CHRIS FREMANTLE

What art have I seen? Max Ernst on the first floor and Richard Serra on the third

Posted in Exhibitions, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on November 3, 2019

Max Ernst: An Invitation To Look
The Artist’S Career Surveyed In A Private Collection

Un/fortunately only three of the fifteen works because of another event, but came away with the catalogue.

The show features fifteen works from an exceptional private collection, covering Ernst’s entire career from 1925 to 1971, acquired largely in the 1950s and 1960s by a prominent Italian collector and friend of the artist.

Of course the question of ‘how to look’ is vital. All the works in the exhibition involve different methods used by Ernst in addition to drawing and oil on canvas – frottage, collage, grattage, and gesso relief.

Upstairs in a different dealership is a selection of Richard Serra drawings – examples of several different series. These test the edge between drawing and sculpture; the surfaces are as dense as Chestnut tree bark. The one exception, a looping line spiralling across the page is more like a stream and banks of accumulated sediment.

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What art have I seen? Nick Cave’s ‘Until’ and Red Note improvising

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work, Sound by chrisfremantle on October 14, 2019

We were at the evening organised by ArtLink Edinburgh where, as part of their Altered States programme in association with Nick Cave’s ‘Until’ installation in Tramway, Red Note Ensemble improvised for a mixed ability audience.

ArtLink is an ‘arts and disability’ organisation, and this immersive experience was amazing, taking an already stunning installation and creating a moment where an audience spent time together just being … in our bodies, in the environment, in the light and glitter, in the sounds…

What art have I seen?James Richards ‘Migratory Motor Complex’

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on October 11, 2019

More collage today (bit of a theme) this time sound. At Collective on Calton Hill. Video from original presentation with other works by Richards for Wales at Venice Biennale.

Migratory Motor Complex is how your digestion works. Slightly ironic since I was discussing ‘diverticular’ with a colleague over coffee this morning!

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What art have I seen? Ade Adesina, NeoNeanderthals

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on October 11, 2019

Ade Adesina, After the Questions, linocut, 2018

Ade Adesina’s linocuts.

Robbie Bushe and Jeanne Cannizzo’s collaboration NeoNeanderthal. Bushe said Neanderthals didn’t wreck the planet in 250,000 years. Maybe if they came back… Cannizzo is an anthropologist and maker. Brilliantly in one case are objects she has made, provided interpretation for, and the contested the validity of aspects of the interpretation. Bushe’s paintings and drawings have aspects of children’s books with cutaways to show ‘how it works’, but what’s going on is genetic extraction and the reproduction of an extinct species.

https://www.royalscottishacademy.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/The-View-After-The-Questions..Linocut.109.2-%C3%B9-167.6-cm..2018-.jpg

What art have I seen? Collage

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on October 11, 2019

What art have I seen? Fife Arms

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on September 30, 2019

What art have I seen? Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on September 7, 2019

At Somerset House – threaded by Harold Ové, including music, sculpture, photography, painting, writing, poetry, music, carnival, fashion, design, activism, anger and politics.

What art have I seen? Walid Raad’s To be honest the weather helped

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on September 6, 2019

Walid Raad makes work that blurs with everyday life, but coming from the never ending conflict of the Middle East. His images are often banal, but the stories that he wraps them in are sharp – the ‘first job’ photos of shop fronts which are later discovered to be put out of business because they wouldn’t pay the extortion. Above the discovered artist who made works on the backs of paintings in a museum.

How do you deal with (adapt to) living in a state of continual low intensity war?

Para-fictions.

https://www.stedelijk.nl/en/exhibitions/walid-raad-2

Also saw Welkom in adjacent rooms a totally factual documentary photography exhibition on mining communities in South Africa. The implementation of Apartheid, the connections with Dutch culture, the impact on young people. Very strange because the aesthetics intersect.

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What art have I seen? Rijksmuseum

Posted in Exhibitions, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on September 6, 2019

Medieval and Asian art.

Saint Elizabeth’s Day Flood (1490-95) amazing record of a flood in 1412 caused by storm surges in the North Sea https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/rijksstudio/155667–r-s/collections/elisabeth-panelen-dordrecht?ii=0&p=0

Also ‘A Lohan’, carved wood from China before 1400AD. “This is Ajita. He concentrates fully on listening to the reading of a sutra, a scripture that conveys the Buddha’s teachings.”

