Cultural Connection: ArtAttack Gets the Inside Scoop on the Incredible National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan

‘…At the National College of Arts (NCA), we imagine a world. Not one world, but many. One for each of us, one from each of us, with these we write the autobiographies of our times, in objects, in lines, in mortar, and in perishable clay. In tracing ourselves, we leave traces. These are the traces that make our cities. Turn us inside out like pillowcases with that remembered smell, like shed skins. These are the traces that populate our nights, and from these traces we dare to dream again…’ – Excerpts from NCA teacher-students conversations

The National College of Arts in Lahore, Pakistan is a global centre for creativity, talent and artistic tradition. Originally founded as The Mayo School of Art in 1875, and rebranded the NCA in 1958, debate and discourse are encouraged amongst the students and faculty here, and this leads to a culture of understanding, individuality and tolerance. The art that comes out of this incredible place is some of the best in the world, the training exceptional and the diversity of the students in background, identity, ideology and language a major strength.

Teachers at the NCA nurture and push their students so that each one rightfully values his and her creative ideas and pushes their artistic practice to reach its height.

All this happens in a country who’s value is often overlooked by the international community; a country who’s goodness is glossed over for its’ bureaucratic corruption and troubled political history. It is easy to forget, if your only connection to Pakistan is watching the news, that this country, one of the cradles of civilisation, actually has an astonishing cultural and artistic history practically unmatched in the world. The NCA connects all their students with this rich history, as we hope the following interviews will connect our readers with it as well.

We are honoured to have had the chance to speak with three outstanding female NCA alumna, Class of 2016, Amani Iqbal, Sameen Agha and Komal Tufail, about their time at this esteemed institution, their artistic practice and their future goals within the art world. Suffice to say, these are powerhouse women and we can’t wait to see what incredible strides they take!

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‘Beyond Borders’ Unicef’s Next Generation London Art Week @ Blain|Southern

ArtAttack is proud to be showcasing, Beyond Borders, an exhibition and auction in aid of Unicef’s Children of Syria Emergency Appeal.

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Hosted by Blain|Southern, one of London’s foremost contemporary art galleries, the exhibition and auction will take place the week commencing 16 May coinciding with Art16 and Photo London.

Organized by Unicef’s Next Generation London  – a group of young professionals who commit their time and resources to support Unicef’s work –  the exhibition will culminate in a live auction at the gallery with pre-bidding online powered by Paddle8, and a full showcase of works available to preview on ArtAttack’s Curated Art Page (with the option to also donate towards the cause). All of the proceeds from the event will go towards Unicef’s Children of Syria Emergency Appeal.

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John Kørner, Apple Bombs – at Victoria Miro

Victoria Miro presents Apple Bombs, an exhibition of new paintings by the Copenhagen-based artist John Kørner, which opens at the Mayfair gallery on 8 April.  

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John Kørner, Organising Honey, 2016 | Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London. © John Kørner.

Painting, for Kørner, serves the unambiguous, if impalpable, function of exercising the imagination much in the same way as a bicycle stretches out the legs. In this exhibition, aspects of contemporary geopolitics including imbalances of wealth and the displacement of populations are obliquely problematised. Rather than predetermined allegorical narratives, the paintings in Apple Bombs present a constellation of seemingly incongruous pictorial elements in which the viewer is caught up, setting in motion dialogues concerning wellbeing, human relationships, consumption and survival.

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‘Everybody wants to own that unique piece that no-one has yet; and that is to be found in the Primary Market’ – ArtAttack meets Verena Schneider

Back in January ArtAttack visited The London Art Fair, and we were delighted with what we saw. A real highlight was visiting Venet-Haus Galerie’s stand, filled with various works including spectacular sculptures by Dee Sands and exciting pieces by contemporary photographer Dieter Blum. We also had the pleasure of being greeted by the wonderful Managing Director Verena Schneider and her colleague Terence Carr.

