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Iwona Blazwick OBE to step down as Director of Whitechapel Gallery

January 5, 2022

Iwona Blazwick joined Whitechapel Gallery in 2001 with a vision to grow its world-class exhibition, education, commissioning and publishing programmes. Under her 20-year leadership, the Gallery’s reputation as ‘the artist’s gallery for everyone’ has grown exponentially; in 2009 she doubled the Gallery’s physical footprint, transforming the adjacent former Whitechapel Library into new galleries and creative studio spaces. She notably strengthened Whitechapel Gallery’s commitment to showing pioneering women artists; the programme has featured major solo exhibitions of Nan Goldin (2002), Cristina Iglesias (2003), Isa Genzken (2009), Elizabeth Peyton (2009), Sophie Calle (2010), Alice Neel (2010), Gillian Wearing (2012), Zarina Bhimji (2012), Sarah Lucas (2013), Hannah Höch (2014), Emily Jacir (2015), Mary Heilmann (2016), Anna Maria Maiolino (2019) and Eileen Agar (2021). Under her tenure the Gallery continued its famous history of ‘firsts’, with immersive exhibitions by Mark Wallinger (2002), Franz West (2003), Paul McCarthy (2005), Albert Oehlen (2006), William Kentridge (2016), Mark Dion (2018), Elmgreen & Dragset (2019) and Kai Althoff (2020).

Alongside significant surveys and solo exhibitions, Blazwick commissioned or curated ambitious historical surveys, including A Short History of Performance (2002-2005), Back to Black: Art, Cinema, and the Racial Imaginary (2005), Faces in the Crowd (2005), Adventures of the Black Square (2015), Electronic Superhighway (2016), Eduardo Paolozzi (2017) and A Century of the Artist’s Studio (2022).

Blazwick will be stepping down in April 2022. She will continue to work as an independent curator both with the Gallery into 2023, and on a wide range of international projects.

Wang Bing awarded CHANEL Next Prize

December 15, 2021

Galerie Chantal Crousel wishes to congratulate Wang Bing as the winner of the CHANEL Next Prize.

With rare beauty and uncompromising gravity, Wang Bing depicts in his films those on the margins of contemporary Chinese society.

CHANEL’s Next Prize has been developed to provide an emerging generation of creative risk-takers with the resources to tackle ambitious new projects - each of the ten winners will receive one hundred thousand euros in funding as well as access to mentorship and networking opportunities facilitated by Chanel.

photo © CHANEL

Outset awards major grant to performance art organisation Performa

December 8, 2021

Outset Contemporary Art Fund, an international arts charity, has announced the recipients of six grants being awarded by the Outset Partners programme. In 2021, a total of £275,000 is being awarded across a range of museums, galleries, and public institutions – both within the UK and internationally.

The Transformative Grant, the largest grant of its kind, affords the opportunity for a significant project to radically rethink the art institution of the future. The 2021 recipient, Performa (USA), will launch a new digital platform, ‘Living Archives’, that will transform its global reach and publicly document the organisation’s pioneering work since 2005.

In addition, Artists in Residence (UK), Bold Tendencies (UK), Centre Pompidou (France), Green Papaya Art Projects (Philippines) and International Curators Forum (International) have been awarded Impact Grants, totalling £125,000.

Established in 2018, Outset Partners is the largest international private grant programme funded by a collective of individuals who work together to meet the evolving needs of the global cultural sector. Awarding impactful grants through a consensus-driven process, the partnership has invested over £1m in the creative ecosystem to date.

Photo: Kia La Beija, ‘The Black Act’, 2019. A Performa Commission for Performa 19. Photo Paula Court, courtesy of Performa

In Memory of Lawrence Weiner (1942-2021)

December 3, 2021

An influential artist and a pioneer of his craft, Lawrence Weiner was the producer of numerous text-based works that manifested themselves as public works of art, slogans on walls, t-shirts and manhole covers, indeed they could transform any surface imaginable. Better described as thought sculptures, Weiner defined his sculptural medium simply as ‘language + the material referred to,’ in the sense that language is a material for construction. Accordingly, his first book Statements (1968) contains 24 typewritten descriptions of works, where only a few had actually been made, suggesting that a work’s existence requires a readership rather than a physical presence.

