A brush with...

10/5/2021

A brush with... Thomas J Price

Season 6, Ep. 4
Thomas J Price talks to Ben Luke about the art, books and music that have influenced him and continue to inspire them today, and the cultural epiphanies that have defined his life and work. For two decades, Price has been making work about a subject that has now become a major cultural issue across the world: how power is transmitted through statuary and public sculpture and how diverse people in society are represented, or mostly not represented, in our streets and squares. Price was born in London in 1981, and studied at Chelsea College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London, and his works ask questions of the nature and history of his medium and of the perceptions and biases of the viewer. He talks about his early shift away from performance art, his long journey into the history of classical statuary, his passion for Alberto Giacometti and Giorgio Morandi, his early love of opera and his conflicted engagement with the British Museum. Plus, he ponders the questions we ask all our guests, about his studio rituals and the one work of art he’d choose to live with, and answers the ultimate one: what is art for? This episode is sponsored byBloomberg Connects.Thomas J Price: Thoughts Unseen, Hauser & Wirth, Somerset, UK, until 3 January 2022. Witness, for the Studio Museum in Harlem’s inHarlem series, Marcus Garvey Park, New York, until 1 October 2022. Reaching Out has just been permanently installed at the Donum Estate, Sonoma, California. Price’s work for the Hackney Windrush Art Commission, will be unveiled in June 2022.
9/21/2021

A brush with... Tacita Dean

Season 6, Ep. 2
Ben Luke talks to Tacita Dean, whose 16mm and 35mm films, drawings on blackboard, photogravures, collages, sound works and found object pieces form one of the most poetic bodies of work in contemporary art. Dean was born in 1965 in Canterbury in the UK, but for most of her life as an artist has lived outside of Britain, first in Berlin, which has provided the location for some of her most compelling works, and now between the German capital and Los Angeles. As the three-venue group of museum shows she had in London in 2018 proved, Dean has a deep engagement with the traditional genres of art, making numerous moving portraits on film, as well as stirring and lyrical works exploring landscape, seascape and cityscape. Although film is her primary medium, her works are intimately connected in form and content. Her films regularly have a distinctive painterly quality, evoke the process of collage, and relate directly to her drawings. In this podcast she talks about her love of film as a medium, the pioneering techniques she uses, her encounters with the work of Giotto, with Cy Twombly and Julie Mehretu, and the influence of writers including WG Sebald and JG Ballard. She also discusses her work for The Dante Project, a new production at the Royal Opera House in London with choreography by Wayne McGregor and music by Thomas Adès, for which she has provided the costumes and set designs.Plus, she responds to the ultimate questions we ask all our guests: if you could live with just one work of art what would it be? And what is art for? This episode is sponsored byBloomberg Connects.
9/14/2021

A brush with... Philippe Parreno

Season 6, Ep. 1
Philippe Parreno talks to Ben Luke in depth about his cultural experiences and influences. A master of exhibition-making, Parreno was born in 1964 in Oran, Algeria, but grew up Grenoble in France. Ever since he emerged in the 1990s, he has used the spaces he shows in and the immediate environment around them as an active presence in his work. Architectural elements in the gallery might be animated at certain moments, lighting might flicker according to scores we don’t see, screens might descend to show examples of Philippe’s diverse video works, at unexpected times. Often these actions are triggered by hidden environmental forces that Philippe harnesses as data to orchestrate his shows.He talks about his close network of collaborators, the group shows they put on early in their careers, his interest in science fiction, his new work about Francisco de Goya's Black Paintings, his aim to make a film about Mary Shelley's Frankenstein from the monster's point of view, and the unlikely experience of getting Angus Young from AC/DC to contribute to one of his works. Plus, he responds to the ultimate questions we ask on each podcast: if he could live with just one work of art, what would it be? And, what is art for? This episode is sponsored byBloomberg Connects.Links for this episode:Philippe Parreno at Pilar CorriasDanny/No More Reality at LUMA ArlesJaron Lanier, computer scientist, composer, artist and authorDominique Gonzalez-Foerster, artist, at Esther SchipperGottfried Wilhelm Leibniz in the Stanford Encyclopaedia of PhilosophyPier Paolo Pasolini biography on BFI websiteDaniel Buren, artistPeter Plagens on Michael Asher in Artforum in 1972Goya's Black Paintings in the Museo del PradoSchatten/Le Montreur d'Ombres/Warning Shadows at IMDbFiona Sampson on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at 200The Year Without a Summer on the In Our Time podcastAdam Thirlwell at Granta, and his book Conversation: A Script with Philippe ParrenoPierre Huygh, artist, at Marian Goodman GalleryDanny the Street at DC ComicsNathalie Heinich on Les Immatériaux, exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in 1985 in Tate PapersAuthor Kenric MacDowell’s Pharmako-AIPhilippe Parreno’s Federico, initially made for the Lorca’s family home, the Huerta de San Vicente in GranadaNeal Stephenson, authorMarko Nikodijević, composer, at sikorski.deAngus Young on SpotifyDmitri Shostakovich, Fugue no24 in D MinorRobert Filliou, artist, at Peter Freeman, Inc
8/17/2021

