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Sophie Lee: Sugars, Protein and Salt - IMT Gallery

Exhibition preview

IMT Gallery is presenting an exhibition of new video work by Sophie Lee, Sugars, Protein and Salt, on display from September 5 to October 5, 2014.

For her latest project, Lee has created a two-part video work with individual parts shown simultaneously at IMT Gallery and Gowlett Peaks, with each part bleeding into the other like two sides of the same coin.

The works use an intricate interplay of video, text and sound as collage; collage being something Lee views as a fundamental methodology of many forms of contemporary art.

Through Lee’s work, writing and video are presented as a free space for the collision of cultural readymades and, out of this, the creation of new worlds or narratives.

These layers and juxtapositions of different materials and qualities form mesmerising, quasi-anthropological arenas of alchemical ciphers and cultural detritus: footage of a local park, super-real objects, lewd graffiti, iPhone video, a Palaeolithic thigh bone, a domestic interior, R&B.

Using collage both as content and form, Lee is interested in messages, communications and the histories of language from early message making, such as the painting and writing discovered on cave walls, through cuneiform and engraved stones to graffiti, font design and messages encoded in DNA.

Sophie Lee (b. 1988) recently graduated in 2012 with a BA in Fine Art Media from the Slade School of Fine Art, London. Recent exhibitions include M A K R A M I at PLAZAPLAZA, London (2013), Bread Show (in collaboration with Maxime Iten, Robert Self and Will Robinson) at SPACE, London (2013) and Young London 2013 at V22, London (2013).

Lee was the recipient of the Space/Bloomberg Studio ON Award in 2012 and was invited to produce Original Recipe Meal, an Artist Dinner Commission for Bold Tendencies, London. She lives and works in London.

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

Tel: +44 (0)20 8980 5475

Website: www.imagemusictext.com/

Top Fine Art Graduate show in South London‏

Samuel Turpin, Baroque on Reality, 280 x 240 cm, mixed media on paper.

Exhibition preview

GX GALLERY gather together a selection of the finest talent from leading Art Colleges and Universities including Camberwell, Wimbledon, Chelsea and St Martins for its annual exhibition, and FLOCK 2014 will be on display from August 8 to August 28.

As Nelson Mandela once said, ‘there are times when a leader must move out ahead of the flock’. However, in this instance, GX Gallery is in the privileged position to be behind and presenting a ‘Flock’ of emerging creative leaders.

All recent graduates are from Britain’s finest artistic establishments and on August 7 (opening reception) this highly diverse selection of artists are coming to showcase their talent, together, on one shared platform.

Included in the line-up of artists is Chelsea BA Fine Art graduate Noor Souddi. Born and raised in Abu Dhabi with a Libyan father and an Iranian mother, Souddi’s multicultural identity is central to her practice. Her diverse mixed media work centralises around Middle Eastern and Western identity and the veiled and unveiled female body. She said:

“Through the provocative game of concealing and revealing, my art focuses on exploring and investigating the relationship and line between the binary opposites of self-display versus self-concealment; female empowerment versus female oppression; veiling versus unveiling; and abstraction versus figuration. Rethinking the issues of gender, power and sexuality and disrupting the stereotypical images of women in contemporary society and the traditional female nude.”

Also among the selection of exhibiting artists is Camberwell College of Arts graduate, Polish born Monika Schodowska, who has directed her research towards former sites of the Cold War Era, social realist architecture and modernist estates. Through the use of powerful moving image, photography and installation, she has focused specifically on a variety of utopian forms, representations of power and forms of historical depiction. She said:

“I’m interested in how the past and memory is embedded in architectural framework and how it is redefined through the condition of a new space. The resulting new space offers a spatial and temporal extension into the past and future, into different existential structures of cultural forms. At the same time the reworked and redefined representation of history raises more questions leaving its subject unresolved, always in an on-going conflict. This conflict became a constant element in my work and has been a defining element of my methodology.”

Juxtaposing these powerful photographic creations and installations are Camberwell graduate Samuel Turpin’s painterly, energetic explosions. Chance happenings are created by the collision of a plethora of media and from this small detailed images become apparent. All the elements in Turpin’s paintings are then connected through lines and other various interactions, and furthermore by their placement on the vast surface. Turpin’s images stem from his reaction to the over-saturation of images within modern society. He said:

“I use a multi-disciplinary approach to image making to investigate my interest in different ways. My current focus has been on my drawing practice which has recently blended into the realm of painting; exploring mark-making, when line becomes splash becomes spill… A form of socio-cultural realism, the pictures resemble disrupted ethereal maps, hypothesising various temporally connected images, removed from their reproduced edifice to sit in a paradoxically truthful state as abstract drawings.”

In contrast to Turpin’s approach, graduate MacKenzie Gibson has created vast installations to represent juxtaposing opposites such as permanence and flexibility, form versus function, and conventional use of materials versus the unconventional use thereof. The main artistic concerns that surrounds Gibson’s practice focus on the physical immediacy between artist, material, and the labour of making. He said:

“I seek to highlight design within a fine art context, foregrounding human procession and contrasting potentiality versus the residue of human action. In doing so, I incorporate methodologies from architectural and design theory as well as experiment with a variety of materials, removing them from their typical contexts.”

Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 6pm.

GX Gallery, 43 Denmark Hill, London, SE5 8RS

Tel: +(0) 20 77038396

Website: www.gxgallery.com/

Empty Streets: Noel Gibson's East London (1967-75)

Brick Lane, Whitechapel by Noel Gibson.

Exhibition preview

EMPTY Streets: Noel Gibson’s East London (1967-75) will be on display at the Nunnery Gallery from August 1 to September 21, 2014.

This exhibition of works by Noel Gibson (1928 – 2005) continues the Nunnery Gallery’s Year of the Painting, a series of shows re-interpreting the role of the East London painter, exploring notions of memory, place and home.

Born in Glasgow in 1928, Gibson was a classic Londoner with an upbringing outside London and a social life and a lifestyle that mirrors the variety of life one could enjoy in the mid-twentieth century metropolis.

Gibson had several careers, or paid jobs, which facilitated his passion for painting. Unlike many artists, he also found some notable success in his lifetime with his work being sold internationally in the United States, Italy and in his adopted home London.

Gibson was an Everyman, exemplifying the new generation of post-war artists, obsessively recording the streets around them. Notably, Gibson’s paintings are almost entirely unpopulated. Standing amongst his large empty streets gives the viewer a sense of the peace of an early morning street before the crowds descend.

Bow Arts is grateful to have worked closely with Gary Haines and the Tower Hamlets Library and Archive service to curate this exhibition.

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm.

Nunnery Gallery, 181 Bow Road, London, E3 2SJ

Website: www.bowarts.org/nunnery

Rembrandt: The Late Works - National Gallery

Exhibition preview

THIS autumn, the National Gallery is presenting a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, Rembrandt: The Late Works. The first ever in-depth exploration of Rembrandt’s final years of painting, it will be on display in the Sainsbury Wing from October 15, 2014 to January 18, 2015.

Far from diminishing as he aged, Rembrandt’s creativity gathered new energy in the closing years of his life. It is the art of these late years – soulful, honest and deeply moving – that indelibly defines our image of Rembrandt the man and the artist.

This landmark exhibition, featuring unprecedented loans from around the world, is a unique opportunity to experience the passion, emotion and innovation of Rembrandt, the greatest master of the Dutch Golden Age.

Betsy Wieseman, Curator of Rembrandt: The Late Works, says: “Even three-and-a-half centuries after his death, Rembrandt continues to astonish and amaze. His technical inventions, and his profound insight into human emotions, are as fresh and relevant today as they were in the 17th century.”

From the 1650s until his death, Rembrandt (1606-1669) consciously searched for a new style that was even more expressive and profound. He freely manipulated printing and painting techniques in order to give traditional subjects new and original interpretations.

The exhibition illuminates his versatile mastery by dividing paintings, drawings and prints thematically in order to examine the ideas that preoccupied him during these final years: self-scrutiny, experimental technique, the use of light, the observation of everyday life, inspiration from other artists and responses to artistic convention, as well as expressions of intimacy, contemplation, conflict and reconciliation.

Rembrandt: The Late Works features approximately 40 paintings, 20 drawings and 30 prints – each undisputedly by the master himself. Private and institutional lenders have proved exceptionally generous with outstanding loans from collections across the world.

