CHRIS FREMANTLE

What art haven’t I seen? Martin Puryear

Posted in Exhibitions, Failure by chrisfremantle on September 8, 2017

Went to Parasol Unit. Really looking forward to seeing Martin Puryear’s work. Not open yet.

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What art have I seen? Life of John the Baptist

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work by chrisfremantle on July 31, 2017

Faith

Andrea del Sarto’s Life of John the Baptist at the Chiostro dello Scalzo. Last here 18 years ago. Just as good.

Salome’s Dance

What art have I seen? Niki de Saint Phalle’s Tarot Garden

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work by chrisfremantle on July 26, 2017

Detail from The Emperor

I have a particular love of artists’ personal projects (Ian Hamilton Finlay’s Little Sparta, Charles Jencks’ Garden outside Dumfries) and Niki de Saint Phalle’s Tarot Garden is no exception. Quirky and deeply personal under a veneer of playground fun.

The Devil

Fascinated to read that Tinguely did a lot of the welding for the armatures and that the ceramics were largely made, fired and glazed on-site.

The Moon

What art have I seen? Collection Gori

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on July 18, 2017

What art have I seen? Hokusai

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 7, 2017

What art have I seen? Raphael Drawings

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on June 29, 2017

What art have I seen? Aleksandra Mir

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on June 28, 2017

Aleksandra Mir’s Space Tapestry: Earth Observation and Human Spaceflight at Modern Art Oxford as well as Kazem Hakimi’s Portraits from A Chip Shop (also at the Fire Station).

What art have I seen? Tschabalala Self and Richard Wright

Posted in Exhibitions, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on June 9, 2017

Tschabalala Self at the Tramway and Richard Wright at The Modern Institute. In passing saw Florian Hecker at the Tramway and Manfred Pernice at The Modern Institute.

What art have I seen? Muirhead Bone

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on November 25, 2016

Exhibition at Roselle House of Scottish artist known for his prints and drawings of industrial Glasgow and his work as the first War Artist. He was connected with Ayr and Pamela Conacher put the Inspiring Landscapes exhibition together as part of WW1 remembrance. Master Printmaker Ian Nicol contributed participatiry workshops.

What art have I seen? The Context is Half the Work

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on October 28, 2016

The Context is Half the Work: A Partial History of the Artist Placement Group.

Went looking for descriptions in the letters and documents of what APG said an artist is and what they do… 

What art have I seen? E.A.T. Experiments in Art and Technology

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on October 14, 2016

What art have I seen? William Kentridge, The Guerrilla Girls, Jannis Kounellis

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on October 13, 2016

William Kentridge environments and Guerrilla Girls on European galleries and museums and the women they show and collect bothe at The Whitechapel Gallery

Jannis Kounellis at White Cube.

What art have I seen? Sunken Cities

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on October 12, 2016

Sunken Cities at the British Museum. Jake pointed out that the pitch the Lighting Designer made was to give a sense of being underwater with strong directional pools of light. It’s too much – the shadows on this utterly astounding carving of a woman with a diaphonous dress was so bad there were big areas in shadow.

What art have I seen? Marie Velardi

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on September 22, 2016

‘Lost Islands and other Works’ by Marie Velardi at Peacock Visual Arts including the timeline of human development according to Sci-fi literature.

I was invited to respond to the work as part of a Creative Carbon Scotland Green Tease. Anne Douglas and published an essay in the Elemental: Art and Ecology Reader earlier this year talking about the way that the Harrisons use inconsistency and contradiction in their works. This seemed relevant in relation to Velardi’s works, perhaps most obviously the timeline but also the works about islands and coastlines. Keeping contradictory truths in tension is an important skill and capacity that artists use in their works. Having just been at Tim Ingold’s lecture on the Sustainability of Everything this point is relevant to how we conceptualise living and carrying on. 

What art have I seen? Out There: Our Post-War Public Art

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work by chrisfremantle on September 14, 2016

Walked past this yesterday and today went to see the Historic England exhibition on post-war public art. Highlights how the Festival of Britain in 1951 acted as a platform for new work perhaps in a similar way to how the 2012 Cultural Olympiad and 2014 Commonwealth Games have provided a platform for a new cross artform sited work.

https://historicengland.org.uk/get-involved/visit/exhibitions/public-art/

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What art have I seen? Surreal Encounters

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 27, 2016
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What art have I seen? Jo Spence

Posted in Arts & Health, Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 17, 2016

Jo Spence at Stills.  Three groups of work that clearly demonstrate the radical approaches to photography being used by Spence and her various colleagues.  Put this alongside the ‘Context is Half the Work: Partial History of the Artist Placement Group’ at Summerhalland its a salutory reminder of what radical practice looks like.

