Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Alex Hudson and upcoming Vegas gallery show

I'm quite sure that due to my determination to make it through the horror show that was New Contemporaries 2008 I certainty stopped in front of Alex Hudson's paintings there for at least the prerequisite seven seconds. Seven seconds of a high resistance mental workout as my poorly developed brain attempted to block out the inane chatter, the more asinine talking, and the frankly retarded shouting of my peers and contemporaries as they stand about in a calculatedly conspicuous stance and proceed to take turns to tell people they went to art school with (or if they are lucky, have just met via someone they went to art school with), what projects they are doing in the upcoming spring season.
So thats quite a lot of noise, and quite a lot of arm jestures, and for 2008 also quite a lot of hat gestures.
And I am aware that I should not have gone on the private view night so its my own damn hypocritical fault.
But back to Alex Hudson.
I've been a distant fan of Vegas Gallery since its inception three ( I think) years or so ago, I like the confidence, the allegiance to doing projects that other galleries in London would cringe at (and that pre-cringe at before the realisation comes round and slaps me on the back of the head "that's the establishment talking to you old man, its talking through you, its Timothy Taylor with his hand on your assumptions and prejudices getting to rummed up and taking you for a ride"), to writing press releases that come down like a carpet-bombing run of literary references on the front line between pretentiousnesses and idealism.
So I really like a gallery that makes a stand, that is frequently not just unashamed of its own opinions and bias, but pushes a visible agenda that relates to these judgements.
But back to Alex Hudson.
I just don't know. It might be so easily explained away cynically as that mystical aura of modernity, the cult of Modernism, but its there. I missed it when I spent all those tortured seconds in front of Hudson's work at Rochelle School a year or so back. Like illustrations to The Golden Bough hidden between the pages (and while I'm on that shelf, more than a little of the tobacco sparkle, the flash of Koi in the pond and the creeping cradling dancing Blakean foliage of the Turner that graces my copy of the book's cover) it seeps out in a wonderful manner.
The language is pronounced loudly, but not brashly. The allusions to the obsidian cube in the jungle, to Arthur C. Clarke, to Lovecraft, to Fontana are there but like the press releases of the gallery I believe in them. I believe in what this person is doing with these weighty objects, shifting their bulk and risking embarrassment as they threatenen to collapse all over him.
Perhaps embarrassment is the key, or rather its not to be worried by it, and by that I don't mean the hideous self-aware-I-don't-cares of those standing-hopping-waving at Bloomberg New Contemporaries. I mean believing in what you're doing, focusing on the task, pouring into it so as this third person narration of how-one-might-be-perceived never even comes into your mind. Its that dignity so often lacking, where we all too frequently find the cringing nervous laugh of a distancing pre-apology.
So it is collision, it is image and object, it is the creation of the jungle and then a reactivation of the meta-veiwing of this jungle. It is Buckminster Fullers dome (check) it is Borges's library (check), it is Beuys (check check) it is a Gothic Modernity, it is a 340 Hz tone obliterating 25 full seconds of Siegfried. But not any of these things, its not that dependent on reference, it acknowledges Wagner but its not playing the recording, its pulling something out of the swamp that corresponds to its shape, its a Giotto carved out of mangrove.

 Joris Ghekiere, 'Untitled' Oil on Polyester, 120 x 100 cm, 2009, Courtesy of Koraalberg Gallery, Antwerp

Les Choses Perdues - Group Exhibition 15 January/ 14 February 2010
Private View: Thursday 14 January 18:30 - 21:00
curated by ken Pratt

Bracha Ettinger
Joris Ghekiere
Geraldine Gliubislavich
Karin Hanssen
Alex Hudson

Vegas is pleased to present ‘Les Choses Perdues’, a special project curated by Ken Pratt as the opening show for its new gallery space in Vyner Street.

If the twentieth century can be called the century of ‘the image’, it now seems that we have entered the era of ‘the archive’. It is not hard to understand how and why ‘the archive’ has emerged as a discernable current locus for artistic and curatorial investigation and intervention. Just as the progress of image-making technology in the twentieth century builds a momentum for the late twentieth century painters engaging with ‘the (moving) image’, it is inevitable that the rapid advancement of digital storage, manipulation and sharing mechanisms would contribute to more recent explorations of the mass, the pool; the archive.

With ‘Les Choses Perdues’, the aim is to prompt thinking about the continuum. Represented in the exhibition is one artist whose pioneering practice rose to prominence during that original wave considering ‘the image’ and its (inter)relationships and discourses, two younger painters reaching a certain maturity during the more recent ‘archive era’ and, significantly, two painters gaining recognition in that strange cusp; the years in between. In other words, we can consider a snapshot of three ‘generations’ of artists intrinsically – though not always exclusively- deploying painting as a means of conceptually engaging with ‘the image’ and/or ‘the archive’ as a coordinate for contemporary painting.

Furthermore, selection and inclusion is hardly broad: there is no painter in the exhibition that works with randomness, even if it sometimes appears so. All of the painters in ‘Les Choses Perdues’ are notable for distilling very particular images into their work. What may at first seem random never remains so, even if a certain enigma or level of opacity as to their intended meaning/s is equally present. Furthermore, as also becomes apparent, this work can never be readily taken as simply ‘representational’. Within the choices of images emerging in the paintings themselves, there is almost certainly something indicating a dislocation of time. The paintings before us, through different means, conjure up a visual language expressed in the past tense; a discourse in the present that makes necessary reference to the past. It’s there in the art historic references and quotes. It’s there in something hovering between an ambivalent nostalgia and a critique of the past or present. Naturally, it’s there, implicitly, in the decision to paint. And yet, it is never once reactionary.


