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The Shock of the Now - Issue #97
I hope you all had an enjoyable summer break, and are rested and revitalised ahead of a busy Autumn art season! With galleries rapidly re-opening, welcome to Issue 97 of The Shock of the Now.
A return of the Featured Exhibition this week, as I was commissioned to write the exhibition text accompanying Callum Eaton’s debut London solo ‘Look But Don’t Touch’ at Carl Kostyál. It’s been a pleasure to watch Callum’s practice evolve since he moved to London a couple of years ago, and this exhibition is a triumph of hard work and dedication.
And, of course, there are eight Recommended Exhibitions opening this coming week, and seven fresh Artist Opportunities to be applying to.
All the best, and speak soon, H x
Featured Exhibition: Callum Eaton - ‘Look But Don’t Touch’ Solo Exhibition - Carl Kostyál
Having pursued that particular painterly perfection of photorealism since his time at Goldsmiths (BA Fine Art, 2019), Callum Eaton watched on with a sense of satisfaction when an inebriated attendee of an early open studio session attempted, inevitably in vain, to interact with a two-dimensional depiction of a conventional cash machine. The frustrated fumblings of Eaton’s incapacitated patron recall that renowned Grecian tale of illusionary artworks, Zeuxis and Parrhasius’ contest of artistic artifice. The latter, incensed at the former’s ability to produce a still-life so accurate that birds would fly down in an effort to pick at the grapes portrayed, decided to develop his own deceitful depiction. When complete, Parrhasius invited his unwitting rival to view his latest masterpiece, safely stored behind the draped curtains of his studio. Upon reaching out to unveil the artwork, an unsuspecting Zeuxis encountered only solid surface and yielded to the superior draughtsman, the curtains themselves being Parrhasius’s painting.
Following his solo exhibition ‘Hole in the Wall’ at Paris’ Long Story Short gallery early this year, where the artist presented a suite of the aforementioned super flat and functionless ATM machines, Eaton returns for a London debut featuring an expanded selection of the oft-overlooked street furniture and urban architecture that populate the artist’s hometown. Imbued with an acute awareness of conceptual art developed during his time at Goldsmiths and a wry critique of the ever-increasing commercialisation of contemporary culture and 21st-century society, Eaton’s artworks are self-referential to their own superficiality. Inhabiting a world reduced to two dimensions, these everyday objects intended for our interaction - their coin slots, keypads and buttons eagerly awaiting use - appear rather as readymades. They retain their form but lose their function. Akin to the austere Constructivist art of the 20th-century Soviet Union in their objectification of industrial and urban design; Futurist monuments to the now-outdated modern marvels of the technological world or even entertaining that Formalist tendency to assess an artwork purely on its aesthetic appearance or visual construction. Geometric Abstraction, sans abstraction.
Street-side telephone boxes made all but obsolete by mobile phones and now regularly removed by councils and city planners, remain as reliquaries to unrelenting digital advancement. Coca-Cola vending machines replete with Warholic repetition expose Eaton’s labour-intensive like-for-like replication of on-demand appeasement, while elevators from the artist’s own City of London-located studio space retain eerie echoes of their former life ferrying bankers and business people. Employing that trompe-l'œil trickery popularised by French genre-painter Louis-Léopold Boilly - whose portrayal of overlaid sheets of paper was selected for the Paris Salon of 1800 - Eaton doggedly documents his everyday environment, each painting becoming a new piece of his Sims-esque city-building expansion pack.
And just as the artist is present in Jan van Eyck’s famed Arnolfini Portrait easter-egg or the secret self-portraits that Baroque-period painter Clara Peeters snuck into her still-lives, Eaton himself appears as both an apparition reflected in the door of a launderette’s Washeteria and the example images one might obtain from a Photo-Me self-service photo-booth. The artist as subject - as object perhaps - blurring the lines between the real world he inhabits, and the flattened substrata simulation that exists on the surface of each canvas.
