We asked Marissa Cox, Art Wednesday’s online editor to suggest her top six art events of the summer.
Bag a bargain at Bloomsbury Art Fair…
Bloomsbury Art Fair got off to a flying start (quite literally) when it launched last July; the founders organised an apache helicopter fly-by on the opening night that sent skirts, hats and glasses of champagne soaring into the air and even a sculpture valued at £10,000, crashing to the floor. Calamity aside, the fair was a success (and certainly one of 2011’s most memorable), attracting more than 3000 visitors and raising an impressive £60,000 through auctioned artworks, all of which was donated to charity.
It featured 40 exhibitors: galleries such as the Helium Foundation and Horse Box Gallery, as well as artists who had suffered spinal injuries. The fair was originally set up in association with Outer Temple Chambers to support Southern Spinal Injuries Trust, a charity in the South and South West of England that is building a pioneering rehabilitation garden in the grounds of their Spinal Treatment Centre – a few of the founders themselves have also suffered spinal injuries – making this art fair an extremely worthy cause. This year, look out for My Life in Art and TAG Fine Arts - art dealer and publishers, who will be presenting exclusive new artworks, and Bloomsbury Art Fair is also collaborating with online art website Rise Art - a new digital online gallery where you can even 'rent' art - to showcase a preview of the fair on their site.
Edinburgh Art Festival
If you love all things art, then head to Edinburgh this summer. For a whole month from 2nd August the Scottish capital’s main museums, galleries and artist-run spaces will host over 45 exhibitions. The city will be your art playground; the only trouble will be choosing what to see. Make sure you don’t miss 2010 Turner Prize winner Susan Philipsz’s sound installation that responds to Edinburgh’s famous One O’Clock Gun – part of the ‘Promenade Programme’, it will join other public pieces of art by Andrew Millar and Kevin Harman dotted around the city.
A personal favourite, The Fruitmarket Gallery will be showing Dieter Roth Diaries. It’s the first time that Icelandic artist Roth (1930–98) has been exhibited in Scotland since he took part in Richard Demarco’s exhibition, Strategy Get Arts at the Edinburgh International Festival in 1970. During his life Roth kept diaries to record lists, appointments, ideas, photographs and drawings that have produced a fascinating portrait of the artist’s life, all of which will be on display, including Flat Waste – another kind of diary – with which he attempted to preserve items of waste that were less than 5mm thick, and Solo Scenes – a video diary recording the last year of his life.
A slightly less cheerful exhibition, but no less amusing is Cheer Up! It’s not the end of the world… at The Edinburgh Printmakers, where artists will explore the end of the world and the apocalypse. The show will include prints by Damien Hirst, Jake and Dinos Chapman and Andy Warhol. The Edinburgh Printmakers also provides visitors the unique opportunity to observe printmaking in action. And in case you didn’t get to see it in London, there’s also another opportunity to see the blockbuster exhibition Picasso and Modern British Art at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
A trip to the seaside to see some art at the Jerwood Gallery…
The Jerwood Gallery opened its shiny new doors earlier this year on the shores of Hastings, putting the seaside town (perhaps best know for the battle of 1066), firmly on the cultural map. Designed by architect agency HAT Projects, it’s a well-thought out, good-looking gallery finished off in sleek raven black ceramic tiles that reflect the light as it sits snugly next to the dark fishing huts. It’s been built to provide a permanent home for the Jerwood collection – the country’s largest collection of 20th and 21st century British art that counts Walter Richard Sickert, Ben Nicholson, Sir Stanley Spencer and Lawrence Stephen Lowry, as well as several winners of the Jerwood Prize such as Maggi Hambling and Craigie Richardson amongst its possession.
1997 Jerwood Prize-winner Gary Hume will follow Rose Wylie’s inaugural exhibition with his show Flashback – a selection of paintings and sculptures. After studying art at Goldsmiths College in 1988, Kent-born Hume participated in the influential Freeze exhibition orchestrated and curated by heavyweight artist Damien Hirst, placing him amongst the best of the young British artists or YBAs that made it big in the 90s. He went on to be nominated for the Turner Prize in 1996 and represented good ol’ Blighty at the Venice Biennale in 1999. See his work hang amongst some of the best pieces from the Jerwood Collection after munching on a big bag of fish and chips on the beach.
Beat bad weather blues at Tate Liverpool…
Judging by the Jubilee weekend, the British summer is shaping up to be yet another wash out, so you’ll be wanting to look at as much colour as you can lay your eyes on. Tate Liverpool is opening a suitably kaleidoscopic exhibition this month: Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings that will unite three of the most famous and prolific artists: J.M.W. Turner (1775–1851), Claude Monet (1840–1926) and Cy Twombly (1928–2011), spanning more than 300 years. The exhibition will explore connections between the artists’ work in the last 20-30 years of their lives, bringing together Monet’s iconic Water Lilies with Turner’s Romantic landscapes and pieces from American artist Twombly’s lively and vibrant series, Blooming: A Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things – that will be shown in the UK for the first time.
Birthplace of the Beatles, Liverpool has been doing its utmost to up its culture game in the last few years and even held the title of European Capital of Culture in 2007. This exhibition is just another example of why it deserved that title. Twombly’s graffiti-esque paintings offer a fresh and interesting contrast to Monet and Turner’s iconic landscapes – it’s an exhibition that you’ll want to wile away hours in and it’s the perfect respite from the rain.
Put the power of your imagination to the test at Hayward
Described by the exhibition’s curator as "the best exhibition that you’ll never see" this does exactly what it says on the tin, it explores invisible art. So you’ll look at Gionni Motti’s ink drawings that you cannot see, try (being the operative word) to get lost in Jeppe Hein's Invisible Labyrinth and search for Yves Klein's plans for an 'architecture of air'. This is where the power of your imagination comes into play. Invisible will ask you to imagine what you can see – basically your mind will come up with a lot of the art. Clever? Yes. It’s not art that you’d want to hang on your walls, of course, but what is art if it doesn’t make you think?
Somewhat inspired by Yves Klein’s 1958 exhibition that had nothing visible on display, it pokes fun at critics who sound off over the meaning of art, and will bring you to question your understanding of art – how you see it, or not see it in this case. I bargain that it will be one of the most talked about exhibitions of the summer, purely for what you think you cannot see.
Latitude Art Award
Latitude is fast becoming Britain’s best all-round festival, and what with no Glasto this year, it’s top of my list. What you might not know is that Latitude also hosts an art award. The award is now in its third year and is one of the largest contemporary art prize funds in the UK. This year, the festival has commissioned five British artists to produce a piece that will compete for the £10,000 prize, as well as the opportunity to return next year with a new piece for the festival.
The art works will be on display in the Iris Gallery, tucked away in the pretty woodland that’s at the heart of the festival. The chosen few are Linder Sterling, Tom Dale, George Young, Lisa Peachey and Andy Holden. Last year’s winner Andy Harper will also be back with a new piece. His winning work An Orrery for Other Worlds was a series of striking spherical shapes, painted with oil paint, which he hung in traditionally non-artistic spaces, such as a disused factory or church. There’s obviously a lot on at Latitude this year, and it’s going to be tough to cram in everything, but if you do get a spare half hour and need a little downtown from the festival madness, take a little wander through the woods and ponder some art.
'''Marissa Cox is Online Editor of Art Wednesday www.artwednesday.com @marissarcox @artwednesday
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