Good review here http://thisistomorrow.info/articles/jo-spence-1

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What art have I seen? Alice Neel and Jess Johnson

Posted in Exhibitions, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on August 16, 2016

Two exhibitions at the Talbot Rice Gallery, University of Edinburgh.  Alice Neel, New York portrait painter. The drawings in the Playfair Library on the ground floor and the balcony are well worth the trouble.  The influence of the Expressionists is really strong, but it’s clearly NYC.  The show links biography with work which is fascinating, but a bit distracting.  The mark making is great!

Jess Johnson’s Eclectrc Panoptic drawings, video and VR environment are all enthralling – the VR environment is really successful  transposition of the drawings – it is a linear exploration and not ‘gamified’ but I suspect that the real quality is in the work with Simon Ward to make it feel like you are moving through the drawings.

What art have I seen? A partial history of the Artist Placement Group

Posted in Exhibitions, Research by chrisfremantle on August 6, 2016

Roger Coward speaking about his Placement with the Department of the Environment in Small Heath, Birmingham

What art have I seen? Dia Beacon

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 24, 2016

‘Best of minimalism’. The good tracks were Agnes Martin, Louise Bourgeois, Richard Serra, Robert Irwin, On Kawara, Fred Sandback. Having come from Mass MOCA it is apparent that Dia need to have a space for one artist to be focused on in depth.

What art have I seen? Mass MOCA

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 23, 2016

This is part of Michael Oatman’s ‘All Utopias Fell’, a strange spin on solar energy and communication with the stars. The Jetstream is about 3 stories up and contains amongst other things a library and archive.

The three floors of Sol Lewitt’s work arranged Early, Mid and Late. 

Explode Every Day – an inquiry into the phenomena of wonder – standout pieces by Michael Light’s ‘100 Suns’ (photos from the Los Alamos National Laboratories); Rachel Sussman’s ‘(Selected) History of the Space Time Continuum’; Ryan and Trevor Oakes’ drawings exploring perspective; Tristan Duke’s scratch holograms; and Julianne Swartz’ trembling, rattling ‘Bone Scores’.

Three works from the Hall Foundation by Anselm Kiefer, one of which immediately physically connected with Kilmahew.

What art have I seen? Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Posted in Exhibitions, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on July 17, 2016

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In the Yellow Room we find Whistler’s ‘Nocturne, Blue and Silver: Battersea Reach’ along with a Matisse, a Degas, a Sargent and another Whistler.  Having been to Hearst Castle last year, we wondered what the difference was?

What art have I seen? GSA MFA

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on June 25, 2016

Glasgow School of Art MFA at the Glue Factory. Liked Yeonkyoung Lee’s disco inspired installation – v nicely composed. Uesung Lee’s drawings and detritus of drawing as a form of labour. Also Jamie Green’s Shankland ‘Sun Never Sets’ – v clever curatorial exercise. Finally like Sian Collins and Westmoreland Stones.

What art jave I seen? Deep in the Heart of Your Brain

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 27, 2016

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Jacqueline Donachie’s exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow. Three groups of work: drawings of lamposts – sources of illumination in the modern urban landscape; sculptures which use the materials of accessibility infrastructure (ramps and handrails) but perhaps seen from the perspective of someone for whom they don’t work or maybe just that they evoke the precariousness of the people for whom they are designed; finally videos speaking to sisters, speaking to feelings of doubt, but also playful.  Powerful stuff. (Oh and a piece of armour –  a boot – that could flex more than you expected.)

https://galleryofmodernart.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/deep-in-the-heart-of-your-brain-jacqueline-donachie-20-may-13-november-2016/

What art have I seen? Scottish Endarkenment

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 19, 2016

What art have I seen? Sarah Barker

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 19, 2016

What art have I seen? When the future was about Fracking

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 9, 2016
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What art have I seen? Gray’s Graduates in Residence

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on March 25, 2016

They’ve called it Only the improvisation remains constant, a quote from the Harrisons

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This is a detail of one of Tako Taal’s works.

What art have I seen? Anselm Kiefer

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on February 14, 2016

What art have I seen? Musee Art Moderne, Paris

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on February 13, 2016

Dufy, de Chirico, Braque and Picasso, Matisse, Sekula (Museum Guardroom), Duchamp, Bourgeois, Messenger.

