A collaboration between Thomas Bradley and Ashkan Honarvar
Over the past years, Ashkan Honarvar has been one of the most shared artist here on Another Something. We’ve marveled at many of his projects, and have been following Ashkan for years. His latest project is another very exciting one; this time collaborating with Thomas Bradley, a garment designer working within the framework of costume for dance. The result is a series of 21 collages showcasing Thomas' 14 garments in the extraordinary Honarvar way. [ Continue reading ]
Earlier this year Rop van Mierlo and Remco van der Velden launched their collaborative project Wild Animals with the first edition called Tiger Merch. A beautiful collection of products consisting of mugs, sweaters, art prints, t-shirts, socks, a pyjama, a rug and even wrapping paper, all with the characteristically painted Tiger by Rop van Mierlo. [ Continue reading ]
A new body of work by Klas Ernflo
Way back (2008) we had a small online shop selling things we thought were worth selling, ranging from design notebooks to genius toys. One of the things we sold were hand sewn fabric footballs from Klas Ernflo. He moved from being a designer to illustrator to artist and with his latest work exhibited at Marta Los Angeles it feels all these worlds coming together in a beautiful way.
“Anorak” presents new large- scale, free-hanging textile paintings alongside several unique blanket- works and existing sculptures. The pieces, which variably suggest coverings for inclement weather, non-wearable shelter, and communal or familial garments, infer a soft network of voids and connectors atop canvas scrims that both describe and delineate space. [ Continue reading ]
‘a fragmented and reconstructed alternative reality’
'MIRROR RIM' by Alain Urrutia is a series of eleven paintings made to flip around, like a mirror, reflecting a fragmented and reconstructed alternative reality. Where he previously made super large paintings, these realistic small format black and white images, reframed and alienated from their historical value, are made to question our interpretations. The MIRROR RIM project was born from the idea of making two exhibitions in two different places that would change when moving from one space to the second one . The works from MIRROR RIM are composed symmetrically on their horizontal axis. The mirrored images we get in this way can be flipped 180 degrees. This is what happens when the exhibition is moved from one gallery to the second one. The paintings have been rotated so this second exhibition at Appleton Square in Lisbon, would work as the reflection of the first exhibition at the DIDAC Foundation in Santiago de Compostela. Hence the title of the exhibition, MIRROR RIM, a palindrome that refers to the edge of the mirror. [ Continue reading ]
A NewWerktheater Edition
As one of the last features of this year we wanted to share this special project we did at NewWerktheater. Parallel to our collaboration of last month with Lennard Kok, the Fallen Bird, we’ve been busy in our other role at NewWerktheater and …,staat to work on another collaboration we’re extremely excited about; Jupe by Jackie x …,staat.
The idea behind NewWerktheater Editions is to explore disciplines beyond those that are generally our own. To create great things with great people. To see what we can get from the ground and where we could end up if we walk a road unknown. 'Aesthetic Memories' exemplifies precisely this. This body of works took us somewhere we never could have imagined beforehand. We were drawn to the mastery required for this ancient technique. First, we fell in love with the craft, then we met the person behind it and fell in love all over again. Meeting Jackie was one of those instant clicks. You know the type.
When we started discussing designs, deciding on form, translating our inspiration for color, we soon found ourselves entering the territory we set out to find – challenging tradition. Hand-embroidery is traditionally decorative, traditionally representational. But, what if we worked with abstractions? What if we clashed the intricacy of the handwork with geometric elements? [ Continue reading ]
Defining a new dimension of light
Chris Cheung, creative director of the Hong Kong-based interdisciplinary creative studio XEX, reached out to us to share his latest art installation called 'Prismverse'. An immersive audiovisual installation to define a new dimension of light. As the title of the installation unveils it capture two core ideas; A prism as the medium that translates light on one hand, and a verse as the multi-timespace dimension. [ Continue reading ]
The mysterious world of young Belgian painter Bendt Eyckermans
The Lange Leemstraat is one of Antwerp’s longer continuous streets. It starts on the edge of the city center and cuts straight through the Klein-Antwerpen area, which is popularly better known as (a significant part of) the Jewish neighborhood. The street slices the segment of the Belgian city between the Mechelsesteenweg, the Van Eycklei and the Belgiëlei, in two halfs — together forming a perfect triangle when seen on a map. Most of the tall but narrow houses in the street are at least four stories high and an overall multiethnic feel prevails next to the omnipresence of the orthodox Jewish community; when entering the street one is instantly struck by a metropolitan vibe. It feels like a miniature Brooklyn in the heart of Antwerp. For me, it forms one of the many (hidden) qualities of the city with a remarkable cultural diversity and unique urban structure that was only partly transformed for the modern age.
