23 February 2006

Patrick Venton

A bit of Modern british art for you now. A new exhibition of the abstract work of Birmingham Artist Patrick Venton (1925-1987) at Mondern British Artists.

I'm not familiar with Benton's work but was sent the exhibition catalogue and I think it looks really fascinating stuff. The 1950's when venton was in his heydey was a great time for abstract art in Britain. A lot of the artists who were well know then are little known now including my personal favourite from that period Frank Avray Wilson (still alive and still painting at the age of 92).

I will definitely get along to this exhibition once it opens. Here are the details:

'A Point of Departure' (Venton's own phrase) offers the first broad survey of Venton's art in more than forty years. Presented are an ambitious group of paintings created between 1952 and 1964, sensuously executed in heavy impasto, tirelessly applied and reapplied with a palette knife, the paint surface subtly multi-layered so the original subject matter is transfigured (the Point of Departure) into a quite magical new reality - one approaching pure abstraction. Fascinated by the play of light on form, his 'subjects', whether pots, pans and bottles on the studio table or rock formations, would be radically abstracted into vibrant, shimmering compositions of fluctuating light and tone. He would revisit a painting, continuously refining and reworking the surface, and the fertile inventiveness in terms of composition and colour in these works is joyously impressive.

We look forward to welcoming you to the gallery, which is literally a few minutes walk from Baker Street tube station.

49 Chiltern Street

Tel: 020 7487 3550

You see art in the strangest places

I was in the Royal Courts of justice today doing my day job when what should I come across but a sculpture of Lord Woolf by Contemporary Artist David Mach. It was made out of coat hangers and did look a little out of place in its traditional 19th century setting.

Also I don't know whether you have been to Trafalgar square recently but there, standing proud, on one of the plinths in a sculpture by Mark Quinn entitled "Alison Lapper pregnant". Again a really striking example of contemporary art.

Then of course in Aldeburgh you have the tribute to Benjamin Britten - a 12 foot sculpture of a scallop by Maggi Hambling (although not all the residents are that keen on it)

21 February 2006

John Murphy - Between the acts

Here are details of an interesting new exhibtion at the Lisson Gallery between 22/02/2006 - 25/03/2006

John Murphy's practice can be characterised through his use of existing material, such as reproductions and ready-mades. For this exhibition, his fourth at Lisson Gallery since 1985, Murphy has created visually austere but conceptually complex configurations of found images, objects and texts using post cards, books, film stills, painting and poetry.

Renny Tait - Studies in Form

Worth a visit is the Renny Tait exhibition at Flowers Central. This is on between the 8 February 2006 and 4 March 2006. The exhibition is appropriately titled "Studies in Form" which gives a clue as to the nature of this artists work which on the one hand appears to be quite architectural but on the other has elements of surrealism and cartoonesque imagery.

Affordable Art Fair

Just a reminder that the affordable art fair takes place in Battersea park between the 16 and 19 March 2006.

For my full list of art fairs in london please see this page of this blog.

This is what the fair organisers say about it:

"The Affordable Art Fair, Spring Collection will return to Battersea Park bringing around 130 galleries, dealers and studio groups from across the UK and abroad. The fair is fun, relaxed and, with everything under £3,000, it is an art-buying opportunity that can't be missed.

Seasoned collectors can seek out hot new artists, whilst first time buyers can browse amongst the thousands of paintings, drawings, original prints, photography and sculpture. Look out for AAF Photo2006 at the front, for the latest talent in photography. The Parisian chocolate art experience, Eat the Paint will be making its UK debut at the fair.

AAF is the fab, funky fair where you can look, love and leave with contemporary art. All ages are catered for with our wine bar, café, and children's crèche. Free hands-on printmaking workshops take place throughout the event."

18 February 2006

British Art Show 6

Just a mention for a show outside London. I was in Manchester the other day and went to see some of the British Art Show 6 at the Cornerhouse (although it is at many other venues in Manchester and then touring round the country). I particularly liked changing my shoes (Adam Chozdko).

15 February 2006

James Faure Walker - Painting the Digital River

3 - 19 March 2006

Private view: Thursday, 2 March, 6:30-8:30 pm

Artist's talk: Monday, 13th March, 7:00 - 8:00 pm

Fosterart: 20 Rivington Street London EC2A 3DU, in Shoreditch near Old Street exit 3
Gallery Hours: Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday 12-6, other times by appointment

This event celebrates James Faure Walker’s new book, ‘Painting the Digital River: How an Artist Learned to Love the Computer’ Prentice Hall 2006. Fosterart is pleased to host an exhibition of paintings and digital prints by Mr. Faure Walker in conjunction with his book launch.

This exhibition allows the reader to gain a better sense of the scale and texture of the work and is the first opportunity to see some of the exciting art in his book.

