abstract art, a systems view

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Hue shift

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A beautiful simple demonstration of the subjectivity of colour


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Written by Andy Parkinson

December 17, 2017 at 1:56 pm

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Contemporary Masters from Britain: 80 British Painters of the 21st Century’

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Source: Contemporary Masters from Britain: 80 British Painters of the 21st Century’

Written by Andy Parkinson

June 12, 2017 at 8:27 am

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Interesting review by Geoff Hands. The show finishes 2 April (sadly, no chance I can get there).

Ruminations: Exhibition Reviews

TESTING 1,2,1,2 UNIT 3 – A.S.C. Studios

(25 March – 2 April, 2017)

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The argument over Abstraction in art (especially painting) still drags on. In Elephant magazine, issue 29 (Winter 2016/17), the prestigious American painter Kerry James Marshall makes some interesting, if debateable, comments on “Abstract picture making” as little more than an “academic mode”. He claims that “The fundamental principle of art making is representation… There are quite enough problems to solve to keep you going for sometime. If you never succeed there, and you go to abstraction because it seems easier, you miss the philosophical and aesthetic questions involved. Besides, how many more abstract pictures do we need to see in the world, really?”

Though tempting, it would be too easy, and crass, to say that there are also too many figurative paintings in the world. There are probably far too many bad paintings of any classification. But…

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Written by Andy Parkinson

March 31, 2017 at 5:39 pm

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Imperfect Reverse 18 October – 18 November

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Written by Andy Parkinson

September 12, 2016 at 8:30 am

Turps Gallery presents Summer Mix 2016

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Written by Andy Parkinson

July 14, 2016 at 4:43 pm

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Hickster Projects, Upcoming Exhibition Inherent Vice

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Once a year, in the summer, Hickster Projects holds a platform event in a remote, beautiful part of central Italy, near Siena. The aim is to show innovative and interesting new work in a context that differs both from the city based gallery and the artist-led space. This year’s exhibition, entitled Inherent Vice, features paintings by three artists Nicola Melinelli, Sue Kennington and Nancy Milner (paintings in that order in photo below).

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‘Inherent Vice’ is a term used to denote ‘the tendency in physical objects to degrade because of the fundamental instability of the components from which they are made, as opposed to deterioration that is caused by external forces’. The reference then is to the instability of colour as a medium of communication. If we think of colour as a language, precisely what it communicates is difficult to translate. It continually resists our attempts to pin it down, to systematise it, to tame it. These painters choose instead to treat it with respect, not so much using it, either descriptively or symbolically, as creating contexts in which it communicates in its own way.

Melinelli’s disorientating labyrinths, Milner’s visual buzz as colours meet and Kennington’s surprise spaces, show off the medium in three quite different ways.

Nicola Melinelli (b 1988, Perugia, Italy) is an artist based in Bologna, He had work in MAMBO in Bologna this year and is represented by CARDRDE in Bologna, and A+B Contemporary Art in Brescia.

Sue Kennington, (b 1955 London, UK) is curating Hickster Projects and is showing at Yellow in Varese and in London with Saturation Point later this year.

Nancy Milner (b 1986 Barnsley, UK) has just completed the prestigious Abbey award at the British School in Rome and was shortlisted for the John Moores prize 2016

I was delighted to be invited to write a text (click here) for this show which runs from 21 to 28 August 2016

For further information and visiting by appointment email:

Written by Andy Parkinson

July 12, 2016 at 9:44 pm

Jane Bustin – Rehearsal review in Saturation Point

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Laurence Noga reviews Rehearsal by Jane Bustin

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Jane Bustin: Rehearsal at Copperfield Gallery, London

16 March – 20 May 2016

A review by Laurence Noga

“The systems approach is compatible with the evidence that human decisions are largely based on an intuitive feeling of rightness – Rechtsgefuhl – but seeks to validate this subjective feeling by a massive information input, which stands in true correspondence with reality before being refracted through the unconscious.” Jeffrey Steele (Systems, Arts Council 1972-3)

Jane Bustin’s material approaches allow an open system, without a hierarchy. They include: fresco techniques; oil-washed aluminium; acrylic panel painting with ceramic glazes; mirrored copper with latex; polyurethane; wood; copper; silk; paper; gesso; ceramics and ready-made objects

Together, the artist’s relaxed sense of geometry evident in her idiosyncratic solo exhibition, Rehearsal, at the Copperfield Gallery, her sense of rhythm, and her distinctive handling of material through assembly and editing, effect a powerful coercion…

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Written by Andy Parkinson

May 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm

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