landscape. In its representation of a broad spectrum of narratives, PPP offers a unique glimpse into contemporary Cambodia and how local and projected modes of artistic production form part of the wider global dialogue. Buy the issue, or download the article here. Issue 44: December/January History In Context: Zarina Bhimji The first major survey of three decades of Zarina Bhimji’s highly emotive work, and the premiere of her new film, Yellow Patch, opens at Whitechapel Gallery, London in January. Buy the issue, or download the article here. Aesthetica Magazine We hope you enjoy reading the Aesthetica Blog, if you want to explore more of the best in contemporary art and culture you should read us in print too. You can buy it today by calling +44(0)1904 479 168. Even better, subscribe to Aesthetica and save 20%. Go on, enjoy! Captions: 1. Susan Hiller Monument 1980-1 Tate © Susan Hiller, 2010. Courtesy Timothy Taylor Gallery, London 2. Eva Rothschild, SUPERNATURE, 2008 Courtesy of the artist & The Modern Institute / Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow Installation photo Witte de With 2011: Bob Goedewaagen 3. Bruce Nauman Double Poke In The Eye II 1985 Friedrich Christian Flick Collection in Hamburg Bahnhof. Photo by Stefan Altenburger, Zurich. Courtesy of VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011. 4. Arata Isozaki Team Disney Building 1989-90 Orlando, Florida. Photograph by Victoria Slater-Madert 5. Alexander Gronsky From the series Edge 2008 Courtesy VU’la Galerie, Paris 6. Zarina Bhimji Your Sadness is Drunk 2001-2006 Ilfochrome Ciba Classic pRINT Courtesy the artist