“Faure Walker has a distinguished background as both a painter and digital artist. He is an early adopter of digital technology in this regard, so has lived the history of the ever-accelerating embrace of the digital.” -- Lane Hall, digital artist and professor

"This book is as much about painting as it is about the digital world. But beyond both it's really about visual intelligence. What makes it a joy to read is the lovely match between Faure Walker's subject and his style of writing: apparently artless, just making itself up as it goes along, but actually always with a witty spring, and never slack." -- Matthew Collings, artist, critic, author, and television host

James Faure Walker studied painting at St. Martin’s School of Art and aesthetics at the Royal College of Art. In the 1980’s, he began using computers in his studio. James Faure Walker was one of the founders of Artscribe in 1976, and editor till 1983.

The book will be available for sale in the gallery at a discounted price of £14.

Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset - The Welfare Show

Michael Elmgreen
& Ingar Dragset :
The Welfare Show
26 January -
26 February 2006

Yesterday I went to the Serpentine Gallery to see the Welfare show by Norwegian artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. This is an altogether curious show. The gallery has been set up as a series of corridors. One wonders past exhibits such as a group of security guard all sitting in one corridor. What are they securing? Why are they there. There is a glass window into a room with a baggage carousel with one piece of luggage from a flight from Ibiza to Luton going round and round on it.

There is a row of chairs and one of those ticket machines that spits out numbers. Except that the electronic display is showing zero. There are a number of discarded tickets around the floor.

There is a hospital corridor with a couple of beds in it (one occupied by a patient) that is a lot cleaner than most hospitals I have been in.

There is a lap dancers pole with tacky flashing lights around it. On top of the lapdancers podium is a mop and bucket. All rather obvious symbolism for the typical menial jobs that women have in modern day society.

And really that it my problem with this whole show. Isn't it all rather obvious? So modern life is difficult, boring, bureaucratic. Tell us something we don't know. Do I really want to go to an art gallery to see scenes that I could see queueing up for a passport etc. I go to an art gallery to see something that releases me from my modern humdrum existence, not which reminds me of it.

I wasn't inspired by this show. It isn't that different. It didn't say anything to me that I didn't know already.

Make your own mind up though.

This is what the gallery say:

"What is the welfare state? What has caused its decline? How socially responsible has it been? The Welfare Show by artists Michael Elmgreen (born 1961, Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (born 1969, Norway) uses sculptures, installations and an encyclopaedic style catalogue to focus attention on welfare systems in the Western world. Within this context, visitors are invited to consider such concepts as power, economic disparity, health care, immigration, the police state, and the social role of art.

For more than a decade, the artists have been collaborating to create sculptures and installations that challenge conventional notions of institutions and public spaces within contemporary society. Since 1997, their Powerless Structures series of works has investigated how sites such as prisons, social security offices, hospitals, museums, galleries and parks exercise social control.

The artists live and work in Berlin and have had many international exhibitions, including the Untitled series at Tate Modern and Utopia Station at the 50th Venice Biennale, both 2003. They were nominated for the HUGO BOSS PRIZE, 2000, and received Germany’s Preis der Nationalgalerie für Junge Kunst, 2002.

Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset: The Welfare Show is initiated by Bergen Kunsthall, Norway and produced in collaboration between Bergen Kunsthall; Bawag Foundation, Vienna; The Power Plant, Toronto; and the Serpentine Gallery, London."

12 February 2006

Sabine Moriz at Andrew Mummery

Sabine Moritz
15 February – 18 March 2006

Private view: Tuesday 14 February 2006. 6-8pm

Gallery open Wednesday-Saturday, 12-6pm, and by appointment

The Andrew Mummery Gallery is pleased to announce the first exhibition in London of the work of the painter Sabine Moritz. In Moritz’s most recent work, two subjects predominate. One is war - images of battlefields, soldiers and military vehicles that have been taken from photographs in newspapers and magazines. The other is still-life - orchids, roses and lilies in vases, painted in the artist’s studio. Sometimes the two subjects are combined.

The theme of Moritz’s paintings, the horror and ever-presence of war and the transience of beauty, would seem to be fairly clear, but a more careful consideration of them reveals that something more subtle is also going on and that the symbolism is more personal. The helicopters that appear in many of these paintings, particularly when they are depicted alongside flowers, at first seem threatening harbingers of war, but they can also symbolise rescue and escape. Battle itself is never directly depicted; only it’s aftermath, or that waiting time before conflict. One of the paintings is revealing entitled Limbo, a hint that Moritz is seeking to bring a kind of balance, through the process of painting, to the tensions and contradictions of her subject matter.

Sabine Moritz was born in Quedlinburg, Germany in 1969. She now lives and works in Cologne.

An illustrated catalogue has been published to accompany the exhibition.

Paul Hosking exhibition at Fred, London

FRED is delighted to present the first London solo exhibition by Paul Hosking. Hoskings makes sculptures, mobiles and objects alongside a series of "light Drawings". For these drawings Hosking etches around his own body parts directly onto perspex with an engraving tool. The resulting images are then illuminated through coloured filters thus producing a multi-coloured shadow play.

