Soft Opening: Belly Room by Nevine Mahmoud

23.05.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

British visual artist Nevine Mahmoud recently partnered  with London art gallery Soft Opening on her first European solo exhibition entitled ‘Belly Room.’  The exhibition which opened earlier this month features a selection of five sculptures carved from marble and hand-blown glass.  Throughout the themes of the exhibition, the artist explores her ongoing interest in disembodied body parts with the series of glass forms that represent single breasts and full busts, re-opening the conversation around women’s bodies and their objectification thereof. 

With a palette of pinks, amber and nude, the translucent sculptures subtly distort and dissect the female human form, with each sculpture swelling and sagging along the walls of the gallery.  The sculpture series also includes curving marble slides and sheets mimicking a sort of abstract plastic humanity.

Throughout the exhibition, “the artist negotiates the boundary distinguishing perception and expectation. Searching for a form at once recongnizable and alienated, these uncanny sculptures reverberate with suggestive innuendo.”

The belly room is currently open at the Soft Opening in London and will run until June 30th. 

Nevine Mahmoud, bust (phantom Li), 2019 
Nevine Mahmoud, breast (tamarind), 2019
Nevine Mahmoud, carved slide (2019)

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Playing For Keeps: Molly Matalon & Caroline Tompkins – May 23rd – June 29th

06.05.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Later this month, creative studio Enlarge Your Memories, in partnership with Italian  lens-based bookstore Micacamera will open the doors to an exhibition entitled Playing for Keeps,  featuring the work of American photographers Molly Matalon and Caroline Tompkins.

This exhibition, set to open in the Micacamera space in Milan, will tell the tale of a contemporary woman’s viewpoint of romanticized America. With its infamous patriarchal history, the typical photography that addresses American ‘landscape’ has tendency to only display the postcard values of automobiles, family values and great outdoors.  However, in 2019, the idea of American lives have been expanded on by a wealth of cultural and artistic effort.

Throughout this exhibition Molly Matalon takes on a domestic point of view as she explores the narrative of the housewife. She explores the part of the typical housewife’s world not shown on camera. Portraits of home visitors, palpable sexual tension etc. With the compilation of images, she addresses the freedoms and power plays commonly associated with men in like-environment and in photography. On the other hand, Caroline Tompkins’ work embodies the female YOLO America. It displays a narrative of the fast life, climbing the highest trees, hiking the tallest mountains, getting too close to the fire.

Tompkins’ work denounces gender stereotypes and strives for a reclamation of the pseudo masculine American landscape as she schools her audience on how gratifying it is to live life with the wind blowing through one’s hair. In Playing For Keeps, the photographers explore and update the ideas of humour, sexuality, ownership and power play within today’s contemporary America. 

Image by Caroline Tompkins
Image by Molly Matalon

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Public Gallery: “The Redemption of Delilah” by Alexi Marshall

02.05.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Cover Image: Your Hair Was Long When We First Met, 2019, Alexi Marshall

In less than a week, London based gallery Public Gallery, will present an exhibition featuring the work of British visual artist Alexi Marshall titled The Redemption of Delilah.

The exhibition, set to open on the 8th of May will reveal a series of work from Marshall exploring and reimagining denigrated women of history through the humanity and nuance that lies in what has been traditionally known as sin. In her work, with the use of print, fabric, drawing and embroidery, the artist invites her viewers for a deeper analysis of condemned female figures, with the story centred around the biblical story of Samson and Delilah. As Delilah’s name has been known to be synonymous with the qualities of being voluptuous and treacherous, her fate following her actions highlighted in the bible has never been revealed, which in turns, forever shows her in a degenerated light.

Throughout the exhibition Marshall highlights the characters’ powers as well as their fallibilities as she explores the internal and external forces and at play.  Each pieces of wrk highlights characters from different narratives including Mexican and Trinidadian folklore that tell stories of tragedies, fate, forgiveness and life and death. 

“At a time when powerful women are still regularly denigrated in contemporary society, Marshall shines a new light on these ‘imperfect female sinners’ offering them a voice beyond the confines of history. These characters from religion and folklore become Marshall’s own personal deities, neither benevolent or malevolent but acting as symbols for fate and the innate wild nature of humanity. ” The exhibition will run its course throughout May at the Public Gallery until the 4th of June. 

