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Alternative 23 - IMT Gallery

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled Alternative 23 will be on display at IMT Gallery from December 5, 2014 to January 25, 2015.

Alternative 23 is an exhibition of works by Steve Aylett, David Blandy, Let Me Feel Your Finger First, Laura Oldfield Ford, Plastique Fantastique and Henrik Schrat, including the first screening of Let Me Feel Your Finger First’s Postcolonial Capers.

In 1985, DC Comics in the US had taken the commercial decision to unify the complex and contradictory character stories arcs from its various strips such as Superman, Batman and Green Lantern.

The resultant crossover series, Crisis on Infinite Earths, saw the heroes attempting to align all of the surviving Earths into one single reality that would then make DC Comics continuity more straightforward so as not to confuse potential new readers.

In 1987, Grant Morrison and Steve Yeowell’s Zenith, a politically-engaged superhero comic strip originally published in British weekly 2000 AD, brought together a group of superheroes from across multiple realities to battle a mysterious Lovecraftian threat.

This threat is intent on aligning all the universes, or ‘Alternatives’, into one, simple universe. Rather than reduce the complex and the inconsistent into a formal dialectic, the heroes of Zenith attempt to defend and maintain multiplicities. They meet on a world in Alternative 23.

Admission: Free.

Times: Thursday to Sunday from 12 – 6pm or by appointment. Closed for the holidays from December 25 to January 2.

IMT Gallery, Unit 2/210 Cambridge Heath Road, Londo, E2 9NQ UK

Chalet Chic at the Winter Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair 2015

Chalet chic room-set for Winter Fair 2015

Event preview

VISITORS will be welcomed with an Alpine-inspired retreat in the Foyer at the Winter Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair (January 20 to January 25, 2015), celebrating all that’s best about interiors for winter hideaways.

Many designers use the Decorative Fair to source unusual pieces for their client’s ski chalets and hunting lodges. Discover antler and Black Forest furniture, beautifully upholstered seating, French and Swedish painted antiques, decorative period rugs and hunting trophies.

Snow scene paintings from art dealers, ski posters and quirkier pieces such as antique skis revitalised as floor lamps, will create a truly cosy and typically Decorative Fair approach to winter style. All items will be drawn from exhibitors at the Fair and will be for sale.

Currently popular at the Decorative Fair is folk art and country accessories – Oprah Winfrey made time in her busy schedule to visit the recent Autumn Fair (September 30 to October 5, 2014) with her US decorator Rose Tarlow and included such pieces in her acquisitions.

The Autumn Fair also saw a resurgence of interest in a more formal, classic style, including traditional antique wood furniture both English and European. Quality pieces with beautiful patina or more unusually-figured veneers sold well; as did items exceptional in scale or decoration or provenance, such as a grand Gothick Victorian bookcase 13ft long c1860 made for Lady Waldegrave of Strawberry Hill House, which sold with a ticket price of £29,500.

Whilst collectors may come to buy fine furniture, objects and art such as paintings by leading Modern British artists like Keith Vaughan at prices up to (and in excess of) £50,000, new younger customers are also delighted to find affordable ‘entry level’ purchases such as £15 vintage French wine glasses.

The 145 dealers (many of whom participate at every Fair) come from across the UK and Europe to exhibit a wealth of wonderful period design. Antiques and works of art dating from the 1600s to 1914 abound. Art Deco and later C20th design makes up around one quarter of objects, art and furniture for sale. Unlike any other antiques event, the dealers style their stands as room-sets so visitors can imagine how items might work in their own homes.

ki lodge room-set Winter 2015

The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair is the most stylish and beautiful antiques and period design event in the UK. It is the only antiques Fair to cater specifically to the interior decorating trade and in 2015 it will celebrate 30 years of business.

The three Fairs next year are the Winter Fair (January 20-25), the Spring Fair (April 21-26) and the Autumn Fair (September 29 – October 4) which will be the focal point for the Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair‘s 30th birthday. (The first ever Fair was held in September 1985).

For more information visit www.decorativefair.com/

Admission: £10 including catalogue, which gives re-admission throughout the week.

Times:

Tuesday 12pm – 8pm.

