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Photos: Other Criteria at Zona Maco 2016

February 5, 2016 by Mary

Photos: Other Criteria at LA Art Show 2016

January 29, 2016 by Mary

Fiona Banner: Study #13 Every Word Unmade

January 29, 2016 by Mary

Study #13 looks in depth at the work Every Word Unmade: a series of 26 metre-high neon letters, together comprising an upper-case alphabet, hand made by artist Fiona Banner in 2007. This first presentation of Every Word Unmade in London is accompanied by a selection of Banner’s works using language and light.

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Fiona Banner, Every Word Unmade, 2007, installation view at Power Plant, Toronto in 2007. David Roberts Collection, London. Courtesy the artist

The installation opens with Neon Full Stop (1997), a moment of characteristic humour and a pause in which to reflect on Banner’s practice together with publications from the Vanity Press. Also founded in 1997, The Vanity Press is an integral part of Banner’s practice, producing books and exploring the act of publishing as a form of performative sculpture – tattoos, neons, tombstones, trousers all became ‘publications’ by virtue of ISBN registration. The Vanity Press (2013) is one of a selection of works hand made by Banner herself in neon. The letters and digits of an ISBN number are imperfectly wrought through the laborious process of bending molten glass tubes by hand, and then published under the title of The Vanity Press. The vast central work of the display,Every Word Unmade (2007), assembles the entire Latin alphabet, so containing, as the title implies, the possibility of infinite anagrams and narratives.

I was thinking about a kind of unmaking of language. As if you could makeevery word, or story imaginable, from these 26 letters. All the potential is there, but none of the words. The fragile wobbly letters, a byproduct of incrementally, inexpertly bending the glass – then the electrical circuit pumping the gas through, make it like one big, constant stutter…words about to be made or unmade. Fiona Banner, 2007.

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Fiona Banner in neon workshop making Every Word Unmade, 2007. David Roberts Collection, London. Courtesy the artist

Language is also embodied in written descriptions of undressing and undressed women such as Striptease (2003) and Silver Nude (2011). Captured by Banner whilst watching a film scene and during life drawing session respectively, they point to the performativity of language, an act of translation which is repeated in Mirror (2007) as the model (actress Samantha Morton) encounters her own portrait for the first time while reading it aloud to a live audience.

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Fiona Banner, Every Word Unmade (The Bastard Word), 2007, detail in Fiona Banner studio in 2005. David Roberts Collection, London. Courtesy the artist

Study #13: Every Word Unmade
David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF)
17-18 Golden Square, London W1F 9JJ
29 January - 5 March 2016

Polly Morgan: Dead Animals

January 28, 2016 by Mary

At a time when natural history museums are moving away from taxidermy, there has been a resurgence of interest in popular culture—in Internet blogs and image collections, in fashion, home décor, and advertising—as well as in art practice. Dead Animals, or the curious occurrence of taxidermy in contemporary art surveys current artistic use of taxidermy through the work of eighteen artists: Maurizio Cattelan, Kate Clark, Mark Dion, Nicholas Galanin, Thomas Grünfeld, Damien Hirst, Karen Knorr, Annette Messager, Polly Morgan, Deborah Sengl, Angela Singer, Bryndis Snæbjörnsdóttir/Mark Wilson, Richard Barnes, Jules Greenberg, Sarah Cusimano Miles, Richard Ross, and Hiroshi Sugimoto.

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Polly Morgan, Gannet, 2014
Taxidermy, cremated bird remains
128cm x 98cm x 24cm

Taxidermy animals are extraordinary animal-things. As Rachel Poliquin—author of the cultural history The Breathless Zoo: Taxidermy and the Culture of Longing—affirms, “at once likelike yet dead, both a human-made representation of a species and a presentation of a particular animal skin.” The exhibition and accompanying symposium will examine the cultural history of taxidermy, social factors that have contributed to artists’ interests in the “idea of the animal,” and the ways in which these interests are manifest in artists’ works. It will question how taxidermy, with its inherent association with death, differs from the use of live animals or animal substitutes such as stuffed animals, and why taxidermy maybe particularly relevant to the exploration of the human-animal question. Finally, it will examine ethical issues surrounding the incorporation of animals in art.

The exhibition is organized around four prevalent themes that draw particular strength from taxidermy—in which the fact that the animal is real and dead imparts meaning. The themes are death (both human and animal); hybrids—both animal-and-animal and animal-and-human; animal-human relations (humanity’s treatment of and effect upon nonhuman animals); and, within photographic artworks, taxidermy’s display in natural history museums.

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Polly Morgan, Systemic Inflammation, 2010
Taxidermy, steel, leather
130cm x 113cm (diameter)

Taxidermist and artist Polly Morgan works against the traditional goals of taxidermy. Rather than a lively depiction, she presents animals in death. Gannet, 2014, is a momento mori. The large and beautiful bird falls limply over the edge of a black frame—in a pose that is synonymous with death. The frame houses a drawing of a bird’s nest created from the ashes of cremated birds.

The Opening Reception will take place on 5th February at 5.30pm in conversation with Polly Morgan.

Dead Animals or the Curious Occurrence of Taxidermy in Contemporary Art
David Winton Bell Gallery, Rhode Island 
January 23 – March 27, 2016

Other Criteria at ZONA MACO 2016, Booth G208

January 20, 2016 by Mary

Each year ZONA MACO, Latin America’s most important contemporary art fair, brings collectors, specialists and galleries from every part of the world together in Mexico City.

