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12 Star Gallery at the Europe House
The 12 Star Gallery at Europe House shows work which celebrates the creativity and cultural diversity that is the hallmark of the European Union. Exhibitions are organised mostly by the embassies and cultural institutes of the EU countries.
Forthcoming exhibitions are listed below; an account of past shows and a brief history can be found here: The 12 Star Gallery | The First 10 Years.
The gallery is open from 10am-6pm, Monday to Friday and is located at 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU.
Sophia Hatwagner and Antonia Wagner-Strauss
Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien
25 April – 12 May 2017
In her installations, Sophia Hatwagner explores conditions of perception, using elements arising from common personal, historical and media-related experiences. She deals with the exhibition space as raw material, and highlights inherent elements, to emphasize and make structures visible.
Her site specific practice deals with the overlapping from physical space with the imagined social space and with the viewer’s perception in the context of the art exhibition.
For her exhibition in the 12 Star Gallery her use of the space revolves around images that generate social identity. In this case images of the EU that should help construct and enforce an identity, like the iconic image of the 12 gold stars on blue background.
This well-known symbol, which acts as an object of common identity for all members of the European Union, is currently in crisis. The individual nations of the Union describe and regulate their internal cohesion to a great extent through myths. But the imagined community, Europe, lacks these strong myths, symbols and historic background at the supranational level. A European community whose identity is based solely on economic success, however, quickly reaches its limits as soon as a crisis arises in this field. Rituals and symbols on a visual level should unite the EU, creating a shared narrative, but the question of the medium arises. Sophia Hatwagner's interaction with the space intends to generate questions around these topics.
Antonia Wagner-Strauss’ artistic practice focuses on representations of the body in dialogue with photography.
In different work processes she uses her own body as a tool and projection space to reflect over oppressive society structures and to question unstable concepts as identity, body and gender. To expand the possibilities of representation the human shape is replaced by sculptural objects, associating the sculpturality of the body and photography.
In her photographic work Traces on the Ground – Manifestation of a Body in a Place, 2016, conceived for the exhibition at the 12 Star Gallery, three red marble cubes are placed in a field.
The dispersed cubes are symbolizing remains of the process of marking of a territory with stones that ultimately failed, associating pieces of a broken border. They are embodied traces that make us think of missing bodies, restless movements through landscapes and migration. The represented body is fragmented, divided and is spreading out to different places.
The artist often works with contradictory elements. Hard, raw or manufactured materials meet natural, delicate matters. This ambiguity creates an exposed but empowered state and image of materialized corporality.
Organised by the Austrian Cultural Forum, London
CIT Crawford College of Art & Design (Cork)
17 - 26 May 2017
An exhibition representing emerging contemporary artists from Ireland, curated from CIT Crawford College of Art & Design (Cork) 2016 MA in Art & Process graduates. The concept of process is understood in a variety of ways: as material exploration and the engagement with medium and technique; as theoretical investigation and systems of enquiry without resolved or object-based endpoints; as innovative models of art distribution, including the possibilities of working outside traditional sites of art production and reception. Process also refers to the progression each student achieves over the course of the MA, which involves the observation, critique, deconstruction, documentation and rebuilding of individual practice.
L'École Nationale Supérieure d'Arts de Paris-Cergy (ENSAPC)
31 May – 9 June 2017
On the occasion of its participation in the 12 Star Gallery, ENSAPC is pleased to present its painting studio. Seven young artists from the first year to recent graduates express the spirit of open-mindedness, cross-disciplinarity, and variety that animates the studio. Two ENSAPC artists from very different realms but with complementary ways of seeing, Carole Benzaken and Eric Dalbis, epitomize the studio’s principle of opening painting up to the full field of its possibilities.
This idea fits perfectly with the school’s teaching mission, which is simultaneously to train and to provide a space for abundant, mutually supportive creativity, activity, and exchange in which multiple approaches, from the most highly developed to the most experimental, are encouraged.
Eager to rise to the challenges of the contemporary world, Cergy’s school of art is committed to the formation of strong links with international partners for the benefit of all students. Through Hyphens-s, ENSAPC happily joins its name with those of other European schools.
Organised by the Institut Français Royaume-Uni
spouses in context a photographic project with Christine Bory photographer
a list of countries
14 – 30 June 2017
Being the spouse of a diplomat is a challenging status. Today women and men share the same ambitions, opportunities and dreams. What does it take to be the follower in a diplomat partner’s life?
