Archive for January, 2012

 

quadriART Berlin ~ Preview

A short video preview by EAGL Gallery of the forthcoming quadriART exhibition in Berlin, at which “Checkpoint Charlie” and “Vorsprung Durch Technik” will be featuring from 4th February ……

Checkpoint Charlie (2011) - 30cm x 30cm - acrylic on  canvas

Checkpoint Charlie (2011) - 30cm x 30cm - acrylic on canvas

QuadriArt






Hell’s Mouth at WWFP Truro

Based on  the dramatic Hell’s Mouth – which is steeped in legend and situated on the North Cliffs between Portreath and Godrevy here in Cornall – my 2009 painting, Hells Mouth is my latest work to be installed in the offices of Worldwide Financial Planning in Truro.

Hell's Mouth (2009) - 80cm x 100cm - acrylic on canvas

Hell's Mouth (2009) - 80cm x 100cm - acrylic on canvas






Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

“Checkpoint Charlie” is now in Berlin, along with “Vorsprung Durch Technik” ~ two small paintings which were recently completed for next month’s quadriART, a cultural feast of art and music.

Checkpoint Charlie (2011) - 40cm x 40cm - Chris Billington

Checkpoint Charlie (2011) - 40cm x 40cm - Chris Billington

I was delighted when I was invited to take part in quadriART, an exciting exhibition of 100 works by 60 artists from Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Spain, the USA and the UK, and further afield. Participating in an engaging concept, with a variety of artistic ideas and styles, coming together with only one brief, to create small square paintings, out of which the curators will create one large, completely new artwork.

QuadriArt

The quadriArt Exhibition is being staged by EAGL Gallery in Berlin and at the Vernissage on the 4th February there will be an opening performance from New York based Berlin Soprano Witrud Weber starting at 7pm when she will be performing songs from her latest CD,
“Blue and Deep” .

The entertainment continues midpoint in the exhibition when there is also a Midissage on Friday 2nd March at which jazz singer Gabriele Raik, accompanied by a Trio of Julia Fiebelkorn, Susanne Duchstein and Yvonne Panten will be creating their minimal structures and sound sculptures from 8pm.

The show ends on Saturday March 31st, when selected pieces, including “Checkpoint Charlie” and “Vorsprung Durch Technik”, will be auctioned during the evening, musically supported by “one man with his guitar” Dominik Damke, again from 8pm.

quadriART @ EAGL Gallery, Kanstrase 87a, 10627 Berlin
4 February – 31 March 2012

Open daily from 2pm – 6pm (except Wednesday/Sundays/Public Holiday)






Notes on Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Lygia Pape & John Martin

Having recently returned from my customary January trip to London here are my notes
on some of the exhibitions that I visited…

The year has started with a strong German theme, I have seen some very impressive art
this past week, most of it from Germany, and some of my own work has just gone off to
Berlin for the Quadriart exhibition.

Gerhard Richter – Panorama

Gerhard Richter - Stuhl im Profil - 1965

Gerhard Richter - Stuhl im Profil - 1965

I was determined to see Gerhard Richter’s Panorama at Tate Modern before it’s close
and timed my visit to London accordingly, arriving two days before. This major
retrospective spans almost 50 years of Gerhard’s career, taking in elements from
most of his styles and subject matter, from the eerily spectral blur of his
paintings based on black and white photographs of allied aerial bombing and the
deaths of the Baader-Meinhof gang – which apparently Richter doesn’t even like
showing any more – through to his colour saturated squeegee paintings.

Whilst many of the works on display are well recognised images most were only familiar to
me from books and articles, having only encountered Richter’s work up close once before
– at his brilliantly bright exhibition, 4900 Colours: Version II, at The Serpentine in 2008 –
the exhibition was quite a revelation in it’s scope.

Gerhard Richter - Ema (Nude on a Staircase) - 1966

Gerhard Richter - Ema (Nude on a Staircase) - 1966

The funereal paintings at the start of the show focus the mind and pull the viewer
in with their bleak remoteness. While later, by complete contrast, the large scale
colour works with layer upon layer of spread and scraped back paint vibrantly
explode around the gallery walls. There is a true sense of involvement and
engagement with the world in this exhibition, confirming the aptness of Panorama as
the title for the show, and demonstrating that to Richter the art is in the looking.

Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter

I am sure that this exhibition will be moving on to other cities in the future and if you
get the opportunity it is not to be missed.

