Thursday, 23 April 2015

Ruby Sterling at Xavier Hufkens

Ruby Sterling at  Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, Belgium 24 April 23 May 2015
Sterling Ruby uses a wide range of aesthetic strategies in his practice, from saturated, glossy, poured polyurethane sculptures, to drawings, collages, richly glazed ceramics, graffiti inspired spray paint paintings, and video. In opposition to the minimalist artistic tradition and influenced by the ubiquity of urban graffiti, the artist’s works often appear scratched, defaced, camouflaged, dirty or splattered.
 The artist has cited a diverse range of sources and influences including aberrant psychologies (particularly schizophrenia and paranoia). Sterling Ruby was born in Bitburg, Germany, in 1972. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Scale 5167

Running concurrently in the two gallery spaces, ECLPSE (6 rue St-Georges) features the artist’s collages, while a series of recent sculptures are presented in SCALES (107 rue St Georges).

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Fiona Rae at Timothy Taylor

Fiona Rae 22 April - 30 May 2015 Timothy Taylor Gallery 

Fiona Rae Figure 1g, 2014 Oil and acrylic on canvas 72 x 51 in. / 183 x 129.5 cm
This new series of greyscale paintings from 2014–2015 marks an exciting and significant development in Rae’s practice. Each painting’s composition predicates a notional figure, whose existence is simultaneously manifested and denied in a theatre of direct performative mark-making. These are abstract compositions teetering on the edge of figuration, expressively rendered in black, white and tones of grey. Within this rigorous and strategic system of hue reduction and subtle balancing of tonal relationships, Rae has nevertheless created an intensely colourful and dynamic suite of paintings that embody both the tropes of high modernist idealism and the distanced manipulations of a Photoshop-inflected present. Alongside these paintings, a series of small-scale charcoal drawings will be shown – a new expressive medium for the artist – and one upon which her wit and restless invention are brought dramatically to bear. 

Inspired by a variety of sources from Chen Rong’s thirteenth-century Nine Dragons to Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953), Rae challenged herself to find a way of representing the figure that synthesised its historical traditions with the contemporary existential experience of self: "I wanted to be de Kooning making a Woman drawing or painting, and at the same time I wanted to be Rauschenberg erasing it. That seemed to me to be the perfect answer to the problem of allowing oneself to make a drawing of a figure without disappearing into the past. Doing it and undoing it until some kind of image just about arrives. With the paintings, I had the same notion of erasure, while at the same time both longing to make a figure appear and wishing to remain in the field of abstraction." 
Fiona Rae, Figure 1l, 2014. Oil and acrylic on canvas

Thursday, 16 April 2015


LINE OF SITE at Grimaldis Gallery until 23 May.
Horizon #2
Five Hexahedra 2015
Korean artist Chul Hyun Ahn creates sculptures utilizing light, color, and illusion as physical representations of his investigation of infinite space.  Ahn’s interest in the gap between the conscious and subconscious compels him to construct illusionistic environments providing a space for contemplation.  Ahn’s sculpture urges the viewer to consider man’s boundless ability for physical and spiritual travel while exploiting illusions of infinity and the poetics of emptiness.
Open .... Peace, 2015, mixed media on Dura-Lar, 30 x 38 inches
Open Peace
"Goldsleger’s mixed media drawings in “Line of Site” reference military maps from WWI, and are titled after Woodrow Wilson’s “Fourteen Points” outline for peace that led to the final resolution of the war. Now nearly one hundred years after the “war to end all wars”, the world seems to be in a constant state of war from which it seems unable to escape. "
"Space, for me, is an expressive aspect of culture. I agree with Bachelard and believe that the spaces we know and inhabit have as profound an impact on us as we do on them. Space reveals how a society is organized and societal needs. Public space is a key character, the protagonist, in my work. Public places and institutional spaces intrigue me because of their shared communal nature. They are where people gather and interact. For that reason I find them filled with invisible history and tension. It is that sense of timeless existence and the accrual of experiences that I attempt to depict in my work. It serves as a way to delve into ideas about isolation, communication, human interaction and time. Through the depiction of various spaces I question what is real and investigate how we see and understand the world around us. Attributes are not fixed in my work; I attempt to make them fluid and subtle so that a viewer’s experiences affect the understanding of each piece and one’s interpretation can evolve and change over time. My interests range from small details to complex plans and from specific sources to imagined spaces. My paintings and drawings originate from these ideas." Cheryl Goldslegger.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Callum Innes at Frith St

