The UK's premier contemporary art prize - the Turner Prize - opened at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead this week. The Prize is seen by some as a sort of "crude barometer" of contemporary art. It's certainly had a fair few artists of note winning the Prize since it was first conceived - although the prize has not always gone to the artist who turned out to be the "best" of the bunch.
- London Counterpoint #1: It's the first time that the Prize has gone outside London for its initial show Turner prize 2011 shortlist unveiled as exhibition opens at Baltic in Gateshead
- London Counterpoint #2: None of the shortlisted artists completed art degrees in London.
The Turner Prize award is £40,000 with £25,000 going to the winner and £5,000 each for the other shortlisted artists. The Prize, established in 1984, is awarded to a British artist under fifty for an outstanding exhibition or other presentation of their work in the twelve months proceeding 4 April 2011. It is intended to promote public discussion of new developments in contemporary British art and is widely recognised as one of the most important and prestigious awards for the visual arts in Europe.The shortlisted artists are summarised below. Here's a slideshow of the artists and their work and this is a video of Turner Prize 2011 by the Press Association.
- Karla Black - this is an artist with an impressive set of sponsors
For her solo show at Galerie Capitain Petzel, Berlin, and for contributions to various group exhibitions, which together consolidated her innovative approach to sculpture and displayed her increasingly powerful works made with ephemeral materials.
- Martin Boyce (this is an interview with Martin Boyce by The Independent)
For his solo exhibition at Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, which built upon his project for the 53rd Venice Biennale by holding the viewer within an atmospheric sculptural installation. Boyce’s work combines references to design history and text and is marked by a subtle attention to detail.
- Hilary Lloyd - (Here's a video about her work as a video artist)
For a solo show at Raven Row, London. The exhibition marked a step-change for the artist in terms of the ambition and scale of her project, which investigates the interrelation of moving image, sound and sculptural form in the portrayal of the urban environment.
- George Shaw - this is a Guardian article about him and his work)
For his solo exhibition at BALTIC, Gateshead. Shaw’s paintings depict the area around his childhood home and are rendered exclusively in Humbrol enamel paint. With their deeply personal juxtaposition of subject matter and material, they lie intriguingly on the edge of tradition.I'm guessing - but I think George Shaw will win. There's a few newspaper critics hoping he will win too. He was certainly my favourite when the shortlist was originally announced. Not least because of this wonderful video of him talking about his paintings at a previous exhibition at the Baltic.
|George Shaw and his Humbrol enamel paints at the Baltic|
This week I asked How do you define a "professional artist"?
- At Watermarks, we're looking to add in some new members to the group which posts to our group blog. See A sea change - in membership of Watermarks and Do you draw or paint water? for more information about what we're looking for and the process for applying.
- Nigel Fletcher (Nigel Fletcher) lives in the Limousin National Park in France and produces oil sketch studies which he sells online. You can see a couple of his paintings below. What I like about them is he draws well with his paintbrush!
|Autumn at the Pond by Nigel Fletcher|
|Summer meadow by Nigel Fletcher|
|Cathy Johnson wearing a magnifier|
- @KarinJurick (A Painting Today) joined Twitter this week! Plus
- she got a very nice review of her work by Charley Parker (Lines and Colors) - see Karin Jurick's Museum Hours
- has a new book out Museum Hours on Blurb
- and you can hear her on an interview on Blog Talk Radio - A Conversation with Karin Jurick - it's a great insight into how Karin approaches her painting.
- Charley has also written an updated review of the work of Karin Hollingsworth (Windowscapes) who has introduced the dark side to her paintings of interiors
- How to paint miniature portraits resulted from seeing Jenny Brooks demonstrate what she does when painting miniature art at the Annual Exhibition of The Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers
- Cathy Johnson (Cathy Johnson Fine Art) then contacted me to show me what she used when painting miniatures in the eighteenth century style on bone or ivory cabachons. It's a head magnifier for those who've not seen one before and it enables you to see very fine detail. Even better was the name she'd given the photo - "bugeyes"!
- Michael Chesley Johnson (A Plein Air Painter's Blog) has a useful article about the Sedona Plein Air Festival 2011 which says what happens when and where
Art Galleries and Museums
- This week I came across the blog of Mags Ramsay (Mags Ramsay) who lives in Brentford and enjoyed her posts about monoprinting
- I think Joanne Mattera's (Joanne Mattera Art blog) post Alternatives to Gimme Gimme Gimme should be required reading for those needing to seek funds for their art practice.
- Can you, as an artist, no longer afford to ignore the tendency for people to buy online? The UK Consumer Magazine Which? reports that the Office of National Statistics in the UK reports that £1 in every £10 is now spent online. Non-store retail sales (that's through an online store) have increased by 15.9% in 2011 to date. This is the summary from the ONS
Internet retail sales in September reached £539.4 million, approximately 9.6% of total retail sales (excluding automotive fuel), compared with £415.9m in September 2010.Art Economy and Art Collectors
Which? - 1 in every £10 is now spent online
- Occupy Wall Street is extending into the art world in the USA - with Occupy Museums! It all sounds very exciting but I can't see it taking off in the UK unless they start charging for admission! Here's some articles about the initiative launched last week by New York-based artist Noah Fischer by ArtInfo - plus the Occupy Museums! Facebook page. It's now been officially approved by the Occupy Wall Street’s Art and Culture group! Occupations took place on Thursday 20th October.
