Archives for film

Monochrome: Painting in Black and White at National Gallery, London

THIS AUTUMN the National Gallery will exhibit Monochrome: Painting in Black and White. The collection of more than 50 painted objects explores the use of shadow and light, over the past 700 years, analysing what happens without colour and the compelling use of black and white.

The exhibition, showing paintings and drawing, unites works of the old masters such as Jan van Eyck and Rembrandt with contemporary artists including Gerhard Richter and Chuck Close. The major, worldwide loans allow Monochrome to give an insight into the use and choice of colour, or lack of it. Each of the five rooms shows the viewer a different aspect of grisaille – black, white and grey painting.

Curators of Monochrome, Leila Packer and Jennifer Sliwka remark, “Painters reduce their colour palette for many reasons, but mainly as a way of focusing the viewer’s attention on a particular subject, concept or technique.” Devoid of colour, artists can focus greatly on form and texture within the work.

im1Jacob de Wit, Jupiter and Ganymede, 1739, Oil on canvas, 36.9 × 55.5 cm © Ferens Art Gallery, Hull Museums

Some of the earliest Western artworks in grisaille date back to the Middle Ages, for the purpose of focusing the mind and for spiritual connection. For some religious orders avoiding colour was a form of self-discipline, in the 12th century French Cistercian monks created grey stained-glass windows, with images painted in black and yellow.

From the 15th century, artists used black and white to simplify challenges when drawing their desired subject. The lack of colour allowed the artist to focus solely on light and shade, these studies could even act as a reusable template.

The question for many artists was how to replicate stone sculptures on canvas. Highly decorative and illustrative art, including wall paintings and sculpted stucco, popular in the 15th and 16th century, Northern Europe brought attention to works such as Jupiter and Ganymede by Jacob de Wit, 1739. With the development of printmaking, to fascinate audiences’ artists paintings would often replicate a printed work. The later development of film and photography, beginning in 1839, prompted artists to recreate the effects of this media to respond or challenge specific elements created in the photograph.

In time, grisaille developed from a tool used to assist the painting, into a complete and independent work. As the pieces were inspired, so well considered and demonstrative of the artists skill they became highly demanded.

Hendrik Goltzius, Without Ceres and Bacchus, Venus Would Freeze, 1599. Chalk, ink and oil on paper, 43.5 × 32.1 cm. The British Museum, London © The Trustees of The British Museum

Colour used by an artist as well as light and space can manipulate viewer reactions and emotions. In abstractions and installations, an absence of colour can often be more thought-provoking.

Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery explains, “Artists choose to use black and white for aesthetic, emotional and sometimes even for moral reasons. The historical continuity and diversity of monochrome from the Middle Ages to today demonstrate how crucial a theme it is in western art.”

by Pierra George-Robertson

Front Page Image: Olafur Eliasson, Room for one colour, 1997. Installation view at Moderna Museet, Stockholm 2015. Courtesy of the artist; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York; neugerriemschneider, Berlin© Olafur Eliasson. Photo: Anders Sune Berg

Book tickets for Monochrome: Painting in Black and White

Admission is charged. Members and under 12s free

The exhibition will be open from October 30, 2017 until February 18, 2018

The collection will be displayed in the Sainsbury Wing of The National Gallery, London WC2N 5DN

The exhibition is organised by the National Gallery in collaboration with Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf and is supported by Howard and Roberta Ahmanson and other donors

Tate St Ives Cornwall Opens New Gallery Spaces

WEIRD and fantastical sculptures by Aaron Angell, one of Britain’s most radical ceramists are on display at The Studio and The Sea, a sparkling new season of two exhibitions at Tate St Ives in Cornwall which open this March. Both shows precede the transformation of new gallery spaces at Tate St Ives to be launched this autumn. The first show,  That Continuous Thing, charts the emergence of the 20th Century studio potters and the legacy of their influential ceramic-making.

The show takes its name from a quote by Peter Voulkos, an abstract expressionist artist renowned for his innovative use of tools and inspirational pot-throwing demonstrations. Highlights of the show includes work by pioneering artists, Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, innovators of the climbing kiln at the St Ives Pottery in the 1920s, experimental work from the ‘70s and ‘80s by Gillian Lowndes and Richard Slee and sculptures by 2016 Turner Prize winner, Anthea Hamilton made at Aaron Angell’s “radical and psychedelic” workshop, Troy Town Pottery, London.

That Continuous Thing: Artist and the Ceramics Studio, 1920 – Today, Tate St Ives, CornwallBernard Leach (1887-1979), Spherical Vase c.1927, reduced stoneware, 14.5 x 14 x 14 cm.
Courtesy of the Tate and The estate of Bernard Leach

The second exhibition displays Sea Paintings by Jessica Warboys, great swathes of sea drenched canvas weathered by the Zennor coast which explore the mystery of the landscape and the artist’s approach to symbolism and form. Apart from these specially commissioned works, Warboys displays her sculptures and films, imaginary narratives that mingle fiction with myth and forgotten histories.

