Nina Fowler’s ‘The Lure of Collapse’
On Show at the Galerie Dukan, Germany

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Nina Fowler will be exhibitng a solo show of new drawings and sculptures to celebrate the opening of Galerie Dukan‘s new exhibition space in Leipzig, Germany. We caught up with Nina to find out about the new work and how it portrays the price of fame and the consequences of our dreams.

Where does the title ‘The Lure of Collapse’ comes from?

I wanted to think of a title that threaded all the work together as this exhibition has a spread of drawings and sculptures from various different series. A novel I read about an artist having a nervous breakdown inspired the title. I was thinking about how often it seems easier to give up rather than to keep going. At the same time I wanted the title to refer to our interest in the scandals that surround the rich and famous – the sadistic way in which we follow a celebrity’s fall from grace through the eyes of the media. For example, the largest work in the exhibition “Jean (Knockers III)” portrays the film actress Jean Harlow being escorted from the funeral of her husband. He committed suicide soon after their wedding as he felt he could not live up to the expectations of being married to a superstar. She was devastated and once again had to pay a grave cost for her fame. The brass sculptures hanging heavily from her chest represent this struggle between the idol and her devotees.

Continue reading “Nina Fowler’s ‘The Lure of Collapse’
On Show at the Galerie Dukan, Germany”

Vasilis Avramidis’ ‘Resort Archaeology’
On show with The Contemporary London, London Art Fair

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15th – 19th January 2014

Vasilis Avramidis will be showing a collection of his new paintings depicting modern structures submerged in luscious mutated vegetation. The body of work titled ‘Resort archaeology’ will be shown with The Contemporary London at London Art Fair.

Vasillis say of the new paintings ”Resorts are symbols of escapism, but in this case the word mostly refers to uncanny locations, private worlds, idealized images from the past, or decadent earthly paradises. In the setting of these oil paintings they usually appear as architectural fragments, conceptually and physically located between a vanitas concept and the infinity of an overgrowing landscape, where they attempt to echo the human effort to reason with the passing of time.

Resort archaeology is a series of oil paintings, which try to experiment with scenarios around the history of painting, the human mark, and the passing of time. A ‘place’ is usually established by the mark of humanity, as wilderness by itself cannot constitute place. The resorts appearing on these settings are remote locations in the midst of endless vegetation. They bear the mark of humanity and human architecture, therefore they also signify the finitude of time that comes with it. Even better, they signify the mortalization of time within a seemingly diachronic surrounding landscape, whose shape, in some cases, resembles forms usually drawn from the tradition of 17th century oil painting, and often from paintings that refer to the transciensce of time.”

Daniel Shiel in ‘Monochrome’
On Show At The Mill Bridge Gallery

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“A representation or reproduction in black and white or in varying tones of only one colour.”

In photography ‘monochrome’ may also refer to sepia images, displaying tones from light tan to dark brown or cyanotype (“blueprint”) images, and early photographic methods such as daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes, each of which may be used to produce a monochromatic image.

In the early days of photography, photographers had no choice but to take pictures in black and white, as it was the only available medium. In 1936 the invention of Kodachrome enabled use of colour, but black and white photography continued to flourish, many photographers regarding it as the purest form of photography. Colour can be seen as a distraction, taking attention away from texture, tonal contrast, shape, form and lighting.

The two works on show by Daniel Shiel are from a collection of photographs taken in New Mexico. They relate to how memories of locations or settings are though of as a series of views or particular details that cannot be represented as a single images. The resulting collage pieces combine to form a broader sense perspective and a deeper feeling of the atmosphere of two native American settlements.

Artists on show also include David Sault, Chris Bailey, Jon Simmons, Cowling Pinnacle, Limestone Pavement, Geoff Rushton, Mike Shepherd, Henry Meyer, Sarah Mcdade, Keith Craven, Lis Holt and Christine Cummings

Monochrome is on at the Mill Bridge Gallery until 21st December 2013.

Miguel Laino’s ”Didier” Winner of the ‘Saatchi Online Showdown: Painted Faces’ at the Griffin Gallery

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5th December – 20th December 2013.

Miguel Laino has won a portrait showdown competition on SaatchiOnline, with his striking piece “Didier” (shown above). The painting will be exhibited along with the other 9 finalists at the Griffin Gallery in London. The 30 semi-finalists were selected by Rebecca Wilson, Chief Curator, Saatchi Online and Director, Saatchi Gallery, and Rebecca Pelly-Fry, Director, Griffin Gallery. The 10 finalists, including the winner and runner-up, were chosen by the artist Chantal Joffe. Continue reading “Miguel Laino’s ”Didier” Winner of the ‘Saatchi Online Showdown: Painted Faces’ at the Griffin Gallery”

Hyunjeong Lim’s ‘Somewhere’
At the Beers Contemporary’s ‘Contemporary Visions IV’

lim1a‘Somewhere’ (detail) chalk on canvas,160 x 350 cm, 2012

Contemporary Visions IV presents nine international artists (selected from a pool of nearly 1500 applicants), who represent a host of disciplines and perspectives in contemporary art. Even through the artists use unique methods and mediums, they exhibit a desire to question traditional modes of artistic consumption. Here, notions of aesthetics and the politics of looking are always under scrutiny. Many of the works offer reinterpretations of art historical canon, simultaneously venerating and veering away from their antiquated source material. One senses a reverence for historical precedent, as well as a drive to reinvent contemporary ideas of artistic practice. Also of significance are the themes of fantasy and transformation. Through metamorphosis of the human figure (and the spaces it inhabits), these artists challenge preconceived notions of artistic authority, and pave the way for a new understanding of the impact of contemporary art. Continue reading “Hyunjeong Lim’s ‘Somewhere’
At the Beers Contemporary’s ‘Contemporary Visions IV’”

