Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Eric Bainbridge: 'Modern British Sculpture' Royal Academy of Art, London, UK

Eric Bainbridge 'The Mind Of The Artist At The Beginning Of Time', 1996, Mixed Media, 89 x 142 x 57 cm. Courtesy the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK

Royal Academy of Arts

Modern British Sculpture   

Main Galleries

22 January – 7 April 2011

Royal Academy of Arts

Burlington House, Piccadilly

London W1J OBD


Exhibition Preservation Partner: American Express Foundation
Supported by The Henry Moore Foundation

In 2011, the Royal Academy of Arts will be presenting the first exhibition for 30 years to examine British sculpture of the twentieth century. The show will represent a unique view of the development of British sculpture, exploring what we mean by the terms British and sculpture by bringing the two together in a chronological series of strongly themed galleries, each making its own visual argument.

The exhibition will take a fresh approach, replacing the traditional survey with a provocative set of juxtapositions that will challenge the viewer to make new connections and break the mould of old conceptions.

Key British works include: Alfred Gilbert Queen Victoria, Phillip King Genghis Khan, Jacob Epstein Adam, Barbara Hepworth Single Form, Leon Underwood Totem to the Artist, Henry Moore Festival Figure, Anthony Caro Early One Morning, Richard Long Chalk Line, Julian Opie W and Damien Hirst Let's Eat Outdoors Today.

Through these and other works, the exhibition will examine British sculpture's dialogue within a broader international context, highlighting the ways in which Britain's links with its Empire, continental Europe and the United States have helped shape an art that at its best is truly international in scope and significance. The selection of works is not limited to the British Isles, but looks outward at Britain in the world including sculpture from Native American, Indian, and African traditions. These will be represented by a series of significant loans from the British Museum and the V&A, which will be shown alongside modern British sculptures from the period 1910-1930 to highlight the inquisitiveness of British artists when the Empire was at its peak and London was, almost literally, the centre of the world.

The selection will also explore the choices constantly faced by the sculptor: the choice between figuration and abstraction; a choice that highlights the inherent tension in sculpture between its commemorative and political functions. Key juxtapositions exemplify these choices, including the striking comparison between Phillip King's Genghis Khan and Alfred Gilbert's Queen Victoria and Edwin Lutyens' Cenotaph and Jacob Epstein's Cycle of Life that opens the exhibition. Another juxtaposition encapsulates the choice between abstraction and figuration as represented by the work of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, and tells of the emergence of British sculpture as a brand on the international stage in the post-war era.

The exhibition will show how, for over 100 years, London and its museums have had a powerful appeal for sculptors, and how the Royal Academy itself has played a significant and controversial role in shaping modern British sculpture.

Modern British Sculpture has been organised by the Royal Academy of Arts. The exhibition has been curated by Dr Penelope Curtis, Director of the Tate Britain, and sculptor Keith Wilson, in conjunction with Dr Adrian Locke, Exhibitions Curator, Royal Academy of Arts.

Press View: Tuesday 18 January, 10am – 2pm
Open to public: Saturday 22 January – Thursday 7 April
10am – 6pm daily (last admission 5.30pm)
Late night opening: Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm)

Tickets are available daily at the RA. Advance bookings: Telephone 0844 209 0051 or visit www.royalacademy.org.uk. Group bookings: Groups of 10+ are asked to book in advance. Telephone 020 7300 5995, fax 020 7300 5781 or email groupbookings@royalacademy.org.uk

For public information, please print 020 7300 8000 or www.royalacademy.org.uk
Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J OBD

*Image above:
Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © Boyle Family / DACS 2010.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cath Campbell: 'Enter Slowly,' The Lab, San Francisco, USA

Image: '50 Ways To Leave Your Lover (No.48)', Cath Campbell, 2009, Cut modular exhibition panels, 500 x 350 x 300 cm, Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK


Anna Barham, Cath Campbell, Maud Cotter,

Laura Gannon, Alexandra Navratil, Linda Quinlan

Curated by David Cunningham

The Lab, San Francisco, USA

January 14th - February 19, 2011
Gallery Hours: Thursday - Saturday, 1-6pm

Join us on Saturday January 15th at The Lab for artist talks by Maud Cotter and Laura Gannon.

ENTER SLOWLY, is an international group exhibition featuring the work of six emerging artists from Europe whose individual practices (while collectively diverse), frequently overlap, intersecting in areas of common interest. Sharing a preoccupation with the ways in which architecture, language and memory function as framing devices and filters deployed in the manipulation of perception and the construction of 'meaning', their work simultaneously critiques, reveals (makes visible), undermines and reverses the systems, structures and technics involved in these fabrications, reflecting them back on themselves.