A brush with... Glenn Ligon

Season 5, Ep. 4
Glenn Ligon talks to Ben Luke about the artists, writers, musicians and other cultural figures who inspire and intrigue him, and the pivotal cultural moments in his life. Born in the Bronx, New York, in 1960, Ligon works across various media, from painting to film and neon, and primarily uses text and found images to produce powerful ruminations on contemporary politics, culture and African American identity. Despite the array of media he uses, Ligon’s work is hugely consistent in its language and subject matter, with an economy and directness of form allied to a capacity for rich ambiguity and diverse meaning. Ligon joins us as he prepares to show the epic conclusion to his series Stranger, which he started in 1997, featuring excerpts from James Baldwin’s 1953 essay, Stranger in the Village, in which the American writer uses his experiences in a remote Swiss village to reflect on the nature of Blackness and the embeddedness of white supremacy, among much else. In this conversation, he discusses Baldwin and the Stranger series, along with other writers, from Gertrude Stein and Charles Dickens to Toni Morrison. He talks about his visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to draw Cézanne as a teenager, the depth and enduring power of Andy Warhol’s work and the abiding influence of David Hammons. He reflects on his musical references, from Steve Reich to Stevie Wonder, and on his interest in Korean ceramics. And, of course, he answers the questions we ask all our guests, about his daily rituals, the cultural experience that changed his view of the world and, ultimately, what art is for. This episode is sponsored by ARTIKA.Glenn Ligon: First Contact is at Hauser & Wirth, Zürich, 17 September-23 December and a big show of his work opens at Hauser & Wirth in New York on 10 November. A new publication from Hauser & Wirth Publishers is out this autumn. A show at the Carré d’Art in Nîmes, France, opens in 2022.Links for this episode:Glenn Ligon StudioGlenn Ligon: First Contact at Hauser & Wirth, ZurichJames Baldwin interview in the Paris Review and Collected Essays, edited by Toni Morrison, including the collection Notes of a Native Son, in which Stranger in the Village featuresCézanne at the Metropolitan Museum of ArtCézanne Drawing at the Museum of Modern ArtAndy Warhol's Shadows at Dia BeaconCalvin Tomkins on David Hammons in the New Yorker and Glenn Ligon’s text on Hammons, Black Light: David Hammons’s Poetics of EmptinessLite Brite NeonThree Lives by Gertrude SteinWillem de Kooning's Pirate (Untitled II) (1981) at the Museum of Modern ArtRobert Mapplethorpe at the Mapplethorpe Foundation and Glenn Ligon's Notes on the Margin of the Black Book at the Guggenheim MuseumStudio Museum, HarlemWhitney Museum of American ArtWhite porcelain “moon jar” at the British MuseumRaku MuseumExtract from Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man at penguin.co.ukZora Neale Hurston official siteToni Morrison Society and audiobooks narrated by Toni Morrison at AudibleÉdouard Glissant at Global Social TheoryStuart Hall FoundationCharles Dickens's Tale of Two CitiesDeForrest Brown Jr as Speaker Music at bandcampWNYC New York public radioDon Cherry on SpotifySonny Sharrock on SpotifyAphex Twin on SpotifyChrissie Hynde on the Pretenders’ I’ll Stand by YouJessye Norman on Spotify and Jessye Norman singing Richard Strauss's Vier Letzte Lieder/Four Last SongsSteve Reich’s Come Out on Spotify and a Pitchfork article on the piece and the Harlem SixStevie Wonder on Spotify and a link Music of My Mind, which came out when Glenn Ligon was 11 years oldUncle Tom's Cabin by Thomas Edison and Edwin Porter at the University of Virginia’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin multimedia archive, Death of Tom by Glenn LigonJason Moran official site
8/10/2021

