[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 » »
[Katie reviews a controversial show at London's Camden Arts Centre by American artist Kara Walker, and discusses whether the artist is reinforcing or battling racist stereotypes. -- the artblog editors] As I enter, there it is spelled out in bold lettering on the glass doors: “We at Camden Arts Centre are Exceedingly Proud to Present an Exhibition of Capable Artworks by the Notable Hand of the Celebrated American, Kara Elizabeth Walker, Negress.” Even reading this title to Kara Walker’s first major solo UK show is itself somewhat discomfiting; its phrasing carries airs of times past, of printed playbills, hyperbolic flatteries, ... More » »
(Mellisa reviews a video installation focusing on the desire to collect and preserve objects d’art and cultural artifacts. — the artblog editors) Fiona Tan’s ”Inventory,” now on view through March 23 at the Perelman Building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, is a meditation on the visual archive as a way of preserving the world. An intriguing look at one man’s collection of objects, “Inventory” also raises issues about collections in general, especially cross-cultural collections, which are the basis for most of the world’s encyclopedic museums. Showcasing Soane’s collection The piece is made up of six video screens that play archival film footage ... More » »
His first solo showing in London in the past six years, Guy Allott‘s exhibition Super States at Madder139 presents a collection of paintings that are undeniably surrealist in feeling–jarring inconsistencies à la Dali, and wood grain patterns reminiscent of Magritte. Futuristic and ruinous yet at the same time primordial, the artist’s landscapes retain a compelling unplaceability. Guy Allott’s Super States is on view at Madder 139 (137 Whitecross Street, EC1Y 8JL) until June 30.
On a slim wall between two of the Serpentine’s galleries, a note with cutout letters, like a ransom letter, is posted: “Art must have the right to risk being bad.” The message made me smile. But it then made me think, is Hans-Peter Feldmann giving himself a way out? Or is he, instead, merely reflecting on the natural process of art making? While the answer seems to be the latter, Feldmann’s work, showcased in survey in the current Serpentine show, repeatedly creates the space to question and explore the artist’s intentions, eliciting the raising of an eyebrow, a hint of ... More » »
Collectible, first and foremost, is a deftly-curated compendium of artistic talent. Having the work of 66 artists assembled in a small gallery/studio space sounds overwhelming. Yet, somehow, the scale of the art in Collectible makes for a welcome cross-disciplinary exploration. The artworks that thrive most in the current show are those pieces that are meticulously and minutely crafted.
Ten thousand ceramic daffodils have sprung up in the courtyard of London’s historic Somerset House. The work of London-based Chilean artist Fernando Casasempere, Out of Sync creates a simultaneously beautiful yet jarring installation. While springing up at the same time as their sunny natural counterparts, these clay-and-iron daffodils work against nature, hardened and without movement, lithe only in form. The lush turf laid over the courtyard initially beckons viewers–a respite in the middle of the city–yet ultimately denies entry with its forbidding ‘Keep Off The Grass’ signs. Similarly, the flowers, industrial yet handcrafted, belie their true nature. Out of Sync ... More » »
[Ed. note-This is a new Friday feature, a picture post on a day we publish the news post in the left column. Short and visually spiffy. A good way to begin the weekend!] Just as I was leaving the preview for the dual shows of Michael Raedecker and Mary Heilmann at Hauser and Wirth, a band came marching in. Literally. The Royal British Legion Band, complete with drums and brass instruments and drum major, processed right into the middle of the room of Raedecker’s work. Perhaps just a festive acknowledgement of Mardi Gras, it definitely was a fun and unexpected ... More » »
It is difficult to commute on the Tube everyday without seeing some mention of the upcoming 2012 Olympics. In light of this increased global attention and the spirit of the world’s nations coming together, I’d like to consider this year’s museum offerings and the subsequent pressure to represent England’s national identity. Of all the shows happening this year, Damien Hirst at the Tate Modern and David Hockney at The Royal Academy come to the forefront. Now, I don’t pretend to be an expert on the very British of the British (especially as a Canadian living in London), but intend, instead, ... More » »
The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860-1900, through July 17 at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is perhaps most interesting for emphasizing that the Pre-Raphaelites set out to make their living space a Gesamptkunstwerk, complete with paintings, furniture, wallpaper, decorative objects and artistically-clad women, who clearly were part of the decoration; hence the exhibition includes all facets of fine and decorative arts, including photography, printed books and rarely-seen items of jewelry and clothing. Women’s clothing, that is. While the men established, developed and prosthelytized on behalf the style, it didn’t extend to their own dress. Even the dandy, ... More » »Next Page »