ART BOOK CLUB
The Art of Feminism
By Lucinda Gosling, Hilary Robinson & Amy Tobin
Published by Tate Publishing, 2019
For the last two centuries, femininity, the female form and the role of the female has evolved, challenged and redefined its own existence whilst stimulating debate in every sector. Art moved from being a housewive's hobby and a vital skill for a lady's repertoire, perceived to be desirable in high society. Women in art & design have emerged from producing artwork whilst on the margins of society to share a centre stage.
In the last 50 years, at the forefront of feminist activism, in the 1960s - 70s, we saw women assert themselves as active subjects, participants and confident creatives with ambition. The art world has now lifted to new heights, finally giving recognition to the accomplishments of women.
The Art of Feminism echoes historic debates, contemporary views and leading voices on art and visual culture providing a global, western encyclopedia of the feminist aesthetic, considering its birth, youth, growth and future.
For an up-to-date and fascinating education on a topic that is central to contemporary, westernised society. The Art of Feminism is key to cross-generational social growth.
The Jam Factory is proud to promote diversity and inclusivity within every aspect. We believe the arts are an integral part to breaking barriers, celebrating diversity and giving a voice to all. We endeavour to ensure it is a safe space for sharing and educating through conversation, experience and art.
Art and creativity are powerful tools, as exemplified in The Art of Feminism, in cultivating an environment to enable discourse, and subsequent positive change and the artistry of many to flourish.
Reviewed by April Jackson
By Russel Tovey & Robert Diament
Published by LLEX Publishing, 2021
The phrase “There’s a podcast for that!” strikes again. The book Talk Art is the textual outcome of the global hit podcast by the same name. Founders and co-hosts, actor Russell Tovey and gallerist Robert Diament, launched their revolutionary platform with one agenda - To celebrate and influence inclusivity and accessibility within the art world. Sharing the notion, art is for all.
Since their podcast debut, the hosts have certainly done just that. By traveling far and wide, delving deep into the art world, and offering content from artists, curators and arts professionals featuring interviews and casual conversation and insight, the duo have brought art into the home, the car, the community, to the sofa and on the school run, with a single click of a button, swipe of a screen.
Talk Art, the book, is a glorious physical rendering of accessibility and relatability. Celebrating contemporary art and those associated with it. The guide-book-like catalogue explores the how and the why we interact with art today and it’s relevance. This dynamic duo have created a contemporary, visual map of the art world now, with an up-to-date audio-journey podcast to boot.
Features include known names such as Tracey Emin, Grayson Perry, Ian Mckellen and Elton John alongside newly discovered, emerging artists, gallerists, curators and writers.
Tovey & Diament’s conversational voyage, contemplating the magic of art and why it connects us all in such fantastic ways, is a great read for all creative thinkers and entrepreneurs.
Reviewed by April Jackson
A HISTORY OF PICTURES
By David Hockney and Martin Gayford
First Published by Thames & Hudson 2016, London
David Hockney is considered to be one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. Paired with Martin Gayford, a known art critic, who provides a depth of knowledge with regards to the history of painting. This collaboration provides an account of how we depict and have depicted our reality throughout time. The exploration of how we consume, make and understand pictures, from cave to computer screen, covers historical context, delves into culture across millennia and engages us as an invitee attending the art’s tea party between two friends and their art masters.
Placing numerous images within the framework of this text, Hockney and Gayford form a creative dialogue, exploring the ways that artists have depicted the world, sharing their insights and intuition.
At the Jam Factory we showcase artists' representations of their own unique experiences and the wider, contemporary climate, ultimately documenting and exploring art, the picture, today. In a similar context to this humble text our Annual Open Art Exhibition 2021, for example, with no specified theme, illustrates a wide span of artistic perspective and imagery, along with an acute aesthetic sensitivity. Thus, creating a unique dialogue and journey of our own through the picture, showcasing contemporary artwork now.
As a great source of knowledge and inspiration, this text offers useful insights into not only the history of art but the making of art. Both commentators draw from the masters such as Edgar Degas and Michaelangelo to deliver their own artistic experiences and opinions.
Overall, the text poses questions on the nature of why we create pictures and the impact they can hold. It traces the roots of visual language and technique, providing a celebration of one of our oldest impulses and forms of self-expression.
Reviewed by April Jackson & Rie Marsden
THE ART MUSEUM IN MODERN TIMES
By Charles Saumarez Smith
First Published by Thames & Hudson 2021, London
The restrictions implemented as a result of Covid-19 altered the way that we experienced art. Public institutions, galleries and art centres remained absent of the viewers that were essential to the regenerative cycle of art invention, experimentation and collaboration.
This transformed our standardised exhibition framework. Forcing artists and creative thinkers to let go of what were contemporary modes of display, turning to digital platforms or outdoor venues.
Charles Saumarez Smith’s, The Art Museum in Modern Times, could not be more relevant at this time. Though it is a detailing of the 'pre-Covid museum landscape', as James Bradburne has expressed in his endorsement of the text, 'there are few people as perfectly suited to give an overview'.
Saumarez Smith's expertise on the infrastructure of artistic institutions, having had a directorial role in three predominant establishments, details how one's experience of art is influenced largely by the constructs of the space within which it is presented. Smith also traces art’s radical progression from a position that art institutions should direct and educate it’s viewers, to the belief that these structures should focus on designating a space for individual contemplation.
In recent years, the museum and exhibition model, though historically rigid in its traditionalism, has shown an energised capacity for adaptation. Through Smith’s compelling journey to understand the experiences of art and the structures of which it occupies, we ask ourselves the questions of, what might the future of art museums hold in an era of unpredictability? and what role we, as viewers, spectators and facilitators of art, might play in the notable and revolutionary evolution of art institutions to come?
Reviewed by April Jackson & Rie Marsden