(and we thought Masaccio was good) https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/search/objects?q=wood+figure&s=chronologic&p=1&ps=12&st=Objects&ii=10#/AK-MAK-1727,10

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What art have I seen? Faith Ringgold

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 19, 2019

The activism sits alongside the storytelling. The humanity alongside the anger. The imagination, the stars of the lights on the bridge, the girl floating.

The consistently acknowledged involvement of family in the making of various of the works, particularly the influence of Faith Ringgold’s mother, must be pretty exceptional in contemporary art.

American People Series #6: Mr. Charlie, 1964 (from Faith Ringgold's website)

American People Series #6: Mr. Charlie, 1964 (from Faith Ringgold’s website)

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What art have I seen? Cindy Sherman

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 18, 2019
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What art have I seen? Energy Objects

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 16, 2019

Hannah Imlach’s Energy Objects at WORM in Aberdeen comprises works made over a number of years resulting from an ongoing enquiry into the infrastructures of renewable energy, on Eigg, on Orkney and at Donside in Aberdeen. These carefully crafted objects are no less beautiful than the Archimedes Screw newly installed in the community hydro project in Aberdeen, or the OpenHydro units at EMEC on Orkney. Imlach also touches on the relationship with Community Land Ownership, the critical connection between energy and political evolution.

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What art have I seen? My Own Private Bauhaus

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 31, 2019
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What art have I seen? Placing Sound

Posted in Exhibitions, On The Edge, Research by chrisfremantle on July 25, 2019
Maja Zeco performing her work 'Hold In/Breathe Out'

Maja Zeco performing her work ‘Hold In/Breathe Out’

Maja Zeco opened her exhibition ‘Placing Sound’ at Gray’s School of Art where she is just completing her practice-led PhD with a performance of her work ‘Hold In/Breathe Out’. This work might be a meditation on the experience of immersing yourself in everyday life and stepping out into perhaps your own mind, or in some sense private space. Zeco filled a large bowl with water and as she immersed her head completely in the water, triggered a soundscape of an urban environment with associated imagery. As she came back out of the water about 30 seconds later she ended the audio imagery. She breathed in silence. Her urban included images of streets and buildings and I’m pretty sure I saw an artillery piece.

Spead across three rooms, this exhibition represents nearly 10 years of work exploring sound and performance. One room is quartered and composed of sounds from the North East of Scotland (Aberdeen and Banchory) and from Bosnia Herzegovina where Zeco was born. Voices and bird song, trees and traffic all layer over each other drawing you to different points in the room as different elements come forward.

The middle room has video and physical documentation of two performance works. In one case, One Thousand Pomegranate Seeds’ bringing the action in the video into another form of presence with the physical evidence of the event in front of you whilst watching its making. Below is the promo video from Horsecross, Perth, where the work was originally performed.

The first room you encounter (I started with the last) again brings together different forms of documentation, physical remains and video, of performance – in this case ‘Silencer’ and in another part of the room the space in which Zeco performed ‘Hold In/Breathe Out’.

What art have I seen? The Asset Strippers

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 16, 2019

Mike Nelson’s The Asset Strippers at Tate Britain transforms the Duveen Galleries into some part of Govan or Clydebank, Paisley or maybe East Kilbride.

The structuring of the dignified neoclassical spaces into a series of workshops, lacks only the suspended fluorescent lights to fully realise the conceit. The partitions’ materials, structures and even adornments are all evocative of industrial spaces across the UK.

The assemblages in the first space seem more ‘found’ whilst some in the rear spaces are more contrived or absurd and more poignant, particularly the giant diesel engine on a bed of sleeping bags.

It might be trite to say there’s poetry in the everyday of industry, but in truth you can find it easily.

What art have I seen? Victor Pasmore Gallery

Posted in Audiences and, Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 12, 2019

View of Victor Pasmore Gallery

Small selection of works by Victor Pasmore who lived in his later life on Malta.

Very clear sense of Pasmore’s Modernist understanding of the way the artwork is a thing in itself, not a representation or derivation. Curious if this links to ideas of Object Oriented Ontology?

