Posts Tagged ‘colour

28
Jun
12

Exhibition: ‘Light in Space’ by Veronica Caven Aldous at Stephen McLaughlan Gallery, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 13th June – 30th June 2012

 

Veronica Caven Aldous. 'Light in space 1' 2010-11

 

Veronica Caven Aldous (Australian, b. 1956)
Light in space 1
2010-11
A Blue field, 2010, Computerised LED light boxes and Perspex, 22 x 30 x 3cm
B Magenta field, 2011, Computerised LED light boxes and Perspex, 43 x 59 x 3cm
C Yellow field, 2011, Computerised LED light boxes and Perspex, 43 x 30 x 3cm
D Green field, 2011, Computerised LED light boxes and Perspex, 22 x 59 x 3cm
E Orange field, 2010, Computerised LED light boxes and Perspex, 22 x 30 x 3cm
F Purple field, Computerised LED light boxes and Perspex, 22 x 30 x 3cm

 

 

Apologies for the late posting but I only saw this exhibition recently. I met the artist, the delightful Veronica Caven Aldous and her work is stunning.

The works are emotive; like Brancusi’s Bird in Space they soar. Here is not the reductive coldness of a Dan Flavin but a truly hypnotic, meditative experience. The light is like visible music. I said to Veronica in my mind I have associations to the work of Josef Albers and his experiments with colour in the Homage to the Square series. But these works are uniquely her own, with their links to mysticism, India and the East.

The first series, Light in space 1, is truly beautiful as you sit watching in the darkened gallery. Still images can’t really do these vivid, liquid, mesmerising colour field sculptures justice. The second series, Light in space 2, is also intensely beautiful in a different way, the computerised light boxes contained within aluminium cases. Depending at which angle you look the depth of field of the illusion changes leading to spaces of infinite r/egress (in computer networking, egress filtering is the monitoring and/or restricting the flow of outbound information). The light is both contained and extrapolated within the grids leading to an almost Escher-like enigma of light and energy.

These are splendid works. Whenever I want to have one on my wall at home I know I have struck gold. Go see them while you still can in the last two days of the exhibition. Magic.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

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Many thankx to Veronica Caven Aldous and Stephen McLaughlan Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting.

 

Veronica Caven Aldous. 'Light in space 1' 2010-11

Veronica Caven Aldous. 'Light in space 1' 2010-11

 

Veronica Caven Aldous (Australian, b. 1956)
Light in space 1
2010-11
A Blue field, 2010, Computerised LED light boxes and Perspex, 22 x 30 x 3cm
B Magenta field, 2011, Computerised LED light boxes and Perspex, 43 x 59 x 3cm
C Yellow field, 2011, Computerised LED light boxes and Perspex, 43 x 30 x 3cm
D Green field, 2011, Computerised LED light boxes and Perspex, 22 x 59 x 3cm
E Orange field, 2010, Computerised LED light boxes and Perspex, 22 x 30 x 3cm
F Purple field, Computerised LED light boxes and Perspex, 22 x 30 x 3cm

 

 

Light from these computerised LED light boxes on the wall and floor act as intervention in space. It is not so much about the colour but the changing light in space that sets up a sense of flux. It is about change and that we see nothing without light. “The wonder of light: the universe consists mainly of invisible matter… only four to five percent of the universe is visible. 23 percent is dark matter, and 73 percent is dark energy.”

Artist statement

 

Veronica Caven Aldous. 'Light in space 2' 2011

Veronica Caven Aldous. 'Light in space 2' 2011

Veronica Caven Aldous. 'Light in space 2' 2011

 

Veronica Caven Aldous (Australian, b. 1956)
Light in space 2
2011
A 2 x 2, 2011, Computerised LED light boxes in metal frame, 52 x 52 x 10cm
B 3 x 3, 2011, Computerised LED light boxes in metal frame, 75 x 75 x 10cm
C 3 x 3, 2011, Computerised LED light boxes in metal frame, 75 x 75 x 10cm

 

 

Stephen McLaughlan Gallery
Level 8, Room 16, Nicholas Building
37 Swanston Street, Melbourne 3000
On the corner of Flinders Lane
Phone: 0407 317 323

Opening hours:
Wednesday to Friday 1pm – 5pm
Saturday 11am – 5pm
and by appointment

Stephen McLaughlan Gallery website

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27
Feb
11

Exhibition: ‘Painting on paper – Josef Albers in America’ at Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich

Exhibition dates: 16th December 2010 – 6th March 2011

 

Josef Albers. 'Study for a Adobe' c. 1947

 

Josef Albers (German, 1888-1976)
Study for a Adobe
c. 1947
Oil and graphite on blotting paper
24.1 × 30.5 cm
The Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop
© 2010 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/VG Bildkunst, Bonn/Artists Rights Society, New York

 

 

I really like the work of Josef Albers and these paintings on paper, studies for later work, give insight into that rare quality of Albers – his ability to mould, no that’s not the right word – his ability to accrete colours and spaces together, to build tectonic plates of colour that collide and burst against each other forming an “osmosis of plane and space.” These harmonic oscillations of vibrant colour form a pleasing equilibrium in the mind, freeing the viewer from conceptual thought and allowing us to enter a different state of being. It is fascinating to me that he painted these studies on blotting paper as the paper seems to soak up the colours, intensifying their existence.

Marcus

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Many thankx to Pinakothek der Moderne for allowing me to publish the photographs of the art in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

 

Josef Albers. 'Color Study for a Variant / Adobe' Nd

 

Josef Albers (German, 1888-1976)
Color Study for a Variant / Adobe
Nd
Oil on blotting paper
48.2 × 60.9 cm
The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
© 2010 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/VG Bildkunst, Bonn/Artists Rights Society, New York

 

Josef Albers. 'Study for a Variant / Adobe (I)' c. 1947

 

Josef Albers (German, 1888-1976)
Study for a Variant / Adobe (I)
c. 1947
Oil on blotting paper with pencil
24.1 × 30.6 cm
The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
© 2010 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/VG Bildkunst, Bonn/Artists Rights Society, New York

 

 

The exhibition is the first to show such a concentration of paintings on paper by Josef Albers, some of which will be completely unknown to the general public. Works in oil on paper, painted by the artist since the 1940s in preparation for the Adobe and Variant series in particular, are presented together with a large group related to his principal work “Homage to the Square” from the artist’s late period, that he focused on from 1950 until his death in 1976.

Josef Albers was only able to fully develop into an important artist and influential teacher after emigrating to the USA. From around 1940 onwards, Albers was inspired by Mexico’s pre-Columbian architecture, sculpture and textile art that boosted his sense for the aesthetic and led to idiosyncratic, radiant colour compositions, the likes of which had never been seen at that time in European modern art. Around 1950, Albers discovered what was for him the ideal formal shape of colour – the square.

The works exhibited surprise the viewer with their spontaneity, their search for immediacy and the extraordinary delicacy of their colours. Albers studied the interaction of colours like virtually no other. Through his works on paper in particular it can be seen in detail how the artist achieved such a thorough osmosis of plane and space through increasing the density of the colours used.

