Tag Archives: London

James Richards, Requests and Antisongs

James Richards, Rosebud 2013, James Richards and Leslie Thornton, Crossing, Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, 2017 and Requests and Antisongs, Book, Sternberg Press, 2016

James Richards talks about his processes of collaging together digital fragments to create immersive audiovisual installations. “I was really into making an exhibition space where there would be nothing to look at”. Combining fragments of film, music, vocals, erotica and medical documentary, James Richards creates site-specific audiovisual installations and morphing exhibitions, which immerse the visitor in a kaleidoscopic and cinematic sensorial experience. Keeping a diaristic digital scrapbook, Richards draws from this to create his collages and assemblages, inspired by Dada. Already having won the Jarman award for film and video in 2012, and the Ars Viva Prize for young artists two years later, Richards was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2014. He spoke to Studio International during the installation of his exhibition Requests and Antisongs, at the ICA, London. Here’s an excerpt of the conversation:

Anna McNay: Can we start by talking about your work here at the ICA? It’s travelled here from Bergen, but you’re changing and adding to it somewhat.

James Richards: The exhibition here at the ICA is the second in a series of three shows. The first, Crumb Mahogany, was staged at the Bergen Kunsthall, Norway. Here at the ICA, the show is titled Requests and Antisongs and, in December, the final show in the series, Crossing, will be presented at the Kestnergesellschaft in Hanover. The idea was to spend 2016 working on these three shows that would be linked by certain works and overlaps of content, but also altered and changed at each stage, allowing the conventional touring exhibition to be something much more open, and allowing for process and evolution. In parallel, there is a publication to accompany the shows with text and images.

The shows are connected in terms of funding, but otherwise they’re very different. Some works appear over and over again, while others are developed on site, in reaction to the very specific conditions of the exhibition spaces themselves. With exhibitions, it’s not just about the work, it’s about responding to the building. Just simple things, like the fact that the two areas here at the ICA are separated by a cafe and stairs, and that they’re architecturally very different rooms, immediately suggests a very different arrangement of works.

AMc: What role does collaging play in your work as a whole? Do you see yourself as following in, or being particularly influenced by, a specific tradition, genre or movement? I’m thinking perhaps of Dadaism, because of the way you layer elements together and pull them apart.

JR: Yes, for me, a certain strand of sculpture has been very important: the assemblage of work starting in Dada and running through the work of Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns and then into contemporary work by Isa Genzken and Rachel Harrison. I love this sense of bringing together very disparate materials – images, objects and more conventional artists’ mediums, such as paint, plaster and wood – and making work that plays with the associations and forms, but also somehow allows the parts to stay very much their own, to be separate and just themselves. I like to mix fragments of quite recognisable film footage from cinema and television with much more obscure material from science and documentary, and then I fold in scraps of video that I shoot myself, where I’ve been using the camera in a diaristic way.

I think I see my work as very much collage in its origin, rather than cinema or theatre: gathering things that interest you or stimulate you in some way and keeping a record of what’s around you. It’s very much a daily thing, so not really researching or hiring camera crews, much more just about acquiring what’s accessible and taking fragments of it and keeping it all on file.

AMc: Like a digital scrapbook?  JR: In a sense, yes. But even though it’s digital, as a way of working, it’s much more like having a desk and a folder of newspaper clippings. It’s very much about playing with fragments. The work uses images and the play of associations that become possible when they are repurposed, but it’s also about more abstract things such as image quality, texture and colour, and the way that those properties can be composed. You can often see the edges of the clips. You can feel them as being from very different places from one another. It isn’t seamless. They’re somewhat slick, but it’s very much about rupture and cutting between things.

The publication works with collage and found photography. It was conceived as an extension of the show itself and it works with the same kind of logic. I edited it in collaboration with Mason Leaver-Yap, a writer and editor I work closely with.

It’s also called Requests and Antisongs. I’ve been working on gathering a lot of photography and paper and documentation of existing work and then cutting up and processing and rescanning it all and drawing directly on to it. I worked with this material by hand and then also on Photoshop, and then edited the whole thing into a visual sequence. I can’t really call it a story, but it’s like a sequence that has a sense of build-up and release and tension and certain themes appearing and coming away and reappearing, which is very much the way I work with video and sound, but I tried to do this with print and with a book format.

