I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
With works by Donald Baechler, Keith Coventry, Michael Craig-Martin, Joel Morrison, Ichwan Noor, Gavin Turk, James White and Erwin Wurm.
Duchamp did it first, 101 years ago, with his urinal. By recasting a utilitarian object as a work of art, he opened up the world to seeing things differently, and caused tremors that shook the core of the art world that are still being felt today.
Reflex gallery is proud to present an exciting group exhibition with a selection of diverse works by some of the most exciting practitioners of contemporary art from around the globe. In Times of Plenty: The Shape of Things Today also takes everyday objects as its starting point. But this time, by recasting them in a gallery setting, these artists are asking us to question, not only the nature of art, but more the nature of our contemporary society, with its rampant consumerism, disposable culture and overexposure to iconic brands.
Whether it be Erwin Wurm's comic frankfurter-like Head, cast in bronze, or Ichwan Noor's VW Beatle fashioned into a space-age black ball, its smoothness reminiscent of Barbara Hepworth, or Keith Coventry's McDonald's golden arches, redrawn in red and cropped by a white frame, the work in the show invites us to look again at the things around us.
By distorting, abstracting and deforming, these objects arerendered strange - beautiful and monstrous in equal measure. Michael Craig Martin's acrylic on aluminium paintings of a green tennis ball, a high heel and a robot vacuum cleaner have a graphic simplicity, Donald Baechler's collage of a diamond solitaire, is somehow both cosmic and sinister against a backdrop of childlike drawings of faces. James White's oil on panel monochrome imbues a canister of Raid insect spray with a certain monumentalism, standing tall on a shelf in an otherwise ordinary setting, a collection of sunglasses scattered alongside.
Young British Artist Gavin Turk's Holy Egg (2018) is an appropriation of Lucio Fontana's Fine di Dio from his famed Concetto Spaziale series. The egg, a highly charged symbol with connotations of the circle of life, is made two dimensional here, cast in blackened brass. With its perforated surface suggesting the artist's initials, it is mysterious and relic-like in one context, and throwaway, a piece of scrap-metal, in another. His tiny wizened Malus Domestica (2017) is both astonishingly ordinary in its hyperrealism, and an exquisite piece of craftmanship.
We are surrounded-these artists say-by the things we idealise (the IPhone), the things we think we need (the robot vacuum cleaner) the things we desire (cars). Their forms and functions we take for granted. The headspace they occupy, the environmental impact they wield, and the insatiability they breed in us. This extraordinary display of work invites us to reflect and take stock.
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