Pasmore says, “Once independent, a painting becomes the sole visual object so that its content becomes totally immanent in its form and image, a condition which renders its meaning essentially potential. Emerging in anonymity, therefore, the new painting can become a sign or symbol of infinite extension, directly finding its place in the eye and mind of the spectator” (Images of colour 1983).

Harman says, “By ‘objects’ I mean unified realities – physical or otherwise – that cannot fully be reduced either downwards to their pieces or upwards to their effects.”

And goes on to say, “But for the arts, as for the social sciences, the greater danger is the upward reduction that paraphrases objects in terms of their effects rather than their parts. For it is dubious to claim that objects are utterly defined by their context, without any unexpressed private surplus.”

Obviously an artwork is a thing in the human world, but for Pasmore it is not a communication, a message, between the artist and the spectator. It is a thing in itself, not reducible to a representation.

What art have I seen? ‘Dora Maar’ and ‘Prehistory’ at the Pompidou

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on June 17, 2019

After the Picasso Museum and also the Tate’s Dorothea Tanning exhibition (with it’s continual reminders that she was married to Max Ernst), this was more interesting and better judged. Includes Dora Maar’s early commercial work, her social investigations, move into Surrealism, connection with Picasso, later abstract photography… rich and diverse.

Pompidou Centre trailer

The ‘Prehistory’ exhibition is a huge survey of art and archaeology, taking inspiration from Lucy Lippard’s Overlay. Interesting that France has its own history of geological ‘realisation’ parallel to Hutton in Edinburgh.

Giuseppe Penone

What art have I seen? Picasso Museum, Paris

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on June 16, 2019

Permanent collection and the temporary exhibition bringing together works by Picasso with works by Alexander Calder. Came away with a renewed respect for Calder’s judgement and elegance. Some of the Picasso works… less so.

What art have I seen? Love at first sight

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work by chrisfremantle on June 9, 2019

Morag Myerscough’s installation in collaboration with poet Jo Gilbert encompasses the Mercat Cross. Commissioned by Aberdeen’s LookAgain Festival (based in Gray’s)Lovely story connecting Myerscough to Aberdeen, and Gilbert is a powerful voice for Doric poetry.

What art have I seen? AMBIT: Photographies from Scotland at Stills

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 21, 2019

What art have I seen? Everybody in the Place

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 11, 2019

Jeremy Deller’s Everybody in the Place, an Incomplete History of Britain 1984-1992 at The Modern Institute

Busy for a sunny (taps aff) Saturday in Glasgow – lots of artists sitting in the dark being reminded of their youth (Ally Wallace, Rowena Comrie).

Interesting proposition that Social Media has replaced music as the mode of existence of young people…

But seriously, compelling argument for the role of late 80s music in the counter culture flowing from Europe to the US and back again. Continued relevance in the ongoing rise of the Right.

What art have I seen? Chick Chalmers

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 7, 2019

What art have I seen? Who’s afraid of drawing?

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on May 1, 2019

Works on Paper from the Ramo Collection at the Estorick Collection.

Drawing from Italy between 1910 and 1990. Abstract, figurative, with words and in relation to sculpture.

Talking to my cousin last night, we discussed how small exhibitions, well curated, can have more significance than their scale.

This exhibition covers periods where Italy was having huge influence on the world, at the time of the Futurists after the First World War, and again in the 60s when, alongside Arte Povera, Italy was a political maelstrom and fashionable too. Another cousin (it was an evening of cousins) said, just think about photos of young Italians on beaches in the Sixties, the height of chic, and it was the same country that had the largest Communist Party outside of the Soviet Union.

And then there was fascism, Futurism slipping into questions of power and technology, Il Duce, etc.

It’s all there in the selection of drawings: designs for facades of Fascist headquarters, pseudo neo classical Saints, but also found and distressed objects as drawings, satire, cinema, mathematics… all life in fact. Every approach to making drawings. As the curatorial statement says,

Drawing – considered as any kind of work on paper, regardless of technique – is the load-bearing skeleton for much creative experimentation, a medium favoured by painters and sculptors that often represents the first visualization of an idea.

What I didn’t see was any reflection on collecting, which could have been brought out in the relation between the permanent (Estorick) collection and the visiting (Ramo) collection. This could have happened by highlighting which artists exist in both suites, leading to hurried journey’s between floors, but also by some comparison of the conditions of collecting, the motivations of collectors.

