Posts Tagged ‘Tarpey Gallery’
The new(ish) exhibition showing at Tarpey Gallery until 12 May 2012, is a mixed show entitled Introducing, and includes work by Andrew Macara, Nick Hedderly, Denise Weston, David Crouch, Joan Ainley, Sarah R Key, Steven Ingman, Michelle Keegan and David Manley.
I have already met David Manley, not in person, but we have exchanged blog comments from time to time. I have seen and liked his paintings before and blogged about them here. He has an interesting blog here and a Rise Art portfolio here. His new paintings, the deadly delicious series, are based on diseases or viruses like Bird Flu, Marburg or HIV etc. Here they are in petri dishes looking quite beautiful. And they both are, and are not, representations of something (which themselves both are, and at the same time are not, representations of something).
These paintings, like others of his I have seen, seem to skirt between abstraction and figuration. They get me thinking about what representation and abstraction might be. I also find myself wondering about decoration and what makes something seem decorative, and what its purpose might be. No virus is ever ‘merely decorative’ and no painting is either, even when it is most overtly decorative.
Andrew Macara‘s paintings also seems to inhabit a space between abstraction and figuration, but more towards the figurative. I find his use of colour, for description and for decoration, stunning.
Just look at the colour in those shadows in the painting on the right!
…and that orange! I am lost for words, literally. If I wanted to find some words I could read the book Andrew Macarra by Jonathan Riley, there is a copy on display and a few for sale.
Another painter in this show who seems to play with the boundaries between figuration and abstraction is David Crouch. I have a strong sense that they are landscapes or interiors. Even though the shapes I am seeing don’t seem to form into things I can recognise, I do have the sense that they are “things”, or journeys perhaps, in vaguely defined spaces.
But how much of what the artist has drawn in paint on these canvases has a connection to something out there in the “real world”, and how much of it is from the imagination? Also, how do the shapes and colours on the canvas relate to what was in the artist’s imagination and how much is improvised? There are clues in the evidence of underpainting and revision, and I suspect that much of Crouch’s process involves improvisation. And isn’t that also the case with vision? How much of what I am seeing in these works is the residue of a communication and how much is my own invention? And for that matter, how much of anything I see in the “real world” is “out there” and how much is constructed “in here”? These are questions that all visual art raises, yet somehow especially so in these (kind of) works.
Again I can find out more about the artists preoccupations in a book, this time written by the artist, entitled Flirting with Space. No doubt when I read it I will find out just how wrong my interpretations were!
A new exhibition at Tarpey Gallery, Castle Donington starting tomorrow and showing until 12 May entitled Introducing, A Mixed Show is a selection of work from nine of the gallery’s represented artists: Andrew Macara, Nick Hedderly, David Manley, Denise Weston, David Crouch, Joan Ainley, Sarah R Key, Steven Ingman and Michelle Keega.
Although sad to miss the opening night, I am looking forward to seeing the show.
It is very difficult to actually see paintings at a private view, especially when it’s a really good one and totally packed, like last week at the Midland Open Exhibition opening night at the Tarpey Gallery, so I went along today and had another look at the work, including my own painting Wakefield Bridge, above the stairs, occupying a space of its own, which I think it needs.
It must be a challenge getting all the work together for a show like this, working out what to put where, attempting to show each piece to its best advantage whilst at the same time making the whole exhibition work in the space. The part to whole relationships are a bit like those in a painting.
I submitted three paintings to the Midlands Open Exhibition 2011 at the Tarpey Gallery, Castle Donington:
They chose to show this one, (with the wrong title). It looks OK in the space above the stairs.
At the private view I met friends I haven’t seen for some time, including one whom I haven’t seen for thirty years. My brother-in-law visited too but I never actually saw him. Sorry Brian, and thank you all for your support.
Here’s my friend Richard looking at the wonderful painting ‘curled up’, by fellow art blogger Rachael Pinks, who was also at the private view.
I submitted some work to the Midlands Open at Tarpey Gallery, Castle Donington and was delighted to discover earlier today that (some or all of) it was accepted (not even sure which at the moment).