When continuing along the street from the center, somewhere halfway at the heart of Klein-Antwerpen, the impressive 'Résidence Isabelle' arises. The street is too narrow to actually see it before being in its proximity. All of a sudden it’s just there, forcing the street into an Y-crossing. The apartment building is the kind of beautiful architectural dissonance one finds throughout Antwerp. It doesn't match with its surrounding, but fits beautifully. In today’s digitally globalized world the concept (or illusion?) of visibility is more dominant and demanding then ever. In my eyes, an organically grown, bricolaged, environment like the Belgian harbor city still cultivates the opposite: a strong sensibility for the unknown and the mysterious through its partly chaotic, partly impractical, but always deeply intriguing urban DNA.
When somewhere last year, we discovered the work of a young Antwerp-based painter named Bendt Eyckermans, a very similar feeling of mystery hit. Who was behind these striking paintings, reminding of some of my favorite magic-realistic artists, yet with an incredible contemporary perspective and subject matter? After connecting through Instagram (bless the digital age too!), Bendt agreed to meet in his studio, which to my surprise is located right there in my favorite neighborhood of the city. [ Continue reading ]
by Walter van Beirendonck at Wereldmuseum Rotterdam
Last Thursday, we were finally able to see the extraordinary 'POWERMASK' exhibition at the Wereldmuseum Rotterdam. Curated by none other than Walter van Beirendonck, sided by art historian Alexandra van Dongen and anthropologist Sonja Wijs, it had been on our wish list from September 1st when it opened for the public. For 'POWERMASK', the museum with a focus on ethnology gave the legendary Antwerp fashion designer a free hand to present his own unique, multi-faceted vision of the phenomenon of masks. The result is a stunning colorful display, carrying the designer's unique signature all-over, combining ethnic masks and ethnological documents with modern Western fashion, art, photography and culture — featuring the work of impressive names like Christophe Coppens, Diane Arbus, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Louise Bourgeois, Brian Kenny, Martin Margiela and Walter's own Dirk Van Saene.
The exhibition is both a feast for the senses and proof how relevant van Beirendonck's vision remains to this very day. He might have found a more niche position as a fashion designer (and a more invisible role as Head of Fashion at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp), the exhibition, although much smaller, feels like an echo of his iconic Antwerp exhibition 'Landed/Geland' from 2001, which at that time set a new standard for fashion exhibition in terms of presenting pieces within its societal context, but still succeeding to convince aesthetically and therewith speaking to spectators in more than one way. With 'POWERMASK' van Beirendonck underlines, now more than ever, that we need powerful artistic voices like his to remind us of the unique beauty of all cultures on this planet and how exchange between them is what makes life interesting.
When in Rotterdam before the 7th of January don't miss out on this incredible exhibition! [ Continue reading ]
Another x Lennard Kok
From the moment we worked with Utrecht-based illustrator Lennard Kok for the rebrand of Travelteq in 2015, the ambition was set to collaborate again. Eventually it took another year to really sit down and discuss it. At that point Lennard confessed he wanted to explore new terrain in his artistic practice and shared his ambition to reach beyond illustration. Through our consensual admiration for certain inspirational artist editions, we set the bar at next level and eventually came to the conclusion this would mean we needed to take Lennard's clear lined flat signature and find a way to translate it into the sculptural. More so, as paradigms continue to shift under the pressures of digital globalization with significant fractures ahead of us that seem to usher in a new era, we searched for a statement that (at least in our heads) would mark the specific moment of creation.
