Archives for posts with tag: drawing

Phoebe Unwin @ Wilkinson

2There are basic emotions. Happiness. Sadness. Anger. Fear. These are like elements, the basic building blocks of Humanity.

Then there are more complex feelings that are more like chemical compounds. They can include the aforementioned emotions but are mixed with sensual stimulus, and context. Like smell, vision, memory and place, that are catalogued and recalled from the brain. These complex emotional compounds are harder to describe and often unique to the individual.

1Phoebe Unwin is all about capturing and recreating these emotional compounds in her work. Fleeting moments of life that are hard to understand unless you were there.

But what is Unwin trying to achieve by doing so? Does she want people to feel something or does she just want people to look at what she is feeling?

4If Unwin’s strategy is isolationist, i.e. not designed to trigger feelings or memories in other people and only present her own, Then for her art to be emotionally valuable to someone the paintings must be masterpieces (which, as nice as they are, are not) or Unwin herself must be emotionally valuable to you in the first place – therefore Unwin must be either Famous, or Infamous. Or have an intriguing personality which you would talk about to buyers.

If Unwins strategy is to evoke emotion within the viewer, Some paintings succeed. Her work is more effective when one can recognise context therefore triggering emotional response. But the more abstract works become defunct  – They are too gentle to evoke pure emotion (for example Rothko),  they are more likely to encourage critical analysis.

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I can appreciate Unwins brave pursuit of subtle complexity, but i reckon it’s a sticky wicket.

Runs till 13th October
Wilkinson
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Patrick Caulfield @ Tate Britain

Three words..

PC2

Brilliant.

 PC 3

Brilliant.

 

PC 1

Brilliant.

Still can’t get my head around Gary Hume though.

http://www.tate.org.uk

Henry Hudson @ TJ Boulting.

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The art that seems to touch a nerve with me is one that utilises a concept, subject, or material that i relate to on a personal level. Henry Hudson’s plasticine paintings do just that. In the gallery I’m already back on the floor of my kitchen, in my formative years, creating things with this earthy smelling substance. I graduated onto Fimo afterwards, because you could bake it hard in the oven, but it was never quite the same.

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Mr Hudson continues to use plasticine as the primary medium for his paintings, but the subject matter has changed. For this show he has produced a series of portraits of his extended family. They seem to be a pretty kooky bunch – each member wrapped in “fragile” tape – a prop i was told was provided by the artist but ultimately used by the subject however they wished. Judging by the work some were more accepting of this symbolic prop than others.

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The TJ Boulting space really did feel like a home and was totally relaxed. I don’t want to keep going on about London’s art scene upping it’s game, but again, i was warmly welcomed by one of the gallery owners Hannah, who very kindly took the time to talk to me about Henry’s work and offer plenty of insight.

You don’t get that at the Tate Modern (and it costs you £15 to get in).

This exhibition has now finished.

tjboulting

New Contemporaries @ ICA

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Popped into this exhibition last weekend to have a nose around at some young guns, particularly at George Little who i’ve been keeping my eye on for a while. Unfortunately they had excluded his large canvas from the London edition of the show so was left with just a small painting and an installation to enjoy.

There was some excitement on my behalf though as i spotted none other than Mr Saatchi lurking in the bookshop. He looked a bit shifty, like he was going to lift something. You’ve got to give Charles his dues – he’s not an ivory tower sort of collector, he likes to get down and dirty with the students.

This iteration of New Contemporaries felt like a “light ” version of the Liverpool show. I guess the space in the ICA is limited, but i felt like i wasn’t quite getting the whole picture, especially after having a look at the catalogue. So in no particular order my highlights from the exhibition, which are mostly all painters:

Tara Tingleff   ( http://www.tyratingleff.net ) – header image is also hers.