Using a disarmingly simplistic approach, Hosking’s sculptures are essentially derived from ready-mades. For this exhibition, he has used joke shop plastic bones, which he has then cast into large starbursts in resin and aluminium Bones appear as 0palentological traces of past life re-interpreted through the American pop art language of the ready-made.

Hosking has also employed motors to make a series of wall and ceiling mounted mobiles. A series of bottles of pure pigments slowly rotate along one wall of the gallery, while a suspended pile of rusty bones hang from the ceiling gently turning. Hosking uses these devices to comment on the ephemeral and temporal, as the bottles gradually rotate the pigments form into solid balls, marking the passage of time.

In these works Hosking gathers together a glut of visual references. The “light Drawings” centralise drawing as a representation of the human mark or impulse. The works also reference what humans leave behind: the joke plastic bone becomes both a momento-mori and a transformed piece of modern day waste.

Paul Hosking graduated from Goldsmiths in 1999, his recent exhibitions include Three From Britain, Nevada University Las Vegas, New Works, Galerie Leme, Sao Paulo, The Contemporary Art Society Economist Sculpture Plaza Commission and All Boys Curated by Gary Webb, Belgium. He lives and works in London. His work can be found in National and International private collections.

09 February 2006

Wandering Rocks at Gimpel Fils

Here are some details of an interesting group show going on at Gimpel Fils.

17 January - 18 February 2006

Marc Chaimowicz & Nadia Wallis, Simon Faithfull, Adam Gillam, Renata Hegyi, John Kindness, Graeme Miller, Mike Nelson, Elizabeth Price, Lindsay Seers

In the labyrinthine structure of the 10th chapter of Ulysses -Wandering Rocks, the meandering paths taken by named pedestrians are entwined into a narrative of the colliding and parting of ways. In making this reference, this exhibition aims to navigate links between the methods of the wanderer and the practice and output of the participating artists. The paths it suggests are therefore multiple and intersecting; travelled routes are interwoven with memory and narrative; spaces traversed outside the gallery make their presence felt within it; while the open-ended quality of the works invite a sense of continuity.

From the outset we are invited to consider the variable prospects bound up in the notion of departure. Mike Nelson’s foyer work, constructed within the front window space of the gallery, hints at future journeys and spaces beyond. Apprehensive projection into future space echoes from Renata Hegyi’s photographs, which sound also a nostalgic element; reminding the viewer of the unavoidable link between the journey-to-come and the past. This is also explored in Lindsay Seer’s film Extramission, where memory and imagination become fused into narrative by the inherent mystery of travel.

Extramission describes transference through a body to space relationship, first likened to a camera before shifting to the idea of a projector as a model. The body as camera is a central device in Graeme Miller’s Lonesome Way. Here, a walk down a south London road becomes an opportunity to interweave remembered filmed narratives with chance occurrence.
The wandered path and chance findings inform the work of both Adam Gillam and John Kindness. Discovered material from Lee Valley fly-tips become means for the reconfiguration of stories in the paintings of John Kindness. Adam Gillam ties found events with imagined places in constructions that unfold as journeys do.

In a new, collaborative work: Allers – Retours, Marc Chaimowicz and Nadia Wallis visit the episodic methods of the wanderer. Simon Faithfull also shows a new work: Postcards from Berlin, consisting of twelve palm pilot drawings made clock-wise around the Berlin Tower. Sent on completion by email to be engraved, each will be delivered to the gallery during the exhibition. The episodic nature of these pieces is also reflected in Elizabeth Price’s work, which records its own journey. The exhibition coincides with the recent publication of Progress of a Sculpture a book of images recording the history of Boulder, a ball of parcel tape that grows with added layers each time it is exhibited. Boulder in its newest form and related work will be part of the exhibition.

Wandering Rocks communicates a sense of spaces beyond, but integral to, the work. While the space evoked is sometimes undefined - perhaps dislocated in time - on other occasions specific places are called to mind. For those more adventurous, it is possible to access Graeme Miller’s walk Linked during the course of the exhibition. Maps and headphones are available at the gallery for the walk, which explores the memories and sounds of a community destroyed by the development of the M11 Link Road. Graeme Miller’s piece is a reminder that the wandered space, central to the works in this exhibition, is a public space: to traverse it is to engage with making work in the public sphere.

Wandering Rocks is curated by David Waterworth.

Jaime Gili Makes Things Triangular at Riflemaker

Here are details of a new show by exciting talent Jaime Gili at riflemaker

Tuesday February 7 - Friday March 31st, 2006

For his first solo exhibition at Riflemaker, Venezuelan artist Jaime Gili will be making things triangular. In October 2005 Gili caused a sensation when he converted the window displays of Selfridges, Oxford Street with 700,000 of his triangular, optically ambiguous star clusters and powerful black and white exploding icicles.

