Monocolumn

A daily bulletin of news & opinion

22 March 2014

PAINTINGS AND CERAMICS: LONDON

Robert Nicol: The Shadows of a God

London-based illustrator Robert Nicol brings some mischief to the Breese Little gallery on Great Sutton Street this weekend. Nicol plays God in his 10 pastel-hued acrylic paintings, creating a world with scant regard for logic. Set against backdrops of rolling hills or snowy plains, Nicol’s motley assembly of characters accost two-headed green flamingos, build giant emerald snowmen and even enjoy a smoke in the buff. Nicol has also crafted seven ceramic pieces to accompany the paintings but forget looking for a coherent narrative – it’s best not to over-intellectualise this one. Instead, allow yourself to be thoroughly entertained by a series of outrageous and amusing surprises.

Breese Little, 30b Great Sutton Street. Open Wednesday to Saturday, 12.00-18.00. Until 12 April.
breeselittle.com

ART FAIR: DUBAI

Art Dubai

The eighth edition of Art Dubai kicked off earlier this week at luxury resort Madinat Jumeirah. It is the biggest international art fair in the Middle East and South Asia region and coincides with Art Week across the wider UAE. More than 85 galleries from across the world are featured in the current edition, with specially assigned areas dedicated to contemporary art, celebrated masters from the Middle East, and art coming from Central Asia and the Caucasus. Among the 500 artists on show are mixed-media artist Mouna Karray from Tunis, Lebanese photographer Lucien Samaha, and British-Iraqi visual artist Athier .

Madinat Jumeirah, Al Sufouh Road, Umm Suqeim. Open 12.00-18.30 on Saturday. Until 22 March.
artdubai.ae

FILM FESTIVAL: LONDON

Human Rights Watch Film Festival

The Human Rights Watch Film Festival is in London this week with a programme of 20 international documentaries and feature films focusing on issues from across the world. This year’s edition ushers in 10 UK premieres including Lebanese director Zeina Daccache’s Scheherazade’s Diary. The engaging tragicomic documentary follows women inmates through a 10-month drama therapy theatre project at the Baabda Prison in Lebanon. The protagonists’ stories – tales of domestic violence, traumatic childhoods and forlorn romances – are a direct reflection of Lebanese society and the role of women within it.

Screenings at Barbican, Curzon Soho, Curzon Mayfair and Ritzy Brixton. For full schedule check the website. Until 28 March.
ff.hrw.org/

ART: SINGAPORE

Unearthed

This weekend, the Singapore Art Museum’s contemporary wing 8Q unveils its latest exhibition, Unearthed, which deals with themes surrounding Singapore’s “Garden City” identity – a case study of how urban spaces deal with nature. The show consists of 28 performance, photographic, installation and video works, including seven newly commissioned ones by local artists such as Genevieve Chua. Her acrylic and screen-print on linen piece, “Ultrasound #5” is an ultrasound picture of an underground reservoir, which Chua says is inspired by flash floods. The choice of medium suggests that despite manmade feats above ground (skyscrapers, technology and all), the earth remains pregnant with the potential for destruction.

8Q SAM, 8 Queen Street. Open Monday to Sunday, 10.00-19.00. Until 6 July.
singaporeartmuseum.sg

MUSIC: GLOBAL

The War on Drugs: Lost In The Dream

Along with close friend Kurt Vile, Adam Granduciel (aka The War on Drugs) is part of Philadelphia’s recent resurgence as a new heartland of Springsteen-esque blue-collar rock for the American everyman. But that collar is a loose fit, and it’ll suit anyone partial to the widescreen sound that The War on Drugs specialise in – all soft analogue synthscapes set to urgently shuffing drums with anthemic guitars, and Granduciel’s melancholic vocal meanderings over the top. Beautifully produced, Lost In The Dream is a record that borrows from the heart of Americana and yet maintains a distinctly Philadelphia identity – meaning It can be as tough, bruised and immersive as the city of brotherly love itself.

‘Lost In The Dream’ is available to buy now.
thewarondrugs.net

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