Palingenesis, and the Art of Everythingism

Two important exhibitions in London last weekend: Natalia Goncharova Retrospective at Tate Modern, and Lee Krasner: Living Colour at Barbican. In Goncharova's famous painting, The Cyclist, the figure is willfully heading in the opposite direction to that indicated by the pointing authoritarian finger. It suitably sums up Goncharova's spirit. A leading figure of the new … Continue reading Palingenesis, and the Art of Everythingism

Artists Apart

Two exhibitions in Swansea this weekend: Sarah Poland who has a residency in GS Gallery, and Frances Richards at the Glynn Vivian. Sarah Poland's mark making using inks made from oak galls has a zen-like quality. I love how she combines this with photographic images she calls 'moon-drawings', made by using a long exposure on … Continue reading Artists Apart

New Work

I have been revisiting Max Ernst's work, specifically his frottage, grattage and coulage techniques that prioritised automatism. Using his grattage (scraping) technique, Ernst covered his canvases completely with pattern and then interpreted the images that emerged, thus allowing texture to suggest composition in a spontaneous fashion. In The Forest the artist probably placed the canvas … Continue reading New Work

Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist

I first came across this artist at Tate Modern in 2013, surprised that this was the first exhibition there dedicated to African Modernism. Ibrahim El-Salahi has recently had a solo exhibition at the Ashmolean, Oxford where he now lives. I stood in front of this 8 foot square painting: Reborn Sounds of Childhood Dreams I (1961–5) … Continue reading Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist

Awkward Objects: The Work of Alina Szapocznikow

This weekend, I travelled to Wakefield to see Human Landscapes,  the first UK retrospective of the work of the much-overlooked Polish artist Alina Szapocznikow (1926–1973). Powerful, innovative, disturbing, these pieces have dark undertones, which isn't surprising when you discover that Szapocznikow survived several of the Nazi camps as a teenager, and bouts of severe illness. … Continue reading Awkward Objects: The Work of Alina Szapocznikow