fri 20/01/2017

Visual Arts Interviews

Helaine Blumenfeld: 'Beauty has become synonymous with something banal'

Rachel Halliburton

Helaine Blumenfeld was living in Paris in the 1960s when she received an invitation from the Russian-born sculptor Ossip Zadkine to attend one of his salons. Zadkine had emigrated to Paris at the beginning of the century, evolving a style influenced first by Cubism and then African art.

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10 Questions for Photographer Tanya Habjouqa

Thembi Mutch

Tanya Habjouqa, winner of the World Press Photo Award 2014, is a founding member of the all-female Middle Eastern photography collective Rawiya (meaning “she who tells a story”) which focuses on raising the visibility of female Arab photographers as well as presenting an insider’s view of the region, and defying Western stereotypes of the Middle East.

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10 Questions for Artist Clare Woods

Florence Hallett

Visceral and vividly colouristic, Clare Woods' paintings are at once abstract and figurative, perpetuating traditional genres but simultaneously occupying a less easily defined area of artistic practice. She puts innocuous or ambiguous subject matter into tension with titles and forms that suggest dark undertones, while big, universal themes are treated with the immediacy of personal experience.

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An Open Book: Chantal Joffe

Fisun Güner

Huge canvases, bold, expressive brushwork and a full-bodied, vibrant palette. Chantal Joffe’s figurative paintings are certainly striking and seductive. Citing American painter Alice Neel and American photographer Diane Arbus as two abiding influences, Joffe’s portraits are predominantly of women and children who often convey a sense of awkwardness and social unease.

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An Open Book: Bruce McCall

Marianka Swain

Polo played in surplus First World War tanks; zeppelin-shooting as a gentlemanly leisure pursuit; the mighty vessel RMS Tyrannic, proud host of the Grand Ballroom Chariot Race and so safe "that she carries no insurance". These are just some of Canadian satirical writer and artist Bruce McCall’s ingenious retro-futurist creations.

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An Open Book: Conrad Shawcross

Florence Hallett

From complex machines, whirring busily but with no useful function, to structures that allude to the fundamental building blocks of the universe, Conrad Shawcross (born 1977) uses sculpture to explore the big ideas of philosophy and science. A graduate of the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art and the Slade School of Art, he bacame the youngest living Royal Academician in 2013. This year – punctuated by a series of prestigious public sculptures – has been his busiest yet.

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An Open Book: Quentin Blake

Fisun Güner

Quentin Blake, illustrator, cartoonist and children’s author, has, to date, illustrated over 300 books. He is most famously associated with Roald Dahl, but he’s worked with a number of children’s writers, most recently David Walliams, illustrating the actor's debut novel The Boy in the Dress. He is a patron of The Big Draw which aims to get people of all ages drawing throughout the UK, and of The Nightingale Project, a charity that puts art into hospitals.

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10 Questions for Artist Marcus Coates

thomas H Green

Marcus Coates (b. 1968) is an artist who specialises in projects that involve the natural world. Graduating from the Royal Academy School in the early Nineties, by the millennium he was attracting attention for filmed art events that were both eccentric and thought-provoking.

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10 Questions for Artist Yinka Shonibare MBE

Mark Sheerin

Yinka Shonibare MBE makes work from a less entrenched position than his many decorations suggest. This Member of the British Empire (he adopted the initials as part of his name after receiving the honour in 2005) is naturally also a Royal Academician, an Honorary Fellow of Goldsmiths, and has an honorary doctorate from the RCA.

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10 Questions for Artist Michael Landy

Fisun Güner

Much of Michael Landy’s work concerns destruction or decay. The British artist, who recently turned 50 and is part of the YBA generation, came to prominence in 2001 with the Artangel commission Break Down, which saw all his worldly possessions destroyed in an industrial shredder. His next project saw him scale right down, surprising everyone with an exhibition of beautifully executed drawings of weeds.

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