Saturday, 30 October 2010

This week's new exhibitions

Breon O'Casey, London

Leggy birds with beaks and wings fashioned as graceful geometries are typical of Breon O'Casey's sculpture. So too buxom Earth Mothers, primitive nudes with vast hips, cast in mottled bronze. It's no surprise to learn that this son of the Irish playwright Sean O'Casey was assistant and friend to Barbara Hepworth. Now in his 80s, he's one of the last surviving members of the St Ives School. His first love, though, ispainting. Canvases feature classic abstract subjects from nudes to landscapes, in the manner of the gods of modern art, Picasso and Mattisse. Birds and fish become teardrop shapes in earthy hues, a view of a Venetian canal is transformed into mirrored half-moons while a reclining nude becomes a satisfying series of ripe ovals, half-moons and circles.

Somerset House, WC1, to 30 Jan
Skye Sherwin

David Gledhill, Corin Sworn, Manchester

David Gledhill's Doctor Munscheld photo-realist paintings are meticulous renditions taken from a 1950s photo album picked up from a Frankfurt flea market. The paintings' chilling air of displaced nostalgia derives from the seeming incompatibility of dead ordinary family snaps and the artfulness of Gledhill's painterly dedication. Corin Sworn's Endless Renovation visuals are a run of projected slides salvaged from a skip. Sworn adds a voiceover monologue that transforms them into a plaintive meditation on the unstoppable passage of time.
Castlefield Gallery, to 19 Dec
Robert Clark

Contemporary Eye, Chichester

Using craft techniques in contemporary art has gone from being a radical bit of revisionism to par for the course in recent years. The subversive works here represent both newbies and artists at the vanguard of the trend. Laura Ford's Chintz Girl riffs on the oppressive limits of the mantelpiece while Debbie Lawson turns home decor into a site for imaginative escape, with her Turkish rug sprouting fabric flowers. There are stuffed animals aplenty in Nina Saunders's amalgams of taxidermy forest creatures and elaborately upholstered furniture, but no show of this kind would be complete without Grayson Perry. Here he switches ceramics for an anti-war tapestry, depicting guns, helicopters, Osama Bin Laden and a priapic angry teddybear.
Pallant House Gallery, to 6 Mar

Rebecca Lennon, Liverpool

Rebecca Lennon's first solo show is a celebration of our common fallibilities titled We Are Stuck Here Together. Past work has included a pigeon video, and a sound collage of the sole word Satisfaction sampled from 38 cover versions of the Rolling Stones classic. Lennon's gift lies in knowing precisely what to lift from the most seemingly arbitrary of sources. The current show includes such ready-made gems as a film clip of a man acting out a sleep disorder and a painting apparently offered to a debt collecting agency in part payment for a debt. And all these things are posited in a spirit of deadpan earnestness as documents of rare cultural import. And, indeed, they could well be just that.
Ceri Hand Gallery, to 28 Nov

Rirkrit Tiravanija, London

Rirkrit Tiravanija's people-friendly projects included cooking Thai curry for gallery-goers and transforming a white cube into a makeshift studio for bands to practice in. In recent years, however, his work's got less utopian and more political. Here he explores the business of art in two very different worlds: London and Thailand. An eight-hour video portrait shot in continuous close-up records the working day of an aged Thai man, the artist's model. It's an endurance test, like one of Andy Warhol's early films. Meanwhile, slides show Tiravanija's London gallerist at Speaker's Corner, using a blackboard to announce daily tasks like emailing collectors.
Pilar Corrias, W1, to 1 Dec

Joan Ainley, Castle Donington

Joan Ainley's new set of collaged prints, The Eye Of Time Rewrites History, is the second in her ongoing series Portraits Without Pictures, Sound Without Noise. Ainley's work tends towards the poetic and enigmatic, more obliquely evocative than clearly descriptive. She has a distinct taste for the conjuring of objects that have a unique drawing power but which frustrate any attempt at prosaic interpretation. She goes in for empty frames and blank mirrors, and contraptions that hint at the potential for creative sound rather than producing actual audible music. The raw materials for her collages were sourced from old catalogue illustrations for barbershop supplies, lab equipment and Army & Navy stores. The antiquated engravings excavate the surreal formalities of barely obscured collective memories of railway station clocks, starched collars and cutthroat razors.
Tarpey Gallery, to 4 Dec

Pioneering Painters: The Glasgow Boys 1880-1900, London

Until the Glasgow Boys came along, Scotland's fin-de-si├Ęcle painting was a staid, sombre affair. At the end of the 19th century they looked to innovators across the water, introducing the hot colours of southern France, the dappled light of impressionism and the social span of French realism in their experimental painting. Taking their materials out of the studio and into the countryside to work in the fresh air, the group gave rural life in the chilly north an image makeover. Included in this survey are such delights as James Guthrie's depictions of age and youth, his little girl herding geese, and Arthur Melville's vision of the Trossachs as a fiery autumnal haze. The highlight though is EA Hornel and George Henry's The Druids: a cavalcade of Celtic priests, resplendent in scarlet, aquamarine and gold leaf against a winter backdrop.
Royal Academy Of Art, W1, Sat to 23 Jan

Jorn Ebner, Newcastle upon Tyne

Jorn Ebner's graphic digital mischief tends to fluctuate between a utopian heaven and a dystopian hell in an atmosphere of distinctly spaced-out bewilderment. The overall title of his recent work Uncertainty Underneath Immense Skies is taken from Jack Kerouac's On The Road. Ebner's computer-enabled protagonists might prance about amidst the flower-power daisies and appear to go in for elaborate variations on a theme of free love, but there's an ever-present undertone of deadpan irony. In one inkjet print titled Richard Brautigan Pounding At The Gates Of American Literature, the trouserless poet stands forlornly above a prone nude girl with his erection pointing to a sky infected by a multicoloured psychedelic plague.
Vane, to 27 Nov

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting such a useful, impressive and a wicked article./Wow.. looking good!
    Contemporary Art


Related Posts with Thumbnails