Tuesday, 3 May 2011

GEORGE SHAW 25 February 2011 - 12 June 2011Payne's Grey

Coinciding with The Sly and Unseen Day, this intimate presentation in BALTIC’s Level 2 gallery showcases a strand of George Shaw’s practice that has never been seen before. Fourteen watercolours, named after the peculiar shade of their creation, provide a new take on Shaw’s familiar subject matter. “Once I started painting skies in Payne’s Grey and following Constable’s dictum that the sky was like the tuning fork for the tone of the painting, I began to simply allow the whole world to be sky coloured. And like the worst fears of Chicken Licken the sky did fall in - and the painted world became Payne’s Grey.”

David Walker Street Art London 1 650x391 New David Walker street art on Curtain Road
Today, we were lucky enough to spend some time with David Walker while he painted a fantastic new street piece on one of the Cordy House shutters on Curtain Road.  While painting, David told us that he has some big plans for more street pieces this year so be sure to watch this space!  For more about David, you might want to check out the great interview with him that we featured on Street Art London earlier this year.  Please check out our photos below:
David Walker Street Art London 2 650x433 New David Walker street art on Curtain Road

All of the below are works of the wonderful, one and only Banksy

'Kid with string', London Banksy



Monday, 2 May 2011

Im thinking about hidding objects in different places, i have already wrapped some trees neatly in coloured wool and left them ther for people to stumble apon and hopefully the experience will make their day brighter.  I have also wrapped part of the bannister in the Mackintosh building with the same coloued wool and also a door handle also.  Now im thinking about hidding an object underground maybe or a collection of them.

Found Objects

An Oak Tree
In 1974,[4] he exhibited the seminal piece An Oak Tree. The work consists of a glass of water standing on a shelf attached to the gallery wall next to which is a text using a semiotic argument to explain why it is in fact an oak tree. Nevertheless, on one occasion when it was barred by Australian Customs officials from entering the country as vegetation, he was forced to explain it was really a glass of water.[5] The work was bought by the National Gallery of Australia in 1977; however, the Tate gallery has an artist's copy.[5]

File:Oak tree.jpg

Hidden Objects

Im thinking about objects that are hidden maybe out of site somehow,  I at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and there is this tree, which I saw and thought I'd take a picture of it and when I looked closly at the photos after I rrealized at the top of the tree there is this full size chair hidden in the branchs, this just interested me this idea of objects being in situe and not screaming in your face that they are there but rather left to be discovered by someone.

Tea Bird by Colin George Jeffrey. 2008

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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Simon Starling: Recent History
5 February  –  2 May 2011
Simon Starling, Autoxylopyrocyloboros, 2006
Simon Starling
Autoxylopyrocyloboros 2006
© courtesy the artist and The Modern Institute, Glasgow

