The Royal Academy of Arts presents GSK Contemporary 2009, the second annual contemporary art season at 6 Burlington Gardens. Opening in December, Earth: Art of a changing world will present new and recent work from more than 30 leading international contemporary artists, including commissions and new works from the best emerging talent. The exhibition will introduce the key elements that make up the natural world, and the activities that affect the planet’s fragile equilibrium. Works by artists including Ackroyd & Harvey, Spencer Finch, Mona Hatoum and Marcos Lutyens & Marianantoni, engage with the earth, air, sky, nature and carbon elements to encourage a deeper consideration of our cultural relationship to earth’s stability.
Recent debates have centred less on the possibility and more on the certainty and speed with which climate change will take place. As the debate has developed, so too has our approach to the future. Co-curated by Kathleen Soriano, Director of Exhibitions at the Royal Academy, David Buckland, Director of Cape Farewell, and, Edith Devaney, Royal Academy, this exhibition will reflect the impact of the climate change debate on the practice of a broad range of contemporary artists across a wide variety of media.
Many of the artists featured are actively engaged with the issue itself, working directly to transform the global scale of climate change into a human narrative. Others have shown it to have a place, or to resonate, within their work. Earth will interconnect ‘issue’ and ‘art’, and will present works that are beautiful, powerful and thought-provoking. The exhibition will build on the power of the individual works to create an overall aesthetic, visual and experiential impact that explores some of the cultural impacts of climate change.
Artists such as Antti Laitinen and Edward Burtynsky will represent our contemporary world and will invoke a dialogue around the perceived security of our existence.
At the centre of the show, a group of exhibits will elucidate the role of the artist in the cycle of human and cultural evolution – as communicator, reflector and interpreter of key issues of the day. Within this section artists such Sophie Calle, Lucy & Jorge Orta, Cornelia Parker, the poet Lemn Sissay and Shiro Takatani hold up a mirror to our changing world, producing work that will encourage us to examine the issues from a variety of angles, to reflect and question. Other works will confront the viewer with the consequences of human behaviour through natural disasters and physical collapse, counterpoising the beauty of the planet with the damage that is being inflicted upon it.
The exhibition concludes with works that present a world of vision and of hope, but through the glass of reality. These works will reflect notions of beauty and inspiration fundamentally re-defined by climate change. This subtle shift represents the first major change in our view of the world since the first ‘whole earth images’ emerged as photographs taken from Apollo 8 in 1968, an image that anchors our contemporary perception of the beauty and fragility of the earth that has germinated new notions of care and empathy for our habitat. Works by artists such as the writer, Ian McEwan, Mariele Neudecker and Emma Wieslander will offer insight, vision and hope, responding powerfully to this cultural shift, some with a celebration of beauty and what we stand to lose. These artists approach this shift from various perspectives: some engaging with the rigour of scientific endeavour, others through the use of imagined worlds, film and music, delving into the emotional understanding of knowledge.
As the international tour of the last Gilbert & George retrospective (2007–2009) did not include Berlin, Arndt & Partner are now presenting a solo exhibition of the celebrity artist duo in its gallery rooms behind the Hamburger Bahnhof. It is the first Gilbert & George solo show in Berlin for 14 years. The exhibition features a selection of 20 large-scale pieces from the Jack Freak Pictures, the largest Gilbert & George group of pictures to date. The thrust of the content is given by the colors and shapes of the Union Jack flag that dominate the bulk of the pictures as well as the recurring motive of medals, emblems and trees. In the Jack Freak Pictures the artist duo explores aspects of nationhood and of the sentient individual in the nets of society. In his essay published in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition the British writer Michael Bracewell describes these pictures as “the most iconic, philosophically astute and visually violent works that Gilbert & George have ever created…” On view 16 June through 18 September, 2009.
Gilbert & George, who met as students of sculpture at St. Martin’s School of Art in London 42 years ago, embarked on a joint artistic career that was to encompass a wide range of media from drawing to video and their trademark pictures. Further, the pair revolutionized the concept of sculpture by presenting themselves as “living sculptures” dressed in the quintessentially British tailored suit, shirt and tie. But it was their monumental trademark pictures composed of a gridlike array of smaller images which they began to create in the early 70s that first brought them international fame. Figures, cityscapes, symbols, plants, bodily fluids, excrements and text interlock in pictorial messages as visually powerful as their content is provocative. The pictures, which started out in black and white and later assumed increasingly luminous, bold colors, generally also depict portraits of the artists themselves and seize on taboo subjects like sexuality, race, religion and national identity with a brash and fearless candor.
