KABAKOV

Londoners have many opportunities to learn about Russian art these days. Tate Modern will open its doors tomorrow for art exhibition “Red Star over Russia” but today you can enjoy exhibition of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Russian artists, – “Not everyone will be taken into the future”.  You can visit the exhibition until January 28.

The artworks are displayed over 10 halls and the exhibition is carefully guided, so you do not get lost and follow the path naturally.

Some installations were a bit too much for my taste, but I fell in love with some paintings and illustrations. Kabakov is also a famous illustrator for children’s books and I was fascinated by the lightness of strokes and combination of colours in his illustrations.

One section of the exhibition was dedicated to letters of Ilya’s mother. She was writing to her son and telling him about her life story. It was interesting to have a glimpse of someone else’s life, but to be honest, it was a bit tricky to read. In this section curators did a poor job: letters in Russian were positioned low so you need to sit down a bit to read them and British translations were way above your head. So it was a challenge.

All in all I enjoyed the exhibition and it was a first exhibition of such a scale for Ilya and Emilia which made it very special.

 

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Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art is a new art event in 2018 calendar. This Biennial is developed from the ground by a friend of mine, Agniya, who did an amazing job of bringing together exciting curator, artists and gathering solid art crowd.

During the Frieze Week a creative team of RIBOCA came to London to announce the concept of the Biennial – “Everything was forever, until was no more”. The concept reflects on ever-changing world around us, even things that seem so solid and fundamental.

Many historic buildings will come to live on 2nd of June to house artworks made not only by artists from Baltic states but also international creators. This is an amazing chance to introduce Riga’s cultural, historical and socio-political context and its surrounds.

So clear calendar for June and book your trip!

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Public Art in Ireland

Dublin 

We spent only one day in Dublin and the weather was more suitable for drinking whiskey than walking so we did not come across many art objects. We saw some sculptures here and there, but I left the city under impression that there are not many art decorations in the city.

 

Killarney

Killarney is a luxury tourist area and there are many sculptures and decorations in the area. Different size sculptures, wall sculptures, nice shops and pubs with decorations.

I came across great photography gallery with Irish landscapes, I loved the pictures and the how the canvases are without frames and the images continue on the sides.

Pace Gallery

Pace Gallery opened its doors for private view of Richard Tuttle: The Critical Edge exhibition. It is on display from 13th of April until 13th May at 6 Burlington Gardens.

The exhibition showcases 7 large multimedia artworks.  Richard Tuttle is a contemporary American artist working with variety of materials. He creates large three dimensional canvases from rough fabrics, wood, nails, thread, and MDF panels.

Personally, it is not my cup of tea, but you should see for yourself!

Art domain

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This new online domain .ART is a revolution for art and culture internet community! Web is a whole different world which can be difficult to navigate, so there must be some order, right?

Links to the websites can be managed in variety of ways, the most popular way of sorting enormous amount of websites is by country. Country domain is usually two-three letters, for example .fr for France, .ru for Russia etc. Another way of sorting domains is by industry, for example .edu is for education. This is when .ART comes in play.

In todays digital era and time of globalisation, when art and culture cross borders and no longer defined by nationality, why stick to national domain? .ART is here to unitise the art community. I think it is a brilliant idea to make it about the industry.

Collectors, foundations, news portals, galleries, museums, across the world have already adopted new domain. It is safe to say that the rest will follow. Across the early adopters of .art domain are ICA museum in London, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Francis Bacon Foundation, Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Magritte Foundation and even Kickstarter for art projects. So if you are in the industry, hurry to register your domain, as they are going very fast.

.ART, what an elegant solution for uniting unlimited web. Create your identity by upgrading your online presence and switch to .ART

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Canvas of matches

People have hobbies: travelling, collecting, painting, playing sports, music instruments. Hobby takes your mind of things and make your routine less monotonous. In my spare time I like  baking, making something with my hands, drawing and painting, I particularly enjoy using pastels. From time to time I have an artistic mood and desperately want to create something. During one of these times I finally put together my collection of matches.

