galleries 0 museums - lectures & events
The Dead Gums. Tasmania by Robert Madaurin
PAINTING REVIEW Terra Nullius ***t
Terra Nullius means empty land, but Robert Maclaurin's landscape paintings show that the Australian landscape is teeming with texture and activity. In his monumental oils, apparently open spaces are crammed with growth: trees and shrubs, grasses, termite activity. Even where the scene is desolate, the contours of the land itself suggest business - a kind of hustle in the landscape.
Alongside these works are dozens of small paintings on wood, like souvenir painted cigar-boxes, which seem to suggest the work of a Victorian traveller. These paintings are like vignettes, a kind of rapid note-taking that captures the essential information. Not sketches as such, but postcards from the edge of the wilderness. (Moira Jeffrey)
I Terra Nul/ius, Talbot Rice Gallery, 650 227 7, until 77 Sep, Mon-Sat 70am-5pm, Sun 2-5pm, free.
GROUP SHOW REVIEW **** Welcome
They teeter on the brink: either they are pictures of wide-eyed childhood innocence, or disturbing images of children who have fast-tracked it to adult life. Nicky Hoberman's photographic works provoke a deluge of responses. But who said children were all Coco Pop sweet, living in a land of sweet dreams?
And who said living in the land of
jI '5 ‘- I x
floral wallpaper was always fragrant? Nina Saunders‘s Smothered is an expanse of rose-covered wallpaper overpainted to become near- grotesque. Elsewhere there is a corner that will forever be decorated in pink. Here, in a sitting room, a child's swing continually moves back and forward; while in Emily Bates' photographs, men parade naked backsides tufted with pig-tails of hair. The weirdness of life behind the front door - yet somehow this show does not quite hit the heart of the domestic interior. (Susanna Beaumont)
I Welcome, Stills Gallery, until 25 Sep, Tue-Sat loam-6pm, free.
In two companion exhibitions, painter and printmaker Hisashi Momose brings together traditional Japanese craft skills and western influences. His two- dimensional works meld geometric abstraction and modern techniques with something magical to produce a gently sculptural dimension.
Using materials such as Nepalese paper, pigment and canvas, his banners and screenprints are both ethereal and dense. His 'square reversible' prints use the cube as a basic building block. By layering colour on both sides of the paper support, they become a succession of paper- thin screens — each pulling back to reveal another. (Moira Jeffrey)
I Hisashi Momose Prints, Edinburgh Printmakers (Venue 744) 557 24 79,
PHOTOGRAPHY REVIEW Angels ****
John Stezaker's Demon
Spooky. John Stezaker has manipulated portraits from a catalogue of a defunct children’s modelling agency to create grotesquely fascinating images of 'perfected' beauty. By splitting the original down the centre of the face and splicing two identical duplicated halves, Stezaker has come up with something bizarre and unsettling. The symmetry and extra width are weird enough, but it's the precocious. self-confidence of the models - groomed and grinning as if for a toothpaste ad - that lends an additionally sinister note. Their expressions of preening contentment seem to challenge
our own disquiet.
In the series Cross , nudes have been vertically divided and two unrelated halves placed together to form sexual hybrids teetering between adolescence and adulthood. Here the effect is perhaps less dramatic because the manipulation is instantly apparent, whereas the child models catch you unawares. For instance, in Colossus, a baby boy is rendered not so sweet. ‘AhI' turns to ‘arghI' before you know it. With cloning and genetic modification sparking so much debate, this is a timely exhibition.
I Angels, Portfolio Gallery (Venue 42) 220 797 7, until 4 Sep, Mon-Sat
70. 30am-5. 30pm, free.
Balcony No 126 by Emily Bates on show In Welcome
until 77 Sep, Tue-Sat 70am—6pm; Paperworks, Royal Museum, until 7 Nov, Mon-Sat 70am-5pm (Tue 8pm) Sun noon-5pm, £3 (E 7.50).
ART REVIEW Loving Las Vegas hr
Las Vegas — what can you say. It’s a place at the end of the world, at the end of the century. While scholars identified post-modernism at their desks, Las Vegas invented it and still lives it every day.
Here, a group of artists connected to the University of Nevada reflect on the city; and the city, it seems, is literally reflective. Bright lights bounce off every surface in the photographs. Unfortunately, even the better works can't stand up to the fact that they are hung apologetically in dingy corridors. A fascinating idea has become a damp squib. (Moira Jeffrey)
I Loving Las Vegas (Fringe) University of Las Vegas, Randolph Studio (Venue 55) 225 5366, until 30 Aug, daily 2—7 7pm, free.
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Flinging open its doors in celebration of the spirit of festival internationalism, this private house shows work by the Russian Guennadi Vassilkov and the Chinese-German artist Walter Ding. At a time when everything from garages to church halls are turned into performance spaces, it is pleasing to see an open- doors policy coming in to play on the city's art lovers.
Vassilkov’s works are mini- constructions. Pieces of wood and toy soldiers are set against a backdrop of colour. Framed by a thick surround of wood, the works are like micro- archaeological sites, in that they excavate a wealth of influences. Ding's paintings are expanses of lightly textured colour painted with a proficient lmpressionistic touch. (Susanna Beaumont)
I Oneness, 24 Royal Circus (Venue 24) until 4 Sep, Mon-Sat 7 7am-6pm.
19—26 Aug 1999 TIIE "8T 85