Having been listening to the Collect Wisely podcast with Pamela Joyner, the concerns of collectors, their ambitions and motivations, are vital to understanding the body of the collection.

What art have I seen? London 2026: Recipes for building a Food Capital

Posted in Exhibitions, Food by chrisfremantle on April 10, 2019

London 2026: Recipes for building a Food Capital at the Roca Gallery.

Lucked out to be able to join a tour by the curators from Department 22 (Clare Brass and Dejan Mitrovic).

Varied and interesting collection of architecture and design proposals. All are more or less real now but the conceit is that they need to be more real in 2026 when London’s population hits 10 million.

Symbiosis is a key theme, along with making food processes visible.

Interesting how energy bars are the cutting edge of experimenting: as evidence of the reality of the proposals we were offered both insect protein and algae based commercial products…

Also Joan Snyder’s Rosebuds and Rivers at Blain Southern

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What art have I seen? Dorothea Tanning

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on April 9, 2019

Dorothea Tanning at the Tate Modern. Jake asked if in an exhibition of Max Ernst there would be so much reference to his wife – seems unlikely. Mostly we don’t know about the women in male artists’ lives, unless they are ‘muses’ or lovers. Tanning’s narrative in the interpretation panels is woven with Ernst’s.

Beside this it is also interesting that all the publicity images are from the first phase of her work, which is most obviously part of the Surrealist tradition we are familiar with. There is mention of the fabric sculptures, but no images of the later much more optically complex and freely painted works. These explore the fragmented sense of subconscious experience. Rather than glimpses through doors, we have actually fragmented elements merging in complex patterns and forms. The resolution of this in the room-scale installation of fabric forms is truly Lovecraftian.

What art have I seen? New Contemporaries

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on April 2, 2019

Karolina Bachanek

New Contemporaries at the Royal Scottish Academy. Many talented, ambitious and provocative recent graduates from Scottish Art Schools. Very much the spirit of the age. Bachanek’s (Gray’s) environment made of supermarket and other plastic bags creating a seedy chill-out space – mind/life of a dosser or reality for an art school graduate? Plants that don’t want to be touched. Amateur research library as art.

What art have I seen? Leonardo Drawings

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on April 1, 2019
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What art have I seen? Oral Suspension

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on March 15, 2019

Photo courtesy of Look Again Festival

David Blyth and Nick Gordon collaborated on this at once jokey and nuanced exhibition in Look Again‘s new space on St Andrew Street. It’s great to have a space on a street in central Aberdeen, but this exhibition should have been in the Aberdeen Art Gallery in terms of its scale and ambition. Open at exactly the point the City further cut its commitment to the arts, this shows what outstanding work is happening in the North of Scotland: an ecosystem being damaged by short term thinking.

Nick Gordon is a graduate of Gray’s, a sculptor and part of the group running a new printmaking workshop on Orkney. David Blyth teaches at Gray’s (and taught Nick).

The works are weavings of traditional folklore with newly discovered uses of the skate (and it’s iconic shape) are complemented by the artists’ investment in the project, taking skate oil supplements during the whole development of the work and offering ‘traditional’ recipes including a skate skink.

The human symbolic relationship with the skate is complex, not least because of the curious sense of a human face particularly in the landed hanging skate. Strange as this is, it is complemented by the strangeness evoked by other aspects, hinting at secret societies and mysterious rituals.

Image courtesy of Mood of Collapse blog

Jon Blackwood’s short text associated with the exhibition highlights connections with local conservation organisations, and the general threat to skate populations (some being on the IUCN Red List). He quotes Donna Haraway alluding to the complexity of connection and interdependence.

This exhibition demonstrates how art can take us into a deeper relationship with the more than human, but also how both art/culture and other living things are undervalued and threatened by our current insistence on valuing everything through the market.

What art have I seen? John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on February 13, 2019

John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing at Two Temple Place.

Well put together exhibition on Ruskin including contemporary responses. Hannah Downing’s Vertical Panorama drawing is particularly stunning.

Draws out his interests and the development of his poetics particularly in looking at nature, from formal compositions in the conventional manner to attention to nature itself.

