Profile Books

Miek Zwamborn: The Seaweed Collector’s Handbook

The Seaweed Collector's Handbook

Seaweed, our collective name for marine algae, seems to gather itself more than any other organism on the shoreline. Whereas other seafaring creatures drift apart, seaweed prefers to tangle, knot and assemble on the sand. Perhaps this is why they so naturally intrigued the artist and writer Miek Zwamborn. In 2018, Zwamborn wrote ‘The Seaweed Collector’s Handbook’ in her native Dutch and revealed how the mysterious qualities of this sea grass have become surprisingly integrated in our lives. Recently it has been translated into English by Michele Hutchison, thus sharing Zwamborn’s practice-based research with a new audience. Interview by Nina Hanz

Further reading +

Fondation CAB, Rue Borrens 32, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium

Ron Gorchov & Otis Jones

Red Circle with Blue Circle

The advent of the shaped canvas proved to be a pivotal moment in the history of 20th century art. It quashed the rectangle’s dominance and subverted the idea of the painting as a window. Suddenly, canvases could be egg-shaped or any irregular polygon that was desired. A few artists, such as the American painters Ron Gorchov (1930-2020) and Otis Jones (b. 1946), even pushed the idea further by making paintings that projected off the wall. Now for the first time, their works are being shown together in this unprecedented overview. Review by John Gayer

Further reading +

DREI, Jülicher Str. 14, 50674 Cologne, Germany

Anna Virnich: Geflüster

Anna Virnich: Gefluster, DREI, installation image

Anna Virnich’s ‘patchwork’ paintings are a visual conundrum, treading the thin line between abstract painting and sculpture. With the hands and precision of a seamstress and the eyes of a painter, the object of her desire is texture. An avid collector of fabrics, Virnich uses unusual materials in her art, from leather and woollen fabrics like nettle to more translucent textiles such as crepe, silk, tulle or taffeta. ‘Geflüster’ or ‘Whisperings’ is Anna Virnich’s fifth solo presentation with DREI in Cologne, showing seven of her newest textile tableaux from 2020 in a white cube arrangement. Review by Maximiliane Leuschner

Further reading +

NTS Radio

Open Deck x Dead Yard

R.I.P. Germain - Sonny (2020) (detail) (Photo courtesy of Vanessa Peterson)

I put on NTS Radio at 2 pm, sat alone on a quiet, cold, Saturday afternoon in lockdown, and just listened. I was welcomed to the ‘Tough Matter’ Radio show by Sheffield-based artist and DJ Ashley Holmes in a sombre tone. A melancholic improvised horn-duet by Simon O’Dwyer and Malachy called ‘River Erne’ played in tandem, creating a sacred atmosphere. Holmes explained, this show is an iteration of his ongoing project ‘Open Deck,’ where people are invited to share a piece of music or sound recordings as a means of collective reflection. Review by Laura O'Leary

Further reading +

On Sydney’s Northern Beaches During the Time of COVID

Exploring the Landscape Through Abstract Art

Flag

Five abstract artists working on Sydney’s Northern Beaches reveal a colourful oeuvre that responds directly to site and place. For each of the artists, the famous stretch of coastline north of the city, dominated by suburbia, the Aussie ‘bush’, and the vast ocean, is intrinsically connected to their psyche—made even more relevant by the outbreak of COVID-19. Feature by Emma-Kate Wilson

Further reading +

Collective, City Observatory 38 Calton Hill Edinburgh EH7 5AA

Holly McLean: If you get the knees right the rest should follow

Holly McLean, If you get the knees right the rest should follow (still), 2020. Courtesy the artist

A woman stands by her car, removing her wetsuit from the open boot. She stretches it over her body like a small ritual, while she jokes with the person holding the camera. As she pulls up the wetsuit from her ankles, she laughs: “If you get the knees right, the rest should follow.” So forms the title of Holly McLean’s film from 2020, which opens with fellow artist Alice Vandeleur-Boorer getting ready to surf. Wetsuit donned, she runs into the water. Alice bobs over the waves, riding across and surrendering to them, her body flopping majestically into the foam. Review by Eva Szwarc

Further reading +

PM/AM, 50 Golborne Road, London W10 5PR

06

‘06’ is a both an online and physical exhibition, envisioned by the gallery PM/AM, as “a collective status check, a unique opportunity for self-assessment” that came together after the gallery set up a discussion between several artists, offering a form of exchange to collectively examine how the pandemic was impacting their daily lives. But rather than positioning the exhibition as a response to Covid-19, the discussions became a mediation on this new collective moment of re-evaluation.

