Exhibition Catalogues

by Natasha de Samarkandi


FAKTURA


Thursday 15th June from 15:00-22:00 at Renegade Inc. Studios.
St Oswalds Studios, Sedlescombe Road, Fulham, London, SW6 1RH

As we conserve paintings, so we must conserve the painters. In recent years, the role of artist has transformed, today we live in an age of editing, where art exists between the lines of concept and app, our material consciousness has dissolved in a pool of temporality. A painterly permanence is required. Let us look away from our screens, from the artificial light of information technology and reinvest our eyes and minds with the beauty of form and painterly process. Let us throw from the steamship of modernity mass production and reinvest in the lost art of painting. It is through the application, assembly and manipulation that the artist achieves beauty. It is this process that is FAKTURA.

Faktura is the ORGANIC state of the worked material or the resulting new state of its organism.

Art surrounds life like language, it is with this new voice that FAKTURA speaks, calling to arms the painters in the first of its series; FAKTURA : SUMMER 

Refocusing the lens and peering through the looking glass Natasha de Samarkandi and Renegade Inc. will play host to a series of exhibitions of contemporary painters, examining the role of material in their practice. 

FAKTURA is the vehicle, the set for truth and creativity.

 


ROTH

 

Reflections on Traditionalism and Heritage

From 31st October – 2nd November 2014 at Olympia Central, Kensington Olympia.

 

Let Us Be The Face Of Our Time 

 

The Exhibition 'Reflections on Traditionalism and Heritage' has been organized through the model of the early twentieth century International Exposition; devoting space to the dissemination of ideas, aesthetics and contemporary discourses.  Welcome to the inaugural exhibition devised and delivered by RED Projects, the intention of which is to establish a forum for exchange and display.  We've brought together a compendium of two and three-dimensional stories articulated and delivered through alternate mediums and composed by various bright voices in today's arts climate.

 

From a land of kings came the first treatise on the pictorial arts.  With thanks to the Greece Welcomes You In London we at REDD PR have been given the opportunity to pay homage to the great oasis lands and take as a starting point our antique heritage.   Conceiving beauty and form through a system of harmonious, balanced proportions Ancient Greek practitioners of the ‘plastic arts’ were the technicians of beauty.  We have invited artists from home and abroad to take as a starting point Tradition and Heritage, borrowed, adopted, abstracted and explored, our contemporary collective have drawn on this and produced an exquisite look behind the curtain. 

 

Tradition is our creator; it is through replaying traditions, and processes, that artists illuminate the dialectic between imitation and invention.  Today has arrived as a descendant of a magnificent heritage.  Whether in homage or resistance, art has and continues to manifest every gesture, word, idea and movement that has preceded this day.  And though our canons of beauty have shifted and evolved, the canon remains a vehicle for exploration.

 

The process of placing pen on paper; a mark on a surface is one of the most fundamental means of communication.  A record distilled by the soul and vision of its maker.  These records form a visual language, shaped and modified by traditional processes and new ideas.  Through mark making we have built a pictorial language that articulates the changing cultural landscapes and replays the antique act of creating.  Our learned techniques, borrowed forms, and varying discourses form a web of created things. 

 

Kensington, Olympia is our showroom and our showroom exists only in a fleeting moment; this borrowed space will temporarily house voices of contemporary artists whose resonance will markedly map the paths of tomorrow’s traditions.

 

It is a pleasure and privilege to host our selected artists, whose works collectively elucidate the changing cultural landscape.  Through our inaugural exhibition and showcase we hope to establish a forum for the delivery and exchange of ideas.  We are especially grateful to our sponsors. And are delighted to welcome our guests to consider, explore and participate in the projects and works on display.

 

With thanks,

 

Natasha de Samarkandi 2014

Curator for RED Projects at RedD PR.

