Sleek Beauty: Ensō at Tristan Hoare

Walking into Tristan Hoare today I suddenly felt transported into another world. The hustle and stress of my busy Tuesday could do nothing but fade away in the symphony of black and white that is their latest exhibition, Ensō. 

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The Broad: Making LA An Art Town

When I think of my hometown, Los Angeles, California, palm trees, expansive beaches and rainbow sunsets come to mind. I start to crave In n’Out Burger, hot pilates and early morning hikes in Runyon Canyon, $20 Juice Served Here smoothies (worth it, I swear) and the ever perfect ‘Trust Me’ menu at Sugarfish. I think of lazy strolls on Abbot Kinney, movie premieres taking over Hollywood Boulevard, hip hop nights at the club and performers on the Venice boardwalk. What I do not think of however, is art.

Now, before you go telling me how LA has a “killer art scene,” yes, of course I realize there is art in LA. From street art on every major boulevard, to Renaissance masterpieces at the Getty, and gallery private views with drinks flowing almost every weekend, by no stretch of the imagination is the City of Angels not a City of Art as well. However, living in London currently and having lived in New York, I never thought of my city as quite up to par with my adopted homes art-wise, at least not until The Broad.

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The Broad, exterior

The Broad has changed everything.

Marketed, quite accurately, as ‘LA’s new contemporary art museum,’ the building, by design firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, is a piece of art in itself gracing the skyline of Downtown LA. Inside, the vast-beyond-comprehenstion postwar and contemporary collection of philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad awaits. Just to be transparent, that’s 2,000 works of art collected over the course of 50 years, and including the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cy Twombly, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Takashi Murakami, Ed Ruscha, Damien Hirst, Cindy Sherman and Christopher Wool, to name but a few.

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Emma Hart and Jonathan Baldock Take on the Human Body in ‘SUCKERZ’

L’étrangère gallery is back Wednesday 24 June with yet another ambitious and innovative exhibition, this time from British artists Emma Hart and Jonathan Baldock. The presentation of body-themed sculptural works, which focus especially on our physical entrances and exit ways, is entitled ‘SUCKERZ and is sure to leave the viewer wide-eyed and open-mouthed. Imagine a banquet table set with breast shaped plates and tongue napkin rings. Long arms with graceful fingers holding up trays of what appear to be the outline of wine glasses and carafes. Eyeballs made of shells and mouths spilling with pearls, all coming together into a sort of Bacchinalian feast of the body and it’s parts. The work, especially Hart’s is reminiscent of Sarah Lucas, with that ballsy YBA no-fear aura. I, for one, cannot wait.

Emma Hart and Jonathan Baldock, 2015
Emma Hart and Jonathan Baldock, 2015

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ArtAttack Interviews Artist Paul Oz on His Ode to the 80’s, Formula 1 & Engineering Past

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Arriving at Imitate Modern’s new space at 90 Piccadilly on Saturday 6th June, I am excited to check out artist Paul Oz’s portraits of the most feared and adored 80’s icons. Assembled for ‘80s KID‘, Paul’s first UK solo show now on view at the gallery, the works are vividly coloured, highly textured and pulsing with an unmistakably 80’s energy.

Set against white walls, Maggie Thatcher catches my attention first, her deep-set eyes seeming to call me up the long staircase, with that signature Maggie flair, a combination of traditional British elegance coupled with a gentle gaze and slightly pursed lips.

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ArtAttack in LA: 3 Favourite Shows from our Recent Visit to Lalaland

After two weeks being spoiled by the LA sunshine, ArtAttack is back in London and back on the blog! For those who haven’t traveled to the City of Angels lately, I’m happy to report that the art scene is booming. To give you an idea of the diversity and depth of LA’s art world, here are three of our favourite shows from this most recent visit.

