IN-STORE: Damien Hirst 'Poisons'

October 26, 2011 by Kay

Our Hinde Street shop window displays the new Damien Hirst 'Poisons' t-shirts. Available to buy soon online, click here to choose your poison...

Memories of the Future - The Olbricht Collection

October 26, 2011 by Kay

Curator: Wolfgang Schoppmann

La Maison Rouge Fondation Antoine de Galbert 10 Bd de la Bastille – 75012 Paris t: +33 (0)1 40 01 08 81

Artists include Jake and Dinos Chapman, Mat Collishaw, John Currin, Damien Hirst, David LaChapelle, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Cindy Sherman, Kiki Smith and many more.

A medical doctor and art collector from Essen, Germany, Thomas Olbricht, two years ago set up Me Collectors Room, a contemporary art venue in Berlin which, like La Maison Rouge, hosts temporary exhibitions. The Olbricht collection, one of the biggest in Germany, comprises in excess of 2,500 works, a selection of which is on permanent show at Me Collectors Room. This is the first time the collection has travelled to France.

Damien Hirst, Skull with Knives, 2005, oil and acrylic on canvas, 121.9 x 91.4 cm

The Olbricht collection is remarkable for its scope, as it covers a period of five hundred years from the 16th to the 21st centuries and takes in a huge diversity of media and genres, from engravings by Albrecht Durer, Martin Schongauer and Francisco de Goya to others by the Chapman brothers; from photographs by Robert Capa to prints by Cindy Sherman and Vic Muniz; from paintings of the Flemish and Italian schools to the work of Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Allan McCollum; from Renaissance ivory statuettes to bronzes by Thomas Schuette and wax sculptures by Berlinde de Bruyckere.

Thomas Olbricht's journey through the history of art is guided by powerful themes. They inform his choices, run throughout the collection, and connect the works despite their different eras, media and statuses.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled 464, 2008, C-Print, 214.3 x 152.4cm

Death and its representation, vanity, religious faith, war, the fragility and beauty of the female body, and artists' renderings of the strange and the marvellous, make this a unique and highly disconcerting collection.

One of its most striking objects is the reconstruction of a Kunst und Wunderkammer (cabinet of curiosities). A Renaissance precursor to the western concept of the museum, these cabinets are a collection of objects intended to further wonderment and knowledge, and an attempt to understand the world and how art, nature and science interrelate.

In Olbricht's Wunderkammer, organic and mineral matter, intricate miniature anatomical models, unusual measuring and surgical instruments juxtapose artworks, particularly Memento Mori. The skulls and skeletons made indifferently from ivory, walnut shells, wood or coral, whose essential purpose, above and beyond their artistic prowess, is to remind Man of his mortality.

For the past twenty years, Thomas Olbricht has been compiling a collection of contemporary art which he shows alongside this historic collection. Olbricht's eclectic choices are guided solely by his insatiable passion for art. He brings artists which history and sometimes the market have acknowledged, together with little-known young artists from around the world. Profoundly post-modern, narrative and figurative for the most part, these young artists view the art of centuries past with curiosity, willingly drawing inspiration from, and measuring themselves against, their masters.

This selection of some 150 works gives insight into an original collector with an unerring eye.

Jake and Dinos Chapman, Sex I, 2003, painted bronze, 246 x 244 x 125 cm

Other Criteria Brunch for new Damien Hirst prints, Ashley Bickerton monograph and limited edition books

October 21, 2011 by Kay

Thanks to all who attended our Pre-Frieze brunch last week to celebrate the launch of Ashley Bickerton's newly published monograph. We also showed off the new Damien Hirst foil block prints Death or Glory as well as a selection of limited edition books by Rachel Howard, Polly Borland, Mat Collishaw, Richard Prince, Jane Simpson and Phillip Allen.

The exhibition is still up in our New Bond Street shop until the end of October so go visit if you missed the brunch!

Don't miss out on future launches and events by signing up to our mailing list.

Other Criteria, 36 New Bond Street, W1S 2RP

Left to right: Richard Prince - Four Cowboys; Damien Hirst - Fun; Damien Hirst - Death or Glory

Left to right: Ashley Bickerton monograph; Mat Collishaw; Sarah Lucas and Olivier Garbay - The Mug