VEGAS Gallery,45 Vyner Street, LONDON E2 9DQ

Thursday, 24 December 2009

New photographs part one.

Mike Nelson, 303 Gallery

Mike Nelson

February 27 - March 27 2010
547 W 21 Street
This will be Mike Nelson's first exhibition at 303 Gallery

In the Shadow of Scartoris, 1995

Anne Hendrick: The Surface of events, The Talbot Gallery,

from Circa

Anne Hendrick: The Surface of events, The Talbot Gallery, October - November 2009
Anne Hendrick's work presents a colourful, enchanted world which is both amusing and strange. Pyramids of coloured dots tower in the sky and knotted trees slink across the landscape. Golden forests and rainbows create a playful, light-hearted feel to the show; however, there seems to be something sinister lurking beneath this surface. Hendrick presents the viewer with locations that are imaginary, but, she then seems to re-interpret these fabrications with memories, creating something else.

Anne Hendrick: Brimstone and fire, 2009, mixed media on canvas, 60 x 80cm; courtesy the artist
The first painting I encounter in the gallery is Brimstone and fire. The surface is rough, almost stony. The canvas is sulphuric in colour and looks faded or worn away. On the bottom right of the image, there is a strange geometric shape that resembles a building. It seems out of place - the soft pink, blue, gray and ochre shapes look like paper cut-outs. They are flat, smooth abstract shapes and create a contrast. Fire and brimstone are, of course, associated with a god's wrath and subsequent cleansing and purification of evil. [1]

Anne Hendrick: Bigfoot country (after Roger Patterson), 2009, mixed media on canvas, 60 x 80cm; courtesy the artist.
Bigfoot Country (after Roger Patterson) is a large oil painting depicting a river and trees with a silhouette of an animal-like, dark figure that moves across the landscape. I imagine I can hear birds, startled, wings fluttering overhead and a cricket's rythmical chirping suddenly silenced. The figure seems to be caught mid-stride - anonymous. This piece resembles the famous video still of a Sasquatch, taken from a film that was shot by Roger Patterson in 1967. The place of the sighting is called Bluff Creek. Thought to be a trick, Patterson was adament that it wasn't. [2] Hendrick sets up the painting in a compositionally conventional way. The traditional detail is removed, and shapes are reduced to colour and line. The trees behind the river lack detail - they are whited out. The rapid flow of the river is reduced to different shades of blue from light to dark. Just like the video footage of Bigfoot, this painting is blurry, almost pixellated. Although we are aware of movement, or potential for movement rather, the viewer must gaze at the stillness.

Anne Hendrick: Bluff creek, 2009, mixed media on canvas, 60 x 80cm; courtesy the artist.
Bluff creek is taken from the same location. The long, thin trees reach up and out of sight. They are strangely pink and purple and blue in colour; the background is flat and green. One tree stands out; it is broader - covered in horizontal lines and blue. The tree twists and knots itself in and out of the ground in an unnerving manner. The work seems unfinished - details are missing, some of the canvas is left empty.

Anne Hendrick: Oh brother! Don't climb that creepy tree, mixed media on canvas, 100 x 250cm; courtesy the artist
The largest painting in the show, measuring 250 cm wide, is titled O brother! Don't climb that creepy tree. Hendrick creates a strange, Dr Seuss-like world of droopy trees, mountains comprised of brightly coloured circles and paths that seem to lead to nowhere. Again, Hendrick's focus is on the landscape. It is as if these locations, real or imagined, have their own stories to tell. The surface of the landscape, scratched or scarred from events and passing time, becomes a surface of things remembered. Hendrick chooses sites of apparent importance, or perhaps, simply, places from her own past and childhood. In O brother! Don't climb that creepy tree, the winding path leads me in and the landscape seems to enclose itself around me. I stand very close to the piece - the large scale of the work fills my sight. The wide, twisting tree, again, creeps over the landscape and into the sky. It is like a fairytale beanstalk growing upwards, waiting to be explored, asking to be climbed.
Roland Barthes described history as a "memory fabricated."[2] Hendrick creates a historical narrative that we wander through, piecing together, trying to make sense of it all. The empty spaces and strange architectural structures offer suggestions of narrative rather than anything concrete.

[2] Barthes, Roland (1981), Camera Lucida: reflections on photography, Hill and Wang Ltd., New York, p 253.
Niamh Dunphy lives and works in Dublin.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Spirit guide