Making portraits of diplomats' spouses in a context they have chosen for its meaningfulness, I asked them to give their definition of what it’s like to be involved in a lifestyle that has so many aspects, and share the list of countries to which they have been sent.
I invite the viewer to look beyond the stereotype, and open up to another vision of the diplomatic spouse.
Includes the participation of the ambassador's spouses posted in London from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Greece Ireland, Italy Poland Slovakia, Slovenia and others.
Gather (a re-collection)
Royal College of Art
5 – 14 July 2017
This exhibition showcases the work of 18 graduates of 2016 from the Royal College of Art’s MA Print programme in the school of Fine Art who worked closely alongside each other for two years before dispersing around the world to continue their work as artists. The issue of the distribution of images at a time when images are increasingly shared on digital platforms is central to our course. Students were invited to post a paper based image or upload a digital file to be shown on screen copy which uses the idea of interconnection and gathering as a starting point.
We are grateful to the 12 Gallery for continuing a collaboration which began in 2012.
And giving our students the opportunity to show in an environment where the diversity of nations and peoples is celebrated.
Kihnu - The Isle of Women
Photographs by Jérémie Jung
19 July – 15 September 2017
Kihnu, an Estonian island in the Gulf of Riga, situated an hour’s ferry ride away from the coast, has thanks to its women retained a culture that has cemented its position as part of UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage since 2003. This unique European and Baltic culture is thus now officially acknowledged and protected. Whereas Kihnu’s men – for the most part sailors and fishermen – brought innovation and novelty to the island, the women, that we could qualify as ‘cultural guardians’, where more conservative and tended to the affairs of the island.
And so, despite the influence of the dominant powers (Danish, Swedish, German, Russian), the islanders have managed to preserve their traditions to this day. Theirs is a culture that expresses itself every day through clothes, dialect and celebrations, through music, songs and religion, in a form of syncretism that brings together local traditions and beliefs.
Today, if this culture is under threat, it would certainly be due to the globalisation of standards and the ageing of its population.
Jérémie Jung is a French photographer who lives in Paris and works for the French and international press.
His personal work focuses on Estonia and in particular on the question of the resilience of traditional cultures. His photos about the island of Kihnu as well the Setos, an ethnic and linguistic minority of South-Eastern Estonia, have been exposed in France at Rencontres d'Arles - 2014, “Photo de Mer” Vannes - 2015, INALCO, Paris - 2015 and the Festival Les Boréales, Caen - 2016, but also at the Estonian National Museum (Tartu, 2015). This is the first time his works are shown in the UK.
Organized by the Embassy of Estonia to mark its Presidency of the Council of the EU 2017.
Bon à Tirer
Contemporary prints and multiples from the RA Schools
20 – 29 September 2017
100 Wishes from Finland
4 – 27 October 2017
Every picture tells a story. '100 Wishes from Finland' portrays the huge variety of Finnish stamps over the 100 years of Finnish Independence.
Organised by the Embassy of Finland as part of the Finland 100 celebrations.
1 – 24 November 2017
Objects made of straw are very traditional Christmas decorations in Finland, especially a hanging decoration called himmeli along with smaller pieces that can be hung on Christmas trees.
The nature of straw is delicate, light and warm but in its fragility you will also find strength. This exhibition will open your senses to new, unexplored dimensions of straw, brought to you by a straw artist Pirjo Väisänen one of Finland's finest straw artists.
Organised by the Embassy of Finland as part of the Finland 100 celebrations.
Here is the Future, Now
Glasgow School of Art
5 – 21 April 2017
This exhibition showcases a range of the best work from the third year of the Fine Art degree programme at the Glasgow School of Art. The three specialist departments in the School of Fine Art responsible for the delivery of discipline specific studio education have selected current student work from open submission for this exhibition. The departments focus on the development of contemporary practices in Painting and Printmaking, Sculpture and Environmental Art and Fine Art Photography. European and international in outlook, in this exhibition the School of Fine Art presents students who will graduate in 18 months' time. They will contribute to the artistic communities of Scotland, and beyond, in increasingly uncertain times. What you see now is the future; it is up to these artists and their peers to shape it.
Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera
22 – 31 March 2017
The title of this exhibition comes from a passage of William Shakespeare’s Anthony and Cleopatra (act 1, scene 5): “My salad days, when I was green in judgment, cold in blood….” The idiomatic expression refers to youth as a time of inexperience accompanied by enthusiasm and idealism, and in this exhibition it recalls by extension the archetype of Senex and Puer, as developed by the psychologist James Hillman.
Saturn and Mercury, personification of Senex and Puer, are archetypal figures of the inner life of the individual but they also work as metaphors of the dynamic life of social institutions. The Academy of Brera was founded in 1776 by the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, who collected in the building of Brera in Milan the Fine Arts Academy, the Brera Library, the Botanical Garden. The Institution further grew under Napoleon creating the Palace of Science, Arts and Letters according to the conception of knowledge of the Enlightenment, with the opening of Pinacoteca di Brera. From the Romantic period onwards, it strengthened its role as the “authoritative” model of artistic education and at the same time as historical exhibition place.
In the narrative of the exhibition, the Academy of Brera plays the role of Saturn/Senex archetype and embodies the principle of authority derived from his historical lineage. The fine arts students that every day inhabit the Brera Academy, represent the “Salad Days” of the Institution, in the past as well as in the present days.
This exhibition of selected artworks by young artists of Brera provides a showcase of their individual and mercurial creativity together and against the saturnine historical institution of Brera.
The show is curated by professors and students of the Department of “Visual Cultures and Curatorial Practices” of the Academy of Brera.
Organised by the Italian Cultural Institute, London
On The Verge
Slade School of Fine Art
8 - 17 March 2017
This exhibition from the Slade incorporates students from across the undergraduate, graduate and PhD programmes. At a time of great change and uncertainty in Europe and across the world, where the order and structure of ways of life are significantly changing, what’s at stake during these great shifts? Through diverse means and media, through current affairs, narrative, poetry, politics and abstraction, the work in On the Verge considers these tensions; what is there to fear and what is there to be hopeful for?
Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main
22 February – 3 March 2017
This exhibition from the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Kuenste - Staedelschule - is the first in a series to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of what has become the EU. The season of shows will feature students from Europe's leading art schools. This one will feature works by Bradley Davis (1988, UK); Max Eulitz (1987, Germany); Zoë Field (1990, USA); Hannah Fitz (1990, Ireland), and Curtis McLean (1900, Canada).
Organised by the Goethe-Institut, United Kingdom
Susak Import 2017: In the Swim of Things
Petra Varl and Daniel Devlin
8 – 17 February 2017
Slovenian artist, Petra Varl, and London based artist, Daniel Devlin met on the Croatian island of Susak, where together with their families they often spend their summer holidays. Daniel Devlin started the SUSAK EXPO Biennale in 2006 since when he has been organising it every other year. Petra Varl has been part of SUSAK EXPO since 2010. For this exhibition at the 12th Star Gallery, Petra and Daniel will be showing work they made for SUSAK EXPO 2016: Petra will exhibit Bathers, cut-outs from painted metal, that she has used for her installation on the main beach of Susak, while Daniel will be showing documentation of his work URED / OFFICE.
Petra Varl is an artist who works mostly in the media of drawing and installations. Since 2000 she has been working as Associate Professor of drawing and graphic arts at the Fine Arts Department of the teacher’s college at the University of Maribor. She lives with her future husband in Ljubljana. Lately she has been drawing trees and cooking dinners.
Daniel Devlin is a publisher, curator and con-artist based in London. As well as organising SUSAK EXPO every other year he is co-publisher of Spiralbound (a publisher of radical books that sit uncomfortably between the artist book and poetry publications) and the managing director of the gallery Sračok & Pöhlmann. As an artist, Devlin works mainly with wheel-barrows.
Organised on the occasion of Slovenian Cultural Day by the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia.
18 January – 3 February 2017
“Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter.” Oscar Wilde
This wonderfully simple quote from Oscar Wilde exemplifies what Josette Fenech, the artist is all about. A modest, upcoming Maltese artist, Josette' s favourite mediums are oils and acrylics and she draws her inspiration from myriad sources including art of all kinds and genres. Josette loves nothing more than exploring galleries and art exhibitions at home and abroad and takes every opportunity she can to learn from her experiences. Josette has her own definitive style though she really admires the paintings of Van Gogh and Monet.
