Exhibition ‘currentmood’ Installation view, 2016 © Cory Arcangel, co. Lisson Gallery, London.

London – “Cory Arcangel: ‘currentmood’” was an interesting exhibition at the Lisson Gallery, but also online.

The exhibition “Cory Arcangel: ‘currentmood’” took place at Lisson Gallery London and extended online through an advertising campaign.

Arcangel is one of the most important exponents of technology - based art. He often post on social media using the hashtag #currentmood. Its practice mirrors the current web - culture dominating the entire world, including those countries apparently underdeveloped.

The new works of the Lisson Gallery London exhibition were presented in a ‘listicle’ way, including image dump self-portrait of Arcangel. New works were displayed IRL (Internet slang for “In Real Life”). The most interesting work, differentiating from the rest, was an installation of a series of slippers.

Source of inspiration for Arcangel is a multiplicity of media, including scans of Ibiza flyers, tracksuits and magazines; default Photoshop image effects; commercial and cell phone photography; low-res screen captures, as well as emulations and re-prints of earlier works by the artist.

For ‘currentmood’, online Arcangel diffused a series of tailored ads, scattered across the Internet as ‘promoted content’. Therefore, the general frame of the ‘currentmood’ exhibition is a drastic unranked position inspired by the Internet self governance.

In homage to the open source culture, Arcangel is keen to spread his own work by exhibiting the same image both IRL in a white cube and online as ‘click bait’. He is still loyal to open source culture and makes his work and methods available online, also giving references to the value of the art object.

The works at the exhibition at the Lisson Gallery London were inspired by the dualism of the business of technology which rapidly brings occasions but also forget with the same haste. Arcangel cares about collective memories, for example in recycling the Java applet ‘lake’ much used two decades ago, or other common software or web technology.

Kitsch, cheap or trite graphics and images are ironically included into a dialogue that blends art history, literature and music. Arcangel said: “I’m not taking sides with almost anything. For me, to see how these things change is my interest.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It was in 1996, while studying classical guitar at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Cory Arcangel had the first occasion to use a high-speed Internet connection. He then was encouraged to major in music technology and start learning to code, and up to today these are his main approaches to the informatics and internet environment.

Cory Arcangel was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1978 and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received a BM from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 2000. He is the youngest artist since Bruce Nauman to have been given a full floor solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2011). Arcangel has had major solo exhibitions at Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik, GAMeC, Bergamo and Espace Louis Vuitton München, Munich (all 2015); Herning Museum of Contemporary Art (2014); Fondation DHC/Art, Montreal (2013); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2013); Barbican Art Gallery, London (2011); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2010) and Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2010). He was awarded the 2015 Kino der Kunst Award for the Filmic Ouvre. In 2014, he launched Arcangel Surfware, a merchandise and publishing imprint located at www.arcangelsurfware.biz; also in 2014, Penguin published his first novel, Working on My Novel.


The exhibition “Cory Arcangel: ‘currentmood’” was at the Lisson Gallery, London, from 20th May until 2nd July 2016.

Untitled by Theodore Chronis Metamorphosis Exhibition 2016 Artmoorhouse Gallery, London


 London – Artmoorhouse presented the interesting “Μεταμόρφωσις: Beyond Shapes”, a collective exhibition of Greek artists only.

The exhibition catalogue opens with the phrase: “Art is the free motion, an intuitive response to the reality in which it finds expression, of which it is the expression.” Philosophy is complicated and the concept adopted for this show is difficult as well.

The point is metamorphosis implies changes. A widely used concept, metamorphosis comes from biology and it is a process by which an animal physically develops after birth. As a topic it has been extensively adopted by any sort of art and expressed by using all media.

Metamorphosis is keen to another philosophical concept ‘Panta rei’, which means ‘Everything flows’. Heraclitus firstly expressed it, meaning that there is a constant movement in every aspect of life. Becoming is, according to Heraclitus, the essence of ‘Being’, because everything is subject to time and transformation.

Also quantum physics confirm it and it has been proven scientifically. Even what seems static to sensory perception in reality is dynamic and constantly changing. Everything we consider solid and composed of matter, as it can be a chair, an apple, or a human being, it consists in infinitely small atoms which are vibrating to a certain frequency: so there is movement.

In this sense the exhibition Μεταμόρφωσις: Beyond Shapes” present a common point between artistic and philosophical intuition concepts - but also physics and science should be added – look beyond the convenience of ordinary perspectives.

The logic of identity does not allow that one thing can be another, but at the Artmoorhouse exhibition it is art that captures this process, in its many different forms.

