Fiona Connor: #8, Closed for Installation, Sequence of Events

Secession

Vienna, Austria

27 June – 1 September 2019

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The New Zealand-born artist Fiona Connor makes sculptural installations in which she replicates objects and structures of everyday life. Her recreations of bulletin boards, drinking fountains, furniture, and doors not only draw attention to these widely overlooked items and their forms, they also reconstruct the histories and micro-economies of communities. Many of her works respond to the infrastructure of the places and environments where she exhibits them, uncovering the underlying mechanisms that may inform our interactions with art and art institutions. The sculptures reveal the artist’s deep curiosity about how things are made. They play with the ambiguity of the handmade and the manufactured, as well as with the boundaries of an art object.

For her exhibition at the Secession, #8, Closed for Installation, Sequence of Events, Connor has developed a body of work that comprises 23 bronze objects that resemble tools commonly used in the installation process of an exhibition: a measuring tape, ruler, pencil, dolly, etc. The sculptures work with the rules of a certain period of labour and maintenance, replicating tools that look very similar all around the world and are usually out of sight at the opening of the exhibition.

In the framework of Connor’s exhibition, the artist was also realizing two projects outside of the Secession: One at Karl-Marx-Hof, a municipal housing complex, where she made a copy of a community bulletin board and relocated it for the duration of the show to a private apartment. The other one is to permanently exchange a standard door from another social housing project in Vienna with a door from a house in Los Angeles.

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Stockholder in Utrecht

Jessica Stockholder | Tablet Magazine | By Jeremy Sigler

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To marvel at a work by Jessica Stockholder is not only to examine her unorthodox assembly of the world’s kit, but to wonder where on earth she shops—where she gets such good deals? Her unconventional art supplies seem to either descend from outer space, or crawl up out of dumpsters. It’s as if junk—be it new or used—has no other purpose than to animate her dystopian sculptural choreography.

One imagines Stockholder stocking up, as it were. Like a chef instinctively sniffing out the freshest ingredients (the tackiest kitschiest artifacts), she’s confident that in time the right idea for their incorporation will come.

I imagine her throwing back a shot of absinthe and embarking on an epic trip to the 99-cent store, in the same 1970s, American-made station wagon (boat) my mom used to drive—a postmodern suburban flâneur, experiencing what Walter Benjamin experienced in Paris (albeit by foot): a fetishistic fix. When the world goes on sale, it’s Stockholder who will have all the coupons.

Indeed, at its root, her process is as decadent as a department store. Picture Rooney Mara seduced by Cate Blanchett in the opening scene of Todd Haynes’ Carol. Or conversely the subtle pathos of a scene in Frederick Wiseman’s The Store (1983) where an average working man, out to please his wife, gets up-sold by a very cunning mink dealer in a Neiman Marcus in Dallas.

And while I’m a less-is-more kind of guy, when it comes to Stockholder, I make an exception. Notwithstanding, when I received a press release in my inbox for her upcoming exhibition all the way across the Atlantic Ocean—that massive ditch filled with salt water, a few fish, and a wad of plastic bags about the size of Brazil—in the old Dutch province of Utrecht, I was a tinge skeptical.

The world has changed since the last time I checked in with Stockholder. And even though I have always admired her “giant steps,” my mood has sobered, and I’d say I’ve lost my stride and swagger. When I read her show’s title, Stuff Matters, and skimmed the Centraal Museum’s PR material, I felt growing anxiety about the deeply contaminated world we now live in.

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Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press

Libby Leshgold Gallery

Vancouver, BC

27 June - 25 August 2019

The Libby Leshgold Gallery and READ Books are pleased to present Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press.

Fiona Banner’s alias “The Vanity Press” stems from The Vanity Press, an imprint she established in 1997 with the publication of her artist book The Nam. Since then her work with publishing—straightforward as well as experimental and performative publishing—has become the mainstay of her practice, and is highly influential in the field of artists’ publishing.

This exhibition focuses on Banner’s Heart of Darkness, published in 2015 by The Vanity Press in collaboration with Four Corners Press. Banner’s remake of Joseph Conrad’s 1899 novella takes the form of a glossy luxury magazine. It began to take shape when she accepted an invitation by the Archive of Modern Conflict to conduct research in the archive. Noting a lack of contemporary images, Banner commissioned Magnum photographer Paolo Pellegrin, who is well known for covering global conflicts, including in the Democratic Republic of Congo where Conrad’s narrator Marlow sets his story, to turn his lens on the financial district of London. These images form the illustrations that accompany the text. Alongside the publication itself, the exhibition includes related work such as Breathing Bag (2016), a small kinetic sculpture made up of a plastic bag printed with a misquote from the novella that reads “Mistah Kurtz—He Not Dead” and the film Phantom (2015) in which a drone Phantom camera attempts to read Heart of Darkness as the down draft from its blades continually blows the magazine out of reach, eventually destroying it.