Callum Innes  - Golden Square

13 March 2015 – 24 April 2015

"Frith Street Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Callum Innes. One of the most important painters of his generation, Innes is known for a practice that combines intellectual rigour with incredible sensitivity to his chosen medium.
This exhibition focuses on works from the artist’s celebrated Exposed Paintings series. This series played a central role in Innes’ seminal presentation at 2014’s exhibition Generation: 25 Years of Contemporary Art in Scotland. The Exposed Paintings are explorations of colour and pictorial space, and are created through a process of addition and subtraction. Progressive layers of oil paint are applied to a section of the canvas’ surface, creating a dense, black field. The artist then removes a section of this layer using turpentine to reveal the constituent colours beneath, and the residue of this process stains the canvas with veils of pigment. The large paintings in this exhibition are composed of approximately 7 individual layers of paint, many more than in previous similar works, and so they achieve another level of luminosity and movement."
To create new form and to escape the grid is hard to do but Callum Innes like Sean Scully shows his control in accepting this motif with the sensitive and sensuous results. 
  • Exposed Painting Blue Violet, 2014

Monday, 30 March 2015

Rothko Harvard Murals, USA, until July 2015

A short discussion with Rothko's children, Christopher and Kate, talk about the show here.


Harvard Art Museums
'This new presentation of Mark Rothko’s Harvard Murals features innovative, noninvasive digital projection as a conservation approach. The exhibition returns this mural series to public view and scholarship while also encouraging study and debate of the technology.
The technique employs a camera-projector system that includes custom-made software developed and applied by a team of art historians, conservation scientists, conservators, and scientists at the Harvard Art Museums and the MIT Media Lab. The digital projection technology restores the appearance of the murals’ original rich colors, which had faded while on display in the 1960s and ’70s in a penthouse dining room of Harvard University’s Holyoke Center (now the Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center), the space for which they were commissioned. Deemed unsuitable for exhibition, the murals entered storage in 1979 and since then have rarely been seen by the public.
Featuring 38 works from 1961–62, including the murals and many of the artist’s related studies on paper and canvas, the exhibition also explores Rothko’s creative process. A sixth mural painted for the commission—brought to Cambridge by Rothko but ultimately not installed—will be presented publicly for the first time. Many of the works on paper contain relevant sketches on their reverse, which will be displayed during the second half of the exhibition beginning in March 2015. The studies on canvas provide perspective on Rothko’s process as he worked from small to large scale.
The majority of the works exhibited are from the Harvard Art Museums, with loans from Kate Rothko Prizel, Christopher Rothko, Dr. Corinne Flick, the National Gallery of Art, and the Menil Collection.
The exhibition includes multimedia components accessible via interactive screens in the gallery. Those components are all also assembled in a Vimeo channel. The content includes interviews with members of the project team as well as with Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko, the artist's children, and other individuals who have expert knowledge about Rothko and the Harvard Murals commission.
Each day at 4pm, the projectors are turned off to provide visitors an opportunity to see the murals without projected light.
Curated by Mary Schneider Enriquez, the Houghton Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Harvard Art Museums; in collaboration with Narayan Khandekar, senior conservation scientist, Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, Harvard Art Museums; Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, director, Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art, Harvard Art Museums, and associate director for conservation and research, Whitney Museum of American Art; Christina Rosenberger, research coordinator, Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art, Harvard Art Museums; and Jens Stenger, conservation scientist, Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Yale University (formerly of the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, Harvard Art Museums). The camera-projector system and software were developed with Ramesh Raskar, associate professor of media arts and sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and head, MIT Media Lab's Camera Culture Group. Digital restoration of Ektachrome transparencies was completed together with Rudolf Gschwind, professor and head, Digital Humanities Lab, University of Basel, Switzerland.'

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Bert Irvin's obituary by Mike Tooby

"The artist Albert Irvin, who has died aged 92, created an extraordinary body of abstract paintings, watercolours and prints. His work became prominent in the reinvigoration of British painting in the 1980s and 90s, and latterly became familiar through wide exhibition and reproduction. He made colour sweep and spray over pictorial areas that give the illusion of depth, created by complex and dynamic marks and gestures of the handheld brush. He often took on a grand scale, but also created brilliant and beautifully crafted works on paper.
Irvin’s celebratory approach epitomised the idea of painting as the expression of the life force within the space of the image. His personal code of street names as titles was a cipher for this. Some, like Nicolson, stood for people close to him. Groups of paintings might capture significant routines: Plimsoll and Kelvin recall his match-day route to Arsenal’s old Highbury stadium in north London; others like Sauchiehall or O’Connell recall his favourite cities.