At Riflemaker, Gili has created an installation of individual paintings and offset prints which will transform the interior perspective on the ground floor of the 18th c riflemaker’s workshop with these trademark configurations of optically distorted triangular compressions.

Taken from a new series entitled Alma, the canvases draw on the history of op art in Venezuela, following the artist’s interest in peripheral modernist movements and the work of specific artists from a rich 20thc tradition in that country, particularly Carlos Cruz-Diez and Alejandro Otero.

In another room, Gili shows an assemblage, Filosofía del Entendimiento, as an homage to them. The work is made up of fragments from a mosaic which was part of a large urban intervention entitled Fisicromía - homenaje a Andres Bello , by Carlos Cruz Diez. Gili found these broken pieces on the ground of the site where this important public sculpture once stood. Like many other urban art works in Caracas, it has been scavenged in recent years by looters for the recycling of its metallic parts. Alongside this new assemblage will be a series of images showing the damage done to some other works from Venezuela’s post-1950’s tradition of public art.

Riflemaker is also pleased to present TIPOS MOVILES, two series of posters printed on a Victorian letterpress in Argentina by UK and Venezuelan artists. The series has been produced over the last two years by Luis Romero and Jaime Gili and exhibited throughout the Americas and Europe. Artists featured include: Tomoko Takahashi, Bob and Roberta Smith, Mustafa Hulusi, Inventory, Mark Titchner, Carlos Zerpa and Antonieta Sosa.

08 February 2006

3 Auctions at Christies

There are three very interesting auctions at Christies in London between 8 and 10 February 2006 including some meseum quality pieces by Lucien Freud, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon etc. While mere mortals like me cannot afford to buy sometimes the viewings themselves give us the chance to see pieces that would not ordinarily be available for everyone. There are also some interesting Paula Rego and Alexander Calder works at the more "affordable" end of the market.

Go to christies website for more information.

07 February 2006

Top ten grossing artists

Here are the top ten grossing artists in 2005 from Artprice.com. Only one living artist!

The Top 10 artists grossed USD 576 million in 2005, compared to USD 393 million in 2003, a figure that represents 13.6% of the total art auction market. Unusually, a contemporary artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and an old master, Canaletto, were among the top sellers. The top three names however are unchanged...

1- Pablo PICASSO (1881-1973): USD 153,174,166

Picasso once again tops the art market rankings, even though nothing was auctioned in 2005 to compare with his Garçon à la Pipe sold at Sotheby’s New York on May 5, 2004 for USD 93 million. Since this landmark sale Picasso’s prices have gained 20%.
His biggest price was USD 16.6 million for Les femmes d'Alger (J) which sold at Sotheby’s on May 3, 2005. This canvas, estimated at USD 15-20 million, was one of a series of 15 on the theme of harems, bought for USD 213,000 in 1956. Many had already been dispersed in 1997 and 1988 and one, the “O” version, had already found a buyer at USD 29 million having been estimated at USD 10-12 million.

2- Andy WARHOL (1928-1987): USD 86,681,869

Warhol continues his inexorable rise. His work gained another 21% in value over the year. Given this inflation and rising demand a host of collectors are being tempted to sell. No fewer than 660 lots were knocked down in 2005, compared to 584 in 2004. Even the masterpieces found willing buyers.
Liz, a metre square portrait of Elizabeth Taylor, from a series of 13 made in 1963, fetched USD 11.25 million on May 10. However, the record for an Andy Warhol piece belongs, since 1998, to another star of the silver screen, Marilyn Monroe: Orange Marilyn (USD 15,750,000).

3- Claude MONET (1840-1926): USD 61,541,732

As we said last year, the market for Claude Monet’s work is progressively drying up. Only 22 Monets changed hands in 2005, compared to 26 in 2004, and while his prices may be rising again, the historical scarcity of work led to a 24% fall in his total sales, and cost him a place in the rankings. Nonetheless, November’s results are highly encouraging. A 1907 version of Nymphéas, bought for USD 10.5 million in 1989 found a buyer at USD 12.5 million at Christie’s on November 1.
The next day it happened again. Le Grand Canal, one of 37 views of Venice painted by Monet in 1908, was knocked down for USD 11.5 million earning a million dollar profit for the Japanese collector who had bought it for USD 10.5 million on November 15, 1989.
These results tend to confirm that prices for impressionist works are back at their peak. Moreover, it seems that even paintings bought at the height of the speculative bubble of 1989-1990 can now draw substantial profits at auction.