Before arriving at his immediately recognisable style of carefully composed word-sculpture and his distinctive typeface, Weiner experimented with the media and materials of late minimalism, producing seminal works such as THE REMOVAL FROM THE LATHING OR SUPPORT WALL OR WALL BOARD FROM A WALL (1968) which he made for Lisson Gallery's 1970 group exhibition, 'The Wall Show', curated by Nicholas Logsdail, as well as for 'When Attitude Become Forms', curated by Harald Szeeman.

Self-taught as an artist, his urgency to make art broadly available and engaging stems, he says, from his childhood in the South Bronx: “I didn’t have the advantage of a middle-class perspective. Art was something else; art was the notations on the wall, or the messages left by other people. I grew up in a city where I had read the walls; I still read the walls. I love to put work of mine out on the walls and let people read it. Some will remember it and then somebody else comes along and puts something else over it. It becomes archaeology rather than history.” (2013)

In a 2020 interview, conducted with Kim Gordon for Interview Magazine, Weiner made profound statements on the definition, usefulness and generative nature of art: "A lot of people were able to copy what I did, and that’s good. That’s what art is for. Art is for people to use... Art is people who saw the configuration and were not satisfied with it and went to change the configuration of the way we look at objects."

Photo by Philip-Daniel Ducasse.

Gagosian announces the appointment of Christina You as China Representative

December 2, 2021

You joins Gagosian following a distinguished six-year tenure at UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, where she was most recently the Director of Development and Creative Strategy. Her appointment is effective immediately.

Nick Simunovic, who has led Gagosian’s activities in Asia since 2007, commented, “Christina brings deep relationships and regional expertise that will help us extend our reach in China in a strategic and thoughtful way. Her many years at one of the preeminent museums in Asia, combined with her experience in the West, provide her with unique perspectives that complement our existing team across China and the region as a whole.”

Prior to joining Gagosian, You was the Director of Development and Creative Strategy of UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, the groundbreaking museum with locations in Beijing, Beidaihe, and Shanghai. At UCCA, You was responsible for the museum’s extensive fundraising and outreach efforts, including individual giving and corporate sponsorship. She was also the key organizer of exhibition-related events, cultivation programs, and special projects globally.

You commented, “I am thrilled to be joining Gagosian, a world-renowned gallery and authority in the industry. We are experiencing a remarkable moment in China, as a new generation focused on art and collecting comes of age. I am excited to see these two forces combine and I am looking forward to bringing Gagosian’s expertise and programming to collectors across China.”

Antonia Showering Joins Timothy Taylor

November 29, 2021

Showering is known for her enigmatic, richly coloured portraits of figures in amorphous domestic settings or landscapes. Rendered in deep shades of amber, green and marigold yellow, Showering’s figures seem to slide in and out of their surroundings. Areas of abstraction seem on the verge of shifting into other forms, capturing the elusive and changing realities of subjectivity, memory, imagination and desire.

Personal symbols and totems within her paintings serve as clues to specific moments, feelings and people within Showering’s own life, while evocations of childhood memories and biomorphic imagery link her to artists such as Arshile Gorky and Paula Rego as well as the tradition of German Expressionism.

“Antonia’s oil portraits isolate the interior world by giving it physical form, trapping emotions in swirling swathes of abstract paint. In her exploration of the psychological landscape through the border between abstraction and figuration, Showering is working in an established tradition of artists dating back to the post-war period, including Jean Dubuffet and Philip Guston, with whom the gallery has a long history and tradition of sales and exhibitions” - Timothy Taylor

Showering’s first solo exhibition with the gallery will take place at its London space in January 2022.

Antonia Showering. Courtesy of Jake Millers, Avant Arte, 2021

Stephen Friedman Gallery announce representation of Izumi Kato

November 27, 2021

Kato lives and works between Tokyo and Hong Kong. He was born in 1969 in the Shimane prefecture of Japan, a sparsely populated province bordered by mountain and sea which houses Izumo Ōyashiro, one of the oldest and most significant shrines in Shintoism.

Describing painting as the root of his practice, with bold clashing colours the artist depicts children with unusual faces, embryos with fully developed limbs and figures with bulbous heads attached to slim, graceful bodies. Working intuitively, Kato applies pigment to surfaces directly with his hands. This ardent exploration led the artist also to paint textiles, wood and stone.

Gathering material from his surroundings, Kato combines painting with stitching, knotting and carving – skills that as an avid fisherman he uses regularly – to create sculptures and installations.