Text from the Pinakothek der Moderne website

 

Josef Albers. 'Color Study for Homage to the Square' Nd

 

Josef Albers (German, 1888-1976)
Color Study for Homage to the Square
Nd
Oil and graphite on blotting paper with varnish
30.5 × 30.5 cm
The Josef Albers Museum Quadrat Bottrop
© 2010 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/VG Bildkunst, Bonn/Artists Rights Society, New York

 

Josef Albers. 'Color Study for Homage to the Square' Nd

 

Josef Albers (German, 1888-1976)
Color Study for Homage to the Square
Nd
Oil on blotting paper
33.2 × 30.9 cm
The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
© 2010 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/VG Bildkunst, Bonn/Artists Rights Society, New York

 

Josef Albers. 'Color Study for Homage to the Square' Nd

 

Josef Albers (German, 1888-1976)
Color Study for Homage to the Square
Nd
Oil on blotting paper with varnish
33.6 × 30.4 cm
The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation
© 2010 The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation/VG Bildkunst, Bonn/Artists Rights Society, New York

 

 

Pinakothek Der Moderne
Barer Strasse 40
Munich

Gallery hours:
Daily except Monday 10am – 6pm
Thursday 10am – 8pm

Pinakothek der Moderne website

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06
Sep
10

Exhibition: ‘Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers’ at Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

Exhibition dates: 20th May – 12th September 2010

 

Yves Klein. 'Hiroshima' c. 1961

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Hiroshima
c. 1961
Dry pigment and synthetic resin on paper mounted on canvas
© The Estate of Yves Klein c/o ADAGP, Paris

 

 

Space [    ] the final frontier … where silence is golden !

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Many thankx to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image. See all the Hirshhorn Flicker photosets of Yves Klein.

 

 

“I am the painter of space. I am not an abstract painter but, on the contrary, a figurative artist, and a realist. Let us be honest, to paint space, I must be in position. I must be in space.”

.
Yves Klein

 

 

Yves Klein. 'Untitled Yellow and Pink Monochrome' 1955

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Untitled Yellow and Pink Monochrome
1955
Dry pigment and binder on canvas
22 x 13 1/2 inch
© The Estate of Yves Klein c/o ADAGP, Paris

 

Yves Klein. 'La Vent du voyage' (The Wind of the Journey) c. 1961

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
La Vent du voyage (The Wind of the Journey)
c. 1961
Dry pigment and synthetic resin on canvas
37 x 29 1/2 inch
© The Estate of Yves Klein c/o ADAGP, Paris

 

Yves Klein. 'Le Saut dans le Vide' (Leap into the Void) 1960

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Le Saut dans le Vide (Leap into the Void)
1960
Gelatin silver print

 

Yves Klein. 'Untitled Green Monochrome' c. 1954

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Untitled Green Monochrome
c. 1954
Pure pigment and binder on paper
© The Estate of Yves Klein c/o ADAGP, Paris

 

Yves Klein. 'Architecture de l'air' (Air Architecture) 1961

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Architecture de l’air (Air Architecture)
1961
Dry pigment and synthetic resin on paper mounted on canvas
103 x 84 inch
© The Estate of Yves Klein c/o ADAGP, Paris

 

 

“One of the 20th century’s most influential artists, Yves Klein (French, b. Nice, 1928; d. Paris, 1962), took the European art scene by storm in a prolific but brief career that lasted only from 1954 to 1962. Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers, on view at the Hirshhorn May 20 through Sept. 12, is the first major retrospective of the artist’s work in the United States since 1982. Co-curated by the Hirshhorn’s deputy director and chief curator Kerry Brougher and Dia Art Foundation director, former chief curator and deputy director at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the exhibition is co-organised by the Hirshhorn and the Walker and developed in full collaboration with the Yves Klein Archives in Paris.

Presenting approximately 200 works, Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers explores the full range of the artist’s body of work and offers an essential overview and examination of a career that marked a key transition in 20th-century art. His work embodied an understanding of art beyond a western conception of modernity, beyond the object and beyond traditional notions of what art can be.

“Klein’s short but intense career is a pivotal moment in contemporary art history,” said Brougher. “His work questioned what art and even society could be in the future, and it provided new pathways leading to pop art, minimalism, conceptual art, installation and performance.”

The exhibition features examples from all of Klein’s major series, from his iconic blue monochromes and Anthropometries to sponge reliefs, Fire Paintings, “air architecture” projects, Cosmogonies and planetary reliefs as well as many works that have rarely been on view. The installation provides insight into the artist’s process and conceptual endeavours through an array of ephemera, including sketches, photographs, letters and writings. Several films, including performances and documentaries, further demonstrate Klein’s creative practice.

“I would like that when people leave the exhibition they leap into a void, leaving behind traditional notions of art and representation, but even more importantly, questioning the notion of materiality and materialism in art as well as in their lives,” said Vergne. “Ultimately, Klein’s lesson is about a different way of being together.”

Numerous objects are on loan directly from the Yves Klein Archives, with additional loans from the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Kunstmuseen Krefeld in Krefeld, Germany, The Menil Collection in Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and a host of international private collections, including a rare loan from the Monastery of Saint Rita in Cascia, Italy.

Klein was an innovator and visionary whose goal was no less than to radically reinvent what art could be in the postwar world. Through a diverse practice, which included painting, sculpture, performance, photography, music, architecture and writing as well as plans for projects in theatre, dance and cinema, he shifted the focus of art from the material to “immaterial sensibility”; he levitated art above the weariness induced by the Second World War, resurrecting its avant-garde tendencies, injecting a new sense of spirituality and opening doors for much that followed in the 1960s and beyond.

Self-identified as “the painter of space,” Klein sought to achieve immaterial sensibility through pure colour, primarily an ultramarine blue of his own invention – International Klein Blue. This exhibition begins by examining Klein’s early explorations of colour with works in pastels, watercolours and more than 15 coloured monochromes created during the mid-to-late 1950s. Several significant blue monochromes, dating from as early as 1955 up through 1961, are on view. Klein further pushed boundaries in his engagement with colour and form by using pure pigment in tandem with unconventional materials, such as natural sponges. The sponge, which Klein incorporated into his practice in the late 1950s, became a metaphor, as its porous surface completely absorbed his signature colour, giving a material presence to the immaterial.

Among Klein’s best-known works are the Anthropometries, begun in 1958. Under the artist’s direction, nude female models were smeared with International Klein Blue paint and used as “living brushes” to make body prints on prepared sheets of paper. Klein wanted to record the body’s physical energy, and the resulting images represent the model’s temporary physical presence. More than an expression of the inner psyche of the artist, these paintings offer one method of giving visual presence to a cosmic, spiritual body, which neither photography nor film can fully capture. Seven works from this series are on view, including People Begin to Fly (1961) from The Menil Collection and Untitled Anthropometry (1960) from the Hirshhorn’s collection, which features the bodies of Klein and his future wife Rotraut Uecker.

In the late 1950s, but most notably in 1961, Klein began to use fire, which he considered “the universal principle of expression,” as part of his creative process. His Fire Paintings, such as Untitled Fire Painting (1961), in which fire either replaced or was combined with paint, embody concepts of process, transformation, creation, destruction, dissolution and elemental cosmology that were so essential throughout his career. The final galleries of the exhibition include examples from Klein’s “air architecture” projects, including drawings, plans and models for architectural spaces, such as fountains and walls, constructed out of natural elements like air, water and fire – elements that were not traditionally associated with architecture.