A brush with... Alberta Whittle

Season 5, Ep. 3
Alberta Whittle talks to Ben Luke about her influences in art, books, music and other media and the cultural experiences that have shaped her life and work. Over the last few years, Whittle has emerged as one of the most striking new voices in contemporary British art, especially with her collaborative film installations focusing on battling anti-blackness.Born in 1980 in Bridgetown on the Caribbean island of Barbados, Whittle moved to Birmingham in the UK as a teenager before studying at the Glasgow School of Art—she still lives in Glasgow today but spends some of her time in Barbados. This relationship between her native Caribbean and her Scottish hometown have informed her work from the start, in terms of exploring her own identity and its connection with the histories of colonialism, slavery and systemic racism. Whittle's acclaimed films are a collage of disparate moving images, including found archival material, footage shot on an iPhone and extraordinary performances filmed in beautiful high definition, among other things. In this conversation, she explains her instinct to collaborate with performers, artists and writers, reflects on her love of the art of Frida Kahlo and Hilma af Klint, among many others, and discusses the music she adores, by artists as diverse as Dancehall queen Patra and the late opera singer Jessye Norman. Plus, she answers our usual questions, including the ultimate one: what is art for? This episode is sponsored by ARTIKA.Links for this episodeAlberta WhittleShows:Alberta Whittle: Reset at Jupiter Artlandbusiness as usual: hostile environment at Glasgow Sculpture StudiosLife Support at Glasgow Women’s LibrarySonia Boyce’s exhibition In the Castle of My Skin at MIMA, MiddlesboroughBritish Art Show 9Life Between Islands: Caribbean-British Art 1950s-Now at Tate BritainSex Ecologies at Kunsthal TrondheimScotland + VeniceDiscussed in the interview:The Guardian newspaper’s reporting on the Windrush scandalFrida Kahlo at Tate Modern, 2005—room guideLouise Bourgeois at The Easton FoundationChris Ofili at David ZwirnerDenzil Forrester at Stephen Friedman GalleryHilma af Klint FoundationTramway, GlasgowFruitmarket, EdinburghDundee Contemporary Arts (DCA)Transmission, GlasgowMaryhill Integration NetworkApartheid Museum, JohannesburgCry Freedom on Amazon PrimeKamau Brathwaite at the Poetry FoundationChristina Sharpe’s In the Wake: On Blackness and BeingDionne Brand at Penguin Random HouseEdwidge Danticat’s Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at WorkJessye Norman’s Spirituals on Spotify and her Spotify pageTumi Mogorosi’s Project ELO on Spotify and his Spotify pagePatra’s Spotify pageAlberta Whittle’s blog about her Fresh Milk residency in Barbados, including the fete postersMax Roach and Abbey Lincoln perform Tears For Johannesburg & Triptych (Prayer, Protest)Constantin Brancusi’s Endless Column at the World Monuments FundAlberta Whittle’s "accomplices":Sekai MachacheMele BroomesMatthew Arthur WilliamsChristian Noelle CharlesAma Josephine BudgeYves B GoldenAnushka NaanayakkaraSabrina HenryRichy CareyBasharat Khan