Sunday, 24 April 2011

David Whitaker at Grundy Art Gallery, UK

A retrospective of the artist David Whitaker, once a contemporary of Bridget Riley in the Sixties, is currently on show at the Grundy Art Gallery in Blackpool. Not much is known of this abstract painter, much like the career of Alan Green, he has had more success abroad than in the UK.
'Flood' Oil on canvas, 1996 (173x122cm)  Copyright courtesy Frankie Whitaker
He was devoted to geometric abstraction and rarely moved away from it since he came on the scene in the 1960's until his premature death in 2007.  He had a solo exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in 1970 was followed by inclusion in Hayward Gallery’s ‘British Painting 74’. Between these major exhibitions he was awarded the Mark Rothko Memorial Award upon the recommendation of Bridget Riley, which enabled him to travel and work in America.  He continued to show regularly in the UK and internationally throughout his career. Check out his website here.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Abstract Music

Abstract Hip Hop description from Rate Your Music:
"A style of Hip Hop which eschews many of the genre's conventions, abstract hip-hop has become a fixture of the underground hip-hop scene in the 2000s. Lyrically, artists tend to focus on more abstract ideas such as existentialism or social institutions rather than everyday problems or braggadocio. The language and presentation of these lyrics also tends to avoid the more upfront, visceral language of typical Hip Hop, instead preferring extensive metaphors and symbolic word choice.
Musically, most abstract artists feature unconventional beats that musically are considered also Experimental Hip Hop, but Abstract Hip Hop is a genre classification based on lyrical content and not a musical style."
Last FM 
"Abstract music depends heavily on processed sounds where the concepts of rhythm and melody are dissolved and the sounds take on a complex inner structure that is constantly morphing and changing.
Abstract music usually focuses not on the known and familiar, but rather the alien and otherworldly, where the listener must find his own associations and meanings.
Abstract music can range from completely abstract soundscapes to songs that only implement abstract elements but within a more regular song structure with rhythms and melodies, with the latter type usually labeled abstract because of an unusual structure consisting of sound effects and unusual rhythms. A lot of times artists will aim for a psychedelic and dreamlike effect by implementing abstract elements."

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Tony Cragg

Sculptures, drawings, graphics
24. February - 13 June 2011
McCormack 2007
Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst presents some 50 sculptures and drawings and prints by the artist from different work phases. The retrospective show brings together work on 1.000m ² Cragg works for the first time in the last four decades, until today, facing early works of recent production. 

Anthony Cragg was born in 1949 in Liverpool and moved to the study of art to Germany since the late 1970s he lived in Wuppertal. He has exhibited in many museums worldwide and participated in several editions including the documenta and the Venice Biennale. Cragg is a member of the London Royal Academy and recipient of the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture.

Blake Rayne@Sutton Lane

Sutton Lane Paris, Blake Rayne Coastal Graphics 
April 14th - May 14th
To quote Howard Halle of Time Out reviewing Blake's 2010 show in New York.
"The overall effect is maddeningly convoluted and endearingly dopey"
"The creamy formalist center may be covered with a thin theoretical shell, but it is still eye candy." 
The management of differing styles and processes is what annoyed the critics with Gerhard Richter's inventiveness because it appeared to be lacking emotional investment, lacking commitment. He redeemed himself with uncompromising craft. I like the questions Blake raises and believe his commitment.

What if it is all True, What Then? Mummery and Schnelle

What If It's All True, What Then?
Simon Callery, Angela de la Cruz, Louise Hopkins, Peter Joseph, Ingo Meller, Avis Newman, Rebecca Salter
Part 1: 6 April - 14 May

