Tag: contemporary art

A conversation with Fiona Grady. When light activates art.

Uncategorized July 28, 2017

Fiona Grady (born 1984, Leeds) is an abstract artist whose practice recognises the relationship between architecture, installation art, and decoration. She plays with light, surface, and scale; often using traditional mediums in a modern context. Her geometrical pieces work as atmospheric printed stained glasses that change with the light of day, emphasising the passing of time and the ephemeral nature of the work itself.

The concepts of repetition-discontinuity or inside-outside work here, altogether, by creating systems, apparently static, that interact with their surroundings as if they were alive. Is in the process of reflection, when the light enters through the windows and touches the skins inside the room- walls and bodies-, the moment the artwork becomes unlimited.

Grady studied BA Fine Art at the University of Wales in Cardiff before completing a Masters degree in Fine Art at Wimbledon School of Art (UAL). Grady has been short-listed for several printmaking prizes including Neo-print Prize 2014, Bainbridge Open 2012, and Clifford Chance’s Survey of MA printmaking 2011. She currently lives and works in London.

Image courtesy of The Art House, Wakefield and Axis

Could you describe your artistic process?

I create large site-responsive drawings on walls, windows, and floors using sequences of dispersing geometric shapes. The drawings are spatial systems composed from repeating intervals that expand in proportion or direction. The use of repetition is a means to set in place an unconscious balance or understanding that can be interrupted by the introduction of a changeable factor.

What kind of feelings, ideas, or emotions do you wish to communicate with your artworks?

My work is site-responsive; when I approach a new installation I consider the function of the site, it’s architectural features and the purpose of the project. I aim to create pieces that have motion within a space, either through the movement of the shapes I introduce, or the interaction with outside factors such as daylight. I don’t seek to tell the viewers how to feel, but I purposefully choose colour palettes that respond to the loudness or quietness of their venue.

Repetition occurs in my motifs and placement. I use geometric shapes as they have rules attached to their forms, by using them repeatedly I can explore their restrictions and introduce subtle changes that allow the artworks to move or grow.

Cathedral, 2016

What are the possibilities of working in the wall vs. the traditional canvas?

I’ve always considered my primary practice to be drawing. When studying I trained as a printmaker rather than a painter so I’ve never felt a strong inclination to work on a traditional canvas. I began working directly onto walls during my Masters, partly led by my admiration of the artist Sol LeWitt. I found that a wall drawing can only ever be the perfect size as you are restricted by its physical layout. In addition, creating site-specific works introduces a range of factors that are out of your control, these limitations can help determine and influence the final result. I find these challenges exciting.

Field Drawing, 2015

Image courtesy of The Art House, Wakefield and Axis

Who or what inspires you?

The artists that have the most influence on my practice are Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin and Daniel Buren. Each of them has a very strong sense of identity and utilises the transformative qualities of art. For Sol LeWitt his use of geometry is inspiring, his works are puzzles that are never really solved, only interpreted by their viewers/makers. Agnes Martin’s use of colour is almost spiritual, her exhibition at Tate Modern was very powerful. Despite the simplicity and subtleties of her paintings, I find them moving. On the much bolder scale, I am fascinated by Daniel Buren’s early line paintings that he installed in public spaces, many without permission, to question where art belongs.

Shutter, 2016

What are your future projects?

At beginning of July, I’m having my first solo exhibition in Germany at a space called Adhoc in Bochum. Each year they invite a selection of artists from around the world to create a site responsive artworks for the gallery. I will be making a series of wall drawings using geometric forms. I’m really excited about the opportunity to work abroad and keen to explore a new art scene to meet the artists there. I also have a couple of solo projects later this autumn. I’ll be making a series of new works on paper and a digital artwork for a crypt gallery in Hastings as part of Coastal Currents, an annual art festival. It’s going to be a challenging space to work in as it’s a listed building but it’ll be a great canvas for my drawings. Plus, I’ve been invited to present work for Coventry Biennial. The details are still secret but what I can say is that it will be first time I exhibit wall and window drawings together. It’s going to be a busy and fun year!


 

Front cover image: Umbra Slip, 2017
Created for Sid Motion Gallery

Johanne Lykke Poulsen. Painting with water

Uncategorized January 19, 2017

Today I want to introduce you the work of Johanne Lykke Poulsen (1989). This young Danish visual artist works with large abstract paintings, though her artistic practice also involves text and vocal based sound art. She finds in natural elements like water a constant source of inspiration. And it is through a soak stain technique that we feel the halo of her works. A glow that has to do with the concept of the sublime related to nature. The wild and uncontrolled nature is here expressed through explosions of colour, infusing a sense of greatness to the work in an affective and sensible way that wraps you with wonder and admiration.

