Archives for art

Alan Kane’s Home for Christmas illuminated at Tate Britain

TATE Britain have commissioned the artist Alan Kane to create their Christmas light display, Home for Christmas. The cheering spectacle was switched on last week, decorating the exterior of the museum.

Alan Kane Tate Britain Home for Christmas Commission
Alan Kane’s Home for Christmas for Tate Britain

Switched on by prominent community figure, Jane Buttigieg, the exhibit on the Victorian façade of the building is part of the gallery’s community Christmas event. Tate’s traditional Christmas tree has been replaced by this light-hearted seasonal commission, featuring LED Santas, reindeer, snowmen and Christmas trees, similar to those decorating houses across Britain. The notion of combining the every-day with high-culture is a theme that frequently features in Kane’s work.

The commission is part of the greater festive period at Tate Britain, including craft activities, festive themed art talks, carol singing and torch-lit viewings of their esteemed Turner collection.

Director of Tate Britain, Alex Farquharson, says, “We’re excited to be giving Tate Britain a whole new face this Christmas … Alan’s ultra-festive response is sure to turn heads – of those both young and old. We look forward to unveiling other surprising festive artist commissions in the years to come.”

by Daisy Sewell

The display shall remain there until the January 6, 2018 and illuminated daily from 05:00am to 00:00am, at Tate Britain, Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG, UK.


Frequency: Festival of Digital Culture Returns to Lincoln

THIS YEAR Frequency festival focuses the theme of disPLACEment. Over ten days, the city of Lincoln’s medieval streets will host a number of art installations and events, which will blend a virtual, distended reality.

freq1WHIST by AΦE. Photograph: Paul Plews

Now in its fourth year, Frequency, presented by Midlands-based media arts producer, Threshold Studios culminates the work of local, national and international artists. The work will be inspired by the digital conversion of community, identity and a sense of place, alongside important global issues such as migration, inequality and class divides.

“We are delighted to be returning to Lincoln for Frequency 2017, an access-for-all festival that celebrates and debates the ever-growing realm of digital culture, ”explained Uzma Johal MBE, co-director of the festival and Threshold Studios.

freq2DUET, Invisible Flock (UK) and Quicksand (India), Leeds, April 2017

Planned enterprises featured in the event will include DUET, a lighting installation from the collaboration of UK based, Invisible Flock and India based Quicksand. Accompanying, is a physical theatre and virtually, augmented reality hybrid piece titled WHIST by AΦE, a dance company based in Kent, UK, inspired by Sigmund Freud and a VR film Empire Soldiers detailing the unknown story of WW1 Caribbean soldiers, from Leicester-based theatre company, METRO-BOULOT-DODO.

by Pierra George-Robertson

Frequency Festival will show from October 20–29

Frequency Festival is presented by Threshold Studios and brought to the city through partnership with the University of Lincoln, Lincoln BIG, Visit Lincoln and Lincolnshire One Venue, funded by The National Lottery

Learn more about Frequency Festival

Front Page Image: WHIST by AΦE, Scenes, Golden Room.

Van Eyck Exhibition Opens at National Gallery, London

A NEW show of the work of Van Eyck is opening at the National Gallery in London.  This autumn, his oil painting the Arnolfini portrait, is set to be exhibited at the National Gallery, providing a unique opportunity to view Pre-Raphaelite paintings next to the work that inspired them. The National Gallery received the Arnolfini portrait in 1842 and immediately captivated the Victorian audience. The Netherlandish/Flemish Van Eyck is one of the most significant representatives of Northern Renaissance art.

'Portrait of Giovanni(?) Arnolfini and his Wife' or 'The Arnolfini Portrait'Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife 1434 by Jan Van Eyck, Courtesy of The National Gallery London

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was made up of a group of young artists who sparked a revolution in British art. The Convex mirror in the Arnolfini painting is a key motif and it led the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood to explore the themes of distortion, doubling, and reflection. The painting has left an imprint on the Pre-Raphaelites’ work, spreading its motifs like the mirror device, seen in Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s Lucrezia Borgia and a pair of pointed slippers seen in Holman Hunt’s The Lady of Shalott.

mirror-final-versionConvex Mirror owned by Gabriel Dante Rossetti, Courtesy of Kelmscott Manor

