Sprüth Magers, until 29 September 2012
Thea Djordjadze, 'Spoons are different' at Sprüth Magers. Courtesy: Sprüth Magers Berlin London. © Thea Djordjadze, VG Bild-Kunst.
Georgian-born, Berlin-based artist Thea Djordjadze creates elegant installations comprised of both found and sculpted objects, ranging from wooden armatures that hold blocks of foam to forms handmade from papier mâché and plaster.
Djordjadze has a wonderful deftness of touch when it comes to arranging these components in the exhibition space; the spatial relations between individual objects become as important as the composition of the objects themselves. This almost-architectural sensibility is strengthened by her consistent use of geometric metal beams, reminding one of modernists designers like Dutchman Gerrit Rietveld or the open-form works of Anthony Caro RA. Her show at London’s Sprüth Magers
follows her participation in the prestigious arts festival Documenta in Kassel, Germany, where she installed a sparse set of sculptures in a greenhouse in the city’s Karlsaue Park.
David Blandy/Brighton Digital Festival
Lighthouse, until 23 September 2012
Another manga-inspired artist is the London-born David Blandy, whose largest survey show to date
is on view at the Phoenix Gallery in Brighton, as one of the key events in this year’s Brighton Digital Festival.
Works on view in the exhibition, entitled ‘Odysseys’, include Child of the Atom (2010), an installation that features a film made in collaboration with manga artist Inko. This documentary, interspersed with Inko’s animations, focuses on Blandy’s journey to Hiroshima in an effort to come to terms with his feelings of guilt about the atomic bomb; his grandfather was a prisoner of war, only freed once the bomb had dropped, a city flattened and the war ended.
David Blandy, 'Child of the Atom', 2012. © the artist
Other highlights of the festival include ‘Adventures in (The) Space’ on Tuesday at gallery Fabrica – an event focusing on how disabled creatives can represent themselves in the digital world – and ‘Improving Reality’ on Thursday at the Pavilion Theatre, a conference about how artists and designers can harness technology.
Alexandre da Cunha
Thomas Dane Gallery, until 3 October 2012
British-Brazilian artist Alexandre da Cunha works in the realm of the readymade: everyday objects as diverse as walking sticks, flags and food cans are all scavenged and re-presented in a wide variety of poetic ways, often referencing art historical and architectural forms. Dyed mop heads mounted on concrete, for example, have resembled classical columns; an ironing board stuck with struts has formed the basis for a geometric abstract sculpture.
Alexandre da Cunha, 'Nude VII', 2012. Canvas, hats, 220 x 300 x 5 cm., 86 5/8 x 118 1/8 x 2 in.
One of his latest bodies of work, on view in this exhibition,
makes use of the sombrero-style, wide-rimmed hats seen on beaches this summer. They are attached in singles or in small groups to blank or monochrome canvases on the walls. Their tops towards the viewer, the hats are suggestive perhaps of planets, or even nipples – the title of the series is ‘Nudes’. The beach theme is pushed further in works in the series in which beach towels act as canvases, stretched on a wooden frame.
Hoxton Art Gallery, until 4 October 2012
Seoul-born HaYoung Kim graduated in 2011 from the RA Schools, where she won the RA Jerwood Prize in her second year. The Jerwood Foundation has continued to support her work, acquiring her paintings for their art collection, and now its director Lara Wardle curates her first London solo exhibition at Hoxton Art Gallery.
HaYoung Kim, 'What you Eat I', 2012. Acrylic on polyester.
Like the work of Japanese Pop artists such as Takashi Murakami and Yoshitomo Nara, Kim’s pieces take inspiration from manga comic books and animations. But the characters and landscapes of these cartoon sources are warped almost beyond recognition in her latest acrylics, which are applied to unusual surfaces such as film and polyester. Highly colourful, strange organic shapes predominate, swirling in vortexes or other free-form patterns, or sometimes ground together in some unmentionable ectoplasm-like mush. The title of the show ‘Eat All You Can’ conveys something of the superabundance on offer.
Pangolin London and Kings Place Gallery, until 12 October 2012
Anthony Caro, 'Rear of Nude', 1985. Charcoal on paper Courtesy of Barford Sculpures Ltd; photographed by Steve Russell. Pangolin London is a gallery that has developed from of one of the country’s most significant foundries of the same name, used by many of the Royal Academy’s sculptors. Maquettes, editions and other small-scale sculptural works are presented in the gallery by many of the artists with which the foundry collaborates, as well as other interesting sculptors, from established names to emerging practitioners.
Pangolin London currently collaborates with Kings Place Gallery on a fascinating-looking show:
over 200 works on paper by sculptors, presented over three floors of the Kings Place arts centre in Kings Cross. Including preparatory draughts in pencil and ancillary works in paint and print, these pieces in two-dimensions reflect the pictorial language of sculptors both past and present, from Henry Moore, Alexander Calder and Alberto Giacometti to current Royal Academicians such as William Tucker and Nigel Hall to other notable contemporary artists such as Sarah Lucas and Peter Randall-Page.
Sam Phillips is a London-based arts journalist and contributor to RA Magazine