Chasing Shadows

We’d been told to stay indoors and not go out, except for exercise and if so to stay two metres apart, breathe fresh air, think separate thoughts and cast our own shadows. Stay safe, take care and not go viral. It was the sunniest Sunday I’d seen in ages, the car parks of Epping Forest were overflowing, all of us fleeing the city to escape the epidemic. That’s how it felt, as if there was protection here. Continue reading “Chasing Shadows”

Frames of reference

A Small Retrospective

I love the Annely Juda Gallery very much. I’ve been visiting as long as I’ve lived in London and it always feels like I’m coming home. I first knew it as a small warehouse space in Tottenham Mews, next-door to the Angela Flowers Gallery. It was all scrubbed floorboards and whitewashed walls hung with jewel-like fragments of Bauhaus, De Stijl and Russian Constructivist art. Most exhibitions seemed to be called The Non-Objective World and they were always a great education in abstraction. In 1990 she moved to Dering Street where I first discovered the work of Eduardo Chillida, and saw an exhibition of minimal white reliefs by Alan Reynolds. It was a revelation. Continue reading “A Small Retrospective”

Frames of reference

Anni Albers

The Anni Albers exhibition at Tate Modern begins with a handloom. It is a wooden instrument made of frames and strings and pedals, with a stool for its operator to sit on. Threads pass rhythmically to and fro, writing the score of warp and weft. It might be likened to a piano whose musical offerings are captured for posterity in recordings of woven textiles. Continue reading “Anni Albers”

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Das Meisterstück

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Das Meisterstück (The Masterpiece) is an exhibition of large format photographs of painters’ palettes by Matthias Schaller at the Refectory, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, May 8-June 7. Maybe he saw our earlier blog post, Palettes! This one is JMW Turner and it’s impossible not to see resemblances between it and his paintings. Like looking at a dog and its owner. Continue reading “Das Meisterstück”

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Thesis & Antithesis

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This might be a curio best forgotten, an embarrassing piece of juvenilia. Forty years ago this was my final year thesis at art school. Nowadays it would be called a dissertation. But really it was just an annotated photo album. I’d found a stripey beach towel which became a sort of security blanket for a while, it seemed emblematic of the striped abstract paintings I was making and I photographed it wherever I went. I put all the photos together in a book with lots of random quotes as if I’d swallowed a library, or more likely the Whole Earth Catalog and An Index Of Possibilities. It was all very 1970s and very pretentious, but what really strikes me today is how much it resembles a prototype blog post. Continue reading “Thesis & Antithesis”

Frames of reference