The art of Kazuo Shiraga is as much about performance as it is about painting. There is an undeniable energy in Shiraga’s abstract compositions, which puts process at the forefront of its aesthetic. His gestural marks possesses an intense materiality, almost acting as a metaphor for the Shiraga’s exceptionally physical technique, a method utilising the artist’s entire body to execute: “I want to paint as though rushing around a battlefield, exerting myself to collapse from exhaustion.”
Colbert is a London-based artist who works in a wildly exuberant aesthetic that updates the legacy of collage for the internet age, microcosms saturated with the detritus of everyday icons, symbols, and objects — sometimes, narrated by the distinctive personality of his comical lobster alter ego.
The intensely worked surfaces of André Hemer's work combines digital media and painting, exploring the bounds of materiality and appearances. We sat down and interviewed the artist, who illuminated us about his process, influences, and how he is adapting abstraction to a post-internet age.
The title of our show Looking For U is shared with our very first exhibition, held in October 2013 in a pop-up gallery space in Chiswick. #lookingforU went on to become a weekly staple of the gallery’s Instagram account – highlighting and profiling exciting global talent in the art world to our loyal digital audience.
In anticipation of our upcoming show Looking For U we went to visit Ry David Bradley in his Holborn studio to get a glimpse of his newest works: a series of three Stretched Dye Cotton Tapestries.
Having a background in graphics programming but pursuing painting throughout his life, Gumpinger's interest lies in the interesection between digital simulation and handmaking processes. Read more about his practice as we interview the artist on his concepts and techniques.
Culture Whisper sat down with Unit London directors Joe and Jonny to talk about their vision for the gallery, their journey, social media, and future ambitions.
Michael Staniak's practice is entrenched in the current reality that we exist both physically, and virtually thanks to the internet. We spoke to the artist about his work, as well as his background and influences that have helped shape it.
How does art respond to an environment where images can be created and distributed instantaneously, ubiquitously, and autonomously via our mass network of online channels? Find out more about the concept behind Looking for U, exploring the relationship between art and digital technology.
The pristine geometric repetitions and optical trickery of Bridget Riley's paintings are instantly recognisable and wholly distinctive. Steering abstraction into the direction of illusions in the name of Optical Art, or Op-Art, Riley uses her oscillating surfaces to to disrupt the eye of the viewer, challenging them to question the nature of visual perception and experience.
Undoubtedly one of the most important artists working today, Anish Kapoor has irrevocably shaped the physical and cultural landscape we now live in, inheriting the mantle of prestigious British sculpture from modern 20th-century greats such as Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.
Ahead of the exhibition opening, the private view of The Garden took place on Thursday 28 June, a vibrant event attended by over 500 people to glimpse Hewett’s paintings and to visit the impressive space.
The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe & Contemporary Art opened in May 2018 at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville and features paintings, sculptures, photographs, murals and more by the mother of American Modernism- Georgia O’Keeffe, alongside works from 20 contemporary artists whose work she inspired – including Unit London’s Dylan Gebbia Richards.
Emerging in the 1970s, Cragg’s bold practice has consistently questioned and tested the limits of the materials used in traditional sculpture; bronze, steel, glass, wood and stone. “I’m an absolute materialist, and for me material is exciting and ultimately sublime”, he said. For Cragg, the physicality and composition of his materials are of immense importance and ultimately guide the form of his final artworks.
Drawing on personal memories from his early life in Canada, his time in Trinidad and imagery sourced from photographs and films, Doig builds dreamlike compositions in oil which exist in a timeless fantastical space; a space which feels both personally nostalgic and universal.
Scrawled and scribbled, cartoon-like yet elegant, enigmatic yet engaging; American painter Jean-Michel Basquiat’s artwork has an eccentric brilliance. Almost thirty years after his passing, Jean-Michel Basquiat remains a permanent fixture in the 20th century art consciousness.
