patternsthatconnect

abstract art and systems thinking

Automatic Drawing

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An automatic drawing …

Andy Parkinson, Automaton, 2014, permanent marker on tracing paper, 11 1/2" x 11 1/2"

Andy Parkinson, Automaton, 2014, permanent marker on tracing paper, 11 1/2″ x 11 1/2″

… not in the same sense that the surrealists used the term.

Written by Andy Parkinson

April 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm

Enclosures, Elsewhere

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Andy Parkinson:

An excellent review by David Manley, of the show at Lion and Lamb Gallery that continues until Saturday 19 April.

Originally posted on David Manley - Artist:

Due to a last minute swerve away from the original plan…I find myself back at the Lion + Lamb for Enclosures, Elsewher e a painting show that takes a clip from a John Clare poem as its starting point. The intriguing thesis sketched out by artist and curator James Fisher in a discussion around the work elided Clare’s return from the asylum in High Beech near Epping to his home near Peterborough a deluded walk of four days with his interest in, and opposition to, the Enclosures Act that parcelled up the agricultural land and in another twist introduces the idea of Elsewhere in a fascination with the circumstances and contexts surrounding Schubert’s song cycle, Winterreise . Though these antecedents are important to the curator the works in the show can be considered outwith the thesis however at several junctures in examining the work some echoes of these hightide moments of the…

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Written by Andy Parkinson

April 14, 2014 at 6:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

a little patch of yellow wall … curated by Jane Bustin at Lion and Lamb 25 April

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Andy Parkinson:

Hoping to visit…

Originally posted on Artprojx:

yellow page

PETER ABRAHAMS | BOYLEANDSHAW | FRAN BURDEN | JOHN CARTER | MARIA CHEVSKA | ROSE DAVEY | TESS JARAY | NATASHA KIDD | EDWINA LEAPMAN | MARY MATHIESON | AVIS NEWMAN | BERNARDO ORTIZ | PAUL ROSENBLOOM | MARTIN RICHMAN | YUKO SHIRAISHI | SUSAN SLUGLETT | JEFFREY STEELE & JANE BUSTIN | JO VOLLEY | WALLACE & SEYMOUR | CATHY WARD | IAN WITTLESEA

a little patch of yellow wall…..like some priceless specimen of Chinese art, of beauty that was sufficient in itself  (MARCEL PROUST)

curated by Jane Bustin

26 April – 17 May 2014

Opening: Friday 25 April 6.30pm

Talk: Saturday 17 May at 5pm Chaired by Peter Ashton Jones and Juan Bolivar

Bergotte stands before Vermeers View of Delft: 

At last he came to the Vermeer which he remembered as more striking, more different from anything else that he knew, but in which…

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Written by Andy Parkinson

April 11, 2014 at 5:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized

An Interview with Artist David Riley

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David Riley makes reductive, abstract, images, in series. They are not paintings, they are digital images and constructions that I think read a lot like paintings. I had seen some online at http://www.revad.com, before getting to see one of them in “hard copy” recently, at the group exhibition Crossing Lines at &Model, Leeds. Our exchanging of comments on this blog alerted me to the possibility of doing an interview, which we agreed to do by email (a lot more difficult than ever I thought it would be, because of the time delays in the dialogue). Here’s the result.

Citrus Pair, [Angelika Studios Gallery]; ink, tracing paper; coloured tracing paper, transparency film, binding combs, rebar, steel eyelets; 33cm x 153cm; 2013; installed for a modernist coin wash event. Image by courtesy of the artist

Citrus Pair, [Angelika Studios Gallery]; ink, tracing paper; coloured tracing paper, transparency film, binding combs, rebar, steel eyelets; 33cm x 153cm; 2013; installed for a modernist coin wash event. Image by courtesy of the artist

AP: I have heard you refer to individual works of yours as “outcomes”, which I think relates to the virtuality of your work, digital images that may get realised physically, have I understood that correctly?

DR: I use several words, ‘outcomes’ is one. You may also find me saying result, or side-effect. Generally, I am focused on the exploration first and the aesthetic of the outcome second. That is not to suggest the aesthetic is unimportant, it is just that enjoyment in the exploration of the idea is of foremost concern. It is also true to say I rarely consider anything finished. An outcome is usually just something I have decided to share along the way. I do flip between the virtual and the real, between digital and analogue. I never try to create a perfect copy between one and the other. Each outcome is new. So, an outcome presented in a virtual-world space is a different outcome when presented in a real-world space, even if both outcomes occur from a similar point in the same exploration.

AP: So, when the enjoyment in the exploration of an idea is foremost, what kind of exploration is that?

