Per Kirkeby: Making/Thinking

Edinburgh: Danish Cultural Institute until Fri 27 Nov; Matthew Architecture Gallery until Sun 29 Nov ‘k it i *

As the maker of 'buildings without function', the Danish artist, Per Kirkeby is seen as perhaps a little eccentric in these no-nonsense British Isles. His work is exhibited infrequently here - a big painting show at London's Whitechapel and a show at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket in 1985. But winds of change are blowing: is the nation loosing its scepticism? Earlier this year, the Tate showed some of his paintings and a new brick sculpture. Now in Edinburgh, two venues are given over to the work of the 60-year-old artist, forming part of Manifesto, the city's early October festival of architecture and design.

His red-brick ’buildings without function’ are curiously engaging. In a series of photographs these buildings walls, arches, enclosures - show a hushed monumentality. Built in wooded glades, next to the water or in a urban setting, you get the sense that you could stumble across them, much like encountering some ancient folly or classical ruin.

However Kirkeby doesn't go in for embellishments or accessorising with classical bits or bobs. Simplicity is the name of his game. His works define space and, rather like the other well-known 'brick-layer’, Carl Andre, they hint at creation both in the biblical sense of God fashioning

clay or in the everyday sense of just trying to create a sense of order in a chaotic world. They are punctuation marks in a non-stop world. But Kirkeby is no high- minded individual who just deals in precious notions. He has also talked about the work as being ’about the possibility of playing hide and seek and about the presence of a wall against which the beholder can play


The making/thinking aspect of Kirkeby comes to the

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One of Per Kirkeby's 'buildings without function'

fore in his gouaches. Exploratory and resolutely rough and ready, these drawings show him fathoming out of form and function. They are visual equivalents to scratching the head. Though difficult to ’read’, there is a real sense of urgency to the work. It as if Kirkeby lets off creative steam in these and his terracotta models, before coolly and pragmatically going on to build his

red-brick and highly-disciplined ‘buildings without

function’. (Susanna Beaumont)

Jim Harold

Edinburgh: Portfolio Gallery until Sat 7 Nov it **‘K

There's not an oasis in sight in Jim Harold’s exhibition of photographs entitled Desert -- Between The Lines, At The Limits Nor is there so much as a solitary figure in the landscape. What there is, is miles and miles of both natural and man-made terrain, all of which look paradoxrcally either Biblical as if the great Creator had taken a tea break before deciding to

create the birds and the bees or else akin to some sci-fi post-Armageddon

scenario. Shots of Cyprus' long-abandOned,

no-man's land buffer zone, created by z

the UN after military actions of 1974, lay bare the eerie sights of derelict airports, burnt-out Oil drums and long- forgotten minefields. Elsewhere the rolling infinity of the Egyptian deserts appears through the heat-haze like a spaghetti western film set in search of a soundtrack.

What these two 'landscapes at the

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margins' achieve is a counterpoint of time and space that completes the circle of order and chaos, with everything in-between left to the imagination. And yet, despite the apparent stillness of both outposts,

Agia Marina area in Turkish held Cyprus by Jim Harold

take a leap beyond the framework and worlds in motion are lurking either in the shape of observing armies manning Nicosia’s look-out posts, or else seismic political power shifts and human turmoil. (Neil Cooper)

reviews ART

Satan Oscillate My

Metallic Sonatas Glasgow: Fly Gallery until Sun 18 Oct *‘k‘k

A public statement by Ross Birrell

One of the better things about Satan Oscillate My Metallic Sonatas besides the show's curiously engaging and palindromic title is the range of mixed-media work by four Glasgow- based artists. Another is that the artworks stand refreshingly naked in the somewhat brutal gallery space - always a healthy challenge.

Glaring out from a white wall are Justin Carter's six paintings using camouflage patterning as a means to comment on the conventions of landscape painting. Simple in their design and perhaps - concept, they manage to intoxicate. The tight confines of the small canvas actually seem to demand to be stretched across the whole gallery, particularly Suicide Commando Pattern (Iran).

Elsewhere a hazard sign on a wall innocently states that there is danger nearby: it is Torsten Lauschmann's sinister black block sitting on the gallery floor. Meanwhile Ross Birrell, who recently was to be found interrogating philosophical concepts and notions of the gallery space at Glasgow's CCA, and Stuart Purdy add further intriguing oscillations.

(Lindsay Perth)

Known Remembered

Forgotten Found

Glasgow: lntermedia Gallery until Sat 17 Oct ***

This striking show from Hilde Ash and Merlyn Holmes forms part of the events celebrating fifteen years of Women's Health in Glasgow. The artists' approach to their work contrasts well, but both have similar things to say.

Ash’s work occupies the front area of the gallery and explores themes of self and identity with various beautiful cabinets, filled with found and collected objects, many of which make references to illness and disability. By contrast, on the other side of the gallery are Holmes’ white sculptures. Positioned directly on the gallery floor, they give the impression of being torn and wounded. They demand silence and a degree of reverence.

(Lindsay Perth)

STAR RATINGS an: i * 1k Unmissable t * * it Very * an: Won a shot * air Below average * . You've been warned

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