Sweetest Downfall, 2019, Alexi Marshall
Jezebels Burden, 2019, Alexi Marshall

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Foam: “I Can Make You Feel Good” by Tyler Mitchell

01.05.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Cover Image: Boys of Walthamstow, 2018, Tyler Mitchell

This Spring Foam Museum has opened photographer and filmmaker Tyler Mitchell’s first solo exhibition entitled I Can Make You Feel Good.

Since his historical debut last year with American Vogue’s September issue, featuring Beyoncé as cover, the photographer has been exploring the visuals of the black utopia ever since. This exhibition showcases a compilation of images that feature black youth in safe spaces. With the use of his signature candy coloured palettes and natural light, Mitchell creates images of young black people in gardens, park and in front of idyllic studio backdrops where his subjects appear as free, expressive and vulnerable beings. He creates a  sort of utopia around his subjects that mimic scenarios that are in contrast to what one might acknowledge as reality, bringing a sort of humanity to the forefront. 

The exhibition also premieres two of Mitchell’s video works: “Idyllic Space and Chasing Pink” and “Found Red. ” These are presented as audiovisual installations that explore the senses of play and childlike freedom within the black utopia. His stimuli for the exhibition was based off a younger period of his life where the dynamic site of Tumblr was very influential to the development of his creative vision. “I would very often come across young, attractive white models running around being free and having so much fun — the kind of stuff Larry Clark or Ryan McGinley would make. I very seldom saw the same for black people in images — or at least in the p hotography I knew of them.” I Can Make You Feel Good presents Tyler’s rendition of an earlier Tumblr in a time where it provided creative nutrients inclusive of black youth. The exhibition will run throughout the Spring at the Foam in Amsterdam until the 5th of June. 

Untitled (Two Girls Embrace) 2018, Tyler Mitchell
Untitled (Hat) 2018, Tyler Mitchell

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Six artists to discover during Art Brussels

28.04.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Cover Image: Autour de nous huile sur bois de Karine Rougier, 103 x 93 cm, 2018

Brussels is increasingly becoming one of the most refreshing European cities in which to discover art. Young spaces like collective Ballon Rouge and the collaborative La Maison de Rendez-Vous are opening new spaces and giving a new dose of oomph to the scene. Last week’s Art Brussels, an annual fair in its 37th edition with 148 galleries, was not too big, not too small – the goldilocks porridge of fairs. Here were six artists worth only a Eurostar away.

Merve Iseri

Turkish painter Merve Iseri was both a focus’ at Balon Rouge’s beautiful peach painted booth at the fair and the subject of a solo show at their downtown space. Her graphic large scale paintings touch on the body and landscape, balancing the figurative with a strong sense of abstraction and colour. An off-modernist breath of fresh air.

vision of holding a star in motion, Merve Iseri
Night Walk, Merve Iseri

Kayode Ojo

One of the NYC’s hottest current artists, Ojo originally emerged from a photographic background which he still balances with a glamorous and intelligent take on sculpture. His mirrored, misused furniture works covered with diamante jewellery or lame dresses were perfectly paired at Martos Gallery’s booth with a sexy large scale images of a trans model.

Boohoo Plus Verity Slinky Plunge Split Maxi Dress, Kayode Ojo
Balenciaga Bootcut, Kayode Ojo

Anicka Yi

Outside of the fair, the highlight of gallery night on Wednesday was Anicka Yi’s incredible show at Gladstone Gallery. Aiming to dissolve the boundaries between the human, animal, and vegetable, the show included sculptures that played with the living and kinetic. Its central room was filled with small animatronic moths flickering inside bulbous sculptural balls accompanied by a flickering electronic sounds.

Anicka Yi: We Have Never Been Individual
Anicka Yi: We Have Never Been Individual

Rubem Valentim

Mendes Wood DM devoted their booth at Art Brussels to Brazilian artists on their roster. It included some stunning paintings and a wood carved sculpture by the late Rubem Valentim, a self-taught artist who fused modernist ideas with the geometry, religion and aesthetic of Brazilian cultures. His Afro-Brazilian references were intentionally political, and the results exude vibrant energy.