Text: Anna McNay, http://www.studiointernational.com/james-richards-interview.
All images belongs to the respective artist and management.

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Ports 1961, Pre-Fall 2017

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Ports 1961,  Pre-Fall 2017, London, 2017

Ports 1961 is one of those sleeper labels, which, once discovered, women tend to be evangelically enthusiastic—if not, quietly smug—about wearing. Since Natasa Cagalj took over the direction of the womenswear here, she’s been developing a set of strengths—the things she does with shirts, pants, knitwear, and coats, in particular. Here, for instance, is the place to source a statement shirt (for want of a better term) with extra-long cuffs and panels to tie and wrap, and to get ahead on the wide-pant look, which is gaining traction for Fall.

Her fits are accurate, and the quality—of crisp striped shirting and supple, floppy knits—is judged against the reality of what her mostly female team would spend money on. Evidently, they’re a resourceful lot, too: The prints of flowers are their own photos of vases they have around the studio, which is in London’s Clerkenwell. That last fact has been a bit of a well-kept secret, so far—but not for much longer. Ports 1961 is relocating its runway show from Milan to London Fashion Week in February.

Text: Sarah Mower, http://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/pre-fall-2017/ports-1961.
All images belongs to the respective artist and management.

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Christopher Kane Fall 2016, Ready To Wear, London

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 Christopher Kane, Ready To Wear, Fall 2016, London

“Our mum used to embarrass us when she picked us up from school wearing one of those plastic rain hats,” said Tammy Kane, Christopher Kane’s sister. The very private world of the Kanes and their memories of growing up outside Glasgow in the ’90s will always inform Christopher Kane’s work. The Kanes suffered the loss of their mother a year ago, so the salute to Christine Kane was there at the beginning of the show, transformed into tied-under-the-chin plastic rain hats—the work of Stephen Jones. But searching for a linear trail of clues to make sense of how Kane processes ideas into clothes is never all that helpful. Briefing a crowd of journalists after the show, the designer spoke about reclusive hoarders, an outsider point of view, somebody living behind her own psychological bars. “She doesn’t know how to get out. She’s stuck.” Kane finds beauty in that manic predicament. “Things are so normal these days,” he shrugged. “So why not think out of the box?”

Really, the thing to watch a Kane show for are the creative fusion points where he produces something we’ve never quite seen before, trophies of fashion that you know on sight you’d urgently like to make your own. To this pair of eyes, that electricity hit halfway through this collection. The section of asymmetrical black tailoring, jackets, and scarves fringed with ostrich feathers in red, green, and faded pink had an off-hand elegance that would cause a mayhem of envy walking into any room. There would be no regrets spending the money on one of these: They had the quality of long-term classics a woman could—yes—hoard in her wardrobe to bring out again and again.

What else? Nearly ten years on from his neon body-con debut collection, which consisted of one tight (in both senses) statement, Kane is backed by Kering and has many commercial categories on the go and to show. The tubular Swarovski sparkle-mesh “bolster” necklaces the Kane siblings made for that original 2006 show continued as lanyards dangling sunglasses, or were whipped into whorls as big glamorous brooches around faceted stones. Crystal-dangling alphabet charms were pinned along necklines and scattered across skirts. A part of the show that involved haberdashery ribbons and scraps of fabric samples was also available in the form of one of Christopher Kane’s zip-top envelope clutches. All these came under the heading of little accessible things young girls can afford to show off with. A new gothic-type “K” logo on a beige sweater also seemed aimed at keeping a young audience engaged, which Kane needs to do to keep his brand hot.