Wednesday 11am – 8pm.

Thursday 11am – 8pm.

Friday 11am – 7pm.

Saturday 11am – 7pm.

Sunday 11am – 6pm.

Transport: Free shuttle service from Sloane Square Hotel every 10-15 minutes during opening hours. Vehicle access via Chelsea Bridge Gate only. LIMITED free parking on-site.

Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, London, SW11

Ice skating in and around London

Natural History Museum Ice Rink

Feature by Lizzie Guilfoyle

IF YOU enjoy ice-skating or even just watching others take to the ice, there are several ice rinks to chose from, both in and around the capital, this coming festive season.

Natural History Museum – October 30, 2014 to January 4, 2015.

Now in its 10th year, the spectacular rink is nestled in front of the iconic South Kensington Museum, beneath 80,000 twinkling fairy lights and around a 40-foot-high tree.

Visit the interactive Christmas chalet, with chocolatey treats, prize giveaways and activities in partnership with chocolatiers Lindt.
www.nhm.ac.uk/

Somerset House – November 11, 2014 to January 11, 2015.

Make the most of the wintry weather as one of London’s most beautiful outdoor ice rinks returns.

In partnership with Fortnum & Mason, this icy experience is open all day and well into the evening, when the rink comes alive with special club nights featuring top DJs.

You can enhance your experience with ‘Skate Extras’, which range from champagne and truffles to cream tea in Fortnum’s Lodge. Cocktails and fondue can also be savoured.

On Tuesdays, you can enjoy late-night browsing in the pop-up Fortnum & Mason store, live entertainment and festive treats.
www.somersethouse.org.uk/ice-rink

Eyeskate at The London Eye – November 15, 2014 to January 4, 2015.

This spectacular ice rink on the South Bank returns for the fifth year with plenty of festive fun and wintry activities.

As well as enjoying a 45-minute ice skating session in the shadow of the London Eye you can book a flight on the London Eye with a Winter Cocktail Experience or go on a Frosty Guided Experience.
www.londoneye.com/

Hampton Court Palace – November 21, 2014 to January 4, 2015.

The outdoor ice rink at Hampton Court offers spectacular views of the magnificent Palace that Henry VIII once lived in. Book an evening session to see the palace lit up after dark while you skate under the evening stars!

The Ice Bar & Café provides a welcome place to warm up after your skate, serving a selection of winter drinks and festive snacks.
www.hrp.org.uk/

Wembley Park – November 14, 2014 to January 4, 2015.

Enjoy skating at a new ice rink in the London Designer Outlet in Wembley Park this winter. Take some time out from shopping in the outlet centre with a skate around the 600-square-metre rink, where you can savour a complimentary hot chocolate.

There is also a Christmas market to browse for festive gifts, and some fun activities on offer.
www.wembley.co.uk/

Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park – November 21, 2014 to January 4, 2015.

Get into the festive spirit as family favourite Winter Wonderland returns to London’s Hyde Park. This free-to-enter event includes a host of Christmas-themed fun and activities, including big top shows, an observation wheel and a huge Christmas market.
www.hydeparkwinterwonderland.com/

Westfield London Ice Rink – November 20, 2014 to January 4, 2015.

Skate along to the sounds of live music and enjoy special themed sessions at Westfield London’s stunning ice rink in its central atrium this winter.

Listen to soundtracks from resident DJs and live acts on the stage while gliding across the ice. There will be themed sessions to enjoy and extra-long sessions available for those who can’t get enough of the wintery fun!

The rink is suitable for everyone aged from three years old, with fun penguin-and seal-themed stabilisers available for those who are less steady on their skates.
uk.westfield.com/london/news-and-events/ice-rink

Renato Guttuso: Painter of Modern Life - Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art

Renato Guttuso: Painter of Modern Life

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled Renato Guttuso: Painter of Modern Life will be on display at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art from January 14 to April 4, 2015.

Renato Guttuso (1911 – 1987) is one of post-war Italy’s most widely respected painters. Toward the end of the 1930s, his powerful brand of expressionist realism vividly conveyed the angst of a generation which wanted its art to reflect and engage with the urgency of contemporary life.

