21.10.14

Frank Bowling In Conversation

Amidst the Frieze furore of last week that reverberated across all corners of the capital, the stylish tranquillity of The Keeper’s House at the Royal Academy played host to an intimate evening in conversation with the artist and Royal Academician, Frank Bowling, OBE. Ahead of the abstract painter’s major exhibition opening this week at the Spritmuseum, Stockholm – home of the Absolut Art Collection - guests had the pleasure of being introduced to the exhibition’s curator Mia Sundberg, art historian Courtney J. Martin as well as critic and long-term friend of Bowling, Mel Gooding.

Traingone will showcase works produced in the artist’s New York and London studios between 1979 and 1996. The exhibition marks a resurgence of global attention that Bowling has received after his solo exhibition, Focus Display at Tate Britain in 2012.

The evening covered the artist’s colourful career that is famously reflected in his large-scale canvases. After graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1962, Bowling left London for New York with a “longing to be in literary things” and found his feet within the contemporary literary scene of poets and writers resisidng in the metropolis. It was there Bowling first met fellow Brit Gooding who developed an interest in the artist’s work and his inspiration, which was rooted in the works of great English painters such as Gainsborough, Constable and Turner. Gooding described Bowling at the time of possessing, “an inner knowledge of the works of American artists as a British outsider” while armed with classical foundations. This quality allowed Bowling a freedom to experiment on the canvas unseen before on the New York art scene that saw various influences of geometry and plastic materials manipulated to create sculptural relief on the surface. Charismatically, Bowling describes his practice as being  “intent on making competitive imagery”, which has seen his poetically titled works go on display in a number of prominent international exhibitions and collections throughout his career.
Detail - Traingone (Mahaicony Abary), 1996
Lauded by Gooding as a “master of Colour Field painting’, Bowling’s kelaidescopic-scapes attract the viewer with colour and entice in contextual dynamism – a formula that has proved Bowling’s foresight and endurance in today’s competitive painting market.

The 78 year old artist continues to work between London and New York and is represented by Hales Gallery, London.

Traingone by Frank Bowling, OBE RA opens at the Spritmusem in Stockholm, Sweden on 23rd October 2014 and runs to 6th April 2015.

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17.10.14

ICA: Off-Site - The Last 3 Years and the Future

The Institute of Contemporary Arts returns to The Old Selfridges Hotel for another year and brings with it a host of international guests for its ICA: Off-Site programme. The concrete carcass of the former residence that sits on the west wing of the luxury department store on Orchard Street sets the scene for an electric schedule of live performance across the mediums of music, art, dance and debate to coincide with Frieze week.
As well as highlights starring Isabel Lewis, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Rhizome, last Thursday’s highly anticipated collaborative set between Korakrit Arunanondchai and boychild with AJGvojic commanded block-long queues for the late evening performance.

The Last 3 Years and the Future comprised of four video works accompanied by a live performance centred around a stage that had been decorated with Arunanondchai’s trademark bleached denim canvases. 
The scene in The Old Selfrdiges Hall reflected the current state of young performance art that the Bangkok-born New York-based artist is affiliated with: an unashamed aesthetic clash and sensory overload that parallels our virtual demeanour for information and speed. 
The four video works that span between 2012 and 2014 were collaborative in their construct – another emerging signature of new-age performance art – to create a complex overlapping of narrative and context shot over specific lengths of time and rooted in the artist’s heritage. 
The Future (2014) – the last in the four-part series – is an ongoing feature film shot this summer in collaboration with boychild: an intensely captivating chameleon and performance artist based in Los Angeles. Clips of popular culture television such as talent shows and news feeds are spliced together with cultural landscapes and digitally manipulated imagery over a dynamic score that set the scene for the anticipated live element of the performance. 
The theatrics of strobe lighting and smoke machines - designed by Serbian AJGvojic - created an impressive climax through the various sets to a break in its pace. Arunanondchai and his smoking, denim-clad posse handed over the stage to boychild’s exhilarating body-centric display. A remix cut of TLC’s 1999-hit Unpretty accelerated as the metamorphic artist produced gender-bending shapes and convulsions that played on notions of beauty, androgyny and anarchy shrouded in an apocalyptic haze. 
From Arunanondchai’s denim canvases to boychild’s body-as-canvas and AJGvojic's canvassing of the environment with texture and sound, The Last 3 Years and the Future was a stimulating experience to behold of 'live surface' expression and an exciting insight in the radical directions and influences being explored within contemporary performance art.
View more images and video from the performance The Last 3 Years and the Future by Korakrit Arunanondchai and boychild with AJGvojic on my Tumblr page hashtag-highlife-lowlife.tumblr.com
ICA: Off-Site runs to 18th October 2014 at The Old Selfridges Hotel, above Selfridges Food Hall – click here for a full schedule of live events. Korakrit Arunanondchai’s denim paintings may be viewed at the ICA on The Mall in the group exhibition Beware Wet Paint through to 16th November 2014.

