‘Diamond Bullet’ at the James Freeman Gallery, London

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30th April – 31st May 2014

”The mind is a jungle. Kurtz knew it; most artists do too. Set off in exploration, and very soon you find yourself consumed by the penumbra, scrambling about to find something familiar to cling onto. Trying to get to grips with such an environment is no small task, and in Diamond Bullet we are pleased to bring together three British artists who use their painting to step up to that challenge: Simon Burton, Orlanda Broom (shown top), and Irene Godfrey (shown just above).”

Chiaroscuro Woodcuts at the Royal Academy, London

raThe Royal Academy have brought together 150 of the rarest and most exquisite examples of Chiaroscuro woodcuts works from two of the finest collections in the world. Featuring independent works or work based on the designs of the greatest Renaissance artists such as Parmigianino, Raphael and Titian. Visitors will be able to see how this pioneering 16th-century printing technique breathed new life into well-known biblical scenes and legends; from Perseus slaying the Medusa to Aeneas Fleeing Troy, and the Miraculous Draught of Fishes.

”Chiaroscuro – literally ‘light-dark’ – describes the effects of contrasting light and shadow in a work of art. You might have heard the term used to describe Renaissance drawing or painting, from masters like Leonardo or Caravaggio. The lesser-known chiaroscuro woodcut was invented in the early sixteenth century when printmakers began use woodblocks and ink to imitate the painterly effects of light and shadow. The method enabled printmakers to create subtle gradations of tone, used to suggest three-dimensional volume and depth.” Continue reading “Chiaroscuro Woodcuts at the Royal Academy, London”

Ryan Mosley at Alison Jacques

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21st February – 15th March 2014

”In Ryan Mosley’s third solo exhibition at Alison Jacques Gallery his narratives within narratives and worlds within worlds feel even more transgressive and irreverent than those we’ve previously been invited to explore. Rich with art-historical devices and painted asides, his vocabulary is now unmistakably Mosleyan, and his characters not only veer well beyond the boundaries of societal norms, but are willing us to get lost with them.

In the large painting, Audubon’s Last Aviary, a skull whose entire torso is constructed from its falling beard conspires with a humanoid spearhead and a vine-stem-face in a yellowing cave. They are surrounded by a flock of abandoned and undiscovered subspecies of bird – hunchbacked and monochrome as if their subterranean existence has made colour, flight and even birdsong distant redundancies. Elsewhere, two courtiers – also with only skulls for faces but resplendent in afros and harlequin-chequered garments – are held in some pre-Quattrocento heraldic pose, carrying boules as orbs and standing within a living coat of arms which is itself part giant skull, part disturbing Botticelli-twin-fantasy. Continue reading “Ryan Mosley at Alison Jacques”

Urs Fischer Makes It Rain
at Sadie Coles, London

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Urs Fischer has suspended 3,000 oversize colourful plaster raindrops for his latest exhibition at Sadie Coles. Titled ‘Melodrama’, the raindrops encompass a spectrum of shades from green to lilac, massing together into a gently psychedelic storm cloud which weaves in a swirling movement through the space.The installation’s romantic overtones collide with a bluntly cartoonish quality, bordering on the slapstick, that resonates with the double-edged register of much of Fischer’s art. Melodrama is on show until the 18th January.  Continue reading “Urs Fischer Makes It Rain
at Sadie Coles, London”

Jules De Balincourt’s ‘Itinerant Ones’
On show at the Victoria Miro, London

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‘Itinerant Ones’ is the first solo UK exhibition for the Paris-born, New York- based painter Jules de Balincourt. Known for his carefully constructed paintings that move effortlessly between abstraction and figuration, the imagined and the real, this new body of work sees De Balincourt moving away from direct references to current social, political or popular culture, and instead depicting a world in which indications of specific place or time are absent. Although the works are diverse in subject matter, throughout the exhibition a poetics of free-association lends the images a certain universal familiarity.

De Balincourt’s process involves various techniques – including stencilling, masking, abrading and watercolour-like oil washes – creating an apparently seamless vision. Exhibited across two floors of the gallery, the paintings here range in scale from the tablet-sized Boardwalk Barter a reminiscence from the artist’s earlier years selling his work in Venice, California, to one of his signature, immersive flower-like explosions, which can be read as either the conceptual origin or the end point of all other work.

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In works such as the cityscape High and Low, the acid-bright leisure scene BBQ sur l’herbe, and the painting from which the show takes it’s title, Itinerant Ones, De Balincourt zooms out of specific culture into a more global gaze. Juxtapositions of works such as Firepeople and Visionquest, where figures come together in hopes of spiritual enlightenment, with Alex, an intimate portrayal of a friend on the beach, locate De Balincourt’s interest in both personal and social depictions of humanity.

