Are We Playing A Huge Game of Chance – Max Mulhern’s Aquadice

Life is one huge game of chance. At least that is Max Mulhern’s contention and his inspiration behind Aquadice. Combining his artistic interests with his love of open water, Max Mulhern constructed two huge, floating dice and cast them out to sea. The idea is that they will drift unpredictably wherever chance takes them. On …

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Squirrel Suicide by Maurizio Cattelan

  In this blog I usually review an artist’s body of work rather than a single work. However, Maurizio Cattelan‘s squirrel installation shown above struck me as worth reviewing as a single work on its own. The installation shown above is from 1996. It shows a squirrel slumped dead over a kitchen table in what …

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Giuseppe Penone – Nature and Culture

Giuseppe Penone is a renowned Italian Artist who works in the Arte Povera tradition. He has long been interested in exploring the inter-relationship between nature and culture. A tree within a tree (above) shows us a tree form carved within a real tree trunk leading us to question what is natural and what is artifact …

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Do Artists Pollute?

Apart from making art that focuses our minds on ‘saving the environment’, artists can, themselves, start making direct contributions by addressing the use of polluting materials and the enormous amounts of waste that contemporary art tends to generate. In an article in today’s Observer – ‘Can art be environmentally friendly?’ – Lucy Siegle addresses this …

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Ai Weiwei – Human Rights Dissident – Environmentalist?

Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei has mounted 1200 bicycles in a magnificent floor to ceiling installation as part of a solo exhibition in Taipei. The artist likely has no environmental statement to make with this installation, but these days it is hard to look at so many bicycles without being put in mind of the …

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Modernist Autumn – Martin Boyce Wins 2011 Turner Prize

In his winning entry for this year’s Turner Prize, Martin Boyce brings an autumnal park indoors and re-interprets it in classical modernist/constructivist terms. A large room, re-designed in every detail. White columns from which flows a designed ceiling of white shapes – “trees” with “leaves” and branches. The centrepiece is a table covered in graffiti …

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The Artist and the Land – Richard Long

Richard Long is one of the earliest and best known artists to engage in what has become known as ‘land art’. In an innovative way to engage with the land and the landscape, Long’s work is centred around lengthy walks in the countryside. His walks represent an exploration of the land and his relationship with …

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Why is environmentalism so unimportant? Thomas Hirschhorn at the Venice Biennale.

A couple of days of slogging hard through the Venice Biennale this year left one message – the environment doesn’t matter and neither do those concerned with ‘preserving’ it. I spent my days enjoying some wonderful art, being astonished by art that was bland or crass – or both – and looking for art that …

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Naked With Pigs – Miru Kim

“These industrial environments are so desensitizing in that you, even if you are an animal lover, become complacently accepting of the fact that the live beings are only raw materials for mass commodity production. This needs some serious questioning.” These are some of the thoughts of New York Based artist Miru Kim in relation to …

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Simple or Simplistic – The Works of Sanna Kannisto

I recently visited an exhibition of the work of Sanna Kannisto and bought the recently published book about her work. The work of this young Finnish artist is fascinating. It questions how, in order to understand and describe, science has to simplify and can never hope to capture the true complexity of life. The body …

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