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Friday 25th February 2011Creative Flash Photography

 
Roel Wouters and Jonathan Puckey, of Conditional Design, always seem to be able to inject fun, innovation and audience participation into their interesting photography or video projects. 
 
Their prior project, One Frame of Fame, saw the creation of a music video with the help of a growing online audience. The aim of the game is that they show us a frame from the music video that has already been created, then anyone with a webcam was able to copy that frame, with themselves as the star. You can submit your own frame to be included in the video along with others who have also submitted their version.
 
Throughout the More is Less music video, the homemade copy cats are introduced to match the frames of the original video, creating a layering effect throughout. The video is still open for submissions, with 29,711 people having participated so far. 
 
Their latest photography project is also pretty interesting, and again interactive. Flitser.org is a site that hosts a number of photographs that were taken by people who downloaded the Flitser app for iPhone 4. With the app, people were required to take pictures in a reflective surface, using the flash from the phone, then submitting them to the project. 
 
Once uploaded, the photographs are then manipulated in a variety of ways by visitors to the site. There is a setting called Follower, for example, where moving the cursor across the screen sees the photographs quickly changing, with the position of the flash in the image following your cursor. 
 
In another setting entitled Circle, the photographs interchange quickly, with the instances of the flash drawing the outline of a circle.  It's definitely fun to have a quick play around, and we hope to see more creative projects like this in the future!

Posted on February 25th 2011 on 01:34pm
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Labels: photography

Thursday 24th February 2011Anselm Kiefer Creates A Reinterpretation of Jason and the Argonauts

A pencil on photograph work by Kiefer from "Die Argonauten", 1990/2010 (Courtesy Anselm Kiefer/Gallery Thaddaeus Ropac/Ivorypress)
 
Anselm Kiefer is the latest artist to work with the Ivorypress to product a stunning artist book, following the success of artist books by Gerhard Richter and Richard Long.
 
As the third volume to be produced in the LiberArs series, Kiefer has created a publication called Die Argonauten: Anselm Kiefer that takes another look at the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts. As an art project, Kiefer has been working on this subject matter for the best part of 20 years, and now the works that fill the pages of the book are on show in Madrid at the Ivorypress Art space. 
 
The works on display in the exhibition, which is entitled Anselm Kiefer, Die Argonauten, after the book, are all works of pencil on top of photographs and they track the tale of Jason as he makes his way through the obstacles before him as he searches for the Golden Fleece. 
 
Ivorypress founder, Elena Ochoa Foster, wife of architect Norma Foster, first met Kiefer while he was working in Barjac in the South of France, and came to form a relationship through which the idea of this artist book flourished. 
 
The 27 works in the series that make up Die Argonauten have been described by Kiefer as "trivial and everyday in context", saying that "banality is the best starting point for making your own discoveries and I think the insignificant is more meaningful for the observer."
 
As well as offering up these great photographs by Kiefer, the book also includes text by the artist that takes the reader into the processes and thoughts that were floating around as Kiefer put this whole project together. 

Posted on February 24th 2011 on 06:42pm
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Wednesday 23rd February 2011Landmark Photography, with a Twist

Saint Basil's Cathedral, Moscow
 
Is anyone sick of seeing the same photographs of the worlds great monuments, the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, the Pyramids of Giza, the former World Trade Centre in New York? If the answer is yes, then I'd like to point you in the direction of Switzerland-based artist Corinne Vionnet, which I came about on a blog post at My Modern Metropolis
 
Vionnet plays with the idea that we all go to the same places and take the same photographs, and that world has become a microcosm where few experiences are left as unique or untouched by globalisation. 
 
Louvre Pyramid, Paris
 
While the images that Vionnet produces may appear, at first, to be blurred versions of photographs taken at famous places, that's not the case. The artist spent a fair amount of time raking through the image archives and sharing sites of the internet, scooping up images of famous landmarks around the world. She then layers hundreds of these photographs one on top of the other to reproduce hundreds of views of the same place, all in one photograph. 
 
The photographs not only demonstrate how over-saturated we are with repetitive imagery but they act as a document of the passage of time around moments captured by hundreds of people across the globe. The project becomes a demonstration of collective memory and the ubiquity, and democratisation of photography as a means of capturing the world around us. 
 