Further, the exhibition reflects on earlier works such as The Namand Trance (1997), including Banner’s verbal remake of Apocalypse Now, which in turn translates Francis Ford Coppola’s redeployment of Conrad’s narrative framework from Heart of Darkness. Other works on display include a selection of Full Stop Inflatables (2018) and Full Stop Bean Bags (2015), which take the form of massive 3D period marks from various fonts. Also featured are the artists’ books Scroll Down and Keep Scrolling (2015), Font Book (2016), and select artworks related to them. 

Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press is an English artist, who lives and works in London. In 2002 she was shortlisted for the Turner Prize and in 2010, she was selected to create the 10th Duveen Hall commission at Tate Britain. Other recent exhibitions include: Runway AW17, De Pont Museum, Tilburg, Netherlands (2017), Buoys Boys, De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, UK (2016), Scroll Down And Keep Scrolling, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK (2015) and Kunsthalle Nuremberg, Germany (2016), Wp Wp Wp, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield (2014).

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MOCA on the rebound? Three strong shows and free entry are welcome signs of change

Jessica Stockholder | Los Angeles Times | By Christopher Knight

Jessica Stockholder, "White Light Laid Frozen," 2005, mixed media

Jessica Stockholder, "White Light Laid Frozen," 2005, mixed media

In a resurrection myth from ancient Greece, the powerful god Apollo accidentally kills Hyacinth, a beautiful Spartan prince, when a playful game of throwing a metal discus goes tragically awry. The mortal youth, struck in the forehead, dies in his divine lover’s arms

Later reborn as a notably phallic spring flower to assuage Apollo’s grief, Hyacinth, a representation of cycles of decay and renewal, makes an excellent motif for an anniversary celebration at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The renowned institution has had its troubles for the last decade, both financially and in terms of leadership. But as its 40th birthday rolls around, MOCA wants its public to know that the calamities are past. A new flowering is underway.

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Ana Prvacki: Detour

De Young Museum

San Francisco, CA

11 June - 29 September 2019

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The Fine Arts Museums invited artist Ana Prvački, known for her participatory projects that use humor as a means to disarm traditional museum activities and behaviors, to visit and imagine a project that uses the museum experientially, rather than as an exhibition venue. In the resulting project, Detour, Prvački leads visitors around the museum to look anew at the building, grounds, and collections, and imagine different ways of viewing, connecting, and behaving.

In a special collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, short videos will be accessible on mobile devices, triggered at various spots throughout the museum to guide visitors through this alternative tour. With wit and playfulness at their core, each video addresses a different idea, relating the de Young’s context to topics ranging from ancient myth to personal intimacies, environmental matters to vision exercises. In addition to creating dialogues with collection objects and immediate surroundings, two sculptures will be installed in connection with the project.

Prvački is a cross-disciplinary artist whose works take the form of diverse projects that draw on performance, daily practices, consumer aesthetics, and popular concerns. Her projects foreground experimentation in content and form, their ephemeral nature both a strategy for creating unique experiences and a nod to an environmentally conscious artistic practice. She has realized solo exhibitions and projects at the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; and the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin. Her work has also been included in many international exhibitions, including the 14th Istanbul Biennial and dOCUMENTA 13. Her performances have been commissioned by the LA Philharmonic and the Chicago Architecture Biennial, among others.

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Rirkrit Tiravanija: untitled 2019 (the form of the flower is unknown to the seed)

ICA London

London, UK

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The Institute of Contemporary Arts is proud to present a newly commissioned permanently sited work by Rirkrit Tiravanija. 

Tiravanija is known for a practice that overturns traditional exhibition formats in favour of social interactions through the sharing of everyday activities such as cooking, eating and reading. Creating environments that reject the primacy of the art object, and instead focus on use value and the bringing of people together through simple acts and environments of communal care, Tiravanija’s work challenges expectations around labour and virtuosity. 

Open to the public and situated within the ICA’s lower bar, untitled 2019 (the form of the flower is unknown to the seed) comprises a sake bar with communal seating and tables set within a painted sunrise and sunset. Purpose-built for the ICA, the work includes crockery hand-crafted in Tiravanija’s Chiang Mai studio and lighting created in collaboration with artist Rafael Domenech.

untitled 2019 (the form of the flower is unknown to the seed) marks Tiravanija’s return to the ICA, following his participation in the landmark exhibition Real Time in 1993.

untitled 2019 (the form of the flower is unknown to the seed) is presented in collaboration with TBA21, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, with special thanks to Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza.

