Art in Print

Artists and scientists from 37 countries converge on London for new Biennale
Designers, architects and scientists have taken over Somerset House for three weeks to showcase their innovations inspired by the theme of “Utopia by Design”, marking the 500thanniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s work.


“We chose the inaugural theme to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the publication of Thomas More’s classic, and to reflect on the rich history of the modernist design it inspired,” said London Design Biennale director Christopher Turner in a statement. “Design teams from over thirty countries will exhibit ambitious installations that explore how architecture, design, and engineering might contribute in some way to making the world a better place and our cities more liveable,” he added. 


The London Design Biennale runs until September 27.


Via Financial Times 


Review | You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Labels 1966-1970


You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Labels 1966-1970 opens Saturday at the V&A. The exhibition explores the impact of the 1960s, expressed through some of the most significant music and performances of the 20th Century.


Art critic Mark Hudson gives the art show three stars saying that: “It’s in the section on real political revolution that the show is most impressive. With mini-sections on gay rights, the Black Panthers, women’s lib, May 68, Mao’s Little Red book and the anti-Vietnam War protests, there’s a real sense of the world exploding in a cacophony of competing struggles, embodied in an extraordinary array of objects, which you certainly won’t have seen before, from a lost anti-Vietnam War film by Peter Brook, which gives a really queasy sense of the moral ambivalence of the time, to Barbarella’s costume from the Jane Fonda-starring sexploitation film, included on the slightly spurious grounds that it empowers women.”


Via The Telegraph 


International galleries are opening new spaces in London despite Brexit


Despite economic and political uncertainty following the Brexit vote, three major international galleries are opening new exhibition spaces in London. 
Thaddeus Ropac, a dealer with galleries in Paris and Salzburg, is opening a 1,500 sq m showroom for contemporary art at Ely House in Mayfair. Other new ventures in Mayfair include an expansion by Almine Rech and Skarstedt, a New York dealership which is moving into a 163 sq m gallery near the Ritz.


Bona Montagu, Director of Skarstedt, told The New York Times that Brexit could be used to enhance Britain’s status in the art market if the country offered lower tax rates as well as abandoning the resale right. “It could be positive,” she said.  


Via The Times 


Review | The Infinite Mix


Hayward Gallery’s latest show, The Infinite Mix, takes place in The Store, a new “creative space” in a disused Brutalist building on The Strand, while the gallery undergoes refurbishment until 2018. The exhibition features 10 audio-visual artworks.


Art critic Alastair Sooke gives the art show fours stars commenting: “Overall, though, The Infinite Mix feels – believe me – like a total blast. Urgent, important, infectious, and fresh, it offers a compelling advertisement for the dynamic possibilities of this mercurial art form. And I guarantee that it will get visitors dancing before they exit 180 The Strand via its underground car park (the location of the final work).”


Via The Telegraph 


Plantlife: Jessica Albarn’s meadow art


Albarn is a visual artist best known for her beautifully detailed pencil drawings of spiders, bees, butterflies and other insects. Peering through a microscope at dead insects in her London studio led her to the lanes of south Devon to create a meadow, and capture some of its richness in a series of artistic adventures. lbarn is the younger sister of Damon of Blur, and her meadow is on the old farm he bought for his family 20 years ago.


Her exhibition in London this September marks a midpoint in her three-year project. There will be drawings but also an oil painting of her youngest daughter in the meadow, “which is a bit of a departure for me,” she says. “We’ve spent a lot of time on our own down here together, she really gets into it and she helped me broadcast the seed. Kids love a bit of manual work – well, for so long.” 


Creation by Jessica Albarn is at the Lawrence Alkin Gallery, London, until 24 September. 


Via The Guardian 


In the midst of the Syrian war, fake artworks are being forged to be sold to the West


While much of Syria’s cultural heritage has been saved from being destroyed by Isis, workshops are taking advantage of the civil war to turn out imitations that are sold to the West.  


These look like impressive survivals from Syria’s past, but in reality all are fakes confiscated from smugglers on their way out of the country for sale to foreign customers and dealers. Expertly manufactured in workshops in Damascus and Aleppo or elsewhere in Syria, these fraudulent antiquities are flooding a market full of unwary or unscrupulous buyers who find it easy to believe that great masterpieces are being daily looted in Syria in the midst of the chaos and war.


The results are often magnificently convincing and come from both government and rebel held areas. In rebel-controlled Idlib province the speciality is making Roman and Greek mosaics, which may be then reburied in ancient sites to reinforce belief in their authenticity.  Some of the fake antiquities can be swiftly detected as such by specialists, but others are so expertly made that only laboratory analysis can prove that they are of modern manufacture. Sometimes the real and fake are mixed to make detection more difficult.