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an intermittent art blog

Red and Green
Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Apples, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
18 April 1918

… so to Gordon Sqre; where first the new Delacroix & then the Cézanne were produced. There are 6 apples in the Cézanne picture. What can 6 apples not be? I began to wonder. Theres their relationship to each other, & their colour, & their solidity. To Roger & Nessa, moreover, it was a far more intricate question than this. It was a question of pure paint or mixed; if pure which colour: emerald or veridian; & then the laying on of the paint; & the time he’d spent, & how he’d altered it, & why, & when he’d painted it—
We carried it into the next room, & Lord! how it showed up the pictures there, as if you put a real stone among sham ones; the canvas of the others seemed scraped with a rather thin layer of cheap paint. The apples positively got redder & rounder & greener.

Virginia Woolf, The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Vol. I 1915-19 (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1979, pp. 140-1)

Red and Green

Paul Cézanne, Still Life with Apples, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

18 April 1918

… so to Gordon Sqre; where first the new Delacroix & then the Cézanne were produced. There are 6 apples in the Cézanne picture. What can 6 apples not be? I began to wonder. Theres their relationship to each other, & their colour, & their solidity. To Roger & Nessa, moreover, it was a far more intricate question than this. It was a question of pure paint or mixed; if pure which colour: emerald or veridian; & then the laying on of the paint; & the time he’d spent, & how he’d altered it, & why, & when he’d painted it—

We carried it into the next room, & Lord! how it showed up the pictures there, as if you put a real stone among sham ones; the canvas of the others seemed scraped with a rather thin layer of cheap paint. The apples positively got redder & rounder & greener.

Virginia Woolf, The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Vol. I 1915-19 (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1979, pp. 140-1)

— 1 year ago with 5 notes
#Cézanne  #apples  #Fitzwilliam Museum  #Virginia Woolf  #Vanessa Bell  #Roger Fry 

Stainless

Portrait of Harry Brearley, discoverer of stainless steel, by Faunagraphic, Howard Street, Sheffield, May 1013.

Commissioned to mark the 100th anniversary of Brearley’s discovery.

I especially like Brearley’s anachronistic badges and the artist’s signature bird. There’s a great timelapse film of the mural’s painting here.

— 1 year ago with 1 note
#harry brearley  #stainless steel  #faunagraphic  #sheffield  #street art 
S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G 
Whitechapel Gallery, London, May 2013
If nothing else you have to admire the honesty. Gone is any appeal to philanthropically aiding the gallery by purchasing artists’ editions or to grandiose notions that you too can collect art (if on a modest scale). No, buying a limited edition print at the Whitechapel is now simply “shopping”. You might as well be in IKEA, albeit a very superior branch. Even the assymetric above-the-eyeline hang is IKEA-esque, though the prices most definitely aren’t.
I wonder what - if anything - the artists make of this, the charitable donation of their work so unabashedly commodified? These prints, interesting though they are, are designed more to be sold than to act as any artistic testament. And yet, in their way, they do exactly that: they’re a little piece of an artist or exhibition, a distillation of their essence, an expensive souvenir. Assuming you’ve even seen the show, of course.
Here in the Whitechapel foyer, grouped together, stripped of their associations, promiscuously forming new ones, they’re in the realm of lovely things, of home decor, of will that go with my flowery curtains or my stripey rug.
But possibly that’s a good a reason as any to buy a piece of art…

S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G 

Whitechapel Gallery, London, May 2013

If nothing else you have to admire the honesty. Gone is any appeal to philanthropically aiding the gallery by purchasing artists’ editions or to grandiose notions that you too can collect art (if on a modest scale). No, buying a limited edition print at the Whitechapel is now simply “shopping”. You might as well be in IKEA, albeit a very superior branch. Even the assymetric above-the-eyeline hang is IKEA-esque, though the prices most definitely aren’t.

I wonder what - if anything - the artists make of this, the charitable donation of their work so unabashedly commodified? These prints, interesting though they are, are designed more to be sold than to act as any artistic testament. And yet, in their way, they do exactly that: they’re a little piece of an artist or exhibition, a distillation of their essence, an expensive souvenir. Assuming you’ve even seen the show, of course.

Here in the Whitechapel foyer, grouped together, stripped of their associations, promiscuously forming new ones, they’re in the realm of lovely things, of home decor, of will that go with my flowery curtains or my stripey rug.

