Thursday, 30 January 2014

Gig posters take centre stage in new exhibition

An exhibition of gig posters will be on display at Gallery Munroe House from February 1 to 22.

Co-curated by Tony Baker and in association with Leeds City College, Flyposting #3 features the gig posters of popular bands including Queens of the Stone Age, La Roux and Public Service Broadcasting.

The exhibition features work by designers and companies including Graham Pilling, Handcooked Poster, Horse Graphic Design Studio, Jacknife and Lewis Heriz.

All prints on display are for sale.

Flyposting #3 will be on display Gallery Munroe House (formerly Leeds Gallery) from February 1 to 22.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

100 days of arts events to coincide with Le Tour de Yorkshire

The Yorkshire Festival 2014, a 100-day arts and cultural festival which will precede the Tour de France for the first time in its 111 year history, was launched at the Trinity Centre, Leeds, today.

47 projects have been commissioned to be officially part of the festival, which runs from March 27 to July 6, and there will also be hundreds of fringe events.

Henrietta Duckworth, the festival's executive producer, said: 'Today we wanted to give people a flavour of this brand new arts festival - Yorkshire's a big wide county and we've worked with our world-class artists to create a rich and diverse programme of opportunities and surprises.

“It's a first for the Grand Départ and a festival of free events across all artforms. We invite everyone to explore the new, celebrate together and be part of it.'

Los Angeles-based sculptor Thomas Houseago, from Leeds, will create two giant sculptures for Leeds city centre and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park - these will be his first commissions for his home county and the first ever commissions to be made by the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle.

Other highlights include Ghost Peloton which incorporates a riding team of 50 road racers, stunt cyclists and large-scale projection of dancers all utilising unique remote controlled light suits to produce a stunning live choreography and will be led by Phoenix Dance Theatre and Scottish public arts charity NVA.

Maxine Peake's play Beryl celebrating the extraordinary sporting achievements of Morley cyclist Beryl Burton received critical acclaim when it was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2012.

A specially commissioned adaptation will be performed at the West Yorkshire Playhouse marking her stage writing debut.

Young farmers and artists will create eight stunning major land art pieces across South Pennines landscape for Fields of Vision, co-ordinated by Pennine Prospects. This will capture the spirit and impact of the tour on the landscape of Yorkshire.

Sarah Maxfield, director North, Arts Council England said: 'Arts Council England is really proud to be supporting the festival.

“A festival of over 100 days is an ambitious goal but I'm very impressed by the high quality and breadth of the programme which is sure to impress the thousands of visitors from Yorkshire and beyond and will provide a lasting legacy for culture in the North.'

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: 'The Yorkshire Festival 2014 will be a countywide celebration of arts and culture creating excitement and anticipation in the 100 days before greatest free sporting show on the planet arrives in Yorkshire.'

Full details of the Festival programme can be found on Welcome to Yorkshire's website.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Yorkshire celebrated in new exhibition

The Yorkshire region will be the subject of a new exhibition at Abbey House Museum, Kirkstall, until the end of 2014.

With inspiration taken from responses to Leeds Museum and Galleries’ Yorkshire Survey and selected photographs from the Snapshot of Yorkshire competition.

On display will also be a selection of quirky and comic objects from the Leeds collection.

The Yorkshire Exhibition will be on display at Abbey House Museum, Leeds, from January 25 to December 31.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The Reversing Machine comes to Leeds

An exhibition designed by artists Sam Belinfante and Simon Lewandowski will be on display at The Tetley, Leeds, from January 25.

The Reversing Machine is an exhibition focused on a mechanical device which operates objects attached to it for a set amount of time and then reverses the process for the same amount of time.

The machine was commissioned in 2012 by Art Laboratory Berlin and has expanded into an ongoing research project.

Devices driven by machine include adapted record players, household light fittings, slide projectors and a variety of sculptural objects.

Central to the installation is a pair of turntables driven by the machine which play a repertoire of specially composed vinyl records.

The Reversing Machine will be on display at The Tetley from January 25 to March 2.


