Ian McKeever, Against Architecture, Matt’s Gallery, private view 05 February 3 – 6pm, exhibition runs 09 February – 19 March 2017, Thursday – Sunday, 12 – 6pm
For his fourth exhibition at Matt’s Gallery, Ian McKeever is exhibiting a selection from two recent series, Eagduru and Against Architecture (both 2012-13), which combine painting and photography. Exceptionally, for an artist who emerged in the 1970s within the context of British Conceptual art – a movement which rejected painting – McKeever’s early work was characterised by a synthesis of abstract painting and analogue photography, juxtaposed as relative means of articulating an experience of the remote landscapes he would venture into on field trips.
At the end of the 1980s, he abandoned the photographic component from his painting, and it was not until a decade ago, in Hartgrove Photographs (2007–10) – a series of intimate, high-contrast photographs of the interior of McKeever’s home in Dorset – that it began to reappear. The works presented here contain similar, interior images. In Eagduru, a photographic print and a canvas are adhered to separate but abutting plywood panels, returning to McKeever’s earlier use of the diptych form as a dialectical device. Against Architecture breaks up the panels into puzzles of smaller blocks, and further erodes the decipherability of the images. Gradations of oil stain and photographic grain jar against brilliantly coloured monochrome inserts.
A series of raw plasterboard panels have been erected throughout the gallery, with manufacturer’s markings left on the rear. The works are hung on both sides of the temporary walls, as well as on the undecorated walls of the gallery, drawing the viewer through a maze that activates the gallery space. The various, more or less provisional surfaces and planes, on which the works are hung, reflect those of the works themselves. The preposition in the title of the exhibition – Against Architecture – suggests both proximity to its noun and variance with it. A claim to pictoriality is challenged, as much by the atomised formal structures McKeever adopts in the works themselves, as by the makeshift structures he hangs them on. The installation is an exploration of how the fragility of pictorial illusion subsists amid a world of contingencies. In a contemporary visual culture in which images come cheap, the effect is to reestablish our sense of them as fugitive, mysterious and hard-won.
A catalogue titled Eagduru / Against Architecture (2014), published by Galleri Susanne Ottesen, Copenhagen and Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, will accompany the exhibition and will be available for purchase at the gallery. The catalogue features a comprehensive, illustrated presentation of all the exhibited works.
All works courtesy of the artist and Galleri Susanne Ottesen, Copenhagen.
This exhibition is kindly supported by Arts Council England.
Possessions_inc is a video and web project by Matt’s Gallery and Richard Grayson. Episode 8 is currently available to watch.
Over 2016 and 2017 Matt’s Gallery will be posting monthly instalments of the video project Possessions_inc. Part series, part blog, part essay, part talking head, Possessions_inc. is an expanding exploration of: ideas of value, ways we invest in objects, the Bilderberg owl, animatronics, the mystery of Rennes Le Chateau, codes, fakes, oligarchs, the missing head of Philip K Dick, treasure hunting, M.R. James, the V.I.P. Lounge, drug smuggling, computer animation, animism, Pygmalion and the insurance industry.
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The Hammer Museum in Los Angeles is showing the first North American retrospective of Jimmie Durham. At the Center of the World, the artist’s first major U.S. exhibition since 1995, features nearly 200 works from Durham’s expansive practice including sculpture, drawing, collage, printmaking, photography, and video, dating from 1970 to present. “Durham is an important American artist whose work is crucial to a full understanding of the history of American art. He provides a singular and vital perspective on America’s colonial history, while also approaching his work from a distinctly international position, believing that artists should be citizens of the world”, said Hammer Director Ann Philbin.
Graham Fagen will present his first solo exhibition in Canada, curated by Louise Déry at the Galerie de l’UQAM. The exhibition will feature the video and music-based installation The Slave’s Lament, emblematic to Fagen’s research into slave trade, the inhuman treatment of the deported populations and the Scottish involvement in Jamaica. Several drawings and photographs have been added to this major work in order to allow for a more encompassing extrapolation of the motifs opposing national identity and cultural identity. The show will be accompanied by an artist film and video screening titled AfroScots, curated by Mother Tongue from Glasgow and encompassing the work of Black artists such as Alberta Whittle, Irineu Destourelles, Rayanne Bushell and Tako Taal, who have – in the present and historically – lived, worked and studied in Scotland.
Graham Fagen, Polygraphs, Gallery 4, Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Glasgow, 17 February – 17 September 2017
Graham Fagen will be exhibiting work as part of the group exhibition Polygraphs at Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art, Gallery 4. Polygraphs is a group show with works from Glasgow Museums’ collection revealing how artists create alternative, and sometimes fictitious, discourses to question dominant narratives in identity, politics and history. The works in the exhibition look at the testimonial research and object evidence which has informed our historical identity and re-present this to review our relationships to the slave trade, colonialism, feminism and sectarianism.
Benedict Drew presents KAPUT at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery, a show exploring the concept of space tourism through a thrilling installation. Using a combination of video, audio and sculptural elements, Drew reflects on society’s uncertain relationship with technology and presents a dark, dystopian response to what he describes as ‘the horrors of the modern world’. This is an Arts Council Collection National Partner Exhibition.
