Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Artes Mundi

The National Museum in Cardiff plays host to work from 8 artists all over the world.
A £40,000 prize is up for grabs in one of the biggest arts competitions to be held in the U.K. Artes Mundi has arrived.

The 8 finalists are Adrian Paci, Fernando Bryce, Ergin Cavusoglu, Olga Chernysheva, Chen Chien-jen, Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev and Yael Bartana. The winner will be announced on May 19th, so watch this contemporary arts space.

When you walk through the door of the exhibition it’s bright, airy and seemingly normal.
But do not be fooled into this false sense of security, as Artes Mundi is anything but normal. The work that greets you is that of Fernando Bryce. A compelling collection of ink print pictures that are hung on three walls. Bryce uses the theme of print media and how it depicts and moulds society. By using this simple style and bold images his work becomes extremely emotive. The sheer number of pictures that are hung so tightly on the wall suggests the strong influence the media has. I particularly liked his work because on face value it’s extremely subtle but his message is powerful.

After this interesting introduction into contemporary art, Artes Mudi becomes a cavern of cinema and pictures. Walking through the many chambers becomes somewhat maze like. You never know what surprise you are going to get around each corner.

The other work that really caught my eye is that of Gulnari Kasmalieva and Muratbek Djumaliev. As well as a short film they pair produced some brilliant artwork. The bold use of colour and simple designs captured my curiosity as I found myself gazing at the prints for a long time. By describing the art as ‘simple’ I do not want to imply that the images were primitive because they certainly weren’t. There was a lot going on in all of the pictures, lots to catch your eye, the design is simple but the content complex, contemporary art at it’s finest.

So some advice, go and have a look for yourself. Not only is it showcasing international talent, it’s providing inspiration for Welsh Artists. Coming soon I’ll have the thoughts of one that I met at the opening.

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