Spirit Guide

The many uses of the Zeitgeist
Everyone involved in contemporary art believes in a ghost, even if few admit to it. It’s called the Zeitgeist. Take a look around. Curators love a survey – maybe it’s a generational overview or a medium-specific temperature gauge or a set of snapshots organized along national or continental lines, or gender or sexual preferences. Critics and magazine editors chase it too: we can hang articles off it, or try and map the directions it’s been floating with entire issues (like this one). Even critics who hate contemporary art reckon on it – it allows them to use a small handful of particularly loathed examples in order to damn an entire system. Many dealers and collectors also believe in the Zeitgeist; you can sell things with it (press releases are, of course, the best place to find overblown claims to history made on behalf of artists by their representatives), or flatter yourself that you’re one step ahead by buying into someone else’s alleged intimacy with it. Market analysts believe it takes the form of numbers, and they scour the latest auction results for evidence of its mysterious ways. Artists might swear they’ve no interest in it (at least, the ones who aren’t career-obsessed egomaniacs do) but deep down in many of them rages a personal struggle with art history – otherwise known as documented collected sightings of the Zeitgeist.
Of late, the Zeitgeist has been lurking at the edges of conversation more than usual. Sometimes it’s referred to as ‘the crisis’, or more coyly – as if to acknowledge its complexity – ‘the current situation’. The economic downturn and all-out exposure of systemic avarice within major financial organizations initially generated mixed responses in the visual arts, with many talking piously, if vaguely, about ‘the crisis’ being ‘good’ for art – a bit like drinking cod liver oil or getting some fresh air. This was interpreted to mean a number of things: less silly money blowing after artists barely out of nappies; fewer low-concept/high-production spectaculars; cut-backs on lavish parties; no more galleries opening unnecessary ‘project spaces’; biennials opening every two years rather than seemingly every two weeks; fewer curators playing at being power brokers; and a halt to collectors opening narcissistic temples to their own acumen for acquisition. An upswing in thoughtful discussion and approaches to making art, and reinvigorated roles for criticism and educational institutions were forecast. Of course there would be some collateral damage; a few superfluous art consultants, dealers and artists (sadly some talented ones, as well as the careerist variety) would fall by the wayside, public funding purses would get tighter, art magazines would shrink, and there would be some facile articles in the broadsheets misinterpreting the demise of the market as heralding artists returning to their senses and making nice landscape paintings. But, on the whole, the losses would be for the greater good.
A year on from the initial economic earthquake, where are we?
zeitgeist ‘So, team, how’s The Crisis going?’
zeitgeist area manager (arts
division) ‘Business is slow today boss.’
zeitgeist ‘Oh that’s a shame. No seismic shifts in contemporary art production to report? No return to Enlightenment values of technical skill and transcendent moral values detected? No realization on the part of humanity that creativity is innate within them all and that its commodity role within the capitalist realist world-view is fundamentally wrong?’
zeitgeist area manager ‘’Fraid not, chief.’
zeitgeist At least tell me that Damien Hirst has retired or gone bankrupt?’
zeitgeist area manager ‘Sorry to report, captain, but in late 2009 he gained much attention for turning to painting awful pastiche Francis Bacons.’
zeitgeist ‘Bugger.’
Confusion reigns. Here’s an example: in New York at the end of October, Creative
Time staged a day-long ‘summit’ at the New York Public Library on ‘Revolutions in Public Practice’, at which more than 40 speakers made presentations on art and community engagement. Less than a week later was a tongue-in-cheek but nonetheless exclusive ‘performance-based art work’ organized by Rob Pruitt as a fundraiser for the Guggenheim Musuem, White Columns and a youth arts scheme. It was an Oscars-style ceremony called the First Annual Art Awards, which included gongs for ‘Artist of the Year’ (Mary Heilmann), ‘Curator of the Year’ (Connie Butler) and ‘Exhibition Outside the United States’ (which just happened to be by an American artist: Jeff Koons at the Château de Versailles, France). I’m sure the award ceremony – a bit like the Hugo Boss or Turner Prizes, but with no pretense of gravitas ­– was way more fun than the nine hours I spent at the Creative Time Summit, but somehow the coinciding of these two events revealed the Zeitgeist to be a confused mess.

There are certain sectors of the art world that crave a useful social role for art. Others see art as an activity making important contributions to intellectual discourse. Many look to art for pleasure. And then there are those who appreciate all of this seriousness, but crave the trappings of the entertainment industry too – fame, power, money, glamour, hierarchies, cultural parochialism. One year the art world is interested in this, the next year it’s interested in that. It wants to party, it wants to be scholarly. Markets go up, markets go down. At the same time as the Serpentine Gallery is showing Gustav Metzger, people are posing for photographs licking a giant chocolate facsimile of a Jeff Koons sculpture and throwing themselves on giant mounds of peanuts at the gala opening of PERFORMA 09. America elects a mildly progressive president and suddenly people scream ‘socialism’ as if the year is 1954 and Senator McCarthy is on the warpath. Everything changes and nothing changes.

Feeling confused or anxious about contemporary art? Someone recently told me about a book they’d read, in which it was posited that the apocalypse happened before humans evolved and that everything humanity has done since has been in a post-apocalypse society. So don’t worry: the end has been and gone. Learn to love the confusion. 
Dan Fox
Dan Fox is based in New York, USA, and is senior editor of frieze.

Freeze podcasts


Ansel Krut at Stuart Shave/Modern Art

Ansel Krut

15 January through to 13 February, 2010

Private view Thursday 14 January, 6pm – 8pm

Stuart Shave/Modern Art is very pleased to announce our first solo exhibition of new work by the
British artist Ansel Krut. With this exhibition we are delighted to welcome this extraordinary
painter to the gallery programme.

There is a measured and psychedelic cast of protagonists in Krut’s paintings that revel in absurd
creativity. This quality of absurdity in Krut’s images is vital, yet needn’t be overplayed, as it belies
the subtlety and sophistication of his characterisation, and his sincere exercise of technique.

Krut’s new paintings bring the strength and assurance of a mature practice to the energy and
joyfulness of continued unfolding and discovery in his image making. His paintings deftly employ
a genuine understanding of the conventions, traditions and values of painting, with a sound
awareness of the recent century’s stylistic movements and periods of figuration. Krut’s painting is
not an academic exercise, and while in places his painting and composition suggests a nod to the
modern canon, this is not at risk of being overstated or reduced to a subject. The new paintings he
has made for this exhibition at Modern Art have a lightness of touch which lends a feeling of
freshness and timeliness.

Krut’s technique is to construct his surface with layers of nuanced paint application in which there
is a strong relationship to drawing and pictorial space. For his show at Modern Art, Ansel Krut has
created a confident and buoyant new group of paintings. Each canvas carries a very particular and
spirited character. Fans, vortexes, geometric angles, dynamic shapes and judiciously placed
eyebrows recur throughout his compositions – suggesting physical form to a menagerie of exotic
dancers, pipe-smokers and deviants. Krut’s imagery dances ahead of us in a series of new paintings
that picture displaced objects – such as bottles, armchairs, whirlwinds, flowers and onions – that
have been embodied with features and infused with personality, within his ever-expanding
repertoire of abject portraiture.

