Author Archives: mp1132

Anna Freeman Bentley – Mobility and Grandeur

Introduction by Michele Robecchi, texts by Marina Cashdan and Ben Quash
98pp + 4pp covers, Hardback, 220 x 190 mm, c. 75 colour images

Anna Freeman Bentley (b. Freeman, 1982) is a painter based in London. Her practice explores the built environment, architecture and interiors, inviting emotive, psychological and semiotic readings of space. With an intense, regularly dark palette and energetic yet often intricate brushwork, her paintings depict all manner of places – derelict factories and warehouses, baroque buildings, shops, cafes, and modern industrial and corporate architecture. With a particular focus on the relationships between the design of architecture, its function and use, how these uses change over time, and how streets, areas, communities and cities decline, regenerate and gentrify, Freeman Bentley’s practice documents the changing vocabulary of architecture and captures some of the complex dynamics, atmospheres, politics and states of mind that these places engender.

This, the artist’s first monograph, features over seventy works spanning her career to date, offering a journey through the built environment that takes the viewer into realms as diverse as psychogeography and heterotopias, romanticism and modernism. From the needs and desires of individuals to those of the different communities that make up urban life in cities and towns today, her paintings open up questions about displacement and replacement, decay and rebirth, change and transformation, public and private space, social and economic mobility, aspiration and desire, buildings and people. Seeking to go beyond the visible and tangible and to explore ideas of faith and the sacred within space, Freeman Bentley’s work looks through the fabric of our physical environment to ask about what lies behind, into the dialogue between matter and spirit.

The publication features newly commissioned texts by London-based curator and writer Michele Robecchi, New York-based art writer and editor Marina Cashdan, and Ben Quash, Professor of Christianity and the Arts at King’s College London. Edited by Matt Price and designed by Joe Gilmore / Qubik, this hardback monograph presents the arresting and engaging work of one of the UK’s most promising emerging painters.

Freeman Bentley studied painting at Chelsea College of Art and Design before graduating with an MA from the Royal College of Art in 2010. She has had solo exhibitions in Berlin, Venice and California, residencies in London with the Florence Trust and with Pied à Terre Michelin-starred restaurant, and participated in group exhibitions including Bloomberg New Contemporaries, 2009, the Prague Biennale 5, 2011, and the inaugural East London Painting Prize, 2014.

ISBN: 978-1-910221-03-7
RRP: £24 / €30 / $40
UK Release: 12 February 2015
US Release: 26 March 2015
Designed by Joe Gilmore / Qubik
Edited by Matt Price
Published by Anomie Publishing, UK

Paul Simonon – Wot No Bike

Introduction by David Lancaster, interview with Tim Marlow
64pp + 4pp covers, Hardback, 285 x 200 mm, c. 22 colour images

‘Wot No Bike’ is a limited print run publication of the work of Paul Simonon (b.1955). Growing up in London in the 1960s and 70s he found himself part of the community of Bikers and Rockers that emerged from the shadow of post-war austerity and which lit the touch paper for the punk revolution within which Simonon came to prominence as bassist with the legendary punk band The Clash. Since the band split in the mid 1980s, Simonon has divided his time between music and art projects. With Simonon’s independent-minded, outsider spirit, ‘Wot No Bike’ features twenty-two paintings depicting the stock-in-trade of his life as a Biker – poised between still life and autobiography.

Simonon began studying art at art school, but soon became disillusioned and left. It was at this time that he bumped into Mick Jones who asked him if he wanted to form a band. As an aspiring painter who had never previously played bass, he first took a lead role in the band’s visual identity, rapidly learning to play the instrument as he went along. Simonon’s passion for painting had begun as a boy – his father was an avid amateur painter and Paul spent a lot of time in his studio.

It was here, surrounded by books and pictures pinned to the walls that he first encountered nineteenth- and twentieth-century movements, from Impressionism to Cubism and beyond. In addition to these, Simonon’s painting practice has been heavily influenced by twentieth-century realism, particularly the American Ashcan School, which documented New York’s working class life at the turn of the century, and the British ‘Kitchen Sink’ school of painters of the 1950s. The latter formed a part of the wider social realism movement that focused attention on the living conditions of the working classes in post-war Britain.

Inspired by these painting traditions, Simonon’s work is a personal exploration of British subculture and counterculture of the post-war decades.