Emblema 78, (1978), Rubem Valentim
Emblema-Relevo, (1980) , Rubem Valentim

Hoda Tawakol

It was impossible not to love Egyptian artist Hoda Tawakol’s sculptures at Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde’s booth. Made from tights, synthetic hair, rice, wadding and resin, these fetish-like small nudes are strongly rooted in the legacy of feminist 1970s art and the use of textiles as a loaded material. These gorgeous little fat figures questioned the representation of femininity.

Nude #20 (2019), Hoda Tawakol
Nude #20 (2019), Hoda Tawakol

Karine Rougier

Another off-fair highlight was Karine Rougier’s incredible detailed show at the young Fondation Thalie. Born in Malta and based in Marseille, this show brought together every element of her practise from scrapbook collages to tiny found object sculptures to her surreal miniature paintings. The work was filled with disembodied hands, doses of sex and horror and a dreamlike fantastical brilliance.

Soulever les Frissons, Détail, 38 x 45 cm, huile sur bois, Karine Rougier, 2019

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Congregation by Sophie Green

24.04.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

For the past two years British social documentary & portrait photographer Sophie Green has been working on a project in celebration of Southwark’s community of Aladura Spiritualist African churches and congregations. As the product of her detailed studies, Green has created a compilation of all the documented images of the community that is often referred to as the “white garment” churches and will be presenting them in the form of an exhibition and hardcover titled Congregation this Thursday at the Hannah Barry Gallery. 

The images give a front row seat to the Christian denomination practised by Yoruba Nigerians that throughout the past 40 years has become a greater part of Southwark London —  being the community which hosts one of the highest concentration of African churches in Europe. Congregation will also raise conversation about collective identity and power within subcultures, cultural practices and traditional dresses, food and customs in modern technology and fashion. For the project, the photographer collaborated with members of the congregation through portrait sessions and photographic workshops which go hand in hand with the candid images of the men, women and children throughout their religious practice. 

Congregation will be launched available online this Thursday and can be purchased via Loose Joints.

Congregation by Sophie Green 
Congregation by Sophie Green
Congregation by Sophie Green

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Love Me by Stella Asia Consonni – April 25th

23.04.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

This Thursday Italian photographer Stella Asia Consonni is set to open the doors to her solo exhibition entitled Love Me . The showcase, set to take place for one night at Protein Studios in Shoreditch, London, will feature a compilation of intimate images of with diverse couples as subjects.

The photographer first began shooting for the project a year ago, with the intention of creating an online photo series as a means of healing as she overcame her then-recent break-up. One of the images from the original series, featuring two men mid-kiss was uploaded by the photographer via instagram and was soon after deleted by the platform for “not following community guidelines.” Instagram later issued an apology and allowed the image to be re-uploaded but the second time around Consonni was met with homophobic comments and slurs in reaction to the image.

This was when she decided the best way to contest the homophobes and bigots was to create an entire exhibition in celebration of the many colours and forms of love. In addition to the photo series, the photographer will also debut a short film complementing the series by documenting short bits and pieces of these love stories. 

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Foam Talent Exhibition: May 15th

19.04.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

For the third year in a row,  Amsterdam based international talent organisation Foam returns to Red Hook Labs in New York for their annual group exhibition Foam Talent. Set to debut on May 15, the exhibition will feature the work of twenty international photographers who were selected through the organisation’s annual talent call from a pool of 1853 creatives under the age of 35. 

