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Friday, 29 January 2010

Tony Blair Controversial Portrait Exhibited To Coincide With Iraq Inquiry

Photo:Richard Hamilton
Shock and Awe  2007-08
Inkjet print on Hewlett-Packard Premium canvas
200 x 100 cm  © 2010 Richard Hamilton

A controversial portrait of former Prime Minister Tony Blair dressed as a cowboy by the well known British Artist Richard Hamilton was circulated by The Serpentine Gallery in London ahead of his appearance at the  Iraq Inquiry. The large scaled print on canvas is the first image released by the gallery ahead of Hamilton's fist London show since 1992. Hamilton is considered one of the Godfathers of Pop Art. His exhibition aptly titled "Modern Moral Matters"consists mainly of  installations, prints and paintings ,highlighting global politics, riots, terrorist acts and war as their subject matter, and examining how these conflicts are now largely mediated by the media, often via television or the internet. The exhibition opens on the 3 March and runs until the 25 April.
Article By Paul Carter Robinson

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Wednesday, 13 January 2010

London Art Fair Art Projects Photo50 2010 ArtLyst Review

The London Art Fair opened last night with the sort of celebrity studded private view that defies all reports of an economic downturn. It once and for all proves that there is still plenty of money in London collector circles. This year's London Art Fair may not have been the sort of feeding frenzy that was around before the recession but by offering a price range from £250 - £500,000 there really was something for everyone. Providing they were sill in a post Christmas spending mood. The fair has been well managed for over 20 years and director Jonathan Burton has melded a successful mix of Modern British, embellished with cutting edge contemporary works, curated exhibitions in the Art Projects section and the newish addition of a designated photography section titled Photo50. The downside of the fair has always been the quality of some of the smaller galleries. Decorative ‘furnishing’ paintings that from a critical standpoint could hardly be classified as fine art, are still available to purchase by some of the 25 000 expected visitors. I was very impressed with this year's Art Projects section and believe that this is the way forward for the fair. It will also encourage international galleries to show in London in the winter. I recommend Hannes Broecker’s installation on Galerie Baer (Dresden) reminiscent of a train station complete with coke can encrusted gates and graffiti. Golden Thread Gallery (Belfast) presenting works related to the conflicts in Northern Ireland, Antena Estudio (Mexico) showing a selection of works with a unique Latin perception sometimes dealing in the highly conceptual, sometimes with a pure visual indulgence. The Steps Gallery highlights oversized photographs in sharp focus by Vincent Fournier who explores the subject of international space programs from the USA, Russia and China and in a similar approach Ordinary Light uncovers the aftermath of years of atomic testing on the Nevada desert in crystal clear photo works. Photo50 also had a number of interesting pieces represented including ArtLyst favourite, Tereza Buskova. However, so much of the work leaves me cold and seems restricted to oversized images taken with very good cameras. All technology with very little content. I like it in the same way that photorealism attracted me in the 1970’s but there is a little too much Photoshop going on these days and perhaps some of the artists need to get back to basics with less emphasis on gimmickry. On the commercial front, sure all of the big names in Modern British were there and if you were looking for a Keith Vaughan, Patrick Caulfield or a William Scott it was there in abundance. Alan Cristea, Beaux Arts, Austin Desmond, and Richard Green all had work of the highest standards. Also of note were Art First which had some interesting work by artists as diverse as Eileen Cooper and Simon Lewty whose visual texts are stunning, Broadbent who currently is running an exhibition of Scottish painter John Mclean and Tag Fine Arts who had an accessible and patron friendly stand exhibiting the likes of Rob Ryan, Martin Spiller and Ed Pearman. The London Art Fair is still the only game in town in the cold winter months and hopefully the weather didn’t hinder buyers from attending on Wednesday when an unexpected blizzard hit salt free London, a city that still does not know how to grit its pavements. See More on: Photo: Tag Fine Art ArtBitch 2010

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Kenneth Noland Pioneer Abstract Painter Dies Age 85

American Artist Kenneth Nolan 1924-2010

Kenneth Noland Born was born in 1924 in Asheville, North Carolina and is widely associated with the late 1950's movement know as Color Field painting or Post painterly abstraction the name coined by critic Clement Greenberg. The style utilized a flattening of texture and used pure pigment soaked into the canvas to create bold abstractions. In 1948 and 1949 Noland worked with Ossip Zadkine in Paris, and had his first exhibition of his paintings there. In the early 1950s he met Morris Louis in Washington DC. He became friends with Louis, and after being introduced by Clement Greenberg to Helen Frankenthaler and seeing her new paintings at her studio in New York City in 1953 he and Louis adopted her “soak-stain” technique of allowing thinned paint to soak into unprimed canvases.Most of Noland's paintings fall into one of four groups: circles, or targets (see Beginning illustrated), chevrons, (see infobox), stripes, and shaped canvases. His preoccupation with the relationship of the image to the containing edge of the picture led him to a series of studies of concentric rings, or bull’s-eyes, or as they were known - Targets - like the one reproduced here called Beginning from 1958, using unlikely color combinations. This also led him away from Morris Louis in 1958. Noland pioneered the shaped canvas, initially with a series of symmetrical and asymmetrical diamonds or chevrons. In these paintings, the edges of the canvas become as structurally important as the center. During the 1970s and 1980s his shaped canvases were highly irregular and asymmetrical. These resulted in increasingly complex structures of highly sophisticated and controlled color and surface integrity. Noland had been suffering from cancer and died on the 5 January 2010. ArtLyst

Friday, 1 January 2010

Top 10 London Art Exhibitions 2009 ArtLyst Picks

Top 10 London Art exhibitions 2009 ArtLyst Picks

ArtLyst's Top 10 Art exhibitions of 2009

1)Anish Kapoor

2) Roger Hiorns

3). John Baldessari

4) The Museum of Everything

5) Gerhard Richter Portraits

6) Pete and Repeat

7) Pop Life: Art in a Material World

8) Gustav Metzger

9) Gerry Judah : BABYLON

10) Ryan McGinley Moonmilk

Read Why:

Photo: © Paul Carter Robinson 2009