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Benjamin Ferguson

Zoo Zoo Revisited - Curated Exhibitions   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Zoo Art Enterprises October 16th, 2009 - October 18th, 2009
Posted 10/25/09

    The chip that Zoo Art Fair carries on its shoulder about being the second commercial art event in London during October must weigh a lot. If only someone would remove this load so that it could truly stand up straight and be proud of its potential, welcoming the fact that it isn’t Frieze. Prescribed with a new hip east London location, Zoo simply just needed to do away with the ‘cool’ category that is causing this event to ache. Even the careful cracks in the venue’s floor seem to contr... [more]

Friezephoto Frieze Projects by Frieze Foundation   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Frieze London October 15th, 2009 - October 17th, 2009
Posted 10/19/09

        A topic of much talk at the Frieze Art Fair is Frieze Projects, a programme of site-specific commissions that aim to make each visitor rethink the way they interact with the art that’s around them. According to Projects’ curator Neville Wakefield “this year’s Projects create aesthetic opportunity out of the uncertainty that has become the hallmark of our troubled times.” It’s uncertain how troubling times have been for buyers here.  Still, the £500 cap placed on work made at St... [more]

Taza TAZA   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 10/4/09

The Taza Sandwich 35a QueenswayLondon, W2 4QJ020 77277420     TAZA translates into English as ‘fresh’, illuminating Queensway come rain or shine.   Drinking and eating in the UK have become separate cultural pastimes. Unfortunately, for the parts of the world that celebrate kebabs as part of their tradition, here in Britain this Middle Eastern delicacy has become synonymous with a hangover. Luckily (for non-drinkers especially), West London hosts hundreds of great places to eat great food... [more]

Dznheatherwickextrusionssq01 Furniture as Art   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Thomas Heatherwick at Haunch of Venison September 17th, 2009 - November 7th, 2009
Posted 10/3/09

          Whether or not you can sustain an enthusiasm for the fantastic pieces of furniture on display at Haunch of Venison might come down to something as simple as whether or not you buy homous from Israel because it tastes more authentic, or perhaps, whether you continue to eat pineapple in December because you think that tropical tang will get you through the wintery bile. It may be a matter of indulgence, or a because-I-can situation that is at play. Thomas Heatherwick’s beautiful items ... [more]

Mb_loisir Marius Bercea at Eleven Fine Art   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Marius Bercea at Eleven Fine Art September 9th, 2009 - October 17th, 2009
Posted 10/3/09

      Marius Bercea illustrates the topic of migration in this intimate series of eight paintings at Eleven Fine Art Gallery. Central to the mindset of people in Marius’ homeland, Romania, migration is also a defining feature of the 21st century.  Thus, these impressionist descriptions become immediately contemporary. Bercea does not set out to break boundaries here. Migration is a fact of life for Romanian people; a phenomenon that began as far back as the Roman Empire when Emperor Trajan tu... [more]

Interview with Tilo Baumgärtel  
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9/23/09

London, Sept. 2009 - Tilo Baumgärtel presents a series of paintings, conceived and produced over the last two years, which hang as emblems of why this medium shall live on forever. Displaying them for the first time in Wilkinson gallery’s newly renovated space (on view from 3 September - 4 October 2009), Baumgärtel utilizes the width of each wall to magnify his thoughts. His work narrates a series of independent unrealities that describe both his impeccable use of imagery as a language as well as his imag... [more]

W410-minerva-jpg Hotel Minerva   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Graham Chorlton at Master Piper September 13th, 2009 - September 13th, 2009
Posted 9/13/09

    Graham Chorlton paints anonymous urban portraits that are absent of life and frozen in time. Yet, despite manufacturing a sense of mystery in each work, his buildings all pose in familiar fashion. For me, the familiarity was instantly recognisable from the route I’d just taken to reach the Three Stags Pub from Elephant & Castle. Thus, the unspecific nature of each scene bared the beauty of Chorlton’s work; like theatre sets, each painting affords the viewer a chance to set their own sto... [more]