Johanne Lykke Poulsen is a graduate from The Jutland Art Academy in Aarhus, Denmark (2015) and has been an artist-in-residence at The Danish Institute in Athens (2016), Taekker Air Berlin (2016) and Residency Unlimited in New York (2014). After living and working in Berlin, she recently relocated to Copenhagen.

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No Storms (2016)

What does the relation between water and color mean to you?

In my work, color and water are two significant components that compliment each other. They are necessary and important. One couldn’t be without the other.

What kind of feeling or emotion do you wish to communicate with your art works?

I aim to let my art communicate an open-ended aesthetic sensibility rather than specific emotions. I think of communicating emotion in an abstract way. American painter, Agnes Martin said that sensibility is the same as beauty. I like the idea of communicating sensibility.

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Wild Greens (2017)

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Poem by a Tree (2016)

Where do you find beauty?

I grew up in a country with a coastline so long that no matter where you stand you’re less than 20 miles away from the sea. Water is a fundamental element in my work. I find beauty in water both physically and emotionally. Water is complex, sublime.

Who or what inspires you?

Agnes Martin and Helen Frankenthaler are true inspirational sources to my work. These two strong women’s work motivates me to paint everyday. I remember when I first came to New York in 2014, I saw Roni Horn’s installation of glass sculptures filled with water at House & Wirth. Her work with water made a huge impression on me. As I also work with text, I find inspiration from Cy Twombly, Gertrude Stein and Sylvia Plath.

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Two Rose Tall (2016)

Could you describe your artistic process?

I am not sure where a painting exactly begins to me. I believe in intuition. Its a religion to me. It’s a fine balance, of course, and naturally our intuition is affected by so many things – culture, experience, trends, other artists, the internet and so on. Though, I would say my process involves quite a lot of intuition. My paintings can start as a note on a small piece of paper, as an impression that another painting made on me or it can start with me simply pouring paint onto the canvas. As I paint, I apply thinned layers of acrylic paint onto the canvas. I always work on the floor. With the high ratio of water I work with, it is necessary to paint horizontally. The repetition of using water in my work has become a ritual in my studio practice.

Future projects for 2017? 


I spent the first week of 2017 moving from Berlin back to Copenhagen. Im excited about being located in my home country again for a while. With that said I love travelling and exploring new cultures as it gives me inspiration and energy to be creative. Right now, I am in Costa Rica exploring a whole new climate and environment. I am hoping the cloud forests and waterfalls will leave their marks on my next paintings. In the spring, I have a one month residency in Portugal. There I will produce field studies of the surrounding landscape and implement this in a new series of large scale paintings.

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White Water Falls (2016)

Learn more about Johanne Lykke Poulsen here.

Ana de Fontecha. Outside space

Uncategorized December 18, 2016

I remember how much I liked her Oxford shoes. I also remember the way she used to keep some tiny pieces of paper with geometrical motifs around her desk. It’s funny how those small details about a person can stick in your head for such a long time. I’m talking about the artist Ana de Fontecha, whom I met during our Masters in History of Contemporary Art, around three years ago now. I want to share her work here today.

Ana de Fontecha (1990) is a Spanish artist based in Madrid and a member of ‘Estudio Mendoza. Her work is mainly focused on the concept of space. She is interested in the relationship between the subject and the outside, and on how this contextual demarcation helps to define us. We can think of natural, domestic, or urban spaces, and how we are always connected to one or another. Ana reflects not only on how we are shaped by our surroundings but also how we give meaning to them by our presence.

These thoughts are translated into a very elegant artistic language, infused with a minimal art influence. Materials like wood and paper, the colors blue, green, and pink, geometrical repetitions, or constructions like boxes or roof beams, are the elements that form part of Ana de Fontecha’s powerful artistic universe.

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Ana H. del Amo. Colours between the lines

Uncategorized December 4, 2016

Ana H. del Amo is a Spanish artist (Cáceres, 1977) interested in the study of form, movement, and texture. Her wooden and metal pieces could be described as sensorial sculptural paintings because of the vividness they express through colour. Her artworks breathe life. We feel their corporality due to their liberation from the flatness of the canvas. Ana H. del Amo’s work is an invitation to experience art in a ludic way, pleasing the eye, but at the same time asking for reflection and time.

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Jimena Kato: “Every artwork is a way we have found to solve a specific problem”.

Uncategorized November 30, 2016

Jimena Kato (Lima, Perú) is a multidisciplinary artist currently based in Madrid. I discovered her in an art fair and the pieces she was presenting remained in my memory for a long time. Time. Unstable. Precarious. Delicate. Popcorn. These are the words I would use to describe her work, if only art could be translated to language. Her artworks could be thought as time experiments where matter is studied through the slow but constant processes of change. As if they were natural objects, as if they were us.

