Friday, September 26, 2008

The Image Duplicator
Michael Bartlett & Cathy Lomax

gASP Gallery, Portsmouth

Mon 29 Sep – Sat 25 Oct 2008
Preview. Friday 3 Oct 6.30-8.30pm

Somewhere between painterly genetic engineering and uncanny gothic experiment, The Image Duplicator features two artists who have worked in isolation to produce a series of collaborative portraits.

‘What do you know about my image duplicator?’ snarls a mad scientist in one of Roy Lichtenstein’s paintings, seemingly commenting on the inability of many painters to connect with contemporary culture, and the guarded paranoia they have about their technique. The Image Duplicator seeks to demystify and inject a new narrative into this mix. It understands that to maintain its status in contemporary art, exciting painting can no longer exist as merely a singular work on a wall it must instead be understood thorough its relationship to the world around it.

The Image Duplicator features paintings of five sets of identical twins. Each of the artists has painted one of the twins from each set on identically sized supports. The two halves of the twin partnerships will be united for the first time at the exhibition. Both the project’s conception and its means of production look at the very nature of collaborative partnerships. Including a mirroring of ‘intent’ and the importance of the artist’s hand as that of the supreme creator.

The Image Duplicator develops and continues interests that both artists have regarding ideas around the public and private gaze and working in series. Cathy Lomax’s Mary paintings consisted of eight paintings of Mary Bell, the source material for which was a faded newspaper photograph which was reworked and reconfigured over and over to produce a set of similar but different paintings; the non-mechanical reproduction of a image in an age of endless digital reproduction. Mike Bartlett’s ongoing series of paintings depicting contemporary art exhibitions, show him looking at us looking at the influential works of the day. More recently his WW2 Spain (Lost) series features paintings of a set of non-identical twins, sourced from found photographs from pre war Berlin.

Alongside the exhibition at gasp a set of small paintings of the twins will also be shown at Aspex Gallery’s ARC Resource Space. The artists will be giving at talk at Aspex on 16 October. Please contact Aspex for more information.

There will be a limited edition Image Duplicator publication to accompany the exhibitions with essays by Fran Richardson and Alex Michon.

Aspex Gallery Artists Talk: Thur 16 Oct 6.30
gASP Critical Group Discussion: Thur 23 Oct 6.30

gASP Gallery: Art Space Portsmouth, 27 Brougham Rd, Portsmouth, PO5 4PA Open by appointment t:07929 607581
Aspex Gallery ARC Resource Space: The Vulcan Building, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, e: t: 023 9277 8080

Contact Mike Bartlett for more information and images 07929 607581 /

Friday, September 05, 2008

Folkestone Triennial and L'Etranger at The Lees Lift

This weekend why not take a trip down to Folkestone to catch the fantastic Folkestone Triennial. I highly recommend the works by Tacita Dean, Heather and Ivan Morison, Tracey Emin and David Batchelor (and probably lots of others which I didn't manage to see).

While you're there don't forget to take a trip on the historic Lees Lift where incidentally me and Alex Michon are showing a new work as part of Club Shepway's Folkestone Fringe programme. It's called L'Etranger and I have pasted some more details about it below.


Paranoid pulp fiction drives out fact

Cathy Lomax and Alex Michon

Lees Lift, Folkestone
6 & 7 September 2008

A dishevelled young stranger arrives at a coastal town. His clothes are strange and his face is unshaven. ‘Who is he’, ‘why is he here?’ Suspicion builds and the whispering becomes feverish: ‘I hear he had to leave’, ‘her husband was after him’, ‘he’s on the run’. Speculation about the man’s history increases and ‘heartbreak’ ‘violence’, and ‘murder’ are evoked. In the absence of evidence a conclusion is reached… Silently the man disappears.


L'Etranger is about difference. It’s about fear of the unfamiliar, and the isolation of the outsider. It’s about how we make assumptions and invent our own stories. It’s about repeated fictions becoming fact. It’s about finding a scapegoat and getting away with it. It’s about disappearing and leaving questions unanswered.

But above all, at this time of political unease, intrigue and economic uncertainty L'Etranger warns against the danger of moral certitude.

With many thanks to Peter Grimes, Young Adam and The Outsider

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

John Moores 2008
The participants in the John Moores painting prize 2008 have just been announced and as usual it is not without controversy. There is a fantastic debate about it on Jonathan Jones' Guardian Blog. I especially like Comment No. 1241425 from Welshnia - where the integrity of the judges is questioned. Despite all of this there are some good people - especially pleased to see Eleanor Moreton getting a turn (the image above is Eleanor Moreton's Visitor from 2007).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Carny Town

Carny Town has just finished at the Portman Gallery in east London. It was a really fun show - one of the highlights was Alex Michon's slowed down film of Billy Fury. You can read more on my Telegraph Blog in the post titled I say, I say, I say.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Seaside Stories

It is the last weekend of That's Entertainment, Transition Gallery's offsite show at the Whitstable Biennale. For those of you that can't make it to the seaside there is a bit of seaside fun in the city, with Fan Fair at the Transition HQ. Works in Fan Fair include a string of smutty hankies, a condemned helter skelter and an Madame Sosostris, an interactive fortune telling experience. So if you want to find out what you future holds head along to Transition, oh and pick up a copy of the new Arty which has a set of artist designed tarot cards by Stella Vine, Marcus Oakley, Lady Lucy, Alex Michon and lots of others. 

I am still writing for the Telegraph online and they have redesigned their pages. My posts can now be found here 

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens

I went to see Tim Walker's lovely show at The Design Museum yesterday. I loved the pastel kittens but my favourite pic was The Lamp Tree. You can read more on my Telegraph blog. To read more Telegraph visual arts posts click here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Telegraph Arts Blog

I have started writing a blog for the Telegraph which will be updated a couple of times a week.
It will have stuff about Garageland, Transition, Arty and my own artwork. Here is the first post

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Vanity Case

Lost in Beauty
117 Regents Park Road, Primrose Hill, London NW1

23 April–1 June 2008

Cathy Lomax’s Vanity Case features a cornucopia of new paintings inspired by the pages of fashion magazines. Each image is a subjective selection that replays and subverts notions of an art historical gaze.

The girls, isolated and cut from their original commercial intentions, are free to take on another existence - the mise en scene, made-up world of paintings. This reconfiguration is further enhanced by Lomax’s romantically girly titles such as Hellcat, Bolero or Broderie Anglaise. The titles provide a sub-text that reveals the contemporary imperative of painting’s ability to make up its own stories.

These girls move in and out of time, from the pages of Vogue to the pages of romantic fiction but their function is always underpinned by the artist’s commitment to painting. The drips and swirls are there to remind us that the picture we are looking at is not a substitute for a photograph but a hand-made object where the artist is not just art director but total creator.

Vanity Case is the first exhibition at London's newest beauty emporium - Lost in Beauty