Tate St Ives presents the first major exhibition in the UK of the work of Simon Starling since he won the Turner Prize in 2005. The exhibition draws on important works made in the last five years; almost all previously unseen in the UK. In addition, Starling will create a major new site specific work, commissioned especially for the show.
Employing video, film, slide projections, photography and sculpture, Starling’s work reveals rich, unexpected and complex histories, brought to light through his forensic - if sometimes elliptical- unravelling of an image, object or event. The exhibition’s selection of works, in the very particular context of rural Cornwall, emphasises Starling's long-running interest in the relationship and interplay between culture and nature, and his ongoing examination, excavation and transformation of the material world.
A major new commission will be created by Starling, further developing his interest in architectural spaces and their histories. He will recreate an exact, full size replica of a gallery space from the Pier Art Centre, Stromness - where he recently showed - in the spectacular curved sea facing galleries at Tate St Ives. Collapsing together two geographically disparate spaces - one at the northern most extreme of the British Isles and the other at the far South West -the work will appear as a kind of ‘ship in a bottle’, incongruously reconnecting two remote sites which share a strong cultural history and interest in post-war British art, and in particular the St Ives Modernists.
The exhibition will also include The Long Ton 2009, a sculpture featuring two rough-cut white lumps of marble suspended in space. The larger of the two stones, an import from China weighing one ton, is counterbalanced by approximately 250 kg of Italian marble thanks to a 4:1 ratio pulley system that allows the two stones to sit in perfect equilibrium. On closer inspection it is clear that the two stones have exactly the same form, the Italian stone having been precision laser-cut to exactly the same, although reduced, specifications as the larger Chinese stone. Despite its long voyage to Europe, the Chinese marble has a similar market value to the European stone one-quarter its weight.
Also on display will be his work Red Rivers, 2008 a video work which brings together the stories of two journeys made a century apart: the first a nineteenth century anthropological expedition into the Congo to capture and document the elusive and little known Okapi; the second a journey made by Starling down the Hudson River in a handmade strip canoe, culminating at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City where specimens of the Okapi finally ended up in a famous ‘diorama’. Taking the form of a series of still images, the video is as much a meditation on the fast disappearing processes of photography itself.
One Ton II, 2005 deals very directly with the material world. Making explicit the huge amounts of energy used to produce tiny quantities of platinum, one ton of ore, mined from the South African open cast mine pictured in the images, was needed to produce the five handmade platinum prints that comprise the work. In this way a simple but intrinsic relationship is established between the processes and economics of mining and refining platinum, the images of the site itself, and the chemical photographic process used in the production of the work. Inventar Nr. 8573 (Man Ray) 2006, is a slide projection that performs and documents a similar material excavation - this time at a microscopic level - on a photograph by Man Ray. The camera slowly zooms in on the photograph until it moves into the very surface of the print itself, finally revealing the individual silver particles that make up the image.
Continuing this interest in mining, excavation and geology, Starling will produce a new work, drawing on recent research into the Cornish China clay mines, emphasising the contemporary use of China clay in the paper industry as a glossy coating for fine papers.
British artist Simon Starling was born in 1967 and studied photography and art at Maidstone College of Art, Trent Polytechnic Nottingham and Glasgow School of Art. In 1999 he was the first recipient of the Blinky Palermo Grant, open to artists from all over the world. In 2005 he won the Turner prize. Starling lives and works in Copenhagen and Berlin. He is a professor of Fine Art at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main.
Simon Starling: Recent History is a collaboration with the Contemporary Art Centre,  Malaga, Spain; a full colour publication will accompany the exhibition.
James Stirling: Notes from the Archive
5 April  –  21 August 2011
Clore Gallery (Tate Britain) London, England: study model for the east elevation, 1978–86. wood, cardboard, plastic and paint                                                      AP140.S2.SS1.D60.SD1.P127
Clore Gallery (Tate Britain) London, England: study model for the east elevation 1978–86
wood, cardboard, plastic and paint AP140.S2.SS1.D60.SD1.P127
James Stirling / Michael Wilford fonds, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal © CCA

Free Entry
It is eighteen years since James Stirling’s death, and he is long due a retrospective exhibition. Given his close association with Tate, in the form of the Clore Gallery and Tate Liverpool, Tate Britain is an especially appropriate place to review his work. This exhibition, curated by the renowned architectural writer Anthony Vidler, draws on the Stirling archive held at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. It will be presented in the Clore Gallery, designed by Stirling and opened in 1987. Unfashionable at the time, it, like its designer, is the subject of renewed interest and appreciation. The exhibition will cover the whole of Stirling’s career, from the iconic Engineering Building of 1959 at Leicester University through to the late 1990s, including built and unbuilt projects, drawings, photographs and furniture.
The Unilever Series: Ai Weiwei

Tate Modern 12 October 2010  –  2 May 2011
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The Unilever Series: Ai Weiwei
Sunflower Seeds 2010
Photocredit: Tate Photography
© Ai Weiwei

About the exhibition

Sunflower Seeds is made up of millions of small works, each apparently identical, but actually unique. However realistic they may seem, these life-sized sunflower seed husks are in fact intricately hand-crafted in porcelain.
Each seed has been individually sculpted and painted by specialists working in small-scale workshops in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen. Far from being industrially produced, they are the effort of hundreds of skilled hands. Poured into the interior of the Turbine Hall’s vast industrial space, the 100 million seeds form a seemingly infinite landscape.
Porcelain is almost synonymous with China and, to make this work, Ai Weiwei has manipulated traditional methods of crafting what has historically been one of China’s most prized exports. Sunflower Seeds invites us to look more closely at the ‘Made in China’ phenomenon and the geo-politics of cultural and economic exchange today.
DLA Piper Series: This is Sculpture
1 May 2009  –  1 April 2012
Antony Gormley, Bed, 1980–1
Antony Gormley
Bed 1980–1
Tate © Antony Gormley

Free Entry
DLA Piper Series: This is Sculpture takes an ambitious and revolutionary look at the history of modern and contemporary sculpture. This new Tate collection display continues to examine and question the trajectory of artistic innovation in twentieth-century art and beyond.
Sculpture in the form of object, installation, assemblage and ready-made will sit alongside more surprising forms, such as painting, video, photography, language and performance.

Joseph Beuys - Fat Chair

Ruth Barker - And The Three Mothers Ask: Don't You Know Me?