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I have been collecting boxes of matches from across the globe for more than a decade. I always wanted to put them together somehow, once my collection became big enough. It is amazing how something small and simple – box of matches –  can be found in so many styles. You can see variety of shapes of boxes, different combinations of wood and sulphur tips colours. I started collecting matches when I was in school and then my friends and family started bringing me matches when they travel, so my collection grew. When I moved to London I took my collection with me and it turned out that many people in the UK collecting boxes also. So I acquired some old British matches that are no longer produced. It is forbidden to smoke indoors across Europe now so hotels, bars and pubs no longer manufacture branded matches and I have many of boxes like this in my collection. I found some box of matches at a flea market in France the box was dated before World War II.

In a way box of matches can be compared to stamps, the surface is about the same and the image is used for different purpose. Majority of matches are made as a marketing tool, they promote the place (hotel, restaurant, bar) or they promote the company (airline, tobacco). However, there are thematic boxes that promote something specific such as national sportsmen, ships or national monuments.

So I put together a canvas of matches, sorting them by colour from light to dark. This collage of matches consists of more than 150 boxes and features matches from 15 different countries.

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I still have plenty of boxes left, enough for another canvas like this. Probably will do it some other time.

Lisson Gallery night

Today Lisson Gallery had a late nigh opening of two shows: Anish Kapoor in gallery 67 Lisson Street and Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg exhibition at 27 Bell street. Both premises are in 2 minutes walk from each other so it is easy to see both. Both exhibitions are on display from 31st March until May 6.

I saw Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg first, it attracted many views. It was not big, only two rooms with major piece in the first room. The exhibition is called ‘Who am I to Judge, or, It Must be Something Delicious,’. The artwork is crafted in animated style – sought in the moment. It is surely interesting standing there and exploring each figure individually and how they interrelate. The display is bold, definitely questioning societies’ standards and pushing boundaries. See for yourself:

Anish Kapoor often works for Lisson Gallery and it is his sixteenth exhibition there. It was very refreshing to see variety of working techniques, not only his iconic cylinder shaped plates. Many abstract works were presented over two floors of the gallery and several large scale sculptures.

Opening night was busy as always with people drinking and sharing their opinions. If you are near the gallery check out these shows.

Galleries and Public Spaces

Commercial Art market slowly integrates into our everyday lives. It is now common that art galleries use commercial spaces such as restaurants and hotels to display their artworks. What is in it for both parties?

Obviously, by displaying artworks outside commercial gallery space, artists, artworks and galleries get better exposure to the public. Artworks are seen by hundred of people visiting the premises. Furthermore when the art piece is displayed against white wall of a commercial gallery customers can struggle imagining it in their homes; when they see the piece in the interior of a hotel room, artwork might looks more appealing. However, there are downsides of displaying artworks in public spaces because the attitude toward the artwork may be defined by the reputation of the restaurant/hotel/bar etc. So galleries should carefully select where to display artworks.

Public place are getting prestige and decoration. Terms with galleries may vary, but usually  these places get a very good terms. The only downside I can think of is if their customers damage the artwork, but this occasion should be agreed beforehand.

The example of such collaboration is Neo Bankside, property development, has Emily Young‘s sculptures from Bowman Gallery, displayed around the houses. Emily is a British boss artist who started her career as a painter and then found her style in sculpturing. Her sculptures are displayed around the houses, next to trendy restaurants and most importantly next to Tate Modern. So this is an amazing exposure for the artist, being seen not only by residents of the buildings, customers of the restaurants but most importantly by Tate visitors.

From my point of view, this collaboration between galleries and commercial spaces is a great phenomenon for the public. They get to learn and admire different artists and be surrounded by beauty.

Mother’s Day Special

Today is Mother’s Day and I want to congratulate all mothers, grandmothers and mothers-to-be. Being a parent is a beautiful thing and it has been portrayed by many different artists throughout art history. Artists expressed admiration for motherhood in variety of ways – some artists, like Van Gogh, created portraits of their mother and you can see tenderness and love in paintings; some artist captures the most intimate moment of mother and child – breastfeeding; and many partners and photographers captured mothers during pregnancy.

I would like to list top five my favourite artworks that celebrate motherhood.

