Edinburgh: Collective Gallery Sat 6—Sat 27 Sep.
It is like painting by numbers for grown-ups. Michael Windle's portraits combine elements of the kiddie creative game of filling in numbered gaps, with flourishes of coded colour paint and contemporary technology. But Windle works on a large-scale. His canvases are vast and his subject matter is the age-old theme of portraiture.
Windle's portraits consist of thousands of cube shapes of colour, often as many as 2600 - meticulously painted various shades and hues. From afar, rather like a TV screen, they merge and form the features of a face.
The process involves Windle taking a photograph of his subject, and then feeding the image into a computer which produces a breakdown of the pantone colours that constitute face and features. What follows is a methodical process of mixing up paint to the appropriate pantone colours and filling in the cubes.
‘I guess I found I had the capability to fill in all the spaces,’ says Windle of his pixels-meets-paint style of portraiture. ’It is very Zen.’
Windle studied at Dundee’s Duncan Of Jordanstone College Of Art, then spent several years working in London. 'It was great fun at first, but it can be difficult. You have to work when you are in London, everything is so expensive,’ says Windle, who now lives in Portobello where he
shares a studio with artist Calum Colvin.
'My work has evolved - in the 805 it was typical 805 Scottish painting’ says Windle, who has also pixellated and painted Seurat's famous painting The Bathers, a Rembrandt self-portrait and numerous portraits of Christ. Some are recognisable as Christ figures, others are not, but Windle frequently takes a pixellated portrait of Christ and
Cubism: Michael Windle's portrait in squares
montages it through his computer onto a photograph of a
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Sunil Gawde & Sutra Glasgow: School of Art. Sunil Gawde until Sat 30 Aug; Sutra until Sat 13 395 4r v: t iii
While Indian wr:ters are making big
: waves in the West, Indian artists have
had comparatively little coverage. So it is good to see Glasgow School of Art put On a show of work by the artist Sunil Gawde, tying in with 50 years of Indian independence Born in Bombay in 2960 - thirteen years on from
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Independence and partition -r Sunil Gawde is firmly a post-colonial artist
Thick lashings of glossy pain: fill his canvasses In some, the paint has been dragged across the Surface with a palette knife, leavmg syrup-smooth fields of colour fringed by rough edges In others, the paint is rippled and furrowed like sand after the tide has turned. Here, tide-marks of colour snake and Curl across the canvas In one triptych filled With orangey-red paint, thin, cuming lines of yellow hint
But it is the picking up of his paintbrush that Windle finds a fundamental necessity. 'I enjoy the archaic nature of paint, the process is very important, your frame of mind has to be very quiet,‘ he says. ’I most often paint in the morning.‘ (Susanna Beaumont)
at amorphous shapes But Gav-ides specral skill is the suggestion of texture Layers of purple paint stretch across one canvas like a swathe of imperial purple velvet
The richness of colour and texture in Gawde’s paintings becomes even more marked on Viewing the sumptuous show of Indian textiles also on display at the School of Art In Sutra The Thread That Binds, three very different Indian textile traditions are Illustrated Zardozi is the art of gold and silver embroidery, which reached its L’Gllllfl in the 17th century
On display are translucent shawls flecked with gold thread, a shalwar kamiz ta woman’s loose trouser SUIII in shocking pink, studded with mirrored seguins and long waistcoats heavy vnth ornamentation In sharp contrast to these outfits of maharajahs and the monied set is the room filled with the clothes of the nomadic peoples of southern Anclhra Pradesh But they are no less stunning Another room is filled with ka/amkari, the art of painting cotton With vegetable dyes
A fascinating show, but a shame about the lack of Signposting — many people must just wander past without finding it lSusanna BeaumOntl
Pavel Petrovich Leonov
Edinburgh: Zyw Gallery until Sat 6 Sep *‘k *
Naive art had a rough time during the Soviet era. Folksy and decorative, it smacked of pre-revolutionary Russia not the new, muscle flexing Soviet Union. Naive artist Pavel Petrovich Leonov did the sensible thing and went underground. After the break up of the Union, he re-emerged and is now living somewhere on the Russian plains.
This is the first British showing of his work, and it is everything you’d expect from a naive artist. Rooted in the Russran folkloric tradition, the canvases are colourful, frieze-like panoramas. Birds fly overhead while couples cruise on iced-over lakes in carriages drawn by white horses. There's a sense of the magical as well as the eccentric. In one scene an elephant appears to be kissing a red alligator, while two figures astride a zebra escape the advances of a flock of eagles. Interesting, if not arresting. (Susanna Beaumont)
Edinburgh: Printmakers’ Workshop, until Sat 13 Sep 1* * ir
Graphic detail: a detail of a Picasso print
Picasso was a man obsessed with women, sex and the erotic, This selection of graphic works does nothing to damage such a reputation
Featuring a series of etchings based on Ce/est/na, a 15th Century erotic play he was parIICuIarly fond of, Picasso produces scenes of erotic ism most other artists could only dream of creating
In plate 80, nipples, a finely drawn backside and flashing eyes provide the dot-to-dot in his game of love Full bodies wrap and weave their limbs together — it's a steamy composition Elsewhere, Salome dances naked, exposing everything to Herod's lecherous gaze ln Au Theatre, an outrageOus phallus takes centre stage, surrounded by nymph-like creatures and breasts, there is a general sense of a pleaSure-seeking orgy
Picasso's output was always prolific, but his phenomenal popularity has assured everything he created is now considered valuable. Every print here is for sale, one for a staggering £25,000, but prices aSide, the werk swmgs between the comically slight and the powerfully seductive. (Paul Welsh)