VISUAL ART | Previews & Reviews
PREVIEW PAINTING & INSTALLATION TOBY PATERSON: SOFT BOUNDARY Modern Institute, Glasgow, Sat 25 Jan–Sat 22 Feb
Originally intended to be a simple series of paintings, albeit created on aluminium sheeting, Soft Boundary has taken on a new life for Glasgow-based artist Toby Paterson. ‘From gathering experiences and photographic documentation of the latest series of – subjectively speaking – fascinating landmarks to disappear in Glasgow, I became increasingly obsessed with a site on the outskirts of the fast-vanishing Red Road scheme,’ he says. ‘I had a notion of lots of seemingly disparate threads within my work coming together here, and it’s grown to be the focal point of the show.’
This is the opposite of his usual practice. On this occasion he will use different media to explore a very specific space rather than the wider context of a town or city. ‘It will consist of new paintings and screenprints on aluminium, works on paper and board and an aluminium relief,’ he says. ‘The overarching ambition is to tease out the complexity of a specific place, the visual experience it might provoke and maybe some of the forces that have caused it to be what it is. It’s an attempt to be wildly specific, suggesting the universal richness inherent in all built environments.’
He describes a large acrylic painting on aluminium entitled ‘The Red Tavern’ as the show’s key: a series of views of the pub at the site’s heart, which offers various perspectives at once. ‘It’s accurate yet unreliable, and I hope it’s a compelling enough image to anchor the exhibition and its intentions,’ he says. ‘There’s less of an attempt to bombard or overwhelm the viewer and more of a commitment to letting the gallery itself do some of the work in presenting a couple of key images sourced from the other side of its window that will hopefully linger when one returns to the world outside.’ (David Pollock)
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PREVIEW INSTALLATION THOMSON & CRAIGHEAD: MAPS, DNA AND SPAM Dundee Contemporary Arts, until Sun 16 Mar
Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead return to the city in which they met and trained in the early 1990s for what will be their largest solo show held in Scotland to date. Maps, DNA and Spam looks at global internet culture to explore human identity in a digital world, creating what Grayson Perry described last year as ‘thought-provoking, lyrical, often hilarious interventions with the kind of flow of information that is pouring around the web’.
Their show at Dundee Contemporary Arts, which marks 20 years of collaboration, includes both old and new installations. Previous work including ‘The Time Machine in Alphabetical Order’, ‘Belief’, ‘Six Years of Mondays’ and ‘A Short Film About War’ will sit alongside new work including ‘Dundee Wall’, a site-specific installation which offers a spin on their earlier work, ‘London Wall’.
For this they have looked at status updates that people within a few miles of Dundee have posted on social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook. They have then turned them into posters, pasting them across the gallery space in chronological order to create a physical, visual manifestation of the local digital world. (Rhona Taylor)
98 THE LIST 23 Jan–20 Feb 2014
REVIEW PRINTMAKING ELLSWORTH KELLY: TWELVE COLOUR PRINTS FROM THE ARTIST’S COLLECTION Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat 22 Feb ●●●●●
Ingleby Gallery’s current exhibition showcases a series of 12 prints by Ellsworth Kelly spanning 40 years: the earliest piece dates from 1971, and the latest, ‘Two Curves’, was printed by Kelly in 2011. The show displays the artist’s faithful dedication
to his subject. Despite the extensive period this exhibition covers, there is little disparity: only slight aberrations of form define pieces produced many years apart. Wrapped around the Ingleby’s upper gallery space, the prints appear like a vibrant, musical score with each lithograph reverberating with intense colour and a playful handling of shape.
Observed together, the prints appear whimsical, establishing a playful rhythm across the walls. Viewed individually, the shapes hover on white spaces, establishing tensions and compositions more carefully constructed than they initially seem. The artist’s shaped canvases, which question the demarcation between painting and sculpture, are particularly resonant. Like these works, the prints’ forms enter into complex relationships, establishing unexpected depths from uniform pools of colour. (Rachael Cloughton)
PREVIEW PRINTMAKING MARY MODEEN: THE ABSOLUTELY OTHER Edinburgh Printmakers, until Sat 15 Mar
The complex relationship between identity and place propels Mary Modeen’s practice. The artist says her work begins with a consideration of place as ‘a point of contemplation – a locus of intersection between philosophic, metaphysical, historic and cultural interests’. Using images of the outside world, Modeen looks inwards, considering ways of knowing and the inner life of the mind that shapes perception. A senior academic at Duncan of Jordanstone
College of Art & Design, Modeen teaches both fine art and interdisciplinary studies, linking creative practice with academic studies in the humanities, particularly philosophy, literature, and feminist and indigenous studies.
The Absolutely Other promises a series of printed landscapes that blur over one another like hazy mental images of places visited long ago. Veering into abstraction at times, the abandoned spaces of the work beckon us to fill in the gaps that Modeen’s enigmatic printing processes erase. A series of new prints commissioned by Edinburgh Printmakers will also be exhibited; expect subjects as challenging and immersive as their compounded layers. (Rachael Cloughton)