Further reading +

Bosse & Baum, Studio BGC&D, Bussey Building, 133 Rye Ln, London SE15 4ST

Miriam Austin: Andesite

Bradoon (For Alset)

In her show ‘Andesite’ at Bosse & Baum (her third with the gallery), Miriam Austin grapples with both her coloniser ancestry and her desire to expose and challenge the damage wreaked on the landscape by colonial extractivist systems. Born out of an extensive body of research and experimentation, this exhibition imaginatively inhabits both the mythical subterranean realm of Selvaga and the New Zealand landscapes ravished by colonial settlement. Review by Anna Souter

Further reading +

HEISTart.com

HEIST

‘HEIST’ is one of a kind: a show about ‘stolen’ artworks presented in a hacker chatroom. The exhibition adopted the conventions of a face-to-face exhibition via a live browser-based chatroom, giving the audience the opportunity to mingle and chat with the artists. This sense of connectivity, of participation, was further conveyed by the disruption (through deletion and addition) of text as participants variously joined or left the virtual event. But then again, glitches are part of the game. Review by Dan Commons and Rina Arya

Further reading +

Maureen Paley, 60 Three Colts Ln, London E2 6GQ

Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Once Removed

Once Removed

Abu Hamdan’s film ‘Once Removed’ (2019) suggests the experience of transgenerational memory might be employed as a method of re-processing history and gathering together fragments of the obscured past through a more empathetic lens. Presented as a split screen video where the artist and his interviewee converse as silhouettes in front of two large projections, this work exists on multiple levels. Review by Gabriella Sonabend

Further reading +

Tate Britain, Millbank, Westminster, London SW1P 4RG

Chila Kumari Singh Burman: Tate Britain Winter Commission 2020

Chila Kumari Singh Burman: Winter Commission 2020

The statue of Britannia that sits atop Sidney Smith’s incomplete 1897 pediment of Tate Britain’s portico has been transformed by Chila Burman for the annual Winter Commission into an avatar of Kali, the voluptuous Indian god of death. Burman delivers some much needed jollity by converting the austere Imperial iconography of the Millbank frontage into a pantheon of her trademark warrior queens. Tate’s comparatively meagre sculptures of a lion and unicorn that flank Britannia are usurped by Burman’s neon figures of Lakshmi and Ganesh−the gods of plenitude and Diwali−who welcome us from the top of the stairs. Review by Piers Masterson

Further reading +

NiCOLETTi Contemporary, 12A Vyner St, London E2 9DG

Tyler Eash: Loreum

Installation views NıCOLETTı, London

NiCOLETTi re-opened its doors to the public in early December, continuing its programme with ‘Loreum’, an exhibition by American artist Tyler Eash. Having completed an MFA at Goldsmiths, University of London last year, Eash now lives and works in Mexico. His practice encompasses film, painting, sculpture, writing and sound art as a means to disclose thoughts on having, and holding onto, an identity. These works are unapologetically jumbled, or topsy-turvy, as if badly downloaded from the internet, becoming more encrypted as they travel through digital space and enter into the physical world. Perhaps more plausibly, these works in painting, sculpture, film and photography are a figuring of things that Eash has encountered on the internet, in his mind’s eye and in daily life. Review by Olivia Fletcher

Further reading +

Korean Cultural Centre UK, Grand Buildings, 1-3 Strand, London WC2N 5BW

Jewyo Rhii: Love Your Depot_LDN

Installation view, 2020 Artist of the Year: Jewyo Rhii (2020), Courtesy the artist and Korean Cultural Centre UK

The fact that Jewyo Rhii’s exhibition has only been intermittently open to the public due to COVID restrictions seems appropriate for the Korean born artist whose show focuses on the moment of transition between the private and public spaces of the gallery. The conundrum of transposing the meaning or value of an artwork from the private spaces where it is produced to the public arena of the gallery is a main theme of Jewyo Rhii’s work. For ‘Love Your Depot_LDN’, the artist has converted the Korean Cultural Centre’s white-walled space into a functional art store, complete with modular storage racks and packing crates that mimic the interstitial space in which her work can spend so much of its time. Review by Piers Masterson

Further reading +