Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Daniel Buren - Lisson Gallery

Daniel Buren, 5 Squares of Electric Light # 2, 2011
Daniel Buren, the artist who has, for over 40 years been making art out of  8.7cm wide white and coloured vertical stripes is showing new work at the Lisson Gallery: One Thing to Another, Situated Works. In the past Buren has made stripes in canvas, plexiglass, aluminium, wallpaper and many other materials. This exhibition features stripes made out of woven fibre optics, as well as A Perimeter for a Room, described as follows by the gallery:
The work traces a line following the full perimeter of the space. The horizontal transparent Plexiglas panels coloured with self-adhesive vinyl, lined up sequentially at a set height along the walls, alter our perception of space by introducing a new height within the room and by washing the walls with coloured shadows.  While the work uses a familiar vocabulary in Buren’s oeuvre: colour, light and black and white 8.7 cm stripes, A Perimeter for a Room defines an entirely new system in its treatment of interior space that opens the way for new developments. 
Judging by the pictures, the whole show looks beautiful.
Listen to Buren talking about his work for Frieze Foundation.
Daniel Buren, A Perimeter for a Room, 2011
Daniel Buren, A Perimeter for a Room, 2011
Daniel Buren, One Thing to Another, Situated Works, 2011
Daniel Buren, One Thing to Another, Situated Works, 2011

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Michael Wolf - Flowers Gallery

Michael Wolf, Architecture of Density #77, 2006
Michael Wolf is, I think, one of the most interesting of contemporary photographers: his first solo show in the UK is at Flowers until 7 January, 2012. He first came to my attention when given an honourable mention in this year's World Press Photo Awards for an intriguing set of work drawing from the Google Street View project: A Series of Unfortunate Events: Google Street View (see below). However, this exhibition presents 3 groups of work: Architecture of Density, Tokyo Compression and Transparent City. Flowers describes the work as follows:
Architecture of Density is a study of Hong Kong’s high rise residential developments. The structures are photographed on large format in extreme detail without the context of sky or ground; Tokyo’s subway is infamous for its cramped conditions but the psychological effects of the uncompromising close human proximity experienced daily by thousands of workers are rarely depicted. Tokyo Compression captures the moment and reaction when individuals are forcefully sandwiched between their fellow commuters and the parameters of the carriage; Transparent City depicts the architecture of both domestic and office buildings in the city of Chicago - a place renowned for its iconic towers. The structures are composed and compressed into groups and surfaces rather than shown individually.
Michael Wolf, Tokyo Compression #1062009
Michael Wolf, Tokyo Compression #05, 2009
Michael Wolf, Tokyo Compression #92, 2009
Michael Wolf, Architecture of Density #111, 2006
Michael Wolf, Architecture of Density #1, 2006
Michael Wolf, Architecture of Density #25, 2006
Michael Wolf, Transparent City #12, 2008

Friday, 25 November 2011

Laura Oldfield Ford - Hales Gallery

Laura Oldfield Ford, Transmissions from a Discarded Future #10, 2011
Transmissions from a Discarded Future is an exhibition by Laura Oldfield Ford at Hales Gallery until 14 January, 2012. Ford is author of Savage Messiah, a sustained and angry critique of urban regeneration and a lament for a lost urban future; she is a committed psychogeographer exploring and documenting the urban fabric and its social narratives. 
Read text to accompany this exhibition and for her previous show at Hales Gallery: London 2013: Drifting Through the Ruins; see also interview in Mute magazine, a brief profile in The Guardian and Ford's blog, Savage Messiah.
Savage Messiah, the book, by Laura Oldfield Ford is published by Verso (2011) - read a review by Iain Sinclair.

Laura Oldfield Ford, Heygate Estate 1974 (detail), 2010
Laura Oldfield Ford, Violence Solves Problems (detail Ferrier Estate), 2010

Catherine Opie - Stephen Friedman Gallery

Catherine Opie, The Gang, 1990
Work by Catherine Opie is at Stepen Friedman Gallery until 21 January. The exhibition features portraits from the Girlfriends series - black and white portraits of her friends and lovers, taken from the mid eighties through to 2010, and a new body of photographs, Twelve Miles to the Horizon: Sunrises and Sunsets. These pictures document Opie's journey on a Hanjin cargo vessel as it travelled across the Pacific Ocean, from Korea to California. Opie photographed each sunrise and each sunset whilst living on board the ship for the 11 days that it took to make the journey.  
Catherine Opie, Sunrise 1, 2009
Catherine Opie, Sunset 6, 2009
Catherine Opie, Angela (head), 1992
Catherine Opie, Gaby (back), 1989

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Chloe Dewe Mathews - Foto8

Chloe Dewe Mathews, from the series Caspian
Chloe Dewe Mathews - Caspian is at Foto8 until 5 December. Mathews' work was awarded first prize in the series category of the 2011 BJP International Photgraphy Award. See more work on her website. Read Lives bathed in oil, by Sean O'Hagan.
Chloe Dewe Mathews, from the series Caspian
Chloe Dewe Mathews, from the series Caspian
Chloe Dewe Mathews, from the series Caspian

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Gesamtkunstwerk: New Art From Germany - Saatchi Gallery