This body of work takes the viewer on a journey – an escape – into a realm populated by small communities gathering, converging, or seeking solace or refuge. They may appear cradled by a strange nature, or searching for protection from an ambiguous threat. De Balincourt’s scenes come to signify a desire for leisure or reprieve from within a vulnerable and ever-changing landscape, whether physical or psychological. He paints a restless world both in form and content, perhaps suggesting that we are instead the itinerant ones of the show’s title.

‘Itinerant Ones’ is on show until the 20th December. For more info please visit the Victoria Miro

‘IT MEANS IT MEANS!’
A Drawn Exhibition by Charles Avery & Tom Morton
At the Museum of Art, Onomatopoeia and Pilar Corrias

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20th November – 20th December 2013

It Means It Means! is a ‘drawn group exhibition’ staged in two locations simultaneously – once as a fiction, once as a fact. The first location is the Museum of Art Onomatopoeia on ‘The Island’, a fictional realm that has provided the backdrop to Charles Avery’s artistic and philosophical investigations since 2005. The second location is Pilar Corrias, London.

Curator Tom Morton has been given plans of The Island’s Museum, for which he has devised a show of real works by real artists, from Antoine Watteau to Tino Sehgal, which may only be witnessed through a series of drawings made by Charles Avery and presented at Pilar Corrias. An example of what André Malraux termed a ‘Musée Imaginaire’, ‘It Means It Means!’ explores what constitutes a site for artistic/curatorial production, and the artist/curator relationship. It is an exhibition that contains an exhibition, and a series of artworks that contains a series of artworks. The real, here, is displaced into the fictional, and the fictional into the real. Continue reading “‘IT MEANS IT MEANS!’
A Drawn Exhibition by Charles Avery & Tom Morton
At the Museum of Art, Onomatopoeia and Pilar Corrias”

‘Body Language’ at the Saatchi Gallery, London

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20th November 2013 – 16th March 2014

Saatchi’s new exhibition ‘Body Language’ brings together a group of contemporary artists, consisting of twelve painters, two photographers and five sculptors. all who use the human figure in their practice. Artworks of note include (starting from top) Jansson Stegner’s seductive, slender New York cops, Makiko Kudo’s Monet/Manga inspired dreamscapes, Helen Verhoeveno’s lots of people in a room, Michael Cline’s Grosz-esque ‘saints and sinners’, Alexander Tinei’s creepy smiley lady with accordion (shown left) Amy Bessone’s glazed masks (shown right) and Andra Usutra’s squashed mummified jogger with sperms. Continue reading “‘Body Language’ at the Saatchi Gallery, London”

Kehinde Wiley’s ‘World Stage: Jamaica’
At the Stephen Friedman Gallery, London

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5th October to 16th November 2013

‘World Stage: Jamaica’ will be Kehinde Wiley’s first ever UK solo exhibition.The exhibition features Jamaican men and women assuming poses taken from 17th and 18th Century British portraiture, the first one in the ‘World Stage’ series to feature portraits of women. The juxtaposition between the sitter and the art historical references reflects on the relationship between the island and her former colonial power. Wiley is restaging this history, transforming the race and gender of the traditional art-historical hero to reflect the contemporary urban environment. The subjects’ proud posturing refers to both the source painting and the symbolism of Jamaican culture, with its singular people and specific ideals of youth, beauty and style. Continue reading “Kehinde Wiley’s ‘World Stage: Jamaica’
At the Stephen Friedman Gallery, London”

Wolfe Von Lenkiewicz’s ‘The Raft Of The Medusa’
On show at All Visual Arts, london

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13th September – 20th October 2013

Wolfe von Lenkiewicz’s new body of work builds on his previous coalescences of disparate imagery: from contemporary to historic, high art of the Renaissance to icons of popular culture. While appearing on first glance as faithful reproductions, revealed in each case are works densely populated with disparate imagery – destabilising any sense of narrative and questioning notions of authorship.

‘The Raft of Medusa’ continues to stretch these ideas. However, while previously Lenkiewicz has driven contextual imagery together from disparate time periods and geographies, in this exhibition the scope is deliberately narrowed. Flattening history, the result perceived through the lens of the present becomes a historical deconstruction; challenging our notions of past and present, the work moves outside of history.

For more info, please visit All Visual Arts

Peter Doig’s ‘No Foreign Lands’
At the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

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3rd August − 3rd November 2013

‘No Foreign Lands’ is Doig’s first major exhibition in the country of his birth, where he left when he was only two. The exhibition showcases works created during the past ten years, much of which were done in whilst in Trinidad. Following in the line of great colourists such as Gauguin, Matisse, Bonnard and Edward Hopper, Doig creates rich textured worlds, often featuring tropical subject matter, painted with an expressive and sensuous palette on a monumental scale.

For more info, please visit the Scottish National Gallery