Recommended Exhibitions Opening This Week:
Callum Harvey - ‘Interlace’ Solo Exhibition - Pipeline Contemporary, Fitzrovia (31st August - 23rd September, opening Wednesday 30th August, 6-8pm)
“For his solo exhibition, Harvey considers the function of nature in a man-made environment by playing with the architecture of the gallery itself. Sculptural ornamentation is subtly displayed around the gallery in architecturally appropriate places, such as the edges of the ceiling or close to the floor. Alongside them are his paintings of repeated patterns that reference elements of architecture and interior design motifs.” - Pipeline Contemporary
Tristan Pigott - ‘Instrument in a Spiral’ Solo Exhibition - Alice Black, Fitzrovia (1st September - 1st October, opening Thursday 31st August, 6-8pm)
“Tristan Pigott ‘Instrument in a Spiral’ presents the metamorphosis of paint as analogous to the metamorphosis of perception. With pigment on canvas and board lured from the walls as if responding to the sound piece serenading them, this suite of new works by Pigott introduces a sonic force to the artist’s sustained interest in challenging stasis in painting.” - Alice Black
Ben Jamie - ‘Realm’ Solo Exhibition - Castor, Fitzrovia (1st - 30th September, opening Thursday 31st August, 6-9pm)
‘Afterlife’ Group Exhibition - Indigo + Madder, Fitzrovia (31st August - 30th September, opening Thursday 31st August, 6-9pm)
Xavier Robles de Medina - ‘I will go away into the wild wood, and never come home again’ Solo Exhibition - Alice Amati, Fitzrovia (1st September - 8th October, opening Thursday 31st August, 6-8pm)
‘The exhibition will expand from the highly detailed monochrome paintings and drawings that the artist is best known for, to also include new sculptures and text-based works and a reading area curated by Queer Street Press in response to Robles de Medina’s research.” - Alice Amati
Mandy El-Sayegh - ‘Interiors’ Solo Exhibition - Thaddaeus Ropac, Mayfair (1st - 30th September, w. performance Tuesday 12th September, 7pm)
“Mandy El-Sayegh transforms the spaces of the gallery, intervening with the walls and floors to create an enveloping environment within which ideas of bodily, psychological and spatial interiors play out. Featuring new large-scale paintings, sculptures and installations, the exhibition layers diverse materials and modes of artmaking, referencing sensorial experiences and processes of accumulation. El-Sayegh will activate this installation with a collaborative performance work, Akathisia, reflecting and reinterpreting inner states experienced by the artist in her studio. The performance will take place amid the backdrop of a new sound and video work, created through visual and auditory collaging.” - Thaddaeus Ropac
Oscar Enberg - ‘Schiller’s Skull; Das Beinhaus’ Solo Exhibition - Brunette Coleman at The Shop, Sadie Coles HQ, Soho (1st - 23rd September, opening Friday 1st September, 6-9pm)
‘Machines for seeing with...’ Group Exhibition - Brunette Coleman, Bloomsbury (2nd - 30th September, opening Saturday 2nd September, 3-6pm)
Brunette Coleman presents ‘Machines for seeing with…’, a group exhibition featuring Prunella Clough, Shiwen Wang, Barbara Wesołowska, Nora Zielinski. Additionally, Sadie Coles HQ’s The Shop hosts the gallery to present Oscar Enberg’s (above) solo exhibition ‘Schiller’s Skull; Das Beinhaus’, with invited guest Nigin Beck.
Alvaro Barrington - ‘Grandma’s Land’ Solo Exhibition - Sadie Coles HQ, Soho (2nd September - 21st October, opening Saturday 2nd September, 6-8pm)
“For his third solo exhibition at the gallery, Barrington will present a new body of work exploring his early experience of life growing up in the Caribbean. Conceived as a total environment – or ‘universe’ – Grandma’s Land centres on three monumental, hand built architectural structures that draw on aspects of family life lived in the region, celebrating its diverse culture and landscape.” - Sadie Coles
Three unique organisations are collaborating to provide a significant platform and a stepping stone for new artists. Now in its fourth iteration, The Robert Walters Group UK New Artist of the Year Award in collaboration with Saatchi Gallery will discover and champion exceptional artists who are representative of contemporary Britain. From a free open call across the UK, they are seeking to discover 10 outstanding artists whose work demonstrates a strong and original voice and is of exceptional artistic quality. They are looking for artists who represent the UK’s richly diverse population and embody the experiences of their community. Artists who create bold, unique pieces of art that reveal their own perspectives and experiences and who represent unique viewpoints and will help start new conversations in the UK art scene.
