‘I’M BRINGING BACK SOME OF MY EARLIEST REFERENCES’ Hitlist THE BEST EXHIBITIONS *
✽✽ Toby Paterson Career retrospective exploring Paterson’s abiding interest in the relationship between abstraction and reality as well as the deconstruction of post- war modernist architecture. See review, page 89. Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sun 28 Mar. ✽✽ Karla Black: Sculptures Last chance to see these incredible new sculptures made from everyday household materials by Scottish artist Black. Inverleith House, Edinburgh, until Sun 9 Feb. ✽✽ Love Thought-provoking group exhibition exploring three artistic and personal partnerships. Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow, until Fri 19 Feb. ✽✽ Duncan Campbell: Make It New John Glasgow-based artist Campbell looks into the chequered career of automobile manufacturer John DeLorean. Reviewed next issue. Tramway, Glasgow until Sun 14 Mar. ✽✽ Steffi Klenz: Nummianus Photographs of boarded up terraced houses in Manchester by the German- born artist. Reviewed next issue. Street Level Photo Works, Glasgow, until Sat 27 Mar. ✽✽ Alexis Marguerite Teplin: 5cm Higher Teplin’s practice combines art history and pop culture to create collaged works that explore history, desire and the feminine. See preview, left. Mary Mary, Glasgow, Sat 6 Feb–Sat 27 Mar. ✽✽ Vivienne Edgar: Nature with Nature Within Images of nature depicted in mixed media, with a ‘secret garden’ of paints and pastels. See picture caption, page 90. Art’s Complex, Edinburgh, Sat 6–Fri 19 Feb.
One foot in the past Uncompromising artist Alexis Marguerite Teplin talks to Rosalie Doubal about the unique blend of art history and pop culture that informs her practice
V oluptuous, salacious and lavishly overshooting the decorative, Alexis Marguerite Teplin’s paintings are as visually arresting as they are referentially dense. Boundless pleasures can be sourced from the unpacking of their rich montages. The Californian-born, London-based artist’s new body of work should enjoy great attention, for, in her exploration of history, desire and the feminine, Teplin unusually avoids aesthetic compromises. Her works are Rococo with an early modernist veneer, and while her collaged works on paper make kaleidoscopic references to her artistic and literary forbearers, her brushwork is consistently colourful and animated.
‘In the new body of work I’m bringing back some of my earliest references,’ Teplin explains. ‘I will be linking Joseph Beuys, Robert Morris and Robert Barker’s Panoramic Paintings with the reoccurring painting themes of Fragonard, Matisse, Joan Mitchell and Sickert, while incorporating newer references of Blinky Palermo, Martha Graham and Anthon Beeke.’ Time and again Teplin returns to the figure and where it fits inside the artwork. This new work does not deviate from this fervent line of enquiry. Referencing Barker’s early immersive paintings that were hung in the round, an unstretched canvas will take centre stage in this exhibition. Likened to a theatrical backdrop, the loose figure-less fabric will hang from a freestanding stretcher. While her works on canvas highlight the absence of a figure, Teplin also revisits provocative figurations from the annals of art history. She has painted over copies of Beeke’s controversial 1971 Naked Ladies Alphabet, in which
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the letters are rendered using only the female form, and a new sculptural work nods to minimalist Morris, for whom masculine industrial materials came to stand in for the figure. Consolidating her interest in the body, Teplin also includes telling found objects – a pair of leather shoes and a first edition book by pioneering modern dancer and choreographer Martha Graham – in her sculptural works. Central piece ‘5cm higher’ references a remark once made by German artist Joseph Beuys. ‘My idea was to nod to Beuys’ political statement about the aesthetics of the Berlin Wall, as a way to think about the aesthetics and politics of the feminine in relationship to painting, but also to propose something more intimate – the hem of a woman’s skirt or the height at which the painting is hung.’
Teplin will also be staging a performance of her work The Party, as part of Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art in April. Written and directed by and starring Teplin, the play, which premiered at London’s Serpentine gallery last year, was conceived as a collaborative project in the tradition of the Theatre of the Absurd and includes the characters of an artist, designer, critic and ingénue. ‘The Party functions as a performative index to my practice,’ declares Teplin. ‘All of my work is centred upon similar concerns: the history of art and painting, the position of the feminine and the artist as muse, and the play between abstraction and sensuality.’
Alexis Marguerite Teplin: 5cm Higher, Mary Mary, Glasgow, Sat 6 Feb–Sat 27 Mar.