Studio Voltaire OPEN: 2015, Selected by Cory Arcangel and Hanne Mugaas

Studio Voltaire’s first open submission exhibition was held in 2004, since then we have hosted seven open exhibitions with a changing panel, made up of artists, writers and curators. Studio Voltaire OPEN: 2015 was a more focused group exhibition than in previous years.

This exhibition brought together twelve artists chosen from an open submission process. Selectors were attracted to those with a strong identity, unique voice and often-idiosyncratic methods. The Studio Voltaire OPEN is a testament to our commitment to foster new talent, support diversity and give opportunity to emerging practices.

“We are two of Studio Voltaire’s biggest fans, and therefore, we were honored to be invited as selectors for this year’s Studio Voltaire OPEN! We would like to thank all the artists who submitted their works – there were many great submissions, and it was very inspiring and a lot of fun to go through everything! The exhibition that is the result of our selections consists of our favorite artworks – works we instantly loved. There is no agenda, theme, or obvious link between them. Basically, we selected artworks that really popped out to us – works that we would like to live with in our own home. You might recognize vague patterns – hints of this and that – maybe like scents. But that’s it. �� – Cory Arcangel and Hanne Mugaas

Previous selectors have included Enrico David, Linder, Mike Nelson, Rebecca Warren, Stuart Comer (MoMA), Jenni Lomax (Camden Arts Centre) and Catherine Wood (Tate). Past selected artists have included Sara Barker, Pablo Bronstein, Laura Aldridge, Jimmy Merris and Anthea Hamilton.

SV 15 artists:

Jemima Brown

Blue Curry

Luey Graves

Evan Ifekoya

Nnena Kalu

Nigel Kingsbury

Rafaela Lopez & Georgia Rene Worms

Christian Ovonlen

Hayley Silverman

Claudia Williams

Zadie Xa

About Artists

Jemima Brown

Jemima Brown (b. 1971) graduated from an MA at Chelsea School of Art in 1995, since then she has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. Through the construction of sculptural and mixed media assemblages, her work examines the intersection of personal and political histories, suggested narrative and social critique. Her works use manipulations of scale, surface and materials to disrupt and highlight interpretations of primarily female cultural identities – from Hollywood starlets to Greenham Common women.

Blue Curry

Blue Curry (b. 1974) is a London based artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation. Using his own idiosyncratic language of objects and commonplace materials he engages with themes of exoticism, tourism,

cultural commodification and authenticity. He participated in the 6th Liverpool Biennial, the SITE Santa Fe Biennial as well as group shows at P.P.O.W Gallery, New York, The Art Museum of the Americas, Washington DC, the Fondation Clément, Martinique and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. He had his first institutional solo show Stranger than Paradise at the Nassauischer Kunstverein, Germany in 2011 and is currently showing a new commissioned work for the Jamaica Biennial. He obtained his MFA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College.

Gaia Fugazza

Gaia Fugazza (b. 1985, Milan) combines painting and performance to explore human action in relation to the built and natural environment. Testing the notion of art making as a continuous process adaptable to shifting personal contexts. After studying for a BA at Brera Academy in Milan, she participated in the Mountain School of Arts in Los Angeles. From 2007 to 2010 Gaia was involved in the art collective La Générale en Manufacture in Paris. She now works and lives in London with her husband and two young children.

Luey Graves

Luey Graves (b.1987) lives and works in London. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, graduating in 2009 and at the Royal Academy Schools from 2009-2012. Upon graduating from the Royal Academy Schools, she was awarded the Gordon Luton prize for painting by the Worshipful Company of Painters and Stainers. She also received the Richard Ford Travel Award, a month’s residency at the Prado Museum, Madrid. From 2012-2013, she held the Land Securities Studio Residency at the Bow Arts Trust. Recent exhibitions include: Image/Object at Furini Contemporary, Rome in 2013, Semblances at the Horatio Jr, London in 2013 and Symbolic Logic, Identity Art, Hong Kong in 2014.

Evan Ifekoya

Evan Ifekoya (b. 1988) is an interdisciplinary artist, exploring the politicisation of culture, society and aesthetics. Her work is made up of appropriated material from historical archives and contemporary society. By ‘queerying’ popular imagery and utilising the props of everyday life, she aims to destroy the aura of preciousness surrounding art. With her critical approach to technology, Evan explores how it mediates our lives permeate throughout the work. Performance is approached with the same sensibility by including elements of how we express ourselves digitally today. Social media and mobile technology act as co-performers in the live event. Recent exhibitions include 30 years of the Future at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester. Recent performances have taken place at ngbk Berlin, Iniva, Ovalhouse Theatre and Rich Mix, London, as well as The Marlborough, Brighton.

Nnena Kalu

Nnena Kalu (b. 1966, Glasgow) has developed work at Action Space since 1999. Kalu is a prolific and versatile artist, using a wide range of materials and techniques. She wraps, binds and collages materials together to create raw artworks with an instinctive confidence. Her style is obsessive and determined with the underlying approach of a systematic layering. As a result, Kalu’s work is constantly evolving, with each piece never really being finished. Kalu has exhibited at the Pump House Gallery, Royal Festival Hall and Bermondsey Project. She has also created installations for the Wandsworth Arts Festival each year since 2010 binding her large-scale sculptures into empty shops and market spaces.

