Archive for December 2011
Gerhard Richter: Panorama
“Amazing mastering of many techniques”
David Franchi – 7th December 2011
“Gerhard Richter: Panorama” is a well appropriate name for this exhibition, ongoing at the Tate Modern, London. This show, in fact, is a survey about Gerhard Richter‘s body of work with rooms organised in chronological succession spanning five decades from the beginning of his carrier ending up in recent time.
“Gerhard Richter: Panorama” displays a large quantity of works illustrating appropriately his talent to use different medium. His ability in mastering many different kinds of techniques is amazing. Each room focuses on a particular moment of Richter career showing how he explored a set of ideas. The works exhibited are mostly paintings but also glass constructions, mirrors, drawings, and photographs. About the difference between painting and sculpture Richter himself states in a video -interview on screening in the entrance corridor: “Painting shows what it’s not there”.
“Gerhard Richter: Panorama” starts with a room dedicated to ‘Photopainting in the 1960s’ when he began to use readymade photographs as the source for his paintings. The exhibition proceed locating Richter in different environment such as his comeback to ‘The art after Duchamp’, his making of different series of ‘Damaged Landscapes’, or the ‘Grey painting and colour charts’ period. Interesting is the contrast between ‘Figuration and Abstraction’, room 5, a period that led to ‘Exploring abstraction’, room 6, and to ‘Genre painting and early squeegee abstracts’, room 7, a technique Richter will bring to the highest levels.
The evolution of his work could be seen in room 8 ‘Landscapes and portraits’ which proceed in ’18 October 1977′, room 9, dedicated to phenomenon of the terrorism of the Red Army Fraction, also known as the Baader -Meinhof group. But his work with non figurative art keeps on and room 10 ‘Abstraction in the 1990s’ show some masterpieces. Room 11 ‘Questioning painting’ highlights that Richter has used various media as a part of his ongoing enquiry about conventions, materials, public and private roles of painting.
Room 12 ‘The limits of vision’ which focal point is the question Richter always posed about vision and if perception enables or confuses our understanding of the world.
‘2001 and beyond’, room 13, explains that Richter was en route to New York on 11 September 2011 when is plane was diverted to Canada and he then started later his work of art about the World trade Centre attacks.
There is also a free entrance additional room ‘Cage’ external to the exhibition which reserves a surprise with monumental works.
Gerhard Richter was born in Dresden in 1932 and moved to Düsseldorf, West Germany in 1961. He was founder with Sigmar Polke and Konrad Lueg, of the group ‘Capitalistic Realism’. In 1999, he installed ‘Black Red Gold’ in the foyer of the Reichstag in Berlin. The window he designed for Cologne Cathedral was completed in 2007. Richter lives and works in Cologne.
“Gerhard Richter: Panorama” is curated by Nicholas Serota, Director, Tate Modern, and Mark Godfrey, Curator, Tate Modern with Amy Dickson, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern, with colleagues in Berlin and Paris. The exhibition will also be organised at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, curated by Udo Kittelmann and Dorothee Brill, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, curated by Alfred Pacquement, Camille Morineau and Lucia Pesapane.
Supported by The Eisler Foundation, The Richter Exhibition Supporters Group and the American Patrons of Tate.
Showing until 8th January 2012 Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG
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The Other Art Fair
“The Other Art Fair” was an opportunity to see and buy work directly from the brightest talents in the UK, thus allowing them to keep 100% of the profits, as they did not have to pay gallery commission. Artists on show were chosen between hundreds of applicants.
It seems that there is an emerging generation of young artists who at “The Other Art Fair” exhibited together with more established independent ones. The chosen artists are short of gallery representation. In these days of economic crisis are galleries important when art market is dominated by profit? It is a huge need to promote emerging artist or else in few years we will not be able to have a significant art environment. This blend of new and recognised artists gives clues for a new era in the British art market.