In the dialogue that followed, we kept returning to a series of crashed vehicles Lennard had made earlier that year. When we finally started seeing the airplane out of that series as the ultimate symbol, we knew we had found our subject that represented everything we aimed for. From that moment Michiel Verweij joined the project to bring Lennard's vision to life in 3D and soon Suzan Becking formed the last element of the equation as we wanted to materialize the sculpture into the perfect paradox: a crashing plane made out of porcelain. The final quest for perfection started, and eventually took a little longer than we hoped, but Friday the 13th, at last, graphite on paper was transformed into a black porcelain sculpture which we named 'Fallen Bird'.
We are extremely proud to present the result of our shared endeavor and are very thankful for this inspirational experience alongside Lennard, Michiel and Suzan. Now it's time for this 'Fallen Bird' to find its way all over the world again... We are ready for the next one (stay tuned)! [ Continue reading ]
Cape Town's Grain Silo by Thomas Heatherwick
Last weekend, the extraordinary Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in Cape Town, South Africa opened its doors for the public. The museum is set to become the world's most important exhibition space for African art, and with its iconic building by Heatherwick Studio it already draws the needed attention. The London-based firm transformed the building, both on the outside and inside, from a dead industrial structure into a mind-bending icon, instantly joining the Pantheon of some of the most beautiful museum buildings to be found all over the globe. [ Continue reading ]
by Matthias Kaiser and Hsian Jung Chen
Three months ago, the inspirational Taipei-based space for art exhibitions, books and good coffee named Pon Ding presented a beautiful show named 'Gold and Green', which closed last month but remains a very inspirational cultural hybrid. The project is a collaborative effort by the established Austrian ceramic artist Matthias Kaiser and the emerging Taiwanese ceramic artist Hsian Jung Chen.
After chancing across some books about Chinese medicine, Kaiser became fascinated by the odd and unusual ingredients, like the organs of rare animals, and the kinky sounding remedies. The mysterious culture of traditional Chinese medicine sent him dreaming about other worlds. Kaiser’s works include the pieces fused with Chinese philosophy and his Asian experiences, and also the tools with gold, platinum or brass luster, which indicate the alchemy-like refining process of medicine. To Chen, Chinese medicine shops have a commonplace existence in his daily life, and he seldom ventures beyond their thresholds. Through reading and field research, Chen acquires more knowledge of Chinese medicine and gets inspirations from their stories, purposes, making process or appearance features. From their different points of view and experiences, these ceramic artists re-interpret, through their individual visual languages, the dwindling and partly-lost culture of traditional Chinese medicine.
The two artistic visions combined, resulted in a project that shows a clash of old and new; sharp and organic lines; smooth and rugged surfaces. Perfectly juxtaposed to form a fascinating selection of ceramics that tell the story of East and West exchange on more than one level with both artists clearly having found inspiration in the cultural tradition of the other, which in turn really inspires us. [ Continue reading ]
Julian Rosefeldt at the Berlin-based KÖNIG GALERIE
After having seen it ourselves this afternoon, for those in and around Berlin, make sure to drop by the incredible KÖNIG GALERIE to witness German artist Julian Rosefeldt’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. On view in the nave of former Catholic church St. Agnes is his large video installation titled 'In the Land of Drought' that was filmed in Morocco and the Ruhr area.
A condensed version of Rosefeldt’s filmic interpretation of Joseph Haydn’s 'The Creation', 'In the Land of Drought' confronts the relationship between man and his impact on the world. Set to atmospheric sounds and a pulsating hum, the 43-minute piece looks back from an imagined future upon the post-Anthropocene: the aftermath of significant human influence on Earth. An army of scientists appear to investigate the archaeological remnants of civilization after humanity has made itself extinct. Shot entirely using a drone, Rosefeldt’s images hover meditatively over the desolate landscape and ruins. Connoting surveillance, the drone’s bird’s eye view removes human perspective with us onlookers kept at a distance throughout. Increasingly, more figures dressed in white lab suits emerge to inspect the ruins of civilization – which are in fact abandoned film sets close to the Moroccan Atlas Mountains.