The convex mirror has been an important source of inspiration for many generations of artists and so Van Eyck’s influence lives on.

by Marco Pretara

The exhibition, Reflections: Van Eyck and the Pre-Raphaelite’s is on from October 2, 2017 until April 2, 2018 at the National Gallery, London WC2N 5DN
Tel: 020 7747 2885

Front Page Image: Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife 1434 by Jan Van Eyck, Courtesy of The National Gallery London

Tate Galleries Introduces App for Smartphone Users

TATE Galleries have launched a new app for smartphone users in collaboration with Bloomberg Philanthropies, as part of the Bloomberg Connects programme  which aims to help visitors plan their day more effectively. The Tate App is created by Netherlands-based design agency, Fabrique and global web development company, Potato who have also enhanced the app for iOS devices.

By downloading the free app via Google Play or the Apple App Store, visitors can explore the galleries at their own pace and discover interesting facts about the collections and upcoming events. Far more than just a way finder, the Tate App is designed to not only enable users to locate their position and navigate the galleries with ease but augment an entirely personalised gallery experience. Kerstin Mogull, Managing Director of Tate says, “The Tate app is designed to be simple, useful and fun, putting the whole gallery in the palm of your hand for free.”

600x400The Tate App for Android and iOS devices, Courtesy Tate Galleries

The app’s intuitive and friendly interface welcomes visitors with an initial question, “What do you feel like doing?” and invites them to select from three choices – art, activities, eat or shop. Whether perusing the galleries or drinking a leisurely coffee, visitors can listen to audio clips about their favourite artworks and plan their next move all from their own device.

The Tate App can be used at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives when the gallery reopens later this year.

by Miranda Charalambous

Front page image: Tate App for Android and iOS devices, Courtesy Tate Galleries


Alice Neel Retrospective Opens at Gemeente Museum, The Hague

A MAJOR retrospective of the work of Alice Neel opens at the Gemeente Museum in the Netherlands next month. The exhibition, Alice Neel Collector of Souls brings to light the American portrait painter’s significant contribution to twentieth century art which to date, is little known in the Netherlands. Neel’s enlightened approach to portraiture influenced many contemporary artists, including Marlene Dumas and Elizabeth Peyton.

Neel painted the people she encountered during her early married life in Cuba, her subsequent moves to Greenwich Village, Spanish Harlem and eventually, uptown New York. The artist explained, “I paint my time using the people as evidence.”

art, Alice Neel, The Gemeente Museum, portrait, paintingAlice Neel, Jackie Curtis and Ritta Redd, 1970, Oil on canvas, 152.40 x 106.40 cm. The Cleveland
Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2009.345. Courtesy of The Estate of Alice Neel

Neel painted the moods of her sitters, often in unflattering poses. Impatient, awkward or disillusioned, her models appear unguarded like victims of an ill-timed snapshot. In the sagging flesh of a fellow artist, or the grumpy demeanour of a lover, Neel sought to expose their truthfulness. Her comic portrayals of Andy Warhol superstar, Jackie Curtis and their partner, Ritta Redd highlight the ambiguity of gender identity and equally, the artist’s liberated views at the time.

Neel was interested in the perception of motherhood within different societies. Throughout her life, she produced several mother- and child-themed works which included loving portraits of her own children but also those that appear macabre or unsettling. Having suffered the loss of her own daughter, she was less concerned with depicting an idealised image of motherhood. These more contentious works proved to be a great source of interest for feminists of the 1970s. Although supportive of women’s rights, Neel did not brand herself a feminist, “If they [feminists] had a little more brains … they should have given me credit for being able to see not the feminine world, but my own world,” she said.

art, Alice Neel, The Gemeente Museum, portrait, paintingAlice Neel, Mother and Child (Nancy and Olivia), 1967, Oil on canvas, 99.7 x 91.7 x 91.4 cm,
Diane and David Goldsmith Collection. Photograph by Lee Fatherree, Courtesy of Alice Neel

by Miranda Charalambous

Alice Neel Collector of Souls runs from November 5, 2016 to February 12, 2017 at The Gemeente Museum, Stadhoulderslaan 41, 2517 HV The Hague, Holland
Tel: 31 (0)70 3381111

Front page image: Neel in her Spanish Harlem apartment c. 1940, Photograph by Sam Brody, Estate of Alice Neel



Kröller-Müller Museum Shows Early Drawings By Van Gogh

THE Kröller-Müller Museum presents a rare opportunity to see early drawings by Vincent Van Gogh later this month. The exhibition, entitled The early Van Gogh “work against indifference”, is curated by  Auke van der Woud  highlights work from the Kröller-Müller’s extensive collection, the second largest in the world. Seldom exhibited on account of their sensitivity to light, the drawings on display depict the fringes of late nineteenth century society and convey much about the artists’ regard for working class people.

