In our 5 To See for 26-28 May, we reflect on the innovative methods that artists use to communicate with contemporary audiences. Pia Camil uses the aesthetics of outdoor markets and discount retailers in Bara Bara Bara at Dallas Contemporary, while Lara Favaretto experiments with steam on the roof of Nottingham Contemporary and Doug Wheeler formulates an optical and acoustic experience in the Guggenheim. We’re also excited to be opening our own Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition at York Art Gallery, which explores themes such as globalisation, perceptions of space and alienation in the digital age through the work of 16 shortlisted artists.
1. Hanne Darboven, Correspondences, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin
Hamburger Bahnhof celebrates the donation of 15 Hanne Darboven works to the Nationalgalerie by Susanne and Michael Liebelt with a new show titled Correspondences. Bringing together drawings, numerical constructions and serial images derived from Darboven’s engagement with Minimal and Conceptual Art, the exhibition is punctuated by letters from 1967 to 1975, which reveal the establishment and maintenance of a dense network of fellow artists, curators and friends. Prior to her death, the artist chose 1,150 letters, postcards, sketches, plans and photographs from this time period for viewing by the general public.
2. Aesthetica Art Prize, York Art Gallery
The Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition invites audiences to engage with captivating projects from some of today’s leading artists. The 2017 presentation features the work of 16 shortlisted practitioners who hail from diverse locations including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Japan, the USA and the UK. Utilising a range of media, they work within the categories of Photographic & Digital Art; Painting, Drawing & Mixed Media; Three Dimensional Design & Sculpture and Video, Installation & Performance. Images of 84 longlisted pieces are also shown on monitors within the gallery. Works within the show comment on the boundaries between the public and the private that begin to merge into blurred depictions of reality.
3. Pia Camil, Bara Bara Bara, Dallas Contemporary
The artist Pia Camil explores themes of art history, consumerism and the Mexican urban landscape through a wide variety of media ranging from installation to performance and ceramics. Investigating urban ruin through interpretations of abandoned billboards, dollar stores, and iconic works of art, Camil addresses the aesthetic language of modernism and its relationship to retail and advertising. In Bara, Bara, Bara, which draws its name from the rhythmic cry of street vendors in Mexico City and is short for the Spanish word barato (cheap), the artist comments on low-cost goods and consumer culture; she is even inspired by the aesthetics of outdoor markets and discount retailers.
4. Lara Favaretto, Absolutely Nothing, Nottingham Contemporary
This is Lara Favaretto’s largest exhibition to date in the UK, and it unites pivotal pieces spanning two decades of her practice, along with recent works and a major public commission. Her work focuses on sculpture’s mutability and monumentality, often testing its relationship to time. Absolutely Nothing explores a state of uncertainty, where art works become close to the remains of events. Alongside seminal pieces, the exhibition features a major new public commission, titled Thinking Head (2017), comprising clouds of steam slowly rising from the roof of Nottingham Contemporary. On some days these clouds of vapour will be intense; on others, barely visible.
5. Doug Wheeler, PSAD Synthetic Desert III, Guggenheim, New York
Doug Wheeler alters the structure and configuration of a museum gallery in order to control optical and acoustic experience. For PSAD Synthetic Desert III (1971) he has transformed the room into a hermetic realm, a “semi-anechoic chamber” designed to minimise noise and induce an impression of infinite space. Wheeler likens this sensation of light and sound to the perception of vast space in the deserts of northern Arizona. While Synthetic Desert is deeply grounded in the artist’s experience of the natural world, the work does not describe the landscape; its forms are strictly abstract.
1. Credit Tony Cenicola.