Saturday, 18 January 2014

Interview with Tom Price at Yorkshire Sculpture Park

by Jon Cronshaw

He's notorious for licking a gallery wall till his tongue bled. Now, artist Tom Price creates sculptures of everyday black men that are deliberately unheroic.

In 2001, Tom Price tried to cover an entire gallery with his saliva over a three-day period. But in the first hour, his tongue began to bleed profusely.

What was intended as invisible marks of spit on a gallery wall became something like an abattoir, steadily covered with the artist's blood.

"It wasn't pleasant," says Price, "but it was almost a relief when I started to make a mark so I could see where I'd been. Then it really became like a painting."

He certainly made a name for himself with the performance piece, called Licked, all while he was still a student at Chelsea College of Art. "People thought I'd used a paintbrush – people thought I'd faked it.

"After that, I started dreaming up other performances. I really got into demonstrations of sacrifice, I guess," he says.

"But then I realised I was seeking some weird approval, like an actor or performer needs applause. And I didn't want that – I wanted to say things people weren't going to applaud at all," he says.

So he turned to sculpture, teaching himself how to work with traditional methods. "Today, I try to take a less gimmicky approach, if I'm honest. And I've got such respect for sculpture. But in the contemporary art world, it is sort of sniffed at," he says.

Price's recent work, now on show at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, has seen him make bronzes of a group seldom represented in art galleries: disenfranchised, urban young black men.

"I started sculpting people near where I lived in Brixton, who happened to be black," says Price. "I showed one to my peers at art school and their reaction was strange – I couldn't put my finger on it, but I knew I was tapping into something powerful. Maybe they thought it looked a bit like me, which seemed melancholic and vulnerable."

For Price, it's important to ask questions about why black men are only represented in certain ways within art. "There's a real lack of first-hand representation or self-representation of a black man in a neutral state – if that can exist – something like them not being heroic, not being a type, not being recorded as some sort of ethnicity," he says.

He wants his work to provide food for thought for the casual observer. "It's like they're saying 'I'm here and I don't care if you are'. The sculptures never meet your gaze, they don't have their shoulders back – they stand like they don't want to be seen."

Each one is a mishmash. They are not portraits of individuals but, rather like Dr Frankenstein, Price pieces different elements together to create what he calls psychological portraits – both in terms of his subject matter and himself.

"When you start to project ideas and emotions on to a work of art, it can't help but be a bit of a self-portrait," he says. "I resisted that idea for a long time.

"But who's the one continual reference? What's the one continual thing? That's me, so I'm definitely in them. I'm owning up to that a bit more now," he says.

His goal is "to show the inner worlds of contemporary people through ancient sculpture". So while traditionalists can appreciate the classical and technical skill involved, those with more contemporary tastes can contemplate the pressing questions they raise about race, class and identity.

"There's a lot of social commentary going on," he says, "but I try and do it in a way that's beautiful – to sugar the pill, as it were."

Where is Modern Art Now - Tom Price clip from on Vimeo.

Tom Price's work is on display at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park until April 27.


All photos courtesy Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the artist.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Halifax Piece Hall closes doors until 2016

Halifax Piece Hall has closed its doors for the final time before the historic building undergoes a £19 million refurbishment.

Work will begin on the site in May to refurbish the hall and the project will see the building of a new central library on the site by spring 2016.

Traders based in units at Piece Hall have had to move out and seek new business premises.


Thursday, 16 January 2014

Reconstructed Russian sculpture to go on display at Henry Moore Institute

A reconstruction of the Stenberg brothers' Konstruktsiya Prosranstvennogo Sooruzheniya (Construction for a Spatial Structure) (1917) will be on display at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, from from January 22 to April 26.

The Moscow-born, Russian-Swedish brothers Vladimir (1899-1982) and Georgii (1900-1933) Stenberg are central figures of the early Russian Constructivist movement, characterised by a laboratory style of working that placed the 'artist-producer' within everyday activities.

As former students of Moscow's Stroganov School of Applied Arts and members of the Institute of Artistic Culture (INKhUK), they were at the heart of debates surrounding the role of the artist in society.