Lindsay Seers, Nowhere Less Now⁷, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, Wales, 15 October 2016 – 19 March 2017
Lindsay Seers exhibits the work Nowhere Less Now⁷ at Glynn Vivian Art Gallery. Set in a ship that moves through past, present and future time, Nowhere Less Now⁷ traces the journey of a relative who sailed the seas in the Royal Navy over a hundred years ago. Finding his inscription on an ancient baobab tree on the African island of Zanzibar, Lindsay Seers connects intimate stories of individuals dragged along in the strong currents of global histories. This is a new incarnation of this continuously evolving work which weaves some of the Gallery’s own story through that of its founder Richard Glynn Vivian and Swansea’s own maritime past into this acclaimed work. This piece is part of The Artangel Collection, an initiative to bring outstanding film and video works, commissioned and produced by Artangel, to galleries and museums across the UK.
Lindsay Seers is exhibiting in the group show CASEBOOKS, a collaboration between Ambika P3, Dr Lauren Kassell, Director of the Casebooks Project, and Dr Natalie Kaoukji, Research Fellow at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge. Curated by Dr Michael Mazière, the project presents a diverse and radical range of responses to the manuscripts of seventeenth-century English astrologer-physicians Simon Forman and Richard Napier. Inspired by ideas of alchemy, astrology, power, prophecy, knowledge as well as the materiality and content of the archive, CASEBOOKS presents six new works spanning sculpture, video and audio installation, live performance, robotics and artificial intelligence.
Imogen Stidworthy will be showing work as part of the group exhibition Public View. Curated by Bluecoat Artistic Director Bryan Biggs, the exhibition brings together works by 100 artists who have previously exhibited at Bluecoat, reflecting something of the organisations’ curatorial interests and distinctiveness. The show will feature work from a number of high profile artists including John Akomfrah, Sonia Boyce, Jeremy Deller, John Latham, Mark Leckey, Elizabeth Magill, Yoko Ono and Yinka Shonibare.
Jordan Baseman’s film Blackout will be screened at the Fargo Film Festival in late March. This annual festival strives to provide an extraordinary opportunity for filmmakers’ work to be shown on the big silver screen in a beautifully restored, state of the art, 870 seat Art Deco Theatre, located in Fargo, USA. In addition, the festival offers provocative presentations and panel discussions on issues affecting local, regional, national and international filmmaking and filmmakers.
Anne Bean, Of Other Spaces: Where Does Gesture Become Event? Chapter 2, Cooper Gallery, Dundee, 20 January – 4 March 2017
Anne Bean is participating in an exhibition and rolling event programme comprising live performances, screenings, collective readings, participatory dance and an international symposium 12-Hour Action Group at Cooper Gallery, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. The programme references art works, artist collaborative groups and activism by women from the 1970’s to the present day, looking at the contemporary relevance and cogency of feminist thinking on power as it is enacted through bodies, institutions and systems of representation. Having accomplished Chapter One on the high note of the 12-Hour Action Group in the winter of 2016, the project continues its dialogue through word and deed in Chapter Two. Accompanying Anne Bean, featured artists include Cullinan Richards, Rose English, He Chengyao, Mary Kelly, Linder, Annabel Nicolson, Siôn Parkinson, Georgina Starr and Hanna Tuulikki. As part of the closing Performance Event on Saturday 04 March 2017, 2 – 6pm, Bean will present Ham and Mustard and other forms of Abstract Expressionism.
Anne Bean has been invited by Coleman Projects to produce a solo exhibition as part of the series Dialogues through Time. The show takes as its starting point the thoughts of Rita Harris and Alexis Hunter, two artists and acquaintances of Bean who lived close to the gallery during the 1970s and have passed away in the last couple of years. As noted by Anne Bean in an interview for Art Monthly (August 2016) ‘We are each other’s archives and legacies’, interpreted as not necessarily related to memory, influence or inspiration, but rather a ‘holding’ of someone else, which imperceptibly shapes ones own being. There will be a talk by Dr Ellie Roberts and performance by Anne Bean on the last afternoon, Sunday 9th April.
Anne Bean will partake in the launch event for Performance Magazine Online, as part of Re-Rooted, a guerrilla takeover of Humber Street Gallery. The project features a programme of performance and film events, as well as site-specific interventions by artists originally part of ROOT Festival and Hull Time Based Arts (HTBA). New commissions, informal talks and workshops will explore how contemporary practice has been informed through the radical work pioneered in Hull. Anne Bean will tap into some principles of Sympathetic Magic to conjure with her 45 year art practice and her long-term involvement with various projects in Hull.
Melanie Jackson in collaboration with Esther Leslie has written an article for the March 2017 issue of Cabinet magazine. The piece originates from a forthcoming book by the artists titled Deeper in the Pyramid and is published as part of the magazine’s special section on milk. Jackson and Leslie’s text regards the ways in which milk is transformed from primary material to metaphorical excess.