PAINTING IAN DAVENPORT lngleby Gallery, Edinburgh, Wed 19 Nov-Sat 20 Dec
Colour is the first thing that you notice about an Ian Davenport painting. Its visual impact is almost palpable. The shiny, high-gloss surface pulls you in. How can he achieve such a manufactured, immaculate finish? But then when you look closer, you notice drips of stray paint, a blemish here, a blob of paint there. What at first sight appears to be a perfect circle is in fact not.
For Davenport’s forthcoming show at the lngleby Gallery, his first ever selling show in Scotland, he has created a new series of ‘Circle’ and ‘Tip’ paintings and for the first time, works on paper made by pouring paint down the face of the paper pinned to a wall. Exploring the architecture of the gallery space, he has produced a body of works whereby the colours respond to each other. Black with delicate lines of pillar box red. Turquoise blue with a circular outline of lime green.
The juxtaposition of colour is integral to the works.
Turquoise/Lime Green/Turquoise (inset); Six Various Red Panels 2003
‘l’m not really interested in an abstraction that exists just out of nowhere,’ says Davenport. ‘It has to exist in the real world for me and there has to be things that you draw from.’
Using mass-produced materials - liquid gloss paint and MDF - Davenport makes his paintings look as industrial and as machine-made as possible, but it can take several months to complete one painting due to the drying times of his chosen paint.
‘The original idea for the circle paintings came from making pancakes,’ explains Davenport. ‘The way I make paintings is to pour liquid straight out of a watering can and the way it spreads the circle shape reminded me a lot about pancakes. When you make pancakes you flip then upside down so it occurred to me that by flipping the painting upside down it would stop the paint from spreading at a particular moment so that’s how these circle shapes are made.’
The finished works are sensual and sexy. They have an almost sculptural quality.
He uses a colour palette derived not from nature, but from the city. From commercial advertising and cars to a stripy, vinyl curtain seen in a kebab shop. One of the works in the show which employs different shades of red was inspired by the rows of lipstick, lined up on a
GROUP snow DISPARATE MEASURES
lnterrnedia Gallery, Glasgow, until Fri 21 Nov .00
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(Statement for the Procurator Fiscal) by James Robertson
Disparate Measures is exactly that. The artists gathered here have little in common. except that they are artists. In the Window of Intermedia. Ola Gustafsson is showmg a controlled explosion of geometric shapes. More
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Car Crash Blue
’The gloss paint is somewhere between paint and a material itself because it’s so fluid and it acts in a more sculptural way to normal paints,’ he says. ‘I think I was always drawn to sculpture so I think my paintings are somewhere between a painting and sculpture, more
two and half dimensional than two.’ (Helen Monaghan)
than anything. it looks like one of the staple. impossible questions in IQ tests. asking which polygon comes next in a sequence. Inside the door. Emily Field presents La Gi'iera. the results of a study of MeXican wolf- whistling. A map shows the location of each harassment and annotated pencil portraits show us the perps. It looks like Field is mirroring the whistlers here: each portrait is an objectifying mug— shot. with notes pointing to ‘completely white hair' or ‘two moles'. with the assessments hovering somewhere between forensic examination and muted mockery.
Next comes Elizabeth Robertson's slight pencil sketch of a rooster. pinned up next to a small white shelf. Ben Watson is similarly obtuse. repeating the word ‘tat' in boldface capitals over a tartan backgrounr‘l. It is unclear whether this is merely a minimal
critique of the Scottish t0urist industry. or something more. Brian Love. meanwhile. offers a series of portraits. oddly adorned. perhaps a joke at the expense of artists drawn to lazy shock tactics. A middle-aged woman is garnished with Christmas decorations. a tracksuited lad has his lace framed with tinsel and a mournful-looking chap is rendered comic with some gogeg plastic eyes.
Finally. curator James Robertson shows a series of stills. showing the aftermath of a car crash. Next to them, a narrative explains the event. foregrounding the problems of documentary work by repeating the phrase ‘voyeuristic nature'. A good set of work then, with each artist allowed room to breathe. instead of being corralled into place by the gratuitous theming that all too often afflicts group shows. (Jack Mottram)
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Future artworks da Vinci style
UNREALISED DREAMS BY Beagles and Ramsay is the latest project hosted on the New Media Scotland website at http://host.mediascot.org. It was originally a poster commission for Zenomap at the Venice Biennale, and the artist duo have come up with a number of humorous proposals for possible future artworks, public sculptures, exhibitions and even musicals in the style of Leonardo da Wnci. The work is also on show at Stills Gallery, Edinburgh until 21 December.
SUBMISSIONS ARE INVITED FOR the annual Alastair Salvesen Scholarship 2004 which awards the winner up to $210,000 for travel and a solo exhibition in the newly refurbished Royal Scottish Academy. The prize is open to painters between the ages of 25 and 35 living and working in Scotland. and who have studied at a Scottish art school and graduated at least three years ago. Applications and further information is available from Colin Greenslade. Exhibitions Coordinator. Royal Scottish Academy. The M0und. Edinburgh. EH2 2EL. Tel: 0131 225 6671. The closing date for applications is 14 January 2004. GLASGOW PRINT STUDIO HAS received National Lottery Funding towards the purchase of a new etching press, screenprinting table and a state of the art digital imaging suite. But it still needs to raise 25% of the total cost. Elizabeth Blackadder has stepped in to help raise funds by producing and donating a new colour screenprint entitled Lillies and Poppies, for a cost of £600 plus VAT. To make an order call 0141 552 1394. AND THE WINNER OF THE RIBA Award for Architecture. Best Building in Scotland 2003 goes to . . An Turas in Tiree, a viewing platform made in collaboration between Sutherland Hussey Architects with Jake Harvey. Glen Onwin. Donald Urquhart and Sandra Kennedy.