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Top image courtesy of ICA

14.10.14

Frieze Week: White Cube Escape

With Frieze London now in full swing, it may be impossible to find a tin of white paint anywhere in the capital. With over 160 contemporary galleries featured at this year’s fair, that’s a lot of stands to be transformed into white cube utopias with the prospect of dangerously entering ‘once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all’ territory. If you’re looking for an art fix with a difference, head off-piste from the white-capped surroundings of Regent’s Park with my pick of 5 alternative spaces to view contemporary art set in the surroundings of zoos, hotels and office spaces across the capital during Frieze week:


Paradigm Store at 5 Howick Place

There may be no better location than Victoria to reflect London’s expanding growth – it’s sheer speed perhaps represented by the wind swept public art sculpture by Yinka Shonibare, MBE – aptly titled Wind Sculpture – that resides opposite the vacant commercial space-turned-temporary backdrop for the international group exhibition Paradigm Store. Spread across five floors and 80,000 sq ft, Paradigm Store presents an impressive display of new and recent works by seventeen artists selected by curatorial partnership Tina Sotiriadi and Alistair Howick of HS Projects
Untitled: No Inside, 2014 by Simon Bedwell - variable dimensions
Photo: Sylvain Deleu - Courtesy of the Artist & MOT International
The diverse exhibition explores issues of the decorative and the functional, incorporating a variety of mixed media works that are concerned with the relationship between conceptual art and design. Visiting the exhibition is by appointment only and provides an exceptional opportunity to be personally guided by Sotiriadi and Howick through the compelling installations by artists such as Claire Barclay, Ulla von Brandenburg, Cullinan Richards, Simon Bedwell and David Shrigley.
Paradigm Store continues through to 5th November 2014 at 5 Howick Place SW1 1BH – viewing appointments may be arranged with Allison Thorpe at Sutton PR - allison@suttonpr.com
Little Manhattan, 2007–2009 by Yutaka Sone - marble, 55.2 x 265.1 x 85.1 cm
Photo: Sylvain Deleu- Courtesy of the Artist & David Zwirner Gallery, New York/London


ICA Off-Site: The Old Selfridges Hotel

The dilapidated, concrete carcass of the former Selfridges Hotel in Mayfair plays host to another ICA Off-Site programme from the capital’s pioneering Institute of Contemporary Arts. This year’s event will encompass a dynamic schedule of performance, music, art, dance and discussion presented by both London-based creative platforms and international artists. 
Brooklyn-based artist and curator Isabel Lewis will launch the week-long event that will feature the collaborative performance The Last 3 Years and the Future between New York-based artist Korakrit Arunanondchai with boychild and AJ Gvojic as well as the discussion of art’s function and circulation in our internet age conducted by online arts platform Rhizome.
ICA Off-Site: The Old Selfridges Hotel at 1 Orchard Street W1U 1QZ runs to 18th October 2014 with daily events and live performances.