Halfway through, the audience is transported to the comparably bleak Ruhr area of Germany, which is littered with the remains of industrialization. The same ‘scientists’ prowl the abandoned mining region, wandering among the headframes and coal pits before finally descending upon an amphitheatre. As seen from the audience’s heavenly outlook, the amphitheatre resembles an eye, and its all-seeing ability is reflective of the panoptic aerial viewpoint. A dialogue unfolds between the two perspectives of control: the eye on the ground and the drone’s eye overhead. As the steady hum livens to a climatic rhythm, the figures draw close only to disperse again. Reminiscent of cell division, the unifying aesthetics hint at a prospective optimism amidst a dislocated world man has created. The result is both mesmerizing and though-provoking, make sure to witness it first hand before it closes on the 23th of July! [ Continue reading ]
We have been big fans of the work of Norway-based Iranian collage artist Ashkan Honarvar since his graduation days at the HKU University of the Arts in 2007. In the decade that followed, he has been steadily producing series after series on an extraordinary high level, dealing with reoccurring themes like colonialism, war, mass destruction, megalomania and other grotesque behavior. Always succeeding in creating imagery that is both intelligent and haunting, slightly repulsive but always captivating. In March of this year Ashkan presented another highly ambitious series of eight chapters named 'The Red Forest' that he has been releasing over the course of different weeks.
Within the new body of work, all of the different subseries touch the same ('Honarvar signature') aesthetic atmosphere and share the same underlying technique, but every chapter has its unique elements, telling different segments of the narrative. And although every chapter complements the strong emotion of the overarching concept, our favorite out of the body being the sixth, as shared below. The story behind 'The Red Forest' is based on the first seven years of Ashkan's life, growing up in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, which at first sight suggests it is one of the most personal series till date. Yet the seamless fit of the series within the signature running through his portfolio, probably tells how personal his work always is, despite it referring to subjects that are much looser connected to the artist own history. One element within 'The Red Forest' that is a novelty is Ashkan's use of 3D renders, with the skulls and human figures (the female figure is Norwegian model Malena Morgwen) in this project, made with a 3D application Zbrush and then printed out and, as per usual, finished with handmade collage.
Both the subject-matter (as a point of reference for all of Ashkan's work) and this new layer of depth in the disfigurations of human representations, grabs us by the throat a little stronger than ever before, making 'The Red Forest' a significant development and possible important new chapter within the evolution of the brutally talented Ashkan Honarvar. Leaving us waiting eagerly where he will take these new artistic facets in the future.. [ Continue reading ]
at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles
After it was first presented to the world at the MCA Chicago and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City last year, two weeks ago the MOCA in Los Angeles opened the tremendously exciting 35-year retrospective of one of our favorite painters working today: Kerry James Marshall. Marshall’s figurative paintings have been unparalleled in their consistent portrayal of African American culture and history. The now nearly 600 years of painting in America contains remarkably few African American painters and even fewer representations of black people. Marshall —being a child of the civil rights era— set out to redress this absence from the moment he consciously picked up his paintbrush, inspired by one of his personal heroes: social realist painter Charles White. 'Kerry James Marshall: Mastry' is the artist's first major retrospective in the United States, containing nearly 80 paintings, all of which contain images of Black subjects going about their daily business, presented with utter equality and humanity. A deeply accomplished artist, who makes ravishing paintings, Marshall’s strategy was three fold.
First, as a young artist he decided to paint only black figures. He was unequivocal in his pursuit of black beauty. His figures are an unapologetic ebony black, and they occupy the paintings with a sense of authority and belonging. Second, Marshall worked to make a wide variety of images populated with black people. This led him to make exquisite portraits, lush landscape paintings, everyday domestic interiors, and paintings that depict historical events, all featuring black subjects as if their activities were completely and utterly normal. Third, Marshall concentrated on painterly mastery as a fundamental strategy. By mastering the art of representational and figurative painting, during a period when neither was in vogue, Marshall produced a body of work that bestows beauty and dignity where it had long been denied. Both on the individual level of Marshall's extraordinary unique artistic vision and today's context granting an ever-growing relevance to his body of work: making that when you are somewhere near Los Angeles, there is no reason whatsoever to miss this incredibly relevant exhibition! [ Continue reading ]
From the moment we encountered the super inspirational work of Congolese photographic artist Sammy Baloji, we haven't been able to get his haunting imagery out of our heads ever since. In the last decade, the artist, who resides in his city of birth Lubumbashi and Brussels, has gathered international acclaim with his photographic works that explore the cultural, architectural and industrial heritage of the region where he was born named Katanga in the African country Congo. Baloji juxtaposes photographic realities, combining past and present, the real and the ideal, to illicit extraordinary cultural and historical tensions.
