Exhibition Archive

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    Get ready to succumb to the world of patterns. If you hadn’t realised already, they are around every corner, in your food, your clothes, your reading material. It seems we focus on the more outlandish elements sometimes. rather than what is staring right at us, and Patternity – aka art director Anna Murray and surface/textiles designer Grace Winteringham –have recognised this. “In a time where we are deluged by information and paralysed by choice, pattern can clarify complexity,” they say.

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    Meat is amazing. Vegetarians, I salute you and your principles, but you chaps and chapesses are missing out. Artist Brion Nuda Rosch is with me on this, as evidenced by his new show at Mother New York’s The Peanut Gallery. Brion has set his sardonic sights on our borderline-erotic relationship with carnivorous treats and turned them into strangely beautiful artworks. It’s been a couple of years since we last checked in with Brion, and it’s uplifting to see he’s lost none of the wit that drew us to him in the first place.

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    There’s a visceral thrill in discovering that someone really creative has another string to their bow that you were previously unaware of – and that’s exactly how we felt when we came across the photographs of Graham Nash. Most famous as a musician from seminal 70s bands like The Hollies and Crosby, Stills and Nash, Graham spliced his career with a passion for portrait photography, some of which has just gone on show in Lodnon. With amazing access to the likes of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, Graham combines his rock and roll sensibility with a mighty impressive eye for composition.

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    Another cracker of a show at London’s KK Outlet, this time showcasing the work of the very well-curated selection of artists that make up Hugo & Marie, New York’s most wonderful creative agency. Loosely based on the merging of science and visual arts, the 12 artists and illustrators – many of whom we regard as being some of the very best working today – have pooled their extraordinary minds to create this monster of a show.

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    “There’s old music, there’s new music, and then there’s David Bowie” reads a quote in the David Bowie is exhibition – it came from his record company back in the day. Keep that in mind while you work out how you’re going to get tickets to the most exciting show ever to occur at London’s V&A (in our humble opinion).

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    Please answer yes or no to the following questions. 1.Do you like art and design? 2. Do you like and/or trust It’s Nice That? 3. Do you enjoy going to arts and design shows (either for cultural edification or to impress potential dates on internet dating sites)? If you answered a series of yeses Meg Ryan-style then have we got news for you.

  7. Slg-list

    Californian artist Pae White has just arrived at Peckham’s South London Gallery with an installation made up of a 48 kilometre network of threads. Characterised by its transient nature, Pae’s work is often constructed from fragile materials that are utilised en masse to build large-scale sculptural works. Previous installations have include gold-lined popcorn kernels suspended from transparent thread and tapestries of billowing smoke plumes.

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    Set in the grand home of Lord Frederic Leighton, Studio Sitting: Photographing Royal Academicians is a new photographic exhibition of contemporary artists alongside their Victorian counterparts. Anne Purkiss, an established portrait photographer, captured these images over a 25-year period and the series includes well-known academicians, such as Dame Elizabeth Frink, David Hockney and Sir Peter Blake. It’s as if Anne casually walked into their studio and photographed them on impulse. Each photograph encapsulates the artist so magnificently, either during their projects or with their works displayed around them. What is also interesting is the similarity between the portraits today and the ones taken over 100 years ago. This reiterates the commemoration artists began to receive in Leighton’s era and how this has continued into the twenty-first century.

  9. Sledge

    If I needed any more tempting to drop everything and jump on a flight to New York, The Museum of the Moving Image have just given me a great reason. The smart people over in Queens have been putting together Spectacle – the first ever museum exhibition to celebrate “the art and history of the music video”, which opens early next month. The romp through the last 35 years of vids will showcase over 300 videos, artifacts, and interactive installations – and of course (my personal all-time favourite) Peter Gabriel’s Seldgehammer for your Monday Morning pleasure.

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    Dorothy Bohm moved to England aged just 15 in 1939, and went onto become one of the country’s most significant photographic figures both through her own work and her role in the foundation of The Photographers Gallery. A new show opening in London tomorrow features some wonderful images of London in the 1960s, a time and place which repetition and cliché have rendered somewhat overdone. But Dorothy’s wonderful work goes above and beyond these jaded stereotypes – she is in interested in a city in flux rather than simplistic narrative sweep.

