r e p ’ e . t ’ t i o n
18 Nov 2008 - 17 Jan 2009
Dates: 28th November 2008–17th January 2009
Preview: 28th November 2008, 6pm
Notes: closed 21 December to 5 January
This group show brings together a range of works concerned with the idea of the repeated image or motif.
Eva Berendes ‘s large, freestanding, semi-transparent, fabric screens take the form of oversized watercolours physically dividing and redefining the space in which they are installed. They reference both the fine and applied arts – from Sonia Delaunay’s colourful experiments in painting and commercial print, to the Bauhaus weaving workshop and the exhibition designs of Lilly Reich. For Berendes, the methodical, manual work involved in their production is as important as the conceptual process – hence the backs of the screens are left exposed, revealing their construction. The works reference the abstract compositions of early 20th century Amish quilts famed for their unsophisticated, geometric designs and subtle use of colour. However, Berendes’s compositions are less spiritually contemplative, taking inspiration from the irreverent Memphis furniture produced in Milan in the 1980s. Her interest is not however focused on any specific historical era but instead on a broader understanding and interest in the language of abstraction - exploring its development throughout the 20th century and how it is perceived today, reflecting back yet continuing to evolve. Berendes was born in Bonn and lives and works in Berlin. Recent exhibitions include a solo show at Sommer & Kohl, Berlin and a two-person show at Arndt & Partner, Berlin.
Edward Estlin Cummings popularly known as E. E. Cummings, was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. His body of work encompasses more than 900 poems, several plays and essays, numerous drawings, sketches, and paintings, as well as two novels. While his poetic forms and themes share an affinity with the romantic tradition, Cummings’ work universally shows a particular idiosyncrasy of syntax, or way of arranging individual words into larger phrases and sentences. A number of his poems feature a typographically exuberant style, with words, parts of words, or punctuation symbols scattered across the page, often making little sense until read aloud, at which point the meaning and emotion become clear. Cummings, who was also a painter, understood the importance of presentation, and used typography to “paint a picture” with some of his poems. As well as being influenced by notable modernists including Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound, Cummings’ early work drew upon the imagist experiments of Amy Lovell. Later, his visits to Paris exposed him to Dada and surrealism, which in turn permeated his work.
Fiona Jardine makes installations using wall paper, collages and sculptural elements to completely alter the original environments. She recently participated as part of the ‘Nought to Sixty’ series of exhibitions at the ICA . For this show she will exhibit a new collage, which has been described by Isla Lever-Yap as follows:”Using images primarily torn from women’s fashion magazines, Jardine has reconfigured body parts into grotesque designs of skin and limbs.(Her) work deploys bodies with a brutal visionary approach reminiscent of arcane or medieval religious imagery. (She) pastes disembodied hands into the shape of a sphere, which recalls the map of Dante’s Inferno – where the levels of underworld are presented as concentric circles – and also as a sphincter – an image that the artist describes as an “ingesting, consuming” rather than excreting.”
Executed in oil and acrylic on canvas, Alan Michael’s paintings form a skewed but precise idiolect of cultural references. Photographs, prints and art-world reproductions are meticulously studied and fascistically transformed – duplicated, rotated, spliced and inter-married. His iconic hybrids encompassing Lucian Freud, Horst, Balthus, Andrew Wyeth and – more recently – Lynne Ramsey’s film Morvern Callar are doppelgangers of both hegemonic and sub-cultures, middlebrows and avant-gardes. The resultant images deny both unctuousness and hysteria at the compulsive level of their masterful – yet quirkily handled – substance, fashioning angular (and thoroughly painterly) chimeras at a deadpan remove from their subjects. Michael has commented on his new series of works for r e p’ e. t’ t i o n, “These paintings refer to: nothing. Apart from the original photographs of fluttering Dutch flags taken by the artist. It’s a parallel practice, the past is meaningless now, so you won’t get it.“ Born in Glasgow in 1967, Alan Michael gained a BA in Fine Art from Duncan of Jordanstone College, Dundee in 1996 and an MA (Fine Art) from Glasgow School of Art in 1998. In 2008 Michael had a solo show at the Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh and Art Now at Tate, London. Alan Michael lives and works in Glasgow.
