Photo50 – London Art Fair

Overlooking the 126 galleries exhibiting at this year’s London Art Fair is Photo50, the fair’s annual guest-curated show devoted to the most distinctive elements of current photographic practice. This year, the curator is writer and gallerist Laura Noble who has assembled 10 esteemed female photographers all over the age of 50.

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Bruce McLean – Five Decades of Sculpture, Part One 1967-1994

Sculptor, painter, ceramicist, performance artist, filmmaker, Bruce McLean’s career flits about in a variety of genres. He’s regarded as having led the development of British conceptual art in the 1960s. Not that he would necessarily have it that way. He regards himself solely as a sculptor. His work subtly and playfully makes fun of the pomposity and established forms of the art world.

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Aziz and Cucher – Tapestries and New Works on Paper

For more than 25 years, the New York-based collaborative duo Anthony Aziz and Sammy Cucher have addressed current political dilemmas through large format digitally enhanced photographs and video installations. However, a visit to a Renaissance tapestry exhibition at the New York Met a few years ago inspired this latest exhibition at London’s Gazelli Art House of four monumental tapestries as well as a series of accompanying works on paper.  Continue reading “Aziz and Cucher – Tapestries and New Works on Paper”

Tarka Kings – Still is Still Moving

The author Cressida Connolly once wrote of Tarka Kings, “Her drawings are so delicate and precise, they have a stillness and an openness that invites the viewer in. So little in contemporary art has that real beauty.” 

Though she wrote those words before Kings had drawn the portrait Lily III (above), the description fits it perfectly. Lily is a girl friend of Kings’s younger son. There’s a great sense of intimacy and delicacy in the drawing to be seen in those youthful eyes. What’s more, she has captured a degree of sadness in Lily’s dreamlike gaze. There’s a reason, Kings told me as we toured her exhibition.  “She’d been in the earthquakes in Nepal and she’s suddenly become much much older than her years, very unexpectedly.” Continue reading “Tarka Kings – Still is Still Moving”

Chiharu Shiota – Beyond Time

When Chiharu Shiota was nine years old, she was awoken by the sound of her neighbour’s house on fire. In the wreckage the following day, she saw their burnt out piano, a sight which both frightened and fascinated her. The silence it instilled remains with her to this day.

“The piano had lost its function but it was even more beautiful than before”, she told Helen Pheby, curator of Shiota’s magical new installation at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP). “A piano that cannot make a sound still carries the memory of the sound. I believe silence is often stronger and more beautiful than any sound can be. The absence of something makes it stronger. Things are most beautiful when they are gone.”

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Kettle’s Yard – Actions: The Image of the World Can Be Different

Kettle’s Yard is a gem of an art gallery in the centre of Cambridge. It was founded in 1957 by Jim Ede, a former curator at the Tate in London in the 1920s and ‘30s. He and his wife Helen bought four slum dwellings, knocked them together and filled his living room with a wonderful collection he had amassed that includes works by Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Joan Miró, Constantin Bracusi, Alfred Wallis and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.  Continue reading “Kettle’s Yard – Actions: The Image of the World Can Be Different”

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