The showcase will feature the works of these artists under several tabs of contemporary themes and topics such as social politics, nostalgia, night fall, homesickness and grief. A few of the names featured will include French duo Durimel,  Chinese photographer He Bo, Australian Sophie Gabrielle, Italian Salvatore Vitale, British Maisie Cousins, among others. For further info on how to cop tickets visit Foam

Cover image: “Untitled” from the series Worry for the Fruit the Birds Won’t Eat, 2018 by Sophie Gabrielle

“Kaelyn and the girls” from the series Frères dune île pas très proche, 2018 © Durimel
“Ants” from the series grass, peonies, bum, 2018 © Maisie Cousins
Model Angela and her personal story”, 2016, from the series Separation Anxiety, 2018- ongoing © Dima Komarov
“Untitled” from the series How to Secure a Country, 2015-2018 © Salvatore Vitale

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Salone del Mobile: Maarten Baas,”I Think Therefore I Was”

15.04.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Salone del Mobile is the one time of year in Milan where one can discover the most interesting, jolting exhibitions and installations around the city. One of the most essential installations to see was that of Dutch designer Maarten Baas. Although not considered as design, the designer staged an exhibition in collaboration with Ventura Centrale entitled “I Think Therefore I Was.” Set in one of Ventura’s exhibition spaces in Centrale, the installation featured hundreds of monitors, playing fragments of videos in which the words ‘I think’ were cut from hundreds of random Youtube videos. This compilation of information is one that creates a great cacophony of words and moving images that hits you upon entrance.  Leaving one in awe with an overflow of feeling. There is no single screen to focus on, or single audio to listen to, there are hundreds being played simultaneously and what all that information does to the brain subconsciously is quite exciting.

Images by Claudio Grassi

“Having an opinion is once claim to existence. By placing the installation in reference to a catwalk set-up, the first impression is rather intimidating. The screens are like an audience, proclaiming opinions about you, as a visitor. Yet the other way around, it shows a colourful variety of people who have thoughts and therefore therefore are individuals,” comments Baas. The artist has been know for blurring boundaries between art and design using the element of surprise. The exhibition, which has already closed it’s doors, marked the artist’s 10th year in collaboration with the Ventura Projects in Milan. 

Images by Claudio Grassi

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Three Reasons To Go To MiArt

12.04.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Milan has quietly become a stealthy art hub. Its fair MiArt, which takes place the week before the city becomes obsessed with furniture and design in April, is like the Goldilocks’ porridge of art fairs. Its not too big, not too small. It has emerging names, big historical works and lesser known discoveries. The fair also is the catalyst for Milan Art Week when institutions like the Fondazione Prada, ICA Milan and Frigoriferi Milanesi open new exhibitions. These are examples of why you should book your ticket next year.

Saskia Te Nicklin At Vin Vin at MiArt

Danish artist Saskia Te Nicklin won the prize for best emergent booth at the fair this year, with her inventive Vienna-based gallery Vin Vin. Her paintings, installed against a metal wall installation, played with art historical themes such as still lives. Her refreshingly scrawled pieces touch on nature, the digital and the real. vinvin.eu

Five heads or masks executed while thinking of James Ensor, Saskia TeNicklin, 2019
4 plastic bags with drawn faces, Saskia Te Nicklin, 2019

Leigh Ledare at Office Baroque at MiArt

Brussels gallery Office Baroque brought some new large panel collage-like works from the always subversive Leigh Ledare to MiArt. These pieces felt more like disturbing scrapbook pages, which exposed Ledare’s own fascinations with sex, identity, history and social meaning. officebaroque.com

Leigh Ledare Plot I: Pre-existing Conditions, 2017
Leigh Ledare Plot III: Immune System, 2017

The Unexpected Subject. 1978 Art and Feminism in Italy

It is well worth travelling to the outskirts of Milan for this exceptional exhibition of Italian feminist art from the late 1970s. Discover artists like Ketty Le Rocco, Tomaso Binga, Lucia Marcucci, Maria Lai and Giulia Niccolai in this truly fascinating comprehensive archive show. At least pin down the catalogue until May 26, http://www.frigoriferimilanesi.it

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Hayward Gallery: “Kiss My Genders” 12 June – 8 Sep

05.04.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Cover Image: Martine Gutierrez, Masking Fish Mask from Indigenous Women (2018)

On June 12th this summer, central London art gallery Hayward Gallery will open it’s doors to a group exhibition titled ‘Kiss My Genders,’ showcasing the work of 30 international artists whose repertoires engage in conversation around gender identity. Curated by Vincent Honoré, the exhibition will feature a compilation of over 100 artworks by several generations of artists from across the world who share interests in articulating with themes of gender fluidity, non-binary, trans and intersex identities communicated throughout their work. The exhibition will include wide range of several types of media including installations, videos, paintings, sculptures, portraitures etc.