Left to Right: Polly Borland - Bunny; Jane Simpson - limited edition

Mat Collishaw limited edition book including DVD

Phillip Allen hardback book with original colour etching

Damien Hirst - Death or Glory

Ashley Bickerton monograph

Affordable Art Fair at Battersea & Hampstead

October 20, 2011 by Kay

Affordable Art Fair, Battersea 20th - 23rd October 2011

Charity Private View / Wednesday 19 October / 5.30pm – 9.30pm Tickets cost £25 and proceeds will benefit The Army Arts Society. The Society supports serving and retired artists within the Army and their dependants, whilst also facilitating art for injured and ill Servicemen. In recognition of art's therapeutic benefits, the Society sends art packs to soldiers deployed to Afghanistan, enabling them to reflect on and share their experiences with others. Tickets are available to buy direct from the Army Arts Society from 30th August by calling 01980 650271 Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, or please email /

Late View / Thursday 20 October / 5.30-9.30pm Catch up with friends after work over a glass of win, and peruse the thousands of paintings, sculpture, photography and original prints. Tickets cost £20 and can be purchased on the door.

Affordable Art Fair, Hampstead 27th - 30th October 2011

AAF Hampstead / Charity Private View Wednesday 26 October / 5.30pm – 9.30pm Tickets cost £25 and all proceeds will benefit the vital work of the Royal Free Charity. The Charity fundraises to make possible the extraordinary and the ordinary – from pioneering research that revolutionises patient care through to displaying artwork to create a healing environment. Tickets are available to buy direct from the Royal Free Charity by calling 020 7472 6677 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm or email / Late View / Thursday 27 October / 5.30-9.30pm Catch up with friends after work over a glass of wine, and peruse the thousands of paintings, sculpture, photography and original prints. Tickets cost £20 and can be purchased on the door.

Partake - New Artists, No Boundaries

October 19, 2011 by Kay

Frieze week, London and White Cube, Bermondsey

October 18, 2011 by Kay

By Sue Hubbard

Recession? What recession? The collapse of the Euro-zone? Who’d have guessed? One in ten Londoners unemployed; never? It’s Frieze art week in London and the glitterati are out on the town. My email in box is awash with invitations to private views, post opening parties, and champagne brunches. Everyone is hurrying somewhere, being terribly, terribly busy and in demand. Apart from Frieze itself there is the Pavilion of Art and Design in Berkely Square, a sophisticated boutique fair that brings modern design and the decorative arts together and Multiplied at Christies, the only fair devoted to art in editions, as well as Sunday - young, cutting edge and more alternative than the main event. Lisson Gallery held a magnificent party at 1 Mayfair, in a deconsecrated church filled with strobe lighting, while Blain Southern’s do after Rachel Howard’s opening show, Folie A Deux in Derring Street, was in a beautiful 18thcentury town house just down the road. (Howard, who used to paint Damien Hirst’s spots, is a fine painter in her own right). There are dinners and receptions for collectors, art historians, journalists and pretty much anyone who can blag their way in. Getting into Frieze itself is made as difficult as possible to keep the tension high. Being there and being seen is the name of the game. This is a parallel universe to the one most mortals inhabit and light years away from the life of the young woman, interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this week, who’d been made redundant, applied for 140 jobs without success, and was, now, with her daughter, living on job seekers allowance of £67.00 per week.

Whatever the private qualms of the art world movers and shakers about the future prospects of the art market really are, they’re not letting on. From all the parties, the flowing champagne and the PR babes in their short, short skirts and high, high heels arriving at yet another opening, you might be forgiven for thinking that the ‘90s had never ended; art is the new rock n’roll.

Rachel Howard's Folie A Deux at Blain Southern until 22nd December
© The artist, courtesy of Blain Southern

Since its launch in 2003 by Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover, the publishers of Frieze magazine, the fair, held each autumn in Regents Park, has gone from strength to strength to become the byword for edgy contemporary art. In fact, it’s been so successful that it’s about to spawn two new versions, Frieze New York and Frieze Masters (which will deal with traditional works), giving it, as Matthew Slotover suggests, “a contemporary view on historical art.”

Contemporary art has a way of changing the socio-economic structure of a city. It’s happened in New York and Berlin, as well as in London. The previously rundown area of Shoreditch, off Old Street roundabout, found a new lease of life when infiltrated by artists looking for cheap studios, to be given the seal of approval by the opening of Jay Jopling’s de luxe White Cube in Hoxton Square, the gallery that represents artists such as Jake and Dinos Chapman, Damien Hirst and Anselm Kieffer.

Not content with venues in Hoxton and St. James, Piccadilly, White Cube has now opened up in Bermondsey, in the badlands south of the river known for its ancient antique market, but now awash with little bars and designer boutiques. The private view resembled a Cup Final, with queues snaking down the narrow street. Anyone who lives there must be rubbing their hands at the instant increase in the value of their property. This new palace to art is extremely beautiful, with highly polished concrete floors and yards of ubiquitous glass and white walls. And it is huge, more like a museum than a commercial gallery. I asked one of the directors, Tim Marlow, if they were trying to give the Tate a run for their money. “No,” he smiled with enigmatic charm, “all of us in London are working together to ensure this remains the best city in the world for art.”