4- Antonio Canal CANALETTO (1697-1768): USD 55,473,710

This was the year’s big surprise. Seeded 239 in 2004, the Venetian master leapt up the rankings to number 4 with a string of million-plus sales in two frenetic days at auction in London on July 6 and 7. Headlining the July Old Masters sale in London, Canaletto managed to pull off the biggest sale of the year.
Venice, the Grand Canal, looking North-East from Palazzo Balbi attracted a telephone bid of GBP 16,600,000 at Sotheby’s on the seventh. The painting was originally owned by Sir Robert Walpole, an English prime minister who had put it up for auction in 1751. This auction knocked over the record only just set the night before at Christie’s for The Bucintoro at the Molo Venice, on Ascension Day, a canvas from the Champalimaud collection which went for GBP 10.2 million.
Earlier in the year, Canaletto had already chalked up a major sale. In January his The Bacino di San Marco, looking east from the Mouth of the Giudecca went under the hammer for USD 4.7 million at Christie’s in New York. As a result of these exceptional sales, the artist's price index rose by 31% over 2005.

5- Mark ROTHKO (1903-1970): USD 41,556,341

With three times more works sold this year than last, and two massive sales including a new record – the USD 20 million paid for his 1954 Homage to Matisse – Mark Rothko climbed another eight places in the rankings in 2005.
In November 2004, the leading light of abstract expressionism had already set a new record with No.6 (Yellow, White, Blue over Yellow on Gray): USD 15.5 million having been estimated at USD 9-12 million.
Homage to Matisse is now the most expensive post-war painting ever sold at auction.

6- Marc CHAGALL (1887-1985): USD 36,592,410

Chagall makes it back into the Top 10 on the back of a 25% increase in sales volume over 2005 compared with the previous year. His rank owes much to his prolific output. He is the third most sold artist at auction after Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, and six of his canvases went for more than a million dollars in 2005. Until 2003, not one of his paintings had broken the million dollar barrier. The biggest sale was a 1943 painting, Le Jongleur, for USD 3.6 million.
Chagall’s prices are rising and his works are repeatedly beating their estimates. It cost the buyer USD 138,000 on December 14 to take home L’Orgueil, a 1967 watercolour that had been estimated at EUR 50,000-60,000 at Piasa (Paris). At Sotheby’s, Woman and Child with Bouquet, a gouache estimated at EUR 70,000-90,000 on November 3, went for USD 120,000.
Shrinking supply for Chagall works is being met by sustained demand, with the bought-in rate falling from 34% in 2004 to 22% in 2005.

7- Willem KOONING de (1904-1997): USD 36,581,311

Like Rothko, Willem de Kooning is on a roll: Sail Cloth a 1949 work estimated at USD 8-12 million went for USD 11.7 million in May. Three other major canvases easily found buyers at USD 1.15 million, USD 3.2 million and USD 9.5 million, respectively, helping push his annual sales up from USD 15.1 million in 2004 to USD 36.6 million in 2005.
No fewer than 69 works were auctioned this year, compared to 53 in 2004. The record sale for a de Kooning, however, dates back to 1989 and the height of the boom when Interchange (1955) went under the hammer for USD 18 million.

8- Fernand LÉGER (1881-1955): USD 35,701,947

Having reached number 6 in 2003, with a record-breaking USD 20 million sale in November for “La Femme en Rouge et Vert”, Fernand Léger slipped 17 places in 2004. He recovered 15 of these in 2005, however, with plenty of multimillion dollar sales in New York’s Impressionist & Modern Art auctions. Among the most significant results were the GBP 2.6 million (USD 4.8 million) bid for Nature morte à la lampe (1914) on February 8, 2005 and the USD 6.8 million paid for Les campeurs, 1st state on May 3.
Note however, the poor reception accorded to Les maisons dans les arbres at Sotheby’s that same evening. This canvas, from 1914, was estimated at USD 8-12 million and had to be bought in.

9- Jean-Michel BASQUIAT (1960-1988): USD 35,630,019

Jean-Michel Basquiat is the world’s biggest-selling contemporary artist at auction, and retains his place in the Top 10 after twelve sales for over a million dollars in twelve months. He only broke the million dollar threshold for the first time in 1998. His top price this year was for “El Gran Espectaculo” (1983), sold for USD 4.6 million on November 9 at Sotheby’s, just USD 400,000 short of his all-time record set in 2002 with “Profit I”. Basquiat prices rose by another 28% this year, meaning his works have gained 289% in eight years.

10- Lucian FREUD (1922): USD 33,725,319

Collectors renewed their attachment to the artists from the London School with some outstanding bidding which resulted in a new record for Francis Bacon. His 2 metre-high painting, Portrait of George Dyer staring into a Mirror (1967), fetched GBP 4.9 million (including fees) with a pre-sale estimate range of GBP 2.5-3.5 million.
In February 2005, Lucian Freud beat his previous auction price record when Red-haired Man on a Chair, an imposing 1962-1963 canvas (originally estimated at GBP 1.2-1.8 million) sold for GBP 3.5 million (USD 6.5 million) excluding fees. In June, Bella, a portrait of one of the artist’s daughters painted in 1982-1983, found a buyer at Christie’s for GBP 1.8 million. At Sotheby's, a self-portrait entitled Man with a feather went under the hammer at GBP 3.7 million (including fees) matching its high estimate.

