Young artist Fujiwara represents an interesting departure for Tate St Ives, who usually focus on the St Ives landscape painters and sculptors of the early – mid 20th century. Fujiwara grew up in St Ives but was not impressed by the local scene – rather he longed to escape to bigger and better things, so he moved to Tokyo and then Berlin and Mexico City. He works with installations which create a feeling of archaeological remnants, and the influence of his architecture training at Cambridge University is apparent. Fujiwara cites Tracy Emin as one of his greatest influences, which may explain his enthusiasm for the installation medium.
Much of his work centres around biography and auto-biography, sometimes incorporating his family history. He envisioned an erotic novel based around his parents lives, and his work explores his distant relationship with his father, who lived on the other side of the world, and wasn’t great at keeping in touch.
The exhibition includes important recent works such as The Mirror Stage 2009–12, based around the story of an encounter with old-school St Ives artist Patrick Heron, and Welcome to the Hotel Munber 2008–1, an erotic novel where the protagonist becomes sexually obsessed with a hotel building.
Installation by Simon Fujiwara
18 January – 7 May 2012
March – October: Daily 10.00-17.20, last admission 17.00
November – February: Tuesday – Sunday 10.00-16.20, last admission 16.00
Closed 24, 25, 26 December
£6.50 (£3.90 concessions)
Free for Tate Members
Book online with Tate or call 01736 796226.
There’s been an incredible level of interest in the Royal Academy’s current exhibition David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture, and not without good reason. It’s the first exhibition of a series of major new landscape works from the Yorkshire artist, who was first approached by the Academy about the exhibition three or four years ago.
David Hockney RA, Wheat Field near Fridaythorpe, August 2005
Although there is some older work in the show, those pieces of most interest will most likely be those works which have been created for the exhibition – large-scale pieces designed with the galleries of the Academy in mind. These multi-canvas works depict the landscape of East Yorkshire is his inimitable style, reproducing lanes and woodlands in vivid colour. However, there will also be on display a selection of the work that Hockney has produced on his iPad, as well as a series of films created with 18 cameras and displayed on multiple screens.
Although the exhibition covers a period of 50 years, Hockney is quite clear that the show is not a retrospective – the bulk of the work is new and in interview he holds some mild disdain for the “safety” of the retrospective. He also acknowledges the relationship of the space to the work – not least because of the scale of works such as Winter Timber, which uses 15 canvasses and is over 6 metres wide.
Born in 1937 in Bradford, Hockney studied at Bradford School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London, periods of study which were separated by a period working as a hospital orderly – a position he took up for his National Service as a conscientious objector. Having travelled extensively, he has throughout his prolific career been inspired by the Yorkshire landscape, returning to it time and time again at various points throughout his life. Vibrancy, colour and technological experimentation are hallmarks of his style, and some of his most interesting work has been produced with the help of new technologies that at first glance might seem out of step with his interest in the Old Masters; however in some ways it is his investigation of their techniques which has inspired him in this matter.
Hockney’s work with technology has included sending work through a fax machine, using laser-printed images, and creating work which changed dramatically depending on computer-controlled lighting. His interest in techniques used by the Old Masters to achieve accuracy in scale led to his discovery of their use of mirrors and lenses, and in 2001 he published a book on the subject.
More information can be found on the Royal Academy’s website here: http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions/hockney/ – please note that demand for tickets has been extremely high, and signing up for dedicated email alerts or following on social media is recommended – more information here: http://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibitions/hockney/tickets/
The exhibition runs until April 8 at the Royal Academy of Arts, Picadilly, London. Entry is £14 / £13 disabled & over-60s / £9 NUS or ISIC / £4 Income Support & 12-18yrs / £3 8-11yrs / Under sevens free.
This is a rare interview from 1986 with artists Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Basquiat. We see a very introverted Andy Warhol – he was known for being elusive and for protecting his carefully constructed public image.
Time off over Christmas? I hope so. The time between Christmas and New Year is the ideal chance to get out and about and see a few of the many exhibitions that London’s art galleries have to offer. We’ll start with…
Alex Hartley Clearing, 2011. Constructed mixed media on C-type photograph 90 x 72 x 7 cm 35 3/8 x 28 3/8 x 2 3/4 in
This is an exhibition of Hartley’s large-scale photos with scale-models of architectural structures painstakingly build into the surfaces of the prints. Somewhere between a steam punk inventor, an early 20th Century mustachioed explorer, and a tree-house dwelling earth child, Hartley creates images dystopian architectural pieces – scale models of super-villan hideaways in remode desert landscapes. True to the explorer archetype, Hartely has gone on intrepid expeditions into the high arctic, and the gallery show includes objects and artefacts from his expeditions.
Coca-Cola vase, Ai Weiwei, 1997, Neolithic vase (5000-3000 BC) and paint. Courtesy of André Stockamp & Christopher Tsai collection, Ancram, New York
Ai WeiWei is a conceptual artist who I can really get excited about. He creates pieces that are truly thought-provoking, and does so with a light touch. His works are often almost visual jokes, but in a way which is subtle and doesn’t shout its message. “Dropping the Urn” includes the use of Neolithic and Han Dynasty Ceramics transformed and reinterpreted. For example, the Coca-Cola urn above has been repainted, and the exhibition features an original Han Dynasty figurine contained in a Johnnie Walkey whiskey bottle.