Helena Clew’s New Paintings
On Show In ‘N22 Open Studios’, The Chocolate Factory

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Helena will be showing a collection of her new paintings at the N22 Open studios this weekend. Helena’s practice explores the possibilities of painting in the liminal space between abstraction and representation. She is constantly intrigued by how visual information – such as colour and gestural mark making – can allude to something that is difficult to define or identify clearly as a particular thing in the world, whilst at the same time being recognisable aesthetically as an ‘abstract’ painting. She pays close attention to the ever-changing possibilities that the fluid medium of paint offers in the moment of being worked and manipulated. But the paintings are also affected by her intuitive responses to the specific objects and collages she uses as their starting point.

The N22 Open Studios is now in it’s 15th year and has 120 artists displaying works over all mediums. The studios are open from the 8th to the 10th November 2013 at the Chocolate Factory, Clarendon rd, Wood Green, N22 8XJ

Art Circus Spotlight
‘Interior’, ‘Black Grid’ and ‘Praxis’ by Ed Smith

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My prime interest is in spatial configurations of pure form and colour. To heighten this, I employ a rigorous hard-edge geometry, eliminating any obvious signs of brushwork, while favouring an extended family of hues that includes cerulean blue, prism violet, eau-de-nil, pinks, teal and, above all, black and white.

There are two distinct types of work – the static or “inclusive” and the “dynamic”.

The painting “Interior” is one of the former, an enclosed space in which the forms are self-referential, locking into each other in ways that raise the question of exactly what is interior and what is exterior, and whether it is in fact no more than just an arrangement of form and colour where the title is, in fact, misleading. By contrast my “black” paintings, a short series of four (an example being “Praxis”, shown below right), are “dynamic” in that the forms are not bound by the picture frame, but by using strong diagonals and large partial forms, have the capability of continuing virtually to infinity in some black void.

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“Black Grid” (shown above left) lies somewhere between the two – an hommage to Mondrian, perhaps, but using my palette and the black background, the white grid also has the potential to extend beyond the frame, while the blocks of purple, teal and white are locked into their position between the verticals and horizontals, static, immovable, unable to shift even a fraction without destroying the balance of the composition.

I work entirely in acrylic on canvas, most paintings to date being no larger than 76 x 102cm to keep a sense of unity, but with a view to increasing the scale – and the palette – in the near future.

Ed Smith’s paintings are exhibited at Bistro 51, which is shared between 51 Buckingham Gate and adjacent Crowne Plaza St James, until the end of January. A viewing can be organized if visitors ask at the concierge desk.

Mackie’s ‘Abandoned Dollhouses’
On show at The Other Art Fair, London

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‘Sprouting from a gift, for my son, of some Sylvanian Families, by my friend, artist Mat Kemp over six months ago. They sat in my studio, where they occasionally caught my eye starting to take hold, a little. So I looked at them closer. Such smoothly contoured little furry faces, lack of any emotion, stone cold. They would be great to paint. I put them to the side again unsure what excuse/concept I could make in order to construct the painting.’

‘Then I headed down to my friend’s photography studio to see if we could take some Caravaggio styled chiaroscuro photographs of the little bunnies. The idea being that I could populate iconic movie horror sets with them. I started playing and sketching whilst continuing to paint the Source of Light series.’

‘The sketching never quite worked so I decided to remove the bunnies and the iconic horror sets – which was kind of like removing the entire idea. But left I had a skeleton for what would make an interesting mood. And thus the Abandoned Dollhouses began.’

Mackie’s ‘Abandoned Dollhouses’ will be on show at The Other Art Fair at the Truman Brewery, London, from the 17th October – 20th October 2013.

Kirsty O’Leary-Leeson
Royal Society Of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition, at the Mall Galleries.

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16th October – 27th October 2013

Kirsty O’Leary-Leeson’s incredible and lushous drawings are on show at The Royal Society Of Marine Artists Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. There has been an annual exhibition in London every year since the Society effectively became operational after the end of the Second World and this year marks the 68th.  The event is an open exhibition, featuring around 300 pictures and sculptures that involves the sea and the marine environment, including harbours and shorelines, traditional craft and contemporary shipping, creeks, beaches, wildlife and everything that involves tidal waters.

Nina Fowler’s Solo Exhibition
‘That’s Right Mr and How’s Your Fairy Tale Coming Along?’
On Show at the Cob Gallery, London

ninamae111th October – 9th November 2013

‘That’s Right Mister, and How’s your Fairy Tale Coming Along’ is the first large-scale installation of sculpture and drawings that Fowler has exhibited in the UK. Steeped in the saturated glitz of golden-era Hollywood, Fowler’s work explores the contrast of the surface’s shimmer and an anxiety over the emptiness it might conceal. Citing Kenneth Anger’s ‘Hollywood Babylon’ as a formative influence, she pays due attention to what Anger called ‘the scalding reality behind the glittering facade of America’s dream factory.’ It is in this vein that Fowler’s work transcends the specific time-scape of these scenes, extending the limits of the flat, cinematic image, and revelling in the raw emotive depth contained within. These images are all the more powerful to a contemporary audience, aware of the hidden depths behind the beauty, only ever a mouse-click away from stripping back the smokescreen of fame.

For more info, please the Cob Gallery