Off the Wall came about as a response to problems or questions I have about my own work. Issues around the edge, the relationship between the surface, form, the support and the question, when does a painting become an object?
Although I have not completely let go of the image or frame in my own work, there has been a move towards physicality and this was something I wanted to explore.
Marcia Tucker wrote about Richard Tuttle for his exhibition at the Whitney in 1975… .So much of Tuttle’s work is a result of body activity that is partly caused by the fact that physical activity is the most direct and common means we have of translating interior states into external expression; in a very direct way, frowning, smiling, closed or open body positions, etc., are our primary means of communication, because they are experientially rather than analytically comprehensible. Our own experience of our bodies is “pre-‐scientific,” primitive and immediate.
In the late sixties, The ‘Supports and Surfaces’ movement focused on processes in painting essentially involved in the materiality and objecthood of the painting surface itself. They prioritised the importance of site and the reduction of painting to bare essentials, foregrounding the structural support of the stretcher for instance or leaving canvases bare or un-stretched, folded or suspended, tied off or draped. Obvious comparisons can be drawn to some of the work here today.
With shows at Cherry & Martin in Los Angeles followed by another at the Canada gallery in New York, both in 2014, the short lived movement has had somewhat of a resurgence although some might say, for many artists it never went away. Maybe for someone like Richard Tuttle this is true.
With shows such as ENANTIODROMIA, also featuring Simon Callery, at the Fold gallery in 2014 and REAL PAINTING in 2015 at the Castlefield Gallery which was co-curated by Deb Covell and Jo McGonigal, it is plain to see that the ethos behind the Support/Surface movement is still very much alive.
The list of artists showing here today has developed over time and with discussions between Martina and myself I feel it has evolved into a cohesive group that bounce playfully off one another whilst still asserting their own individuality. From the beginning we were keen for the exhibition to represent both UK and international artists and although they are from far afield there is a tangible collective consciousness.
Some you could say are more painterly and others more sculptural, though all consider themselves to be painters and continuing in the tradition of painting. Saying this, there is a will to break out of the conventions and free painting from the reigns of the canvas and frame, Off The Wall and into the space of the gallery.
By removing the frame and therefore the image, painting is allowed to be matter and material. This move towards objectness raises the question of, what is the stuff that makes a painting, what is it made of and in turn this leads to decisions about the making and the process of construction. Whether it be the wood of the support, the canvas or the paint itself, each are treated equally and the emphasis is put on the materiality and physical nature of each component.
Jai Llewellyn, 2017
This body of work comes out of my current inquiry into tools, not merely as articles of utility but as implements that serve the human need to alter, adapt, create and destroy. Tools are both contrived and used for extending the force of man onto something, much like language, and the resulting marks of action that they can leave behind imply a residue of possession.
For most people the outcome of an action is what is important. However, this work is about constructing something that articulates the indication of a mark. In so doing, the significance of the action becomes disrupted, its intended outcome secondary, and its suggested implementation forces one into positing the question, ‘what made that and why?’
Based on drawings from an old photograph of a turf cutting with marks of the slane (a spade for cutting turf) clearly visible on the walls of the ditch, the elements of ‘Before me Floats an Image’ are the results of something pushed forward into being. They indicate a boundary, define a limit and are an absolute statement of fact and existence, they are a combination of the scars of removal, definition and intention – however much they hint at the unintelligible. The top layer pushes down and the bottom layers push upward creating a site of something that is neither recollection nor history, but that other place that mimics the act that it is based, in part, on. They are the objects of an act of thought or disappearance.
A spade is used to dig a hole and to thrust your way into the earth. A shovel moves something from one place to another. It used to be that every region in Ireland had its own shovel and spade makers, and each design was used for a particular place at a specific time of year. Some regions had as much as 250 different types of spades. This is a fascinating image of affinity with land and the considered craftsmanship of the tools people used to work it.
The wooden shapes of ‘Husbandmen’ made from walnut, are cut to the actual size of 6 different spades made in a small factory in County Tyrone, which closed down in the 1950’s. The rings in the wood mimic contours of the land they were made to work – with a sort of yearning nostalgia. The forms have the purity of modernism when art and architecture were together seen as one essential necessity in life, just at the time when the way people worked the land was undergoing its final transformation through to mechanisation.
The Untitled 1-8 watercolours show and fix that instant a missile is fired, when the ground turns to dust and light, and that formidable tool of destruction moves out of our sightline leaving a vacuum filled with anticipatory violence. ‘Like a Laughing String’ oscillates between the two opposite conditions of thought or action – in suspense, undecided and wavering.
These thoughts on tools and the link they have with language as a method of articulating intention, led to my making things that imply a demanding and purposeful activity. And in fact all this new work asks, ‘Why do we need and make things and how do we say this?
Liadin Cooke 2017 www.liadincooke.com
Liadin Cooke’s new work comes out of her enduring interest in language and materiality. Alongside this is her current inquiry into tools, not merely as articles of utility but as implements that serve the human need to alter, adapt, create and destroy. Tools are both contrived and used for extending the force of man onto something, and the resulting marks of action that they can leave behind imply a residue of possession.
