l“; J BRIAN HEWITT: LIFE TIME lag... Corn Exchange Gallery. Edinburgh. .. until Wed 15 Apr 0..
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TOBY PATERSON: EVER GROWING NEVER OLD
The Modern institute, Glasgow, until Thu 9 Apr 0000.
For anyone who’s ever stood in front of a piece of work by Toby Paterson and thought, ‘It’s nice . . . but I just don’t get it’, then this exhibition is for you. Ever Growing Never Old is a clear statement of how Paterson works, what inspires him, and how he gets from the ‘A' of his modernist source material to the ‘B' of his own work.
The product of a number of visits to Central and Eastern Europe, this exhibition encapsulates Paterson‘s experience during his travels, while staying simultaneously rooted in his long-established interest in the physical presence and ideological (and in this case very much political) background of the modern built environment.
Some of this feels vaguely familiar: there is a large- scale wall painting, and a variety of ‘hybrid’ pieces that skirt the boundary between architectural model and modern sculpture, but there is an unusually soft, painterly quality to these works. Brushstrokes are subtly visible on surfaces, or explicitly so, as in the
painted background that covers parts of the gallery walls.
The inclusion of photography, in the shape of two perfectly formed photomontages with candy coloured backgrounds (‘Nowa Huta Colour Study’, a large print of a section of apartment building and its surroundings, and a series of photographs of a dilapidated, graffiti- tagged Coca Cola kiosk) enables the viewer to see quite clearly the sources of many of Paterson’s ideas. The pastel hues on a building’s facade can be traced throughout the exhibition, while the Coca Cola kiosk, originally a beacon of modern capitalism, is transformed via Paterson’s six pristine painted elevations.
Paterson skilfully splices formal and aesthetic concerns with the very real social and political themes present within these particular urban landscapes. Visual interest and pleasure coexist alongside a solid conceptual framework - there is excitement and life in what could be dry architectural forms. If you don’t like Paterson's work, this exhibition isn’t going to sway you one jot, but if you do (or think you might if you could get your head around exactly what’s going on), then this may well make you a true believer. (Liz Shannon)
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Mary Mary, Glasgow, until Sat 28 Mar 000
Berlrn-based ar'trst Mrchael Hakrrrrr exhrbrts large rrrorromrorrratrr, uorrrputer generated prrnts on paper. blown up olrl—scnoo! .rre'.‘/frrr(l(:r'). MD? ‘str'/,tur‘:'. aw: an object's aura captured on canaas. Hakrrnr's .vork develop; through a prawn: of formal reductron. He uses hrs urban lanrlsc; pe as a resource rte/rm. :r', rt constantly sat on hrs balcony wrth a telesrLOpe. recorrlrrrr} snapshots at M; /',or'-', rn and out. He prcks out geometrrc forms. rotates them and rrrarrrpurate'. segments. whrch then rrraterralrse rnto new matter. Thrs scopoplrrlra her/W (:3 ;, prrvate currency — an exchange .‘xhere botn consurnptron anrl prcrl rr, .' apt/w through mere obser/atron.
Whrle hrs 20 rnrages are well rendered through CGI. hrs 30 works acurrrrr; :: natural chrarOSCuro by means of the changrng lrght corrortrons tlrr; garter, spam,- The works Srt very comfortably ‘J/rthrn therr envrronrrrerrt. In fact. the; seen: Mm,“ aware of themselves. as rt practrsmg a type of medrtatrorr — ther' nor/ten tr'rlrry; vrbratrng on a speCral new treQuency: yer; alert. yet very ri'uc‘rr rn neerl of therr whrte Cubesque locale. ‘Modrfred Drrvrng Drrectrons to the Junk-Yard rn Werlrlrrrrg' was observed from afar. but ‘2499' ldeprctrng the Outlrne of a pnee tagr must have reQurred the artrst to nrp down to the shops. because some exchange nas demanded the use of real corns to the value of 24.99 Euros. As a ~rrener. you have to work a Irttle brt. but the reSults are qurte rewardrng rTalrtha Kotzer
'88 THE LIST r9 Mar—2 Apr 2009