abstract art, a systems view

Posts Tagged ‘places

Tarpey Gallery, Castle Donington, Earth and Wealth

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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.

Diseworth, Oil on Linen, 30 x 40 cm. Image by courtesy of Tarpey Gallery

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.

Hemington, Oil on Linen, 30 x 40cm. Image by courtesy of Tarpey Gallery

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)


Written by Andy Parkinson

August 18, 2011 at 6:03 am

The Myth Of Tomorrow – Taro Okamoto (via Tokyobling’s Blog) and public art and Henry Moore

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This wonderful blog seems to have provoked a lot of interest.

The Myth Of Tomorrow - Taro Okamoto Sometimes the thing about art in public places is that you just don’t think about it. Even though art has long since been stripped of it’s moral-building and society-building status (Duchamp and his art-antics took care of that back in 1917) public officials still feel it necessary to enrichen our public spaces with what they consider to be worthwhile art. Here’s one I have managed to miss for a very long time indeed: Taro Okamoto’s “The Myth of … Read More

via Tokyobling’s Blog

Public art gets walked by seems to be one of the themes (it doesn’t have to be very public for that to happen. In a workplace near me there is a lot of good art on the walls by important UK artists – largely ignored, see previous blog).
In the comments section of the Myth Of Tomorrow blog there is a piece by Visartstudio including a good story about a Henry Moore sculpture in Toronto

…works that have become significant have done so by digging into our psychological reality and insinuating itself by a process of educating the imagination. Case in point The Archer by Henry Moore in Toronto Nathan Phillips square was supported by the extensive collection of Moore donation to the AGO… More significantly a pop song
Down By The Henry Moore – Murray McLauchlan (1974) summed up Toronto’s relationship to this now significant piece of art. So much so when it alleged removal was used in the first day with out art protest, the controversy drew near 100,000 people into Nathan Phillips square. Digging a bit deeper the art fit the square and became a cultural anchor that suited the site and the Toronto’s city Hall building and has become a bench mark of how Torontonians felt about there city, there future and themselves…

I was in Castleford UK other weekend, at a dance competition in the Civic Hall, and in front of the building is a piece of public art, a Henry Moore sculpture. It is unmistakably Henry Moore so in the pouring rain I wandered across the grass to get a better view.

Henry Moore Draped Reclining Figure 1952-53 © Copyright David Pickersgill and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

© Copyright David Pickersgill and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

I knew that Moore was born in the Wakefield area, but not that it was actually Castleford. The piece also serves as a memorial.

Written by Andy Parkinson

June 24, 2011 at 7:19 am