Lee Krasner Living Colour – at the Barbican Centre, London – 30th May – 1st September, 2019

Wednesday 12th June, 2019 

Krasner Intro

Introduction to Lee Krasner – Living Colour

It was many years ago when I first discovered the artist Lee Krasner, I think I was studying on my BA in Fine art possibly in my second year. At the time I was heavily influenced by the works of Abstract Expressionist artists and in particular Jackson pollock, this was when I was first introduced to Krasner’s work as she was the wife to pollock. I remember reading an article which featured Pollock’s impressive large scaled paintings, it was his no fear attitude when working with materials which always excited me, combining elements of chance with a precision thoughtfulness technique. It was this technique orchestrated by Pollock (Known as ‘Action painting’) which is still recognized around the world today.

Although I respected and still respect Pollock’s work I was more interested in researching into artists who fell short of public fame and was less noticed, Lee Krasner and her work became the ideal artist for me to start exploring.

When I first heard about this exhibition arriving to London I knew I had to go and relive the excitement I first experienced all those years ago. Although this time I will see Krasner’s impressive masterpieces up front and in the flesh.

   Embrace, 1956, Oil on Canvas

The exhibition was curated on two floors and you were firstly directed to the first floor which is where the exhibition began. The whole exhibition was incredible as it gave me a chance to fully understand the diversity of Krasner’s practice, however there were a few series of works which impacted on me more greatly. The first series works which I have termed the ‘Prophecy Series’ caught my attention, it was the technique Krasner used when working with the paint on the canvas, big dominating loops, fleshy like forms, lined with black with accents of pink made me think of a dislocated distorted human body. The works had beautiful aspects of colour with an added grotesque like form, these works instantly made me think of one of my other favourite artists Francis Bacon. This series began with the piece titled Prophecy before three other works: Birth, Embrace and Three in Two, all works were created during a time when Krasner was under considerable strain due to her relationship collapse with Jackson Pollock. The works are very dark and give a true insight into the struggles Krasner must have been facing. Krasner was once asked about her determination and focus to paint, Krasner responded by saying ‘Painting is not separate from life. It is one. It is like asking – do I want to live? My answer is yes – and I paint.’ 

   Blue Level, 1955, Oil, Paper and Burlap collage on Canvas

The next work which caught my eye was Blue Level a work which Krasner produced out of spontaneity, a development which evolved from a despondent feeling. One day Krasner walked into her studio and tore all her drawings up it was this act of aggression which led to something exciting. The cut strewn shreds became the beginning of a series of collages, a mixed media enforced technique which resulted in works depicting the organic which was made from a subconscious action achieved from the artist herself. It is brilliant to know that Krasner firstly never knew she had created something which was greatly appreciated. These works hold a subtle sense of disorder incorporated within a well performed process.

   Stop and Go, 1949 – 50, Oil and Enamel on panel 

Stop and Go emerged from a series known as ‘Little Images’ which was produced in a make shift studio where Krasner had transformed her upstairs bedroom into a work space. Krasner was constructing vibrant abstractions which looked at introducing rhythm to the composition. Paint was layered with a palette knife and worked into with a stiff paintbrush. Stop and Go made me think of my works in particular my Contained Information works because I work with a similar process, uniting opposing colours together in order to achieve the best possible visual abstracted look. Although the paint I apply looks non – uniformed there has been a calculated action which derives from a Systematic Operation.

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Franz West Indoor Sculptures – at the Omer Tiroche Gallery – 1st March – 7th June, 2019

Friday 7th June, 2019

Franz west - Omer Tiroche 1

Poster Design (Meeting Points – Royal Botanical Garden 1, Skulptur), 2002 – 2005, Acrylic, Glossaire paint, Digital print on foamcore 

The first time I saw Franz West’s work in the flesh was in June 2018 at the Gagosian Gallery , Davies Street, London. The exhibition presented three large Papier-mache sculptures paying respect to his Sisyphos sculptural series.

