23 October–13 December 2014
In & Model’s second exhibition given over to the work of a single individual, we present Chris Dobrowolski’s sculptural work spanning the last fifteen years, comprising a complex combination of story telling, object making and performance.
Born in Essex and raised in the pre-digital age of the 1960’s and 70’s, reading Ladybird books and The Eagle comic and playing with Dinky toys and Meccano, Chris Dobrowolski occupied his childhood time immersing himself in the analogue world of the mechanical and kinetic. His father, a Polish solider during World War II and later a carpenter, clearly had a significant influence on Dobrowolski’s creative career, teaching him the fundamentals of construction interlaced with colourful accounts of his wartime exploits in North Africa and Italy.
Dobrowolski’s work ranges from small-scale diorama-type modeling to large installation projects and fully functioning machines. Although the work is fundamentally sculptural, it often also involves painting. Another distinctive aspect of his practice is that it is made entirely by Dobrowolski himself without the aid of specialist technicians. His most recent work, produced by Artsadmin and supported by Escalator Live Art, is a performance lecture, All Roads Lead to Rome, about restoring his family’s 1960s Triumph Herald and driving it to Rome to retrace his father’s footsteps whilst exploring issues of consumerism and the legacy of Italy’s turbulent political history.
Travel and transport, literally and metaphorically, are at the heart of all Dobrowolski’s work, including a tea chest airplane, a one-man hovercraft, a full-sized, road-going pedal car and a recent trip to the Antarctic with the British Antarctic Survey as part of their writers and artists programme.
His recently published book, Escape, recounts the stories behind all these projects, his personal journey as an artist, and just how he came to be on a ship heading for the Antarctic with a Ladybird book, an Action Man, a plastic penguin and a sledge made from gilt picture frames.
Other recent projects include Poland 3 Iran 2 with 30 Bird Productions, about international football in the 70’s, and Vanishing Point, a series of miniature film installations with Leslie Hill of Curious as part of Live Art Collective East. Chris is also currently an associate artist at Art Exchange at the University of Essex.
&Model is proud to be able to present a representative survey of the broad range Chris Dobrowolski’s unique, eccentric and sometimes hilarious art practice.
28 July–11 October 2014
& Model's first Summer Sculpture Residencies bring together first Chris Fielder and then Rob Menzer to create new work in the gallery space. Sharing an interest in large scale sculpture, Rob Menzer and Chris Fielder both live and sometimes work in Yorkshire and they both studied art in Leeds, Chris having graduated from Leeds Met recently and Rob ten years earlier. Rob Menzer subsequently completed an MA at Goldsmiths College, University of London and alongside his art practice he has an established career constructing sets in the film industry. He says of his work that “it draws attention to the physical world around us and questions the human desire to control and stabilise it”. Chris Fielder was born in Chertsey in 1980 and lives and works in Keighley. His recent exhibitions include Best at Malgras|Naudet, Manchester, and Unceremonial Objects in Bingley, and he will be showing later this year at Prism 16 in Sheffield and Oddbird in Kuva/Tila at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki.
Both making in the gallery space and bringing components made in their studios to assemble, alter and install in the space, Fielder and Menzer are using & Model as a space for experimentation. The progress of the project has been designed to be visible through the gallery windows, but for the final few days in early October there will be opportunities for the public to come inside to see the final outcomes of the residency. Exact dates and times for this will be announced through Facebook and Twitter.
12 June–18 July 2014
Conversations around Marlow Moss:
Rational concepts, 7 English artists:
[Portfolio, comprising seven screenprints, 4 in black and white, 3 in colour, each signed and numbered by the artist size 60x60cm, edition of 100 copies with title-page, introduction by Richard Paul Lohse, ‘Constructive art in England today’ and short statements by each artist in a black vinyl covered portfolio, design Rudolf Mattes, published 1977 by Lydia Megert Edition Bern (CH) and Hoffmann Edition Friedberg (D). Loan, collection Andrew Bick.]
Conversations around Marlow Moss, consists of hypothetical dialogue between the exhibiting artists’ work and that of Moss, in which Moss represents the under acknowledged éminence grise, the original tricky figure from a British past in which Modernism, as another kind of European queerness, has also been diligently repressed.