Treading that line between reasonably affordable novelty and luxury is a really tough balancing act now—and obviously, that doesn’t just apply to Christopher Kane. On the elevated side, he can do a gray mink coat now, and the complex party dresses he’s made a name with are just as weirdly sexy—like the ones made from alternating stripes of tan pleather and sheer black lace that started the show. But the pressure to encompass it all, all the time, is a strain for every designer when the whole fashion environment is in upheaval. The underlying narrative of a woman in a disturbed mental state that came through Kane’s show today is easy enough to link with so many of this season’s other creative excursions into surrealism. It’s a mad world out there.

Source: Style.com.
Text: Sarah Mower, Style.com.
All images belongs to the respective artist and management.

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Martine Syms, Fact and Trouble, ICA London, Exhibition

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Martine Syms, Fact and Trouble, Lessons I-XXX, 2014, Motivational Text Message and Installation View of Fact and Trouble, 2016

Fact & Trouble is an exhibition by American artist Martine Syms that examines the space between lived  experience and its representation. Syms’s video series Lessons (ongoing), on view at the ICA, is a long, incomplete poem in 180 sections. Each piece is thirty seconds in duration and articulates a lesson from the tradition. One of these lessons is painted on the gallery walls. The videos use the idea of inheritance as a departure point, simulating the private-public unconscious of television shows, advertisements, animated GIFs, police cams, surveillance footage, Vines and other digitally-circulated formats. In the alcove, this abundance of signifiers manifests in an immersive floor-to-ceiling collage. To accompany and expand upon the videos, Syms has created an installation of double-sided photographs and cookies mounted on century stands, a standard workhorse of film production. The exhibition compiles original and found photography, alongside images taken by her father, weaving together familial, cultural, and historical legacies. Fact & Trouble demonstrates Syms’s multifarious artistic practice which includes video, performance and writing as well as publishing through her imprint Dominica.

Martine Syms (b. 1988) is an artist based in Los Angeles. Her artwork has been exhibited and screened extensively, including recent presentations at Karma International, Bridget Donahue Gallery, the New Museum, Kunsthalle Bern, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Index Stockholm, MOCA Los Angeles and MCA Chicago. She’s lectured at Yale University, SXSW, California Institute of the Arts, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University and MoMA PS1, among other venues. Upcoming exhibitions include Made in LA at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and Manifesta 11 in Zurich, Switzerland.

Source: Magazine Contemporary Culture.
Text: Press Release, ICA London.
All images belongs to the respective artist and managment.

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Seventeen Gallery, London

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Co-founder of Seventeen Gallery, Hoyland, came to London from Shropshire to study at Chelsea College of Art & Design. “I wanted to be a ground-breaking performance artist.” Instead, in the late 1990s he went to work at Coskun Fine Art in Knightsbridge, run by Gul Coskun: “High heels, short skirts and Warhols. The hardest-working woman I’ve ever met.” Inspired, he opened Seventeen in 2005 with Nick Letchford, who he’d met two years earlier in a Hoxton bar. Specialising in video, the gallery on Kingsland Road represents nine artists, including sculptor Susan Collis and Oliver Laric.

How do you find artists?
“I meet them in the pub. Finding artists is easy, finding people you like is harder.”

What kind of work catches your eye?
“Detailed work with lots of labour involved. I like artists to bleed for it and to see that problems have been overcome.”

What’s been the highlight so far?
“Being a gallerist is self-indulgent; it fulfils your art needs and is emotionally easier than being an artist. You get all the cream without any risk.”

http://www.seventeengallery.com/

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Wilkinson Gallery, London

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After cutting his curating teeth running a project space for three years based in the front room of his Paddington Flat, Anthony Wilkinson opened his first gallery behind an unshowy grey façade on Cambridge Heath Road in 1998, at a time when you could still count the number of commercial galleries in the area on the fingers of one hand.

Co-run with wife Amanda, over the past nine years Wilkinson has become an established presence on the East End art scene with a roster of respected British and international artists including George Shaw, Silke Schatz and Matthew Higgs. Wise enough to have bought their space – “I’ve seen a lot of people rent spaces when they were cheap, bring up the area and then get priced out when landlords realised they could triple the rent,” Anthony explains – the Wilkinsons have since sold up and invested in a new gallery up the road on Vyner Street. Rather than take over an existing space, as many of the more recent artworld residents of the street have done, the Wilkinsons have brought in architect Bobby Desai and knocked down, redesigned and rebuilt an impressive new 6,000 square-foot building housing two museum-sized galleries plus an additional project space. They open this week to coincide with September’s Time Out First Thursdays evening of events with a show by German painter Thoralf Knobloch, plus a film installation by late 1970s New York film collective ‘On the Collective for Living Cinema’ (a collaboration with New York’s Orchard Gallery) in the project room.

