Saturday, 30 July 2016

Review of Niki de Saint Phalle: Je Suis Une Vache Suisse at Omer Tiroche Contemporary Art

Niki de Saint Phalle: Je Suis Une Vache Suisse
Omer Tiroche Contemporary Art
17 June – 10 September 2016

At first sight, Omer Tiroche Contemporary Art is filled with a menagerie of joyful, celebratory and colourful works: gouache paintings and crayon drawings; sculptures and reliefs studded with coloured glass mosaic; ornate mirrors and intricate yet simple jewellery – all infused with a sense of playfulness and naivety, like that of a child. But look more closely and there is more to the works on display than meets the eye: a gorilla with a gaping hole where his internal organs – including his heart – should be; serpents; skulls; and a satisfied lion, recently having feasted on a man, whose shirt and shoes lay abandoned by the miniature settee. Catherine Marie-Agnès Fal de Saint Phalle, or Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002) as she became known, had a traumatic early life, which later unavoidably fed into her artwork, making it more worldy-wise and complex than it might at first seem.

Read this review here

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Interview with Mariko Mori

Interview: Mariko Mori

In an interview with Studio International in 2013, Japanese artist Mariko Mori (b1967) said that the main intention of her work was to share the idea that we are all connected and we are one. In 2010, she had co-founded the not-for-profit Faou Foundation, which sets out to gift monumental art installations to promote environmental awareness around the world by installing site-specific works on each of the six habitable continents. She is currently installing the second of these works, Ring: One With Nature, suspended at the top of the 58-metre-high cascading Véu da Noiva waterfall in Muriqui, Mangaratiba, in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Although a permanent gift to the nation, the work will be unveiled as part of the cultural programme surrounding the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Signifying oneness, completeness and eternity, Ring certainly embodies Mori’s and the Faou Foundation’s ethos.

In a Skype call from Brazil, Mori spoke to Studio International about the ideas behind Ring: One With Nature and how they have been realised.

Read the interview here

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Interview with Francesca Pasquali

Interview: Francesca Pasquali

Francesca Pasquale: Metamorphoses 
Tornabuoni Art
29 June - 17 September 2016

Francesca Pasquale: Spiderwall 
MOCA London 
3 - 30 July 2016

Influenced by Italian art in general, and arte povera in particular, Bolognese artist Francesca Pasquali (b1980) creates fully immersive – often site-specific – installations, using everyday and industrial materials, reappropriating them and bringing them into the public’s realm of vision, and of the other senses too. Involving the public in the work of art is part of what it is all about for Pasquali, and she enjoys the interplay of movement, sometimes engendered by the person, sometimes by the material itself.

Showing in a commercial London gallery for the first time, Pasquali has created a large-scale, colourful, plastic cloud in Peckham’s MOCA London, and filled Mayfair’s Tornabuoni Art with a cross-section of her works, from her best-known pieces made with drinking straws, to a carpet of broom bristles, on which we sit to talk, during a break from installation.

Watch the interview here

Portfolio: Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings

Portfolio: Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings

See the full portfolio with more images in the August 2016 print issue of DIVA magazine
Alongside the artists' response to the Orlando shootings online here

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Interview with Marie Yates

Interview: Marie Yates

Some Dimensions of my Lunch: Conceptual Art in Britain (1956-1979). Part 2: Marie Yates 
Richard Saltoun Gallery
24 June - 22 July 2016

Marie Yates (b1940) graduated from Manchester Regional College of Art in 1959. After a period spent producing abstract paintings in St Ives, she returned to study fine art at Hornsey College of Art (1968-71). During this time, she was strongly influenced by the writings of Lucy Lippard and Yoko Ono and the beginnings of conceptual art. She began to produce her Field Workings – photographic and text works, documenting journeys or “procedures” in the countryside – and, in 1979, she made Image/woman/text (after Roland Barthes), exploring social preconceptions about photographic images of women, the way they are made, and their meanings.

In June 1977, Fenella Crichton wrote in Studio International: “Marie Yates is a woman working with landscape. Radical ideas do not fit easily into this framework, because we are deeply riddled with prejudices about both women and landscape, and as a result she has been widely misinterpreted.” This misinterpretation, sadly, seems to persist. Yates’s work is currently being exhibited at Richard Saltoun as part of the gallery’s conceptual art series, but the artist remains wary of labels. For her, art is key to social change and ought to form part of a larger discourse, critically engaging the mind.

Read the interview here