Category Archives: News

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

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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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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Going to Art14?
Why Not Take A Pal For Free

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Friday 28th – 2 March 2014

Art14 London is returning to the Olympia Grand for its second year with last year’s Art13, attracting over 25,000 visitors. Art14 will offer a platform for 180 galleries from 40 countries, showcasing over 700 artists, from emerging talents to modern masters. The Fair will feature a range of media including painting, sculpture, photography, editions and more. Last year’s fair stood out as one to pay attention to by showing an impressive array of skilfully made, edgy and exciting work, a rare combination in the contemporary art world. Take a look at some of the highlights from Art13.

Art14 have kindly given the Art Circus a 2 for 1 ticket offer for our readers, so If you’re heading down to the fair, go to Art14 and quote ‘ARTCIRCUS’.