The Jack Freak Pictures again feature the bodies and/or faces of the artists. In these compositions, their bodies function as stylized representatives of the individual in society, whose relationship to social norms and categories, to national, religious and sexual identification processes is relentlessly explored and commented upon. Departing from their earlier oeuvre, some of their new pictures split the raw images into much smaller fragments before merging them into new forms. The result is a fascinating kaleidoscopic mix of the monstrously grotesque with an intricate ornamental structure reminiscent of sacred art. In ever new variations, Gilbert & George order the signs and fragments of social life they find in their neighborhood – the multicultural East End of London –, where solidarity and friendship are as visible as intolerance and marginalization.
Gilbert & George
Gilbert, born in 1943 in the Ladin Dolomites, Italy, studied at the Wolkenstein School of Art in South Tyrol, the Hallein School of Art in Austria and the Munich Academy of Fine Arts before coming to London and enrolling at St Martin’s School of Art. George, born in 1942 in Devon, England, studied at the Dartington Hall College of Art, the Oxford Art School and St. Martin’s School of Art, where he met Gilbert in Anthony Caro’s sculpture class in 1967. They have lived and worked together in London ever since.
The duo has accumulated a long list of international distinctions and exhibitions at major institutions. They were awarded the Turner Prize in 1986, a prize they had already been nominated for two years earlier, and represented the UK at the 51st Venice Biennial in 2005. Solo exhibitions of their art have been held at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1971 and 1996), the Guggenheim Museum, New York (1985), Wiener Secession, Vienna (1992), the National Art Gallery, Beijing (1993), the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris (1997), the Kunstmuseum Bonn (1999), the Serpentine Gallery, London (2002), and the Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht (2006). Their second retrospective, which toured museums including the Tate Modern, London (2007), and the Haus der Kunst, Munich (2007), was on show at the Brooklyn Museum, New York, until the beginning of the year.
Visit Arndt & Partner at : http://www.arndt-partner.de/
Street-artist Banksy has a new show in his home town of Bristol, England. Although some of the pieces were seen in New York last year, the Bristol Museum is also showing over 70 new pieces of work offering political satire and social mockery. Core77 says that Kate Brindley, Director of the museum, managed to keep the exhibition under wraps from upper management, the local council and most of the museum staff by pretending the build-out was part of a movie shoot. Here’s a trailer Banksy has posted on his site:
The museum website says about ‘Banksy vs Bristol Museum’:
Throughout the summer, visitors will find some unusual specimens amongst the museum’s permanent collection – a stonehenge made from portable toilets greets visitors on arrival, a burnt out ice cream van now replaces the enquiries desk and the life size historic biplane suspended from the ceiling now provides refuge for a Guantanamo bay escapee. Banksy has filled the museum with his own wry take on classical art.
Check out the collection of images by MG/BS4 taken from the show on Flickr.
This exhibition should not be missed!
Spy Optic is pleased to announce its continued efforts to raise funds for the Save Trestles Surfrider Foundation campaign through Spy Optic’s partnership with Spy team rider Mike Losness.
For the month of November, Losness’ 48 x 36″ mixed media canvas painting of Trestles will be on display at the California Surf Museum in Oceanside, California, and to kick off the First Annual California Surf Festival Celebrating Bruce Brown’s 50th Anniversary November 7-9th, 2008.
Donations to the Surfrider Foundation’s Save Trestles campaign will be accepted online through Spy Optic’s website until November 30th, 2008. Each five-dollar donation will enter you in a chance to win Losness’ painting and prize packs from Mike’s sponsors: Spy Optic, Body Glove, Adio and GFH Boards.
Mike’s painting tour this past summer throughout Southern California collected raffle ticket donations from local retail stops at Sun Diego, K-Five, Becker, Spyder, Surfside and ZJ Boarding House. All proceeds from the tour and through the end of November will be donated to the Surfrider Foundation.
California Surf Museum President Daryl Dick says, “The California Surf Museum is pleased to host the painting and give the public an opportunity to view this unique work of art dedicated to the preservation of a historical surfing landmark.”
Spy Optic is proud to be a part of the Help Save Trestles movement with the Surfrider Foundation, collaboratively working with the California Surf Museum to help preserve and protect our oceans and keep intact surfing communities and culture for the next generation of surfers.