Arguably we are still in muddled dialogue with the things Modernism represents and in the UK this means that the stalled and chequered nature of that conversation has an important effect on what contemporary art means and how it operates. Two exhibitions of Mondrian, at TATE Liverpool and Turner Contemporary, Margate, will open at around the same time that Marlow Moss opens at Leeds Art Gallery and this one comes to &Model. Considering Moss’ artistic relationship with Mondrian is a way of reconsidering her impact, but also the other conversations represented in the &Model exhibition, with British Construction and Systems artists such as Norman Dilworth Anthony Hill, Peter Lowe, David Saunders, Jeffrey Steele, Gillian Wise and others, form part of a bigger and very necessary exchange artists are making now with modernist positions that are far from redundant. Moss, as an overlooked protagonist for conversations that never happened in her lifetime, is the pre-eminently undigested presence in this exchange and the symbolic figure of resistance to an over homogenised history of British art. As with other projects Bick and Blannin have worked on, the irrational within the rational and the idea of contradiction as a vital driving force within art practice since modernism, is celebrated as a reason why we should enjoy and understand the work of Moss and her successors now.
The aim of Conversations around Marlow Moss, is to put her work and forgotten personality back in dialogue with what came after and what happens now, as well as to ask questions about what makes practice contemporary. The artist/curators have been in extended dialogue with British post War Construction and Systems Artists since meeting through an ‘in conversation’ Bick held with Jeffrey Steele at Hales Gallery in 2009. Since then Bick has curated exhibitions in Basel, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leigh and London around these artists’ work and Blannin has published extensive interviews with Steele and Bick in Turps Banana magazine. Both artists explore the implications of this artistic territory in their own practice. Included in Conversations around Marlow Moss will be works by post war British Construction and Systems artists as well as many of the younger artists Bick and Blannin have collaborated with on various projects since 2009.
Tuesday 13 May 2014
Curated by Lauren de Sa Naylor, this one night event combined discussion from translator, writer and academic, Eric Prenowitz; an installation and performance from renowned artist and drone musician Bridget Hayden and a one-off curation of miscellaneous writings from the recently deceased and greatly missed campaigner and educator, Callum Millard.
Language Urges considered the effect of language on the body. What traces are left by language and how do they work on us? Where does the urge to articulate come from and what does that desire reveal to and conceal from us? Do we have language urges or does language urge us? With the tenth anniversary of Jacques Derrida’s death as a backdrop, it looked to a dislocation of meaning as something that is as significant for the tongue-in-cheek memo writer crafting their double address, as it is for a bi-lingual translator negotiating linguistic shifts, and equally the musician who disseminates information phenomenologically. Experience ploughs through meaning, which is itself cultivated by experience. This flux of production we can guide, signpost and fine-tune, but we can neither command nor predict the transference from one system or body to the next. We each code our knowledge according to our own poetics. As a result, something is always perceived to be lost in translation; language tending to distort rather than transmit knowledge. But nevertheless it might be that something can be gained through bypassing and de-authorising original texts, traditions and other arbitrarily appointed authorities and systems, affording us the opportunity to delight in the elasticity of meaning and breathe in the freedom of a no man’s land.
Language Urges was the first part of Shady Dealings With Language, four events guest-curated around the relationships between art writing and performance. The tour is programmed by artist and writer Claire Potter with the support of Arts Council England. Further information about Language Urges and the other Shady Dealings events in London, Manchester and Edinburgh can be found at www.shadydealingswithlanguage.org.uk
6 March 2014–30 April 2014
In this, the first exhibition at & Model given over to the work of a single individual, Peter Suchin presents a large selection of paintings, collages, texts and documentary material relating to his practice as an artist, critic, and curator. Whilst Suchin is perhaps best known for his often polemical contributions to publications such as Art Monthly, Frieze, The Guardian, Mute, Variant and many other journals, he has also been, since 1978, an exhibiting artist. A Critical Contagion in the Quiet of the Night provides a “reverse chronology” of Suchin’s paintings alongside other published and exhibited pieces in a variety of media, together with a range of notes, manuscripts, drawings and “Pocket Paintings” not previously shown in public. A further mosaic of papers, photographs and recordings document Suchin’s collaborations with other artists, critics and curators, and a number of books from his personal library of some 6000 volumes are also on display.