Working across categories, sometimes collaborating with architects, dancers, engineers, mathematicians, musicians and experts in other fields of specialization, these artists approach their work as a form of research or field of inquiry that tests the limits of what is known, what is possible and what can be described. Often employing found or self-devised rule-based systematic structures or 'games', working with and against a set of limits to paradoxically establish fields of potential and freedom where meaning as commonly understood is not pinned or fixed but mutable, the artists in this exhibition open up multiple points of entry to the work, exhibiting a heightened concern with, and sensitivity to, the speed at which a work can be entered.

A concern with interiority and the temporal, marked by some form of inversion (literally turning 'inside out') is a further characteristic of many of the works. Limning the boundary between thought and utterance, evoking linguistic and philosophical concepts such as 'speech acts' and 'language games' the ghosts of early modernism's mavericks and problem children (Samuel Beckett, Eileen Gray, Frederick Kiesler, James Joyce, Adolf Loos, Ludwig Wittgenstein and others) quietly haunt the works in this exhibition, which in its turn gently invokes and re-extends an earlier invitation stenciled on the interior wall of a certain - 'house beside the sea' – the last built thing Le Corbusier would have seen as he drowned.

"… formulas are nothing; life is everything" – Eileen Gray

Using the ancient Roman city of Leptis Magna, as both metaphor and material, Anna Barham makes drawings and videos in series, charting anagrams derived from the letters in the city's name. Positing the appropriation, displacement and re-assembly of fragments of the actual ruins in Libya (to construct a 'new' imaginary ruin at Windsor Great Park for King George IV in 1816) as an architectonic analog for language and imagination, Barham presses the individual letters into service as 'building blocks' for fantastical new poetry and prose. The exhibition will include '(Tangram) Posture' a recent large-scale sculptural installation, its anagrammatic alter ego 'Proteus' (video) and an audio installation of Barham's reading of the entire text of her just published 'Return To Leptis Magna', 2010.

Cath Campbell will present only the second full scale realization to date of an installation from her series of fifty proposed architectural interventions titled '50 Ways To Leave Your Lover' - along with an accompanying video and a selection of cutout drawings of real and invented architectural spaces rendered in paper and steel. Palimpsest-like and often inspired by spaces that are inaccessible, the drawings (like the interventions) borrow their titles from sentimental pop songs suggesting that architecture can be used as a metaphor for states of being. Cath Campbell is represented by Workplace Gallery, Gateshead (UK).

Maud Cotter's large-scale modular sculpture 'More Than Anything' situates itself at the interface between architecture and sculpture. Installed differently at each location, Cotter pushes and tests the limits of the piece until it's nature shifts in direct relationship to the place in which it is exhibited, landing somewhere between sculpture and structural system. Starting with a small basic unit it formally clusters and swarms becoming a mechanism or collective force that ingests space. Infinitely reconfigurable the piece has no single identity or fixed reading. Maud Cotter is represented by Rubicon Gallery, Dublin (Ireland).

In her Film 'A House in Cap-Martin' (shot at Eileen Gray's seminal modernist House E.1027) Laura Gannon creates a fictional performance allowing us to 'enter' into the history(s) of this contested site, creating an opening in an already heavily mediated story which over time has assumed the status of a myth. The name of the house derived from a simple game in which the initials of Gray and her then lover were intermingled and represented by their numerical order in the alphabet. Standing as a 'ruin' for almost 30 years the house is currently undergoing a restoration, which is scheduled to be complete in early 2011. A new drawing installation by Gannon will accompany the film.

Alexandra Navratil will debut anew video work, 'Objects Perceive Me', 2010. Drawn from her extensive personal archive of research and source material this piece functions as a memory map, an index of associations and a network of ideas - further developing and extending her ongoing engagement with historical concepts of perception and their correlation with systems of representation in cinema, architecture and politics. Alongside the video she will present several new drawings derived from her research into monolithic architecture and lighting design. Studies in luminosity, opaqueness and transparency, the drawings (and the video) are strongly influenced by Wittgenstein's 'Remarks on Colour'. Alexandra Navratil is represented by Angels Barcelona, (Spain).

Linda Quinlan's video work 'Side Step', 2009 oscillates between two constructed images generated from a single source (a photograph taken by cave explorer Max Kaemper at Mammoth Cave in 1908). Emitting a rhythmic visual pulse, with each beat foregrounding the emergence of something attempting to take form, this motif of stacking and pleating is echoed in an accompanying audio work 'Step On', in which the contraction and expansion of the space between two spoken words enacts a paradoxical collision of assertion and contradiction - testing the reverberation of their meaning. Drawn to situations where things exist in a constant state of formation and a kind of perpetual motion, Quinlan is interested in how words and images rub against and interfere with what is heard and perceived, opening up a third space where alternate readings and perceptions can emerge.