Tate Modern, Bankside, London
6 October 2011 – 8 January 2012

Tate Modern, Gerhard Richter, Panorama

Anselm Kiefer – Il Mistero delle Cattedrali

Anselm Kiefer - Dat rosa miel apibas (detail)

Anselm Kiefer - Dat rosa miel apibas (detail)

Well, I have seen many exhibitions over the years and coming to Il Mistero delle
Cattedrali from Richter’s show was a total revelation. The show is of 20 works,
across 3 rooms, totalling an amazing 11,000 square feet of gallery space and starts
off in Room One with a seemingly innocent tone, featuring sculptures of folded
sheets of lead, and such as the rusted out and quaint old tandem bicycle “Merkaba”
with three dishes, of sulphur and other “alchemic” materials, hanging from the
crossbar. But the title of the exhibition, Il Mistero delle Cattedrali, is taken
from the esoteric publication by Fulcanelli from 1926, in which it is claimed that
the Gothic cathedrals of Europe had openly displayed the hidden code of alchemy for
over 700 years, and this gives a clue as to where the show is heading. Moving on to
the second gallery room the solitary “Sprache der Vögel” stands proud on it’s own,
dominating the space, a stack of lead books and folding chairs, topped with large metal
wings outstretched… ready to envelop all, a sculpture emblematic of the Third Reich.

Anselm Kiefer - Sprache der Vogel - 1989

Anselm Kiefer - Sprache der Vogel - 1989

Moving on to the final room where magnificently vast expanses of wastelands flex
their industrial muscle before the eyes in truly cinematic scale, this is the power of art
at it’s mightiest. Allusions to Tempelhof Airport, built on land that once was owned
by the Knights Templer, and overwhelming and oozing esoterica in every sense
of the word, these paintings, with their vast tracts gouged into thick grey, green
oxidised surfaces seem to be disintegrating right in the face of the viewer. Each
work conjoined with decaying objects – including scales, a rusting satellite dish,
bricks, an old pram and metallic sunflowers, and adorned with what appear to be tiny Stuka
bombers. All protruding with a stark menace out of sections of the canvas and adding
emphasises to the presence of the paintings. This is bleak art amplified.

Anselm Kiefer - Tempelhof - 2010

Anselm Kiefer - Tempelhof - 2010

This is an exhibition full of esoteric reference points and even though the subject
matter overlaps with work I am currently producing for my “2012 – Signs Secrets
Symbols” show for later in the year in Bournemouth there is absolutely no visual
connection between us. I am not usually drawn to such stark work but I have to
admit I went back to see this one again. Highly recommended.

White Cube, South Galleries and 9 x 9 x 9, Bermondsey, London
9 December 2011 – 26 February 2012

White Cube – Anselm Kiefer – Il Mistero Delle Cattedrali

Gesamtkunstwerk : New Art From Germany

Friedrich Kunath - Untitled - 2007

Friedrich Kunath - Untitled - 2007

It is possibly because I saw the Gesamtkunstwerk on the back of Richter and Keifer
that I found it positively fizzing with energy, albeit slightly brash at times, and
it is probably no coincidence that Charles Saatchi has staged such a predominately
“young” German show at the same time that The Tate were showing Richter, especially
one showing his ex, Isa Genzken.

Isa Genzken - Geschwister - 2004

Isa Genzken - Geschwister - 2004

In bringing together a young collection of artists who employ everything from
household junk to rags, through gaffer-tape to glitter in the making of their art
there was a feel of playful immaturity about much of the work. I am a huge fan of
Saatchi and generally enjoy every exhibition of Nation that I have seen at the Duke
of York’s HQ, and this was no exception. Isa Genzken’s column like sculptures as in
Geschwisterand, which cleverly resembled an upright gramophone, through which I was
half expecting to hear an outpouring of John Cooper Clarke’s Gimmix, and Kinder
Filmen (2005), an installation of four mirrored panels of spray paint and laquer and
on which she has applied various materials in collage stood out for me. Other works
of note were those by Gert & Uwe Tobias who work with coloured woodcut on paper, and
are in fact Romanian but work out of Cologne. Oh, and Jeppe Hein’s clever mirror
painting that vibrates as you move towards it
briefly stopped me in my tracks.

Saatchi Gallery, Duke Of York’s HQ, Kings Road, London
18th Nov 2011 – 30th Apr 2012

Saatchi Gallery – Gesamtkunstwerk : New Art From Germany

Tacita Dean : The Unilever Series

Tacita Dean - The Unilever Series - Tate Modern

Tacita Dean - The Unilever Series - Tate Modern

I have to say that Tacita Dean – The Unilever Series although big and bright (at times)
didn’t quite do it for me.

Perhaps once again this is a case of one of our celebrated YBA’s being chosen by
curator’s because of the name rather than the art, and maybe the whole eleven minutes
of her hand tinted film meanderings is worth enduring but I am sorry to say that for me
a long eight minutes were enough.