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Anita Delaney  ( http://www.anitadelaney.net  – This photo shamelessly stolen from http://curatorcharlie.blogspot.co.uk/ )

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Emanuel Rohss ( http://www.emanuelrohss.com )

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George Little ( http://www.georgelittle.co.uk )

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Max Ruf ( http://www.maxruf.com )

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This exhibition is now finished but you can always check their website.

http://www.newcontemporaries.org.uk

GL Brierley @ Carslaw St Lukes

GL Brierley’s “things” quietly inhabit the space of her canvas, enticing you to look . You’ll notice the influence of figuratisim, tenebrism, and the traditions of still life. These paintings however, are unlike anything else you might have seen.

GL has total control of her medium and no control at the same time. She combines paint on the canvas to react, producing life itself. An oil based primordial soup applied to a rectangular aluminium petri dish. You really have to see the work up close to to understand. Perhaps you could describe the artist as “the creator”. It’s a platitudinal metaphor, but apt in many ways. Scientists believe life is the product of chemical fusion. The religious believe there is a controlling hand. These paintings are unarguable proof of both theories.

Unlike the creatures that inhabited the earth in the early years these malformed, but beguiling entities seem to demand deeply complex emotions. Very quickly you form a relationship. Questions are formed in your head. “Why is it there?” “Does it need help?” Should I take it home?” “Is it an it, or is it a her?”

Then you being to question your own emotional responses. “Should i feel attracted to this?” “Why am i feeling sorry for it?” The full gamut of human emotions reveal themselves, the sort that get psychoanalysts hot under the collar.

GL seemingly tries to challenge you by pushing the creations to their most unsettling and explicit (maybe that just my interpretation). Sometimes challenging you by adding bright manmade colours in thick impasto just to shake you. Perhaps it’s a reminder that this is just paint and she’s just a a painter.These are distinctly timeless works. They look like they’ve been around for hundreds of years already. There is no doubt they’ll be enchanting and horrifying people in equal measure for many centuries to come.

This exhibition runs till 17th November.  Go see.

http://www.carslawstlukes.com

Duncan aged 40 @ Skylight Studios

This former graffiti writer continues to progress into conceptual territory without giving up what he loves; making a mark. “Margate” the title of his latest exhibition explores the place that was once a Londoner’s favourite holiday destination, but after decades of neglect is now undergoing regeneration as a cultural and artistic hub.

I made the effort to visit this show on the east coast only to be greeted on arrival with a downpour of such magnitude it broke my umbrella. But my pilgrimage was richly rewarded. I discovered another strong collection of work from this passionate and convivial artist, who very kindly took the time to talk me through the work. Duncan continues to travel on his nomadic journey, acting as a conduit to the culture and history of each place he visits, via his multi media practice which includes performance, video, sculpture, printmaking and photography.

Setting up the exhibition was a video work. The artist had spent the day as a tourist, dressed top to toe in his trademark idiosyncratic, bootleg Ralph Lauren clothing (Shorts and t-shirt this time, but lucky for him it was sunny that day).

Like any visitor to the Margate beach who ends up using the local chalk to write their name on the surrounding walls, Duncan did the same, But a lot bigger. A series of photographs on aluminium and installations charted his use of sea water, chalk and a garden rake to produce 40 meter sand tags and chalk murals bearing his name. These monoliths were always meant to be transient and disappeared as quickly as they arrived due to the effect of the tide, sun and rain.

“Cats and Dogs”, took it’s title from from the weather based colloquialism. (Particularly apt considering my earlier soaking) It was a collection of homemade animal portraits collected from charity shops in the surrounding areas. I noticed one of the feline portraits was committed to paper in 1964. It was touching to see long deceased animals staring back at me from the gallery wall, I for one was happy they had found a new home.

Continuing his theme of printmaking with local delicacies Duncan presented “Bag of Chips” and “Donuts” , two unique portraits of these ritualistic objects. What lived a short life as a high carb high fat snack, became immortalised as an intellectual endeavour. What’s really interesting was the way the substances in the food (sugar on the donuts, oil on the chips) reacted with the inks to create a signature effect of their own.

I think the artist has captured the true spirit of Margate. On first view the work may seem a flippant, ironic take on the common man, but in reality it’s insightful, touching and just a little bit life affirming. With the cultural developments in the area, like the Turner Contemporary and growing artist community, the exhibition sums up the transgressive nature of the locality; documenting where it came from, and helping cement where it’s going.

