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    Leonardo: Portrait of Cecilia Gallerani

  • Leonardo

    Leonardo: The Virgin of the Rocks

  • Leonardo-x6811_pr

    Leonardo: Portrait of a Young Man

  • Lpn

    Paul Noble: Cathedral Photo by Mike Bruce

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    Paul Noble: Welcome to Nobson (detail) Photo by Mike Bruce

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    Paul Noble: A Wall is a Path Photo by Prudence Cuming Associates

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    Harriet Mead: King Island Emu

  • Llben-newman---bishop_s-_o_o

    Ben Newman: Bishop’s ’0’0

  • Lralph-steadman---dodo

    Ralph Steadman: Dodo

Art

What's On: London

Posted by Rob Alderson,

London has gone loco for Leonardo this week – and with good reason – but there’s strong shows on across the city with the return of the magnificent imagination and pencil skill of Paul Noble and a celebration of extinct birds that will capture any imagination – think Ralph Steadman drawing a dodo. Play it cool London, play it cool…

Leonardo Da Vinci: Painter at The Court of Milan The National Gallery

So much has been written about this show it’s difficult to know what to add – but when the organisers have to limit ticket sales to avoid gallery-rage then you know something pretty special is happening. Leonardo – often described as the ultimate Renaissance man – is a true artistic titan who excites aficionados and amateur art buffs alike, and this blockbuster show brings together all the surviving works which are allowed to travel, plus many of his drawings. A fabulous chance to see why an artist of whose only 14 confidently-attributed paintings survive is still considered such a game-changing figure, breathing life into his subjects and arguably inventing modern portraiture as we know it. It seems trite to make this the pick of the week – it’s probably the pick of the year, and runs until February.
www.itsnicethat.com/whats-on/leonardo-da-vinci

Paul Noble: Welcome to Nobson Gagosian Britannia Street

In our tweet-and-you’ll-miss it contemporary culture, dedicating years to a single project resonates even more, and Paul Noble’s new show in London (his first here for seven years) is a slow-cooked treat. For 15 years the master draughtsman has been working on bringing to life a fictional city called Nobson Newtown, a response to utopian town planning and the reality of the places it produces. The central piece of this exhibition is Welcome to Nobson , a huge 23ft by 15ft drawing but there’s also other massive pieces and sculptures which allow you to immerse yourself in Noble’s unnatural talent. It runs until December 17.
www.itsnicethat.com/whats-on/paul-noble

The Ghosts of Gone Birds The Rochelle School

An exhibition highlighting the problem of dwindling bird numbers based on extinct species sounds very worthy (which it is) but it also sounds a little, well, dry. Fortunately this exhibition at the Rochelle School is anything but, with a host of stellar names contributing amazing renderings of feathered-friends that have died out. With the likes of Ralph Steadman, Sir Peter Blake and Polly Morgan alongside rising stars like Ben Newman this is a stupendously entertaining show with a moral core to boot. Splendid stuff. It runs until November 23.
www.itsnicethat.com/whats-on/ghosts-of-gone-birds

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Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

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    I’m the third person to take a turn waxing lyrical about the art of Bryan Olson (he was discussed here and here in the past), but I don’t mind, I’m just happy to have the opportunity. The North Carolina-based artist is arguably the master of his medium; a creator of collages so delicately crafted it’s often impossible to tell they’ve been made from hand-cut paper. Though it’s by no means his only concern Bryan focusses a great deal on the cosmos in his work, leaving strange portals into the unknown at the centre of his images or placing earthly objects within inter-planetary scenes. It’s a heady combination that lures viewers in, making them feel like children gazing at a dense night sky or an adult on one hell of a trip.

  2. List

    The phrase “artistic intervention” has a chequered past, but we’re struggling to think of a more impressive example than Frank and Patrik Riklin’s BIGNIK. The ongoing project aims to build a huge picnic cloth by 2040, made up of 252,144 panels – one for every person in the Appenzell region of Switzerland.

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    Sure, here at It’s Nice That we love fine art. You may even walk past us on the weekend ambling around in galleries, or poring over art books in libraries. We champion some of the most exquisite architecture, sculpture and filmmaking along with some of the most groundbreaking works of art made in modern times. What you define as “art” is a personal thing, but I can tell you now that when it came to voting on content for the site (we decide on content via a voting process around a table FYI) this Presidents with Boob Faces was a unanimous “YES” from each knowledgeable, art-loving member of the It’s Nice That team. When you can see hard, skilled craftsmanship and evidence of a brave artist taking one small idea and running really, really far with it, how can you resist loving it? These are amazing, and artist Emily Deutchman should be very, very proud of herself.