Ansel Krut was born in 1959, and lives and works in London. He graduated with an MA in Painting
from the Royal College of Art in 1986, after which he was awarded the Abbey Major scholarship to
the British School in Rome. He attended the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (1982-1983), and
completed his BA in Fine Art at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (1979-1982).

Manderley at John Jones


Date/Duration: 11/09 - 01/10
Venue: John Jones Project Space
Curated by Edd Pearman, ‘Manderley’ represents duality - the characteristic of being two-fold: Lightness with Darkness, Life and Death, the tranquil amidst the dreadful. This collection of works presents such dichotomies - each individual artist extracting a sense of beauty from the profane. August yet imposing marquetry, warningly serene photography, and magnetically hypnotic but voyeuristic video work: all initially appear to embody one intention, yet possess in equal measure, opposite qualities. Each of the artists have either studied or taught in the Printmaking Department at the Royal College of Art, London.


Private view 26 November
to RSVP please email marketing@johnjones.co.uk

Open 27 November - 16 January
Thurs - Fri  10am - 5pm
Sat 10am - 4pm
‘Manderley’ is kindly supported by: FORSTER, Mark Jason Gallery, My Life in Art & TAG Fine Arts.

Thomas Zipp

Slightly better, not going to write about this on. Its actually quite astute and has a aim that goes beyond describing what is in the show. its certainly miles ahead of the Guardiar writer in the previous post.


here's something from Freeze at the time

Thomas Zipp

Alison Jacques Gallery, London, UK
Thomas Zipp, White Dada (2008)
White Dada (2008) was composed of two areas: a replica lecture theatre and a period-style gallery filled with Dada-esque works. Where the former space was large, high-ceilinged and bright, the latter was small, dark and low. Zipp’s aesthetic was immediately recognizable in both. Muted colours, fluorescent ‘chandeliers’, faces with silver tacks for eyes, a portrait of Martin Luther: all were familiar from recent installations. At the same time Zipp summoned the frisson of historical authenticity. To enter the windowless smaller space, with its benches and hessian-covered plinths, was to remember that the talismanic sites of avant-garde activity were often the back rooms of dingy cafés.
Zipp alludes to a range of conceptual systems. In the smaller room medical images were prominent: wards, nurses, surgery and a page from a textbook detailing procedures for dealing with mental illness, including electric shock treatment and ‘narcotherapy’. This latter term then connected with the drug references of the dried poppies and teaspoons nearby. The effect was to suggest a continuum between state control and transgressive behaviour, one implication being that these practices are linked rather than antithetical. Such assertions of complicity between elements normally seen as opposed are common in Zipp’s work. In its overt evocation of the avant-garde, however, ‘White Dada’ made explicit the artist’s concern with the relationship between radical art and other social and political forces. It was in the conjugation of the show’s two spaces that this relationship was most succinctly examined.
The lecture theatre’s wood panelling and tiers of uncomfortable seats suggested some 19th-century Mitteleuropean institution. Rather than the recalcitrance of the Cabaret Voltaire, the mood was one of aspiration to power and the intellectual mainstream. Botanical paintings were regularly spaced on the walls, interspersed with a repeated manifesto attacking bourgeois values and exhorting violence and ecstacy in time-honoured style. An imposing light-coloured, semi-abstract figure stood to the right, the abstract Hans Arp of its head balanced on a Jacob Epstein torso. Hanging above it was a Constructivist diagram of fluorescent tubes. The connotations were of a confident Utopian Modernism: it was year zero in the circular hall, and the large sculpture a template for the new man.
If Zipp was careful to distinguish between two forms of the avant-garde, he did not assert a banal opposition between an emancipatory Dadaism and its rivals: this would have contradicted the idea of complicity explored in the smaller room. Hence the disciplined atmosphere of the lecture hall was in turn complicated by the tokens of adolescent rebellion that occupied its centre: drum kit, organ, distortion pedals, a microphone and amp. Zipp and his band DA (Dickarsch, or ‘fat ass’) showcased their improvised rock on the opening night with a torrent of screaming that Hugo Ball might well have approved of. As a result the austere theatre and the shabby back room could not be seen as independent. Rather, the latter – with its benches along the walls, where the band waited – was a kind of antechamber for the former. In this way Zipp implicated each historical (and political) space in the other while reaching forward to touch us in the present.
The amp emitted a powerful hum, letting us know it was live and so inviting the viewer to take up the instruments and perform. By doing so we may perhaps have maintained some kind of fidelity to the event that took place here, traces of which could still be seen: the carpet stained with ash and alcohol, the wooden tiers covered in dusty footprints. And yet this was at odds with the melancholy that the empty lecture hall exuded. We were too late: the players had left the stage and the audience for anything we might do ourselves had already departed. Such ambivalence extended to the status of the band’s performance. By connecting with them through performing ourselves, could we really channel the distant creative event of Modernism? Or was the gig, like its surroundings, simply a facsimile, history repeated as farce?
The excesses of DA’s performance may have suggested the latter, seeming merely to assert tired ideas of art as transgression. Yet Zipp’s conception of Modernism as constituted though a contradiction between creativity and control demands a more complex analysis. The performance stands or falls on the question of whether it is grasped under the mannerist sign of irony or as part of a larger exploration of the contradictions at the heart of both Modernism and the last hundred years of German art and society. Zipp’s ability to pose this formal question suggests that his work does indeed afford a useful purchase on the receding event of Modernism, even as it dramatizes the problems and tensions endemic to it.
Conor Carville

jon pylypchuk talk from Alison Jacques Gallery earlier in the year

jon pylypchuk talk Feb09 mp3

 I saw the show when it was on, around February time and I never quite resolved my feelings about it. I think Pylypchuk's work has something strong, something that resists interpretation (to once again high jack the Sontag language that is getting quite refreshingly present, but maybe even a little overly used at the moment), it is childish, and it is repetitive but analysis is not the way to go to make sense of it. It is the establishment of a language, a system with which to express something, it is wrong to get caught up in the wizz bang of the means of expressing it. animals and coke and dripping paint. I'm not going to argue that that's not exciting, it is. but the point is beyond that. Maybe we're so used to getting one or the other, the visual or the cerebral. why else could there be a recording like this? with someone trying so hard to nail down this work in all the wrong places, stapling the coattails to the floor.
I do struggle with the excess, with the use of the drugs, its fairly silly, its unwieldy. how do we read it? It just makes me cringe a bit. Whatever it is aiming for, how is it going to hit it when its so easy for it to get dragged down to a trendy decadence?
In some ways the work was just too honest to be shown in that space, its fairly heart-on-sleeve and its a bit beery and teary. In that space its easy for people (as demonstrated by this talk) to take it all the wrong way, and to effectively apologise for the work, it's actually one of the most damming things I've ever heard, Jessica Lack desperately trying to say "there is a reason for this! there is a plan, take him seriously".
the best moment is the one question. the one moronic question at the end regarding the "contradiction the low made anti-commodity work being shown in a blue chip gallery".

the work is pretty far form being anti-commodity, it is laboured and loved and would look lovely on your wall, also for that even to be a question any more, to think that anything without a frame must be the whimsy of the gallery director to bring in a pet folk artist and feed them up on acid to make crudely beautiful drawings about lost loves?
What a room full of tragic misdirected attention.

DANIEL RICHTER Daniel Richter The Woodcuts. Pippy Houldsworth

Pippy Houldsworth is delighted to present a rare and small edition of prints made by Daniel Richter in 2007. On display in London for the first time from 20 November 2009 to 9 January 2010, these four large-scale woodcuts with etching offer a glimpse into the versatility and diversity of this important German artist.

This group of works offers a distillation of Richter’s frantic, lurid and complex paintings, with their monochrome backgrounds, block-colour simplicity and bold lines. They present scenes drawn from a strange iconography of Medieval torture, where unfortunate individuals are stretched over spiked wheels, dangled over fires, and crushed by giant presses. Yet despite their gloom, the works retain a black humour, as visions of suffering are playfully and provocatively countered with the white ghost-like cartoon faces which transform the human figures. Giant, and seemingly incongruous, brightly-coloured birds preside – inquisitively or menacingly – over the scenes.

Richter is currently exhibiting individually at the Essl Collection of Contemporary Art, Klosterneuburg, Austria and collectively in Remote Proximity, Nature in Contemporary Art, at the Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany, and Paint Made Flesh at the Memorial Art Gallery, University of New York. He has also exhibited recently at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, the Denver Art Museum, Colorado, Städtische Galerie Delmenhorst, Berlin, Museum Morsbroich, Germany and the Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery, Vancouver. Daniel Richter is represented by David Zwirner, New York and Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin. Works are in the collections of MoMA, New York, Tate.

For further information please contact Hannah Dewar or Pippy Houldsworth on gallery@houldsworth.co.uk or +44 (0)20 8969 6166.

Daniel Richter
Daniel Richter

Untitled IV 2007
woodcut with etching, edn of 16
153 x 111.5 cm, 60.2 x 43.9 in

Simon Rühle, Dirt. at stephanie bender

next show:
Simon Rühle - Dirt
opening 22 january 2010

check out the gallery website for news:


I'm quite easily swayed by the use of that photograph of the mc5.


Thursday 14th January
6pm – 8pm

Please join us for the preview of Spasticus Artisticus, featuring seventeen international artists, curated by Jota Castro and Christian Viveros-Faune

Please also join us for the after show party at LEAF, 8pm till late, with special performance at 9pm by French all girl punk band Furious Golden Shower, accompanied by a troupe of PomPomBoys

Exhibition runs
15th Jan - 27th Feb 2010


Preview 14 January, 2010 6-8 PM

Including Artists:
Jota Castro (FR/PE), Andres Bedoya (BO), The Bruce High Quality Foundation (USA), Graham Dolphin (UK), Rainer Ganahl (AT), Kate Gilmore (USA), Goldiechiari (IT), S. Mark Gubb (UK), Patrick Hamilton (CL), Ciprian Homorodean (RO), Simona Homorodean (RO), Rebecca Lennon (UK), Alban Muja (KO), Abigail Reynolds (UK), Guy Richards Smit (USA), Mauro Vignando (IT), Charlie Woolley (UK)

The title for Ceri Hand Gallery's inaugural 2010 exhibition is taken from the song "Spasticus Autisticus," penned by the legendary Ian Dury of the band Ian Dury and the Blockheads.
Wikipedia records the following entry about "Spasticus Autisticus":

