Archive for March 2012
“Premiums Interim Objects” the student exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts.
David Franchi – Friday, 30th March 2012
“emerging artists at an early stage of their studies”
“Premiums Interim Objects” the Royal Academy of Arts student annual exhibition has been once again successful. Many visitors have gone to see it, while it presented the work of 17 postgraduate students. This annual exhibition will be held for the first time in the prestigious galleries of 6 Burlington Gardens and comprises contemporary artwork by postgraduates in their second year at the Royal Academy of Arts Schools.
“Premiums Interim Projects” provided a brilliant occasion to view new work by emerging artists at an early stage of their studies. The exhibition includes painting, performance, photography, sculpture, site-specific installation and video.
“Premiums” is a very professional and well-organised student show. The Royal Academy of Arts Schools offer students the opportunity to develop their ideas and working practices on a unique three-year postgraduate course. Attracting applicants from across the world, the exhibiting student
s reflect the international reputation of the Schools and the creativity of its artists. With a total of 60 places available, the Schools offer a wide range of opportunities including tutorials and lectures given by leading figures in the art world, including the Royal Academicians.
Many works in the exhibition will be for sale. Artworks sold directly support the development of the students and the production of new work.
Exhibiting Students were: Charlie Billingham, Adham Faramawy, Stephen Forge, Joseph Frazer, Bradley Grievson, Nancy Milner, Michael O’Reilly, Thomas Owen, Eddie Peake, Tim Pratt, Mary Ramsden, James Robertson, Prem Sahib, Sarah Shoughi, Marie von Heyl, Amy Woodward and Esther Yuan.
Royal Academy of Arts Schools sponsored by: Newton the power of idea.
From 2nd until 15th March 2012
At the Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington Gardens, Piccadilly, London.
New Sophie Carapetian exhibition at the xero, kline & coma gallery.
David Franchi – Wednesday, 28th March 2012
“made considertions on labour and wage struggles”
“Art Labour Compendium” an exhibition by Sophie Carapetian has been visited by many people.
“Art Labour Compendium” was an on-going body of works that posed questions about the relation between art and the economy, triggering the capitalistic society and its nowadays more and more evident issues.
The exhibition at the ‘xero, kline & coma gallery’ made considerations on labour and wage struggles within the arts economy, finding an interesting prospective that could be developed in future displays.
The basic concept of “Art Labour and Compendium” is to be in a endless fluctuation form. Because is in a constant constitution, its present appearance is to bring together film, sculpture and photographic work. At the xero, kline & coma gallery the work of Sophie Carapetian gave new life to stories of the London branch of the Artists Union (1972-1983) and the Art strike action committees of London and San Francisco (1990 – 1993) by screening in the basement room film reel excerpts interviews with Stephen Perkins, Conrad Atkinsons, Stewart Home and Peter Dunn.
On the street level room, instead, the was a huge photocopy of photograph ‘Hands’.
“Art Labour and Compendium” also explored the problem of the vanguard displaying ‘Marx and Bakunin kissing’ a work on cardboard and paints. Sophie Carapetian focused on the reconciliation between Marx and Bakunin in the style of De Kooning, and explored the question of the labour bound up in the making of an artwork.
The xero, kline & coma gallery is a project space run by young Pil and Galia, two teacher of Fine Art University of Reading. They are London based artists, writers and curators working in collaboration, whose work addresses the legacy of modernism, exploring promises and failures of the avant garde of the twentieth century. Their shows are related to the connection between art and politics. They are also the London editors of Art Papers.
From 3rd until 25th March 2012
At the xero, kline & coma gallery, 258 Hackney Road, Bethnal Green, London, E2 7SJ
Tacita Dean at the Tate Modern.
David Franchi – Thursday, 19th January 2012
“shows giant images”
The Tacita Dean exhibition leaves you staring at the screen in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern. Part of the Unilever Series 2011, “FILM” by Tacita Dean, shows giant images screened at the bottom of the vast space of the Turbine Hall. “FILM” catches the attention of the public that gazes at the film produced by the famous visual artist.
Tacita Dean has created an eleven-minute silent 35mm looped film projected onto a monolith standing 13 meters tall at the end of a darkened Turbine Hall. It is the first work in The Unilever Series dedicated to the moving image.
“FILM” is a portrait of the analogue, photochemical, non-digital medium of film. It was made by turning a Cinemascope lens 90º and upending the usual landscape format of the movie screen so it becomes vertical, scaling itself to the proportions of the Turbine Hall.
