Just turning a corner and seeing something exquisite can change your Frieze experience. The two extremely satisfying hand carved scultpures entitled 'Kadeem and Kyrone', 2014 by Tomoaki Suzuki in the Corvi-Mora booth stand proudly despite being so low to the ground. The effect is much more powerful than if they were on a plinth. Instead they share our space. The two dashingly dressed men, from the tie to the tassles on the shoes and perfectly placed pin in the lapel, are intriguing.
Suzuki studied in Tokyo's Zokei University then Goldsmith's, then City & Guild's Art school. He's had a solo show in the Art Institute of Chicago. "Mr. Suzuki, who lives in London, finds his subjects in his Hackney
neighborhood. He asks them to pose for extensive sessions, and
photographs them for further reference. Each lime-wood sculpture takes
about two months to carve, after which it is painted." - New York Times Review of Suzuki at Marc Jancou Contemporary in 2012.
Kadeem and Kyrone, 2014 Lime wood, acrylic paint, 55 x 11.5 x 14.5cm and 55.6 x 10.5 x 17cm
Paul Graham's photographs are stunning to stare at and appear to animate themselves the longer you look. The very large photograph on show at Frieze are an experience to look at, as cheesy as that sounds. It's true. Can't find an image of the work which is probably a good thing. More on Paul Graham here: http://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/
It was packed to the gills this weekend with exhibitors and visitors, and KALEID Editions was placed right at the front and Monica Alcazar-Duarte upright and ready for visitors to see.
The section entitled 'The Unbinding' in the cafe space halfway up the stairs providing a break from the community fair style table, sellers and for the most part quite traditional art books overload. Curated by Jotta in partnership with UNBOUND - the unbinding displayed commissioned artists take on the book as an art object in the most explicit sense.
I couldn't resist buying a ridiculously-reasonably priced screenprinted book from Container; a collective of four, two of whom were there at the fair and explained the process of creating prints and publications inspired by Le Harve - the concrete city designed by architect Auguste Perret.
I only wish I could find some more information online about Container...
Recommended ExhibitionsPosted by Artfeelers Mar 23, 2014 22:46 Watch Matthew Noel-Tod's A Season in Hell in 3-D (originally commissioned by LUX) at Banner Repeater on the platform of Hackney Downs Station until 6th April. It's quite dramatic when the sound of the fire in the video joins forces with the screech on the tracks when the trains pull in. Such a fantastic location for a gallery.
This Is Not Public/Part 2. What do we mean by public engagement?
4 - 6 October 2013
Charlotte Knox-Williams, Jonathan Trayner, Christine Sullivan and Rob Flint, Neil Ferguson, Kim Wan, John Greene, Edward Dorrian, Joe Duggan, Andrew Cooper
This Is Not Public/Part 1. was an open call made by Five Years inviting anyone to make a proposal that would initiate a preliminary ‘public’ discussion in the gallery critically addressing the Arts Council of England’s funding question: ‘What do we mean by public engagement? ’ Whether we choose to examine the Arts Council’s own funding guidelines, question the idea of a so-called ‘not-for-profit project’/ ‘artist-run space’/ ‘independent curatorial project’ such as Five Years itself or reflect on the Art Licks Weekend’s own special case for ‘opening’ such projects and spaces ‘to the public’ is of course up to us. All proposals were accepted.
For This Is Not Public/ Part 2. each participant has developed their proposal in two ways. 1. as part of a ‘draft’ publication*
** Programme (Free at Five Years 3-6 October 2013) see website for full details
Friday 4th October 11am - 1pm Jonathan Trayner: ‘This photo you found reminds me of the French Revolution?’ Examining the image of protest.
------------ Saturday 5th October 11am - 1pm Joe Duggan: A non academic talk about funding
------------ Sunday 6th October 1.30 - 3.30pm Neil Ferguson, with Sheila Buckley, Sassa Nikolakouli, Wendy Scott and Karen Turner The LOVE of THINGS: Placing things. Offering public engagement?
