Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Art picks for April/May

Reduce your chance of sunburn, smog inhalation and increase your culture power by slipping into any of the following exhibitions on in London from April onwards.

Visitors at the Tate Modern cafe, April 2013.
Wall image by Richard Hamilton,
Photograph for the cover of Living Arts Magazine 1963
Private collection
© The estate of Richard Hamilton

Martin Creed 
At the Hayward Gallery for his first UK retrospective. A very interesting artist whose work has started to grow on me in the last couple of years, as I've stumbled across more of his pieces that I enjoy. His work started to influence the way I think about my own artworks, so I'll try and make time for this one as well.
Hayward Gallery, London SE1 (020 7960 4200). Until Apr 27 Extended to 5th May.

Vincent van Gogh: The Sunflowers
Another London blockbuster exhibition of popular art but I prefer to see this artist's work in small doses. I do like the link up between two museums though and hope that trend continues.
National Gallery, London WC2. (020 7747 2885) Until Apr 27.

Richard Hamilton at Tate Modern
Blockbuster retrospective of 'one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century'. I enjoyed my recent visit but I should have left a bit longer for the installations, which beg for some cameraphone 'selfies' (unfortunately photos are not allowed in the exhibition).
Blurb: 'Tate Modern presents the first retrospective to encompass the full scope of Hamilton’s work, from his early exhibition designs of the 1950s to his final paintings of 2011. This exhibition explores his relationship to design, painting, photography and television, as well as his engagement and collaborations with other artists.'
Top tip: Think of something witty to say or sing when you get to room 4 (This is Tomorrow)
Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG.  (0)20 7887 8888 Until 26 May.

Hockney, Printmaker
The Independant says 'A rewarding exhibition which firmly establishes, if it was needed, Hockney as one of the most innovative and imaginative print-makers of our time.'
Blurb: 'Timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the artist’s first print this show celebrates David Hockney’s long and fruitful career as a printmaker.'
Dulwich Picture Gallery, SE21 (020 8693 5254) Until 11 May

Bailey's Stardust
More than 250 portraits from his entire career, from around the world, and views of East London from 1961-2.
Blurb: 'Featuring over 250 images, personally selected and printed by Bailey, the exhibition offers an unmissable opportunity to experience the work of one of the world’s greatest image-makers.'
National Portrait Gallery. (020 7312 2463) Until 1 Jun 2014

Vikings: life and legend
It's got Vikings - what more do we need to say and I love the British Museum.
Blurb: 'Discover the Viking world in this major exhibition – the first at the British Museum for over 30 years.'
British Museum. Until 22 June 2014

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs
One of the first pieces of modern art that I enjoyed as a child is The Snail (1953), which usually lives at Tate Britain. Look out for the mini-snail inching its way around one of the bold slabs of colour.
The blurb: 'Henri Matisse is a giant of modern art. This landmark show explores the final chapter in his career in which he began ‘carving into colour’ and his series of spectacular cut-outs was born.The exhibition represents a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see so many of the artist’s works in one place and discover Matisse’s final artistic triumph.'
Top tip: Sunday evenings will be set aside for a quieter exhibition viewing experience, with visitor numbers restricted from 20.00–22.30.
Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG.  (0)20 7887 8888, 17 April  – 7 Sept.

Outside London

Bristol - Jeremy Deller: English Magic
Jeremy Deller's English Magic tours to Bristol in April, for the second leg of its trip around England. This time the exhibition's local links will include include new installations and commissions made in direct response to the museum’s own collections; including paintings of the Bristol Riots of 1831 by William James Muller and a display of taxidermy, handpicked by Deller.
This was one exhibition I was very glad to visit at the William Morris Gallery, as I couldn't get to the Venice Biennale and I wanted to see English Magic in person. Jeremy Deller makes the kind of work I'd like to be making myself. I need to find my own way there, so I take work like his as an inspiration that the art world still supports artists making socially-inclusive artworks.
Top tip: See the events list.
Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1RL. 12 April - 21 September

More useful links

The Guardian - Art and Design
The Telegraph's art exhibitions and reviews.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

News: Janus exhibition

JANUS at Arts Central

ARTS Central MK announces the opening of a new juried exhibition, based on the theme JANUS – Horizons, Reflection, Water, Mirror, Buildings. 

Detail from Lightbox 1 artwork for Janus exhibition.

My work for the Janus exhibition was a response to an open call for work, around the themes described above. Both of my artworks have been selected to form part of a juried group exhibition to promote artists connected to Milton Keynes and raise the profile of the arts centre.

In the two works submitted to Janus, presented as digital inkjet prints, I was interested in the way our viewpoint can affect what we make of a situation and how much an illusion can create a form. The two photographs offer the illusion of a solid form, apparently beautifully lit from within whereas the reality is that the illusion changes by altering the angle from which we see it. As in life, we change the subjects we thought we knew just by changing our viewpoint.

The reflective qualities of the surfaces and the light they capture might prompt us to think about how we reflect on the situations in our lives. We may jump to conclusions about truth and beauty that are unwarranted by the facts and just one small step in a new direction can enlighten us in our quest to understand the situation more deeply.

Lightbox 1 and Lightbox 2, digital inkjet art prints on paper.
Lightbox 1 and Lightbox 2, digital inkjet prints on paper.

The exhibition opens this week and runs until the end of May.

MKWeb article about the exhibition and how to visit:

Arts Central on Meetup: