Studio visits and commissions from visionary talents, with insider coverage of the art calendar’s premier events

Latest In art

July 27, 2014

Summer School: HVW8 Gallery

Art Lessons and Dance Sessions in the Californian Desert

From the brazen imagery of Amsterdam’s Parra to the internet-inspired visuals of the Kanye West-affiliated Canadian artist JJJJound, LA gallery HVW8 cultivates an international collision of pop culture and graphic design in a contemporary art setting. “We allow someone that might not be familiar with the artists we exhibit to see them in a lineage of El Lissitzky or Roy Lichtenstein, who to me are examples of fine graphic artists,” says HVW8 co-founder Tyler Gibney. This month the gallerist took psychedelic artists Erin D. Garcia, Teebs, Jean André and Alvaro “Freegums” Ilizarbe on a desert road trip for Summer School, an art and music weekender at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs featuring sun-kissed West Coast bands such as dance-punk duo De Lux. “I grew up with a Bauhaus education and I love the idea of artists teaching and exposing their craft,” says Gibney of the hands-on experience of Summer School’s workshops. Founded in 2011 by LA new music champions School Night and the Ace Hotel, the micro-festival’s inaugural line-up included cult mobile letterpress studio Movable Type, and Chris Johanson of the Mission School art movement. “I approach my drawings as a viewer, I want to understand why a choice is made and the reason behind it,” says Garcia, who took on collage class duties while Cali locals Teebs went cosmic with Japanese tie-dye alongside Ilizarbe’s infinity patterns, and Paris’s André showcased poster techniques. “I think there's an elegance in a simple idea that's communicated well.”

(Read More)





Richard Hamilton: Word and Image

The Late Pop Art Vanguard’s Printmaking is Remembered Ahead of a Blockbuster Year

Marilyn Monroe, bodybuilding contestants and cut-outs of seaside postcards populate Richard Hamilton’s mixed-media gaze in this series taken from a survey of prints at the Alan Cristea Gallery, London. Having worked with Hamilton for 30 years, Cristea collected his original screen prints into his first posthumous print catalogue Richard Hamilton: Word and Image. Prints 1963-2007, in a year that will see the artist lauded with a major retrospective at Tate Modern and an ancillary show at the ICA. Hamilton's magpie approach to social chronicling extended to painting, sculpture, photography, typography and collage, bringing to the fore the themes of status, power and consumer culture in 1950s and 1960s Britain. It was a method that resulted in memorable art works that segued into the popular sphere, such as the 1968 cover of The Beatles’ White Album, and  “Swingeing London 67” a silk screen of the arrest of Mick Jagger and the art dealer Robert Fraser that he began the same year. Hamilton, who died in 2011, owed part of his multidisciplinary stance to James Joyce, who he discovered while conscripted into military service. “Joyce commands all matter of literary styles and combines them into unprecedented display of linguistic pyrotechnics,” he said. “Presenting an example that later freed me to try some implausible associations in painting.”

Richard Hamilton Word and Image, Prints 1963-2007 runs February 14 through March 22 at Alan Cristea Gallery.

(Read More)


Jenny Holzer: Light Stream

Documenting the Neo-Conceptualist's Largest Kinetic Work in Hong Kong

New York artist Jenny Holzer’s LED slogans rise and fall to a John Cage soundtrack in today’s short from director Ringo Tang. Using an aesthetic that mixes Bladerunner’s visions of the postmodern megalopolis with The Matrix’s cascading waterfalls of code, Tang has constructed a video montage of Holzer’s latest polychromatic show Light Stream at Pearl Lam Galleries in Hong Kong. “I want to share the way I feel about her work with more people,” says the filmmaker, “and make them think more deeply about the value of the world.” Holzer first rose to prominence in 1982 when she showed her text works on the massive Spectacolor screen at Times Square, becoming part of a highly influential generation of female artists including Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman and Louise Lawler. “Light Stream” is her largest ever LED installation, comprising of three of her own classic texts—Truisms, Survival and Living—which appear in both English and Chinese and dance around her spiraling minimalist sculptures in eight-hour cycles of mechanical writing. “I became addicted to electronics,” says Holzer of her attraction to working with LED. “I just like looking at them, and making them do tricks.”

Why do you like to use such a variety of materials?
Jenny Holzer:
I like to provide different opportunities for people to read. When someone traces text cut in stone with their hand, that’s a very different experience to when one sees something in light flashing by. I might choose stone if it’s a text that’s meant to be immemorial, but if it’s a series of poetry I might want to use projected light. When a poem in light caresses a building, or floats across a river and glides over trees, it can be just right.

How do advances in technology change the way you work?
First I started with street posters because they were available to me and seemed to make sense for the sentences I was writing. After I did that anonymously for a number of years I had, really almost by accident, a chance to put something up on the big sign at One Times Square. So I had to think about what the change meant when I went from an underground medium, the poster, to an official one, the LED that’s typically used for advertising or the news.

What inspired “Light Stream”?
I wanted a piece to occupy space. My first electronic signs were very simple ones that would hang flat on the wall and I could program them on my kitchen table. I wanted to make this one more sculptural, to have a physical presence, probably because I was looking back to minimalism and my admiration for Donald Judd. I arranged my sculptures in arrays; some look like the human body, like ribs for example, other times it’s more about geometry. My next installation is the first that will wrap all the way around, so the text can break loose and go crazy. But I haven’t shown it yet; it’s still in the laboratory!

(Read More)

Previously In art

View Full art Archive