After nearly 20 years, KEN CURRIE is back on display in his home city. So what’s changed?

Words: Jack Mottram

hc last timc Kcn (‘urric

mountcd a major cxliibiliott

of painting in (ilasgow was 1983. a long timc ago for an artist who has always bccn (ilasgow- bascd. and closcly associatcd with thc city. 'l‘hc ncw show. of both brand ncw' and rcccnt work. marks thc publication ol a monograph by Tom Normand of St Andrcws L'niycrsity. tuapping (‘urric’s carccr to datc from his graduation from (ilasgow School of Art in 1982 to his rcccnt rcturn as a Visiting prol‘cssor in thc painting dcpartmcnt. ‘l’m rcncwing links with thc placc l Mi 2() ycars ago and all thcsc things —1 thc book. thc cxhibition. thc prol'cssorship arc intcrrclatcd.’ hc says.

As cycr. thc political looms largc in ('urric’s work. bttt thosc who rcmcmbcr his carlicr cndcayours might wcll bc surpriscd with rcccnt output. "l'hcrc was a pcrccption of my work as oycrtly political. and that’s now bccomc a misconccption.’ hc says. "l‘hosc social and political thcmcs arc still thcrc. bttt at an almost subliminal lcycl. ’l‘hcrc‘s also a pct'ccplioti about how my work looks: that it‘s always largc scalc. that it‘s narratiyc. l'yc moycd away from that towards imagcs that arc morc allusiyc. Now I‘m rcally cxpccting thc \‘icwcr to construct thcir own narratiyc. it. you want to call it that. from thc confrontation with thc work of art in from of thcm. I think my work is less didactic than it was in thc past.’

l.css didactic maybc. but thc thcmcs likcly to bc coycrcd in thc Mackintosh (iallcry show tracc a Iinc that runs back through to (‘urric's carlicst paintings. 'ln tcrms of thc thcmatic unity of thc show. I‘m not rcally surc what will happcnf says (‘urric. "l‘hcrc will bc a mixturc ol work that is rccognisably liguratiy c and. by

way of contrast. works that arc cmpticd of thc human naturc oi \ iolcncc.

ligurc. with a suggcstion ol' human prcscnccs. l'yc rcccntly bccn touching on mattcrs to do with thc body and mcdical issucs. \Vc think of an issuc likc canccr as bcing a sort of dark l'orcc. but as soon as yott look into it you scc that [Mac arc massch socio-cconottiic factors in it. It‘s mostly thc poor that sccm to gct ccrtain typcs ol

canccr. as a dircct rcsult oi thcir powrty. In thc largci‘ compositions. l‘ll bc touching on ccrtain socio-

Shroud (for Maria Vozensensky), oil on canvas, 2000

‘The social and political themes are still there, but at an almost subliminal Ievel’

political issucs. showing ligurcs cngagcd in \iolcnt

acts. or possibly i‘lccing i'rom \iolcnt acts. ’l‘hcsc paintings look at \iolcttl aspccts ol‘ urban lil'c. thc

86 THE LIST ' 'z

and thc naturc oi political \‘iolcncc.’

lli cl'l'cct. lliis slttm is :t chancc l'or (ilasgow to rcncw its i'clationship with ('urric. and thc artist has found thc show to bc a nct‘yc-wracking prmpcct: ‘I think pcoplc arc maybc waiting to makc up thcir minds as to whcthcr I‘m making any dcccnt work at thc momcnt.’ hc say s. 'l

just hopc that thc l'iual hanging crcatcs a show that is as pow crl'ul and compclling as possiblcf

Ken Currie - Recent Work, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Sat 28 Sep-Sat 16 Nov.


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ESIAYING W! I H 53} iHlfll i Y. izitff; (1? int; lltléillUllfS hooks. Il‘ l)£llii(i.llill last year's [)o No? [in/Ni. '.'..'|!E i><:- i)I<:;i:;(‘:<i to l‘.(‘:(i,' that {t 1103/ (mitochori o‘ (iigrxxttitisa ‘.‘./|ll l)(: l)lll)ltf§lli3(l i», iiOtlEiiUHt‘: PRESS Ill ()ctolio'. (stititioti Humru; firm/(2:1Hum/7!.


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u naturism David Shrigley’s new book

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i hath?! llilf§l>l0tlllt7t31ll‘.'.t)!i(?‘.‘.' strinpttaot; App {ilitl l)t:~r {out} .<>r2/'\.//')g1/.l<>i mom

Il"'()tttt('tf L‘lt ‘.'.".'."~.'..tlltflllltltlnil‘.tit)l7l EDINBURGH HAS A NEW gallery in the form of Tag Team Experiment. Set up by artist Billy McCall in his house, the space aims to create a new curatorial structure in which artists have a little more control of the context of their work. Kicking off with the work of Mike Nelson and Rachel Lowe, a further 22 artists will show work including Chad McCall.