Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Mary Barnes | Frieze review



Mary Barnes has been reviewed in the April issue of Frieze. You can read the review here.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

SPACE EXHIBITIONS ||| MAR/APR

GALLERY: NEU! JACK NEWLING: then again

LIBRARY & ANNEXE: Some Variations on a Theme of Bob (Curated by Lawrence Upton)

BLACKBOARD: # 2 Vicky Wright

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GALLERY:

NEU ! Jack Newling

then again

Fred: "...one thing keeps cropping up is this thing about 'subtext,' songs, words, plays –

they all have subtexts, which I take to mean a hidden meaning or import of some kind. So subtext we know. But what do you call the meaning, or message, that's right there on the surface, completely open and obvious...What do you call what's above the subtext?"

Ted: "The text."

Fred: "OK, that's right...But they never talk about that".

--Scene from Whit Stillman's Barcelona


We could describe this exhibition as superficial.

Filled with artworks that are pure surface.

Not the formalist ‘surface’ so contested in the history of western modernism (though the work certainly remains in dialogue with some of the key concerns of that discourse). Rather, surface as a series of possible effects drawn from the material, visual and symbolic conditions of the things that interest Jack Newling (stuff like cups, roof and floor tiles, windows and microwaves).

Newling uses high-control techniques like screen and digital printing to make his work. He also draws heavily from graphic and commercial design. The result is a profoundly processed style, one in which the slight of the human hand has been supplanted by a mechanical production standard. With their manufactured feel Newling’s artworks effuse a sort of prior-availability: a visual or emotional familiarity that is accessible to most viewers in one-way or another. However, they never seek to properly represent familiar things. Instead they prefer to ‘stand-inʼ; playing with the inherent pathos and boredom of those things, absorbing and regurgitating their superficiality in order to propose something altogether more distant, awkward and slippery for the viewer to negotiate.

Jack Newling (born 1983, Nottingham) graduated from the Royal Academy in 2009. He has twice been included in Bloomberg New Contemporaries (2007 and 2009). Other recent exhibitions include the Jerwood Painting Prize, London (2010), Pop Will Eat Itself, Art on the Underground, London (2009) and Plastic Culture, The Harris Museum, Preston (2009). This is his first solo exhibition in a UK institution.

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LIBRARY & ANNEXE:

SOME VARIATIONS ON A THEME OF BOB

Curated by Lawrence Upton

Bob Cobbing (1920 – 2002) was a poet, painter and musician; an activist for Poetry and Poets; a maker of poems that challenge some ideas of what Poetry is; A remaker of our idea of Poetry.

There are those who say that he was an artist of the greatest importance. It may be too early to say whether or not that is true; but it is not the most important issue.

He was, beyond doubt, a major force both locally, in London and UK, and upon the international community of poets interested in extending what could be done with “the poem” into the sonic; the visual; and, centrally, the performed.

He made significant poetry from, in part, the unremarked, the overheard, the fragmentary. See his books such as Sound Poems (1964), Kurrirrurriri (1967), Sonic Icons (1970), The Five Vowels (1974), Processual (mid 80s), Domestic Ambient Noise (1994-2000), Sign Writing (2000), Members only (2000) and with our tongue our drils and quadras (2001)

He was a master of bringing the potential out of his fellows and of confronting the mediocre and self-obsessed. He ran a publishing house, Writers Forum, based largely on office copying machines, which, over half a century, produced over a thousand publications which were examples in themselves of book art.

This exhibition looks at some aspects of Bob Cobbing – including a sample of his early sound work, a look at the period in the 1980s when he switched from ink duplicator to photocopier as general purpose too, and an examination of some of his last works, when he was still experimenting.

There are some examples from a long life of campaigning – for the recognition of the poet as a professional figure, for the need for a National Poetry Centre, for the interests of Little Presses.

Some Variations on a Theme of Bob is curated Lawrence Upton, AHRC Research Fellow at Goldsmiths. Upton worked with Cobbing in a variety of capacities over many years.

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BLACKBOARD: # 2 Vicky Wright

Vicky Wright presents a continuation of her Extraction and Guardian series, an ongoing project focusing on the paradoxical nature of portraiture, politics and patronage.

Wright will present ’Altarpiece Redux’: an Iconoclastic revisitation of the altarpiece revived as a blackboard.

Vicky Wright (b. Bolton, 1967) studied at the RCA and Goldsmiths. Recent exhibitions include The Informants, Josh Lilley Gallery, London (2010) and Comma 14, Bloomberg SPACE, London (2009).

BLACKBOARD is a new project involving artists who have studios with SPACE. For each exhibition cycle a studio artist will be invited to make an intervention on a blackboard hung behind the front desk of the Triangle building. The first participants were the design group Modern Activity who occupy a studio in the Triangle building.