It may be a major upgrade in size and style from their original gallery but both Anthony and Amanda emphasise that it’s not about a change in artists or ethos. “We put a lot of thought into designing the spaces with our artists in mind,” Amanda explains. “The downstairs space is more raw, with no natural light, perfect for showing video work by artists like Joan Joanas, whereas the upstairs space is more beautiful with skylights, which will be much better for our painters. The project space will be a much more spontaneous and flexible gallery. It’s really about allowing our artists to push themselves. Sometimes when curators see artists in a smaller space they get nervous about how their work might translate if they were offered a show in a major public gallery, so we want to encourage our artists to use and experiment with the spaces.”

While many East End gallerists seek out a West End postcode when it’s time to expand, the Wilkinsons had no hesitation about remaining in the east. “Vyner Street has always had a great feel about it,” Anthony says. “We didn’t decide to move here because it had become a thing; we’ve been in the area for a long time and when we saw the original building we knew that it was right. Initially we hadn’t planned to knock it down and start again but in the end it became more cost-effective. It’s been quite a challenge to create a building from scratch – you keep having to remember to include the really obvious things – like a letterbox, but we’re really happy with how it’s turned out. It’s still Wilkinson; it’s just our gallery in a different and much more exciting space.”

http://www.wilkinsongallery.com

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Hauser & Wirth, Art Gallery

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Hauser & Wirth is a gallery of contemporary art and modern masters, with locations in Zurich, London, New York, Somerset and Los Angeles.

Hauser & Wirth was founded in Zurich in 1992 by Iwan Wirth, Manuela Wirth and Ursula Hauser. In 1996, the gallery’s first permanent location, Hauser & Wirth Zürich, opened in the former Löwenbräu brewery building, along with other contemporary art galleries, the Kunsthalle Zürich, and the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst Zürich.

Hauser & Wirth opened its first London gallery on Piccadilly in 2003 with an installation by Los Angeles-based artist Paul McCarthy and, in 2010, the gallery opened a second permanent space on London’s Savile Row.

In 2006, Hauser & Wirth opened a new space at the historic premises of 15 Old Bond Street, shared with the UK’s leading old master dealer, Colnaghi. The gallery hosted two to three twentieth century and contemporary shows each year, including exhibitions of works by Louise Bourgeois, Berlinde de Bruyckere, Subodh Gupta, Henry Moore and Francis Picabia, before the space closed in 2010. Hauser & Wirth also opened an enormous temporary project space in London’s East End in 2005. Hauser & Wirth Coppermill showed exhibitions by Martin Kippenberger and Dieter and Björn Roth, Christoph Büchel and Martin Creed before it closed in July 2007.

In September 2009, the gallery inaugurated its outdoor sculpture programme in Southwood Garden, St James’s Church, London, with an exhibition by Swiss artist Josephsohn. Also in September, Hauser & Wirth opened a New York gallery in the Upper East Side of Manhattan with ‘Allan Kaprow: Yard’, an Environment first made in 1961 by Allan Kaprow, the American artist known as the inventor of ‘Happenings.’

In October 2010, Hauser & Wirth London opened their new gallery, designed by Selldorf Architects, at 23 Savile Row with the exhibition, ‘Louise Bourgeois: The Fabric Works’. In December 2013, Hauser & Wirth closed their Piccadilly gallery permanently.

In 2013, Hauser & Wirth opened their second New York gallery at 511 West 18th Street, in what used to be the Roxy. Located on the second level of a Chelsea garage, the gallery draws visitors up a long, sweeping stairway before revealing the 10,000 square feet exhibition space. Several artists contributed to the project including Björn Roth, who designed the gallery’s Roth Bar as a tribute to his father Dieter Roth; and Martin Creed, who created a custom installation for the entrance stair hall.

