2011 May 17
What would a revered gallerist, a mosaic legend, and a famous art critic look for in judging mosaic art? This is a question we sought to answer with the Exhibition in Print 2011 sponsored by LATICRETE.
To that end, MAN 2011 readers now have the opportunity to see which judges selected which artists and why. The selections were made entirely independent of one another – Bernice Steinbaum of the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery created one section of the Exhibition and the team of Emma Biggs and Matthew Collings another – and the jurors wrote specifically about the artists they selected.
We also broke the mold by asking our jurors to select artists based upon three submitted works accompanied by indepth artist statements and work descriptions – all of which are found in the magazine.
The result? The Exhibition in Print 2011 is more than a tasty smorgasbord of single mosaic images, it is carefully curated, thoroughly satisfying eight-course mosaic meal.
Last week on the MAN blog, we took a quick look at the selections of Bernice Steinbaum, PhD of the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in Miami, FL. Today, we’ll look at the picks of Emma Biggs and Matthew Collings.
For the past 20+ years, Emma Biggs has consistently blazed new trails into and opened thinking about the possibilities of contemporary mosaic as fine art.
In 1987, she established the Mosaic Workshop in London taking on public and private commissions with enormous success. While honoring the age-old traditions, Biggs began to use the medium in a uniquely modernist way – exploring the concepts of andamento, pattern and color in the creation of complex, visually stunning work filled with carefully selected imagery.
In the succeeding years, while continuing to push mosaic’s artistic boundaries, Biggs also become one of the art form’s most sought-after teachers – she is Senior Tutor in Mosaic at West Dean college and conducts additional workshops around the world. Her books, including the best-selling Encyclopedia of Mosaic Techniques are considered “must haves” in mosaic libraries.
In 2009, Biggs collaborated with her husband, Matthew Collings, in the creation of a ground-breaking installation – Five Sisters, at York St Mary’s, York.
“What we’re trying to do with Five Sisters is expose the link between history, beauty and work — making an enormous recycling project not just literally with broken or fragmented forms, but exposing the historical fragments of ideas that underlie the way all of us see, and think.”
Matthew Collings is a well-known artist, writer and critic who is valued for his candor and “sneakily intelligent style” in talking about all art, both historic and contemporary. One could say he is the UK’s Jerry Saltz, challenging accepted art world norms in a way that is both smart and approachable for the uninitiated. His film “What is Beauty?” aired on the BBC2 in November 2009. He is currently working on a major series about the Renaissance also for BBC2. Collings has written numerous articles and several books including “This is Modern Art” and “This is Civilization.” We highly recommend his Facebook page.
Here, then, are the Exhibition in Print 2011 selections of Biggs & Collings.
Please bear in mind that this is but a representative portion of the Exhibition in Print as it appears in MAN 2011. We readily admit that much of the exciting dynamics of the Exhibit – most notably context as it relates to both the Exhibition as a whole and the intent of individual artists – is lost within this limited space. In the magazine, four pages are devoted to three works by each artist and are accompanied by in-depth Artist Statements and Descriptions of each work.
We highly recommend that you click on the images for larger and more detailed views. All photographs are by the artist unless otherwise noted.
Effective image making is an enquiry, often experimental. It could result in a humorous or ironic proposal. It could be deeply serious. It is possible to combine humour and serious intent. For MAN’s Exhibition in Print, Matthew and I selected work we felt was genuinely exploratory, in which the outcome of the experiment was unknown to the maker when he or she began. We think our selection combines playfulness with observation and expertise, which is not to say it is constrained by technique. in fact, it is the careful balance of the free and the unfree that makes these works so enjoyable.
Biggs & Collings Best In Show Artist: Jo Braun, USA
Note: Ms Kanawy was selected for the EIP 2011 by both Ms. Steinbaum and Biggs & Collings.
Ilana Shafir, Israel
Note: The Exhibition in Print was a huge labor of love for Bill Buckingham, Michael Welch, and myself. We are, quite frankly, damned proud of it. It has always been the purpose of MAN to promote the art form as one equal to the other media referred to as “fine art.” With the 36 pages devoted to the Exhibition in Print and additional stories about artists working at the top of their field, we think the 2011 edition of the magazine is a strong embassador for the emerging brilliance of the contemporary mosaic scene.
To order your copy of Mosaic Art NOW 2011, click here.
Enjoy – Nancie
Emma Biggs www.emmabiggsmosaic.net
Matthew Collings www.emmabiggsandmatthewcollings.net or Matthew Collings on Facebook
Jo Braun www.jo-braun.com
Cynthia Fisher www.bigbangmosaics.com
Mona Magdi Kenawy www.mona-kenawy.com
Ilana Shafir www.shafirart.com