 


 


DON’T DO ANY MORE HENRY MOORE

HENRY MOORE AND THE CHELSEA SCHOOL OF ART

Two-Piece Reclining Figure No. 1, 1959

 

Two-Piece Reclining Figure No. 1, 1959, was purchased by Chelsea School of Art in 1963 for the newly purpose-built college at Manresa Road, south-west London. The decision to purchase the sculpture was recorded in the minutes of Governors meetings held between 1963-64, which are now vaulted in the Special Collections at Chelsea College of Art and Design at Millbank.  Henry Moore’s close association with the school, faculty and governors, occasioned his offer and the subsequent acquisition of the Two-Piece Reclining Figure No. 1 at a cost of £7,500.  The sculpture was installed on 25 March 1964, with Henry Moore on site, accompanied by jersey clad technicians.  The correspondence, minutes, photographic documentation and the plinth designs are stored within the collection of the Henry Moore Archive.  A series of photographs (exhibited at Chelsea Space) document the works original installation and consequent excursions to and from exhibitions including, the Tate in 1968, the Royal Academy in 1988 and the Jeu de Paume in 1996.  Chelsea has welcomed home the Two-Piece Reclining Figure No. 1 earlier this year.  Wrapped in swaddling cloth, harnessed and tracked on palettes the sculpture returned to the College with an entourage of well equipped technicians in high visibility fluorescent vests and branded shirts, to an audience at Chelsea Space. 

 

Henry Moore (1898-1986) is one of the twentieth century’s leading British sculptors, who acquired international acclaim, was immortalized in film by John Read and was Head of Sculpture at Chelsea School of Art from 1932-39.  Yorkshire born to international icon, Moore’s celebrity and oeuvre transformed the spirit of Modern art and revolutionized curatorial models, by placing organic monoliths within the landscape.  Conceiving art as a ‘process of gradual perfection’ Moore promoted a tactile communication with the material, producing sculptures reliant on a continuous line reduced from a single block or cast into a single concentrated entity.   In re-evaluating the role of the ‘modern’ artist and methods of production, Moore formulated a new visual vocabulary borrowed from primitive models and natural materials and refined through the artist’s hands.  

 

Moore’s post as the Head of the Sculpture Department coordinated by Harold Williamson the principal, engaged Moore as teacher and practioner within the college.  Demonstrating through his own practice, Moore attempted to destabilize the methods installed by the art college syllabuses with a Bauhaus-esque direction.  ‘The five point system’, published in ‘Henry Moore on Being a Sculptor’ (a Tate publication), outlined the framework and ground rules for the production of modern sculpture according to Moore.  The fundamental qualities were as follows; ‘Truth to Materials’, ‘Full Three Dimensional Realisation’, ‘Observation of Natural Materials’, ‘Vision and Expression’ and lastly ‘Vitality and Power of Expression’.  The five point system delineates Moore’s preoccupation with form and material.  Drawing upon inspiration, process and purpose, Moore aptly provided a teachable and formal guideline for the production of modern sculpture.  Moore’s chief responsibility at Chelsea as tutor and director of the Sculpture department was that he was on premises and available to staff and students two days a week.  Moore was afforded the opportunity to utilize the facilities of the College by Williamson for his larger works, which continued to evolve and grow rapidly, to the point that Moore’s London studio was no longer sufficient in size to house the works.  The occasion to make use of the technical facilities supported the Darwinian evolution of the monoliths.   Teaching at Chelsea for just under a decade, Moore exported the system and rubric expressed in his five point system and demonstrated the ‘process of gradual perfection’.  Moore’s fruitful years at the college ended in 1939, the same year that Moore was relocated to Kingston where he lived full time during the war.  The following year Moore was appointed ‘Official War Artist’.  Moore’s Chelsea association remained intact and resulted in the benefaction of the Two-Piece Reclining Figure No. 1 to the college in 1964.  

 

Enshrined in the History of Modern Art, Henry Moore has been established as the father of modern sculpture and despite his refusal of knighthood in 1951; Moore was the Official War Artist, the favored British Government Artist and the celebrity artist, whose works were commissioned by major corporations, restoring nature into the cities.