Juliana Huxtable Untitled Lil’ Marvel (2015)

The panel of creatives will include names who explore gender expression through the forms of performance, drag and masquerade. Such as names like Ajamu,  a London-based visual activist whose work challenges conventional understanding of sexuality, desire, pleasure and cultural production within contemporary Britain and Amrou Al-Kadhi, a British-Iraqi writer, drag performer and filmmaker, who in collaboration with British photographer Holly Falconer, created a photographic portrait Glamrou (2016) using triple exposure to communicate the experience of being in drag as a person of Muslim heritage. The exhibition will also bring forth political undertones with artist artist Hunter Reynolds who is an AIDS activist as well,  whouses art as a tool to process trauma as well as transform it. The Kiss My Gender exhibition will also be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue featuring original essays and a roundtable discussion with and from a few of the artists along with the exhibition’s curators and a performance by Berlin based artiste Planningtorock, whose song lyrics were featured as the showcase’s title. The exhibition will run throughout the summer and close its doors on September 2019. For more info visit Hayward Gallery.

Zanele Muholi, Phila I Parktown, (2016)
Catherine Opie, Mike and Sky (1993)

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Public Gallery ft. Joan Cornellà: “IM GOOD THANKS”: Apr 3rd – May 4th

03.04.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

London based contemporary space Public Gallery in collaboration with renowned Catalan artist Joan Cornellà presents ‘IM GOOD THANKS’ — a solo exhibition featuring the artist’s work set to open on the 3rd of April. The exhibition will feature a series of new works by Cornellà featuring his instantly recongisable mix of pitch black humour and deeply unsettling imagery as he gives his audience a glimpse of his dystopic view of contemporary life. Throughout the exhibition paintings will line the walls and surround a central sculpture which represents the artist’s trademark suited character. Each piece of work included in the upcoming exhibition acts as a mirror into the depraved nature of society; confronting topics like our obsessive attachment to social media and masturbatory selfie culture to politically controversial topics such as abortion , addiction and gender. Upon first glimpse the artist’s work may appear as playful and lighthearted but upon further thought and inspection it reveals his admirable method of twisting saccharine settings to dissect modern culture.

“I think we all laugh at misery. We must start from the idea that when we laugh, we laugh at someone or something. With empathy or not, there is always some degree of cruelty. In spite of that, I am aware that if one of my cartoons happened in real life , I would not laugh at al,” he comments. In sync with the growing feeling that the world is sinking further into depraved absurdity, Cornellà sheds some light unto human nature, presenting us in his notoriously dark and disquieting manners. The exhibition is set to run until the 4th of May.

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“Tim Walker: Wonderful Things” – The Visionary’s Largest Exhibition To Date comes to London

30.03.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Cover Image: Duckie Thot, Aubrey’s shadow © Tim WalkerStudio

This Autumn London’s largest museum Victoria and Albert is set to host an exhibition on one of fashion’s most celebrated photographers Tim Walker. Titled Tim Walker: Wonderful Things , the exhibition is scheduled to open on September 21st, and will include the largest collection of Walker’s images to date. Curated & designed by leading creative director and Walker’s long-term collaborator Shona Heath , the exhibit will feature 10 new photographic projects which have been directly influenced by the V & A’s vast collection. In preparation for the exhibit, the photographer scoured the museum 145 public galleries, scaled the roof of the 12 acre South Kensington site and explored the labyrinth of Victorian passages below level. Where he encountered , antique jewellery , erotic illustrations, the museum’s largest photograph as well as many other rare artefacts to serve as inspiration for the projects. 