What art have I seen? Island Drift and Nick Hedges

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on January 21, 2016

Streetlevel have an exhibition of work done with NVA in the Loch Lomond national park exploring light in a dark landscape. Light is brought to life almost as another albeit strange and new entity in the landscape. In the Trongate 103 Foyer Nick Hedges photographs from the Gorbals in the 70s are a reminder of what highrise housing was replacing – slum tenaments – but Hedges photography doesn’t just capture the issue – it’s as beautifully composed as a Vuillard.

What art have I seen? Drawn into tomorrow

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on January 19, 2016
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What art have I seen? Burnt Sierra and the Ship of Theseus

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on January 6, 2016

What art have I seen? Turner Prize

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on December 30, 2015

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Sadly Janice Kerbel’s choral piece was ‘off’ for the hols, but the juxtaposition between Assemble’s ‘craftivist’ community-focused regeneration of Four Streets in Granby, Liverpool, on the one hand and Bonnie Camplin’s study centre on the community kidnapped by extra-terrestrials was compelling. In one room we found a catalogue of hand-made objects which spoke to our desire for the worthy poor to have quality fittings (for which we might read ‘to become middle class’). And of course we can buy the objects ourselves, reinforcing our sense of our own good taste. In the other we are faced with a wholly other ‘other’, clearly a population of nutjobs with whom we have nothing in common. Except that in the library (and I’ll admit to a particular fondness for libraries – see previous writing on the Martha Rosler Library and of course the ecoartscotland library) there are books that I have on my shelves. I hope everyone found something that they connected with, bringing them one or two steps closer to the individuals in the video interviews – I watched a bit with a woman talking about reptilian aliens.
It would have been the obvious decision to give the prize to this or the room with fur coats over the backs of chairs – perhaps the red topped newspapers wouldn’t even have bothered making the usual fuss. The provocative decision was to award the prize to Assemble, but they aren’t exactly radical social practice – they lack a sharp enough political edge.

What art have I seen? Transmissions

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on December 1, 2015

Transmissions is an exhibition of work produced from the ASCUS micro-residency at the Centre for Immunity Infection and Evolution in the University of Edinburgh. Works by Mark Doyle, Anne Milne, and Jo Hodges & Robbie Coleman.
Comes back to the question provoked by Matthew Dalziel’s presentation at the North Light Arts Conference in 2014. He reminded us of the question “Who speaks for the wolves?” This prompts the question for our culture “Who speaks for MRSA (or Malaria or SARS)?” This exhibition begins to address that question.

What art have I seen? Devils in the Making

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on October 29, 2015

Remember Nature

Posted in Civics, Exhibitions, News by chrisfremantle on October 21, 2015

Julia Peyton Jones and Hans Ulrich Obrist at the Serpentine wrote to ask us to participate and circulate this invitation.

We Invite you to Remember Nature by creating your own event, action, performance intervention or artwork, on social media, in a gallery, a college campus, in the street…

Institutions: Register your interest to recieve specially designed posters to support your event, giving details of name, email and postal address before Fri 23rd Oct.

Individuals: Register your interest to participate in this event

All we ask is that you send us evidence of your contribution however small – for example, you might create photos, films, or other documentary evidence. Once you have run your event please use the WeTransfer service to send us your digital artifacts. Send them to:

remembernaturemetzger@gmail.com

Just copy and paste the above email address into WeTransfer. Send us your evidence before 30 November 2015.

Example of event for Remember Nature at your campus
Gustav Metzger co-curated the programme of last years’ Serpentine Marathon titled Extinction: Visions of the Future on 18th and 19th Oct 2014. During this time his work, Mass Media: Today and Yesterday was livestreamed from Herbert Read Gallery into the Serpentine Gallery throughout the course of the Marathon.  Fine Art students from University for the Creative Arts created a media wall from newspapers for 18 hours over two days. Students were fully immersed in this work, scouring newspapers, silently cutting out key texts relating to extinction, working in pairs for 2 hour blocks. This exhibition was curated by Andrea Gregson, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, at UCA Farnham.

Continue reading How to get involved

For more on extinction it’s worth checking out the previous post on Thom Van Dooren’s work.

