A new art gallery has recently opened in the West End of London, The House of Fine Art (or HOFA for short). I went along there recently and saw these works by Ilhwa Kim. Each little piece of mulberry paper is hand dyed and rolled up into a “seed”. some contain messages (never to be read) giving each picture hidden stories. The process is highly labour intensive and could be viewed as obsessional – my take on it is that it is a meditative, almost ritualistic activity, creating worlds and landscapes to be viewed initially from above but then explored from any direction. You can easily lose yourself in these pieces.
As it says on its website, The Florence Trust provides a dynamic mentoring programme and studio residency in London for twelve international artists each year. Each residency programme lasts for 12 months and is a real lifeline for artists to develop their practice in London.
I went along to the summer exhibition private view in the atmospheric decommissioned church tucked away in Aberdeen Park, which also houses the studios. Not all the artists are represented here as it was too dark for some of my photos. Visit the website for information and click on the artist’s links to learn more about their work and concerns.
The Chilean artist Francisca Prieto is someone whose work I have followed for several years now, having first spotted her along with her impressive storage cabinet at Cockpit Arts during an open studio visit.
She works with metal as well as paper, bending and folding her materials from 2 dimensions to 3. It isn’t just the aesthetics, strong as they are, that appeal to me: the ritualistic and repeated activity is meditative; her aim to record and reinterpret something redundant and unwanted into something desirable, to breathe new life into paper, moves me.
All photos (unless otherwise indicated) are from her website as I couldn’t find any decent ones from my own archives.
I hadn’t come across Block Universe, London’s leading international performance art festival, before but, after hearing about it through word of mouth, attended a couple of events – see photos below and links for more info.
“You would almost expect to find it warm”, by Laura Wilson, took place at the British Museum in connection with the current Rodin and the art of Ancient Greece exhibition. Rodin modelled in clay before carving in marble hence the use of dough which shares many qualities with clay. Watching these performers moving slowly amongst the visitors over a period of time was quite meditative.
“Allusion to a body no longer present” by Tyler Eash and Sara Rodrigues , one of the satellite events, was held at St Giles Cripplegate with a script derived from interviews with members of the Swiss Church congregation on the significance of self, search for meaning, and remembrance after death. Some statements were very poignant with the evocative imagery well suited to such a venue.
There is something about Minimalism that resonates deeply and here are some of the pieces that stood out for me: part of Alison Rossiter’s expired photography paper series Barbara Kasten’s cyanotypes Edward Ruscha’s parking lot photos next to Carl Andre’s Steel Zinc Plain
Black by Inge Dick (the people and shapes are all reflections)One of Jay Defeo’s Untitled pieces John Hilliard’s Seven Representations of White (with more reflections)and, seen at the end, Thomas Ruff’s massively scaled virtual photograms
The inaugural exhibition in the new Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries at the Royal Academy is LANDSCAPE, one of the three concurrent London exhibitions by Tacita Dean. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but was really impressed by the scale and sensitivity of the work shown. Zooming in and out is an essential part of the experience (I use those terms deliberately).
Here’s a view through to The Montafon Letter, a huge chalk drawing on blackboard of a mountain (there’s a bit more to it than just that). Majesty, one of a series of works on paper from 2016
Cloud drawings, also from 2016, in front of her collection of round stones.I really liked the contrast of jade reflected in the glass frame of this massive print Quarantania.Her film Antigone is also on show – I wasn’t able to see all of it so will complete the experience on my next visit.
This is huge in the history of the Royal Academy and it’s such a positive development. The reconfiguration of space and intervention by David Chipperfield Architects to connect both buildings of Burlington Gardens and Burlington House now takes you through a myriad of environments. Here are a few photos of some of these spaces – not all quite finished when I visited – which will, I hope, give you an idea of the journey now possible.
The steps down from Burlington House show The Vaults towards the Weston Studio with a glimpse of the stairs up to the Weston Bridge
Looking back from The Vaults to the stairs.
One of the RA Schools corridors just before reaching the Weston Studio.Up the stairs from the Weston StudioDetail of the staircaseView of the Weston Bridge windowFinal touches to the Benjamin West Lecture Theatre
I sometimes feel envious of the workers at King’s Place as they are surrounded by a constantly changing display of art by artists represented by Pangolin Gallery, housed in the same building. I came across this selection of work when I popped in the other evening between two private views.
William Tucker’s charcoal drawings from the human form and his bronze sculptures exude power
Looking Glass by Abigail Fallis is a beautifully crafted piece, something important to her in making work and encompasses such a multitude of associations I’d go over my time limit if I listed them.
The career of Zachary Eastwood-Bloom has taken off since I first met him at his RCA degree show in 2010. I have to confess though that I thought this was a Tony Cragg from a distance, an impression soon corrected once I got closer.
As the name suggests, this is a natural science society, the oldest one in the world, and still very active in all aspects of the life sciences. Amongst its many treasures are these beautifully delicate botanical illustrations. All photos are skewed as I was trying to avoid direct light on glass.This book from 1542 by Leonhard Fuchs is remarkable in that the three artists involved in its production are credited with both their names and portraits: Albrecht Meyer (botanical illustrator), Heinrich Füllmaurer (woodblock draughtsman) and Veit Rudolf Speckle (wood engraver)
There is always more to see than anticipated when visiting the Barbican and this was exactly the case whilst on my way from Yto Barrada’s Agadir in The Curve to Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins in the gallery.
I came across this small installation tucked into a corner called Breathe: A Green Lung, devised by Cityscapes with Heywood & Condie in which a stained glass greenhouse is enclosed within two green walls.
Increasing greenery within an urban environment is preaching to the choir here; what really appealed to me creatively was the stained glass greenhouse with its amended imagery. To see more of their stained glass work click on this link.