Articles Tagged with: delphian gallery

Hector Campbell Interview

Curator and art historian Hector Campbell has curated a brilliant show of all student or recent-graduate painters, which opens in London on the 22nd of November. We decided to catch-up with him to find out a little about the show.

Firstly, could you please tell the readers a little about your background?

I recently moved to London, having lived in Bristol for the last six years. I studied History of Art at Bristol University, which was a great course and allowed me to participate in curatorial projects with their print and theatre collections. However, as with many university courses, the actual contact hours were relatively few (around 4 or 5 hours of lectures a week) so I had plenty of time to get involved in some exciting projects that the thriving Bristol art scene had to offer. Having been interested in Street Art and Graffiti since my teenage years, I was lucky enough to get work with many artists whose work I had been a fan of for over a decade. During my time in Bristol I worked alongside author and curate Ed Bartlett to compile travel publisher Lonely Planet’s first ‘Street Art’ guidebook, organised the UK premiere of documentary Saving Banksy complete with live painting from Blek le Rat and others, and worked for Fluorescent Smogg, a gallery and production house doing some of the best work in Street Art/Graffiti scene.

In the last couple of years I found myself coming to London more and more frequently for events and exhibitions (quite often seeing 20 exhibitions a day to try and fit in as many as possible), so it felt about the right time to move to London and see what opportunities it had to offer, and so far it’s been incredibly rewarding.

 

There are some really exciting young painters coming up at the moment, can you tell me a little bit about some of the artists you’ve discovered and how you found their work? 

I think it’s a very exciting time for painting, especially in London. With a large proportion of post- YBA generation artists turning to sculpture, video and installation in the 00’s, it’s only recently that I’ve noticed a big return to painting, especially amongst student and young artists.

I was overwhelmed by the response from the artists I approached about this exhibition, and the line-up is something I could only have dreamed about when I started planning this show a few months ago. Many of the artists I discovered at degree shows; Elisa Carutti and Minyoung Choi both showed incredible bodies of work in the Slade School of Fine Art’s MA show, and Marco Piemonte I found hidden down a long corridor during Chelsea College of Art’s MA show. I first saw Jonathan Kelly’s work in the 2017 Royal Academy Schools show, and have been a fan of his since then. India Nielsen’s work I had seen on Instagram (a brilliant resource for anyone involved in art, and where I daily find new artists that I love), and was excited to see it in person at the Royal College of Art degree show earlier this year. A friend of mine at Edinburgh University recommended Emily Herring’s work to me a while ago, and when she moved back to London after graduating I made sure to check it out. Finally, I first saw Lydia Blakeley and Rhiannon Salisbury’s work in small group exhibitions, Lydia’s at Enclave Projects in Deptford and Rhiannon’s at the Turps Painting Leavers Show at Paul Stolper Gallery.

Hector Campbell - Jonathan Kelly

Jonathan Kelly



Why did you decide to curate a show of exclusively students and recent graduates?

I started going to some of the big degree shows a few years ago, after realising they were great places to see work by emerging artists, and having not realised before that they were open to the public. This year I made a concerted effort to go to as many as possible, and I found that it was always the paintings that I was drawn to most. As a member of the public going to look around a degree show, you often have minimal resources available to you, the name of the works, and occasional artist statement if you’re lucky. You’re therefore left to take the works largely on aesthetic value, and while I’m sure much of the more experimental video, sculpture and installations on show are fascinating once being conceptualised to the professors in the critique, painting is accessible without that level of description or explanation.

Admission Productions, who are presenting the exhibition, have taken a chance on me as an emerging curator, so I thought it only right to continue that trend and show the work of some of my favourite student and graduate artists.

Did you have a particular feel in mind for the show and have you selected the individual works that the artists are putting in, or have you allowed them to submit whatever they choose? 

The exhibition space, Arthill Gallery in West Brompton, is beautiful and has partition walls creating lots of hanging space. I’ve therefore asked each artist to submit one or two larger works, as I think it’s rare that emerging artists get the chance to show works of this size, especially in a group exhibition. Each artist will almost get their own space within the gallery for these larger paintings. Then there is a long back wall at the gallery where I plan to do a salon hang of smaller works, with each artists giving us two small paintings, and that’s where I plan to draw out the relationships between the artists and the individual works and hopefully find some common themes. I’m not having a big say in the individual works, as excitingly the majority of the artists are making new paintings for this exhibition.

