Archives for posts with tag: Painting

The Ghost In Our Children (II) (Mummy's Boots), (1-4), 2016-7

The Ghost In Our Children (II) (Mummy’s Boots)

(panels one and two of four)

Acrylic on canvas

2016-7

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Ashley Lily Scarlett and I are engaged in a conversation in pictures called Between Scarlett and Guest. Check it out.

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And David Cook and I are reviewing each other’s record collections one disc at at time. Check out Zzzounds!

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The Ghost In Our Children (II) (Mummy's Boots), (3 and 4), 2016-7The Ghost In Our Children (II) (Mummy’s Boots)

(panels three and four of four)

Acrylic on canvas

2016-7

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The Ghost In Our Children (II) (Mummy's Boots), (3), 2016-7(panel three of four)

The Ghost In Our Children (II) (Mummy's Boots), (4), 2016-7(panel four of four)

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Ashley Lily Scarlett and I are engaged in a conversation in pictures called Between Scarlett and Guest. Check it out.

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And David Cook and I are reviewing each other’s record collections one disc at at time. Check out Zzzounds!

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The Ghost In Our Children (II) (Mummy's Boots) 1 and 2, 2016-7

The Ghost In Our Children (II) (Mummy’s Boots)

(panels one and two of four)

Acrylic on canvas

2016-7

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The Ghost In Our Children (II) (Mummy's Boots) #1, 2016-7(panel one of four)

The Ghost In Our Children (II) (Mummy's Boots) #2, 2016-7(panel two of four)

Ashley Lily Scarlett and I are engaged in a conversation in pictures called Between Scarlett and Guest. Check it out.

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And David Cook and I are reviewing each other’s record collections one disc at at time. Check out Zzzounds!

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Portrait (sketch), 2017– Portrait (sketch), 2017 –

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Ashley Lily Scarlett and I have a blog together. It’s a conversation in pictures and it’s called Between Scarlett and Guest.

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David Cook and I are reviewing each other’s record collections one disc at a time on a new blog called Zzzounds! David has just reviewed The Seer by Swans. Check it out!

 

Part One, 2016– Part One, 2016 –

Part Two, 2016– Part Two, 2016 –

Part Three, 2016– Part Three –

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Paintings for the homes of our new Brexit rulers, 2016Paintings for the homes of our new Brexit rulers, 2016

Acrylic on canvas

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Ashley Lily Scarlett and I are engaged in a conversation in pictures called Between Scarlett and Guest. Check it out.

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And David Cook and I are reviewing each other’s record collections one disc at at time. Check out Zzzounds!

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Dead Precedents, 2017– Dead Precedents, 2017 –

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This is the full version of an image I posted as part of my conversation in pictures with Ashley Lily Scarlett on Between Scarlett and Guest.

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David Cook and I are reviewing each other’s record collections one disc at a time on a new blog called Zzzounds! David has just reviewed The Seer by Swans. I’m struggling with my latest review, but am hoping it will be finished soon. David’s review of Swans can be read here.

 

B&B, 2017– B&B, 2017 –

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Ashley Lily Scarlett and I have a blog together. It’s a conversation in pictures and it’s called Between Scarlett and Guest.

* * *

David Cook and I are reviewing each other’s record collections one disc at a time on a new blog called Zzzounds! David has just reviewed The Seer by Swans. Check it out!

 

2nd part of David Cook and I talking about Mark Wallinger’s ID exhibition. Click through to read more…

London Eyeball

On May 1st, Richard Guest & I visited Mark Wallinger’s show  ID  at Hauser & Wirth London W1. Afterwards, we discussed the show by email. The following is the result of several weeks’ electronic toing and froing. Here is Part Two – you can read Part One here.

My accidental version of Shadow Walker in Lisson Grove – the twins in the camo trousers I was surreptitiously trying to photograph cropped off at the head! My accidental version of Shadow Walker in Lisson Grove – the twins in the camo trousers I was surreptitiously trying to photograph cropped off at the head!