"Spasticus Autisticus" was actually written in 1981 for the International Year of Disabled Persons. It was a cross between a battle cry and an appeal for understanding. The song's title was deliberately provocative, as the word Spastic (a name for sufferers of cerebral palsy) was becoming taboo in Britain, due to its use as a derogatory term. Despite the fact that Dury was himself disabled (from polio, rather than cerebral palsy), the BBC deemed it offensive to polite sensibilities and denied it airplay, only confirming the validity of Dury's uncompromising lyrics."
A launching off point for an exhibition that underscores the oddball, frankly abnormal and "special" (as in "Special Olympics" special) qualities of artists' pursuits, Spasticus Artisticus explores the outsize freedom inherited by those who deliberately select a life devoted to exploring objects and ideas for which there is zero use value. The exhibition-made up of the work of an appropriately large and not at all representative international collection of artist/collaborators-purposely turns its back on the success model recently adopted by rafts of artists around the world.
The original lyrics to Dury's song read: Hello to you out there in Normal Land/You may not comprehend my tale or understand!/As I crawl past your window give me lucky looks/You can be my body but you'll never read my books. A celebration both of art's and artists' forgotten esotericism, the work of the folks participating in Spasticus Artisticus has been deemed by the curators (self-appointed experts in such matters) especially wild, pointless, counterproductive and generally deranged enough to warrant inclusion in this lucky exhibition. Armed with the motto "Fuck Normal. We're Not Like Everybody Else!" Spasticus Artisticus is a cri du coeur for artists' (self?) recognition as repositories of genuinely visionary as well as durably impractical ideas.
About the Curators:
Jota Castro is an artist, activist and curator. He has exhibited at, among other venues, the Palais de Tokyo and the Gwangju Biennale, where he was the recipient of the Biennale's Grand Prize. He most recently curated "The Fear Society, Pabellon de la Urgencia" for the 53rd Venice Biennale. Christian Viveros-Faune is a New York-based writer and curator. He has curated exhibitions at Mexico's Museum of Modern Art and Chile's Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende. He writes the Free-Lance column for ArtReview and is curatorial advisor for the art fairs VOLTA NY and NEXT.

Download Press Release:

Design by Uniform

Institute of Contemporary Arts : Visual Art : For the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn’t there

Institute of Contemporary Arts : Visual Art : For the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn’t there

For the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn’t there

Bruno Munari, Looking for comfort in an uncomfortable chair, c1950
Bruno Munari, Looking for comfort in an uncomfortable chair, c1950
3 - 23 Dec 2009, 2 - 31 Jan 2010

"A mathematician is like a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn’t there."
Attributed to Charles Darwin

The ICA is proud to present the acclaimed international group exhibition For the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn't there, which features works by over twenty modern and contemporary artists, including still lifes by Giorgio Morandi, a celebrated film by Fischli & Weiss, and a sculptural installation by Dave Hullfish Bailey. The exhibition celebrates the speculative nature of knowledge, rejecting the common assumption that art is a code that needs cracking, and presenting works that employ nonknowledge, unlearning and productive confusion as ways to understand the world.

Stretching 15 metres along one of the walls in the lower gallery is an installation by Matt Mullican, including drawings, flags, diagrams, rubbings, photographs and prints, and demonstrating the artist's highly subjective theory of everything. Many of the works in the exhibition demonstrate sustained and paradoxical quests for knowledge, and the lower gallery also contains a slideshow of photographs by Bruno Munari, showing the artist tirelessly looking for comfort in an uncomfortable chair, and a large-scale installation by Benoît Maire and Falke Pisano which will be continually re-arranged over the course of the exhibition.

The exhibition takes its title from a remark attributed to Charles Darwin, who is supposed to have compared mathematical enquiry to the explorations of a blind man. However, the project also nods to The Blind Man, the journal which was co-founded by Marcel Duchamp, and a re-issue of which (by artist Sarah Crowner) is presented in the ICA's concourse. Other works here include a game by David William, which encourages visitors to engage with the idea of the fourth dimension, and a large piñata by Mariana Castillo Deball in the shape of a Klein bottle - a topological form whose outside is indistinguishable from its inside.

At the entrance to the upper galleries, in an audio recording from 1970, the visitor can listen to Marcel Broodthaers interviewing his cat about the art of painting, while inside the galleries the artist duo Nashashibi / Skaer play with the space between knowing and not knowing in their new 16mm film, Our Magnolia. A final artist who explores collecting and archiving is Patrick van Caeckenbergh, whose works at the ICA include a photo-collage inspired by the fable of a man unable to forget, who keeps thousands of stories within a large hat equipped with tiny drawers.

Featuring anonymous, Dave Hullfish Bailey, Marcel Broodthaers, Sarah Crowner, Mariana Castillo Deball, Eric Duyckaerts, Ayşe Erkmen, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Rachel Harrison, Benoît Maire and Falke Pisano, Giorgio Morandi, Matt Mullican, Bruno Munari, Nashashibi/Skaer, Jimmy Raskin, Frances Stark, Rosemarie Trockel, Patrick van Caeckenbergh and David William.

For the blind man... is organised by Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and curated by its chief curator, Anthony Huberman. It is generously supported by Pro Helvetia; Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; The Flemish Ministry of Culture; Fundación/Colección Jumex; and Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam. The exhibition is accompanied by ROLAND, the magazine of the ICA's visual arts programme, as well as by a catalogue, priced £25.

The Fate of Freedom. The British Academy Carlton House Terrace

...and this

The Fate of Freedom

6.30pm-8.00pm, followed by a drinks reception
Tuesday 12 January 2010

British Academy, Carlton House Terrace, London SW1

Convenor and Chair: Professor Sue Mendus FBA

In his 1859 essay, On Liberty, John Stuart Mill lamented what he saw as the decline of freedom in his own day. He wrote, 'There is in the world at large an increasing inclination to stretch unduly the powers of society over the individual both by the force of opinion and even by that of legislation.' And he predicted that unless strong barriers were raised against this 'mischief', individual liberty would be under ever­increasing threat.
Was Mill right? Has freedom been eroded or extended? How much freedom do we have in Britain today and how much can we legitimately want? Does the existence of the Human Rights Act serve as an effective defence of liberty? What are the implications for freedom of counter­terrorist legislation, of ASBOs, or of the DNA database? These are some of the questions which will be addressed as the speakers explore both the philosophical arguments for freedom and the implications of those arguments for politics in the modern world. What has been, and what will be, the fate of freedom?