But not everyone is able to recognize this movement. Only a few could be awake, those who can recognize the common law of the nature, the others, the dormant, living in a dream, they are prisoners of the opposition, the struggle, the conflict, unable to rise to the unity of all.

Contemporary artistic practice has a tendency of be stick to reality conceptualizations avoiding abstracts. “Μεταμόρφωσις: Beyond Shapes” exhibition presents five artists whose work is an attempt to align the whole of non-representation with archetypes, which in this case lie not in the world of objects but in the sphere of philosophy and non-existence.

All Greek, the artists are Anna Antarti; Theodore Chronis; Vassiliki Koskiniotou; Konstantinos Mihalos; and Zacharias Papantoniou.

The composition of the work of Anna Antarti consists in vertical direction and shape, reflecting a powerful dynamic quality, in large scale canvasses with minimalistic elements.

Theodore Chronis considers himself a figurative painter with an understanding of limitations and loopholes of figuration and of painting in general.

Vassiliki Koskiniotou uses the ladder, the spiral and the helix as a leitmotif for his work, and to represent the female form or to suggest the double helix of life and creation nodding to the erotic aspect of it.

The caged figures of Konstantinos Mihalos symbolize modern man entrapment on a psychological but also social and cultural level. In its work he represents his own reflections on philosophy, spiritual and social concepts.

Rich in colour and texture, the work of Zacharias Papantoniou has an individual tone that uses contemporary visual language of multiple references and influences and it is focused on the artist’s personal internal concerns and reflection.

The exhibition “Μεταμόρφωσις: Beyond Shapes” was curated by Elisa Martinelli (Artmoorhouse, London, UK) and Avra Alevropoulou (Malou Art Consulting, Athens, Greece).

At the Artmoorhouse, “Μεταμόρφωσις: Beyond Shapes” run from 2nd June until 1st July 2016 Moor house, 120 London Wall, London, EC2 Y5ET.

Wandering and Wondering, 2016 © Stanley Whitney, co. of Lisson Gallery, London.


It has been a wonderful exhibitionStanley Whitney: Radical Times” at the Lisson Gallery, London.

With Radical Times, the painter Stanley Whitney was at its first exhibition in London, promoted by the Lisson Gallery.

Whitney exhibited a series of oil paintings and gouache on paper works made over the last few months and enthused by various sources, including global events, literature and music.

The exhibition name Radical Times comes from one of the new painting on display, which topic is related to the political and social chaos and to the considerable events we are experiencing today.

Another interesting work on show was Deep Water. This painting was made while the artists observed migrants coming to Greece escaping from the dreadful Middle East war zone.

Other works like Wandering and Wondering (2016), Nightlife and Dreamtime (2016) focused on holiday time, contemplation and relax in a contraposition with the hectic nature of life.

According to the personal style of the artist, the paintings on show at the Lisson Gallery of London were made following a repetitive pattern of colours, based on the use of a freely painted grid. His works rely on the visual impact on the value and saturation of colour.

Stanley Whitney uses contrasting colours to bring to mind liaisons, but they can be similar or discordant. It is abstract composition made up of coloured blocks and lines typically in three or more stacks. The juxtaposition between the coloured elements consents to Whitney to play without end. The artist, in fact, has an immeasurable number of options to modify the rectangular shapes by altering dimension, density, transparency and blurring.

However, using the same similar pattern in all his works may brings the eyes of the visitors to disaffection, because spotting the differences is laborious.

The artist has been investigating this approach for almost three decades. His practice of painted tessellation has been constantly refined and he refers to this enhancement process like an athlete training to stay in shape.

Another aspect of the work of Stanley Whitney is its strong connection to music, especially to jazz and African harmonies. He says he practices dance steps before doing canvas. Jazz clubs in Philadelphia and New York pulled him into a multi-ethnic bohemian lifestyle. He also uses a technique called “call and response” to decide which colours set nearby and it is adopted by the musical pattern of the same name.

Considering the rhythm of the works, Whitney quotes the painting Masters together with jazz renowned musicians, such as Charlie Parker or Ornette Coleman. He has often mentioned of the influence that Coleman’s album “The Shape of Jazz to Come” (1959) had on him when still at school.

Stanley Whitney was born in Philadelphia (US) in 1946. He lives and works in New York City and Parma, Italy. He holds a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute as well as an MFA from Yale University and is currently Professor Emeritus of painting and drawing at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia. His major solo exhibition, ‘Dance the Orange’ was at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2015) and he has been included in many group shows such as ‘Nero su Bianco’ at the American Academy in Rome (2015); ‘Outside the Lines: Black in the Abstract’, Contemporary Art Museum of Houston (2014); ‘Reinventing Abstraction: New York Painting in the 1980s’, Cheim & Read, New York (2013) and ‘Utopia Station’ at the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). He has won prizes including the Robert De Niro Sr. Prize in Painting (2011), the American Academy of Arts and Letters Art Award (2010) and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996. Whitney’s work is included in public collections such as the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven.