Suchin’s paintings are frequently the result of an extensive process of revision and redefinition. Just as he has, in his capacity as an art critic, speculated upon the institutional and ideological frameworks of art, Suchin has, in his paintings, addressed the implicit contingencies of the medium itself. As the writers David Hopkins, Eleanor Moreton and Sally O’Reilly have each observed, these paintings are tightly composed yet border on chaos and dissolution, appearing to fall apart and re-form themselves like optical illusions or picture-puzzles designed to seduce – or to disorientate – the spectator. These complicated, layered, recursive works also provoke a wilful ambiguity with respect to their status as pictorial representation or unsullied abstraction, keeping both ends of the spectrum constantly in play.
Peter Suchin’s solo exhibitions include Compendiums and Palimpsests (T1+2, London, 2003), Museum of the Vexed Text (Redux, London, 2003), and The Grey Planets (HICA, Inverness, 2008). Group shows and collaborations include Russian Doll (with Martin Creed, Liam Gillick, Elizabeth Price and Giorgio Sadotti, MOT, London, 2004), Lost in Translation, (HAU, Athens, Greece, 2005), Merz= (Bregenz Kunstverein, Bregenz, Austria, 2006), No Letters (Nettie Horn, London, 2008), 4 x 4 (with Chris Tosic, Sartorial, London, 2008), Psychopomp (Art Wars Project Space, London, 2009), Hearing Bertolt Brecht (Moss Gallery, Nottingham, 2010), and Scent of Scagliola (with Michael Hampton, Tank, London, 2010). Curatorial projects include Black Box (with Lela Budde, E:vent Gallery, London, 2006), Planchette (The Residence, London, 2007), and Point of Address (Outpost, Norwich, 2010).
A compilation of selected writings by Peter Suchin is available as a PDF download.
23 January – 22 February 2014
The sixteen artists presented by Patrick Morrissey and Clive Hanz Hancock in Crossing Lines all share reductive, formal, or non-objective approaches to image making. With roots in early 20th century Modernism, reductive abstraction has long been a strong undercurrent running counter to the dominant conceptual movements of the last thirty years or more. The early 21st century has seen a return to and re- examination of the non-objective in contemporary art, and this exhibition is situated within the context of that renewed interest.
Crossing Lines constitutes an artists’ group involved in an extended conversation around a shared concern with the debates that surround postmodern abstraction and how they might inform contemporary practice. Reflecting the traditions of formalist approaches whilst challenging their boundaries and seeking new directions, the artists in Crossing Lines, some already internationally established and some newly emerging, all make work that explores the continuing relevance and potential of the non-objective image.
In a number of Parallel Lines of enquiry, &Model has introduced additional works alongside and amongst the Crossing Lines exhibition, acting as an ‘interruption’, a re-framing device that extends the context. Referencing the legacy of artists such as Hans Richter and experimental filmmakers of the 1950’s and ‘60’s like Jordan Belson and the Whitney brothers, often based in linear and geometric abstraction but without some of their earnestness, Syd Barrett and the Bauhaus is a show reel of film and video works combining digital and analogue technologies made by young artists at the turn of the 21st century. Connections between abstract visual composition and formal structures in music are made by juxtaposing elements of the graphic notation methods of composers such as Cornelius Cardew, Robert Graettinger and Anthony Braxton. In works that refer to the crossed lines of political borders and demonstrators’ barricades, Phill Hopkins re-inserts figurative, narrative or linguistic reference into formal compositions of line and colour, polluting the ‘purity’ of abstraction with ‘content’, to paraphrase Clement Greenberg. And the linguistic turn is more humorously completed by the ironic inclusion of Ad Reinhardt’s Twelve Technical Rules (or How to Achieve the Twelve Things to Avoid).
24 October - 30 November 2013
Scenery presents the work of eight young artists from Scandinavia. The show's title carries a number of connotations that might inform readings of the diverse artworks it brings together. The first is that of landscape, particularly when it is seen to be in some way picturesque. 'Scenery' also has a theatrical meaning, referring to an illusionistic background designed for a theatre stage or a film set. Also of course, a 'scene' refers to a sub-division of a play or the series of shots in a movie that constitute a unit of continuous related action. And finally, a 'scene' can be a social situation, a sphere of activity, as for instance in 'the art scene'.
Each of these ideas - natural landscapes, illusionistic settings, linear narratives, and socio-cultural milieux - find a specifically Scandinavian context in this exhibition as it tells its story with a scarcity of form and materials. The sometimes very minimal expression of Nordic art is not so much related to 'Minimalism' as a genre in which art is self-referential and concerned only with form, but rather with a kind of narrative in which there is great precision and economy of means in the telling of the story.