About the Speakers

The panel includes Professor Sue Mendus, Vice­-President of the British Academy and Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of York; Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, the National Council for Civil Liberties; Professor Chandran Kukathas, Professor of Political Theory at the LSE; and Professor Matt Matravers, Professor of Political Philosophy and Director of the Morrell Centre for Toleration at the University of York.

Panel Discussion

6.30–8.00pm, followed by a reception. Registration is not required for this event. Seats will be allocated on arrival.

The David Roberts Art Foundation

More so I remember to go to this...

The David Roberts Art Foundation Fitzrovia

15.01.2010 - 06.03.2010
Opening party with absinthe & music: 14.01.2010, from 7pm

Stars Bursting to Life in Chaotic Carina Nebula.
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team, July 2009.

The David Roberts Art Foundation is pleased to announce Damien Roach's solo exhibition Shiiin, Jet Stream, White earphones. This multi-layered project sees Roach continuing his research into modes of perception and understanding, analytical thought, creativity and mental freedom. Beginning by looking at the object of an exhibition in its most simple terms - space and time - Roach has set about creating an environment in which these two fundamentals can be used to their fullest potential.

The artist employs an ambitious and constantly shifting exhibition design, transforming the gallery into a liminal space between lounge and garden. Borrowing expertise and problem-solving approaches from disciplines as seemingly diverse as architecture, Quantum Physics, improvised music, garden design, stand-up comedy, psychoanalysis and philosophy, the Foundation becomes a dynamic site of potentially constructive frictions and a bridge between, or rather a conflation of, both inside and outside, public and private spaces.

A system of mobile screens hanging from the ceiling simultaneously multiplies and divides the space, operating both as walls and distorting lenses or filters. In addition, Roach has designed a modular piece of furniture that can be arranged in different ways to act as a seating, plinth and display surface. The altered space will host various works ranging from painting made with Kool-Aid, LSD and potassium cyanide to collage, video, wall-painting, slide projections, sculptures and light arrangements. A selection of works from the David Roberts Collection will also be part of this dynamic situation.

The exhibition will host a dense schedule of experiential events ranging from immersive live music performances to intense mental journeys in the form of talks, readings and discussions.

Shiiin, Jet Stream, White earphones is supported by MOROSO, London.

The Foundation would also like to thank Sies+Höke, Düsseldorf for their support and assistance.
Media partner this is tomorrow

The David Roberts Art Foundation is a registered charity and is proudly supported by the Edinburgh House Estates group of companies.

David Roberts Art Foundation Fitzrovia
111 Great Titchfield Street
London W1W 6RY

Opening times:
Tuesday to Friday 10am - 6pm
Saturday 11am - 4pm
(Nearest tube: Oxford Circus/GreatPortland Street)

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Tim Pritchard Project Space


Another place to buy Mountain Summit

Ralph Dorey
Me and My Friends. No. 8 : Mountain Summit
Zürich, Switzerland: N. Bachmann. 2009
Synopsis: For this eighth issue of Me and My Friends, English artist Ralph Dorey delves deep into his "Mountain Summit" series with a collection of black and white reproductions of his paintings, which he crops and enlarges to provide a new context for viewing their layered imagery. These full-page reproductions are accompanied by source photographs, fragments of a screenplay, and an eloquently written text on the series by the artist.
Category: Zine
Pages: [24] p.
Dimensions (Height x Width x Depth): 20 x 14 cm.
Cover: Paperback
Binding: staple bound
Process: photocopy
Color: black-and-white
Edition 50
Signed: Unsigned and Unnumbered

Friday, 18 December 2009



I have finished a new print run of Bildungsroman a small publication I put together earlier this year as part of an exhibition. TheBunkerGallery, who organised most of the exhibition are selling the new edition via their website here http://www.thebunkergallery.com/

B&W 42 pages printed on 100 gsm cartridge paper. Individually printed and bound, signed with date and edition.

One of the photographers that  produced images for this publication is Sophie Knight who, among other things, writes for Tokyo Art Beat.
Sophie has an article on zines here  

Nieves is now selling the zine I finished in November
Me & My Friends 8: Mountain Summit

I can also recomend a look at

Monday, 14 December 2009

Upcoming Exhibition.

Ralph Dorey and Jonathan Lewis 20.01.10 – 31.01.10

Private View: Wednesday 20th January 2010
Exhibition dates:21-31 January 2010
Opening times: Thursday-Sunday 12-6pm
Artists’ talk: 2pm, Saturday 30th January

Curated by Patrick Michalopoulos and Ismail Erbil

Schwartz Gallery presents the work of Ralph Dorey and Jonathan Lewis as part of its new series of two-person shows for 2010 questioning exhibition-making practice. The programme aims to create an innovative and organic platform for dialogue between the work of contemporary artists while not being a collaboration.

The process-based investigations of Dorey’s site-specific sculptural installations relate a vision and evolution of thinking seemingly at odds with Lewis’ inkjet prints of luxury designer stores. What unites their respective methodologies is a denial of linear representational devices that push and pull perceptual fields to disrupt and merge categories of objects and drawing,image and representation.
Both artists take on the role of ‘explorer’ or ‘outsider’. Lewis operates on the periphery of consumerist rituals observing designer store windows and the urban structures that propagate them; it is as if the pixelated images that are subsequently generated from his photographs somehow bare a trace of his rebuttal of these rituals distorting and exposing another reality. Similarly Dorey traverses the act of making in a constant churning and upturning of received structural paradigms that denies the viewer a ‘complete’ version of reality communicating a fragmented sense of place; a set of bearings that is at once distorted and imbued with a palpable energy and direction.