Three Mothers

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Virgil Marti

Austrian Swag by Virgil  Marti

Austrian Swag, 2009

Lucia Nogueira

Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, UK
Russell Baker famously quipped that ‘The goal of inanimate objects is to resist man and ultimately defeat him.’ While this remains true, ‘Mischief’, an exhibition of Lucia Nogueira’s sculpture and works on paper at Kettle’s Yard, shows a tender side of our often wilfull inanimate adversaries. The array of found objects and everyday materials firmly plant themselves in a grounding of dadaist assemblages and combinations of textures and sensations. Several of the pieces in the exhibition insistently interfere with the viewer’s personal space – either by getting underfoot and refusing to be relegated to a set region of the gallery.  On some levels this seems mostly an aesthetic choice, as in a work from 1992 simply titled ‘…’ in which a red ribbon, like a musical leitmotif, connects a pail, a metal frame, and a burlap sack of sand, but also cordons off it’s own sphere of influence in the gallery. Others, such as Needle (1995), challenge the human viewer for primacy: it’s not just that one is afraid to step on the neon pink plastic cord that is stitched into the wooden flooring, it’s that by the time you notice Needle you probably already have. But without stanchions or even a marking on the floor, you never had a chance to avoid it, leaving open the question of who has invaded whose space.
Guilt and alienation are recurring themes in the work. Nogueira’s objects inhabit a world of mistakes, of closed or darkened spaces, and of practical objects which cannot, or refuse to, fulfill their intended function – there are shelves that do not ‘shelve’, wheels that cannot roll. One-time useful pieces of furniture are rendered useless or possibly even dangerous. For example, Hide and Seek (1997) greets the visitor entering of the gallery, an unplugged refrigerator still framed by its packing material, its door facing the wall. Seemingly engaged in a game, the stocky appliance is cutely anthropomorphic, the odd sweetness of the appliance is amplified by the framed photograph of rabbits perched on top. Now that the fridge has a personality though, there is psychosis as well, not only is play evoked, but the troubling gesture of an upset being facing the wall, hiding from us as well. This emotion is repeated in Untitled (1992), in which a wooden silver-painted cupboard is bedecked with a chain and topped with two nondescript aluminium cans faces in towards the wall, rendering itself useless and leaving the viewer with the sensation that it has something to hide. Full-stop (1993), a large cable drum is succinctly, almost cruelly hedged into a corner, palpably bursting with potential energy. Mischief (1995), on the other hand, seems fraught with one-liners and practical jokes: a wooden chair with its seat missing presents a painful and unfortunate eventuality, while the bin liners dragged across the floor are reminiscent of toilet paper stuck to the shoe, or a randy child or a pet who has decided to be destructive for their own entertainment.
The works on paper in the exhibition, all untitled and mostly undated, are loosely and dreamily painted. They inhabit a zone somewhere in between amorphous and humanoid, but frequently have a dark, vaguely threatening edge. Helicopters could also be yellow jackets, rockets might be flowers – occasionally a figure emerges. There is a play of symbols – some organic, some manmade – with a sensuous rhythmic repetition. Nogueira’s only foray into filmmaking, Smoke (1996), black and white and shot on 16mm, is also included, as it is at her concurrent exhibition at Tate Modern, and it too posits a strange parity between objects and their makers. It is a record of a one-time installation created at Berwick-on-Tweed in which visitors were supplied with umbrellas or kites. Kites and flags wave in the wind, and the spectators disjointedly look on, with little concern given to cause or effect. A stepladder placed on a dune waits for a person to climb up and admire the view, but perhaps the ladder is already doing that.
William Corwin

