Archives for contemporary

Artists Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen Unleash Our Primal Instincts

A MACABRE repertoire of half-human beasties is unleashed at Le Musée de la chasse et de la nature in Paris this spring.  Collaborating miles apart, South African photographer Roger Ballen and Netherlands-based illustrator  Hans Lemmen create Unleashed, an unsettling combination of re-appropriated imagery which unearths Modern Man’s animalistic tendencies.

Ballen’s photographic scraps merge with Lemmen’s drawings to create a contemporary cave painting alongside animistic sculptures of the artists with their pets. Individual works by each artist are also on display including a video which documents their project. The show endeavours to convey the creative process of each artist and how their art thrives from the fusion of their differing practices. The collaboration has been an exciting challenge, as Lemmen explains, “This is the hardest thing I‘ve ever faced in my career. Until the last moment, I did not know if it would be possible to combine photographs and drawings.”

Roger Ballen, Hans Lemmen, Photography, Drawing, Roger Ballen/Hans Lemmen, Entanglement 2016. Courtesy of Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen Private Collection

Ballen, a master of psychodramas creates highly original sets in unknown locations near Johannesburg in which marginalised individuals improvise their strange narratives and where animals mingle. His scenarios allude to human survival but man’s inability to escape from nature. Ballen explains, “I think that my works seek the animal at the heart of the human mind, the point where a man turns into an animal … ”

Ballen’s nebulous forms free repressed characters from wires and cables, as if releasing them from the constraints of modernity.

Roger Ballen, Hans Lemmen, Photography, Drawing, Le Musée de la chasse et de la natureHans Lemmen/Roger Ballen, Unicorn 2016. Courtesy of Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen Private Collection

Lemmen’s graphics and sculptures are fictional works which explore the domains between animals and people. He is fascinated by pre-historic times when our ancestors lived in empathy with, not against, nature. Lemmen alludes to our primeval instincts,

“We are simply animals. We are animals with, of course, a more developed brain.”

Occasionally his work displays a curious role reversal in which Man appears to become a sacrificial offering, and animals are invited to take charge.

Roger Ballen, Hans Lemmen, Photography, Drawing, Le Musée de la chasse et de la natureHans Lemmen, Untitled 2014. Courtesy of Hans Lemmen Private Collection

The show parades a grave and male-dominated world but also a few surprises, like this grisly cytoplasm ingesting human remains.

Roger Ballen, Hans Lemmen, Photography, Drawing, Le Musée de la chasse et de la natureRoger Ballen/Hans Lemmen, Oh No! 2016. Courtesy of Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen Private Collection

by Miranda Charalambous

Unleashed: Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen, which is co-produced by the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht, until June 4 2017 at Le Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature, 62, rue des Archives 75003, Paris

Tel: 01 53 01 92 40

Front page image: Roger Ballen/Hans Lemmen, Oh No! 2016, Photograph, Courtesy of Roger Ballen and Hans Lemmen Private Collection

Artists and Futurists Convene At M HKA In Antwerp

INTERNATIONAL artists and futurists will take part in a radical new show held at M HKA, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp this spring. A Temporary Futures Institute presents an innovative approach to the study of futures, a discipline which explores concepts and strategies about the future. The exhibition considers how art and future studies relate to knowledge in which artificial intelligence, political activism and governance will play a key role. Organised by M HKA’s senior curator Anders Kreuger and Antwerp-based futurist Maya Van Leemput, the show is curated in response to research conducted by futurist James Dator and pioneer of the “four futures” model at the Manoa School of Futures Studies at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. Dator believed that, “Any useful statement about the future should appear to be ridiculous.”

Within future studies, initial ideas might seem initially far-fetched. They may challenge our behaviour as new technologies replace past knowledge and become the norm. In this exhibition, professional futurists from the fields of alternative, design, postnormal and technology futures are brought together with international artists from a diverse range of disciplines. Staged within a specially commissioned set designed by the Polynesian artist, Alexander Lee, futures scenarios are envisioned through unconnected themes which include continuation, collapse, discipline and transformation. Participating artists include Belgium painter Kasper Bosmans, sculptor Simryn Gill and film-maker Michel Auder.


