Category Archives: Exhibitions

Student Review: UNDEREXPOSED – A Tribute to Female Artists

We are please to launch a new series of articles written by our History and Philosophy of Art students in response to our current exhibitions. This inaugural entry comes from Nigel Ip, a second-year HPA student, whose particular Art History interests include the Italian Renaissance, the Pre-Raphaelites and Conceptual Art. You can find more of his writing here: http://nigelartreviews.wordpress.com/.

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UNDEREXPOSED: A Tribute to Female Artists

Nigel Ip

In the space of ten seconds, how many female artists can you think of?

Now repeat the same exercise but with male artists…

Off the top of my head I counted four female artists – Artemisia Gentileschi, Barbara Hepworth, Marina Abramović and Tracey Emin – and about seven male artists – Raphael, Michelangelo, Velázquez, Damien Hirst, Rubens, Leonardo da Vinci and Picasso.

You can do the same exercise over and over again and still find more male artists than their counterparts.

Female artists in general have been under-represented throughout art history. Art-making and the training that preceded it was an intensely expensive activity. Those women artists who did succeed were usually from wealthy backgrounds, whether through marriage or inheritance. In other cases, the lack of female artists was largely due to gender biases in society and also the dismissing of their work as ‘craft’ rather than ‘fine art’. It is precisely this that UNDEREXPOSED takes as its starting point. Through the medium of print, it attempts to elevate and shed light on the work of female artists, past and present.

The works are almost entirely by artists of the 20th century and the present day given the relatively limited availability of older works accessible by curators and University of Kent students Lynne Dickens and Frances Chiverton. However, a wonderful print of a Holy Family (c. 1575) by Diana Ghisi did make it into the show under the generosity of Dr Ben Thomas. Ghisi, also known as Diana Scultori, was an Italian Renaissance engraver who is recorded as being the first female artist allowed to sell her own work under her own name. The inclusion of this print stands out as a historically significant statement amongst the rest of the works that women artists did exist and succeed before the 19th century.

Just around the corner of the same wall are two prints by Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt, kindly lent from the Victoria & Albert Museum Print Collection. Both artists were deeply involved with the Impressionists during the late 19th century, the former being well acquainted with Édouard Manet, the latter with Edgar Degas. Thematically, their work focuses on the culturally restricted lives of women, evident in Morisot’s choice of domestic settings and Cassatt’s specific interest in mothers and children as subjects. Unlike their male counterparts, these women provide us with a glimpse of women’s private lives from the perspective of one who is also restricted by the same rules as imposed by society. These artists have empathy for their subjects. You can almost feel their unspoken pain in the vacant expression of the fan-holding subject in Cassatt’s Tea (1890).

This exhibition attempts to provide the viewer with a small sample that displays the richness and variety of ideas and techniques exploited by these artists. Towards the latter end of the 20th century we have seen a flourish of successful women artists. Royal Academicians like Anne Desmet – whose Babel Tower in Pieces (1999) is one of three pieces in the exhibition – are examples of women’s recognition within the art world – and society – as artists worthy of praise. Tracey Emin’s appointment in 2011 as one of two Professors of Drawing at the Royal Academy of Arts since its founding is proof of this. One of her autobiographical prints proudly hangs in the foyer of the School of Arts building beside an edition of the Guerrilla Girls’ Do Women STILL Have to be Naked to Get Into the Met. Museum? (2012).

Artists exhibited in the show include Kent University alumni Dawn Cole whose solar plate etchings allude to pieces of white lace. Her series Reading Between the Lines take passages from a diary written by her great aunt during her time as a WW1 Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse. The diary records some of the wartime horrors and incidents at the hospital, and passages like “Men had their eyes removed” are interwoven into the lace-like patterns of Cole’s work.

Gwen Raverat proved to be a fast favourite at the private view, while others took interest in Barbara Hepworth’s minimalist lithographs and screenprints. Charlotte Cornish’s vivid abstractions raised a few eyebrows too, and what a pleasure it was to see some of Bridget Riley’s works – Frieze (2000), Two Blues (2003), Composition with Circles (no. 5) (2005) – whose conceptions are always made with the medium in mind, taking into account their size and effect on the viewer.