But possibly that’s a good a reason as any to buy a piece of art…

— 1 year ago
#shopping  #art  #philanthropy  #whitechapel gallery  #artists' editions  #art collecting 

Umbrella

Adriano Costa, Mendes Wood, Frieze London 2012

— 1 year ago with 3 notes
#adriano costa  #frieze  #art fairs 
Small pleasures
Matt Hoyt, Bureau, Frieze London 2012
Matt Hoyt makes tiny sculptures, exquisitely crafted and carefully displayed.  Some of their forms seem vaguely natural, others unidentified fragments of something man-made. Meticulously arranged in groups, they resemble new archaeological finds whose functions are not yet understood.
You’re tempted to pick them up one by one and examine them closely, to turn them over in the palm of your hand. The open art fair display lends itself to this. (In a public gallery, surely, they’d be museumified in vitrines.) Somehow, just - not wanting to disturb their delicate arrangement, maybe - you manage to resist.

Small pleasures

Matt Hoyt, Bureau, Frieze London 2012

Matt Hoyt makes tiny sculptures, exquisitely crafted and carefully displayed.  Some of their forms seem vaguely natural, others unidentified fragments of something man-made. Meticulously arranged in groups, they resemble new archaeological finds whose functions are not yet understood.

You’re tempted to pick them up one by one and examine them closely, to turn them over in the palm of your hand. The open art fair display lends itself to this. (In a public gallery, surely, they’d be museumified in vitrines.) Somehow, just - not wanting to disturb their delicate arrangement, maybe - you manage to resist.

— 1 year ago
#frieze  #art fairs  #matt hoyt 

Small change


Left: Grizedale Arts/Yangjiang Group, Colosseum of the Consumed

Right: Bedwyr Williams, Curator Cadaver Cake (Both Frieze London 2012)

It’s de rigueur for art fairs to display at least a modicum of self-awareness, commissioning projects that aim to challenge, question or (re-)enact their fundamental principle of art in exchange for money.

This year, Grizedale Arts ably provided the organisers’ alibi, presenting a series of artist and community-run stalls within a specially created structure by Chinese collective Yangjiang Group. I nearly bought a terracotta Ruskin bust from the Coniston Institute stall, didn’t and regretted it.

The centre of the installation formed an ampitheatre for dining opportunities (their words) and food-related performance. The space reminded me of an old-fashioned dissection theatre more than anything, but perhaps my view was coloured by catching part of Bedwyr Williams’ Curator Cadaver Cake, in which the artist performs an autopsy on a horribly realistic curator-shaped cake. Alas, I’ve never had a strong stomach for such things and made an escape before I could witness these disturbing scenes.

— 1 year ago
#grizedale arts  #bedwyr williams  #yangjiang group  #art and money  #art fairs  #frieze 
Desk job
Mateo López at Casas Riegner, Frieze London 2012
A wooden desk with pull-out trays on either side. In one of the trays, an apparently blank sheet of lined file paper and a magnifying glass, inviting (possibly futile?) closer inspection. In the middle of the desk, five multicoloured pencil rubbers arranged with the casual creativity of the procrastinator waiting for higher inspiration to strike. The trays, impeding access to the desk itself, add to the air of thwarted activity.
Perhaps that’s appropriate for a desk likely to be bought and looked at rather than put to practical use. Some of the many desks in López’s gallery installations are similarly frustrated. Others become sites for further artistic production, cluttered with tools, objects and creations, resembling office workstations more than conventional notions of artists’ studios.
Even López’s drawings seem workmanlike, a compliment of course. Carefully mapping creative processes, they document, consider and invent, sometimes extending pre-existing objects and transforming them, sometimes taking on 3-D forms of their own.

Desk job

Mateo López at Casas Riegner, Frieze London 2012

A wooden desk with pull-out trays on either side. In one of the trays, an apparently blank sheet of lined file paper and a magnifying glass, inviting (possibly futile?) closer inspection. In the middle of the desk, five multicoloured pencil rubbers arranged with the casual creativity of the procrastinator waiting for higher inspiration to strike. The trays, impeding access to the desk itself, add to the air of thwarted activity.

Perhaps that’s appropriate for a desk likely to be bought and looked at rather than put to practical use. Some of the many desks in López’s gallery installations are similarly frustrated. Others become sites for further artistic production, cluttered with tools, objects and creations, resembling office workstations more than conventional notions of artists’ studios.