The fair comprises numerous artworks costing under £100. An interesting idea was the ‘Joffe and Pye’s 99p Shop’ where original paintings and handmade small objects could be bought for under £1, a sort of betting on the new top artist. A range of further activities were offered at “The Other Art Fair“. The ‘Robin Collective’s Secret Garden’, was an installation that recreated a full-scale secret garden, site for Cafe Du Pique-Nique, selling picnic basket lunches to visitors. At the ‘Tom’s Shoes – One for One Competition’, instead, visitors had the chance to win a pair of shoes, personalised with their own design in association with Tom’s. They were invited to draw on an origami paper shoe before the winning design is transferred onto the real article.
As artist Charming Baker commented: “The Other Art Fair is a wonderful door-opener for some major new talent.” His example of operating as an unknown but highly successful artist is a sign of the changes going on within the London art scene with artists and collectors looking to forge new connections for them.
The Committee of “The Other Art Fair” was composed of the celebrated contemporary British artist Charming Baker; Dr. Anthony Downey, Programme Director of the M.A. course in Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s Institute of Art; the well- known art journalist and opinion former Sophie Hastings; Godfrey Worsdale, Director of BALTIC and curator; and Graham Fink, President of the Design & Art Directors Association, Executive Creative Director at M&C Saatchi and most recently Chief Creative Officer at Ogilvy & Mather.
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The Highbury church that made the history of rock.
After few days of working from home and with sunshine weather, I decided to take a walk on New Highbury Park, Islington. Here buildings and part of the surrounding area are from the mid- nineteenth century, built in a typical Italianate style.
Strolling around I arrive to St. Augustine church, part of the Anglican Evangelical tradition of the Church of England. Members of the parish mirror the very mixed population of Highbury, counting at least 22 different nationalities. Notably activities include the children school, the Islington Choir, groups for exploring Christianity, praying, fare trading, campaigning against poverty and climate change.
Redevelopment has started so St. Augustine is closed. This particular edifice was built in 1869, in replacement of a temporary church first established in 1864. A parish was assigned to the church in 1871, taken from the ones of Christ Church and Saint Paul’s. The structure was restored in 1982. The church seats around 1,150 people. The building is made of brick with stone dressings, designed by Habershon and Brock in the Decorated style, typical of the Gothic Revival – or Victorian Gothic – architecture, practised in England in the second half of the nineteenth century.
But the most interesting part of the building is the peculiar church hall. Built in 1881, later on it will become a piece of the history of the music, hosting the very famous “Wessex Sound Studios” a recording venue for rock legends. Now, astonishingly, it has been transformed into homes.
In the 1960s, the Thompson family converted the church hall into a recording studio. They named it ‘Wessex’ because their previous recording studio was located in Bournemouth, in the Ancient English county of Wessex.
George Martin, the legendary producer of The Beatles, bought the studios in 1965 and make of it one of the hottest rock place of the history. Wessex lasted for 40 years and in Britain it was second only to Abbey Road studios for equipment and frequentation. In 1975, Chrysalis bought the studios and George Martin became a director of the company.
The list of music personalities who have worked at the Wessex Studios is amazing. Here the Sex Pistols recorded many of their albums, including the revolutionary ‘Never Mind the Bollocks’ in 1977. The Clash recorded their celebrated – but never enough – ‘London Calling’ two years later. The Queen used the venue for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. For ‘We will rock you’ The Queen recorded the notorious ‘boom-boom-cha boom-boom-cha’ of the song making the whole staff of the studios jump on the pavement.
Additionally, worked here Rolling Stones, The Pretenders, King Crimson, Marianne Faithfull, XTC, King, Slade, Peter Townshend, Jesus and Mary Chain, John Cougar Mellencamp, Theatre of Hate, Kylie, Talk Talk, Nick Cave, REM, Motorhead, The Moody Blues, Dido, Coldplay, Elvis Costello, Bob Geldof, The Damned, The Stone Roses, The Specials, Enya, Nik Kershaw, Erasure, Judas Priest, Tina Turner, and David Bowie. The list could probably be longer if one just had enough time to make research.
But time passes by and in 2003 the building was sold to Neptune Group and later converted into a residential development. Today the place is known as “The Recording Studio” and it contains eight apartments and a townhouse. The website of the agent declares that The Recording Studio “might not make you a rock star – “but at least you can live like one”. Ironically, for a property here in a rock’ n’ roll location you need to have a lot of cash to meet the expenses.
