Photography Monday - Frieze week 2013

Last weekend we sampled the Strarta Art Fair in Saatchi Gallery and the Moving Museum in 180 Strand, which are both unexpected in their venues. Who would have expected Saatchi Gallery to host an art fair rather than showing its own collection the week before the prime Frieze period? In case you missed it, we have shared the highlights on our facebook page here. As for the Moving Museum, it successfully highjacks the abandoned office space in West End and turns it into an urban zoo of art lovers. Visit it in person before it closes in 13.12.2013, or view our coverage online here.

Starting the week we decided to focus in Photogrpahy and visited two fascinating shows which symbolises contemporary photography.

Central Nervous System by Wolfgang Tillmans
Maureen Paley London

Tillmans' latest show is "both a departure from his recent project Neue Welt as well as an extension of that vision" according to Maureen Paley's press release. In the two floors of the gallery, we see the 'single subject' of portraiture being displayed in various ways, full body or parts.

Tillmans is famous for creating miniature models of his exhibition space and studies how to display his works within it. In this show, he justaposes pieces of extreme body close-ups with photos of half-body or full-body portraits. And with his expertise in advance printing technology, the level of details in each piece is fascinatingly, or scarily, high. 

In viewing a piece of art, the audience usually would step back and forth to obtain different levels of details of the whole piece. However, with Tillmans' extreme close-up large prints, you do not really need to get closer any more because the subject has already been magnified for you. This convenience is brought to all of us by technology. To a certain extent, such convenience from technology is becoming more and more integral and indispensible in the daily life. It is a phenomenon Tillmans presented to us in his show, be it intentional or sub-conscious. And the philosophical meaning of this is probably more intriguing than all the "subjects" of his works people conceive on the prints.


Bracket (London) by Liz Deschenes
Campoli Presti London

A block away we found another exhibition opened also in this evening. New York artist Liz Deschenes' show, "Bracket (London)",  Time Out London describes her works as 'Photography is pushed far into abstraction, creating hazy, stark, minimal pieces that are hung in unusual positions, creating a photography-based environment.'

The monochromatic black-and-white space is a perfect backdrop for Liz's works. These works on metal sheets are inspired by the english and french photography pioneers Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot. The way the works are mounted on the wall, together with the monochormatic palette of the interiors has given the whole environment a sterile laboratory feel. And the natural landscapes captured on the surfaces of the metal sheets look so surreal as if they actually grow organically from the metal sheet they are on - like developing a series of oversize Polariods in a top secret facility. This forced combination of nature and man-made are exemplified in Liz's works yet captured and reduced to the very essence of it perfectly.


Further Readings -
Page: Official page for Liz Deschenes' show on Campoli Presti's website
Page: Official page for Wolfgang Tillmans' show on Maureen Paley's website
Video: 2012 Whitney Biennial artist Liz Deschenes discusses her work with photograms, a type of photographic image made without a camera; 2012, Whitney Museum of American Art
Interview: Wolfgang Tillmans' Wandering Eye; Sept 2013, Dazed Digital

Frieze Art Week 2013

It's the time of the year in London when everybody suddenly talks about art. Yes, it's Frieze week (or weeks) coming up. Following our tradition, we have handpicked our favourites from the endless offers in town so you don't have to be frustrated scanning through the listings.

Our top 10 of the week are as follows (in no particular order!) -

1. Catch L’Expédition Scintillante, Act 2 (light show) by Pierre Huyghe in Raven Row's current show “Reflections from Damaged Life” - A great retrospective show spanning decades of works, make sure you stay in the gallery until you see this performance, it runs every half hour.

2. "Tomorrow" by Elmgreen & Dragset in V&A - The Norwegian duo's greatest site specific commission yet in Britain inside the V&A museum's former Textile Galleries.

3. "Beyond the Black" by Idris Khan int Victoria Miro - an important departure from Khan's photographic based works, this show comprises a suite of large black paintings, a monumental site specific wall drawing and a series of works on paper.

4. Tatsuo Miyajima's "I-Model" in Lisson Gallery - the Japanese artist is famous for his zen minimal pieces incoporating LED digit displays. There is a clay chamber room for meditation in the show, only one person to enter at time.

5. Wolfgang Tillmans' solo show Central Nervous System in Maureen Paley - once again Tillmans returns to Frieze week and we couldn't wait to see his latest creations.

6. "A series from Within" by Larissa Nowicki in Man & Eve - intriguing pieces formed from the printed pages of books, sliced and intricately woven to form new works that cannot be read in the traditional sense

7. "Sandra Blow Paintings & Prints" in Kings Place - Sandra Blow is a pioneer of the British post-war abstract movement. Seeing her works in the multi-storey atrium in Kings Place is a joyful experience

8. "Erebus" (film) by Du Preez & Thornton Jones in Londonewcastle Project Space - Du Preez & Thornton Jones have created a new body of work in collaboration with choreographer Russell Maliphant, inspired in part by the work of Auguste Rodin

9. "The Seymour & Milton Posters Show" in Kemistry Gallery - a great retrospective show about one of the most influential designer duos in the 20th century who signature push-pin style has become iconic.

10. Frieze Sculpture Park in Regent's Park - this year's sculpture park is the largest in the history of Frieze, and it's free so how can you miss it?

And apart from the Original Frieze and Frieze Masters, you have the choice of numerous satellite fairs around town. Here are a few we believe most of our followers could find something they like and go have a look -

Sunday & Touch Art Fair in Marylebone
Sluice in Bermondsey
The Other Art Fair in Brick Lane
Multiplied at Christie's
Moniker in Brick Lane

Visit our facebook page over the week to see what we have found in town apart from the above. Enjoy the best London offers in the Autumn!


Further Readings -

Page - Top 10 Photograph Exhibitions in town on TimeOut London
Page - Top 10 Art Exhibitions in town on TimeOut London
Interview - of the Director of Sluice Art Fair Ben Street by Tabius Khan for Londonist