On Vyner Street, Hackney, is 4 Cose (Italian for “four things”), a concept shop created by Artlalb duo artists Charlotte Cullinan and Jeanine Richards opened only on Fridays and Saturdays. In the front section of their studio, the team sells four products at a time, (pasta, cheese, salami, olive oil, when I visit), directly sourced in Italy from small independent producers. Charlotte and Jeanine create a kind of installation with the products, and each item sold is lovingly wrapped in hand-printed art paper. The visit is inspiring, food and art, an ideal combo.
“Since their surreal and sometimes nightmarish imagery took up residency in our collective subconscious in the early 1990s, Jake and Dinos have continued to prod, provoke and entertain. Whether subverting artists’ original works – including their own – twisting historic narratives or peeling back the surface of consumer-driven culture to reveal the horror and humour that lies beneath, the Chapmans compel us to confront the nagging fears that lie at the dark heart of the Western psyche. Their use of film, music and literature as well as painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture anticipated the multi-disciplinary approach of the 89plus generation for whom they are heroes and trailblazers.”
The Chapmans began collaborating in the early 1990s and first gained attention for their work Disasters of War, a three-dimensional recreation of Goya’s series of etchings of the same name, for which they reconstructed Goya’s scenes of brutal violence using miniature plastic figurines that they carefully reshaped and painted by hand. Goya, and the Disasters of War particularly, have remained a continued presence in the Chapmans’s work. In 2003, they famously acquired a set of Goya’s etchings and altered them, painting clown and cartoon heads over the original faces of the figures.
Their large Hell landscapes, such as Hell (2000) and The Sum of All Evil (2012-13), are at once monumental in scale and minutely detailed. These apocalyptic landscapes, teeming with miniature figures, depict scenes of excessive brutality involving Nazi soldiers and, in more recent works, McDonald’s characters. The grotesque and often surreal violence of the scenes is offset by the overwhelming detail and painstaking labour evident in these and many of the Chapmans’s works.
Julia Peyton-Jones, director, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, co-director, at Serpentine Galleries
In the Large Hadron Collider, a giant particle collider, scientists and engineers work at the extremes of temperature, vacuum and energy to recreate conditions not seen since just after the Big Bang some 13.7 billion years ago. Follow the journey of particle beams as they are injected into the accelerator chain, ramped up to speed and steered around the 27 km tunnel. We are immersed in the highlight of *CERN—a wrap-around projection taking in both extremes of the scale of the LHC, from an enormous experiment cavern to the very heart of a particle collision.
The exhibition, the first of its kind, touches on the discovery of the Higgs boson*, or ‘God Particle’, the realisation of scientist Peter Higgs’ theory.
BOSON: a subatomic particle, such as a photon, which has zero or integral spin and follows the statistical description given by S. N. Bose and Einstein.
CERN: the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, is the world’s leading laboratory for particles physics. It has headquarters in Geneva.
“I’ve been around iron all my life ever since I was a kid. I was born and raised in iron ore country – where you could breathe it and smell it every day. And I’ve always worked with it in one form or another.
Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways there is no difference.”
– Bob Dylan
There is a tendency to judge Bob Dylan, first and foremost, by his musical output and not as an artist in the widest sense, which is what he truly is. Musician, painter, draughtsman, sculptor – these disciplines are not so far removed from each other, all requiring their own imaginative input, time and practice. That Dylan, this artistic live wire, is responsible for magnificent, intriguing iron sculptures should not be a shock at all, and on reflection they are entirely of a piece with what has come before.
Growing up in Hibbing, in an area of Minnesota known as the ‘Iron Range‘, Bob Dylan was surrounded by the influence of industry during his childhood in the region: the hulking machinery and huge workforce going to and from the mines; the truckloads of taconite rock and rust-coloured haematite ore being driven down to the port. These are the kinds of images that would tattoo themselves on to an impressionable young mind – images of a world where raw materials and man-made objects were bound by the grass roots of production.
The influence of iron and nature on Bob Dylan’s youth is also the juxtaposition contained within his Gates: the material of the structures and the division of landscape that they represent. These works allow you to see what lies behind them, while at the same time barring your path – although not with a sense of confinement, but as a signifier of a change of scenery, a doorway, a symbolic entry point to a new world. With their symbolic potential, the Gates reveal a reverence for the past, for industry and agriculture of the kind now being consigned to the past in our developed world. As opposed to the relentless march of technology, the artist’s faith is still in the soil and the hand and the tool.
A collaboration with the Abate Zanetti, glassworks, Murano
VIDEO: NATHALIE HAMBRO
ROY G. BIV’S WALL
The glass work is a conceptual one, hence its title: ROY G. BIV’S WALL, using the first letter of each colour of the rainbow, (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet). Each glass brick has a different colour entrapped within, the glass spheres seem distorted and merging through the bricks. The work conveys glass’s inner quality: transparency and solidity, and the overall effect mimics colours reflected on water, the whole references to Venice… The number seven is not accidental as, besides the number of colours in the rainbow, it is also a key reference in religion and mathematics.
The exhibition is scheduled at the Misericordia in Venice, 2013.
Brash, colourful and playful, Pop Art signalled a radical change of direction in the postwar period. From the 1050s to the early 1970s Pop was characterised by an intense dialogue between the fields of design and art. Pop Art design is the first comprehensive exhibition to explore the origins, motives and methods of this exchange. It shaped a new sense of cultural identity, with a focus on celebrity, mass production and the expanding industry of advertising, television, radio and the print media.