 

The bronze Two-Piece Reclining Figure No. 1, measuring fifty-seven inches in height and seventy-six inches in width illustrates Moore’s exceptional sensitivity to the tactile and inherent qualities of the material he used. The separation of the reclining figure into disparate elements was a fundamental shift in Moore’s oeuvre.  The piece was the first in a series of three in the Two-Piece reclining figure series followed later by the Three-Piece reclining figures.  The form of the figure was no longer readable as an organic whole, but instead was fragmented to informal parts.    Surviving the fracture the reclining figure is poised in expectance, with little hope of reconciliation or reparation, the images illustrates humanities capacity to endure and survive.   Fattened with stony flesh, the skeleton within seems to refuse the traditional concept of scaffolding the body, resulting in bulbous weight and form.  Francis Bacon’s Three Figure’s at the Base of the Crucifix, 1944, similarly engaged with the manipulation and disharmony of form.  Almost bestial, the forms are living, but are not constrained by the rational; limbs are severed, the body is confined, the eyes blinded, the mouths obstructed and the organs within, absent.  The forms of Moore’s Two-Piece Reclining Figure No. 1 allude to the shape of form, the illusion of life and the elemental symbols of man and woman.  His contortion and abstraction of form and the traditional notions of sculpture resulted in an engaged, pseudo-surrealist artist, placing process and metamorphosis at the centre of his practice.  The works illustrate Moore’s preoccupation with form, quality of finish and the relationship between mass and space.  

 

Sensitive to the qualities and limitations of the materials he used, Moore’s sculpture wrestled with the cold hardness of stone or bronze with the softness and fragility of the flesh it arguably attempted to evoke.  The sculptures are treated with precise and thorough consideration; the effect is soft features, deceivingly administered through a weighty and hard material.  Moore articulated that the aim of the sculptor was not to evade the properties of the material, but work in conjunction to them.  The dichotomy of cold hardness and ‘real’ flesh is both a material issue and thematic one.

 

Introducing the archetypal woman, whose form engaged with the architecture of landscape Moore contorted anatomical correctness and substituted or borrowed from nature to fashion the figure.   In short, Moore engaged with natural form, natural subjects, with use of natural materials, remedying the conflict between flesh and medium through the process of chiseling and modeling, the mortality of flesh was forever petrified in stone. 

 

The universal themes explored by Moore are integral characteristics of his practice, through mass production and reiteration of key models and forms Moore’s work, is ‘series’ work.  The sculpture purchased by Chelsea, is an example of Moore’s experimental practice, but also a formative shift in the development of the reclining figure series.  The torso physically divorced from the lower limbs, which have been rearranged for the purpose of spatial balance sit motionlessly beside one another.  The entities at once foreign to us, become strangers to one another, as the body is no longer a coherent whole.  The decisive move away from the single unmovable object was documented by Moore in sketches and designs for some time.  Where the single monoliths had relied so heavily of the continuous contours and occupation of space, the two-piece reclining figures were pushed further into a three dimensional interactive space.  On walking around the sculpture, the viewer is able to see the pieces from multiple and dissimilar viewpoints.  The negative space and the space occupied by the viewer became energized space, active and operational, reliant  on the viewers capacity to conceptualise. 

 

Moore claimed that ninety percent of his education as a sculptor can be attributed to his almost daily pilgrimage to the British Museum, where the Egyptian, Greek, African sculptures and so on, were analyzed and studied.   Both the primitive and geological are aesthetics that resurface throughout the body of Moore’s oeuvre and in the Two-Piece Reclining Figure No. 1 these visual characteristics are palpable.  Natural form, if not human is indebted to the terrestrial. Moore’s fascination with the elemental and terra firma were supported through his close alliance with the Art Historian and Critic, Kenneth Clark, whose unrelenting advocation of the sculptor was undertaken with sober severity. 

 

The transfiguration and process are central in any reading of Moore’s work.  Moore was simultaneously dealing with universal themes, the mother and child, the fallen warrior, the nuclear family, the body, the land and the wounded.  Occupied by various ideas Moore’s language produced a proverbial ‘Everywoman’, a personification of nature with the nurturing features of a mother, who would consequently be worshipped en masse by the art market and aesthetes the world round.  The archetypal female figure resurfaced time and time again, a promise of nurture and a visual antidote to modernity.

