Review

Around Drawing at Rosenfeld Porcini

By

In this group exhibition the importance and relevance of traditional draughtsmanship skills to significant strands of contemporary art practice are givens. It features the work of eight of Rosenfeld Porcini’s international roster of artists: Enrique Brinkmann from Spain, Lu Chao from China, Antonis Donef and Marianna Gioka from Greece, Lanfranco Quadrio and Nicola Samori from Italy, Marcel Rusu from Rumania and Eduardo Stupia from Argentina.

Read More

Contemporary Visions V at Beers Contemporary

By

It is always hard to give an opinion about art, even more so when the art in question is ‘contemporary’.  When contemporary art presents itself as virgin, raw and naked, ready to be seen and criticised, giving it the first shot is a burdensome task; what if something is missed,…

Read More

From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia at Dulwich Picture Gallery

By

Her first solo exhibition in the UK at the Dulwich Picture Gallery comes far too late, as the popular artist from Canada died 69 years ago; nevertheless, it is a clear display of Emily Carr’s essence. Her landscape canvases are revelations. Their meaning is absorbed by their visual representation and vice versa. They deny any distance between the painter’s inner space and her spatial surrounding, the territory of British Columbia.

Read More

Broomberg and Chanarin, War Primer II: One Way Song, 26 January 2015 at Tate Modern

By

The cadets have been left drumming alone, and surrounded, in this exhibition, by the images of the aftermath of war they look vulnerable. One boy in particular has too-long sleeves and peers out from under the too-low peak of his hat, his cheeks flushed – a tin toy soldier hanging from the Christmas tree. For some the drums seem to be positioned too high, and their arms are raised awkwardly at the shoulder in order to strike.

Read More

Mapping the City at Somerset House

By

Mapping is a military reconnaissance mission and a map is a logistical system and potentially, a weapon. The map, the plan, is a birds-eye-view of the city, while the person navigating its innards has a very different, rather more messy experience. Even attempting to trace that journey is just one personal story among the crushing throngs of lives that pass each other everyday. As the attempts of the late twentieth-century ‘psychogeographers’ showed—to whom, not unsurprisingly, many of the exhibitors in Mapping the City owe differing degrees of inspiration—trying to systematise the ground-level experience of urban life into a scientific and objective approach is to create overly confident, artificial categorisations and silence the ongoing narrative of sleepless cities.

Read More

By Set Square, Compass and Eye at South Kiosk

By

As the Barbican’s photographic exhibition Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age came to close this January, South Kiosk followed with an exhibition of new work by two contemporary artists who have documented major infrastructural developments in two separate locations across the world. Unlike Constructing Worlds, which was…

Read More

The First Humans at Pump House Gallery

By

Apocryphal binds of creation and destruction appear thematically throughout the exhibition and yet, as in Vidya Gastaldon’s work, these binaries are subsumed by an overpowering ambivalence between them, like the entangled symmetry of Andy Harper’s painting or the tragic birth of a volcano that forms the world: the dualism of beauty and decadence, life and death, utopia and dystopia, the sardonic or knowingly cliché, and a true, mystical sincerity. Ambiguity trickles down the inside of this re-purposed, post-industrial pillar like good-natured laughter.

Read More

Post Pop: East meets West at the Saatchi Gallery

By

That riot of colour that, for me, was one of the defining features of Pop Art, seemed to be non-existent, at least in the first room. It was curiously muted, almost as though saturation point had already been reached. The love affair with commodity that Pop Art had exemplified had been stripped down to neutral colours and oversized objects; it had been rendered as something big and ridiculous, as well as bare.

Read More