What If It’s All True? What Then? takes as its starting point the continued relevance of abstraction to many painters working today. Indeed, there are so many varieties of abstract painting now that the category has almost ceased to have a coherent meaning. Instead, therefore, of trying to represent the full gamut of what passes as abstraction today What If It’s All True? What Then? focuses on fourteen painters whose work is a continued re-engagement with Modernism, its tropes and heritage. Surface, support and mark as gesture and sign are concerns that recur in different ways throughout the exhibition. The exhibition suggests that these concerns can represent a critical re-engagement with Modernist tropes that analyses the entanglements of bodily experience, memory and imagination, both in the making the work and in the subject’s reception of it. It proposes, therefore, a phenomenological interpretation as a valid means of addressing abstract painting beyond Modernism.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The Vorticists: Rebel Artists in London and New York, 1914-18

David Bomberg, 'The Mud Bath', 1914, oil on canvas, Tate London
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice

This is an intriguing investigation into the wider impact of the group of artists who helped to bring modernist thinking in painting, sculpture and literature to the United Kingdom. This is a collaborative exhibition including a number of international art museums, which says much about how we should re-consider these artists who 'punched' their way into the London scene with such visual force over a hundred years ago.

One of the reasons not to see the significance of these artists is because of the influence of Italy, Futurism, and later, Fascism. Wyndham Lewis supported Hitler, which became problematic in the post war years in the UK (link below), as he was such a significant pioneer of modernism. Bomberg also didn't get the respect he deserved, after he was expelled from the Slade School of Fine Art for being too abstract, but he was a highly influential abstract painter to following generations and a teacher in London to artists such as Leon Kossoff and Frank Auerbach amongst others.

'It is the first exhibition devoted to Vorticism to be presented in Italy. An abstracted figurative style, combining machine-age forms and the focused energy suggested by a 'vortex', Vorticism was a short-lived, but pivotal modernist movement that emerged in London and roughly spanned the years of World War I.

Vorticism’s leaders were painter and writer Wyndham Lewis and poet Ezra Pound. Their mouthpiece was the radical avant-garde magazine 'Blast'. Although Vorticism was born in London, several members were American, including sculptor Jacob Epstein and photographer Alvin Langdon Coburn, as well as the important American patron, John Quinn.

The exhibition emphasizes the group’s Anglo-American connections and is built around the recreation of the three exhibitions the Vorticists mounted during the 1910s; research on these has led to the discovery of lost works and previously unknown material on the movement. Featuring approximately 100 works, comprising paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photography, and printed matter, 'The Vorticists' is co-organized by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina; and Tate Britain, London.'

The exhibition continues until 15th May 2011.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Helen Mirren on painting and Kandinsky

Abstract Sister

Discursive frameworks for Abstract Possible.
Abstract Possible is a research project that aims to explore notions of abstraction, taking contemporary art as its starting point. It includes the collaboration/participation of Doug Ashford, Claire Barclay, José León Cerrillo, Matias Faldbakken, Claudia Fernández, Liam Gillick, Goldin+Senneby, Wade Guyton, Gunilla Klingberg, David Maljkovic, Mai-Thu Perret, Seth Price, Walid Raad, Emily Roysdon, Salón, Bojan Sarcevic, Ultra-Red, and Anton Vidokle. Abstract Possible is a project by Maria Lind. It will develop in various locations over the course of two years:

Abstract Possible: The Trailer
Malmö Konsthal’s Project space.
10 November 2010 – 16 January 2011.

Abstracción posible / Abstract Possible: The Tamayo Take
Museo Tamayo, Mexico City.
26 March 2011 – 7 Agust 2011

MAS, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste ZHdK, Zúrich
13 May 2011 – 3 June 2011
Salón was invited by Maria Lind to create discursive frameworks, both live and online, around the exhibitions of Abstract Possible and the three main strands of abstraction addressed in them: formal abstraction, economic abstraction and withdrawal strategies. We seek to offer spaces that nurture a multifaceted discussion around and beyond the exhibition. The two main elements are:
Public Talks Through out the exhibition we will host three conversations in the museum:

Formal Abstraction
Guests: Gunilla Klinsberg, Wade Guyton and Alejandro Hernández
Museo Tamayo 12:00 pm – 26th of March, 2011