Birk Bjørlo (NO) Studies at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Arts in Copenhagen. Recent shows include Coloured Signs, and Intermezzo at Galleri Kant, Copenhagen, What is, and what could be at BKS Garage in Copenhagen and Snow Blind at Galerie Weissraum, Kyoto, Japan.
Amalie Jakobsen (DK) Studying Fine Arts at Goldsmiths University of London. Recent shows include Contemporary Figuration in Denmark, Inner/Outer Realms in Gothenburg and A Curator in Berlin.
Oskar Jönsson (DK/SE) Studying Sculpture at Royal College of Art in London and studied Architecture at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen. Recent shows include Contemporary Figuration in Denmark, Inner/Outer Realms in Gothenburg and A Curator in Berlin.
Jon Erik Nyholm (DK) Studying at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Arts in Copenhagen. Recent shows include Sculpture Illuminated at MOHS in Copenhagen.
Tomas Egede Scherer (SE) Studied Fine Arts at Malmö Art Academy, Sweden, graduating in 2004. Since then he has exhibited at galleries including Pictura in Lund, Mors Mössa Gallery in Gothenburg and Arnstedt Gallery in Båstad. He has recently been nominated by Jimmie Durham to 5 X 5 Castelló 2013, Premi Internacional d’Art Contemporani, Castelló, Spain, October 2013-January2014.
John Skoog (SE) Graduated from Städelschule in Frankfurt in 2012. Lives and works in Copenhagen and Frankfurt. Recent Shows include Federsee at Johan Berggren Gallery, Malmö, Sweden and John Skoog: Sent på Jorden and Förår, at Pilar Corrias, London. Recent film festival screenings include: Spectrum Rotterdam International Film Festival, Rotterdam (2013); Indielisboa, Lisbon International Film Festival, Lisbon, (2012) and Torino International Film Festival, (2011).
Cecilie Skov (DK) Studies Visual Arts at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Arts in Copenhagen, and previously studied at Goldsmiths University of London.
David Stjernholm (DK) Studied Fine Art at the Jutland Art Academy, Denmark and Architecture at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen. Lives and works in Copenhagen and recent exhibitions include Our Times No.2 in Leeds and the solo show Content Fill in Aarhus, Denmark.
22 August – 28 September 2013
Running alongside Nick Thurston’s Pretty Brutal Library, and continuing through September, Joseph Buckley’s installation will occupy the gallery’s middle floor.
The middle floor rooms of &Model gallery have been carpeted in a scrap book mix of cut-out colour. The flat geometric shapes of red yellow and green in translucent film and foil are awkward; their edges rough and angular. Collectively, they make for a kaleidoscopic introduction to Joseph Buckley’s installation.
These colourful floor scabs (which are offcuts from the artists’ previous work in vinyl) reunite in the whitewashed rooms to dictate the physical experience of the show. It is difficult to avoid covering the pools with footprint-negatives, especially in the street-facing room which also holds a video installation and a photograph of the artist hanging from the ceiling of the gallery by his right foot. On first encounter the pieces in the room seem disjointed, like selfish entities spread across the space. However, as the ghost chatter of artist discussion fills the space from the box TV, the individual voices, dislocated pools of colour and inverted hanged-man merge into a mashed up mix of obscure reference. The looped video, which shows a group of artists discussing a work of Buckley’s (which is anonymous to the participants and viewers of the work) was filmed in the space, you can see the 1911 date on the grey Pearl Chambers building that faces the gallery out of the window. The hanged-man is suspended from the third floor of the gallery, you recognise the squared sash window from the staircase and the distinct voices from the video become as distinct as the colours on the floor. In the adjoining room the only other work is a peculiar black painting of a domestic interior. It appears like a negative on crackle board and provides a startling counterpart to the angular rainbow shapes on the floor. It isn’t a depiction of the gallery space, but is composed of similar elements-stairs, doorways, wooden floorboards.
When entering the show you encounter the objects and rooms in turn, as if their order was something other than a consequence of their curation. It is difficult to explain or attempt to understand a finite concept behind the exhibition, and that is because the difficulty of the show is also its success. The lack of explanatory material (or its deliberate obscurity) results in cyclic narratives of space, bodies and death, which are probably little more than creations of my imagination (a ‘RETCON’ is the alteration of a back story narrative by a later author). To experience colour and space prompted by nuances of bodily displacement and distorted perspective in a small mid-floor show is an interesting experience, and it is difficult to leave behind the self-portrait hanged man, struggling and voiceless, surrounded by pools of sticky colour.