 

The separation of the parts occurred, (allegedly) at production stage, having been originally designed as an unimpaired single object, Two-Piece Reclining Figure No. 1 underwent the sequence of events, from maquette to sculpture.  Consequently the sculpture that was born, had mutated into a entity both figurative and reminiscent of land terrain.  Moore’s collection of natural objects including stones, skulls and shells, were clear foundations to the forms articulated in the reclining figure series.  The human form, was a vehicle of expressing if not reflecting on the beauty inherent in natural forms, be it the landscape or an elephants skull. 

 

Since its original installation outside Chelsea, Two-Piece Reclining Figure No. 1 has been loaned out and consequently journeyed.  Wrapped and transported, Moore’s self contained landscapes, peered out at the passing environments, engaging fluently with the sweeping surroundings.  These movable landscapes on mechanized plinths and automobiles perform to a familiar public.  Engaging prolifically with the media, meant Moore was able to acquire stature and popularity, individuals were engaging with art via television, not needing to leave the comfort of their own homes.  Furthermore Moore’s mass production of works, his army of assistants and factory at Perry Green encouraged the art market to imbibe to the Henry Moore aesthetic.  As a result we ‘know’ Henry Moore.  The generations following Moore, were left with mighty large boots to fill.  As a result in 1967, when Moore attempted to donate a substantial collection of his own works to the Tate on the proviso that the necessary space would be provided, forty-one artists wrote in protest.  Consequently the works were donated to the Ontario National Gallery, Canada.

 

The sheer physicality of the works has meant that the dispersal and loan of sculptures is entirely reliant on the fortitude, preparation and orchestration handled by technicians and curators, who manage to wield the chosen masses from one location to another with seamless precision.  The Two-Piece Reclining Figure No. 1, measuring fifty-seven inches by seventy-six inches, is a colossal bronze two part sculpture, upheld on a circular plinth.  The scale not only infantilizes the audience, but the weight has for years, infantilized the technicians.

 

The problem with these monolithic sculptures is the inevitable back breaking business of installation and transportation.  The structures grew larger and larger over the years, until Moore could no longer conceivably work within his studio and relocated to Manresa Road where he worked within the colleges studios.  This relocation was a stipulation of Moore’s in his employment contract at Chelsea; Williamson gave Moore the use of the college’s facilities securing loyalty and hands on practice for the students.  Williamson and Lawrence Gowing encouraged the practice and fusion of Art History and Practical Fine Arts, Moore’s direct performance of process, lent a certain appeal. 

 

Two-Piece Reclining Figure No. 1 is positioned on a circular plinth, forced into our physical realm with unrelenting force. The scale of the works was facilitated to a certain degree by Moore’s burgeoning art factory at Perry Green and the aforementioned the studios at Chelsea. Whilst still teaching at Chelsea in 1936 Moore had hired an assistant, Bernard Meadows a Norwich School of Art graduate to work with him at the college, supporting his tuition and production.  Meadows remained with Moore for nearly four years in the unpaid internship. Moore aided in facilitating artists throughout his career, through ‘paid’ internships at Perry Green, averaging roughly forty shillings an hour. And providing ample experience in the manipulation and commanding of materials.    Equally Moore engaged with the materials used by artists under his tuition, for example, the sculptor Derek Howarth who introduced the aging Moore to Polystyrene which Moore adopted as the chief material for his the maquettes of his larger and later works.  An educator and mentor, Moore’s multiplicity in production and decimation of ideas to artists and the like within and outside his circle lead to an unprecedented role in the art world.

 

Shape conscious and ridding sculpture of superfluous detail Moore returned to a primordial vocabulary.  Through distillation of form and theme, Moore reengaged with internal revelations.  The mother child theme, responds to the most fundamental of all relationships and ever present absence of the father figure conjures if not amplifies Moore’s own professional struggle with the Oedipal reactions from the rising generation of British artists in 1967.

