Archives for category: Exhibition

I finally had a chance at the weekend to see the Hannah Höch exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery. I had seen bits and pieces of Höch’s work before but in this exhibition it was great to see how her style evolved over time, and especially within the context of history. Working alongside other contemporary collage artists like Kurt Schwitters, Höch’s work is playful and poignant, and creates a unique commentary of the social circumstances at that time.

The pieces below are from one of my favourite series – ‘From an Ethnographic Museum’ – completed between 1924 and 1930. I love their humour and sense of iconography. And considering their place in history, I like to imagine them celebrating diversity in a time of ever increasing uniformity.

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The exhibition is on until the 23rd March so check it out if you can.

http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/exhibitions/hannah-hch
http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/jan/13/hannah-hoch-whitechapel-review

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This weekend was the first one in a long while that I’ve had time to go out and see something. And fortunately, I was just in time to catch an exhibition I’ve wanted to see since it opened almost 6 months ago. ‘Saints Alive’ is the work created by Michael Landy whilst he was artist in residency at the National Gallery, a combination that some people thought a little unlikely.

Michael Landy 2

Installation of Saints Alive at the National Gallery, 2013

Michael Landy 3

mixed media 205 x 185 x 80 cm

The exhibition features a progression of Landy’s work from sketch, to collage, to all singing and dancing kinetic sculptures, which muse upon the stories of the Saints that feature in so many of the paintings in the gallery. It feels like Landy has almost dissected the National Gallery’s collections in order to form his own take on what many deem to be the most worthy of art – classical painting. It is humorous, fun and engaging. But most importantly it does not take itself seriously.

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/may/26/michael-landy-saints-alive-national-review

Aside from the subject matter, what I really liked about this exhibition is the questions it posed about the National Gallery, and where this institution sits in the art world, and in particular in London’s cultural scene. To many of the younger generation, the National Gallery is both inaccessible and pretentious. Although no one can ever argue that the National Gallery’s collection will ever become invalid, increasingly, as a static collection, it becomes more and more aloof and high brow.

What Landy does is bring this world back down to earth with a crash. It feels like he has bought the painting and the stories that they contain to life. It is whimsical, and fun. But most importantly it is accessible – and may in fact help a new generation to see the National Gallery’s collection in a new light. 

It closes on the 24th November but is so worthwhile checking out if you get the chance.

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/michael-landy-saints-alive

 

I first came across the work of artist Stephen Wright in a small boutique in Brixton Village called Brixi. A mixture of tapestry and mosaic techniques, Wright’s work is immediately eye-catching and engaging, if not a little on the wild side. As a fan of all things kitsch, the way that Wright combines materials, objects and imagery seemed wonderful to me. Large scale embroidered tapestries have been photographed and interpreted into beautiful prints that have not lost any of their texture and the abstract qualities that make them interesting.

Stephen is currently exhibiting some of his work on the first floor of the legendary patisserie and art gallery Maison Bertaux on Greek Street in Soho until mid June.

Having seen Stephen’s work for the first time, I immediately found out about his current project, the ‘House of Dreams’, from his website. An ongoing project, Stephen is gradually turning the ground floor of his house in East Dulwich into what feels like a living, breathing piece of art. The house has now been bequeathed to the National Trust, and consequently will be open to visitors long after it is completed. Before visiting, and having seen the aesthetic of Stephen’s work and a few images of the house online, I had a fairly good idea of the sort of sensory assault I was expecting. It certainly lived up to those expectations. Instantly visible upon the terraced street, every surface is covered in literally everything – objects from all over the world, ranging from the utterly mundane to the outright bizarre. You could walk around the house for days on end and each time you would still spot a detail that you had overlooked before. However, I also experienced something more, which I hadn’t expected. The house isn’t just an artwork, but more of a museum of Stephen’s life. It is incredibly personal – full of stories and moments from all stages of his life – as well as all of the objects, themes, and issues that are currently consuming him. The combination of this provides an all-encompassing and truly unique story, straight from the artist himself. One might have thought that the house would seem claustrophobic and chaotic, but in a strange way it almost feels like everything is in it’s correct place, which is a true feat. Unfortunately, I was not able to take any photos as work is currently in progress towards a book documenting the House of Dreams and the journey that Stephen has been on, which is a very exciting prospect. But these images taken from an interview with Stephen in ‘Dulwich On View’ should give you a taster.

The House of Dreams is having an open day this Saturday (the 2nd of June) between 11am and 4pm. Booking is required. I felt I had such a personal experience from going there – and strongly recommend it to anyone with an erring towards to kitsch. There will also be another open day on the 7th of July.

http://www.stephenwrightartist.co.uk/house-of-dreams.html
http://www.maisonbertaux.com/maisonbertaux.com/Maison_Bertaux.html
http://dulwichonview.org.uk/2011/01/28/welcome-to-the-house-of-dreams/

On a slightly unplanned trip to Antwerp recently, I visited the ‘Dream the World Awake’ exhibition, a retrospective of Fashion Designer Walter Van Bierendonck, at the Mode Museum. I can’t quite believe I have never come across his work before. Not for the faint-hearted, the pieces really appealed to me throw the satire that is injected into them – every pieced is infused with all sort of different, often humorous remarks. However, what made the exhibition really engaging was the way in which they displayed sketchbook pages as well as images, objects and art that had obviously inspired Bierendonck – ranging from modern art, to throwaway bric-a-brac, and ethnographical images. There was work from Grayson Perry and the Chapman Brothers. It was great to see how the complete chaos of his inspiration had influenced the end result, and not often in a subtle way.

The exhibition is on until the 19th February, so if you happen to be in Antwerp make sure you check it out, even if you aren’t particularly interested in Fashion.

http://www.momu.be/en/index_momu.jsp?layout=momu

Also, check out the great photography and fashion film that accompanied the exhibition, by Nick Knight and stylist Simon Foxton.

http://showstudio.com/project/dream_the_world_awake

I am definitely very late in discovering the work of Belgium artist Wim Delvoye, after reading an interview with him in Wound magazine. After doing a little more research, I got the impression that he is most famous for turning live pigs into a walking advertisement for Louis Vuitton. However, I was attracted by Delvoye’s reinterpretation of the cement mixer.

This piece, alongside it’s unbelievable intricacies, draws me in through a tension created by combining the mundane and industrial with a highly decorative and traditional style. Despite any under-lying, anarchistic, meaning created to shock, it is a very beautiful and evocative thing.

See much more of Wim Delvoye’s work on his website: http://www.wimdelvoye.be/

The New Designers exhibition opens today at the Business Design Centre in Angel. Brimming with fresh, graduate talent, I am sure the will be more than plenty to see. I will be exhibiting my work alongside my peers at the Central St Martins Stand T52. Come and check it out.

For more info: http://www.newdesigners.com/

With private viewings this week and public entry next week, Central St Martins is definitely buzzing at the moment. And this year marks a corner stone in the history of the college, as the last show in the infamous Charing Cross Road and Southampton Row buildings. With the move to Kings Cross imminent, I am sure this years graduates will be going out with a bang.

The textile design show is open to the public from Monday 20th June until Thursday 24th June. Open 12pm – 8pm Monday to Wednesday and 12pm to 6pm on the Thursday. Please do come and check it out, I can definitely assure you of exciting things.

Central St Martins College of Art and Design, Southampton Road, London, WC1B 4AP

For more information on all of the degree shows:
http://newsevents.arts.ac.uk/event/csm-undergraduate-degree-shows/