For most people the result of an action is what is important. However, Cooke’s work is about constructing something that articulates the indication of a mark. In so doing, the importance of the action becomes disrupted, its intended outcome secondary, and its suggested implementation forces one into positing the question, ‘What made that mark and why?’.
Irish born artist Liadin Cooke has lived in the UK since 1993. Shortlisted for the Northern Art prize in 2012, recent solo exhibitions include Nostos at noshowspace London and Holden at Huddersfield Art Gallery and at the Artists house, Roche court, Wiltshire . Other shows include Overlay: Sculpture & Drawing, Yorkshire Sculpture Park , Ballroom (ornament), Henry Moore Institute, Leeds . Her work has been shown extensively in Europe and the USA. Cooke’s work is in public and private collections including: Dublin Corporation, Camden Council and the Henry Moore Institute.
With it’s last show for 2016 RAUMX is presenting two artists who are working with multi media.
German artist Annebarbe Kau constructs with wire, textile and string her drawings. For RAUMX she will also prepare a new sound installation. Kau has shown extensively in Germany and abroad.
British artist Vincent Hawkins is showing recent paintings and card board constructions. He lives in London and makes prints, paintings on canvas paper and card. He has shown extensively in Britain and abroad including solo shows in Chicago and Paris in recent years.
Rarely is there a clear idea worked out in advance. I decide on materials and take it from there. I work in a way that is improvisational through making, which I don’t see as an impoverishment of any kind. Beginning with a mark or a form and proceed by responding to what is there before me. It is building in order to excavate. I think a lot of abstract artists work in this way because painting is composed of many different trajectories in collision and to try and identify origins and sources quickly leads to a sense of being tied up in knots. I like art that doesn’t try to necessarily look like anything. It doesn’t try to define meaning .
“Meaning is something only for an individual, it has a home only in one person. The verb “to mean” implies something exists to be taken or learned from something else; and since subjects mean different things to every individual, meaning is purely subjective. Thus it is ‘subjective’ or should be understood to have an ‘anti-system’ or ‘anti-answer’ sensibility” Kierkegaard .
Vincent Hawkins 2016
Along the line of
In everyday life, lines supposedly give us “safety” and “orientation”, indicate or show us a direction, create connections and provide a basis– at least, we assume this to be so… And yes, as a matter of fact, in notebooks or on graph paper, the lines are already there, and our (western) culture then prescribes the direction (from top left to lower right). Even where there are no linear guidelines, the white, seemingly
bare, paper has been invisibly pre-formatted. This also applies to lines that flow together to form letters. – Perhaps it takes art, or more precisely, drawing to show us what possibilities of space are left at all.
The fall of the lines, their whirling, and their floating in a space they visually evoke themselves, their condensing, the dissolution of the surface, the highlighting the structure of the paper by the way the line has been laid out, the detachment from the paper, the flatness of what is actually a three-dimensional thread, cable or string, the lines seizing the space – all of this (and much more) are possible visual functions of the line in the work of Annebarbe Kau. For all of this, we still have not addressed the medium that provides such experience. However, the
descriptions already indicate we are scarcely referring to classically framed drawings here, (their mats placing them at a distance). Rather, it is about a completely haptic appearance of the line, articulated with the pages and in the materiality.
A artist portrait by Sabine Elsa Mueller in German only
Ian Kane is a spatial artist working from his studio in Dalcross, near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. He has exhibited nationally and internationally since studying Sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art and completing a post-graduate degree in the 1970s. A Scottish Young Contemporaries Prize-winner in 1984, his works have been shown in the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Norway, Canada and Japan.
‘Curiosity and the spirit of enquiry into what exists is always the starting point for the work. This preoccupation with reflecting the truth of the world and our place in it is the work of the artist. The work changes as we ourselves change. The artist strives to find ways to produce the works that become signifiers of our time. The making of every piece is a re-learning; the bringing together of the conscious and the unconscious. Memory does not help here as the presentness of the work generates its own problems to be resolved’
As to the situation of the colours, the purest and strongest must be placed in front of the piece, and the colouring varied according to subject, time and place. If the subject be grave, melancholy or terrible, the general tint of the colouring must incline to brown or black, or red and gloomy; but it must be gay and pleasant in subjects of joy or triumph.
Encyclopedia Britannica or A Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, edited by William Smellie, Edinburgh 1771
The Scottish artist Eric Cruikshank is a modern painter. Born in a country and into a culture with a strong narrative tradition, his work departs from customary figuration, yet revels in the craft and artisanship of his chosen medium. Instead of portraying famous men, it analyses the qualities of colour and light. Instead of imitating landscapes, it explores notions of painterly space. And instead of illustrating stories, it investigates the process of painting itself. More than anything, this approach relies on the individual viewer. Our perceptions of colour, light and space are not only dependent on the painting – they are just as much dependent on the conditions in which we perceive it. Changes in lighting, spatial arrangement, distance to the object, subjective mood of the beholder and even the time spent with the artwork, become constituting factors in understanding it. Instead of a mere consumer of a pre-packaged story, the beholder becomes participant observer.