The artists, who works across a range of media, including performance and stained glass, explains, “I am not concerned with how the tableau looks or appears as I make a sea painting, but with the result or record of the process.”

Jessica Warboys, Tate St Ives, CornwallJessica Warboys Sea Painting, Dunwich 2015, 2015, mineral pigment on canvas, 320cm x 500 cm (x 3 parts).
Courtesy the artist and Gaudel de Stampa, Paris

Supporters of the new season at Tate St Ives include the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, The Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, The Japan Foundation, Idlewild Trust, and  Galerie Gaudel deStampa in Paris.

That Continuous Thing: Artist and the Ceramics Studio, 1920 – Today, Tate St Ives, CornwallAaron Angell, Flower, Bread Knife 2015, Glazed stoneware, 40 x 35 x 26 cm.
Courtesy of the artist, Rob Tufnell, London and Studio Voltaire
London. Photo: Andy Keate


by Miranda Charalambous

The Studio and The Sea comprises the exhibitions, That Continuous Thing: Artist and the Ceramics Studio, 1920 – Today and Jessica Warboys which open concurrently from March 31 to September 3, 2017 at Tate St Ives, Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, Cornwall, TR26 1TG

Jessica Warboys’ film, Hill of Dreams was made in collaboration with the Norwegian artist, Morten Norbye Halvorsen and was supported by The Office for Contemporary Art in Norway. The film will be screened by Tate St Ives in March.


Telephone: +44 (0)173 679 6226

Front page image: Jesse Wine, “I think you ought to know, I’m going through a creative stage some people find easy to connect to” 2016, Glazed ceramic, 82 x 123 x 55 cm 2 parts, Courtesy of the artist and  Mary Mary, Glasgow

Miu Miu Releases Thirteenth Film in Women’s Tales Series

MIU MIU has released Carmen – the thirteenth short film in its Women’s Tales series, written and directed by Chloë Sevigny. The video, which premiered during NYFW in the city, is now available online and represents the next instalment in the Italian fashion house’s ongoing film project in partnership with the Venice Film Festival. The project exclusively employs female directors who thus far include some of the most prominent producers in the world – Agnès Varda, Ava DuVernay and Naomi Kawasee to name but a few – who are granted complete creative freedom in the making of their videos, the only stipulation being that the wardrobe comprises entirely Miu Miu designs.

Chloë Sevigny

by Hannah Bergin

Watch the video at Miu Miu online

or below



Fashion Films to be Showcased at LFWM 2017

THE provisional schedule for London Fashion Week Men’s (LFWM) 2017 has been announced with Roland Mouret returning to showcase his new collection and set to include additions such as Ports 1961 and Chinese designer Haizhen Wang. This year’s LFWM Fashion Film allows upcoming designers from across the UK to visually put on display one of their collections.

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-15-25-26Agi and Sam x The Woodmark Company

The recipients for February’s Fashion Film exhibition in association with River Island will give each designer the opportunity to display their collections on a visual platform at LFWM 2017. Among those supported by the project are Agi and Sam x The Woodmark Company, who will present their film which has been funded by the British Fashion Council (BFC). Other brands set to showcase their work include jewellery designer Alan Crocetti who will take up the guest slot and fashion brand Tourne de Transmission.

screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-15-25-31Tourne de Transmission


screen-shot-2016-12-21-at-15-25-19Alan Crocetti

Since the launch of the Fashion Film project, River Island has enabled the BFC to provide support and funds for up to eight designer films a year with previous winners including Jonathan Saunders and Henry Holland.

by Alice Fiancet

The screening is set to take place on January 6 at LFWM 2017.

TBA21 – The Current Year of the Oceans Project Starts

IN A new initiative launched by Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, artists and scientists convene to tackle the plight of the world’s oceans. Coastal and marine environments provide a vital source of food and energy but overfishing, rising mercury levels and unregulated activities such as shark-finning have led to their decline. The project, TBA21 Year of the Oceans aims to raise public awareness about these dangers through a series of events which will continue throughout the coming year.

The programme begins next week with the second phase of The Covening, an ongoing project of workshops, film screenings and performances which will coincide with the opening of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016, an international exhibition of contemporary art.  Further events include a two week expedition for artists, curators and scientists aboard TBA21’s research vessel, the Dardanella and an exhibition, Tidalectics which highlights our close affinity with the sea and its rich history.

