Peter Gronquist – Shape Shifter

American artist Peter Gronquist draws on a wide range of media for his works – fabric, metal, ceramics, frosted glass, mirrors, even taxidermy. Working from his barn by a lake near Portland, Oregon, his oeuvre is multi-disciplinary – sculpture, painting and installation.

In whatever medium, his themes have revolved chiefly around American obsessions with material wealth, consumerism, guns, and religion. He once said, “Our culture puts money and violence on way too high a pedestal. I think these days people no longer see the line between entertainment and reality.” 

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Robert Fraser’s Groovy Arts Club Band

Robert “Groovy Bob” Fraser was a charismatic gallery owner and art dealer who, in many ways, embodied the spirit of the so-called Swinging Sixties. He was the handsome, dedicated follower of fashion in the clothes sense, but a leader of fashion in the artistic sense by embracing the British pop art movement and championing many of its artists. He was the King of Cool, the archetypal party-goer who befriended many of the top musicians of the day including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, members of whom who would mingle together with artists at his Duke Street Gallery or his Mount Street flat. That marriage of pop and pop art seemed one made in heaven, or at least in Mayfair.

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Recycle Group – Nature of Non-Existence

As the latest in a series of artists who use Virtual and Augmented Reality as part of their working practice, the Gazelli Art House, London features a new exhibition by Russian duo, The Recycle Group, named because they use both recycled imagery and materials. The pair have won awards for their pioneering use of technologies and the way they bridge incompatible subjects such as the classic and the contemporary. They represented Russia at the 57th Venice biennale. Now they examine the relationship between man and machine.

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Chiharu Shiota/Jonas Burgert

Me Somewhere Else is the latest installation by Berlin-based Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota to use thread as its medium. It forms part of a two-handed exhibition with Jonas Burgert’s Schlagen und Bleiben. A billowing cloud of blood-red thread hovers over the ground floor gallery, anchored by a pair of bronze feet. These are casts of the artist’s own feet and their solid, weighted nature contrasts with the ethereal quality of the rest of the work. 

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Peter Howson – Acta Est Fabula

As in the top picture, Pergamum, Peter Howson’s world is a dark, apocalyptic one populated with grotesque low-lifes, disfigured and violent, decadent and despairing. Dominating are colossus-like males, with over-sized muscles and bulging eyes, machismo in the extreme. They exist beneath crumbling buildings in a nightmare vision recalling the works of Hogarth, Bosch, Dürer, Breughel the Elder, Dix, Beckmann and Goya.  Continue reading “Peter Howson – Acta Est Fabula”

Edward Burtynsky – The Human Signature

Ever since man cleared forests to make way for agriculture, the effect on our planet has been massive. The impact on our landscape grew rapidly after the industrial revolution. Today, the industrial production of fertilisers required to keep the crops growing quickly has affected it even more. With this in mind, and as part of his multidisciplinary Anthropocene Project, Canadian photographer Ed Burtynsky has a new London show at Flowers Gallery, entitled The Human Signature. It focuses particularly on how our reliance on fertiliser and the minerals we mine to create it and to sustain our modern way of life, are impacting upon our landscapes.  Continue reading “Edward Burtynsky – The Human Signature”

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