  11. Gdlist

    Giles Duley pauses for a moment when I ask him how the past few weeks have been for him, and then answers with characteristic understatement. “Weird,” he says, smiling. Two years after the photographer lost both legs and an arm after stepping on a landmine in Afghanistan, recent months have been, even by his own standards, fairly extraordinary. In November he went back to Afghanistan to finish the job he started back in 2011 – to document the civilians caught up in the messy, ongoing conflict. He was accompanied by a camera crew for an extraordinary Channel 4 documentary that aired a couple of weeks ago, the first ten minutes of which featured graphic footage taken by the medics who saved his life in the minutes after the explosion.

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    We love a perfect collaboration, and this is one we didn’t even see coming. Eric Trine, an artist and furniture designer from Los Angeles has collaborated with record sleeve designer and illustrator Will Bryant for what can only be described as one of the friendliest and most fun exhibitions for a long time. Shown in the tantalisingly tasteful Poketo shop in downtown LA, the exhibition is made up of candy-coloured geometric objects and furniture arranged in cool ways. Infused with fun and friendship, this collection of…things…is all available to buy, and would look great in both a sun-drenched room in the Hollywood hills or in a dark, rented flat in London. Promise.

  13. Grosse-list

    Nobody fills a gallery like Berlin artist Katharina Grosse and her latest show at the De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg is no exception to that rule. As ever Katharina has tasked herself with turning the stark environment of a modern gallery into a celebration of colour, form and scale. The central installation on display features giant orbs of multi-coloured PVC arranged into a complex labyrinth, inviting visitors to tread a carefully constructed path through the physical space.

  14. Underground-list

    For over a century posters have been brightening up the dark walls of the Tube. Beautiful, striking and informative they’re the best public art to have come out of the tunnels. The London Transport Museum is celebrating the Tube’s 150th birthday with a fascinating exhibition of 150 posters dug out of its archive. When seen together, these posters not only tell the story of the Underground, they tell a story of London and graphic design, too.

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    Before you read anything we have to say about the Hayward Gallery’s latest exhibition it’s definitely worth heading straight over to their website and getting hold of a ticket. Light Show is already one of the most hotly-tipped exhibitions of the year (much like Rain Room in 2012) and getting hold of tickets is fast becoming problematic. But rest assured there’s good reason for all the hype as it’s arguably one of the best shows we’ve had the pleasure of visiting in the last year at least.

  16. Scanlabs-list

    3D Scanning masterminds ScanLAB have more or less got the market cornered when it come to their specific field of expertise. Using a range of precision technologies they’re able to capture three-dimensional structures in millimetre-perfect detail, making them indispensable to architects and geologists, but also incredibly interesting to laymen like us.

  17. Oms-list

    If you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Stockholm between February 4 and 8 then you’re in for a bit of a treat. Local designers, artists and craftspeople of Örnsberg are coming together for the first time to launch their very own artist-operated auction house, the Örnsbergsauktionen, where they’ll be selling an enormous range of covetable work.

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    Say what you like about the Royal Academy, but they certainly know how to put on a whopper of a show. The current Manet exhibition is a collection of his paintings that define the atmosphere of Paris in the late 1800s. Dances in gardens, sun-dappled benches, ruddy cheeks and plenty of wine surround characters of all ages, predominantly people in Manet’s life that he was closest too.

  19. Murder-list

    Eccentric sleuths, private eyes, inexplicably locked-rooms and crucially timed trains: for terror, bafflement and satisfaction, few things beat a good detective novel. A new exhibition at the British Library traces the history of this treasured genre through an enlightening illustrated alphabet.

    From the foxed pages of the earliest forays into crime in the late 19th century to the rubbed spines and cracked joints of well-fingered contemporary paperbacks, there are some choice books on display. Illustrated covers of crime give a wonderful overview of the age: there are the Victorian pen and ink drawings of subterfuge under lamplight, the swift lines of mid-century green-spined Penguins, 1980s watercolours of bucolic villages with ominous shadows and, of course, the red lipped femme fatales with much to hide who frequented the 1940s American hardboiled crimes.

    Along with the books is a miscellany of thrilling finds. There’s Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original manuscript of the later Sherlock Holmes story The Adventures of the Retired Colonel, an annotated script of Agatha Christies’ Murder on the Orient Express, a couple of crime adventures penned by footballers Terry Venables and Pele and some inspiring lady detectives. The Golden Age of detective fiction falls in the period between the two world wars. During that time the fashion for mystery went well beyond books. There were jigsaw puzzle murders and “crime dossiers” stuffed with clues such as human hair and cigarette ends which players had to wade through to solve. Makes Cluedo sound a bit lame, doesn’t it.

