Tuesday, 15 August 2017

The Painter Pinched Into Action


"Tuesday evening, June 6th 2017

It has been a particularly bad day in the studio, full of painting problems. I retire for a while and, aimlessly it seems at first, reach for a book, although when I settle on Berger’s The Shape of a Pocket, my aimlessness seems to hold the hope of becoming a deliberate action. Normally in such circumstances, I have habitually turned to books about painters to find a way around painting problems, but in recent months it is increasingly the written word- of a novelist, an essayist, or perhaps a short story writer- that has provided me with solace. Berger’s words have very often carried me as a painter, so I remain hopeful, this Tuesday evening, as I decide to turn to ‘A Man with Tousled Hair'."

-excerpt from a paper to be presented at 'John Berger Now' conference at Canterbury Christ Church University, 11th-13th September.




Monday, 14 August 2017

Subjects of the Artist

Some nice documentation of the short-lived art school run by Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman and others- with a lecture programme including some minor names such as William de Kooning and Joseph Cornell.

Smithsonian Archives







Wednesday, 5 July 2017

I Am Not A Painter

Great to see James Merrigan back, +Billion- may be no more, but here is his fine reincarnation:

IAMNOTAPAINTER


Monday, 3 July 2017

/Ad' va: nst/

Last year's painting grads from Belfast School of Art showing with the painting staff, at Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast. Opens 6th July at 6pm


Thursday, 29 June 2017

A Dream and an Argument

Dougal McKenzie, A Dream and an Argument, The MAC Belfast, June 30th- October 8th 2017:

'A Dream and an Argument' represents a major new body of work by Edinburgh-born, Belfast based artist Dougal McKenzie. It brings together key elements of McKenzie’s practice: an interest in history and storytelling through images, and an investigation into whether it is possible to represent these as ‘memory’ in painting.

The title of the exhibition is taken from a chapter in Allan Massie’s ‘The Ragged Lion’: a partly fictional, partly factual account of the Scottish historical novelist and poet, Sir Walter Scott’s life. Like the book, McKenzie’s work weaves together fact and fiction, melding objective history with subjective narrative.
“Being ‘home’ in Edinburgh last summer, I realised that, having neglected it for so long, a number of things were prompting me to address a directly autobiographical sort of history; some of it personal, some of it more lightly connected. Walking around the city, re-reading Walter Scott’s ‘The Heart of Mid-Lothian’, reflecting on the Porteous Riots that took place on the High Street in 1736, and visiting St. Margaret’s Loch with my father, who recalled it as a boating pond.
Remembering also that he had been part of the 'Rectorial Battles' at Edinburgh University’s Quad (which, I had noticed, was a location for parts of the James Mason film ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’). I captured an image of my young son running around the same Quad, and imagined that he too was moving through history. These narratives and reflections coalesced and consolidated very firmly as subjects for paintings."

For McKenzie, the title of the exhibition aptly describes his personal understanding of painting and also the way in which memory seems to act as we reflect on things: A Dream and an Argument.


link to: The MAC Belfast


'Set for a Painting (Quad)'/ reverse view/ The MAC Belfast, June 2017

Arlene Dahl/ Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1959) dir. Henry Levin


Studio/ February 2017