Key works include: The ‘Jewish Bride (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), An Old Woman Reading (The Buccleuch Collection, Scotland), A Man in Armour (Glasgow Museums: Art Gallery, Kelvingrove), A Young Woman Sleeping (British Museum, London), Juno (Hammer Museum, Los Angeles), Portrait of a Blond Man (National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne), The Suicide of Lucretia (The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota), Bathsheba with King David’s Letter (Musée du Louvre, Paris), Titus at his Desk (Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam), A Portrait of a Lady with a Lap Dog (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto), Lucretia (National Gallery of Art, Washington DC) and the National Gallery’s own A Woman Bathing in a Stream and Portrait of Frederik Rihel on Horseback.

The exhibition gives visitors new insight into some of Rembrandt’s most iconic works such as, The Sampling Officials of the Amsterdam Drapers’ Guild (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) better known as The Syndics, revealing his brilliance in combining light and shadow and colour and texture, to give a radical visual impact to a traditional portrait. Numerous examples of Rembrandt’s finest etchings demonstrate his skilful development of printing techniques to achieve unique effects.

A highlight of the exhibition is the juxtaposition of a number self portraits including Self Portrait as the Apostle Paul (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), Self Portrait with Two Circles (English Heritage, The Iveagh Bequest (Kenwood)), Self Portrait Wearing a Turban (Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague), and Self Portrait at the Age of 63 (National Gallery).

The latter two, painted in the final years of his life, show Rembrandt’s exceptional honesty in recording his own features as he aged.

In one of the most moving works in the exhibition, the so-called Jewish Bride (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam), Rembrandt depicted a couple’s tender affection for each other with exquisite sensitivity. Upon viewing this painting for the first time in 1885, Vincent van Gogh confessed to a friend that he would gladly give up 10 years of his life to be able to sit in front of the painting for a fortnight with only a crust of dry bread to eat.

He exclaimed in a letter to his brother Theo: ‘‘What an intimate, what an infinitely sympathetic painting.’‘

It is this relentless, unfettered creativity of Rembrandt that influenced countless printmakers, painters and draughtsman in the generations that followed him, and which continues to inspire artists today.

Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Dutch Shell plc, the exhibition sponsor says:

“As a global company with strong Anglo-Dutch roots stretching back more than a century, Shell is proud to sponsor this stunning collection of art works from such a celebrated and pioneering Dutch master. This exhibition is a study in innovation, a reminder of what is possible when conventions are challenged and imagination set free.”

NB: Rembrandt: The Late Works will screen in cinemas across the UK from December 2, 2014 and then worldwide in 45 countries from February 17, 2015, filmed exclusively for the big screen in high definition.

There is a 304-page publication to accompany the exhibition – Rembrandt: The Late Works by Jonathan Bikker (Research Curator, Rijksmuseum) and Gregor J.M. Weber (Head of the Department of Fine Arts, Rijksmuseum); with contributions by Erik Hinterding (Curator of Prints, Rijksmuseum), Marjorie E. Wieseman (Curator of Dutch and Flemish Paintings, The National Gallery), Marijn Schapelhouman (Senior Curator of Drawings, Rijksmuseum) and Anna Krekeler (Paintings Restorer, Rijksmuseum). Price: £35.00 hardback. There will also be a French edition.

Tickets: Adult: £18; Senior (60+): £16; Job Seeker/Student/National Art Pass (with proof of status): £9. These ticket prices include a voluntary donation to the National Gallery. Prices excluding voluntary donation are: Adult: £16; Senior (60+): £14; Job Seeker/Student/National Art Pass: £8. Under 12’s – Free with a paying ticket holder. Visitors are advised to book early to avoid disappointment.

Opening Times: Daily from 10am to 6pm (last admission 5.15pm); Fridays from 10am to 9pm (last admission 8.15pm).

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN

Website: www.nationalgallery.org.uk/

Making Colour, the first exhibition of its kind in the UK and one that offers visitors an exceptional opportunity to discover the wide-ranging materials used to create colour in paintings and other works of art, is on display at the National Gallery until September 7, 2014.

Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age will be on dispaly in the Barbican Art Gallery from September 25, 2014 to January 11, 2015.

Since the very first photograph, architecture has proved to be an enduring subject matter for photographers. Constructing Worlds looks beyond the medium’s ability to simply document the built world and explores the power of photography to reveal wider truths about society.

The exhibition brings together 250 works – some rarely seen and many shown in the UK for the first time – by 18 leading photographers from the 1930s to now, who have changed the way we view architecture and think about the world in which we live.

Constructing Worlds takes the visitor on a global journey of 20th and 21st century architecture, from Berenice Abbott’s ground-breaking photographs charting the birth of the skyscraper in New York to the recent dramatic growth of Chinese urbanisation recorded by Nadav Kander.

Exhibition events in September include a rare opportunity to hear American photographer Stephen Shore in conversation with the writer Gerry Badger (September 26, 2014 at 7pm).

The exhibition is at the heart of the Constructing Worlds season – a constellation of projects that celebrate the interplay of photography, architecture and life. This includes a new commission in the Curve by the internationally acclaimed artist Walead Beshty, a dedicated film strand City Visions and a brand new film commission and residency by Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine.

Tickets: £8 – £12, Under 12s: Free.

Opening hours: Saturday to Wednesday, 10am – 6pm; Thursday and Friday, 10am – 9pm; Bank Holidays: 12noon – 6pm.

Barbican Centre, Silk St, London, EC2Y 8DS

Tel: 0845 120 7550

Website: www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, the first major exhibition devoted to Jean Paul Gaultier, the celebrated French couturier, is on display in the Barbican Art Gallery until August 25, 2014.

Rotimi Fani-Kayode at Tiwani Contemporary

Image by Rotimi Fani-Kayode

Exhibition preview

A RETROSPECTIVE exhibition featuring the work of photographer Rotimi Fani-Kayode will be on display at Tiwani Contemporary from September 19 to November 1, 2014.

Rotimi Fani-Kayode (1955-1989) remains one of the most significant names in the history of photography, despite the fact his career was cut short by his death in Brixton aged 34.

This new exhibition will feature a selection of his most important photographic works produced between 1985-1989, including large-scale colour works and arresting black and white images.

Fani-Kayode uses the medium of photography not only to question issues of sexuality and homoerotic desire, but also to address themes of diaspora and belonging, and the tensions between his homosexuality and his Yoruba upbringing.

Rotimi Fani-Kayode was born in Lagos, Nigeria to a prominent Yoruba family, who left Africa as refugees in 1966 and moved to Brighton in the UK. He later studied at Georgetown University and the Pratt Institute in the USA, before settling permanently in the UK in 1983 where he lived and worked until his early death from a short and unexpected illness on December 21, 1989.

The main body of Fani-Kayode’s work was created between 1983 and 1989. His photographs have been exhibited internationally since 1985, including several solo exhibitions presented by Autograph ABP, at Harvard University, USA in 2009; Rivington Place, London in 2011; and Iziko South African National Gallery, South Africa in 2014.

In 2003, his work featured in the African Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, and in 2011 in ARS 11 at Kiasma-Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland. His works are represented in the permanent collections of the V&A Museum in London, the Artur Walther Foundation, NY/Neu-Ulm, and in numerous other international private and public collections.

Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11am to 6pm; Saturday, 12 noon to 5pm; Sunday and Monday closed.

Tiwani Contemporary, 16 Little Portland Street, London, W1W 8BP

Tel: +44 (0)20 7631 3808

Website: www.tiwani.co.uk/

Roman Ostia: Ancient Ruins, Modern Art

Doves (end of 1st century BC to start of 1st century AD). Mosaic, 45 x 44.3cm. Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma.

Exhibition preview

AN EXHIBITION entitled Roman Ostia: Ancient Ruins, Modern Art will be on display at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art from September 24 to December 21, 2014.

Roman Ostia: Ancient Ruins, Modern Art brings together marbles, mosaics and antiquities from the archaeological site of Ostia near Rome, many of which have never been seen in the UK, with the work of two modern Italian artists, Umberto Mastroianni and Ettore De Conciliis.

Spanning classical statuary, abstract sculpture, and painting, the show reflects on the enduring nature of human creativity, and its constantly changing character.

