Secret Art Prize 2017, Curoius Duke Gallery, London

London - At its 5th edition, the Secret Art Prize 2017 calls for artist to apply, at Curious Duke Gallery.

The winner will receive £1000, their work exhibited at Moniker Art Fair, a profile in After Nyne Magazine and representation from Curious Duke Gallery. There will also be four runners up who will exhibit at Moniker Art Fair and will be represented by Curious Duke.

Additionally, the top 100 applicants work will be featured on the website for the People’s Choice Award, with the possibility to be viewed by over 100,000 people, providing a great promotion for the artists even if they are not winner.

The Secret Art Prize is one of the UK’s leading art prizes. It is an extraordinary chance for beginner artists to emerge and win an amazing prize.

The Secret Art Prize is open to all urban and contemporary artists. Disciplines welcome include painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking and photography. Film and performance pieces are not accepted.

The winners will be announced at a special event held at the Hoxton Hotel Shoreditch in August. The event will be exhibiting previous winners work and there will be talks from some of the industries professionals organised by The Art Conference.

Announced judging panel is: AfterNyne Editor Claire Meadows; Thinkspace Andrew Hosner; Art Advisor Melissa Scallan; Tina Ziegler Director of Moniker Art Fair; artist Otto D’Ambra; and Johnathan LeVine from LeVine projects.

To apply applicants will need to submit an image of their work and supply a short statement about the work and them as an artist. All applications to be made through the website www.secretartprize.com

The deadline is 11th June 2017.

Founded in 2011 by Eleni Duke, multi- award winning Curious Duke Gallery has established its position on the UK art scene, with lot of collaborations, participating at the UK art fairs and joining the judging panels. In 2015 the gallery came second to the highly respected Richmix in the TimeOut #LoveLondon culture awards.

Curious Duke Gallery has won the 2nd place for Micro Business of the Year 2013, with her artists taking to the airwaves on BBC radio and featured in London’s press.

Fabio Lattanzi Antinori, collaboration with Sergey Dziniruk "Latency Docet", 2016 © ph. Kristin Hjellegjerge gallery, London

London – The exhibition “No Not Never None” was very interesting at the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery.

It was a two artists exhibition, Jeremy Everett and Fabio Lattanzi Antinori, who both were investigating the topic of ‘appearance’, which, in philosophy, relates to what seems to be - eg. things as they are for human experience. In the ancient philosophy, the term ‘appearance’ indicated a reference to the opinion of the sensitive perception of the phenomenon, believing both of the terms are associated to uncertainty in acquiring a truth which is presupposed instead of one considered absolute.

The appearance concept usually implies an opposition between the perception of a thing and its objective reality.

Sometimes things are not as they seem, and other times things seem to be as they are not. But very often we simply do not know how things are. We just rely on our senses and our assumptions to guide us through this uncertain world.

With strong references to the Post- Modernism movement, “No Not Never None” by Jeremy Everett and Fabio Lattanzi Antinori explored the disconnection between how things are and how they seem, through a mixture of painting, sculpture, photography and installation.

The title of the exhibition, No Not Never None, reveals the sense in which our lives are always caught in a state of apparent contradiction. The gallery itself was designed as a site of deep uncertainty in which norms and conventions were destabilized. Both artists were concerned with the precarious balance of the existence, caught by hidden volatility and vulnerability which is the real origin of human fragility.

The Jeremy Everett’s practice investigates the way we see the world. It considers this approach the beginning of an exploration in search of the real story behind and rejecting one only style.

He is interested in the relation between the object, the space and its environment. It is the recurrent question of what lies behind what we see, and the notion of involving the viewer so he will be part of the artwork.

Fabio Lattanzi Antinori worked on this notion of the unseen by using very practical material, for example statistical figures of financial markets. His work focuses on how the languages of corporate systems inform the way we shape our communities and the actions we take towards our survival. At the root of this is the observation that financial data, although abstract and essentially ethereal, controls our resources and ultimately binds us together.

Fabio Lattanzi Antinori created a brand new sculpture, a multi-sensory experience exploring the financial practice of ‘front-running’ – trading on advance information provided by brokers. Whilst the work visually references the microwave towers used for the high-speed transmission of financial data, Lattanzi Antinori has teamed up with perfume designer Sergey Dziniruk to develop a range of fragrances that will be emitted by the sculpture. Lattanzi Antinori also presented ones of his interactive screenprints which translates financial data into tunes when touched by the viewer, giving musical expression to the desolate and heartless data. Here interesting was also the use an antidepressant replacing colour.

Jeremy Everett destabilised the architecture of the gallery with an installation of his ‘shims’: these immaculately folded white dress shirts were placed on the ground while the gallery’s central column was rebuilt on it, causing the structure to lean to one side. In this work, Everett explored associations of daily work and the uncertain structures that support it. He also presented a series of photographs exploring the theme of decay, where a partially obscured image is achieved by burying the print in the earth for a number of days.