However, big names like Sarah Lucas weren’t necessarily the most popular as evidenced by Lucy Farley’s silkscreen print To the Lighthouse, Ile de Re (2013) – directly opposite the former’s Squab Squaw (2011) and Sarah Hardacre’s openly controversial screenprints of women in urban settings – generating much discussion among visitors to the exhibition. Farley studied BA Fine Art in 2001 at Central St. Martins and specialised in printmaking at the Royal College of Art in 2007. She is currently undergoing a fellowship at the Royal Academy of Arts and she has exhibited in several small-scale group shows over the years. The subject of her work is usually urban and rural locations with a great degree of expressiveness, bold use of black lines and atmospheric choice of colours, contrasting very well with the almost photographic quality of Alison Wilding’s lithographs of Starlings (2005).

For figurative art there is a concentrated display of prints by Eileen Cooper, Anita Klein and Ana Maria Pacheco. These prints have a particular focus on women with the first two often incorporating the same figure in a large body of work. Cooper’s linocuts tend to be psychological at first glance – some might say surreal, others even Freudian. Their content is a mix between fantasy and reality with titles like The Moon, The Bird and The Bride (1992) and Walking on Air (2005). Her recurring figure is a naked woman. Klein, on the other hand, uses a clothed figure. Her themes often revolve around the idea of beauty in art and everyday life such as nature, romance, family and birds. The prints displayed in the exhibition – The Goddess of the Pear Tree (2013) and The Spider (2013) – are part of the former category. In an interview in 2011, Klein said that she “grew up with a very strong sense of possibility of everything being taken away…I know that what I would miss are the very small things like having breakfast with my family, cleaning our teeth together… not holidays or birthdays or the photo-album version of life. Not the things we record but things that go past, slip through our fingers, things we don’t manage to enjoy”. It is in the ordinary in which we find the most happiness and create the most memories.

This exhibition has a certain lightness to it, perhaps due to the variety of its displays. A range of techniques and media are explored here – woodcuts, linocuts, screenprinting, photo-etching, engraving – and the content is just as diverse – people, houses, sea, sky, nature, society, abstract forms – and it keeps on going. Not only does this show women’s freedom in exploiting the possibilities of art-making but also the analogous diversity in printmaking itself when compared to painting or sculpture. From a method used to allow artists to advertise and promote their art, as cheap reproductions of paintings – or labour-intensive equivalents to present-day postcards – to the idea of prints as a medium and original work of art in its own right. The exhibition is a celebration of women’s recognition in the art world and printmaking’s infinite possibilities; two understated aspects of society combined to create something beautiful and perhaps even moving.

UNDEREXPOSED: Female artists and the medium of print runs until 19th June 2014 at Studio 3 Gallery, University of Kent, Canterbury, blogs.kent.ac.uk/studio3gallery.

 

 

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Underexposed poster FINAL small

UNDEREXPOSED – SERIES OF TALKS

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FREE lectures by leading experts – guarantee your seat today or it may be standing room only!
Making a difference. Women artists as printmakers by Gill Saunders, Senior Curator (Prints), Victoria & Albert Museum
Saturday, 17 May 2014 from 10:30 to 12:00
Paula Rego as Printmaker by Paul Coldwell, artist and Professor in Fine Art at the University of the Arts London
Thursday, 22 May 2014 from 18:00 to 20:00
The different techniques of printmaking by contemporary artist and Kent alumna Dawn Cole
Saturday, 24 May 2014 from 14:00 to 16:00
Gwen Raverat: her history, wood engravings and circle of friends by her grandson, William Pryor
Saturday, 31 May 2014 from 14:00 to 16:00
Biting through: the relationship between etchings, lithographs and screenprints and my kinetic sculpture by Liliane Lijn
Saturday, 7 June 2014 from 14:00 to 16:00
Black, white and one: developing a print portfolio from artwork to gallery by Fiona de Bulat, artist, lecturer and cofounder of ‘DBA editions’ print studio
Thursday, 12 June 2014 from 18:00 to 20:00
‘Beauty in art’ and ‘My printmaking techniques’ by the celebrated artist Anita Klein PPRE Hon RWS
Saturday, 14 June 2014 from 14:00 to 16:00

 

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Alfred Drury's studio c. 1899