Film still, ‘Southern Comfort’, Dir. Walter Hill, 1981

‘I think its about spreading out
Stopping and spreading out
Carrying Delivering something
Moving it to its place of use
But having various protocols, – or even simply the ability to improvise – for potential situations, climates, circumstances.
To stop and survey, to record.

Ralph Dorey, 2009

 Detail, Nicole Farhi, digital print, Jonathan Lewis, 2009
‘I like the way the abstract element is formed ‘naturally’ in the sense that they are generated by the computer according to averages and chance – the stuff of evolution.’

Jonathan Lewis 2009.

Ralph Dorey completed his MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 2008. Recent exhibitions include “Zen Arcade Precision Collider” Front Projects, London / TheBunkerGallery, London / NEXT, Chicago, Build” Blyth Gallery, Imperial College, London and “Skinflint” Lewisham Arthouse, London all in 2009.

Jonathan Lewis completed his Certificate in Professional Photographic Practice, London College of Printing in 1997. Recent exhibitions include Jack presents Sala do Veado, Natural History National Museum, Lisbon, Portugal in 2009 and Pixelated, Winston Wachter Fine Art, New York, NY, Jonathan Lewis and Tim Pitman, Deutsche Bank, London both in 2008.

Copyright 2008-2010 Schwartz Gallery

The Moon and the Sledgehammer

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

I think its about spreading out
Stopping and spreading out
Delivering something
Moving it to its place of use
But having various protocols, - or even simply the ability to improvise - for potential situations, climates, circumstances.
To stop and survey, to record.
It is to be prepared, but to have a larger whole that contains dedicated agents, the demarcation of responsibility.
Its being part of a team, to be words in a sentence.
The etymology of the word team being traced back to expressions meaning to pull or to draw.
So it leading something and supplying its motion, its energy.
And I’m maybe interested in the jig that lets that happen with ease, with clarity and precision.
Not just supplying to force but the reasoning.
The application.
Ultimately though its about moving forward.
About progressing.
But not about the end, not about completion which is stopping.
A pausing on the road is not stopping.


Sunday, 22 November 2009

nixon and khrushchev


appropriate technology

For along time now I have been talking about a concept that I couldn't put a name to, that I simply didn't know the name for or where to find the name.
I've talked about concept as being a study of vernacular technology, but really its more specific and more tied to my own personal interests and prejudices than that, as with most stuff. Really this concept is concerned with a really lean (to borrow Frank Stella's language) kind of field technology. The image above is a fine example, the wood being carried with a bare minimum of the most mundane material, in this case some rope.
I also frequently think of the techniques for aquiring drinking water in the desert.


I am quite fascinated with this kind of fluid poetic living, of these methods of living with the minimum of items with physical permanence and to utilise the readily available, to then let it return to its inert or natural state after completion of the task.

No here I should admit that this interest contains a lot of adolescent fascination with the Romance of exploration, of exotica and more than likely informed by my favourite childhood television shows.
Kung Fu

and Macgyver

But psychological beginnings aside, this philosophy of travelling light not tearing the rice paper still totally holds me. I think my main interest is in the anthropological sense, of a people's method of utilising their immediate environment to facilitate their individual requirements. When I have tried to explain one part of this in the past I have used this definition:
To stop and evaluate the immediate terrain in relation to yourself in time and space. To consider this as being one side of a triangle with both points then converging at the third point, which is what must happen.
I see this very much in terms of art, I nearly wrote sculpture because that is where it is so readily apparent at the moment

 But its not just there. I see it in drawings and film and painting, but I think this sort of improvising is most readily available in three dimensional expression.
That's not to say its always right, not to say its always good. There is a rising tide of bullshit post-minimalism leaking and dripping through galleries the world over. So often this can be characterises by its knowingness, its awareness, turning the triangle into the square or worse simply replacing the self with the spectator. Its this work that is so focused on its own cleverness, to utilise a virgin material. In the age of the internet nothing is hidden, nothing is beyond our potential acquisition (and our peer's techniques are equally visible and threatening) and its easy to get caught up in the novelty chasing, so carve a new ground for ourself in a panic.
This hollowness aside, there are still plenty examples of the fluidity of adaptation present and its still exciting.
And back to my point if I had one.
This improvising, bending like the reed and solving myriad problems with a square of fabric, this is what gets me.
The Pico-hydro systems in the post below just blew my mind .
This is what modernism is, in my own fragile definition anyway. This is where the philosophy should lie. surveying the terrain in relation to ourselves, our knowledge of the past and the margins and then acting, the tiny knock of the little finger that sets it all in alightment and you realise it was there all along.
Everything else just looks bloated and sweating under the weight of its own anxiety of existence. It is self-justification taken to the point of coronary event.

we have things like the Persian windcatchers

or a Yakhchal

 So I've been focusing a lot on this at the moment, I'm writing projects for my 3D design students and reading Victor Papanek's "Design for the Real World" that my dad bought be as a very early Christmas present that I really should have bought myself and read years ago. And everything started to line up and the concept of appropriate technology, lights up in this overlapping sphere next to my clumsy ideas about the zen poetics of use.
I've started reading this while I'm writing this entry.
Its not all there yet, its not clear in my head as if it ever will be.
I think there is a lot I'm missing out, about the relationship between the individual and the group, about the relationship between the landscape and the architecture. About gesture, about the importance of that adolescent need for the Romantic wasteland, for Caspar Friedric, for that longing to be just as important as the practicalities.
That said Appropriate Technology is a good start.