Hokusai’s Great Wave is one of the most recognisable, reproduced and popular images in the whole of international art history. It’s even been reinterpreted as a mural on a house in Camberwell, South London. This exhibition presents a unique opportunity to learn about the history and context behind this iconic piece.
Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849), Under the Wave off Kanagawa (detail). Colour woodblock print. Japan, Edo period, c. 1831. Acquired with the assistance of The Art Fund.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition attracts amateur and professional entrants of all ages from around the world. The best entrants are chosen for exhibition, and this is a show that will astound and amaze, and give you a fresh perspective on animals and the natural world. Photographers go to extraordinary lengths to get these images – for “Pester Power”, pictured below, Mateusz Piesiak wrapped his camera in a plastic sack, lay down on his front and dragged himself across the wet sand to get these detailed shots of oystercatchers feeding on Long Island, New York.
The library might not be the first place you think of when you want to see an art exhibition, but the British Library’s latest exhibition is well worth drawing attention to. It’s a chance to see the Library’s collection of illuminated manuscripts – illustration from the medieval period, many of which are in amazing condition and are executed in stunning colour. According to the Library, the manuscripts are
our most vivid source for understanding royal identity, moral and religious beliefs, learning, faith artistic trends and the international politics of the period.
The Shrewsbury Book
British Library, Royal 15 E. vi, ff. 2v
From me and everyone at Art2Arts, have a fabulous festive season and a colourful New Year!
China is a truly exciting country when it comes to fine art at the moment, and one of its brightest stars is Ai Weiwei. Keen art fans might remember his 2010 “Sunflower Seeds” installation at the Tate Modern, where he piled millions of porcelain sunflower seeds onto the gallery floor. The seeds had been individually hand painted by 1,600 artisans in Jingdezhen, China. At first, visitors were invited to walk around in the seeds and experience the satisfying crunch underfoot. Unfortunately this was not to last, as the gallery fenced the installation off due to safety concerns as a result of the porcelain dust.
Ai has an eclectic career background; he studied at Beijing Film Academy in 1978, where he was a founder of avante-garde art group “The Stars”.In 1981, he moved to the US, and studied at Parsons School of Design and the Art Students League of New York. He’s also been a professional blackjack player, and is regarded as a top-tier professional player within the blackjack world.
rAi Weiwei's Sunflower Seeds. Source- tate.org
As well as being known for his elegant large-scale installations, Ai Weiwei is also known for his human rights work and opposition to the Chinese government. This summer, he became known around the world after he was held under arrest for two months following his criticism of the Chinese government’s stance on democracy and human rights. The European Union and United States opposed the detention, and the Tate Modern changed their display to read “Release Ai Weiwei”.
Ai is now out of detention, but forbidden from leaving Beijing. Despite this, he’s just opened a new exhibition, and this time it’s in Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwain ; though he won’t be able to actually attend it. It’s called “Ai Weiwei Absent” and most notably featured an installation on grand scale, called ”Forever Bicycles”. The piece is made of over 1000 bicycles, arranged in a 10 ft high display area. The piece reflects the rapid pace of societal and technological changes in China. The museum’s website says:
Its layered labyrinthine space creates what appears to be a moving abstract shape that symbolizes the way in which the social environment in China is changing.
The exhibition also features a self-portrait photo sequence of the artist as a young man, along with a series of bronze heads representing the Chinese Zodiac. The general theme and message of the exhibition focuses around Ai’s forced absence. He remains defiant; after his release, he was forbidden from using Twitter or talking to the media, but has continued to do so regardless.
Ai WeiWei’s Forever Bicycles. Source – thecoolhunter.net
Tate Modern - Release Ai Weiwei. Source - wikipedia.org
This year’s Turner Prize exhibition is held not in London, but in Newcastle’s Baltic Gallery. The exhibiton will now alternate year-on-year between the Tate Britain and other major art galleries around the UK. The 4 artists shortlisted this year are:
Karla Black is from Scotland and studied at Glasgow School of Art. She makes ephemeral sculptures from materials such as cellophane, paint and sellotape, which often have a visceral feel. Images are sourced from www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk
Forget About Faces - Karla Black - 2008
Karla Black - Forget about Faces - 2008
Hailing form Halifax in Yorkshire, Hilary LLoyd makes work in mixed media and dimension, ranging from video to photography to performance. The subject can be anything from roller-skating to paint patterns left behind on a studio floor.
Hilary Lloyd - Installation. Source: artlyst.com
George Shaw is a painter based in North Devon who makes surprisingly emotional and nostalgic photorealist paintings of mundane clips from urban landscapes. Image source: www.guardian.co.uk
George Shaw: Scenes from The Passion: The Cop Shop, 1999-2000
Glaswegian Martin Boyce creates really strong and striking architectural sculptures, which take inspiration from modernist design history. Image source: www.channel4.com
Sculptural Installation by Martin Boyce
The Turner Prize Exhibition runs at the Baltic until 8th January 2012. The Tuner Prize winner will be announced on 5th December 2011.