Img_0837 56a Infoshop   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 9/11/09

56A 56 Crampton Street London SE17 3AE http://www.56a.org.uk/ Wednesay 3-7/ Thursday 2-8 Friday 3-7/ Saturday 2-6 This non-profit, non-funded, social centre is a gem in Elephant & Castle and the spark in South London’s community spirit. 56a began life in what was a squatted premise, sharing the space with Fairshare, a fine wholefoods shop next door. Since 1991, both have became well established in what they do: action resource centre, bookshop, gallery, bike workshop, Fair foods. Whether y... [more]

Seizurerogerhiornsphot_0 Seizure   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Roger Hiorns at Artangel July 23rd, 2009 - January 3rd, 2010
Posted 9/11/09

  Amidst a formal Brutalist backdrop Roger Hiorns has created an uncontrollable layer of life within this disused council flat in Elephant & Castle. That’s not to say that the shards of blue crystal offer any more of a comforting experience than the boarded up entrances to the other homes here, but there’s an element of spontaneity in the random protrusions that catch the spotlights; an opposition to the attempted order that might once have been imposed on the estate. On offer therefore is... [more]

3 Super Freak   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Gilbert & George at White Cube, Mason's Yard July 10th, 2009 - August 22nd, 2009
Posted 7/17/09

  Humour is one theme of Gilbert & George's show, Jack Freak Pictures, but beneath this jovial veneer is a seriousness that refers to society on a very local level. The giant Union Jacks don't discomfort me as much as the nationalistic displays outside that NF-style pub on Valette Street in Hackney; however, they act as a reminder of what the flag means to those who cling to it as the rest of society blows away in the wind. In this sense, by mimicking the utilisation of the flag during times of... [more]

21 Bored. Old. Tired. Horse   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Carl Andre, Matthew Brannon, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Alasdair Gray, Philip Guston, David Hockney, Dom Sylvester Houédard, Janice Kerbel, Christopher Knowles, Ferdinand Kriwet, Liliane Lijn, Robert Smithson, Frances Stark, Sue Tompkins at Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) June 17th, 2009 - August 25th, 2009
Posted 7/17/09

A jostle for priorities appears to be going on at the ICA’s summer show, between public relevancy and the investigative capabilities of display. Whilst navigating its way around the curatorial dangers of showing avant-garde artwork in a free museum on The Mall, Poor. Old. Tired. Horse. seems to spread itself too thinly across the chronological range that’s been set out for itself. Nonetheless, like all essays whose hoard is slightly too broad, this exhibition touches upon and enco... [more]

Barbican460_1243335981 Bask behind the Barbican   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 6/28/09

Barbican CentreSilk StreetLondon EC2Y 8DS Don’t overlook the urban experience on offer within the concrete confines of the Barbican. There’s always something going on here, removed from the city chaos it’s a great place to take a picnic and spend the afternoon watching the sun set behind the teethed towers. --BFerguson [more]

4 Radical Nature : Art and Architecture for a Changing Planet 1969-2009   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Joseph Beuys, Agnes Denes, Ant Farm, Richard Buckminster Fuller, Heather and Ivan Morison, R&Sie(n), Hans Haacke and Robert Smithson, Philippe Rahm architects and Simon Starling. at Barbican Art Gallery June 19th, 2009 - October 18th, 2009
Posted 6/28/09

Radical Nature might seem like an odd title for an exhibition that resembles similarly to a school Geography lesson, adopting the unique style offered by 1970s film footage; overcast, out-dated. However, there is something radical in the eccentric and obsessive explanation Richard Buckminster Fuller gives for his geodesic dome. Subversive in its resistance to the picturesque, this exhibition gives superficiality less light than might be shone on a superfluous weed, an indicative sta... [more]

688 Fault Line   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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G. Roland Biermann, Louisa Chambers, Gordon Cheung, Silke Dettmers, Julie Fagan, Dave Farnham, Corinne Felgate, Paul Good, Catherine Hughes, Becky Hunt, Mark Maxwell, Clare Mitten, Erin Newell, Mark Selby, Suzana Tamamović, Gabriel Tejada, Laura White, Janey Xuereb at The Nunnery June 20th, 2009 - July 18th, 2009
Posted 6/26/09