Hector Campbell - Rhiannon Salisbury

Rhiannon Salisbury



How does your role as an art historian inform your role as a curator, and vice versa?

I think that my background in Art History has allowed me to develop a certain level of connoisseurship, having been taught the skills of visual analysis and the importance of looking, alongside the purely historical studies that I’ve done. I hope that this allows me to select artists who not only I love, but that the public will love as well.

On the flip side, I think curating informs my practice as an art historian as there’s no substitute for the practical application of staging an exhibition. The problems and issues you encounter and overcome during that process, therefore, gives me a greater understanding of the history of exhibitions and curatorial practice as a whole.

If you would like to see more of the works in the show, Hector will be doing a week-long takeover on our sister account @Daily_Contemporary_Art from the 19th.

Young London Painters opens on the 22nd of November at Arthill Gallery, North End Road, West Brompton, W14 9NU.

Private view: 22/11/18 7-10pm

Show run: 23+24th of November 10am-5pm.

Hector Campbell recently interviewed us for Arrested Motion, which can be read HERE

Hector Campbell


Border Controls

BORDER CONTROLS
Rosalind Davis and Justin Hibbs
The Sevenoaks Kaleidoscope Gallery, Buckhurst Lane Sevenoaks, TN13 1LQ 

 
Special Event:
Saturday 24 November 2.30-4.30pm.
Artists in conversation with Sasha Bowles. Talk begins at 3pm. Free

Read an exhibition review by David Minton here 
Excerpt: As an infectious notion of composing takes shape, we are both empowered and constrained by the frame to choose and compose, reject and move on. Looking from the ‘other’ open end of the piece, the ‘back’, alter-ego to the mirrored surface, is softer in black and grey, pulling, as it were, its mirrored side out to escape to a freer space; ground, welded corners and workplace matter-of-factness of steel subvert any illusions that the reflections might harbour of what might be real….

Sensibilities and sensitivities inhabit touch and mark, eye and concept, point and counterpoint. Inferences resonate knowingly through the works here in a to-ing and fro-ing of aesthetic positions.
The implicit notion of taste that infuses this show offers hints and tints of suggestion, of control and direction, the collaboration dance-like, leading and following, point and counterpoint…..

Exhibition: 6-24 November 2018 
Opening times: Monday to Friday (except Thursday) 9-6pm | Thursday: 9- 8pm | Saturday: 9-5pm 
Only 35 minutes from Charing Cross, 27 minutes from London Bridge with frequent trains. 

Border Controls - Rosalind Davis Justin Hibbs

Border Controls – Rosalind Davis Justin Hibbs

Border Controls is an exhibition considered within the shadow of increasingly restricted borders and political controls with regard to migration and the increasing isolationism seen both here in the UK (with Brexit) as well as the wider geographical tensions seen currently in Europe and America. The collaboration between Davis and Hibbs see’s the artists’ consciously inhabiting the thresholds and boundaries between their respective practices in an attempt to openup conversation and discourse around these issues. The personal and political dimensions of art-making and authorship are seen here as a lens through which to consider wider social concerns and questions that address the dynamics of power, autonomy and control.

For their exhibition at Kaleidoscope Gallery, Davis and Hibbs will show the piece ‘Border Controls’– a large scale  sculptural installation that brings together different aspects of both artists practice into direct dialogue with one another, creating a single collaborative work. Alongside this the artists will also exhibita number of individual artworks that extend this conversation. Within the parameters of the gallery neither artists work can be negotiated without experiencing reflections of the other within them. Physical borders cross, overlap, fluctuate and collapse within an installation which transforms, dematerialises and disorients our understanding of space.

Border Controls - Rosalind Davis Justin Hibbs

Border Controls – Rosalind Davis Justin Hibbs

Davis and Hibbs have collaborated informally for years; over shared thematic concerns, overlapping research interests and an ongoing ‘conversation’ around one another’s practices and curatorial projects. Both have independent careers but also are a couple who share a studio, where inevitable questions arise about how and where to set boundaries.

