Category Archives: Art Galleries

Photo Show Stroll – East is West: Three Women Artists show video works in Singapore

Still from Journal by Mariana Vassileva, courtesy the artist and DNA Galerie

Transition Detail from Nezaket Ekici's performance video shot with iPhone Miranda Gavin

Almagul Menlibayeva, The Aral Beach 2, 2011 Duratrans print in lightbox 36 x 48 in. (91 x 122 cm) Edition of 3. Still courtesy of the artist and Priska C Juschka Fine Art

East is West: Three Women Artists runs until 15 February at the Lasalle College of the Arts in the Earl Lu Gallery, Singapore. This wonderful exhibition – more to come in a later post  – introduces three women artists from outside Western Europe who now live in Berlin. Curated by Dr Charles Merewether it features Mariana Vassileva (Bulagaria), Almagul Menlibayeva (Kazakhstan) and Nezaket Ekici (Turkey).

Some of the work explores the subject of women as well as cultural differences that lie within their countries of origin and between national boundaries. Integral to their practice is performance that is recorded and subsequently shown as independent work, invloving both themselves directly as the subject, as well as others.

The Roaming Eye (tRE) took some iPhone photos (see below) and stayed at the exhibition for a couple of hours watching four video works by each of the three artists and absolutely loved the show. Of course, of the twelve video works, ranging from a couple of minutes up to 24 mins or so, there are favourites including Ekici’s performance piece Veiling and Reveiling, Menlibayeva’s Transoxiana Dreams and Vassileva’s Journal.

What was so refreshing for tRE was the way the conceptual and the technical merged to produce beautifully articulated and visually engaging works that were strong and often, profound. Sometimes, one aspect is foregrounded at the expense of the others, but this was not the case here. The videos also demonstrated a level of maturity and depth that may have something to do with the women’s ages – all are in their 40s – as well as their particular cross cultural experiences and artistic educations.

It is so nice to get away from the UK and the often London-biased exhibition scene and familiar styles of works that are – at times – dominated by certain institutions, such as the Royal College of Art. Look out folks, it’s going to be costing £25,000/year for international students to do the two year Masters in Photography – that’s a huge investment and is, if we are honest, not just about the art and the critical forums that the RCA provides for its students, but also about the brand and its status.

There’s nothing wrong with this and there are undoubtedly some exciting visual artists and photographers that have emerged from the RCA and its photography Masters. But art and photography should, in tRE’s opinion, be discovered by looking outside the usual remits and circles and seen in different environments and countries as house styles do tend to emerge and sometimes works gets repetitive, stale and becomes uninteresting. More images from the show in a later post, there’s a lot to cover. One other point, light from outside spilled inside and it compromised the bottom right-hand corner of the screen where Menlibayeva’s work was projected, as the blinds behind the glass door were not fully closed.

See over for more photos…

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Photo News London: Rotimi Fani-Kayode at Autograph ABP and Jan Ŝvankmajer’s The Ossuary is screened as part of a Gothic Revival at the Institute of Contemporary Arts

© Rotimi Fani-Kayode, 'Black Friar', 1989, photo courtesy of Autograph APB

© Jan Ŝvankmajer, The Ossuary, 1970.

Scholar Kobena Mercer is presenting a keynote lecture, Rotimi Fani-Kayode: Themes, Inspirations and Influences, on the work of the late Rotimi Fani-Kayode at Autograph ABP in east London on Friday 3 June at 6:30 pm. This event is free but booking is essential. To book, follow this link.

The Ossuary, (1970, black & white, 10 mins) – a short film by Czech filmmaker and artist Jan Ŝvankmajer – will be showing at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London on Saturday 11 June as part of a two-day event Template for Terror: The Revival of the Gothic. Running at the ICA, London from 11 June 2011 – 12 June, the two-day event comprises a series of presentations and discussions looking at “the prevailing influence of the Gothic on contemporary culture”. If you haven’t come across Ŝvankmajer, I urge you to explore his hugely influential works, including his first feature film, Alice (1987) – a brilliant adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. See over for more on these events…

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Ida Kar at the National Portrait Gallery and International Women’s Day Centenary Female Focus on Photography – 100

Bridget Louise Riley by Ida Kar, 1963 2 1/4 inch square film negative © National Portrait Gallery, London

Dame Barbara Hepworth at work on the armature of a sculpture in the Palais de Danse by Ida Kar, 1961 vintage bromide print © National Portrait Gallery, London

Ida Kar Bohemian Photographer, 1908 – 1974 has just opened at the National Portrait Gallery and runs until 19 June. Although I missed the press view last week, there’s plenty of time to see the show and get familiar with Kar’s work as I know little of it. Tomorrow, the Association of Photographers announces the judges for three of its competitions and on Wednesday night the winner and runners up for the Student Photographer of the Year 2010. And finally, j’arrive. I’m there at 100 women photographers featured in Hotshoe magazine and space for so many more.

This will be the first museum exhibition for 50 years devoted to Ida Kar and includes nearly 100 photographs, some not previously exhibited.