Diasporas Now is looking for performance artists of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) backgrounds for the U.K. Tour in live events across autumn 2023 to spring 2024 in three locations: Humber Street Gallery in Hull, NN Contemporary Art in Northampton, and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Diasporas Now is a platform for expanded performance by and for artists of the global majority, opening up contemporaneous discourses on displaced identities and celebrating cross-diasporic solidarity. For this Diasporas Now tour, we will be commissioning a total of 15 artists across three events. For each event there will be a line-up of 5 artists, consisting of 3 local artists (living and/or working in the city where the event will take place) and 2 external artists (living and/or working in a different city from which the event will be taking place). The artist fee will be £150 for local artists and £270 (£150 artist fee + £120 to cover travel costs and accommodation) for external artists.
Spike Island and Creative Youth Network are pleased to invite applications from UK-based artists for the third edition of the WEVAA Engagement Fellowship for Artists. This is an exciting opportunity for you to mentor and work in collaboration with a group of three to four early-career artists to create a new digital commission for Spike Island’s digital channels. If selected, you will guide the early career artists through the practical aspects of creating a new digital commission. The successful applicant will receive: A £4,000 fee to mentor and develop a new Engagement commission in collaboration with three to four alumni from Creative Youth Network’s Creative Futures programme.; A £4,000 production budget for the Engagement commission, including travel to and accommodation in Bristol where necessary; A free studio space at Spike Island for 10 months, from November 2023 to August 2024.
European Cultural Foundation launch a brand new commissioning grant of up to 500.000 EUR as part of their European Pavilion programme. With this call, they invite legal entities from all cultural and creative fields in Europe and neighbouring countries to submit an ambitious curatorial proposal that will ensure the visibility, accessibility and positioning of the European Pavilion as a major European cultural event in 2024. They are looking for proposals that explore, discuss, interpret and visualise Europe in fresh and imaginative ways: cutting-edge concepts and programming that encourage transnational collaborations between creators, thinkers, doers and communities, leading to a large-scale public event in 2024.
Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop is offering one artist access for three months to one of its spectacular 350 ft² (35m²) studio spaces, with both natural and professional lighting. Working above the gallery space, the successful applicant has the opportunity to network with artists, curators, collectors and the wider public whilst visiting ongoing exhibitions and events organised in the gallery. The residency programme also provides guidance and promotion through our channels and network, as well as the Solo Residency Exhibition organised in the studio space upstairs. (Residency: 8th January – 25th March. Residency Exhibition: 29th March – 6th April)
City & Guilds of London Art School is seeking applications for a 1 to 2 year Artist Woodwork Fellowship. The successful applicant will have a recent undergraduate or postgraduate qualification in Fine Art or Sculpture, or equivalent experience, and demonstrate a commitment to 3D contemporary art practice that utilises wood or woodworking-based practices. The Wood Workshop is a dynamic learning space where students from across the Art School’s courses are introduced to and taught processes involved in making and constructing with wood. The post offers a unique opportunity for an artist to develop their own practice in the context of the Art School’s Wood Workshop, working alongside artists and technicians David MacDiarmid and Ana Kazaroff.
The Ingram Prize is an annual purchase prize open to visual artists who are within five years of graduation from a UK-based art school. Now in its eighth year, this leading prize for contemporary artists was established by The Ingram Collection to celebrate and support artists at the beginning of their professional careers. They recognise the vital importance of practical support in these early years, and through their prize we offer opportunities to exhibit and sell work, a programme of continuing professional development, and the chance to develop both industry and peer-to-peer networks. Eligible artists can submit up to two works in any media, with no restrictions on size. The Prize is free to enter. All shortlisted artists (Ingram Prize finalists) will be invited to showcase their entries in a group selling exhibition at Cromwell Place in London, 22 – 26 November 2023.
