Ruth van Beek’s work originates in her ever-growing archive. The images are her tools, source material and context. By folding, cutting or even adding pieces of painted paper she manipulates the images and intervenes in their universe. Her work has been shown worldwide in various solo and group exhibitions.
Luca Vitone’s representations of geographical locations examine the mapping of place, whether through art, cartography or military conflict. He uses many different methods to recreate specific landscapes, from the gathering of waste materials to abandoning works outside until they are marked by the pollutants of their environment. His work has been shown in solo and collective exhibitions in Italy and abroad.
Jimmie Durham is known for combinations of natural and artificial material which often reverse technology’s dominance over nature. Working against Western rationalism, his production is often laced with a dry, highly critical, yet insightful, humour. He is a writer, activist and identifies as Cherokee. His work has been extensively exhibited and forms part of major collections worldwide.
Elisabetta Benassi draws upon a plethora of different media to examine contemporary notions of modernity. Historical and personal archives often form the foundations of her practice and Benassi frequently employs them to investigate the representation of facts. Her work has been shown at a number of venues worldwide.
Kiki’s practice often explores the representation of the body, particularly those of women, in mythology and folklore. Her study of life forms also extends into the natural domains of birds and plants. Conversely, Seton adopts the medium of the photograph in an extremely sophisticated way to render the emotional qualities (often unsettling) of domestic objects and architecture. Their works have been exhibited extensively around the world and are present in some of the major public and private collections. The book sees Kiki & Seton Smith working together for the first time.
Michael Clegg & Martin Guttmann approach art as a social and communicative event informed by its audience. The discursive nature of their works and experimental critiques of behavioral norms often intersect with sociology, actively including the viewers as artistic agents. They have been exhibited extensively and their work is a permanent feature of a number of major international collections worldwide.
Ugo La Pietra has defined himself as a researcher in communication systems and in visual arts since 1960. His work has always moved simultaneously in the worlds of art and design and crossed different currents and mediums, from Informalism and Conceptual Art to Narrative Art and artist’s cinema. La Pietra’s work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Triennale in Milano and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, among others.
Zak Kitnick is an artist currently based in Brooklyn. Using industrial and commercial materials, he creates forms that could be seen as utilitarian and art objects at the same time. Blurring the boundaries between architecture and design, Kitnick’s work encourages the viewer to attend to the objects that structure daily life. His work is part of the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami, among others.
Riccardo Dalisi is an Italian architect, designer and artist. In 1973 he was among the founders of Global Tools, a counter-school of architecture and design and was one of the exponents of the radical architecture in Italy. In 1981 he won the first Compasso d’Oro prize for his work on the Neapolitan coffee pot. Dalisi has always been involved in social projects, as well as in building a productive relationship between academic research, architecture, design, art and craftmanship.
Marjan van Aubel is a solar designer based in Amsterdam. By incorporating solar cells into furniture, windows, and other objects, her research aims to strengthen our relationship with the technology and promote its wider use. In 2018 she won the Climate Action Challenge by What Design Can Do and in 2017 she was the recipient of the WIRED’s Innovation Award. Van Aubel’s work is part of major international collections such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein and the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.
The design duo Soft Baroque launched in 2013 after co-founders Saša Štucin and Nicholas Gardner graduated from the Royal College of Art. Their London-based practice focuses on object design and art, blurring the boundaries between furniture typologies and conceptual representative objects, functions and imagery. Their work has been showed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Swiss Institute in New York, Etage Projects in Copenhagen and Depot Basel, among others.
Ubah Cristina Ali Farah is a Somali-Italian author of two novels as well as various short stories and poems which have been in several anthologies, including the critically-acclaimed Banthologhy published by Comma Press. Her work has been translated into English and Dutch. In 2006, she won the Lingua Madre National Literary Prize and she is currently a 2019 fellow of the Civitella Ranieri Foundation.
Vincenzo Latronico is an Italian writer and translator. He has translated works by Hanif Kureishi, P.G. Wodehouse and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Latronico curated a literary section at the 2010 edition of Artissima fair and is currently an editor at the The Serving Library. His writing has appeared in frieze, Kaleidoscope, Corriere della Sera and Internazionale, among others.
John Divola’s work has been featured in more than seventy solo exhibitions worldwide, from the United States to Japan, since 1975. Primarily working with photography and digital imaging, he has approached a broad range of subjects while looking for the oscillating edge between the abstract and the specific.
Gwen Smith is an artist and photographer working in New York. The affects of urbanism, play, and transience are central to her work which adopts both digital and analog modes in equal measure. Smith has recently exhibited in group shows at Lia Rumma Gallery in Naples and the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts.
Nadira Husain draws on heterogenous sources to create layered works which link colours, forms, signs, and symbolism. Her interdisciplinary approach explores colloquial and communal metaphysics while levelling hierarchical distinctions between all components. Husain has exhibited internationally, including a solo show at PSM gallery in Berlin and a solo presentation at the Armory Show, New York.
A multi-disciplinary collective with a democratic and co-operative working method, Assemble has created housing projects, public spaces, exhibitions, furniture and documentaries across architecture, design and art. Most recently, they have designed a new permanent exhibition and gallery for the Wellcome Collection in London, a textile studio space in Brixton and an anthology of architecture designed by women since 1900 published by Phaidon. Their ongoing community project Granby Four Streets in Liverpool won them the 2015 Turner Prize.
Wieki Somers and Dylan van den Berg both studied at Design Academy Eindhoven. The studio works to provide enlightened readings of the everyday environment via sensitivity to materials, technological ingenuity and fantasy. Its works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
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Social criticism is an essential component of Cesare Pietroiusti’s performances and installations, which often integrate his own drawings. Pietroiusti’s early interest in the social psychology of art relations has since evolved into an examination of the economic production, dissemination and consumption of art. He has exhibited at venues including some of the major museums in Italy and abroad.