photo credit Dom Moore 2013
His career defied every model of art-world success, but also characterised the struggles and ambitions of his generation. By the time of his first solo show he was 38. Eventually finding a wide audience in his 60s, he joked that he was “the oldest up and coming young artist in Britain”. That his work became ever more vibrant as he grew older was striking evidence of his affirmative view of life and art." An excerpt from Mike Tooby's piece in the Guardian the rest can be found here .
Photograph from Michael Canney's website a friend and contemporary of Bert Irvin's, Bert is on the right.
And this is a video of Albert Irvin talking in 2013 whilst exhibiting work at Plymouth College of Art.
Gallery Shorts: Albert Irvin from Plymouth College of Art on Vimeo.

His advice to young painter's: "Keep going and don't let the bastards grind you down."

Saturday, 28 February 2015

New short Brice Marden film of the artist in his studio..

'From his sprawling studio space and the large moss garden outside his home, artist Brice Marden discusses his approach to abstraction and the ways paintings can serve as vehicles to take viewers to another time and place.' See the Brice Marden short film here.


Monday, 16 February 2015

Carole Pearson and Guy Bigland at Salisbury Arts Centre

By the Rules and exhibition of work by Carole Pearson and Guy Bigland  at Salisbury Art Centre 26 February – 29 March 2015
An exhibition of paintings and sculpture sparked by creative rules.
Carole Pearson is drawn to industrial materials which she considers playfully and with a lightness of touch.

Guy Bigland’s Solution Paintings are generated from set criteria which convert the numbers in a Sudoko puzzle into instructions for making paintings.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Seven from the Seventies at Flowers

Seven from the Seventies Flowers Gallery 16th January - 21st February

This exhibition brings together the work of seven influential abstract painters from the decade, featuring Colin Cina, Bernard Cohen, Noel Forster, Derek Hirst,
Michael Kidner, Jack Smith and Richard Smith.

Each demonstrates a reductive and disciplined articulation of the sensations of light, form, sound, colour and space. Their ordered, procedural and systematic approach to painting opened up new possibilities for future formal experimentation within abstraction.
Michael Kidner Column (no.2) in Front of its own Image, 1970 (c) Michael Kidner Art Ltd., Courtesy of Flowers Gallery
Michael Kidner’s rigorous intellectual approach to colour and form also resonates emotionally: ‘Unless you read a painting as a feeling,’ he has said, ‘then you don’t get anything at all’. Column No.2 In Front of Its Own Image, 1972-3 systematically records the grid or lattice formed by the movement of a three dimensional object in space, itself a solid representation of the intersection of two wavy lines. Exploring the complex effects achieved by the arrangement of simple elements according to a set of self-imposed rules, he generated “visual metaphors for the opposing manifestations of order and disorder in nature.” (Irving Sandler -Michael Kidner, Flowers Gallery, 2007).
Colin Cina, MH39, 1973  (c) Colin Cina, Courtesy of Flowers Gallery
Colin Cina’s MH series has been described as the artist’s “homage to the rectangle” (William Feaver - Art International,1972). Finding a sense of freedom within its formal confines, his lyrical coloured panels are rhythmically orchestrated by vertical lines and chevrons, the relational aspect of which set Cina’s work apart from much Colour Field painting of the time. Like so many younger artists of that epoch in London, most of my paintings then were defiantly big, chromatic works, in loose kinship with those of the New York school of that period - broad and tall and deliberately ‘anonymous’ with respect to paint-handling. New York was then still in thrall to Clement Greenberg’s somewhat uncompromising pronouncements on how a poetic but very new abstract art could be achieved. London’s ‘hard-edge’ painting of that decade was less reverent about the Greenberg approach: you might say, it was more eclectic, more rooted in pioneer Modernist European ideas. – Colin Cina
Colin Cina photo courtesy of R Demarco 1968

With prominent roles in British art schools as well as international professorships, their ideas impacted upon a generation of artists. Colin Cina, and Michael Kidner were tutors of mine when I was at Chelsea but unlike John Carter, a contemporary constructivist and fellow tutor, they were not set on imposing their approach. They were well informed artists with a real sense of the place and influence of abstraction in the UK. They encouraged open enquiry and if anything I remember them being almost reticent to introduce students to their own paintings. However I recall with affection my only Colin Cina studio visit where he shared with excitement the latest evolution in his work. Colin's delight was because he had broken the picture plane with shadows. This nuance of painting, this small adjustment was where our discussions were focussed, seeing the small personal and formal boundaries being tested.