Van Gogh, drawing, art, Kröller-Müller Museum Vincent Van Gogh, Peasant woman gleaning, July – August 1885, black crayon, grey washed, white opaque
watercolour, traces of fixative, on wove paper, 52.2 x 43.2 cm © Kröller-Müller Museum

Accompanying the drawings in the gallery, which is near Amsterdam, are Van Gogh’s comments from his personal letters which reveal a fascinating insight into his tenacious approach to artistic practice, “I say it again – work against indifference – perseverance isn’t easy – but things that are easy mean little.”

 Vincent Van Gogh, Carpenter’s yard and laundry, late May 1882, pencil, black crayon, pen and brush in black ink, brown wash, opaque watercolour, scratched, traces of squaring, on laid paper, 28.6 x 46.8 cm © Kröller-Müller Museum

Although influenced by the work of  Breton and Millet, Van Gogh depicted the drudgery of rural life rather than a romanticised version of it. In a letter to his brother Theo, he describes his studies of tree roots wrenched from the earth as a symbol of “life’s struggle”.  In his figurative drawings, peasants shoulder the hardship of relentless labouring, either digging, gleaning or bent double under sacks of coal, they press on in all weathers. Van Gogh sensed truthfulness in their weathered faces, a quality he regarded more desirable than beauty.

Describing his model and mistress, Sien, he noted, “I find in her exactly what I want: her life has been rough, and sorrow and adversity have put their marks upon her – now I can do something with her.”

 Vincent Van Gogh,  Tree roots in a sandy ground (‘Les rancines’), April – May 1882, pencil, black crayon, pencil in ink, brown and grey washed opaque watercolour, on watercolour paper, 51.5 x 70.7 cm  © Kröller-Müller Museum

by Miranda Charalambous


The early Van Gogh: “work against indifference” opens from September 24, 2016 until April 9, 2017 at the Kröller-Müller Museum, Houtkampweg 6, 6731 AW Otterlo, The Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)318 591 241
Front page image: Vincent Van Gogh, Peasant woman gleaning, July – August 1885, black crayon, grey washed, white opaque watercolour, traces of fixative, on wove paper, 52.2 x 43.2 cm © Kröller-Müller Museum

Bulgari Donates to Terme di Caracalla’s Mosaic Floor Restoration

BULGARI’s CEO Jean-Christophe Babin and Rome’s Colosseo and archaeological superintendent, Franceso Prosperetti, have teamed up to announce the restoration of Terme di Caracalla’s polychrome mosaic floor in the western gymnasium.

Terme di Caracalla. Photograph courtesy and copyright: Bulgari

Before restoration works began, the fine mosaic floor was obscured by fabric and soil to protect it from degradation. However, thanks to Bulgari’s donation the superintedency has been able to complete restoration works to the mosaic floor and will continue to fund the completion of additional restorative work.

To Bulgari the restoration is viewed as a tribute to a monument that has been the source of inspiration for the brand’s Divas’ Dream jewellery collection, whose motif resembles the pure and perfect lines of Terme di Caracalla’s mosaics.

Jean-Christophe Babin. Photograph courtesy and copyright: Bulgari

Terme di Caracalla is regarded as an archeological jewel that reflects the grandeur of Rome’s history and fills the brand with pride. Therefore, Bulgari has renewed its support to an initiative that will return to Terme di Caracalla in the future.

by Rebecca Acres

Jane Carr Collaborates with Piplotti Rist and Hauser & Wirth

BRITISH designer Jane Carr announces a new launch, a collaboration with award-winning Swiss artist Piplotti Rist and Hauser & Wirth gallery. The launch features two limited edition men’s and women’s scarves that feature specially commissioned artworks and a poem by Rist.