As a local artist she has many inspirational scenes to draw upon and admits she loves painting sunsets, flowers and seascapes. Josette will sit in beautiful natural surroundings and sketch ideas before transforming them into the vibrant colourful pieces contained within this site. Her use of vivid and vibrant colours is, as Wilde suggests, a true reflection of the warm and welcoming, yet incredibly humble person that she is.
Josette says: “As an artist I have a special love for colours. I love to master the colours in abstract form in order to communicate in different ways.”
And within her artwork these wonderful colours await.
Organized by the High Commission of Malta to mark its Presidency of the Council of the EU.
InterRailing: A Cultural Engine
Many artists in the 1980s and 90s travelled by train from city to town across Europe, visiting art collections, architecture, landscapes and people; usually in a concentrated month that changed their lives. Paul Ryan's sketchbooks archive several of these journeys, and will be displayed alongside curated artworks, tickets, manuscripts, photographs, postcards, mementos and reminiscences from other UK based EU artists who also 'InterRailed'. Ryan has made sketchbooks the centre of his art practice, highlighting their unfinished and portable qualities. He has recently been in Austria working on a project about Robert Musil: http://www.paulryan.co.uk/. At a time when Europe's borders, and freedom of movement are re-examined, this exhibition highlights some past beneficiaries of a chance to roam; and considers the impact of such journeys on our shared cultural life, then and now.
The human face is the best document of time. As a native Estonian herself, photographer Birgit Püve explores Estonian faces with an aim to portray this Northern European nation as a whole. Estonia’s existence hasn’t always been that evident. After a period of independence Estonia was caught up in the tragic events of the 20th century and lost its independence. Now more than 25 years have passed since Estonia regained its independence and Estonians have searched for their new personal and national identity. Through the portraits of known and unknown Estonians Püve aims to treasure the psychological state of one country that has gone through dramatic changes in a relatively short period of time.
Birgit Püve (1978) is a photographer based in Tallinn, Estonia. She studied journalism in the University of Tartu and worked as an editor and photo editor before starting as a freelance photographer in 2013.
In November 2014 Birgit won the 3rd Prize at The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 and was selected as an exhibitor at The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015. Her works have been exhibited in solo exhibitions in Germany, Poland, Russia and Estonia and in group exhibitions in Canada, France, USA, Austria, UK, Latvia etc.
Organised by the Embassy of Estonia in the UK
Revisiting Past Masters: Still Life and Portraits
In this exhibition, Still life and portraiture come to life through a refined use of light and colour to give the viewer a realistic yet impressive work of art.
The technical ability of these Irish artists reference in most cases, the continental influence of the 17th century Dutch school while the vibrant colours used by Anthony Murphy are inspired by the post-impressionist French painters of the late 19th and early 20th century.
Artists include Anthony Murphy, Comghall Casey, Ian McAllister, Ken Hamilton, Philip Lindey and Martin Mooney
Influences: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Caravaggio, Matisse and Cézanne
The Unknown Portrait of Brancusi
Solo exhibition by Raluca Popa, curated by Simona Nastac
Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) was one of the pioneering figures of modern sculpture and one of the most original artists of the twentieth-century. His serenely simplified sculptures ‘Bird in Space’, ‘Mlle Pogany’ or ‘Sleeping Muse’ are unanimously recognised as icons of modernism and looking at his art now, it is almost impossible not to see him as a precursor to surrealism, and to more recent work as diverse as that of Hepworth and Moore, Anish Kapoor and Carl Andre, Donald Judd and Louise Bourgeois. He was a remarkably protean figure, also a close friend to leading avant-garde artists such as Amedeo Modigliani, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Erik Satie among others, yet he remains one of the most elusive, with an aura of otherness still intriguing today.
Using a wide range of sources, including two of the most relevant monographs ever written on Brancusi – Sanda Miller’s ‘Brancusi’ (Reaktion Books, 2010) and Doina Lemny’s ‘Brancusi – an Artist without Frontiers’ (Noi Media Print, 2016), Romanian artist Raluca Popa will recreate, through drawing, a fresh and vivid portrait of the ground-breaking artist. By filtering, subverting, erasing and overlaying his memories and traces, equally long-familiar and less known, she will capture Brancusi's presence as it echoes through his correspondence, notes, photographs and footage of his studio. More about Raluca Popa: http://www.ralucapopa.ro/
Curated by Simona Nastac, the exhibition is organised by the Romanian Cultural Institute, as part of the national programme celebrating 140 years since the birth of Brancusi. To offer a more complex understanding of the life and work of the great sculptor, the exhibition will be complemented by a talk given by art historian Doina Lemny, coinciding with the launch of her recently published volume ‘Brancusi – an Artist without Frontiers’.