Nigel Kingsbury

Nigel Kingsbury (b. 1949) is fascinated with a female figure and form. He has worked at the Action Space studio at Studio Voltaire for over 10 years and produced images of women since his 20s. In 2013 Kingsbury was selected for the Outside In National exhibition and awarded his 1st solo show Loves Nigel at the Pallant House Gallery in 2014. Kingsbury’s drawing Woman was acquired for their permanent collection. Also in 2014 Kingsbury was awarded his 2nd solo exhibition Nigel Loves at the Julian Hartnoll Gallery. Kingsbury has also exhibited at The Museum of Everything, Festival Hall, Pump House Gallery and Shape Arts.

Rafaela Lopez

Rafaela Lopez (b. 1988) lives and works in London and Paris. Rafaela Lopez has studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris (ENSAD), Chelsea College of Art & Design and is graduated from the Villa Arson (Nice). She is currently in 2nd year of MA at the Sculpture Department of the Royal College of Art (London). Her work has been exhibited in Flat Time House, Le Centquatre, Salon de Montrouge, Centre National d’Art Contemporain de la Villa Arson, Paul Smith, Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Bosse & Baum… Lopez also organizes collective projects where she invites participants to work in unusual frameworks. In 2014, she organized the performance Sculpture Synchronisée with Georgia René-Worms. Christian Ovonlen is a member of the art collective, Intoart. Since joining the Intoart studio in 2013,

Christian Ovonlen

Christian Ovonlen has developed work that responds to his interest in colour, place and people. The work selected for SV Open forms part of a larger body of work studying the China Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Hayley Aviva Silverman

Hayley Aviva Silverman (b. 1986) received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2008 in Interdisciplinary Sculptural Studies. Her work has been presented at the Venice Biennale, the Swiss Institute, and the Queens Museum of Art. Her work has been published in the New Museum’s Younger than Jesus Artist Directory and has been written about in Gene McHugh’s Post Internet, which described her videos as pre-intellectual, presensational sensuality harmonizing with sculptural forms.

Claudia Williams

Claudia Williams (b.1960) creates sets of drawings exploring a variety of themes including food, lights, people, churches and music. She is prolific, frequently producing up to twenty drawings a day to fully explore, develop and work through an idea. Williams often combines themes, fusing popular games with names of musicians, shop signs and song titles. Writing is a vital element in Williams’ work. She always writes her name and the date the work was created, as well as frequently including song lyrics and names of particular singers. Often her notes and written ideas merge together creating intriguing titles for work. Williams joined Action Space in 2013 and in 2014 exhibited as part of the Wandsworth Arts Festival. Studio Voltaire OPEN: 2015 is Claudia’s first exhibition in a contemporary art gallery.

Zadie Xa

Zadie Xa (b.1983, Vancouver) is a London based artist whose work explores identity, desire and personal fantasy. Zadie completed an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art in 2014 and a BFA from Emily Carr University 2007. Previous shows include: Figuratively Speaking, curated by Marcelle Joseph Projects,heike moras art, London, (2015); Frosted and Defrosted, curated by Taylor LeMelle, Albion 44, London (2014); Inoperative Mythology, Blyth Gallery, Imperial College, London (2014); Premio Ibercaja Pintura Joven 2010, Centro Cultural Ibercaja Guadalajara, Centro Cultural Ibercaja Huesca, Museo Camon Aznar, Zaragoza, Spain (2011); Premio Ibercaja Pintura Joven 2010, Fundación Fran Daurel de Barcelona, Museo Maeztu de Estella, Navarra, Spain (2010); and My Skin is Dark but My Heart is White (solo), La Fresh Gallery, Madrid, Spain (2010).

About Selectors

Cory Arcangel

Cory Arcangel (b.1978, Buffalo, New York) is an American post-conceptual artist who makes work in many different media, including drawing, music, video, performance art, and video game modifications, for which he is best known. He received a BM from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 2000. He is the youngest artist since Bruce Nauman to have been given a full floor solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2011). Arcangel has had major exhibitions at Art Projects Ibiza, Spain, with Olia Lialina (2017); Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland (2015); Espace Louis Vuitton München, Munich, Germany (2015); Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark, Copenhagen (2014); Fondation DHC/Art, Montreal, Canada (2013); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA, USA (2013); Barbican Art Gallery, London, UK (2011); Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany (2010); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL, USA (2010).

Hanne Mugaas

Hanne Mugaas is the director and curator of Kunsthall Stavanger. She used to run the gallery Art SInce the Summer of ’69 in New York, and has worked on projects at the Guggenheim museum and MoMA.

Image credit

Studio Voltaire OPEN: 2015, 2015. Installation View, Studio Voltaire, London. Courtesy of the artists and Studio Voltaire, London. Photo: Andy Keate.