Hype Around Hirst’s New Exhibition – But to What End?

Art produced by YBA heavyweight, Damien Hirst, always seems to make the headlines. Whether it is stories about astronomical prices for pieces or tales from the artist’s own life, the newspapers and magazines are always interested in what Damien Hirst is up to.

The current feature for many is Hirst’s newest exhibition, held across two venues, the Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi in art hotspot, Venice, for this year’s Biennale.

Entitling the show, “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” Hirst has certainly sought to capture media attention it would seem. In an article on the show, the Guardian’s Sarah Hughes, has termed it “one of the most tightly guarded art exhibitions of recent years,”…but how has it been received?

In a fascinating short interview on the BBC’s Arts and Entertainment website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-39534654 ) Arts Editor, Will Gompertz, quizzes Hirst on the exhibition’s main exhibits and themes.

Hirst confirms that the 180 or more artefacts and objects on show are those from an imaginary ship which took place over 2000 years ago.

The items are supposed to have been part of an historic and extensive collection amassed by a great individual. On their website, the Palazzo Grassi confirm that the collector is called “Aulus Calidius Amotan – a freed slave better known as Cif Amotan II”.

Included alongside the objects are photographs showing their underwater discovery. By including these photographs, Hirst really taps into the theme of belief as we really feel we are part of a major, historic discovery of an extraordinary body of work. The exhibition itself covers the whole process from the finding of the artefacts through to displaying of them.

Hirst tells Gompertz in the BBC video that “for me the show is about belief, and you can believe whatever you want to believe.” He continues, “I’ve spent so much time on it that it’s not a lie…I just believe it.”

Back on dry land, Hirst purports of have spent over £50million on this exhibition and when we consider the materials used to create these artworks – gold, crystal and bronze are among those listed – this figure makes more sense.

Not everyone, however, is pleased to see it’s unveiling. Activist group, Animalisti, the Guardian article confirms, have been responsible for depositing over 40 kilos of animal manure outside one of the two exhibition venues, the Palazzo Grassi. Their motivation is believed to stem from Hirst’s use of animal carcasses in a number of his previous works of art.

“Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” runs between 9 April 2017 and 3 December 2017 alongside Venice Biennale’s extensive programme of events and exhibitions.

To see images either visit Hirst’s own website or take a look at the official Palazzo Grassi’s website.
It is one of the most reviewed exhibitions and is nothing short of sensational. Our VEDO art consultants will be paying a visit to see whether we too are captivated by the make believe world of Hirst. Watch this space for more details.

Ceramic artist spotlight: Desa Philippi’s biomorphic wall sculptures

VEDO Corporate Art Service is delighted to present some captivating new sculptural work by ceramic artist Desa Philippi.

Desa’s wall sculptures are beautiful fluid porcelain shapes with a strong graphic element.

(c) Red porcelain wall sculpture by artist Desa Philippi

She has developed a range of abstract, biomorphic shapes, which are layered in open and closed forms and can be combined in different dimensions. They are therefore uniquely adaptable to different spaces.

(c) Vertical midnight blue porcelain wall sculpture by artist Desa Philippi

She uses bold primary colours that heightens the graphic element and gives a strong contemporary art feel, as well as being very joyous artworks.

(c) Yellow porcelain wall sculprure & alphabet ceramic vessels by artist Desa Philippi 

We think of graffiti art when we look at these wonderful shapes, as well as comic strips and the great American pop artists of the 1960s, such as Roy Lichenstein.

In her own words Desa’s says she is

..“influenced by modernist sculpture and the urban environment within which the work is produced, I spent a lot of time looking at and photographing the reflections of buildings, graffiti walls, cranes and other urban structures on the nearby Regents Canal, observing changes of the water’s surface when disturbed by wind, moving canal boats, water birds, or floating debris. This direct observation helped me to rethink the continuous forms of my porcelain vessels in terms of open and animated surfaces.”

Desa is currently showing some of her stunning flat matt grey ceramic vessels at Gallery DIFFERENT in London in an exhibition called ‘The Art and Politics of Eating’. To read about this exhibition click here.

(c) Alphabet Vessels by artist Desa Philippi

Desa works from her studio in Camden in London. Her background as an art historian is eminently clear from the strong sense of design and aesthetics that permeates her work as an artist.

Her ceramics are effortlessly chic and would look great in any contemporary designed living space, bringing in a sophisticated design element.

To see more please do not hesitate to contact us at Jessica@vedocorporateart.com

The Art and Politics of Eating – an art exhibition & event that celebrates food

VEDO Corporate Art Service is proud to support Gallery DIFFERENT’S forthcoming exhibition: ‘The Art and Politics of Eating’.

(c) Artist Zev Robinson

Zev Robinson, a Canadian and British artist and film-maker is showcasing his large beautiful dream-like pastel paintings at the Gallery, 14 Percy Street, London W1 this week.