Wessex Studios were famous for having the newest technologies of which the celebrated mixing desk ‘40 channel SSL 4048E console’ is still alive nowadays and used in a recording studio located in Llangennech, Carmarthenshire, in South Wales.
But this is not all. Another involving site is just nearby few steps further on. At the 124 Highbury Park, it is possible to find the house of David Gestetner, an Hungarian scientists who was the inventor of the Gestetner stencil duplicator, the first piece of office equipment that allowed production of numerous copies of documents quickly and inexpensively. Or better to say the ancestor of the photocopy machine. On 15th March 2011, Gestetner received a Blue Plaque on his home at 124 Highbury New Park.
Well, it is strange to go for a relaxing walk and find out the history of music, together with the one of the office equipment. Though it is now past, it’s always worth to amble and then go back home searching for the amazing history of this place on the internet.
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011
“Another successful significant photographic exhibition”
by David Franchi – Tuesday, 15th November 2011
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize return is another success. The small rooms in which the 60 portraits exhibition is hosted are filled up with visitors. Despite the low entrance price the Taylor Wessing Prize 2011 confirms to be one of the most significant photographic exhibitions in the UK.
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011 has been won by Jooney Woodward, 32, for her portrait, ‘Harriet and Gentleman Jack’. The portrait of 13-year-old Harriet Power was taken in the guinea pig judging area at the Royal Welsh Show. Woodward says: “I found her image immediately striking with her long, red hair and white stewarding coat. She is holding her own guinea pig called Gentleman Jack, named after the Jack Daniel’s whisky box in which he was given to her. Using natural light from a skylight above, I took just three frames and this image was the first.” The winning portrait has unleashed critical comments. It seems many did not agree with the portrait to be the winner wondering if this was really the best in between the 6,033 portraits submitted by 2,506 photographers from around the world. However, Woodward was awarded with £12,000. She found her sitter whilst scouting subjects at the agricultural show in Builth Wells, Powys. The portrait was shot on film with a Mamiya RZ medium format camera. Born in London in 1979, Woodward studied at Camberwell College of Arts, specialising in photography. She worked in the Vogue Photographic Archive of Conde Nast Publications before pursuing a freelance career from 2009.
Jill Wooster with ‘Of Lili’ has been awarded with the Second Prize of £2,500. Born in1977 in New Haven, Connecticut, Wooster has lived in New York, San Francisco and currently lives in London. She studied as an artist at Bard College, New York. She currently works as a freelance photographer. Her portrait is of her friend, Lili Ledbetter and was taken at Wooster’s flat in Peckham.
The Third Prize of £1,500 has been given to Dona Schwartz for ‘Christina and Mark, 14 months’ from the series ‘On the Nest’. Her shortlisted portrait is of Christina and Mark Bigelow from Minnesota in their son’s vacated bedroom. Born in the US in 1955, Dona Schwartz is an Associate Professor specialising in Visual Communication at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota.
The Fourth Prize of £1,000 was for Jasper Clarke for ‘Wen’. His shortlisted portrait taken in Hackney is of Wen Wu, a Chinese artist and is from a personal project depicting artists, musicians and other creative people who live in their work spaces. Jasper Clarke was also the winner of the ELLE Commission 2011 – in its third year. He will be given the opportunity to shoot a feature story for ELLE magazine. Born in the UK in 1978, Clarke studied at Edinburgh’s Napier University before moving to London to assist many high-profile photographers.
David Knight with ‘Andie’ was awarded with the Fifth Prize of £500. His portrait of 15-year-old Andie Poetschka was commissioned by Loud for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance to raise awareness of the condition throughout Australia. Born in Oxford in 1971, he currently lives and works in Sydney.
This is the fourth year that international law firm Taylor Wessing has sponsored the Prize.
Showing until 12th February 2o12 at the National Portrait Gallery, 2 St. Martins Place, London, WC2H OHE
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direct link: http://www.remotegoat.co.uk/review_view.php?uid=7788