The exhibition “Stanley Whitney: Radical Times” was at the Lisson Gallery, London, from 20th May until 2nd July 2016. 

Platform for Emerging Arts #11 exhibition at the Leyden Gallery, London.


David Franchi – Wednesday, 21 September 2016

It has been very interesting Platform for Emerging Arts #11 exhibition at the Leyden Gallery, London.

A mixed media exhibition, it displayed six gifted emerging artists for a total of 54 works.

Curators Adriana Cerne & Lindsay Moran personally selected the artists according to their potential and abilities.

The Platform for Emerging Arts series is that it is based upon an open call. The outcome is an exceptional mix of techniques, ideas, knowledge and energy, developing in the distinctive space of the Leyden Gallery, London. Artists on show are at the beginning of their careers. In the past, Leyden Gallery, London, was able to recognise artist who later were critically acclaimed and had commercial success.

Participating artists to Platform for Emerging Arts #11 exhibition were: Rowena Wright; Lottie Murphy; Kaya Tokuhisa; Kit Brown; Liz Bending; and Tina Crawford.

Rowena Wright has an interesting working process, key to understand her sculpture. Although apparently abstract, the artist moves to the figurative and corporeal, by means of the physicality of her work with materials. Her sculptures are the result of her hand- work, while she tries to imprison the abstract form of the body. She said: “If my sheet steel appears fluid and my copper is reminiscent of skin, it indicates to me that my intentions are being realised.” The work ‘Bogman’ (2015) is probably the most interesting piece on display. It is a relevant sculpture of the dead body or a mummy of, possibly, an ancient man found in archaeological researches. It reminds Ötzi, the 5,300 years old mummy of a man, found in 1991 in the Ötztal Alps, hence the nickname, near the Similaun Mountain and Hauslabjoch on the border between Austria and Italy. Although a little spooky, the yellowish mustard colour brings back light perception.

Lottie Murphy is a painter whose inspiration generates from photographs and found images of architecture, landscape and objects. Depicting a bizarre otherworld, she tries to surround with the emerging anxiety. The artist mix urban and rural landscapes into what she describes as ‘edge lands’, free from context and inhabitancy. References are surrealist artists such as Frida Kahlo and Leonora Carrington. Although she does not depict people, her paintings are loaded with the human symbols of puzzlingly placed chairs, stairs and doorways and other unexplained architectural features where the viewer assumes there is an uncertain human presence.

Reinterpreting the still life genre, Kaya Tokuhisa is a painter with an experience in film-making. Her uncommon work on oil canvases is inspired to conceptual art. The light usage gives back the adequate atmosphere of a particular situation, just as it would on a film set or stage, and her objects take on an anthropomorphic meaning as human characters. Since centuries, pomegranates are a conventional symbol of fertility. However, Kaya Tokuhisa in her ‘Petrified Pomegranates’ alters the significance by giving to them a more physical presence, panicky grouping them together in fear of a knife. 

Experimenting with a new format, Kit Brown displayed work confirmed to be different from his usual installation - sound and video. His new series of tiny wall based pieces may appear ordinary in comparison to his previous work, but nonetheless experimental. The evident straightforwardness of the work is intentional, of course, and it looks at complex thoughts and to incorporate them into a condensed and primary concentrate.

Hosting the political legacy of printmaking, Lizy Bending focused on issues surrounding politics, society, culture and the economy to make them easier to be reached. She mixes print media with the construction of objects. The goal of her work is to provoke debate, using emotive aesthetics that transform socio-political concepts into visually inspiring pieces of art. Inspiring to archive and museum concepts, she makes digital prints that are then altered to be adapted to the displaying physical space.

Tina Crawford uses the sewing machine as her main artistic medium. She depicts outlandish figure s of the skeletal and anatomical forms of both real and mythological creatures. Despite being considered a modest technique, the artist’s potent images give an idea of the possibilities that the sewing machine can have. Sewing machine can be used by an intuitive and skilled artist, like Crawford who has had a successful career in free embroidery illustration, designing pieces for clients such as Shakespeare’s Globe, Kew Gardens and the Museum of London.

The exhibition Platform for Emerging Arts #11 was at the Leyden Gallery, Liverpool Street, London, from 20th until 30th July 2016.