“FILM” has been constructed using in-camera and studio techniques, such as masking, double-exposure and glass matte painting, to recapture the sense of wonderment generated by these skills during the early days of cinema. The images have been deliberately created during the film shoot rather than in post-production and edited by hand by the artist alone, evoking a sense of intimacy and a lightness of touch. Tacita Dean has placed her trust in the blindness and spontaneity of the analogue process in order, she explains, “to show film as film can be – film in its purest form.”
Tacita Dean is a visual and conceptual artist who express herself with images and film. She is best known for her work in 16mm film, although she utilises a variety of media including drawing, photography and sound. Her films often employ long takes and steady camera angles to create a contemplative atmosphere. Her anamorphic films are shot by cinematographers John Adderley and Jamie Cairney. Her sound recordist is Steve Felton. Since the mid-1990s her films have not commentary, but go together with an optical soundtracks.
To balance her visual art work, Tacita Dean has also published several pieces of her own writing, which she refers to as ‘asides.
Tacita Dean was born in Canterbury, in Kent. She is the sister of architect Ptolemy Dean. She was educated at Kent College, Canterbury. In 1988 she graduated at Falmouth School of Art, and in 1990–92, studied at the Slade School of Fine Art.
In 1997, Dean moved to London and in the same year she began to exhibit splices of magnetic tape cut the length required to document the duration of the sound indicated, such as a raven’s cry. In 2001 she was given a solo show at Tate Britain. In 2000 Dean was awarded a one-year German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarship to Berlin, where she moved that year. She focused on the architecture and cultural history of Germany, including iconic structure as well as important figures in post-war German.
In 2009, the Nicola Trussardi Foundation has presented ‘Still Life’, the first Tacita Dean major solo exhibition in Italy, on the Piano Nobile – first floor – of Palazzo Dugnani, a historical Milanese venue for exhibition.
Dean has undertaken commissions for London’s defunct Millennium Dome, the Sadler’s Wells Theatre, and for Cork, Ireland, as part of that city’s European City of Culture celebrations. She has also completed residencies at the Sundance Institute, the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, US, and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, Berlin.
She currently lives and works in Berlin.
At the Turbine Hall, at the Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG.
Showing from 11th October 2011 until 11th March 2012.
Lucian Freud Portraits extended its opening time at the National Portrait Gallery, London.
David Franchi – Saturday, 24th March 2011.
“Works are renowned for their psychological penetration”
The exhibition “Lucian Freud Portraits” extended its opening time, a remarkable success, at the National Portrait Gallery, London.
After the death of Lucian Freud last 20th July 2011, this exhibition was much awaited. The London artist, in fact, is considered to be one of the most significant British artists despite of the fact that his was born in Germany. Although he was the grandson of the most well-known Sigmund Freud, founder of the modern psychology, Lucian has been able to reach his own fame.
Lucian Freud artwork is one of the most important heritages the UK could have. The last works of the late Lucian Freud are on show for the first time at the most solid exhibition of his work for ten years. The National Portrait Gallery displays the earliest portraits from the 1940s. On show 130 paintings and works on paper loaned from museums and private collections throughout the world, including Tate, MOMA New York, Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, British Council and Art Institute of Chicago.
Concentrating on particular periods and groups of sitters to show Freud’s stylistic development and technical virtuosity, “Lucian Freud Portraits” is the result of many years of planning by the National Portrait Gallery, in close partnership with the artist himself. The exhibition is the first to focus on his portraiture and it is a countdown event for the London 2012 Festival – the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad.
The National Portrait Gallery exhibition is an opportunity to see for the first time ‘Portrait of the Hound 2011’. Lucian Freud was working on this piece until shortly before his death. This unfinished painting depicts artist’s assistant David Dawson and his dog Eli.
The list of the sitters is quite long. From common people to VIP, “Lucian Freud Portraits” includes both iconic and rarely-seen depictions of the artist’s lovers, friends and family, described by the artist as ‘people in my life’.
These portraits have been selected to reveal the psychological drama and insistent observational intensity of the work of Lucian Freud. He was known to enter the emotional aspect of his sitters and then represent it on canvas, with such ability that sitter’s feelings come out so vivid leaving visitors speechless for its intensity.
“Lucian Freud Portraits” displays works where the physical structure, or part of it, is the m
ain subject. Freud’s portraits regularly depict only the sitter. By representing the naked bodies in a relaxed situation – sometimes laid naked on the floor or on a bed or otherwise juxtaposed with something else – sexuality conveys the character of the sitters.
His works are renowned for their psychological penetration, and for the embarrassing examination of the relationship between artist and model that brought to Lucian Freud an uneasy fame, remarked by his personal knotty life.