You can view the full series of images on Alice's Blog
 
The Taj Mahal, India

Posted on February 23rd 2011 on 10:08pm
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Labels: photography

Saturday 19th February 2011Google Celebrates the 135th Birthday of Constantin Brancusi

Google continues it's great run of themed 'Google Doodles', each celebrating a specific date or occassion. Today's graphic sees the Google logo transfored into a series of sculptures by Romanian-born artist Constantin Brâncuşi.
 
Today marks Brâncuşi's 135th birthday and so it seems a fitting day to take a sneak peak at the sculptors life, and why he has successfully made it into the records of art history. 
 
Born in Romania in 1876, Brâncuşi proved to have a talent for sculpting from an early age where he would competently carve wooden farm tools. As he got older, he took those skills forward formally, first in Bucharest and Munich, before reaching the pinnacle of artistic schooling at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. 
 
In Paris, Brâncuşi honed his skills, and perfected a clean, geometric style with an astounding sense of balance and abstract symbolism. His brave style and creative artistic output in the early 20th-century has earned him the accolade of being considered one of the foremost pioneers of modernism. 
 
Interestingly, in his early days in Paris, Brâncuşi was invited to study at the studio of Auguste Rodin, a titan in the world of sculpture. After two months at the studio, Brâncuşi left, saying that "nothing can grow under big trees". Brâncuşi felt that, due to Rodin's position and stature as a sculptor, he would be less able to develop a style true to himself if he continued to work there. Brâncuşi showed a strength of character that undoubtedly allowed him to really work to define himself as an artist, instead of remaining in the shadows of his teachers. 
 
Works in Atelier Brâncuşi, Paris.
Photograph by Edal Anton Leftrov, 2010
 
Along with Rodin, Brâncuşi also spent time with Pablo Picasso, Man Ray and Henri Rousseau; a vibrant selection of artists, who no doubt helped Brâncuşi to reach his full potential and revolutionise sculpture for future generations. 
 
Brâncuşi worked with a range of materials including marble, bronze, limestone and wood, and by the time of his death in 1957 he had created more than 215 sculptures. Amongst his most famous works are Sleeping Muse (1908), The Kiss (1908), Mademoiselle Pogany (1913), Bird in Space (1919) and The Column of the Infinite (1938).
 
At the time of his death, a large body of his work was bequeathed to the Romanian Government, however they turned it down, and it was given, instead, to the French Government. A great many of Brâncuşi's works can be seen today in museums around the world, where we can celebrate his contribution to art and art history. 
 
 

Posted on February 19th 2011 on 12:26pm
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Labels: sculpture

Thursday 17th February 2011British Watercolour on Show at Tate Britain

 
Yesterday marked the beginning of an exhibition at Tate Britain devoted to this history of watercolour in Britain. Often viewed less favourably than mediums such as oil painting and sculpture amongst buyers in the art market, this exhibition aims to chart the development of watercolour from the Middle Ages through to present day, and shed some new light on the matter. 
 
There are around 200 works in the show from artists as diverse as JMW Turner, William Blake, Peter Doig, Anish Kapoor and Tracey Emin. Long thought to have reached its peak during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century in the 'golden age' of British watercolour, the exhibition will prove that there is a greater history tailing back as far as medieval illuminated manuscripts.
 
Watercolour has often been looked down upon by the art elite because of it's more common and ubiquitous use. Being cheaper and more easily available than oils, watercolour has taken a role as a more democratic medium. That being said, watercolour is an extremely flexible medium that is used by amateur artists and professionals alike. 
 
Watercolour is also notoriously portable and quick drying which has always made it usable for artists on the move and those who like to capture their subjects in the field. The exhibition makes good note of this, having great landscape works by Turner and battlefield scenes from the likes of Paul Nash. 
 
In the run up to the exhibition, the Tate ran a debate on Twitter asking following to weigh in on their views of watercolour as a medium and whether it is a stuck as a traditional mode of painting or whether it can be a visionary medium. Thankfully, the consensus seemed to be that the medium was as relevant as ever and very much loved. 
 
The exhibition is part of The Great British Art Debate and is a HFL funded project. The show will run through until the 16th August this year.  

Posted on February 17th 2011 on 05:58pm
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Wednesday 16th February 2011Love for Roberto Matta on the 100th Anniversary of his Birth

 A general view of several works by Chilean surrealist artist Roberto Matta that form part of a retrospective exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of the artist's birth, at the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno in Valencia. EPA/JUAN CARLOS CARDENAS.
 
