Concert hall takasaki japan

Brutalist Architecture

Prevalent construction from WW1 to after WW2 using concrete and geometry. Growing up within a Brutalist architectural landscape may evoke despondency through its cold material and linear form, along with a myriad of safety and health problems especially with Brutalist-style housing projects together with poor planning, a prime example is Hulme Crescents in Manchester, England, which were…

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Erwin Blumenfeld

Blumenfeld is a genius photographer, he innovated and communicated through visual imagery. And for some reason his work was accepted by commercial agencies, i.e. appealed to a wide audience; however, this didn’t last after the 1960’s. Blumenfeld was a German Jew, he was incarcerated during WWII and survived. When trauma, horror, and depravity gives rise to…

Self-Portrait by Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele

Schiele’s technique and use of paint stands out just as much or more than the subjects. He does not abstract the human form, he shows how he sensually perceives it in contrast to social norms and our own beliefs of the physical self in terms of identity and physical connection with others (i.e. sexual relations).…

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Elizabeth Walker

Elizabeth Walker arranges photographs of her urban environment and screen prints them. I imagine the process allows her to think deeply about mundane urban landscape found in Britain. Our relationship to the built environment shapes our ideals and ethics which we later apply to the decisions we make, the work we do and the ideas…

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Georges Hugnet

Georges Hugnet collected erotic postcards and used gouache to paint strange and colourful creatures onto them. I’m not sure if he connected with the creatures to fulfill his fantasies or if he illustrated fantasy from the perspective of his lovers. This reminds me of the eroticism due to the mysteriousness of Isabelle Adjani’s character’s lover…

Antoine Bridier-Nahmias

Antoine Bridier-Nahmias

Magical Contamination is a project by Antoine Bridier-Nahmias. Random patterns from nature, what else needs to be said! We are wired to appreciate the beauty found in nature, otherwise we would be terrified of our environment and never have the capacity or faculty to adapt to alien surroundings. I often wonder why I don’t think trees,…

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Kristiina Lahde

Humans are attracted to patterns and classification because they signify the illusions of consistency, order, stability and control. Lahde’s work is a double-take on this supposed reality and demonstrates order in chaos. She questions our means to measure and classify, her work highlights the tools we create to decipher what we do not understand, we adapt…

Langdale Ferry by Leef Evans

Leef Evans

I had the pleasure of working with Leef at Gallery Gachet. It’s as though Leef has crossed an arbitrary line of mastery. I love his recent work. The self-portrait above looks like him even though there are no features. He says: “I enjoy collecting images for no other reason than that they visually please me.…

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Varvara Stepanova

Varvara Stepanova was closely associated with the Constructivist movement. She worked with artists, such as, Popova and Rodchenko at Tsindel, the first state textile factory near Moscow as a designer in 1923. In 1924, she became professor of textile design at the Vkhutemas (founded in 1920 in Moscow as the new Higher Technical Artistic Studios) while continuing typography, book…

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Gustav Klimt

When someone’s work is as ubiquitous as Klimt’s, it’s difficult to see past that. I watched Andrew Graham-Dixon’s quick survey of Klimt. In it, he talks about three amazing preliminary paintings (Philosophy, Medicine, Jurisprudence [below]) that marked Klimt’s departure from realism to inner expression and symbolism. Sadly, the originals were destroyed by the Nazis. The amount…

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Kazimir Malevich

This period of Malevich’s work he called  Suprematism. He wrote a manifesto: From Cubism to Suprematism (1915). The style concentrated on using geometric shapes and limited colour to convey “pure” feeling, which is separate from external representation and meaning. Russian art has deep roots in its religious art. The stasis in Russian churches invoked an all…

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Howard Hodgkin

At The National Portrait Gallery, London, comparing the different painting techniques of rendering a likeness of the human face, I stopped in my tracks. In the above portrait the personality of the sitter or an emotion conveyed or interrupted by the artist is central.  Apparently, his paintings convey his memories of encounters with friends, and…

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Julie Cockburn

I came across Julie Cockburn’s kirigami work in an issue of The British Journal of Photography. I think her and other collage artists are doing some interesting stuff. Her work makes me think about the limitations and variations of visual perception, and the strangeness of the human face: its form, its sameness and at the same…

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Christian Schad

Christian Schad is associated with Dada and New Objectivity Movement which was repressed by the Nazis. However Schad’s art was not considered ‘degenerate art’ and was included in ‘Great German Art’ exhibition. Schad’s work appears to be that unnerving sterile, precise form that fit in with the Nazi’s idea of the ‘ideal’ German culture; however,…

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Kent Simard

It’s important to think about our place in the solar system. In many ways this ‘new’ knowledge is a return to ancient knowledge. A heliocentric model of the Universe was proposed by the Pythagorean philosopher Philolaus (d. 390 BCE), and Aristotelian theory of a geo-centricism overshadowed this until Kepler and Copernicus came on the scene in 16th century. Simard’s work also…

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David Poolman

I don’t know what is going on in David Poolman’s wiener/sausage drawings. I’m drawn to them because they represent what I think is the burden of wrongdoing: wieners are made from meat and meat comes from the false concept or presumption that animals are objects for our indiscriminate use. I am very interested in exploring…

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Michaël Borremans

There’s something haunting in Borremans’ work. He’s clearly comfortable working with paint and this is what strikes me more than the subjects. The subjects seems to emerge or are conceived through the study of physiognomy and spacial (dimension) placement i.e. composition.

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Dana Holst

Dana Holst includes animals in many of her pieces. Some are grotesque, such as a swine carcass put forward as something commonplace, perhaps she is challenging the norm attitude towards animals. In the same way, she portrays animals in entertainment as accepted and unchallenged. The focus of her work seems to be human psychology and the…

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Kai Althoff

Sinister, titillating or quotidien themes in Kai Althoff’s work. Colour is muted and in some figures look like cut-outs (easily removed as insignificant).

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Tiina Heiska

Tiina Heiska depicts light and colour masterfully. Her paintings are intimate, the viewer is a part of the scene. Or is the viewpoint that of the artist, like the photographer’s presence.