Staged in The Turbine Hall at Tate Modern there was nothing exceptional on offer,
especially that warranted what to me was the best part of this exhibition, the 13 meter
high monolithic screen which Tacita was privileged to enjoy courtesy of The Tate and
Unilever – which evidently refers to the cabalistic monolith in “2001, A Space Odyssey”.

More interesting to me is that there is even a German connection to this exhibition
via the fact that Tacita apparently works out of Berlin, a better way to fill space, and
one’s time, can be found at Lygia Pape’s exhibition.

Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, Bankside, London
11 October 2011 – 11 March 2012

The Unilever Series : Tacita Dean

Lygia Pape : Magnetized Space

Lygia Pape - Livro do Tempo (Book of Time) - 1961-63

Lygia Pape - Livro do Tempo (Book of Time) - 1961-63

Now this is a show to get excited about. – Lygia Pape (1927 – 2004), a leading light
of the South American avant-garde of the 1950s was totally immersed in her art,
engaged in paint, sculpture, film, installation and more, Pape was at the vanguard
of the Brazilian Neo-Concretists, a movement which clearly took it’s lead from the
Constructivists.

The Serpentine Gallery may not be a large venue but it sure does things in a big way
and it continues to break new ground by bringing us Magnetised Space, the first UK
exhibition of this celebrated artist. Despite not being able to accommodate the
full exhibition of Lygia Pape’s retrospective, as seen in Madrid’s Reina Sofia
museum, The Serpentine have packed a wealth of material into their compact space,
enough to ably show her range and her incredible versatility.

Clearly influenced by the work of Suprematism, Sem titulo (Untitled) 1954-56 would
sit well in any Kasimir Malevich exhibition, and the wonderful Livro do Tempo (Book
of Time) 1961-63 which is laid out across a complete gallery wall had a similar
magnificent early 20th Century look, quaint and affecting, with it’s cut out, inlaid
and relief wooden shapes in bright primary colours.

Lygia Pape - Sem titulo (Untitled) - 1954-56

Lygia Pape - Sem titulo (Untitled) - 1954-56

Tecelares (“Weavings”), a series of woodcuts are especially graceful, and her film
work is mesmerising, particularly the nine minute long Eat Me, from 1975, which
features a very close up shot of a bearded man’s lips, suggestively making shapes,
intermittently alternating with the lips of a woman.

The centrepiece of the exhibition though is a dark chamber in which the delicately
assembled Ttéia 1, C (Web) 2011 – a recreation of her piece for the 2002 Venice
Biennial – weaves it’s magic on the soul. A magnificent installation made of
stretched gold threads in angular columns from floor to ceiling as if shining up to,
or down from the heavens, these shafts of shimmering gold appearing to radiate
cosmic energy.

Lygia Pape - Ttéia 1, C (Web) - 2011

Lygia Pape - Ttéia 1, C (Web) - 2011

Lygia Pape a truly experimental artist and Magnetized Space an exhibition
overflowing with her light.

Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London
7 December 2011 – 19 February 2012

Serpentine Gallery : Lygia Pape : Magnetized Space

John Martin : Apocalypse

John Martin - The Great Day of His Wrath - 1851-3

John Martin - The Great Day of His Wrath - 1851-3

The first major exhibition of Martin’s work for over 30 years, and I have to admit
that the only reason I went along to see it is because I am a Tate member, had
I not been I would have missed a real treat.

Northumbrian-born John Martin (1789-1854) trained as a coach-painter, had no
formal art training, yet his work had an international reach, something which
I readily identify with, his paintings and mezzotints were seen by millions worldwide,
and in the 19th century this was a remarkable achievement.

With sin and saviour in abundance – God, the Devil, Sodom and Gomorrah, Babylon,
The Tower of Babel – Martin unleashes the full force of the Bible with each painting,
worked with a visual language of gesture and bombastic affect, absolutely and totally

sensationalist and spectacular. No wonder that so many people took to them,
paintings of hellfire and redemption, exciting viewers with their epic scale and glistening
and glitzy swathes of colour, they must have been quite something to see in their day.

John Martin - Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah - 1852

John Martin - Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah - 1852

John Martin was not only an extraordinary artist, he was also a showman, with an
inventive mind, his paintings were shown not only in galleries but in music halls and
theatres up and down the country. The highlight of his career and also of the show at
The Tate being his three-panel triptych of the Last Judgement, depicting the end of the
world from the Book of Revelations – an entertaining extravaganza which went on to
tour nationally for 20 years from the 1850’s through the 1870’s – complete with it’s own
theatrical light show and commentary. Incredibly this is brought bang up to date by
The Tate, performed as a son et lumière with the help of the theatre company Uninvited Guests.
With a thrilling ten minute show of lavish lighting effects that bring the
paintings to life and multichannel voices warning of impending doom. Martin’s
message is clear, repent sinners, before it is too late !!!! I for one am a new convert.