- Occupy Wall Street Movement Declares War on NYC Museums as “Temples of Cultural Elitism” which states the manifesto - and also points out that the museums which were set up and have benefited from funding by benefactors aren't really an appropriate target - and suggests the protestors might like to take a look at the Gagosian Gallery instead!
- How Occupy Wall Street's Protest Is Taking Art Back From the Richest 1 Percent
- Bloomberg: Wall Street Protesters ‘Occupy’ MoMA, Slam $25 Admission, Don Gorilla Mask
- Brian Sherwin has written an article about The Occupy Art World Problem which is worth a read.
The game is up: we see through the pyramid schemes of the temples of cultural elitism controlled by the 1%. No longer will we, the artists of the 99%, allow ourselves to be tricked into accepting a corrupt hierarchical system based on false scarcity and propaganda concerning absurd elevation of one individual genius over another human being for the monetary gain of the elitest of elite.
Occupy Museums! Manifesto
- Sarah Wimperis (The Red Shoes) has been at the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea this week with her Gallery Beside the Wave (Beside the Wave Gallery). She reports the gallery had a great time although footfall in the Fair generally was down on previous years.
- Details about the Turner Prize are at the top of this post.
- The Natural History Museum has posted the prizewinners in The Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year. It has some excellent pictures.
- There's an exhibition to mark the 50th anniversary of Private Eye at the Victoria and Albert Museum
- Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings and Dadamaino - an exhibition of Sylvia Plath's pen- and-ink drawings opens at the Mayor Gallery in Cork Street in London. : Volumes 2 November - 16 December 2011
UK Art Societies
- Which art society exhibition sells the most works? highlights the top three societies of those belonging to the Federation of British Artists and exhibiting at the Mall Galleries. It suggests some of the reasons why they might be doing better than other societies in the number of artworks sold. You're invited to suggest any other interpretation.
- The Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists opens to the public at the Mall Galleries on Thursday. I'm going to be at the PV on Wednesday.
- Yale Centre for British Art New Haven, Connecticut
- Johan Zoffany RA: Society Observed opens on Thursday, October 27, 2011 and will be on display until Sunday, February 12, 2012. This is the review by the New York Times. The exhibition travels to the Royal Academy of Arts in London later in 2012. View some of the works as a slideshow.
- Adapting the Eye: An Archive of the British in India, 1770–1830 - You can also view selected works in a related exhibition as a slideshow. Absolutely fascinating!
- Karin Jurick (A Painting Today) and Karen Hollingworth (Windowscapes) are both participating in a group show at 16 Patton Gallery in Ashville, North Carolina opened yesterday October 22, 2011. The titles of their exhibitions are New York Life and Birds Eye View respectively. Well done on all those red dots!
- When not thinking about whether the protestors will be their doors (see Occupy Museums! above) The Directors of Art galleries and Museums are thinking about the very latest thing - the colour of the walls! Jonathan Jones expounded on the topic What colour should gallery walls be? on his Guardian blog - Jonathan Jones on art.
- Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
- A relative of JMW Turner - whose work was left as a bequest to the Nation - has accused the government and Tate Britain of failing to observe the terms of the bequest. See the Guardian article Turner ancestor condemns 'abysmal' treatment of artist's estate for more about the artists' wishes have been ignored.
- There's been a bit of a "hoohah" this week about the claim in a new book Van Gogh - The life that Van Gogh's death was not suicide at all but rather a gun malfunctioning.
- The book was written with the full co-operation of the Van Gogh Museum who permitted access to a lot of papers relating to Van Gogh - however the Museum while agreeing the death occurred in town rather in the wheatfield don't think there is enough evidence for the new theory
- The BBC view suggest that the claim that the suicide was not a suicide is "not convincing"
- Jonathan Jones of the Guardian says Did Van Gogh kill himself? It shouldn't really matter
- Authors Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith will be in London on Thursday 24 and Friday 25 November for two lectures at the Royal Academy of Arts.
- What has been successful is the marketing - the new book has had a lot of print coverage this week!
- The cover of the book is a late self-portrait of Van Gogh - done in 1887.
- From Van Gogh to John Lennon (I couldn't resist that link!) and Forbes takes a look at Lennon the visual artist - For His Birthday, A Celebration of John Lennon the Visual Artist. Was He Any Good?
- Armand Cabrera (Art and Influence) has a post about Group of Seven artist Tom Thomson
- Forbes reported a truly bizarre tale in You know the market is out of control when..... I've never heard anything like it!