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The Treachery of Sanctuary, Chris Milk.

Shaping the Digital Revolution at the Barbican, London

[Our London correspondent, Katie, takes us through a group exhibition focusing on the progression of digital art since its inception; she also offers thoughts about where the medium will take us next. – the artblog editors] Any exciting new trend or tendency in the art world will find itself, sooner or later, the subject of a large, high-profile show hoping to act as the herald for the next big thing. Such shows often become the focal point around which lively debates and controversies play themselves out. The Digital Revolution show at the Barbican Centre, London, is just such an exhibition. ... More » »

Giulio Paolini ESSERE O NO ESSERE Macro - Roma a cura di Bartolo

Slipping out of the picture –- Giulio Paolini’s To Be Or Not To Be at the Whitechapel Gallery, London

[Katie delves into the magic and mathematical inspiration behind Giulio Paolini’s work, which tackles the role of the viewer, tongue firmly in cheek. — the artblog editors] Giulio Paolini’s retrospective show at the Whitechapel Gallery reads like a playful pursuit in a hall of mirrors; the viewer may hunt the artist all they like, but all they will find is their own gaze, reflected and deflected through a teasingly self-referential maze. Paolini’s work is a witty exploration of the encounter between the work and the viewer, his own role constantly questioned, upturned and visibly sliced out of the picture. Capturing ... More » »


The Ukrainians at the DAAD Gallery, Berlin

[Andrea reports from Berlin on a group show centering around political unrest in Ukraine; though some works have a lighthearted touch, their undercurrent remains somber. — the artblog editors] The most compelling exhibition I saw last month in Berlin was at the gallery of DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst), the German Academic Exchange. The Ukrainians (May 24-June 21, 2014), curated by Bettina Klein, was art from the front lines by a group of artists well-aware of the possibilities and limits of art in the midst of serious, political unrest.   Symbolizing state rhetoric Many of the artists spent time protesting with the ... More » »


University of Brighton Graduate Show 2014

[Our UK correspondent, Katie, reflects on the plight of the graduating art student; she discusses how these challenges are reflected in a show of matriculating students’ work. — the artblog editors] An institution like a university provides its students access to an extraordinary range of contacts, information, resources, and tools. One difficulty is that the culture residing within its walls can also tend to reinforce a belief that such structures are essential to facilitate, showcase, and validate cultural production. The yearly Graduate Show at the University of Brighton sees a crop of students just about to step outside of this ... More » »

pic 4

Books on new approaches to art and its institutions, part I

[Andrea recommends two books taking a different look at the way art is categorized, displayed, and interacted with, and looks at a similar process currently in action at the Netherlands’ Van Abbemuseum. — the artblog editors] Reclassifying artists This collection of essays is a welcome, clear-eyed, and clearly expressed examination of contemporary art’s production and reception. Ben Davis is committed to and involved in politics that support social change, and skeptical of much of the current rhetoric around art and politics–such as the assumption that collectivism assumes a radical, political stance. A seriously informed, progressive Marxist, Davis defines class according ... More » »


Makers – Collaboration in the age of new technology

[Katie reports from the UK, where she gets a taste of the “maker movement” encouraging everyone to take a hands-on interest in the creation of products and technologies. — the artblog editors] Today’s world seems to be filled with brand-new technologies, invented and reinvented at lightning speeds by the youngest of experts. The maker movement can be broadly defined as a group taking a DIY approach to these new technologies, prioritising the asking of questions and free experimentation in a culture of very hands-on creation. Collaborative workshops known as “hackspaces” are popping up all over, filled with making equipment and ... More » »

Space Odyssey: Chinese artist Li Wei flies above the crowd at the Grand Palais in Paris.

Postcard from Paris — Icarus en Ville at spring art fair Art Paris

[Matthew visits the spring art fair, Art Paris, and talks about the infusion of Chinese art there. — the artblog editors] Even the casual Paris observer will note that the Elysian Fields (Les Champs Elysées) have slowly become a bit more Chinese over the last two decades. Sushi restaurants are run by Chinese immigrants; old French “tabacs” and cafés are being taken over by Chinese and Vietnamese families. Chinese is almost a second language in the Louvre and my friends’ children all learn Mandarin at school. So it’s no wonder Art Paris, the spring salon that takes place each spring, ... More » »

© Oliver Goodrich

Dead space in a crowded city — Turning London’s empty warehouses into creative communities

[Katie takes an in-depth look at how rising housing costs are pushing some London artists to get creative, and live communally. — the artblog editors] London is an expensive city. Reports abound of broom-closets with toilets next to the bed going for exorbitant rates of rent, in a city plagued by homelessness and poverty. It is also home to a vibrant arts scene, with four major universities churning out batches of exciting young artists with wild ideas and a lot more drive than money. The rise of a new community center It’s no surprise, then, to find a thriving scene ... More » »


United in light — Darren Almond’s To Leave a Light Impression and Dale Chihuly’s Beyond the Object in London

[Katie explores two London shows that treat light in very different ways, from moonlit nature photographs to abstract, colorful glass sculptures — the artblog editors] Light does much to connect us with the world. Its ricocheting rays tell volumes about what’s around us, from the expression on the face of a friend to the condition of a distant star. It’s little wonder, then, that light is an object of fascination and exploration for artists, who play with perceptions that most of us take for granted. Darren Almond‘s long-exposure moonlight photos, now showing at White Cube, play explicitly with the idea ... More » »

installation with ship

The Rijksmuseum’s re-installation, and some comments on museum labeling

[Andrea visits the Rijksmuseum, which reopened last year after a decade-long, near-$500-million renovation. While pleased to see art objects placed in historical context, she laments the museum’s reliance on an inconvenient computer labeling system. –the artblog editors] This was my first visit to the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam  since its refurbishment, and while 10 years was an exceptionally long time to put most of the collection of the country’s major art museum in storage, the results are superb. The most significant change, in terms of the displays, is the decision to arrange the art by period and theme, rather than medium. The ... More » »

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