This review by Rebecca Senior was published in Corridor 8 magazine online, September 2013.
25 July - 31 August 2013
Curated by Derek Horton and presented in association with the Hannah Mitchell Foundation.
Pretty Brutal Library (2013) is a temporary public reference library, produced as an artwork in the format of a solo gallery show. It repurposes the ground floor of the Gallery as an ad hoc reading room in which are presented ten free-to-handle books by ten different authors. Each of these books differently explores what it might mean to write about speaking in the twenty-first century.
Each book confronts the old and new forces that function under the surface of language to objectify speaking and the spoken, be it for better or for worse. Each book has been authored by someone who has taken the double risk of calling that exploration poetic and making it public in print.
Bracing the library will be a doubled doublet, The Matter (2013) that Thurston composed with American poet Kim Rosenfield. The tension in this two-part wall text charges the exhibition: This is a library about the brute material of words and the brutal material of worlds.
In association with the Hannah Mitchell Foundation, free copies of a new print work by Thurston featuring his collaboration with Rosenfield, Notes for a Pretty Brutal Library, first commissioned by Andrew Wilson for the Hannah Festival (June 2013), will be available from the Gallery.
The exhibition also marks the release of Thurston's new book about computational capitalism, Of the Subcontract (information as material, 2013), which features a foreword by McKenzie Wark and an afterword by Darren Wershler. Copies will be available to purchase from the Gallery during the show and internationally from August via Cornerhouse Publications (Manchester) and Coach House Books (Toronto). Press and research enquiries about the book should be directed to Simon Morris: email@example.com.
For &Model, Pretty Brutal Library is the continuation of an association with Thurston and information as material that began with the gallery’s first exhibition, adapt-erase, in January 2013. In that context, & Model is proud to be hosting this project and celebrating the launch of Thurston’s new book.
Nick Thurston (b. 1982) is a poet whose writings have been translated into Spanish, Italian, French, and German. He has exhibited across Europe and North America and written critically about art and poetics. His print and sculptural works are held in public and private collections around Europe including the Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), Leeds City Art Gallery and The Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris). His bookworks are collected by the V&A (London), Tate (London) and MoMA (New York) amongst other institutions. Since 2006 he has been an editorial member of the writers’ collective information as material, with whom he explores literary forms of DIY praxis. Recent and current exhibitions include: Postscript (Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, 2012; Powerplant, Toronto, 2013); and with information as material, Do or DIY (Whitechapel Gallery, 2012; Laurence Sterne Museum, 2012) and Learn to Read Differently (Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art, 2013). In 2012 he took up an academic post at the University of Leeds, England.
Kim Rosenfield is the author of five books of poetry. Her latest, USO: I’ll Be Seeing You, was released by Ugly Duckling Press in February 2013. She is a recent recipient of a Fund For Poetry grant and a founding member of the international artists' collective, Collective Task. She is a practicing psychotherapist and lives and works in New York City.
2 May 2013 – 8 June 2013
Dirty Pop, curated for &Model by Mark Wright, presents twenty contemporary painters whose work connects with Pop Art of the 1960’s, and particularly the legacy of the important British artist Richard Hamilton, who is included in the exhibition. The exhibition is a follow up to one recently held at Galeria Cadaques in Catalonia in the summer of 2012, and includes a number of artists from that exhibition. Richard Hamilton had shown in Galeria Cadaques many times and it was where he met and worked with Marcel Duchamp.
Like the Cadaques show, the Leeds exhibition demonstrates the way that artists make works of art in the context of other works of art, positioning new work vis-à-vis existing work, not in an immediately identifiable way, but with an awareness in the work that questions and comments on itself in relation to the art of others. Paintings have a capacity to be self-referential and expansive.
Throughout the work it is evident that these painters have an acute awareness of their predecessors including seminal contemporary artists such as Richard Hamilton, Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke. In his recent book, The First Pop Age, Hal Foster discusses imagery in the work of Hamilton, Richter and others through distinctive frames of reference, including the tabular, clichéd, distressed, photogenic and deadpan image. It is possible to take elements of this template and apply it in varying degrees to the painters in Dirty Pop. These ideas are present in the works on show and demonstrate how painting has a capacity to return to key ideas and yet reinvent itself, finding new associations.