‘Artistic production is nodal, networked, and a perpetually unfinished project, things nudging each other, domino effects transpiring. The real-world analogue of this is that in an artist’s studio, it’s always a transitional moment: the detached artwork as standalone statement is a falsity, a piece of theatre. In reality, one thing leads to another, all kinds of ambient forces shaping what’s made’(Martin Herbert).

The artists individual practices share common references to the social, political and aesthetic agendas encoded within architectural structures and in different ways renegotiate the visual and ideological legacies of modernism to probe both real and idealised notions of space. They create structures where interpretation and the reading of context is contingent on the audiences’ individual and relational responses.

“Davis’ sculptural interventions have an ability to change composition in a circular narrative portraying how we move through space while adapting to the structures and how we adapt structure to the way we move through space.’  (Jillian Knipe. Wall Street International).There is an ongoing negotiation between our perspective of being external to the structure and our bodily experience of interacting with it.

Hibbs’ site-specific installations, sculptures and wall drawings re-map the relationships between architecture, spatial perception and it’s representation across different formats. With a sense of constantly shifting perspectives the work plays off the spatial illusionism of the image with the structural language of three-dimensional construction processes.

#Bordercontrols
Web: www.rosalinddavis.co.uk | www.svaf.co.uk 

Instagram: @rosalindnldavis | @justinjhibbs | @sevenoakskaleidoscope
Twitter: @rosalinddavis | @Justinjhibbs | @KaleidoscopGa

Artists biogs here. 

 

We will be hosting a talk with Rosalind during our next show with Jordy Kerwick, which you can find out more about HERE


Hayden Kays Interview

Hayden Kays has an upcoming solo show with our friends theprintspace, the private view opens at 6:30pm on Thursday the 8th of November, so we thought we’d catch up with him and ask him a few questions about the show.

Hayden Kays - Complete Kunst Show

Hayden Kays – Complete Kunst Show Flyer


Will this be a show of new works, or have we seen some of them before?

‘Complete Kunst Show’ is a collection of new and older works, a lot of which have never been committed to print before. It’s the perfect place to buy a little something for someone you don’t like that much.

You court controversy in a lot of your work, what is it about this close-to-the-wire work that interests you?

I’m frequently accused of being controversial and I just don’t think I am. I think life is fucking controversial, half the world if starving to death, while the other half is stuffing their faces. We are able to pipe oil out of and around the globe at breakneck speed, but we’re not capable of piping clean drinking water to everyone. Life is controversial.

Hayden Kays - Complete Kunst Show

Can’t See The Forest For The Corporate Disease

Have you ever had any negative responses to your work, and what has this taught you about yourself and your work?

I’ve had every kind of response to my work. I find the praise often more uncomfortable than the criticism. If I’m talking to someone and they say they love my work, I say ‘thanks’ and that’s usually the end of it. It’s difficult to build up on love. If someone says they think ‘it’s fucking shit’, now we’re starting at such a low foundation the only way is up. It’s hard to get worse than ‘fucking shit’.
How much control do you think artists have over how their work is received?
No control, or very little at the most. I’ve got a pretty good grasp on the potential baggage people are bringing with them when viewing my work, I try to flick and prod different areas of the baggage. This said, everyone is packed totally uniquely so as an artist i’m only ever making assumptions about potential responses.
Often the work i’m most pleased with falls flat and the flippant work is praised. There’s no rhyme or reason and that’s the reason I love it.
Hayden Kays - Complete Kunst Show

The Land Has Had Its Fill

Why do you do it, are you trying to change the world?
I’m not deluded enough to think I can change the world. I’m only able to change my world.
Art can open doors, Art can really move you, Art has got me here, Art gets me going, I believe in Art, it’s just sceptical of me.
If you were to be remembered for one thing, what would you like that one thing to be?
That I wasn’t concerned with being remembered.
Whats the most valuable thing you’ve ever stolen?
Hearts.
Hayden Kays’s Complete Kunst Show runs until the 12th of November at theprintspace – 74 Kingsland Road E28DL
See more of Hayden Kays work HERE