COMING SOON TO STUDIO 3 GALLERY: ALFRED DRURY

ALFRED DRURY AND THE NEW SCULPTURE

 

Alfred Drury, Griselda (1896)

 

Studio 3 Gallery, School of Arts, University of Kent:

30 September – 20 December 2013

 

The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds:

15 January – 13 April 2014

 

Studio 3 Gallery is delighted to announce a major new exhibition dedicated to the art of one of the leading sculptors of the late Victorian and Edwardian period: Alfred Drury. The exhibition will show Drury’s most important sculptural works on a smaller scale – including his most characteristic masterpieces Griselda, The Age of Innocence and Lilith – thanks to generous loans from private collections. The exhibition, which will move on in the New Year to The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery in Leeds, is supported by grants from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, the Henry Moore Foundation and the Leeds Art Fund.

 

A fully illustrated catalogue with contributions by Benedict Read, Jolyon Drury, Brian Landy, Jane Winfrey and the exhibition curator Ben Thomas will be published to accompany the exhibition, and which presents new research on the artist. The catalogue is published thanks to the generosity of the Leeds Art Fund – Susan Beattie Memorial.

 

A display of drawings by Alfred Stevens – ‘England’s Michelangelo’ – from Drury’s collection will accompany this exhibition at The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge in Canterbury from 21 September to 1 December 2013:

 

http://www.canterbury.co.uk/Beaney/whats_on/Canterbury-‘England’s-Michelangelo’-Alfred-Stevens-at-The-Beaney-House-of-Art-Knowledge/details/?dms=13&venue=3036870&feature=1148

 

A related exhibition on Alfred Drury is currently running at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds until 20 October 2013, The Age of Innocence: Replicating the Ideal Portrait in the New Sculpture Movement:

 

http://www.henry-moore.org/hmi/exhibitions/the-age-of-innocence

 

Alfred Drury, The Age of Innocence (1897)

 

The aim of the exhibition Alfred Drury and the New Sculpture is to review the art and life of Alfred Drury (1856-1944), the formative influences on his sculptural practice, and his role in the New Sculpture movement of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries. Drury is due a reappraisal. Recent writing on the New Sculpture has tended to follow the lead of Edmund Gosse’s influential articles in the Art Journal of 1894, which saw Frederick Leighton and George Frederic Watts as initiating a reform of British sculpture that reached its zenith in the work of Alfred Gilbert and William Hamo Thornycroft. Gosse barely mentioned Drury, dismissing him as ‘a mannered Kensington student, somewhat under the influence of Dalou’.

 

Arguably, however, Drury was one of the central figures in the New Sculpture movement because he combined in his art the realism of the great French sculptor Aimé-Jules Dalou (1838-1902), with whom he had a long professional relationship, and the Michelangelo-esque vision of Alfred Stevens (1818-75), whose art he revered and whose drawings he collected. Dalou and Stevens were seen as the key influences in the reform of British sculpture by a slightly later generation of critics to Gosse, including Marion H. Spielmann and Kineton Parkes. Drury was recognised by Spielmann as ‘one of the most distinguished’ of the group of British artists taught by the exiled communard Dalou, and according to Parkes, Drury’s ‘adherence to Stevens has never wavered’ so that ‘in his work he is a direct descendant of the great sculptor-painter-designer, and is therefore in the direct line of English sculptural development’. The neglect of Drury’s art may also have been partly due to its languorous beauty, eschewing muscular heroics and decorative excesses. By contrast with Leighton and Thornycroft, Drury ‘cares little for vigour, passion or anatomical display’, argued Spielmann, but instead ‘seeks the graceful, the placid, and the harmonious’.

 

Alongside sculptural works by Alfred Drury, the exhibition will display paintings and medals by the artist, and also documents and photographs from the period. The exhibition will also include works by Aimé Jules Dalou, Auguste Rodin, Lord Leighton, and Alfred Stevens.

 

Alfred Drury's studio c. 1899

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Two-Faced Fame catalogue

Two-Faced Fame: Celebrity in Print 1962-2013

Kent Print Collection 5th Exhibition

28 May – 14 June 2013

Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm

 

Two-Faced Fame catalogue

 

What is a celebrity? A ‘human pseudo-event’ overshadowing genuine heroes? ‘The spectacular representation of a living human being’ in a society defined by spectacle where social relations are mediated by images? A readily available ‘dream that money can buy’ in the photographic brothel? Or is a celebrity a ‘mythical concept’ where myth is understood to be a system of communication, where the material of the message has already been worked on to enhance its suitability for communication, and where the mythical concept’s fundamental property is to be appropriated?