Davide D'Elia's 'Booze around Light Bulbs' presented by Heimatmuseum: today 03 March 2013 is the last day
197-199 Stoke Newington High St, N16, Across from the Jolly Butchers
In D'Elia's album of subtle but strong dichotomies, everyday objects, which are connected to each other through association, are placed in opposition to each other depending on whether he perceives them as either 'warm' or 'cold'.
The lipstick and pritstick, the letter and iphone, the eggtimer and digital clock; are summoned by the artist to portray his subjection that nature, movement, the past etc. are warm, and particularly so when placed side by side with the cold; the artificial, the static, the futuristic.
D'Elia invites us to look on the world as a series of potentially warm or cold moments. These moments are contained within objects and they are released through perception.
Recommended ExhibitionsPosted by Artfeelers Jul 21, 2012 14:43 The whole situation of my visiting Galerie8 on Wednesday evening was pretty close to perfect. I had wondered if there was gallery behind the austere glass of the building on Richmond Road, as I live just on the other side of Mare Street, but in true Londoner fashion I must have always been too busy, tired, distracted or all three to bother my ass and check. But I did on Wednesday after a tip off from a friend and wandered into the pre-opening-opening. There was really just me there as the audience and lots of attentive Galerie8 people. One in particular, who seemed to be the curator but not totally sure, was a very smart and friendly guy who gave me a tour of the exhibition entitled Impossible Heap, yet another Samuel Beckett inspired concept/ mood/ take on life through art:
The Impossible Heap is a group exhibition that takes its title from the opening lines of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame. The original play elucidates the cyclical and somewhat senseless reality of human existence, and borrows from the last moves of a chess game wherein the outcome becomes inevitable, but is drawn out regardless of the last futile countermoves. " (Press Release)
Until I have time to see it again, ask for images and then write about this exhibition properly I just want to highlight a few artists for now - explanations will follow...
- Chris Jones' burnt out car collage (bit of a genius - fantastic artwork which unfortunately I can't find an image for but earlier work above of the horse and carriage that'll give you some very vague idea) - Alexis Milne's Riot - below - Zavier Ellis's Tombstone painting - Sarah Pager's The Skinny
Recommended ExhibitionsPosted by Artfeelers Jul 11, 2012 08:10 Grayson Perry's superb Vanity of Small Differences, an exhibition of six fantastic tapestries tracking the mobility of one young man from a babe to a body bathing in its own blood on an A road, mirroring Hogarth's Rake's Progress, will soon be over and I really don't want you to miss it. While Hogarth used the medium of prints to disseminate his ideas as depicted in the Rake's Progress, Perry has used Channel 4, accompanying the series of Tapestries (another forray from Perry into reviving a dying art and making it thoroughly relevant to a contemporary audience, employing an important Belgian tapestry company) with a 3/4 part series on social mobility in UK today - looking at the laminated working classes, the self effacing middle classes and the dying animal that is the upper crust, hanging onto their crumbling castles for dear life. Made in Belgium and choc-a-clock with reminiscences from the dutch golden age of painting the tapestries are masterpieces together and add the documentaries in and you realise what a dude Perry is.
This blog needs a bit of colour and no better person than Grayson Perry to bring it some -
Recommended ExhibitionsPosted by Artfeelers Jul 10, 2012 23:50 The best thing about the exhibition at Rove Gallery in Hoxton Square for me today was the unexpectedness and what that opened up. I didn't expect the gap between two meetings to be 45 minutes and therefore I didn't expect to have the time to jump into a gallery and see an exhibition. The White Cube was installing, 20 Hoxton Square is no more, the installation in the square's park wasn't inviting nor was the shitty weather so I hopped into Rove - Kenny Schachter's weird space on the east side of the square. Inside I saw what looked like a promising exhibition and which indeed was after it was explained to me by Marina Kurikhina. Consisting of 10 works, very carefully curated to bounce meaning off each other and around the room, by five mexican artists who are all seemingly recognised as 'relevant' yet who have never been banded together to demonstrate the importance of their work as a generation who have come of age more or less at the same time from the same soil before.