Diary of an Introvert – Jordy Kerwick

We are proud to present ‘Diary of an Introvert’ by Jordy Kerwick (b. 1982). This will be Kerwick’s debut UK solo show.
With a substantial Instagram following, he is part of a new generation of internationally renowned artists who attribute part of their success to connecting, sharing, and selling online.
 
diary of an introvert - jordy kerwick
His work draws on the contours of organic forms in domestic settings. Texture and colour inhabit his canvas, often centred on a potted plant. Sometimes traces of human life present themselves in way of an abandoned cigarette or a pile of books, their titles written playfully on their spines almost as if conversing with the viewer. The artist utilises a decisive use of impasto paint in blocks of colour combined with anarchic references to drugs, punk, and the odd romantic poet or philosopher. Kerwick’s paintings go beyond simply beautiful subject matter to reveal deeply personal stories like an inside joke.
 
We will be showing Kerwick‘s latest body of work of original paintings, as well as releasing his first ever limited edition prints.
Join us for the private view  on Thursday the 6th December from 6-9pm
Exhibition then runs 7th – 16th December.
For more information about Diary of an Introvert, and to see some behind-the-scenes images, please join us in the Facebook event HERE
To register your interest in purchasing available works, please email us HERE

Santiago Sierra – The Strangeness of Reality

Santiago Sierra is a Spanish artist who creates works that are seemingly morally bankrupt, and that initially inspire revulsion in the minds of most.  The pointless menial labor of marginalised members of society is what Sierra uses as the raw materials with which to create his works, and it is this that people find the most distressing.

Previous works have included: paying illegal immigrants to sit under boxes in galleries for hours at a time; bricking a gallery worker inside a room for 10 days; and covering 10 Iraqis in hardening foam.

 Santiago Sierra - The Strangeness of Reality

 

In one work 160cm Line Tattooed Four People– four prostitutes are paid in the price of a shot heroin, to have a line tattooed on their backs. The line is thin and straight, and spans the entire width of the back of one, continuing across all six. Thetattoo machine needle echoes the needle through which the nominal amount of heroin will be administered, and the tattoo speaks of the permanency of the tattoo in contrast to the immediate and short-lived effects of the heroin.

 

In this work,the women involved have made a conscious choice to accept the tattoo for the recompense offered. The decision is theirs alone, yet to the viewer this is unarguably exploitative and insensitive. Heroin addiction is tragic in its banality, and this is something that Sierra exposes through his exploitation of these women, in an equally banal and tragic way.

For the individual women tattooed, this work is clearly exploitative and unethical, but — if by its execution the needs and struggles of the chemically dependent are exposed to a wider audience, then the work can serve some positive purpose. This work may serve society on the whole, as through its utter depravity it may encourage people to offer help to those affected by addiction in a similar way.

 

The problem here lies with a society that allows these people to become so desperate that they are willing to go to such lengths. Sierra himself explained the work saying:

 

“The tattoo is not the problem. The problem is the existence of social conditions that allow me to make this work.”

 

This exploitation of individuals in order to serve society on the whole is unpalatable, but it is this unpalatability that affects us so profoundly, thus creating a real empathy that would be unachievable through the use of mere statistics. The exploitation of a few to serve the greater good may be ethically ambiguous, but it is something that happens all across society and all throughout history, to varying degrees of severity.

 

The revulsion that these works create in the viewer can be incredibly powerful in the fight against social injustice. Sierra’s works expose exploitation that is already there, even inside the institutions in which he shows his work. Sierra may pay someone minimum wage to sit in a gallery for four hours per day, but just down the corridor a security guard is paid the same amount to stand for often longer amounts of time.

In many ways, his work is the antithesis of Maria Eichhorn’s most recent work 5 Weeks, 25 Days, 175 Hours; in which she spent the budget for the show on closing the gallery and paying the staff to take the full duration of the show off work.