Featuring an introduction by Biker historian David Lancaster and an interview by art historian, curator and broadcaster Tim Marlow, ‘Wot No Bike’ has been produced as a cloth-bound hardback publication in an edition of 1000 copies.

ISBN: 978-1-910221-02-0
RRP: £30 / €40 / $50
UK Release: 28 January 2015
US Release: 26 February 2015
Designed by Martin Bell / Fruitmachine
Edited by Bruce Cameron and Serena Rees

Published by Anomie Publishing, UK

 

 

Rachel Kneebone: Regarding Rodin

Text by Ali Smith, foreword by Catherine Morris.
88pp + 4pp covers, Hardback, 170 x 235 mm, c. 50 colour images

Rachel Kneebone (born 1973, Oxfordshire) is a London-based artist internationally renowned for her porcelain sculptures that intricately fuse human, natural and abstract forms in ways that are simultaneously serene and cacophonous, beautiful yet grotesque, otherworldly yet full of humanity. Exploring themes such as sexual desire, mortality, anguish and despair, Kneebone’s sculptures are contemporary visions of eternal truths, conveyed with endless imagination and impressive artistry in equal measure.

Launched in anticipation of ‘399 Days’, Kneebone’s latest presentation at White Cube, London, in summer 2014, this publication features works of art and installation documentation from the artist’s acclaimed solo exhibition at Brooklyn Museum in 2012, which included eight of the artist’s works in dialogue with fifteen bronze sculptures by Auguste Rodin that she selected from the museum’s collection. Curated by Catherine Morris, Sackler Family Curator at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at Brooklyn Museum, the exhibition was Kneebone’s debut museum show, highlighting the two artists’ shared interest in the representation of mourning, ecstasy, death and vitality in figurative sculpture as well as offering an illuminating comparison of the artists’ materials and working processes. Featuring a foreword by Catherine Morris and a text by Ali Smith, the publication is lavishly illustrated by photographs of the works by Stephen White and installation photography by Jon Lowe.

The centrepiece of the exhibition and a focal point of the publication is a work entitled ‘The Descent’ (2008), which at the time of the Brooklyn Museum show was Kneebone’s largest work to date. In part inspired by Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’ and with engaging connections to Rodin’s iconic set of bronze doors ‘The Gates of Hell’ – itself inspired by Dante’s ‘Inferno’ – Kneebone’s white porcelain sculpture depicts myriad small mutant figures standing in a circle on the rim of a strange orifice-like pit, as if staring into hell itself, teeming with wretched limbs on the slopes below. With references ranging from Bataille to Cormac McCarthy, this apocalyptic vision of humanity and its ungodly demise captures souls condemned to eternal damnation in a sculpture that is as affecting as it is unforgettable.

Other sculptures by Kneebone included in the publication include ‘For Beauty’s nothing but beginning of Terror we’re still just able to bear’ (2011), which takes the form of a two-tier configuration of human limbs, evocative of classical myths and a history of aberrations, metamorphoses and carbon-based chimera; ‘Still Life Triptych’ (2011), which presents the viewer with three tomb-like plinths enshrouded by mysterious spheres and various bodily appendages; and ‘Eyes that look close at wounds themselves are wounded’ (2010), which renders a pitiable naked female form transmogrified through her evident anguish into an almost abstract pile of flesh, bones and organs. Beautiful, disturbing, remarkable – the gleaming white porcelain surfaces of Kneebone’s exquisite sculptures belie their dark, despairing iconography, unleashing an orgiastic nightmare of elegant depravity and classical desolation.

‘Am I the only person who sees past the dark, the classical desolation that critics like to see in Kneebone’s work?’ asks Ali Smith in her dynamic and thought-provoking text, which takes us from Apollo to Lacan on a mind-expanding journey that starts by skinning satyrs alive and ends by proclaiming the lifeforce that can be found even in prehistory’s primordial slime. Designed by Herman Lelie and Stefania Bonelli, this beautifully produced hardback publication – which contains over fifty colour reproductions and has been developed with support from Brooklyn Museum – will undoubtedly leave many readers as intrigued and impressed as they are bemused and unsettled.

Having undertaken a BA at UWE, Bristol, Rachel Kneebone graduated with an MA from the Royal College of Art, London, in 2004. She is represented by White Cube, London, with whom she has had a number of solo exhibitions, and has also taken part in group shows including ‘The Library of Babel’ at the Zabludowicz Collection, London (2010), ‘The Beauty of Distance’ at the 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010), ‘The Surreal House’ at the Barbican, London (2010), ‘Living in Evolution ‘at the Busan Biennale (2010), and ‘The Best of Times, The Worst of Times’ at the 1st Kiev Biennale (2012).

