Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Damien Hirst's John Hoyland tribute show 'Power Stations' at new London art space, Newport Street Gallery, London

(Paintings 1964–1982)

This show will mark the opening of Newport Street Gallery in Lambeth, south London, a major new space which will be free to the public.

See Damien interviewed below on the forthcoming exhibition of John Hoyland, 'Power Stations' (Paintings 1964-1982) where he discusses the influence he had on Hirst's painting, also how he has the Hoyland painting from the sixties in his office.

Press Release information:
'The paintings are all drawn from Damien Hirst’s art collection – known as the Murderme Collection – and span a particularly important period in Hoyland’s career when he was starting to make a name for himself with his first solo museum show at the Whitechapel Gallery (1967). It also covers the time from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s when Hoyland was first engaging with the New York art scene. Curated by Hirst, the exhibition takes the viewer from the vast colour-field works of the 1960s, through the textured surfaces of the 1970s to the more spatially complex paintings of the early 1980s.
It is the first major exhibition of Hoyland’s work since his death in 2011.'

Further information
8 October, 2015 – 3 April, 2016
Newport Street Gallery, Newport Street, London SE11 6AJ
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am–6pm
Admission free

I think its great that Hirst is opening his new gallery with a bold declaration of a painter, a great British painter of the post war years and an abstract painter, and a maverick abstract painter who went against the grain of the stuffy British establishment of the time. 

This will, I am sure, be picked up and discussed in art magazines more abroad, where Hoyland has a more defined reputation, both in Europe and the USA, than in London, a brave decision and Abstraktion applauds it! (see our earlier posts on the Hoyster here and his last interview with Peter in Turps Banana #9. )

Our Pete and the Hoyster
 Also, there is a great interview between Hirst and Hoyland here. Curtesy of Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst's Newport Street Gallery in Lambeth, South London (an artist's impression). Curtesy of Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Jackson Pollock at Tate Liverpool

Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots
30 June – 18 October 2015
Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots at Tate Liverpool is the first exhibition in more than 30 years to explore the artist’s black pourings, a lesser known but extremely influential part of his practice. The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to see the largest number of Pollock’s black pourings ever assembled in the UK, with some never before seen in this country.
Yellow Islands
This exhibition will take visitors on a journey through the artist’s career, starting with a room featuring a selection of his iconic drip paintings from 1947–49 as an introduction to the black pourings period, 1951–53. Exhibiting works from the peak of the artist’s fame alongside his lesser known work offers viewers the opportunity to appreciate Pollock’s broader ambitions as an artist and better understand the importance of the ‘blind spots’ in his practice.
The exhibition includes a painting from the Empire State Plaza Art Collection.
No 12
 State Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito said the loan of "Number 12, 1952" fulfills a goal of the state's collection to expose the public to the work of New York artists."
"Number 12" barely survived the 1961 fire at the Executive Mansion, where Gov. Nelson Rockefeller — who bought the painting for his personal collection in 1952 — hung it on the second floor, next to a tapestry version of Picasso's "Guernica."
The heat of the fire — said to be caused by faulty wiring — melted the paint. After initial conservation efforts, the painting was given to the state and put on display in 1974. In 1990, "Number 12" received an extensive overhaul at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center in Massachusetts and was returned to its space at the foot of the Corning Tower in 1991.
Jackson Pollock, 1950 Photograph by Hans NamuthCourtesy Center for Creative Photography

Friday, 19 June 2015

Olga de Amaral's stock is rising.

Olga de Amaral

Artnet's story is about the market value that Colombian textile artist Olga de Amaral is attracting at the age of 83. 
Lienzo Ceremonial II Sothebys
Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Olga de Amaral studied fabric art at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. Amaral is a renowned artist whose evolving technique, incorporating fiber, paint, gesso and precious metals transforms two-dimensional textiles into sculptural works that seamlessly integrate art, craft, and design. In their engagement with materials and process her works become essentially unclassifiable and self-reflexively authentic. Amaral is an important figure in the development of post-war Latin American abstraction. Her creation of “off stretcher” works, using non-traditional materials, acquires greater historical resonance with each passing year.Amaral’s work is deeply driven by her exploration of Colombian culture and her own identity. Architecture, mathematics, landscape, and socio-cultural dichotomies in Colombia are woven together through the use of fiber. Understanding and being understood is an important part of her work. Through a complex system based on artisanal technique, she finds answers to inner questions. Her golden surfaces of light thus embody the secrets of her soul.Her use of gold, inspired by the interwoven histories of pre-Hispanic and Colonial art, gives her work a presence at once sensual and otherworldly. In his prologue essay to the book Olga de Amaral: El Manto de la Memoria (2000), Edward-Lucie-Smith comments on the transcendent qualities of her art: "A large part of Olga's production has been concerned with gold, but there are in fact no equivalents for what she makes in Pre-Columbian archaeology. Nevertheless one feels that such objects ought in logic to exist —that she has supplied a lack."