[From the catalogue essay by Ben Thomas]

Artists exhibited: Banksy; Sir Peter Blake; Blek le Rat; Jason Brooks; D*Face; John Dove and Molly White; Gary Hume; GSG; Alan Kitching; Gerald Laing; Pure Evil; Marc Quinn; John Stezaker; Joe Tilson; Gavin Turk; Stella Vine; Andy Warhol; Jonathan Yeo; Russell Young

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Hani-Zurob-Egyptian-Revolution-February-2011

COMING SOON – RESILIENCE & LIGHT

 

Hani-Zurob-Egyptian-Revolution-February-2011

 

RESILIENCE AND LIGHT: CONTEMPORARY PALESTINIAN ART

 

At a time of great change and uncertainty for the Arab world, Studio 3 Gallery presents the exhibition Resilience and Light: Contemporary Palestinian Art which opens on Thursday 11 April 2013.

 

The exhibition has been organised in partnership with Arts Canteen whose director, Aser El Saqqa, has curated a distinguished group of Palestinian artists for this exhibition including such leading figures in contemporary Arab art as: Laila Shawa, who exhibited at ICA’s AKA Peace exhibition; Abraaj Capital Art Prize winner Taysir Batniji; Hani Zurob, who was tipped by The Huffington Post as one of ten ‘international artists to watch in 2013’;

Hazem Harb who recently participated at the inaugural ART13 in London with his solo exhibition, Impossible Travel, Me and the Other Half & Inside-Outside; and Mohammed Joha who launched his ambitious project The Jasmine and Bread Revolution in 2012 at The Courtyard Gallery, Dubai.

 

While diverse in approach and style, the artists included in this exhibition are working within a shared set of circumstances that define the reception of contemporary Palestinian art within and beyond the Arab world. Resilience and Light will explore a number of themes arising from their specific situations, including how art is interpreted within and out of its historical, social and political context.

 

The artists exhibiting include: Taysir Batniji, Hazem Harb, Mohammed Joha, Laila Shawa and Hani Zurob.

 

Ben Thomas, Curator of Studio 3 Gallery, said: ‘it is very exciting to be able to bring to Canterbury such compelling work by Palestinian artists.’ Aser El Saqqa added that curating this exhibition has been an enormous challenge. This collection has come to Canterbury from Gaza, London, Venice, Paris, Zurich and Dubai. Our aim is to show work of outstanding creativity, innovation and inspiration to new audiences’.

 

Laila Shawa, one of the artists who will be present at the private view said my work proffers a synthesis of past and present ideas, formal, personal and political, into a powerful contemporary vision of Islamic popular culture.’

 

Resilience and Light will be on view from 11 April – 18 May.

http://www.artscanteen.com

 

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Blackburn installation complete!

After four days of hard work by the University of Kent’s Estates department, the installation of John Blackburn’s paintings in Studio 3 Gallery and throughout the Jarman Building is now complete. We have also taken delivery of the beautiful catalogue produced by Footprint Innovations, and kindly funded by Osborne Samuel, our partners in putting on this exhibition.

Also, Kent student Olivia Martin has finished editing her short film in which John Blackburn speaks in his studio about the creative process and the new series of “black paintings” which are at the heart of the Studio 3 Gallery exhibition. You can watch the film by following this link:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAjCMk-KLw0&feature=plcp

 

The Private View takes place on Saturday 22 September from 6-8pm, and the exhibition formally opens on Monday 24 September 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Portraits and a Dream: Art & Language

Art & Language were formed in 1967/68 out of the collaboration of four artists: Mike Baldwin, Terry Atkinson, David Bainbridge and Harold Hurrell. The group’s name derived from their journal Art-Language, that existed ‘as a work in conversation’ from 1966 onwards. During the 1970s the name served as a common identity for various artists involved in a range of international collaborations, though from the late 1970s Art & Language have consisted of Mike Baldwin, Mel Ramsden and Charles Harrison, until the latter’s death in 2009. Widely considered to be one of the first, most influential and controversial conceptual art groups, Art & Language have exhibited globally, including at Documenta, the Lisson Gallery and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Tate Gallery, the Getty Museum and Barcelona have holdings of their work. They were nominated for the Turner Prize in 1986.