ISBN: 978-1-910221-01-3
RRP: £24 / €30 / $40
US
US Release: 21 August 2014
UK Release: 28 September 2014
Designed by Herman Lelie and Stefania Bonelli
Produced by fandg.co.uk

Published by Anomie Publishing, UK

Images courtesy and copyright the artist; White Cube, London; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Stephen White; and Jon Lowe.

 

Kamrooz Aram – Palimpsest: Unstable Paintings for Anxious Interiors


Texts by Eva Díaz, Media Farzin, Murtaza Vali, and Kamrooz Aram.
80pp + 4pp covers, Hardback, 318 x 248 mm, c. 50 colour and b/w images

This monograph on Iranian-born, Brooklyn-based painter Kamrooz Aram (b.1978) presents the Palimpsest series, which was in part inspired by graffiti on the streets of New York, and its constant painting-over by the authorities, only for it to become covered again in graffiti. The ongoing cycle of painting, covering-up and repainting in the urban environment connects with Aram’s long-standing fascination with modernism and the legacies of Abstract painting.

Aram explains: “The word palimpsest derives from the Greek term for a manuscript that has been scraped down so it can be reused. However, this process of erasure is always incomplete and traces of previous layers remain visible beneath the most recent marks. I find the idea of painting as palimpsest compelling because such a painting reveals its own past.” The concept of the palimpsest in relation to Aram’s practice is explored further in the publication in texts by Eva Díaz, Professor of Contemporary Art at Pratt Institute in New York, and art historian and critic Media Farzin.

As discussed in an engaging interview between the artist and critic and art historian Murtaza Vali, Aram’s interest in ‘painting as palimpsest’ evolved over years of observing and photographing walls in cities across the world, from Brooklyn and Queens to Beirut and Istanbul. The worn walls of Beirut still bear the scars of the civil war, while in Brooklyn, years of graffiti and its covering-up reveal the history of New York City. This phenomenon takes on a different, but related meaning in a city such as Istanbul, where the graffiti is the result of public demonstrations related directly or otherwise to the Gezi Park protests. Aram states: “The graffiti was obviously political and so the state’s response was rapid. The protesters would write and the state would cover it up immediately.” A photo essay and text by the artist further explore notions of the palimpsest and covering-up.

In the Palimpsest series, a floral motif that Aram appropriated from a Persian carpet on sale in a shop in Manhattan becomes a key element in the series, submerging and re-emerging within the many layers of accumulated and erased marks on his canvases. Working serially, the artist begins each painting with this floral form, drawn across the surface of the canvas in a grid, creating an overall pattern. Aram then begins destroying and rebuilding this pattern through a process that involves additive as well as subtractive mark-making: wiping away and scraping down the painted surface over time to reveal previous layers.

The relationship between West and East, and more specifically between the United States and the Middle East, has long been a key concern in Aram’s life and work. Central to Aram’s practice to date is the interface between Middle Eastern traditions of pattern-making, decoration and ornamentation, and the twentieth century Western tradition of modernist painting, with geometry often intersecting the two worlds. The mixing of these once diametrically opposed paradigms tells a more complex story in Aram’s paintings of interwoven cultures, interconnected politics, and of visual languages that collide, recede and reemerge over time.

Kamrooz Aram graduated with an MFA from Columbia University, New York, in 2003. Since then his work has been widely exhibited internationally and featured in publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Village Voice, Art in America, Artforum.com, ArtAsiaPacific, and Bidoun. Aram was a recipient of the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2014.

ISBN: 978-0-9576936-6-1
RRP: £30 / €35 / $45
Released: 19 April 2014
Designed by Joe Gilmore / Qubik
Edited by Yasmin Atassi
Printed by Die Keure, Bruges
Published by Green Art Gallery, Dubai, and Anomie Publishing, UK

 

Meekyoung Shin


Texts by Jonathan Watkins, Ben Tufnell, Kyung An, and Jade Keunhye Lim
108pp + 4pp covers, Softback, 280 x 220 mm, c. 50 colour and b/w images

London and Seoul-based Korean artist Meekyoung Shin (b.1967) is internationally renowned for her sculptures that probe the mis- and re-translations that often emerge when cultural objects are uprooted from their original context. Made from soap, her works replicate artefacts and canonical works of art, from Asian porcelain vases to Greek and Roman sculptures, translating between continents, cultures and centuries in the process.