Sol Rojo Doble Sothebys
Sombra Azul Sothebys
Alquimia XIX Sothebys
installation Galerie Agnes Monplaisir

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Joan Witek ay Jason McCoy

JOAN WITEK: PAINTINGS at Jason McCoy June 17 – July 31, 2015
Joan Witek in her Tribeca studio 1974

I am attracted to black because of the beauty of the color and its infinite ! variety.

It is a color that has been my inspiration since I began painting.

JOAN WITEK: PAINTINGS brings together works from the 1970s to the present, revealing the artist’s impressive unwavering focus. Here, Witek uses fine pencil lines on white ground to define her compositions, before applying black oilstick to establish rich strokes. The latter move vertically, horizontally, or diagonally on the picture plane, employing the invisible grid as the overall structural backbone. Though seemingly graphic when viewed from afar, Witek embraces handmade imperfections that offer rich nuance. In fact, subtle expression is found within each line as thickness and strength of application shifts. It is in these variations within the overall minimal vocabulary that we find traces of emotional undercurrents and a glimpse of the person behind the work.
P161 2013


P139 2007

Monday, 15 June 2015

Valerie Krause at Rolando Anselmi

Shifting Volume Valerie Kraus at Rolando Anselmi June 13th 

Valerie Krause was born in Herdecke, Germany, in 1976. She graduated in 2007 at the Düsseldorf Academy with David Rabinowitch and Didier Vermeiren. From 2010 till 2012 she had a teaching assignment at the Düsseldorf Academy. In 2008 she was awarded at Art Cologne (16th-20th April 2008) with the first "Audi Art Award for New Talent” which included the realization of a solo exhibition at the Cologne Artothek and the publication of a monographic catalogue. 

Friday, 5 June 2015

Abstract art isn't easy

From a recent Yahoo Labs report on aesthetics via Annie Sneed at Fast Company:

"The majority of people surveyed for the project also disliked abstract art, and favored curvy lines over sharp, jagged lines—both inclinations likely rooted in how the brain works. Our preference for curvy lines is supported by almost a century of psychological studies, and scientists have found it’s rooted in an evolutionary bias as well. Research has found that when people look at a sharp object in an MRI scanner, it activates a region of the brain (called the amygdala) that responds to danger, whereas curved objects don’t elicit this mental reaction. "Sharp objects in our past were associated with danger," Vartanian says. "This association has stayed with us, even though the environment we live in today is quite different."

"And as for abstract art: Well, it’s not hard to figure out why many people don’t like it. An abstract painting is highly conceptual, which means it takes a lot more energy to understand, whereas representational art has a storyline that the viewer can immediately follow. Similar to the photo filters, we typically prefer images that are easier to process. Vartanian notes that this bias doesn’t apply to people trained in visual arts—they tend to like abstract art much more. And there’s a lot of data showing that people with expertise in visual arts perceive paintings very differently overall than someone untrained, so their aesthetic preferences probably differ from the average person in general."

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Agnes Martin at Tate Modern

Tate Modern: Exhibition 3 June – 11 October 2015

Agnes Martin in her studio © Mildred Tolbert Family
Agnes Martin is perhaps most recognised for her evocative paintings marked out in subtle pencil lines and pale colour washes. Although restrained, her style was underpinned by her deep conviction in the emotive and expressive power of art. Martin believed that spiritual inspiration and not intellect created great work. ‘Without awareness of beauty, innocence and happiness’ Martin wrote ‘one cannot make works of art’.

