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Preview Boo Saville's Totem

January 31, 2010 by Kay

Boo Saville will be exhibiting at Trolley Gallery from Friday 5th Feb - Saturday 13th March 2010. Visit the preview of Totem on Thursday 4th February and read more on the exhibition on the press release below.

To see Saville's work with Other Criteria, click here.



TOTEM BOO SAVILLE 5th February – 13th March Private View Thursday 4th February, 7-9pm

Trolley Gallery is proud to present a second solo show by artist Boo Saville. Entitled ‘Totem’, this new body of work encapsulates the unifying anthropological and archeological aspects evident in her work, and her representation of the deceased captured through an exploration of various forms of mark-making, itself a reflection of human expression and representation.

Saville constantly researches source material from a wide variety of documentary and scientific origins; books, journals and resources such as the Wellcome Institute. The internet also offers an almost limitless exploration of imagery and keywords, the small, often low resolution images becoming the direct subject matter in the final work, where the colours and often gnarled compositions of a deceased human translate into a delicate and detailed painting and drawing. “There is beauty and creativity in the process of destruction. I am interested in decay not as a negative reduction but as a unifying symbol of matter, of our bodies. There is a clarity for me when something is stripped down to the bare bones and studied or just observed.”

The anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss argued that human thought was equal in both Western civilized and savage minds, while the use of a totem, or a physical representation to project a figurehead in tribes, was only in the absence of their understanding of ‘abstract entities’. Here, Saville’s subject matter varies from a nineteenth-century explorer preserved under the ice, the terrain of the skin rendered as visible as the striped cotton shirt he wears, to tribal shrunken heads in the tropics, Egyptian mummies, and twentieth century forensic photographs of death scenes. In the absence of a traditional totemic figure, we interpret the various geographical and chronological locations of Saville’s human subjects as incorporating this idea of a ‘totem’, a classification system and a unifying kinship that brings together the life form apparent in death.

Using everyday bleach on black canvas, staining and draining the colour from the material with painterly expression and gestures, Saville has transformed some of these discoveries of the ancient and preserved using a material as accessible and everyday as the internet where the images are found. This use of unorthodox material echoes Saville’s recent drawings produced using ordinary biros, as she explains, “I enjoy playing with everyday materials, like biros or bleach or clothes dye, by juxtaposing their domesticity with an intensive use it takes them to a higher level.” The relatively brutal mark-making of bleach incorporates both the rawness of the subject matter, and Saville’s awareness of mark-making inherent in ancient cultures as a tool of observation, such as an Aboriginal landscape in abstract shapes, with her own painterly instinct. “With painting it's very important to forget everything you ever knew about it to have the guts to make a solid gesture.” Visually the bleach on canvas evokes an X ray, a tool often associated with the forensic analysis of living bodies and ancient artefacts. “There is something about the tracing of time as if it is a window into the past that I am interested in and archaeology reveals the evidence of our existence.”

Sigmund Freud’s book “Totem and Taboo: Resemblances Between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics”, brings together the archaeological with the anthropological and the religious by exploring the origins of human society with our behaviour and thoughts today. Saville’s painting here that looks at first glance to be the classic ‘Pieta’ composition, the figure of Mary cradling her son Jesus, is in fact the figure of a tribal man holding close, in an either protective or nurturing way, the body of a preserved mummy. The symbolic gesture for the viewer being the association with human grief and/or compassion in the scene. Saville states, “Being aware of our own mortality is an exclusively human trait, a burden and the price we pay for consciousness. I think in my work, I am interested in the seduction of beauty and contemplation of our situation through this quiet state.”

The History of Cufflinks

January 29, 2010 by Ellie

According to our research, cufflinks' first recorded use was in the 1700s, though there's pictorial evidence in the hieroglyphs of King Tut's tomb to suggest that they were in existence even before the shirt.

Previous generations of men were using ribbons and tape ties to fasten the holes made at the base of their shirt sleeves and it was only to the wealthy that the luxury of handmade links were available. In the middle of the eighteenth century, mass production rendered them ubiquitous, a trend that was aided by the introduction of the double or French cuff in the 1840s, a feature of shirt tailoring that remains today. In those days, however, and as a symbol of mourning, it was common for a gentleman to carry the hair of a lost loved one beneath the glass on his cufflinks.

It wasn't until the 1880s that a US inventor patented a device based on civil war cartridge shell-making that mass production of one-piece collar buttons and links took place. By the 1920s, enamel links were de rigeur, very much inherited from the mass migration of Russian Faberge craftsmen to Europe following the Russian revolution. The development of low cost plastics manufacture replaced enamelling in the 1930s, however, and by the 1960s, Swank Inc. were said to be producing 6 million pairs a year.


OC to join the Armory Show 2010

January 29, 2010 by Ellie

Other Criteria is delighted to announce its involvement in this year's Armory Show, taking place at Piers 92 and 94, New York City from 4th-7th March.