Kasper Bosmans, Legend Future Studies, 2016, courtesy of the artist; Marc Foxx gallery,
Los Angeles and Gladstone Gallery, New York-Brussels


Running concurrently with A Temporary Futures Institute is DDT (Design, Develop, Transform), an international futures conference futures practitioners and academics partnered by the Association of Professional Futurists and the World Futures Studies Federation.

by Miranda Charalambous

A Temporary Futures Institute opens from April 27 to September 17, 2017. DDT (Design, Develop, Transform) opens from June 15 – June 17, 2017.
Both events are held at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MHKA), Leuvenstraat 32, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium

Telephone: +32 (0)3 260 99 99


Front page image: Kasper Bosmans, Legend Future Studies, 2016, courtesy of the artist; Marc Foxx gallery, Los Angeles and Gladstone Gallery, New York-Brussels

Victoria and Albert Museum Launch Range of Interior Paints

THE world’s leading museum of art and design, The Victoria and Albert Museum launches a new interior paint range next year. The V&A Classic Paint Collection, inspired by the Museum’s interiors is hand-crafted by Master Paintmakers, a company whose heritage dates back to the 19th Century.  Their sumptuous palette comprises 40 elegant colours designed to bring the very essence of the V&A’s interiors to the home. The Museum and Master Paintmakers will use the finest pigments to “achieve the highest quality paint product available in its category”.

Victoria and Albert Museum, V&A Classic Paint Collection
V&A Classic Paint Collection in Owen’s Teal

A quick glimpse at the new range reveals a stunning new shade of teal, a hue designed to intensify the most romantic of settings. Owen’s Teal is inspired by Owen Jones’s fabulous Moorish patterns which adorned the V&A’s early interiors. A sensational background for neutrals and crisp white china, the colour is also striking with spicy orange accents or black.


Victoria and Albert Museum, V&A Classic Paint CollectionV&A Classic Paint Collection in Reuben Red

The architect, Reuben Townroe produced the exterior mosaics for South Kensington Museum, as the V&A was once known. Reuben Red, produced for the museum’s new collection is a rich plummy hue that recalls the architect’s original designs. Highlight strong architectural features with Reuben Red for an assertive contemporary look. The colour also works well with neutrals and charcoal accents.


Victoria and Albert Museum, V&A Classic Paint CollectionV&A Classic Paint Collection in Opus Criminale

A 19th century plaster cast provided the inspiration for Trajan’s Column, a smooth contemporary white colour. It pairs well with Webb Grey named after the renowned architect, Aston Webb who designed the V&A’s main building and also the façade of Buckingham Palace.

The V&A Classic Collection will be available from retailers and online in Spring 2017. It comprises four finishes, Matt Emulsion, Eggshell, Gloss and Masonry and is suitable for furniture, walls, ceilings and woodwork both for interior and exterior surfaces.

by Miranda Charalambous

Front page image: V&A Classic Paint Collection in Opus Criminale


Messein Lovers Feast On A Banquet of Forbidden Fruit at MAD, New York

THE talented ceramist, Chris Antemann has teamed up with famous porcelain manufacturer, Messein to produce a series of saucy limited editions that instil a little joie de vivre into figurative tradition. Her finely crafted profusions of fruit, flowers and lusty lovers are currently on display in a new show entitled Chris Antemann: Forbidden Fruit at the Museum of Modern Arts in New York (MAD).

The witty installation comprises an array of exquisite sculptural works including the amusing dinner piece, Lust and Gluttony and a spectacular porcelain chandelier decked with delicately crafted birds and lemons. The highlight of the show is Antemann’s intricate five foot centrepiece, Love Temple inspired by Messein’s master craftsman, Johann Joachim Chandler. Shannon R. Stratton, MAD’s curator explains,

“Throughout her career, Antemann has manipulated the purely white and technically challenging material of porcelain to create contemporary interpretations of the pursuits of eighteenth-century elites, such as fine dining and escapades in pleasure gardens.”

