Wednesday, 19 February 2014
In between the editing and the blurring vision, a must needed escape for inspiration and sanity! I decided to visit two exhibitions that I have been meaning to see for a while and took a leisurely trip out to Pimlico to see the new Richard Deacon show at the new and reinvented Tate Britain and then onto the Whitechapel to the see the must anticipated Hannah Hoch!
Both shows very different in there approaches and ideas were such a welcomed space, both mentally and visually between all the digital files I am searching through. The Richard Deacon exhibition was wonderfully calming, pensive, where forms twisted and turned in ways you nether new could or imagined. The tactical quality of materials which was astounding, as turned wood sculptures were set against hard, sharp, shining Aluminium, it really brought to the forefront of your mind how natural and human materials can interplay against one another.
Deacon's drawings for me, his works on paper which I didn't know much about, I found truly magical. The use of lines, shapes, drawn in pencil and pastel felt so fluid, full of life and energy, these placed against the background of the large scale sculptures made for a stunning visual experience as you saw the transformation, that fluidity transcend into the pieces. How can wood bend, fold, roll in that way, it felt as if Deacon has drawn these with just a larger pencil! A must see show and in one of my favourite galleries in London, the Tate Britain in my opinion one of the most beautiful spaces in the city, not to be missed.
Now to the Whitechapel and to see probably one of the most influential artists of my practice, so the pressure to deliver was much anticipated, but I must say it certainly did deliver. From a very young age I have been so deeply inspired by the Dadaists, the use of Photomontage and Collage and through such prolific artist as Hoch, this exhibition truly touched me deeply on many levels.
It was wonderful to see her progression, the transition between gouache paintings, hand drawings of the female form, through to very iconic, canonic photomontages. Intermixed with documents, books, magazines of which her illustrations were published and scrap books, "Albums" she created, literally cutting and pasting. Hoch's appreciation and understanding of how Photography, how Society, both culturally, historically recreated a much needed platforms for interrogation is truly inspiring and powerful. Her role as a women within such a movement is firstly to be praised, but secondly understanding the context in which she worked, a German artist within a Nazi rein only provides additional evidence of her passion, her bravery and true craftsmanship that paved the way for contemporary artistic practice and for that I am truly, deeply and eternally grateful and inspired.
A few little quotes from the exhibition, in Hannah's words, which I think are beautifully poetic and really resinated with me,
" I would like to blur the firm borders that we human beings, cocksure as we are, are inclined to erect around everything that is accessible to us. [...] I want to show that small can be large, and large small, it is just the standpoint from which we judge that changes, and every concept loses its validity, and all our human gestures loses their validity. I also want to show that there are millions and millions of other justifiable points of view besides yours and mine. Today I would portray the world from an ant's-eye view and tomorrow, as the moon sees it, perhaps, and then as many other creatures may see it. I am a human being, but on the strength of my imagination-tied as it is- I can be a bridge. [...]"
" The peculiar characteristics of photography and its approaches have opened up a new and immensely fantastic field for a creative human being; a new, magical territory, for discovery of which freedom is the first prerequisite."
A must, must see exhibition!!!
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Wednesday, February 19, 2014
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