 

Articulating the fundamental bonds of human relationships, the ‘figures’ enacted elemental bonds, such as that of the  mother child and the organic relationship of man to the land.  Moore’s pseudo-shamanistic engagements were diluted by his incessant engagement with the cult of celebrity.  Kenneth Clark, Moore’s benefactor alluded to the sculptor’s status, as the last beacon of hope in the modern art world.  In no uncertain terms, Moore’s influence has been great; with his own authentic voice Moore had created his own tradition 

 

The static repose of the reclining figures metaphorically references the landscape that had potentially sourced the original aesthetic. No single entity was plagiarized, but instead form was distilled from the source. This interchangeability between the human form and natural expression of the environment alludes to man’s affinity to the land, the primal engagements and worship of the earth.

 

The organic mass is at once a symbol of primal elements, articulating themes and obsessions.  Dealing with the de-sexualized nature of the human body Moore’s phallus shaped sculptures have erased the aggressive or enticing.  Instead sexuality has evolved to a state of silent apathy, an a-sexuality of pollination rather than penetration.  The pollination of Moore and the works which grew up amidst the skyscrapers and lobbies served as antidotes to the modern aesthetic, an abstracted Moore served as a balmy medication to be rubbed on the visual injury.  Moore’s desire for the accumulation of status and celebrity and the corporate worlds desire to destabilize the illusion of superficiality, leads to the massive patronization of the artist.  This mutually beneficial relationship further installed the cult of celebrity.

 

The show at Chelsea Space operates as a curatorial exercise.  Contained within Chelsea Space is the provenance and tour of a reclining Moore.  Shrouded in its protective blanket, the Moore figure is more human than ever. 

 

Natasha de Samarkandi 2010

http://www.chelseaspace.org/archive/moore-pr.html

 


 

KULTUREFLASH

 

Monday, 16 August 2010

John Bock : Barbican

 

John Bock

Curve-Vehicle incl. π-Man-(.)

 

Curve Art

Barbican Art Gallery

 

Barbican Centre

Silk Street London

EC2Y 8DS

(Admission Free)

10/06/10 – 12/09/10

Berlin based artist and self-professed ‘lecturer’ John Bock with his ‘Curve-Vehicle incl. π-Man-(.)’ reside in the Barbican’s Curve Gallery this summer. The ‘lecture’ articulated through film and a series of site-specific parasites function as a total all encompassing composition. The curve space is Bock’s public laboratory, where performance is delivered in film and the ephemera reconstituted as installation. As director of ‘Π’ the universally recognised symbol of various systems, and Curve Space film, John Bock delivers a parody of a Hollywood Blockbuster. Manipulating verbal material and fracturing sentences, the dialogue is evasive and entertaining; reminiscent of a futurist vocabulary. The characters animated in process and conversation, transfer the viewer to an abstract world, where vision and speech have fragmented into fourth dimensional beyonsense poetry. The actors poke and prod at the artifacts of an antiquated world, namely twentieth century medicines and foodstuff. Lindt rabbits and bottles of Pepto-Bismol are repeatedly recycled and restored through Bock’s uninterrupted reel. The ephemera and stage property reside as furniture of a future not yet inhabited; the parasitic pods, performance paraphernalia and perpetrators are inoculated from our archaic disease. Prophetic in its content Bock synthesizes the abstract with the tangible, a future of double glazed spectacles and parasitic web-like campervans.

 

Drowning inanimate objects with viscous fluids and flirting with architectural canopies encasing cultural landscapes Bock’s absurdities deliver an adventure playground we’re not yet old enough to play in.

 


 

Monday, 16 August 2010

Oscar Tuazon : ICA

 

Oscar Tuazon

My Mistake

 

4 June 2010 – 15 August 2010

Institute of Contemporary Arts

The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH

The American born and Paris based artist, Oscar Tuazon and his temporary organic scaffolding, map the limitations and experience of space at the ICA this summer. Emancipated from the utilitarian tendencies of architecture, Tuazon’s canopy clutches to the interior walls of the ICA’s exhibition space. In place of formal composition, the construction swells out beyond the exhibition space, into the reading the room and passages behind. The scaffolding delineates the boundary between interior structure and the usable space, whilst simultaneously commenting on the limits of the art object within allotted vicinity. The negative spaces contained within the modular cubic units are potential spaces, occupied briefly by the viewer and fallow in the audiences’ absence. As a result the nature of the space is hope, poised in expectation. Utilitarian value is supplanted by possibilities.