06 February 2006

Kevin Cummins exhibition

There is a new exhibition of the iconic works of Kevin Cummins at the Paul Stolper Gallery.

9 February - 11 March 2006

I will definitely try and see it if I can.

Art tours of london

I think this is a great idea and something that we should definitely be backing. The cost of tours ranges between £45 and £190. See the exhibit K website for more details.

Unlocking the Hidden Secrets of London's Art Scene
The words “art tour” have long been associated with highbrow culture vultures and tick-that-one-off-the-list tourist types wending their well-trodden way around Europe’s illustrious museums and churches. But if new kids on the art block, Exhibit-K have anything to do with it, all that’s about to change.

The brainchild of Sarah Douglas, Mimei Thompson (both of whom are graduates of the Royal College of Art) and Tim Duncan, Exhibit-K offers tailor-made insider’s tours of the London art world, which, they promise, “will revolutionise the way we view and have access to contemporary art.”

Modern art is increasingly sought after and collected by both investors and art lovers alike and right now London, with an estimated 10,000 artists living and working in the city, offers the world’s highest concentration of artists in any one place. But as the market opens up (according to its official website, £26m was spent at the 2004 Frieze Art Fair alone), what goes on behind the scenes remains a mystery to a public whose experience of contemporary art remains limited to large, sponsored events and well-known public art galleries. Which is where Exhibit-K comes in.

Both Sarah Douglas and Mimei Thompson are practicing artists (Douglas was named in Art Review’s selection of top 25 “emerging artists” in 2005). As such, they have, according to Professor Graham Crowley, RCA’s Head of Painting, “The respect and esteem of the wider artistic community,” giving them an insider’s knowledge and access to London’s art community.

A typical Exhibit-K art tour will include visits to galleries and project spaces that are usually inaccessible to the general public, combined with trips to artists’ studios. They offer clients the chance to meet the artists and learn about their work first hand and, because they’re tailored according to clients’ interests, can focus on any aspect of the visual arts, from photography or painting to video and instillation art. Crucially, each tour is led by a practicing artist and RCA graduate, who is able to offer informed, professional insight into the contemporary art scene.

Along with individual and small group tours, Exhibit-K will be staging art-related events – from artist-led discussions and presentations to one-off performance events – all designed to allow, according to Exhibit-K’s marketing director Tim Duncan, art lovers to “see the real birthplace of up and coming art, to experience the grass roots of the whole scene.” It’s a formula that’s already proven to be popular with a variety of well-heeled corporate and private clients. Hardly surprising when you consider part of the appeal of such a scheme must surely be the chance to bring out a little of the Charles Saatchi in us all.

Dan Flavin Retrospective

On sunday I went to the see the Dan Flavin retrospective at the Hayward gallery.. This was an interesting retrospective of an artist with a huge reputation. Did I like it? The answer is I am not sure. I went with four people and two of them were left absolutely cold by the show. I found some of it fascinating the way that the lights play optical tricks on your eyes but for the most part it didn't do much for me. I do have a problem "getting" minimalist art in the main as I sometimes struggle to see what the artist is trying to say (the opposite of conceptual art when sometimes the meaning the artist is trying to convey is all too obvious).

Nevertheless I would recommend seeing it to make up your own minds. A word of warning though it is very crowded. We had to queue for some time to get in on Sunday afternoon so you might be better off going at a quieter time.

Here is what the gallery say about it:

"Dan Flavin: A Retrospective is the first comprehensive exhibition of the work of the American artist Dan Flavin (1933-96).One of the most innovative figures in 20th-century art, Flavin used fluorescent light as his medium, adapting mass-produced, commercially-available materials into works of profound intensity and astounding beauty. Moving beyond the traditional realms of painting and sculpture, he became a key exponent of minimalism in the early 1960s, alongside artists such as Carl Andre, Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt.

Flavin’s works, complex geometric forms in a series of dazzling colours, will transform the dramatic spaces of the Hayward Gallery, itself an icon of 1960s design.Including works spanning his career, from his early ‘icons’ and ‘monuments’ to corner pieces, corridors, barriers and large-scale installations, the exhibition will present around 60 light works, as well as a selection of sketches, drawings, and early collage constructions, to explore Flavin’s practice – what he called ‘as plain and open and direct an art as you will ever find’."

05 February 2006

Britart Studio Sale

Ever popular art website Britart.com has another sale of studio artists work. I particularly like the works by Josie McCoy.

Here is what they say about it:

"Take a look at our studio sale, where we're offering up to 50% off original works and small editions by artists including Josie McCoy, Dan Baldwin, Angela McCaffrey and more.