This exhibition of portraits by the twentieth-century pioneering photographer Ida Kar “highlights the crucial role played by this key woman photographer at the heart of the creative avant-garde. With striking portraits of artists such as Henry Moore, Georges Braque, Gino Severini and Bridget Riley, and writers such as Iris Murdoch and Jean-Paul Sartre, this exhibition offers a fascinating insight into the cultural life of post-war Britain and an opportunity to see iconic works, and others not previously exhibited”.

“Russian-born, of Armenian heritage, Ida Kar (1908–74) was instrumental in encouraging the acceptance of photography as a fine art when, in 1960, she became the first photographer to be honoured with a major retrospective in London, at the Whitechapel Art Gallery. She later continued to document conceptualist artists such as Gustav Metzger and John Latham and life in Cuba and Moscow. Featuring unseen archive material, this reappraisal provides a valuable record of the international art world as documented by Kar over three decades while literary subjects exhibited include Doris Lessing, Colin MacInnes and T S Eliot.”

Hotshoe magazine
Claudine Deury
Marion Poussier
Magali Delporte
Mireille Loup
Emma Critchley
Sara Haq
Boo Ritson
Melanie Rozencwajg
Katinka Goldberg
Jodi Bieber
Camilla Stephan
Susanna Majuri
Astrid Kruse Jensen
Polly Borland
Diana Lui
Indra Serpytyte
Zoe Hatziyannaki
Olivia Arthur
Nina Berman
Penny Klepuszewska

Royston Ellis, 1960 by Ida Kar © National Portrait Gallery, London

Samuel Selvon by Ida Kar, 1956 2 1/4 inch square film negative © National Portrait Gallery, London

Dame Margaret Natalie ('Maggie') Smith on the set of 'The Rehearsal' by Ida Kar, 1961 2 1/4 inch square film negative © National Portrait Gallery, London

Gagosian Gallery opens virtual doors to VIP Art Fair online – seven days to go

Gagosian Gallery launches its Viewing In Private Art Fair (VIP Art Fair) billed as “the world’s first exclusively online art fair”. Viewing in Private” has assembled 139 of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries from 30 countries in what they are calling an “unprecedented live event”.

VIP Art Fair is free to browse, though registration is required.

VIP tickets allow for special access including:
Integrated chat and messaging system for live interaction with galleries
Eligibility to view galleries’ private rooms
Price ranges for each artwork, and ability to search within certain price ranges
Access to the VIP Lounge

Opens on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. EST and concludes on Sunday, January 30, 2011, at 7:59 a.m. EST.

You can browse online from Saturday, January 22 to Sunday, January 30, 2011 but if you want to go deeper into the experience and interact, you will have to pay $100 if you want to have unlimited access to the fair from now for the entire week or $20 after the 24 January.

The VIP Art Fair is divided into three distinct exhibition halls:
VIP Premier: comprised of 91 leading galleries, each presenting 15 to 20 works depending on booth size – large or medium.
VIP Focus: comprised of 24 galleries, each presenting eight works by a single artist.
VIP Emerging: comprised of 24 galleries, each presenting 10 works produced within the last two years by emerging artists.

“Increasingly over the last decade the artworld has gone global, with important events happening around the world. Art collectors from Dallas to Kuala Lumpur can find it difficult to travel to all of the events and yet they don’t want to miss out. Three years ago, when we began conceptualizing VIP Art Fair, we wanted to harness the international reach of the Internet to give access to the best contemporary art from anywhere in the world,” stated James Cohan, owner of James Cohan Gallery in New York and Shanghai.

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Photo competition judging Hotshoe/Photofusion Annual Members Photo Show Award 2010

I have had a full on week of organising day workshops on marketing and social media for freelance creatives, so there has been precious little time to blog.

However, I’ve been listening to lots of comments on the pros and cons of social media and blogs such as “Why blog”, “Who reads it, anyway”, “Isn’t it too time consuming”, “Aren’t there too many out there? “How do you get yourself heard through all the noise?” “What’s the point?”.  Thankfully, I have a reprieve as I have signed off on the most recent features on photography that I have been commissioned to write – with Christmas coming up, deadlines are brought forward – so, it’s been a bit like the proverbial buses; they all come at once.

Today I’m off to Photofusion’s second members’ exhibition, AMPS/10 to see the work as I will be announcing the winner on Thursday.  The work on show “reflects the different genres, approaches and interests from photographers within the membership scheme and is open to annual members”.

This afternoon I will get a chance to look at the work of fourteen photographers who are showing prints, “either from a recently completed series, or a project in development” and will choose a winner with my Hotshoe hat on. The winner receives the Hotshoe Photofusion Award title,  an annual subscription to the magazine, a single-page feature including profile and image in the February/March issue of the magazine, and an interview with on the Hotshoe blog.

The public will also have a chance to vote for their favourite photographer, who will receive the “AMPS/10 Public’s Choice” at the end of the exhibition. it will be interesting to see what is selected.

Keep posted for news on the competition and other photo news