Thursday, 28 June 2012

KALEID 2012 London

It's great to see that some familiar GIAB faces are going to be participating in KALEID 2012.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Colour in Flux

I am currently researching colour, and have found a wonderful book called Colour in Flux, a catalogue to accompany the recent exhibition of the same name at Weserburg.

The exhibition on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Weserburg explores how artists since Jackson Pollock have dealt with free-flowing paint. Works by the most important representatives of Abstract Expressionism and Color Field Painting will be compared with works by younger artists. Highlighting the exhibition will be new works developed in situ by Katharina Grosse, K.H. Hödicke, Peter Zimmermann, Nicolás Uriburu, Rainer Splitt, and others.

In the late 1940s, the American painter Jackson Pollock ventured a simple and at the same time seminal experiment: he laid a canvas on the floor of his studio and began applying paint to it from above. Bent forward and making movements that incorporated his entire body, he poured and dripped acrylic and ordinary paint across the painting surface. This technique, which came to be known as Action Painting, subsequently inspired entire generations of artists. One began to understand color as a flowing material with specific physical features and to use it artistically. This was consciously done counter to well-rehearsed visual habits and as a new challenge to the senses and the mind.
Jackson Pollock, Reflection of the Big Dipper, 1947, Stedelijk 
Museum Amsterdam, Geschenk von Peggy Guggenheim © VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 
Jackson Pollock, Reflection of the Big Dipper, 1947, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Geschenk von Peggy Guggenheim © VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2011
What followed were innovative concepts that supplemented, fundamentally reconceived, or revised Pollock’s stance. Morris Louis, Sam Francis, and Helen Frankenthaler addressed the basic physical conditions of color in flux in highly different ways. Lynda Benglis countered the “male” gesture of Pollock’s drippings with a more voluminous, “female” version made of polyurethane foam. Andy Warhol satirized Pollock’s floor painting in his Oxidation Paintings. And the American Larry Poons let paint run vertically down canvases in order to apparently bow out of the production process as author. Artists in the 21st century are also taking up this broad spectrum of color concepts. What they are interested in are new, at first glance more investigative, observant, unemotional approaches that in remarkable actions at times tie the flow of color back into everyday life. They work in part with video recordings and performances. In an almost Pollockian snapshot in time, Tony Tassett squirts chocolate syrup into the air, and Patty Chang physically exposes herself to paint being flung through the room in her Fan Dance.
 Kintera, Red Is Coming, 2007, Courtesy Galerie Jiri Svestka
Kristof Kintera, Red Is Coming, 2007, Courtesy Galerie Jiri Svestka
Color in Flux in principle juxtaposes two artistic approaches: color as a means of artistic expression in terms of modernism and the more conceptual, experimental, even antipainterly treatment of color, in particular by younger artists. Yet despite—or even because of—these differences, it time and again comes to references and dialogues among one another, but also to the younger artists deconstructing, ironizing, and questioning their older counterparts. What is striking about this is that similar phenomena can obtain extremely different meanings. In the end, what is left is an energy-laden and captivating contrast of various artistic stances that all have one thing in common: the conscious handling of color, which as material, medium, and carrier of meaning above all turns itself into a theme.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Callum Innes: Works on Paper 1989 – 2012, Ingleby Gallery

Callum Innes: Works on Paper 1989 – 2012
Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh
28 April 2012 - 14 July 2012 

Callum Innes’ works in oil paint on canvas grace the walls of many museums worldwide, and have been the subject of numerous exhibitions and publications for over two decades, but for just as long he has made many, though much less frequently seen, exquisite and surprising series of works on paper.

An individual series of Innes’ watercolours were exhibited at the Kunsthaus Zurich in 1997 and another in New York and Basel in 2011, but the Ingleby Gallery’s exhibition for Spring 2012 is the first ever survey to look in detail at this aspect of his work across a period of nearly 25 years.

In all his work Innes brings the potential of alchemy to abstract painting, applying and dissolving pigment, painting and un-painting, holding a line between control and chaos. In his works on paper these possibilities move effortlessly from one work to the next, building up a body of closely connected series.

At the heart of this exhibition are three new such series: a line of five pastels, treated like a kind of reverse sculpture, with fat sticks of chalky pigment ground back to dust and worked into thick pages of handmade paper; a sequence of 18 watercolours in which pairs of pigments are dissolved into each other, layer over layer, into veils of translucent light; and a series of ten tall, vertical sheets of waxed butcher’s paper, carrying oil paint dissolved into skins of solid and liquid colour. This exhibition matches these major new series with selected works from the artist’s archive, showing a rare consistency and continuity of ideas and application.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Ten things not to say to an artist

Wolfgang Tillmans at The Common Guild

Exhibition: Wolfgang Tillmans A New Installation, with Works from the Arts Council Collection
20 April 2012 — 23 June 2012
Venue: 21 Woodlands Terrace, Glasgow, G3 6DF

As the onion makes its way into the unknown, maybe to become an onion ring, or to be sliced, diced, or fried, I look out of the huge windows of the gallery at the rain pouring over Glasgow, before returning again to the array of images scarred over the gallery walls.

In true Tillman's style, the show has a mixture of large and small photos and a diverse range of imagery.

The initial images I saw downstairs were sculptural; as the photographic paper was folded the image was transformed into an object reminding me of Jim Lambie's folded metal pieces.

Tillman comments “I love the piece of paper itself, this lush, crisp thing. A piece of photographic paper has its own elegance, how it bows when you have it hanging in one hand or in two and manipulate it, expose it to light – I guess it is quite a gestural thing.”

Tillman's images can also be extremely painterly, as in the large image of the pink/beige/cream surface that faces the folded works.

Saturday, 2 June 2012