 

By highlighting these issues in the way that he does, Sierra stuns the viewer into action like the shock of cold water, and through this we are compelled to alter these types of situations in our own lives. His works afford the subjects a physicality that promotes much more intense feelings of empathy than can be created by plain numbers, seen upon a white page.

 

This works in much the same way as the documentation of war by photographers such as Don Mccullin. In a way, war photography is exploitative of those depicted dying and desolate, but the way in which these horrors are documented can promote viewers to help is incalculable. In this sense, the ends more than justify the means.

 

The exploitation of marginalised workers isn’t something that often makes headlines; it is the type of issue that is easy to sweep under the rug, and one that isnt likely to sell many newspapers. Those who are being exploited are often fearful or unable to stand up for themselves, and if they do, they risk losing their only source of income.

 

As a society we are programmed to exploit, always seeking the most high-quality product or service for the lowest price. Phrases such as ‘bargainand ‘great valuesuggest a victory for the consumer at the expense of the producer. Commerce and the payment for services is not an altruistic system, it is predicated on cynicism and exploitation. Menial wage exploitation isn’t a bold or particularly visible form of injustice, and it will never garner headlines like racism, sexism, or homophobia. By creating his works, Sierra is fore-fronting these issues and making them unavoidable; we are unable to ignore such horror, and therein lies the beauty of his works. There is no stronger way of compelling help from those who are able to give it, than by exposing to them their silent complicity in the injustice that they are so repulsed by.

 

Through inaction and acquiescence, we are all complicit in certain forms of exploitation; from the cheaply made items we consume and dispose of; to the sweatshop-made fashion we buy. We are constantly looking for the best deal: the highest quality with the cheapest price. This frugality when misdirected can fuel the exploitation machine, it pushes prices for products and services lower, and as a direct consequence it is the disadvantaged that suffer the greatest losses.

Santiago Sierra - The Strangeness of Reality 

Things (especially art) take their meaning from the viewers cache of similar past experience. The viewer attains their perspective by evaluating their feelings and understandings, seen through the prism of memory and how similar events have affected them.

If the positions of the artists ethical sensibilities, or the way those are portrayed are too obvious, the viewer reads the work as propaganda and becomes automatically and subconsciously defensive; or worse, dismissive. Art created didactically is better described as an applied art, or a piece of design, rather than true art — an idea summed up accurately by Gilda Williams:“If an artwork’s message is self-evident, maybe it’s just an illustration, a decorative non-entity, a well executed craft object, hardly counting as ‘significantart at all.

 

This means that meaning and intent on the part of the artist must be vague, so as to be absorbed neutrally and thus ruminated upon by the viewer. The viewer can then decide through further consideration the ethical or philosophical undertones to the work, and can feel as if they have discovered them independently. This is the best way to convey ideas through art and produce real change. It leaves the decisions up to the viewer, and the gratification they receive when they feel like they have understood, or elucidated meaning from a work is profound.

 

Upon entering a gallery, the viewer is somewhat unguarded when it comes to political discourse, and is thus more easily affected. Certain media outlets, orators, and publications for example can be dismissed before they have had a chance to convey any information due to the viewers preconceptions about their bias, validity, or trustworthiness. This is less frequent in an art gallery however, which it is why the gallery setting is the perfect arena for information dissemination and discussion. The very act of placing an item or situation into a gallery setting opens it up to a level of scrutiny that the complexity of normal life suppresses.

 

  What makes Sierras work all the more powerful is that it isnt some grandiose attempt to topple governments or promote revolution; it simply shows how people can affect change in a very real and tangible way. The change Sierra is suggesting is the rejection of a system that isnt working, and he is showing us exactly how to go about forcing that change. Upon seeing his work I cannot imagine any viewer not reevaluating how they see cheap labor, and changing their actions towards those less fortunate.

 

To borrow a phrase from Eugène Ionesco – “To tear ourselves away from the everyday, from habit, from mental laziness which hides from us the strangeness of reality, we must receive something like a real bludgeon blow.”

 

Benjamin Murphy

Originally published in AfterNyne Magazine.

 

For more about Santiago Sierra’s work, head over to Lisson Gallery.

 

What do you think about Santiago Sierra’s controversial works? Let us know in the comments below.


