Thursday, 2 October 2014

AOI Awards 2014

Today the Association of Illustrators (AOI) opened its annual AOI Illustration Awards Exhibition at Somerset House in London. This free exhibition of highlights from the 2014 shortlist of international contemporary illustration is in the Terrace Rooms, South Wing (CLICK). The 12 category winners have been announced. Shown is an amusing detail from author and illustrator Chris Haughton's Shh We Have A Plan, which won the Children's Books Professional category. CLICK to view all the category winners.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Alice: Body Found

On Tuesday night police searching for missing 14-year-old schoolgirl Alice Gross discovered a body in River Brent. Detectives say "significant efforts were made to conceal the body". The victim has not yet been formally identified as Alice, but there seems little doubt that it is her body. A murder hunt has been launched with convicted killer Arnis Zalkalns as the prime suspect (CLICK).

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Dulwich Open Show

In celebration of their 60th Anniversary, the Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery are holding a special Open Exhibition in the Gallery’s temporary exhibition spaces. The exhibition opened today and runs until 12 October. Over 150 pictures are on display (CLICK).

Three Night Markets

Three Night Markets is a group exhibition in London's City Hall, running weekdays only until 16 October. Xanthe Mosley has enjoyed a two-year residency at Billingsgate, Smithfield and New Covent Garden. She will be displaying the results of her residency in large-scale works on the 2nd floor Chamber Lobby and Café. Shown is a detail from her Market Traders at New Covent Garden Flower Market. CLICK to read more about Xanthe.

Fatherhood II

Dan Llywelyn Hall's portrait of Prince William entitled Fatherhood goes under the hammer at Bonhams First World War Centenary Sale on 1 October in London, estimated at £8,000 - £10,000. All the proceeds will go to The Victoria Cross Trust and War Memorials Trust (CLICK).

Nigerian Art Show

Throughout October the Nigeria Art Society UK is celebrating Nigeria’s centenary with an art show at the Waterloo Action Centre (WAC) Gallery at 14 Baylis Road, Waterloo, London. Nigeria@100: Transforming a British Experiment? is a group show with a variety of styles reflecting Nigeria's cultural heritage from colonialism to the present day. Shown is Titus Agbara's excellent painting of children braiding one another's hair. Its title Apprehensible meant nothing to me. Titus kindly explained that Apprehensible is traditional person-to-person learning as opposed to Western-style education. CLICK to view more art.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Leonardo Ermine

Engineer Pascal Cotte has spent three years using reflective light technology to analyse Leonardo da Vinci's The Lady with an Ermine, which shows Cecilia Gallerani, a young beauty in the Milanese court who was mistress to Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan, nicknamed "the white ermine". Cotte's pioneering technique Layer Amplification Method (LAM) allows stages in the painting to be separated, as shown here. Previous examinations using X-ray and infra-red analysis have revealed far less detail (CLICK).

Roundabout Winner

A public art sculpture by Philip Bews and Diane Gorvin, Arrivall 1471, commissioned by the Tewkesbury Battlefield Society at a cost of £65,000 to commemorate the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471, has won the Stonehill Roundabout on the A38 the accolade Roundabout of the Year (CLICK). The sculpture was made from green oak from Gloucestershire trees and took two years to build. It will feature on the cover of the Best of British Roundabouts Calendar 2015 (CLICK). To visit the artists' website CLICK.

The Nakeds

If you're into drawing, this is the London gallery for you. Drawing Room is the only public, non-profit gallery in the UK and Europe dedicated to the investigation and presentation of international contemporary drawing. The gallery is currently showing The Nakeds, a group exhibition of drawings of the body exposed. It starts with Egon Schiele and comes up to the present day (CLICK). Shown is Stewart Helm's The Line and the Lust (2011).

Hunter's Animals

You have until 5 October to visit the Stafford Gallery at Wimbledon Fine Art, London, to view Angela Hunter: New Animal Sculpture (CLICK). From mad March hares to rockhopper penguins, Angela's sculptures are a delight. Stretching cats too. Even a snail. They're made in bronze resin in editions of 15 or 12. Shown is her Otter.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Turner Tripe 2014

You didn't really want to know that the Turner Prize opens at Tate Britain on 30 September, did you? At £10 for adults or £8.60 for silver surfers, it's a complete waste of money (CLICK). The only reason for visiting the show was to see the Stuckists demo outside and to pick up a free "The Turner Prize Is Dead" badge. But Stuckists won't be demonstrating against the prize this year "in protest" that it's become too pathetic (CLICK). Shown is last year's winner Laure Prouvost with a dead fish on her head. This silliness sums up the Turner Prize for me.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

NG Membership

The National Gallery in London has launched a Membership scheme. For £50 a year members get free, unlimited entry to all special exhibitions, invitations to a programme of after-hours events, an exclusive online magazine with behind-the-scenes features, a range of special offers and the latest news through the Membership e-newsletter (CLICK). Admission to the Gallery is still free. So is London Art News. Your choice.

Mario Merz

Yesterday Pace London at 6 Burlington Gardens opened Mario Merz. Who? He was an Italian "artist" with a thing about igloos. Shown is an igloo from a three-domed installation thingy that forms the centerpiece of the show. It's called Spostamenti della Terra e della Luna su un Asse (Movements of the Earth and the Moon on an Axis). It was the last igloo he made before he died in 2003, This is the first major UK exhibition of his work in more than 20 years. It limps along until 8 November (CLICK).

Alcatraz & Blenheim

There's no escaping Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei. His garbage is currently infesting Alcatraz - the former US Federal Penitentiary, now a tourist trap - and Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England's grandest stately home. I can't think of two more disparate venues. It's ceramic crabs for the Blenheim retrospective (CLICK) and this Chinese dragon, entitled With Wind, for Alcatraz (CLICK). Allegedly both exhibitions are about human rights and freedom of expression. I'd like a cut of his earnings from these shows. So would the Chinese government. He remains under house arrest and had to use virtual reality software to place his exhibits in the Blenheim show.