With his imagery Baloji explores architecture and the human body as traces of social history, sites of memory, and witnesses to operations of power. History of art and documentary photography blend with that of colonialism. His series of photomontages, of revisited albums confront his historical research with the human and economic actuality (such as the new invasions of these territories by companies from China for instance). All of his juxtapositions are highly charged with meaning, but above all: always succeed in leaving an everlasting impression, that forces one to question past, present and future of Congo and the whole continent of Africa. [ Continue reading ]
A little over a year ago, the New York City-based Asya Geisberg Gallery opened a new exhibition named 'Quiet Earth' featuring new works by American collage artist Matthew Craven. Unfortunately we missed the inspirational display at the time, but recently our friend Merijn at …,staat pointed it out to us and we have been infatuated by the haunting works from that moment. The exhibition featured a series of works on paper, combined together rhythmically repeating a flattening of time and scale. In the imagery, Craven combines found images of antiquity with abstract hand-drawn patterns of ambiguous origin, and often subsequently painting walls to emphasize aesthetic choices that personalize his project. Ever-curious and controlled in his choice of placement and mark, as per usual the artist created enigmatic combinations, that despite (or maybe because) their encyclopedic nature, always succeed to engage our gaze and force curiosity about each specific reference and composition.
Craven always begins his imagery on an aged background, often vintage movie posters with yellowing tape, finding images in old books that are never glossy. As his collages compress millennia by placing the prehistoric next to the modern, they shift around time: the distance between the image’s creation and our grasp of its significance, the hours searching for appropriate materials, the cultivation of isolated fragments before evolving into Craven’s artistic universe. Several of the works use the landscape, colorful and present, to form a dialogue with the silent man-made artworks, adding an exciting visual layer. It seems as Craven is saying that we exist today because of our pre-historic past, and all cultures share the same planet. From a greater distance, the differences melt away (which too many people seem to forget now a days!), and just as all landscapes share underlying structure and forms (hence the quietness of the earth, possibly), so too do Craven’s stone temples, monuments, and patterns. The result is a highly fascinating series of work forming a quest through human history without ever losing our interest on an aesthetic level. We can't wait for more aesthetic journeys from the mind of Matthew Craven. [ Continue reading ]
At the end of last month, American artist and filmmaker Doug Aitken presented his latest incredible creation to the public, which at this moment is our favorite work he has created thus far. Part of the unique Desert X exhibition, that features a curated selection of site-specific works in the Coachella Valley in the Southern California desert, his creation named 'Mirage' is a installation utilizing the form of a ranch style suburban American house composed of reflective mirrored surfaces. It distills the recognizable and repetitious suburban home into the essence of its lines, reflecting, and disappearing into the vast western landscape. As movement was the driving force behind the settling of the American West, and the long flat vistas that stretched toward the Pacific shaped the ideology behind this iconic embodiment of American architecture, Aitken found inspiration in the history of the site to create his vision on reflection. The specific California Ranch Style, which is unique to the West, was informed by the ideas of legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who believed that architecture should be both in and of the landscape.