TBA21, art, science, conservation, curationFrancesca von Habsburg (centre). Photograph: Courtesy of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

Francesca von Habsburg, a collector and keen scuba diver founded TBA21 in 2002 and is well known for her unconventional approach to curation and highly original projects which work outside traditional institutional practice. The only arts organisation to gain accreditation from the International Seabed Authority, TBA21 has supported projects for social and environmental causes in Fiji, Iceland, the Galapagos Islands, the South Pacific and the Caribbean Sea.  The academy’s collaboration with National Geographic explorer, David Gruber led to the discovery of the Hawksbill Turtle, the first glow in the dark marine reptile to be found by scientists.

TBA21, art, science, conservation, curationHawksbill Turtle Night Dive. Photograph: Markus Reymann. Courtesy of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

In 2014 an extraordinary project took place in the shark-infested waters near Costa Rica. Habsburg sailed out with a team of scientists to the Cocos Islands where a treasure chest containing artwork by Maria Abramovich was buried out to sea. The co-ordinates of the secret location were engraved on a state of the art steel cylinder designed by Dutch artist, Constant Dulaart and placed within a replica of the chest. The replica was later sold at auction and the proceeds were used to fund a new research and shark conservation project.

TBA21, art, science, conservation, curationTuamotus, French Polynesia, South Pacific. Photograph: Rodolphe Holler.
Courtesy of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary

by Miranda Charalambous

The programme of events for TBA21 Year of the Oceans is available from Thyssen-Bornemisza
Art Contemporary, Köstlergasse 1, 1060 Vienna, Austria
Tel:  +43 1 513 98 56-0

Front page image: Courtesy of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary


Chanel Drops Chapter 17 of its Inside Chanel Film Series

CHANEL has released the 17th chapter of Inside Chanel – a series of short films created by the company which tell the story of the characters, places, motifs and creations at the heart of the brand’s identity.

The life of its legendary founder Coco Chanel inevitably constitutes a large part of the unique online project, as does Paris – the infinitely-inspiring city where she established her first modest millinery store, where she continued to design throughout her life, and from where the brand still operates today. The project also explores the enduring legacy of some of Chanel’s most iconic products; namely its No. 5 fragrance – the first perfume ever created by a couturier, as well as the jacket – the epitome of the androgynous, nonchalant female elegance which embodied Chanel’s principles and came to define the brand’s revolutionary aesthetic.


Chapter 17: The Paradoxes © Chanel

Inside Chanel also unveils the significance behind a number of symbols which were of great importance to the designer, many of which are subtly incorporated into her designs. The lion is one such symbol, representative of Leo the star sign under which she was born, which featured on many Chanel accessories as well as on the buttons of tweed suits.

Chapter 17: The Paradoxes, explores the many oxymora that pervade the Chanel label – the creation of a new femininity from a traditionally masculine aesthetic, the excessive layering of jewellery atop the simplest of dresses, the balancing of both practicality and elegance, the embracing of both black and white at once.

The video follows on from the brand’s recent No. 5 L’EAU campaign which adopted the slogan “you know me and you don’t” – indeed an allusion to the label’s inherent paradoxes and an apt campaign for the newest iteration of the house’s oldest perfume, which highlights how Chanel continues to delight and surprise whilst keeping tradition and history at the forefront of the brand.

Watch The Paradoxes online here

by Hannah Bergin

The Photographers’ Gallery Showcases Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s

THE Photographers’ Gallery in London celebrates the work of feminist avant-garde artists of the 1970s in a new group show which opens next week. The exhibition highlights how female artists sought to turn the tide of art history in response to the changing social attitudes of the time. Challenging the traditional image of the woman as male muse, artists used their own bodies in their work to reclaim the female form. Showcasing more than 150 major international works the Verbund Collection, including work by Cindy Sherman, Francesca Woodman, Valie Export and Martha Rosler, the exhibition covers a diverse range of themes expressed through photography, collage, performance, video and film.

I204-6/6, 11/30/05, 4:19 PM, 16G, 3036x2978 (1611+1089), 112%, Cruz 080205, 1/120 s, R67.3, G57.4, B71.7

Francesca Woodman, Self-deceit #1, Rome, Italy, 1978 / 1979.
© Courtesy George and Betty Woodman, New York / Sammlung Verbund, Wien

Female artists of the 1970s adopted radical new ways to tackle issues of sexism and inequality in what was then, a largely male-dominated society. The performance artist, Valie Export took to the streets of Vienna to assert her female identity in a manner that was considered shocking at the time.

Wearing a mini movie-theatre covering her breasts, she invited any member of the public to poke their hands through the curtains to feel a real woman’s body. Artists such as Lynn Hershman Leeson and Cindy Sherman were concerned with the authenticity of the female image and constructed fictional personas to demonstrate how looks can deceive.