Angela Bulloch for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

With the art world’s ever-increasing affinity with the luxury sector through collaborations and limited editions, it is no surprise one of the world’s most prestigious motor car manufacturers want to ride the successful art-luxury formula. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars have commissioned celebrated artist and Turner Prize-nominee Angela Bulloch to create a new work derived from the properties and scale of the marque’s equally celebrated Phantom model. Cipher of L. is materialised in the artist’s ‘Pixel Box’ aesthetic, emitting coloured light that reflects the manufacturer’s bespoke 44,000 hue-option pallet.
The specially commissioned installation, Cipher of L. by Angela Bulloch will be on show in the Rolls-Royce Motor Cars London showroom, 15 Berkeley Square W1J BDT until 23rd October 2014.
Cipher of L., 2014 by Angela Bulloch
Photo: copyright Getty Images - Nicky J Sims


One Man’s Trash (Is Another Man’s Treasure) at 33 Fitzroy Square

A rare opportunity to view the conceptual works from the Danjuma Collection will be on display within the Georgian splendour of 33 Fitzroy Square, near to Regent’s Park, throughout the month of October. Founded by London-based collector Theo Danjuma in 2008, the collection includes over 400 works by established and emerging artists including Wade Guyton, Alex Israel and Dahn Vo. One Man’s Trash (Is Another Man’s Treasure) will explore the idea of found material employed by the artists represented in the collection. Contemporary African art will also feature, providing a unique landscape of global artistic activity.
One Man’s Trash (Is Another Man’s Treasure) will occupy 33 Fitzroy Square W1T 6EU through to 28th October 2014.
BC (3550), 2011 by Ruby Sterling


Cerith Wyn Evans at ZSL London Zoo

With the intentions of creating an exhibition for both human and animal life alike, Cerith Wyn Evans presents his contribution to this year’s Frieze Projects within ZSL London Zoo. The multisensory neon intervention will be installed in the zoo’s Snowdon Aviary, designed by Antony Armstrong-Jones (Lord Snowdon), Cedric Price and Frank Newby.
Cerith Wyn Evans at ZSL London Zoo will be on show during Frieze Art Fair through to 19th October.
Cerith Wyn Evans at ZSL London Zoo for Frieze Projects

Discover this year’s Frieze highlights and new programmes on the Frieze London schedule in my article for London Calling available to read here.

11.10.14

Frieze London

The art world descends on London this week for arguably the highlight in the art market's global calendar. For several weeks Regent’s Park has been at the centre of a hive of activity in preparation for the twelfth edition of Frieze Art Fair. Over 160 leading contemporary galleries and over 1000 artists from around the world will be showcased under a temporary white cube mothership, designed by Barber & Osgerby of London-based Universal Design Studio.
Frieze week is a fl├óneur’s paradise for not only high quality art but the spectacle of artists, curators, collectors and members of the art cognoscenti who peruse statement gallery stands and jaunt from country to country – travelling as locally between West and East London to as far reaching as the contemporary art quarters of America, Asia and Europe, all within a few stylish steps from one another.

Discover my guide to this year’s schedule at London Calling, the latest platform where I will be contributing arts and culture-related highlights in the capital. Plan your visit to Frieze with my breakdown of the five programmes taking place between 15th and 19th October. From the annual Frieze Projects commissions that will be popping up across several locations on- and off-site to the popular Frieze Sculpture Park featuring international public art works in Regent’s Park as well as old guard creations at Frieze Masters - there is something for every eye at Frieze.

Visit London Calling to read my article Frieze Art Fair: London 2014 in full.
Frieze Film - Baby I Got Better Things To Be Doing With My Time by Cally Spooner

Frieze Art Fair runs from 15th-18th October and Frieze Masters between 15th-19th October in Regent’s Park, London. Access to Frieze Sculpture Park is free to the public.