Klein created what he considered his first artwork when he signed the blue sky above Nice in 1947, making his first attempt to capture the immaterial. In his celebrated 1958 exhibition Specialization of Sensibility in the Raw Material State of Stabilized Pictorial Sensibility, better known as The Void, at Galerie Iris Clert in Paris, Klein went further by emptying the gallery of all artworks and painting the walls white. Among those who attended the renowned exhibition was Albert Camus, who reacted with a notable entry into the visitors’ album: “with the void, full powers.” In his famous Leap into the Void (1960) image by Harry Shunk and Janos Kender, which was published Nov. 27, 1960, in the faux newspaper Dimanche, which he created for the second Avant-Garde Art Festival, Klein is actually depicted leaping into space himself; the accompanying text asserts: “… to paint space, I must be in position. I must be in space.”

Defying the common understanding and definitions of art – from his experiments with architecture made of air to his leap into the void – Klein aimed to rethink the world in spiritual and aesthetic terms. His philosophy was revolutionary and demonstrated his acute grasp of the contemporary moment, from the horror of the Second World War to the promise of space travel. This presentation of his full oeuvre is essential to discern the shift from modern to contemporary practice and to reveal the extent of the artist’s influence.

Press release from the Hirshhorn website [Online] Cited 04/09/2010 no longer available online

 

Yves Klein. 'Lune II' (Moon II), 1961

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Lune II (Moon II)
1961
Pure pigment and undetermined binder on plaster
© The Estate of Yves Klein c/o ADAGP, Paris

 

Yves Klein. 'Untitled Blue Monochrome' 1959

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Untitled Blue Monochrome
1959
© The Estate of Yves Klein c/o ADAGP, Paris

 

Yves Klein. 'Untitled Gold Monochrome' 1962

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Untitled Gold Monochrome
1962
Gold leaf on wood
© Yves Klein, ADAGP, Paris / SAVA

 

Yves Klein. 'La Rêve du Feu' (The Dream of Fire) c. 1961

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
La Rêve du Feu (The Dream of Fire)
c. 1961
Yves Klein, ADAGP, Paris / DACS

 

Harry Shunk and János Kender, photograph of Yves Klein, The Dream of Fire, c. 1961. Artistic action by Yves Klein.

 

Yves Klein. 'Le Silence est d'or' (Silence is Golden) 1960

 

Yves Klein (French, 1928-1962)
Le Silence est d’or (Silence is Golden)
1960
Gold leaf on wood
© Yves Klein, ADAGP, Paris / SAVA

 

 

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
The Hirshhorn is located on the National Mall at the corner of 7th Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C.

Opening hours:
Open daily except December 25
10am – 5.30pm

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden website

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14
Jan
10

Review: ‘Cubism & Australian Art’ at Heide Museum of Modern Art, Bulleen

Exhibition dates: 24th November 2009 – 8th April 2010

 

Jean Appleton (Australian, 1911-2003) 'Painting IX' 1937

 

Jean Appleton (Australian, 1911-2003)
Painting IX
1937
Whitworth/Bruce Collection

 

 

Perfect summer fare out at Heide at the moment – relax with a lunch at the new Cafe Vue followed by some vibrantly fresh art in the galleries. In a nicely paced exhibition, Cubism & Australian Art takes you on a journey from the 1920s to the present day, the art revealing itself as you move through the galleries.

There are too many individual works to critique but some thoughts and ideas do stand out.

 

Cezanne’s use of passage (A French term (pronounced “pahsazh”) for a painting technique characterised by small, intersecting planes of patch-like brushwork that blend together to create an image), the transition between adjacent shapes, where solid forms are fused with the surrounding space was an important starting point for the beginnings of Cubism. Simultaneity – movement, space and the dynamism of modern life – was matched to Cubism’s new forms of pictorial organisation. The geometries of the Section d’Or (or the Gold Mean), that magical ratio found in all forms, also sounds an important note as it flows through the rhythmic movement and the sensations of temporal reality.

In the work from the 1920s/30s presented in the exhibition the palette of most of the works is subdued, the form of circles and geometrics. There are some beautiful paintings by one of my favourite Australian artists Roy de Maistre and others by Eric Wilson, Sam Atyeo and Jean Appleton (see image above). The feeling of these works is quiet and intense.

 

Following

There are some evocative works from the 1940s/50s including Godfrey Miller’s Still Life with Musical Instruments (1958, below), Graham King’s Industrial Landscape (1959) and Ralph Balson’s Constructive painting (1951). The Charcoal Burner (1959) by Fred Williams (see image below) is the Australian landscape seen through Cubist eyes, surface and space perfectly commingled in reserved palette, delineated planes. Grace Crowley’s Abstract Painting (1947, see image below) is a symphony of colour, plane and form that I would willingly take home any day of the week!

 

Now

It is the contemporary work that is of most interest in this exhibition. Spatio-temporal reality is distorted as artists push the boundaries of dimensionality. The parameters of reality are blurred and extended through the use of multiple viewpoints and lines of sight. Fresh and spatially aware (like an in joke because everyone recognises the fragmented ‘nature’ of contemporary existence) we have the sublime Milky Way (1995, see image below) by Rosalie Gascoigne and for me the two standout pieces in the exhibition, Bicycles (2007, below) by James Angus and Static No.9 (a small section of something larger) (2005, below) by Daniel Crooks.

Though difficult to see in the photograph of the work (below), Bicycles fuses three bicycles into one. “A photo finish made actual, a series of frames at the conclusion of a race transferred permanently into three dimensions.” You look and then look again: three frames into one, three tyres into one, three stands into one, three chains the only singular – like a freeze frame of a motor drive on a camera

Snap
Snap
Snap

or the slight difference of the two images of a Victorian stereoscope made triumvirate (the 3D world of Avatar comes to mind). Static, the bicycle can never work, is redundant, but paradoxically moves at the same time.

Even more mesmerising is the video work Static No.9 (a small section of something larger) by Daniel Crooks. Unfortunately I cannot show you the video but a still from the video can be seen below as well as a link to a trailer of the work. Imagine this animated like swirling DNA (in actual fact it is people walking across an intersection at different distances and speeds to the camera – and then sections taken out of the video and layered). Swirling striations through time and space fragment identity so that people almost become code, the sound track the distorted beep beep beep of the buzzer at the crossing. I could have sat there for hours watching the performance as it crackles with energy and flow – with my oohs and aahs! The effect is magical, beautiful, hypnotic.

A great summer show – fresh, alive and well worth the journey if only to see that static in all its forms has never looked so good.

Dr Marcus Bunyan for Art Blart

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Many thankx to the Heide Museum of Modern Art for allowing me to publish the art work in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Cubism and Abstract Art

 

Alfred Barr’s Cubism diagram – original cover of Cubism and Abstract Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, exhibition catalogue, 1936

 

Ralph Balson (Australian, 1890-1964) 'Painting no. 17' 1941

 

Ralph Balson (Australian, 1890-1964)
Painting no. 17
1941
Oil and metallic paint on cardboard
91.7 x 64.8 cm
Hassall Collection

 

 

By 1941 Ralph Balson had abandoned the figure for a completely abstract style. He announced this breakthrough in a solo exhibition at the Fine Art Galleries at Anthony Hordern and Sons in Sydney with paintings that evolved in part out of Albert Gleizes’s style of Cubism: uninflected surfaces, essential forms, respect for the two-dimensionality of the picture surface and the sense of a search for a deeper, universal truth.

Though at the time unusual for Australian art, such developments were concurrent with advancements in abstraction in the UK and US. This new mode of painting was to preoccupy Balson and Crowley, and to a lesser extent Frank Hinder, for the rest of the decade.