Coined ‘the Warhol of Japan’, Murakami is renowned for his ability to blur the lines between fine art and popular culture; ‘I want to make something new - that means a new communication with fine art and subculture, fine art with the music industry and fine art with entertainment.”
Yves Klein is considered a critical figure in post-war European art. Born in Nice, 1928, Klein’s highly influential practice is often viewed as an inspiration to and a forerunner of Minimalist art; as well as Conceptual art, Pop art and Performance art. Klein is best known for his trademark ultramarine pigment, which he patented as International Klein Blue in 1961, ‘Blue has no dimensions; it is beyond dimensions, whereas the other colours are not... All colours arouse specific associative ideas... while blue suggests at most the sea and sky, and they, after all, are in actual, visible nature what is most abstract.’
Entering her 90th year and still constantly creating artwork, Kusama’s life has taken her from her quiet upbringing in provincial Japan, to New York’s postwar art scene and eventually Tokyo, where she currently resides. Continuously and consciously reinventing her style, Kusama’s artworks have spanned an astonishing range of media including painting, sculpture, performance, installation and film. A longstanding staple of popular culture, she has designed ranges with top fashion houses and created videos for the best musicians in the contemporary pop world.
KAWS is an international cultural phenomenon with a skill-set which extends far beyond the constraints of the art world. Famously medium-agnostic, KAWS’ enormous body of work straddles both the art and design worlds to include street art, product design, toy making and sculpture. His instantly recognisable aesthetic has earned him a loyal and devoted global following over the last twenty-five years.
Contemporary artist Adrian Ghenie braids together both personal and shared anxieties which address the collective traumas of the modern European world. Frequently painting 20th century historical figures who have been the cause of great human suffering, Ghenie’s works are inspired by ideologies of communism and eugenics, yet maintain a deeply personal quality.
Francis Bacon created some of the most crucial images of the wounded and traumatised humanity seen in post-war art. With a reputation as the masterful chronicler of the bleak human condition throughout the 20th century, his canvases remain unmistakable to this day for their chaotically arranged, highly grotesque and contorted depictions of the figure.
Across the course of his sixty-year career, Richter has interrogated the limits of representation – his experiments in abstraction are without comparison, and have greatly contributed to the medium of painting.
Captivated by the endless aesthetic peculiarities of the malleable human form, Jenny Saville paints the female body with merciless and grotesque exaggeration. Despite her work frequently hailed a political statement against stereotypical idealised images of women in portraiture throughout history, Saville is, in essence, a ‘painter of modern life, and modern bodies’.
Condo’s works are populated by a cast of contorted misshapen characters that bear only partial semblance to the human form. Self-declared as ‘psychological cubism’, George Condo’s style is instantly recognisable - his imaginary subjects have obscenely bulbous facial features, skewed limbs and protruding eyes yet possess an essence which is undeniably human. His figures hint at our own imperfections and act as a hideous yet humorous investigation into the disjointed human psyche - frequently distilling an array of emotional states into a singular face.
In March 2017, acclaimed Chinese artist Zhuang Hong Yi returned to Unit London for his highly-anticipated second major UK solo exhibition. Following on from the storming success of 'RAW' in 2015, the artist returned with 'RAW II': a breathtaking new body of work which continues to explore themes of nature and the natural world.
In this insightful footage, the viewer is transported into Johan's world as he guides his visitors through his technique with a small painting exercise.
Ryan Hewett takes a significant step away from the chaotic process of construction and deconstruction, towards a more confident, mature and considered approach to painting. And the results are fascinating.
News reporter Brenda Emmanus visited the exhibition to talk to gallery co-founder Joe about the ethos of Unit London, and also met with the artist to talk about his experiences as an artist.
A Glimpse inside the studio of British painter Jake Wood-Evans, as he gears up for his first major UK Solo exhibition; Subjection and Discipline; at Unit London.
Watch Joe Kennedy, co-founder of Unit London, talk to the Art Business Conference, 2015.
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