Monday, 24 November 2014

Annabel Emson at Marian Cramer

Annabel Emson at Marian Cramer, Amsterdam
29th November - 31 January
"This selection of paintings is inspired by the idea of light in history. Some of the works are tonal renditions of old master paintings selected for their specific qualities of light. They include works by Turner, Rubens and Constable. Other paintings were taken from memories of different types of light, for example Daylight or Orange Night in the Reeds. In this series of works Emson found that removing colour from paintings and limiting the palette to black and white helped emphasize the tonal qualities of light in her work."

Visiting the Spirit of Barnaby Jones

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Review of artists from Turps Banana correspondance course exhibition earlier this year in a-n magazine..

5-11 September 2014: An exhibition of works by 19 painters enrolled on the 2014 Turps Correspondence Course by Charley Peters in a-n magazine.

This is a review of Correspond, a group show by students on the Turps Correspondence Course. Due to the shifting environment of higher education it feels relevant to also consider the positioning of the exhibition as an alternative to university based arts education. In recent years the landscape of undergraduate and postgraduate experience has been vastly remodelled; studio space and individual contact time with academic staff in many institutions has depleted as tuition fees and cohort sizes have been dramatically raised. New models of education and professional development for artists are necessarily but too slowly emerging outside of the university model to provide a non-institutional space for creativity. The Turps Correspondence Course, and its studio-based equivalent, the Turps Art School, was founded in response to the growing concern for the future of painting tuition in the shifting climate of Higher Education. Conceived by the Editors of Turps Painting Magazine to be an artist led painting school, the Turps Correspondence Course offers painters the opportunity to develop their practice through a series of quarterly written appraisals from a dedicated mentor in response to work submitted online.
The Correspondence Course still follows, in part, a traditional art school model: a dedicated director of studies, support from practising artists, and critical feedback on presented work, albeit in a virtual capacity. It lacks the benefit of a physically defined peer network, but adds focus instead to in-depth individual development exclusive of the rest of the course cohort. One of the most significant way in which the Turps Correspondence Course challenges conventional art education is its lack of reliance on group teaching methods such as the ‘crit’, a type of formative assessment where student-artists physically present their work to gain critical responses from peers and tutors. The crit’s perceived strengths lie in the development of reflective practices, in offering students the experience of presenting to an audience, and contributing to peer learning.But there are also problems with such institutional practices, in which students are expected to ‘perform’, present work using an exclusive, learned academic language, and locate themselves unquestioningly at the bottom of a hierarchy of knowledge led by teaching staff. In his refreshingly honest ‘survival guide’ for students and tutors, Why Art Cannot be Taught (2001), James Elkins describes crits as, ‘like seductions, full of emotional outbursts’. He analyses confrontational critique dialogue and proposes that there can be a problem in the translation of the spoken language between a tutor and student, stating that ‘critiques are perilously close to total nonsense’. Considering the significance placed on physical exchanges such as the crit in art education there has been comparatively little research into developing alternative strategies. It is timely that The Turps Correspondence Course appears to be taking important steps towards establishing a progressive learning environment outside of some of the more problematic institutional conventions.
Correspond took place in the Turps Art School studio building in South East London, showing the work of 19 painters at the end of a year of their engagement with Turps Correspondence Course. The exhibition hang felt very conventional – but this was ultimately one of its strengths; presenting itself as a show purely about the paintings themselves, and not of their curation or the words of contextual theory surrounding them. The artists were each represented by a modest number of selected works that illustrated both the breadth of practice on the programme and the general level of competence, which on the whole provided strong competition for many other postgraduate painting shows.
Among the highlights for me were the works that appeared to articulate what painting, as an active, interrogatory discipline, offers to the process of a work’s development. Miranda Boulton uses graphite lines and washes of oil paint to navigate the space of the painting support. The resultant works express the tension between an image permanently in flux and one in a state of final resolution, with the decision making processes equally exposed and hidden in layers of suspended marks. The delicate formalism of Susan Preston’s work is generated through the subtle erasing and scraping of layers of paint, bringing separate elements of the composition into balance. Whereas Boulton’s work expresses openly the dynamism of its own making, Preston’s paintings have a much more static, poetic outcome. Negotiating the matter of balance in a more investigative way to Preston, Roisin Fogarty incorporates both rational and intuitive methods of working. She creates strict compositional structures on which to explore colour, tone, line and edge, all as seemingly flexible considerations despite the initial systems in place. Resolved well as individual pieces, Fogarty’s work nevertheless suggests a larger interrogation of the formal qualities of painting.
Painting more figuratively but still with a consideration of its material properties, Jules Clarke uses the fluidity of paint to describe the movement of one frame in a film to another, creating dreamlike images that appear to be played out in slow motion. Possessing an otherworldly quality, the image surface – showing the recreation of scenes taken from film or television – is gently disturbed by light daubs of paint. The world Clark portrays feels nostalgic, not just for the subject matter of home movies, Hollywood films and music videos, but because her disrupted images recall a time recently passed of pre-pixel analogue television snow. These are sombre images suggesting the fragility of memory and the ability of paint to render an ambiguous state of being, also present in Paula MacArthur’s large scale images of gem stones built up through layers of lightly tinted turps and intense colour. Made from a succession of wet, energetic glazes her paintings hold together as impressive compositions in their entirety, with areas of internal fragmentation suggestive of pure abstraction. The runs of colour, bleeding edges and vigorous drops of paint in MacArthur’s paintings are left on show, alluding to her working methods and succeeding in establishing a dynamic interplay between the organic and the man made, the instinctive and the premeditated.
Much of the work shown in Correspond focused on the pictorial; the sculptural, painted books of Natasha Morland and Katie Shipton’s physical manipulation of paint providing the only expanded negotiations of the discipline. In the context of other graduate art shows this was an initially surprising, but also largely pleasing focus on making, rather than redefining, painting.  If the works shown in Correspond are representative of what the Turps Correspondence Course can produce then it appears to be a serious alternative to an institutional experience at a time where, to quote its founders, “there is growing disquiet about the quality of painting tuition”. Rather than proposing a radical rethink of what painting could be, Correspond offered a serious contemplation of its merits and is a testament to why the tuition of painting – stripped back to its most rudimentary components of constructive feedback, time to reflect and the opportunity to disseminate the work made – should be back on the agenda of all our art schools.