Drugs and Consumption
While religion was still vilified by communism as “opium for the masses” capitalism was already caught up in a heady delirium of commercial consumption. Yet those who remained unsatisfied by the buying frenzy often turned to real drugs. Cheap cigarettes, in particular, became synonymous with freedom from everyday routines. In works of art, the smoker’s utensils were interpreted as symbols of transience. Somewhat later, Italian designers saw a motif of enlightenment in synthetic drugs.
Claes Oldenburg, Fagend Study, 1968
Gunnar Aagaard Anderson, Sketches for Letters, 1970
According to Sōetsu Yanagi, Founder of the Mingeikan – Japan Folk Crafts Museum: “Dishonesty, depravity, and luxury – this is what Mingei objects must avoid at all costs; all that is natural, sincere, safe and simple – these are the characteristics of Mingei art.”
Mingei: Are You Here? explores the legacy of Mingei, a Japanese folk craft movement led by philosopher and critic Sōetsu Yanagi and questions the presence of craftsmanship in contemporary art.
The exhibition features eighty works and special commissions by more than twenty-five artists, including paintings, sculptures, works on paper, ceramics and textile shown in a vitrine inspired by ethnographic exhibitions. Systems of display and practical aspects of museum work are one of the central themes of the exhibition.
Curated by Nicolas Trembley, this museum-quality exhibition juxtaposes historical works by Japanese Mingei artists with modern and contemporary artists, designers and architects inspired by the philosophy of Mingei. Pace’s artists featured in the exhibition include Josef Albers, Isamu Noguchi, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Lee Ufan and specifically for this exhibition: Ruth Asawa, Mark Barrow & Sarah Parke, Valentin Carron, Trisha Donnelly, Simon Fujiwara, Naoto Fukasawa, Shoji Hamada, Kawai Kanjiro, Tomimoto Kenkichi, Bernard Leach, Sgrafo Modern, Jasper Morrison, Charlotte Perriand, Stephen Prina, Willem de Rooij, Keisuke Serizawa, Kenzo Tange, Danh Vo and Sori Yanagi.
Inspired by the 19th century Arts and Crafts movement in Europe, the Mingei movement was established in 1926 during a period of rapid growth in Japan that included military imperialism, nationalism, westernisation and urbanisation. It sought to maintain the cultural originality of the different peoples across Japan. The title of the exhibition refers to the philosophical ethos of Mingei which champions the everyday, ordinary and utilitarian objects created by nameless and unknown craftsmen.
Dayanita Singh is internationally acclaimed for breaking away from the print-on-the-wall tradition of art photography and creating unique mass-produced artist’s books. Used as a raw material, photography is a starting point for Singh, rather than an end in itself. In GO AWAY CLOSER at the Hayward Gallery, Singh shows her portable ‘museums’ for the first time. These large wooden structures can be placed and opened in different ways, each holding 70 to 140 photographs.
Creating structures to display as well as to house photographic prints has fascinated Singh ever since the making of Sent a Letter in 2007, with publisher Gerhard Steidl; a multi-volume mini-library-cum-exhibition of photo-books in its own slip-case. More recently, her book File Room (2013) attests to an obsessive interest in the personal processes and spacial strategies related to archiving.
Singh’s experiments with book-making have now led her to create this major new body of work. The design and architecture of the ‘museums’ is integral to the images they hold. Within what she has termed a “photo-architecture” Singh’s old and new images can be endlessly displayed, sequenced, edited and archived within the structures. They will continue to grow, as Singh keeps adding new work.
“Photography is not enough for me,” says Singh, “it is just my language. Unless I can make poetry out of it, or a novel, what good is all my vocabulary?”
The ‘museums’ create spaces of intimate engagement with the images as interconnected bodies of work, rather than single images. They display stories, themes and image-repertoires conceived by Singh from the vast archive of her own photographs as well as new taken images. Singh expands photography into the realm of not only fiction and poetry, but also of sculpture and architecture.
The bawdy euphemisms, repressed truths, erotic delights and sculptural possibilities of the sexual body lie at the heart of Sarah Lucas’s work (b. 1962). First coming to prominence in the 1990s with a show at London’s City Racing memorably titled, Penis Nailed to a Board, this British artist’s sculpture, photography and installation have established her as one of the most important figures of her generation.
Lucas’s materials – furniture, clothing, food – are sculptural and associative. Nylon tights provide a useful casing: stuffed with wadding they become splayed limbs of female bodies. Tights are also intimate, erotic, yet cheap and disposable, both glamorous and abject. Lucas’s objects also draw on art history; her frequent use of toilet bowls recalls Duchamp’s urinal, the first ready-made.
Stained mattresses, sofas and chairs act as plinths for ‘bodies’ sometimes situated against the surreal domesticity of Lucas’s wallpapers. Her figures are all headless. There is only one face, that of the artist herself, omnipresent through a sequence of self portraits.
Lucas’s oeuvre has been quintessentially urban but this show also features her recent Penetralia, flying penises combined with wood and flint. Titled ‘Whand’ and ‘Druid’ they suggest a magical, holistic relation to nature.
This exhibition takes us from Lucas’s 1990s’ foray into the salacious perversities of British tabloid journalism to the London premiere of her sinuous, light reflecting bronzes: limbs, breasts and phalli intertwine to transform the abject into a dazzling celebration of polymorphous sexuality.