Included at our stall will be a range of products from established through to emerging artists, including new, previously unseen works by Damien Hirst alongside a variety of sculpture, prints and editions. We'll keep you updated with news of the fair as March approaches.


Gonzalo Lebrija on Sunset Boulevard

January 26, 2010 by Kay

Three videos by Gonzalo Lebrija will be screened via videotron on Sunset Boulevard between January 26th - March 9th 2010 as part of Via, a new project presented by Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND). Via will showcase twelve significant Mexican artists throughout 2010, starting with this launch of work exhibited in public places around Los Angeles.

For more information on Lebrija's videos, view LAND's exhibition details below, or to read more on the whole project visit their website.

View Lebrija's work available through Other Criteria here and find out more about the artist by clicking on the 'Biography and Information' tab.

Exhibition Info: Guadalajara-based artist Gonzalo Lebrija will exhibit three recently realized black-and-white films on three Videotrons, high-resolutions LED monitors generally used for advertisement, on Sunset Boulevard. Collected under the title The Distance Between You and Me (2009), each film depicts the artist fleeing from the camera in one of three California locales: Joshua Tree, Death Valley, and Yosemite. The elegiac feel of Lebrija’s films, in opposition to their visually saturated, kinetic context, speaks to notions of urban-induced psychosis – a plaintive, self-critical “advertisement” that encourages its viewer to seek escape by any means necessary.

Each film will play approximately every six-minutes throughout the exhibition.

Special presentation: Lebrija's films will be shown on the Videotrons for a full hour on January 27th from 7:00 – 8:00 PM.

This project made possible with the generous support of Catharine and Jeffrey Soros. Special thanks to City of West Hollywood Arts and Cultural Affairs Commission.

Gonzalo Lebrija, The Distance Between You and Me, 2009, video.

Site info:

This weekend in London

January 22, 2010 by Kay

Testing Ground: Live at 176

'Testing Ground' is organised by students from the Masters degree courses in curating at Goldsmiths and the Royal College of Art and runs over a month period to show experimental contemporary performance and live art, with events such as talks and interviews.

176 / Zabludowicz Collection 23 & 24 January 2010 Saturday 2 - 10 pm Sunday 2 - 6pm

Artists include: Lucy Beech & Edward Thomasson / Jonny Briggs / Leah Capaldi / Lucienne Cole / Mark Essen / Iulia Filipovscaia / Eloise Fornieles / Rinat Kotler / Grace Morgan Prado / Nicolas Vass / Nadia Visram

For more information, click here.

EXHIBITIONISM: The Art of Display

Opening this Saturday at Courtauld Institute of Art is a huge group show from East Wing Nine titled Exhibitionism: The Art of Display.

Artists include David Birkin, Don Brown, Mat CollishawTracey Emin, Angus Fairhurst, Gary Hume, Polly Morgan, Sam Taylor-Wood, Gavin Turk and Keith Tyson.

For the press release and full list of artists see below or go to the Courtauld Institute of Art website.

Press Release:

East Wing Nine presents EXHIBITIONISM: The Art of Display at The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, London WC2R 0LR, from 23 January 2010 to July 2011.  The exhibition features works by international artists in an eclectic mixture of media.  The exhibition is sponsored by Talbot Underwriting Ltd and Who’s Jack Ltd.

We, the curators of EXHIBITIONISM at The Courtauld Institute of Art are convinced that exploring different methods of display is a fundamental approach to appreciating contemporary art.  The winding corridors, teaching rooms and lecture halls of our Institute provide the setting for our investigation into both historical and conceptual displays of art.

The exhibition recalls Joshua Compston’s 1991 effort to fill the walls of The Courtauld Institute with contemporary art.  This was the birth of the East Wing Collection and to celebrate its heritage the ninth committee will exhibit the collection of nineteen letterpress prints that formed Compston’s project, Other Men’s Flowers, never before displayed in their entirety.  This includes work by YBAs such as Tracey Emin, Gavin Turk, Gary Hume and Sam Taylor-Wood.  As Montaigne wrote, “Some may say of me I have gathered a posie of other men's flowers, and nothing but the thread that binds them is my own".  This too can be said of East Wing Nine as the exhibition chronicles what it is to curate; a process of expression and evolution, each curator choosing works and adding to the thread.

Each room explores a different curatorial strategy.  This includes a spectacular contemporary re- staging of the Academy Hang.  As the former site of the Royal Academy, Somerset House is a fitting location to revisit one of the most traditional forms of display.  The aim is to reference this historical scheme while also producing something contemporary and fitting with the current trends in art and spectatorship.  This year, the committee has decided to broaden the scope of the exhibition and invite contributions from aspiring artists and students for the Academy Hang to be displayed side by side with pieces by well known artists such as David Begbie, Karen Knorr and Wolfe von Lenkiewicz.