For the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery exhibition, both artists, Everett and Lattanzi Antinori, showed a strong sense of dystopia. They uncovered the chaos and peril that lies only just behind the apparent order and control of our world. But as the title “No Not Never None” suggests, things are not quite as they seem, therefore, what it seems to be a dystopia might just be the true nature of the world according to these two artists.

The exhibition “No Not Never None” was at the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London, from 2nd September until 1st October 2016.

Il pino sul mare, 1921, exhibition Carlo Carrà Metaphysical Spaces © Blain Southern Gallery, London

 

London - Blain Southern gallery solo exhibition about Carlo Carrà was very fascinating. Curated by Ester Coen, the exhibition “Carlo Carrà - Metaphysical Spaces” presented paintings and drawings, at the Blain Southern gallery, London. 

The Italian avant-garde artist Carlo Carrà is popular for his essential work in both Futurist and Metaphysical movement.

The Blain Southern exhibition focused on the paintings of Carrà. Lends are from public and private collections, and many are rarely shown in public. Significant works have been presented, revealing the intellectual and artistic legacy of Carrà. For the first time, the influential “Il Pino sul Mare” (1921) was displayed in the UK - a work considered very important by significant art historians. A dozen other works were displayed, including ”Mio Figlio” (1916), “Penelope” (1917), a group of Carrà’s key paintings that have not been presented together in over fifty years.

Leaders of the Metaphysical painting movement were Carrà and Giorgio de Chirico. The Metaphysical style is characterized by unreal views and sudden juxtapositions of elements. Even though the study of the two artists at first developed independently from one another, in 1917 together they officially drawn the rules of ‘Scuola Metafisica’.

Metaphysic was the result of the difficult approach of the two artists, when connecting with the soul by exploring a world of ordinary objects and buildings. De Chirico adopted a style made of multiple vanishing points and clashing perspectives.

Carlo Carrà, instead, realised works more pleasant and close to the reality, based on a single perspective. The stillness he conveyed seemed to go beyond surface appearance in search of a more spiritual, yet natural, dimension. His Metaphysical painting developed from his knowledge of the Italian Renaissance. Painters like Giotto and Paolo Uccello were the source of inspiration for its work, because Carrà felt the soul of the artist could be better shown using few focal points and horizontals.

The archetypal compositional techniques Carrà admired in these works led to his break with the dynamism of Futurism and to his creation of paintings with a stillness and form, which he termed a ‘condensation of expression’.

Confronting the dominant French vanguard, Carrà intended to bring Italian painting to its ‘essential purpose’ and so he reinvented Italian painting. Although the movement technically spanned only a few months, Carrà and a great many other artists drew from its doctrine even after its dissolution.

Furthermore, the Blain Southern gallery presented also a number of rarely seen works on paper, alongside archive documentation and photography from the Carlo Carrà family archive.

The exhibition at the Blain Southern Gallery presented the main metaphysical works of Carlo Carrà. It gives a great impression of stillness. It reflects a very Italian style, in an environment that brings back ideas of summertime in Italy. July was the most appropriate moment to open this exhibition. The Italian summertime is a particular period of the year, when everything changes, the mood of the people is different, and the everyday activities get slower by the hot weather. The work on show reflects this very nice period of the year. It also reminds the atmosphere of the poems of Eugenio Montale, Nobel laureate, who also firstly published in 1917.

Carlo Dalmazio Carrà was born in Quargnento, near Alessandria (Italy) on 11th February 1881. The son of a disgraced landowner, Carrà started to draw when just 12 years old, during a forced stability in bed. Soon after, he began to work as a mural decorator in Valenza.

In 1899-1900, Carrà went to Paris for the Exposition Universelle, to perform some pavilions decorations. Then moved to London, where he became interested in the works of John Constable and William Turner. In the UK, he was involved in politics, maintaining relations with groups of Italian exiled anarchists. However, he broke up soon, and went back to Italy in 1901.

In 1906, Carrà entered the Brera Academy, as a student of Cesare Tallone. There, he met some young artists destined to be leaders on the Italian art scene: Bonzagni, Romani, Valeri and Umberto Boccioni.

Carrà had a brief stint with Divisionismo, which he appreciates for its revolutionary style against the provincial Italian painting environment. In 1909 he joined the Futurism movement of Marinetti, and in 1910 with Boccioni and Russolo, he signed the Manifesto of Futurist Painters and the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting.

The radical political and artistic positions of Carrà are reflected in the monumental painting The Funeral of the Anarchist Galli, stylistically reworked after a trip to Paris in 1911, when the artist approaches the Cubism. In 1904, by accident Carrà attended the funeral of Galli, an anarchist killed during a strike. He was deeply impressed, and began to draw some sketches that years later will transform in one of his major works.