Jordy Kerwick Announcement

We are very excited to announce that we will be hosting Jordy Kerwick’s first ever UK solo show this December!

More info will be released soon, but if you would like to register your interest in purchasing a painting or print, please email info@delphiangallery.com

Jordy Kerwick

Jordy Kerwick

For more works like the one above, check out his work HERE, and to learn more about his amazing work go HERE


Arrested Motion Interview

We were  recently interviewed by art historian Hector Campbell for Arrested Motionwho recently sat down with our co-founder Benjamin Murphy, to discuss the history of the gallery, our own unique approach to curation, our inaugural Open Call exhibition, and the upcoming exhibition with Florence Hutchings, Seating Arrangement.

Hector Campbell (HC): Delphian Gallery has existed in one manifestation or another since 2013’s ‘Group Collective are Kunsts’ exhibition, could you explain how the gallery first came about? And how it has subsequently evolved into its current model?

Benjamin Murphy (BM): My co-director (photographer Nick JS Thompson) and I have been working together for a number of years after we met when he wrote an article about me in a magazine he used to manage. I went on to write for the magazine, and we both started co-curating one another’s shows. We both developed a deep love of, and interest in, the art of curation, and so decided to curate our first show in my old studio. It has been a real labour of love for us, which has built gradually into what Delphian is now – a peripatetic style gallery that takes the championing of exciting, emerging art as its key aim.

HC: Delphian, meaning ‘Obscurely Prophetic,’ derives from the Greek mythological oracle at Delphi. What was the rationale behind choosing ‘Delphian’, and how does it’s meaning underpin the gallery’s vision?

BM: Well firstly, we wanted something that was Googleable, as well as something less vapid than just both of our surnames. We decided upon Delphian because it is vague enough to not be too constrictive in what we can show, as well as being something with its own character. “Obscurely Prophetic” is, in a concise two-word phrase, one which we believe all the best art accomplishes. We believe that the most successful and thought-provoking work is informative, but in a non-didactic way.

arrested motion interview

Delphian Team – Directors Benjamin Murphy & Nick JS Thompson, and Curator Wingshan Smith

HC: As an artist-run gallery, what advantages or insights does this offer you, as opposed to more traditional gallerist or art dealers?

BM: I think we understand the position of the artist more than a lot of gallerists or curators do, as we are both artists in our own right. This gives us a unique insight into both sides of the coin in terms of how a show is put together and run, from the artwork production point, up until the curation of a show and the sale of an artwork.

As well as this, we try to curate cohesive shows that could be read as a single artwork in their own right. The way we curate is quite experimental, as we believe there is nothing less interesting (or damaging to the artworks themselves), as a show in which all of the artworks are hung at eye-level around the gallery. These types of shows often encourage people to stand in the middle of the room and just rotate themselves 360 degrees, they leave feeling like they have seen all of the artworks – when of course they often haven’t. We want to curate shows that are essentially immersive artworks in themselves, that are ethereal and only exist in the moment, until the heterogeneous works are divided up again and are either sold or sent back to the artists. We believe that curation is an art form in itself, and it is this philosophy which guides how we curate.

HC: Previous exhibitions have included photographers Aaron McElroy and Carson Lancaster, and more recently contemporary painters such as Bertrand Fournier and Kevin Perkins. Does this range of artists and mediums reflect your personal interests? And how do you select which artists to exhibit?

BM: We try to show a diverse range of works that are entirely unique, whilst highlighting possible underlying connections or similarities, as well as playing with ways in which differing styles contrast. We spend a lot of time going to shows, as well as countless hours on social media, scrolling through things like Instagram looking for new talent. We also run a separate Instagram account called @Daily_Contemporary_Art, which is great for discovering new artists. Every week a new artist has control of the account and shares their favourite living artists, and we find that it is often the student artists that share the most exciting work.

arrested motion kevin perkins

Kevin Perkins

HC: You also had your most recent solo exhibition, Lavish Entropy, at the gallery earlier this year. How did this experience compare to your previous shows, acting as not only the artist but also the gallerist/curator?