David: Ever Since and Shadow Walker left me pretty cold I have to say, but there are a couple of things that make me scratch my head. Shadow Walker is on a screen resting on the floor, leaning against the wall. It was shot on a phone of some sort I think, it is very poor quality footage anyway, and it’s vertical). Ever Since is the reverse – very high quality and projected directly…

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5th January 2016, David Cook and I visited Michael Craig-Martin: Transience at the Serpentine Gallery in London. Afterwards, we discussed the show by email. The following is the result of several weeks’ electronic toing and froing. Here’s the third and final part…

Richard: Ha, just about. The comparison with the Rothko room is interesting. To me, where the Rothko room has an under-lit chapel-like atmosphere, MCM’s rooms at the Serpentine are in-your-face oppressive, like being trapped in a car showroom with an over-energetic salesman. Not so much of the transcendence. And I think that’s part of the point. MCM makes you engage with the work and the objects he depicts by force. These are aggressively ugly colour combinations – they’re pugnacious.

It’s interesting that some of the objects depicted have fallen out of use or had their design overhauled. Here we have Cassette, 2002. By 2002 cassettes had pretty much been superceded by CDs, DVDs and digital files as storage devices. To anyone born after 1997 this is probably a pretty obscure object. Is his intention to memorialise it? If so, why?

Michael Craig-Martin; Cassette, 2002; Acrylic on canvas; © Michael-Craig Martin; Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery

Michael Craig-Martin; Cassette, 2002; Acrylic on canvas; © Michael-Craig Martin; Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery

David: In a way it mocks the transience of these ubiquitous but ephemeral things. There is a memento mori quality to the cassette. It is doomed, already in the past: a repository of information that soon will degrade or no-one will have the equipment to read. All the objects are depicted through the same style prism – memorialised if you like – but not respectfully. They are robbed of everything but form. It is as if Craig-Martin is saying to designers: ‘my art will endure…but your products won’t.’  He is saying to Jonathan Ive “You might be selling 100 million iPods a year, but in a while they will be junk. But my paintings will be the same, and they will still be valuable, they will function as well as the day they were made.”

The bottom line is that we have allowed our consumer objects to supplant us at the centre of our art. Not only does the earth go around the sun but art no longer revolves around us either, but around our obsolcesent consumer durables.

The whole aspect of the show is sardonic. And to me, dripping with Warhol influences. I sometimes doubt the greatness of Warhol, but his influence is right here on the wall in the wall paper, in the acceptance of the everyday as a subject and behind the scenes in the creation of art celebrity which MCM has vicariously dabbled in at Goldsmiths. Warhol – who had made a lot of the running in including vernacular objects in ‘higher’ forms of art clearly was behind the initial choice of subjects and the mechanical look. But these are still very much hand made works: the artist in him was too strong. The distributed and reproduced element does not feel integral in the way it does with Warhol’s work. The dissemination of prints and internet works feels very much more like the reproduction of traditional 2d forms than Warhol’s mechanised and hands-off methodology. We get a very self denying art that almost can’t bear to be looked at: you couldn’t look at any painting here for as long as a Rembrandt or a Cézanne. It is not comfortable with itself in the same way. Its chosen idiom fights with the subject matter. This creates an arresting tension, but it is an uncomfortable one.

Warhol installation view by David Cook

Michael Craig-Martin: Transience, installation view by David Cook

Michael Craig-Martin: Transience, installation view by David Cook

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Ashley Lily Scarlett and I have started a new blog together. It’s a conversation in pictures and it’s called Between Scarlett and Guest

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5th January 2016, David Cook and I visited Michael Craig-Martin: Transience at the Serpentine Gallery in London. Afterwards, we discussed the show by email. The following is the result of several weeks’ electronic toing and froing. I’m afraid the exhibition is over. Anyway, here’s part two…

David: Instead of the old Paul Klee adage of ‘going for a walk with a line’, Craig-Martin’s version might be ‘going to the gym with a line’ – what you end up with is very strong but robotic, and yet the paintings and the wall drawings still have the human hand in them. They aspire to the condition of machine-made things – a very Modernist conceit – but they are not. They are fascinatingly three dimensional when you view the paintings from a glancing angle – they reminded me of the Nazca lines in Peru. They are slight vertical disturbances on an otherwise flat surface and they have a circuit like quality – they are not lines that are easily interrupted or changed.

