ART FAIR: AMSTERDAM
The annual modern and contemporary art fair held at Amsterdam’s RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre – KunstRAI – kicked off earlier this week. One year shy of celebrating its 30th anniversary, KunstRAI showcases the art of 75 galleries, one third of which are international. But it’s a good place to pick up some local works too such as the dramatic abstract paintings of Project 2.0 Gallery’s Robbert Fortgens. Shrewd buyers can also suss out the upcoming crop of new art talent, as KunstRAI includes eight new galleries as part of the RawEdges area picked by Bob Smith, organiser of neighbouring Rotterdam’s Raw Art Fair.
Europaplein 2-22, 1078 GZ. Open Wednesday 18.00-22.00, Thursday to Saturday 13.00-21.00, Sunday to Monday 11.00-18.00. Until 20 May.
California Design, 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way”
Tokyo’s National Art Center is presenting a comprehensive study of design from the West Coast of the US. Featuring over 250 pieces from fields as diverse as furniture, fashion, and both graphic and industrial design, the exhibition in collaboration with with LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), includes original works by designers Charles and Ray Eames and architect R. M. Schindler. It aims to show how California – which from the 1930s became a hot spot synonymous with “the good life” – was key to shaping a new generation of materialism and consumerist culture in the US.
The National Art Center, Tokyo, Special Exhibition Gallery 1E, 7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan. Open daily 10.00-18.00 (10.00-20.00 on Fridays). Closed on Tuesdays. Until 3 June.
Birth of a Collection: The Barber Institute of Fine Art and the National Gallery
To celebrate the 80th anniversary of The Barber Institute of Fine Art in Birmingham, London's National Gallery will this weekend unveil an intimate selection of the gallery's most prized stock. The twelve paintings on show are the very first collected by Thomas Bodkin, the institute’s first director (1887-1961) and include works by masters such as JMW Turner, Édouard Manet and Claude Monet. It’s part of a year-long celebration of the institute’s ongoing commitment to sharing art with the public.
National Gallery, Trafalgar Square. Open daily 10.00-18.00, Fridays 10.00-21.00. Until 1 September.
PHOTOGRAPHY: HONG KONG
New Framework: Chinese Avant-garde Photography 1980s-90s
The photographic contributions of twelve contemporary Chinese artists are on display starting this weekend at Blindspot Gallery’s two venues in Hong Kong. Until the end of the Cultural Revolution in the 1970s, photography in China was limited to family portraits and official media – also known as political propaganda. From the 1980s onwards, the artists featured in New Framework such as Ai Weiwei, Gu Zheng and Han Lei paved the way for conceptual and experimental styles that broke free from institutionalised ideas.
Blindspot Gallery, 24-26A, Aberdeen Street, Central. Open Tuesday to Saturday 11.00 – 19.00. Blindspot Annex, 15/F, Po Chai Industrial Building, 28 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang. Open Wednesday to Saturday, 11.00-19.00. Until 22 June.
Bibio: Silver Wilkinson
Stephen Wilkinson – aka Bibio – a Birmingham UK-based crafter of beautifully delicate, folky stylings around droney beats, makes the kind of music that can only grow from honing pleasing sounds over and over. Having begun making music in the mid-2000s turning out more experimental work, Bibio’s gift for melody now appears to be flourishing and the summery yet down-tempo songs on Silver Wilkinson veer very close to straight-up pop. A genuinely gifted producer who plays with textures while whittling out naggingly memorable tunes, it feels like now – and more specifically the summer – is Bibio’s time to shine.
Silver Wilkinson is available to buy now.