Zev an experienced artist has coordinated this exhibition of his pastels with the release of his film ‘The Art of Politics of Eating’ – Pied à Terre documentary, shown this evening at the Gallery.

His film examines the restaurant’s passionate interest in supporting the sustainable food system and how their relationship with their forty suppliers makes an important contribution to the small independent British food sector.

There will also be a moderated discussion about quality food producers and the role of quality restaurants in sustaining those producers and the rural environment.

From the Corporate Art perspective, Pied à Terre restaurant is well known and highly regarded as an amazing champion of the arts.

Apart from hanging artworks by emerging and established artists in this elegant and very fashionable restaurant and allowing an important showcasing venue for artists to be enjoyed by their clientele, they are true patrons of the arts and this echoes through a film like this, made by a visual artist who has turned the spotlight on their core passion, supporting sustainable food systems and making sure the best of British food is served in their restaurant.

Zev’s work is elegant, accessible and blends the boundaries between art and food and the point at which these two creative endeavours meet.

(c) Artist Zev Robinson

The pastel medium creates a haze to the subject-matter that feels dream-like and surreal and with his closely studied blue camphor jugs and succulent Queen olives in terracotta dishes you are instantly transported to the Mediterranean.

To see the film, the screening is tonight 6th June 2017, please book tickets through the Gallery.

To read a further review about Zev’s work please see the Artlyst article here.

VEDO Ceramicists at Gallery Different

VEDO Corporate Art looks for the best independent artists for the commercial sectors, such as interior design and hotel design.

Also showing this week at Gallery DIFFERENT, 14 Percy Street, W1, VEDO is very proud to announce that two exceptional ceramicists are showing their works too.

French ceramic artist Isabelle Poupinel will be showcasing three of her stunning works, all quite different and show the unique range of styles in her repertoire.

From her stunning North African inspired earthen dish, with a beautiful turquoise glaze, perfect as a central piece for a kitchen table or dining al fresco and serving delicious nibbles, such as pistachio nuts, to her beautiful woven looking ceramic basket – an object that is both minimalist and in our view seems to echo great tribal art, namely Tutsi or Hutu woven baskets.

(c) Artist Isabelle Poupinel

Lastly Isabelle is showing a chic pinched white porcelain vase with a gold tie that would look elegant in any luxurious room and reminds us of the great finesse you find in gorgeous homes in the South of France.

German born Desa Philippi, who works from her studio in Camden in London, will be showing her impressive and elegant pots. Her vessels look fabulous in a group and make an effortless and chic artistic display.

These works are artistic too and are for display rather than use. Desa produces clean lines and her works have an extremely pleasing symmetry, often combined with interesting decoration such as her sophisticated on-glaze patterns that use steel or tungsten to create fine lines. In Desa’s work there are gorgeous industrial matt grey or sensitive cream tones or a flat pure white that demands attention and echoes Bauhaus and great design.

(c) Artist Desa Philippi

Desa, like Isabelle, has a diverse repertoire but is consistently elegant in her style and approach and works by either of these artists would look fabulous in any home.

For more details about these three artists please contact VEDO.

The exhibition is on until Wednesday 14th June 2017, Gallery Different 14 Percy Street, London W1.

BP Portrait’s Best Announced

The BP Portrait prize has built itself a reputation for honouring some of the very best contemporary portrait artists around. Every year, we are shown works employing a wide variety of styles, mediums and materials. The exhibition is almost like an assorted chocolate box.

The names of this year’s finalists have now been released. These are individuals who have been, according to The National Portrait Gallery’s (NPG) website, “selected from 2,580 entries by artists from 87 countries”.

Shortlisted portraitists Thomas Ehretsmann, Benjamin Sullivan and Antony Williams have each chosen female subject matters, yet the effects and styles of works are completely different.

Ehretsmann’s work, ‘Double Portrait’ includes an image of his wife, Caroline, as they are out walking through the park on an evening stroll. The side-on view lends the work an intimate aspect, as though the sitter has not seen the artist. On their website, the NPG confirms “The title, Double Portrait, suggest the passage from one state of being to another as Caroline was eight months pregnant at the time.”

Sullivan and Williams also capture images of women and in positions which do not directly engage with the artist or viewer. ‘Emma’, the contribution by artist Antony Williams, shows a three quarter view of a nude woman covering her breasts. She gazes out beyond the canvas giving the impression of pensive reflection. Benjamin Sullivan’s ‘Breech!’ shows the painter’s wife and child in a naturalistic, living room setting. Sullivan chooses an unusual, elevated angel which gives this work an extra, intriguing dimension.

Last year the crown went to a portrait artist who was by no means unfamiliar with the competition. Clara Drummond took first prize for her enigmatic portrayal of fellow artist and friend, Kirsty Buchanan. Drummond entered the competition in 2013 and then again in 2014, however it was to be another few years before she was able to claim this prestigious title in 2016.

The exhibition itself will run from 22nd June 2017 to 24th September 2017.