What attracted me to West’s work and in particular his work on show here at the Omer Tiroche Gallery, was his approach to manipulate materials and imagery in order to examine art’s relation to life and collective experiences. With much diversity in his practice producing collages and interactive sculptures to tables, seating and abstracted forms, his work provided a focus on the tensions and integration between the public audience all which considers the controlled behaviors and impulsive actions of the body, demanding the viewers intervention rather than their observation.

Franz west - Omer Tiroche 5

Untitled, 2007, Acrylic, Epoxy resin, Papier-mache, Wood and Plastic bucket

In my work I always try to conduct an activity which can offer the audience an opportunity to experience the intensive exercise I exert when working into the surface. I always want the audience to relive this where they start to inherit the same journey I took when constructing each piece. Another interesting aspect I always try to connect with my work – large or small, is this composed configuration between formal architectural qualities and Anti – formal uncertainties which develop from a spontaneous Systematic Operation.

    Image 1 – Primary Scientific Time Data (PSTD #2), 2018, 199 x 257 cm, Paulin, Dirt, Sand, Cement, Tanking slurry, PVA admix adhesive, Concentrated sugar soap, Varnish, Gloss, Emulsion paint, Matt paint, Gloss paint

Image 2 – Primary Scientific Time Data (PSTD #1) & Primary Scientific Time Data (PSTD #3) – Fine Art MA Degree Show at the University Creative Arts, Farnham, Surrey

Image 3Contained Information #2, 2018, 20 x 20 x 2 cm, Glass, Natural pine constructed frame, Paulin, Tanking slurry, Plaster, Stain varnish, PVA admix adhesive, Matt paint, Enamel paint   

Image 1 – Untitled, 2007, Acrylic, Epoxy resin, Papier-mache, Wood and Plastic bucket (Close up)

Image 2 – Untitled, 2010, Papier-mache, Acrylic, Lacquer, Gauze and Steel on Artist’s metal table

The importance of colour, form and function is visually evident in West’s work, but what I also find intriguing was his subtle use of language which provides a range of interesting contexts. One other feature I really like in West’s work is this incorporation of Punk aesthetics, where he playfully transformed mundane found objects into sculptures, where the familiar starts to become unfamiliar.

Microcrystalline Trace

   Microcrystalline Trace, 2011, Canvas, Microcrystalline wax, Acrylic 

My work carries similar connotations to West’s work where a no care attitude to selected materials can be witnessed, a no fear attitude to breaking the rules, and instead dancing with chance and risk is the goal. I believe West and I share unique Punk aesthetics which are complex, a look which is designed to disrupt and cause a stir and spark conversation in order to gain immediate attention.

‘From ArtCan With Love’ – ArtCan Postcard Exhibition, at The Fitzrovia Gallery – Wednesday 5th June, 2019

Thursday 6th June, 2019 

Operating and Organising Colour

Operating & Organising Colour, 2019, 10 x 15 cm, Cotton canvas, Cement, Plaster, Paraffin wax, Microcrystalline wax, Interior varnish, Industrial gloss, Ink, Enamel paint 

‘From ArtCan With Love’ was a fundraising exhibition formulated by the excellent arts organisation ArtCan – http://www.artcan.org.uk

It was a one night only exhibition of new works by ArtCan artists and Trustees. All works in the exhibition were postcard – sized and created specifically for this show. All works were priced at a very affordable £40, and buyers were able to take the works away once purchased.

I was extremely pleased to see that my piece was sold!

Fitzrovia 2

I was really looking forward to this exhibition because it was to be my first exhibition with ArtCan, and I was also displaying a piece which displayed new processes, techniques and methods all which focused on the importance of the grid.

I believe this grid format helped me to control me energy consumption, and as a result each squared area on the surface stored information as beautiful forms. I chose to use the grid as a predetermined ordering structure which I decided to follow and disrupt.

 I worked with the limitless potential which the grid suggested, this included inspiring meditations on colour, spirituality, form, and the act of art – making itself. I also found that using the grid provided me with a tremendous opportunity to explore colour relations and move colour around once colour was applied, the grid became a tool to fix and freeze all motion of colour.

  (‘From ArtCan With Love’ – Opening night at The Fitzrovia Gallery, London – 5th June, 2019)