1) Otis College of Art & Design, MA Graduate Show

As you’ve probably noticed already, uni shows are a soft spot for me. I find few things as exciting as discovering emerging talent, and school exhibitions are of course some of the best places to do so. This particular show took place in the Otis College graduate students’ own studios, so the vibe was casual — works in progress mingling with completed pieces, and tables filled with candy, food and drink lining the hallways. Like any show, I did not love everything I saw, but the thing is, the pieces that did stand out to me, are still at the forefront of my mind almost 2 weeks later — that’s definitely a testament to the talent in the room. Here are a few of these works:

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Inflatable Money: Jeff Koons at the Pompidou Centre

'Michael Jackson and Bubbles,' Jeff Koons, 1988
‘Michael Jackson and Bubbles,’ Jeff Koons, 1988

Paris seems an appropriate city to showcase the work of Jeff Koons. Not just because his work brings to mind the pyramids of sugary macaroons in patisserie windows, or the colourful extravaganza that is the architecture of the Pompidou centre itself: I am thinking of the parallels that are consistently drawn between Koons’ found inflatables and the king of the readymade, Marcel Duchamp (the latter was very recently the subject of another Pompidou retrospective).  The first room of the Jeff Koons show features his early inflatables alongside some rather sleek vacuum cleaners and scaled-down versions of billboard advertisements: his approach to consumer culture and industrial products is Duchamp, quite literally, blown up. For is that not what has happened to the art world since Duchamp attempted to turn it against itself? Rather than buckle beneath the mocking tones of DADA and all the conceptual work that has come along since, the canon of art history has thrived off, even made cliche, the notion of the readymade. People are quite noticeably getting filthy rich off of it – Koons included, as the market continually drives up the prices of objects we wouldn’t look twice at outside a museum context. Is this absurd, or brilliant, or both? Whatever your opinion on this ultra-glamorisation of the art world, this Koons retrospective proves that he knows exactly how to exploit this glamour and use it to sell completely banal subject matter, in a move that is perhaps closer to another cliche – that is, Andy Warhol. Like Warhol, he also taps into the world of celebrity, as in ‘Michael Jackson and Bubbles,’ perhaps his most notoriously ugly sculpture.

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(Con)text is Everything: Marlene Dumas’ ‘Image as Burden’ at Tate Modern

Marlene Dumas‘s current show at Tate Modern is an art historian’s dream. I say this because while her work is temporally bound to an unmistakably culturally specific set of references, these references also belong to a far-reaching web which seems to touch upon fragments of multiple histories at once. That’s histories, plural, because there is really no such thing as a singular narrative history of progression. Dumas’ work shows that everything humans do (in life or in art, which are really the same thing) has already failed over and over again. She treats this both as a secret to be decoded and as a blatant flaw that it’s futile to try and hide, impossible to get away from. In the book ‘Sweet Nothings: Notes and Texts 1982-2014’, Dumas makes simple this incredibly complex idea, subtly explaining it better than I ever could: ‘I keep repeating what he said and what he said and what she said and what I said. I cannot look at anything without thinking what he said and what she said and what I said.’ This is my favourite thing about art history: whatever I look at, it reminds me of something else, whether it’s deliberate or not. I could feel revelations about so many different meanings bouncing at me from the walls of the gallery.

'The Image as Burden,' Marlene Dumas, 1993
‘The Image as Burden,’ Marlene Dumas, 1993

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In A Word, Otherworldly: Ruby Onyinyeche Amanze ‘a story. in parts.’ at Tiwani Contemporary

After a truly sacred experience at the private view of Dominic Hawgood‘s ‘Under The Influence, I already considered my Thursday evening a success, so trudging through the rain to our next stop, Tiwani Contemporary, with my good friend and art consultant, Lauren Xandra, I only hoped the next opening we were heading towards, would be well worth the disaster that was soon to be my hair.

Ruby Onyinyeche Amanze 'a story. in parts.' at Tiwani Contemporary
Ruby Onyinyeche Amanze ‘a story. in parts.’ at Tiwani Contemporary

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