The women’s scarf embodies the whimsical and limitless spirit of Rist’s artwork. One can expect to see a vibrant print of apple blossom branches in psychedelic colours, crafted on a luxurious silk, twill square.

Jane Carr x Pipilotti Rist _ Hauser & Wirth - The Apple Blossom Scarf (women's) - silk twill - Flat(1)Women’s Scarf Jane Carr x Piplotti Rist

The men’s scarf, on the other hand, takes a darker turn and portrays an enigmatic and abstract underworld in shades of navy and royal blue, placed on a wool flannel stole. Both designs are adorned with phrases from Rist’s poem.

Jane Carr x Pipilotti Rist _ Hauser & Wirth - The Apple Blossom Scarf (men's) - wool - Folded 1Men’s Scarf Jane Carr x Piplotti Rist ©


by Rebecca Acres

The scarves are available for purchase here

Issey Miyake Exhibition Opens at National Art Centre, Tokyo

THE NATIONAL Art Centre in Tokyo has curated an unprecedented celebration of the work of Issey Miyake,  entitled  MIYAKE ISSEY EXHIBITION – The Work of Miyake Issey is an extensive representation of the celebrated designer’s work and inspirations.

02_No.1 Dress, No.1 Jacket(RGB)132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE, 1 Dress, No.1 Jacket, 2010. Photograph: Hiroshi Iwasaki

The show presents Miyake, one of the most significant fashion designers of all time, as tireless seeker of innovation, both in design as well as fabric-making. The exhibition focuses on Miyake unique and forward-thinking work ethic and presents his approach to design through the perspective of his entire career.

The show is structured around three main themes in three rooms – each exploring different phases in Miyake’s lifelong creative journey – that allow the viewer to fully comprehend his work.

05_Linen Jumpsuits, Spring Summer 1976(RGB)ISSEY MIYAKE, Linen Jumpsuits, Spring/Summer 1976, 1975. Photograph: Hiroshi Iwasaki

Displaying Miyake’s ideas about making clothes, tradition and the latest technology – featuring Miyake’s unique production processes the designer followed in his pioneering pleats products and showcasing his famous innovative approach to design and textile making that mixes the new with traditional techniques and craftsmanship – and Display and Visual Design by Taku Satoh as well as Grid Bodies developed especially by Tokujin Yoshioka to display the clothes will lend the visual aid to allow the visitors to fully immerse themselves in his art.

04_Tatoo, Spring Summer 1971(RGB)ISSEY MIYAKE, Tatoo, Spring/Summer 1971, 1970 Photograph: Hiroshi Iwasaki

As the showcase is intended as a journey through Miyake’s evolution as an artist and a craftsman, Room A explores Miyake’s early designs when his outlook on the multidimensional relations between the body and the shape covering it has started developing.

It features drawings and early pieces – his body suit with a back tattoo and handkerchief dress made out of only three sheets of material, all unveiling his ideas of freedom and thought of body which he has weaved into his work and design and have become synonymous with Miyake’s name.

07_Blade of Grass Pleats, Spring Summer 1990(RGB)ISSEY MIYAKE, Blade of Grass Pleats, Spring/Summer 1990, 1989. Photograph: Hiroshi Iwasaki

Room B follows Miyake into the 1980s and his eponymous designs of the time, which was a reaction to the hedonistic and body-centred decade. He worked with synthetic material and modelled these pieces on a real torso which makes them both very sculptural while retaining the freedom revoked by the flow-y silhouettes.

06_Waterfall Body, Autumn Winter 1984(RGB)

ISSEY MIYAKE, Waterfall Body, Autumn/Winter 1984, 1984. Photograph: Hiroshi Iwasaki

Finally, Room C focuses on the main themes developed by Miyake in his creative journey. The viewers can here gain a deeper understanding behind designer’s concept of using as few pieces of fabric as possible to create a garment – Miyake’s environmental focus – and unveiling new techniques to envelop the body while striving for a better merge of three-dimensional with two-dimensional.