In the 1920s and ‘30s a small inspired group of architects working in California and the West created the first suburban ranch style houses, fusing Wright’s fluid treatment of spaces with the simple one-story homes built by ranchers. After World War II, the ranch style’s streamlined simplicity gained popularity and commercial builders employed a simplified assembly line approach to create this efficient form, matching the rapid growth of the suburbs. The mass-produced ranch home became a familiar sight across the country, the style filling the American landscape as quickly as each new subdivision was built and was reinvented for the 21st century by Aitken as the ultimate tool for reflection on the rich past of this area. For those visiting Southern California before the 31st of October make sure not to miss this unique work in the middle of the desert, offering a unique perspective in a place where you are doomed to meet yourself anyway. [ Continue reading ]
We have been deeply fascinated by the traditional Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum named 'kintsugi', from the moment we discovered it while researching for our optical project, which eventually became our neo-luxury brand Mottainai. Recently we discovered a next level of kintsugi-use, when we encountered the beautiful work of Korean artist Yeesookyung, who masterfully uses the technique to create incredible imperfect sculptures: biomorphic yet still elegant works, composed from mismatched porcelain through the centuries-old Japanese tradition. Her first series in the style, now 16 years old, titled 'Translated Vase' was inspired by a different artisan tradition, from her home country Korea, where porcelain works that are not deemed sublime are systematically destroyed. From that first series on, she has continued to make the fused pieces to growing international acclaim. Intrigued by these tossed aside works and shards, Yeesookyung began saving fragmented tea cups and pots rejected by contemporary masters. Honoring the works’ dismantled states, merging the unwanted works together in a way that heightens the beauty of their distress. In this way she blends diverse methods to form a contemporary process that evokes both the elegant designs of her homeland and the delicate rebuilding of damaged works in the Japanese tradition perfectly marrying aesthetics and craftsmanship. [ Continue reading ]
Studio Job at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in Paris
We have been off to a slow start here (not elsewhere), but with some very exciting meetings ahead in the coming months (stay tuned!), there will be an even stronger overal shift to ‘Less but Better’ in this year. Nevertheless, we will start picking up the pace from here, still sharing those things that continue to move us — today putting focus on the infamous Studio Job once more. As part of the Carpenters Workshop Gallery's ten-year anniversary programme, last week the gallery with three locations worldwide opened its Parisian space for the public to an exclusive exhibition by Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel, which might very well be the most impressive display of their holistic practice till date.
Entitled ‘Here There Nowhere’ the exceptional solo show presents new creations, some of the most emblematic pieces that the duo created over the last few years and, very excitingly so, for the first time it opens up the drawings that form the basis for most physical creations to the public. The result is a highly diverse constellation of the fascinating creatures, iconic hybrid forms and ironic objects that punctuated with iconographic references — forming a kitsch and fanciful world where the object transcends functionality with everything bound together by the ‘Neo-Gothic’ aesthetic, masterfully championed by the Dutch power duo. When in Paris, ‘Here There Nowhere’ in a must visit! [ Continue reading ]
Last Saturday, one of our favorite Amsterdam-based galleries; The Ravestijn Gallery, opened a new show by Dutch collage artist Ruth van Beek named 'The Situation Room', which we feel ends a very interesting year of exhibitions, following other favorite shows by Vincent Fournier and Robin de Puy. The work of van Beek originates in her ever-growing archive. The images, mainly from old photo books, are her tools, source material and context. By folding, cutting, or adding pieces of painted paper, she rearranges and manipulates the image until her interventions reveal the universe that lay within them.
With her imagery, van Beek triggers the imagination of the viewer: passive human hands are animated, objects turn into characters, and abstract shapes come to life. The original image may have been taken out of context, but the familiar imagery –the formal photography of an instruction book, a clearly displayed object, or a staged action– remains recognizable, and thus speaks to our collective memory. Contrasting elements engage in conversation in van Beek’s work: the dead past coming to life; the literal and the abstract; displaying and concealing expressively; both the limitation and the endless possibility of an archive. Hereby, van Beek joins a new generation of artists that, by finding restriction in closed archives, offer a counterweight to the limitless availability of information. The constant organization of the world around her even gets a literal representation in van Beek’s work: the rearranging hands of instruction books appear and reappear, like a self-portrait of the artist as a creator. [ Continue reading ]
We've been great admirers of Dutch ceramic artist Carolein Smit for years and as we failed to write about the last time we were able to experience her haunting creations in real life during her The Flatland Gallery solo exhibition in 2015, we would like to revisit her latest presentation of new work that closed last October. Named 'Primordial Soup', the group exhibition at James Freeman Gallery in London, presented the work of Chris Berens, James Mortimer and Sam Branton, but what stood out (for us) beyond their paintings were the incredible new creations of Smit that brought the show the true emotional tactility as promised by the theme. This motive behind the curation of the four artists focussed on trusting instinct over reason, which in the eyes of Freeman has become a rarity nowadays, with the implication being that it is a lack of discipline to be tamed. Nevertheless, unfettered magical thinking still sits at the core of the artistic practice of numerous interesting artists, allowing those creators to tap into (more and more) hidden ideas, giving shape to things that don't make sense, but with a growing power as a subversive (and subconscious) reaction to the growing metrics-obsessed reality of today's world.
