Thursday, 30 November 2017

Book review of Firecrackers: Female Photographers Now

Book review of Firecrackers: Female Photographers Now
By Fiona Rogers & Max Houghton
Published by Thames & Hudson

There has been no shortage of books on female photographers appearing over recent months, so what does this compendium, published by Thames & Hudson this autumn, add to the library that its predecessors haven’t already provided? Certainly many of the artists included have been represented elsewhere, and some of the images are beginning to feel a little overly familiar – but, in a world where Helmut Newton’s vampy erotica or Robert Doisneau’s iconic Le Baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville (1950) are recognisable in the flash of an eye, why shouldn’t Juno Calypso’s saccharine pink Honeymoon series nymphets (2015-16) and Natasha Caruana’s faceless brides (Fairytale for Sale series, 2011) be just as familiar and ubiquitous?

Read the full review here

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Interview: Pamela Schilderman

Interview with Pamela Schilderman
Maidstone Museum
17 October - 16 December 2017

Born in Holland to a Dutch father and Brazilian mother, Pamela Schilderman (b1982) spent her early years in Rwanda before moving to Rugby in the Midlands when she was five. Questions of identity and language thus played a key role in her formative years and it is unsurprising that they now permeate her artistic practice. Her current project, Casket (2017), comprises a Victorian-style wrought iron and glass jewellery box (bespoke, as, indeed, is everything in this work), containing the artist’s thumbprint, DNA profile and hair follicles, a drawing of a photograph of her retina, and a copper cast of her teeth. Each item has been painstakingly handmade and carries with it symbolism on numerous levels. Created as a self-portrait, the work has been shown anonymously in most of its venues: Schilderman hopes this will raise questions about identity and portraiture and what it is that defines each of them.

Read the interview here

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Review of Anni Albers: Touching Vision at Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Anni Albers: Touching Vision
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
6 October 2017 – 14 January 2018

In 1949, Anni Albers (1899-1994) was the first fibre artist to have a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, followed by an extensive tour across the US. This event was key in elevating fibre art to the canon of classical artistic disciplines. Now, nearly 70 years later, Guggenheim Bilbao, together with the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, is putting on a retrospective of nearly six decades of the artist-designer’s work, starting with her early Bauhaus preparatory drawings, and moving through her hand-woven works and tapestries, to her later graphic prints.

Read this review here

Monday, 23 October 2017

Interview with Alex Katz

Interview with Alex Katz

Born in Brooklyn in 1927 to Russian parents, Alex Katz entered the prestigious Cooper Union Art School in Manhattan in 1946, where he was taught to paint from drawings, and exposed largely to modern art. Throughout the period of abstract expressionism, Katz remained a staunch figurative painter, spending his summers in Maine, where he made landscapes en plein air. In the early 60s, influenced by film, television and advertising, he began painting large-scale works, with dramatically cropped faces. His work is often described as “very American”, but Katz seemingly has no agenda. His motivation is to capture what he sees before him, be it landscape, cityscape, or portrait, and, unlike many artists, he doesn’t hanker after timelessness or immortality, recognising, rather, that time keeps moving and reality doesn’t exist beyond what he terms the “immediate presence”.

For Katz's latest exhibition in London, gallerist Timothy Taylor has chosen to bring out some very early pencil and ink drawings made by the artist on the New York subway during his student days and to show these alongside recent landscape paintings and sculptures. 

Read the interview here