Like many group exhibitions, Dirty Pop allows the viewer to identify themes and ideas in play across the various artists’ work as well as highlighting their differences. This is perhaps most apparent through the handling of materials, the stuff that goes into making a painting. Paint records traces and gestures that represent many visual qualities from representation through to expression, and the painters in Dirty Pop are producing distinctive and challenging work that is adding to that tradition.
In a special event 17th April 2013 & Model was pleased to present, on behalf of The Henry Moore Institute, Robert Filliou's, ‘Leeds’ (1976). Filliou visited Leeds in the 1970s to teach at the city's art school with Robin Page and Georges Brecht. While there he developed the rules for a Fluxus card game that he premiered in a performance at Leeds College of Art on 26 June 1969. It was later made more formally as a work called 'Leeds' in 1976. In connection with their Robert Filliou exhibition, the Henry Moore Institute held a one-day event that included a public discussion between & Model’s Derek Horton and Geoff Teasdale, who met Filliou when he visited Leeds. The day concluded with a reconstruction of the card game played by 'Leeds Weirdo Club' (Matt Crawley, Harry Meadley and David Steans) at & Model.
We were honoured by a very special guest (seen in the photograph here in red trousers), Garry Kennedy, who was President of Nova Scotia College of Art & Design from 1967, turning it from a provincial art school into an international centre to which artists like Vito Acconci, Sol LeWitt, Dan Graham, Eric Fischl, Lawrence Weiner, Joseph Beuys and Claes Oldenburg were regular visitors. He established The Press of NSCAD which between 1972 and 1987, published titles by such artists as Michael Snow, Steve Reich, Gerhard Richter and Yvonne Rainer. Thanks for coming Garry!
For the duration of LA-Berlin Phil Coyne curated a weekly changing exhibition in & Model’s project space, showing work by Alfie Strong, Matthew Merrick and Phil Coyne.
14 March 2013 – 20 April 2013
Los Angeles - “(i/lɔːs ˈændʒələs/, /lɔːs ˈæŋɡələs/ or i/lɒs ˈændʒəliːz/; Spanish: [los ˈaŋxeles], which is written Los Ángeles, Spanish for The Angels), officially the City of Los Angeles, often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in the U.S. state of California and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City, with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621. It has an area of 469 square miles (1,215 km2), and is located in Southern California. The city is the focal point of the larger Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana metropolitan statistical area and Greater Los Angeles Area region, which contain 12,828,837 and nearly 18 million people respectively as of 2010, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world and the second largest in the United States. Los Angeles is also the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated and one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the United States, while the entire Los Angeles area itself has been recognized as the most diverse of the nation's largest cities. The city's inhabitants are referred to as Angelenos…” [The first paragraph of Wikipedia’s entry on Los Angeles.]
Robert Abel (1937-2001) studied and worked in Los Angeles. He was an early pioneer of computer generated image processing and his work with his company Robert Abel and Associates has had a profound impact and influence across advertising, animation, music video, and the movie industry. His work also represents a bridge between 20th century experimental filmmaking and the present state of CGI technology. In the 1950’s he began working with filmmaker John Whitney whose analogue experiments transferred to the big screen when he was commissioned to make the title sequences for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 film Vertigo. Whitney had originally developed his techniques by adapting military technology, and Abel’s early computer work has clear associations with the progress of the use of simulation in military training. Much of Whitney’s and his peers’ work also inspired the famous ‘Stargate’ sequence from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. This experimental insert into the film was produced by filmmaker Douglas Trumbell using a technique called slit-scan and Abel’s future collaborator in the 1970’s, Con Pedersen, was Trumbell’s assistant at this period. In 1971 Abel and Pedersen established Robert Abel and Associates. Using the slit-scan techniques, now adapted for computer, they began creating visual effects using Evans and Sutherland military hardware. They developed an hallucinogenic style of imagery, a legacy of the psychedelic 60’s that Abel gave names to such as candy apple neon, and their advertising was critically referred to as photo-masochistic. In the 80’s Abel played a major part in the development of digital animation with his work on the film Tron. This work also had a major role in establishing MTV generation video work that is now ubiquitous in the media industry.
Erkka Nissinen studied art at schools in London and Helsinki and in 2007-08 was a resident at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. His work consists of videos, performances and comics and he is the co-founder and director of Handkerchief Production, a creative studio and fashion brand dedicated to interdisciplinary experiments in architecture, art and design. Nissinen’s uses a homemade approach to CGI and combines it with other ironic uses of feature film convention, such as prosthetics, voice-over, dubbing, animation and foley work. Scripting and acting in his own work, often performing multiple roles and voices, Nissinen creates surreal and humorous films that feature absurd characters in absurdist scenarios, deploying inventive, clumsy and sophisticated acting and techniques simultaneously.
