ART reviews

PHOTOGRAPHY Stanley Kubrick Still Moving Pictures Photographs 1945-1950

lnverleith House, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, until Sun 1 Apr

The Day Of The Fight: Kubrick's pictorial on boxer Walter Cartier

The name itself, synonymous With innovative, exciting, often incredible filmmaking shocild be enough to draw punters to the lush greenery of the Botanics. But those expecting work of the scope and Vision of the great director’s Cinematic endeavours Will be a tad disappomted.

The first thing to bear in mind here is that Kubrick who was only in his late teens/early twenties at the time of these shots was a Jobbing snapper,

PAINTING Observation And Expression

City Art Centre, Edinburgh, until Sat 17 Mar

Primrose Hill by Frank Auerbach

The financial face of art is often masked behind a colourful carnival of images and controversy. However, from the brushstrokes of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers to the creases on the screwed up balls of paper by Martin Creed, art is a financial investment. So it’s only natural that the Royal Bank of Scotland should have accrued a healthy art collection, bUilt by investing shrewdly in both traditional and modern art.

Observations And Expressions is an exhibition of 50 pieces of art from the bank's collection; the connecting theme is figure and place. The first floor of the exhibition unfortunately matches the austere, banal stereotype of banking as we gaze upon financial figures of the past, Definitely not for the walls of the call centre.

88 THE “ST 15 Feb—l Mai 2001

shooting to a tight brief for a variety of


magazmes. Therefore a level of self- €pr€SSl0n which can be found in other ’pure’ art photography is not here

Even so, one problem here is the size of the images. Sure the old adage about not how much you've got but how you use it should hold true, but there are times, when you'll strain to see the shots at all; they mea5ure only a couple of inches across and look like they’ve been lifted from the original magazmes. This being the case, why not then show them in their original context (the newspaper pageSI instead?

One of the most captivating works on show is a photo story entitled ’Glamorous Boy In Big Baggy Pants’, featuring the then aspiring young actor Montgomery Clift. Kubrick captures him lounging around his apartment, eating, drinking coffee and just generally hanging out looking gorgeous, revealing the chiselled beauty that was to capture the imagination of cinemagoers for years to come. Kubrick's pictorial on boxer Walter Cartier is captivating at pomts too, but doesn’t feel like he has fully portrayed the tension and dynamics of the events, perhaps the most fascmating elements of such a study.

Photojournalism can be a most expressive window into the world, both contemporary and bygone, but this is a mere snapshot of what is possible and is significant only because

of the name above the door. As for the

genius of Kubrick, this only gives a minute indication of what was to come. (Mark Robertson)

On the second floor is a mixture of

modern observations on the rhythms of nature and place. Frank Auerbach’s

interpretation of Primrose Hill in North London is a colourful abstract painting

With Auerbach’s trademark thick wedges of oil scraped and shaped i

across the board. Elisabeth Vellacott’s

interpretation of ’Jesus driving the

Pharisees from the temple of Jerusalem’ is wonderfully witty, as we see Jesus driving the tourists and

photographers from King’s College

Chapel. In this age of the celebrity it makes you wonder what the public and media would do in the event of Jesus reappearing.

Andy Goldsworthy, Susan Derges and John Virtue all show deep respect for nature and its power. The cracked lines running through Goldsworthy’s work is a fissure into the energy of nature. Derges’ four-part photogram of a section of the River Twain is an absorbing piece of art. As you gaze at the ripples and swirls in the leafed dappled water, you want to trail your fingers through it and make a personal pattern. Virtue’s dark landscape is a tribute to the abstract qualities of nature.

Perhaps the most pleasing mental juxtaposition of the exhibition is Gary Hume’s painting of Francis Bacon. Bacon looks like a chocolate-faced transvestite and, when compared with the rigidity of previous portraiture, it is highly amusing.

Worth banking a little of your time.

(Isabella Weir)

Satellite 2 The Arches, Glasgow, until Sat 21 Feb

The exposed brick work, hardwood and chrome fittings of the new Arches cafe bar create a slightly overwhelming context for the second display of works from Satellite studios. The exhibition is an eclectic and slightly haphazard display, With photographs tucked apologetically on the stairwell, While Penny Sharp’s unattractive cling film sculpture perches uneaSily atop of the threshold to the club.

Given the situation, the works shown to their best advantage are those of modest proportions and intent, such as Keyin Hutcheson’s Vintage Violence, which combines found text, penCil script and red paint on lined foolscap paper There is hint of now in the scripted phrase (’lOO Suspects And The Jail Bait Blonde’) combined With a stylistic nod to old fashioned children’s comics. Tony Swain’s Dai/y Compilation 7, 2 8: 3, a series of collage and painted compositions in 505 Formica colours, also has an appealing sharpness and subtlety

Elsewhere Pervaze Mohammed shows a series of three Cibachrome prints, entitled Bad/ands 00, which recall Jane and Louise Wilson’s eerie footage of Stasi City and Greenham Common. Mohammed’s enigmatic images capture ceilings dripping With peeling paint and strip lights sliding inexorably to the floor in an abandoned building.

Sadly, the other pieces, including Video and photography works, lose the fight for attention with this most stylish setting. (Sarah Lowndes)

Eclectic but haphazard display


Noble Grossart Painting Prize Glasgow School Of Art, Mackintosh Gallery, Glasgow, until Fri 23 Feb t +

Figuration, abstraction, landscape, still life, surrealist, realist, expressionist, contemporary, traditional . . . the Noble Grossart Painting Prize always manages to represent a broad section of practice in Scotland. This year’s exhibition is no exception.

All the paintings are evenly sized and tastefully framed. Using familiar painterly idioms, they are predominantly traditional in execution and content. There's a fair splattering of more contemporary works, of which Leslie SomerVille’s Negative Source is a notable example. A monochrome painting of a magnified object, its photographic, blurred feel leaves the painting hovering between abstraction and realism.

Nearby Graham Flack’s painting Be-Longing is a bold, dynamic expressionistic

depiction of a head, which has an almost phy5ica| presence on the wall. While

Mark lanson’s picture 46, of a football player is an allusive, ethereal invocation of former glories. For those of you who crave more secure aesthetic ground, James McDonald’s Bread and Water is a virtuoso example of painterly technique. Rendered in loving detail his still life recalls the work of 17th century Dutch masters.

There’s nothing startling here. If you go looking for the cutting-edge of

contemporary painting you’ll leave disgruntled. But those of you With more

traditional tastes‘won’t be disappointed. (John Beagles) A __


Wendy Ewald - Secret Games: Collaborative Works with Children

1969—1999 Stills, Edinburgh, until Sat 17 Mar

it '1' ‘fi *fi

How to best express the lives of their subjects is a problem that has long preoccupied documentary photographers. From the exploitative and voyeuristic, to the overly sentimental, to posed photographs that allow some control over self representation, in almost all cases lived lives have been mediated by the particular way of seeing of the photographer.

Wendy Ewald, however, has an intriguing solution to this dilemma: give the camera to the subjects themselves. As an educator Ewald has been involved in various projects around the world, teaching children to take photographs in such places as South Africa, Canada and Mexico. Works like / for Imposter, a self portrait of a Central American migrant living in North Carolina, prowde pOignant insight into lived experience, as interpreted by children's indiVidual Viewpoints. Even Ewald’s own work is negotiated by the v0ices of the people that she photographs, such as the stories of Alicia that accompany images of Columbia.

This is beautiful photography with a noble cause at its core. There is only one

Photography with a noble cause

problem; Ewald may blur the distinction between artist and subject but it is her

name we will remember and not that of her numerous child prodigies. (Donna Conwell)