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20150622181036-4695880372_dd29902b27_z Indie Book Week: Ten London Art Bookshops to Fall in Love with (and in)   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 6/22/15

If you’re on the dating circuit and don’t know this by now, you should: art bookshops—for lovers of art and writing—are pick-up joints. This fact is verified by a broader selection of friends having met potential dates in bookshops than I can keep track of. If you don’t believe me, try browsing by yourself in a bookshop on a Friday evening. Even the shyest people seem to pluck up the courage to start a conversation about a book. And I guess this is hardly surpris... [more]

20150610155404-dsc_2820 Systems for a Downer: on Artistic Failure, Bath Bombs, and Embracing Shortcomings   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 6/10/15

Earlier this week, I came across a somewhat striking quotation from a 2007 edition of Tracey Emin's now-defunct column for the Independent newspaper: "faced with the daily prospects of failure and self-loathing,” the artist suggests, “a numb chrysalis starts to develop around you, and if you are not careful you wake up one morning to find yourself not awake, but in a semi-comatose state, baked into a hardened shell, breathless and mind-numbing. You have to poke your finger through the hard... [more]

20150608083120-kilimnik Karen Kilimnik: The Distant Admirer   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Karen Kilimnik at Sprüth Magers London May 20th - June 20th
Posted 6/8/15

Karen Kilimnik's third exhibition at Sprüth Magers London is suspiciously restrained. There are no added period furnishings or colored walls—just two rooms of carefully sequenced paintings, with a pair of photographs (blue poppies and aging white roses) arranged either side of the doorway as a sort of parting flourish. A closer look reveals that the artist's trademark theatricality is still present, though subdued: the show is peppered with duplications, paintings masquerading as pla... [more]

20150603174346-f3801f16a1 Post-human: Gender Identities And Cyberspace   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Juliette Bonneviot, Andrea Crespo, Morag Keil, Wu Tsang, Stewart Uoo at Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) April 22nd - June 21st
Posted 6/1/15

Transgender identities are coming of age with a global platform and widening acceptance. Gender fluidity is not yet accepted in all countries and cultures and therein lies the latest challenge of the multi-faceted identity of being transgender, implying a journey from birth to re-assigned identity and a dual cultural heritage inherited as a consequence. Trans identities are becoming more culturally accepted in the West and new neuro-biological research is also contributing to the debate and suggestin... [more]

20150518224040-isola_3 The Plural Present: Artists Research Unconditional Love   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 5/18/15

In Six Memos for the Next Millennium, Italo Calvino illustrates, with the aid of an Italian folktale, how love might be a force of attraction that holds the very craft of a story that brings seemingly disjunct events together. King Charlemagne, spellbound by a ring, falls in love with whoever possesses it: a young girl, an old man, and finally, a lake. “To hold this chain of events together, there is a verbal link, the word 'love' or 'passion,' which establishes a continuity between different... [more]

20150414111426-20150414094804-6 What Do Artists Collect?   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Arman, Peter Blake, Hanne Darboven, Edmund de Waal, Damien Hirst, Howard Hodgkin, Dr Lakra, Sol LeWitt, Martin Parr, Jim Shaw, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Danh Vo, Andy Warhol, Pae White, Martin Wong at Barbican Art Gallery February 12th - May 25th
Posted 4/14/15

Somewhere in this huge warehouse a noise starts up. Between the rows of crates that recede as far as the eye can see in all directions lies a carpet of dust, as thick and undisturbed as night-fallen snow. The shelves bow with the weight of their load, disappearing up, beyond the soft penumbra of the sodium glow that punctuates the darkness at regular intervals. Somewhere in this maze of gargantuan blocks, pine-smelling and at rest—somewhere in this vast repository of knowledge, this uncared-f... [more]

20150312115226-5273183631_be42ef2ef7_z The Freelance Cafe Guide: East London   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 3/12/15

After looking at Berlin's best workspace cafes last month, I'm hit by the enormity of undertaking the same in London: to tackle such a gargantuan city as this, we ought to start with areas, and East London is the heartland of the freelancer. New places you can open up an Airbook over a gingham-laminated table and sip a Flat White pop up quicker than updates on a Twitter feed in this city. In fact we might already have more coffee shops per square mile than DJs. In a world of crispy-fried drumsti... [more]

20150312170706-skateistan_155 Afghanistan’s Skater Girls Roll into the Saatchi Gallery   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 3/12/15

The most popular women’s sport in Afghanistan right now? It’s not soccer or cricket. It’s not track and field. Afghan girls aren’t picking up tennis rackets or hockey sticks. They’re hopping on skateboards. Girls are skateboarding in Afghanistan? They are. And the country’s young female skaters will be rolling into the spotlight next month when the Saatchi Gallery hosts an exhibition of UK photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson’s portraits from her series Skate Girls of... [more]