Curated by Chris Bloor
The rents are going up in Berlin. Though not immediately pertinent to any of the artworks here, this fact is significant if we accept that cheap property was what enabled Berlin to replace London as the preeminent European art city. Low rents underwrote the cool bars, the generous studios, the indie galleries, the backroom publishers, gaming start-ups and one-woman fashion houses. It made possible the aspirations of artists from across Europe and beyond who were drawn to Berlin as a chilled, slightly scruffy haven from the various strictures of their hometowns and countries. Many of the artists in this show would probably fit this description having moved there from London, Nottingham, Zagreb, Frankfurt and Copenhagen at various points over the last twenty years. So whilst Berlin in 2013 still seems vibrant, the seeds of its demise are already evident in the double-digit annual rise in market rents. But new points of emigration will present themselves, new centres will emerge and the party will simply move on. So in twenty years time a similar show to this might be called LA-Lisbon or LA-Athens or Sao Paulo-Istanbul.
Berlin has always been a city of emigration and transit. El Lissitsky claimed in the 1920’s that Berlin was nothing more than a transit station. Subsequent dictatorship, war and then cold war reformatted Berlin’s twentieth century demographic in a series of waves: the shunting of German and European Jews through its suburban S-bahn stations; subsequent defeat and occupation; the arrival of ethnic Germans ejected from post war Eastern Europe; the erection of walls and fences to stop the post-war East Germans escaping to the West, simultaneously creating a ghetto for post-war West Germans wishing to escape national service. History always feels very close to the surface in Berlin and this flux of forced and elected migrations finds its most recent echo in the colonization of the city by artists.
This sense of history just beneath the surface creates a reflective context in which questions of space, displacement and distance are played out through the means and languages of our own time, something evident in the work of the artists in this show. They foreground the methods and technologies that condition or determine drawing’s appearance, allowing for the modalities of ‘observation’ in their work but simultaneously complicating it with GPS recorders or ladders, with cameras and laptops, with desktop scanners and pen-plotters, remote servers or sheets of acetate used as a printing surface. No one it seems, wants to simply put pencil to paper. As a transient population in a city of transients, perhaps the immediacy of such an approach would fail to capture questions of distance, space and location. So rent rises in Berlin are perhaps more pertinent than they first appear. Not that they lead to the work we see here, but because they may lead to other moments of transit and thus to other moments of creation.
Daniel Belasco-Rogers and Sophia New map their journeys around Berlin through a gps record with interruptions as they enter buildings or use the underground. At the end of each year these routes are committed to drafting film using an architectural pen-plotter machine. As the drawings build up the repeated routes and eddies around their home become a dominant black mass and other, less used parts of the city remain blank, or are traced only by a single line.
A conceptual plan view is also present in David Edward Allen’s Ink Drop drawings that measure the height of his studio with ink drops that rise in 5 or 10 mm increments from the floor to his ceiling. Aimed to land across a grid plotted in pencil on a large sheet of paper, their visuality is in equal measure to the process that structures their realisation.
In Antonia Low’s A Copy Machine as an Auto Portraitist, a drawing rests on the scanner glass of the gallery’s office printer. It is a drawing of the printer’s own ink cartridge, with shading to give form to its outlines and a scale that seems as purposeful as it is ambiguous. The drawing involves an analytical scrutiny of the internal world and workings of an object that is somehow caught in the act of becoming self-aware, as though the user’s interaction could force the eye to tell the mouth about the gut.
Tommy Støckel makes drawings in photoshop, wilfully abusing the watercolour brushes and artistic effects that seldom feature in contemporary art. This act of formal perversity reflects his sculptural practice, the works here deriving from photographed maquettes whose cardboard and sticky tape surfaces are still evident in the futuristic landscapes they inhabit. Conceived as a series of future ruins, at once both plan and execution, remnant and anticipation they point us towards an antiquity of robots rendered in ivy leaves and faux watercolour splats.
Simon Faithfull’s Limbo, An Expanding Atlas of Subjectivity, is an iphone app that downloads his drawings as they are created. Installed here as Limbo - Live Drawings from Berlin the work generates drawings that are automatically printed out and then manually pinned onto a map of Berlin at the location their creation. Glimpses and fragmentary observations of city life are rendered in purely digital form, but the transition from the hand that draws to the hand that pins up the drawing reminds us of the physicality behind our increasingly mediated existence.