Lucian Michael Freud, OM, CH (8 December 1922 – 20 July 2011) was a German-born British painter. Known chiefly for his thickly impasto portraits and figure paintings, he was widely considered the pre-eminent British artist of his time.
Born in Berlin, Freud was the son of an Austrian Jewish father, Ernst L. Freud, an architect, and a German Jewish mother, Lucie née Brasch. He was a grandson of Sigmund Freud, and brother of Stephan Gabriel Freud and of the late broadcaster, writer and politician Clement Freud – thus uncle of Emma and Matthew Freud.
To escape the rise of Nazism, the family of Lucian Freud moved to St John’s Wood, London, in 1933. He became a British citizen in 1939,having attended Dartington Hall School in Totnes, Devon, and later Bryanston School, for a year before being expelled due to disruptive behaviour.
Freud studied at the Central School of Art in London, and from 1939 with greater success at Cedric Morris’ East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing in Dedham, relocating in 1940 at Benton End near Hadleigh. During the Second World War he served as a merchant seaman, but he was invalided out of service in 1942. In the same year went back to study at the Goldsmiths University of London. His first solo exhibition was in 1944 at the Alex Reid & Lefevre Gallery. He was a visiting tutor at the Slade School of Fine Art of University College London from 1949–54.
Lucian Freud lived and worked in London for almost his entire life. He was part of “The School of London” a group of figurative artists – more individuals who knew each other, some intimately – who were working in London at the same time in the offbeat figurative style, while the abstract painting was dominating the art scene. The group was led by Francis Bacon and Freud, and included Frank Auerbach, Michael Andrews, Leon Kossoff, Robert Colquhoun, Robert MacBryde, Reginald Gray, and Ronald Kitaj.
A series of huge nude portraits from the mid-1990s depicted the very large Sue Tilley, or “Big Sue”, some using her job title of ‘Benefits Supervisor’ in the title of the painting, as in his 1995 portrait ‘Benefits Supervisor Sleeping’, which in May 2008 was sold by Christie’s in New York for $33.6 million, setting a world record auction price for a living artist.
From the 1950s, Lucian Freud began to work in portraiture often nudes. He also began to develop a personal free style – painting standing up and using large hogs-hair brushes – with an intense concentration of the texture and colour of flesh, and much thicker paint, including impasto, often cleaning his brush after each stroke, so that the colour remained constantly variable. The colours of non-flesh areas in these paintings are typically muted, while the flesh becomes increasingly highly and variably coloured. Early portraits were mostly relatively small heads or half-lengths while later portraits were often very much larger, and requested by galleries and collectors. In his late career he often followed a portrait by producing an etching of the subject in a different pose, drawing directly onto the plate, with the sitter in his view.
Lucian Freud is rumoured to have fathered as many as forty children but it is probably an overstatement. However, fourteen children have been identified, two from Freud’s first marriage and twelve by various mistresses. After an affair with Lorna Garman, he went on to marry, in 1948, her niece Kathleen “Kitty” Epstein, daughter of sculptor Jacob Epstein and socialite Kathleen Garman. They had two daughters, Annie and Annabel Freud, and the marriage ended in 1952. Kitty Freud, later known as Kitty Godley, died in 2011. Freud then began an affair with Guinness beer heiress and writer Lady Caroline Blackwood. They married in 1953 and divorced in 1959.
Sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, “Lucian Freud Portraits” is curated by Sarah Howgate, the National Portrait Gallery’s Curator of Contemporary Portraits.
From 9th February until 27th May 2012.
National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, Trafalgar Square, London.
The Affordable Art Fair 2012 in Battersea, London.
David Franchi – Thursday, 22nd March 2012
The Affordable Art Fair 2012 closed with a successful public presence. Crowded to the unbelievable, it was organised inside the lovely Battersea Park, London.
Falling on the Mother’s Day weekend, the Affordable Art Fair was a witty opportunity to spend time with your family. It really happened, in fact, as many families visited the fair, together with art dealers and art lovers. Over 150,000 art lovers visited an Affordable Art Fair internationally last year – more than any other art fair in the world – proving that the interest in art is very popular.
Now a global brand, over one million art-lovers have visited an Affordable Art Fair across the world, spending over £150 million. As well as Bristol and London (Battersea and Hampstead), the fair takes place in Milan, Brussels, New York, Melbourne, Amsterdam and Singapore, with seven new fairs launching this year in LA, Hamburg, Stockholm, Mexico City, Rome, Seattle and Delhi.