Photo: Duchamp, Brancusi, Tzara and Man Ray in Brancusi’s studio, 1921 © Adagp, Paris
The 1956 Hungarian Revolution in Pictures
by John Sadovy
Curator: Colin Ford CBE
To mark the 60th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian revolution, the Hungarian Cultural Centre presents a unique exhibition of John Sadovy's photos, many of them previously unpublished, in collaboration with the photographer's daughters Yvonne and Jane Sadovy.
60 years ago Hungarians from all walks of life – students, intellectuals, workers, farmers, the cross-section of the entire nation – rose up against insurmountable odds to fight the brutal Soviet-installed Communist government. They were the heroes of 1956 who were prepared to fight and die for freedom, a multi-party democracy and independence from the Soviet Union.
Sadovy was the first of only a few photojournalists to infiltrate Hungary during the revolution. He slipped past border guards at night in an old Volkswagen. His astonishing, violent and graphic photographs of the uprising were the first to show the world what was happening. The resulting photographs were published internationally, earning him the second ever Robert Capa Gold Medal for his photographs and courage.
Sadovy became ill in his mid-50s and died in 2011 at the age of 85. He was never able to do as much with his photos as he had planned. Many years before his death, his daughter Yvonne started assembling some of his work and asked him for stories. Yvonne also approached Tim Foote (who later became editor at the Smithsonian Institution) to write more on their time in Budapest and to give her a more personal account of those days.
Tim Foote said of John Sadovy: "He was a rare spirit. A privilege to know. Though he was low-key, I think he knew that and was proud of it."
Organised by the Hungarian Cultural Centre
Sponsored by the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Freedom Fight 60th Anniversary Memorial Board.
Silvia Lerín and Adrián Navarro
Spain NOW!, the annual season of contemporary art and culture from Spain, is pleased to present the work of Adrián Navarro and Silvia Lerín: two Spanish artists who take the abstract-geometric tradition as a starting point, but whose respective artistic practices respond to different conceptual and formal interests. This exhibition offers a small taste of Navarro’s and Lerín’s extensive body of work and acknowledges the increased interest by the contemporary art world in their professional trajectory.
With an all-inclusive ethos, Spain NOW! presents a comprehensive number of exhibitions, events and performances reflecting the rich artistic output of the Spanish art scene. For more information please visit www.spain-now.org.uk
Scotland, north of the Highland divide is a desolate area, one of the least populated in the European Union.
The Scottish government classifies it as ‘rural and remote’. It bases this assessment on how far is the nearest settlement of 10,000 people. The Ordnance Survey defines ‘remote’ as how close is the nearest road. The English dictionary defines ‘remote’ as ‘out of the way’.
Parts of this area could also be characterised as wilderness: an abandoned place where life finds it difficult to exist.
I wanted to visit this place, which I had never been to before and understand why anyone would want to live there. So I packed a tent, a stove and a film camera to see it for myself.
I chose a poignant time to go. It was the eve of the general election in 2015. Commentators said that the results showed that Scotland’s voice demanded to be heard. I was interested in how people who choose to live or had grown up in this remote place identified themselves. As crofters? As islanders? As Scottish? As British or as citizens of Europe?
You Belong to Me
Geiste Marija Kincinaityte
The idea of the project emerged in the process of observing the increasingly intensifying intervention into extra-terrestrial territories through technology and images. You Belong to Me focuses on how the visual data accumulated during interplanetary exploration missions forms an anthropocentric reality of Mars. Juxtaposing the Martian landscapes captured by the robotic eye with her own photographs, the author initiates a dialogue between digital and analogue imagery, between images from different realities, thereby contrasting their origin. The principal objective of the project is to analyse the mesmerism of the mentioned extra-terrestrial images which prompt the viewer to perceive the distant and unfamiliar as close and recognizable. This reveals the importance and the role of photography in claiming and occupying a territory, body, or planet. Inducing the urge to possess, the fantasies triggered by the scenes of an unvisited planet raise important questions about the future development of “interplanetary photography” and the associated political aspects.
