A fantasy of literature and art: Stephen Chambers’s ‘The Court of Redonda’ at the Biennale Arte

A fictitious royal court, a symphony of colour and a capricious cast of characters join together to create a fantasy constructed from literature and art — this is Stephen Chambers‘s monumental presentation, The Court of Redonda, currently on view as an Official Collateral Event of the 57th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia.

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Installation view, The Court of Redonda at Ca’ Dandolo. Photo by  FS@SCS.
The show which is presented by the Heong Gallery at Downing College, University of Cambridge and curated by Emma Hill takes its home at Ca’ Dandolo on the Grand Canal from now until 26th November, showcasing 101 portraits that represent a utopian society dominated by creators and known as Redonda.

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Keith Coventry: ‘White Black Gold’

Keith Coventry‘s latest exhibition at the Pace Gallery in London, ‘White Black Gold,’ will be on view at the ground floor galleries of 6 Burlington Gardens until 28 May 2016.

The artist archly monumentalises the bleak debris of our cultural landscape with an exhibition which ‘ennobles the ignoble’.

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Destroyed Shop Window (2016), Bronze

McDonalds ‘Golden Arches’ are now a well-worn emblem of late capitalism, so programmed into the popular imagination, that Coventry need only depict a colorless fragment of the golden ‘M’ for his audience to be bombarded with a litany of red, yellow and white memories – of bombastic adverts, Happy Meals and any host of relatable motifs that have come to represent 20th Century American capitalism.

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A Classic Goes Contemporary: ‘Botticelli Reimagined’ at the V&A

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Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder in ‘Dr. No’, 1962, Directed by Terence Young

What does a Bond girl have to do with a Botticelli? Quite a lot, actually. This is what I realise at the Victoria & Albert Museum’s ‘Botticelli Reimagined’ exhibition, almost as soon as I walk through the door. A large screen is playing a scene from the 1964 Bond film Dr. No, in which Ursula Andress (as the dubiously named ‘Honey Ryder’) emerges from the sea, in the little white number that is now one of the most famous bikinis of all time. Why on earth are we looking at this? Where is the obligatory timeline of Sandro Botticelli’s life, giving us the overview of his developing career, and leading us towards the paintings recognised as the works of one of the greatest Renaissance painters of all time?
It shouldn’t be that unusual to find a reference to a blockbuster film in an art exhibition. We know that popular culture and ‘high’ art aren’t incompatible – that’s what Pop Art was all about, after all. But that’s Pop Art. This is an exhibition about the Renaissance, and Botticelli’s influence on other artists since that time – even if one of them was the ultimate Pop Artist, Andy Warhol – so why not begin at the beginning? Though Honey Ryder does look quite a bit like the Birth of Venus (1482-1485), it feels unusual that she is our mediating guide (along with Uma Thurman, shown on the same screen as Venus in the 1988 film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen) through this trajectory. There is something to be said for the fact Honey Ryder belonged to a moment in history often referred to as the ‘birth of the sexual revolution’ – but isn’t this quite a tenuous link to Venus’ titular birth?

 

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Sandro Botticelli, ‘The Birth of Venus’, 1482-85

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‘A big goal would to be able to create a change in the diversity and representations of race in fashion imagery.’ – ArtAttack meets Jazz Rakkar.

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ArtAttack have had the privilege of recently meeting Nottingham Trent arts graduate, Jazz Rakkar. This young photographer specialises in fashion, beauty and commercial imagery. Jazz’s approach to photography commonly has themes surrounding form, the pose and classic photography styles. During his time at university, he also explored and researched themes regarding race and identity in fashion. Having studied with Jazz myself, I have had first hand experience watching his passion and talent develop.

I have had the chance to ask Jazz some personal questions about his photography for everyone to gain an insight into his process.

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‘Better to buy the best of a less well known artist than a bad work by a big, fashionable name’ – ArtAttack meets Guy Stair Sainty

In light of Stair Sainty Gallery’s current exhibition FEDERICO BELTRAN MASSES: UNDER THE STARS, we spoke to founder and renowned dealer Guy Stair Sainty about the gallery and the current state of the market.

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F. Beltran Masses, Maja Maldita, 1918 | Courtesy Stair Sainty Gallery

Guy opened his first public gallery in New York in 1982 and quickly made his name as a specialist in 18th and 19th century French painting, before gradually expanding into Spanish and Italian painting of the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries. Guy served for seven years as a member of the Art Advisory Panel of the Commissioner of the US Internal Revenue Service, and is a former Vice-President of the Private Art Dealer’s Association.

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‘Myths are a link to a collective past of symbolism and meaning’ – Joe Machine at CNB Gallery

CNB Gallery present Britannic Myths, the gallery’s second solo show by the acclaimed British artist Joe Machine.

3. Math, Son Of Mythonwy, 2015, Courtesy the artist and CNB Gallery
Math, Son Of Mythonwy, 2015 | © Joe Machine. Courtesy the artist and CNB Gallery

The twelve paintings that make up the exhibition have been created in collaboration with the academic and writer Dr Steven O’Brien, and are based on a dialogue around his soon to be published book, Britannia Stories.

I had the chance to speak to Joe about the exhibition and his artistic practise.

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