The Affordable Art Fair 2012 in Battersea had prices starting at £40 and with a ceiling price of £4,000 and a huge number of photography, paintings, prints and sculptures from 120 galleries all under the same roof. Indeed, it was possible to find artworks from a prominent artist or a rising star.
In the Battersea Park pavilion one could be overwhelmed by intense and vivid colours glowing from heavy
loaded stalls. There are some surprisingly pieces together with many banalities. Some stalls were so packed with pieces overlaid.
The Affordable Art Fair 2012 hosted many free activities, talks and printmaking workshops as part of the Education Programme “Fin, Fur, Feather!” all ages and abilities free and hands-on activities, including the chance to create your own collage with artist Samantha Barnes.
Another project was the “Prints Charming” organized by Artichoke Printmakers also back by popular demand, to run the fairs dry point printmaking workshops in the Print Studio, giving visitors the chance to create their own masterpiece.
Love Art London arranged a series of talks and tours throughout the fair including an insider’s guide into finding those really affordable pieces. The ‘Egg Timer Tour’ has seen every day ten handpicked galleries displaying their most interesting pieces and favourite artists. This tour has been also modified on the Thursday night to include mini wine tasting sessions along the way.
This edition of the Affordable Art Fair 2012 supported the St. Mungo’s charity, and art lovers could take part at the Charity Private View on Wednesday 14th March. Founded in 1969, St. Mungo’s is a charity for homeless that help people off the streets by providing housing, health and work opportunities. In 2011 it helped 370 people and provided accommodation for over 1,700 people each night.
Also interesting was the return of online art community Jotta, who have curated an emerging artist showcase right at the front of the marquee, exploring the idea of value in art.
The key person of the Affordable Art Fair is Will Ramsay who was able to transform the art environment creating a network of 18 hugely popular fairs in 9 countries across 4 continents, with 7 new fairs launching in 2012. Ramsay says: “Buying art can provide a lifetime of enjoyment and inspiration; no one should miss this opportunity.”
As well as the Affordable Art Fair, Ramsay founded contemporary hub Pulse – held annually in New York, Miami and LA – and co-founded Asia’s leading art fair, the dizzying Art Hong Kong. Also he is a shareholder of Art India, the country’s first international art fair that has already attracted over 170,000 visitors since its launch in 2008.
Sponsored by Laithwaites Wine.
From 15th until 18th March 2012.
Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park, London.
Lise Sarfati at the Brancolini Grimaldi gallery.
David Franchi – Monday, 19th March 2012
The exhibition “She” of Lise Sarfati closes with a great success. The leading French photographer Lise Sarfati was on show at Brancolini Grimaldi gallery, Mayfair, London.
“She” is a series of photographs made between 2005 and 2009, features four American women- two sisters, Sloane and Sasha, their mother Christine and her sister Gina. The project has taken four years to be completed, but periods are mixed up, so in the end the individual images of these four women create a one complete story.
The two sisters are difficult to be recognised one to each other and there is a sense that their identity is fluid, almost indistinguishable, because they wear wigs or make up.
Lise Sarfati has photographed them separately in various settings from the interiors of Victorian houses to outside on the street, thus not only depicting people but also revealing aspects of the US urban outdoor and indoor environment.
In this Brancolini Grimaldi exhibition subjects of photographs are mainly young women which seems doing nothing and waiting for something. It is a stylistic trait of the Lise Sarfati body of work. The French artist likes to catch the often deadpan expressions. Therefore each photograph is filled with psychological intensity and often melancholia too. Pictures assume a character of banal, maybe nil, surely of silence – despite the urban setting – that seems to be the inspiration of Lise Sarfati.
“She” is an exhibition developing the portraying style. Subjects depicted are always solitary people in the flat American province.
Lise Sarfati has said about this work: “I like doubles, like mothers and daughters, or sisters or reflections. This represents my research into women’s identity…I am interested in fixing that instability.”
It was an interesting exhibition that brought to London a great artist which has been exhibited in the main world museum.
Lise Sarfati was born in Algeria in 1958. She grew up in Nice (France) and started taking pictures when she was just 13 years old. She got an MA in Russian studies from the Sorbonne University. She has been the official photographer of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris and later moved to Russia to spend ten years there.
Lise Sarfati made many solo and group exhibitions in some of the most important galleries, including Bibiliotèque Nationale de France, BNF Paris; Triennale di Milano, European Center for Contemporary Art Bruxelles, Belgium; Yossi Milo Gallery, New York; Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Turin; Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Bruxelles.