Rebelling against both the formalism of abstract painting and the naturalism advocated by those on the far right of Fascism’s cultural establishment, Guttuso played a key role in forging a style that would go on to dominate Italian art throughout the immediate post-war years.

Resolutely ‘popular’, his imagery continued to chronicle Italy’s frequently turbulent political life and the changing face of its society for over forty years.

Guttuso was born in Bagheria (Sicily) in 1911 and began to paint at an early age, receiving encouragement from his father, a land surveyor of Socialist sympathies.

His enthusiasm was nurtured by the painter Domenico Quattrociocchi and the Futurist artist Pippo Rizzo. However, Guttuso’s first assured works, dating from the mid-1920s, reveal the influence of the then dominant Novecento school, characterised by its heavy modelling, sombre tones and dialogue with Italy’s painterly traditions.

The positive reception of his work at the I Quadriennale of 1931, and a group show at Milan’s influential Galleria del Milione the following year, encouraged Guttuso to devote himself entirely to art. During the early 1930s he encountered the expressionism of artists associated with the Scuola Romana, such as Scipione, and began to employ a more vibrant palette and freer painterly technique.

After settling in Rome in 1937, he became associated with the Corrente group, which also included the painters Renato Birolli, Bruno Cassinari, Giuseppe Migneco, Ennio Morlotti and Emilio Vedova. These figures resisted the notion of an art created in accordance with a binding ‘ism’ (as suggested by the group’s name).

However, their exploration of an emotionally-charged figurative vocabulary was the logical consequence of their desire for an ‘impassioned and direct relationship between the artist and the world’, and their rejection of ‘those modes of representation which were not sufficiently concerned with the destiny of humanity’.

In 1940, Guttuso’s increasing disillusionment with, and hostility toward, the Fascist regime led him to join the Communist Party – despite the fact that he continued to participate in the state-sponsored Premio Bergamo exhibitions, where his political allegories Flight from Etna and Crucifixion were awarded prizes in 1940 and 1942.

His Still Life with Lamp gives an idea of Guttuso’s approach to such themes at this time. At first the image appears to be a conventional still life, yet closer consideration suggests it may in fact be a veiled comment on the brutality and persecution suffered by the regime’s political opponents, or the chaos of war. Certainly, the disordered table-top with its skull and overturned birdcage generates a marked sense of unease. The torn red curtain (perhaps an allusion to the flag of Communism) only adds to this sense of disquiet and violence.

In creating such works of protest and moral outrage, Guttuso was strongly influenced by Picasso at this time, being particularly impressed by his harrowing masterpiece Guernica. In ‘spiritual’ rather than aesthetic terms, the Spanish artist was to constitute an important point of reference throughout Guttuso’s career.

In the immediate post-war years, the spirit of cooperation and reconciliation that had characterised the Resistance – in which Guttuso fought during 1944 – was reflected in the eclectic nature of a new artistic association established in 1947 named Fronte Nuovo delle Arti. However, the fierce, ongoing debate over the artist’s social responsibilities generated tensions within the group which ultimately led to its fragmentation.

Those artists whose work tended toward realism – including Guttuso – broke away from the Fronte and aligned themselves with the Communist Party which, under Palmiro Togliatti, looked on their work with a far greater indulgence than it did that of abstract painters.

True to his conviction that art should be ‘useful’, Guttuso continued to apply his robust, accessible style to socio-political themes over the course of his career (Portrait of a Woman in Profile, Death of a Hero, Heroine).

He remained faithful to the Communist Party throughout his life, being elected Senator of the Republic on two occasions (1976, 1979). A work dating from these years (Neighbourhood Rally) captures the ferment of this tumultuous period, characterised by political militancy and blighted by a spate of assassinations and kidnappings.

Alongside such politically-charged imagery, Guttuso continued to create works celebrating the people and the landscape of southern Italy, employing a rich and vibrant palette described by the art historian Maurizio Calvesi as having been drawn directly from the intense colours of his native Sicily: ‘like the fire of Etna, like the turquoise of the Tyrrhenian Sea, like the green of the lizards and the twisted vegetation [and] like the yellow of the oranges and the sulphur’ (Watermelons, Landscape with Lovers).

