In Focus Next Week: February 2 - 8

February 1, 2015

The first month of 2015 has passed, introducing the year with a set of exciting and interesting exhibitions, art events and fairs in the domain of both contemporary and urban art. Judging by the scene’s acceleration, February could only bring more, already seen in the first week of the month. Again, exhibitions to come are either innovative or historically important, introducing the public to the crucial moments in contemporary art or pushing novel expressions out of their shells. Art market, even before the March frenzy, is never silent, as two great art fair are scheduled for next week - the sixteenth edition of Art Rotterdam and a chapter of Affordable Art Fair in Brussels, both welcoming young and established collectors from around the globe. Europe is being really hip, with several urban art shows stretching from Vienna to Rome, while London and New York are all about the importance of art movements and influential personalities. We have selected five events in different cities across the West, which are not to be missed!

Art Rotterdam 2015

Opening: February 5

Van Nellefabriek

Rotterdam, Netherlands

...February will see the sixteenth edition of Art Rotterdam begin, set in the amazing location of The Van Nelle Factory, one of the most important industrial heritage monuments in the Netherlands and recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site, along with various exhibitions, pop-up shows, open studios and side fairs around the city that will be accessible by the free shuttle buses operating between the sites. Billed as a fair to discover up and coming artists, Art Rotterdam prides itself on being an alternative to the large international art fairs with a focus on presenting young artists in a diverse array of exhibitions. A vast amount of galleries will be represented at Art Rotterdam 2015...

Jana & JS

Forget the Outside

Opening: February 6

Inoperable Gallery

Vienna, Austria

...The new work by Jana & Js is an inquiry into the subject of alienation, that is, annihilation of the concept of community in the context of the semi abandoned urban housing projects and neglected industrial surroundings, and the ways people tend to reconnect to each other emotionally in the ever-changing cityscape. States of melancholy, loneliness and nostalgia are presented as built in into the very materialization of the concepts of progress and mass societies. They are inextricable parts of mass ways of living that we got used to ignore, by way of coping strategies. This work is also a commentary on the public outcry about violations of rights to anonymity and privacy that are supposed to secure values we care about such as bonds of love, intimacy, and trust. In fact there is nothing to be secured because those values are always already absent in the contemporary society...

On Kawara


Opening: February 6

Guggenheim Museum

New York, USA

...On Kawara is certainly one of the most famous Japanese contemporary artists. He had exhibitions in the most recognized galleries in the world. Guggenheim Museum is organizing a show with all the works Kawara is famous for. The visitors will have a chance to participate in a monumental work One million years, by reading the dates stretching one million years into the past and another million into the future, a form of performance already conducted in numerous places before. On Kawara died in 2014, and one year later Guggenheim is paying a tribute to this great artist with this grandiose exhibition...

A Strong Sweet Smell of Incense:

A Portrait of Robert Fraser

Opening: February 6

PACE Gallery

London, UK

...If we want to talk about the London cultural scene during the 1960s, it will mostly be about Robert Fraser. It all started in 1962, when he opened the first Robert Fraser Gallery in the British capital, quickly becoming a focal point for modern art in the country. Opening with an exhibition of works by Jean Dubuffet (whose paintings are currently being exhibited), the space helped launch and promote the works of many important new European and American artists, such as Peter Blake, Claes Oldenburg, Bridget Riley, Richard Hamilton,Gilbert and George, Harold Cohen, Eduardo Paolozzi, Andy Warhol, Jim Dine, Yves Klein and many others. Fraser was also friends with the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, for whom he designed the album cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was also the meeting point of all important figures belonging to music, art, popular culture and entertainment...

Sten Lex

Destroyed Matrices

Opening: February 7

Wunderkammern Gallery

Rome, Italy

...Show their Destroyed Matrices show at Wunderkammern, Sten Lex will present a brand new selection of works, made specifically for this occasion. They include wood pieces that either evoke those realized in the public space or that will be the foundation of new ideas for future works, and limited edition works on paper. Before the opening, the artists will produce several mural interventions as well as one big mural in Rome...

Featured images: Robert Fraser - courtesy of PACE Gallery, Sten Lex in Rome, On Kawara - courtesy of Guggenheim Museum, Jana & JS - courtesy of Inoperable Gallery, Art Rotterdam - courtesy of AR.

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