Category: Front Page

Art Circus Spotlight
‘Chromogenic’ by Jeff Edwards

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My practice is almost entirely analogue. There is a small digital aspect but if I had to break it down I would say my process is 85% analogue and 15% digital. Everything starts from a 4×5 or 6×4.5 film negative, which is then edited in a way where I can influence the actual emulsion of the negative. I use various consistencies and dilutions of rubbing alcohol and inks to achieve the final result.

I am constantly working and re working images, so I often end up with half a dozen or so of the same negative but worked in various different ways and techniques. So then it is difficult to decide what is working and what isn’t, what do I like and what do I hate. It is often a fine line for me what is and isn’t working. The fun part is seeing what effects and alterations work with the image rather than simply to it. It is very important to me that anything I do to the negative works with the final print, so it actually seems as if the subject is fading away, dissolving, disintegrating etc. Continue reading “Art Circus Spotlight
‘Chromogenic’ by Jeff Edwards”

Q&A with James Elliott Dixon

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Where was ‘Black pool’ (Shown above) taken and what happened there?

‘Black Pool’ is a small harbour on the East Lothian coast. I’d seen it and noted that when low tide coincided with low evening light, water was replaced by shadow. I see this as a key picture as it uses shadow, landscape and light to create a transition from one void to another.

Do you have the scenes in mind and then seek them out to photograph?

I tend to set some parameters of what I’m looking for, for instance certain types of shadow and light, geometry or scale, Then I choose locations as a stage for these. Continue reading “Q&A with James Elliott Dixon”

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’.

Michelle-Marie Letelier in ‘Magic Block
Contemporary Art from Chile’

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17th Jan – 2nd Mar 2014

Magic Block seeks to explore these relations, specifically highlighting artists working in Chile over the last 35 years. The example of Chile offers a compelling view onto the power plays of visibility and disappearance. The dictatorship of Pinochet, from 1973 to 1989, brought forward a difficult structure under which many artists struggled. And even now, in recalling its current traces. In doing so, questions of what was permissible or not lent to experimental approaches, and often the issue of what can be shown, and how or what can be seen, provided a challenging backdrop to the arts. This led to performative, ephemeral and conceptual approaches, inspiring artists to work directly in public space, while also turning inward to the experiences of private life, to gauge the politics of silence and silencing.

Continue reading “Michelle-Marie Letelier in ‘Magic Block
Contemporary Art from Chile’”

Art Circus Spotlight
‘Turners View’ and ‘Sky of England’ by Adrian Merrifield

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Turners View is a contemporary view from the spot in Hunston near Chichester where Joseph Turner painted Chichester Canal in 1828. Studies made for this work expose the reasons why you should never trust a painting as a true representation of reality. Turner has the sun setting to the left of the cathedral, but the viewer is looking north, also a ship as large as in Turners work would not have been able to sail there. Today the view towards the cathedral is obscured by telegraph wires and is not as peaceful as the painting suggests due to heavy traffic just yards away from this spot. Continue reading “Art Circus Spotlight
‘Turners View’ and ‘Sky of England’ by Adrian Merrifield”

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”

Q&A with Haichuan Huang

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How did art school help in the development of your practice?

There is a relatively independent environment in art schools where I can concentrate on my art work without much social interference. Moreover, communication with teachers and other students definitely helps me to improve on my work and ideas, as well as to understand some of the art techniques and materials which I have not tried before. Experience in art schools contributes to my artistic development.

It looks like you work changed quite dramatically since 2012 and 2013, what inspired this body of work?

In the years 2012-2013, my art has entered a new phase where I began to form my own creative style, and my artistic behavior began to become more targeted. My works were greatly affected by POP art and contemporary illustration, which is why the popular style seen in my works is closely related to public appreciation of aesthetics. Continue reading “Q&A with Haichuan Huang”

Art Circus Spotlight
New Paintings by Miguel Laino

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I consider myself a figurative painter first and foremost, so I am primarily drawn to the form and composition of the image, rather than any conceptual consideration. The atmosphere or mood also play a part. I like images that I don’t entirely understand – that have a degree of ambiguity about them…as if it is not entirely obvious what is going on, or it is open to interpretation.

We are all constantly evolving, so no doubt each work relates to it’s predecessors but also hints at the works that will follow it, like a premonition. My role is just to stay totally present in the moment and to create as honestly as I can without looking back or forward. The evaluation of where the piece fits in relation to my general practice really comes after the fact. I don’t separate my portraits from my other work. I see them as part of one body of work. I may work on a large painting and then do a portrait before moving on to the next large painting.

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A very large part of the process is taken up by the search for the image. I search extensively online in diverse and sometimes obscure places, like Japanese newspapers or blogs. I also sometimes type in random or meaningless search terms into Google to unearth unusual images or tap less obvious sources. Once an image grabs me, I may even work it into a collage along with other images previously found – sometimes images I’ve been keeping for some time. For some reason, many of the images that appeal to me are in black and white. This allows me to add my own colour choices, thereby adding my own stamp to the image – reclaiming and re-interpreting it. But even with colour images I tend to paint them with my own palette.

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Sometimes a painting just won’t gel or come together, even if the source image still appeals to me. I’ve learnt to walk away from the painting and focus on something else for a few hours or even days and then come back to the painting. This typically brings about a spontaneous insight or resolution when I look at the painting with fresh eyes. This could mean changing a background colour, or deleting a figure. Sometimes I just realise that the painting is perfect as it is.

Painting involves the conscious and the subconscious, which means that the works are always surprising – for the conscious mind at least. It’s that sense of being surprised by the work, at being partly in control, but also partly an instrument of a deeper force that makes the process so intriguing and keeps it exciting and unpredictable. So wherever the work may evolve or lead me, I know it is a reflection and a confirmation of my own growth. I look forward to being surprised and challenged.

Miguel Laino has won n a portrait showdown competition on SaatchiOnline, with his piece “Didier” being selected as the winner, by the judge, Chantal Joffe – one of my favourite contemporary artists. The painting will be exhibited along with the other 9 finalists at the Griffin Gallery in London form 5th – 20th December 2013.

See more paintings by Miguel Laino

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”

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.”