A Turner Prize Nominee comes to Firstsite: Lubaina Himid’s ‘Warp and Weft’

This Saturday 1st July sees the opening of Lubaina Himid: Warp and Weft, a survey of works by the 2017 Turner Prize nominee at Firstsite gallery in Colchester.

1. Naming the Money, 2004. Collection of National Museum Liverpool International Slavery Museum, and the artist. Photo Spike Island © the artist copy.png
Naming the Money, 2004. Courtesy the artist, Hollybush Gardens and National Museums Liverpool: International Slavery Museum. Photo Spike Island © the artist

A key figure in the Black Arts Movement, Himid first came to prominence in the 1980s when she began organising exhibitions of work by her peers, who were underrepresented in the contemporary art scene. Her diverse approach disrupts preconceptions of the world by introducing historical and contemporary stories of racial bias and acts of violence inflicted upon oppressed communities.

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Explore the Unexplored with ‘Ed Gold: Other Worlds’ at Firstsite

Opening this weekend on Saturday 17th June at Firstsite, Colchester (private view tonight from 6-9pm!) is Ed Gold: Other Worlds, a compelling presentation of 100 photographs by the  social documentary photographer taken over the past 30 years during his time spent living in various isolated communities across the globe. There are five bodies of work by Ed being shown in the retrospective: Patagonia, Country Folk (Essex, Wales & Scotland), Afghanistan Bed Spaces, Positive Futures and Nowitna and each series is an in-depth look at what it really is like to be a part of those communities.

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M’Hula Crew, Country Folk, 1999, Digital print, Dimensions variable

 

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MAGIC FOUND: Discussing technology and art with Tabitha Steinberg

This wet weekend in London, you will struggle to beat a trip to The Dot Project. Their current exhibition is a fascinating examination of contemporary painting’s relationship with modern, and how this has affected and influenced the way painters work.  ArtAttack discusses technology and art with Tabitha Steinberg, co-curator of the exhibition Searching for magic and the distorted image falling from your iCloud.
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Brexit themed art show opening in Fitzrovia this Friday – We interview the artist, Tarek Sebastian Al-shammaa

On Friday 19th May Gallery DIFFERENT will present 35-year-old contemporary painter, Tarek Sebastian Al-shammaa’s debut solo show Fall of Europe II (until 22nd May).

We at ArtAttack stumbled upon Tarek’s artwork last year and have been great admirers of his painting practice ever since. His painterly use of space is quite extraordinary, filling the canvas with symbols and figures that tell stories of our world within the greater context of mythology. Each tiny element he chooses to include says something powerful. No iconography is wasted.

Thanksgiving, 2017, Acrylic and oil on canvas, 200 x 200 cm.png
Thanksgiving, 2017, Acrylic and oil on canvas, 200 x 200 cm

The artist’s main practice is history painting as he explores historical and mythological subject matter juxtaposing it with the harsh realities contemporary Western society. Within each of the epic paintings he presents the viewer with poignant psychological insight into his  own  life  and  heritage;  Al-­shammaa  is  half  French  and  half  Iraqi, and  so  has  found  himself  straddling two oft-­opposing cultures throughout his life.

Recurring  themes  across  the  young  artist’s  paintings  include  consumerism,  war, love,  lust  and  political  oppression,  as  well  as  the  opposition  and  even  conflict  of Western  and  non-­Western  culture  and  ideals.  In  the  body  of  work on view,  Al­shammaa  depicts  everything  from  iconic  myths like that of the Tower of Babel to mythical iconography such as Mother Earth, all within a present-day context.

ArtAttack contributor, Franzi Gabbert, had the chance to interview Al-shammaa in regards to his upcoming exhibition as well as his general practice.

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The synergy of sound: Paul Benney at La Biennale di Venezia

Self-taught artist, Paul Benney, will make his Venice Art Biennale debut from 13th May with his monumental installation, Speaking in Tongues.

Speaking in Tongues, 2014. Oil and resin on wood, 244 x 366 cm. [ CA PSB ] - Large.jpg

The 12ft by 8ft painting on show at the 14th century San Gallo Church, just north of St Mark’s Square is the centrepiece of an installation that includes sound and other smaller works in oil by the artist. Curated by James Putnam and Flora Fairbairn, this is the first time Speaking in Tongues has been shown outside of the UK.

The work itself is secular but draws on the New Testament story of the Pentecost in which the twelve apostles encounter the Holy Spirit and then begin ‘speaking in tongues’. Modifying and updating this familiar interlude, Benney has painted twelve artistic contemporaries of various ethnicities and religious backgrounds, with the aim of capturing a collective state of spiritual awakening.

