RCA Show 2014

As every year, the Royal College of Art in London manages to surprise with its Summer Show, giving us the chance to discover many new and promising talents. Usually, you leave the exhibition with your bag full of nice postcards and business cards, but more importantly, with an endless list of young artists to follow and further research on. The Fine Art section, located in the Battersea Buildings, offers a vast selection of artworks ranging from painting to printmaking, also including sculpture and photography works. In the building next door, the School of Materials showcases an impressive collection of ceramics, glass objects, gold and silver work, as well as fashion and textile designs. So to say: there is something for every taste!

Here is a selection of the best new talents:

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Photo Series #2: Iran, Untitled by Gohar Dashti

Gohar Dashti

(b.1980, Ahvaz, Iran)

www.gohardashti.com

“Playing with complexities of time, being both in the past and the present which affected me deeply, helps incorporating a degree of neurosis into my photography. This has convinced me to use photography as a means to produce art. (…) I think photography is just a medium like painting or film. It does not matter which medium you choose, what matters is how you use that medium to relate your experiences with your surroundings.” (Interview from Lucky Compiler)

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Marina Abramović: 512 Hours at the Serpentine Gallery

After the success of The Artist is present, her impressive retrospective held by the MoMA in 2010, Abramovic comes back this summer with a new durational performance called 512 hours. This time, she will invest the more intimate space of the Serpentine Gallery in London to create her new work: a silent piece where the public is widely encouraged to participate. Six days a week over a period of three months, Abramovic will stand and roam over the empty space waiting for the public to come and interact, just to “see what will happen”.

“I’m there for them. They are my living material, I am their living material. And from this nothing, something may or may not happen.” (artist’s statement)

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Photo Series #1: No lifeguard on duty by J. Bennett Fitts

J. Bennett Fitts

(b. 1977, Kansas City, Missouri)

www.jbennettfitts.com

“In photography my interest has always been held by landscapes; never the heroic imagery most people have come to associate with the term landscape, but rather the beautifully subtle and banal work of the photographers associated with the new topograhics movement. (…) The photographers showcased in the new topographics exhibition focused on a “social landscape” that explored the way in which man impacts the natural environment.” (the artist’s statement)

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Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2014 at the Photographer’s Gallery

With spring coming, prizes seem to flourish everywhere. The Deutsche Börse Photography Prize chose the intimate space of the Photographers’ Gallery in London to showcase its four shortlisted artists.  This year’s selection presents a vast and eclectic panorama of contemporary practices in Europe. While Richard Mosse reflects on the genre of war photography, Lorna Simpson is more concerned with the concept of performance. As for Jochen Lempert, she seems to follow a more experimental and abstract path. Lastly, Alberto Garcia-Alix shares with us an important photographic diary of his life over four decades.

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Infinity: One at dalla Rosa Gallery

This summer, dalla Rosa Gallery presents a group exhibition of four contemporary artists reflecting on the vast topic of surfaces. Each artist brings one of his painting along with some works on paper, card or newspaper. The small exhibition space creates an intimate cocoon that enables dialogues between the different medium, where shapes and colours mix and respond each other.

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Artist ID #2: Jose Dávila

Jose Dávila

Lives and work in Guadalajara, México

http://josedavila.mx/

“I’m naturally and have always been fascinated by art. I’m an artist but also a viewer, part of an audience; and I like to research and read about art. (…) I’m inspired by artists that generate universes through prolific creativity. I’m very much influenced by Minimalist and Conceptual American art, and also by Brazil’s Neo-concrete movement.”

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Pangea: New Art from Africa and Latin America at the Saatchi Gallery

This summer the Saatchi Gallery presents us with a general survey of contemporary art from Africa and Latin America. At first sight, one might not see the difference with all the other contemporary art practices established in the rest of the world (and one might be right). Moving between rooms, it seems that it all looks like “contemporary art”. The works displayed perfectly meet the criteria and could directly be put under the prestigious ‘contemporary art’ label. But at the end, thinking about all the things you’ve seen, you start to realise how much these works are politically and socially engaged with their own context of production. There is a sense of urgency emerging from the artworks. They became real protests, and the artists’ voices can be heard spreading along the wall of the gallery: dialoguing with each other and singing a song of resistance.

Here is a selection of the best artworks presented:

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Pinta London, The Modern and Contemporary Latin American Art Show

Created five years ago, this fair is the only one in Europe to be specialized in modern and contemporary art from Latin America, Spain and Portugal. This year, around 40 galleries from all over the world were presenting their artists to the London public: a rich and boundary-breaking trip.

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