In Search of an Author by Lex Thomas
An Art Circus Book

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In Search of an Author is a collection of 62 fluidly drawn ink studies, individual drawings in their own right, but interlinked by the subject of belief and the stories we tell ourselves. Artist Lex Thomas examines unexplained natural phenomena such as the supernatural and paranormal as well as magic, cults and UFO religions. The effect is a non-textual, fragmentary narrative echoing the idea that ‘truth is in the eye of the beholder’. The title acknowledges the playwright Pirandello, credited with breaking through the ‘fourth wall’ with his creation of Mirror Theatre.

In Search of an Arthur is currently available at BookArtBookShop, ShoreditchGosh! London or direct from Lex Thomas’ Website.

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Elizabeth Price’s A Restoration
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

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As a fresh graduate from The Ruskin School of Art in 1998, Elizabeth Price worked for a year in the Bodleian Library’s underground stacks. She remembers the damp, the haphazard stacking of books, the way the floors got smaller as they went further and further down beneath the cobbles of Broad Street. A book could be declared lost for twenty five years and turn up in a pile a few centimetres away from its original place. In the stacks books were arranged by size rather than subject, and Price would spend most of her shift reading books in unexpected succession.

This sense of the subterranean, along with the archival practices of collecting, collating and cataloguing, are key components of Price’s new video installation A Restoration.

After winning the Contemporary Art Society Award in 2013, Price received a commission to make an artwork in response to the collections and archives of the Pitt Rivers and Ashmolean Museums in Oxford. During the course of her research, Price became particularly interested in the work of British archaeologist Arthur Evans. After holding the position of Keeper of the Ashmolean, Evans achieved fame for the excavation of the Cretian palace of Knossos at the turn of the 20th century. He set about restoring the site with what Price calls ‘a kind of energy that is unreserved and febrile and exciting’, adding concrete pillars and filling in frescos with an ‘extraodinary’ creative license. Continue reading

Island Hopping
The 2016 Setouchi Triennale

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From this week onwards a small cluster of islands in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea will host its third international art festival. The 2016 Setouchi Triennale will run for a total of 108 days, and is expected to receive upwards of a million visitors, along with over one hundred new artworks joining the permanent installations already dotted across the archipelago.

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Twelve islands in total will be taking part, along with Uno Port on mainland Honshu and the town of Takamatsu (known by fans of Haruki Murakami as the setting of Kafka on the Shore) on nearby Shikoku. This year’s thematic focus looks both inward and outward: paying particular attention to local Setouchi cuisine and traditions alongside ‘cultural exchange among Asian countries that are connected by the sea. Continue reading

Wu Lan-Chiann
Contemporary Ink Paintings

The first UK solo exhibition of the Taiwanese ink painting artist, featuring work produced over the last 20 years.

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Reflections is the first UK solo exhibition of Wu Lan-Chiann, Chinese ink painting artist. This exhibit shows a selection of Wu Lan-Chiann’s work produced over the past twenty years. Displayed in reverse chronological order in the museum’s galleries, the exhibition has three themes; early career work, dusk to dawn series, and current directions.

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At the core of Wu Lan-Chiann’s work, is a deep personal contemplation of universal themes and values that connect people across time and place. While continuing a tradition that is centuries old, her paintings are distinctly contemporary both in concept and execution. Starting from a young age, she combined Asian and Western modes of representation into a personal style that is intensely poetic. Blending two very different painting traditions, she has emerged as an artist with an authentic style marked by decisive brushwork and delicate application of colour.

In her recent work, Wu Lan-Chiann is interested in capturing the precious but fleeting moments of life through the depiction of free floating petals and leaves. She sees a comparison between the rhythm of nature and the human cycle of life. Her work captures special moments and at the same time represents the invariable and eternal cycle of life and nature.

Wu Lan-Chiann is exhibiting at the Museum of East-Asian Art in Bath

Brian Sewell
Eminent critic and writer dies aged 84

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Eminent critic and writer, famed for his dislike of Tracey Emin, dies after being diagnosed with cancer.

An acerbic critic, Sewell made no secret of his contempt for modern art and was renowned for barbs directed at the likes of Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst. He called Emin “trivial” and Hirst “fucking dreadful”.