Balson’s ‘constructive’ pictures became sophisticated and intricate, characterised by Constructive painting (1945), with its overlapping translucent planes and array of discs, squares and rectilinear shapes in an animated state of flux, and perhaps culminating in Constructive painting (1951). This work has a different kind of luminosity, as if the picture has an inner light. As Balson himself said of such images, they are ‘abstract from the surface, but more truly real with life’.

Heide Education Resource p. 15.

 

Dorrit Black (Australian, 1891-1951) 'The bridge' 1930

 

Dorrit Black (Australian, 1891-1951)
The bridge
1930
Oil on canvas on board
60 x 81 cm
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Bequest of Dorrit Black, 1951

 

Roy de Maistre (Australian, 1894-1968) 'The football match' 1938

 

Roy de Maistre (Australian, 1894-1968)
The football match
1938
Oil on canvas
71.5 x 92 cm
The Janet Holmes à Court Collection

 

Eric Wilson (Australian, 1911-1946) 'Theme for a mural' 1941

 

Eric Wilson (Australian, 1911-1946)
Theme for a mural
1941
Oil on plywood on corrugated iron
53.2 x 106.8
National Gallery of Victoria, purchased 1958

 

Sidney Nolan (Australian, 1917-1992) 'Rimbaud royalty' 1942

 

Sidney Nolan (Australian, 1917-1992)
Rimbaud royalty
1942
Synthetic polymer paint on composition board
59.5 x 90 cm
Heide Museum of Modern Art
Bequest of John and Sunday Reed

 

Ralph Balson (Australian, born England 1890-1964; worked in Australia 1913-64) 'Constructive painting' 1948

 

Ralph Balson (Australian, born England 1890-1964; worked in Australia 1913-64)
Constructive painting
1948
Oil on cardboard
106.8 × 71.0 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Bequest of Grace Crowley, 1981
© Ralph Balson Estate

 

Grahame King (Australian 1915-2008) 'Industrial Landscape' 1960

 

Grahame King (Australian 1915-2008)
Industrial Landscape
1960
Oil on board
91.00 x 122.00cm
Charles Nodrum Gallery

 

Daniel Crooks (New Zealand, b. 1973) 'Portrait #2' (Chris) 2007

 

Daniel Crooks (New Zealand, b. 1973)
Portrait #2 (Chris)
2007
Lambda photographic print
102 cm x 102cm
Heide Museum of Modern Art
Purchased with funds from the Robert Salzer Foundation 2012

 

 

“With these portraits I’m attempting to make large detailed images of people in their own surroundings, images of people very much in and of their time that are both intriguing and beautiful. As with a lot of my work the portraits also seek to render the experience of time in a more tangible material form, blurring the line between still and moving images and looking to new post-camera models of spatiotemporal representation.”

Daniel Crooks

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Portrait #2 (Chris)
forms part of Daniel Crooks’s Scanlines, a series of moving image works and prints made using digital collage techniques. This involves digitally slicing images then reassembling them sequentially, across the screen or picture plane, to create rhythmic and spatial effects through which Crooks seeks to explore ideas and themes related to our understandings of time and motion.

 

 

Elizabeth Gower (Australian, b. 1952)
City Series
1982-84
Acrylic on paper
© Courtesy the artist and Sutton Gallery, Melbourne and Milani Gallery, Brisbane

 

Elizabeth Gower (Australian, b. 1952) 'Transient' 1979

 

Elizabeth Gower (Australian, b. 1952)
Transient
1979
Synthetic, polymer paint and resin on rice paper, newsprint and garment patterns
© Courtesy the artist and Sutton Gallery, Melbourne and Milani Gallery, Brisbane

 

Elizabeth Gower found a new relevance for Cubism in her abstract series Shaped works (1978-84) … Cubist collage combined with feminist ideas to inspire her use of everyday materials such as newsprint and garment patterns. Transparent rice paper adds a delicacy and lightness to the work. The dynamic overlap of flat planes and juxtaposition of contrasting shapes, textures and patterns relates directly to the legacy of Synthetic Cubism. The work of Sonia Delaunay was also a particular inspiration for Gower.

Heide Education Resource p. 23.

 

Melinda Harper (Australian, b. 1965) 'Untitled' 2000

 

Melinda Harper (Australian, b. 1965)
Untitled
2000
Oil on canvas
183.0 × 152.3 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Presented through the NGV Foundation by Robert Gould, Founder Benefactor, 2004
© Melinda Harper/Licensed by Copyright Agency, Australia

 

 

Cubism & Australian Art, one of the most ambitious and extensive exhibitions Heide has undertaken, shows the impact of the revolutionary and transformative movement of Cubism on Australian art from the early twentieth century to the present day. It uncovers a little-known yet compelling history through works by over eighty artists, including key examples of international Cubism drawn from Australian collections – by André Lhote, Albert Gleizes, Fernand Léger, Alexander Archipenko, Ben Nicholson and others – and nine decades of Australian modern and contemporary art that demonstrate a local evolution of cubist ideas.

The exhibition documents the earliest incorporation of cubist principles in Australian art practice in the 1920s, when artists such as Grace Crowley and Anne Dangar, who studied overseas under leading cubist artists, began to transform their art in accordance with late cubist thinking. It examines the influence of Cubism on artists associated with the George Bell School in Melbourne and the Crowley-Fizelle School in Sydney; and on those who participated in the cubist movement abroad including James Cant and John Power.

While its distortions and unconventional perspectives served individual styles such as the expressionism of Albert Tucker or the experimental landscapes of Sidney Nolan and Fred Williams, Cubism’s most enduring influence on postwar Australian art has been in abstraction. This exhibition traces its reverberations in 1950s abstract art by Roger Kemp, Robert Klippel and Ron Robertson-Swann and others, through to works by younger artists such as Stephen Bram, Gemma Smith and Justin Andrews.

Cubism’s formal and conceptual innovations and its investigations into the representation of time, space and motion have continuing relevance for artists today, who variously adapt, develop, quote and critique aspects of cubist practice. In this exhibition, Cubism’s shifting, multi-perspectival view of reality takes on new form in moving-image works by John Dunkley-Smith and Daniel Crooks, in paintings by Melinda Harper and sculptures by James Angus. The use of found objects and recycled materials by Madonna Staunton, Rosalie Gascoigne and Masato Takasaka extends ideas originating in cubist sculpture and collage. Other artists are critical of Cubism, bringing Indigenous and non-european perspectives to bear on its modernist history, particularly its appropriation of so-called ‘primitive art’.

Text from the Heide Museum of Modern Art website [Online] Cited 10/01/2010 no longer available online

 

Grace Crowley (Australian, 1890-1979) 'Abstract painting' 1947

 

Grace Crowley (Australian, 1890-1979)
Abstract painting
1947
Oil on board
63.2 x 79.0 cm
Private Collection, Sydney

 

Godfrey Miller (New Zealander, 1893-1964; worked in England 1933-39, Australia 1939-64) 'Still Life with Musical Instruments' 1958

 

Godfrey Miller (New Zealander, 1893-1964; worked in England 1933-39, Australia 1939-64)
Still Life with Musical Instruments
1958
Pen and ink and oil on canvas
65.5 × 83.0 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1963
© National Gallery of Victoria

 

 

Introduction

Cubism & Australian Art considers the impact of the revolutionary and transformative movement of Cubism on Australian art from the early twentieth century to the present day. Cubism was a movement that changed fundamentally the course of twentieth-century art, and its innovations – the shattering of the traditional mimetic relationship between art and reality and investigations into the representation of time, space and motion – have continuing relevance for artists today. Works by over eighty artists, including key examples of international Cubism drawn from Australian collections, are displayed in the exhibition.