For us Carolein Smit's work forms the beating heart within this artistic genre that very likely will become more and more relevant in a society obsessing over numbers. [ Continue reading ]
Danny Fox at V1 Gallery in Copenhagen
When we discovered the paintings of British artist Danny Fox, somewhere in the early Summer of last year, we experienced an excitement that hardly still occurs in that kind of encounters, especially in his discipline. His work, as much as the artist behind it, are of the hate-or-love-kind, and we fell head over heals for his uncompromising creations. At that time Fox had refocused the subject-matter of his unpolished paintings from painful self-experience to the more uplifting things he appreciates in life resulting in scenes with boxers, horses, cowboys, snakes, fruit, transsexuals, strippers or patterns reminiscent of ancient Greek decoration. It marked the start of a new phase, with the St Ives-born turning into a rapidly rising star in the art world, giving him the opportunity to travel beyond London, where he was based, moving to Los Angeles. An exhibition with new works opened last Friday, bringing Fox's work to Denmark for the first time, given the moniker 'A Spoon With The Bread Knife' — a reference to English rhyming slang where the bread knife translates to wife and spoon to cuddle. His new works show his familiar signature, through which he has created new captivating narratives, exploring a new richness in the complete image and bigger sizes in his canvasses, seemingly indicating that all this is only the start of what we can expect from one of our undisputed favorites in contemporary painting. [ Continue reading ]
Unfortunately it took a little longer to share this than we hoped, as it has been some weeks ago that we sat down with British artist John Stezaker when he visited Antwerp for his duo exhibition that closed today at Gallery Sofie Van de Velde, which juxtaposed his collages with the work of Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers. Meeting Stezaker, gave us a highly enlightening conversation, but due to our busy schedule in the following weeks, it took time to prepare the text for sharing. What's particularly striking: the (shameful) fact that we publish the conversation on the very last day of his exhibition in Antwerp, pretty much feels like the perfect metaphor for the complete career of the artist, who started in the 70's, but had to change art for lecturing, as nobody seemed to understand his surreal vision in times of (British) conceptual domination.
At the beginning of this century, Jake Miller of the London-based Approach Gallery changed all this by introducing his work to the world. Stezaker debuted a solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in 2011 and was granted the Deutsche Börse photography prize in 2012, becoming one of the first non-photographing artists to be granted the prize. His work re-examines the various relationships to the photographic image: as documentation of truth, purveyor of memory, and symbol of modern culture. In his collages, Stezaker appropriates images found in books, magazines, and postcards and uses them as ‘readymades’. Through his elegant juxtapositions, Stezaker adopts the content and contexts of the original images to convey his own witty and poignant meanings.
This exhibition might be over, Stezaker's wise words on his surreal imagery will remain relevant long after today, having stimulated many new thoughts in our minds about contemporary visual culture.. [ Continue reading ]
Last Friday, the doors of the beautiful Capital C building in Amsterdam have opened for BIG ART. The new initiative of curator Anne van der Zwaag presenting over 50 XL artworks by contemporary artists and designers, running until the 27th of November in what used to be the Diamant Exchange of the city. A unique mix of acclaimed names and upcoming talents, monumental paintings, drawings, large sculptures, big photos and huge installations. As one of the official partners of BIG ART we will present some of our favorite artists included in the curation of van der Zwaag. Today, we focus on a longtime favorite of ours: Amsterdam-based artist Marijn Akkermans, with whom we talked about the development in his work after graduating from the art academy 15 years ago, the pressures of modern society and the installation-like presentation of his incredible work at BIG ART. [ Continue reading ]