Tag Archives: Host Gallery

Photo news and competition entry calls – Another Monday, Monday

Bill Henson, UNTITLED, 1998/1999/2000, photo courtesy of the artist and Robert Miller Gallery, New York

After a week over on the NYPH 2010 blog, it’s good to be home. Today’s post brings you news of a photo show in New York featuring works by Australian treasure Bill Henson, two calls for entries for the Host gallery and Foto8 Summer Show in London, plus a deadline extension until midnight Sunday 18 April for the Press Photographer’s Year 2010. There’s also the launch of an online photo mag, Square Magazine.

In Praise of Shadows is an exhibition of works by Dirk Braeckman and Bill Henson and is on show at the Robert Miller Gallery in New York until June 12. If you’re heading to the Big Apple, or to the New York Photo Festival 2010 running from May 12-16, there’s no excuse to miss the show. For those who are unaware of Henson’s work, I urge you to delve further into the psyche of this intriguing artist.

Henson’s photographs “demonstrate the artist’s interest in the duality of nature and artifice, in adolescence, and in the distinction between male and female. These beautiful and mysterious images are characterized by chiaroscuro, translucent skin tones, and jewel-like colors that add an ethereal quality to ambiguous settings, ” says the press release and I couldn’t agree more.

I reviewed Henson’s bold and rather beautiful book, Mnemosyne, in HotShoe, five years ago and was fortunate enough to attend the opening of a retrospective of his work held at the National Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney in 2005, before it transferred to the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

As I wrote at the time: “In Henson’s work there is also the sensation of being on the cusp of something. Whether it’s in the light and the subtle changes observable in the twilight hours and the onset of dusk; the physical places where the fringes of the city give way to barren and deserted landscapes and decaying buildings; or the models who are often adolescent teenagers on the brink of adulthood, Henson’s work straddles opposing forms and concepts with masterful ease.

“He says that music and writing interest him more than photography and his work is littered with references to classical art forms, from images of Baroque and Rococo architectural details and interiors, to subjects recalling Michelangelo’s La Pieta. “Our culture is always inside our nature,” he is quoted as saying and he is not afraid to reference and appropriate from a wide range of sources, mixing subjects and themes from both high and popular culture.”

Braeckman’s lives and works in Ghent in Belgium. His, mostly, black and white photo artworks explore “abstract spaces, domestic interiors and other loci of the built environment… Flatness and depth become difficult to discern, paradoxical,” states the same press release.

Dirk Braeckman, N.P.-M.I.-05, photo courtesy of the artist and Robert Miller Gallery, New York.

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Photo News with a Gallery theme – Another Soggy Wednesday in London

© Jane Hilton, Dead Eagle Trail

Today’s post has a gallery theme with some statistics on visitor numbers, a couple of exhibitions opening in London but focused on America and Russia, as well as  a collecting art scheme from the Arts Council England for UK-based galleries.

Almost 40 million visitors went to galleries and art fairs in the UK last year, according to a press release issued today by the Whitechapel Gallery. It reports that, “On the last day of the financial year galleries across the UK reported record numbers of people coming through their doors over the last 12 months. Public galleries, private galleries and art fairs across the UK saw 38,905,533 million visitors* for the 09/10 financial year, an increase of 3.2% from 2008/09. *Attendance figures provided by over 350 organisations.

“Art has never been so popular, with exhibitions attracting bigger crowds than football matches. Visits to galleries and art fairs outstripped tickets to football matches attendance by over 13 million. A groundswell of hundreds of organisations contributed to the figures – from Tate Modern to HICA in Invernesshire, from small experimental spaces to the Frieze Art Fair.

“Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, Whitechapel Gallery, said, ‘There is a huge appetite for art in Britain. At the recently expanded Whitechapel Gallery we have received almost half a million visitors in the last 12 months – an increase of 120%. In these challenging times it demonstrates everyone increasingly values a direct experience of art.”

With this in mind, I point you to Jane Hilton‘s book launch and show Dead Eagle Trail (see photograph) opening from April 21 until 15 May at Host Gallery, London. I interviewed Jane for HotShoe (February/March issue) about the evolution of the work and present an extract from the feature Dead Eagle Trail.  Also, there’s a  show at the Haunch of Venison gallery in London Glasnost: Soviet non-conformist art from the 1980s from 16 April to 26 June.

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Pocket-sized Photography – The Matchbox Gallery in Arles


Matchbox Gallery, Photo: © Robert Hackman, 2009

Robert Hackman’s Matchbox Gallery is an unusual and rather clever promotional tool. While many photographers in Arles were lugging around laptops, box portfolios of prints and ‘dummy’ books with business and postcards at the ready, Hackman was carrying a pocket-sized solution. A matchbox sleeve containing small cards featuring his Bunker Albania series “examining the reuse of these bunkers today”. (From his website: Albania’s ruling communist regime built 700,000 military bunkers as a defence against invasion). His Matchbox Gallery functions as a way of introducing his work and also allows people “to look at it at leisure” – something gallerists, publishers and editors may well appreciate at busy festivals. Hackman wanted to make an impression, “especially in Arles where people are seeing so much work” and created a Victorian sleeve design so as to “relate it to things that are collectable; to evoke a feeling and perception of those times”. However, the mini gallery doesn’t replace having a portfolio of prints – it piques interest and allows for a follow up.

Most of Hackman’s work is shot in Albania – he has worked there for a number of years and is married to an Albanian journalist with whom he collaborates on projects. Two of three photographs he submitted to Foto8’s second annual Summer Show have been selected and will be on show at the Host Gallery, London for its 2009 Foto8 Summer Show Opening Night Party on Friday 25 July. Gallery manager Harry Hardie gives a sneak preview of the hanging of the show on the Host Gallery Blog. The summer show runs from 25 July – 8 September. One of the images is from a series, Energy and Chaos, shown here, while the other is from an on-going personal project focused on Roma culture.

Wedding dress shop in Bathor, Albania.

Wedding dress shop in Bathor, Albania, © Robert Hackman