CHRIS FREMANTLE

What art have I seen? Losq, Bechers and The Nakeds

Posted in Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on September 26, 2014

Nemora at the Fine Art Society, Juliette Losq’ black and white ink and watercolour scenes of post apocalyptic greenworld overwhelming our cities. These paintings extend space through devices such as infiltrating a fireplace or surrounding a grandfather clock and also replacing its face. For all those attempts to question the frame and break out of the container (like the plantlife evoked in those overlooked and unplanned spaces behond retail parks)  it was the framed work Scumsucker (2011) which resonated the most reminding me of the space in which John Wallace’s Cinema Sark was exhibited a year ago during the first Environmental Art Festival Scotland: the undercroft of the M6 as it crossed the river Sark defining the border between England and Scotland.
Bernd und Hilla Becher at Spruth Magers. I wonder who decided on the composition of the groups of 9 images in particular? Was it the Bechers? The groupings are very subtle.
The Nakeds at the Drawing Room. Ought to have been inspiring and provoking in the way their Abstract Drawing exhibition was. Perhaps the failure is exemplified by a success. One of the standout pieces is Fiona Banner’s block of red text on a page (a print from Arsewoman in Wonderland I think). The text is a verbal description of a woman in a porn film. The description creates a clear sense of the artist’s eye travelling over and exploring the image (presumably frozen on a screen). It’s deeply personal and distinctive. It’s in no way salacious – quite the opposite – it wouldn’t make it into a volume of erotica. But the rest was in danger of sameness failing to extend vigorously into enough different spaces of drawing the human body. The are too many pieces that feel like sketches off the studio floor – the two small pieces by Beuys feel like that, though the Warhol drawings are revealing. But there are none of Gormley’s drawings using his own semen or any Duchampian work made with naked bodies and paint. Egon Schiele is at the heart of the thinking, but in a way he dominates the aesthetic too much and the conception not enough. The aim of the exhibition, to explore the space between the nude and porn, is really interesting but the curation doesn’t really stretch it enough. Schiele obviously made work for distribution as porn, so did Turner. I wonder who else did as well?

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