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Pae White: Beta Space

San Jose Museum of Art

San Jose, CA

18 July 2019 - 19 January 2020

Los Angeles-based artist Pae White transcends nearly all traditional boundaries—between art and design; craft and fine art; theory and materiality. Her curiosity with the world reveals itself in her transformation of ordinary objects into profoundly transient experiences that defy logic, yet remain oddly familiar. White will present a compendium of recent projects for the sixth iteration of the exhibition series “Beta Space.” Launched in 2011, this series encourages artistic risk taking and experimentation, serves as an incubator for new ideas, and fosters creative opportunities as well as links within our community.

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California Dreaming at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Jack Goldstein | By James Russell | D Magazine

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This summer, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth hosts two exhibitions highlighting the development of the twentieth century art scene in the Golden State. David Park: A Retrospective, which opened last weekend, and the highly conceptual Disappearing–California c. 1970: Bas Jan Ader, Chris Burden, Jack Goldstein, which opened last month, weave together two modern art movements from different parts of California.

Guest curated by Phillip Kaiser of Los Angeles, Disappearingoccupies 13,000 square feet of the museum’s entire first floor. It is thematically organized, exploring how the three artists stretched the limitation of disappearance through performance. The show gets its name from Burden’s 1971 work “Disappearing,” in which he vanished from December 22-24.

Only a few years before, Ader created the installation “Please don’t leave me,” the show’s earliest piece (1969). A messy, tangled cluster of light fixtures dangle in front of thin, capitalized letters demanding “PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME.” Of course, you have to leave the piece to continue through the show. (You’re not left to languish for long: Burden’s “Survival Kit” has all the viewer needs to proceed: a joint, a fake $100 bill, a candle, an army knife, and other essentials.) Goldstein’s videos, which show him moving, sitting, and exploring, round out the three artists’ early works.

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Fiona Connor: Openings

Fiona Connor | By Michael Ned Holte | ArtForum

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Long before the advent of Craigslist, bulletin boards emblematized the self-organized welter of transactional democracy. That they continue to exist in schools, libraries, and coffee shops is a testament to their earnest, utilitarian promise, even as they tend to disappear in plain sight—that is, unless you’re suddenly in need of communication with a highly localized audience: You’ve lost a pet, you’re selling a car, you’re seeking guitar lessons or a Spanish tutor.

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Making Social Spaces in Museums: Jori Finkel, Shinique Smith & Rirkrit Tiravanija

Hammer Museum at UCLA

30 May 2019 | 7:30p

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For her new book, It Speaks to Me, journalist Jori Finkel interviewed artists about artworks that inspire them from museums around the world. Two of those artists, Shinique Smith and Rirkrit Tiravanija, join her here to discuss their own history of transforming museum spaces.

Finkel covers art for the New York Times from Los Angeles and is the West Coast correspondent of The Art Newspaper.

Smith is best known for creating socially loaded sculptures out of used clothing and fabrics and recently made a donation center for the homeless part of her exhibition, Shinique Smith: Refuge, at the California African American Museum.

Tiravanija has long made hospitality a part of his art, most famously serving Thai curry and rice to gallery and museum visitors. A related project is included in his new exhibition Rirkrit Tiravanija: (who’s afraid of red, yellow, and green), now on view at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C.

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KCRW Art Talk: Kirsten Everberg at 1301 PE

Kirsten Everberg | KCRW Art Talk | by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp

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Every day we learn — and experience — more about climate change with 300 animal and many more plant species now considered endangered just in California. Overwhelming realizations such as this are increasingly taken on by artists. The ideas are addressed in a quite personal way in a show of new paintings by Kirsten Everberg at 1301 PE in the mid-Wilshire district. The glossy pictures are so lush, their message might take a few moments to absorb. Birds and snakes, insects and flowers are painted in her trademark oil and enamel on panel, a medium that is shiny and vibrant.

The title of the show, Life Still, offers more than one meaning. This is life at this moment, life that is holding still but also still here. La Graciosa (2019) is an arrangement of lavender thistles and blooms is set before a yellow wall and window to the outdoors, where a ferret looks in. Grasshoppers are coupling under a blossom. A winning hand of cards lays on the table to emphasize the role of chance. (Very appealing cards of the artist’s unique design.)