For more information on Mike’s painting giveaway, please visit www.spyoptic.com/mikesart
For more information about the First Annual California Surf Festival, please visit www.californiasurffestival.com
For more information on the Surfrider Foundation and the Save Trestles campaign, please visit www.surfrider.org
Intermedia Arts, a community gallery and studio space in Minneapolis, will be hosting an exhibition of map-based art called W(e are )here: Mapping the Human Experience. No word on exactly how big the show will be, but some samples of the featured artists’ work are intriguing enough to make us wish we could make it: Chris Harrison’s map of bible verse references above is just one of a number of fascinating examples of graphics that toe the line between informational and artistic, to great effect.
Most intriguing is the Psychogeographic Map Making Party, scheduled for April 24, during which:
…you’ll form small groups and set out on foot in search of unique insights into the urban fabric of the surrounding Uptown neighborhoods. Utilizing Google Earth, a projector, and a wall sized “canvas,” groups will then layer their experiences over a projected representation of the city, resulting in one map that communicates the participant’s collective experience.
Show runs from March 31 to May 9, in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood of Minneapolis.
A show of new work by the American artist Clay Ketter opened in London this week at Bartha Contemporary. Ketter, who has lived in Sweden for over 20 years, is renowned for creating art works through the investigation of construction techniques. His work on the surface has a beautifully minimalist aesthetic, but the real interest lies beneath the layers in a “truth to materials” approach and the perfection of the process. Previous works of furniture installation and framed plaster work recall fêted American Abstract Expressionists such as Donald Judd and Mark Rothko.
Gulf Coast Slabs embraces the medium of large scale photography to continue the construction theme. After Hurricane Katrina Ketter decided to return to his native land to see the damage done for himself. He was accompanied by photographer Nils Bergendal and together they found whole neighborhoods where only the foundations of buildings remained. Like ghosts of the recent past, the slabs revealed the outlines of what were once happy homes.
Using a crane to elevate themselves directly above the site Ketter and Bergendal recorded what look like illustrated architectural floor plans, colored in with the texture and colors of vinyl floors and bathroom tiles. The odd bits of strewn beams and pieces of plaster board fallen at an awkward angles break the grid-like pattern. If studied closely random domestic objects such as plates, toilet bowls and cracked glass table tops can be seen. All around the edges of these strangely clean swept slabs vines and grasses are growing wild, showing nature returning to reclaim these man-made remains.
Ketter, who worked as a builder and carpenter for many years, was deeply moved by the destruction of these homes. He described the experience of making this work as “emotionally grueling” and in the catalog produced by Bartha Contemporary he writes, “This book, and the body of work represented here, is dedicated to the people of the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, in particular of Gulfport, Long Beach, Pass Christian and Waveland. We are forever grateful to these people, some of whom we have had the pleasure of meeting. Their former homes are the subject matter of this project… We were as cautious as possible in our project, imagining, without truly knowing, the weight of this catastrophe and the scars it must have left behind…To receive such warmth and hospitality from these people, who had been dealt such a cruel hand, was both moving and inspirational.”
Gulf Coast Slabs. Through 18 May 2008. Bartha Contemporary,136b Lancaster Road, First Floor, London.
Favorite JS booksmith/art publisher Viction:ary has a few new titles that you won’t find at your local Barnes & Noble, which are well worth your cash/credit spendage:
- Simply Material is a visual compendium of media to use as your canvas. Can you liberate the art from concrete or harness the awesome potential of epoxy resin?
- Fashion Wonderland sounds like a fairly pretentious theme park, but contents of this book are pretty arresting. Tons of designers have contributed the illustrations and art they take their aesthetic cues from.
- Illustration – Play puts the spotlight on 23 international artists and their unique illo medium. Paper cutting, stitchery, hand knit, fabric piecing, origami, patchwork, and more are represented.
- Type Addicted is a thorough read for the font aficionado; see how real typographical artists slice up the Roman alphabet.
Aziza is a new web magazine from the Holy Land, that will show creative minds from the middle east. As they say: “it is an open space for creators from all media. Azizas aim is to find new aesthetics, art forms and designs emerging in the middle east”.
Good luck guys!
Behind the ever-increasing frenzy of the art market prices, the world’s auction houses play a dangerous game of expectations…
To read on, check out the article at the IHT
Tel Aviv Loves Art, an (almost) all-night art festival will be held in Tel Aviv on Thursday 25th of October 2007. The idea is to keep galleries and public art spaces open all night, and to have outdoor installations and activities in the streets, sudden performances on street corners, and projection screens all around the city showing art and art related projects – At Raw Art Gallery we will be exhibiting the great exhibition by Uri Dotan and Avraham Pesso – so, if you have not seen it yet, this is a great day to stop by, have a drink and enjoy!
The Gallery will be open all night!