DR: Usually, some variation on what has gone before. I make something and then a new trigger event suggests a different path. Sometimes this is along similar lines and at other times it is off at a tangent. My experience is that the exploration involves studying the source of the idea, thinking about how this fits with my experience, and then experimenting with materials to see how I might express the idea in the best possible way (or, more accurately, in a way I find interesting). So, the exploration involves an analysis of the idea, an analysis of how this fits with my experience, an exploration of materials, and an analysis of the outcome. This, analysis followed by action sequence, can be looped many times before I find something I want to share. The loops are recorded in my journal.

David Riley, Code [for Crossing Lines]; a materials and installation notes journal entry; 2013/14. Image by courtesy of the artist

David Riley, Code [for Crossing Lines]; a materials and installation notes journal entry; 2013/14. Image by courtesy of the artist

AP: To what extent would you situate your work within the traditions of abstraction and systems art?

DR: I often use codes as a foundation, as a starting point. I use them to give me somewhere to start. I then generally setup a process and follow that process to see if it leads to an aesthetic outcome, an outcome I find interesting. If I find it does, then I might choose to share it. So, I setup a process or system of working and then explore to see where that might lead, to see if I find something worthy of being shared. The outcomes are a side-effect of the process or system being used. How this fits within any tradition is for others to decide. That is, I am not concerned if it fits or not. However, it would be true to say my aesthetic influences lie in the abstract art produced in the middle part of the 20th Century.

AP: Could you say more about how you use a code as a starting point?

DR: I record connections between ideas using visual codes developed from the Roman alphabet, the alphabet we normally use to communicate our ideas. So the idea starts in a commonly understood code (the Roman alphabet symbols) and progresses through the use of other representations. I realise we don’t often think of the alphabet as a code, but that is exactly what it is. Alphabet explorations, so far, have included using geometric shapes, stretched bungee cord, and colour to represent the alphabet. These ideas are then influenced by my own experience as a systems engineer. Morse Code, Murray Code, ASCII and other communication codes have become important.

David Riley, Hello World; an installation of bungee cord; bungee hooks and steel hooks; this 'me' of mine; The Art School Gallery, Ipswich Museum, England; 2013. Image by courtesy of the artist

David Riley, Hello World; an installation of bungee cord; bungee hooks and steel hooks; this ‘me’ of mine; The Art School Gallery, Ipswich Museum, England; 2013. Image by courtesy of the artist

I am concerned with connections and components, with how one thing might influence another. As a systems engineer, it was part of my job to try out different boundaries, to generate a more rounded appreciation of the situation, however complicated, familiar or unusual. So, I am used to setting up different processes in order to explore an idea from different perspectives. One constant element in every process is the concept of input, action, output and feedback. My artist statement relates this to the idea of a black-box systems approach.

“In science and engineering, a black box is a device, system or object which can be viewed solely in terms of its input, output and transfer characteristics; and without any knowledge of its internal working. Using this well understood concept, I think I am (in) the black box. That is, I receive stimuli to make work; I apply my interest, experience and passion to making the work; I produce output and I share the output I find satisfying. Over time, we may all be able to deduce more of my transfer characteristics. Although, I am also certain, every new work feeds back and may change those very same characteristics. If I ever know precisely what and why I do what I do (my transfer characteristics), then I will very likely stop.” (See http://www.revad.com/about.htm for the complete statement).

David Riley, Code [for Crossing Lines]; an installation of paper, ink, tracing paper, coloured tracing paper, transparency film, binding combs, rebar, steel eyelets; 33cm x 180cm; crossing lines; & Model, Leeds, England; 2014. Image by courtesy of the artist.

David Riley, Code [for Crossing Lines]; an installation of paper, ink, tracing paper, coloured tracing paper, transparency film, binding combs, rebar, steel eyelets; 33cm x 180cm; crossing lines; & Model, Leeds, England; 2014. Image by courtesy of the artist.

AP: I recently saw one of your works “Code” at Crossing Lines at &Model, I find that I relate to this piece as a painting though I know it isn’t actually painted, I might equally use the word “construction”; how would you describe it?

DR: I would describe ‘Code’ as a wall based installation using: paper, ink, tracing paper, coloured tracing paper, transparency film, binding combs, rebar, steel eyelets; size 33cm x 180cm. Or ‘a mixed media, wall based, installation’ for brevity. Thank you for suggesting “construction”. I like that a lot, very succinct.

“Code” is the result of several coincident ideas influencing my process. A continued exploration of different representations of the alphabet: an interest in using office type materials for fine art production (office materials are an important part of my history); a need to manage the costs involved in getting an idea to and from a fine art gallery situation; and a desire to reduce the storage space required for (relatively) large art works. The idea of connections has been about in my work for a number of years (e.g. Twitter User Names, Facebook Initials Grid, and Connect with this Space). So, the idea occurred for crossing lines I could make a site (context) specific installation and send it to the gallery through the ordinary parcel post, as a small package of materials, with full installation instructions. The gallery (curator) could then install the work, display it for as long as necessary, and then take it down, repack it into the box, and send it back to me through the parcel post. I would then have a small parcel to store. This materials/ packaging idea could then be reused to make context specific installations available for other opportunities. The ‘code [for crossing lines]‘ presentation was influenced by all of these coincident thoughts.