BM: It was great, I often take a quite hands-on approach to the curation of my own shows anyway (often aided by Nick), so in that sense, this was no different. I’d recommend every artist do this at least once in your career, as when you have full creative control over something you can be as wild and as experimental as you like without anyone trying to curtail your vision. Don’t get me wrong – the curatorial teams at galleries are often incredibly helpful and teach me things about my own work that I wouldn’t have realised otherwise, but it can be incredibly freeing having absolutely no constraints sometimes. This kind of thing is great, and you are able to take bigger risks than usual, and this teaches you what does and doesn’t work in a way that you wouldn’t have been able to see without this freedom.

HC: This year the gallery ran your inaugural Open Call submission exhibition, why did you want to undertake this competition? And what did you learn from this first iteration?

BM: It was so great, and through it we discovered so much great art we wouldn’t have done if it weren’t for the open call. We wanted to make it as easy as possible to submit, so as to get the most submissions possible. We didn’t charge for entry, and our good friends at theprintspace printed and mounted it all for us, so there was no cost to the artists. This also meant that, as the artists only had to send us a jpeg, artists from all over the world could submit and not have to worry about shipping or insuring their work. We received over 8000 submissions in total and were awestruck by the diversity of it. There are many artists who we would have loved to have included but couldn’t because of size and space constraints. As well as Florence Hutchings, another of our favourite artists Bertrand Fournier entered, whom we hope to present a solo show with next year.

HC: For your latest exhibition, Florence Hutchings, who won the aforementioned Open Call competition, presents her debut solo show, Seating Arrangements. How important is it for you to champion young artists such as Florence?

BM: Florence is great, she has done so incredibly well at such a young age and yet still doesn’t really seem phased by it all. She is very down-to-earth, which is nice to see from someone who is already reaching levels of success that most artists can only dream of.

We aim to discover and support young, emerging artists because we feel this is where the most exciting and unique work is coming from. We are in a position to be able to help out the careers of these young artists like people did for us when we first started showing, so it is incredibly rewarding in that respect.

We get to nurture this often raw and unbridled talent early on in an artist’s career, and look forward to the time when artists like Florence outgrow us and sign with Gagosian – for it will happen, especially in her case.

 

To read this over on Arrested Motion, click THIS LINK


Andy Dixon at Beers Contemporary

One of our favourite painters Andy Dixon is having a show at one of our favourite galleries Beers Contemporary. See you at the private view!
Andy Dixon at Beers London

Andy Dixon at Beers London

For his first solo exhibition at Beers London, Andy Dixon presents Alchemy, an exhibition that brings together a collection of artworks depicting paintings-of-paintings and patrons’ homes.

Art has long had a tumultuous relationship with the matter of its own value. Seemingly arbitrary elements can positively or adversely affect the price at which a painting will sell. Take colour, for instance – paintings prominently featuring the colour red, for example, sell for a higher price point, due to it being a lucky colour in the Asian market.

Dixon plays with this discussion and subverts it somewhat, asking the question: what is the value of a painting of a valuable object? By depicting his own paintings situated in the living spaces of his patrons, he is adding to a lineage of artist studio paintings, in which the artist would paint their immediate surroundings. In the case of Matisse’s Red Studio, for example, these would often include examples of unfinished artworks. In Dixon’s pieces, the artworks’ grandiose properties seem diminished – their vividness lost amongst the similarly brightly-hued surroundings. They become just another item of furniture. Whilst Dixon most often depicts objects of wealth as created by others in his work – Versace jackets, silk shirts, Jeff Koons tote bags – in this series, he points to his own paintings as the commodity. In doing so, he knowingly eschews the creative aspects of his paintings for the commercial ones.

Andy Dixon at Beers London

Andy Dixon at Beers London

It seems that Dixon has become willingly complicit in ‘the game’ which he has thus far admired from a short distance – but this is clearly the natural progression for his work. Other pieces on exhibit are those that can be interpreted as paintings-of-paintings, where acid-tinged renditions of reclining Venusses, equestrian portraits and erotic renaissance pieces are bordered by candy-hued gilded frames rendered in paint. By focussing on the depiction of these artistic tropes with such a contemporary style and colour palette, Dixon forces us to view them in a new light – without the barriers of who painted the work, or when it was created, we are forced to look at what is depicted on a much more surface level, and consider the capitalistic implications.The title of the show, Alchemy, is a reference to the traditional pursuit of turning a base metal into gold. And this is what Dixon manages to do so masterfully; he takes images which are so ubiquitous in Western art and, through his own kind of magic, creates something wholly new and desirable out of them.

