Art First Newsletter

Summer 2015

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AKAA Also Known as Africa

Carreau du Temple, Paris
3 - 6 December 2015

Karel Nel, Cosmos Web, 2008, pastel, metallic dust and dry pigment on bonded fibre fabric, 175 x 175 cm

Art First at the FNB Joburg Art Fair

Sandton Convention Centre
11-13 September 2015

Showing Louis Maqhubela and Karel Nel.

Will Maclean

Will Maclean

Veering Westerly

An Lanntair, Stornoway
8 August – 26 September, then touring to:

Iona Gallery, Kingussie
3 October - 1 November 2015

St Fergus Gallery, Wick
28 November 2015 - 16 January 2016

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
20 February - 26 March 2016

> Exhibition Catalogue
> Exhibition Installation Images


Art First Newsletter

Spring 2015

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Eileen Cooper Book Launch

Eileen Cooper

Eileen Cooper’s Book Launch for Between the Lines takes place at Art First on 26 May, with an exhibition of her work covering three decades, celebrating her long association with Benjamin Rhodes and Art First.

A major exhibition of her drawings, Hide and Seek opens at the Royal Academy’s Fine Rooms from 29 May – 23 August.

Mimei Thompson

Mimei Thompson is one of twenty three artists living and painting in London’s East End to be selected for the East London Painting Prize 2015. An exhibition of the works is at the Rum Factory E1W 2BD until 17 May when the prize is announced that will include a solo exhibition at the Nunnery .

From mid May, Mimei Thompson takes up a sought after Residency at the Atlantic Centre for the Arts, New Smyrna Beach in Florida. Here, over the course of a month, she will participate in the Master Artist in Residence Programme with artist Inka Essenhigh and a writer, a composer and a poet.

On her return from the States Thompson’s solo show as an invited artist opens in Glasgow’s Queenspark Railway Club on 19 June.

A strong selection of her paintings can be viewed at Art First following her impressive exhibition, A Year of Sleepwalking, at AF Projects.

Cape Town Art Fair 2015

The Waterfront
25 February – 1 March 2015

Stand A13, The Marquee, showing Joni Brenner and Karel Nel.

> View press release

William Stein

William Stein

Presented at London Art Fair, Art Projects section - 2015

Works from the 2015 letter series, an exploration into sculptural mark-making, integrating his signature overdrawing and inscribed geometric motifs.

> View works


Art First Newsletter

Winter 2015

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London Art Fair 2015

Business Design Centre, Islington
21-25 January 2015

ART PROJECTS Stand P5, showing Christopher Cook and William Stein.

> London Art Fair

Louis Maqhubela

Louis Maqhubela’s work ‘Tyilo-Tyilo’, 1997 is to be included in the upcoming exhibition Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue at the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington DC.

The exhibition opens on Saturday 15 November, 2014 – and will continue until 24 January 2016.


New collaboration by John Burnside and Will Maclean

A Catechism of the Laws of Storms

John Burnside’s poetry and Will Maclean’s imagery first came together in a collaborative print–poem commissioned for the opening of Dundee Contemporary Arts in 1999. A Catechism of the Laws of Storms continues the joint projects.

Some years ago Maclean found some dis-bound copies of an illustrated weekly newspaper The Pictorial World of 1882–83 and used the woodcut images to assemble a series of collages, which were then scanned and digitally altered.

The series of collages related to descriptions of storms and hurricanes from nautical books and manuals in Maclean’s collection, in particular The Law of Storms by Henry Paddington. The collages were shown to Burnside who composed a series of twelve poems in response to the images. Maclean in turn altered a number of the images in response to the poems.

Copies now available from Art First at £12.00


Karel NelKarel Nel

Exact Imagination, 300 Years of Botanically Inspired Art in South Africa

Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg
8 Nov – 6 Dec 2014

Works include Forest Veil by Karel Nel, Elegies to the Forest and traditional grass objects from his collection, alongside early tomes of botanical engravings, a letter from Cook written to the Admiralty from Alphen in regard to funding for his second voyage, and other contemporary works.

Catalogue available with essay by Cyril Coetzee


Art First Newsletter

Autumn 2014

> Newsletter


FNB Joburg Art Fair

Art First at the FNB Joburg Art Fair

Sandton Convention Centre
21 – 23 August 2014

Showing Joni Brenner, Louis Maqhubela, & Karel Nel.


Simon Morley, Korea Land of the Dawn

Simon Morley

Universal Studios, Seoul Museum of Art, Korea
17 June – 10 August, 2014

Thirteen artists from ten countries address issues of assimilation and dissimilation.

> Seoul Museum of Art (Korean language)

Simon Morley

Simon Morley

Simon Morley In 1914-2014, Anniversary of the Great War Exhibition
Musee Romain Rolland, Clamecy, France
28 June – 15 November, 2014

> Musée d'Art et d'Histoire Romain Rolland

Will Maclean and Marian Leven An Suileachan

Will Maclean and Marian Leven

Will Maclean and Marian Leven have been awarded The Saltire Arts and Crafts in Architecture Award 2013 for their newly completed cairn An Suileachan close to Uig on the Isle of Lewis

> Will Maclean installations

Will Maclean

Will Maclean

Waterlines, a sculpture in Kilkenny blue limestone commissioned from Will Maclean and Marian Leven by the University of Aberdeen for the area in front of the new library.

Art First at the FNB Joburg Art Fair

Art First at the FNB Joburg Art Fair

Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, SA
27–29 September, 2013


Jake Harvey, Commission for Kelso Town SquareJake Harvey, 33 tons of basalt, India

Jake Harvey

Commission for Kelso Town Square

Harvey has been announced as the winner of the Sainsbury Public Art Competition, for a major piece to be created at the centre of Kelso, the historic Borders town situated on the banks of the River Tweed.

The commission comprises a monumental stone, its form echoing that of the historic cobbles in Kelso’s main square. Local residents will be selected to inscribe personal messages and their names around the sides of the sculpture.