Economic Abstraction
Guests: Doug Ashford
Museo Tamayo – 8th of April, 2011

Withdrawal Strategies
Guests: To be confirmed
Museo Tamayo – 27th of May, 2011

Salón is an office devoted to expanding the critical and prospective conversations in culture based in Mexico City. This project was developed as part of the exhibition at the Museo Tamayo. For more information on the museum or the exhibition visit: Museo Tamayo

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Marc Van Cauwenbergh Painting 1 2009 20 x 15

Apr i l 6 – May 20, 2011 
Opening Reception: Wednesday April 6, 6- 8 PM 
Jason McCoy Gallery is pleased to present 70 Years of Abstract Painting, which brings together an eclectic group of artists, including Josef Albers, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Peggy Bates,  Norman Bluhm, Marc Van Cauwenbergh, Giorgio Cavallon, Cora Cohen, Gene Davis,  
Joe Fyfe, Al Held, Maxwell Hendler, Sharon Horvath, Terrell James, Martin Kline, Nick Lamia, Jim Lee, Sarah Mattes, Mart in Mullin, John McLaughlin, Rob Nadeau, George Negroponte, Thomas Nozkowski, Paul Pagk , Charles Pollock, Jackson Pollock, Man Ray, Willy Bo Richardson, Jennifer Riley, Russel l Robert s, Charles Seliger, Leon Polk Smith, Hedda Sterne, Robert Thiele, Gwenn Thomas, Leslie Wayne, John Zinsser and others.
The exhibition presents a wide range of abstract paintings, each of which reflects a distinct style and unique aesthetic. Various movements, including Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Op Art, and Neo-Pattern & Decoration for example, will be addressed. Providing excerpts from seven decades worth of work, the exhibition aims to initiate an unusual dialogue between historic and contemporary paintings, as well as between the inherent modern and postmodern concerns. 
It is McCoy's stated ambition to stress the timelessness of the abstract language in painting, while allowing for older works to appear in a new light and for recently completed compositions to be viewed in the context of their influences.
Since its founding in 1982, the gallery has focused on furthering the understanding of abstract painting from a contemporary point of view.
James brooks  (1906-1992) Hoobin 1968

Chuck Elliott and Elizabeth Purnell at Close House

Lumen / lacquered kandy
Edition of 4
Chuck Elliott’s first solo exhibition of digital abstracts at Freeny Yianni's Close House
Music for the event has been composed by Elizabeth Purnell  who has created three new site specific sound pieces to accompany the event. Noted for her theatre work, music for radio plays and electronic explorations, she is also a busy orchestrator, having worked on shows including 'Any Human Heart', and over 40 feature film and TV projects, including the BAFTA award winning 'Life in Cold Blood'.
The exhibition is accompanied by a new catalogue designed by Herman Lelie, with text by Matthew Collings, and photography by Stephen White. 

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Challenge that secret knowledge

"Businesses reviewing their data management system need to be clear on the meaning of abstraction before agreeing to its use.
An industry expert has explained that abstraction can be a vital tool in creating an efficient data management model, however, as it can cover three concepts, it is crucial that the whole team understands how it is to be used avoid confusion.
Malcolm Chisholm, author of How to Build a Business Rules Engine; Managing Reference Data in Enterprise Databases, said 
"A deeper problem is that many of the smart people who use abstraction do so in a way that implies they have secret knowledge that is going to make data management a lot easier. They should be challenged on this because, depending on requirements, abstraction can create problems as well as solve them." Thanks to Lucy Hill

40 years of Galerie Georg Nothelfer- Berlin

Robert Schad , "Zibonk", 2010,
45 mm square solid steel,
approximately 217 x 105 x 110 cm 
Fred Thiele , "with a diagonal red", 1991,
Mixed media on canvas, diptych
291 x 292 cm

Walter Stöhrer
"Tagträme who see through day-dreams"

70 x 100 cm 

Gabriela Machado

 Brasilian artist Gabriela Machado: Poetry with Portugese, orange peel and paint. In the videos on her website the sound of her voice, and the paintings tantalise me, as I could only guess at what she is saying. Here is another on You Tube thankfully with subtitles.