The ancient statuary of Ostia portrays gods, emperors and scenes such as chariot races at the Roman Circus. A full length marble statue from the 3rd century AD shows Hercules standing heroically with his club; intricate mosaics and wall paintings from nearby Isola Sacra, Ostia’s cemetery, are among the finest examples from the site.

These Roman antiquities reflect the taste and culture of Ostia’s inhabitants; objects that surrounded them in life and death.

Forming a backdrop to these works of classical statuary and mosaic are a number of specially commissioned paintings by Ettore De Conciliis (b. 1941). Monumental in scale, the paintings have been inspired by Ostia and depict the atmospheric play of light across the site’s ruins and along the river Tiber.

Accompanying these are paintings and sculptures by Umberto Mastroianni (1910-1998), one of the most important figures in 20th century Italian sculpture. Mastroianni is best known today for his monumental works commemorating the Resistance, in which he fought. In 1958 he was awarded the prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale.

With their abstract character and dynamic, even explosive qualities, Mastroianni’s three-dimensional compositions almost appear as archaeological fragments themselves, recalling great gears and mechanical components which, once active and powerful, now appear frozen and without function.

The ancient harbour city of Ostia was an essential link to the capital of the Roman Empire. At the mouth of the river Tiber, 25 km southwest of Rome, the city was a commercial hub and a melting pot of many cultures, equipped with a theatre, baths, bakeries, warehouses, bars and shops.

Cicero states that the settlement was founded in the 7th century BC by the legendary king Ancus Marcius. The earliest archaeological remains date to the 4th century BC, and include a military fort and city walls. By the 2nd century BC, Ostia had developed into a trade centre and after intense construction during the 1st century AD it was transformed into a city of fire-baked brick.

The exhibition is organised in collaboration with Soprintendenza Speciale per I Beni Archeologici di Roma and Il Cigno GG Edizioni.

Image: Doves (end of 1st century BC to start of 1st century AD). Mosaic, 45 × 44.3cm. Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma.

Admission: £5, £3.50 concessions (includes entry to exhibition and permanent collection).

Opening Hours: Wednesdays to Saturdays, 11am to 6pm; Sundays, 12 noon to 5pm; closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

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

Tel: +44 (0)20 7704 9522

Website: www.estorickcollection.com/

New gallery of Early Egypt opens at the British Museum

The British Museum

ON JULY 14, 2014, as part of a refurbishment of the ever popular Ancient Egyptian galleries, the British Museum re-opened a gallery space dedicated to Early Egypt.

Ancient Egyptian civilisation is the product of more than 5000 years of development. The galley focuses on the earliest, prehistoric, phases of this development (from 8500BC to 3100BC) down to the end of the Second Dynasty and the beginning of the Pyramid Age, presented in the light of advances in the museum’s understanding gained from over two decades of intensive research.

The new gallery includes the re-display of objects long held in the collection as well as a selection of materials only recently acquired.

Among the most exciting of the new acquisitions are the materials from the site of Jebel Sahaba, now in northern Sudan, which were donated to the museum by Dr Fred Wendorf in 2002. Excavating here in the 1960s, Dr Wendorf found a cemetery dating back to about 11,000BC, making it one of the earliest organised burial grounds anywhere in the world.

At this time life was hard, as the Nile Valley was cold and dry, the river wild and high, and resources were scarce. Remnants of weapons, found in the bodies of 40% of the 61 men, women and children buried here indicate that they died of inflicted wounds, the earliest evidence for communal violence in history. The gallery includes the display of two of the victims and the remains of the actual weapons that killed them, recreating the burials as they were found. This is the first time these skeletons have been shown in public.

Other objects from Dr Wendorf’s excavations are allowing us to trace the beginnings of Ancient Egyptian civilization to nomadic people who roamed in what is now the Sahara desert, after it had been transformed into a savannah by the warmer and wetter climate following the last Ice Age.

From about 8000BC, using some of the earliest pottery known from Africa and herding its earliest domesticated cattle, these pastoralists lived in this precarious environment, until gradually the climate turned dry again. Forced to abandon the desert by 4400BC, they settled in oases and along the river banks. There they took up farming, an innovation from the Levant, setting in motion the social and technological developments that led directly to the advent of the Dynastic Egyptian civilization at about 3100BC.

