Tuesday, 26 June 2012

i-D Video: Jenny Saville at Modern Art Oxford & The Ashmolean

Flesh is monumental in Jenny Saville’s paintings, something you can only truly appreciate when you’re dwarfed by a two metre high canvas that’s been slathered, scraped and smeared in fleshy tones and visceral reds.

Nothing beats seeing her paintings for real, yet this is her first exhibition in a public gallery in the UK since she hatched fully formed and critically acclaimed from the YBA hype of the 90s. A studio dweller rather than a publicity magnet, Saville has developed a body of work that’s as much about the anatomy of paint itself as it is about the anatomy of the (mostly female) body, and the results are both stark and intricate.

Ask today’s upcoming painters who inspires them and many will name check Saville. Along with this solo show at Modern Art Oxford, two of her drawings sit alongside the likes of Titian and Veronese at the Ashmolean. Not many contemporary artists could hold their nerve in such company, but Saville does.

i-D online’s Laura Bushell met Saville at the gallery to talk about YBAs, bodies and babies.

Jenny Saville is at Modern Art Oxford and The Ashmolean Museum until 16th September 2012

Text and Film: Laura Bushell
Music: Peppi Knott

Monday, 25 June 2012

ArtSlant Review: Show RCA 2012

Zemer Peled, ceramics, photo by Laura Bushell

(Originally published on ArtSlant)

When the RCA say that their 2012 graduation show is the biggest in their 175 year history, they’re not joking. Held simultaneously across their Kensington and Battersea campuses, this sprawling show brings together works from over 500 students across fine art and design disciplines including (but not limited to) painting, jewelry, photography, sculpture, visual communication and printmaking.

 That’s a lot of ideas to negotiate in one show, and due to the nature of its layout (in fine art, mixed together and packed in), some pieces inevitably come off better than others. For visitors it’s a case of just getting in amongst it, then seeing what leaves a lasting impression following this brain-melting visual and conceptual onslaught. So to begin at the beginning with pieces that still resonate since:

Conceptual jeweler Hannah Louise Pittman took tiny casts of empty pill packet cavities for Prosperity Pills, her incarnation in sterling silver of the daily task of warding off the chronic pain disorder she contracted during her studies. Each tiny silver pill shape becomes part of a personal amulet; a positive outcome from an otherwise negative experience.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Clifford Chance Exhibition Opening

Last night was the opening reception of 'A Question of Sport: LGBT artists and their relationship to inclusivity', curated by Michael Petry for Clifford Chance in Canary Wharf. 

I worked as Editor on artist Roberto Ekholm's new video 109C, inspired by diver Tom Daley. See below for some stills, video to follow...

Monday, 18 June 2012

Photos: Show RCA 2012

From the top: Maja Johansson, Min Jeong Song, painting installation view, design installation view, print installation view, Tereza Zelenkova, Zemer Peled and Alessa Tine. All 2012 graduates of the various schools at the Royal College of Art.

All images copyright Laura Bushell.

Friday, 8 June 2012

i-D Video: Grayson Perry on Taste, at Victoria Miro and on Channel 4

Here's a video interview I did with Grayson Perry for his new exhibition of tapestries at Victoria Miro and the accompanying documentary on Channel 4.  We talked about taste, television and tribes for i-D online.

Grayson Perry wants to talk about taste: the good, the bad and the sometimes unfathomable. It’s a treacherous terrain to negotiate, let alone find a consensus within, since one person’s expression of refinement can be another’s gaudy nightmare. Grayson Perry believes our in-built inclinations are tied up with class, so in his latest quest to chronicle contemporary life through art, he took to the roads of the UK to seek out class tribes who could best encapsulate the taste of their particular strata of British society. The result is a series of narrative tapestries charting what he labels “a contemporary Rake’s Progress”, plus a TV series documenting the empirical research that was sewn into those threads. Now whether you’ll prefer the fine art tapestries in the London gallery or the reality TV on Channel 4, comes down to your own perfectly honed taste...


The Vanity of Small Differences at Victoria Miro runs from 7th June until 11th August 2012. Watch the first episode of ‘In the Best Possible Taste – Grayson Perry’ on 4oD here. victoriamiro.com

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