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Verena Schneider | Courtesy Venet-Haus Galerie

The Venet-Haus Gallery was founded in 2007. The gallery focuses on comprehensive, contemporary painting and sculpture of international repute. Over the years, well-known artists like Dieter Blum, Günther Ücker, Bernar Venet and Dietrich Klinge have featured prominently. In 2013, the gallery came under the present management. They saw it as an exciting challenge to discover talented young artists, for example Johann Büsen, Kristian Evju or Barbara Anna Husar and promote them alongside the already established.

I had the chance to speak to Verena about the gallery, her advice for new collectors, and their future plans.

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‘Feeling is Liberty’ – ArtAttack meets The Zhou Brothers

ArtAttack had the honour of interviewing the renowned Chinese contemporary duo The Zhou Brothers during their recent trip to London. We met them at The Langham Hotel to hear more about their lives, artistic practise and future plans.

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The Zhou Brothers are one of the most accomplished contemporary artists in the world today, renowned for their unique collaborative work process. They work together on their paintings, performances, sculptures, and prints, often communicating without words in a so-called dream dialogue. Their thinking, aesthetic, and creativity are a symbiosis of Eastern and Western philosophy, art and literature that informed their development since early childhood.

Sinclair Global, a global luxury marketing consultancy providing bespoke experiences across the spheres of art and culture, fashion, gourmet and lifestyle, invited the world renowned Zhou Brothers to London to collaborate with Louis Vuitton.

A reception took place at The Langham Hotel, welcoming the Zhou Brothers to the inner sanctum of London, before their exclusive event at the secret Louis Vuitton Maison, New Bond Street with an artist talk conducted by Sotheby’s, London.

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Hand-painted animation Van Gogh Biopic seeking artists!

Having studied film at my alma mater, USC, and now working in art, there are few things I can think of that excite me more than the upcoming Vincent van Gogh documentary, Loving Vincent. Not only is this cinematic feat to come an in-depth and personal peek into the impressionist master’s life compiled from information taken from 800 of his letters, but is also the first ever feature length painted animation film.

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‘Who says a mathematician can’t be creative?’ ArtAttack interviews ‘Metamorphosis’ co-curators Olivia Bladen & Alice Procter

Last year, for their annual exhibition, the UCL Art Society, put on a fantastic show entitled ‘Escape,’ which left ArtAttack impressed and inspired. So with this year’s show, ‘Metamorphosis,’ just a few days away, we jumped on the opportunity to interview exhibition director’s Olivia Bladen (ArtAttack’s own!) and Alice Procter to gain some insight into the curatorial process and what we can expect from this exciting emerging art exhibition.

ArtAttack: So ‘Metamorphosis’ is the theme for this year’s show. Can you tell me how this idea came about and what it means to you?

Alice Procter: As strange as it sounds… We were eating gnocchi in a park last summer, throwing words at each other in the hope that something would stick. I don’t remember who said Metamorphosis first, but it just made so much sense. We wanted something open, that anyone could look at and say, ‘okay, how can I relate this to my work?’, because every artist is always making a change or transforming something. It felt like a way of encouraging our members to step back and look at the process behind their work.

Olivia Bladen: We went through a long list of words it could be! Previous exhibitions had names such as Alchemy and Escape, and we wanted to keep the theme true to those vibes; something that was open enough to be accessible to anyone, but would still provide direction. As the curators, it helps to have a unifying aspect, obviously. But as Alice said, the process of change is inherently an artistic one, so none of the submissions felt really out of place.

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The Broad Museum Announces Its First Special Exhibition: ‘Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life’

Nine months after Los Angeles’ newest contemporary art museum opened to overwhelming crowds, The Broad’s first special exhibition will debut in June with a comprehensive survey of the work of artist Cindy Sherman.

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Cindy Sherman, Untitled #92, 1981

Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life is the first major museum show of Sherman’s work in Los Angeles in nearly 20 years, and the exhibition will fill The Broad’s first-floor galleries with close to 120 works drawn primarily from the Broad collection.

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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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