The gallery explores the accelerated cultural developments in the 5th and 4th millennium BC following the emergence of settled farming communities. These include the creation of a series of female figurines that are amongst the oldest known Egyptian sculptures of the human form. Boldly carved from hippopotamus ivory or elegantly modelled from clay they were made by Badarian farmers at about 4200BC.

It also examines the distinctive cultures in northern and southern Egypt, religious concepts and practices, the introduction of specialized crafts and the establishment of international trade relations.

Another key feature of the gallery is the display of Gebelein Man, the best preserved example of natural mummification dating to around 3500BC. A virtual autopsy table, a state-of-the-art interactive tool based on medical visualisation will let visitors explore this natural mummy for themselves and learn how the museum has been able to discover his age and determine the surprising way that he died.

Using the interactive touchscreen and the gesture based interface developed by the Interactive Institute and Visualization Center C in Sweden, it is possible to strip away the skin to expose his skeleton, and make virtual slices to view his internal organs and his brain, still present in the skull, organs that were often removed when the ancient Egyptians began to artificially mummify bodies.

The process of unifying Egypt under one king began near the end of the prehistoric, or ‘predynastic’ period, about 3300BC and culminated 200 years later in the First Dynasty. Actual events are unknown, but the early rulers (including Egypt’s first king Narmer) recorded their victories on beautifully carved temple objects. They saw themselves fighting these battles on behalf of the gods, to protect the world from chaos.

Two of the most important of these temple objects are redisplayed in the gallery: the Hunters Palette, the earliest of the elaborately carved temple palettes, and also the first to show the beginning of the very specific way the ancient Egyptians depicted the human form, and the Battlefield Palette, which has been reunited with its joining piece on long-term loan from the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

The early origins of writing and the technological developments during the first dynasties that made the age of the pyramids possible are some of the other themes which are explored.

The hieroglyphic script is a distinctive aspect of ancient Egyptian culture, but its origins are controversial. Once thought to have been borrowed from Mesopotamia, Egyptian writing is now understood as an independent invention. Small labels dating to 3250 BC, found in Abydos (in southern, Upper, Egypt) Tomb U-j, provide the evidence. Most show symbols, but some bear hieroglyphic signs denoting sound values that write place names.

These hieroglyphs are unlike anything known earlier, suggesting that writing was a deliberate creation by early rulers to control a growing bureaucracy. Labels like those found in Abydos, and possibly originating from that tomb, are on display.

Unification brought rapid advances and prosperity. First Dynasty kings were buried at Abydos, with everything needed to make their huge tombs luxurious palaces for eternity – food, dishes, furniture, jewellery, tools, weapons and even board games (the gaming table and playing pieces for mehen, the ‘snake game’ will be on display).

When a First Dynasty king died he took with him not only all the luxuries needed for a palace in the afterlife, but also the people to run it. Wives, officials, bodyguards, and servants were interred around his tomb and funerary temple. The fact that most were adolescents or young adults show their deaths were not natural. Reaffirming the king’s power for eternity, their sacrifice also guaranteed the retainers privileged positions in the afterlife.

One of the sacrifice courtiers was a person called Nefer, meaning ‘beautiful’, who was one of a dozen people with dwarfism buried amongst the retainers surrounding the tombs of First Dynasty kings. From his depiction, we can tell he had a genetic condition called achondroplasia. In Ancient Egypt this was not considered a disability, but a mark of divine favour. Such individuals were valued members of the royal court, they were also among the select few to have limestone stelae placed on the low mounds covering their graves. Nefer’s limestone stelae is on display in the gallery.

The new Early Egypt gallery covers over 5000 years of dynamic experimentation during which many of the characteristics that came to typify ancient Egyptian civilization were first developed. Through the display the visitor will gain a better understanding of how and why this occurred and the debt that the Egyptians of later times owed to their early ancestors.

British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

Website: www.britishmuseum.org/

Exhibitions for 2014.

The Dandy Lion Portrait Session

Exhibition preview

SHANTRELLE P. Lewis’ The Dandy Lion Project is a captivating travelling exhibition project featuring images by international photographers and filmmakers from various regions around the world.