The Ninth Edition of the International Awards for Art Criticism (IAAC 9) 2023, is open to candidates from anywhere in the world writing in Chinese or English about any contemporary art exhibition held anywhere in world or on-line between 1st September 2022 and 31st August 2023. Candidates are invited to write a review of 1,500 words or 2,500 Chinese characters on any exhibition of contemporary art. The First Prize will consist of a cash award of 10,000 Euros(pre-tax) or the RMB equivalent of this amount (currently, around 80,000 RMB). Each of the three Second Prizes will be awarded a cash prize of 3,500 Euros(pre-tax) or the RMB equivalent of this amount (currently, around 30,000 RMB). The Organising Committee of the International Awards for Art Criticism aims to support independent critical coverage of contemporary art, away from the immediate pressures of the market, media and private patronage. The Awards are to stimulate good writing, critical thinking and dialogue and research in China, the UK and wider afield.
The Foundwork Artist Prize is an annual juried grant that we award to recognize outstanding emerging and mid-career artists working in any media. Honorees receive unrestricted $10,000 grants and studio visits with our jurors who include distinguished curators, gallerists, and artists. Honorees and shortlisted artists are also invited for interviews as part of our Dialogues program to further public engagement with their practices. The Prize is open to artists residing anywhere in the world with limited exceptions. To be considered for the 2023 Foundwork Artist Prize, you will need to maintain a published artist profile on Foundwork, with at least 6 artworks and an artist statement published on your profile page, throughout this year's selection period: 5:00 pm PT, September 26–5:00 pm PT December 31, 2023.
Since 2010 A.P.T has provided temporary project studios to artists. These fully funded studios offer artists the opportunity to develop new work, by taking risks without the financial concerns of studio costs. The Studio 1.10 Residency provides free studio space for 12 months. At the end of those 12 months, the resident artist will be offered their Gallery for a 2 week period, for an exhibition of their own work, or with chosen artists for a group exhibition or events programme. A.P.T invite applications from artists who live or work in the London Borough of Lewisham, and who are under-represented in the visual arts or have faced barriers to access due to their protected characteristics. The opportunity is aimed at applicants who have at least 3 years of experience practicing as an artist in any media. A.P.T understand visual arts in the broadest possible sense and encourage applications from those who have not necessarily had a formal art education.
FIELDNOTES is inviting submissions for its sixth issue. They are seeking non-conforming submissions of text and visual material, including but not limited to: fiction, theory, poetry, interview pitches, conversations, translations, lens-based work, drawing, collage, works-in-progress and ideas in transition. They are interested in new forms between genres and media, experimental modes and poetic innovation. Contributors selected from the Open Call will be paid a fee (between £100-£200) for original content not published elsewhere (online or in print – this does not include self-publishing). They are actively seeking contributions from underrepresented groups. Artists and writers who face cultural, social, physical or economic barriers to applying for opportunities in the arts are particularly encouraged to submit.
‘NOW Introducing’ is an annual open-call exhibition and art prize. It was founded in 2022, as part of STUDIO WEST's commitment to platforming the most exciting emerging and newly established London-based artists. It seeks to champion the practices of art school students and recent graduates, while helping to bridge the gap between arts education and the art industry. STUDIO WEST invites applications from unrepresented London-based artists who are currently studying on, or recently graduated from, a Bachelors or Masters programme at a UK art school (including alternative post-graduate studies and non-degree awarding programmes). The shortlisted artists are featured in our 'NOW Introducing' Exhibition at the gallery in November. The ‘NOW Introducing' 2023 award-winning artist are selected from the shortlist by a panel of industry experts and the gallery team. The winner recieves a £1000 cash prize, and the two runners-up each receive £500. All award-winners also receive a year of one-on-one mentoring with the STUDIO WEST gallery team.