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What art have I seen? Cage and Rauschenberg

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on January 22, 2019

What art have I seen? Marina Abramović – The Cleaner

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on December 17, 2018

Marina Abramović’s The Cleaner at Palazzo Strozzi.

https://www.palazzostrozzi.org/mostre/marina-abramovic-2/?lang=en

Career survey including all the well known pieces some being reperformed. Really powerful pieces. Not everyone enjoyed it – some thought it was pretentious. Some channelling of the AAA-AAA

What art have I seen? Rasheed Araeen

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on December 9, 2018

What art have I seen? Spellbound

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on November 24, 2018

The Spellbound: Magic, Ritual & Witchcraft exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford is really very problematic. It seems to be both parochial and also evade the deeper issues.

The exhibition contains a wide range of material culture from spell books and equipment through troves of clothing and shoes found secreted in houses, paintings and prints representing witchcraft and devilry, as well as some contemporary art which ‘channels’ the theme.

On the parochial front it seems to focus wholly on the southern half of mainland Britain, not address Scotland at all (Tam O’Shanter?), nor the North of England, nor Salem in Massachusetts, nor Norway, nor Africa… the view of the subject we are left with is very geographically specific – not that there is anything wrong with that, except I’m left wondering if that’s accurate? After all one of the most compelling objects is a South American object – an obsidian mirror apparently owned by John Dee. What other connections are there?

But on the evasion of deeper issues, the criticism is more fundamental. There are references to patriarchy and witch trials. There is a chair designed to test whether a witch is heavier or lighter than a church bible (lighter and you are a witch). But there seemed to be no contextual discussion on what shifts in the cultures of Europe and North America in the 17th Century such that women suddenly start being burnt for witchcraft. Not all witches are women and not all ritual and magic is associated with women, but women become the focus of violence and the exhibition could have enlightened us. Rather it left us with an idea of the various aspects of the practice, but no larger understanding.

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What art have I seen? Santiago Sierra and Mike Kelly

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on November 15, 2018

What art have I seen? Artes Mundi 8

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on November 14, 2018

What art have I seen? I Object: Ian Hislop’s Search for Dissent

Posted in Civics, Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on September 30, 2018

Very good, diverse and provocative exhibition of satire, caricature and disruptive intervention (and not all lefty liberal either).

From the time of the Pharohs in Egypt through to the Umbrella protests in Hong Kong via classic British fart-based disrespect of leaders and rulers.

Taking Joanna Macy’s triumverate of ‘actions to defend,’ ‘Gaian structures’ and ‘shifting consciousness’ this is pretty much a workbook of ways to undermine authority.

It shows the breadth of the BM’s collection but also perhaps shows that this isn’t a focus of collecting. Hong Kong and Tianamen Square are represented but Occupy isn’t – the diagram created by Rachel Schragis of the Declaration of Occupy Wall Street would speak volumes.

Possil Free State, Greenham Common, Twyford Down, Faslane, the ZAD, Standing Rock and all the other combinations of defending and Gaian structures are insufficiently represented.

Perhaps the Liberate Tate/Art not Oil campaign is too close to home: the parallel Sumerian exhibition is sponsored by BP.

Of course out of context pretty much everything needed explanation, but there were many objects which stood out regardless, including the bronze head of a Roman General buried under a triumphal gate deep in Africa beyond the Empire.

In other cases you had to spot the critique including in the Seychelles banknotes where the engraver had included rude words around the head of the Queen.

http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/i_object.aspx

What art have I seen? Colourists and Life School

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on September 22, 2018

Beth Fisher’s astounding and inspired drawing of her family with her dead mother. Just one of a number of powerful pieces in Ages of Wonder: The Royal Scottish Academy Life School

Also The Rhythm of Light
Scottish Colourists from the Fleming Collection

What art have I seen? Keith Sonnier

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 31, 2018

What art have I seen? Prada Marfa

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 20, 2018

Elmgreen and Dragset’s Prada Marfa. So gentrification… it’s definitely a thing. Art definitely can cause it. We saw a small tract house for sale – sign said Zoned for Residential/Commercial inc Art Gallery. The art workers we met (eg part-time tour guide with two art history degrees/full-time chef) were struggling to survive housing costs in Marfa. Of course we can be ironic about it, but what else can we do?

What art have I seen? Chinati Foundation

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work by chrisfremantle on August 19, 2018

What should a museum be when made by an artist?