  4. Main

    When something is well-designed, be it a magazine, building, fashion collection or car – it should be well-celebrated. To honour the spectacular and cutting-edge design of the brand new Lexus NX, a new digital art exhibition entitled NX-Perspectives has been launched. Gathering together some of the world’s leading creative thinkers, makers and doers, Lexus have assigned them to create a special piece of performance art inspired by the Lexus NX to exhibit in the digital show.

  5. List

    London-based artist Aleksandra Mir has been busy over the past month investigating the process of drawing in a collaborative experiment that invites participants to contribute to a giant collage of the London skyline, rendered entirely with Sharpies. The process of creating the work was part of the exhibition itself, with Aleksandra and her team engaged in drawing everything by hand during the first days of the show. But for those that missed it there’s also a beautiful time-lapse film of the process, providing context and insight to this giant piece of collaborative draughtsmanship.

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    I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking; “How on earth did that priest train a dolphin to carry him like that?” Or maybe you’re thinking; “Where did the photographer have to stand to capture that image?” Or perhaps, in fact, you’re thinking; “This HAS to be fake.” But all of these lines of inquiry are valid in the world of Joan Fontcuberta, the Spanish artist and photographer who’s latest exhibition has just landed at The Science Museum’s Media Space.

  7. List

    You’re on the internet, so you probably like cats, right? Well, these woodblock prints by Tadashige Nishida capture all of those cat qualities that we love to love: his creepy but cute kittens are unafraid and alert, always listening and sensing, and very delicately, playfully poised. Tadashige renders the subtle lines of a cat’s body against brilliantly bold backgrounds, and it is very difficult to work out just what it is that makes his prints so hypnotically intriguing. Doris Lessing, one of literature’s best cat lovers, describes the curious creatures in the following way: “If a fish is the movement of water embodied, given shape, then cat is a diagram and pattern of subtle air.” Tadashige captures these dexterous and whimsical cat attributes beautifully in his surprising, minimalist prints.

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    The only real auction action we get exposed to regularly is top programmes like Bargain Hunt or Flog It! but recently the whole auction concept has started to be used in a way that removes our cliched expectations of a collection of people (eccentric oddballs) bidding on antiques (old stuff).

  9. List

    As artist mediums go, paper cutting has its limits, right? Fine spindly branches supporting layers of luscious foliage for example might be a challenging one to recreate with scalpel and paper, for example, as might the rippling shadows that fall across swimming pools. Not so if you’re Lucy Williams. The London-based artist is redefining the nature of mixed media artwork with her absurdly detailed paper cuts. No line is too fine, no detail too small for her to recreate, and it’s precisely this unstoppable eye for detail that’s basically crowned her the queen of the method. Her penchant for mid-20th Century architecture and landscapes has taken her work across the world in exhibitions, and her awe-inspiring portfolio spanning no small number of years functions as a fantastic heap of evidence to explain why. Rub your eyes and gaze on in wonderment at these beauties.

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    You don’t get many portfolios as rich and as varied as Urs Fischer’s – his somewhat prolific sculptural work ranges from enormous rooms full of objects imprisoned in steel cubes, John Stezaker-esque collages and gargoyle-like characters that look straight out of Labyrinth. But you know, we’re It’s Nice That, so obviously we’re really into the paintings he did of people through history with hard boiled eggs masking their faces. Really though, these are incredibly beautiful pieces of work. Depending on how much you like eggs, they may or may not make you feel a bit nauseous. For me though, this is the best thing ever.

  11. List-

    Opening tomorrow, the Cob Gallery’s new exhibition explores Pastiche, Parody and Piracy in British artwork, exploring the age-old practice of appropriation as a means to explore new ideas. The exhibition has been put together by curator Camilla Ellingsen Webster, satirical cartoonist Jeremy Banx and artist Miriam Elia, partly in response to threats of legal action against Miriam following the realease of her most recent work We Go to the Gallery.

  12. Blotlist

    From what I can gather, these abstract paintings were made by placing the nibs of inky marker pens on top of a stack of paper. The result is an amazing blotted fusion of kaleidoscopic patterns and rainbow colours, which kind of looks like the psychedelic shapes butterfly wing’s make when seen through a microscope.

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    Who needs stupid real flags when fictional ones are this beautiful? Mariana Abasolo (cool name) has created these magnificent, bright images that are somewhere in-between celebratory bunting and the backs of playing cards, and make her Flickr account look like some sort of culty party. We don’t know much about Mariana, but we do know that her work hasn’t always been like this – a quick scan through the rest of her portfolio shows that she’s been making some truly curious drawings for a while now – browser windows drawn in coloured pencil and strange, surreal living room scenes to name but a few. Very impressive, Mariana. More please!