A Review of WORD PLAY: Language As Medium at The Bonnier Gallery, Miami

Fiona Banner | Arteviste | By Robyn Tisman

Fiona Banner "Vs.," 2013, Double-sided lithograph

Fiona Banner "Vs.," 2013, Double-sided lithograph

Words have meaning. They symbolize ideas, complex concepts. Otherwise, they are merely collections of accumulated letters. Language, or lack thereof, informs the ways in which we navigate life, respond to stimuli, and interact with each other. 

WORD PLAY: Language As Medium, is a tightly curated exhibition on view at The Bonnier Gallery in Miami, Florida through July 20, 2019.  It features works by artists Fiona Banner, Benjamin Bellas, Mel Bochner, David Moreno, Kay Rosen, and Damon Zucconi, and slyly explores the philosophical underpinnings of language. The exhibition's catalogue essay provides the viewer with an overview of the role of language as conceptual art within the context of Postwar Art. 

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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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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

Anthea-Hamilton-Venice-Kimono-2012.-Arts-Council-Collection-Southbank-Centre-London-the-artist-e1554909918786.jpg

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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Edge of Visibility (Group Exhibition): Fiona Banner and Philippe Parreno at IPCNY

Philippe Parreno,  Vermillon Sands, 2004

Philippe Parreno, Vermillon Sands, 2004

Fiona Banner and Philippe Parreno

Edge of Visibility

IPCNY

508 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001

4 October - 19 December, 2018

1301PE is pleased to announce that Fiona Banner’s Top Gun (1966) and prints from Philippe Parreno’s 2005 book Fade to Black including A Penny for Your Thoughts, Website, 2006 (2013), A Wise Chinese Monk Shitting Light, Lamp Prototype For Alejandro Jodorowsky 2006 (2013), and Vermillon Sands, 2004 (2013), will be on view from October 4th to December 19th, 2018 as part of the exhibition Edge of Visibility at International Print Center New York.

Edge of Visibility, curated in conjunction with the September-October issue of the journal Art in Print by its editor-in-chief Susan Tallman, focuses on low-visibility strategies in printmaking. With over forty works spanning the 17th century to the present, the exhibition features laborious microengravings and subtle watermarks to evanescent images printed with UV-reactive inks.

“Viewing,” says guest curator Susan Tallman, “is at the heart of this exercise—what it means to see, physically, metaphysically, socially, and politically.” In Philippe Parreno’s Fade to Black (2005), visibility and its opposite take on intimations of mortality: in normal light, the prints appear to be solid rectangles of color; when the lights are switched off, however, phosphorescent images bloom, only to die off into darkness until they are recharged.

The often laborious, multi-step processes inherent to printmaking allow artists to maintain visual clarity before subverting this visibility in the final image. Examples include the highly-detailed, nearly imperceptible details of Chris Ofili’s multi-layered, opalescent Black Shunga (2008-15), or Walid Raad’s refined Views from Inner to Outer Compartments (2013).

The visual hurdle posed by low-visibility prints urges viewers to be more conscious of their sight upon entering the exhibition space. Rare historical works of virtuoustic micrography by Levi David van Gelder, Johann Michael Püchler, and William Pratt, use minuscule text to create images, escaping the conventional dichotomy of text and image. Matthew Kenyon’s Notepad (2007) and Fiona Banner’s Top Gun (1996) bring the tradition of micrography into the present.

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