Birth, Death, Power, and Place
Welcome to your May edition of Signified
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Announcing the May exhibition at : six : shot : gallery
Michael Powell on ‘Calder Folk’
I create illustrations, poems, and stories which often feature alternative worlds made up of mythic and hybrid creatures, inspired by a love of story, folklore, mythology, and the natural world. I also like to make use of found and discarded objects to create illustrative installations within both derelict and forgotten spaces as well as on gallery walls…
Recently published in Signifier:
Revealing Evil — The Visual Zygosis of John Heartfield
The political potential of photomontage was pioneered by three prominent members of the Berlin Dada group. During the First World War, Helmut Herzfeld, George Grosz, and Hannah Höch were experimenting with arranging photographic elements sourced from advertising, newspapers, journals, and pamphlets, thus synthesising selected images to create new meanings. This was also the first melding of art and activism…
The Joys of Spring: Botticelli’s Primavera
Sandro Botticelli’s Primavera is among the most famous and analysed paintings of the Renaissance. A beautiful evocation of Spring, it depicts over 500 different plant species and 190 different flowers within its mythical orange grove setting. It is also emblematic of the powerful Medici family of Florentine Bankers that encouraged a different flowering — of Classical Knowledge, of Neoplatonism, energising the development of European…
Paul Klee: Abstraction of Place
One could tell, from his sense of visual rhythm, that Paul Klee trained as a musician before enrolling at Munich’s Academy of Fine Art. This fusion of musical sensibilities and visual expression encouraged him to explore colour and line as compositional elements in much the same way as a musician uses notes, tempo, tone, and volume in compositions. This would later provide conceptual common ground with his fellow Blue Riders…
From the archives of Signifier, May 2020:
Lust for Life
The ‘Graveyard School’ artists of the Victorian Gothic Revival were the spin-doctors of Death. By the mid-1800s, the Industrial Revolution was driving global change at an unprecedented rate. New technologies were rapidly changing the human way of life. In times of turmoil and uncertainty, people often seek solace in the certain and permanent. As Benjamin Franklin famously pointed out, “ in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death …and taxes...”
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