ART STUFF on a train # 30: ‘Late Light in Venice’
November 26, 2013
ART STUFF on a train # 29: ‘The Lights Staying Off”
November 19, 2013
ART STUFF on a train # 28: ‘Obsessive? Me?’
November 12, 2013
ART STUFF on a train # 27: ‘Look, No Canvas’
November 5, 2013
Jonathan Gabb: ‘reverse sequence: on black (purple, rose, orange, green, red, cyan, indigo, violet)’, 2013
What’s a painting? The obvious answer is paint on canvas, or maybe better some kind of liquid which dries onto some kind of ground. But it’s possible to make something best considered a painting without using any liquid: take DJ Simpson’s router in MDF works or Sergei Jensen’s carpet pieces. Else liquid may be used without a ground, as in Lynda Benglis’ poured latex painting/sculptures or Piers Secunda’s objects and wall-hung reliefs formed entirely from industrial paint: he even uses paint to make the bolts which hold them in place. Glenn Brown has made paint-sculptures which push Auerbach’s portraits all the way to 3D, as well as flat photo-realist depictions of their thick impasto.One could add Eduardo Costa, Analia Saban, Paul Desborough and Wang Yuyang. So there’s a definite tradition behind the practice of emerging artist Jonathan Gabb, currently showing (to 16th Nov, with an artist’s talk on this Thurs, 7th) at A Brooks Art on Hoxton Street, an attractively adventurous and characterful artist-run space which occupies a former Victorian florist’s. Gabb’s bright work suits that lineage, as does the show’s title, ‘Opera Rose’, which is actually a type of electric pink acrylic paint. Gabb applies paint to rigid plastic sheets, allows it to dry, then strips it off to form ribbons which he hangs to seize space with pure colour.
Jonathan Gabb: ‘pink angel capturing the light’, 2013
ART STUFF on a train # 26: ‘Sex and Excess’
October 29, 2013
Allen Jones: Chair, 1969
Katsukawa Shuncho, 1780
ART STUFF on a train # 25: ‘When Photos are Paintings and Paintings are Photos’
October 22, 2013
Visitors to the Max Wigram gallery often assume that James White’s still lives from hotel rooms and the interiors of boats (to 9 Nov), are black and white photographs. There’s the exacting and somewhat forensic grey-scale reproduction of glass and mirrored surfaces; a snapshot casualness to the choice of items and their composition; and a run-off of white as if a contact sheet has been cropped. Some future show should contrast these works with White’s photographs, which – even though they originate from his archive of source material for the paintings – look more like paintings than the paintings made from them. This results from their unnaturalistic colour and dominant use of a stylised ‘lens flare’ after-effect, sometimes set against solarised backgrounds.
The paintings, it seems, edit out the obviously painterly effects which the photographs are printed to exaggerate. Back at the paintings, that said, closer examination does show the brushwork on the unusual material of Plexiglas; an objecthood more typical of paintings is emphasised by the double layer of birch board on which they are set in Perspex box frames; and that white band starts to feel more like a way of revealing the nature of the ground – or even, it being placed where a signature might be expected, a jocular way of signing the work ‘White’. And it’s in the back-and-forths – between painting and photograph, between throwaway and exacting, between pointlessness and point – that the interest of White’s work lies.
ART STUFF on a train # 24: ‘The Correct Use of Gum’
October 15, 2013
Alex Hoda: Schliere (Streak), 2012, Michelangelo marble – 160 x 74 x 28 cm
Alex Hoda’s show at Edel Assanti (to 26 Oct) features marble sculptures of chewing gum. That fuses two well-established tropes: blowing something small up big to make us look at it differently, which Claes Oldenburg was first to exploit systematically; and using precious material – and the labour of production – to elevate the worth of something casual or valueless, which, for example, Sue Collis does particularly subtly. Jeff Koons’ balloon dogs or Urs Fischer’s giant aluminium versions of squeezed lumps of clay offer combined approaches. What’s more, the art use of chewing gum is pretty-much a tradition of its own. Alina Szapocznikow’s 1971 series of ‘Photosculptures’ monumentalise pieces which she chewed. Adam McEwen has used wads on canvas to refer to the bombing of German cities in WWII, contrasting the understanding of gum-chewing child and gum-arranging man. Hannah Wilke dotted herself with vulval chewing gum 'wounds'. Dan Colen has made enough ‘paintings’ with gum that he has an established process: ‘I pay people to chew the gum. Students get 50 cents for each piece. Then we take the gum and make it dirty with street shit. I want it to be both elegant and real’. Which leaves us with the question: has Hoda taken established tropes in fresh directions, or is just an ersatz follower of others? The visceral impact of a five foot-tall gob of marble gum spat straight on the wall certainly feels like something new.
ART STUFF on a train # 23: ‘One Thing on Top of Another’
October 8, 2013
Jacob Felländer: Pentimento Study #6 (detail view), 2013
ART STUFF on a plane # 22: ‘The Big Three in Amsterdam’
October 1, 2013
* Trip courtesy www.holland.com , www.artsholland.com and the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam
Poster advertising van Gogh in 3D
ART STUFF on a train # 21: ‘Pierdom’
September 24, 2013
Hastings Pier, 2011