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Michael Joo's Solo #Exhibition, Radiohalo, Opens Tomorrow @BlainSouthern
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Rachel Howard: Sette Opere per la Misericordia

February 12, 2016 by Mary


Rachel Howard, Controlled Violence, 2015-2016
Painting: oil and acrylic on canvas, 107 cm x 107 cm
Sculpture: wood, towels and pigment, 35cm x 35cm x 61cm + towels

Sette Opere per la Misericordia (Seven Works for mercy) shows the works of seven contemporary artists, of international scope: Antonio Biasiucci, Roberto Caracciolo, Piero Golia, Rachel Howard, Anish Kapoor, Henrietta Labouchere and Olaf Nicolai.

The artists have donated a work that describes the theme of mercy in across the board and in various modes and techniques of expression they interpret. The works will be exhibited for three months in the church of Pio Monte della Misericordia, alongside the 'old masters' Caravaggio, Battistello Caracciolo, Jordan, and Santafede Azzolino.


Sette Opere per la Misericordia
Pio Monte della Misericordia, Naples, Italy
13 February 2016 – 13 April 2016

Michael Joo: Radiohalo

February 9, 2016 by Mary

Press release:

Blain|Southern announces Radiohalo, a major solo exhibition of new artworks by acclaimed New York-based artist Michael Joo. A conceptual artist who works across a variety of media, Joo is interested in themes of energy, nature, technology, history and perception, which he explores through narratives of places, people and objects.

His non-linear, almost cyclical approach results in work that is a documentation of process. Whether chemically treated, silver-coated or photo-based, Joo uses several recurring methodologies, and has been working with silver nitrate for over a decade. His interest lies in the way the human eye perceives the compound but also in the physical, performative nature of its application to other materials. Recently, by combining the chemical with a sensitised epoxy ink, Joo has created a new series of ‘caloric paintings’, several of which are included in the exhibition.

The ‘caloric paintings’ pick up a consistent thread from earlier works, such as The Saltiness of Greatness (1992), where Joo meticulously calculated the amount of energy that historical figures consumed during a lifetime. Here he gauges the number of calories individuals would expend performing various actions. Combining a range of techniques associated with painting, photography, print-making and sculpture, the caloric values are transferred to canvas. By assigning a numerical value to a quantifiable action, the artist questions if there is any significance in this method of categorisation.

Standing at three metres, a marble slab mounted on a steel frame, Prologue (Montclair Danby Vein Cut) (2014-2015), is an imposing new sculpture. It continues the artist’s interest in Cameron’s Line, a tectonic boundary in the US defined by a subterranean belt of marble. The sculpture acts like a billboard or marker, in which a landscape of time, compression and process is reflected in the strata that run through it. Treated with silver nitrate on one side, the refractive surface works as an alternate plane that provides a different perspective, a window to elsewhere – creating a dialectic which is both spatial and temporal.

Throughout the exhibition, Joo demonstrates how acts of creation, life and energy thrive at borders and intersections. A group of sculptures cast from endangered cranes’ legs speak further of his meditations on boundaries, whether geological, physical or socially constructed.

The sculptures have been used by the artist to make marks on the gallery wall by dragging their graphite embedded legs down its length. The marks’ fleeting physicality relate to the fragility of a population living in politically contested territory, not bound by borders defined by human agency; and how the incursion of physical space is defined in contemporary culture.

The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive 120-page publication detailing Joo’s recent significant, ongoing bodies of work. It includes an essay by Miwon Kwon, Professor & Chair of Art History at UCLA and a conversation between Michael Joo and artist Julie Mehretu, alongside whom he exhibited at Sharjah Biennale 2015. Further solo exhibitions in 2016 include the Smithsonian, Washington, DC and SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia. Joo’s work will also be part of EVA International - Ireland's Biennial of Contemporary Art which opens on 16 April 2016.

In 2001 Joo represented South Korea at the 49th Venice Biennale together with Do-Ho-Suh. He has participated in numerous international biennial exhibitions and in 2006, was awarded both the grand prize of the 6th Gwangju Biennale, Seoul; and the United States Artists Fellowship, which recognises America’s most accomplished and innovative artists. His work is in numerous public and private collections, including FNAC, Paris; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Samsung Centre for Art and Culture, Seoul and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.


Michael Joo, Prologue (Montclair Danby Vein Cut), 2014-2015
Courtesy of the artist and Blain|Southern

Blain|Southern, 4 Hanover Square, London W1S 1BP
10 February – 9 April 2016
Private View: 9 April 6 – 8pm

Joo in conversation with Tim Marlow, Wednesday 10 February at 6.30pm:
To coincide with the opening of Radiohalo, Blain|Southern London will host an in conversation between Michael Joo and Tim Marlow, Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Arts.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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