Finding 'lost' art
In my working life as an art critic I frequently go on what I call art crawls around art nodes. Hopping from space to space, discovering what artists are up to and how they are channelling our world is the favourite part of my week and job. I have been wanting to share this experience with people who want to find out more about our contemporary art scene. How do you grow audiences for art? I am interested in not only growing them, but educating them, so that artists, gallerists and art fairs will have to all sharpen their game in order to keep up with an educated art buying market. You can’t read about what is happening in the art scene right now, I can't write it all and publish it. There isn't space for the kind of long-winded stories I want to tell about art. And so, I'm turning my #artcrawl into something more formal, where people buy tickets to come join me on my crawls. The most immediate way to get a handle on the contemporary is to engage with what is showing right now with someone like me, who actually spends her day writing and looking at what art is being made right now!
My inaugural #artcrawl is a curated an intimate walking and talking tour of galleries. This exclusive, one-off themed crawl is centred on the use of disused objects in contemporary art and how artists turn lost objects into ‘found’ ones and shift their meaning in the process.
There is a long history attached to this practice dating back to Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Readymades’ in the ‘50s and the anti-art conceptualist thrust it inspired to the stereotypical notion that African artists ‘recycle’ objects in their art – think El Antasui.
The crawl begins, where any good crawl would, in a bookshop - in a private viewing room at Clarke's bookshop where I will use books and images to give an historical perspective on the theme. From there I will hit streets in search of art that builds on the ‘found’ object theme. Expect a lively but informed and accessible introduction to contemporary African art and the ways in which artists are dealing with the everyday, either blurring the line between art and life or transforming and elevating throwaway images or things into art. Is art about transformation?
I will take a close look at the works of Patrick Bongoy, Francois Knoetze and Mark Rautenbach at Ebony Gallery, Jeanne Gaigher at SMITH and the sculptural works of Marlise Keith showing at Worldart Gallery. This diverse mix of works will help me tease out this theme in really interesting ways. I can't wait. Read more about it here on my new Now-Now events page