The exhibition examines not only the period contemporaneous with Cubism’s influence within Europe, but also the decades from then until the present day, when its reverberations continue to be felt. In the first part of the century, Cubism appeared through a series of encounters and dialogues between individuals and groups resulting in a range of fascinating adaptations, translations and versions alongside other more programmatic or prescriptive adoptions of cubist ideas. The exhibition traces the first manifestations of Cubism in Australian art in the 1920s, when artists studying overseas under leading cubist artists began to transform their art in accordance with such approaches. It examines the transmission of cubist thinking and its influence on artists associated with the George Bell School in Melbourne and the Crowley-Fizelle School in Sydney. By the 1940s, artists working within the canon of modernism elaborated on Cubism as part of their evolutionary process, and following World War II Cubism’s reverberations were being felt as its ideas were revisited by artists working with abstraction.

In the postwar years and through to the 1960s, the influence of Cubism became more diffuse, but remained significant. In painting, cubist ideas provided an underlying point of reference in the development of abstract pictorial structures, though they merged with other ideas current at the time, relating in the 1950s, for example, to colour, form, musicality and the metaphysical. For many artists during this decade, Cubism provided the geometric basis from which to seek an inner meaning beneath surface appearances, to explore the spiritual dimension of painting and to understand modernism.

The shift from a Cubist derived abstraction in Australia in the 1950s to a mild reaction against Cubism in the Colour field and hard-edged painting of the mid to latter 1960s reflected a new recognition of New York as the centre of the avant-garde. Cubism’s shallow pictorial space, use of trompe l’oeil and fragmentation of parts continued to inform the work of certain individuals who adapted them in ways relevant to the new abstraction. Cubist ideas and precepts also found some resonance in an emphasis on the flatness of the canvas, particularly as articulated in the formalist criticism of Clement Greenberg.

The influence of Cubism on Australian art from 1980s to 2000s is subtle, varied and diffuse as contemporary artists variously quote, adapt, develop and critique aspects of cubist practice. Cubism’s decentred, shifting, multi-perspectival view of reality takes on new form, in moving-image works and installations, as well as being further developed in painting and sculpture. Post-cubist collage is used both as a method of constructing artworks – paintings, sculptures, assemblages – and as an intellectual strategy, that of the postmodern bricoleur. Several artists imagine alternative cubist histories and lineages, revisiting cubist art from an Indigenous or non-European perspective and drawing out the implications of its primitivism. Others pay homage to local versions of Cubism, or look through its lens at art from elsewhere.

Heide Education Resource p. 3.

 

Fred Williams (Australian, 1927-1982) 'The Charcoal Burner' 1959

 

Fred Williams (Australian, 1927-1982)
The Charcoal Burner
1959
Oil on composition board
86.3 × 91.4 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, purchased 1960
© Estate of Fred Williams

 

 

Cubism played a fundamental role in Fred Williams’s pictorial rethinking of the Australian landscape and through him, Cubism has affected the way Australians view their natural surroundings.

Patrick McCaughey writes in the catalogue for this exhibition:

The charcoal burner, with its reserved palette and briskly delineated planes, is one of his most accomplished essays in seeing the Australian landscape through cubist eyes. Already looking for the ‘bones’ of the landscape, Williams was drawn to the early phase of Cubism, as it gave structure to the unspectacular landscape – the bush in the Dandenongs; the coastal plain around the You Yangs.

Just as Braque in his cubist landscapes of 1908-09 eschewed ‘view’ painting and disdained the picturesque, so Williams in turn generalised the landscape, constructing it and rendering it taut, modern and vivid. In his landscapes Braque made the important pictorial discovery of passage, fusing solid forms with the surrounding space. Williams exploits this innovation in The charcoal burner, where surface and space are perfectly commingled.

Heide Education Resource p. 1.

 

Robert Rooney (Australian, 1937-2017) 'After Colonial Cubism' 1993

 

Robert Rooney (Australian, 1937-2017)
After Colonial Cubism
1993
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
122 x 198.3 cm
Heide Museum of Modern Art
Purchased through the Heide Foundation with the assistance of the Heide Foundation Collectors’ Group and the Robert Salzer Fund 2008. Courtesy of the artist

 

 

Robert Rooney’s painting After Colonial Cubism (1993) shows a vibrant streetscape rendered in deliberate and self-conscious cubist style that declares itself to be a second-hand quotation of Cubism, rather than an example of the original style. The streetscape has not been drawn from life but is a faithfully scaled-up version of a much earlier gouache sketch Buildings (1953) that Rooney did as a young student in Melbourne. The sketchbook page is indicated in the painting by the vertical bands on either side of the image which effectively serve as quotation marks.

In highlighting the second-hand nature of the image in his painting, Rooney more broadly comments on the dispersal of cubist ideas from Paris, Cubism’s place of origin, to more local contexts such as Australia. The painting carries with it the artist’s memories of his student days, of learning about Cubism through magazines and books. Rooney remembers visiting exhibitions of cubist works by Australian artists and being fascinated by how these ideas were translated locally. Further meaning in the work derives from its title which refers to the painting Colonial Cubism 1954, by Stuart Davis, an American artist whose cubist works are a further instance of the dispersal of the style to localities outside of France.

Heide Education Resource p. 29.

 

Rosalie Gascoigne (Australian, born New Zealand 1917-1999) 'Milky Way' (detail) 1995

 

Rosalie Gascoigne (Australian, born New Zealand 1917-1999)
Milky Way (detail)
1995
Mixed media

 

 

Rosalie Gascoigne is renowned for her sculptural assemblages of great clarity, simplicity and poetic power. Using natural or manufactured objects, sourced from collecting forays, that evoke the lyrical beauty of the Monaro region of New South Wales, her work radically reformulated the ways in which the Australian landscape is perceived. …

“My country is the eastern seaboard. Lake George and the Highlands. Land that is clean scoured by the sun and frost. The record is on the roadside grass. I love to roam around, to look and hear … I look for things that have been somewhere, done something. Second hand materials aren’t deliberate; they have had sun and wind on them. Simple things. From simplicity you get profundity. The weathered grey look of the country gives me a great emotional upsurge. I am not making pictures, I make feelings.”

Rosalie Gascoigne

Extract from Anonymous. “Biography (Roaslie Gascoigne),” on the Art Gallery of New South Wales website [Online] Cited 21/05/2019

 

 

Daniel Crooks (New Zealand, b. 1973)
Static No.9 (a small section of something larger) (still)
2005
Single channel digital video, colour, sound
Duration: 00:13:29 min, aspect ratio: 16:9

View a preview of the work: Static No.9 (a small section of something larger) from Daniel Crooks.

 

James Angus (Australian, b. 1970) 'Bicycles' 2007

 

James Angus (Australian, b. 1970)
Bicycles
2007
Chromed steel, aluminium, polyeurethane, enamel paint

 

 

“An object which is entirely solid yet blurry; a sculpture-in-motion that vibrates between plural and singular.” ~ James Angus

For this handcrafted sculpture, Angus melded the frames of three bicycles into one, creating a kind of platonic ideal of bike design which resolves slight differences in thickness of truss, angles of frame and fork, shape of saddle and handlebar position into an ideal form – one that seems to shift between the plural and the singular. Traces of all three bikes inhabit this final rendition, with its tripled wheel spokes and chain drive, contoured saddle and ridged handlebars.