Back in Paris in 1914, a year later Carrà and the De Chirico brothers, Giorgio and Alberto Savinio, initiated the Pittura Metafisica movement, using the term "metaphysics" written by Guillaume Apollinaire in a review of a paintings exhibition by De Chirico, at the Salon d'Automne in Paris (1913).

As well as the enthusiasm of the artists, the "Metaphysical School" is also born from an unexpected coincidence. Due to the war and military service, in early April 1917 both De Chirico and Carrà are admitted to the neurological hospital Villa del Seminario, near Ferrara in the countryside. Both stayed there until the middle of August, together with painters metaphysical Savinio, Govoni, De Pisis, while Alberto Savinio was serving in Thessaloniki, Greece. Carrà was released from military service and returned to Milan, while de Chirico remained alone in Ferrara. They started a long correspondence, creating the "school" of metaphysical painting.

In 1918, together with the De Chirico brothers, Carrà collaborated with the magazine ‘Plastic Values’. A year later, he published his book Metaphysical Painting.

Like many other futurists, firstly Marinetti, Carrà was seduced by the fascism of Mussolini. He adopted reactionary opinions, and became ultra-nationalist and irredentist.

In 1922, Carrà also abandoned metaphysics, driven by the desire to "just be yourself". The painting must grasp that relationship which includes the need to identify with the things and the need for abstraction "and contemplation of the landscape is resolved then in the "construction” of a framework, both mountain and marine.

In recognition of his art, in 1941 Carrà was appointed professor of painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan. In the years of post war Carrà gradually changed the atmosphere of his landscapes and seascapes, with damped surfaces, less compact strokes and greater brightness. In 1962, at the Palazzo Reale in Milan was organized a retrospective exhibition of his work.

Following a sudden disease, Carrà died on 13th April 1966.

The exhibition was curated by Ester Coen, an expert on Futurism, Metaphysical art and Italian and International avant-gardes. Coen is Professor of Contemporary Art History at the University of L’ Aquila. She was assisted by Elena Bonanno di Linguaglossa, Director, Blain Southern in close collaboration with Archivio Carlo Carrà.

The exhibition “Carlo Carrà - Metaphysical Spaces” has been at the Blain Southern gallery, London, from 8th July until 20th August 2016.

Naples Orange, 2013 © Julie Umerle, ph. co. Art Bermondsey Project Space, London.

London“Rewind” by Julie Umerle was a captivating exhibition at the Art Bermondsey Project Space.

The exhibition “Rewind: A solo exhibition of recent paintings” presented works by Julie Umerle, including four large-scale paintings, a series of smaller canvases and a series of works on paper.

The exhibition at the Art Bermondsey Project Space showcased the Rewind series of paintings and the Transoxide series of works on paper, together with a group of large canvases.

The main aspect of the Rewind series is that the canvases are not displayed prepared, thus accentuating the minimalism of the images. Essentially, the significant element of the painting is the object itself, which is placed very close to the boundaries of the canvas.

The Transoxide series is instead developed on wet stretched paper, where coloured grounds are layered with white paint and marks of black ink. In an ongoing exploration of materials, this series presented the work of Umerle on the organic qualities of the ink and on the several effects of the various surfaces.

The “Rewind” exhibition was made possible thanks to a Grants for the Arts award from Arts Council England.

Her abstract works are often painted in series, exploring repetition, similarity and difference within each group. The paintings of Umerle are often created in open-ended series with new works being inspired by previous ones.

The practice of Umerle’s suggests continuing creative developments of which interrupted moments are crystallised and thus depicted on canvas. Through a great work of abridgement, Umerle expresses clarity in degrees of precision and harmony.

The work of Umerle is an investigation of materials and the perception of the image. The pressure of the brush, the viscosity of the paint and the speed of application are just some of the variables that play a part in her mark - making process.

A catalogue of “Rewind: A solo exhibition of recent paintings” was being published for the exhibition, with an essay by Anna McNay.

Julie Umerle relocated from the USA to London as a young child with her family. She studied French Literature at the University of Sussex and fine art at Falmouth University, Cornwall where she was awarded a First class Hons degree. She graduated from Parsons The New School for Design in New York City with a MFA in 1998.

From 1991 to 1996, Umerle worked as an artist educator at numerous galleries in London, including The Whitechapel Gallery, The Hayward Gallery and The Royal Academy. She lived and worked between London and New York for a further five years after completing her studies, before returning to the UK and settling again in London in 2003.

She has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad. Umerle held her first solo exhibition in London at the Car Breaker Gallery (located in the squat of Frestonia), followed a few years later by a solo show at The Barbican Arts Centre. In April 1995, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum hosted Umerle’s first museum exhibition of paintings.