This and other still lives were arranged by the L.A.-based artist who received her undergraduate and graduate degress in art from UCLA. They are set up in her architectural home, designed by Barbara Bestor, in Silverlake. They are intimately observed but they come from a lengthy lineage of art, especially the Golden Age of Dutch painting in 17th century. Artists chose flowers from different seasons of the year to symbolize the brevity and beauty of existance. Such paintings are called vanitas because they symbolize transcience and transcendence, the vanity of looking for internal, spiritual sustenance in the temporal assets of wealth or fame.

In the past, this referred to the lives of people, encouraging the search for faith in their time. Everberg’s asks us to consider our impact on the lives of animals and plants, whose survival as species is dependent on our behavior.

Rather than linger on that depressing thought, we can look to the painting themselves with their carefully integrated areas of color that puddle and swirl like liquified jewels yet coalesce as studies of nature within the context of daily life.

In this and other paintings, the animals are not portrayed in their actual proportions. Bugs are big, animals small. The effect is a bit jarring but accomplishes the desired result, making us look more closely for other clues to meaning.

Everberg brings us vanitas paintings for our times with a broken glass as fragility, a butterfly perched on a split pomegranite as a token of sundered faith. She is hardly the only contemporary painter to be returning to the still life traditions. Known for her past paintings that integrated memory and present reality, often within in architectural interiors, she now asks us to look at the present before it becomes our irretrievable history. The show continues through June 29.

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Swinging times in the DMZ

Superflex | The Korea Herald | By Shim Woo-hyun

Superflex installation that filled the Turbine Hall in London's Tate Modern finds a new location a long way from home.

You can ride on a swing in the Demilitarized Zone along the border between the two Koreas, and it’s even a three-seater. 

Danish artist group Superflex’s two-swing set from their 2017 large-scale installation “One Two Three Swing!” has been installed at Dora observatory situated at the northernmost point of the DMZ, in Paju, Gyeonggi Province. 

Tourists and soldiers visiting Dora observatory were swinging under blue-clear sky on Tuesday. Taking pictures of them was Jakob Fenger, who founded Superflex along with Rasmus Nielsen and Bjornstjerne Christiansen in 1993. 

“It’s a magical moment (to seeing the work being installed at the site),” Fenger said during a press conference held on Tuesday at Dora observatory in the DMZ, which overlooks various locations in North Korea, including the downtown of Gaeseong, Songaksan on the backdrop, Kim Il-Sung Statue, cooperation farms and so on. 

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Artist Rirkrit Tiravanija is serving free curry at his Hirshhorn installation. We asked him to explain why.

Rirkrit Tiravanija | by Sadie Dingfelder | Washington Post

Does contemporary art make you hungry? Then you’re going to love the Hirshhorn’s new exhibit, “Rirkrit Tiravanija: Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Green.” The installation, which opens Friday, serves up three colors of Thai curry to lunchtime visitors, who can dine while watching area art students sketch images of political protests on the gallery walls. (Visitors can even assist with the drawing if they’d like.)

Tiravanija, a Thai artist who grew up in Thailand, Ethiopia and Canada, is known for including communal elements like dining and group drawings in his installations. Often, he even cooks the food himself, as he did for the original 2010 manifestation of this piece in Bangkok. In the Hirshhorn version, the food will be catered by local restaurant Beau Thai, and visitors can try the curries (while supplies last) Thursdays through Sundays, 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m., through July 24. We talked to Tiravanija to learn what he hopes people take from the piece, besides a full belly.

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Kerry Tribe 'Exquisite Corpse' at Wisch Family Gallery

Anderson Collection at Stanford University

16 May – 29 July 2019

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The Anderson Collection will be presenting two films by Los Angeles–based visual artist Kerry Tribe. The first, Standardized Patient (2017), on view from February 28 through May 6, explores issues of performance, communication, and empathy by investigating the interactions of standardized patients, or “SPs”—professional actors playing the roles of patients—and medical school doctors-in-training. The video was commissioned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and informed by close collaboration with the Standardized Patient Program at Stanford University Medical School.

The second video installation, Exquisite Corpse (2016), on view from May 16 through July 29, traces the fifty-one-mile Los Angeles River from its origin in the San Fernando Valley to its terminus at the Pacific Ocean, over the course of fifty-one minutes. Throughout the journey, Tribe presents glimpses into the flora, fauna, communities, and neighborhoods intersected and impacted by the ever-changing river.

Together, these works—considered by Tribe as “documentary adjacent”—highlight Tribe’s ongoing inquiry into life sciences and medicine, memory, language, and consciousness.

