Saturday, April 12, 2003

Scritch Scratch @ Transition

Mark Croxford, Annabel Dover, Delaine Le Bas, Alex Michon, Marcus Oakley

Last night was the fantastic private view of the brilliant Scritch Scratch. The show examines a particular type of drawing, that cares nothing for the formality and tradition of the medium. It also looks great, and has a really unified feel to it.

Alex Michon's
drawings on brown card are scintilatingly current, juxtaposing the war with an arcadian idyll. While her "Material Interventions" are all homespun nicey, nicey with added blood.
Delaine Le Bas's
three framed drawings once again include stong images of for instance skeletons amongst their highly coloured surfaces. Her fabric and glass piece is powerfully entitled "Fucking Hell it Makes my Heart Bleed" and contains a complex series of violently graffitied layers.
Annabel Dover
has one large painting in the show - "Christening Gown". A shimmering dress proportioned to fit a ghostly, giant baby. It hovers in front of the viewer as they enter the gallery, its goya-esque white brushstrokes seemingly lifting it away from its rollered black background.
Mark Croxford
shows a series of architectural mirror drawings. Their over painted terracotta surfaces scratched away to reveal the magical, silvery mirror beneath.
Marcus Oakley's
work is presented in two clustered installations and has a quality of visionary innocence about it. Each cluster is a mixture of framed drawings, paintings on found board and sewn textile pieces. Some of the paintings have quirky slogans in speech bubbles. A country cottage says "Summer means new love" and a cartoony animal says "peace". The most telling slogan is above a tree lined landscape and says "Everyone knows this is nowhere", this is powerful work.

Of course I am a little biased as I did curate the show but... it is really good. Don't miss it .

Transition, 110a Lauriston Road, london E9

Becks Futures @ The ICA

8th April 2003

I don’t dislike the ICA, in fact I really like it and I think that they have put on lots of really good shows but…

This years’ Becks Futures has work by nine artists and as a friend said “it is the first group show I have been to where all the work looks like it was made by the same person”. There were a lot of quite boring videos and lots of very quirky projects and ultimately it was all pretty hollow.

The stand out things are:

1: Francis Upritchard – Funny Girl

I like Francis Upritchard especially since I recently found out that she is a girl rather than a boy. I saw her work at The Bart Wells Institute a few months ago and it was very funny. For Becks she has made a crappy little mummy complete with a B&H packet in its top pocket which moans and quivers, next to this are some vases which have a kind of Egyptian look about them (these are the things I saw before, the vases are 'found' but the egyptian cats heads on them are added by the artist) She is also showing a glass vitrine documenting evidence that Prince Charles is an Anti-Christ (complete with the only paintings in the show)

2: David Sherry – Artist as Christ

David Sherry sewed balsa wood on to his feet and videoed the process. This video is in the show it and is horrible, I could only watch it for a few minutes but, it was memorable. The same artist also had a plain old computer printer set up which spits out sheets of written text and illustrations. There is a notice inviting the audience to help themselves (I always like a freebie) It turned out to be a diary of a month the artist spend trying not to touch another human being.

3: The inclusion of Iventory in the Show

Inventory is a magazine / journal. The fact that this makes it able to be included in the show is exciting. Unfortunately I have never been able to understand much of it and the documented work displayed here is quite boring