Hovering between three sets of dimensions and proportions, the sculpture presents a visual experience akin to looking at lenticular imagery or to a stereoscopic gaze, in which two sets of slightly disparate visual information are resolved into the one three-dimensional image. These subtle differences, inhabiting the one object, speak of the slight variations between not only bikes but individual riders, for whom the bike is an extension of their body shape, size and movement. In keeping with his other works, which have distorted, shifted and played with elements of design from architecture to automobiles, Angus disrupts our expectations of an everyday object. By making us look again he reminds us that a bicycle, like a racing car, is a moving sculpture.

Text from the Museum of Contemporary Art website [Online] Cited 21 May 2019

 

Justin Andrews (Australian, b. 1973) 'Acid yellow 3' 2008

 

Justin Andrews (Australian, b. 1973)
Acid yellow 3
2008
Acrylic and enamel on composition board
75 x 60 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne

 

Masato Takasaka (Australian, b. 1977) 'Return to forever (productopia)' 2009

 

Masato Takasaka (Australian, b. 1977)
Return to forever (productopia)
2009
Cardboard, wood, plastic, mdf, acrylic, paint, paper, soft-drink cans, tape and discarded product packaging installation
Dimensions variable
Courtesy of the artist

 

 

Heide Museum of Modern Art
7 Templestowe Road,
Bulleen, Victoria 3105

Opening hours:
(Heide II & Heide III)
Tuesday – Sunday, Public holidays 10am – 5pm

Heide Museum of Art website

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24
Jul
09

Exhibition: ‘Focus on Color: The Photography of Jeannette Klute’ at the Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Conneticut

Exhibition dates: 21st June – 27th September 2009

 

Many thankx to the Bruce Museum and Mike Horyczun (Director of Public Relations) for allowing me to publish the wonderful photographs below.

Marcus

 

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009) 'Cardinal Flower' Nd (early-mid 1950s)

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009)
Cardinal Flower
Nd (early-mid 1950s)
Dye transfer photograph
20 1/4 x 16 1/4 in.
Bruce Museum collection
Gift of George Stephanopoulos

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009) 'Misty Willow' Nd (early-mid 1950s)

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009)
Misty Willow
Nd (early-mid 1950s)
Dye transfer photograph
20 1/4 x 16 1/4 in.
Bruce Museum collection
Gift of George Stephanopoulos

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009) 'Miterwort' Nd (early-mid 1950s)

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009)
Miterwort
Nd (early-mid 1950s)
Dye transfer photograph
14 1/8 x 11 1/4 in.
Bruce Museum collection
Gift of George and Alexandra Stephanopoulos

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009) 'Beech Fern' Nd (early-mid 1950s)

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009)
Beech Fern
Nd (early-mid 1950s)
Dye transfer photograph
20 1/4 x 16 1/4 in.
Bruce Museum collection
Gift of George Stephanopoulos

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009) 'Jewel Weed' Nd (early-mid 1950s)

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009)
Jewel Weed
Nd (early-mid 1950s)
Dye transfer photograph
20 1/4 x 16 1/4 in.
Bruce Museum collection
Gift of George Stephanopoulos

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009) 'Christmas Fern' Nd (early-mid 1950s)

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009)
Christmas Fern
Nd (early-mid 1950s)
Dye transfer photograph
12 ½ x 9 ½ in.
Bruce Museum collection
Gift of George Thomsen

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009) 'Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)' Nd (early-mid 1950s)

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009)
Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
Nd (early-mid 1950s)
Dye transfer photograph
20 ¼ x 16 ¼ in.
Bruce Museum collection
Gift of George and Alexandra Stephanopoulos

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009) 'Green Grasses - blue' Nd (early-mid 1950s)

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009)
Green Grasses – blue
Nd (early-mid 1950s)
Dye transfer photograph
20 ¼ x 16 ¼ in.
Bruce Museum collection
Gift of Richard and Elena Pollack

 

 

The exhibition features 24 colour photographs by Jeannette Klute (1918-2009) drawn from more than fifty of her prints held in the Bruce Museum’s permanent collection. Ranging from landscapes to intimate “woodland portraits” of orchids, ferns, and trees, Jeannette Klute’s photographs of New England are vibrant compositions produced through the labour intensive dye transfer process.

Trained at the Rochester Institute of Technology through the Works Progress Administration during the Depression, Jeanette Klute worked extensively on perfecting the dye transfer process, a laborious photographic technique that allowed for rich colours in exceptionally permanent prints. Klute tested and refined this process at the Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, NY, beginning her career as photographic illustrator to physicist Ralph M. Evans and ascending to research photographer in charge of the Visual Research Studio of the Color Control Division.

Klute’s photography merged environmental consciousness with cutting edge technology. Using only natural light and leaving a minimal impact on the environment, she spent many years investigating colour and demonstrating the capabilities of dye transfer by photographing nature. Her work resulted in some of the finest examples of colour printing and all of its capabilities.

“My purpose has been to somehow express the feeling one experiences being out of doors,” Ms. Klute wrote for her Woodland Portraits exhibition. “I am concerned with the delight to the senses as much as with the intellectual. The woods are mystical and enchanting to me as well as spiritual.”

Jeanette Klute’s work was featured in Edward Steichen’s 1950 exhibition All Color Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, and her large one-woman shows were circulated internationally by the Smithsonian Institution and Kodak International. She was also invited to submit work for the San Francisco Museum of Art’s landmark exhibition Women of Photography: An Historical Survey in 1975.

Text from the Bruce Museum website [Online] Cited 

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009) 'Maple Tree - red leaves' Nd (early-mid 1950s)

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009)
Maple Tree – red leaves
Nd (early-mid 1950s)
Dye transfer photograph
20 ¼ x 16 ¼ in.
Bruce Museum collection
Gift of LeGrand Belnap

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009) 'Frosted Tree' Nd (early-mid 1950s)

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009)
Frosted Tree
Nd (early-mid 1950s)
Dye transfer photograph
20 ¼ x 16 ¼ in.
Bruce Museum collection
Gift of Richard and Elena Pollack

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009) 'Yellow Lady's Slipper' Nd (early-mid 1950s)

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009)
Yellow Lady’s Slipper
Nd (early-mid 1950s)
Dye transfer photograph
20 ¼ x 16 ¼ in.
Bruce Museum collection
Gift of LeGrand Belnap

 

 

“The first month they were sending people out for job interviews, but not me,” she recalled in a speech at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1984. “I asked how come? The head of the department said, ‘Oh, there are no jobs for women in photography.’ My world fell apart.”

Ms. Klute took it upon herself to go out for interviews, and every week on her day off, she walked to the offices of Eastman Kodak Co. to ask for a job. For a long time, she never made it past the personnel office. Then, one day, in the pouring rain, decked in her finest navy blue suit, she stalked to the offices and was sent straight to the sixth floor for an interview.