“To me, the V&A has always been a palace of dreams – it’s the most inspiring place in the world. The museum’s collection is so wide and eclectic, and I think that’s why it resonates with me so much. Many of the objects that I saw during my research at the museum made my heart swell and I wanted to try to create a photograph that would relate not only to the physical presence and beauty of that object, but also to my emotional reaction to it. Each new shoot is a love letter to an object from the V&A collection, and an attempt to capture my encounter with the sublime. For me, beauty is everything. I’m interested in breaking down the boundaries that society has created, to enable more varied types of beauty and the wonderful diversity of humanity to be celebrated. Preparing for this exhibition over the past three years has pushed me into new territories, which is very exciting, and I’m at a stage in my life where I feel brave enough to do that,” said the man himself. 

‘Tilda Swinton’, Renishaw Hall, Derbyshire, 2018 (c) Tim Walker Studio

The exhibition will begin with  showcasing over 300 items including short films, photographic sets, props, sketches, scrapbooks and other items from which Walker drew inspiration as well 100 photographs from his previous projects. It will the continue into 10 additional rooms filled with the photographer’s work work inspired by the V & A, his films installations and evocative sets and props alongside the images they inspired.  The exhibition will take it’s bow on March 08, 2020. For more information, visit V & A. 

‘Zo, Kiran Kandola, Firpal, Yusuf, Ravyanshi Mehta, Jeenu Mahadevan, Chawntell Kulkami, Radhika Nair’, Pershore, Worcestershire, 2018 (c) Tim Walker Studio
‘Karen Elson, Sgaire Wood & James Crewe’, London, 2018 (c) Tim Walker Studio

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Cadogan Contemporary: Chance Encounters, Ilana Manolson

27.03.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

London based gallery Cadogan Contemporary recently teamed up with Canadian painter and botanist Ilana Manolson for the conception of a solo exhibition titled Chance Encounters. Set to open on April 23rd, the exhibition will be Manolson’s debut showcase in the city and will feature over 20 of her acrylic paintings with themes of representation and abstraction presented in ways which challenge traditional depictions of nature in nature in art. 

 A trained botanist, Manolson offers the viewer an intimate and profound knowledge of the natural world , she began painting while working at Canada’s National Park system in Alberta, where her office became a de facto art studio. Eventually, her passion and talent led her to study printmaking and painting at one of America’s most prestigious art schools, The Rhode Island School of Design.

 “I  see being a naturalist and being a painter as being very much related in that you are looking at an environment closely, looking over time and looking for the details that explain the larger whole,” the artist explained. The showcase will make its run throughout mid April and take its bow on the 10th of May.  

Cover Image : Yarrow, 2017; Shape of a trek, 2018; Wind teaser, 2018-19; Hunter, 2019 © Ilana Manolson, courtesy of Cadogan Contemporary

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The Art of Women Exhibition

03.03.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

This week, British organization The Art of Women launches their exhibition in support of women across the United Nation. The Art of Women is a solidarity movement for the empowerment of women which unites UN Women with fashion models in an effort to amplify their voices. The organization is a commitment to human rights and is a form of advocacy for respect towards women and  diversity by promoting change through art and raising awareness around issue surrounding feminism . The Art of Women opens the doors of their exhibition tomorrow March, 4th through 6th at the Florence Loewy in Paris. The exhibition shot by Nikki Esser, provides a perspective on a diverse representation of women, authenticity and empowerment as the photographer captures the personalities of her muses through her warmth and the connections she creates with them. For further information visit The Art of Women.

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J Hammond Projects: “Fuck Paintings, Etc.” by Betty Tompkins

01.03.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

This week London based exhibition space J Hammond Projects presents the opening of their latest exhibition “Fuck Paintings, Etc” by pioneering feminist artist Betty Tompkins. The exhibition which opens today features a series of pornographic images aimed predominantly at men missing heads, hands and other identifiers until the work takes a form of abstractionism. The artist tells the stories of sexuality and desire from a female perspective, in attempt to break the monopoly of the male gaze. The  series will include a selection of ‘Fuck’ , ‘Cunt’ , ‘Pussy’ and ‘Dick Paintings’ which the artist has completed throughout the last decade along with four brand new text works from Tompkin’s “Insults/Laments” series. 