At VEDO we help our clients commission contemporary artists and work with several extremely talented British and international portrait artists. Our artists work in the medium of painting, sculpture and photography. For more details please contact us.

Photographic Award Honours Haunting Landscape Photographer

The 2017 Sony World Photography Awards & Martin Parr Exhibition brings together a spectacular array of photographic masterpieces from rarely seen African wildlife, to areas of untouched natural beauty to poignant political scenes, and infinitely more.

This annual exhibition, now in it’s tenth year, has come to be a regular must see in any keen photographer or enthusiast’s exhibition calendar.

The 2017 show opened its doors to the public on Friday 28 April 2017 and has proven to be among the best exhibitions yet, with a huge variety of works contributed by individuals from across the globe. This year, as attested on the official World Photographic Organisation (WPO) website, categories included “a variety of genres from Architecture, Daily life, Documentary, Landscape, Portraiture, Sports, Street Photography, Wildlife and many more …” With such an array, there really is something to catch the eye of every viewer.

It was Belgian freelance photographer, Frederick Buyckx, who was crowned winner of the competition, reports the British Journal of Photography (BJP). His emblematic and haunting collection of images of wintery settings, often deeply clad in snow, was selected by a panel of preeminent judges from a pool of over “227,00 entries by photographers from 183 countries”.

Buyckx takes as his subject very secluded landscapes, mostly untouched by human activity. According to the BJP, the “remote areas of the Balkans, Scandinavia and Central Asia, where people often live in isolation and in close contact with nature” make up the core focus of Buyckx’s winning wintery series, entitled ‘Whiteout’. There is something remarkably haunting about these works and for any lover of landscape photography, they are a real must see.

In their article on the competition and its various awards, finalists and photographs, the BJP highlight the pertinence of this year’s exhibition and how, after 10 years, it continues to be an important landmark for the medium.

Part of this is the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize, a huge honour for any practitioner. This year it awarded to British photographer Martin Parr. Parr, the BJP confirms “was recognised for his unique visual language and for pushing the boundaries of the medium”. In accepting the Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize, the BJP confirm, Parr “joins a roster of previous winners that includes Mary Ellen Mark, William Eggleston, Eve Arnold, Bruce Davidson, Marc Riboud, William Klein, and Elliott Erwitt.”

On Parr’s professional website are a list of the numerous important accolades which he has received throughout his long career. Included is the recent 2016 Royal Academy Award, which he received on account of his prolific and vital “Contribution to the Arts”. Parr received the award following a nomination by prominent contemporary British artist, Grayson Perry, his website indicates.

The exhibition is staged at London’s Somerset House and closed on 7th May 2017.

Hull Serves as Setting for Significant New Photography Project

2017 is the year Hull will be celebrated as the United Kingdom’s City of Culture. There are numerous ways artists and supporters are marking the occasion, however some appear to be pushing the boundaries more than others.

Spencer Tunick is one of those extraordinary artists whose contribution to this celebration of art and culture has featured prominently across the media.

Tunick is an American born photographer who creates complex socio-political images often depicting the naked human form. The works he has created for display in Hull this year extend on this theme and will appear in Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery under the exhibition title, ‘SKIN’. The works were commissioned by the Art Gallery specifically for this prestigious event and are on display in the flagship exhibition.

To call them eye-catching would not do them justice. His works are captivating.Tunick has worked with 3,200 people, each nude, and photographed them in iconic local settings. The piece entitled ‘Sea of Hull’ shows the nude individuals painted in a palette of blues. When viewed together as a group, the nudes transform into a body water, wrapped around magnificent architectural monuments and settings.

In an article dated 21st April 2017, the BBC recalled comments made by Spencer Tunick from 2016 as he discussed the works: “The Sea of Hull installation was one of the most fantastic projects I’ve ever done, and it was inspiring to be able to intertwine the City’s maritime heritage against an urban backdrop throughout the whole piece.”

The works are, therefore, a fascinating mix of a thoroughly modern installation with strong symbolic ties to the City’s important history.

Producing works of this kind, however, is not without it’s complications. On Spencer Tunick’s own professional website the photographer indicates the issues associated with creating this type of artwork, particularly within America. “In order to make his work without the threat of arrest” the website confirms, “the artist took his work abroad. He has not undertaken a group installation on the streets of New York in over fifteen years,” as a result of a series of police led arrests. In light of these difficulties, we might view this new body of work, shot in and around the public areas of Hull city centre, with an additional admiration and respect.

Shown alongside Tunick’s works in the exhibition that runs from 22nd April until 13th August 2017, are other works that concentrate on the nude form, works by Lucian Freud and sculptor Ron Mueck. There will also be on display a preparatory study for Edouard Manet’s controversial Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe.

VEDO will keep eyes on Hull’s arts and cultural festivities as it continues to enjoy and celebrate its tenure as the United Kingdom’s City of Culture 2017.