This exhibition has been generously supported by:-
Imagine Ireland, Swissnex, Prohelvetica - Swiss Arts Council

Very special thanks to:-

Michael Goldwater, Michael Damm, Richard T. Walker, Daniel Healy, Jorge Bachmann, Michael Ryan,
Terrance Graven, Honey McMoney, Scott Tsuchitani, Ernesto, Randy Colosky and Miguel Arzabe
for their time and assistance with fabrication and the installation of this exhibition and
Eilish Cullen, Mary Anne Kluth, Bryan Von Reuter and the board and programming committee of The Lab for their generous invitation to curate an exhibition in this very particular space.

For more information/ images please contact
info@davidcunninghamprojects.com | tel:- 415.341.1538 | www.davidcunninghamprojects.com

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mike Pratt - Preview: Friday 14th January, 6-9pm

Images: (left) 'UH', 2010, Mike Pratt, Oil, sericol and enamel on canvas, 280 x 220cm, (right) 'Blue Neckless', 2010, Mike Pratt, Oil, sericol and enamel on canvas, 280 x 220cm. Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK.

Mike Pratt

Good Mourning Bell

Preview: Friday 14th January, 6 - 9pm

15th January - 12th February 2010
Tuesday - Saturday, 11am - 5pm
(or by appointment)

Workplace Gallery is pleased to present Good Mourning Bell our first solo exhibition of work by Mike Pratt.

Pratt's work confronts the established conventions of painting, through an immediate and unashamedly direct indulgence in painting as an activity in its own right, combined with an ethically questionable position of borrowing,  remaking and 'wrongful' appropriation. Authenticity, style and the cycle of assimilation that exists both within contemporary art and popular culture are central concerns in Pratt's work. Contemporary artists such as Christopher Wool and Paul McCarthy as well as 20th Century artists who reshaped the process of Art such as Basquiat, Polke and Warhol, all become the fodder for Pratt's lexicon. However, rather than paying homage to his forerunners Pratt borrows and steals, walking a fine line between mimicry and imitation. Through this method of sampling and remastering Pratt combines stylistic quotation with deadpan observation and dumb mark making, layering and obliterating his paintings until work is deemed at an end, yet never resolved.

"The works engage with frank and simple imagery, they stand as a remark; there is nothing sentimental or 'worldly', just a curiosity into the processes... Each action obliterates the last until the 'right' gesture has the final say. I have no problem recycling the ideas of others; I see this as my viewpoint - to select and covet from the existing to make the new. I see everything as a physical structure; this in itself demands reasoning, a competence to relate not only to its environment but to itself. The idea that a piece of work becomes self aware and insecure..." (Mike Pratt, 2010)

Pratt's new large-scale works combine painting with large format screen prints taken from close up detail sections of an earlier painting. The extracted details are shifted and repeated creating a blurring of half tones, a digitized and interrupted suggestion of a painterly background. These works are complex and uncertain statements of contradiction and affirmation, they become neurotically charged phrases that 'confess all' whilst at the same time disguising and camouflaging themselves. Pratt's work is a head-on collision with the history of the present. The satire in his work plays like relentless canned laughter to the intuitive handling of the material and the romantic allusions of painting, striking a careful and sophisticated balance that takes you on an invigorating new journey through seemingly familiar territory.

Mike Pratt was born in Seaham, UK in 1987. He completed a BA in Fine Art at Northumbria University in 2009 where he received the Paul Mason sculpture prize. Solo exhibitions and projects include Cumberland Sausage, Extraspazio, Rome; HUBBA HUBBA, Satellite Gallery, Newcastle, UK; Workplace Gallery at The Manchester Contemporary 2009. Group exhibitions include aggetti - progettazioni - proiezioni - prominenze - protuberanze - sporgenze, Extraspazio, Rome; NADA Art Fair, Miami, Workplace Gallery; JAMBON, Moving Gallery, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK; Captain of all Pleasures, EMBASSY Gallery, Edinburgh, UK; Psychic Geography, Workplace Gallery, Gateshead, UK; Some people deserve everything they get, The Royal Standard, Liverpool, UK. Mike Pratt lives and works in Newcastle, UK.

Workplace Gallery was founded by artists Paul Moss and Miles Thurlow. Based in Gateshead UK, Workplace Gallery represents a portfolio of emerging and established artists through the gallery programme, curatorial projects and international art fairs. Workplace Gallery opened in 2005 at 34 Ellison Street, Gateshead - part of Trinity Square Shopping Centre particularly noted for its iconic Brutalist car park designed by architect Rodney Gordon for the Owen Luder Partnership, which featured as a key location in Mike Hodges 1971 cult British gangster film Get Carter starring Michael Caine. Since the original gallery was demolished in 2008 Workplace Gallery has relocated to The Old Post Office in Gateshead, a listed 19th Century red brick building built upon the site where the important British artist, engraver, and naturalist Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) lived and died.

The next exhibition at Workplace Gallery will be a solo exhibition of new work by Cath Campbell opening on 18th February 2011. To celebrate the opening of Good Mourning Bell please join us afterwards at Central Bar in Gateshead.

Kindly supported by