Image credits: From the series You Belong to Me, 2014, Geiste Marija Kincinaityte
Supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Atlas: A Reverie
20 July – 9 September 2016
The artist will present up to 38 framed images and one freestanding work using the AA Road Atlas of Europe as a basis to explore the notion of migration and settlement.
Known for her drawing and attention to detail, the artist transforms the surface of the atlas leaving only the white and grey dots which denote the cities, towns and villages. These become evidence of locations of habitation and tracks across the landscape. Part geography, part history and part reverie they are reminiscent of star charts and constellations and become diagrams of journeys taken and to be taken.
Photographs by Ladislav Struhár
8 - 15 July 2016
Magical Slovakia is the fine art photography showcase of Ladislav Struhár’s works in Slovakia. His deep understanding for nature and architecture, coupled with a love of impressionism, has given rise to an unmistakeable creative style. This exhibition, displaying variety of interesting landmarks, places and nature, is marking the opening of the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Author of 15 image and photo publications, he has won major awards for some of his work, including the Slovak Gold and Najkrajšia kniha Slovenska (The Most Beautiful Book of Slovakia) awards. Struhár is one of the founding members of the Association of Professional Photographers of Slovakia. In 2009, the Federation of European Professional Photographers in Brussels awarded him the non-academic degree QEP (Qualified European Photographer) in two categories: landscape photography and illustrative photography.
The Forty Thieves
Questioning artists and critics on the issue of influence
Francisco Sousa Lobo
The Forty Thieves is a collection of comics which will form an exhibition. Portuguese artist Francisco Sousa Lobo will interview 40 artists and critics in the fields of comics, fine art, criticism and literature. The central topic of these interviews will be the question of influence. From each of these interviews a 4-page comic will be made, illustrating the conversation. The exhibition will also include objects chosen by the interviewees.
Each individual's ideas, references and style will affect the comic, its graphic course and structure. The subject and the course of the conversation will dictate the style of each comic (for example, Andrea Buttner’s will be made with woodcut prints, Robert Crumb’s with pen, and Pedro Moura with Indian ink and brush).
Organised by the Embassy of Portugal in the UK
Of Time and Space
Works by Frixos Papantoniou and Sumer Erek
As our life is influenced by what is happening around us, the Time and Space, where we happen to find ourselves in, has a strong impact on our emotions and behaviour. For the artist these feelings give the energy to bring out the fire inside and together, to create unique results. The exhibition is set to explore these feelings and through the works of two Cypriot artists, Frixos Papantoniou and Sumer Erek who with a variety of individual approaches and mediums create works influenced by the strength of their cultural upbringings.
Both artists, who now live and work in London, have had one man shows and have been selected in a number of group exhibitions internationally. They are the recipients of several awards and their work is included in collections worldwide.
Organised by the Cyprus High Commission
Moon and Sun
Works by Paul Sonabend
Paul Sonabend was born in Liverpool and now lives and works in Bath. He has had a solo exhibition at the city's Victoria Art Gallery and has recently shown in Chelsea, New York.
“Paul Sonabend's work observes the evolution of Modern Art from avant-garde to German Expressionism, and then takes it one step further. In an act of clever recursion, Sonabend returns the cycle to its aesthetic origin as a radical challenge to perception and comfort. His gritty, graphic approach to painting instils an art-punk sensibility to a largely representational body of work. This sense of design creeps into the composition, allowing the viewer a reprieve in balance and counterpoint to the often intense emotions and tension that inhabit Sonabend’s paintings.
“Enmeshing his lexicon of Biblical and popular mythologies in a mid-century palette and numerous artistic influences, Sonabend draws from Cubism and Abstract Expression in his own textures and compositions. This gives his work the feel of a frenetic collage, an apocalyptic homage to both art and music. Just as likely to enshrine deities of rock music as he is to ironically invert sacrosanct icons, Sonabend makes no compromises with his paintings.” Angela di Bello, Agora Gallery, New York 2015
“I do believe Paul is one of those rare visionaries. He has pursued his own solitary path without outside interference.” Denys Wilcox 2015
Dr Denys Wilcox is an art historian, author and dealer specialising in Modern British Art. He has published books on the painter-sculptor Rupert Lee, on the London Group of artists and is currently working on a book on Doris Hatt.
“In this true idiosyncratic's productive hands every picture does indeed tell a story.” Peter Davies, London 2014
Peter Davies's full article on Paul Sonabend may be found at: http://www.paulsonabend.com/. Peter Davies is an art critic and author; his latest book is A Northern School; Revisited.