Tate Britain, Millbank, London
21 September 2011 – 15 January 2012

Tate Britain : John Martin : Apocalypse






Happy New Year and Highlights of 2011

Happy New Year for 2012

Well, here we are at the the dawn of another year and once again I wish all of my supporters, friends, and followers from around the world a Happy New Year and a fabulous 2012. Thank you for being with me during the past twelve months and a very special thank you to all who invested in my art during 2011, long may it’s energy and colour light up your walls and your hearts.

2011 was another exceptional year for me and my work, and highlights of some of those moments are noted below.

Sliding into the Sunshine - Victoria Park - icon

Internationally I was as busy as ever, strengthening my ties with Germany, with three more exhibitions during the year, starting with “Black Kites – Eifel Gold” in Bad Munstereifel, last February, and then showing at Muna Goetze Gallery in Nideggen at the end of March and finally exhibiting in May at “The Eifel in perspective”, an exhibition spanning two centuries of work at Kulturraum, at the Kall Cultural Centre. Also in recognition of my continuing dialogue with the work of Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, the Julich Museum made an official presentation of my painting “Lempertz” on International Museum Day.

Chris Billington, Bad Munstereifel, Germany 2011 (6)

In the USA, my first foray into digital work was shown at Studio 2091 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio in June and my first work to be exhibited in New York City at The Spanish Benevolent Society Gallery (one time home of Picasso and Dalí) in mid July. with all pieces being “sold out”. At the end of the year I was in Amsterdam for the launch of Sequoia Tees where I was invited to make a speech about the project by the CEO.

New York Attorney - Richard Zweig - pictured with new acquisitions

Meanwhile in the UK I exhibited several times at The Bristol Gallery, where I continue to keep good company, being privileged to show alongside such giants of contemporary art as Matisse, Miro, Picasso and Kandinsky. During 2011 I also showed work at Manchester’s Bureau Gallery, while here in Cornwall my “Lido” show was held at The Stoneman Gallery in Penzance. And following a meeting in late October I am absolutely delighted that I am now being represented by one of the most prestigious galleries in the UK, The ARThouse Gallery in Bournemouth.

Lido - Chris Billington @ The Stoneman Gallery - Private View 13

My recent move into digital work, which complements and coexists with my painting, has been well received and my video and soundtrack work was wholeheartedly endorsed when on December 31st, I was completely taken by surprise when I was informed that “antiSocial Media Generation” has just been awarded the accolade of best video report of 2011 by Korea’s Arirang TV, thus ending the year on a real high.

2091 Radiating Original Thinking (2011) - Chris Billington

I am pleased to say that my support of local and national charities continues to raise much needed funds, via donations of my work, including MacMillan Cancer Support, Cornwall Blind Association and SixbyEight’s Hop Skip & Jump.

Macmillan Cancer Support - Chris Billington

Macmillan Cancer Support - Chris Billington

As for 2012…….. my first exhibition takes place in Berlin in February, and work is now well underway for my first show for The ARThouse Gallery, which will go on exhibition in July. Alongside this I have managed to fit in a rather special commission which will be started next week, and a reminder that as my schedule is very busy I will only consider further commission work in the second half of the year. And finally, for those of you who are asking why your work is not yet shown on my website gallery “Selected Works in Private & Public Collections”, I have made a New Year’s Resolution to get more images on the gallery soon!!!!

To my many clients who already own my paintings, to those who have added to their collections in the past 12 months, and those that I have welcomed to my “wonderful world of colour”, in Cornwall, nationally and internationally, immense thanks.

Chris Billington - Cornwall Today - Postcard From An Artist

Finally, in addition to my many clients and customers I would like to say a thank you to some of the people behind the scenes – my New Year’s Honour’s List so to speak – Mark Opie, MAF Räderscheidt, Marcell Perse, Muna Goetze, Stephan Everling, Dr Elisabeth Geschwind, Paul Cabezas, Paul Watts, Regiane Yuki Sabanai, Andrew Price, Mandy Hoare, Darren Hoare, Lee Trewhela, Claudia Mantelli, Jessica Ratty, Jackie Butler, Pete Mcgahan, Alex Wade, Linda Stoneman, Amy Mothersbaugh Roos, Si-in Yang, Remko Spaan, R.A.P.P. Quelle, Sophia Crilly and all members of the German Press who reported on my work during 2011.

Chris Billington - Schleidener Wochenspiegel






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