David Hockney – My Mother

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This is the collage made from photographs portraying Davids mother at the graveyard. Mothers face is deeply moving, it makes me sympathise with her. Laura Hockney was often subject of her sons artworks, he admired her strength and character.

A. Suvorov and A. Izmodenov – Sailor’s Wife

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This sculpture is proudly displayed in port of Russian city Novorossiysk. This bronze artwork has many unofficial titles, one of them is “Mother and Child”. Sculpture symbolises all wives and mothers waiting for their beloved mariners to return from the sea.

Gustav Klimt – Hope, II

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Klimt has many paintings portraying pregnant women, mothers and children and Hope II is my favourite. It is beyond words beautiful and very deep. The painting is about life, death and hope: every new life is hope.

Howard Coster – Mother and Child

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Howard Coster was a British photographer of the end 19th and beginning of 20th century. This vintage bromide print was created in 1930s and now is displayed in National Portrait Gallery. There is something about mothers’ eyes and smile that makes me look at it and admire.

Anna Rose Bain – The Wait and the Reward

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Anna is a contemporary artist and a mom of two beautiful girls. She has many portraits of her children as well as self portraits during pregnancy. I think Anna captures feeling perfectly, that tenderness and love that mother experiences when waiting for her baby.

Upcoming Fashion Exhibitions

Dear Londoners and visitors, finally spring is in the full mode and we can go outside and enjoy sunshine, go for long walks, spend lunch breaks in the parks and squares. And for our fashion-lovers this spring brings many exciting exhibitions!

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The one I am most excited about is Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion in my beloved Victoria & Albert museum. This exhibition starts on May 27th and will be running until February next year. Past fashion exhibitions were a huge success, especially Alexander McQueen, so I can’t wait to see how the art and legacy of Spanish couturier Cristóbal Balenciaga will be displayed. Beautiful gowns, stories behind them, hats and accessories, all unfold the lifetime story of this iconic master. I expect the exhibition to be spectacular and chic, of a very high standard which V&A always maintain.

The exhibition is free for members and £12 for non-members, tickets can be booked online. If this exhibition is  going to be successful as McQuees exhibition, you should book tickets in advance.

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Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 19.35.31Kensington Palace presented Diana: Her Fashion Story  in February 2017 and it will be on display for a year, until February 2018. I have not seen it yet, but it is certainly on my to do list. The exhibition explores her early style and then shows how it developed throughout her life. Enjoy many iconic outfits, get inspired by elegant and graceful style of Britains favourite Princess Diana.

Book your tickets in advance, everything is completely sold out until May. Online booking will secure your ticket and also save you couple of pounds, online price is £17.10 and on the spot price is £19.00

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Gudrun Sjödén: Four Decades of Colour & Design exhibition starts on 25th of April at The Fashion and Textiles Museums. You will find sketches, videos, vintage designs from company’s archives. It is only available for short time – from April 25th until May 7, you can book your tickets at the venue at £9.90.

Screen Shot 2017-03-25 at 19.32.45Another upcoming exhibition at The Fashion and Textiles Museum –  The World of Anna Sui. The exhibition is on from 26 May and runs until 1 October 2017. Over 100 pieces from designers archives would be on display, demonstrating the evolution and trends of Annes style. You can book your tickets here.  Note that the museum is closed on Mondays.

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Somerset House will feature  Francesca Granata – American author and Assistant Professor in the School of Art and Design History. She will be lecturing on her recent book “Experimental Fashion: Performance Art, Carnival, and the Grotesque Body”. Francesca Granata is also the editor and founder of the journal Fashion Projects. Her work has appeared in Fashion Theory, Fashion Practice, and The Journal of Design History, as well as in a number of books and exhibition catalogues. Experimental fashion explores close relationship between contemporary fashion and performance art, it also questions contemporary image of fashionable body and looks into experimental performance outfits like Lady Gaga’s costumes.

The lecture start at 6:30pm on 6th of April and last for two hours. Thickets are essential due to limited space and can be purchased only for £5 here.

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So plenty things to see this spring! It is that time of the year, let’s take of our winter coats and get out there with a bit of fashion.