Zhivago Duncan, Pretentious Crap, 2010-11
The Saatchi Gallery's latest attempt to nail the zeitgeist is Gesamtkunstwerk: New Art From Germany. The exhibition features work by 24 contemporary German artists. See above, and below, a small selection of images of work included in the show; see the Saatchi Gallery website for full details of the artists and many more images.
Read a reviews by Laura Cumming and Jackie Wullschlager. The exhibition continues until 30 April 2012.
André Butzer, Untitled, 2007
Georg Herold, Untitled, 2007
Thomas Zipp, little U-light, 2005 (detail of installation)
Andrew Wekua, Sunset, 2008
Thomas Helbig, Braune Welle, 2001
Gert & Uwe Tobias, Untitled, 2005

Friday, 18 November 2011

Basil Beattie - James Hyman Fine Art

Basil Beattie, House of Tunnels, 2002
The gallery describes his work as follows: Building from his early engagement with Abstract Expressionism, in recent decades Beattie has increasingly adopted a system of pictographic signs; doorways, stairways, archways, ziggurats, corners and long tunnels. Despite their allusions to architectural spaces, Beattie sees these forms more as references to psychological states. Any illusion of space is also challenged by the raw physicality of the paint. 
Basil Beattie, Legend, 1986
Basil Beattie, Staring, 2002
Basil Beattie, The Moment Before, 2010
Basil Beattie, Time After Time
Basil Beattie, Untitled 2, 2000

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Paul McCarthy: The King, The Island, The Train, The House, The Ship - Hauser & Wirth

Paul McCarthy,  Train, Mechanical, 2003—2009 (detail)
Hauser & Wirth are presenting a major exhibition of the visceral work of Paul McCarthy. Not for the fainthearted. Train, Mechanical (see above and below) is described by the gallery as follows: a mechanical sculpture showing twin pot-bellied caricatures of George W. Bush sodomising two pigs. Each of the figures performs a choreographed set of actions – their asses move rhythmically back and forth, their mouths open and close, their heads spin and, when approached, their heads and beady eyes follow the viewer around the space. Watch a video of the work in action, here.
Paul McCarthy,  Train, Mechanical, 2003—2009
'The King' is described as a monumental installation consist[ing] of a platform surrounded by large-scale airbrush paintings that were created on the easel that stands on the platform. Atop the platform is a throne upon which a silicone model of McCarthy sits stark naked with partly severed limbs, closed eyes and wearing a long blonde wig. 
Paul McCarthy, The King, 2006-11
For more of  a flavour of McCarthy's work (by all accounts, principally ketchup and mustard) watch this 'classic' video, Painter (1995).
Paul McCarthy, Painter, 1995 (video)
From UbuWeb:
In Painter, McCarthy, decked out in a blonde wig, a bulbous drinker's nose, and giant latex hands, staggers around a small, wood-paneled studio with an immense paint brush, yammering things like, "I can't do it, I can't do it," and, "DeKooning, DeKooning, DeKooning." He punctures the sides of gigantesque tubes of paint (one is labeled "Shit"), mixes the paint, then slashes and hacks big crude Expressionist swaths onto canvases with crazy electric blue and orange grounds. During the course of the video, he meanders between adjoining rooms ranting against his dealer, sitting in on an absurd conversation with pretentious, bulbous-nosed scholars, has a sycophantic collector sniff his asshole, and chops off his own fingers with a cleaver. Painter is a hilarious satire of inflated Abstract Expressionists and the art world in general, but it is not only that. When McCarthy obsessively mixes his gallons of shit-brown paint, loads up his brush, and, grunting and waving, goes to his canvas, he is pointing towards something important: that paint is the same as shit and dirt -- just unruly filth that flows and stains. That finally, the hopeless drive to make art is drunken, humiliated, violent, sexual and infantile, perhaps tragic as well. (Brooklyn Rail)
Paul McCarthy, Puppet, 2005-8 (detail)
Read Jonathan Jones' interview with McCarthy: 'I had this thing about exposing the interior of the body', and exhibition review by Adrian Searle. See also Daddy's Little Helper, by Michael Duncan in Frieze from 2003.
The exhibition continues at Hauser & Wirth until 14 January, 2012. An outdoor work, Ship Adrift, Ship of Fools, can be seen in St James's Square.

Expensive photographs

Andreas Gursky, Rhine II, 1999. Sold for $4.3 million at Christie's, New York, 8 November 2011
The sale of Gursky's Rhine II, for $4,338,500 has set a new record for a photograph sold at auction. It is good to know that one of the edition of 6 photographs is in the collection of Tate Modern - presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery in 2000.
Below are some more expensive photographs.
Cindy Sherman, Untitled #96, 1981. Sold for $3.9 million at Christie's, New York, May 2011
Richard Prince, Untitled (Cowboy), 2001-2. Sold for $3.4 million at Sotheby's, 14 November, 2007
Edward Steichen, The Pond - Moonlight, 1904. Sold for $2.9 million at Sotheby's, New York, February 2006
Anon, Billy the Kid, 1879-80. Sold for $2.3 million at Brian Lebel's Old West Show & Auction, June 2011
Dmitry Medvedev, Kremlin of Tobolsk , 2009. Sold for $1.75 million in St Petersburg, January 2010
Edward Weston, Nude, 1925. Sold for $1.6 million at Sotheby's, New York, April 2008
Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keefe Nude, 1919. Sold for $1.36 million at Sotheby's New York, February 2006
Edward Weston, Nautilus, 1927. Sold for $1.08 million at Sotheby's, New York, April 2010