Picture: Paul Sonabend. "Portrait of the Artist as a Bluesman" Acrylic on Canvas.
Photographer Ari Versluis and profiler Ellie Uyttenbroek have worked together since October 1994. Inspired by a shared interest in the striking dress codes of various social groups, they have systematically documented numerous identities over the last 20 years. Rotterdam’s heterogeneous, multicultural street scene remains a major source of inspiration for Ari Versluis and Ellie Uyttenbroek, although since 1998 they have also worked in many cities abroad.
Exhibition organised by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to mark that country's Presidency of the Council of the EU
Picture: Gabbers - Rotterdam 1994
By Henry Elwell
The Dutch have made and continue to make an enormous contribution to our floral lives. This exhibition contains subjects directly connected with the Netherlands. Primarily, the images here are about the pleasure and visceral excitement flowers can arouse. Technology has made it possible to share the serendipitous moment of observation. Many of Elwell's pictures are London discoveries some noticed from the bicycle. Useful tools now exist making it possible to convey and record a personal view of beauty and to share it.
On St Michael’s Way
Works by Faye Dobinson, Naomi Frears, Marie Claire Hamon, James Hankey, Janet McEwan, Roger Thorp, Caro Woods, Zeirle & Carter
A group exhibition focusing on St Michael’s Way; a 12.5 mile walking route crossing the Cornish peninsula in the far west, from Lelant on the north coast to Marazion and St Michael’s Mount on the south coast. The exhibition features works produced by invited emerging and established Cornwall based artists with shared interest in our ever shifting, entwined and evolving knowing of landscape, ritual and faith.
The St Michael’s Way was established in 1994, when, based on shipping records from the middle ages, and other archaeological and historical evidence, it was also officially linked to the Camino de Santiago network of pilgrim paths in mainland Europe, which converge at the tomb of Saint James in north west Spain. It remains the only long distance footpath in the UK to be designated a European Cultural route by the Council of Europe.
St Michael’s Way is the muse of the artists in this show. Although a modest footpath in length (but not in sites), it is an enduring and tangible reminder of a long established and vibrant thoroughfare connecting Cornwall, and neighbouring Wales and Ireland to mainland Europe and a number of artworks in this show speak of journey, real and imaginary, not only along this path, but also to and from worlds beyond the horizon.
On St Michael’s Way is curated by Janet McEwan and produced in association with Friends of St Michael’s Way: a group whose broad aims include ensuring the footpath is researched and maintained, promoting the route regionally and beyond, and considering its cultural, spiritual, economic and geo-political importance past, present and future, through various lenses. Vice Chair, Prof Michelle Brown, FSA, will provide a short introduction in the exhibition graphics outlining the cultural significance of the route, and will give an accompanying talk at the opening event.
Following its London debut at the 12 Star Gallery, the exhibition will be re-presented in Cornwall, signalling the launch of a programme of public events and activity along the St Michael's Way footpath over the summer months of 2016.
For more information and updates: stmichaelsway.net
The exhibition is supported by CERES (Centre for European Research & Support within Cornwall) and the European Commission Representation in the UK.
Picture: Marie Claire Hamon “We took a path into the hills” 125 x 125 cms Oil on Canvas.
100 Images of Migration
The Migration Museum Project’s 100 Images of Migration is an excitingly varied collection of photographs, supplied by professionals and amateurs alike, each of which provides a snapshot on the lived experience of migration. Every photo is accompanied by an explanatory text supplied by the photographer, some starkly short, some a more elaborate account of the significance of the image to the photographer. Together, they project a powerful image of migration in the Britain of yester year and today – sometimes inspiring, sometimes unsettling, at times dramatically mundane, and always arresting.
Arte en Movimiento/Art on the Move
Works by Lorenzo Hernandez
This exhibition captures the pivotal moment the Spanish art scene in London is currently going through, as well-established artists are being joined by a great number of newcomers seeking to progress in their respective careers and contribute to the cultural melting pot that defines this city.
Thanks to an event organised by the Spanish Embassy in October 2014, Hernandez had the opportunity to meet a wide variety of professionals of great talent, share experiences and talk about their respective projects. It was then when he realised that the contribution that the Spanish talents are making to London’s multicultural mosaic had to be reflected in an exhibition and a book of black and white portraits, conceived as a time capsule for future generations.