Jimena Kato studied sculpture, video and performance in ESADMM Marseille, France. After that she  obtained her transmedia post-diploma in Sint­Lukas Hogeschool, Brussels. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including Paris, Lima, Brussels, Philadelphia, Bogotá, and Spain.

 

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How would you describe your work?

Adaptable to circumstances.

What can we learn from ourselves through artworks?

Every artwork is a way we have found to solve a specific problem, so with every piece we make, we learn something.

 

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What kind of feelings do you wish to communicate?

I don’t want to communicate feelings, nor I think I have anything to tell to other people, I think what I do are tests, attempts, trys and fails and then when I show my work the question is more likely “what do you think?” or feel for that matter. I’m curious about the reaction in other people, if they get something. Of course I want them to like it, to take with them something from it after experiencing it, but that is all I can wish for.

 

 

Where do you find beauty?

Normally I don’t find it because I’m not particularly looking for it. I think beauty happens, as a consequence of something. It doesn’t exist as a closed predetermined form, it is more a sort of transitional movement that suddenly unveils it. Beauty always surprises me coming from nowhere or from unexpected places, gestures, situations, always from nature, nature can be terrible too.

 

 

 

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Learn more about Jimena Kato here!

 

Abstract tape. Rebecca Ward

Uncategorized September 19, 2016

Rebecca Ward (1984) is my new art obssesion. I have been following her work for a while and I think is time to share her powerful but at the same time delicate universe. She is an artist from Texas based in Brooklyn. She studied Fine Arts in the University of Texas and received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York. Her light color geometrical paintings and her crafty site-specific installations made with tape are strongly influenced by minimalism, abstraction, and arte povera. Frank Stella, Daniel Buren, an Carl Andre are some of the artists that I hear echo in this beautiful work engaged with the exploration of space and color. Also she has one of the best artist statements I have ever read!

She is represented by The Ronchini Gallery.

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Interview with Kristin Texeira: “Nostalgia is a story I’m always trying to tell”

Uncategorized March 6, 2016

Kristin Texeira is a young abstract painter originally from Massachusetts and currently based in Brooklyn. I discovered her work scrolling through Instagram and I immediately fell in love with her colors and her unique sensibility. I don’t know how I got there but sometimes the internet gives your beautiful surprises. Texeira’s work firstly reminded me to Wes Anderson’s pastel palette, but it is her combination of colors with a specific personal memory what makes her work an absolute original world. This is a sincere universe you would not want to leave and that is easily to find related to.

Her artworks can be understood as an inventory of memories. Each color matches a person, a place, a conversation, a smell, a kiss, or even childhood reminiscences. Her oil paintings in paper are proofs of what we were. Nostalgia is preserved in her imperfect geometrical pieces -but full of narrative content-, not in a sentimental way but with the aim of understanding ourselves. Kristin Texeira is turquoise, light green and pale pink. What color is your story?

I paint to provide proof—for myself and others—of existing in certain moments in time. I paint to capture, document, and preserve memories. I translate the essence of moments through color by mixing up the poetics of people and places.

(Kristin Texeira)

How much can we learn from ourselves through artworks?/ ¿Cuánto podemos aprender de nosotros mismos a través del arte?
 
Most of my pieces begin as free-writes. Sometimes as the mind flows I’m lost in a sea of rambles. Occasionally, however, I discover that a particular memory surfaces more often than once. This is how I know it’s important and needs to be recognized. I try to pick apart these trends and understand what the threads behind these memories are. That usually leads me to painting series.
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Also, specific colors seem to find me for certain reasons. When I first started painting I would always mix a particular blue to fill in the background of self portraits or still lives. Later in my career, I did a project investigating the colors of my grandmother’s home where I spent much of my childhood. I discovered the blues of her living room matched the blue that I always subconsciously mixed. Art allows you the space for secrets of the past to seep out and surprise you.

La mayoría de mis obras empiezan de una manera libre. A veces mientras la mente fluye me pierdo en divagaciones. De todas formas, ocasionalmente, descubro que un recuerdo concreto sobresale más de una vez. Así es cómo descubro qué es lo importante y lo que merece ser señalado. Intento desmenuzar estos fenómenos y comprender cuál es el hilo que une estas memorias. Este proceso normalmente me lleva realizar series de pinturas. De la misma manera, determinados colores parecen encontrarme por alguna razón.

Cuando empecé a pintar siempre mezclaba un azul especial para rellenar el fondo de los autorretratos o naturalezas muertas que hacía. Más tarde durante mi carrera realicé un proyecto en el que investigaba los colores de la casa de mi abuela en la que pasé la mayor parte de mi infancia. Descubrí que los azules de su salón hacían juego con los azules que inconscientemente había mezclado.

