Archives for posts with tag: printmaking

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.

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.

David Price @ Art First

So apparently Eastcastle street is the new Vyner street. The cutting edge is undergoing an exodus back into central London, which says something about how much money art galleries make because retail space north of soho is ridiculously expensive.

David Price is currently showing at Art First. A gallery that shows mid to late career artists (for example richard cook who is one of my favourite landscape painters) and also some much newer artists. Price is in the nu camp. He is an interesting printmaker turned painter who creates mythological landscape compositions that are beautifully executed in delicate and detailed line work, reminiscent of masters such as Brueghel and Durer.

I really liked these works (hence the post). They appealed not only to my pre adolescent love of fantasy board games and painted tin models but equally to my mature tastes for high craft and Intellectual endeavour. What really got me going were the way the semi opaque glazes were built up, creating an effect somewhere between a watercolour and a stained glass window. A bit of a nightmare to light for the gallery owner but lovely for the observer.

“The close of the silver age” – David Price.  Runs till 23rd June.

 www.artfirst.co.uk

Andrea Buttner @ Holybush Gardens

All the work in this exhibition was based  on “littleness” as described in the blurb. (A variation on minimalism one might suggest):  A slide show of moss pictures. A recording of a silent quaker prayer meeting. A number of plain grey fabric canvases surrounding the walls. The works didn’t gell together at all. i didn’t know if they were supposed to work together or separately, i thought one was part of another. Some of it i didn’t realise was work until after i read the press release. The artist set out to capture littleness and i think they succeeded. But it left me cold.

I did however enjoy an edition of “the corner” which was also hung for some reason. I saw a different version of it last year at Frieze and this  does very well what i think andrea sets out to achieve generally, which is minimalism with emotional impact. So in the end i was happy went.

Keeping it real.

Petro @ Unruly Gallery – Amsterdam

Many artists claim to live their art, but very few actually do.
Most actually reside in a purpose built unit in hackney.

Petro is not one of these artists.
He travels the world making work as he goes.
His work is autobiographical.
He is a born printmaker and sentimentalist.

His print based works are fearlessly simple.
Capturing the physical process of mark making,
the concentration and devotion to repetition.
This is his nature on paper. It feels instinctual.

His sculptures are collections of objects he finds or generates whilst traveling.
Arranged into symmetrical patterns either on walls or in cabinets.
What you see as a viewer is not just an arrangement, it’s a document.
A brief glimpse of life through someone else’s eyes.

Petro’s work isn’t trying to be cool.
Some people will think it is, others won’t
But whatever you think it all feels very, very real.

Personally i think that Petro is the finest artist to emerge
from british graffiti in years. Hopefully a big london gallery
picks him up and gives more people an opportunity to see
an individual at work. (C’mon Stuart Shave).

Images from Unruly Gallery

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