In July 2014, Hauser & Wirth Somerset opened on the outskirts of Bruton in Somerset. Hauser & Wirth Somerset is a gallery and arts centre focused on a core belief in conservation, education and sustainability, and is designed around several renovated Grade II-listed historical buildings as well as two new purpose built galleries on the site of Durslade Farm. Accompanied by an extensive education programme and regular artists-in-residence, the gallery aims to share contemporary art with new audiences and to engage the public with art, the countryside and the local community. In September 2014, a landscaped garden designed for the gallery by internationally renowned landscape architect Piet Oudolf was launched, including a perennial meadow that sits behind the gallery buildings.

http://www.hauserwirth.com

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Whitechapel Gallery, London

The Whitechapel Gallery is a public art gallery on the north side of Whitechapel High Street, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Designed by Charles Harrison Townsend, it was founded in 1901 as one of the first publicly funded galleries for temporary exhibitions in London, and it has a long track record for education and outreach projects, now focused on the Whitechapel area’s deprived populations. It exhibits the work of contemporary artists, as well as organising retrospective exhibitions and shows that are of interest to the local community.

The Whitechapel Gallery played an important part in the history of post-war British art, several important exhibitions were held at the Whitechapel Gallery including This is Tomorrow in 1956, the first UK exhibition by Mark Rothko in 1961, and in 1964 The New Generation show which featured John Hoyland, Bridget Riley, David Hockney and Patrick Caulfield among others.

The Whitechapel Gallery exhibited Pablo Picasso’s Guernica in 1938 as part of a touring exhibition organised by Roland Penrose to protest the Spanish Civil War.

Initiated by members of the Independent Group, the exhibition brought Pop Art to the general public as well as introducing some of the artists, concepts, designers and photographers that would define the Swinging Sixties.

Throughout its history, the Whitechapel Gallery had a series of open exhibitions that were a strong feature for the area’s artist community, but by the early 1990s these open shows became less relevant as emerging artists moved to other areas.

In the late 1970s, the critical importance of the Whitechapel Gallery was displaced by newer venues such as the Hayward Gallery, but in the 1980s the Gallery enjoyed a resurgence under the Directorship of Nicholas Serota. The Whitechapel Gallery had a major refurbishment in 1986 and completed, in April 2009, a two-year programme of work to incorporate the former Passmore Edwards Library building next door, vacated when Whitechapel Idea Store opened. This has doubled the physical size of the Gallery and nearly tripled the available exhibition space, and now allows the Whitechapel Gallery to remain open to the public all year round.

The Whitechapel has premiered international artists such as Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Nan Goldin, and provided a showcase for Britain’s most significant artists including Gilbert & George, John Hoyland, Lucian Freud, Bridget Riley, Peter Doig, Ian McKeever and Mark Wallinger.

http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/about/

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Artist: Mark Leckey

Mark Leckey Artist
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Mark Leckey, From the Exhibition, See We Assemble, 2013

Mark Leckeyis a British artist, working with collage art, music and video. His found art and found footage pieces span several videos, most notably Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999) and Industrial Lights and Magic (2008), for which he won the 2008 Turner Prize.

Through a multi-disciplinary practice that encompasses sculpture, sound, film, and performance, British artist Mark Leckey explores the potential of the human imagination to appropriate and to animate a concept, an object, or an environment. Drawing on his personal experiences as a London-based artist, who spent his formative years in the north of England, Leckey returns frequently to ideas of personal history, desire and transformation in his work.

