Archives for posts with tag: Josh Lilley

Carla Busuttil_6Carla Busuttil @ Josh Lilley

Notions of identity play heavily on Carla Busuttil’s work. Her paintings are portraits of a society that none of us know but we can all probably relate to in one way or another. The characters appropriate costumes and emblems of structure and order, liberating them from their original context. There is a whiff of irony, the canvases look as if they had been dragged backwards through a Vintage shop in Shoreditch.

Carla Busuttil_4An innocent escapism runs through the show. A cast of characters created entirely in the mind, obsessively so. Normally only a child would have the stamina of imagination to create such an expansive fantasy world. But Carla continually re visits it, as if the paintings offer a surrogate family or imaginary gang of friends for the artist.

Carla Busuttil_5Carla Busuttil_1I’m not a massive fan of the canvases. “Bad Painting” can at times be liberating and joyous for the soul but I yearned for a little more craft. I was much more impressed with the film work that was produced in collaboration with Thomas Voelker and the Static Hand. Here we saw characters from Busuttil’s repertoire take on a 3 dimensional forms – coldly and repetitively ripping up newspapers into tiny pieces, as if wiping history, all set to a moody and industrial soundtrack. It was Ace.

Carla Busuttil_2Busuttil should release her creations from the walls and give them space to play around more often.  She needs to capture her imaginary world on film more, perhaps even creating her own “Cremaster Cycle”.

Only then will we get a sense of the true depths of her imagination.

Runs til 4th October

Sarah Dwyer @ Josh Lilley

I’m not getting paid to cover Josh Lilley Exhibitions, it’s just that the gallery is in Fitzrovia and i love  walking the back streets north of Tottenham Court road. I often imagine myself in the post war years, wandering into a pub to find Francis Bacon and Quentin crisp discussing the merits of the british political system over a sherry.

Moving swiftly on.

Sarah Dwyers paintings are dynamic and spontaneous.  You do get a sense that she’s lets it all out on the canvas, but not in a violent grand action, more like gracefully poetic meandering way. Perhaps even with her eyes closed.

I especially like the textural intimacy. Different materials cohabiting harmoniously, in a ramshackle manner, within the confines of a canvas. The only straight lines are the frame edges.

I do have some reservations. There is little immediate impact or dynamism within the canvases. With a short attention span i find myself walking away quickly from each one. They are the sort of paintings you need to spend time with, or even live with. If you did i’m sure it would slowly draw you in and envelop you into it’s cosy world of ethereal abstraction.

Matt Lipps @ Josh Lilley

Appropriation. They call them Mash ups now. Not a millisecond goes by now without a member of the public uploading one to youtube, or icanhascheesburger or whatever website.  Everyman and his dog is now equipped with i-movie and photoshop and by god nothing will stop them humorously re-editing a hollywood film or dubbing someones home movie of a kitten to a Rick Astley song.

I’m of the opinion that Steve jobs has got a lot to answer for.

Right, anyway.

Appropriation worked brilliantly well for Warhol and Hamilton. But now the serious contemporary artist has to approach the technique of appropriation quite carefully. It’s normally under the guise of art history or cultural preservation. They carefully select, refashion and recycle their source imagery to create what seems to be an entirely new artwork with enough of a nod to the original to suggest academic endeavour. For example: William Daniels. (Abstract paintings of hand built models of famous paintings) or Glenn Brown (paintings of photographs of famous paintings, re painted in the style of another famous painter).

In Matt Lipps case, it’s photographs of 3 dimensional sculpture collages of old photos. (one step further then blake?)

I have to say i quite like them.

This exhibition finished Feb 17th. So don’t go and see it you’ll only be disappointed. Although by now there will probably be another exhibition installed at Josh Lilley, so maybe you won’t, they seem to have a lot of good ones.