The artist decides where and how the work is installed (in agreement with the artist who set up the museum).

Works do not compete with each other.

Work is (almost exclusively) permanently installed.

The work is well documented but there are no signs and labels (except where they are part of the work).

What art have I seen? Hyperobjects

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 18, 2018

What art have I seen? The Block

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work by chrisfremantle on August 18, 2018

Studios and Libraries in The Block, Judd Foundation.

20th Century Books organised by date of publication (or author birth maybe).

Books before 20th Century organised by geography.

Studio contains work for thinking.

What art have I seen? Blue Star Contemporary

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on August 16, 2018

A Manhattan Beach Memoir by Gary Sweeney. Family home going to be demolished so turned inside out, becoming an installation, a tribute and an evocation of America in the second half of the 20th Century.

From Underfoot: Breaking Through Surface and Ground. Group show of materials, concepts, details.

What art have I seen? Robert Powell: Between The Lost Places

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 30, 2018

What art have I seen? Assemblages: Sculpture, Found Objects and Boxed Reliefs

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 30, 2018

Assemblages: Sculpture, Found Objects and Boxed Reliefs at the Fine Art Society, Edinburgh including work by Fiona Dean, Will Maclean, Alberto Morocco amongst others. Did the latter influence the former?

What art have I seen? Land of Lads, Land of Lashes

Posted in Exhibitions, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on July 11, 2018
homothetic

Rosemarie Castoro, Land of Lashes, archival photo, 1976

Land of Lads, Land of Lashes at Galerie Thaddeus Ropac. Rosmarie Castoro, Wanda Czelkowska, Lydia Okumura. Three different contexts (NYC, Poland, Brazil). Deep formal sculptural concerns bringing in expressionist, minimalist, humorous, bodily aspects. Interesting in comparison to Lee Lozano – the catalogue of the recent retrospective of Castoro suggests similar interest in lists, instructions and texts. Okumura’s spatial works relate to Sol Lewitt but also to Fred Sandback and are more dynamic than Lozano’s large paintings.

What art have I seen? More Christo drawings and collages

Posted in Exhibitions, Uncategorized by chrisfremantle on July 11, 2018

More Christo and Jeanne-Claude, this time at Repetto Gallery. Drawings are all attributed to Christo, though the installed projects are Christo & Jeanne-Claude. One public installation in the Serpentine Lake, one public exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, two commerical gallery exhibitions simultaneously (Stern Pissarro and Repetto).

I hadn’t realised before that some of the drawings are collages including fabric and string. In particular Wrapped Wall has fabric stapled to the image which is then drawn on, so some of the creases are ‘real’ and some inscribed – remarkable. The more you look at these works, the more they give you.

You can see in the 1976 The Pont Neuf Wrapped collage below that there is fabric inserted into the image – the media are listed as “Pencil, fabric, twine, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, wax crayon, pastel, charcoal and map.”

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What art have I seen? On Collecting

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 9, 2018
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What art have I seen? Seeing Beyond The Immediate by Patricia Cain

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on July 7, 2018

Grass Verge, Oil Pastel

Trish Cain’s exhibition Seeing Beyond The Immediate at the Lillie Art Gallery in Milngavie

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What art have I seen? Mastaba by Christo & Jeanne-Claude

Posted in Exhibitions, Sited work by chrisfremantle on July 4, 2018

The Mastaba on the Serpentine, works related to barrels in the Gallery, other works at Stern Pissarro.

Curiously the Mastaba floating on the lake is more like the 2D works in the Gallery than you expect – it has an unreal quality, perhaps because of the formal geometry and the colour too. All the earlier proposals going back to the late 60s are yellow, red and orange, but this is maroon and purple. Maybe more complementary to the greenness of Hyde Park?

There is definitely a Dada streak in this, the absurdity of this large form, just as there is a Dadaism in wrapping things.

Mies van der Rohe said art addresses the conditions of the time – his were industrialisation and mass production. Christo and Jeanne Claude’s work has a curious relation both to industrial and post-industrialisation, but the temporariness – here now, gone in September – reveals more. Temporary abnormality sensitises us to the normal.

Christo clearly denies any political intent but this monumental structure composed of oil barrels is a reminder of our, as Brett Bloom calls it, petro-subjectivity.

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