If you have ever been to an artist's studio, you will find most to be wonderfully creative chaotic environments. However, like most of us, artist's tend to hoard things until they simply can't move, and we regularly get cries for help. To this end we have offered the studio sale as a permanent exhibition area on the Britart website for artists to show works they wish to offer at a discount. New offers will be updated regularly, so make sure you take a regular look at this page on the britart web site."

04 February 2006

OLIVER WILSON - Refracted Realism

Refracted Realism by Oliver Wilson At The Mark Jason Gallery In West London

Mark Jason Gallery, the London gallery committed to developing the careers of the best young graduates into successful artists, presents Refracted Realism by Oliver Wilson from 2nd to 24th February 2006 at the new Mark Jason Gallery space at 1 Bell Street, London, NW1.

Oliver Wilson's new Refracted Realism exhibition at The Mark Jason Gallery in West London, features 15 new works.

Oliver Wilson's paintings offer a conduit into a dreamlike world using models in and around pools to portray figure studies in a contemporary setting. Oliver Wilson uses photography to capture the images – the refractions of light in the water affording the flesh and fabric of the swimmers a richness of colour, and an emphasising of movement, that creates distortion bordering on abstraction whilst maintaining a subtle photographic realism. The titles of recent works reflect the setting of the scenes in the Greek Isles and also evoke the mythologies of the ancient sea gods and nymphs, though Wilson considers his work to be a respectful nod to the art of a later age: “I would want my work to be seen as a contemporary take on the depiction of angels and other celestial beings in Renaissance Paintings – floating figures illuminated by an indeterminate heavenly light source.”

Oliver Wilson was awarded the 2004 Gold Award for Best Artist at artLONDON 2004, and has been exhibited across London since his first exhibition in 2000.

Oliver Wilson – Background

Oliver Wilson was born in Coventry in 1974, and attended Stowe, before studying Fine Art at Newcastle University. After graduation, Wilson pursued a career in journalism, writing for Gramophone Magazine, and other publications within the Haymarket Publishing stable. After four years with the publishing house, Wilson decided to leave to pursue his artistic ambitions. Oliver Wilson divides his time between London and Saffron Walden, and lives with girlfriend Charlotte (whose friends and family are regular models within his work). Oliver Wilson describes himself as being “a strong swimmer.”

Mark Jason Gallery – A New Gallery Space in West London

Oliver Wilson's show at the Mark Jason Gallery will be the second show in the new space at 1 Bell Street, London NW1. The move from the former premises at Bond Street, which saw the launch of the careers of highly successful artists including Sumiko Seki and Ed Hodgkinson, was prompted by the burgeoning popularity of the gallery's artists, and a corresponding need to locate to a larger space in which to feature their growing body of work.

The new Mark Jason Gallery is 140m², and located within sight of the veteran YBA Lisson Gallery.

Mark Jason Gallery – History of Championing New Artistic Talent

Since its launch in 2001, the Mark Jason Gallery has been dedicated to the fostering, and development, of young art graduates into successful Contemporary British and International artists. Owned and curated by 35 year old Mark Jason – for ten years a key figure with the Contemporary Art division at Christies, and his wife Kate (previously Lady Clerk to The Master Of The Household at Buckingham Palace and likewise formerly of Christies), the Mark Jason Gallery works to promote fresh talent through monthly solo and group shows, as well as through having an established presence at major fairs such as Art London, The London Art Fair, AAF New York, and Battersea. The Mark Jason Gallery will be hosting its second New York group show in October 2005.

Oliver Wilson – Refracted Realism at Mark Jason Gallery – February 2nd to 24th 2006

03 February 2006

What's on at the Lupe Gallery this month

Here are details of what is on at the Lupe Gallery this month. Click here to visit their website.

Sunday Shoot - Public Portraiture
Photographer and Lupe director, Seamus Ryan, continues his portrait project this Sunday at Lupe with the help of visitors to Lupe Gallery. This week’s shoot attempts to create a visual record of some of the many faces that pass thru the gallery, pining down a moment in time. It is your chance to mark your place in history, come and have your portrait taken by an award winning photographer.

It’s free to pose and everyone is welcome. All the images will be posted to Lupe Gallery’s website later in the week. Prints can then be purchased if you like what you see, it could just be the perfect Mothers Day or Valentine present. Check out the Sunday Shoot section on www.lupegallery.com for inspiration.

Introducing Two New Photographers
Lupe Gallery is delighted to introduce two new photographers - Andreas Schmidt and Maggie Taylor.

Andreas Schmidt

Self confessed lover of hallways, Schmidt has spent six years photographing the hidden spaces: hotel corridors, parking buildings, immense lobbies, oceanic ceilings, that make up the gambling Mecca of America. The images are eerily perfect and hauntingly beautiful – dawn or a neon light behind a cheap curtain, empty corridors that stretch forward forever — beyond our view, gaudy hotel lobbies or a light bulb studded ceiling…they seem to at once parody and confirm the very idea of Vegas.