Curator, Sarah Elson, stitches together an exhibition of work by artists from the Bow Arts Trust with a common thread of insecurity brought on by contemporary events.  This exhibition attempts to address the range of physical, psychological, and emotional responses that are invoked in a time of increased national security, economic recession and global warming. To interpret these large-scale topics Elson has chosen figurative responses. Delicate and personal, the experience becomes im... [more]

Snv18006 Indian YMCA   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 5/22/09

YMCA Indian Student Hostel 41 Fitzroy Square London W1T 6AQ 020 7387 0411 http://www.indianymca.org 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m. Monday - Friday   Fitzrovia offers an imaginative and affordable range of places to eat lunch. Grab a delicious curry and perhaps some mango lassie at the Indian YMCA. This unassuming self-service canteen, little known to the general public, presents authentic offerings that are freshly prepared and all for around £2. --BFerguson [more]

Cris-brodahl A surreal approach   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Cris Brodahl at The Approach W1 May 8th, 2009 - June 20th, 2009
Posted 5/21/09

    Reflections and refractions jolt and disjoint the painted human figures in Cris Brodahl’s work. Nonetheless, in an effort to associate her work with all the right Surrealist buzz words – sexuality, transgression, violence and the uncanny – Brodahl makes it difficult for the viewer to remove the method from the madness that harass the victims in these paintings. By simply dividing the history of Surrealism into two avenues of thought marshalled by Andre Breton and George Bataille, wor... [more]

1969c Thomas Steinert: Photographs from behind the Iron Curtain   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Thomas Steinert at Mummery + Schnelle May 7th, 2009 - June 20th, 2009
Posted 5/21/09

      Consider a cross between Walter Ruttman’s Berlin: Symphony of a Great City and Robert Frank’s The Americans: two manifestations of photographic representation that take advantage of its discursive qualities, juggling documentation and aesthetic consideration. The geographical connection is obvious but Steinert also shares Frank’s skill of portraying sentiments from otherwise unrepresented areas of life, his subject being the Mitteldeutschland during the last 20 years of the GDR. This exh... [more]

Flavour_pick_image Departure Cafe   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 4/18/09

Departure Cafe 649/651 Commercial Road Limehouse London E14 7LW http://www.depart.in/ Tel:                  020 7702 8802 Email:              departure@indiatimes.com Walk south along the canal and observe an old brick chimney piercing a background of fragile financial greenhouses that jut from Canary Wharf. By now you have reached Departure café, a place friendlier than a Victoria Sponge cake and just as local. With great disabled access, a Halal option distinct from a meat and veggie offe... [more]

Background1 Make Time to Journey Through Matt's Gallery's Office   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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David Osbaldeston at Matt's Gallery October 1st, 2008 - September 30th, 2009
Posted 4/17/09

D(i)r. Robin Klassnik prescribed me a telephone number on leaving Matt’s Gallery. He said if I really wanted to know what was up then I should call David. So here you have it, from the horse’s mouth I learn that the twelve etchings of exhibition invitations are ‘metaphors for time’. With a nod to the artist as producer, Osbaldeston reclaims these graphic marketing devices that would have otherwise drowned under the steady drip of hours after their relevance. Not that this was apparent bef... [more]

71932d52ed109503_wcb1 East End Treasures at the Whitechapel Art Gallery   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Group Show at Whitechapel Gallery April 5th, 2009 - September 20th, 2009
Posted 4/17/09

  There are at least two tales to tell of a visit to this exhibition, one of a delicate display of material presented by curator Nayia Yiakoumaki, the other of a gallery keen to describe the relationship between its geographical and historical context. In a space that feels like a pocket of time in the memory of this significant building, the exhibition describes a period of East End history when a small group of second-generation Jewish immigrants shared their thoughts and embarked on artis... [more]

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