Charlie Levine goes inside the White Cube for a review of the current exhibition at Mason’s Yard

Art Fetch

For Art Fetch, Charlie Levine goes inside the White Cube for a review of the current exhibition at Mason’s Yard.

Like many curators, I have been hugely influenced by Brian O’Doherty’s wonderful and seminal book, Inside the White Cube, the Ideology of the gallery Space (1976).  The book, which began life as a series of Artforum essays, defined new ways of thinking about exhibitions and the contemporary white walled art gallery. So, when I heard that the latest Mason’s Yard White Cube gallery exhibition, Open Cube, guest curated by Adriano Pedrosa, was inspired directly by O’Doherty’s book, I had to go and see it.

I wasn’t disappointed. Not only is it a fascinating exhibition, but also reflects a great deal of what Artfetch believes in, and is working to achieve. The 17 artists in the exhibition were selected from an open call out for proposals – a brave thing for a gallery with the branded reputation of White Cube – as an open call invites a deluge. The gallery received over 2,900 applications, from which the curator interviewed 38 to select the final group.

This process of deliberately working with artists new to the curator breaks down the idea of curator/artists networks, drawing its concepts from O’Doherty’s ideas about the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ relationships of a gallery. The idea of opening up the application process and allowing audiences, the gallery and the curator to push themselves in terms of looking for, working with and presenting a new stock of artists is incredible, though only in terms of how top level galleries usually work. By this I mean, it shouldn’t be so unusual, and as I considered this, I began to wonder at how difficult it is for new artists to break into these ‘inside’ relationships.

This relates directly to what we are doing at Artfetch, as we believe it is vital to open the processes of becoming an art world insider, so that talented artists can come to the publics who would otherwise not have a chance to see their work. And although internet–based, face to face meetings are a vital part of our commissioning process. If the relationship and quality of work is there, we invite the artist to work with us.

Open Cube itself is broken down into two parts: on the ground floor the exhibition concerns itself with commerce, value and currency; meanwhile, the lower floor of the Mason’s Yard building looks at different forms of abstraction: including constructivist and geometric, as well as organic, amorphous, and fluid types.

Particular stand out works were by Fay Nicholson’s A is for Albers, a small stack of photocopied postcards, sliced in two by a sheet of Perspex; a series of large photographs of foreign coins by Martin John Callanan; and Jacopo Trabona’s Untitled, which was a simple few cuts on a sheet of paper made by slicing a diamond across it. But my particular favourite was Nicky Teegan’s Void a flat circle of woven VHS tape over a bent steel ring.  It summed up the show for me: defunct material (the VHS tape) re–used to create a typical fine art image – the circle.  It was creating something new and conceptual from the old and familiar.

This exhibition is excellent, from its concept to realisation.  It is a must see show that I hope is the start of a new way of thinking about artist/gallery networks, and about how we produce exhibitions and create new associations. The process itself also questions the role of the physical gallery space, as the open method of calling for, and selecting works, echoes the opportunities offered by the internet – something Pedrosa realises, as he notes his ambition for the show: to break down the “seemingly closed systems that exist in the criteria for staging exhibitions”. About time too.

Open Cube, is at White Cube Mason’s Yard, London, until 21 September 2013

Artists: Matt Ager, Frank Ammerlaan, Adriano Amaral, Helen Barff, Sarah Bernhardt, Martin John Callanan, Nuno Direitinho, Venisha Francis–Hinkson, Rodrigo Garcia Dutra, Rowena Harris, Alan Magee, Fay Nicolson, Daniel de Paula, Nada Prlja, Nicky Teegan, Jacopo Trabona and Caitlin Yardley.

Charlie Levine is Chief UK Artfetcher and Curator.

Digital, Interactive and Visual Arts: A Planetary Order

Digital, Interactive and Visual Arts

A Planetary Order written about by Iwao Haruguchi in DiVA issue 31 (PDF: Japanese)

第31号 (2012年冬号)
■巻頭言(三上浩司)
■SIGGRAPH2012 Art Gallery(春口巌)
■連載:3D CADを利用して
個人で作るロボット外装
■連載:パソコンで作るペーパークラフト入門
■連載:海外だより
■連載:研究室リレー訪問
■関西支部長の抱負(久木元伸如)
■学会便り/これからの予定
■論文リスト
■論文募集:芸術科学フォーラム,NICO Int.

Merkske at London Art Book Fair, Whitchapel Gallery, 21–23 September 2012

London Art Book Fair

Merkske will be with Slade Press for the fourth edition of The London Art Book Fair at the Whitechapel Gallery, it takes place from the 21–23 September 2012.

Merkske published Text Trends: Though Text Trends, Martin John Callanan deals with the spectacularization of information. Using Google data he explores the vast search data of its users. An animation takes the content generated by search queries and reduces this process to its essential elements: search terms vs. frequency searched for over time, presented in the form of a line graph, 16 of which are reproduced in this book.

In Search of the Miraculous

SIGGRAPH 2012 Art Gallery: In Search of the Miraculous presents exceptional digital and technologically mediated artworks that explore the existence of wonderment, mystery, and awe in today’s world of mediating technologies and abundant data. Of the nearly 400 submissions, 12 were hand-picked by a jury to be exhibited at SIGGRAPH 2012, 5-9 August at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The jury included a wide range of artists, designers, technologists, and critics hailing from academia, industry, and the independent art world.

Osman Khan, SIGGRAPH 2012 Art Gallery Chair writes of A Planetary Order:

In what at first may look to be a common Earth globe, Callanan’s A Planetary Order makes a poetic statement by shifting our attention from the usual geographic information by voiding the usual terrestrial markings, and instead presents an immortalized ephemeral instant, eternalizing a fleeting moment shared by the global whole, giving us pause to reconsider what really matters in this world.

FILE 11 (I Wanted to See All the News From Today)

The 11th edition of FILE – Electronic Language International Festival – takes place this year at centro cultural fiesp – ruth cardoso, Brasil, from july 27th to august 29th, 2010. The programme occupies the art gallery of sesi-sp, the fiesp space, the theater and the mezzanine of the cultural center that hosts the exhibition with interactive installations, games, machinimas, internet artworks, performances and workshops.

Media Art shows how to “soften” the rigidity of technology functionality and to create an environment of creativity and artistic thinking.

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