29 Oct 2010

Painting against Mussolini: Art and the Fall of a Dictator, Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, London

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in London, from 22nd September - 19th December 2010

these dark painting from Mafai and Garelli are worth seeing. we are often more aware of the painting from this period of Max Beckmann and other New Objectivity paintings that stood against Fascism than Italian painting from that time. They should be appreciated more and still retain much of the original power all these years later worth a trip to North London...

Mario Mafai, Fantasia - Interrogation, 1941-43

                                                           Franco Garelli, Shooting, c. 1944

27 Oct 2010

Floris Neususs 'Nudo-grams' @ Shadow Catchers exhibition, V&A Museum, London

This is a fascinating exhibition exploring the concept of shadows through a varirty of approaches. well worth looking at, it is a cross between 19th Century ideas in science and technology with a radical 20th Century experimental idea of art-making. this would be a good companion exhibition to the Eadweard Muybridge at the Tate in London.

Floris Neusüss

Born Lennep (Germany), 1937. Floris Neusüss has dedicated his whole career to extending the practice, study and teaching of the photogram. Alongside his work as an artist, he is known as an influential writer and teacher on camera-less photography.

Neusüss brought renewed ambition to the photogram process, in both scale and visual treatment, with the Körperfotogramms (or whole-body photograms) that he first exhibited in the 1960s. Since that time, he has consistently explored the photogram's numerous technical, conceptual and visual possibilities.

His works often deal in opposites: black and white, shadow and light, movement and stillness, presence and absence, and in the translation of three dimensions into two. By removing objects from their physical context, Neusüss encourages the viewer to contemplate the essence of form. He creates a feeling of surreal detachment, a sense of disengagement from time and the physical world. Collectively, his images explore themes of mythology, history, nature and the subconscious.

7 Oct 2010

'Throwing Shapes' @ Coleman Project Space and Cafe Gallery, London

7 October - 7 November 2010

This is an interesting exhibition of a group of diverse artists working with abstraction in London. Defining 'hard-edge' abstraction in its diverse forms from installation to raw canvas. Here's the blurb, not sure how much I believe... Coleman Project Space presents a two-venue initiative curated by Rebecca Geldard with Vanessa Jackson, Clare Goodwin, Alasdair Duncan and Kilian Rüthemann.

'Jan & Dan', Claire Goodwin, 68 cm x 50 cm, Medium: Mixed media, Catalogue No: CGP1259

'Throwing Shapes' is a group exhibition on the itinerant nature of abstract painting’s core motifs. The conversational starting point for this colourful dialogue between venues, and works in various media, is a large-scale wall-painting commission by Vanessa Jackson at CGP London’s Cafe Gallery.
While the title elicits the notion of sharply defined forms flung, or Modernist-indebted visual strategies, it also references dance and music. ‘Throwing shapes’, like the term ‘abstract’ for an art context, has become a generic expression. It is now synonymous with human movement to music/sounds of all kinds but was initially used to describe the repetitive physical actions associated with electronic dance music: a simple sign language for those under its influence.

  • Vanessa Jackson, Dimensions not supplied, Medium: Installation, Catalogue No: CGP1248
This sense of reduction and recycling of forms and trends - given the recent nu-rave revival traceable through music, art and fashion, for example - is key to the exhibition remit. 'Throwing Shapes' does not attempt to survey the new, however, or plot fixable paths between the past and present, rather identify some curious conceptual territories emerging from artists’ re-negotiation of these basic forms; locate points at which specific aesthetic languages shift, mutate or break down.

Alasdair Duncan’s “signs for the future” pitch the viewer between the language of propaganda, painting and the perfunctory signage of everyday life. The London-based artist’s colour-rich, optimistic motifs, borrowed equally from the Bauhaus as the Highway Code, will appear here in two site-specific vinyl and sculptural works at Coleman Project Space.

Zürich-based Clare Goodwin also mines the past in a strangely positive way, her human-titled paintings conveying both the gritty reality of an era and sense of nostalgia one can have for a time that is not their own. Seventies design graphics and Op-art strategies appear rudely cropped into seductively hard-edged, conceptually adulterous compositional unions.

It makes perfect sense that Vanessa Jackson’s ritual play on canvas with geometric systems should find its way onto public surfaces given her interest in the democracy of mathematical approaches to art. Where Jackson’s ambitious three-floor mural for Sadler’s Wells in 2008 provided a lyrical framework for the performative dimension of the site, here the big white box of CGP London will become test-cell for the optical and kinetic possibilities of forms placed “arm-in-arm, hip-to-hip” in space. 

Swiss artist Kilian Rüthemann is known for his minimal, mostly temporary sculptural alterations to architectural spaces. For this, Rüthemann’s first London exhibition, the Basel-based artist will show a film in Coleman Project Space’s acclaimed Shed Space. Here, the virtual realm of the computer program provides the contextual fabric for his study of line and form as dictated by the flight paths of birds at sunset.

Times: Thursday - Sunday from 12 - 5pm.

5 Oct 2010

Gerhard Richter at New Walk Art Gallery, Leicester

Gerhard Richter, Abstract Painting, 1994, 225 cm x 200 cm,
Oil on canvas, Catalogue Raisonné: 809-3 © Gerhard Richter 2010.

Any excuse to see a Richter show in the UK. Here is an interesting exhibition in Leicester. Have a read of the press release below:

Epoch - 
Gerhard Richter
2nd October 2010 - 27th February 2011
New Walk Museum & Art Gallery
(In partnership with The City Gallery)

'The German artist Gerhard Richter is considered to be one of the most important living painters in the world. Over a career spanning more than half a century, Richter has exhibited work in every major gallery in the world from The Museum of Modern Art in New York to Tate Modern in London. His influence on the next generation of artists such as Damien Hirst has been enormous.

Much of his work has been an exploration of the ways in which photography has changed the nature of painting over the twentieth century. In some of his first paintings to become famous he created ‘photo-realistic’ images that reproduced the blurring of photographs.

This exhibition, entitled Epoch, is taken from ARTIST ROOMS, a new national collection established by the dealer and collector Anthony d’Offay, jointly owned by Tate and the National Galleries of Scotland. The exhibition also includes a selection of the artist’s multiples, lent by Anthony d’Offay especially for this presentation.

The largest work (48 Portraits) captures many of the themes of interest to Richter including history, painting and portraiture. This key piece is shown alongside several other significant works that show Richter’s diverse practice, from further portrait painting to more abstract images, photographs and prints. 

Through this range of works, Epoch gives an insight into one of the most important artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Anthony d’Offay was brought up in Leicester with New Walk Museum & Art Gallery providing a place of inspiration during his childhood.'

The British painter Dexter Dalwood is nominated for Turner Prize 2010

The fascinating painter Dexter Dalwood, who has always shown an original approach to painting, often using unusual political icons and their houses/rooms as a reference point in his work, has been nominated for the Turner Prize along with the painter Angela De La Cruz.

Dexter Dalwood, Greenham Common 2008,
(c) Dexter Dalwood, Gagosian Gallery Associates. Photo: Prudence Cumming Associates
Dexter Dalwood was born in Bristol, England in 1960. He studied at Central St.Martins, London and at the Royal College of Art, London. Dalwood has been nominated for his solo exhibition at Tate St Ives which revealed the rich depth and range of his approach to making painting that draws upon historical tradition as well as contemporary cultural and political events.