Along with the signed and editioned prints, Andreas Schmidt’s book Las Vegas (publisher Hatje Cantz) is also available at Lupe Gallery.

Maggie Taylor

American artist Maggie Taylor is a veteran of some sixty solo exhibitions. Her vibrant thought provoking images lull the viewer into a sense of daydream.

Taylor begins her work at flea markets and antique fairs, collecting objects and photographs, mainly 19th century tintypes and ambrotypes, which evoke a sense of past and memory. She works intuitvely layering scanned images into a visual record of stray thoughts, feelings of anxiety and half remembered dreams. In this sense her work is autobiographical. While the images suggest intriguing narratives, the allow the viewer to respond on an individual basis.

Lupe gallery will be exhibiting a collection of Maggie Taylor’s most recent work at the Affordable Art Fair in March 2006 and directly afterwards at the gallery.

You can find both Andreas Schmidt and Maggie Taylor’s portfolios on www.lupegallery.com.

New Work by Tim Flach

While you are on the website, check out the wonderful new work by Tim Flach. Tim is currently working on a book project that will document the most exquisite and rare horses from all over the world. So far he has photographed royal Arabian horses in the Emirates, English racing thoroughbreds and native wild horses in New Zealand. The images are considered, immaculate and jaw dropping-ly beautiful.

The gallery is looking fantastic with a show of our in house photographers including Malou Ericsson, George Kavanagh, Richard Maxted, Tim Flach, Andreas Schmidt, Dr Stephen Steinberg, Stuart Redler and Julia Fullerton-Batten.

We look forward to seeing you at the Columbia Road Flower Market on Sunday from 10am to 3pm. Alternatively you are welcome to come down during the week during normal business hours, just give us a call and we would be happy to arrange a time.

Kind regards,

Emma Whitlock
Assistant Manager
Lupe Gallery
7 Ezra Street
London E2 7RH

Tel: 020 7613 5576
Fax: 020 7613 2287

New Damien Roach exhibition at Gasworks

The deepness of puddles
10 February - 19 March

9 February, 7 - 9pm

Artist's talk:
Columbo, Clusters and Circles
Saturday 18 February, 3pm

Music performance event:
Sunday 19 March, 3pm

155 Vauxhall Street
London SE11 5RH
England UK

T:+44 (0)20 7582 6848
F:+44 (0)20 7582 0159

Tube: Vauxhall/Oval
Bus: 2, 36, 88, 133, 185, 436

Gasworks is open
Wednesday - Sunday

Admission is free.

Gasworks has full
wheelchair access.

Gasworks opens its programme in 2006 with the first solo exhibition in the UK of emerging London-based artist Damien Roach.
Damien Roach’s work is immediately unassuming yet reveals itself as curiously inventive. Possessing a formal simplicity and playfulness, Roach’s work scrutinises the value systems that we use to make sense of the world around us. To date, these investigations have centred on the mutability of perception within commonplace experiences, which are normally considered devoid of any revelatory potential. His painted objects, for example, initially appear to be discarded or reclaimed board or furniture, weathered and worn by time. However, on closer inspection of the scratches and scrapes, delicate and intricate vistas of nature slowly emerge.

Roach’s work takes many forms, incorporating video, drawing, sculpture, installation, painting and audio works. Much of the work involves the manipulation of found images and objects, situating a counter-cultural sensibility alongside a more traditionally orientated one. Furthering his investigation into alternative forms of worldly perception, The deepness of puddles will examine and reconfigure outmoded ideologies and cultural artefacts from the modern era, offering propositions for a latent escapism through the most economical of means. Referencing a range of sources including 60s psychedelia, cognitive psychology and the work of free jazz pioneers such as Sun Ra and Alice Coltrane, Roach looks towards these distinctive outlooks to determine ways of unlocking unseen potential for our comprehension of the world.

Consisting entirely of a brand new body of work, the exhibition will configure all the elements of Roach’s practice, including the production of a publication designed by the artist and a limited-edition audio CD under the moniker patten. Roach’s exhibition will create an experiential setting for visitors who will encounter works varying in scale, form and impact, and will bring to light the highly imaginative system of transferable associations within his practice.

Damien Roach has begun to exhibit extensively in Britain and internationally. Recent solo exhibitions include: Damien Roach, Sies & Höke, Düsseldorf, 2005; and The other day, yesterday, today, tomorrow, Schnittraum, Cologne, 2005. Recent group exhibitions include: Ordering the Ordinary, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, 2005; Swansong/Centre of Attention, as part of Always a Little Further, 51st Venice Biennale, 2005; The Mind is a Horse Part 2, Bloomberg SPACE, 2005; and Art Now: Lightbox, Tate Britain, 2005.

This exhibition has been made possible with generous support from the Henry Moore Foundation.

For further information please contact
Sangeeta Sathe
Tel: 020 7582 6848
Fax: 020 7582 0159