London, Cork Street

Artist of the Day
Archive

24 June - 6 July 2024
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Overview

To commemorate the 25th Artist of the Day, this presentation spotlights artists and works included in previous editions of Artist of the Day. Featuring a diverse range of media and content, since 1983 Artist of the Day has reflected a wide dialogue on contemporary art.

Video

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Film by Sam Campbell with narration from Matthew Flowers, 2024

Juno Calypso (b. 1989) was selected to be an Artist of the Day in 2015 by photographer Tom Hunter.  While studying at the London College of Communication, Calypso, who works with photography, film and installation, began to photograph herself as an alter-ego, Joyce. Joyce became a caricature of women struggling against the feminist ideal, always photographed alone with a glazed, almost lifeless expression.

The Honeymoon Suite images were shot by Calypso in motel rooms across the US, exploring intimacy, monogamy, femininity and marriage. Challenging the reality of womanhood, Calypso posed as a travel writer as she stayed in love-themed suites, equipped with wigs and lingerie as she staged a series of solitary self-portraits. 

I chose Juno as my Artist of the Day for her truly original and disturbing vision of herself and feminine identity. I first came across Juno's work at her photography degree show at the LCC, when she graduated in 2012. Even though I lecture there I had never met or taught Juno, and it was a complete shock to see her work at the final show. Her version of femininity is startling, strange and compulsive, a mixture of Stepford Wives and Cindy Sherman. Her vision is something that I would love to be able to share with a wider audience and Flowers gallery is the perfect place for this. - Tom Hunter, 2015

At the time of her AOTD exhibiion, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye was 27 and had received an MA from the Royal Academy Schools two years prior. A British artist of Ghanian heritage, her work depicts fictional figures, ambiguous in their context. Shortlisted for the 2013 Turner Prize and the 2018 recipient of the Carnegie Prize, Yiadom-Boakye is represented in significant public collections and has exhibited extensively internationally, with solo museum shows including the touring exhibition Fly in League with the Night, organised by Tate Britain where it was originally presented in 2020 and again in 2022/23, and No Twilight Too Mighty at the Guggenheim, Bilbao, 2023.

Nicola Hicks selected by Dame Elisabeth Frink, 1984 & Tim Lewis selected by Nicola Hicks, 1987

serendipitous pivot in the AOTD timeline where Selected becomes Selector, Nicola Hicks and Tim Lewis both developed long-standing relationships with the gallery.

After studying at Chelsea School of Art and while at the Royal College of Art tutored under Phillip King PRA (1934-2021), Nicola Hicks was selected Artist of the Day in 1984 by Dame Elisabeth Frink (1931-1993). Championing Hicks's practice, Frink said, “For me Nicola Hicks is one of our most talented young sculptors, and also a most wonderful draughtsman."

Following a hugely successful one day exhibition and graduating from the RCA, Hicks began exhibiting extensively, featuring in the 1985 Hayward Annual, and started working with the gallery. It was an obvious move to ask such a dynamic artist to be an AOTD selector, and the selected artist Tim Lewis, whom Hicks had met at the RCA, immediately capitvated the gallery with his epigrammatic works.

Of course I brought along everything that I'd ever made and we didn't finish installing it all until early the next morning. - Tim Lewis

When I chose Tim Lewis it was easy, the man's a genius. Being chosen myself was exciting and wonderful and not least because that's how I met Angela and Matthew. I was given 12 hours and stayed 30 years. - Nicola Hicks MBE

 

For my day in 1988 I was anxious to make an impression with a new work and was working through the night before. In my slightly tired and last minute anxiety, I managed to lose concentration and hacksaw across my thumb!

As you do in a last minute situation, I just wrapped it up in masking tape and carried on. Despite my best efforts the piece did not get finished. Looking back I am not quite sure where I thought I was going to put it, as I easily filled every wall of the gallery with other work. 

Anyway once the show was hung I went into the bathroom and gingerly unwrapped the thumb from the night before - not pretty. I must confess I blacked out for a bit. I then had to break it to Matthew that I was going to have to take my thumb and myself off to be stitched. So most of my Artist of the Day was spent in A&E. I still have a scar. 

I still always work through the night before a show trying to resolve my newest work. However after my Flowers "absent" Artist of the Day experience I do have a no saw or power tool after 9pm rule, which I am sure has saved me from many a mishap in the succeeding 26 years. - Cathy de Monchaux, 2014

The first Artist of the Day was 23 year old painter Anthony Daley, selected by David Hepher in June 1983At the time, Daley was completing his MFA at the Chelsea School of Art, London. 

Despite not knowing the full implications and having to overcome a deep sense of shyness as a student, I leapt at the opportunity to show my paintings in a professional space, if only for a day...I remember nervously climbing the steep stairs of the old gallery on Tottenham Mews and meeting Angela, who very soon put me at ease...Whether it was foolhardiness or bravery, I did opt to be the very first Artist of the Day. - Anthony Daley

David Hepher, who had been teaching for 22 years by that time in various art schools, was well-placed to be aware of many gifted artists: There was an outstanding student whom I had known throughout his BA and MA career at Wimbledon and Chelsea - that individual was Anthony Daley, who at the time was painting large, very paintery still lives with breathtaking confidence and ambition...he epitomized the newly-found belief in painting that was being celebrated both nationally and internationally. 

The gallery was upstairs at the time with a rather pokey staircase which made it difficult if one had large and heavy paintings. Having recently had a show there, I remember having to partially dismantle the paintings to get them up the stairs; Tony had to do the same. - David Hepher

British artist and poet David Robilliard (1952-1988) was selected to be an Artist of the Day in 1988 at our Tottenham Mews gallery by collaborative art duo Gilbert & George. Robilliard had met Gilbert & George in 1979 and would later model for them, appearing in the 1981 film 'The World of Gilbert & George'. Robilliard was described by Gilbert & George as 'the new master of the modern person' and the pair published Robilliard's first book of poems 'Inevitable' in 1984. Robilliard's work was adventurous and honest, exploring joy, sex, human connection and loss. Before Robilliard combined poetry with painting, his written practice consisted mostly of books and postcards.

In the early 1980s, Gilbert & George encouraged him to shift his writing practice to the canvas. Robilliard had no formal art training, yet his 'poem paintings' seamlessly blend compassionate and comedic verses alongside simple portraits. Principally created with primary colours, poems are positioned upon large white canvases, merging with silhouette profiles and disembodied faces. These figurative forms are balanced with written testimonies of life experiences, conveying deep compassion, emotional vulnerability and wit. Representative of Robilliard's oeuvre, this work was constructed from honesty, torment and love.

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