The creatures in Kato’s work tower over viewers or hide discreetly in corners of rooms. Speaking of the universality of the beings that he animates through his practice, Kato says, “They are no one and nowhere”; rather the forms are expressions of the energy and very essence of consciousness.

Stephen Friedman Gallery will host a solo exhibition by the artist in November 2022.

Ragna Bley joins Pilar Corrias

November 26, 2021

Pilar Corrias announces the worldwide representation of Ragna Bley.

Bley (b. 1986, Uppsala, Sweden) is an artist based in Oslo, working with painting, sculpture, text and performance. She explores the oscillation between the familiar and alien, looking to narratives within biology, literature and science-fiction.

Bley’s colours vacillate over the surface and seep into the canvas, intermixing like currents and creating infinite possibilities of grouping and regrouping form. Through this process, Bley traverses the relationship between abstraction and representation. The artist creates layers and transparencies that hint at familiar shapes and organic matter, though the visual associations that arise from Bley’s paintings are completely individual - and may at times resemble forms that are imperceptible to humans. Certain areas of the artist’s canvases are painted, while some are left bare, alluding to the instability of images, and more broadly, to the slippages between our frameworks of understanding.

Photo: Lars Petter Pettersen

Hauser & Wirth announces representation of Camille Henrot

November 19, 2021

Hauser & Wirth has announced that the gallery now represents artist Camille Henrot, in collaboration with kamel mennour and König Galerie.

Henrot (born 1978, Paris, France) is recognized as one of the most influential voices in contemporary art. Over the past twenty years, she has developed a critically acclaimed practice, encompassing drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, and film, which is informed by a playful research process. Inspired by literature, second-hand marketplaces, poetry, cartoons, social media, self-help, and the banality of everyday life, Henrot’s work captures the complexity of living as both private individuals and global citizens in an increasingly connected and over-stimulated world.

Weaving personal stories as well as political issues into her work, the Henrot explores the ambivalence of interpersonal relations in the face of global issues. Her latest major body of work, System of Attachment, looks at our human developmental needs for attachment and separation and the origin of language. A recent exhibition ‘Mother Tongue’ pointed to the changeable, hopeful, rebellious, melancholic, or resigned position that we face amidst the overwhelming expectations of the present moment. Caught between rational systems and intuitive knowledge, Henrot’s works delve into our increasing disposition toward dependency – on technology, information, or belief systems – to unparalleled effects.

Marc Payot, President, Hauser & Wirth, commented, ‘We are honored and delighted to announce our representation of Camille Henrot, an artist whose work is uncanny, powerful, and often so beautiful in the way it reveals the complexity of our relationship with the systems of knowledge we human beings have created and now grapple with. Camille is a pioneer. She is fearless in her effort to get to the bottom of what makes us all tick in the 21st Century and in her ability to locate connections between technology and our deepest humanity, an imperative that places her alongside such greats as the late Nam June Paik, Pierre Huyghe, and Pipilotti Rist, all of whom have been part of our history at Hauser & Wirth. We look forward to exploring the world with her, and sharing Camille’s findings through her
wonderful art with ever-wider and more diverse audiences.’

photo: Maria Fonti

The death has been announced of Jimmie Durham

November 18, 2021

The death has been announced of sculptor, essayist and poet Jimmie Durham.

Durham began working as a sculptor in the 1960s, co-forming both the “Draga” group which looked at the public accessibility of art and the “Incomindios” organisation to support the Indians of the Americas - he would eventually go on to be a full-time organiser in the American Indian Movement (AIM) and director of the International Indian Treaty Council, representing it at the United Nations.

In the 1980s he returned to art and began to exhibit internationally, including at the Whitney Biennial, Documenta, the ICA in London, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp, and Brussels’ Palais des Beaux-Arts. Durham was awarded the Venice Biennale's Golden Lion for lifetime achievement in 2019.

Always an activist as well as an artist, Durham said “I did leave home deliberately and have been accused of not being part of any Indian community, and that’s certainly a correct accusation. I’m not, don’t want to be. But I think when I came to Europe this time, in ’94, I stopped being any special kind of human being ... I could never be any nationality, not of the Cherokee nation or any other nation ... These days, it sounds stupid to say I’m a citizen of the world. I don’t think I am a citizen, I think I’m a homeless person in the world, and I like to be that way.”