Untitled 1959
Martin lived and worked in New York, becoming a key figure in the male-dominated fields of 1950s and 1960s abstraction. Then in 1967, just as her art was gaining acclaim, Martin abandoned the city and went in search of solitude and silence. For almost two years she travelled across the US and Canada before finally settling in New Mexico as Georgia O’Keeffe, Mark Rothko, DH Lawrence and Edward Hopper had done before her. Working within tightly prescribed limits she imposed on her own practice Martin was able to continue to make extraordinary, visionary paintings, for over three decades until her death in 2004.
Friendship 1963
This is the first retrospective of Martin’s work since 1994. Covering the full breadth of her practice, this extensive exhibition will reveal Martin’s early and little known experiments with different media and trace her development from biomorphic abstraction to the mesmerising grid and striped canvases that became her hallmark.
Painting, as she said, with her “back to the world,” and managing mental illness that afflicted her throughout her adult life, she sustained a unique and subtly powerful vocabulary that drew international acclaim.
It’s not about facts, it’s about feelings. I think the highest form of art is music. It’s the most abstract of all art expression.
Agnes Martin
Agnes Martin often talked about her interest in music and in the emotions that she felt when listening to it. Join us for a classical music concert performed by the Ensemble Kandinsky, Switzerland. Uniquely set in the Agnes Martin exhibition, surrounded by the artist’s late paintings, the programme includes specially selected music by John Cage, Arvo Pärt, Johann Sebastian Bach, Toro Takemitsu, John Adams and Augusta Read Thomas.

For Agnes Martin, music was the art form that most closely resembled the ideal of unconditional abstraction, inviting a multiplicity of responses and emotions. This programme includes works by Martin’s musical contemporaries as well as compositions from earlier centuries, inviting you to explore the connections between visual, musical and emotional abstraction.

Related events


Friday 5 June 2015, 18.30 – 20.30

Talks and lectures

Wednesday 10 June 2015, 18.30 – 20.00
Monday 6 July 2015, 18.30 – 19.30
Wednesday 15 July 2015, 18.30 – 20.00
Monday 28 September 2015, 18.30 – 20.30

Performance and music

Monday 15 June 2015, 19.30 – 21.30

Monday, 1 June 2015


Andrew Vass and Nuala O'Donovan at Arthouse1  4th - 27 June 

Desire Path is a contemporary exploration of gestural trace, repetitive form and the space that exists between the two, impelled by the drive within to mark a personal path. These new works by Andrew Vass and Nuala O’Donovan present a glimpse into the landscape of the inner self – the repetitions, retracing, constructions and layerings, which form the structure of our thought process.  Vass’s drawings plot the paths between vision and decision, creating an intricate matrix of trace, line, erasure and space. While O’Donovan’s complex sculptures develop form from the repetitive application of fractal scale. Both artists move between the space of their inner world and the space of the perceptual world, looking for the right place to take.
Red Drawing 5
Andrew: I had an idea for a title for the show, based on…a Radio 4 program, Word of Mouth http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05pn676. The program focused on different terms to describe aspects of landscape. I liked the word “desire path” which describes the most obvious route between points. Often cutting corners, insistent on instinct rather than municipal planning. Wikipedia states it can be used metaphorically as a route taken independent of authority, a creative act. I’ve been developing a project in response to a grass bank seen through a friend’s studio. It’s allowed me to view the work as a trace through the space! The red drawings are ink/acrylic on linen and paper. Jane Boyer curator: These works are exquisite in their agony. I'm just reading about Barnett Newman's Stations of the Cross, and I see a similar anguish of solitude in these works. The marks are utterly devoid of context, pattern, or cohesion. They are a presentation of dispersement, fragmentation and randomness. The red gives the marks a material solidity, which makes them read as fragments of some extinguished and disappeared whole. Their devoided presence is their power and their meaning. 
Banksia Dynamic2

Nuala: My work is based on natural forms and natural forms are a progression rather than a static form. In order for this to be the case though the form has to be evolving but the forms that I make become static. They have similar qualities to fossils partly because of the ceramic material and partly because once fired they become frozen as moments in time. The pieces have a stillness, like shells and fossils, even though they capture evidence of energy in the variation of the scale of the
elements in the patterns. The evidence of energy is apparent in the making of the work, but it isn’t energy in itself. I think that there is a different dynamic apparent in gestural work which is of the moment and captures/communicates an explosive energy. The energy in my work isn’t gestural, it’s more compressed, the pieces describe the journey of the making of the work which is laborious rather than free. The pieces are bound by weight and gravity to the horizontal surface in contrast to the painted surface, freed by contrast and colour. The three dimensional qualities, such as depth, in a painting are open to interpretation by the viewer whereas my pieces are bound by the space that they occupy. I like the stillness in the work as they are an illustration of a journey, they hopefully suggest other journeys but in themselves they are complete and still. The material, porcelain, communicates fragility and brittleness, the forms may be Our text for Desire Path is going to diverge from its normal path.

Teasel Circular Motion
Desire Path: The shortest distance between two points is not prescribed. The shortest distance between
two points is the one you desire most to take. dynamic but the fluidity is evidence of the behaviour of the material when subjected to the intense heat of the kiln.