In this new monograph on the artist, Jonathan Watkins sets the scene for Shin’s solo exhibition at the Korean Cultural Centre UK in London in late autumn 2013, a stone’s throw from Nelson’s Column and the ‘Fourth Plinth’ commission of Trafalgar Square. Watkins eloquently introduces Shin’s major bodies of work whilst capturing the cultural complexity, exquisite craftsmanship, conceptual elegance and natural wit embodied within them.

An essay by Ben Tufnell explores the cultural and historical references in Shin’s work over the past fifteen years. Taking Shin’s solo exhibition at Haunch of Venison in London in 2011 as his point of departure, he opens up questions of what is exhibited where and when, by and for whom. His incisive analysis of Crouching Aphrodite (2002) – a life-size sculpture of the artist’s own body in the pose of the classical Venus of Vienne from the Louvre – raises issues of Eastern and Western culture, of originality and copying: ‘Being neither fully Asian nor fully Roman it inhabits a cultural limbo space.’ Tufnell explains, ‘Shin’s works are not simply replicas or reproductions but strange twins, uncanny avatars of their precursors.’

Curator and art historian Kyung An’s text offers an illuminating account of Shin’s Written in Soap: A Plinth Project (2012-ongoing), which takes the form of a public art project in which the artist recreates – out of soap – a large equestrian military statue of Prince William Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland, that once stood in Cavendish Square, London. Having exhibited her work on its empty London plinth, Shin then created subsequent versions for display in Seoul and Taipei. As An asks, ‘what becomes of the monument when it is transplanted to a national museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art five thousand miles away?’

Jade Keunhye Lim’s essay unpicks the various strands of Shin’s Translation Series, from the classical Greek sculptures through to Toilet Project (2004-ongoing) – in which portrait busts made of soap are placed in the washrooms of galleries and museums for visitors to use when washing their hands. Via cultural imperialism and the tastes of the affluent classes of the West, Keunhye Lim questions the value systems of objects and the logic of their accession into museums. How is beauty, cultural significance and value constructed, and how does this translate across cultures and time?

The book has been published on the occasion of ‘Unfixed: A solo exhibition by Meekyoung Shin’, held at the Korean Cultural Centre UK, London, from 12 November 2013 to 18 January 2014, curated by Jonathan Watkins.

ISBN: 978-0-9576936-5-4
RRP: £18 / €22 / $30
Released: 5 December 2013
Designed by Matt Watkins
Edited by Anne Blood, Co-ordinated by Kyung An
Published by Anomie Publishing, UK, in collaboration with the Korean Cultural Centre, UK, London

Robert Fry


Texts by Mamuka Bliadze, Jane Neal and Dr. Anthony Fry
88pp + 4pp covers, Hardback, 280 × 220 mm, c. 60 colour and b/w images

The paintings and etchings of Robert Fry (b. 1980, London) confront viewers with an engaging exploration of the human form that asks profound questions about people’s physical presence in the universe and the psychological, emotional and spiritual engagement we have with the world through our bodies. With a deep sense of civilizations past, from the prehistoric to the ancient Egyptian, Medieval and Renaissance to the Enlightenment and beyond, Fry navigates a complex visual language that bridges the figurative and the abstract in a way that is evocative of body and mind, matter and spirit, life and death. Fry’s search for universal truths leads into dark territory, into our subconscious minds and neuroses, our deepest fears, anxieties and insecurities. Both sacred and profane, Fry’s work masterfully employs colour, mark, line, shape and form to bring us face to face with our inner and outer selves, with our humanity and, ultimately, with our own mortality.

This beautifully produced publication features around sixty selected works by the artist over the course of more than fifteen years, from very early works to 2013. Following an introduction to the artist’s work by Mamuka Bliadze is an essay by the artist’s father, distinguished Consultant Psychiatrist Anthony Fry, which investigates the themes of masculinity and maleness in his son’s paintings, and in particular a series of works that refers to the Fry family, including a portrait of both Anthony and Robert Fry that seeks to unravel the complexities of the father-son relationship. A wider consideration of Fry’s practice is pursued in an essay by critic and curator Jane Neal that addresses topics ranging from Saussurean signification to automatic writing, pagan fertility symbols to archetypal human forms, twentieth-century British painting to body builders.