Art & Language’s work is characterized by a diverse array of activities and projects commonly characterized by the resistance to categorization and by an ‘openness of effect’ and meaning. Their oeuvre marks a historical turn toward a more theoretical, linguistic and critical intervention into the context of fine arts production. Much of their work provokes reflection on the institutional conditions of making and contemplating works of art and reflects critically on the history of modern art and contemporary practice, as well as the uses and functionality to which culture and cultural objects are put. A central concern of their oeuvre from the beginning, as the name Art & Language implies, is the exploration of the relationship between the linguistic and visual and the questions involved in the interrelation and understanding of the one in terms of the other.

The installation Portraits and a Dream involves a series of interrelated works, including written texts, poster-portraits pasted on the gallery walls and another set of the same printed writings cut up and fashioned into paper-chains. This is a demotic motif Art & Language have been using for the past couple of years, but one whose meanings are linked to the swirling linear forms of the paintings of Jackson Pollock, whose Portrait and a Dream (1953) is referenced in the work’s title. As Charles Harrison has commented, the apparently ‘perverse’ motif of the paper-chain represents a response to ‘the critical requirement that…whatever in practice is inflated – in scale, in genre, in professional ambition, in technical adventure – must at some point be brought low.’ The ‘decorative’ paper-chains of Art & Language simultaneously bring the work of art down to earth while re-configuring its form and meanings.

Portraits and a Dream was first exhibited at the Lisson gallery in 2010; the exhibition at Gallery 3 presents a new version of the work. A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by the curator Jon Kear and texts by Art & Language is available. Mike Baldwin and Mel Ramsden will also be doing a number of seminars in conjunction with the exhibition.

Jon Kear, Curator Portraits and a Dream

Portraits and a dream invitation

3 Oct to 16Dec
Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
Free, Disabled Access

Studio 3 Gallery
Jarman Building
School of Arts
Canterbury Campus
University of Kent

(tel: 01227 827228, web: www.kent.ac.uk/arts.hpa/exhibitions)

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Shadows of the Wanderer at Studio 3 Gallery

Shadows of the Wanderer an exhibition by Ana Maria Pacheco will be displayed at the University of Kent from 17 Jan to 17 May 2011, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.

The exhibition, which will take place in Studio 3 Gallery on the University’s Canterbury campus, is free and open to all. There is disabled access to the Gallery.

This work by Ana Maria Pacheco has been described by Galleries Magazine as ‘a major new sculptural work by perhaps the most powerful and original of significant artists practicing in this country’.

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Ana Maria Pacheco is a Brazilian artist who has lived and worked in Britain since 1973. She was Head of Fine Art at Norwich School of Art (1985-89) and Associate Artist at the National Gallery (1997-2000). She has exhibited widely in the UK and abroad and her work is represented in major public collections (British Museum, British Council, Arts Council, Tate, V&A etc). Pacheco works across sculpture, painting and printmaking as a figurative artist.

Shadows of the Wanderer is a multi-piece figure sculpture in polychromed wood. In it a group of larger than life, darkly robed figures witness the struggle of a young man to carry an older man on his shoulders. The figures of the young man burdened by the old suggest a reference to the beginning of Virgil’s Aeneid, where the hero Aeneas carries his lame father Anchises out of the burning city of Troy. As in previous works by Pacheco, for example The Longest Journey (1994), Shadows of the Wanderer initiates a journey into unknown territory; a journey that the beholder is invited to participate in.

Shadows of the Wanderer was created in 2008 and was previously exhibited at the Aldeburgh Festival of Music and the Arts in 2008, and at St John’s Waterloo in 2010. The exhibition at Studio 3 in Canterbury has been organised in association with Pratt Contemporary Art. A fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Brendan Prendeville and Christopher Reid is available. The series of Dark Event prints (2007) by Pacheco will also be displayed alongside Shadows of the Wanderer.

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This exhibition has been organised in association with Pratt Contemporary Art.

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