Messein, Chris Antemann, sculpture, porcelain
Chris Antemann in collabo­ration with Meissen, Lemon Chandelier (detail), 2014 © Meissen

This fabulous exhibition demonstrates Antemann’s ability to cleverly merge modern-day values with the sensibilities of eighteenth century society when a heightened interest in sexuality activity among the upper classes became apparent. Antemann’s elaborate and feisty narratives convey well how feasts, banquets and fine dining provided opportunities for amorous liaisons.

Messein, Chris Antemann, sculpture, porcelain
Chris Antemann in collabora­tion with Meissen, A Delicate Domain, 2014 © Meissen

by Miranda Charalambous

Chris Antemann: Forbidden Fruit opens from September 22 – February 5, 2017 at the Museum of Arts and Design,
2 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019, USA
Tel: 212-299-7777

Front page image: Chris Antemann in collaboration with Meissen, Trifle (detail), 2013 © Meissen





The Unseen Festival, Amsterdam Announces Programme Of Events

THE Unseen Photo Fair  opens later this month during the Unseen Festival in the historic district of Spaarndammerbuurt, Amsterdam. Now in its fifth year, this unique and much anticipated event, will display cutting-edge work from more than 150 emerging and established artists from across the world and offers the chance for both professionals and enthusiasts alike to discover the latest advancements in contemporary photography. The fair is housed at the distinctive Gashoulder in the Westergasfabriek venue in the city.

The Unseen Photo Fair and Festival will also exhibit new work by international photographers, Thomas AlbdorfLaurianne Bixhain, Felicity Hammond, Miren Pastor and Tereza Zelenkova – finalists of the ING Unseen Talent Award. In addition, an extensive programme of lectures and debates will be available and access to an array of up-to-the-minute publications from the event’s exclusive book market.

600x400-dogDog Cemetry, 2015, Tereza Zelenkova, silver gelatin print on fibre based paper, 2015 © Lowres

Highlights of the fair include Making Memeries, an augmented reality project created by Bruno Crechel whereby visitors can design their own physical reality. By downloading a free app, visitors can digitally interact with imagery designed by artist Lucas Blalock on eight moveable panels. The project opens up boundless possibilities for image sharing but causes us to reflect on the challenges facing today’s contemporary photographers.

At Unseen’s new temporary studio, inside the Westergasfabriek, visitors will be invited to have their portraits taken by emerging talent from the African continent. This project forms part of a radical new project by African artists to explore their heritage of portraiture in an unusual and alternative way.

In fact, nothing is conventional at Unseen, including the process of buying. For those with a penchant for fairground attractions, try your hand at Clare Strand’s hoopla stall, you might win some original artwork.

600x400-green Untitled (00-16), 2016 © Fumi Ishino

by Miranda Charalambous

The Unseen Photo Fair opens from September 23–25 in the Westergasfabriek and takes place during the Unseen Festival in the district of Spaarndammerbuurt September 16–25 2016 in Amsterdam, PO Box 15650, 1001 ND Amsterdam

Tel: +31 (0)6 46 10 98 68
Front page image: Big Couple Green & Blue, 2015 © Pierre Christophe Gam

Artists Go Dotty with Pixels at Alice Mogabgab Gallery

DOTS and Pixels, a lively show of painting by three contemporary artists, Léopoldine Roux, Nathalie Grenier and Li Wei has opened at Alice Mogabgab Gallery in Beirut. Inspired by the words of Pablo Picasso, “Some painters turn the sun into a yellow dot; others turn a yellow dot into the sun”, these artists explore creativity in a colourful confetti of splatters, stipples and speckles. Using a diverse mix of materials including nail lacquer, acrylics and China ink, they dot and pixelate their landscapes within three very individual styles.

Leopoldine RouxLéopoldine Roux, Promenade #19 (detail), mixed media on canvas, 114 x 146 cm.
Photograph: the artist and Alice Mogabgab Gallery

Léopoldine Roux brings childhood nostalgia to life by painting dots on vintage postcards. Her dots become surging crowds on promenades, fruity pink umbrellas or fizzy lemon lollipops. Nathalie Grenier’s cathedral on Japanese paper rises from clusters of mottled bluish dots. Cavernous forms dissolve and re-emerge in a scattering of light and shade cloaking the canvas from edge to edge. Li Wei’s sepia coloured painting resembles pixelated photographs but also references Chinese tradition through choice of medium and subject matter. The artist creates images by enlarging photographs to the point of pixelation and then meticulously repainting the details.