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    The first big show of a new year is always a yardstick for any gallery but over in Amsterdam the ever-excellent FOAM has set the bar high with its first offering of 2013. One Group Show is the first major solo exhibition from Thijs groot Wassink and Ruben Lundgren, whose work as WassinkLundgren we’ve long admired here at It’s Nice That. The duo describe their output as “conceptual documentary photography” and this show brings together some of their favourite projects from the past seven years. The Dutch born artists now split their time between London and Beijng and their work is marked with a multinational influence which gives it a unique viewpoint.

  21. Colophon-list

    See that sans-serif dotted around on our website? That’s Aperçu, a font designed by the inimitable Colophon Foundry, and probably one of the most recognisable faces around right now. We’re massive fans of Ant and Ed, the guys behind the type – heck we use their letters every day of the week – so we were pretty excited to hear about their show in Amsterdam that started just before the festive season.

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    Today Juergen Teller’s first solo UK exhibition in a decade has opened at London’s ICA. The show, called Woo celebrates the last 20 years of Juergen’s career at the forefront of fashion photography, and his more recent journey into more project-based and personal artistic work. Spanning three rooms — one entirely collaged with Juergen’s magazine spreads that is described by members of staff as “Juergen’s brain” — the show is an interesting combination of some of his most personal shots, with some of his most fascinating commissioned pieces. An intimate, cherubic photograph of his daughter Lola at a young age is hung close to Juergen’s infamous photograph of Victoria Beckham seemingly being swallowed by a shopping bag.

  23. Aspen-list

    Launched in 1964, the insanely avant-garde Aspen was a three-dimensional, multimedia magazine in a box. Inventive to the last, the New York-based publication included reels of Super-8 film, postcards, phonograph recordings of spoken word, jazz and electronica, sewing patterns, essays on critical theory and LSD, musical scores, posters, poetry, scripts, booklets and – hidden at the bottom – an advert or two.

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    By its very nature, photography speaks to our relationship with time by capturing a single instant suspended in freeze frame for ever more, but a new show is going further in exploring that idea. Phoot50 runs every year at the London Art Fair (LAF) and for 2013 Paradise Row director Nick Hackworth has curated A Cyclical Poem in which eight photographers question the idea of change.

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    When photographer Brian Aris first met Debbie Harry in 1977 he didn’t know that much about her and scribbled down the phrase “punk princess” in his diary after the shoot. He could never have predicted that he had just met one of music’s next big icons whose career with Blondie would explode over the next few years– nor did he realise that as her star rose he too would continue to photograph her and her band for decades to come.

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    We’ve featured his work before and here we are featuring it again, but we reserve the right to feature it as many times as we like, as we really can’t get enough of the masterful kinetic sculptures of Swiss artist Zimoun. According to his admirers, Zimoun “is best compared to a watchmaker of a self-reproducing time, constructing his own gauging station.” But as far as we’re concerned, it really isn’t as complex as all that; Zimoun’s appeal comes from his ability to turn simple, functional objects into extraordinary sensory experiences.

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    There’s no real need for us to talk about how great Nadav Kander is, to talk about his exceptional commercial or award-winning personal work which marks him out as one of the key photographers working today. His new show which opened in London last week is a stunning series of nudes which seeks to redress the visual hegemony of the airbrushed human form with which we are bombarded. All the models are auburn-haired and their bodies are coated in white marble dust and shot against a black background, emphasising every inch of their forms. In most of the images the faces are hidden, referencing classical sculptures, and there are touches of the bizarre, from unnatural stances to the odd appearance of a small white mouse.

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    The shortlist for the Terry O’ Neill Award – one of the most prestigious prizes in photography – was announced yesterday and once again the competition has thrown up some extraordinary imagery. The breadth on display is really impressive, from portraits of nativity play stars to terrifying African soldiers and landscapes both rural and urban, vibrant and silent. It was great to see one of Andy Rudak’s cardboard scenes make the cut (whose work wowed us back in October) but it’s hard to have a favourite among such a high-quality selection.

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    Although I’ve been known to own a dance floor in my younger days (you’re right Shakira the hips DON’T lie) ballet is still an art form I’m fully to appreciate. But that might all be about to change thanks to Rick Guest’s beguiling new series of photographs of dancers from The Royal Ballet going on show in London later this month.