08_Horsehair, Autumn Winter 1990(RGB)ISSEY MIYAKE, Horsehair, Autumn/ Winter 1990, 1990. Photograph: Hiroshi Iwasaki

This section studies closely Miyake’s most known brands and collections – Pleats Please, a brand in its own right that was a result of Miyake’s pursuit of devising a new way of pleating fabrics and this technique will be also actively presented to the audience, 132 5 which is a collection a collection of garments that can be folded into flat geometrical pieces that are then brought to life by the movement of the body they cover, and A – POC  – where the abbreviation stands for “a piece of cloth” and depicts items made of a tubular piece of of knit fabric and reduced the production waste to virtually zero.

Miyake’s impressive career spans over nearly half a century and the exhibition celebrates his consistent focus on the future and perceiving the clothes design as an integral part of everyday life. He always created with that in mind exploring the relationship between the clothes and the body and pushed for new solutions looking into the future.

The curators of the exhibition hope to equally push the visiter to challenge their notions of art and fashion and fuel their own creativity through being inspired by “the joy of creation”.

by Magda Pirowska

Featured cover photograph: ISSEY MIYAKE, Flying Saucer, Spring/ Summer 1994, 1993  Photo: Koji Udo

The exhibition will also be accompanied by its own catalogue featuring photographs of every work by Miyake taken by Hiroshi Iwasaki.

MIYAKE ISSEY EXHIBITION – The Work of Miyake Issey is on until June 13 at The National Art Center, Tokyo(Kokuritsu-Shin-Bijutsukan), Special Exhibition Gallery 2E 7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8558

Gemeente-Museum Den Haag Announces a Major Retrospective of Jan Toorop

The Gemeente-Museum Den Haag is showing the first major retrospective of works by Jan Toorop, one of the most popular Dutch artists from first half of the 20th century.

A highly prolific artist, Toorop is instantaneously recognisable to art lovers as a precursor of Art Nouveau thanks to his famous poster for Delft salad oil. He has however worked in other styles and the retrospection is focused on showcasing the diversity of his talent.

toorop 3Jan Toorop, November Sun, 1888, Oil on canvas, 62.5 x 74.5 cm, in gesso frame painted white, Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. Image courtesy of Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Jan Toorop was one of the most influential artists of his time, pioneering the advance of modern art and counted contemporaries as Gustav Klimt and Mondrian as his followers. It was Toorop who introduced Amsterdam to Luminism shortly after 1900. (Luminism is an American landscape painting style popular in the early part of the 20th century which emphasised effects of light in landscapes, through the use of aerial perspective and concealment of visible brushstrokes). He was also one of the driving forces behind the creation of Dutch avant-garde artists’ association the Moderne Kunstkring and designed elaborate programmes for churches.

jan toorop 2

Jan Toorop (design), Delft Salad Oil, 1895, Poster, colour lithograph, 86.5 x 56 cm, Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. Image courtesy of Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Toorop’s intrepid appropriation of French Pointillists’ technique and his further switch to Symbolism that have seen his reinvent his own art, made him the main innovator of his day and a source of inspiration for other artists.

toorop 5
Fatalism, 1893, Black and yellow chalk, pencil and paint on brownish paper, 60 x 75 cm, Kröller-Müller Museum.
Image courtesy of Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Gerard van Wezel, guest curator at the museum, has spent over 30 years researching Toorop’s distinctive style and evolving career and his findings majorly contributed to the creation of the exhibition. His researched reveled that even though the artist have experimented with different styles, his individual style prevailed and put a stamp on all his works, keeping them consistent despite of weaving approaches.

toorop 4

De toi, Vil Animal – pour pétrir un génie, O fangeuse grandeur! sublime ignominie! (You, Vile Animal – to mould a genius, Oh, filthy greatness! Sublime infamy!), 1891 Black and coloured chalk, pencil and coloured crayons, heightened with white wax crayon, on paper, 54.4 x 35.4 cm Collection Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.Image courtesy of Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Jan Toorop’s major works have been included thanks to loans and financial backing secured with the help from Fonds 21 and the VSBfonds, Hein Fonds, Stichting
 De Gijselaar-Hintzenfonds and Stichting Gifted Art. The 200 pieces strong exhibition, including all of Toorop’s main artworks from collections in the Netherlands and abroad, reveal him as a truly modern artist and a major player in the international avant-garde of the period.

by Magda Pirowska

Exhibition opens on the February 26 until May 29 After the show in The Hague, the exhibition will travel in modified form to Villa Stuck in Munich, Museum Bröhan in Berlin and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.