Works of Lise Sarfati can be found in important collections such as Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; SFMOMA San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris and LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Lise Sarfati has been awarded and received grants, including in 1996 Prix Niepce, Paris, France and Infinity Award, International Center of Photography, New York, USA and Villa Médicis Hors les Murs, Paris, France. In 1995 FIACRE Ministère de la Culture, Paris, France and in 1994 Prime à la qualité « C’est moi, c’est Roger » Centre National du Cinéma, Paris, France.
From 3rd February until 17th March 2012
At Brancolini Grimaldi Gallery, Mayfair, London.
A day dedicated to Santiago Sierra at the Lisson Gallery.
David Franchi – Thursday, 15th March 2012.
The day dedicated to Santiago Sierra at the Lisson Gallery, London, was a success. The last 31st January, in fact, the Spanish artist took part at the talk “Santiago Sierra in Conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist”. The event marked the opening – later in the evening – of his exhibition “Dedicated to the workers and Unemployed”. The public was numerous at both the events, composed by art experts, artist’s friends, journalists and critics, and, moreover, many young artists.
The Lisson Gallery exhibition was a retrospective of video and new works. It featured fifty-three videos framed in three distinctive groups: performance based works; video documents of sculptural projects and programmed films. New works include ‘NO, Global Tour’ (2011) a film documenting the manufacture and transportation of the three metres high monumental sculpture made in the form of the word ‘NO’ that is touring around the world since many years. The minimalistic work is thought up to be understood in as many contexts as possible stressing the artist message about the humanity forced to affirm itself.
Santiago Sierra, in fact, is well-known to be also an activist involved in the No Global movement. He is considered to be a provocative and controversial artist. He refused, in fact, to be awarded by Spanish government because he believes it is imperialistic. He does not consider himself a socialist because according to him they are posh.
His works are inspired by social subjects while he actually treat matters of exploitation and marginalisation, in which underprivileged individuals are paid for performing humiliating or painful actions. Drug addicted prostitutes received the price of a shot of heroin in exchange for having their backs tattooed as seen in ‘160 cm Line Tattooed on 4 People’ (2000). ‘Workers in a Ships Hold’ (2001) saw North African migrant workers crammed below decks in the hold of ship docks for three hours in stifling heat against the backdrop of demonstrations for changes in immigration laws.
The amazing ‘Death Counter’ (2009), a LED display mounted to the exterior of the gallery, is a real time sculpture that counts the number of human deaths worldwide since the beginning of each calendar year imitating the US National Debt Clock, diminishing human lives to random numbers.
The Lisson Gallery exhibition tackled our notions on human life related to the powers operating in society. The challenge is not politically correct and compels to question about matters such as the psychology of domination and submission, and how they relate to labour, race, gender, and class. For example, in the film ‘The Penetrated’ (2008), a forty-five minute film in eight acts filmed on October 12 2008, Día de la Raza, a Spanish holiday commemorating Columbus’ discovery of the Americas.
The exhibition comprised a large cinema screen in each of the ground floor gallery spaces. ‘No Global Tour’ was shown twice daily alongside photographic works from the project. Another screen featured two 8 hour programmes on alternating days. Throughout the first floor of the gallery monitors with headphones showed Sierra’s less linear works on loop.
When accused of exploitation and sensationalism, Sierra responds that he is simply representing the commercial conditions of our existence. With this purpose he has realised a body of work that renews Minimalism and Conceptualism, with a political charge that aim to reconsider Western art.
However, despite his critical approach to the capitalism and the institutions which support it, he is also considered a successful artist and his artworks are very well priced.
Santiago Sierra (born 1966) is a Spanish artist who lives and works in Madrid. Sierra’s most well-known works involve hiring labourers to complete menial tasks a clear argument against the nature of the labourer within Capitalistic society. His main themes are how the selling of physical labour and thus the bodies, political issues such as immigration and recurrent immigrant poverty in rich countries, the nature of work in Capitalist society, and the isolation of economic classes.
Santiago Sierra paid a man to live behind a brick wall for 15 days and Iraqi immigrants to wear protective clothing and be coated in hardening polyetherane foam to create free sculptures. He blocked the entrance of Lisson Gallery with a metal wall on opening night. He sealed the entrance of the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, only to allow Spanish citizens in to see an exhibition. Another famous project is a room of mud in Hanover, Germany, commemorating the job-creation measure origin of the Maschsee. In 2006, he provoked controversy with his installation ‘245 cubic metres’, a gas chamber created inside a former synagogue in Pulheim, Germany.
From 1st February until 3rd March 2012.
At the Lisson Gallery, 52-54 Bell Street, London, NW1 5BY.