Etel Adnan passes away, aged 96

November 15, 2021

Etel Anan, the noted artist, poet and essayist, has died aged 96.

Born in Beirut to Syrian and Greek parents, Adnan spent much of her life in France, the US and the Lebanon and was originally known as a writer before turning to painting in her 30s - and achieving widespread acclaim.

Notable exhibitions by Adnan include “The Weight of the World” her first solo show in the UK, at the Serpentine Galleries in 2016, “Leporellos” at Galerie Lelong in Paris and “Déjeuner au soleil” at Galleria Continua San Gimignano.

Photo: Simone Fattal

The Photographers’ Gallery launches 50th Anniversary Fundraising Auction

November 12, 2021

As part of its 50th Anniversary celebrations and special events, The Photographers’ Gallery is delighted to announce the sale of a series of exceptional works donated by prominent contemporary photographers at auction in November. The money raised will help support the future of the Gallery.

When Sue Davies set out to create the UK’s first public gallery of photography in a former Covent Garden café 50 years ago, photography as an art form was hugely undervalued in Britain. Virtually no opportunities existed for photographers to exhibit in public or commercial spaces, the medium was largely shunned by the major institutions and the auction world in Britain had not yet ‘discovered’ photography.

The last five decades have seen photography evolve from the margins of institutional recognition to becoming one of the most influential and democratic forms of contemporary art. Simultaneously, with the rise of new digital technologies and the recent proliferation of image-led networks, photography has become even more ubiquitous and democratised for people across the globe as a tool for both creativity and communication.

The Photographers' Gallery is immensely proud of the role it has played in this transformation, particularly in the UK, by exhibiting some of the world's most ground-breaking and celebrated photographers and providing a dedicated space where photographic debate and learning through and with photography can flourish.

By taking part in the online auction and bidding on these works, you will help secure the future of The Photographers’ Gallery at this pivotal moment in our history – by allowing us to continue to stage our ground-breaking exhibition programme, as well as carry out our many education activities and provide support to both established and emerging talent.

Saatchi Yates opens a temporary space in Turin

November 5, 2021

This November, Saatchi Yates are pleased to announce the opening of their first international temporary space in Turin, Italy. As part of a broader programme of temporary spaces across the world, this exhibition marks the first official event abroad after a year focused on growing locally in London. Coinciding with the internationally acclaimed art fair Artissima, finally reopening at the beginning of the month, Saatchi Yates will celebrate November in the city of Turin and the wonderful, secret history of art in the city. Saatchi Yates will present a group exhibition creating a dialogue between three artists who have explored the lines between abstraction and figuration in a 500sqm gallery space in Via Gobetti 12, right in the heart of the city. The exhibition will include works by two emerging artists represented by Saatchi Yates: Jin Angdoo (Yeoju, South Korea, b. 1981), already shown in the London gallery as part of Allez la France! and Kottie Paloma (Los Angeles, b. 1974), American painter to whom the gallery will dedicate a retrospective in March 2022. Alongside them, a selection of works by Post-War German master A.R. Penck creates a dialogue between the three artists’ spanning cave art, graphic symbols and graffiti.

Allie Card joins Lehmann Maupin as Senior Director

November 2, 2021

Allie Card joins Lehmann Maupin from Metro Pictures, where she has worked since 2001, most recently holding the position of Senior Director. She brings over 20 years of experience managing and advancing the careers of leading artists, including Trevor Paglen, Louise Lawler, Sara VanDerBeek, André Butzer, Olaf Breuning, and Jim Shaw, among others.

“Lehmann Maupin is committed to carefully developing its artists’ careers over time, seeking out the next generation of artists, and amplifying their voices on a global scale. I recognize the strong emphasis the gallery places on the nurture and care of its artists. This is a core tenet that I carry over from my time at Metro Pictures.”

GalleriesNow is on WeChat

October 29, 2021

GalleriesNow is delighted to announce that it is now available on WeChat!

Follow our WeChat official account by searching for “ArtPassport” or using the QR code to get our regular updates.

Annka Kultys Gallery now represents László von Dohnányi

October 27, 2021

László von Dohnányi was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1990. He lives and works in London. He received a MFA in painting from RCA in June 2021.

His first solo exhibition The Shadow Hand, opens at ANNKA KULTYS GALLERY tonight. Displayed will be ten new works in oil that mediate on digital forms translating to traditional media and how technological developments become the animating force of culture.