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    When is a painting not a painting? When it’s the work of Jonathan Gabb, a South London based artist who creates extraordinary 3D pieces by mixing PVA glue and acrylic paint to produce his wonderfully colourful work. At first glance it appears to be pretty playful, which it is, but there’s also a real bedrock of theory behind his pieces and his references range from rococo architecture to Art Nouveau to Damien Hirst and Wayne Thiebaud.

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    Lots of art galleries and museums spend vast amounts of time (and sometimes money) considering how they can attract more young visitors and they come up with all manner of clever solutions. But it’s surprising how rarely these institutions tackle the issue in the most straightforward way imaginable – by putting on a show aimed squarely at this demographic. Credit then to Frankfurt’ s Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK) which is currently hosting Pssst, featuring 17 artists (nine local and eight form the UK) who have produced work for children aged between five and 12, based around the theme “secrets.”

  32. Pwilliams-list

    P Williams is an American artist shrouded in mystery. His online presence includes a personal website, Tumblr and a Blogspot and yet he reveals nothing about himself personally or professionally aside from a professed love for burritos – we don’t even know what the P in his name stands for. What we can tell you is that his paintings of aeroplanes covered in inky smears are an absolute delight and are on show at Room 104 in Seattle from tomorrow until February 16. But perhaps that’s all you really need to know anyway.

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    One of the worst things about lazy travel writing is its tendency to textually airbrush cities, removing all nuance to create unrealistic, unrecognisable portraits of places. Thankfully Shit London is the ultimate corrective to this kind of oversimplification, not just acknowledging the city’s grimier, crueller and less desirable bits but positively celebrating them.

  34. Helmo-list

    French design duo Thomas Couderc and Clément Vauchez, or Helmo to their friends, have recently finished an exhibition at the My Monkey Design Gallery, showcasing some of their finest experimental poster designs. Renowned for their colourful side-projects as much as their clean-cut identities and straight-up graphic design, it’s no surprise that the work on show had an unorthodox flavour; remixing and distorting pre-existing pieces to create strangely engaging oversize works. Hypercool! (That’s French for excellent).

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    Such is my mum’s obsession with the amount of heat you lose through your head that I’ve never really regarded hats as anything ore than functional temperature regulators. Well more fool me, because millinery is an artform steeped in fashion and culture, and Bernstock and Speirs have been at the height of the hat-game for 30 years now. To celebrate this milestone, a show at Fred (London) Ltd has brought together some of the best known creations of Paul (Bernstock) and Thelma (Speirs). The pair have made hats for the likes of French and Saunders, Kylie and collaborated with big names including Agnes B. and Jean-Paul Gaultier.

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    Ansel Adams, the godfather of American landscape photography is one of those creatives who is always a sheer pleasure to revisit. The man responsible for fixing an idea of how we see the United States and its monumental topography still has the ability to strike the viewer dumb with his work, however familiar we think we are with it.

  37. Joekessler-list

    Remember our old mate Joe Kessler? ‘Course you do. He was one of our Graduates way back in 2010 and a prodigious cartooning talent. Since we last met Joe’s been embroiled in the creation of a new anthology of comics, a 44-page screen printed beast that he’s named Windowpane. Within its glossy pages are no fewer than seven brand new and original stories rendered in Joe’s distinctive style – fluid organic shapes interspersed with complex multi-point perspective.

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    As both its acolytes and detractors never tire of telling you, east London is many things, but a home to dubstep-danicng dinosaurs? That’s a new one for us. Luckily Reed + Rader’s mind works exactly like that and the New York-based duo have taken over the 18 Hewett Street gallery with a surreal Gif-tastic celebration bringing together prehistoric critters and cutting edge technology.
    The best thing about Pamela (Reed) and Matthew (Rader) is that they don’t take themselves too seriously and so let their imaginations run riot in ways which make their work all the richer.

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    I don’t know if you’ve all heard, but there was a small election off the west coast of Cornwall recently – in fact, it was all the way over the Atlantic in the land of the free. But I hear you ask: “’How did it all happen?”

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    You know that feeling – you come in from the pub, put the TV on for a second and then get completely engrossed in an astoundingly crappy B-movie. It’s called something like Road Flip or Checkmate (don’t bother with IMDB, I made those up) and yet you stick it out until the credits roll, unable to tear yourself away from the hammy action.