What art have I seen: Jimmie Durham

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on October 11, 2015

Jimmie Durham’s Various Items and Complaints at the Serpentine Gallery – humourous, light touch, playing between the natural and the man-made. Parasol show last year was more critical of society.
http://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/jimmie-durham-various-items-and-complaints

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What art have I seen? Cy Twombly

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on October 10, 2015

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Cy Twombly at the new Gagosian as well as the Polaroid works at Davies Str. Understand why he’s in amongst the Abstract Expressionists though the ‘blotting paper’ works are also quite conceptual in their way. They feel like Judd’s technical drawings shown at Talbot Rice a few years ago, adjuncts to the ‘real’ work. But compared to the works in Houston these have a much harder edge.
http://www.gagosian.com/exhibitions/cy-twombly–october-10-2015

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What art have I seen? Escher and Avery

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on September 26, 2015

What art have I seen? KennardPhillips and Holoturian

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 18, 2015

KennardPhillipps (Peter Kennard and Cat Phillipps) Here Comes Everybody at Stills is immediately angry: angry about Shell drilling in the arctic, angry about George Osborne, angry about media manipulation.

Ariel Guzik’s work Holoturian in Trinity Apse courtesy of Arts Catalyst, is a slow steampunk meditation on the parallel lives of cetaceans.

What art have I seen? Crawick Multiverse

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work by chrisfremantle on August 13, 2015

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This was an opencast coal pit up until a couple of years ago. I do wonder what members of the Society for Ecological Restoration meeting in Manchester next week would make of it?

What art have I seen? Paramus

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 5, 2015
PARAMUS. Exhibition by Javier Vidal Aguilera

PARAMUS. Exhibition by Javier Vidal Aguilera

Javier Vidal Aguilera’s Paramus at The Lighthouse in Glasgow, a development on his MFA Art Space and Nature Degree show
http://www.thelighthouse.co.uk/visit/exhibition/paramus.-exhibition-by-javier-vidal-aguilera

What art have I seen? Spiral Jetty

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work by chrisfremantle on June 28, 2015
Spiral Jetty - photo Jake Fremantle

Spiral Jetty – photo Jake Fremantle

To visit Spiral Jetty you have to pass through the Golden Spike National Historic Site, created in 1957 to mark the point where the east coast and west coast railways met in 1869.  It now comprises 2,700 acres of scrubland, but not Spiral Jetty – you clearly pass through ranches to get to the Jetty – the signs saying anyone leaving the road is trespassing are pretty clear.

Imagining Spiral Jetty, February 2008 https://chris.fremantle.org/2008/02/05/robert-smithsons-spiral-jetty-threatened/

November, 2009. Smithson, Aldiss and Earthworks https://chris.fremantle.org/writing/earthworks-brian-aldiss/

What art have I seen? Richard Diebenkorn and Conrad Shawcross

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on June 4, 2015
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What art have I seen? Ben Woodeson

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on June 4, 2015

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Ben Woodeson‘ exhibition Obstacle at Berloni has all the things you’d expect – thing that make you feel the work not just see it, things that imply imminent danger. The basement gallery is bathed in a hellish light but there’s a Tom and Jerry mousetrap dimension promising exploding neon, shatter glass and escaping poisonous gas.  Woodeson’s homage to Carl Andre gives you a shock. His precarious glass pieces hint at Latham’s God is Great. What is really good about this work is the way your body is sensitised as your mind is stimulated and your curiosity (does that really balance?) is peeked.

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What art have I seen? Gary Fabian Miller

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 23, 2015

Garry Fabian Miller’s exhibition at the Dovecot in Edinburgh comprises photographic works, tapestries and rugs both of his own design and also belonging to Winifred Nicholson as well as some of her paintings which have inspired Fabian Miller. Beautifully composed and judged.

Light Flight: New Work by Penny Clare

Posted in Arts & Health, Exhibitions, News by chrisfremantle on May 16, 2015

Penny Clare’s new exhibition is here www.actionforme.org.uk/light-flight Chris Dooks introduced me to the work of Penny Clare a while ago and its great to see more of her work. Anyone with a special interest in health and well-being should check out her story.

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What art have I seen? Rights of Nature

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on January 24, 2015

Not enough time between conference presentations to properly appreciate this very significant exhibition.

What art have I seen? Mike Nelson

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on January 8, 2015

Eighty Circles through Canada (the last possessions of an Orcadian mountain man), Mike Nelson’ show at Tramway in Glasgow. As an homage and as an exhibition it’s just right – very well judged. The two sides of the wall – one a sequence of slides of landscapes which you realise all feature a ring of stones, the remains of a camping fire; the other the remains of a life, some tubes of paint, some climbing equipment, a photo album, some clothes, old books, tapes of classical music, gridded out detritus.  Melancholy even without the back story.  But also somewhat humourous – you see rings of stones by rivers, in forests, burbling streams and with majestic mountains in the distance, and then you see one with a big rig going past – not all walks are in pristine wilderness.

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