25 November 2013 § 2 Comments
When is a blog not a blog? Perhaps when it is an ‘online magazine‘ or ‘digital review’? So where do you start with any sort of ‘Blog’ review list? Who do you exclude? Should ‘true’ blogs just be individual or non-profit making? Perhaps not linked to larger organisations like the TATE gallery for example, where they act as promotional tools. It’s all a bigger issue than I was willing to address here, so my sole limitation was that the blog/mag/review should feature contemporary art at least regularly.
I try to take a look around and see what my ‘competitors’ are up to in the blogosphere but find it hard to track down many good art blogs. Google ‘Top Art Blogs’, limited to the UK and the last 12 months, and you will find no collective listings. Zero.
Take off the restrictions and you will get a few from 2009/10. At least half are no longer operating or haven’t posted for at least six months. When I checked one of these ‘Top Ten’ lists it included blogs like Amelia’s Magazine. God bless Amelia – and her blog is probably very good at what it does – but I decided that if that’s a top ‘Art (and Design) Blog’ then it was time for a new top ten. So here goes…
The contemporary art blog of all blogs. Neatly designed, an ever changing up to date compilation of the best from 100 other blogs!
Not so much a blog, more an online version of the newspaper. But high quality content as you would expect!
International (although US based) including plenty of UK shows. An impressive selection of reviews of contemporary art exhibitions updated daily. I like the ‘random exhibition’ button – this time I got IAIN BAXTER&, Adam Chodzko at Raven Row.
Another blog with significant backing, being tied to the important art & design publication of the same name.
The only place for street art info. Great design, layout and well written. Categories include for example Street Art, Graffitt & Banksy!
As you would expect of the leading UK art magazine publisher and top art fair organiser their blog is clear an interesting. Wouldn’t you think they could manage more than a couple of posts a week though with all their resources?
Not much use unless you’re in Liverpool perhaps, but well designed, informative, wide ranging and well written.
Written by Mark Sheerin, this is the one of the only two blogs in the list written by an individual (the other is CELLOPHANELAND). I tried hard to find more but few have any longevity and/or quality. Varied content but includes many of his own interviews with top, mostly UK, artists like Jeremy Deller, Gavin Turk and Martin Creed.
Is it a blog or is it a magazine? This is really an ‘online’ magazine. It also runs masterclasses with notable photographers, has developed a wide and international following. Includes essays, reviews and interviews.
Julie Eagleton’s wide ranging arts, lifestyle and culture blog always has something interesting – even if art is not one of the main topics. Expect anything from interviews (section currently being updated) from the likes of Francis Ford Coppola to the latest exhibition at the V&A.
10= THE FLANEUR
Tenth equal with C-LAND just because they both are broad-ranging sites covering art, culture and more. What’s more the Art section here doesn’t always feature contemporary art. Nice blog though!
Agree/disagree? Know any more worthy of inclusion at the top of the pile? Then please let me know.
18 October 2012 § Leave a comment
Another uninspiring Frieze his year. I suppose that once the art world has – like every year – built it up to be the London event of the year there is only one result: some degree of disappointment. Despite this Frieze of course remains the best UK contemporary art fair and a must visit to try at catch a whiff of the zeitgeist of the contemporary art market. Here are a few of the things that caught our eye this year. No particular reason. No particular order. No analyses of who sold what. And most definitely no ‘who was seen where’ nonsense.
A melting Paul McCarthy White Snow Head at Hauser & Wirth.
A Gavin Turk neon door.
Julian Opie‘s rather neat sculptures – and a mosaic.
One of a few large and impressive Wolfgang Tillmans images.
Something made of some substance made by somebody South American (I think?)
And outside, in the rain a pretty Yayoi Kusama from Victoria Miro.
7 March 2012 § Leave a comment
Humour is not hard to find in postmodern art – a typical definition of postmodernism will probably include humour alongside parody and irony – and we are all familiar with works like Maurizio Cattelan‘s Pope Struck by a Meteorite (below), Jeff Koons‘ Rabbit and Gavin Turk‘s Blue Plaque. But this is not laugh out loud humour – or should I say nowadays lol humour – this is more like the knowing chuckle of the West End audience in a performance of an Alan Bennett play. So when we do get a work of art that we can really laugh at (presuming that we are not laughing at its awfulness) it is instinctive to ask ourselves whether this really is art or not. Surely we should not be lol-ing at proper art?
But lol I did at the wonderful David Shrigley‘s exhibition at Stephen Friedman. Shrigley of course has a big retrospective currently showing at the Hayward Gallery on the South Bank (to be reviewed later) and Friedman has taken the opportunity to use both his West End gallery spaces for a parallel exhibition. A lot of his work of course is on paper but he has broadened his output to include sculpture, animation, taxidermy and photography.
The first gallery space at Steven Friedman is taken over by the darkly humorous and rather disconcerting Bombs, an installation of black ceramic sculptures, subverting the destructive nature of a real bomb using a rather delicate material. In the next a sculptured word – writing – sits upon a small wall mounted platform, no explanation required.
A clever animation in the back room is of an artist faithfully depicting his model on canvas: the breasts are first (is that what that the artist is really interested in?), then the rest of the body and head, until finally after careful consideration, adding a smile to replace the glum expression of the model. The cynical suggestion of course is that art is there to please – the artist changing the reality to fit the expectations and commercial realities.
The most humorous works are those on paper over the road at Friedman’s other gallery space. Too many to describe and I do not have any images, but some random images below just for fun or for some more examples of his work have a look at the Steven Friedman Gallery website or better still drop in next time you are in the West End!
David Shrigley is at the Steven Friedman gallery until 10 March 2012.
- David Shrigley: one of the cleverest, funniest conceptual artists (thetruthiswhere.wordpress.com)
- In pictures: Shrigley’s weird world (news.bbc.co.uk)
- David Shrigley: art’s White Rabbit (guardian.co.uk)
- david shrigley: brain activity at hayward gallery, london (designboom.com)
- David Shrigley: Brain Activity – A Reality Check for Modern Art (rattlingoastick.wordpress.com)