Michael Craig-Martin: Transience, installation view by David Cook

Michael Craig-Martin: Transience, installation view by David Cook

 

Nazca Lines, Peru

Nazca Lines, Peru

When I first saw the show though it was on a very damp rainy day and the humidity in the gallery caused some of the black acrylic tape in the wall drawing (in the last pic) to peel off. A gallery assistant in surgical gloves was reverently smoothing it back. This might have been supposed to remain hidden, this sort of performance aspect, but it was revealing of the human qualities of the line and its scale and how the hand had made it. It caused me also to look much more closely at the lines. The tape is very flexible but it does have trouble with some of the tight corners MCM asks of it, bunching  up and slightly lifting off the surface and there are places where the hand of the gallery assistant did not quite join the supposedly continuous line exactly so that it reminded me of a medieval engraving.

The show’s title is Transience – and some interviews suggest it is just about evolution of electronic product design. This is surely disingenuous. In the interview I read Craig-Martin pretends to be amazed at the obsolescence of the items in his work. He must have been aware of it even though he could’t predict the future, but is his choice of subject matter simply a case of him painting the first things he saw or are other factors in play?

Richard: I don’t think the objects are just the first things he saw – there is no kitsch – everything depicted is in some way functional. And in some way  everyday. These are the objects that surround us in our daily lives. I think it’s also important to MCM that what he paints is contemporary at the time of painting; these are all things that (for MCM) were in the “now”. One of the things I get from looking at these works is a sense that MCM is examining the objects, interrogating them almost – trying to show us the mystery at their heart. Their oddness, their alien nature. The blanker the object, the stronger the effect for me – the credit card being a good example.

Michael Craig-Martin: Transience; Installation view; Serpentine Gallery, 25 November 2015 – 14 February 2016; Photograph © 2015 Jerry Hardman-Jones

Michael Craig-Martin: Transience; Installation view; Serpentine Gallery, 25 November 2015 – 14 February 2016; Photograph © 2015 Jerry Hardman-Jones

David: The credit card is a great example and an inspired choice of subject because our relationship with it is so abstract. Although we handle it, its value is defined by the abstract concept of money. We know how to use it, but it is somehow not of our world. Almost in a religious sense. I don’t think Craig-Martin is suggesting that we should worship money or material things but perhaps he is suggesting we do, and the shift into unnatural colour in his paintings strips away the connection we normally take for granted and we can see the idol of materialism as just so many ephemeral plastic shapes. It is clever to use colour in this way, but I think there is a price to pay – it makes the paintings very hard on the eye!

Yes, the colour is striking. Really like being hit in the face almost. The central room is painted in a vivid Teal (see pic)

Michael Craig-Martin: Transience, installation view by David Cook

Michael Craig-Martin: Transience, installation view by David Cook

a colour Craig-Martin seems to like a lot. The predominant colour scheme is secondary colours and black with few primaries. Where present they will be clashing, as in the red and pink of the credit card. There are one or two moodier olive and maroon combinations that veer toward the tertiary spectrum. But basically he is using the colours of anoraks – orange, teal, cerise – it was like walking round Snow & Rock to be honest. They are commercial colours that have not been big in the history of art, partly because they feel very synthetic. I am pretty sure that orange teal and magenta do not occur together in nature and the flat unmodulated nature of his paintings accentuates this plastic quality.

I was unsure also about extending the colour onto the walls as well as the paintings. Should art end at the edge of the canvas? Or in MCM’s case aluminium mounted on a small frame whose dimensions imitate a canvas? It was intruding on the headspace of the viewer. It was not a setting for the painting- it felt immersive, almost church like and slightly oppressive. In that way it was almost like the Rothko room at the Tate. If you spend long enough in it your eyes will see the complementary colour.  Have your eyes recovered?

To be continued…

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Ashley Lily Scarlett and I have started a new blog together. It’s a conversation in pictures and it’s called Between Scarlett and Guest

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