During nine months Hernandez moved around London, portraying fifty Spanish artists in their work environment and, camera in hand, inviting them to talk about their particular vision of this city. All these conversations and images are gathered in the book Arte en Movimiento, which will be launched in February 2016.
As a complement to this exhibition, there will be a debate between the photographer and some of the artists that have participated in this project at the 12-Star Gallery on 23rd February 2015 at 6pm.
Lorenzo Hernandez started his career at the age of thirteen and has lived and worked in Barcelona, Madrid, New York, Paris and Milan, among other places. After having lived in London in the 1980s, he returned to this city in 2013. His most recent projects are the books LONDONvista and Manifashion, published by Aurora Boreal®. He is currently working on a book of portraits of Latin American writers.
More information about the artist at http://www.photolorenzohernandez.com/
Supported by the Embassy of Spain in the UK
Malice in Wanderlands
An Exhibition by Seven Students of the Academy of Visual Arts (AVA), Slovenia
An exhibition curated by Pepi Sekulich and showcasing work by Evelina Hagglund, Matija Jakin, Andrea Knezovic, Gregor Rozman, Sanja Vatic, Nika Vucko and Nana Wolke, which will be explore contemporary issues such as migration, pursuit of power and social (in)justice.
AVA - Academy of Visual Arts, Slovenia, is an art college with a mission to establish a strong and recognisable institutional identity with a discernible contribution to the communities that they serve. It is an identity based on promoting individual visions and creative excellence.
Organised by the Embassy of Slovenia in the UK
Works by G-Brecht
The fantastical yet disquieting paintings of Dutch artist G-BRECHT depict a strange meeting place between nature and human technology. Contemporary landscapes in which the artificial systems of the modern world interfere with a denatured landscape. His work is suggestive, hypothetical and theatrical as if it was staged from the perspective of a window.
G-BRECHT completed his MA degree at Goldsmiths College University of London (in 2001), following his study at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten (MA) and the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. His work is in numerous public and private collections. he has exhibited extensively in Europe, the US and London.
Exhibition organised by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to mark that country's Presidency of the Council of the EU
Picture: 'Strictly Confidential' 2014, OIL ON LINEN, 251 X 150CM
Works by Andrew Logan
An exhibition of joyful works by the sculptor and painter Andrew Logan marks the 10th anniversary of the 12 Star Gallery. Included are portraits of great Europeans including Maria Callas, Marlene Dietrich and Maggi Hambling plus works inspired by Mahler and water colours from Andrew’s travels in Europe.
Famous for his mirrored works of art, Andrew Logan, born in 1945, is an internationally renowned artist, sculptor, performance artist, set designer and founder of The Alternative Miss World.
Originally from Oxford, Andrew studied to be an architect but after spending a year in America before qualifying in the late ‘60s, he discovered his true calling: as an artist in mixed media and in particular mosaics of mirrored glass.
In his youth Andrew attracted, and influenced, people from a wide range of disciplines including film director Derek Jarman, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and rock icon Malcolm McLaren. His studio was the venue for the notorious Valentine’s Ball of 1976, the effective launch of the Sex Pistols.
Andrew has achieved international fame with his works which have been commissioned by governments, corporations, airports and museums and a major retrospective of his work was held at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford in 1991.
In 1972, Andrew Logan, inspired by Crufts, launched the first of his series of surreal and subversive pageants, The Alternative Miss World, which he states are “not about beauty but about transformation, making the ordinary extraordinary via costume and creative free rein”. His co-hosts and panel of judges are drawn from his contacts and have included Grayson Perry, Julian Clary, Richard O’Brien, Tim Curry, Amy Lamé, Ruby Wax and of course Zandra Rhodes.
An autobiographical film, The British Guide to Showing Off, was released in 2011; directed by Jes Benstock, it is dedicated to Andrew and his pageant The Alternative Miss World, which Logan describes as his greatest work of art - a living sculpture that embodies four decades of the most irrational trends and ideas in British art.
Picture: Maria Callas by Andrew Logan photographed by Dewi Tannant Lloyd.
Sophie Sarin was the first artist to exhibit at the European Commission's offices, in December 2005, with her show 'Chaos to Order'. There has followed a series of exhibitions by artists from all over Europe (and beyond) working in media such as film, sculpture, photography and paint.