Saturday, 31 January 2015


Miroslav Pomichal (2013) Mismatched Couple

Back for its 65th anniversary is the 2014/15 class of Bloomberg New Contemporaries. Situated in the ICA for the fifth year in a row after a stint in Liverpool this year's selectors were artists Marvin Gaye Chetwynd (note the date this post was published Marvin may have opted for a name change in the time it takes to write and then publish this post), Enrico David and Goshka Macuga. Selected from 1400 submissions the works don't just offer a flavour of the selectors tastes, although there is a presence of Chetwynd lingering across the exhibition. 

It was awesome to see some etchings by Jane Stobart present - printmaking seems to get a bit of a rough ride in contemporary art. I put this mostly down to printmaking being knocked back by craft and kept back in the era of Rembrandt by those willing to spend days filing the edges of a rather nice zinc plate. Also I believe the wonderful world of the art market may have left its mark on print - with the very nature of print being inherently commercial and reproducible, however if commercialism were to be a detrimental effect on art then the likes of Hirst and co. would be doomed. 

This years exhibition offers an array of forms, approaches and mediums, a highlight of which has to be the home-made playdough present in Emily Motto's work. Tied up with colour like the neon playdough is if you meander over past the Fox reading room, Alice Hartley's piece We're All Very Disappointed curiously reproduced and plastered across a wall with a set of doors its intriguing how the work is changed when you can literally pass through the work.

Onwards and upwards to upstairs past the angry fox Reynard in the work of Matt Copson to a room filled with televisions lined up like the likes of shopping experience viewers are encourage to pause and engage. However, unfortunately as is the case with most video/films placed in the gallery environment the viewer is fixed to a projection or LCD screen/monitor and is tethered by clunky headphones. Sat working my way through the televisions on plinths (I mean installations of course) I could see other visitors straining to listen yet refraining from using the headphones. Fear not headphone phobes, ICA have uploaded all the video/film works featured in the exhibition in a handy playlist which you can view at the end of this blog post.

All in all the exhibition offered an exciting snap shot into the work being produced in art schools across the UK. I was reminded frequently by the occasionally angst ridden rejected visitor to the gallery of the fierce competition to be selected for the exhibition who passed confused comments and annoyed sighs. As is the case these days the exhibition was percolated with the offspring of the London lot, however it was refreshing to see a sprinkling of students work from the likes of Falmouth and other lands far from London.

Imran Perretta (2014) I Cannot Remember My Mother 

Andrea Medjesi-Jones (2014) Operaio 1 and 2 [Aluminium pigment and acrylic on canvas]

Marilia Stagkouraki (2013) The Dog

Ebrel Moore (2013) Jesus Fat (detail) 

Alice Hartley (2013) We're All Very Disappointed

Matthew Copson (2013) Reynard

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