The Cabinet of Curiosities takes as its influence the seventeenth century ‘Wunderkammer’; the presentation of objects of value and wonder.  The contents of the cabinets are mostly artistic interpretations of the natural and fantastical, including taxidermy, the insect kingdom and anatomy. This room includes a previously unseen piece by Tessa Farmer alongside a work by Hugo Wilson, one of ES Magazine’s ‘Eastenders’.  His piece Hyperventilation illustrates the pulmonary cycle of heart and lungs during an agitated mental state.

Other rooms include Material Boundaries, where artistic media are pushed to extremes.  A special commission by Alexis Harding is displayed alongside an embroidery piece by Grayson Perry.  For the first month of the show Perry’s Vote Alan Measles for God will also be exhibited courtesy of Banners of Persuasion.  In Reproduction, artists use the iconography of popular reproducible media to make a political or institutional critique like Uwe Wittwer’s Family After Gainsborough, Negative.  Others use mass-produced material to create something entirely new. The Private Collection functions as a modern re-imagining of a connoisseur's private study and includes work by Oliver Clegg.  Other works to be exhibited include Nicola Hicks’ life-sized bear entitled Black and a clothes peg sculpture by Gerry Stecca.  These rooms have shaped the teaching and studying of art history and are therefore very relevant to the students of East Wing Nine.

Open to the public first weekend of each month from 23 January 2010 to July 2011.

Admission free, fully illustrated catalogue will be available.

Dia Al Azzawi | Roger Ballen | David Begbie | Henry Bond | Adam Birtwistle |  Madeline Boulesteix | Adam Bridgeland | Stuart Brisley | Don Brown | Anita Bruce | Clare Burbridge | Helen Chadwick | Oliver  Clegg | Austin Cole | Phil Collins | Mat Collishaw | Marcel Dinahet | Joan Curran | Sophie Drew | Fred Eerdekens | Ali Omar Ermes | Tracey Emin | Angus Fairhurst | Tessa Farmer | Susan Fenton | Tierney Gearon | Liam Gillick | Laura Grieg | Alexis Harding | Ron Hasleden | Andrew Herman | Nicola Hicks | Derek Jarman |  Gary Hume | Luke Jerram | Daniel Kelly | Kal Khogali | Karen Knoor | Jacqueline Langfield | Wolfe Von Lenkiewicz | Edouard Martinet | Olivia McEwan | Jordan McKenzie | Hsaio Mei Lin | Harland Miller | Polly Morgan | Claire Moynihan | Hughie O’Donoghue | Grayson Perry | Lorna Picton | Tracy Satchwill | Sarah Staton | Gerry Stecca | Jo Sparrow | Sam Taylor-Wood | James Trimmer | Gavin Turk | Keith Tyson | Max Wigram | Hugo Wilson | Uwe Wittwer | Clare Woods

Last chance to see Hirst's Blue Paintings

January 22, 2010 by Kay

This weekend is your last chance to see Damien Hirst's exhibition at the prestigious Wallace Collection. Open since October 2009, 'No Love Lost, Blue Paintings' has been hugely successful showing 25 new paintings by Hirst and marking his return to solitary painting. The exhibition ends on Sunday 24th January.

For more information on the exhibition, see our previous blogs or visit The Wallace Collection website.

Get prints and signed posters from the exhibition here - or see the wide range of Damien Hirst editions, prints, posters, clothing and books available through Other Criteria here.

Collecting Biennials in New York

January 20, 2010 by Kay

See a huge collection of art at Collecting Biennials, a recently opened exhibition at Whitney Mueum of American Art on Madison Avenue which runs until November 2010. The exhibition includes artists such as Ashley Bickerton, Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns,  Richard Prince, Mark Rothko, Ed Ruscha, Julian Schnabel, Cindy Sherman, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol.

For more information, visit the Whitney Museum of American Art website.

Press Release

As a prelude, counterpoint, and coda to the Biennial, the Museum’s fifth floor is devoted to artists in the Whitney’s collection whose works were shown in Biennials over the past eight decades. Collecting Biennials, opening on January 16, is installed as a kind of historical survey within the Biennial, underscoring the importance of previous Biennial exhibitions in the Museum’s history and the formation of its collection. Work by one of the artists in 2010, George Condo, is included in the mix. Collecting Biennials begins nearly six weeks before the rest of the Biennial and remains on view until November 2010.


Richard Diebenkorn,   Girl Looking at Landscape, 1957.  Oil  on canvas, 59 x 60 3/8in. (149.9 x  153.4cm).  Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alan H. Temple   61.49 © The Estate of Richard Diebenkorn Exhibited in 1958 Annual Exhibition: Sculpture, Paintings, Watercolors, Drawing (November 19, 1958-January 4, 1959)


Alex Hay,   Paper  Bag, 1968.  Fiberglass, epoxy, paint and paper,  59 1/4 x 29 x 18in. (150.5 x 73.7 x  45.7cm).  Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase,  with funds from the Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art  69.9 Exhibited in 1968 Annual Exhibition: Contemporary American Sculpture (December 17, 1968-February 9, 1969)

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