French gallerist Almine Rech-Picasso opened her first space in Asia on Shanghai's historic Bund in July this year, bringing her eponymous gallery's total locations to five. The Shanghai gallery occupies roughly 4,000 square feet on the second floor of the three-storey Amber Building, a beautiful warehouse space, originally occupied by the Central...
There's an inside joke amongst the team of Ashkal Alwan, The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts: that every time an edition of its biennial forum on cultural practices is planned, a national crisis happens. The eighth edition of Home Works was no different: it opened on 17 October amidst the most devastating wildfires that Lebanon had witnessed...
Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...
Fiona Hall is one of Australia’s most accomplished, innovative and individual artists and has been selected to represent Australia at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. Fiona Hall has worked across a range of art forms: from sculpture, painting and installation to video work, public commissions and horticulture.
Her work is remarkable for its meticulousness and beauty, and for its transformation of everyday, inconsequential items – aluminium cans, paper, plastic, soap and other detritus – into objects of exquisite beauty and historical and contemporary resonance.
Hall’s overriding interest is the complex relationship between humans and the natural world, and her works have variously addressed colonialism, consumerism, globalisation, natural history and the environment – important issues yet ones that are engaged with in always alluring, alchemical form.
Veneer, Hall’s most recent series, is perhaps the most urgent of her works in its forewarning of the dire consequences of our continued destruction of the natural world. Comprising a series of paintings on tapa (or barkcloth), Veneer depicts a murky, dystopian world – an apocalyptic wasteland strewn with felled trees and human skulls. Yet despite the magnitude of the devastation, the paintings are compelling rather than heavy handed, infused with the very materiality – wood, bark, earth, fire, ash and smoke – of the environment they depict.
Skulls – a recurring symbol in Hall’s work – abound in Veneer, where they line up ghoulishly as if in a mass grave, merge with the rings of cut-down trees, or dissolve into the works’ wood-grain painted surface. The implication is clear: rampant environmental destruction leads to death.
Claire Armstrong, June 2014.
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