Leckey was born in Birkenhead, near Liverpool, in 1964. In a 2008 interview in The Guardian, he described how he grew up in a working-class family and became a ‘casual’ in his youth. He left school at 16 with one O Level, in art, and at 19 became obsessed with learning about ancient civilizations. In the Guardian interview he described himself as an autodidact, “That’s why I use bigger words than I should. It’s a classic sign.” Following a conversation with his stepfather he took his A Levels and went to an art college in Newcastle, but didn’t enjoy it: “It was the early 1990s, when critical theory had swept the nation. The place was full of hippies from down south who were reading Mervyn Peake and Tolkien, and suddenly they were made to read Barthes and Derrida. It was like a Maoist year zero. I became very suspicious of the merits of critical theory…”

Mark Leckey’s video work has as its subject the “tawdry but somehow romantic elegance of certain aspects of British culture.”He likes the idea of letting “culture use you as an instrument.” but adds that the pretentiousness that artists sometimes fall into is destructive to the artistic process: “What gets in the way is being too clever, or worrying about how something is going to function, or where it’s going to be. When you start thinking of something as art, you’re fucked: you’re never going to advance.” Matthew Higgs has described his work as “possess[ing] a strange nonartlike quality, operating, as it does, on the knife’s edge where art and life meet”.

On Pleasure Bent is a body of work in which Leckey attempts to form a kaleidoscopic memoir, assembling his past from the imagery that he believes conditioned him. The exhibition will include all new works, several being exhibited publicly for the first time. Objects will include LED screens featuring looped animations, animated screens made up of highly-magnified computer screens silk screened with images, as well as cinema lobby style ’standees’ and a trailer for a new video.

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Exhibition: Takesada Matsutani, A Matrix

Takesada Matsutani A Matrix

Takesada Matsutani A Matrix

Takesada Matsutani, A Matrix, 2013

Takesada Matsutani A Matrix, 18 May – 27 July 2013
Hauser & Wirth London, Savile Row

This will be the gallery’s first solo show with Osaka-born, Paris-based artist, Takesada Matsutani and also marks the first time his works will be shown in the UK. ‘A Matrix’ features never before seen paintings from Matsutani’s early career, as well as recent organic abstractions in vinyl glue and graphite. In addition, the exhibition will include a performance of Matsutani’s ‘Stream, London, Hauser & Wirth’.

From the early sixties to the early seventies, Matsutani was a key member of the ‘second generation’ of the Gutai Art Association (1954 – 1972), Japan’s innovative and influential art collective of the post-war era. One of the most important Japanese artists working today, Matsutani’s paintings and performances from throughout his practice demonstrate the ethos of Gutai, translated into an artistic language that is uniquely his own.
In the 1960s, Matsutani began experimenting with vinyl glue, a material that first entered into mass production in Japan following World War II. With paintings such as ‘Work-62’, on view to the public for the first time in ‘A Matrix’, Matsutani deposited the glue onto his canvases and allowed it to run down the surface. Matsutani recalls ‘The glue began to drip and as it dried, stalactites formed, which looked like the udders of a cow’.

Inspired by the shapes of blood samples he had observed, Matsutani developed this technique further, using hairdryers, fans and his own breath to create bulbous forms reminiscent of the curves of the human body. Paintings such as ‘Work-63’ exemplify these early experimentations with vinyl glue, a material that continues to fascinate the artist to this day.
In 1966, Matsutani moved to Paris and began working at William Hayter’s renowned print-making studio, Atelier 17. When the Gutai Art Association disbanded in 1972, Matsutani was able to transition from the artistic style of his Gutai period into a radical yet consistent new body of work, informed in part by his experience at Atelier 17, in which he expressed a greater depth of understanding of pictorial space and composition.

Matsutani’s later paintings bring together the artist’s signature media, vinyl glue, with graphite. In a marked difference from the raw rendering of his early works, Matsutani carefully controls the glue as it moves across his canvases, making or deflating pockets of air and creating new ridges, wrinkles and crevices as the adhesive hardens. Matsutani then covers the surface in methodical, almost meditative, graphite lines. The shapes created resemble the unbridled energy of a crashing wave or the inside of a seed preparing to germinate, whilst the graphite reflects light, teasing out hints of texture, depth and volume.

‘Stream-10, 1984 – 2013, London’, one of Matsutani’s largest works, is a 10-metre sheet of paper which the artist covers in a blanket of graphite, leaving just one thin white line coursing through the middle of the paper. Matsutani then completes the work by throwing turpentine over the edge of the dense surface, quickly dissolving the graphite in a tremendous surge of energy and an act of cathartic liberation.