Each work is a heavy statement piece in itself, and although Marina explained succinctly why each was significant and why each was chosen she left the whole thing fairly much open to interpretation. These Mexican artists are concerned and exploring the very same themes through much the same mediums and mechanisms as their dry counterparts in Europe. Reflecting the heavy history of minimalism, referencing Albers, the ascetic definitions of Kosuth spliced with the tongue rammed-irredeemably-in-cheek Richard Prince, concrete and neon, black wall and stark white text extolling Ideology to be dead, bolex camera noisily churning out the positive and negative possibilities of Gozola Lebrija running away from us until no more than a dot - we are being shown what you would expect from any of 'our' artists, but not what you would necessarily expect from an exhibition showcasing exclusively Mexicans. This is why Marina is keen to point out that they are all Mexican, not because that is the reason in itself why they are there, it is part of it of course, but it is not a show about Mexican art as such, far from it. She is keen to point it out because you wouldn't otherwise know. It is not parochial, they are not communicating to an outside world about their country. They are true global citizens, engaged in themes that transcend the borders of their nation.
Marina is hosting a brunch this Sunday to discuss the exhibition and more:
Round table discussion with Pablo Leon de la Barra, Mathieu Copeland and Filipa Ramos, Sunday, 15th July 2012, 12pm
33—34 Hoxton Square
London, N1 6NN
For more information contact:
Maybe just maybe I'll see you there...
All this talk of Mexico reminded me of Francis Alys, Belgian artist who lives in Mexico city. There are certain living artists, that I am not necessarily sure I would like to meet because I would be so nervous and it's not necessary to meet them as their art is what is important for us, like Cindy Sherman, Doug Aitkin, Christo, Balka...that I am fascinated by and am very happy and honoured to share the same moment in the world with and Alys is seriously up there, the artist as Shaman, the artist as visual poet, visionary and 'realisor', he is a true contemporary artist. He allows you to download a heap of his films from his website www.francisalys.com. Here's one you might like:
Recommended ExhibitionsPosted by Artfeelers May 23, 2012 00:02 I happened upon something very cool at Cambridge Heath train station last Thursday - an intervention orchestrated by Julie Hill. Hill got two young talented actors - Kristoffer Hubball and Madelaine Ryan - to re-enact the final scene from the classic Brit film Brief Encounter. It's a classic tear jerker and sure enough, as the couple embraced on the platform a little longer than planned due to a delayed train, their extended goodbye pulled tightly on the heart strings of the knowing few of us perched on the platform bench and frightened an alighting passenger, who touched Madelaine's arm comfortingly and asked her if she was ok, and was she sure she was ok. The actress looked completely lost, standing alone and crying her eyes out, her handbag abandoned beside her on the yelllow line. The perfect intervention on an otherwise humdrum day for most.
After this performance Catherine Anyango and Julie Hill invited us to their show, currently on at Guest Projects at the south end of Broadway Market. The exhibition explores 'the historical view of women as objects perpetually on the brink of hysteria – dripping with emotion, their bodies ready to overflow, blurring and overriding social norms' (http://cryingout.tumblr.com/). Two pieces really stood out for me. The first by Anyango, is a convincing effigy of a women bent over a sink in the corner, the water streaming onto her hands as she endlessly washes he china. Her hands are cast in soap, and as the water washes them away the plates inevitable smash into the belfast sink and echo around the exhibition. The other piece is also by Anyango - an animation of a women crying hysterically over her handbag. The image of the women was taken from found material - cctv footage on youtube of an anonymous woman in this distraught condition. Each frame was drawn very small and the effect of blowing the animation up large on the wall is one of pixellated confusion and disturbance.
Both the intervention by Julie Hill and the animation by Catherine Anyango reminded me of a video piece by the fantastic Norwegian artist A K Dolven 'between the morning and the handbag' which I saw at the Temple Bar Galleries many moons ago whilst studying in Dublin. I'll leave it up to you to look up more on this if you wish to.
There are lots more interesting works in Crying out Loud, as per usual too many too mention. The exhibition runs till 31 May. I hope you get a chance to see it.
