Thursday, December 15, 2011

German Art in London

Pretentious Crap - Zhivago Duncan

Just been to London to see the German Art invasion of London - much more interesting than Christmas shopping. I started at the Saatchi Gallery with the Gesamtkunstwerk exhibition. Junk predominates as both material and metaphor. Many of these artists, especially those born in the 1970s, belong to what's been described as the post-po-mo generation.
Duncan’s work 9-foot-by-9-foot cubic vitrine containing a jagged mountain landscape of encircling train tracks, industrial cranes, and vintage airplanes flying overhead. Coming from a series of post-apocalyptic works shown last spring at Berlin’s Contemporary Fine Arts, the sculpture stemmed from the artist’s childhood dream of building a train set. “Being a child is being at the most perceptive and sincere stage in your life,” explains Duncan. “I am a child inside and will always be a child.” It is exactly that element of play that Williams sought to bring forth in the exhibition.
 I also liked the works from the Tobias twins, Gert and Uwe, who create bimorphs in bright colours (which are a cross between work by Klee or MirĂ³) made from woodcuts on very large canvas. The show continues until 30th April so plenty of time to catch it.

Seascape (Sea-Sea) 1970 - Richter
After lunch it was off to the Tate for Gerhard Richter - Panorama. With work spanning 5 decades the exhibition was set to coincide with the artist's 80th birthday. Although I love his early squeegee abstracts in bright colours my favourite work was Seascape (Sea-Sea) 1970 (oil on canvas) based on a collage of two photographs of the sea, one inverted to appear as the sky. This is a super exhibition so get away from the sales in January and see it before it closes on the 8th January. Jackie Mackay

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Galleries Night (Mince Pies and Wine)

Dean Kelland - Performance still 2011
Five of us met up at the IKON to partake of a FREE Art Bus, Guided tours, mulled wine and mince pies. The latter were brilliant but we only managed a tour of the RBSA and The Ikon as time ran out getting from one venue to the next. We decided the Barber Institute would have to wait for another day and also the pub, never did get there.
Travelling from the IKON to the RBSA it was decided that that would be our starting point. Once there and having indulged ourselves of the food and drink available we realised if we were to try and get to the rest of the venues it would take longer than getting the last bus back to the centre of town.
Scrambling on the bus at the RBSA we saw the outside of Eastside , The MAC and the Barber Institute and then returned to the IKON.
The RBSA is exhibiting Pat Landon’s work on the cafe wall until 10th December 2011 and Open all Media in the two upper galleries until 24th December 2011.

The Ikon exhibitions we visited were Dean Kelland’s  Living Room Series (Episode 2): The Desperate Hours which is on until the 5th February 2012
Dean Kelland works with performance, photography, film and appropriation to explore portraiture, producing engaging observations of our collective cultural identities”
and then John Myers’s exhibition Middle England on until 5th February 2012
"This is the first major exhibition by Midlands-based artist John Myers. Comprising black and white photographs made in the 1970s, Ikon’s selection includes Middle England (1970–1974), a number of portraits of individuals and families living in and around Stourbridge and the Black Country”.
View John Myers video about his work on Vimeo

The last exhibition we visited was Stuart Whipps - Why Contribute to the Spread of Ugliness? on until 5th February 2012
Ikon presents an exhibition of new works by Birmingham-based artist Stuart Whipps, a selection of photography and video reflecting on the changing nature of cultural value.
A new two channel video installation, England and the Octopus, Britain and the Beast (2011), focuses on the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog in North Wales, a former quarry town at the geographical centre of Snowdonia National Park. When the Park’s borders were created in 1951 the grey slate waste tips that surround Blaenau Ffestiniog prevented its inclusion, a decision made in part by the eccentric architect of Portmeirion, Clough Williams-Ellis. Whipps shows new film footage of the town teamed with a Welsh-language script sourced from texts written or edited by Williams-Ellis”.

Time to catch the train which was delayed, so arrived home at 10.45pm pub visit was abandoned.