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Isa Genzken, Hauser & Wirth London, Sawille Row

Isa Genzken, 15 November 2012-12 January 2013,
Hauser & Wirth London,Savile Row

“I have always said that with any sculpture you have to be able to say, although this is not a ready-made, it could be one. That’s what a sculpture has to look like. It must have a certain relation to reality”.  Isa Genzken in conversation with Wolfgang Tillmans

Inspired by the stark severity of modernist architecture and the chaotic energy of the city, just as much as by art history, the aesthetics of the great American artists of the Sixties and pop culture, Isa Genzken’s work is continuously looking around itself, translating into three-dimensional form the way that art, architecture, design and media affects the experience of urban life. From 15 November, Genzken will present an exhibition of new and recent works at Hauser & Wirth’s Savile Row gallery. Genzken’s totemic columns, pedestal works and collages combine disparate aspects from her many sources in seemingly nonsensical, yet harmonious sculptural compilations.

The bust of Nefertiti, an ancient icon of feminine beauty, is one of the most well-known and historically significant sculptures. In Genzken’s new series of sculptures, she appropriates plaster reproductions of this bust, which the artist first saw at the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, gives them sunglasses and places them upon tall, white pedestals. She pairs Nefertiti with a reproduction of the Renaissance icon of feminine beauty, the Mona Lisa, whose famous portrait leans against the foot of each pedestal. Genzken then overlays her own self-portrait on to the reproduction of Mona Lisa, playfully inserting herself and her own practice into this multimedia exploration of the lineage of feminine beauty and the place of women in art history.

Genzken’s sculptures are precariously stacked assemblages of potted plants, designer furniture, empty shipping crates and photographs, among other things, arranged with the traditions of modernist sculpture in mind, traditions which are then manipulated by the artist. With this cacophonous array of objects, Genzken undermines the classical notions of sculpture and, in the North Gallery of Savile Row, re-creates the architectural dimensions of the artist’s beloved skyscrapers and the riotous colours of the city streets. Devoid of the weightiness and overpowering scale seen in the sculptures of her Minimalist predecessors, these works abandon notions of order and power, allowing the viewer to relate to the works’ inherently human qualities of fragility and vulnerability.

Both sculpture and photography combine and overlap in Genzken’s collages, whose dense surfaces are formed from the materials of the artist’s world: magazines, flyers, snapshots of friends, self-portraits and reproduced artworks. Genzken makes use of all surfaces of the gallery, including an on-going series of collages that span the floor of the space, like a pavement down a busy city street.

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Exhibition: Bjarne Melgaard, A House to Die In, Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

bjarne melgaard a house to die inBjarne Melgaard A House to Die In

Bjarne Melgaard A House to Die In

Bjarne Melgaard, From the Exhibition, A House to Die In, 2012

A House to Die In, 25 September – 18 November, 2012
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

A House to Die In is New York based Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard’s first solo exhibition in the UK. The Lower and Upper Galleries feature two of his collaborative projects, which investigate the dynamics of creative and collaborative relationships.

The architectural facade in the Lower Gallery realises a key stage in Melgaard’s ongoing collaboration with award-winning architectural firm Snøhetta, who have exchanged architectural drawings, models and documents with the artist since 2011 as they work closely towards the construction of a purpose-built house where Melgaard will live and work. In the exhibition, Melgaard and Snøhetta present a 1:1 facade of the building’s exterior, alongside a wider body of shared research that demonstrates the positive struggle experienced by both parties as they continually challenge the conventions of their respective practices.

The Upper Galleries house an installation of paintings and sculptures that imagine the interior spaces of Melgaard’s proposed residence, alongside bespoke furniture and ephemera from the artist’s studio. Melgaard created the paintings and sculptures in partnership with a group of artists who have no formal art education and little or no connection to the art world (several of whom are in recovery, face mental or emotional challenges, or suffer from schizophrenia). In these works, their layered conversations are made visible as the artists respond to and expand upon his visual lexicon.

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