London-based Fry has had solo exhibitions in London, Berlin and Los Angeles, and featured
in numerous group exhibitions including ‘New- speak – British Art Now’ at The State Hermitage, St. Petersburg, and ‘The Curator’s Egg’ at Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London. This, the first monograph on the work of Robert Fry, is co-published by Galerie Kornfeld, Berlin, and Anomie Publishing, UK.

ISBN: 978-0-9576936-4-7
RRP: £30 / €35 / $45
Released: 17 October 2013
Designed by Joanna Deans
Published by Anomie Publishing, UK, and Galerie Kornfeld, Berlin

Caroline Walker – In Every Dream Home


Texts by Marco Livingstone, Jane Neal and Matt Price
80pp + 4pp covers, Hardback, 190 × 220 mm, c. 50 colour and b/w images

Caroline Walker has established herself as one of the UK’s most exciting figurative painters of her generation working internationally today. Walker makes paintings that explore ideas of gender in relation to architecture. With a particular interest in femininity, she addresses people’s physical, psychological and emotional relationships with the buildings in which they spend time – whether at home, at work, at leisure or in more mysterious circumstances. By depicting women undertaking all manner of activities, from everyday chores, sleeping and sunbathing to more obscure or dramatic scenarios, she takes the viewer inside people’s private worlds and states of mind. Some of the women depicted seem lonely, bored, tired or depressed, while others appear happy and relaxed, whether alone or in company.

Often it is unclear who the women are, or what their relationship is with the premises in which they are located, raising notions of identity, class and roles acted out at different times in people’s lives. As many of the locations depicted are luxury houses and apartments, it is hard to say if a particular person is the owner or a tenant, a guest or a maid, opening up economic, political, social and cultural questions about the paintings – are we looking at the super rich at leisure, house-sitters, holidaymakers, people under house arrest, domestic workers, squatters, or actors on set? While the paintings are often charming and appealing, there is regularly something odd or unexpected underlying them – occasionally verging on the threatening or dangerous. Sometimes dream homes can be anything but…

The research and development for Walker’s paintings is an elaborate process. Involving numerous life models and actors, she finds properties around the UK and abroad in which to stage photo shoots. Carefully chosen costumes, accessories and props are brought along, and Walker directs her cast around the property. Following this, the artist makes a number of drawings and oil sketches before settling on a composition to work up into a final painting back in her studio. It is a process that clearly helps to generate the cinematic and theatrical atmosphere that pervades her work. Alongside film influences ranging from Hitchcock to Lynch and recent Hollywood productions, Walker is inspired by artists including Eric Fischl, the Scottish colourists and current painting from Central and Eastern Europe, as well as by the constructed photography of Hannah Starkey, Gregory Crewdson and Jeff Wall. Full of contemporary and historical references and influences, Walker’s practice is an engaging journey into the modern female condition and the ‘female gaze’.

Born in Dunfermline, Scotland, in 1982, Caroline Walker studied painting at Glasgow School of Art prior to undertaking an MA in painting at the Royal College of Art from which she graduated in 2009 with three prestigious awards and prizes. Within two years of graduating she had staged solo commercial exhibitions in London, Bucharest and New York, and in spring 2013 she showed with ProjectB Gallery, Milan. She has featured in group exhibitions including John Moores 24 at Liverpool Art Gallery; Jerwood Contemporary Painters at the Jerwood Space, London; Some Domestic Incidents: New Painting from Britain at the Prague Biennale 5, and Nightfall: New Tendencies in Figurative Painting at MODEM, Hungary, and the Rudolfinum, Prague. Her work is represented in a number of private and public collections including the Saatchi Collection, the Franks-Suss Collection, the Shetland Islands Council Collection and the Jimenez-Colon Collection, Puerto Rico.

In Every Dream Home – the first monograph of Walker’s work – features around fifty key paintings, oil sketches and ink drawings alongside an introductory text by art historian, critic and curator Marco Livingstone, an essay by independent critic and curator Jane Neal, and an interview with the artist by editor Matt Price.

The publication has been supported by Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, Ealing, Ealing District Council, the Valerie Beston Artists’ Trust, ProjectB Gallery, Milan, and Ivan Gallery, Bucharest.

ISBN: 978-0-9576936-0-9
RRP: £20 / €25 / $30
Released: 18 July 2013
Designed by Joe Gilmore, Qubik
Published by Anomie Publishing
ePub: 978-0-9576936-1-6