 

The labyrinths of wooden beams and absent walls infantilize the viewer; the hovering and heavy-duty maze is at once recognizable and unfamiliar. The audience is taken away from the present location and transported into a pseudo-interactive playhouse; we are the furniture of another future, children in a quiet and unusable playground.

 


 

Monday, 16 August 2010

Ernesto Neto and The New Decor : Hayward Gallery

 

Ernesto Neto

‘The Edges of the World’

And

The New Decor

 

19 June – 5 September 2010

Hayward Gallery

SOUTHBANK CENTRE

Belvedere Road

London SE1 8XX

Shape shifting and animated, the works contained in the Hayward's double programme are linked by an exploration of internal worlds, while questioning established associations and personal narratives.

The New Decor in the lower galleries brings together some 30 contemporary artists whose works extract features from the "home" interior and reconstitute them into decorative objects absolved of utilitarian value. The upper galleries and three outdoor sculptural courts house Ernesto Neto's site-specific installation, The Edges Of The World, a biomorphic and self-conscious space, where visitors are encouraged by Neto's "Be Gentle or Do Not Touch" to beat the heart, stroke the skin and escape into the bowl.

 

Interior landscapes and the stimulation of the major sense organs describe the journey through the Hayward's exhibition spaces -- these two multi-sensory and interactive exhibits demand participation. The New Decor showcases furniture of the future, harvesting and reassembling various materials so that the works on display, although familiar, have become strangers to former friends. Freed from the constraints of the rational three-dimensional world, artists have delivered an abstract world; the objects no longer function as utensils supporting human habitation, but have evolved into growling, sprawling and balancing objects in space.

 

Meanwhile, mapping the complexities of the internal condition, Neto's installation is a used space. It comes to life with audience participation; the heart begins beating and the senses are stimulated. In place of a skeletal structure, Neto's interior landscape is a series of webs and net curtains, forcing the circulation of gallery-goers along the course of his abstract internal wonderland. Designed to bring the physical landscape to life, and to lead the viewer from room to room, Neto has devised a playground of tunnels and ladders on multiple levels and in various environments. Devising a new terrain with recycled resources, Neto questions space and natural wealth.

 

United by an ineffectual reality, both Neto and The New Decor encourage the viewer to examine our occupied space. The New Decor artists examine the functionality of furniture, reassembling found objects and multimedia to deliver foreign objects constructed out of known entities, while Neto plays with form and function in a world turned inwards.

 

NB: both Ernesto Neto and The New Decor run till 05/09. Bring a bathing suit as, weather permitting; visitors can go swimming in pool designed by Neto.

 


 

Monday, 16 August 2010

Chiharu Shiota : Haunch of Venison

 

CHIHARU SHIOTA

One Place

 

19 February - 27 March 2010

Haunch of Venison

6 Burlington Gardens

London

W1S 3ET

http://www.kultureflash.net/eventDetail.aspx?Evt=78-Chiharu-Shiota

(Admission Free)

Haunch of Venison plays host to Chiharu Shiota's first solo exhibition in the UK, with the two site-specific works One Place and During Sleep. Shiota's nomadic past has been translated into a visual vocabulary; from Japan via Australia to East Berlin the artist has acquired a multilingual aesthetic and rapport with her audience. Shiota selects objects where origin and function have been displaced and the remnants are rehabilitated into self-conscious environments, assemblages, wool prisons and floating web boxes. One Place is an assemblage of 400 windows collected from the dismantled buildings of East Berlin and exhibited within a vast S shape framework, confined within an air-conditioned and enclosed gallery space, contorting the objects' former utility. The precarious and lawless structure is unlivable and untenable. Following on from the precariously composed windowpanes and fractured glass, the webs of wool imprisoning objects within vast labyrinths serve as three-dimensional rayonist hallucinations. Extracting information from a catalogue of performative models -- including Marina Abramovic, Rebecca Horn and Joseph Beuys to name but a few -- Shiota constructs narcoleptic nightmares and nostalgic beauties of forgotten worlds.