Don’t visit this exhibition it’s finished.

Clare Woods @ Modern Art

Clare Woods is an artist that is tottering on the edge of stardom. She’s been taken under the wing of some of the arts biggest movers and shakers. Popular with young collectors, popular with old collectors. Just generally all round popular.

She has made some pretty monumental paintings in her time. Haunting landscapes that capture an unusual feeling, like when you’re a kid and you find a secret place in the forest and get butterflies in your stomach. It feels like the spirit of Peter Lanyon is there watching over the works, which is a good thing.

Her technique of spreading flows of oil paint onto metal is an interesting one and works to obscure the naturalistic details of her subject matter and transform them into more abstract territories. For her new show at Modern Art, Woods has made a series of smaller paintings under the moniker “The Bad Neighbour”

These new paintings don’t punch me in the stomach like previous works have. Most obviously the lack of scale causes me to focus more on the technique than i might do normally and i don’t think it holds up on a small canvas. The lack of detail purposefully employed to suggest abstraction ends up suggesting a lack of craft.

I feel perhaps Woods may need to adjust course if she continues to paint small works. Perhaps that gap should be filled by her drawings which i’ve seen and are lovely.

This exhibition is now finished.

www.modernart.net

Guy Allott @ Madder 139

I caught this exhibition a couple of weeks ago on a sunny Saturday. They seem to be few and far between these days (sigh). Madder 139 is a tastefully converted victorian structure which, with the strategic inclusion of some Velux windows, literally glowed with the warmth of the sunshine.

Guy Allott paints what he describes as “half real” places. Part landscape, part surrealist adventure. Psyche meets Vista. Some of the canvases exhibit rich fauvist palettes and Van Gogh like brush work, but these gestural brush strokes only reveal themselves when you inspect them more closely.

Other works remain brightly coloured but monochromatic. It’s interesting to see the two disciplines of landscape painting and illustrative surrealism coexist on the same canvas.

When I’m faced with a beautiful view the things that run through my mind are often anything but related to what’s in front of me. That for me is where Allott finds a sweet spot. These paintings present a fairly truthful representation of the human conciseness in action.

Well that’s my opinion anyway. Care to input?

The exhibition has finished.

www.madder139.com

BA Art Practice @ Goldsmiths

I though this graduate show deserved a post because a) there was some great work and b) they produced a lovely catalogue of the show and not only that, they gave it away free!

I’d never been to Goldsmiths college before and can now understand why it is such a successful art college. How can you not be inspired when this is the view from your studio window:

So without further ado here are my favourite ten works in no particular order:

Alex-jeronymides-noire : A crazy potato sound system. (how could he know i love crazy potato sound systems?

Pedro Magalhes: Don’t you ever have an urge to call a number written on the street. I do. I’m gonna call this one when i summon the nerve.

Emma Sinclair: Harnessing youtube to make a rather interesting microwave based fireworks display.

Taneisha Kitchen: Bondage taxidermy.

Jolene Farren: Architectural and abstract

Kyungmin Lee (detail): Unusual bubble abstracts

Rose Fooks: The room smelt of cheap perfume. Thats not a title, it did smell.

Dominique Dunand-Clarke: Nelson esque office spaces.

Kat Day: taking you into the virtual world of a dolls house.

Joanna Ng Shuhui: Adding human sound effects to everyday moving inanimate objects, surprisingly enjoyable.

That’s all. Roll on the Postgraduate show.

http://www.gold.ac.uk/

Slade MFA @ UCL

Visited the MFA show at the weekend. Quick post but wanted to share this photo as i thought the dressing of the main building was absolutely incredible, something that wouldn’t look out of place in Venice Bienalle.

Overall the work inside was variable but there were some notable exceptions:

This photographer. I didn’t get a name. Can anyone help?

And the ever impressive Alexander Ball:

Worth a look if you’re in the area. I think you’ve got till Friday.