Playing with the idea of narrative painting, Benney introduced a sound element to the work, inviting each of the subjects to record themselves sharing transformative moments in their lives. These are relayed through holosonic speakers placed around the church. At first the viewer hears hushed murmuring, however, when they stand in a precise spot they hear individual voices, an effect achieved via sound-focusing technology that isolates the viewer from their own reality and the outside world. Then come the subject’s revelations. These are poignant and sometimes shocking – one man tells of how he accidentally shot dead his best friend; another reveals the joy of becoming a father – and, in the context of a religious setting they create the experience of receiving a confession.

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Sisters Doing It For Themselves: Brains & Lip Takeover at CNB Gallery

Monday 24th April sees the private view of Brains & Lip Takeover at East London’s emerging art hotspot, CNB Gallery. The all-woman exhibition, which showcases the work of nine fantastic artists, is curated by Claire Orme and Alice Steffen, the creative duo behind Brains & Lip.

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Controversial, brash and witty, the artworks on view challenge and reclaim what it means to be a woman in contemporary society. The subversive painting, illustration and sculpture that feature in the exhibition explore discourses of identity, sexuality and female empowerment, resisting the restrictive expectations of the elitist, patriarchal art world.

Jess De Wahls, Consent, 2016, Fabric, 52 x 58 x 5cm.jpg
Jess de Wahls, Consent, 2016

We were thrilled to be able to speak with the two visionaries behind the ‘takeover’ in advance of next week’s exhibition.

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‘That’s what I will miss a lot, getting lost together’: ArtAttack interviews Jan Hendrix

Maestro Arts in collaboration with Shapero Modern are delighted to bring you Dutch architect and artist, Jan Hendrix’s, first UK solo exhibition BOOK VI: Heaney Hendrix. The exhibition will showcase the artist’s most recent working partnership with renowned Irish poet, playwright and translator, Seamus Heaney.

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The Aeneid Book VI, Jan Hendrix with Seamus Heaney, G. 2016, silkscreen on silver leaf, 117 x 38 cm. folded, c. the artists, courtesy of Shapero Modern and Maestro Arts

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The Hunt Through New Eyes: Hugo Wilson at Shapero Modern

Shapero Modern is delighted to present their upcoming exhibition, Chroma hunt, a collection of hand-coloured etchings by renowned British artist, Hugo Wilson.

A portfolio of nine etchings will be on view at the Mayfair gallery, all of which are related to the artist’s most recent painting series portraying the most primal of all human rituals, the hunt.

It is important to recognise the history of hunting paintings when considering this work; hunting scenes were popular with wealthy collectors in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They represented a sort of ‘trophyism’ as well as a physical way of displaying man’s mastery over the natural world.

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Hunt IV, 2016, hand-coloured etching and aquatint on Velin Arches Blanc 400gsm. Courtesy of the Artist and Shapero Modern.

Wilson’s etchings for this exhibition are based on, or inspired by, famous hunting paintings by old masters including Rubens and Stubbs, but instead of the typical narrative of man vs. beast, they illustrate strange and unlikely events where lions, crocodiles and other fierce creatures have been trained to hunt other animals. The human hunter remains entirely unseen.

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The many sides of glass: Flavie Audi at Tristan Hoare

If you ask me, there is nothing that rings in the holiday season more than brightly coloured things that shine. From tree ornaments to jewels to candlelight, Christmas is all about the sparkle, so now that it’s almost December I’d suggest running not walking to Tristan Hoare for their latest exhibition Cell-(estial), a collection of enchanting work by French-born Lebanese artist Flavie Audi.

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Fluid Rock 19, 2016. Blown glass, gold, silver. Courtesy of the Artist and Tristan Hoare.

Audi is best known for her mouthwateringly beautiful gem-like glass sculptures, but for this exhibition she also includes photography and film as a means to investigate the points at which the natural and artificial worlds meet.

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Fluid Rock 16, 2016. Blown glass, gold. Courtesy of the Artist and Tristan Hoare.

 

Glass is a naturally occurring, organic material, yet through its modern usage in mobile and TV screens it has taken on technological significance – as an interface through which real and virtual worlds are mediated – and it is this collision of realities that is at the heart of Audi’s practice. To explore how these realms interact, the show has been divided into two distinct installations, one representing the physical, the other digital, chaotic nature placed alongside the rational and man-made.

We are delighted to have had the opportunity to speak with Audi about this exhibition and her general practise.

Have a read below and then as previously mentioned, get to the gallery immediately!

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