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His waspish putdowns, love of fine drawing, knowledge of art history and his genteel diction made him one of the UK’s best-known critics. His witty turn of phrase led to regular television appearances, including two turns as a panellist on the BBC gameshow Have I Got News For You.

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Second Shot At Life by Dom Kavanagh
An Art Circus Book

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In the Summer of 2014, Dom Kavanagh underwent a double lung transplant following a lifetime suffering from Cystic Fibrosis. This inspired him to produce this fundraising book of Wildlife and Landscape Photographs in collaboration with UKGiclee

“As my own life neared expiry due to respiratory failure following 47 years of damage caused by cystic fibrosis, I returned to painting to reflect on what I would miss most and to celebrate subjects and scenes which are great for the soul and which reminded me of what we all have around us that we should be grateful for.

After a successful transplant, my painting continues and my photography resumed.  Beavering away from my man cave nestled at the end of my garden in rural north Shropshire, surrounded by woodland and its evocative sights, sounds and smells, I have been inspired by the natural world to give something back, in the shape of this fundraising book, for the gift of organ donation so selflessly offered to me.”

Second Shot At Life will be published in September 2015

Take a look inside

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‘Into the Night’ by Christopher Gee
On Show At The James Freeman Gallery

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23rd April – 9th May, 2015

Christopher Gee’s paintings draws the viewer in with their intimate scale, dusky colours and naive, painterly charm. In these eerie, spectral landscapes we see eclipses and comets wiz by; abandoned churches and glowing towers left as reminders; lone gaunt figures looking back knowingly; and midnight familiars, appearing and disappearing into the blackness. The viewer has the feeling of rummaging through a collection of old photographs, inspecting the images and trying to piece together what ominous events may have taken place.

‘Into The Night’ is on show at the James Freeman Gallery until the 9th May, 2015 and you can find out more about Christopher Gee in our Q&A.

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Deluge by Sam Branton
An Art Circus Book

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Over the last few months, The Art Circus has been collaborating with artist Sam Branton to produce our first artist portfolio book published under the Art Circus imprint. Artist’s Books deeply involve the artist in the process; from concept to artwork and layout – and in some cases the printing. They are usually published in small editions or created as a one-of-a-kind object and are often seen as a work of art in itself.

The book, titled Deluge, comprises a sequence of 19 miniature drawings which imagine the bizarre, comical and confused moments that could happen during the aftermath of a great downpour. We see newly paired and mystified inhabitants set against idyllic, pastoral landscapes – a whale hanging from a tree, waiting for his weight to break the branch; elsewhere, a horse, awkwardly struggles to escape from an inflated pufferfish; savage peacocks tearing apart an octopus; and a baby elephant struggling to carry a beached whale back to the water.

Deluge is available as a hardback from Blackwells Art Shop and YouCaxton Publications.

Take a look inside

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Island Hopping
The 2016 Setouchi Triennale

1

From this week onwards a small cluster of islands in Japan’s Seto Inland Sea will host its third international art festival. The 2016 Setouchi Triennale will run for a total of 108 days, and is expected to receive upwards of a million visitors, along with over one hundred new artworks joining the permanent installations already dotted across the archipelago.

431

Twelve islands in total will be taking part, along with Uno Port on mainland Honshu and the town of Takamatsu (known by fans of Haruki Murakami as the setting of Kafka on the Shore) on nearby Shikoku. This year’s thematic focus looks both inward and outward: paying particular attention to local Setouchi cuisine and traditions alongside ‘cultural exchange among Asian countries that are connected by the sea. Continue reading

The Art Circus at the Bear Steps

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The Art Circus is very pleased to announce our first print show of 2015 at the Bear Steps Gallery in Shrewsbury. Featuring a collection of Contemporary Artist’s Giclee prints from the Art Circus’ Print Gallery . Artists on show will include Ryan Humphrey, SuperfutreKid, Fipsi Seilern, Sam Branton, Marta Suuster, Christopher Gee, KEELERTORNERO, Georgia Peskett, Daisy Clark and Phaedra Peer. There will also be a parallel exhibition of Self-Published books. Continue reading