Today's post is a little bit of a guilty pleasure, and I say that because my fascination with painting really hit a massive surge when I was very young after I fell in love with Chilean Surrealist artist Roberto Matta.  The strong graphic appeal of his work and the space-age, futuristic stylings of some of his paintings were a massive draw for me. I think that period of trying to get to know more about Matta's work, and being exposed to his creations has informed how I relate to art and the styles that I find most pleasure in now. 
 
Personal indulgence over, the reason for the resurgence of my fanaticism is that a retrospective of Matta's work has gone on show in at the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno in Spain, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the artists birth. 
 
This celebratory event comprises around 32 of Matta's paintings, which highlight the reasons why he is considered to be one of the greatest Surrealist artists of the 20th-century. He was integral to the continual development of Surrealism throughout the modern period and it's transference from Europe to America. 
 
Matta began traveling in Europe in 1933, after training as an architect in Chile, having the good fortune to meet and work with famed architect Le Corbusier. He arrived in Paris in 1935 and it was there that he honed the artistic skills and styles that we now associate with his work. He was very much involved with the artistic community in Paris, working with the likes of Picasso, Miró and Magritte, before he was invited to join the Surrealist movement in 1937, thanks to an introduction to leading Surrealist André Breton. 
 
His move to New York in 1939, at the outbreak of World War II, saw him bridge the Atlantic gap. His personality, innovative pictorial creations and fascinating technique meant that he received a great amount of attention from the American school, leading him to influence such important artists as Robert Motherwell, Arshile Gorky and even Jackson Pollock. As well as having had a huge impact on Surrealism, it's clear from these names that Matta also had a hand in encouraging stylistic developments in Abstract Expressionism, although Matta was never part of that movement. 
 
This retrospective in Valencia runs until the 1st May and is not one to be missed for anyone with an interest in Surrealism, or who would like to learn more about one of the most interesting and influential figures in 20th-century art. 
 

Posted on February 16th 2011 on 05:39pm
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Labels: exhibitions

Tuesday 15th February 2011There's A New James on the Block at MI6

James Hart Dyke, Waiting in the Hotel Room, 2010
 
2009 marked the centenary year of MI6, the British Secret Service, and to commemorate the occasion, they invited artist James Hart Dyke behind the scenes of the legendary organisation in order to observe what truly goes on in the world of espionage. 
 
Dyke is no stranger to top class missions and facing dangerous situations for his art. Previous projects that he has worked on have included painting in war zones with the British Forces and accompanying HRH The Prince of Wales on foreign royal tours. His latest mission with MI6 is now the subject of an exhibition at Mount Street Galleries in London, although everyone involved is quick to point out that none of the drawings or paintings that are on show reveal any sensitive information about the Secret Service or its agents. 
 
For the first time, we can now get a glimpse at an outsiders unique rendition of the existence of those who work for MI6. The paintings and drawings are said to have a great amount of mystique and ambiguity that reflects upon the manner in which the the work of the MI6 agents is often surreal and even glamourous to us as viewers.
 
Dyke is said to have found the project very challenging, given that there were a great many restrictions and limitations to what he could be exposed to while at Vauxhall Cross, the Secret Service headquarters. Each and every observation that he made has been highly scrutinised and screened before being allowed to go on public view, and he was limited in the amount of time that he could spend painting on location. 
 
The outcome of the project is certainly fascinating, and strikes up a great amount of curiosity. Here is our chance to move beyond the myth of James Bond and find out what it's really like to be a secret agent. 
 
For more information about James Hart Dyke, visit his personal website, and for details of the exhibition, visit the Mount Street Galleries website.

Posted on February 15th 2011 on 06:04pm
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Saturday 05th February 2011The Guggenheim Documents the Great Upheaval

Gino Severini, Red Cross Train Passing a Village (Train de la Croix Rouge traversant un village), summer 1915 (detail). Oil on canvas, 88.9 x 116.2 cm. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Founding Collection  44.944. © 2009 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
 
A new exhibition devoted to modern art has opened at the Guggenheim in New York, titled The Great Upheaval: Modern Art from the Guggenheim Collection
 
The exhibition, which focuses on the years 1910-1918, highlights just how active and pivotal this period was, as artists made their way towards abstraction in the light of World War I. The title itself makes reference to the Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) group, which was founded by Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc, who made the prediction that a große Umwälzung (great upheaval) was upon the arts, that would radically challenge tradition. 
 