 

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Andy Dixon is hyper-aware of art’s relationship with money. Signifiers of wealth abound in his large acrylic paintings, which take as their subjects stately lords, reclining nudes, ornate ballrooms, bathing beauties, and prominent paintings of the aforementioned motifs. Borrowing content from Renaissance art, Flemish still lifes, and Google Image searches of “most expensive vases”, his subject matter is selected on the basis of public expectation of what an expensive painting should look like. By sampling content verified as valuable by the market, Dixon positions his own work to ask, “What is the value of a painting of a valuable object?”

Our value of art is truly a phenomenon that operates on a set of rules distinct from the ones that govern the rest of our world. Paintings which feature the tropes Dixon samples from perhaps at one time had social or political agency but are now simply commodities assigned value by the highest bidder. Paintings of expensive things are themselves expensive things collected by the wealthy to promote the luxury lifestyle. However, Dixon isn’t out to mock the affluent. Rather, he is a complicit player in the game; his larger paintings of upper class social scenes tend to feature his own previous paintings hanging on the walls in the background. As Alex Quicho writes in Luxury Object, Luxury Subject, “His postmodern non-interest in either vilifying or reifying luxury cooly transmutes its weirdness.” A self-taught painter, he treats his high-brow content in a crude manner, matching a vivid pastel palette with rough line treatment. His practice has recently expanded to include 3D sculptures which mimic the figures in his paintings—absurdly disproportionate, yet still created with an eye toward beauty. In this way, Dixon’s own appreciation of his subject matter is evident; and while his work questions the subjective valuation of artwork, it also proves that it doesn’t necessarily detract from its beauty.

ANDY DIXON (b. 1979, Vancouver, Canada) lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Solo exhibitions include: ‘Expensive Things II’, Winsor Gallery, Art Toronto (2016); ‘Expensive Things I’, Winsor Gallery, Art Toronto (2016); and ‘Leisure Studies’, RHG, New York (2015). Group exhibitions include: ’10 Year Anniversary’, Joshua Liner Gallery, New York (2018); ‘Art Seattle’, Windsor Gallery, Seattle (2017); and ‘Art Toronto’, Windsor gallery, Toronto (2016). Dixon first group exhibition with BEERS London was in ‘O Canada!’ (2017). Dixon’s solo showings with BEERS London include ‘Pronk!’, Volta Art Fair, New York (2017); and ‘How Much do They Cost?’, Pulse Art Fair, Miami (2017); with an upcoming solo show in the London gallery in October 2018.

Andy Dixon at Beers London

Andy Dixon at Beers London

Before this, Beers hosted Kim Dorland’s great show, which can be read about HERE.


Masterclass with Benjamin Murphy at West London Art Factory

Masterclass with Benjamin Murphy at West London Art Factory. Supported by Jewel Goodby Contemporary and Cre8 Tapes.

Masterclass with Benjamin Murphy

Masterclass with Benjamin Murphy

West London Art Factory invites you to spend an evening with accredited artist Benjamin Murphy, learning to create your own artwork using electrical tape alone. This unique medium is one that makes Benjamin’s work instantly recognisable, as well as its monochromatic themes and figurative subjects. The masterclass offers you an opportunity to watch Benjamin’s process of creating his work and learn these techniques first hand, working with Ben to create your own unique piece. The class will begin with a welcome, followed by a demonstration by Benjamin then an opportunity for you to create your own work, guided by Benjamin, using a number of colours and tapes available, on an A3 perspex sheet. The result will be an original piece of art for you to take home.

No prior experience is needed, all levels are welcome and all material is provided. Drinks and refreshments will be available.

Please note, this class has limited spaces so be sure to secure your place!!

 

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