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At @artriofair presenting limited edition works by #DamienHirst. Booth D10
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Nothing but Navy in London

March 31, 2012 by Mel

Damien Hirst - Thoughts, Work, Life

March 30, 2012 by Kay

Damien Hirst, ‘Utopia’ at Paul Stolper Gallery, London

March 30, 2012 by Mary

Other Criteria and Paul Stolper Gallery are pleased to announce Damien Hirst’s ‘Utopia’ an exhibition of six new inkjet and foil block prints depicting rows of either pills, diamonds or cigarettes arranged in metal cabinets, together with ‘Till Death Do Us Part,’ a series of ten foil block skulls on brightly coloured silkscreened paper.

Utopia can be both a real or imaginary society, place, or stateconsidered to be perfect or ideal. In religious terms it is often described as a ‘garden of delight’ that promises an exit from the cycle of life and death. In this exhibition, Hirst continues his ongoing exploration of the role of science and religion in modern life and his works illustrate the pursuit of the Utopian ideal and expose the ultimately flawed nature of this pursuit.

In ‘Utopia’ vibrant multi-coloured pills are laid out on shelves that are foil blocked in silver. Here the science of medicine is tendered as one method of prolonging life, one of four belief systems through which Hirst channels his art, the others being love, art and religion. The geometric composition and the ‘array of tablets create a contrast between panacea and the obsessive repetition of the object toward an image of hyperbolic dependency’ (Mario Codognato, Warning Labels in Damien Hirst; Museo Archeologico Nazionale pg. 41).With each chemical intervention, the pills promise youth, happiness and freedom from pain. And yet in two other works ‘Black Utopia’ and ‘Black Heaven-Nite Time,’ where all the pills are black, the opposite is suggested, death is inevitable and the Utopian pursuit flawed. The works in ‘Till Death Do Us Part,printed in the same seductive candy pop colours of the pills anddisplayed alongside the pill cabinets, serve as a memento mori, the skulls further highlighting the fact that medicine, although an agent of healing, also alters perception and is ultimately ineffectual in the face of death.

‘Gold Tears’ and ‘Silver Tears’ depict rows of brilliant diamonds on shelves foil blocked in gold and silver. Diamonds, the ultimate symbol of desire, love, perfection and indeed the eternal, are nonetheless inextricably linked with loss, memory and melancholy. The desire and accumulation of riches cannot redeem a life, and like medicine, these inadequate efforts to escape death are forever doomed. Similarly, ‘Hell’ shows rows of stubbed-out cigarette ends and a single Cuban cigar. These objects embody the contradiction between desire, pleasure and death. The ashes recall a graveyard and the cigarette stubs create a ‘feeling of arid post-humanity in the most expansive way’ (Brian Dillon, Ugly Feelings in Damien Hirst, Tate 2012, pg 27). The cigarettes, now expired, are an image of dystopia and a reminder of mortality.

Prints and printmaking hold an important position in Hirst’s artistic output, and Utopia reflects this constant investigation into and re-invention of techniques and medias. The use of metallic foilblocking onto inkjet transforms the print, unremittingly drawing the viewer in with the bright colours and shimmering surfaces. Objects such as pills, diamonds and cigarettes are presented as luxury items on silver foiled shelves. And yet, the repetition democratizes the objects, and cigarette butts in their complete banality, are displayed alongside diamonds. While seductive it remains superficial, which is perhaps similar to the unrelenting desire to escape death and to achieve some kind of Utopia.

Fiona Banner presents Orson Welles' Heart of Darkness

March 29, 2012 by Kay

LAUNCH: New work by Mat Collishaw, Francesca Lowe & Wolfe von Lenkiewicz

March 28, 2012 by Kay

Press release: A new work by British artist Francesca Lowe will be launched at Other Criteria (New Bond Street) on 5 April 2012. The work, entitled Love’s Letters will be one of three new projects on display simultaneously until 17 May 2012. These also include new drawings by fellow British artists Wolfe von Lenkiewicz and work from Mat Collishaw.

Lowe’s work is concerned with the human journey through life and time. She uses trees as a recurring motif and as a way of presenting opened up lung-like systems of relations that echo the didactic charts and models of pre-enlightenment thought.

For this new work, Love’s Letters, Francesca Lowe uses a tree to house a number of objects and themes important to her work. The word ‘love’ is suspended amidst the branches and is surrounded by a myriad of birds and reclining and posing sirens. Alongside these fluttering and stretching beings are balancing acrobats amidst explosions from ammunition and artillery fire, which produce a swirling colourful effect.

The symbolism of the fertile imagery is that of the growth, possibility and renewed sociability that spring brings following the introspection of winter. Bountiful spring-like associations and positive affirmations of desire are visible within the "mind-scape" of the tree.

Love’s Letters by Francesca Lowe is a beautiful giclee print with glazes, which is more similar to a multilayered collage with its intricate details and delicate colouring. It acts as a joyous and celebratory metaphor of life and humanity.

AUCTION: Fundraising for University of East London

March 28, 2012 by Kay

Now in its third year at GFL,The Budget Art Auction has been an integral and wonderfully successful part of the fundraising for the Fine Art Degree Show. Previous contributors include Fiona Banner and Gavin Turk. View the artwork from 6pm before the auction starts at 8pm.

Gary Hume at Leeds Art Gallery

March 27, 2012 by Kay

Thursday 29 March, 5-6pm

Gary Hume in conversation with Andrew RentonLeeds Art Gallery

£5.00 (£3.00) concession Booking essential, Tel.:0113 247 8256

To accompany his exhibition Gary Hume: Flashback from the Arts Council Collection at Leeds Art Gallery until April 15 will be in conversation with Professor Andrew Renton from Goldsmiths College. This event will offer insight into the work in the exhibition as well as background to the artist’s broader practice.

Gary Hume is one of Britain’s most important contemporary artists. He first gained international recognition in the early 1990s for his series of bold, abstract ‘door’ paintings’ which were based on the actual doors of St Bartholomew’s hospital in London. Flashback is a major monographic exhibition from the Arts Council Collection.

Professor Andrew Renton is a writer and curator. He is interested in the different languages and registers that might be possible in response to the work of art. As curator his recent concern has been with the ethical encounter with the object, its physicality and context.He has published a number of catalogues and books on contemporary art, including Technique Anglaise: Current Trends in British Art, Thames & Hudson, 1991, the first book to document the now-established Young British Artists phenomenon.

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