This year the arts have been subject to a double squeeze – big falls in business contributions to the arts (making the renewal of BP’s sponsorship deal with Tate even more contentious) coupled with the much documented cuts to funding from the public sector, despite this visitor numbers at galleries have remained stable, highlighting that there is still much to celebrate. Three new public galleries have opened to great success: the Hepworth in Wakefield, the Turner Contemporary in Margate, and Firstsite in Colchester, whilst White Cube opened a third space in October. Perhaps in relation to the Turner Prize at Baltic, Nicholas Serota noted an increase in appetite for contemporary art across the country, which should come as no surprise given the quality of exhibitions coming out of galleries at the moment. At Aesthetica, we have spent 2011 doing what we do best, but better. In November, we launched our film festival, ASFF to great success and to top it all off, we extended the current issue of the magazine to include over 100 pages of visual content.
This was a good year. We’ve racked our brains to choose our favourite exhibitions and features from the magazine in 2011:
Issue 39: February/March
Susan Hiler: The Collective Conscience
Issue 40: April/May
A Reaction to Globalised Production: Making is Thinking
15 international artists exhibit at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, in a ground-breaking exhibition exhibition that deciphers new meaning within the difference between making and thinking.
Issue 41: June/July
Transgressing Conventional Boundaries: Bruce Nauman
Kunsthalle Mannheim celebrates Bruce Nauman’s 70th birthday with a retrospective examining the artist’s fascinating body of work.
Issue 42: August/September
A Survey of the Postmodern: Postmodernism Style and Subversion 1970-1990
With 20 years hindsight, the V&A’s autumn blockbuster is the first major show to survey the visual products from the postmodern era.
Issue 43: October/November
Photophnompenh: 4th Edition, Various Locations
Cambodia, 26 November – 3 December
For the forth consecutive year, PPP will present a programme of 30 exhibitions that aim to increase the dialogue between Europe and Asia. As in previous years, there is no dominant theme to the festival, but a selection of exhibitions that provide a genuine discussion on ideas such as the visual environment of Phnom Penh, its architecture and landscape. In its representation of a broad spectrum of narratives, PPP offers a unique glimpse into contemporary Cambodia and how local and projected modes of artistic production form part of the wider global dialogue.
Issue 44: December/January
History In Context: Zarina Bhimji
The first major survey of three decades of Zarina Bhimji’s highly emotive work, and the premiere of her new film, Yellow Patch, opens at Whitechapel Gallery, London in January.
We hope you enjoy reading the Aesthetica Blog, if you want to explore more of the best in contemporary art and culture you should read us in print too. You can buy it today by calling +44(0)1904 479 168. Even better, subscribe to Aesthetica and save 20%. Go on, enjoy!
1. Susan Hiller
Tate © Susan Hiller, 2010. Courtesy Timothy Taylor Gallery, London
2. Eva Rothschild, SUPERNATURE, 2008
Courtesy of the artist & The Modern Institute / Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow
Installation photo Witte de With 2011: Bob Goedewaagen
3. Bruce Nauman
Double Poke In The Eye II 1985
Friedrich Christian Flick Collection in Hamburg Bahnhof. Photo by Stefan Altenburger, Zurich.
Courtesy of VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2011.
4. Arata Isozaki
Team Disney Building 1989-90
Photograph by Victoria Slater-Madert
5. Alexander Gronsky
From the series Edge 2008
Courtesy VU’la Galerie, Paris
6. Zarina Bhimji
Your Sadness is Drunk 2001-2006
Ilfochrome Ciba Classic pRINT
Courtesy the artist