The “Insults/Laments” is a combination of the artist’s work featuring quotes of crude and degrading language directed at women. “I’m always moved by what I’m quoting, by including the words in my paintings, I’m showing respect for how women have survived these awful experiences,” stated Tompkins.  

The artist began her journey of making giant genitalia ‘Fuck Paintings’ over half a century ago and was presenting a body of work which had initially been rejected by all corners of the art world for its sensitive subject matter. As a result, despite a handful of group shows during the early 1970’s these  paintings have been ignored for the past three decades stored in the Tompkins’ New York studio until a solo exhibition in 2002 and her participation in La Biennale de Lyon the following year. The exhibition is set to run throughout March until April 13th. 

Betty Tompkins Who Will… Acrylic on canvas 2019
Betty Tompkins Cunt Painting 2017, Acrylic on Canvas

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Homage To Karl Lagerfeld: 30 Years of Photography at Galerie Gmurzynska

26.02.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Swiss art gallery Galerie Gmurzynska has recently opened it’s door to an exhibition in honour of the artwork of the late Karl Lagerfeld. Many might not have  known that one of the iconic designer’s talents were photography but over the decades Galerie Gmurzynska has worked with Lagerfeld on numerous shows, publications and projects. The gallery is also said to be the very first to put his photography on display. 

“We wanted to honour this long collaboration and this man whom we regarded as one of the last true renaissance genius. We were all incredibly saddened by his passing and spontaneously wanted to show our respect for Karl by remembering our two decades of collaboration, showing a wider public his lesser known passion for photography,” said co-owners Mathias Rastorfer and Krystna Gmurzynska. The exhibition features nearly 50 pieces of Lagerfeld’s work which has been curated  Rastorfer in a way to take it’s audience on a comprehensive journey throughout his body of work.  The exhibition will conclude on May 15th. Visit the gallery’s website for more information.

Cover image: Benicio Del Toro (Hollywood Stars) 2002

Nicole Kidman (1995) by Karl Lagerfeld
Gone with the Wind (1996) by Karl Lagerfeld
Series BodyParts (1998) by Karl Lagerfeld

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susan pui san lok: A COVEN A GROVE A STAND

18.02.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Earlier this month at the Firstsite gallery Colchester,  opened an uncanny exhibition titled “A COVEN A GROVE A STAND.”  The exhibition pioneered by artist susan pui san lok, is an exploration of the age-old practice of witchcraft and the history of witch persecutions across East Anglia during the 16th and 17th centuries where over 300 witches were executed by the Witch Hunter General Matthew Hopkins. 

Throughout the exhibition , the artist’s focus is on an 800 year-old oak tree called the ‘Old Knobbley’ located in Mistley, Essex and is rumoured to be where witches were thought to have hidden.  The exhibit also includes a sound installation which echoes several versions of the folk song “Cruel Mother” around the tree. The showcase is set to conclude in April and will evolve overtime as the artist will encourage her audience to participate in the exploration of the themes of voice, place, collective remembrance and resistance.  

Famous Old Knobbley oak tree in forest in Mistley, Essex – Image by Callum Redgrave
 A COVEN A GROVE A STAND, 2019. Photo Douglas Atfield, Courtesy Firstsite
 A COVEN A GROVE A STAND, 2019. Photo Douglas Atfield, Courtesy Firstsite

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Fondazione Prada: “Surrogati – Un Amore Ideale”

12.02.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Later this month Fondazione Prada will present a peculiar exhibition curated by Melissa Harris entitled “Surrogati. Un Amore Ideale” (Surrogate. A Love Ideal).  Set to be opened on February 20th at their Osservatorio venue in the Galleria Emanuele,  Milan, the exhibition will feature the works of American photographers Jamie Diamond and Elena Dorfman which will explore the notions of romantic and sexual love. Each of the photographer’s works create visual and oral discussions around the theme of emotional linkages between male and female with the notion of synthetic representations of humans. 

“Together, Diamond’s and Dorfman’s work presented in ‘Surrogate’ vividly and non judgementally documents the interactions of humans with their lifelike, inanimate companions” says curator Melissa Harris.

