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BOB AND ROBERTA SMITH: ARTISTS ARE A BUNCH OF COWARDS Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, Sat 20 Jul—Sun 1 Sep

Bob and Roberta Smith aren’t your average artist duo. In fact they aren’t a duo at all, but one artist. And his name isn’t Bob Smith, it’s Patrick Brill. This mucking about with pseudonyms might sound like unnecessary obfuscation, but Smith has serious points to make about the making of art.

‘l’ve become completely Bob Smith now,’ the artist explains. ‘The thing started off as a pseudonym and I keep the idea of Roberta going. I really do have a sister called Roberta who was involved with the project early on. I want people to think about their own creativity. Art has always been about one person conveying their ideas about the world to a group of people, and I don’t think that has to be the case. It’s a big whirlpool which you can jump into, so when you’re making a sculpture out of something I’ve

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Collins Gallery, Glasgow, until Sat 10 Aug 000.

Dune .s soineti'iing both magical and honest about the {recess Mai", lvlaclean employ s to make hei photoworks. The ,ai‘ge wages of (l()ll‘-(}.‘;Ii(2 interiors are printed onto a ltiftxf‘itflif‘ilti.t? en‘i‘ulsion apphed (liltXZtl‘, to aluminium

. ‘.e metal can be see". licnzitd the image. but aiso becomes part of the

tacit-s. The result as hat the sheen of ti

z"‘;i;;<;. The ritetal guess the biack and white tones a depth it'lil loin nosit‘, Hit: .'.<:iks an: of domestic ill'i(I'.'I()l'ESI austere. a little

sf‘abnh T)‘.(:l in and i‘ ntir‘g at theatre. Maclean changes "ethnig the rooms she photographs, but controls the "‘age .'.ith cropping and (:(‘iri‘ipositon creating a tension .'.'Z".ii1fht;<:'.eij.<lzi\. and ‘ainliar. \/l"ill£ill\, life-si/e. the viewer cai; i'i‘agii‘t: tlt<> .i11ei‘ior as a set. '.'./herc- events are un‘olding

'iteriov‘s. .'.'()lkf$ ‘3ll()‘.'.’l'ltl actual paintings and works which

int,- ten or .so .'.':;rks i‘oiighlg, tall ElllO three groups: ioom

left in the gallery, you can imagine you are Roberta and whatever you leave in the gallery is a piece by Bob and Roberta Smith.’

Bob and Roberta Smith are engaged in eroding authorship but they go further in attacking the art world directly. ‘In the show, there’s going to be a series of different signs hanging from the ceiling that attack cultural heroes: they’ll say things like “Sartre is a Shithouse” or “Naomi Klein is a Turd.” Then there’s Sculptures to Trip up the Public. On the opening night, I’m going to be filling up handbags brought in by the public with concrete. The idea is that people will walk into the space, look up at the signs and then trip over these bags dotted around on the floor. Anyone can bring a bag, then at the end of the show they can come and pick them up and have an original Bob and Roberta Smith artwork.’

Artists are a Bunch of Cowards is a chance to see Bob and Roberta Smith’s latest work, and to make some yourself as Bob and Roberta. But be careful: ‘There’s


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Attacking cultural heroes

another piece,’ Bob says. ‘There’s some rubbish in the gallery and next to it there’s a sign that says, “Make me something beautiful from this rubbish”. But if you can’t, I’m going to come to your house and stick this broom up your cat’s arse.’ (Jack Mottram)


Wed 7 Aug .0

refer :r, ;}£liltii"{lfi. .'./i'ii'<<,>i‘re.t: i' and Park House .i' show

Y77£lfafé tin/laced oil lanilsc; be paintings in cheap frames

liiii‘g ..ccr:'i:;l‘ti; .'.'alli>a_iit;r: a scene comn‘ion across t the most interesting are tn >sc- where Maclean

".as ’,l($l)l}(}(i tillfl composed even more closely than

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Ill-est,- .'.’,r‘r:.s. a incur,- from her _i‘,"e‘.Ioiis work which (thlilil'f1’t£1’.(:ll£tlll'kllfllltillfilllh'Hf'lifill(ll'tféll'lllUESES. lliese lit:’.'.’ crows iirri'iise more from this Scottish artist. educated at (Glasgow ii<,.'. based ill 1 ondon. lJennifer McGuirei

:-.'.ioiks focus on a :aiiesti I. ’Ilii;l‘1()l‘.. and the seat are back of a cord settee. fret-e is s'ii' milling of the icon. the still life and abstract in


Compass Gallery and Pentagon Centre, Glasgow, until

5 Pointed Stars by Cath Keay

Comp; ss Gallery's annual New Generation Show gathers together a selection of degree show work by graduating students from four Scottish art schools. This year the exhibition is extended to incorporate larger-scale works in a sister exhibition at the Pentagon Centre. Both exhibitions appear to be (l()llllll£lt€‘(l by painting and wall-based work. but to t ssiiine from this that the exhibition has been chosen to attract furnishing buyers would be misleading. as many of the works are far from ‘decorative' in its peiorative sense.

The intention behind the exhibition. to foster new talent and provide an opportunity for newly emerging artists to exhibit in a ‘professional' setting post art—school, is admirable. particularly given the length of the gallery's commitment to the annual show. beginning in the 19(30s. But. good intentions aside. if the suggestion is that the selection here represents the best new talent l.'l Scotland the assertion is arguable. There are undoubtedly excellent works Within the exhibition. but many of them are staid and derivative. and the sparkling han‘iour and sophistication apparent in much of this year's understated crop is largely lacking from this selection.

Among several notable exceptions are Astrid Kruse Jensen's images of isolation and solitude which employ a frozen stillness not dissimilar to Wendy lvlclvlurdo's photograpl‘iy; Tessa Dunlop's delicate line drawings referencing teenage ‘.‘,i'hllll8)'. fashion :nagzmnes and romance and Edmund Coleman's intestinal pink and ruched canvas paintings which are reminiscent of nothing so much as stitched. torn flesh and Silence of the Lambs. iSusannah Thompson)



NICK SARGENT Firth Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat 3 Aug 000

New Work by Nick Sargent is a small exhibition that contains exemplary pieces of art created by using the craft of weaving and stitching on canvas. Drawuig his influence from architecture and archaeology. Sargent has produced canvases that are stitched together and then einbrOidered With wool in various arcs. curves and lines. The canvas is then covered With Oll paint to create depth and character. The end reSLilt is Similar to gazing upon tablets of stone that have been removed from hidden temples or fossils of large crustaceans recovered from the sea. One also unfortunately looks like samples of the textured. decorative patterns of Artex.

Ancient craft techniques with a modern twist

Se/vedge is corn gold With thick stitched lines that possesses the richness and smoothness of gold Itself. It's a beautiful piece that highlights Sargent's skill and patience. Rereos is a large silvery grey work that is more delicate and sparse in nature. It is constructed from squares of canvas stitched together that are embroidered With small, rickety laddtns: all it needs are the snakes to make a giant game board. Other pieces such as KOl’ and the mottled red Legion clearly demonstrate Sargent's craftsmanship as he sWItches between the various methods of design utilising the skills of an ancient craft With a modern twist. ilsabella Went

18 Jill '~ Aug; 230.) THE LIST 97