Recommended ExhibitionsPosted by Artfeelers Apr 25, 2012 13:53 My Dog Sighs is a very sweet name and this is a very sweet idea. Keep an eye out for his flickr inspired free art around East London as he's currently exhibiting in Pure Evil Gallery on Leonard Street. So far he's given away over 1,500 art works, recycling what he finds so as not to adding anything negative to the environment.
I know a musician who once told me when he goes to a new city he is very aware of how it sounds. He says each city sounds very different. I am quite sure this sensitivity is linked to his chosen occupation. No outrageous connection there. Traditionally photographers show us what a city looks like. This makes sense too. But Stephen Gill, Hackney based photographer, says he wants to include as much as he can of what a place feels like. Gill therefore "started collecting little bits of stuff from actual places, and then putting them inside the camera. Bits of plant life, seeds, or glass: I drop them in just before loading the film. I've even used insects. These objects then sit on the film emulsion when I'm taking the picture. It's a way of encompassing the actual essence of a place in an image, the visual noise and chaos."
'Where intention meets chance' … Stephen Gill's shot of a Hackney street
This sounds like a quirky school project that could easily look crap but the results are simple and beautiful. Full of texture and punk. Gill claims to love and rebel against photography in equal measure. Speaking about Hackney he hits the rusty nail on the head - "Hackney is a place that attracts obsessives. It's something to do with its contradictions: you can be in a beautiful spot with canals and meadows, and then the flipside is chaos and dirt. That's what I'm trying to grapple with." (Interview with Guardian - 3 March 2010)
Stephen Gill is included in a group show aptly called 'Et cetera' curated by the formidable Tom Jeffreys of Spoonfed at Hoxton Art Gallery, opening tonight:
Recommended ExhibitionsPosted by Artfeelers Apr 02, 2012 00:46 Samuel Beckett's influence on contemporary art is seismic. I use the word seismic because the more I look and see, the more I feel his energy and legacy rumbling underneath like the undercurrent motion of lava influencing on varying richter scales. Miroslaw Balka is one artist more obviously influenced by Beckett ('How It Is', 2009 - read my article on the subject here) and Graham Dolphin is another. Dolphin's latest exhibition, currently at Seventeen Gallery is a presentation of his exquisite pencil works on paper replicating famous writers, artists and thinkers' last words, Sylvia Plath's gravestone - 'Stone' and the fans last words on the memorial wall for Ian Curtis - 'Wall (Walk in Silence)'. Included is a replica of Beckett's last poem ever written 'Comment Dire' meaning 'What is the Word' in French or more literally 'how do you say', a characteristically tongue in cheek title for the last poem by one of the 20th century's greatest writers and deemed by Dolphin the most apt title for his related body of work.
Along with 'Comment Dire' is Aldous Huxley's last scrawled words, written in his last few moments; 'LSD - Try it 100 intramuscular', as he just had, dying under the influence of the mighty hallucinogenic, the last known work by Charles Bukowski a witty 'fax poem', Allen Ginsberg's last poem 'Thinks I'll Not Do', among others.
The content of the drawings is so intense - captivating historically important documents - and emotionally charged with our own fear of mortality and act of sharing in the direct thoughts of those who faced death head on, their time spent, now behind them, that you actually forget just how beautiful the graphite renderings are. Faithfully portraying the lined page, the indentations of folds and fingers, the shadows created by the accidental landscaping of the paper. The realisation that this is the work of Dolphin's own hand adds a dimension of time, meditation and complete absorption to the works, demonstrates the dexterous craft of draftsmanship, let it be unfashionably said, and a physical assertion of the artist as living mediator between his deceased heros, and the audience - us.