Organised in collaboration with Galleria d’Arte Maggiore, Bologna, Renato Guttuso: Painter of Modern Life is the first major exhibition in the United Kingdom to focus on the career of this important artist for almost twenty years, offering British audiences the opportunity to explore the work of a pivotal figure in modern Italian culture, and consider some of the questions it raises concerning the role of the artist – and of art itself – in modern society.

Roman Ostia: Ancient Ruins, Modern Art continues at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art until December 21, 2014.

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, London, N1 2AN

Tel: +44 (0)20 7704 9522

Website: www.estorickcollection.com/

Russian Art Week - Autumn 2014

Event preview

FROM Friday, November 21 to Friday, November 28, 2014, London’s premier auction houses and arts venues will welcome the fifth Russian Art Week in London.

Auctions of rare and valuable Russian paintings, icons, Fabergé and works of art will be held at all the major auction houses, alongside a series of exceptional exhibitions of works by Russian artists.

Russian Art Week highlights include several Russian exhibitions and related cultural events such as Leonid Borisov’s first ever UK one-man show Lessons in Geometry, and Born in the USSR, which presents contemporary Russian design, at Elena Shchukina’s two central London galleries.

Bonhams, Christie’s, Sotheby’s, MacDougall’s, and Chiswick Auctions will all be presenting Russian auctions, whilst Maxim Boxer will be bringing his second contemporary Russian art auction to London, this time on the theme of metaphysics.

For a full listing of events and to download our guide visit www.russianartweek.co.uk/.

The next Russian Art Week will take place in late May 2015.

Fathom 2014 - Four Corners

Fathom

Exhibition preview

FATHOM 2014, an exhibition of work produced from current artists in residence, will be on display at Four Corners from November 21, 2014 to January 31, 2015.

During 2014, artists Gayle Chong Kwan, Laura Napier and Will Jennings have produced new bodies of work at Four Corners, using its unique film and photographic production facilities, alongside dedicated space and staff support.

At the same time, two Research and Development residencies have enabled Tessa Power and Anna Sherbany to develop new work.

The residency programme, supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund, meets an identified need for artists working in film and photography, who have few opportunities for practice-based experimentation.

Projects were selected by an external panel of Laura Noble, Director of LA Noble Gallery, and Christiane Monarchi, Editor of Photomonitor.

An associated Symposium at The Cass on Wednesday, November 26 (10.30am to 4.30pm) will explore the residency process, and where artists go to get their work exhibited and distributed following production. This will include presentations from the artists in residence. To book a place for the Symposium e-mail info@fourcornersfilm.co.uk.

Times: Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm.

Four Corners, 121 Roman Road, London, E2 0QN

Tel: 020 8981 6111

Website: www.fourcornersfilm.co.uk/

A window on the world's first tech startup opens at St Bride Foundation

A REPLICA of the printing press that launched the first media revolution half a millennium ago will be unveiled for the first time on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, at the St Bride Foundation in London.

This hand-built press, based on an etching by Albrecht Dürer, is a refined version of the press believed used by Johann Gutenberg to print his famous Bible. A forerunner appeared previously in the BBC documentary The Machine that Made Us.

The new press, intended as a tool for research into early printing technology, was constructed by woodworker and printing historian, Alan May, and is owned by the Duerer Press Group and has been loaned to the St Bride Foundation for a period of five years.

The creation of this replica press comes at a time of renewed interest in the physical craft of printing in Britain and abroad. Book arts programmes are thriving despite, or because of, the widespread use of digital technology.

The arrival of this unique press at St Bride Foundation also coincides with the 50th anniversary conference of the Printing Historical Society, entitled Landmarks in Printing: from origins to the digital age.

The actual development of Gutenberg’s revolutionary technology, as disruptive 560 years ago as digital technology is today, remains a matter of lively debate. The latest contribution to the field is Alix Christie’s Gutenberg’s Apprentice, an in-depth fictional account of the making of the Gutenberg Bible, which will be presented by the author, a printer and journalist, at the conference.