“The man took a look at me with the rain dripping off my hat and said, ‘If you want a job that bad, you’ve got it,'” she recalled. “There was a celebration in the neighbourhood that night.” …

“She was really like my college education,” said Barbara Erbland, who assisted Ms. Klute in the lab at Kodak for many years. “She taught me everything – about light, colour, about people … how to live well.” … “Her lab consisted of all women,” she said. “I think it was by intention. She believed women had brains. We worked very well together.” …

Lugging a 4-by-5 Graflex single-lens reflex camera wherever they went, Erbland ventured into swamps and tide pools… “She taught me you don’t make do, you make things happen,” said Erbland. “You’re not a victim.”

Back in Rochester, the two sought out swamps and woodland for Ms. Klute to take her photographs – or, as she put it, to “make pictures.”

PHOTO GALLERY: In memory of Jeannette Klute, a ‘Renaissance woman’, by Philip Anselmo, August 2009

 

Jeannette Klute. 'Grape Leaves' nd

 

Jeannette Klute (American, 1918-2009)
Grape Leaves
Nd (early-mid 1950s)
Dye transfer photograph
20 ¼ x 16 ¼ in.
Bruce Museum collection
Gift of George Stephanopoulos

 

 

Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT 06830

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 5 pm
Last admission 4:30pm
Closed Monday and major holidays

Bruce Museum website

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19
Jun
09

Exhibition: Scott McFarland photographs at Regen Projects, Los Angeles

Exhibition dates: 23rd May – 3rd July 2009

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975) 'Fallen Oak Tree' 2008

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975)
Fallen Oak Tree
2008
From the series Hampstead
Inkjet print
27 x 24 inches (68.6 x 61 cm)
Edition of 5

 

 

Variations on a theme

Whether McFarland’s photographs are “straight” or composites, there always seems to an unnerving feel to them, a formal frontality that empowers the viewer into trying to unlock the photographs secret, like an enigmatic puzzle. Everything is presented front on, square to the camera, no oblique angles, relying in the straight photographs on the scale of the accumulated blocks of information, and in the composites, in the very unlikely, even theatrical, staging of the people within the mise en scène.

These are very cinematic photographs, some, literally, with their panoramic aesthetic, others built by assembling their scudding skies and stiff, neatly placed people. Too neatly placed in my opinion but that’s McFarland’s hook, his aesthetic cough which prompts the viewer to question the veracity of the image, its link to the photographs indexical reality. His multiple exposures push the boundaries of truth or dare, hyperreal solutions to a disengaged world. Personally, I prefer his straight photographs which are built on a fabulous eye, a masterful understanding of pictorial space (monumental elements held in balance) and wonderful previsualisation. You don’t need anything more.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to Regen Projects for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Scott McFarland. 'The Admiral's House as seen from the Upper Garden at Fenton House' 2006

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975)
The Admiral’s House as seen from the Upper Garden at Fenton House
2006
From the series Hampstead
Inkjet print
Edition of 5

 

 

“Regen Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Canadian artist Scott McFarland. This exhibition will feature new photographs including 3 large panorama works, smaller works from the “Hampstead” series, and introduce the new “Niagara” series.

Scott McFarland’s photography reconsiders the traditional concept of a photograph as the depiction of a single captured moment in time. Through digital means he is able to manipulate composition, colour, light, space, shape, and form. McFarland’s photographs combine multiple negatives to represent simultaneous temporalities and interweave selected elements into a cohesive whole. Several different moments are packed into what appears to be one densely constructed instant. The photographs are meticulously crafted illusions created within the formal language of documentary photography.

McFarland’s consideration of photography and the built picture was brought about by the artist’s own understanding of the artificial “nature” found in built environments such as gardens and zoos. Taking the relationship of the constructed space/constructed image one step further, McFarland has photographed a modernist architectural landmark: the Berthold Lubetkin designed penguin pool at the London zoo. Through two very distinct works, McFarland investigates the elliptical structure of the famous penguin pool vis-à-vis the elliptical/arcing motion of his camera rotating on a tripod. One photograph is an objective colour rendering where the camera has been left level while rotating; the other is a larger black and white version where the camera arcs along a non-level plane distorting and altering the curve of the structure from right to left.

The new square format photographs from McFarland’s “Niagara” series have a rough unfinished quality unlike any photographs he has taken to date. These softer focus images with odd shifts in light and glare are location studies for the large panorama A Horse Drawn Hearse, Queens Royal Tours, 174 Anne, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario (2009, below). This work depicts an old carriage business and its surroundings during the dead of Canadian winter. In this visually captivating work, a black funeral carriage contrasts against the white snow. The acreage, surrounded by newer suburban homes, evokes the question of how long can this structure resist the modern urban pressures it faces. These straight photographs presented alongside his precise digitally mastered compositions illustrate how the photographic process and the history of art and photography have always informed McFarland’s work.

“Over the last decade, Scott McFarland has produced bodies of work that engage with different aspects of photography … McFarland’s approach is both descriptive and metaphoric … The images, rich in cultural significance, express the complementary workings of conceptual and aesthetic factors all the while holding various characteristics of art and photography in ambiguous relation.”

Andrea Kunard. Scott McFarland: A Cultivated View, published by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 2009, p. 12.

Text from the Regen Projects press release [Online] Cited 16/06/2009 no longer available online.

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975) 'A Horse Drawn Hearse, Queens Royal Tours, 174 Anne, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario' 2009

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975)
A Horse Drawn Hearse, Queens Royal Tours, 174 Anne, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario
2009
From the series Niagara
Inkjet print
59.5 x 124 inches (151.1 x 315 cm)
Edition of 5

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975) 'Boathouse with Moonlight' 2002

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975)
Boathouse with Moonlight
2002
From the series Boathouse
Digital C-print
71 x 91 inches (180 x 231 cm)
Edition of 5, 2 AP

 

 

“Boathouse with Moonlight” is an exploration of the technical advancements afforded by digital photography, created by assembling multiple exposures taken over the space of two hours under the light of a full moon. Unlike traditional photography, this image does not represent one specific moment captured at a particular site; rather, it shows an accumulation of moments that have been manipulated and layered to create a revised version of the boathouse and its surroundings. McFarland’s use of multiple exposures to produce the final image emphasises not only the duration of the photographic act, but also the many facets of the boathouse’s character. This type of building on British Columbia’s “Sunshine Coast” is disappearing with the construction of new, suburban-style retirement housing.

Text from the National Gallery of Canada website [Online] Cited 02/03/2019

 

Scott McFarland. 'Gorse and Broom, West Heath, Hampstead' 2006

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975)
Gorse and Broom, West Heath, Hampstead
2006
From the series Hampstead
Inkjet print
Edition of 5

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975) 'Women Drying Laundry on the Gorse, Vale of Health, Hampstead Heath' 2007

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975)
Women Drying Laundry on the Gorse, Vale of Health, Hampstead Heath
2007
From the series Hampstead
Inkjet print
29 x 45 inches (73.7 x 114.3 cm)
Edition of 5

 

Scott McFarland. 'Inspecting, Allan O'connor Searches for Botrytis cinerea' 2003

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975)
Inspecting, Allan O’connor Searches for Botrytis cinerea
2003
From the series Gardens
Digital C-print
40 x 48 inches (102 x 122 cm)
Edition of 7

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975) 'Orchard View with the Effects of Seasons (Variation #1)' 2003-2006

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975)
Orchard View with the Effects of Seasons (Variation #1)
2003-2006
From the series Gardens
Digital C-print
42 x 122 inches (106.7 x 309.9 cm)
Edition of 3

 

Scott McFarland. 'Empire' 2005

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975)
[Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Calif]
2005
From the series Empire
Inkjet print

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975) 'Echinocactus grusonii' 2006

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975)
Echinocactus grusonii [Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Calif]
2006
From the series Empire
Inkjet print
24.5 X 27.5 inches (62 X 70 cm)
Edition of 3
Private collection/Vancouver Art Gallery

 

 

This picture comes from Empire, a series on desert vegetation shot in the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Calif. Henry E. Huntington, an art collector who made his fortune building railroads, founded the garden in 1919.

