ARNE JACOBSEN: EVERGREENS AND NEVERGREENS
The Lighthouse, Glasgow, until Sun 3 Nov 000
The latest exhibition of the work of Danish architect/designer Arne Jacobsen compares ‘evergreens’ with ‘nevergreens’ - juxtaposing items which are still in production with rare pieces that were either unrealised or discontinued. The approach may be simple, but in comparing the two categories, the exhibition invites the visitor to consider why some designs were successful where others failed.
Among all potential design classics, there is something particularly iconic about the chair. Pushing cutlery, crockery, tables, desks, lamps and even buildings to one side, the chair has frequently become the hallmark of a designer or the symbol of an era.
For Arne Jacobsen, that chair was undoubtedly The Ant of 1952, a simple, Eames-inspired, stackable, three-legged chair made of moulded plywood with a tubular steel base. The chair achieved its iconic status through its central role in Lewis Morley’s infamous photograph of Christine Keeler (the key player in the 1960s Profumo scandal). Despite the fact that the chair was a fake Jacobsen, The Ant itself became a hit, bringing new meaning to the phrase ‘bums on seats’ and making design sexy.
But, thanks to an overkill of ‘new
PAINTING ALAN KILPATRICK: EAST
Firth Gallery, Edinburgh, until Mon 28 Oct 0.00
Alan Kilpatrick's latest exhibition East follows on from last year's show. Stills. where studies of the sea undulated in charcoal monochrome. Now. oil paint slips across board. creating the movement of sea and the light reflecting off it.
The show mainly consists of small, glossy tablets where thick. smooth. varnished oil covers the chunky MDF. And it is in Kilpatrick's close-up studies. focusing on a segment of sea or sky where he is most successful. Night Series l—V/l. with various visions into the dark skies evoke a seductive mysteriousness. Eclipse l and // with their hazy moonlight. particularly. have captured a brooding vision.
Kilpatrick's paintings of waves convey something of a photographic quality in their silvery green tones. but they
look’ retro style, some Jacobsen designs now rest delicately between kitsch and classic, a point that is not avoided in the exhibition. The Vola fittings, designed in the late 60$ for the National Bank of Denmark, were mass-produced in the 19705 and painted in fashionable colours rather than the more expensive original chromium plating. Purely due to their familiarity, some items now look more like props from Abigail’s Party than the pinnacle of pared-down,
Svanen (The Swan), 1958
Despite these associations, the exhibition highlights Jacobsen’s ability to create highly functional pieces which appear effortlessly elegant. Ironically, though, the design of the exhibition itself reflects little of the understated, streamlined panache of the works within it. Rather, it echoes the current vogue for pre- packaged, over-designed exhibition spaces and clumsy, themed displays. (Susannah Thompson)
are more than just a frozen still. The movement of
brushstrokes suggests the deeper forces of the sea. pulling
and pushing in its ebb and flow.
The series John Muir comprises miniature seascapes showing different perspectives of sand. sea and sky. introducing new colours: pinks. purples and oranges reflect in clouds and sea. They glow rich in their oil hues. but the series is not quite so arresting as the closer-up segments.
As a whole. though. East provides delicate and subtle nuggets of the elemental world. (Ruth Hedges)
88 THE LIST 17—31 Oct 2002
Street Level, Glasgow, until Sat 16 Nov 000
Phil Kay stars in Rego’s video piece Roundabout
Whether it's a D-list celeb detailing the process of an
agonismg style makeover or a nondescript member of the
public soapboxing away about some niche political stance. the video diary has become an over-familiar teleVision format. With Roundabout and Deep under the Skin. Antonio Rego side-steps the fact that lo-res pieces-to-camera have become a hackneyed stylistic tic on television. homing in on what made them popular in the first place: direct
Roundabout is footage of a string of artists from various fields communicating right at us from the front seat of a car. Some lecture. some spin anecdotes. some rant as they motor around. symbolically enough. in circles. Deep under the Skin covers Similar territory. but at a tangent. This time. the Glasgow-based artists read passages from their favourite books. allowmg us a glimpse of their inspiration.
The two works work thanks to Rego's light t0uch. He allows his subjects a free rein. becoming a conduit for the ideas of others. or a Curator of opinions. This authorlessness is. of c0urse. something of an illusion. for Rego's hand is on the tiller at all times. but they succeed thanks to the seemingly unbroken link between Rego's subjects and his audience. (Jack Mottraml
EYE TO THE HORIZON
Napier University, Marchmont Campus, Edinburgh, until Fri 8 Nov 0...
Eye to the Horizon puts forward different approaches to the art of landscape photography. A fine selection of pictures by Scotland-based photographers. it captures everything from the political to the purely meditative.
Susanne Ramsenthaler's work is concerned with how and what photography can record. Using a pinhole camera. she turns her lens on the point of where the earth and the sky meets. This fleeting moment is encompassed into a single image. allowing the viewer to further contemplate the scene.
Still by Iain Stewart
in the two painterly works by lain Stewart — Still and Backtrack — he pushes the medium to the verge of abstraction. Photographing the horizon and a field of grass just as the morning mist is lifting. he pares down nature to its most minimal form. exposing a sensual and poetic vision.
Similarly abstract are recent graduate Neil Shirreff's C-type prints entitled Untitled ff he Sublime — A Work in Progressl. Sublime they most certainly are. Focusing on the land as a source for leisure. Shirreff photographs the sculpted mound of grass from a golf course in close-up. The rich green with light and dark used to great effect. he leaves the viewer with an intense visual expenence.
Patricia Macdonald photographs the land and sea from a bird's-eye Viewpoint. In a triptych of aerial photographs of frozen lochs in Rannoch Moor as the ice begins to melt. she captures the breathtaking beauty while bringing to light the destruction of our natural environment.
An interesting and often mesmerising interpretation of the landscape.