20150304180459-bsf_london_pic_monoprixx Exhibition Preview: Bicicleta Sem Freio Debut Solo Show   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 3/4/15

Opening tonight in East London is the first-ever London exhibition by Brazilian duo, Bicicleta Sem Freio. The artist pair have crossed over from graphic design and illustration to muralism and back again. Entitled FERA (meaning "wild" in Portugese) Douglas de Castro and Renato Perreira will bring an eye-exploding dose of color to London through new works on canvas and paper. The guys are big '80s fans, drawing not only on the gaudy color clashes of the era but also on its iconography, full of capitalist op... [more]

20150220145626-screen_shot_2015-02-20_at_3 What Does Christian Marclay's Glass Harp Sound Like?   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Christian Marclay at White Cube, Bermondsey January 28th - April 12th
Posted 2/16/15

There is a certain subset of art that sustains the moment prior to critical thinking: that place before or beyond thought. Aesthetically attuned, the spectator is an empty glass resonating with vibrations, an orange pricked by a thumbnail, but not yet peeled. It’s a sweet pleasure to immerse myself in visual and aural sensations without probing them, questioning them, demanding the things of them that we must demand, as the socially responsible culture consumers that we are. Biweekly perfo... [more]

20150208102431-tottenham_court_rd_mosaic Paolozzi's Underground Mosaic and the Preservation of Public Art   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 2/8/15

Depressing and conflicting news comes from several London sources in recent weeks, reporting that Eduardo Paolozzi’s sprawling mosaic at Tottenham Court Road Station is being eroded to make way for the new station serving Crossrail. Speaking of the loss of the decorated columns (previously thought safe) at the entrance to the station as-was, the 20th Century Society—campaigners to save the oft-unloved architecture that has sprung up since the First World War—said in a somewhat bittersw... [more]

20150123130016-dsc_0012 The Artist Philanthropist: Prize Winner Splits Cash Prize with Peers   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 1/23/15

"Let's split this motherfucker!"—thus was the cry from the mouth of artist Theaster Gates, the winner of the UK's biggest cash art prize Artes Mundi 6. Gates made the announcement in Cardiff, Wales, last night that he would share the winnings with all of the other nine shortlisted artists. Such benevolent acts of generosity are rare in the money-centric art world. If evenly divided up, they'll each end up with 4,000 GBP—quite a downgrade, compared to the £40,000 GBP Gates would h... [more]

20150123111451-borondo_spain_madrid First Look: Borondo's Big London Solo Show   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 1/23/15

His delicate large-scale paintings have floated on canal boats and he's one of Complex mag's favorite muralists of 2014—part of a street art sub-genre we like to call "sensitive graf." Borondo, who lives and works in a former pub in Hackney, uses his art to express the melodrama of human living, the soaring peeks and plunging troughs of our mortal condition—one reason he was drawn to the character of Ophelia in his now well-known floating work. From February 5th, the young Spanish a... [more]

20150121104514-unnamed What to Buy at the London Art Fair 2015   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 1/20/15

The London Art Fair, sitting comfortably in the middle ground between Frieze and the Affordable Art Fair, is geared towards the soild mid-range collector, a fact reenforced by its middle class location in Angel Islington. Whether you're new to the game, an emerging dealer, or a fastidious collector of the kind of Modern and Contemporary British Art the fair is dedicated to, the London Art Fair caters to your taste. For this 27th iteration of the fair, we've selected our recommended buys for a r... [more]

20150119091939-the_catlin_guide_2015_shot_1_low_res Justin Hammond Selects Top Recent Graduates at London Art Fair   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 1/19/15

The Catlin Prize and Guide is one of London's primary art prizes for recent graduate artists. The guide launches in January each year at the London Art Fair—with the prize winners announced at an exhibition in May. Founder and Director, and former ArtSlant Prize Juror, Justin Hammond, selects his favorite works from this year's edition, also on show at the London Art Fair 2015. The Catlin Guide 2015 We're back in Art Projects at the London Art Fair to mark the publication of T... [more]

20150119084307-6733353099_fe26be62b2_z Inside the Neighborhood: What Is Islington?   Pick-button-0f29c6c075c514ef3a12253f1d60018e
Posted 1/19/15

So, I put a message on Facebook: where is good to hang in Islington? The responses are many and immediate, with more than one of my friends highly rating the cocktails served in 69 Colebrooke Row. In addition, I find out Akari is as good for sushi as Le Mercury is cheap and chearful. Then it hits me: what exactly do I know of this most intermediary of London areas? Regent's Canal, via Flickr user Nick Kenrick Yeah, there have been blurry nights dancing to Motown and New Wave in the fantasti... [more]

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