David Riley, Cirtriare [Cluj Romania]; a permanent installation of sandblasted glass panels in a domestic setting; each 90cm x 200cm; 2013. Image by courtesy of the artist.

David Riley, Cirtriare [Cluj Romania]; a permanent installation of sandblasted glass panels in a domestic setting; each 90cm x 200cm; 2013. Image by courtesy of the artist.

Thank you David Riley for participating in this interview.

Written by Andy Parkinson

April 8, 2014 at 6:02 pm

New painting: Breathe

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Andy Parkinson, Breathe, 2014, acrylic on prepared canvas, 20" x 20"

Andy Parkinson, Breathe, 2014, acrylic on prepared canvas, 20″ x 20″

Written by Andy Parkinson

March 17, 2014 at 8:30 am

On Painters Table

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I love to see my work on the mighty Painters Table. It is such a good, and good-looking site.

LD PT

Honoured!

Written by Andy Parkinson

March 14, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Posted in Art

The Paintings of Lisa Denyer

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I have missed too many painting shows already this year. One that I would have loved to see, but just couldn’t get my calendar to co-coincide with, was Geode, an exhibition of paintings by Lisa Denyer, at South Square. Often quite ‘formless’, especially compared to her earlier geometric paintings, Denyer’s recent paintings are like gaseous non-substances, diaphanous veils, pure illusion, immaterial yet at the same time exulting in materiality. The contradiction puts me in mind of Clement Greenberg and Michael Fried’s enthusiasm for “flatness and its delineation” being simultaneously an insistence on “opticality”, prompting the distinction between, and the ‘holding in tension’ of, image and object[i].

Lisa Denyer, Cube, acrylic on found plywood. Image by courtesy of the artist

Lisa Denyer, Cube, 2014, acrylic on found plywood, 28 x 31 cm. Image by courtesy of the artist

I find this tension in Denyer’s paintings, which is not to suggest that she is committed to the Greenbergian position that was so influential for abstract painters in the latter half of the twentieth century. In fact, working against the visual modality, or opticality, is a clear interest in surface texture, which provokes at least an imagined crossover from visual to kinaesthetic perception. So when she’s working on found plywood, it’s the rough-and-readiness of the surface that is enhanced by the application of thin layers of liquid paint that adheres to the crevices amplifying the texture. There’s also an emphasis on the engagement of the viewer that Fried might have objected to, no doubt labelling it “theatricality”. The subjective participation of the viewer ‘completes’ these paintings in a fashion akin to the action of gazing into a fire and seeing one’s own imagined universe, or if not the universe, certainly the milky way, Denyer’s art so often resembling the night sky.

Lisa Denyer, Moon, acrylic and emulsion on found plywood. Image by courtesy of the artist

Lisa Denyer, Moon, 2014, acrylic and emulsion on found plywood, 28 x 30cm. Image by courtesy of the artist

The two dimensional paintings, usually on plywood, look like they were factured on the horizontal, either on the floor or on a table, and the images, in so far as they are images at all, look less composed than arrived at through operational processes. Leo Steinberg’s “flatbed picture plane” comes to mind. And it seems a natural step from these works to the three dimensional paintings on stone, which I do think of much more as paintings than as sculptures.

Geode, Installation view. Image by courtesy of the artist.

Geode, Installation view. Image by courtesy of the artist.

Like the works on plywood, these paintings also explore surface texture, both affirming and denying it, attempting perhaps to bring out the hidden qualities of the stone, as if the crevices, geode like, are lined with minerals or crystals. That the inherent qualities of the stone are highlighted reminds me of Michelangelo’s prisoners, where figures emerges from rocks “as though surfacing from a pool of water”. But there is nothing figural here, it’s more like space itself is surfaced, having been developed from something latent within the object, as opposed to having been imposed upon the object. In this respect we could make a contrast with Kurt Schwitters’ Painted Stone, where a geometric pattern looks more to have been inscribed onto the rock from without.
Lisa Denyer, Painted Stone. Image by courtesy of the artist

Lisa Denyer, Painted Stone, 2013, 23 x 17 x 13 cm. Image by courtesy of the artist

Denyer’s stones are rescued from local derelict buildings, ready-mades, years ago having been quarried, dressed and built, only then to become weathered and eventually falling into collapse or demolition, almost returning to their natural state, before she reclaims them, transforming them into giant synthetic gems.

Whether on plywood or stone, Denyer’s paintings have this gemlike quality as if by some alchemy she transforms her materials into precious metals, once liquid now gemstone, that when gazed into appear to contain the night sky.


[i] For an excellent recent discussion see the chapter on Opticality in Modernist Painting and Materiality by Graig Staff

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