Fiona Rae RA, ‘Something is about to happen!’, 2012. Oil and acrylic on canvas. 84 x 69 in. / 213.4 x 175.3 cm. Fiona Rae RA
Timothy Taylor Gallery, until 23 February 2013
Royal Academician and RA Schools Professor of Painting Fiona Rae presents a new series of paintings from today
at Timothy Taylor Gallery in Mayfair. The works brim with characteristically heterogeneous marks and motifs, including images as multifarious as mathematical symbols, hanging gardens and clip art-style pandas (her interest in the panda was precipitated when she bought some Chinese silks embroidered with the animal’s form). Visceral and positive in energy, and always remarkably free-wheeling in form, Rae’s works can be understood, in the words of critic Sally O’Reilly, in terms of a “push-me, pull you harmony” of “interrelated dualities: planes and drips, figurative and abstract, conceptual and emotive, high and low, graphic and gestural, control and improvisation.”
Nick Hornby & Sinta Tantra
1 Canada Square, until 15 March 2013
Sinta Tantra, who graduated from the RA Schools in 2006, is acclaimed for kaleidoscopic works in cut vinyl and paint that cover the walls both inside and outside of buildings. Her latest exhibition
in the lobby of Canary Wharf tower – nearby where she recently painted geometric designs across both sides of 150 metre-long bridge
– is a collaboration with sculptor Nick Hornby, an artist who brings together forms from architecture and art history to create strange, semi-figurative, monochrome shapes that stand on the floor like intruders from another planet.
© Heini Schneebeli.
Here these beings are coloured by Tantra’s patterns, her lines – also influenced by those of architecture – bringing further complexity to their bodies. The pair also join forces for an intervention in the lobby’s existing decorative scheme; a trompe-l’oeil vinyl work convinces office workers that the pink marble wall they have seen every day is now indented.
Contemporary Art Society space opens
The Contemporary Art Society
is a 102-year-old charity with a noble history of purchasing art for museums and galleries for the UK; more recently it has diversified into commissioning art projects and working as a consultant for public and private organizations. Its new home at 59 Central Street, London EC1, designed by award-winning architects Carmody Groarke, will allow CAS to become more public facing, as it has room for displays by some of the artists it works with, as well as a programme of talks and other events.
Elizabeth Price, 'User Group Disco', 2009. HD video, 15 min. Film still © the artist, courtesy the artist and MOT International
This winter Turner Prize-winner Elizabeth Price’s film User Group Disco (2009) – acquired by the charity for Edinburgh’s Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art – is on view, as well as eccentric sculptures from found materials by the Liverpool-born artist Stephen Nelson. The organization is also redoubling its efforts to fight government cuts to the arts, using its new home as a platform to project a louder voice.
Eastside Projects, Birmingham, until 9 March 2013
Midlands-born Mike Nelson – Britain’s representative at the last Venice Biennale – departs from the labyrinthine, experiential installations for which he is best known to stage a major sculptural work
this season at Digbeth’s Eastside Projects, one of Birmingham’s most progressive spaces for art.
Mike Nelson, 'M6' (photograph), 2013. Courtesy Eastside Projects.
Emphasising the ubiquity of roads and the history of car production in the city, Nelson has salvaged blown-out tyres from the side of the M6 motorway and installed them on a huge concrete platform.
Abbot Hall Art Gallery, until 16 March 2013
Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal, Cumbria, known for its collection of Old Masters and modern British art, showcases a contemporary artist
this winter: Zurich-based painter and printmaker Uwe Wittwer. The Swiss artist appropriates and distorts others’ images, from works of art history to film stills to found material on the internet.
Uwe Wittwer, 'Doppelgänger after van Belcamp', 2012. © The Artist.
Two of the highlights of the exhibition promise to be an extensive series of watercolours based on film stills from Antonioni’s classic swinging-sixties thriller Blow Up, and a version of a monumental seventeenth-century triptych in the collection known as “The Great Picture”, which features portraits of Lady Anne Clifford and family.
Sam Phillips is a London-based arts journalist and contributor to RA Magazine