Ilya & Emilia Kabakov’s oeuvre is a unique blend of fantasy and introspection. Their universal and lyrical explorations of the human condition not only challenge the cultural tropes of the former Soviet Union but introduce new ways of understanding figuration. Their works can be found at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Hermitage, MAXXI in Rome, the Guggenheim, the Tate Modern, Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio, Tretyakov Gallery and the Centre Pompidou, amongst others, and have been recently displayed in a major exhibition at the Tate Modern, the Hermitage and Tretyakov Gallery titled Not Everyone Will be Taken Into the Future.
Haim Steinbach’s sculptures present objects rather than representing them. Instead of simply raising issues about consumerism, reproduction and repetition, they force viewers to reckon with the facticity of the object’s existence. Since the late 1980s, Steinbach has exhibited globally in major institutions and lectured at the University of California and the School of Visual Arts in New York. Recent exhibitions include the Hessel Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery in Copenhagen, the Serpentine in London and Kurhaus Kleve.
Throughout his career, which started in 1967, Giovanni Anselmo has explored key polarities such as finite and infinite, macrocosm and microcosm, general and particular. His investigations entail combinations of heterogeneous materials, systematically interweaving both the organic and the inorganic. Widely known around the world, the artist’s works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and the Castello di Rivoli in Turin, among others.
Light, colour and space are the essential elements of Ettore Spalletti’s practice. His continual pursuit of these core aspects has led him to explore and generate forms in different materials. The surface of his work (whether bi- or three-dimensional) is often extremely fragile and vulnerable to human touch as it reveals successive layers of plaster and pigment that acquire a thick, powdery texture. His works have been exhibited in a number of the world’s most prestigious institutions and galleries, including Documenta and the Venice Biennale.
Henning Stummel is an award winning architect living and working in London. He studied architecture and urbanism at the Technische Hochschule Darmstadt and the ETH Zurich, both heavily influenced by the Bauhaus ideology. Architect of the Tin House and designer of the Nomad Sofa range, Henning has also been a visiting lecturer at a number of universities, including the University of Cambridge.
Claire-Louise Bennett’s debut short-story collection, Pond (Fitzcarraldo UK, Bompiani IT), earned the author international critical acclaim. Her work has been reviewed in the New Yorker, Paris Review, Vogue, and The New York Times. Her short fiction and essays have been published in the White Review, Frieze, Harper’s Magazine and the New York Times.
Will Ashon is the author of two recent works of non-fiction, Strange Labyrinth, about Epping Forest, and Chamber Music, which focuses on the first album by New York rap group the Wu-Tang Clan (both published by Granta Books in the UK). He previously founded and ran the record label, Big Dada (Roots Manuva, Wiley, Kate Tempest), while at the same time writing two novels, published by Faber & Faber.
Monica Dengo’s work rejects the formal conventions of traditional calligraphy in order to freely explore the connection between individuals and their handwriting. Her artistic practice is inseparable from her role as a teacher of calligraphy and is also informed by emerging studies which position handwriting, regardless of its legibility, as a form capable of bridging mind and body. Her work has been exhibited in various institutions in Europe, the US and the UAE.
Hassan Makaremi is a calligraphist, painter, psychoanalyst and author of published works in French and Persian. Born in southern Iran, Makaremi has lived and worked in France since 1983. He has exhibited works at UNESCO, Malakoff City Hall in Texas and is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Calligraphy in Moscow.
Zhao Yizhou is widely regarded as the finest contemporary Chinese calligrapher in the UK. His compositions are informed by philosophical, aesthetic and historical inquiry and explore both traditional and contemporary innovations to uncover the principles of Chinese Shufa. Yizhou teaches calligraphy at SOAS and the British Museum, London.
Golnaz Fathi investigates ever more abstract forms of representation, using modern media to aid these explorations, while still basing her work on fundamental calligraphic practices and techniques. Golnaz Fathi’s works are in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, the British Museum, the Brighton & Hove Museum, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, the Asian Civilisation’s Museum in Singapore and the Devi Art Foundation in New Delhi.
Koji Kakinuma began studying Japanese calligraphy as a child and has since developed an understanding and practise of the art that extends beyond its received conventions. Besides two- and three-dimensional works, his performances have taken place at numerous sites including The Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial in 2018. He exhibited in a solo show at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, which also features a number of Kakinuma’s works in its permanent collection.
Mariko Mori is an internationally acclaimed artist. Her practice explores universal questions at the intersection of life, death, reality and technology. Her works highlight Mori’s artistic and intellectual practice which combines science, technology and nature. Her work has been acquired by museums and private collectors worldwide.
Since the early 1970’s Gary Hill has worked with a broad range of media including sculpture, sound, video, installation and performance. His work has been exhibited at museums and institutions worldwide, including the Centre Pompidou, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel, the Museu d’Art Contemporani in Barcelona, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg and, most recently, the CAFA Art Museum in Beijing, MAAT in Lisbon, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow and WEST Den Haag.
The interrelation between image and text is at the core of Victor Burgin’s practice. His interest in the dominant role of photography emphasises the image as a political event rather than a passive object. Burgin’s work is in many major collections, including but not limited to The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
Tobias Zielony is best known for his photographs of juvenile life on the fringes. His images depict desire amidst structural violence and displacement. His sensitivity to the impact of mass culture on our private and personal postures and gestures allows him to capture the vulnerability of identity. He has participated in a number of solo and group shows worldwide.