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GUEST CURATOR BEN LEWIS
NEW PRINTS EDITIONS LAUNCHED NEXT WEEK

April 26th 2013
I was thrilled when Eyestorm invited me to curate an ongoing series of prints by artists who I thought would “last the distance”. I looked for artists whose work was original in its conception, serious in its ideas and brilliant in its visual form - art that would accumulate a rich patina of interest and allure over the next fifty years. My approach was straight-forward; not dial my friends, but contact artists who flew a little under the art market radar, whose work had both an instant impact and solid imaginative and theoretical foundations.

At times of a booming art market, the stars of the day, with their pumped up price-tags, are neither necessarily the best artists of the day, nor the ones who attract much attention half a decade later. We have seen this already in the noticeable market fluctuation of Damien Hirst. But the same lesson is there in the late nineteenth century art market, when the salons were full of now worthless classical muses and oriental bathhouses, while Cezanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh struggled to make a living. Great art has nothing to do with the casino of ideas and gimmicks that it has become. But that doesn't mean that great art is not being made today, and that it is colourful, immediate and entertaining.

My selection criteria were simple. Art should engage the eye and mind quickly - there are so many distractions on the planet, we should expect artists to work hard to grab our attention. Then, that moment should open the door to layers upon layers of ideas. And those ideas should do two things - talk to us about the world in which we are living now, and secondly ask some of the big philosophical questions about seeing, language and meaning, that art is so good at asking.

I picked artists whose work was brightly engaging, clever, witty and rigorous. I like off-the-cuff humour but I also like formal discipline, so all the artists I have selected here take you on a visually stimulating journey. You may begin with an unexpected moment of beauty. On the way a smile will cross your face, and at the end you may see the world in a slightly different way.

Over the next few weeks, Eyestorm and I will begin by unveiling new work by Adam Chodzko, Doug Fishbone and Lia Anna Hennig. I hope you enjoy them.

BEN LEWIS
Guest Curator

Ben Lewis is an award-winning documentary-film-maker and art critic. He has written for many leading British newspapers including the Financial Times, Telegraph, Observer, Die Welt and The Times, as well as international art journals. He wrote a monthly column on art for Prospect magazine 2004 - 2009 and was art critic for the Evening Standard 2007-2009, where he built a reputation for his lively and outspoken views.

Ben is probably best known however for “Art Safari”, his cult television series about contemporary artists which has been shown in the UK and all over Europe, and won a bronze at the New York Television Awards as well as the Grimme Prize in Germany in 2007. He is also known for his contributions to the BBC's Culture Show and for his fearless investigation of the contemporary art market in “The Great Contemporary Art Bubble” (2009), which was shown on the BBC and numerous other TV channels across the world, and screened at film festivals in Montreal, Vancouver, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Copenhagen and Derry.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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