The years leading up to, and during the First World War were a time of great productivity in the arts, and saw traditional modes of depiction and creation being left behind in the wake of the spread of a modern industrial age.
 
The Guggenheims founder, Solomon R. Guggenheim, and his wife Irene Rothschild started to collect modern art, not long after the First World World War, after they became involved with German artist Hilla Rebay. Rebay was commissioned to paint Guggenheims portrait, but the relationship didn't stop there. Rebay took to guiding Guggenheim and Rothschild away from collecting the likes of the old masters and the French Barbizon school, and moving more towards collecting modern art. 
 
In 1929 Guggenheim started to take a great deal more interest in the artists of his time and took to learning more about the motivations of artists that were active in the early part of the 20th century. As a result, Guggenheim collected the works of artists such as Robert Delaunay, Wassiliy Kandinsky and Albert Gleizes. 
 
The Great Upheaval exhibition is arranged chronologically around the spiral of the Frank Lloyd-Wright building that houses the Guggenheim collection in New York, which aims to highlight the steps taken towards eventual abstraction. The exhbition runs until the 1st June, 2011 and full details are available on the Guggenheim website.

Posted on February 05th 2011 on 06:21pm
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Thursday 03rd February 2011Take A Virtual Art Stroll with Google's New Art Project

Everyone seems to be buzzing about Google's latest release, the Google Art Project. Launched this week, the project sees 17 of the worlds top cultural institutions getting on board to allow visitors through their doors no matter where they are based in the world. 
 
Each of the institutions have chosen one artwork to be showcased on the Google Art Project, with that chosen work being photographed in 7 billion pixels worth of detail and displayed online for the world to view. Like this example of The Bedroom from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam:
 
 
Alongside the artwork, there is also the opportunity to take a virtual stroll around some of the galleries at these institutions (below you can see The Bedroom in situ). An interactive floor plan of each venue allows you to choose between the available rooms, and be transported there in an instant. Google used their now infamous street-view-style photography to capture the inside of each of these institutions, amongst which you will find:
  • Museo Thyseen - Bornemisza, Madrid
  • Uffizi Gallery, Florence
  • Tate Britain, London
  • Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian, Washington, DC
  • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
  • National Gallery, London
  • The Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid
  • Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Gemaldegalerie, Berlin
  • Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin
  • The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
  • Palace of Versailles, Versailles
  • The State Tretyakov, Moscow
  • Museum Kampa, Prague
  • The Frick Collection, New York
With Google having proven that people have a real interest in being able to get interactive with places that they have been or want to go, the Google Art Project provides a great platform to take art to a wider audience. Hopefully it will cultivate enough curiosity and interest for people to want to take that extra step and visit these institutions in real life, to see some of the great masterpieces on show. 
 
 
 

Posted on February 03rd 2011 on 09:10pm
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Wednesday 02nd February 2011Gallereo Gets a Shout Out in Times Square, New York!

Last month, we blogged about a very special project that has been developed by Justus Bruns, called Times Square to Art Square, or TS2AS for short. 
 
As a quick recap on the project; 22-year old Bruns has his heart set on transforming Times Square, New York, into a display of artwork, rather than billboard advertising, for just one day. Bruns hopes to be able to raise enough momentum to get people behind the idea so that, in Autumn 2012, Times Square really does transform into a giant gallery space, without anyone having to fork out the $24 million required to actually rent the entire space for a single day. 
 
Despite having no intention of raising $24 million dollars in order to rent the space, TS2AS does need some money to start putting marking materials together and to build a campaign to raise awareness of the project.
 
TS2AS set out to raise $10,000 on creative funding site Kickstarter, and 184 backers later (of which Gallereo was one), they managed to pull together $10,575 in funds to allow the project to move a step closer to becoming a reality. 
 
Today, TS2AS gave back to everyone who supported them on Kickstarter, by doing a shout out in, you guessed it, Times Square New York. Take a look at the video below to find out who else backed the Times Square to Art Square project.
 

Posted on February 02nd 2011 on 06:03pm
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