Bermondsey will be the largest of White Cube’s three London sites. The building, which was primarily used as a warehouse before the current refurbishment by the architects Casper Mueller Kneer, now includes three principal exhibition spaces, substantial warehousing, private viewing rooms, an auditorium and a bookshop. The ‘South Galleries’ will provide the principal display area for significant exhibitions, while three smaller galleries, collectively known as the ‘North Galleries’, will feature an innovative new programme of exhibitions.

As a space it is perfect for strong conceptual work; work that is likely to be bought by blue chip businesses and collectors with private galleries. But it is not a place for the feint hearted artist; one who wants to explore the small, the poetic and the understated. Everything about the place says, ‘art is big business and don’t you forget it.’ The inaugural show ‘Structure & Absence’ is a group show that features the Chinese scholar’s rock as an organising device or motif and features work by, among others, Andreas Gursky, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Agnes Martin, Gabriel Orozco. While Kitty Krause’s work looks spectacular,some of the painting looks a bit lost.

Kitty Krause, Inside the White Cube, Bermondsey until 26th November
© The artists Photos: Ben Westby Courtesy White Cube

But back to Frieze. Frieze New York, scheduled for next May, will export the London model to the Big Apple. They already have an office in New York and 170 top flight international galleries will show contemporary work in a purpose built structure on Randall’s Island Park, overlooking the East River. With the downturn in the fortunes of the Armory Show, Frieze New York looks like an act of opportunistic artistic colonialism.

And this year’s Frieze in London? Well everyone is biting their nails to see what the sales figures will be like. This year’s fair is bigger than ever with 33 different countries participating and 173 galleries. And what is there to see? Well just about anything that you ever dreamt that art might be, including a pair of caged live Toucan birds at the Max Wigram Gallery to Ewan Gibbs subtle pencil drawings on paper of San Francisco at the Timothy Taylor Gallery. GiÀ³ Marconi have devoted a whole booth to Nathalie Djurberg, who currently has a show at Camden Arts Centre. Here she has a new video The Woods (2011)which is surrounded by her surreal puppets: goats and hippopotami, writhing crocodiles and beasts with large bollocks, all guaranteed to haunt your dreams. And in case you’re confused about the relationship between money and art, as part of Frieze Projects - a series of special commissions - the artist Christian Jankowski (of the Lisson Gallery) has joined forces with CRN and Riva, two luxury yachting brands of the Ferretti Group, to create The Finest Art on Water, a limited edition boat The Aquiriva Cento, a sort of floating penthouse with every luxury imaginable.

The fair is, as usual, full of the mad, the bad, as well as some extremely good work but, as always, it has to be searched for. Richard Ingleby’s stand from Edinburgh with works by Calum Innes and Ian Hamilton Finlay is a rare model of restraint and good taste amid the brouhaha, as is the elegant Frith Street stand that includes Tacita Dean (currently showing her new work at the Tate Turbine Hall) and Cornelia Parker’s 30 Pieces of Silver (With Reflection), 2003, where pairs of silver objects, one flattened, the other complete and whole, hover above the floor like yogic flyers. Pensive and reflective they encourage the viewer to consider notions of mortality and permanence.

But perhaps the last word should go to Michael Landy’s absurd Heath Robinson Credit Card Destroying Machine, 2010, which as its name implies chews up and spits out credit cards. Now presumably that is ironic. For what would the art world be without those all important little bits of plastic?

Sue Hubbard is author of Adventures in Art,
a publication by Other Criteria  which draws together 70 essays on contemporary and modern art over the last 20 years of Hubbard's career.

An award-winning poet, short story writer and novelist, as well as an experienced critic, Hubbard’s collected essays are part biographical, part lyrical reviews of today’s programme of modern art in Britain and provide an honest account of the diversities, originalities, and disappointments found there.

Shooting Fish in a Barrel

October 17, 2011 by Kay

Exhibition by Dean Todd & Giovanna Del Sarto

19th - 23rd October 2011 Private View: Thursday 20th October from 6.30 pm

Shooting Fish in a Barrel is a collaborative event featuring the work of artist Dean Todd and documentary photographer Giovanna Del Sarto. Portraiture is the theme linking these two very different artists.

In their first joint exhibition, Del Sarto will explore the concept and the relationship between the photographer and subject. Visitors will be asked to take part in the event whereupon Todd will draw on their participation to evoke a reaction/response to the art of portraiture using photography as a catalyst to capture the defining moment of the subject.

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