The launch of the press will be held at St Bride Foundation in the Printing Workshop on November 12 at 6pm.

More London Christmas Market 2014

FROM December 8 to December 21, 2014, More London hosts its annual festive market which, this year, has been extended to two weeks with later opening times.

The market will feature 35 stall-holders, including many local London businesses, in German-style chalets selling a range of gifts and food.

As well as foodie presents there’s a scrumptious range of hot food to-go and festive entertainment including choirs and the Salvation Army band. It’s the perfect place to find great gifts and feel positively festive with views across the Thames of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.

This year’s More London Christmas Market is in conjunction with Tudor Markets, one of London’s leading street and Christmas market organisers. Each of the chalet-style stalls will be decked in twinkling lights, wreaths and garlands and visitors will find a fabulous selection of gifts and stocking fillers from jewellery to socks, cheeses to chocs and Champagne to crafts to suit all budgets.

You can expect:

Crafts & foodie gifts – 25 chalets selling a diverse selection of gifts including men’s designer socks, handmade jewellery, bags, fashion snoods, fair trade South American crafts, Alpaca wool clothing and much more.

Food glorious food – with festive gingerbread houses and hearts, Snowdonia cheese, handcrafted chocolate, Champagne, nuts and chocolate kisses.

Hot food to-go – stroll along Queen’s Walk (just in front of The Scoop) were you’ll find nine hot food traders dishing up crêpes, British sausages, @Cheeky_Burger, steak house & curly fries, hog roast and a range of Asian foods.

Charity – More London has dedicated one of the stalls to local charities. Visitors will be able to donate and find out more about More London’s charity partner the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Beyond Food Foundation, and The Ronald McDonald House Charity.

Admission: Free.

Time: 11am to 7pm.

More London, More London Riverside, London, SE1 2DB

A Victorian Obsession: The Perez Simon Collection at Leighton House Museum

Frederic, Lord Leighton (1830-1896) - Greek Girls picking up Pebbles, 1871.

Exhibition preview

FROM November 14, 2014 to March 29, 2015, Leighton House Museum will be home to rarely seen masterpieces of Victorian Art belonging to the Mexican collector Juan Antonio Perez Simon.

A Victorian Obsession: The Pérez Simón Collection at Leighton House Museum comprises 50 exceptional paintings from the largest Victorian private art collection outside Great Britain, shown for the first time in the UK.

Alongside five works by Frederic, Lord Leighton (four of which will be returning to the house in which they were painted), A Victorian Obsession will present paintings which have seldom if ever been exhibited before by many of the most celebrated Victorian artists, illustrating the astonishingly diverse representations of women that characterised this period of British art.

The images range from the domestic to the romantic and from the symbolic to the overtly sensual.

Highlights of the exhibition include Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s magnificent The Roses of Heliogabalus 1888, an iconic image of Roman decadence which has not been exhibited in London since 1913. One of the great paintings of the Victorian era, it memorably depicts the Emperor Heliogabalus’ suffocation of his guests beneath a torrent of rose petals.

Leighton’s Greek Girls Picking Up Pebbles by the Sea (1871) is one of his earliest and most striking ‘aesthetic’ works, placing formal harmony above narrative content and showing Leighton as the master of English drapery.

Two further works, Antigone (1882) and the sexually charged Crenaia (c 1880), feature the model Dorothy Dene. Leighton’s relationship with Dene was significant in his later years, when her role as his principal model, muse and social companion was widely commented on.

Also on display will be outstanding pictures by Albert Moore, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, John Everett Millais, John William Waterhouse, Edward Poynter, John Strudwick and John William Godward.

As President of the Royal Academy, Leighton and his extraordinary studio-house were at the centre of the late Victorian art world. His annual concerts and receptions became fixtures of the artistic social calendar. These artists knew the house well and Leighton’s own collection contained pictures of several of them, including a nude study by Albert Moore that will return to Leighton House for the first time since 1896 as part of the exhibition.

The exhibition has been shown at the Jacquemart-Andre Museum in Paris and at the Chiostro del Bramente in Rome to great acclaim and is currently on display in Madrid at Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.

