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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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.

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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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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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‘[Art is] my armour in this world, fighting against all the sput’: ArtAttack Interviews Lilias Buchanan

Inspired by the Richard Brautigan cult classic, Sombrero Fallout: A Japanese Novel, young artist Lilias Buchanan has created a series of exquisitely detailed paintings to be debuted at Shapero Modern from 29th March – 11th April, 2017.

After reading Brautigan’s 1976 novel, Lilias became almost obsessed by the narrative, stopping people in the street who resembled its characters and practically buying eBay out of sombrero postcards. The result is this upcoming exhibition of technical, charming and at times chilling artworks.

Familiar desert landscapes intertwine with striking elements of collage and pencil drawings depicting strange encounters. Not having read the book makes it a bit tricky to figure out what’s going on, but somehow at the same time seems to make the work all the more intriguing.

We were delighted to be able to speak with Lilias about her practice, this body of work and what’s to come for the London-based artist, whose work is already in the collection of HRH the Prince of Wales.

PhantomsandFantasies

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Investigating the ‘Other’: Ben Edge ‘FOLK RENAISSANCE’ at CNB Gallery

Camden-based artist Ben Edge talked to us last week about his debut solo exhibition, Folk Renaissance – an ode to the detail and craft often found in Folk and Naive Art as well as the traditions of religious Renaissance painting – which opens March 13th at CNB Gallery in Shoreditch.

Edge’s paintings channel Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s allusion that “Man can stand anything except a succession of ordinary days.” By doing so, Edge’s work investigates and celebrates the ‘other’, presenting the viewer with a critical and psychological insight into the human story.

14) The life of Peary
‘The Life of Peary’ | Courtesy of the Artist and CNB Gallery.

Impulsive, daring and intimate, his work champions the illicit; portraying people who live beyond accepted social and cultural norms, whether they are artists, arctic explorers, circus performers or musicians. By reversing the belief that out of folklore comes contemporary culture, Edge not only turns unsung heroes into icons, but also transforms the orthodox portrait into a poetic metaphor for the friability of life.

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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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Pop Art Meets the Renaissance: Philipp Rudolf Humm at Riflemaker

In anticipation of Riflemaker‘s upcoming Being and Time, an exhibition of new works by  Philipp Rudolf Humm, we are thrilled to have been able to speak with the Belgian/German artist about his practise.

Humm’s paintings are infused with art history references, in particular of the Renaissance and Pop art. From these  inspirations and other sources, he creates playful mise-en-scènes that allow him to comment on the world around him.

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Indoctrinated, Oil on canvas; 2016. Courtesy of the Artist and Riflemaker.

Humm works in oil, using bold colours and familar scenes. His paintings are both dramatic and fun. We anticipate this exhibition to be a truly exciting and unique event on your art calendar this year

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An Artist With No Labels: Gee Vaucher at Firstsite

Firstsite, Colchester is presenting the first ever survey show of work by renowned British artist, Gee Vaucher to be mounted in the UK. Gee Vaucher: Introspective brings together over 200 works by Vaucher, some of which have never been seen publicly before, and will present a truly comprehensive overview of her 50-year artistic career (running from 12 November, 2016 – 19 February, 2017).

Whilst Vaucher’s oeuvre is no doubt politically charged, the artist rejects any form of label to be placed on her views or her work. This non-conformist mentality is one of the aspects we feel makes Vaucher’s artwork all the more interesting and powerful. Whilst we don’t want to name any names, her aesthetic feels to be informed by Surrealism, Pop Art and Dada, blended with the DIY immediacy of punk.

7. Inside poster for Crass single, Bloody Revolutions, 1980, gouache 430x290mm  © Gee Vaucher, Courtesy Firstsite  .jpg
Inside Poster for Crass single, Bloody Revolutions, 1980, gouache c. Gee Vaucher, Courtesy Firstsite

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A Language All Her Own: Franciszka Themerson at l’etrangere

It seemed to me that the interrelation between these two sides: order in nature on the one side, and the human condition on the other, was the undefinable drama to be grasped, dealt with and communicated by me. – Franciszka Themerson, Bi-abstract Pictures, 1957

One of our favourite London gallery’s, l’étrangère, is coming to us November 4 with a brand new solo exhibition of paintings drawings and calligrammes by Franciszka Themerson, a seminal figure in the Polish pre-war avant-garde.

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Calligramme XXIII (fossil); Black, gold and red paint on paper, 1961

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