The most poignant perhaps though is 'Last Diary Entry' Frida Kahlo's parting words of grace. Kahlo died at 47, the official cause of death was said to be a pulmonary embolism, although it's suspected that she may have deliberately overdosed. A few days before her death she wrote (as translated in Seventeen's press release):
"Thanks to the doctors Farill - Glusker - Parres and Doctor Enrique Palomera Sanchez Palomera. Thanks to the nurses to the stretcher hearers to the cleaning women and attendants at the British Hospital Thanks to Dr. Vargas Th Navarro to Dr. Polo And to my will Power. I hope the exit is joyful and I hope never to return. FRIDA"
Recommended ExhibitionsPosted by Artfeelers Nov 28, 2011 22:55 Some people have their priorities straight. I seriously think that the adventures in Magda's blog are more important than most the exhibitions in most of the galleries I visit.
Magda lives in a council block in East London and has brokered a friendly and creative relationship with her Bangladeshi neighbours. Her blog is an online journal ranging from just a few words and a few photos of the kids she makes art and organises parties with to longer more thoughtful reflections on what happened that day and how it made her feel. Seriously heartwarming. I've picked out two of the blog posts that I really like for you to take a look at, but all of them are great and the blog is really a story so it's good to read as many posts as possible. Like any journal it makes more sense and gets more interesting the more your read. I think. Thanks and well done Magda, hope to meet you sometime.
There are many a reason why cameras and photography took off
like box paints and pleine air painting never could.
death of painting is a fashion to herald. It’s obsolete - had its day, all
that. At this stage it is ridiculous to even entertain such statements as we
see people paint, continually, consistently, in new ways, in old ways, brilliantly
and disastrously. That is not to deny that the pluralist, everything goes
nature of contemporary art has not caused painting to be toppled from its former
pedestal. But, with the likes of Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter and Takahashi Murakami still
developing the medium and exploring its possibilities to our delight and
intrigue, it can not be said that painting is irrelevant. That said it is quite
rare to find impressive and interesting painting here in London. The current fashion is pastiche
plagiarism and gothic game play. So when I was given a small taste of Liz Barile-Page, a photography graduate, a member of the East London Printmakers group and first and foremost a painter, I was interested to see more.
moving to the UK from the US in 2007 to
study photography and fine art further, Barile-Page was awakened to the
significance of red in this new cultural setting when a lecturer remarked of
her shoes - that he never wore red, he thought it so ‘vulgar’. The
comment, and slight in the young Amercian student's direction, incited a series of paintings focusing
on single object, close-up studies, exploiting red; charging it and the
paintings with the artist’s own personal mythology. Crack Donkey, pictured
below, is Barile-Page’s favourite of this series and it is a good example
of her mischievous and wry humour combined with skillful technique. Red is not
just the descriptive colour, it is the subject too. It is used as a little ‘fuck
you’. The paintings say ‘red is mine’, ‘look how rich and sumptuous it is’ and
‘if that’s vulgar to you - fine’.
painted her first ‘proper painting’ in 2004 while studying photography in Florida. The result is
astonishingly accomplished; a self portrait of the artist applying red lipstick
in a bare bathroom with a striking blue towel draped over its rail (pictured
above). Looking at a reproduction of the painting on screen, the subtle and classic techniques employed to make the painting work are explained to me.
Regardless of these techniques of compostion, paint application or
verisimilitude, it is the intense gaze, concentration and the painfully honest
depiction of the deliberated and self conscious act of a young woman
transforming her mundane identity into a potential object of sexual attention,
into potentially a more confident being, and undoubtedly into a more noticeable
figure - simply by applying the colour red to her lips. She paints
herself as she literally paints herself.
describes her art as ‘a documentary of visions and working out of technical
ideas or problems.’ The working out of technical ideas is clearly evident,
whether it’s in her painting, photography or print making and there is a
playfulness and will to experiment that may lead Barile-Page onto a more
defined trajectory in her own good time. There is also an element of ‘visions’
in the works I have seen, particularly ‘Skeleton boy’; again a single object -
a young boy in a skeleton costume, awkward and vulnerable in his innocent attempt to
appear frightening, immersed in the deep red background of the painting. For
the most part however, the works appear to be a means to document her own world
through an honest and quirky mind’s eye. Currently working on not-a-portrait
but a painting of her husband James (see detail below), she is concerned this time with the
overall blue hue and the autumn evening melancholy as the slouched subject is
hypnotised by his browsing and eerily lit up from below by the screen light
from the laptop on his prostrate body. (The detail and reproduction does not allow us to see the blue unfortunately).
clear that this is a painter, suitably unconcerned with whatever the status or
general condition of contemporary painting, happy to set new challenges for
herself while somehow simultaneously allowing her practice to develop
organically. Keep an eye on this artist.