Nathalie GrenierNathalie Grenier, Cathedrale I, 2014, acrylic on Japan paper on canvas, 140 x 102 cm.
Photograph: the artist and Alice Mogabgab Gallery

by Miranda Charalambous

Dots and Pixels runs until September 9, 2016 at Alice Mogabgab Gallery, 1 Floor, Karam Building, Ashrafieh Street, Beirut, Lebanon
Tel: +961 (0) 1 204984. See the gallery’s website for opening hours and further information:

Front page image: Léopoldine Roux, Bubble Painting #08 (detail), 2015, mixed media on canvas, 120 x 80 cm. Photograph: the artist and Alice Mogabgab Gallery

Magnum Photos Pinpoints Decisive Moments with Square Print Project

INSPIRED by a theory from the history of photography, Magnum Photos launch their Square Print Project in commemoration of the Magnum Photos co-founders, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, David Seymour and George Rodger. A selection of high quality limited prints of classical and contemporary photography by leading Magnum photographers includes work by Martin Parr, Alex Webb, René Burri, Elliott Erwitt, Tim Hetherington, Newsha Tavakollian, Peter van Agtmael and Eve Arnold.


(in text) MAGNUM PHOTOSBrazil. Amazonas. Leticia, The Amazon river, 1966. Photograph: Bruno Barbey/Magnum Photos

What defines the decisive moment? For American photographer, Alex Webb, it was the advent of Kodachrome, the film quality that  enabled him to capture the Amazon’s warm, muddy waters.


photography, classical, contemporaryCuba Havana, 1993. Photograph: Alex Webb/Magnum Photos

In contrast, Martin Parr describes his decisive moment as belonging to the Brighton Swimming Club as they waited to brave the unforgiving chill of the English Channel on a blustery day. However, decisive moments for Jonas Bendiksen are defined by immediacy in preparation and only achieved when the shutter is open.


photography, classical, contemporaryGermany. West Berlin. The Fall of the Berlin Wall.. East Berliners crossing into the West, in the
immediate aftermath of the opening of the Berlin Wall atCheckpoint Charlie at Midnight on November 9, 1989.
Photograph: Mark Power/Magnum Photos

by Miranda Charalambous

Signed copies of prints are available to buy from the Magnum Photos Online Shop until June 10, 2016  here

Front page image: Iran. Mahmoudabad. Caspian Sea, 2011. Imaginary CD cover for Sahar. Photograph: Newsha  Tavakolian/Magnum Photos

Artists Leap Towards New Forms of Knowledge at Modern Art Oxford

IN CELEBRATION of its 50th anniversary, Modern Art Oxford stages the third exhibition of Kaleidoscope, a programme that showcases significant art of the past and new commissions from well-known contemporary artists. The exhibition, Mystics and Rationalists comprises drawing, sculpture and video animation by Daniel Buren, Sol Le Witt, Dorothy Cross, Ibrahim El-Salahi, Dan Graham, Yoko Ono, Karla Black and Amy Silman.

art, exhibitionsDorothy Cross, Doorway (detail) 2014. Photograph © The artist and Kerlin Gallery, Dublin.

Informed by the words of Sol Le Witt that “conceptual artists are mystics, rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach”, this exhibition defies traditional convention by offering an alternative view of the world. These artists push boundaries or challenge the processes of modern day technology using a range of materials as paradigms for their unusual creations.

Ibrahim El-Salahi, The Tree, 2000. India ink and coloured ink on Bristol board. Photo © Vigo Gallery and the artistIbrahim El-Salahi, The Tree, 2000. India ink and coloured ink on Bristol board.
Photograph © Vigo Gallery and the artist

by Miranda Charalambous

The exhibition, Mystics and Rationalists at Modern Art Oxford runs until July 31, 2016.