“The plantings [of the garden] are dense, and the soil is mostly hidden beneath the thriving vegetation,” writes Grant Arnold in a catalogue essay for the exhibition, “the fullness of the planting continually reminding the visitor of Huntington’s beneficence.” To many gallery visitors, however, these images of lush desert vegetation will simply be appealing to the eye.

Kevin Chong. “A different way of seeing,” on the CBC News website November 13, 2009 [Online] Cited 02/03/2019

 

Scott McFarland. 'The Granite Bowl in the Berlin Lust Garden' 2006

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975)
The Granite Bowl in the Berlin Lust Garden
2006
Inkjet print
43 x 62 inches (109.2 x 157.5 cm)
Edition of 5

 

 

At first the photograph appeared to be a simple scene, one of no importance. The two young children, obviously related based on their similar physical features, seemed a bit awkward and posed, but otherwise, I thought it to be a snapshot, much like the one I took of the bowl while in Berlin. Upon learning how McFarland created this and many of his other photographs, I learned how complex of a scene this really is. McFarland uses multiple negatives, often taken over a matter of days, weeks, and even months, and combines them digitally into a seamless print. His interest is in breaking through the concept of a photograph being an image of a single instant in time and space.

A fuller narrative is created as well. With just one negative, there may only be one or two people depicted. We may just have the dog with his owner half shown, or even only half of the brother-sister group. But by overlapping the various negatives, Mr McFarland manipulates his work into a greater piece. We can now ask ourselves, why are the brother and sister so psychologically distant? Or, who is the small girl with the accordion and where is her mother? Is her mother the woman with the baby carriage? How long has that man been sleeping under the bowl? These are all questions that can be asked together because the negatives are combined that couldn’t be asked if we had just the single frame.

Jason Hosford. “Scott McFarland’s The Granite Bowl in the Berlin Lust Garten,” on the West L’Art website June 24, 2007 [Online] Cited 02/03/2019

 

Scott McFarland. 'View of Vale of Health, looking towards Hampstead' 2007

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975)
View of Vale of Health, looking towards Hampstead
2007
From the series Hampstead
Inkjet print
27 x 42.5 inches (68.6 x 108 cm)
Edition of 5

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975) 'View of Vale of Health, looking towards Hampstead' 2007

 

Scott McFarland (Canadian, b. 1975)
View of Vale of Health, looking towards Hampstead
2007
From the series Hampstead
Inkjet print
27 x 42.5 inches (68.6 x 108 cm)
Edition of 5

 

 

With the stiff figures of a historical painting, Scott McFarland’s View of Vale of Health, Looking Towards Hampstead muddles ideas of what’s real and what’s not.

From the get-go, painting and photography have been inextricably bound together. The Pictorialists tried to make their photographs look like paintings. The Futurists, in their paintings, mimicked the blurred and segmented movement found in Etienne-Jules Marey’s chronophotographs. The photorealists created paintings whose subject was the photograph itself. And in his large-scale, backlit photo-transparencies, Jeff Wall has alluded to paintings by Nicolas Poussin, Edouard Manet, and Paul Cézanne, among others. The digital age has done nothing to diminish each medium’s obsession with the other.

This continued entwining of art forms is evident in Scott McFarland’s computer-montaged photographs, on view at the Vancouver Art Gallery. So is the parallel entanglement of nature and culture. Both conditions are conspicuous in his 2006 series, “Hampstead”, inspired by the landscapes of the early-19th-century English painter John Constable. McFarland’s colour photos, shot in various locations around London’s immense Hampstead Heath, pay homage to Constable’s attraction to the same place. They also play variations on that painter’s rendering of multiple versions of the same scene, and on his open-air studies of the changing effects of light and weather. …

Over the past decade, McFarland’s working methods have changed from straightforward analog photography to the creation of highly manipulated images in which he digitally splices together multiple segments of the same landscape or structure, shot over a period of days, weeks, or even months. In both variations of Orchard View With the Effects of the Seasons, for instance, the blossoms and foliage of spring, summer, and fall are contained within the same seamless panorama.

The digital assist means that there are no constraints of time, space, or documentary veracity in McFarland’s work: he can build whatever impossible pictures he wants and they will look “real”. At least until they’re closely scrutinised, revealing incongruities of light, shadow, time, and figuration. In this sense, his art challenges our understanding of the nature of the photograph and its relationship with the truth. There’s nothing really new about this project – as long as photography’s been around, it’s been manipulated by its practitioners. Photoshop, however, has added a vast digital dimension to the darkroom antics of earlier photo artists.

Robin Laurence. “Scott McFarland makes impossible pictures real at the Vancouver Art Gallery,” on the Georgia Straight website October 7th 2009 [Online] Cited 02/03/2019

 

 

Regen Projects
6750 Santa Monica Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 10 – 6pm

Regen Project website

Scott McFarland website

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02
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09

Opening 2: ‘Colour, Time’ by David Thomas at Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne

Exhibition dates: 2nd April – 2nd May 2009

Opening: Thursday 2nd April 2009

 

Opening night crowd at 'Colour, Time' by David Thomas

 

Opening night crowd at Colour, Time by David Thomas with from right to left Farbenfreude Series: Movement of Colour, Heart (Large) 2008; Farbenfreude Series: Amid Dark and Light (Dark Painting) 2008; and Farbenfreude Series: A Gentle Pasing (Large) 2008 on back wall

 

 

“A photographed real space and an expanding undefinable painting space (the non-figurative form) confront each other. The result is a coexistence of various models of space, a coexistence and entanglement of inconsistent things.”

.
Christoph Dahlhausen. David Thomas EIKON nr 53, Vienna, Austria, 2006

 

 

A slow burn painting, photography and composites show at Nellie Castan Gallery. Minimalist grid paintings combine with squares of colour taken out of photographs (again! as at the recent Richard Grigg show at Block Projects). This supposedly imparts profundity to insubstantial and mundane photographs that aim to comment on the existential nature of our being through the presence/absence of the missing spatio-temporal slice. This exhibition just didn’t hit the spot for me. Nice to catch up with Jason Smith Director of Heide Museum of Modern Art who was in attendance.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to Nellie Castan Gallery for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.

 

Opening night crowd at 'Colour, Time' by David Thomas

 

Opening night crowd at Colour, Time by David Thomas with the series Length of Time 2009 on table

 

David Thomas. 'Length of Time Series: Blue tape on red monochrome' 2009

 

David Thomas
Length of Time Series: Blue tape on red monochrome
2009

 

David Thomas. 'End of Summer: Homage a Tati (small splash) 2009

 

David Thomas
End of Summer: Homage a Tati (small splash)
Enamel on photograph
2009

 

David Thomas. 'Black Reflection Painting: For William Barak' 2009

 

Opening night crowd in front of David Thomas’ Black Reflection Painting: For William Barak 2009

 

 

Nellie Castan Gallery

This gallery closed in 2013.

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

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