El arte te abre la puerta al espacio en el que los secretos del pasado se filtran y te sorprenden.

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What role plays the emotion of nostalgia in your work?/ ¿Qué papel juega la nostalgia en tu trabajo?

Nostalgia is a story I’m always trying to tell. It is at the start of each piece. It is the reason why I paint. Colors come to mind when I interact with people and places and I used these colors as markers of time. I mix colors specific to a moment to create a gateway that allows me to revisit the memory again and again.

Finding a remedy for nostalgia is my motivation to travel back in time to uncover thoughts before they collect too much dust and to shake them out onto paper. Or even to steal nostalgia from the present to stick it down on paper and save it in color before it fades.

La nostalgia es una historia que siempre estoy intentado contar. Se encuentra al comienzo de cada obra. Es la razón por la que pinto. Los colores vienen a mi mente cuando interactúo con personas y lugares, y uso esos colores como marcadores temporales. Combino colores que pertenecen a un momento concreto para crear un portal que me permita revisitar ese recuerdo una y otra vez.

Mi interés en viajar atrás en el tiempo es encontrar un remedio para la nostalgia, con el fin de sacar a la luz pensamientos antes de que cojan demasiado polvo y de sacudirlos en el papel. O incluso robar la nostalgia del presente para fijarlo al papel y salvarlo en colores antes de que se desvanezca.

If you could time travel what would you prefer: relive an old memory or discover a time you never lived? /¿Si pudieras viajar en el tiempo que preferirías: revivir un recuerdo o descubrir un tiempo que nunca has vivido?

I feel lucky enough to be able to travel back in time via paintings or old sketchbooks and I’m happy with my present place. I am curious about the idea of parallel universes though. Somedays I feel like I’m missing someone or some place and I can’t exactly explain what. I think about decisions in life that I’ve made and how when I made a choice maybe life split and now it overlaps and I still feel the strong emotions from a path that I’m not currently on. So, if I could, in some crazy way, I’d like to explore other layers in the universes of my own life.

Me siento muy afortunada de poder viajar atrás en el tiempo a través de mis pinturas y de mis viejos cuadernos, y estoy feliz con mi tiempo presente. Aun así tengo curiosidad por la idea de los universos paralelos. Algunos días siento que echo de menos a alguien o un lugar, no puedo explicar exactamente que extraño. Pienso en las decisiones que he tomado en mi vida y cómo cada vez que tomé una decisión puede que la vida se escindiera y ahora mismo se sobrepusieran esos dos caminos. Todavía siento esa emoción fuerte del camino en el que no estoy. Así que, si pudiera de alguna forma loca, me gustaría explorar las otras capas del universo de mi propia vida.

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Where do you find beauty?/ ¿Dónde encuentras belleza?
 
 Little conversational exchanges with strangers.
Stories swapped over dinner tables.
Open spaces.
When I loose track of time.
En pequeñas conversaciones con desconocidos.
Intercambios de historias durante la cena.
En espacios abiertos.
Cuando pierdo la noción del tiempo.
 

A fictional character that inspires you/ Un personaje de ficción que te inspire.

Eloise Wengler. She is one of J.D. Salinger’s characters from his short story “Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut”. I’m not entirely sure why I love her because she is described “jaded” and “unhappy”. But, her language is so clever and sarcastic and sharp. I think mostly I feel bad for her. She married a man because of a book that she finds out he never read. And I imagine how different things would have been if she could have ended up with the boy who thought being able to touch her stomach was the most beautiful thing in the world.

Eloise Wengler. Ella es uno de los personajes del cuento de J.D. Salinger, El tío Wiggily en Connecticut. No estoy muy segura de por qué me encanta, ya que en realidad ella es descrita con los adjetivos “hastiada” e “infeliz”. Pero su forma de hablar es muy inteligente, sarcástica y aguda. Creo que principalmente me siento mal por ella. Se casó con un hombre por un libro que luego descubre que nunca se leyó. Imagino cómo de diferente hubieran sido las cosas si hubiera acabado con aquel chico que pensaba que tocar el estómago de Eloise era la cosa más bella del mundo.
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“Well, wudga marry him for, then?” Mary Jane said.
“Oh, God! I don’t know. He told me he loved Jane Austen. He told me her books meant a great deal to him. That’s exactly what he said. I found out after we were married that he hadn’t even read one of her books. You know who his favourite author is?”
Mary Jane shook her head.
“L. Manning Vines. Ever hear of him?”

(J.D. Salinger)

You can follow Kristin Texeira’s work here
All images belong to the artist.