Monday, 16 July 2018

Review of Patrick Heron at Tate St Ives

16/07/18
Patrick Heron 
Tate St Ives
19 May – 30 September 2018
and
Turner Contemporary, Margate
19 October 2018 – 6 January 2019

It has been a momentous 12 months for Tate St Ives – reopening in October 2017 following a four-year building project, led by Jamie Fobert Architects, to add nearly 600sq metres of gallery space, doubling the existing area – and, in recognition of this, achieving the accolade, worth £100,000, of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2018. The new four-storey extension, with its tall, sky-lit exhibition space, is currently host to the first major exhibition in two decades of works by the local – and hugely significant postwar British abstract artist – Patrick Heron (1920-99), who always wanted his paintings to be seen at different times of day, in different light, just as they can be here.



Read the full review here





Thursday, 12 July 2018

Interview with RuimteVeldWerk

12/07/18
Interview with RuimteVeldWerk
Bruges Triennial 2018: Liquid City
Ruimteveldwerk is a collective comprising four architects – twin brothers Brecht and Sander van Duppen (b1987, Leuven), Pieter Brosens (b1976, Antwerp) and Pieter Cloeckaert (b1984, Leuven) – who seek to expand the boundaries of architecture and connect it to urban planning, sociology, history, art and activism. Their participatory, experimental projects involve vulnerable subgroups of society, such as refugees in Oslo, and, for the Bruges Triennial 2018, the elderly residents of the Saint Trudo almshouses. For this project, they have created an offline space in the heart of the courtyard where the residents and visitors alike can enjoy an oasis of peace in the centre of the city, raising questions about the sacred notion of silence – and human interaction – in today’s digital era. 

Read the full interview here


Friday, 6 July 2018

Interview with John Powers

 06/07/18
Interview with John Powers
Bruges Triennial 2018: Liquid City

Inspired by the many almshouses of Bruges – the idea of medieval social housing and a sense of civic ownership that survives to this day – New York-based artist John Powers (b1970, Chicago) further drew on the city’s folkloric story of the beheading of Pieter Lanchals. A confidant of Emperor Maximilian I, Lanchals was decapitated by the people of Bruges and, as a form of punishment and remembrance, Maximilian obliged the city to keep 52 white swans on its canals in perpetuity. Powers’ site-specific work for this year’s triennial is named after the legend and echoes the elegant S-curve of a swan’s neck. 

Studio International spoke to Powers, who expanded on his inspirations, talked about his process of planning and constructing the 15-metre-tall steel tower, and explained how Lanchals fits into his wider practice.



Read the full interview here




Review of Bruges Triennial 2018: Liquid City

05/07/18
Bruges Triennial 2018: Liquid City
Various locations, Bruges
5 May – 16 September 2018

Having been resuscitated in 2015 for the first time since 1974, this second of the contemporary iterations of the Bruges Triennial, curated once again by Till-Holger Borchert, director of Musea Brugge and head curator of the Groeningemuseum and Arentshuis, and Michel Dewilde, curator of visual arts at the Cultural Centre, Bruges, with invaluable support from Els Wuyts, takes the title of Liquid City. There is a double meaning to this, in that Bruges, of course, is itself a liquid city, known as the Venice of the North for its picturesque canals, but questions are also raised, by the curators and the artists behind the 15 works of public art on display, about how a historic city such as Bruges might become metaphorically liquid, flexible and resilient in an age when nothing seems certain and established ways of thinking are increasingly coming under pressure. The concept itself derives from the Polish sociologist and philosopher Zygmunt Bauman (1925-2017), who wrote of a “liquid modernity” and “the growing conviction that change is the only permanence, and uncertainty the only certainty”.


Read the full review here




Thursday, 28 June 2018

Review of Beyond Ophelia: A Celebration of Lizzie Siddal, Artist and Poet at Wightwick Manor & Gardens

28/06/18
Beyond Ophelia: A Celebration of Lizzie Siddal, Artist and Poet
Wightwick Manor & Gardens, Wolverhampton
1 March – 24 December 2018

She was described by William Rossetti as “a most beautiful creature with an air between dignity and sweetness with something that exceeded modest self-respect and partook of disdainful reserve,” and is best known as John Everett Millais’ Ophelia (1852) – the girl who caught pneumonia by lying in a cold bath for hours while he painted – and her widower Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s posthumous Beata Beatrix (1863). Lizzie Siddal (1829-62), born Siddall, but persuaded by Rossetti to drop an L for reasons of style and association, was well aware of the conundrum of her situation, valued, as a woman, for her appearance and as a muse for the male artists of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, while striving to be loved for her character and her own naive artistic abilities. Her incomplete poem, The Lust of the Eyes, begins with the following perceptive lines summing up how it must have felt to be “used” in this way, rather than “nurtured” as a whole woman – and the wife she long waited to become: “I care not for my Lady’s soul / Though I worship before her smile; / I care not where be my Lady’s goal / When her beauty shall lose its wile.”


Read the full review here



Saturday, 26 May 2018

Review of Contemporary Chinese Works on Paper at Ipswich Art Gallery

26/05/18
Contemporary Chinese Works on Paper – A Review
Ipswich Art Gallery
28 April – 17 June 2018

Ipswich might not seem the most obvious place for an exhibition of works on paper by Chinese artists, but resident of nearby Wivenhoe, Robert Priseman, who, in 2012, together with Simon Carter, set up the group Contemporary British Painting (CBP), and, with his wife Ally, is building the Priseman Seabrook Collection, is one of the curators, and the initiative builds on previous undertakings, including the exhibition Contemporary Masters from Britain, which toured 80 works of art from this collection around four Chinese venues between July 2017 and January 2018. This reciprocal relationship offers exciting opportunities for those at the British end, as well as for students, teachers and established artists in various cities and provinces across China. Marco Cali, the second curator, for example, has recently been spending time teaching at the Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts – taking western methods to the sponge-like Chinese students, and, in turn, gaining eye-opening insight into the course structures and media available in art schools on the other side of the globe. The third curator is Zhang Xing, also a visiting lecturer at the Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, who lives in London. 



Read the full review here