The Stenbergs were trained engineers specialising in railway structures and bridges, and collaborated between 1917 and 1933 on designing functional structures, that included car factories, highways and workers' clubs.

They are mostly known, however, for their graphic design, film posters, theatre scenography and designs for mass celebrations in Moscow's Red Square. In distinction, Vladimir and Georgii Stenberg: Construction for a Spatial Structure VI ('KPS6', 1919/73) focuses on their lesser-known three-dimensional work.

At the centre of this display is 'KPS6', a 1973 reconstruction of a sculpture originally made in 1919.

The title's acronym stands for Konstruktsiya Prosranstvennogo Sooruzheniya (Construction for a Spatial Structure), an abbreviation the Stenbergs would use to name similar works made in iron, steel, glass and wood.

While seemingly abstract, these geometric constructions were in reality a continuation of the Stenberg's interest in engineering and technology, and may be considered as experimental proposals for buildings. The reconstruction of 'KPS6' was overseen by the French-Bulgarian art historian Andrei B. Nakov (b. 1941) by carefully referencing drawings and photographs showing exhibition installation views. 'KPS6' is presented alongside a precise architectural sketch for the sculpture's reconstruction made by Vladimir Stenberg in 1973.

Vladimir and Georgii Stenberg: 'Construction for a Spatial Structure VI' ('KPS6' will be on display at the Henry Moore Institute for January 22 to April 26.


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Merrion Centre mural set for removal

A campaign has been launched to prevent a painted mural being removed from the Merion Centre, Leeds.

The mural was painted in the 1960s but is set to be removed as part of the centre’s renovation.

Plans show that the mural will make for a series of large windows which will for part of a gym.

Campaigner Clifford Stead said: “There`s too much emphasis on rebranding these days without any thought for the future, especially in retail.

“We have asked for these murals to be preserved elsewhere in the Merrion Centre as this will soon be a glazed gym with lots of sweating people in vests on rowing machines.”

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Graphic Design students to take studio into gallery

An exhibition of work by Graphic Design students at Leeds College of Art will be held at Blenheim Walk Gallery from January 10 to February 7.

Work In Progress is an exhibition curated by current third year students studying Graphic Design at Leeds College of Art.

The aim of the exhibition is to show the working methods, processes and production behind the designs being created for the student’s final major project as they work towards their deadline in May and the End of Year Show in June.

Visitors to the exhibition will witness a snap shot into the studio culture of the programme, observing tutorials, briefing and seminars that usually take place within the confines of the programme area, as the third year studio space is moved into the Gallery at Leeds College of Art, Blenheim Walk for three weeks.

Amber Smith, programme leader of BA (Hons) Graphics Design, said: “Transplanting our design studio into the College’s exhibition space builds the students’ exhibiting skills in the run-up to their end of year show as well as giving visitors a taste of our studio culture and students’ work.”

Visiting lecturers to the programme will be teaching within the gallery space including talks by designers, portfolio surgeries as well as day-to-day teaching.

The design work on show will build throughout the duration of the exhibition as the students will hang work that is created on the walls in real-time and build on what now is effectively a blank canvas.

The accumulation of the work will be on display at the end of show closing celebration on February 7.


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Hepworth represented at the London Art Fair

Key works by Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and their contemporaries will feature in a unique exhibition at this year's London Art Fair entitled Barbara Hepworth and the Development of British Modernism.

Curated by Frances Guy, head of collections at The Hepworth Wakefield, the exhibition will feature a selection of works drawn from the gallery's collection.

Among other works, Hepworth is represented in the exhibition by an early sculpture Kneeling Figure (1932).

Other artists included in the exhibition are Hepworth's second husband Ben Nicholson, and friends such as Henry Moore, with whom Hepworth studied at Leeds College of Art and later the Royal College of Art, London.

Also featuring are artists associated with St Ives, the artists' colony in Cornwall where Hepworth and Nicholson moved before the outbreak of the Second World War.

This pioneering group includes Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon, Patrick Heron and John Wells among others.

The London Art Fair will take place from January 15 to 19 at the Business Design Centre, Islington, London.

Installation photograph, Hepworth Family Gift Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield.
Photograph: Hufton and Crow.