_ Bell boy
The latest pitstop on Stefan Gec’s journey of discovery is Glasgow. He explains why to Caroline Ednie.
Detached Bell Tower is the latest stopover on the continuing journey of Stefan Gec‘s Four Cities project. It began in Newcastle with Trace Elements — eight large steel-cast bells taken from Russian submarines and hung from one leg ofthe high level suspension bridge spanning the Tyne. The bells were submerged and revealed according to the changing tides. Now occupying Glasgow's Transmission Gallery, the visual realisation might be a little uncomfortable. but the aim remains true.
‘When I first made these bells in 1990 l was in a sense marking the breaking up oi the Cold War.’
‘When I first made these bells in 1990 l was in a sense marking the breaking up ofthe Cold War.‘ explains Gee. ‘They also expressed the idea of communicating with my family in the Ukraine. chiming as the tide hit them. My father is Ukrainian and the submarines represent one of the barriers which stopped him going home after World War 11. In conjunction with the bells, 1 am presenting two letters which my father received from his brother after no contact for 35 years. so there is a personal as well as a political element in my work.‘
While the bells lurk downstairs in the Transmission‘s bunker-like basement. - there is not exactly a visual treat in store upstairs. Politely speaking. it's reductivist heaven due to the absence of practically everything. including some of the walls.
‘The reason I wanted to take the walls
away was to reveal what is undemcath the surface. to look at the familiar and what is behind it,‘ says Gee. ‘The idea of revealing and hiding elements is central to this piece.‘
In light ofthis, Glasgow is an obvious choice of location for Gee to display his work. for the ‘direct link with submarine operations which go on out there.’ The exhibition will then go to Helsinki — important to the artist for its east-west situation — and will culminate in Londonderry, where the ‘revealing
Detached Bell Tower
and hiding elements' are all too apparent. The joumey does not end there. however.
‘My next project is to melt the bells into buoys, to be placed in ten different locations from Iceland to St Petersburg. and all the history contained within the metal will travel with the piece.‘ says Gee. ‘The work will change as history
i changesf .S'Itffun (18("5‘ [)(’l(l(‘ll(’(l Bell 'Iim'er is u!
the TI'(l/l.§‘l)ll.\‘.\‘l(nl Gallery. (ilusgmr until 6 August.
_ In the
As tales oi the llew Conceptualism in low York swept across the Atlantic, the question was asked, how tar can you push a Coke can and call it art. Yet now, it seems, the tide has turned at Coney Island and llew York is turning back to the paint.
In this show the legacy oi the Abstract Expressionism oi 50s America is loud and proud. These are twelve contemporary painters each with varied approaches but all with a common concern for the physical gesture oi the act oi painting and sensuality oi the materials. Yet by using newer, man-made medias, they throw a whole new light on the question oi space and content.
In painting 40 years ago, great
emphasis was placed on the ilatness oi the suriace. Today, painters push out from the canvas with paint- collages or gouge into the suriace oi the work. Kim Sobel’s Interrogation, used oil, polyurethane and varnish to create a seething mass oi colour and texture. Scrunched-up and melted, the suriace suggests a Technicolor hell. Leonard Bullock, who curated the show, has glued and stitched strips oi
: scalding pink silk dupion on to a bare
canvas. Like wide strokes of paint, they resemble horizons or natural barriers. And set in melted plastic in one corner, a scattering of broken shells and stones. In contrast, Suzanne McClelland uses a piece of wood as a canvas. This is largely left in its natural state apart from one area where the artist has burned and gouged out letters.
Suggesting landscapes, memories, states of mind and impulses, the work in this show is invigorating. There is the unity oi an obvious scene and artists all use bright colour in emotive, physical ways, but they do all appear to be stretching painterly abstraction in their own direction. This is a vibrant, sometimes aggressive exhibition which dribbles and splashes with the debris oi the past while heralding something new. (Beatrice Colin)
Heterogeneity - Abstraction and Virtual Space is at Out oi the Blue
Edinburgh, until 31 Jul.
Exhibitions . are listed by city, then alphabetica lly by venue. Shows will be listed, provit tied that details reach our oiiices at Ie. ast ten days beiore publication. Art and Exhibition Listings compiled by Kathleen Morgat.
[HIKE I ART EXPOS URE GALLERY 38 Bath Street. 331 26 17. Mon—Sat 10.30am-6pm. Jan Festival; Exhibition Until Fn' 15 Jul. Jeff McDonalt d's bright. vibrant portraits ofjazz hands a 1nd musicians plus work on the same them e by a couple of other local artists.
New Work By \ NASPS Artists Sat 16—Thurs 28 Jul. Worksh op and Artists Studio Provision Scot land (WASPS) brings together work 1 ’rom gallery regulars and some new mm as.
I ART GALLER‘ l8t MUSEUM, KELVINGROVE 3 57 3929. Mon—Sat 10am—5pm; Sur 1 11am-5pm. Cafe. [D]. Voluntary guide s are available free of charge to condu ct parties or individuals round the main ; galleries. Ask at the enquiry desk.
The Woodcarvet '3 Craft Fri 15 Jul—25 Sept. Exploring. the changing art of woodearving ovc :r three centuries. this exhibition featurt :s everything from puppets to pulpit: s.
Canvassing the c lydtr: Stanley Spencer and the Shipyardu Until 7 Aug. Another showing of Spenc er‘s .large oils which he produced during \ Vorld War 11. As well as the Gallery‘s colle ction, a number have been lent by the imperial War Museum. Modern Art from t he Coltlection New permanent display. David Hockney. Bridget Riley. Ala n Davie . Jasper Johns. Bruce McLean and Eduardo Paolozzi are featured in an exhibition ol ' Pop Art and work inspired by the heady 60s.
I BURNSIDE GALL'ERY 190 Dukes Road, 613 3663. Daily ll )am-Spm (closed Tue and Sun).
Summer Exhibition Until 30] ul. Work by more than twenty :irtists. inclu ding Victoria Cassidy a nd Lorna Cu nningham. I BURRELL COLLE CTIOI Pollolttshaws Road. 649 7151. Mon-Sat 10am—5pm; Sun 11am-5pm. C afe. [D].
Edwardian tycoon William Burre'll's collection of furnit ure including paintings, ceramics and glass is housed in art! elegant. purpose-built gallery. Rec orded descriptions and th ermoforms available for the benefit of v isually impaired visitors.
llew Perspectives: The Italian Renaissance Until 25 Sept. A frttsh look at Italy's 15th century cultural ex plosion featuring paintings. glassware, ce ramics. armour. illustrated books. textiles and musical instruments.
I CCA 346—354 Sa uchiehall Stree t. 332 7521. Tue—Sat llarn—5.310ptn. Caf e. [D]. John llinde: Hindesiight Sat 23 Jul- -27 Aug. A pioneer of early c olour photography. John li—linde built a pic ‘ture postcard empire from his base in lre land. This provocative ex hibition of his w ork includes memorable images of rural lrish idylls and 1950s Butlin's holiday can ips. Boyd Webb Until Sat 16 Jul. Huge. colourful eibaehromes which employ everyday objects such as nails. balloor IS. and mattresses to create surreal photographic tableaux that question human behaviour and sexual politics.
I COLLINS GALLERY University of Strathclyde. 22 Richmond Street. 552 4400 ext 2682. Mon—Fri 10am—5pm; Sat noon—4pm. [D].
Felt Directions Until 13 Aug. Pliable. colourful and usually employed in toymaking. felt has been used as a medium by artists and craftsmen for
The List 15—28 July 1994 55