 


 

Monday, 16 August 2010

Glenn Brown : Gagosian

 

GLENN BROWN: GAGOSIAN GALLERY

 

6-24 Britannia Street

London WC1X 9JD

T. 44.207.841.9960 F. 44.207.841.9961

Hours: Tue-Sat 10-6

October 15 - November 26, 2009

Welcome to the world of visual duplicity; Glenn Brown seduces his spectators with reconstructions of borrowed icons. Reborn by Brown’s hands the figures within the panels seduce the viewer into their two dimensional world. They’ve become caricatures of their former selves; skin and flesh become puddles of ink and oil and narrative is forgotten in favor of fantastical miasmas of colour and movement. The inebriated curiosities in paint parley with in another from across the room.

 

The show operates as a total installation, Glenn Brown has installed his panel paintings, some of which have been projected from the walls, providing an illusion of three dimensionality; Brown has also acquired a taste for Niki de Saint Phalle type monuments which linger within glass cases. ‘Wooden Heart’, 2008, suggestive of the entitled organ has been harassed with Auerbach brushes. The show is divided into two spaces, with no marked thematic distinction, the viewer floats emphatically from work to work in the vast room, with a tailgate of the security guard. The undetectable handiwork of the artist and the appropriation of art historical icons set up the enigma, and the sobbing rainbow of colours melting on the surface delivers the show.

 


 

Monday, 16 August 2010

 

Looking Back at the Life Room : A Project by Naomi Salaman

 

UCL Art Collections

The Strang Print Room

University College London

Gower Street WC1E 6BT

 

Looking Back at the Life Room

A Project by Naomi Salaman

 

Journeying to the art institution and re-visiting the antiquated anatomy rooms Naomi Salaman presents a historical narrative of the life room and a critical reshuffling of knowledge and heritage. With the emergence of the first art academies the study of the nude became the nucleus; its study laid the foundations for aesthetic theory and art education. This system of observation is dealt with by Salaman through texts, digital imaging and photocopies, delivering a 3D thesis on the history of the life room. The show serves as documentation, both of the art institutions and the fabric of modernity; the continual quest for rejuvenation and reassessment. Strang Print Room draws together Hellenic Laocoon chiseled in marble, Somerset House Life Room classes and the UCL absent anatomy studies.

 

Analysed as the remains of the fine art system, the works peer down at the viewer through glass sheets. Salaman has presented the images as documents of an archaic institution and as vacant shells, former platforms for congregations paying homage to the ideal and the nude. Within the space formal models and art educational practices are elucidated and the ever-evolving ideal is reconsidered.

 


 

Monday, 16 August 2010

A Foundation : New Contemporaries

 

A collection of forty-seven artists selected by Ellen Gallagher, Saskia Olde Wolbers, John Stezaker and Wolfgang Tillman’s make up the body of this year’s installment of Bloomberg New Contemporaries. Housed at the A Foundation this year, the show offers a mix of appropriated imagery and raw voyeurism through the conduit of urban sorcery. Under the bleaching light of the Foundation’s raw urban space, the emerging artists deliver a synesthetic regeneration of contemporary British art.

 

The new contemporaries remark on material culture, tragic anatomies and unsolved images in colourful spectacle. The love child of Paul Noble and Pieter Brueghel the Elder, David Price constructs dystopian narratives etched into two dimensional reconstructions and Jorge de la Garza offers nineteen twenties ‘About this’ type photomontages. The artists contained within the show direct confidently the shape of things to come, returning to the material quality of their practice and the heartiness of the subject. The show is a model of curatorial proficiency and the works dance to the regeneration of young British art.

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