Valie Export, Tapp und Tastkino, 1968 © Valie Export / VG Bildkunst, Bonn 2015.
Courtesy of Galerie Charim, Vienna / Sammlung Verbund, Vienna

Video artist, Martha Rosler addressed women’s lack of empowerment in the public sphere and their imposed domesticity. In her film, Semiotics of a Kitchen the disgruntled artist dons an apron and mimes the ritual of family cooking.
The issues highlighted by these artists should strike a cord today with both feminists and non-feminists. As Rosler states,
“even the most anti-feminist public women are speaking to, for and about women.”

by Miranda Charalambous
Feminist Avant-Garde of the 1970s opens October 7, 2016 – January 8, 2017 at The Photographers’ Gallery at 16 – 18 Ramillies Street, London W1F 7LW
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7087 9300
Front page image: Karin Mack, Zerstörung einer Illusion, 1977 © Karin Mack / Sammlung Verbund, Vienna

Artists Take Over Gucci’s SnapChat to Launch Ace Sneakers #24HourAce

IN artist Winnie Chi’s upside-down heaven, a feisty green cherub wrestles with an angry swarm of bees before a thundercloud delivers her most yearned-for wish, a super-cool pair of Ace Sneakers from Gucci. Fairytale characters and a host of others comprise the many weird and wonderful animated artworks recently commissioned by Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele for the brand’s latest project, #24HourAce.

Marlon Rueberg, Gucci, videoMarlon Rueberg. Photograph: Gucci

Videos inspired by the embellished tennis shoe were uploaded to SnapChat from across the globe over 24 hours, starting in Tokyo and ending in New York. The videos are now part of Gucci’s new Instagram project to promote the international appeal of the snappy sneaker.

Lucia Meseguer, Gucci, videoLucia Meseguer. Photograph: Gucci

Littering their virtual landscapes with Gucci-inspired motifs, artists conjure up a postmodern fantasy of cutsey butterflies, Cheshire cats and collaged body parts. Either by motorbike or skateboard these glam sneakers certainly get around. James Kerr’s personified sneaker is definitely a professional weekender. After a hard day of clowning around, it even finds time to dance with Jesus. Like you do.

Rita Zimmermann, Gucci, videoRita Zimmermann. Photograph: Gucci

by Miranda Charalambous

A selection of videos from #24HourAce can be found on Gucci’s Instagram site.
Front page image: Marlon Rueberg. Photograph: Gucci

ESMOD Berlin Presents Behind the Seams Show

INTERNATIONAL University of Art for Fashion ESMOD Berlin celebrates the work of Bachelor of Arts Fashion Design Styliste / Modeliste students this summer with the presentation Behind the Seams. The show aims to capture the spirit and evolution of the designers in an open house event, which allows the press and the public to explore fashion design in a multifaceted format.


ABehind The Seams ESMOD Berlin

The programme will include a live fashion film production that captures the showcase of the second year students’ capsule collection. There will also be a three-floor exhibition where viewers can expect to obtain insights behind the design processes and concepts of the collection. Visitors are then invited to participate in screenprint and knit design workshops which can be registered for in advance.

BBehind The Seams ESMOD Berlin

by Rebecca Acres


Versace Dreams the Vibes of Chicago – Film by Bruce Weber

VERSACE launch their FW16 collection with Chicago Is My beat, a grainy black-and-white film shot by Bruce Weber starring supermodels, Gigi Hadid and Karlie Kloss. The collaboration rekindles a time-honoured relationship between the flamboyant fashion brand and Weber, a fashion photographer renowned for his unrivaled productions both for Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren.

Chicago Is My BeatVersace FW16 – Chicago Is My Beat. Film © Bruce Weber

The short film places fashion at the heart of the community, uniting empowered glamour with the spirited pulse of the metropolis where energetic routines embrace Versace’s vison with ease. Rock-chic and freestyle dancing give way to svelte gowns and languid looks as the hubbub proceeds into the night. Keith Milkie’s arresting operatic soundtrack drifts to the tune of Chicago’s past while Versace re-imagines the future.

Bruce Weber says, “The actor Robert Mitchum once told me, ‘When you first get to a new town, always make friends with a Blonde’. Well, when I got to Chicago, I found my blonde in you, Donatella. I wanted us to visit this city together because of its rich history and the spirit of love and harmony you feel in its music.

“Chicago is going through a tough time at the moment and could use a little encouragement – just like we all need every once in a while. Because the kindness of its people helped me to make these photographs, I feel like I can now call Chicago ‘my beat’.”

“Bruce Weber is the true master of our times. His photography is deeply personal and rich, a reflection of the world as he sees it. It has been my pleasure to enter once again into that world for this Versace campaign. With this new campaign, Bruce gave me my history back,” adds Donatella Versace.


by Miranda Charalambous

Versace FW2016 – Chicago Is My Beat. Film © Bruce Weber