Friday, 23 April 2010


I loved the spontaneity and variety of the work in Modern Times. It made me think about all the reasons why we draw and all the ways we draw. It made me want to draw - but how?

I was particularly interested in the very abstract drawings I saw, and the processes which generated them. William Anastasi’s Subway Drawing, produced with a pencil in each hand while traveling on the subway; Cy Twombly’s familiar scrawls; Karoline Brockel's Snow – all presented me with marks and lines full of energy and magic and some sort of meaning beyond normal understanding. Barry Le Va’s Untitled map-like work comprised of apparently random, tiny, irregular rectangles and equally tiny scribbles of differing weights and densities gave me the impression of some sort of coded communication. These code-like qualities are intensified in other works which feature numbers and letters, some set into graph-like tables or randomly spattered across the page. Although the exhibition is predominantly monochrome, those pieces involving colour seem to use it as additional clues to the code, sometimes arranged in blocks or strips to form some sort of order which one feels could be understood if only one knew the language.

Perhaps this is part of the magic of these marks for me - a suggestion of a secret language which, if only one could learn the code, might lead one to a greater understanding of … something… So, as an artist, perhaps my challenge is to be less concerned about representation of the physical and brave enough to explore through drawing representations of my thoughts and ideas.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Antony Gormley exhibition just announced...

Antony Gormley - Critical Mass
8 May – August 2010

Critical Mass, one of Gormley’s best known works, is an installation made up of 60 life-size cast iron body forms which will be displayed on the roof of the De La Warr Pavilion.

The artist comments: This is the return of the lost subject to the site of Modernism. It is great to have a chance to test this piece of sculpture against the clarity of Mendelsohn and Chemayeff’s English masterpiece. I am excited to see these dark forms in the elements against the sea and in direct light. It will be like a sky burial. How these masses act in space is very important. The challenge is to make the distance intimate, internal.

Critical Mass is made up of five casts from 12 discrete moulds of Gormley’s body, developing from a low crouching position to squatting, sitting, kneeling and standing - an ascent of man ranging through the complex syntax of the body.

The works will be installed during the week beginning 4th May using cranes and mechanical machinery. The result will be a unique installation – the first ever seen on the De La Warr Pavilion roof space.

Click here to read the full article

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Saturday Perspectives 17 April 2010

A fascinating session with the Saturday Perspectives group this weekend followed into a relaxed and wide-ranging discussion in Thinking Aloud, sitting in the rooftop foyer looking out at the sparkling sea on a glorious Spring afternoon. The Pavilion really comes into its own on a day like that, full of light, and everybody spilling out onto the balconies and terraces.

We started our tour by looking for exemplar works of the two broad strands in the exhibition as articulated by Lutz Becker, namely the geometrical work , and the gestural, or more intuitive mark-making. We then went on to look at writing by Edwin Morgan, Alan Ginsberg, and Gertrude Stein, to try and answer the following question: can literature ever truly be gestural, Expressionist, in the way some of the exhibition pieces are?

An interesting point for me was when a member of the group spoke of the playfulness of the more geometrical work (in this instance the Lissitzky pieces). My personal preference is towards the Expressionist, and I never usually think of geometrical work as playful, so it was refreshing to examine it from that perspective. We discussed the potential for play within construction, and thought of it in terms of a child building things out of blocks and shapes, that impulse is definitely playful and highly geometrical.