Artists Pan Hoggang and Hu Youchen and their pieces

Pan Honggang and Hu Youchen

Magician Space, 798 Art District, Beijing, China
In an art district replete with giant galleries and accustomed to large-scale works capaciously arranged, ‘Them or Us?’ feels unusually intimate. Magician Space is an up-and-coming gallery quietly but assuredly staging strong exhibitions by emerging artists at its modest 798 location. This scale is refreshing – it cultivates a feeling of closeness to the work that has become diluted in many of the area’s larger venues. In ‘Them or Us?’, a collection of works by Pan Honggang and Hu Youchen, a young couple from Sichuan, this atmosphere is particularly potent. Together they have created a group of anthropomorphic sculptures, their bodily forms and features in some ways human, in others animal; they are objects with which the first encounter is intriguing and uncanny.
In the first room, a group of figures is arranged in a rough arc, with sand dusted on the floor around their supports. At the apex is a naked, child-like male figure entitled If There is if No.1 (2009). His painted resin skin is greyer than that of the others but similarly translucent. His head is half-covered in a cat-eared hood as if from a costume, yet its colour is the same as his skin. His eyes are big, their downward gaze seemingly removed from the gesture shaped by his hands and arms – something like a shrug, bent from the elbow, palms facing up. It is this figure alone that enacts a human-like expressive gesture; the rest are unanimated or odd: crouched, mounted (there are two busts) or standing on dried, rough-skinned tree trunks of varying heights – natural perches from which they cannot move.
Here we find ourselves amidst a cultish community of beings – milky in tone, greyish or white as if having germinated in a lightless place. Their eyes, when not large and anaemic, are disarming for their likeness to those of tired children; the skin around them is puffy and pink-tinged like their other extremities – nipples, fingertips, snouts and knees. These are not robust creatures but restricted and flightless ones. A common feature is pointed protrusions like tiny horns, ear flaps, antennae or stunted tusks that create an aura of inertness and restriction. One notices seams in their skin that detract from the norms of organic growth – joins at the neck and wrists, or a line between the chest and back on a particularly weird figure, If There Is If No. 3 (2009), its lips fused together beneath its drooping, pointed ‘beak’.
The artists use form as a baseline from which to convey their emotional state. It is likely that these sculptures are borne of the isolation felt by the one-child generation in China; although they depict physically different creatures, they share enough in common – negative features that are products more of nurture than nature – to suggest a silent cohesion among them. They seem to occupy a fragile space between cuteness and darkness, vulnerability and horror, their pink tips suggestive of hurt, their eyes shrunken by tears or enlarged by paranoia.
If humans are selfish beings inclined to conform, then this exhibition becomes more about the emotional state of the viewer. To enter the exhibition at Magician Space alone is unnerving, as it thrusts you into a group of beings you recognize in part but cannot penetrate. Their partial likeness to people clashes with our innate compulsion to categorize and understand, sparking the kind of silent judgments we intuitively make upon meeting someone for the first time. Quickly, however, their alien features intercept our path to ‘knowing’ them. Coupled with a sense of emotional awkwardness from which humans naturally disassociate themselves, these sculptures perhaps capture, in physical form, the unease we keep inside. Emanating through pallid skin, theirs is a power that strikes remarkably close to the bone.
Iona Whittaker

Artist Lucy Minyo and her work 'Ren Zhitian'

Ren Zhitian

Art Labor 2.0, Shanghai, China
Beijing-based artist Ren Zhitian has been working with ink since the early 1990s. In recent years, these kinds of painted works – executed using techniques connected to traditional Chinese ink painting, shuǐmòhuà – have been receiving increasing interest. Following the saturated oils of movements such as Cynical Realism, ink offers both relief and a closer connection to national identity. Titled ‘ānyú wúliáo’ (Elegant and Empty), these ten works are the second edition in what will form a suite of 100 pieces upon its completion.
Ren sourced machine-embroidered silk, and followed the surface relief using ink made from fuel ash residue collected by a willing team from garages across Beijing. The issue of carbon emissions is certainly present here, but it is perhaps the most two-dimensional aspect of the work. The fluidity of the ink can’t be entirely contained; the untreated silk carries the delicate strokes through its grain, and the original design is blurred. Brush marks and ink weight add a second pattern, utilizing the flexibility of ink in its application, and further demonstrating the artist’s long-standing affinity with his medium.
The effect is certainly pleasing, but Ren is resolute when saying that his brush, dipped in ink, results in something that merely ‘appears to the eye like shuǐmò’, explaining that ‘the works just present a form, a composition, that supports a concept […] I wanted by means of something that looks very much like a painting, to oppose painting’. His prior works, entitled ‘hànzì tóngkǒng’ (‘Script and View’, 2008), appear for example to take much from the Southern School of shuǐmò and its dexterity with monochrome ink tones. He inverts this tradition, dipping his brush in solvent to etch his strokes into a prepared inkjet surface.
It seems however that a deep connection, perhaps even a kind of sentimentality, towards China’s artistic heritage, especially silk, comes to the forefront. ‘To invent weaving technology capable of something so delicate and exquisite, they really sought to express beauty; this moves me greatly,’ says Ren. ‘When painting with these patterns, I am continually able to experience something pure and happy, something originating from a pre-industrial age.’
In this show, the fantastical scale and significant presence of domestic manufacturing seems to rise over and above the issue of carbon emissions. Ren continues by saying that in parallel with silk, ‘the car is equally important. Through the usefulness of this object we can live our daily lives in a more civilized and refined way.’ Something similar could be said of the contribution made by China’s exports. The process enacted in these pieces brought the artist closer to the spirit and the innovation of his predecessors. However, he implies that the feeling delivered by our widespread adoption of today’s innovations is convenience in excess, resulting in wúliáo, or, merely nothing.
Lucy Minyo