Friday, 20 May 2011

Eigse, Progress report

Currently I am down in Carlow installing in VISUAL as part of this year's Eigse festival which opens on the 10th June, with the exhibition running until August. It's very exciting, the show is shaping up to be really interesting, so if anyone is about you should check it out!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Kostabi World

Mark Kostabi/ Useless Knowledge

The James Kalm Report (click Post Title) catches up with Mark Kostabi. 'His' work always seemed to be on the cover of Flash Art in the 80s when I was at art college. I remember it better than Kippenberger's (see Post below.) In this time of Painting's undoubted revival (it will not last, but it will come back again, and then it will go again...) there's something in the air that feels like nostalgia for 80's painting. But it was 'bad' in every way, and perhaps now the 'Pictures Generation' that preceded it has more currency with contemporary art today. Still, can't help but liking the encounters that happen throughout James Kalm's report above.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Kippenberger and Picasso

Martin Kippenberger/ Picasso Museum, Malaga

Nearing the end of its run now, this show (click on Post Title for link) encapsulates the myriad of approaches  Kippenberger's practice took. However, there is a tighter focus brought to bear on the late series of paintings he made in response to particular images of the 'grieving Jacqueline' and also Picasso in his 'white trunks/ underpants'. These latter images were to inspire Kippenberger's own 'pants' self portraits.

Kippenberger/ Self Portrait/ 1988

His name is still often cited- particularly amongst current German painters- as an abiding influence. Less, probably, to do with the ethos of the 'bad painting' of the 80s which he dominated, but more to do with the sheer weight and presence of his massive output and personality. For me, the best part of the show was a large selection of his drawings made on hotel notepaper. Many of these appeared to depict, and predict, his death just a couple of years after they were made.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Black and Shaw

                                          George Shaw

Two divergent painters on the 2011 Turner Shortlist, George Shaw and Karla Black, make for a very interesting comparison of materials and methods. Click on Post Title for link to video, for an honest and intelligent appraisal of his work by Shaw himself. His show at Baltic is nearing its end, and interestingly a series of influential movies had been selected by the artist to accompany the show- The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner for instance. This is common enough amongst painters- Peter Doig's Studio Film Club comes to mind- but a bit like artists listening to music in the studio, is this an over-played and unnecessary embellishment of the painters' process?  The filmic narrative held within the rectangle of the screen, and the painted narrative held within the limit frame of a painting can have strong associations at times. But perhaps the strong influence that a movie or piece of music has on a painter is a soft option for fleshing out the concerns of a work.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Like Drinking Turps?

Most people will have picked up the recent issue of Turps Banana to look at the very good interview by Gavin Lockheart with Peter Doig. I picked up my copy from the Douglas Hyde Gallery the other day and at the end of it all began to wonder why I had put TB on Best Links at the bottom of NOCM. The interview with the ranting John Hoyland is bad enough- not a word of it is worth repeating- with his general bad attitude about contemporary art, women painters in particular and women in general. But it led me to see how throughout the whole of this issue, not a single female painter features (unless you count the really quite good article on crime court artists which features two female illustrators) and not that many in other recent issues either. It's becoming a bit of a boys' painting mag, and uncomfortably so.

Dubliners no.1

With the current renovations at the National Gallery of Ireland, the Jack B. Yeats Collection has been rehoused in a smaller, more intimate suite of rooms that give a stronger overall impression of the works on show compared to previously. Over at the Kerlin, Brian Maguire's 'Notes on 14 Paintings' brought me to consider formal and thematic links between the two, particularly in view of a recent review of Maguire's show which attempted to make parallels with Francis Bacon. It seemed off the mark to me at the time, and more so now. Yeats and Maguire are more comfortable bedfellows.

From the Jack B. Yeats Collection, National Gallery of Ireland

Brian Maguire at The Kerlin Gallery, Dublin

Dubliners no.2

Alexis Harding at The Rubicon Gallery, Dublin

Shiva Linga at The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin

Shiva Linga at The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin

An interesting parallel runs between the Alexis Harding show at The Rubicon and the Shiva Linga paintings at the Douglas Hyde Gallery. The Shiva Linga paintings (each one made anonymously) follow a regular format on paper mounted on cardboard, and Harding has created an installation of paintings on cardboard covered, spiral bound catalogues. Both provide compelling takes on abstraction, albeit coming from quite different directions and with different intentions.