The exhibit will showcase three subcategories of work, by Jamie Diamond:  Forever Mothers (2012-2018) and Nine Months of Reborning (2014). The prior captures the lives of an outsider art community called the Reborners who are self-taught female artists who create, collect and interact with hyper-realistic dolls which help them fulfil a certain desire for motherhood.  “Working with this community allowed me to explore a grey area between reality and artifice where relationships are constructed with inanimate objects,  human and doll, artist and artwork, uncanny and real.”

Elena Dorfman’s segment of the exhibition features her series titled Still Lovers (2001-04) which highlights the lives of men and women who have relations and often devote themselves to life-size, realistic sex dolls. This series instantly ignites conversation about the power of lover and the value of an object that has the power great enough to replace human beings. Dorfman’s intentions behind creating the series was not to exploit or shun the deviancy of these unconventional relationships but to instead reveal the fascinating world of intimacy between flesh and silicone. “ My ambition is never to judge, but to allow the inhabitants of this secret world to share their daily lives with me. In familiar surroundings  of their homes, I watch the scenes of domestic life unfold, the artist explains.”  The exhibition set to conclude on July 22,  will also carry an illustrated publication in the Quaderni series published by the Fondazione, which will consist of conversations between the curator herself, the artists along with some of the image subjects.

Forever Mothers, (2014) Jamie Diamond
Rebecca 1, Still Lovers, (2001) Elena Dorfman
CJ & Taffy 5, Still Lovers, (2002) Elena Dorfman
Forever Mothers, (2014) Jamie Diamond

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Three Welcome Returns at BRAFA

26.01.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

How does the art world decide what is hot? Often it is something emerging from institutions and curated shows, reflecting cultural change, politics and the contemporary moment. At other times the litmus test of a great artist is coming from the commercial world. Brussels fair BRAFA is like the Chanel of art fairs. It is classic, classy and daydream worthy. What was so fascinating at this year’s 65th fair is how across multiple booth three 20th century artists emerged as hot tickets. All three of these artists are worth rediscovering.

BRAM BOGART                                                                                                            

One of Brussels own, the Belgian expressionist painter Bram Bogart made textured, chunky paintings that look like sculptures on walls. Affiliated with the playful avant garde. COBRA group, Bram’s pieces mixed media from concrete to chalk in colourful, inventive, thick waves. He represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale in 1971 and died in 2012.
Bogart’s work is also on show now at the Tate Modern in a room devoted to paintings made with the colour white. At BRAFA you could spot him at least four booths, including stand out pieces at Rodolphe Janssen and Whitford Fine Art.

Bram Bogart, Russian-way, 1993 at Rodolphe Janssen

SERGEI POLIAKOFF


Born in Moscow in 1900, Poliakoff left home age 12 to be a musician, enrolled himself in art school age 19 and spent years playing guitar in cabarets across Europe – from Constantinopole to Vienna, Belgrade to London. After meeting Kandinsky and Sonia Delaunay in the 1940s, he began to make art seriously. Based in France, he became a very
successful painter in the 1950s and 60s but fell out of fashion in recent years. Poliakoff’s beautiful painterly interconnecting shapes are now having a welcome return. You could spot him at Zurich’s Galerie Von Vertes and Axel Veervordt among other booths at BRAFA.

Serge Poliakoff, Composition abstraite, 1966 at Galerie Von Vertes

PIERRE ALECHINSKY


Another Belgian COBRA artist, Alechinsky’s scrawled colourful abstract canvases were all over BRAFA. He work at first has a lot in common with the wildness of Dubuffet and contemporary hot Norwegian painter Ida Ekblad definitely has been eyeing up Pierre. In the 1950s, he began fascinated by Japanese calligraphy, was the Paris correspondent for the
Japanese ink magazine Bokubi and moved there with his wife. Later back in Europe, he taught at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in the 80s and hung out with surrealist pioneer Andre Breton. BRAFA was loving him with work at Die Galerie, Samuel Vanhoegaedern and a stunning early piece at Rodolphe Janssen.

Pierre Alechinsky, Untitled at Rodolphe Janssen
Pierre Alechinsky, Le Point du Jour, 1966 at Die Galerie

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