During her time on campus through the Presidential Residency on the Future of the Arts and Stanford Arts Institute, Tribe will teach two courses: one during winter quarter, titled Art in the Age of Neuroscience, and the other during spring quarter, titled Practice and Critique. Tribe’s films and installations have been exhibited widely, including at the Museum of Modern Art, Tate Modern, and most recently, SFMOMA, where her work was the subject of a solo exhibition.

This exhibition is organized by the Anderson Collection at Stanford University. We gratefully acknowledge support from Museum Members and the Harry W. and Mary Margaret Anderson Charitable Foundation.

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Jack Goldstein | Disappearing – California, c. 1970

The Modern

Fort Worth, TX

10 May - 11 August 2019

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In 1971, Chris Burden disappeared for three days without a trace. That work, entitled Disappearing, gives its name to this exhibition, which examines the theme of disappearance in the works of Burden and his contemporaries in 1970s Southern California, Bas Jan Ader and Jack Goldstein. Loosely affiliated, these three artists shared a common interest in themes of disappearance and self-effacement, which manifested in works that were daring and often dangerous. In 1972, Jack Goldstein buried himself alive during a performance, while Chris Burden’s often self-harming works explored the limits of pain. During Bas Jan Ader’s tragic last work, In search of the miraculous, 1975, the artist vanished while crossing the Atlantic in a small sailboat, never to be seen again. Responding to cultural pressures like the Vietnam War and the nascent field of feminist art, the artists poignantly used “disappearing” as a response to the anxiety of the 1970s.

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Jorge Méndez Blake: Amerika

Jorge Méndez Blake | Brooklyn Rail | by Colin Edgington

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The reds of the brick wall call out to me as I enter the gallery. I want to feel the gritty texture, the red that beckons in my mind both the clay of the earth and of blood. At 33 feet long, its foreboding presence is an affront to the space, cutting through like national borders do through the landscape. The bricks range from deep maroons to warm-tinged tones, many of which are stained with white as if washed with the calcium of bones. A wall is an indifferent object that creates difference around it, impeding movement and obscuring vision. The top of the wall reaches to about my eye level and I can see the word “Imagine” from Dread Scott’s Imagine a World Without America peeking over from the other side.

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Fiona Connor: Closed for Installation

Sculpture Center

Long Island City, NY

29 April - 29 July 2019

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Los Angeles-based artist Fiona Connor remakes overlooked everyday objects, including bulletin boards, park benches, community noticeboards, doors of closed down clubs, real estate signs, municipal water fountains, and so on. She is interested in where these objects come from, what they are made out of, who makes them and for whom, as well as the relationships that the artist initiates and maintains in order to reproduce and re-present the objects as works of art.

For her new commission at SculptureCenter, Connor is producing a set of intersecting works that bring together the artist’s investment in the various operations of sculpture in an expansive field of production, maintenance, and display. In the gallery, she shows a number of bronze pieces that replicate tools required to install an exhibition, such as a measuring tape, a paint tray, a dolly, and scraps of cardboard. Nearby in an apartment in Long Island City, the artist arranges for an annual window cleaning, in perpetuity.

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Jessica Stockholder: Stuff Matters

Centraal Museum Utrecht

19 April - 1 September 2019

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This summer, Centraal Museum presents Jessica Stockholder: Stuff Matters. Jessica Stockholder (USA 1959) came to fame in the early 1990s with colourful and picturesque as well as monumental installations. In her work, Stockholder combines all sorts of everyday items – ranging from umbrellas and cushions to furniture and lamps – to form an overwhelming composition. Through her playful manipulation of form and colour, she is able to transform the entire room.

With her open-minded approach to the world, Stockholder aims to disrupt our usual view of the items and materials that surround us daily, and to subvert our notions regarding what’s worthwhile and worthless.

In this exhibition, Jessica Stockholder acts as both artist and curator. In addition to a retrospective of her oeuvre, she applies her unique perspective to select objects from the museum’s various collections. The exhibition Jessica Stockholder: Stuff Matters will run from 19 April to 1 September 2019.

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There’s a New Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery That Both Art and Film Buffs Will Love

Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press | The Guide Liverpool

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As seen on screen: art and cinema (31 May to 18 August 2019) features work by artists including Fiona Banner, Anthea Hamilton, Hardeep Pandhal and Sam Taylor-Johnson. The exhibition considers the influence of cinema on art across more than 20 artworks. The works represent a broad range of media, including screenprints, photography and film.

As seen on screen showcases Merseyside-born artist Fiona Banner’s The Desert; a five metre-wide screenprint which retells the epic 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia. The large scale of the artwork brings to mind the experience of gazing up at a cinema screen.

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