Recommended ExhibitionsPosted by Artfeelers Sep 12, 2011 23:42 Bored of East London art? I get a bit bored of it sometimes too, truth be known. It can be exhausting and I suppose exhausted from time to time. So...anyone want to read a piece I wrote on two provocative works by an Irish artist; Tadhg McGrath, educated at Central St Martins but hailing from and firmly rebased in my home town of Dublin in Ireland.
'Gardai' is the Irish word for Police.
The article starts with a quote from an artist I love, Francis Alys and discusses the notion of political art somewhat and artists such as AiWeiWei, Jeanne Claude and Christo and Alexis Milne.
'Poetic licence operates like a hiatus – an “agent provocateur”, a short circuit – into the atrophy of situation that finds itself in a state of political, social, confessional, ethical, economical or military crisis or lethargy. Through the absurd and sometimes impertinent nature of the poetic act, art provokes a moment of suspended meaning, a sensation of senselessness that may reveal the absurdity of a situation. Via this act of transgression, the poetic act makes one step backward for an instant from the circumstances. In short, it may make us look at things differently.’ Francis Alÿs
Recommended ExhibitionsPosted by Artfeelers Aug 15, 2011 23:07 My head is bowed for so many reasons but no need to go into it. Blogs and bloggers should be consistent. This failing, good blogs can be resurrected. Seems like this one went into summer hibernation but as the everlasting white cloud determines the mood of London and keep us indoors (and as I search for distractions from studying road signs), it seems an appropriate moment to revive the notice board that is Artfeelers.
I went to two exhibitions this weekend and watched one documentary. All but one were unplanned and all related to photography and its development and simultaneous recording of society's development.
The first was a retrospective on German Photographer (from the important Dusseldorf school, we're told) Thomas Struth at the Whitechapel Gallery. Whitechapel appears to be concentrating heavily on photography lately - the last exhibition was Paul Graham and the archive is showing a photography exhibition entitled 'This is Whitechapel'. Wha did I think? I can see how he is important. Technically amazing work no doubt. Extremely formalistic and curated in such a way that we get a bit of everything and not enough of anything. Also it cost £9.50 for punters, which I thought was a little steep, £7 would have seemed more reasonable. That said they only do one pay for exhibition each year so I think we can cut them some slack for this. Maybe they should try charging less for two exhibitions a year...
The second was London Street Photography at the truly admirable Museum of London, which you must be warned ends soon on 4 September. I was expecting one of those epic room to room, leg-tiring, brain-clouding exhibitions but was pleasantly surprised by a focused room with a slide show annexe to the right and a short documentary interviewing highly experienced and respected contemporary London street artists to the left. Inside was a quadrangle of chronologically and artist/ photographer ordered photos from the 1860s to present day. There was enough to feel you didn't need to look at all and not too much as to not feel overwhelmed. I even bought the catalogue (for my Dad!).
The documentary was presented by Paul Merton on BBC, (there's only BBC channel now, iPlayer) about the 'Weird and wonderful world of early cinema'. The Lumiere Brothers of course featured, as did Edward Muybridge but someone less well known was considered at length - filmaker and shinning star, George Melies. Watch the video below for a taster, the man is magical. There are diligent archivists out there ensuring as much of his work is still accessible despite George burning all the original negatives in later old age depression when he was reduced to selling childrens toys in a road side kiosk.
In terms of the ever growing interest and importance of photography and despite the warnings and fears that common over usage will jade us and fade its relevance, we are constantly fascinated, frightened and delighted in varying measures by the medium and ultimately the reflection of ourselves and our take on the world seen through it. I must add while I am discussing it that two of the best art books i have every read were both by Susan Sontag on both on photography; 'On Photography' and 'Regarding the Pain of Others'.