Thursday 24th May sees the opening of RobertPerkins: The Written Image at Benjamin Spademan Rare Books, the first of a two-part exhibition of the American artist’s 45-year collaboration with poets.
From Seamus Heaney to Allen Ginsberg, Perkins has worked with the best of the best when it comes to the world of poetry. In fact, his journey began back in the 1970’s when he was a student at Harvard University and took poet, Elizabeth Bishop’s creative writing seminar. Perkins explains that when he told Bishop that he’d always wanted to be an artist, she wrote out a copy of her poem TheFish and asked him to illustrate it.
This assignment launched The Written Image, which Perkins describes as ‘self-portraits of the poet in the moment.’ To begin a work, he takes the poet’s hand-written text and then melds it with his own imagery, thus constructing a visual representation around the words.
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.
From 20th May, the De La Warr Pavilion will present Safari: An exhibition as expedition, an anthology of works by the British artist, Simon Patterson.
Interspersed throughout the gallery space and hence taking the viewers on their own mini safari, the works on view will span a quarter century of Patterson’s career and feature wall drawings, sculpture, prints, photographs video and installation, as well as a public intervention, a site-specific commission and on opening day, a staged sea battle in collaboration with Bexhill Sailing Club!
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.
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.
May 19th sees the private view of the first show from the revolutionary new arts platform, ArtCircle. Taking the pop-up exhibition format but injecting it with a real dose of the high brow — think museum quality work, top notch curators and posh postcodes only — ArtCircle will no doubt finally solve the conundrum of fitting a brand new business concept seamlessly into the restrictive and not always welcoming art world.
The launch exhibition, which will take place at 48 Albemarle Street in London’s Mayfair, is entitled FocusingRoom and will feature work straight from the Museum of Modern Art in Goslar Germany, mainly from the Zero, Kinetic Art and Op Art schools. Much of the art has never before been seen in the UK, so ArtCircle, with the help of curator, BettinaRuhrberg, is bringing us something truly special.
We had the chance to speak with Bettina, who is the director of the MoMA in Goslar about her experiences as a curator, her goals for this exhibition and her thoughts on the ArtCircle concept.
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 StephenChambers‘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.
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.
The Horiuchi Foundation will soon present a series of photographs by Tomohiro Muda as part of an exhibition entitled Icons of Time: Memories of the Tsunamithat Struck Japan.
This will be the renowned Japanese photographer’s first exhibition in the UK and appropriately falls on the six year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan’s northeastern coast on 11 March, 2011. The photographs on view will be shown at the recently restored and reopened Fitzrovia Chapel, a stunning Grade II* listed building which was previously the chapel for the old Middlesex Hospital. The exhibition will also form a satellite event for Photo London fair, which runs at Somerset House from 17 – 21 May and be part of Fitzrovia Photo London Discovery Night, when the participating galleries in the fair will stay open until 8:30pm.
Self-taught artist, Paul Benney, will make his Venice Art Biennale debut from 13th May with his monumental installation, Speaking in Tongues.
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.
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.
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.
We were thrilled to be able to speak with the two visionaries behind the ‘takeover’ in advance of next week’s exhibition.