Even López’s drawings seem workmanlike, a compliment of course. Carefully mapping creative processes, they document, consider and invent, sometimes extending pre-existing objects and transforming them, sometimes taking on 3-D forms of their own.

— 1 year ago with 2 notes
#art and work  #art fairs  #mateo lopez  #frieze 
Country house
Tris Vonna-Michell at T293, Frieze London 2012
Arranged along a concertina of card, a series of b&w photos of a large estate somewhere - a house, a lake, a monument,  a landscape carved into sweeping grounds - projects a timeless air of moneyed tranquillity. The serenity’s disturbed, however, by a commentary on headphones, where a demented voice half-chants half-sings desirable acquisitions for such a country pile: avenues, hahas, the works. With the headphones arranged at either end of the concertina, the likelihood of encountering a stranger grinning as sillily as you half way along is high. You replicate the passing nods and smiles of a country walk in the unlikely setting of a busy art fair.
By chance I recognized the estate in the photos as Gibside, a National Trust property near Gateshead. Built by a family with mining money, Gibside is a testament to the kind of overreaching Vonna-Mitchell’s maniacal commentary evokes. Their projects included a ‘Column of Liberty’ built by estate workers in appalling conditions, a stable block so grand it was mistaken for the house and a house so elaborate it quickly fell into ruin.
Vonna-Michell, it turns out, has been in residence with the National Trust at Gibside and this work is a by-product, or perhaps a foretaste, of his show at Baltic in Gateshead which opens on 20 October. On the basis of this teaser, I’m curious to see it.

Country house

Tris Vonna-Michell at T293, Frieze London 2012

Arranged along a concertina of card, a series of b&w photos of a large estate somewhere - a house, a lake, a monument,  a landscape carved into sweeping grounds - projects a timeless air of moneyed tranquillity. The serenity’s disturbed, however, by a commentary on headphones, where a demented voice half-chants half-sings desirable acquisitions for such a country pile: avenues, hahas, the works. With the headphones arranged at either end of the concertina, the likelihood of encountering a stranger grinning as sillily as you half way along is high. You replicate the passing nods and smiles of a country walk in the unlikely setting of a busy art fair.

By chance I recognized the estate in the photos as Gibside, a National Trust property near Gateshead. Built by a family with mining money, Gibside is a testament to the kind of overreaching Vonna-Mitchell’s maniacal commentary evokes. Their projects included a ‘Column of Liberty’ built by estate workers in appalling conditions, a stable block so grand it was mistaken for the house and a house so elaborate it quickly fell into ruin.

Vonna-Michell, it turns out, has been in residence with the National Trust at Gibside and this work is a by-product, or perhaps a foretaste, of his show at Baltic in Gateshead which opens on 20 October. On the basis of this teaser, I’m curious to see it.

— 2 years ago
#Baltic  #Frieze  #Gibside  #National Trust  #Tris Vonna-Michell  #country houses  #art fairs 

Art by design

Assorted gallery stand furniture, Frieze London 2012.

Not strictly art per se but there’s definitely an art to it. You could probably write a PhD thesis on the furniture galleries take to art fairs. Someone probably has.

See also Gavin Brown’s outlandish example here. Wonder what offer he’d take for the bench?

(You could probably also write your PhD on the gallerinas’ shoes.)

— 2 years ago with 1 note
#art fairs  #design  #frieze  #furniture  #shoes  #charity shop 
Never say never again…
View of Frieze London 2012, with Tanya Bonakdar Gallery's stand (left) and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise (with eponymous gallerist, right) and works by Rivane Neuenschwander (left) and Thomas Bayrle (right).
Despite annual resolutions otherwise, I went to Frieze and - shockingly - quite enjoyed it. I wrote a bit about it here and in the next day or two I’ll post a few things I liked.
I’ll post a few things from the Sunday art fair, too.

Never say never again…

View of Frieze London 2012, with Tanya Bonakdar Gallery's stand (left) and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise (with eponymous gallerist, right) and works by Rivane Neuenschwander (left) and Thomas Bayrle (right).

Despite annual resolutions otherwise, I went to Frieze and - shockingly - quite enjoyed it. I wrote a bit about it here and in the next day or two I’ll post a few things I liked.

I’ll post a few things from the Sunday art fair, too.

— 2 years ago with 1 note
#art fairs  #frieze  #Gavin Brown's Enterprise