She has exhibited in group shows at Flowers Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts. Early exhibitions in New York were at Artists Space and AIR Gallery. Internationally, she has also shown in France and Germany.

Recent solo exhibitions in London include 'Cosmos or Chaos' at studio1.1 in 2010.

“Rewind: A solo exhibition of recent paintings” was at the Art Bermondsey Project Space, London, from 31st August until 10th September 2016. 

Jeff Koons, Now, exhibition view , Newport Street Gallery, London © photo Prudence Cuming associates Victor Mara ltd

London – It was an interesting exhibition “Now” by Jeff Koons at the Newport Street Gallery of Damien Hirst.

The Newport Street Gallery is a new exhibition space from Damien Hirst who decided to organise his second show with Jeff Koons. Nowadays, they probably are the most paid artists in the world. However, Hirst has been a fan of Koons since first seeing its work at the Saatchi Gallery whilst he was at the university in the late 1980s.

The show was called “Now” because the work of Koons always has been focused on the present: about what is happening today. Of course, pieces made years ago are on time for that past period, not for today. For example, those Hoovers, most of the readymade objects were made in the 1980s and they have a taste of that time.

The displayed objects are coming from the personal collection of Hirst. They were chosen to best reflect the career of Koons for this solo exhibition and many of them are firstly exhibited in the UK. ‘Now’ was the first major UK exhibition to be devoted to the artist since ‘Jeff Koons: Popeye Series’, at the Serpentine Gallery (2009). Spanning thirty-five years of the artist’s extraordinary career, ‘Now’ features thirty six paintings, works on paper and sculptures dating from 1979 to 2014.

The Newport Street Gallery exhibition displayed one of the first works of Koons, ‘Inflatable Flowers (Short White, Tall Purple)’ (1979), a vinyl blow-up flower put on view on a mirrored floor tile - suggesting one of the most repeated artist topic, the inflatable. There were a number of his iconic wall-mounted Hoover sculptures, part of The New series (1980–1983), in which immaculate, unused household appliances are displayed in fluorescent-lit, acrylic boxes, dated from Koons’s time working as a Wall Street commodities broker. Two of the Hoovers, which remain eternally pristine despite being outdated, were included in Koons’s first solo exhibition, at New York’s New Museum in 1980. Part of that installation – originally displayed in the museum’s storefront windows – has been reassembled for this exhibition. For the artist, the readymade, whether in the form of a child’s toy, Baroque sculpture or advertising billboard, provides “the most objective statement possible”.

This exhibtion is Damien Hirst's homage to the artist who has influenced him most. Generally speaking, Jeff Koons is considered to be one of the most important artists of the post-war era. Since the late 1970s, his assorted practice has investigated themes related to taste, consumerism, mass culture, beauty, acceptance, and the role of the artist.

Some critics, however, disagree with that point of view. They do not accept in Koons’s work there is irony and that he represents the silliness of the world we live in. Koons was even put alongside D. J. Trump, because he transformed his art into business.

Nevertheless, some other critics adore him for the same reasons. We live in a world made of kitsch, porno and plastic, and this is why Koons represents us all like this.

Probably, a god approach should be adopted from the Romans proverb ‘In medio stat virtus’, which can be translated in English with ‘In the middle stands virtue’. Koons, in fact, seems to have commercialised his undeniable aesthetic. The craft ability of Koons is another pro, and the materials used are of quality, but maybe at the Newport Street Gallery those big spaces are not so convenient to give the right degree of emotion.

The exhibition explored the innate talent of Koons to mesmerize and to provoke. Employing easily-identified images, he investigated social mobility in the Equilibrium Nike posters, the ways alcohol is advertised to diverse demographics in Luxury and Degradation, and the evocative imagery of childhood toys represented in Celebration.

In the Made in Heaven series, Koons analysed the stigma and the shame that are intrinsic in contemporary conceptions of sexuality, and brought them back to a more biological aspect, through the use of erotic scenes images involving the artist and his then-wife Ilona Staller (aka ‘Cicciolina’).

Jeff Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania, on 21st January 1955. He studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1976. Since his first solo exhibition in 1980, Koons’s work has been shown in major galleries and institutions throughout the world. A full survey of Koons’s career was the subject of a major exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, which travelled to the Centre Pompidou in Paris and to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Koons lives and works in New York City.

Newport Street Gallery opened in Vauxhall, south London, in October 2015. Spanning five buildings, the gallery presents solo or group exhibitions of work drawn from Damien Hirst’s extensive art collection, which he has been building since the late 1980s.

Co -curated by Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, the exhibition “Now” was at the Newport Street Gallery, London, from 18th May until 16th October 2016.