Sep 2, 2013
is a leading Australian artist with a prodigious career spanning some 30 years. Her work draws inspiration from subjects such as semiotics, language, optics and phenomenology to create atavistic fantasies and mysteries that take form in paintings, sculptures and installations. Her work suggests connections between man-made culture and nature, continually navigating this intermediate space. It speaks to the links between the constructed and the organic world, between microcosm and macrocosm and the ever-present duality of light and dark. A lexicon of symbols and motifs, at once universal and personal, distinguishes the imagery of Borgelt’s work. Drawing on experience with a wide range of materials, including bees-wax, canvas, felt, pigment, stainless steel, wood, stone and organic matter, she hones her ideas to the demands of a given site, mediating the creative intervention with originality and sensitivity.
Aug 30, 2013
Bertozzi & Casoni
's work consists of ceramics hand-made in a realistic and richly detailed style. The two artists met while studying at the Faenza ceramic school. Giampaolo Bertozzi (Borgo Tossignano, Bologna, 1957) and Stefano Casoni (Lugo di Romagna, Ravenna, 1961) soon decided to work together and this collaboration became concrete in 1980 when they formed a society with the collective name of Bertozzi & Casoni s.n.c.: this logo was to become a symbol of their particular style. The sculptures of the two artists are both ironic and obscure, and consist of untidy trays, broken eggs, half-full overturned coffee cups, cigarette butts and old dirty newspapers; they give rise to images that provoke an alienating effect where the objects, whether common or rare, and having little to do with each other, seem to testify to modern man’s inevitable collision with consumption. They work with the most varied materials, using the industrial methods of ceramic-making, and uniting tradition and experimentation in a continuous and “contradictory” attempt to push beyond boundaries, freeing themselves from conformism and the cultural stereotypes of ceramics and so-called applied arts by an ever more sophisticated and deeper knowledge of a language that also includes techniques and materials. The works are modelled and coloured using traditional processes to be found in the Renaissance of Della Robbia and later recuperated by the Arts and Crafts movement and by Art Nouveau; to these they have added such other techniques developed by industry, graphics, and Pop Art as decals and photo-ceramics which are used in the works to create hyper-realistic effects, subtle quotations, and conceptual tricks. Amongst other interests, that in waste and its maniacal and hyper-realistic reproduction in ceramics, becomes an inquiry into aesthetic transformation, just as their analytical study of every kind of junk has led them to the most sophisticated kind of waste of all: that of culture. This has become a kind of theft from icons that are by now digested and assimilated, those belonging to the history of art and design such as the Brillo Boxes, Manzoni’s Merda d’artista, or Saarinen’s tables. Bertozzi & Casoni‘s cultural interests become products that link up on a syntagmatic plane, that of past and present time, causing to coexist, on the same level and with the same formal attention, techniques, objects, themes and clichés in an unexpected and ironically natural syncretism where decorative exuberance and the solemn artifice of sculptures made from human remains, bones, and common waste, are transformed into desecrating memento mori and eclectic post-modern vanitas. (via ArtNews
Aug 30, 2013
Born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Nathan James
spent much of his life in the Toronto area before moving to London, UK where he currently lives and works. His current series of paintings, Creepshow, is based on the idea of Pessimist Pop. A reaction to the highly-polished, busy, celebratory work of Koons, Murakami et al, James' paintings deal in the same sort of bold shapes and cultural iconography, but look at the underbelly of these images and contextualizes them in a real, unforgiving world. Painting in oil (often making his own paints) onto canvas or linen, James focuses on the lives and worlds of the underclass, failures, perverts and slackers, rather than beautiful, successful people. Bleak comedy and personal tragedy sit uncomfortably close together in James' characters, which draw on both the failed industrial background of his childhood and the current mood of insecurity and paranoia present in contemporary society. Joining up an almost old-fashioned, painterly approach to his art with very modern ideas of representation and humour, Creepshow is both deeply personal and also a document of lives, habits, problems and people who modern art usually overlooks.