Founded by Zélika García in 2002, ZONA MACO has established itself as one of the most notable platforms for selling, displaying, and promoting international contemporary art in the region.

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Damien Hirst, Psalm Print: Exaudi, Domine (3ft)
Silkscreen print with glaze

Other Criteria is returning to the Mexican Art Fair this February. The exhibition will feature unique and limited edition works by Damien HirstEduardo SarabiaJohn IsaacsSarah Lucas, and Kiki Smith.

Centro Banamex, Sala D
Av. Conscripto #311 Col. Lomas de Sotelo
Mexico D.F.

Opening: February 3rd, 4pm – 9pm
Fair: February 4th – 6th, 12pm – 9pm & 7th, 12pm – 8pm

Johannes Albers: Stamps of Germany 1925 - 1985

January 15, 2016 by Mary

It happens that the stage sets collapse. Rising, Metro tram, four hours in the office, Stulle, four hours of work, Döner, Bierchen, Metro tram, sleep and Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday and Saturday according to the same rhythm - this path is easily followed most of the time. But one day the "why" arises and everything begins in that weariness tinged with amazement. * 

Albers' new exhibition at the Michael Fuchs gallery titled Deutsche Briefmarken 1925 - 1985 lures unsuspecting viewers in. Pondering they stare. And then it happens - the "why". This very basic question is at the core of Albers' artistic conviction. "Why?" is probably the most profound philosophical dilemma - we are obsessed with it and thus eternally tormented in our futile efforts to determine this indeterminable question. Yet we believe that through logic and technological advances we shall one day be able to decipher the "why". The world, however, is absurd. Albers' art is concerned with coming to terms with the "why" and whatever secrets it conceals.

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His multi-facetted oevre encompasses paintings, installations and found objects to name but a few. The new works are characterized by both their austere nature and their sensory and physical quality. Many of his works question human perception. He achieves this by playing with the scale of regular objects. Found objects, however, are not merely put on a pedestal as in the tradition of the readymade (Marcel Duchamp), but rather these objects undergo transformation. Albers removes found objects from their normal environment, morphs them into something different altogether (attributing new meaning to the object in the process) and confines the object to new space. Wachstum (2010, stone, cardboard box, display, 162 x 67 x 60 cm with plinth) is a prime example of this procedure. Contrarily, Albers is also well known for constructing objects, which create the illusion of space. With Healing (2010, Perspex, miniature street lamp, battery for lamp, artificial snow, water, 152 x 140 x 140 mm) Albers stages a scene; a miniature landscape so small it can be held in both hands. Resembling a snow globe, Healing is a testament to time - time through which we hope things to become better.

Johannes Albers, born 1966 in Emsland, lives and works in Berlin. At the tender age of 21 he chose to venture to London where he enrolled at the Goldsmiths College, studying under the supervision of none other than the renowned conceptual artist and lecturer Michael Craig-Martin. During his time at Goldsmiths Albers witnessed first hand the birth of the Young British Artists. Similarly to YBA Albers' work questions the foundation of contemporary art and culture.

Michael Fuchs Gallery, Auguststr. 11-13 , D-10117 Berlin
15 January – 27 February, 2016

*Adaptation: From Albert Camus' The Myth of Sisyphus (Original text 1942)

Other Criteria at LA Art Show 2016, Booth 307-311

January 13, 2016 by Mary

The LA Art Show, the 200,000 square foot art fair that welcomed more than 50,000 art enthusiasts to the Los Angeles Convention Center this past year, will launch its newly curated art show experience at the upcoming 2016 event. Looking back on the 20 year history of the LA Art Show, one can’t help noticing how it has evolved, changing locations and growing in diversity to reflect the trajectory of the burgeoning Los Angeles art scene. The 2016 show offers visitors and collectors a new hosted art experience which will entail a fair devoted to only Modern and Contemporary art. Located next door, the Los Angeles Fine Art Show will exhibit works of Historic and Traditional Contemporary Art.

Founded in 1994, the show has grown from a small regional event featuring 14 galleries to become the largest and longest-running platform for fine art, bringing in more than 120 galleries representing 22 countries.

In recent years, the LA Art Show has become the most internationally diverse art platform in the Western world, bringing in the largest groupings of Korean, Chinese and Japanese galleries outside of Asia. Beginning in 2010, the LA Art Show has actively developed its international gallery offerings to provide collectors with a unique opportunity, to spot international trends and zeitgeist through art, a medium that has the ability to transcend language. This keen focus has been a hallmark of the show.

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Harland Miller, Never Bet The Devil Your Balls, 2015
Oil and gold leaf on paper, 152.5 x 121.5 cm
© Harland Miller. Photo © White Cube (George Darrell)

For this 2016 edition of the LA Art Show, Other Criteria will be featuring an original Harland Miller oil and gold leaf work on paper, as well as prints from the artist‘s most recent collaboration with Other Criteria. Additionally exhibited will be Damien Hirst‘s newest Psalm prints, which debuted last month at Art Miami, alongside both sculptural work and unique paper diorama works by Mexican-American artist Eduardo Sarabia.

Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

Opening night: January 27th, 7pm – 11pm
Fair: January 28th – 30th, 11am – 7pm & 31st, 11am – 5pm

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