The exhibition will be curated by Daniel Robbins, Senior Curator at Leighton House Museum, and Veronique Gerard Powell, who has worked extensively on the Perez Simon Collection.

With the exception of Leighton’s painting studio, the permanent collections will be cleared from Leighton House and the exhibition hung throughout the historic interiors. Leighton’s extraordinary decorative schemes will provide a uniquely appropriate and authentic setting for the pictures belonging to Juan Antonio Perez Simon, making the exhibition an unmissable event and an unforgettable one-off aesthetic experience.

A Victorian Obsession Gallery.

Tickets: £10, £6 concessions, Art Fund and National Trust Members 50% discount – available on 0800 912 6968 or online at www.lovetheatre.com/.

Times: Daily (except Tuesday) from 10am to 5.30pm.

Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, London, W14 8LZ

Jonathan Yeo: The Print Retrospective

Jonathan Yeo: The Print Retrospective

Exhibition preview

OVER the past decade, British artist Jonathan Yeo has established himself as one of the world’s leading contemporary portrait artists.

To commemorate the launch of Lazarides Editions and seven years of Yeo working with the gallery, an exhibition entitled Jonathan Yeo: The Print Retrospective will be on display from November 20 to December 20, 2014 at Sea Containers on the Thames South Bank.

Lazarides Editions’ inaugural exhibition this November will reflect upon an area of Yeo’s practice that has not yet been highlighted in any previous retrospective, celebrating the artist’s comprehensive body of widely acclaimed printed material.

Following Yeo’s landmark 2013 exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery, he has recently been the subject of a mid-career retrospective at the Lowry in Manchester. A major new body of work, Jonathan Yeo Portraits, will mark the artist’s most recent museum showcase later this autumn at Newcastle’s Laing Art Gallery.

Lazarides and Jonathan Yeo commenced collaborating in 2007 with Yeo’s first exhibition to feature his hugely popular pornographic collage series.

Bush, the unauthorised portrait of the then US president George W Bush, was conceived and launched as a 22 colour screen print, igniting the artist’s interest in printed editions. The screen print, initially made for preservation purposes, embraced the integrity of the original collage and prompted an experimental phase with printmaking, encompassing etching, layering, stenciling, hand finishing and digital formats.

Jonathan Yeo: The Print Retrospective will see over 30 different limited editions brought together in one place, including a selection of unseen portraits and new pieces created specifically for the exhibition. In addition to the unique curation of fine art prints, Lazarides Editions is thrilled to release an exclusive, hand-finished monograph, mapping the artist’s prolific career and exploring a wide range of progressive printed media.

Jonathan Yeo (b. London, 18 December 1970) is internationally reknowned for his portraits of iconic figures including Nicole Kidman, Damien Hirst, Malala Yousafzai, Kevin Spacey and Tony Blair. The British painter has exhibited extensively in Europe, North America and the Far East.

Yeo was never formally trained at art school, instead he taught himself how to paint in his early twenties while recovering from lymphatic cancer, before carving out a career in the nineties painting a range of prestigious cultural and political figures.

In 2007, Yeo’s work took a new direction when the White House reneged on a commission for him to paint a portrait of President George W. Bush. He went ahead with the picture anyway, creating a collaged likeness out of pornographic magazines, including a sexual act reportedly illegal in the state of Texas. The image was shown by Lazarides in London, New York and Los Angeles, resulting in immediate worldwide notoriety.

Jonathan Yeo sees his collages as a wry comment on the gradual pornographisation of advertising and the mass media. He says the portraits are playful references to the warped attitudes toward sex and morality, while the nudes emphasise the dramatically contrasting portrayals of the female body.

Yeo’s ability to fuse the figurative and abstract is ever evident in his work and transfers effectively into printmaking. His evolving interests in portraiture can be clearly charted through the various media, from the collage period through the surgery series and up to more recent high profile portraiture. To find out more about Yeo visit jonathanyeo.com/.

Lazarides Editions, a new gallery within London’s globally acclaimed Mondrian Hotel, will present a comprehensive schedule of bespoke exhibitions, artist collaborations and independent events in addition to a revolving curation of notable print editions.