Skarstedt inaugurates new Paris gallery with an exhibition of recent paintings by Eric Fischl

October 18, 2021

Skarstedt is delighted to announce the inauguration of the new Paris gallery, renovated by Jacques Grange, at 2 Avenue Matignon with My Old Neighbourhood, the exhibition of recent paintings by Eric Fischl, opening on 18th October and remaining on view until 4th December 2021.

In My Old Neighborhood, Fischl stages moments of human interactions set outdoors, on daylit sidewalks and front yards of suburban streets. One of the central themes in the artist’s oeuvre, the vision of American suburban life has fuelled some of his most resonant and provocative works. Here, Fischl’s protagonists are sharing moments of improbable intimacy and proximity in the public space - the realm, distinct from the sense of privacy permeating the artist’s earlier explorations of the other side of the American Dream. Engaged in personal reflections, the characters appear exposed, as if driven to the street by an unknown force. Houses and cars form a grid-like backdrop of angular colour fields yet look unused and detached from the scenes unfolding in the foreground.

Constructing inexplicable emotional tension, Fischl’s poignant compositions portray mundane scenes of a residential neighborhood which border on the sense of emergency.

Karsten Schubert London announces representation of British artist Kirsten Glass

October 15, 2021

Through her work Glass invites us to look at an enchanted world, to step into ritual and reconnect with folklore, animism and magic. For Glass, painting allows for a transmutation of ideas and emotions, finding connections between the material and the imaginary and always hinting at the unknown.

The gallery has been working with Glass since her solo exhibition Swimming Witches in Room 2 in October 2020. The accompanying catalogue essay by Cathy Lomax remarked that the paintings 'draw us in with their alluring surface, their sprinklings of glitter and patches of intense colour, while also confounding us with their resonating layers of meaning'.

This announcement precedes the gallery's forthcoming solo presentation of Kirsten Glass's work at EXPO CHICAGO in April 2022.

Annka Kultys Gallery announces representation of Kate Bickmore

October 11, 2021

Kate Bickmore is an emerging artist (b. Albany, New York, 1993) presently living in London whose practice currently focuses on creating florascape paintings in oils.

Bickmore graduated from the MFA painting program at the Royal College of Art in London in 2019. She received her BA (honours, summa cum laude) in Studio Art from Hamilton College, Clinton, NY in 2015, following a semester studying abroad at the Slade School of Fine Art in London in 2014. Her show In Season at ANNKA KULTYS GALLERY marks Bickmore’s first exhibition at a commercial gallery.

Kate Bickmore takes one of the most classical subjects of painting – flowers – and gives new life to otherworldly creatures in a unique style and scale. They are uncomfortably alien and beautifully human all at once. Flowers are typically considered pretty decorative objects on the receiving end of our gaze, but Kate makes the viewer feel as if they are watching and wanting us. Possibly even making their own plans…
— Jonathan Travis

Axel Vervoordt Gallery now represents Shen Chen

October 8, 2021

Axel Vervoordt Gallery is pleased to announce representation of New York and Shanghai-based artist Shen Chen (b. 1955, Shanghai). Opening on 16 October, the artist’s inaugural exhibition will be held at the Hong Kong space, featuring twelve paintings created between 2009 and 2021. Shen will be the first Chinese artist in the gallery’s roster and his first European solo exhibition with the gallery is planned for 2022 at Kanaal.

Throughout his career, Shen has emphasised the artistic process and materials in his practice. In recent years, he has mainly applied the Western medium of acrylic paint in a way that is reabsorbed through his training and knowledge of the qualities of ink. Painting with the canvas on the floor, he adopts a physical and introspective gesture of layering brushstrokes onto the canvas. Incorporating the flow of his qi (breath movement and energy), Shen paints each brushstroke vertically and by doing so, forms a horizontal marking of where the brushes end and begin again. What emerges from the canvas is a transformative, ever-changing, and endless space. With subtle tonal gradation and nuances, Shen’s works bear stylistic influences of paintings from the Color Field movement of the 1940s and 50s in New York. Yet, his practice is rooted in an innate philosophical mode of thought from his training in traditional Chinese ink painting.

In a disciplined act of repetition, Shen adds depth to the canvas with layers of paint, completing each work only when he feels his qi has left and when he has reached emptiness into the void. His works are temporal, where reciprocating layers of dialogue emerge in each brushstroke between opacity and translucence.

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