Their subject matter is young Black men in city-landscapes across the globe, who defy stereotypical and monolithic understandings of masculinity.

Juxtaposed against an urban backdrop where the clothing of choice for many black men consists of a pair of sagging pants, exposed boxers, jerseys and white tees, the “hip hop” generation has produced another phenomenon of style – the New Age dandy.

All subjects are men of African descent, yet are as diverse in ethnicity as the exhibit’s photographers. Also, the exhibition is not specific to locale – images were shot in various places around the Diaspora including throughout the U.S, South Africa, the Congo and Europe.

The men photographed are exceptional in both style and manners and provide the opportunity for a paradigm shift to occur as it relates to how men of African descent are seen and how they see themselves.

Founded in 2010, the exhibition project has travelled to several institutions in the U.S and Europe and will be on view at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago in Spring 2015.

Sara Shamsavari, one of the Dandy Lion Project’s contributing photographic arists will be introducing The Dandy Lion Project by way of a unique portrait session forming part of this year’s African Street Style Festival held at Shoreditch London’s historical Calvert Avenue.

Dandy Lions will be invited to participate in the portrait session on July 27, 2014, between 12 noon and 3pm (free). The festival will continue to 7pm.

Sara Shamsavari’s internationally acclaimed work is recognised for challenging stereotypes with projects including London Veil and Britain Retold – A Portrait of London.

Curator Shantrelle P. Lewis said:

“I have been a long time fan of Sara Shamsavari’s work. She engages her subjects and captures the whimsical and colourful aspects of dandyism that makes us all enthralled with her images of the UK’s most sartorial gentlemen. I’m absolutely thrilled about her participation in the Dandy Lion Project and can’t wait to see what she creates during her upcoming portrait session.”

The Dandy Lion Project Gallery.

Calvert Avenue and Arnold Circus, Shoreditch, London, E2

Omar Ba: State of Emergency - Hales Gallery

Omar Ba, Afrique, Afrique, Afrique, 2014, oil, gouache, ink and pencil on corrugated carton, 190 x 143 cm.

Exhibition preview

HALES Gallery has announced its first solo exhibition with Senegalese artist Omar Ba. Entitled State of Emergency, it will be on display from September 3 to October 4, 2014.

Having lived both in Senegal and Switzerland, Omar Ba’s works combine memories of his motherland with experiences of his current home in Geneva.

Ba predominantly makes paintings directly onto corrugated cardboard sheets, the artists preferred surface. His relocation from Dakar to Geneva has had a major effect on his work bringing together both African and Western influences often centred around single figures, isolated on blackened surfaces.

The highly patterned and elaborate paintings draw together imagery associated with famine, tribal decoration, factional warfare and despotic self-styled leaders, along with advances in new technology and popular culture.

These almost mythological, ‘folklore’ inspired beings are not void of Western influences which serve as a nod to Postmodernity and the culture of ‘now’.

Omar Ba (b. Senegal, 1977) received his formal education in both Senegal (l’Ecole Nationale des Beaux-arts, Senegal, 2002) and Switzerland (l’Ecole Supérieur des Beaux-arts, Geneva, 2005 and ECAVMAPS Arts in Public Spheres, 2011). Selected exhibitions include: Biennale de Dakar (Dakar, Senegal, 2014), Vitalic (Hales Gallery, London, UK, 2013), La Jeunesse est un art (Manor Kunstpreis, Aagauer Kunsthaus, Aarau, Switzerland, 2012), Swiss Art Awards (Bale, Switzerland), and others.

In 2011, Ba received the prestigious Swiss Art Award. 2014 saw the publication of The Prophecy of the People of Durban/La Prophetie des Gens de Durban, the artist’s most recent catalogue. Ba’s works can be found in private and public collections, including Credit Suisse, Fonds municipal d’art contemporain de la Ville de Geneve, Fonds municipal d’art contemporain de la Ville de Paris, Centre national des arts plastiques, France, and others.

Ba lives and works in Geneva, Switzerland.

Opening Times: Wednesday to Saturday, 11am – 6pm; or by appointment.

Hales Gallery, Tea Building, 7 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA

Website: www.halesgallery.com/