Gallery Visits

Spent couple of hours visiting galleries in central to see some work in person.   All but 2 of the galleries focussed on a single artist and some where in the process of changing artists so it felt like I didnt see very much.    I was focussed mainly on how they were exhibiting their work.

Visual Candy and Natural History by Damien Hurst at Gagosian Gallery.

This is old work from the 1990’s but still interesting to see in person.   The gallery offers a standard white walled space.   The exhibit contrasts mostly colourless dead animals against fun bright paintings.  The animals included a bird,  a chicken, calves including a severed head with blood pooling on the floor and sharks encased in glass filled with formaldehyde.   These were both grotesque and interesting to see the detail.  They were positioned in the middle of the rooms so that you could walk around to see from all angles whilst viewing these bright fun paintings of what looked like sweets.   The paintings were very repetitive so once you’d seen a couple you’d seen them all which to me seemed to act as a background to the animals which were the focus of the exhibit.  There were no labels for the artwork on display, you had to ask to see this printed on a piece of paper.   This suggest the names are less important when viewing the work.  Although I thought the titles would help explain the work.    This exhibit could be useful if I see something I want to be the focus that contrasts with much of what I see in my environment.   For example contrasting a wheeled bag against the ornate plants seen all around my home.

https://www.gagosian.com/exhibitions/damien-hirst–november-23-2017/exhibition-images

Living in Compassion by Chu Hing-Wah at the Hanart TZ Gallery.

This was a more traditional display of paintings.   I found the ‘City of Gold’ interesting in the way it displayed a man on bicycle looking at the hills behind the towering city of gold.  It seemed to me to be showing that there is a strong connection with the natural landscape, a longing to escape the city which almost cuts out the natural landscape.  The work is painted in ink and looks flat with a more traditional chinese feel.  Whilst the gold city is bright and takes up most of the painting the man at the bottom still grabs your attention and there is connection with the clouds in the sky via a thin white section of the city.    There is a large element of repetitiveness in the buildings.  This is somewhat reflective of being in the central area of Hong Kong but where I live its more the opposite with the landscape dwarfing the dwellings.   Theres also a feeling of repetitiveness here with the landscape displaying the same ornate plants.

https://ocula.com/art-galleries/hanart-tz-gallery/artworks/chu-hing-wah/city-of-gold/

 

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Artists from Art Fair

Shirt and Sweater 18×24″ Ink and acylic on paper covered in resin 2015 by Lisa Kranichfeld


This caught my eye because of the use of ink and distorted face.   The way the ink bleeds in wet and also remains sharpe in places creates interesting distortions and natural mixes of ink. This contrasted with the carefully painted shirt enhances the portrait’s character.  The resin makes it feel like a photo, captured.   She paints with water fist then adds the colour on top, moving it around with the loaded brush.

Her earlier nude paintings have a fluid animated feel created by pouring paint from a spoon.

Vanessa Whitehouse Glimmer 89x89cm 


The extra depth this painting gave caught my interest.  The surface is plexiglass and this gave the brush work a streaky effect because it didn’t absorb into the surface.  The tree is painted bold and dark on the surface whilst the background is painted faintly on the back of the glass.   The layering does add to the depth of field.   I found some rather thick plexiglass in the rubbish near home so I tried painting a tree out of my window.


I found once the paint was applied for the background you couldn’t paint over it and expect to see it.  Also it was easy to muddy the colours.   The background needed to be viewable in reverse so with less features helps keep it simple and bring focus on the foreground.

Alicia dubnyckyj’s Victoria peak 1 at night uses household gloss paint on board.  I liked the painting, the city was on fire reflecting the vibrant city life.


This version of umbrellas seems digitised and not so fluid as my ink work on a similar image.  The colours are more vivid and stand out more but overall it lacks movement and feels lifeless.  


Stiliana alexieva childhood memories 102×51 cm oil on aluminium allowed the aluminium to shine for the reflection in the sea in contrast to the painted clouds and sea.  The effect is very realistic with the light from the display lights being reflected back at you.  Also the aluminium was etched to reflect the rain.  


The clouds looked odd against the sky, maybe a combination of the hard edge and colour made them feel disjoint.

Kwang-bum jang Fruit 4 2015 acrylic on canvas.  97x130cm


The combination of patterns was interesting.  Clearly the sharper circular patterns jump forward over the blurred darker shapes.   The process used by the artist is also very interesting where he spends a long time painting layers of paint before sanding them down to reveal different layers of paint.  This removing of layers reminded me of another artist vhils who removed the surface of walls to reveal portraits.   The doors below had their paint removed by scratching the surface.  With a light shining on the wood underneath gave a dazzling reflection compared with the red paint.   It’s interesting to see how making use of the different properties of materials by removing the surface can create interesting art.

The portrait below was created by cutting away polystyrene to create different reliefs for the light to reveal the portrait.


 Philip raskin ‘my blue heaven’ acrylic.  Very dramatic sky and sea.  The use of dry and wet watercolour techniques in the sky created drama.  This along side the thickly painted sea was interesting.    The sky being the the focus taking up most of the frame.