Opening night is Saturday 12 November 6 – 8 pm.
Fellow art blogger Rachael Pinks also has some lovely work in this show.
We had done some walking ourselves, in Derbyshire, and I had also recently seen Marek Tobolewski‘s work at Tarpey Gallery, where he seemed, in part, to be taking Paul Klee‘s advice about “taking a line for a walk”, so walking had already become a bit of a theme, when my brother and I visited the Whitworth, Manchester.
As well as the Flailing Trees and the film(s) 1395 Days Without Red, we saw Projections: Works from The Artangel Collection, art work by Francis Alys, Atom Egoyan, Tony Oursler and Catherine Yass. And there were walking themes! High Wire, 2008 by Catherine Yass features a four screen video presentation of a walk on a very high wire, (the wire stretched between two tower blocks at The Red Road Estate, in Glasgow) by Didier Pasquette. I was on the edge of my metaphorical seat (I was actually standing at the time) as he edged his way onto the wire, walked about half way and was then forced back by the buffeting wind. The four videos showing different views, from different perceptual positions, includes one filmed by the walker, a camera being attached to his head. They are each dramatic in different ways, each supplying a different description.
Different too are the walks described by Francis Alys in his Seven Walks, 2005. Whilst I view I am walking, retracing his steps in my imagination as I look at various documents and maps recording walks in London made by the artist, for example walking only on the sunny side of the street, or on the shady side of the street. I find I get engrossed and fascinated as I study drawings, notes, lists, and photographs, along with photocopies that seem connected to the walks through something similar to the psychoanalytical technique of free association. It seems a lot like what happens whenever you take a walk, you free-associate as you go. Ideas, images come to mind only to be replaced or built upon by others vaguely related to the sights, sounds and feelings of the ‘external’ walk.
There are videos too, The Nightwatch is an installation of multiple CCTV screens, placing the viewer in the perceptual position of security personnel at the National Portrait Gallery, watching an urban fox make its way through the labyrinth of galleries. The fox’s walk is also documented as a storyboard and drawn on a plan of the galleries. Seeing this line taken for a walk, I free-associate, remembering Paul Klee and Marek Tobolewski.
In the video Railings, a man walks through the Regency squares of London, drumming a stick along the cast-iron railings, the walls, the pillars at the doorways of the Georgian (?) houses, even at one stage setting off a car alarm. Screened in trio, with a staggered timeframe, like a round, the rhythms become a cacophony, an auditory record of the walk being shown visually.
Years ago, when Clement Greenberg was charting the ‘progress’ of visual art towards the flattened picture plane I seem to remember that, as well as glorying in the replacement of the window-on-the-world with abstraction, he also recognised it as a loss. (It is a loss that many painters have since been unwilling to make, hence the return with a vengeance of figurative painting since modernism.) At the Whitworth today I saw sculpture, figurative painting and drawing both traditional and contemporary, prints, photography, video, film and conceptual art documented in a variety of ways and there was ‘sound art’ too. What I didn’t see anywhere on my Whitworth walk was an abstract painting and though there was much to enjoy, and I did enjoy it, I experienced this conspicuous absence as a great loss!
Marek Tobolewski ~ Sym ~ Tarpey Gallery ©The Artist, Image by courtesy of the artist.
In The Art of Seeing, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Rick E. Robinson show that the aesthetic encounter is an example of the flow state (deep involvement in, and effortless progression of an activity for its own sake). It’s a naturally occurring trance. But what kind of trance is it? When I gazed up into the sky, in The Deer Shelter yesterday, was I in the same kind of trance as when looking at Tobolewski’s work? I would argue that the two responses are similar, yet with interesting differences. The Deer Shelter trance was somehow more outward, more expansive, than the ‘Sym’ trance that seems more focused, more inward. The pleasure, for me, comes from tracing the line with my eye/mind, leading to a state that is more like study than reverie. I find that I am talking to myself as I follow the walk that the continuous line makes in repeating, though never precisely, a similar walk taken in a previous painting. One of the questions I ask myself is which of the paintings came first, for example in the dyptich 1LC DipSymM+R 2011, Cobalt White on Lamp Black & Lamp Black on Cobalt White, (shown on the right in the installation shot above), did one of the pair precede the other and if so, which one? Or were they painted together? Is one a copy of the other, or are they copies without an original: ‘sym’-ulacra? And now that I am comparing the two pictures, I notice that the trance has changed. Now I am seeing the whole, the synthesis that is the dyptich, and then the whole that is the series on view here. The poppy red painting on linen, on the left in the installation shot, seems to have its origin in the dyptich, and there may be others too that are not here, so my perception of the whole turns out only to be partial after all.
Borrowing another distinction from the field of linguistics (I also used one in a my previous post about this exhibition), I could say that the completed paintings are nominalisations: verbs in noun form, and that in viewing them my trance is one of denominalsing and renominalising. The line taken for a walk, by the artist in the act of painting, is all verb. In the completed walk the verb has become noun. A symmetrical process takes place in viewing the work. I see the paintings in their nominalised form and start to trace the continuous line, with the various levels of underpainting and crossing. The work has become all verb again, until later I stand back to see the ‘whole’ with a new understanding. This itself is a further development of the trance state.
I want to say something about trance phenomena like time distortion that connect directly to these paintings. And I will … another time.
I am very much looking forward to this show at Tarpey Gallery, Castle Donnington
I read somewhere a comment by Ruth Solomons to the effect that the work reflects a trend in painting towards honesty and beauty as opposed to showmanship, trickery and illusion. I liked those ideas, though I am not sure I know what they mean. I am looking forward to finding out!
What’s to see in Castle Donington as well as motor racing, Download festival and a historic church building?
There’s a lovely show of paintings still on at Tarpey Gallery
but hurry! It ends on 20 August.
And at last, I find abstract paintings on show not 20 miles away from where I live! I don’t know how I could have missed this contemporary art space, it has been open since 2009, and today was the first I knew of it. (Except that as I look through a number of emails I notice that it has been mentioned to me before , yet somehow it must not have registered).
The current show is of paintings by David Manley, entitled From the Earth Wealth. Lots of modestly sized, landscape related abstracts, derived from and named after the settlements of North West Leicestershire. This one, for example, is Diseworth.
There may be a sense in which it brings back some experience of Diseworth, there is surely an element of representation. Is it a fence or a gate perhaps, with something propped up against it? And is that a cloud over a field… of sea? If it does represent, what we are seeing is highly generalised and the sense of specific place is lost. Or maybe the representation has dream like qualities, so it’s not so much that particular place as that place half remembered as in a dream. Another option could be that we are dealing here with the very act of representing, and the deletions, generalisations and distortions that naturally take place as part of that process. Or, then again, it could be misleading to think of them as representations at all. They are, in fact abstract. They are so in the sense of “abstracted from”, Leicestershire settlements providing a starting point only. The singularity of each painting has to do with what is happening there on the canvas rather than the singular experience of being in, for example, Hemington.
Again, thinking representationally, it looks like a wooden structure of some kind. There is figuration, for example there is a consistent light source. Perhaps I could even imagine climbing this structure…until I try to work out how I would actually do it. Where would I start? Which is the front? Am I looking down on it? Is it horizontal or vertical? What size is it? etc
The place names are ‘real’ origins, however. Each painting is based on, “abstracted from”, photographs taken by the artist at that specific location and then digitally manipulated.
For me, it’s an interesting way of beginning, that leads then to a manipulation of painted shape and colour that has a lot more to do with early modernist painting, than it has to do with any of the starting points, and arriving at abstract pictures that are wonderfully rewarding to view. Here at Tarpey Gallery in Castle Donington, abstracted from the earth, are a wealth of painted forms for our enjoyment, it’s not too late to go and see them, if you hurry!
(Since writing this post I discovered that David Manley has an excellent wordpress blog and photos of the paintings from this exhibition can be seen there, Here’s a link)