Sunday, 16 November 2014

'Art Experiment:32 questions from John Cage.' The Garage, Moscow, Russia..

At The Garage they have a show exploring 'Art Experiment: 32 questions from John Cage.' 
'Garage's annual Аrt Experiment is an interactive project that puts the viewer at the forefront of the creative process. Designed for visitors of all ages, the unique and action-packed laboratory will expand your understanding of contemporary art as you create your own works and share the joys of creativity with friends, family, and complete strangers. The project is in a constant state of development, covering ever-new ground and incorporating a variety of new media. Since the program’s launch in 2010, over 25,000 children, young people, and adults have participated in this legendary annual event.'
'In 2015, Garage invites you to spend the two-week Christmas Holidays immersed in a world of unbounded music and sound, featuring light and sound-based installations and artworks by prominent artists from both Russia and abroad. 32 simple but provocative questions from John Cage, one of the most famous and influential composers of the 20th century, will guide you through this world of musical sensations.'

Featuring: John Cage, The Institution of Unstable Thoughts, Alexander Hnilitsky, Playtronica, SlackLabs studio, ::vtol::, Dmitry Vlasik, interaction design studio Hello Computer, Baschet Soundsculpture Workshop from the University of Barcelona coordinated by Marti Ruids, The Moscow Chamber Orchestra MUSICA VIVA directed by Alexander Rudin, as well as children's orchestras and music schools under the Moscow Department of Culture's Office of Educational Programs..

'Zero Group, Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950's and 1960's' at Guggenheim, New York..

Turn the sound up, and click on this Zero Group website for the retrospective of the 'Zero Group, Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950's and 1960's' at Guggenheim, New York..

"In 1957 Otto Piene and Heinz Mack founded an artists’ group in Düsseldorf, West Germany, that they called Zero. They chose the name, as Piene explained in 1964, to indicate “a zone of silence and of pure possibilities for a new beginning as at the countdown when rockets take off."


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Robert Motherwell at Paul Kasmin

I recently explained to a friend how I caught myself taking a sharp, involuntary intake of breath when seeing work by Robert Motherwell that I hadn't seen before. The simple elegant gestures combined with a poetry and an attitude that still strikes me as more epic and in your face than any cartoon graffiti. The exhibition of his work is at Paul Kasmin from 30th October - 3rd January. ( BTW Christmas is coming but birthday would be fine!) The Paul Kasmin dedicated site also has the collection of Robert Motherwell's interviews.

