Friday, 18 July 2014

Where Were You? - Lisson Gallery

The Mekons, 1978: Where were you?
When I was waiting in a bar, where were you?
When I was buying you a drink, where were you?
When I was crying at home in bed, where were you?
When I watched you from a distance did you see me?
You were standing in a queue did you see me?
You had yellow hair, did you see me?
I want to talk to you all night, do you like me?
I want to find out about your life, do you like me?
Could you ever be my wife, do you love me?
Great band, great song. Listen here.
Where were you?, at the Lisson Gallery until 23 August 2014, explicitly takes its title from the Mekon's song. To be honest, I am not exactly clear about the connection between the song and the 'post-Minimalist' work on show which is described as follows:
"a group show of paintings, prints, relief objects and works on canvas that seem to require minimal intervention on the artists’ behalf, but actually belie the often complex ideas or extended periods of time spent contemplating, reworking and refining these processes... Where Were You? focuses on the work of nine artists, five of which have not shown in the UK before. Each of them articulates a minimalist aesthetic through abstraction, repetition or interruptions in surface and structure, foregrounding the intention, scale and execution of their gestures as both subjects for their work and as performative records of transient actions or incomplete thoughts." (Lisson Gallery)
Where Were You?, installation at Lisson Gallery
Of the artists featured - Allora & Calzadilla, Cory Arcangel, N. Dash, Robert Janitz, Paulo Monteiro, David Ostrowski, Michael Rey, Julia Rommel, Dan Shaw-Town  only the wonderfully named Cory Arcangel (see below) is at all familiar to me. But I like the sound of what they do - and I love the Mekons' song, so I am looking forward to this. 
Images below are 'illustrative', ie not necessarilly work in the exhibition.
Allora & Calzadilla, Shape Shifter, 2013 (sandpaper on canvas)
Cory Arcangel, Photoshop CS: 84 by 66 inches, 300 DPI, RGB, sqaure pixels, default gradient "Blue, Red, Yellow", mousedown y=2300 x=8600, mouseup y=2600 x=8600, 2011 (Chromogenic print)
N. Dash, installation view (2012) at Untitled, New York
Robert Janitz, Machaco, 2012
Paulo Monteiro, installation view in Sao Paolo
David Ostrowski, F (Dann lieber nein),2011
Michael Rey, [title unknown], 2014
Julia Rommel, Big Soda, 2012
Dan Shaw-Town, Untitled, 2011 (Graphite and spray enamel on paper with metal grommets)

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album - Royal Academy

Dennis Hopper, Double Standard, 1961
Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album is at the Royal Academy until 19 October 2014.
I loved Dennis Hopper for his roles as the terrifying Frank Booth in David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986) and 'the photojournalist' in Francis Ford Coppola's  Apocalypse Now (1979); now I love him as a photographer, too. Double Standard (above) is, to my mind, up there with the work of my very favourite photographers such as Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander. 'The Lost Album' is a body of work made in the 1960s which, until recently, hadn't been exhibited since 1970. Hopper was right in the thick of 60s counter-culture mixing with the stars of Pop Art and pop music: Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane; it was the time, too, of hippies, Hell's Angels, Civil Rights and, of course, the film Hopper starred in and directed: Easy Rider (1969). 
A great (if scary) man. He made some great photographs.  
Read articles by Geoff Dyer, Sean O'Hagan, and Francis Hodgson; watch a short video presented by the curator of the exhibition.
Dennis Hopper, Andy Warhol, Henry Geldzahler, David Hockney and Jeff Goodman, 1963
Dennis Hopper, Ed Ruscha, 1964
Dennis Hopper, Effaced Double Poster, 1961
Dennis Hopper, Bad Heart, 1961
Dennis Hopper, Billboard, Los Angeles, 1964
Dennis Hopper, Downtown, Los Angeles (Comer & Doran), 1965
Dennis Hopper, New York City, 1961
Dennis Hopper, Los Angeles, 1964
Dennis Hopper, Harlem (Daily News), 1962

RIBA Stirling Prize 2014 - shortlist (and winner)

LSE Saw Swee Hock Student Centre (O'Donnell + Tuomey Architects)
The buildings shortlisted for the RIBA 2014 Stirling Prize are:

- Library of Birmingham (Mecanoo Architecten)
- London Aquatics Centre (Zaha Hadid Architects)
- Everyman Theatre, Liverpool (Haworth Tompkins) - WINNER 2014
- LSE Saw Swee Hock Student Centre (O'Donnell + Tuomey Architects)
- London Bridge Tower / The Shard (Renzo Piano Building Workshop)
- Manchester School of Art (Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios)

See a selection of images below with links to descriptions of the buildings on the RIBA website and to the architects' websites;  read commentary by Oliver Wainwright.
The only building on the list that I have properly visited is the Library of Birmingham (with which I was very impressed - see here) but my favourite, based purely on photographic images, is the Saw Swee Hock Student Centre at the London School of Economics, by
O'Donnell + Tuomey Architects. The actual winner of the prize will be announced on 16 October, 2014.
(See last year's shortlist here)

Library of Birmingham (Mecanoo Architecten)
(See also blog entry here)

London Aquatics Centre (Zaha Hadid Architects)

Everyman Theatre, Liverpool (Haworth Tompkins)

LSE Saw Swee Hock Student Centre (O'Donnell + Tuomey Architects) 

London Bridge Tower / The Shard (Renzo Piano Building Workshop)

Manchester School of Art (Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios) 

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

John Moores Painting Prize - Walker Art Gallery

Neal Rock, Inked Prosperon / 0813
The John Moores Painting Prize is at the Walker Art Gallery until 30 November 2014.
The biennial John Moores is, I think, the best of art competitions. Established in 1957 it has a venerable history and includes amongst its past winners (never mind the roll call of participants) Patrick Heron (1959), Roger Hilton (1963), David Hockney (1967), Euan Uglow (1972), John Hoyland (1982), Lisa Milroy (1989), Peter Doig (1993) and Dan Hays (1997). (See the full list here.) This year's official winner will be announced in September from the shortlist below. However, my winner is Neal Rock (see above) for his exquisite, Baroque extrusions of paint. (Rock is, incidentally, a graduate of Fine Art at the University of Gloucestershire, 1996-9).  
Others which caught my attention include:
Jane Bustin, Christina the Astonishing
James Byrne, Book
Wayne Clough, Citadel
Tim Renshaw, nowhere
Trevor Sutton, Christow
However, the actual shortlist is as follows:
Rae Hicks, Sometimes I Forget That You're Gone
Juliette Losq, Vinculum
Mandy Payne, Brutal
Alessandro Raho, Jessica
Rose Wylie, PV Windows and Floorboards
See a gallery of all the selected work here.