Bridget Riley was born in 1931 at Norwood, London. She studied at Goldsmiths College from 1949 to 1952, and at the Royal College of Art from 1952 to 1955. Riley has exhibited widely since her first solo show in 1962. Among numerous exhibitions, she was included in the 1968 Venice Biennial where she won the International Prize for painting. Bridget Riley is one of Britain’s best-known artists. Since the mid-1960s she has been celebrated for her distinctive, optically vibrant paintings which actively engage the viewer’s sensations and perceptions, producing visual experiences that are complex and challenging, subtle and arresting. Riley is acclaimed as one of the finest exponents of Op Art, with her subtle variations in size, shape and position of blocks within the overall pattern. Her work is characterized by its intensity and its often disorientating effect. Indeed the term ‘Riley sensation’ was coined to describe this effect of looking at the paintings, especially her early black and white pictures. Riley is fascinated with the act of looking and in her work aims to engage the viewer not only with the object of their gaze but also with the actual process of observation. Though her work is abstract, the optical experiences obtained through viewing her work seem surprisingly familiar. During her childhood, when she lived in Cornwall, she formed an acute responsiveness to natural phenomena. In particular, the effects of light and color in the landscape. Though her mature work does not proceed from observation, it is nevertheless connected with the experience of nature. This parallel relation between Riley’s art and nature has underpinned the development of her work, coloring the way it forms both an exploration and a celebration of a fundamental human experience: sight.
Sue Tompkins’ daily existence is completely interconnected with her artistic practice. She uses found objects, magazines and text to create her own very unique and individual aesthetic. Her performances are a hypnotic experience where she uses repetition and rhythm to create a genuinely emotive reading. In 2007 she had solo shows at The Showrrom, London and Diana Stigter, Amsterdam. She lives and works in Glasgow.
John Wesley was born in Los Angeles, California in 1928. After holding a series of odd jobs, he began painting at the age of 22. His first exhibition consisted mostly of large-format acrylic paintings of imaginary seals and stamps; he would retain the flatness and limited color range of these works, but would move into the depiction of bodies and cartoon characters, the latter of which led him to be grouped with Pop Art as the 1960s progressed. The spareness of his technique often seems more akin to the school known as Minamilism, however, and indeed his closest personal associations were with artists such as Dan Flavin and Donald Judd, the latter of whom wrote a praising essay on Wesley’s early work. Wesley himself considers his work to be aligned with Surrealism, and many of his paintings since the 1960s have taken this dimension yet further, while retaining an extremely limited range of colors and a sign-like flatness. Several retrospectives of his work have been held, the most recent at the P.S.1 Contemporary Center in New York in 2000. Wesley is represented in the UK by Waddington Galleries.
Franz West lives and works in Vienna, where he was born in 1947. West began his career in mid-1960s Vienna when a local movement called Actionism was in full swing. West’s earliest sculptures, performances, and collages were a reaction to this movement, in which artists engaged in displays of radical public behavior and physical endurance meant to shake up art-world passivity. In the early 1970s, West began making a series of small, portable sculptures called “Adaptives” (“Paßtücke”), awkward-looking plaster objects that were only completed as artworks when the viewer picked them up and carried them around, or performed some other inherently slapstick action with them. In many ways, his large-scale aluminum sculptures are simply overgrown versions of the “Adaptives.” But they also relate directly to his installations, where west makes furniture. West has the ability to make comfortable and colorfully upholstered couches and chairs which transform galleries, museums, and public spaces into lounge-like, sociable environments for viewing art. West has exhibited internationally for more than three decades in galleries and museums, and at major festivals including Documenta IX (1992) and Documenta X (1997), Kassel, Germany; Sculpture Projects in Münster (1997); and the Venice Biennale (1988, 1993, 1997, 2003). In 1997 The Museum of Modern Art presented West with a solo show.
Claudia Wieser creates installations combining wall-paper, sculptures and drawings. Her works are interested in the utopian idea surrounding the classical idea of modernity. Out of logical systems and patterns she creates works that border on the transcendental. These works take on an almost spiritual feel, at odds with the mathematical approach used in their construction. Low fi black and white photocopies are used to create illusionary architectural spaces over which she lays her two-dimensional works. Wieser was born in Germany in 1973 and lives and works in Berlin
Thanks to Kay Pallister, The Gagosian Gallery, Claudia Weiser, Ben Kaufmann, Phillida Reid and Waddington Galleries, Ben Parsons and Karsten Schubert, The Modern Institute, Rob Tufnell and Bruce Haines at Ancient & Modern.
Private View, Friday 28th November 2008, 7-9pm, Until 17th January 2009. After party at The Hetherington Research Club, 13 University Gardens. Gallery Hours, Tuesday-Saturday 11am-5pm and by appointment