In his Two Patterns the Same series Tim Greaves builds up layered drawings sourcing decorative details based on Arts and Crafts designs by William Morris. Delicately coaxing and distressing these into leaves and imperfections the works oscillate between the hand crafted and the reproduced. The element of labour in the process echoes Morris’ own commitment to a kind of artisanal nobility but Greaves, in doubling the patterns in this work, brings us not only to the ‘now and then’ of Morris’ work but also to the ‘there and here’ of his own situation; a British artist, based in Berlin.
Nika Radic works primarily in video and photography and her work Beds grows out of a cinematic practice. Using a 35mm camera to capture short still image sequences of the rooms she stays in when visiting friends, she creates stark black and white ink drawings that sit somewhere between storyboard and animation. The time we spend as a guest, away from our home base, often prompts a heightened alertness to the textures of our new surroundings and Radic’s drawings underline the framed containment of a temporarily defined personal space.
Curated by Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson
art works that use or reflect the transformation of space, materials and ideas by means of processes of adaptation and erasure. By:
23 January 2013 - 2 March 2013
This exhibition presents contemporary artists who take objects, materials or ideas from the existing world and make art by transforming them, using processes of adaptation and erasure, reflecting the recent transformation of the building that houses & Model.
Richard Caldicott’s recent works on paper retain the formal aesthetic concerns of his large scale photographs, and are similarly made in series, each one able to stand alone but forming part of a larger whole. Meticulously constructed, they transform mundane materials such as envelopes into crafted objects of compositional elegance.
Emily Musgrave works with a similarly formal aesthetic to produce compositions of colour and texture, but using much more abject materials and an improvised, deliberately ‘rough-and-ready’ method of construction.
Information as material are represented by one work from each of the core members of the collective, Craig Dworkin, Simon Morris and Nick Thurston. In Thurston’s Erased Kosuth Concept (Art as Idea as Idea as Art), the process of erasure is literal, superimposing negative and positive images of a text work by Kosuth, resulting in the photographic presence but visual absence of the original text.
Morris’s The Royal Road to the Unconscious also references an earlier artwork, Ed Ruscha’s Royal Road Test. In Morris’s project every one of the 333,960 words in Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams was individually cut out and thrown from a car window at high speed. This action, carried out by Morris in collaboration with his psychoanalyst, was documented in the book from which these photographs are taken. The third information as material piece in the exhibition, Craig Dworkin’s FACT, is literally that: a detailed objective factual description of itself.
Joseph Buckley’s three works in the exhibition utilise everyday things, spaces and technologies, and transform them into objects of contemplation. They are part of his ongoing series of Elegies.
Emma Alonze’s sculpture, Impending Doom (thinking that you know and then realising that you don’t know), is a combination of sophisticated introspective thought with a playful use of materials and a witty and self-mocking attitude to the sculptural monument.
Emma Alonze is currently studying sculpture at the Royal College of Art. Her work spans sculpture, photography, performance and video. She recently won the sculpture award at the 2012 Salon Art Prize, and was part of The Plaza Principle curated by Chris Bloor and Derek Horton in 2010.
Joseph Buckley, currently studying at Goldsmiths, University of London. Recent exhibitions include The Panj Piare Volume Two at East Street Arts, Leeds; Our Times at Koh-i-Noor, Copenhagen; and Glamourie at Project Space Leeds.
Richard Caldicott shows regularly with Hamiltons, London, A|B|C ontemporary| Armin Berger Gallery, Zurich, and Galerie f.5,6 Munich, and has exhibited worldwide for more than 25 years. Derek Horton has written extensively about Caldicott’s work, which is in many important collections including Goldman Sachs International, the Goss-Michael Foundation, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Merrill Lynch, and the collections of Simon and Yasmin Le Bon and Sir Elton John.
information as material are a collaborative collective of artists and writers whose publications and editions are held in private and public collections around the world including Tate (UK), National Library of France, and MoMA (USA).
Emily Musgrave is a sculptor based in Sheffield. Recent exhibitions include The Plaza Principle, Leeds; Bureau, Manchester; Salon Arts Prize, Matt Roberts Arts, London; and The Parallax Curtain, S1 Artspace, Sheffield (with Melissa Gordon and Jessica Warboys).