Open Study no 5
 Automatic Image No1
 Mediterranean Figuration 2
 Black Asterix
Untitled from Joyce Sketchbook
Untitled from Joyce Sketchbook

"The series that shivers me most with shared inspiration is Open."
"And there, Motherwell opens a window."
From the text

I agree.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Chance and Order at Eagle Gallery

Kenneth Martin, Mary Martin, Jeffrey Steele

20 November - 19 December 2014
"The show takes its title from a small Kenneth Martin drawing from 1983: Chance, Order, Change, Time Sequence – a work that illustrates how an adherence to a pre-conceived system can give rise to a free-flowing image of great visual beauty.
As a younger generation currently re-discovers the languages of Concrete and Systems art from across the globe, the exhibition draws together British artists of different generations, to reveal a less prominent, but equally eloquent vein in constructivist philosophies and practice.

The exhibition spans over 50 years, from 1960s' monochrome studies on paper by Jeffrey Steele (b. 1931) and drawings by Kenneth Martin (1905–1984) and Mary Martin (1907–1969). Natalie Dower (b. 1931) – a friend and associate of many of the British Systems artists - continues to base her work on the mathematical precepts that underpinned the approach of Systems painters in the 1950s and ‘60s. Her work is distinguished by an exuberant use of colour, texture and materials, and we are delighted to be showing two very recent paintings: Root Two Spirals and II 2014."

Andrew Bick OGVDS (straightened) V5, 2014

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Polly Apfelbaum at Frith St

Polly Apfelbaum Colour Sessions 7th November - 20th December at Frith St Gallery
b. 1955, Abington, Pennsylvania
"Colour is the key element in Polly Apfelbaum’s work, both visually and structurally. Her floorbound installations – which incorporate hundreds of pieces of velvet, hand-dyed in bold hues and often arranged in sprawling configurations that appear to be organically inspired – defy categories of art-making. Like abstract paintings that melted off the wall and formed vibrant puddles, her arrangements of irregularly shaped rounds, diamonds and ovals coalesce with the physical presence of sculpture, while maintaining painting’s sense of vibrancy."
Polly Apfelbaum
 Ombre Black Red Black, Brown Pink Brown and Ombre Purple Mauve Purple, Brown Pink Brown, 2013
Compulsory Figures 1996
Las Vegas, 2009
The Artist's Life: Polly Apfelbaum from NYFA on Vimeo.

Ed Moses at UC Irvine University Art Gallery

Ed Moses 'Cross Section' at UC Irvine University Art Gallery until December 13th

The exhibition at the Claire Trevor School UCI shows a snap shot of the paintings Ed Moses has undertaken from the 1970's. Ed Moses (born 1926 in Long Beach) has been a prominent figure in the Los Angeles art scene for almost 60 years. He first exhibited in 1949, and was part of the original group of artists from the Ferus Gallery in 1957.
These paintings show an accomplished explorer striving to find new, meaningful form. I think the paintings below illustrate a journey that many painters will identify with but being a 'fiddling rustic' I am a sucker for the the 90's paintings because I tend to prefer the touch of the artist to be more evident than process.

NY Trac IV 1975

Ed Moses Courtesy Frank Lloyd gallery
Dushay 1990

Edge #8 1994
Marklet #2 2012

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Canan Tolon at Von Lintel

'Like' at Von Lintel gallery until January 10 2015. One of the preoccupations of American abstract expressionism was its desire to escape the organisation of space that emerged from Europe and particularly the dominant influence of cubism. Now it would appear that the figurative dimension, the architecture of the world is re-asserting itself and this trend is evident in Canan Tolon's work. As understood by Picasso "To talk about painting is like trying to taste music" so I recognise its hard to write about painting but sadly the text that accompanies these delightful paintings does them no favours. Apparently she has invented a visual narrative! ( Please read the comments below to see the corrections from the Von Lintel Gallery. )A style maybe but a new visual narrative, in painting, please do tell.
"Canan Tolon's paintings at first appear as purely abstract, but with time, the eye discovers familiar urban landscapes in the rhythmic painted streaks. She explores the visualization of space by creating an illusion of depth and engages the view in the game of seeking recognizable imagery and inventing a visual narrative.Tolon was born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1955 and was educated in Germany, England, and at the University of California at Berkeley where she trained in architecture and design." No surprise there.

Canan Tolon untitled 2014

Canan Tolon untitled 2014