Announcing the upcoming show with painter Eric Cruikshank and sculptor Ian Kane.
16.09 – 24.09.2016 Preview Thursday 15.09.2016 from 6 pm Opening times Saturdays 2 – 6 pm Mo – Fri. by appointment T- 0207 2676267
Both artists are based in Scotland and have previously exhibited together. In ‘Continuum’ we will see new works amongst other aspects shaped by the Scottish landscape and light.
The artist is a collector; fragments of seeing, ideas, observations, experience, accumulated knowledge eventually come together to form a visual reality.
The making of every piece is a re-learning, the bringing together of the conscious and the unconscious. Memory does not help here as the present (ness) of the work generates its own immediate problems to be resolved.
Curiosity and the spirit of enquiry into what exists is always the starting point of my work. This preoccupation with reflecting the truth of the world and our place in it is the work of the artist. The work changes as we ourselves change. The artist strives to find ways to produce works that become signifiers of our time. For me this process is constant research, the outcome becomes the work.
My work tends to be contemplative in nature as a result of living in the landscape of the Scottish Highlands. I feel that this influence is in the mix giving the work a poetic quality.
The flat floor work started as a piece of plywood shuttering, which I found as flotsam on the banks of the Moray Firth. The white part, made from epoxy, exactly completes the work in every detail while still allowing difference. The work ever so slightly hovers above the floor.
‘Above and Below’
This piece is carved from a piece of cherry wood and is very precarious given the weight of the wood on top.
‘Work Will Set You Free’
The last floor work adds a note of humour to the show being a truly ridiculous object. The wheels are made of sandstone and the natural form that holds them in place is a piece of sycamore encased with resin. Although sycamore trees are seen often as weeds harp makers prize the wood.
‘Seeing is Believing’
The ‘Seeing is Believing’ piece has at its core a knowingness and an unknowingness, we know what the red covers but we also do not know. We see but we do not allow ourselves to believe.
Taking landscape as an initial starting point, my paintings are not about literal presentation; instead the focus is on the emotive qualities of place. Using an objective palette tied to the Scottish landscape, colour acts as a vehicle to reveal the picture planes underlying points of reference. With the structure, design, and colour harmony being grounded in the everyday, the viewer is encouraged to readdress notions of their surroundings, where the familiar is opened up and made full of possibility.
With the works coming out of the territory of traditional art and values, through process and presentation, a dialogue opens up between the past and present, the historical and the contemporary. Despite an allusion to the social, spiritual and material contexts within the field of my art, the principal criteria always come back to the base construct elements. Shape, colour, and surface build the foundational support and elevate the works concepts, allowing the viewer to uncover layers of potential meaning as each element is considered. In the absence of imagery or narrative, the panels are left open to interpretation, as an almost blank plane to reflect the viewers own emotions and ideas.
By applying the paint in thinly layered colour bands, and utilising a subtraction technique, the surface is worked until a balance is reached. The delicate forms that remain give the effect of a monochromatic finish when first viewed. Through the resulting veil of paint, shimmering traces of tone flicker on the edge of focus, where the surface holds the gentlest luminosity and modulating volume. The works are completed with a meticulous level of control, creating a plane that bears no brush marks, removing evidence of the hand of the artist and any imprint of technique. With this removal, the colour field comes under closer scrutiny – on approaching the work, colour pulses in constantly shifting patterns, on withdrawing, these patterns blend, bleed and fuse into a vibrant continuous field, inviting a highly tuned visual attentiveness. The refined shade and contour lead the eye around the piece, gently engaging the viewer in the act of seeing, where their relationship with the work is one of continual change, as the ethereal surface vibrates with an inner light and rhythm that appears to expand outwards beyond the border, activating the space around and between the pieces
Installation views RAUMX London 8.07 – 16.07.2016
opening times Saturday 2 – 6pm
and by appointment
Preview – Thursday 7.07.2016
from 6 pm
Martin Streit (Cologne) and Peter Abrahams (London) are both visual based artists. Both have worked extensively in the fields of painting, photography and drawing.
On the paintings of Martin Streit, the motif present in his images is relatively unspectacular. The arsenal of objects upon which Streit plays out his artistic ambitions consists of balls, bowls, figures and architecture. Similarly to Streit, Abrahams has been involved in a photographic scrutiny of common objects and substances for almost ten years. The materials in question have been acquired in charity shops and pound stores, found at the side of the road and stumbled upon in common areas of studio buildings.
There is a dialogue between looking, performing and recording in both artists work. While Streit both in his paintings and photographs allows colour and light to transform bodies and objects. Especially in his Camera Obscura photographs bodies and objects change their appearance and solid structures are transformed into biomorphic phenomena. Abrahams’ still-life genre is peculiar in that the artist can move the objects around and so manipulate the subject, as well as alter the composition through changing the viewpoint. This is a meditative procedure and akin to the creative process itself – liable to overwork, self-consciousness, sketchiness or a rare, unpredictable profundity.
At the same time, Martin’s dispute between painting and photography brings back memories of reality and simultaneously evades any kind of realistic representation. His paintings offer their own truth; a truth that reinvents itself each instance of viewing.