“Untitled” by Sebastian Wickerworth – Art Review

By Jesse Bowling

Destroying your art can be a pretty satisfying event, trust me I have done it a couple of times. Sebastian’s work “untitled” was a part of a show at Ballce Hertling Gallery in Paris in 2010, just scrapping in as “contemporary art” (class in-joke soz). Sebastian exhibited a large grey box upended that seems to have been dropped from the ceiling. The “box” is made from gib-board – which is typically used to line walls within buildings; the board is then covered in a glossy gray film. Most of his work speaks to traditional post-minimalist art with a zesty twist of destruction.

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The “box” seems it has been dropped from a substantial height onto the gallery floor… but it’s touching the ceiling so how could this destruction happen? Sebastian has done many other works that seem to be destroyed in-situ, but on the contrary Sebastian constructs his destruction. Just as much work has gone into the geometric form that has gone into constructing an aesthetical forceful act. Has a spectator unaware of Sebastian’s work you may be like WTF why would you destroy your work? Was there a performance I missed?

I enjoy that he plays with the notion of the art object as being a “precious” item, that should not be touched or you will knock it off the plinth. Wickeroth challenges the historical avant-garde aesthetics so often we see the same old geometric abstract paintings, with their sharp edges and simple geometric compositions, Sebastian with simple order that is paralleled by his deconstruction, speaks to a new geometric abstraction with a brutalized truth of form.

My favorite titled work by Sebastian would be “ Form Fucks Function” having a jab at those Judd lovers :P.

Take a look at his website for more info: http://www.wickeroth.de/

All images credited to: Sebastian Wickeroth

Toner Party – Exhibition Review

By Maddy Plimmer

Although I didn’t have the pleasure of attending the 2014 exhibition “Toner Party,” it is the concept of the exhibition that I find most satisfying.  Hosted by Apothecary gallery in North Carolina, artist’s works were printed in black and white and put on the walls in one large chaotic collage, to reflect the spontaneous and rapid pace of the creation and consumption of many contemporary artworks.  The show contained works from international artists, with some works being sent via email to make it to the show. The works also ranged from photocopies of paintings, to poster designs and other commercial work. However all the works were influenced by the Internet aesthetic, and some even had a somewhat 1980s influence. The way the works are displayed in a nonsensical, overlapping patchwork leaving no gaps of wall showing, is similar to a how stereotypical teenager’s bedroom would be littered with posters of fad bands and models.  It creates a sense of over stimulation, an unedited spread of contemporary culture, or more specifically and unedited cross-section of the Post Internet movement. This untidy, and overwhelming arrangement of works also mimics the fast pace and constant stimulation one can find on the Internet. The display method is a part of a concept that overrides the concepts of the individual pieces. It appears as if the pieces were selected based on their appearance and their ability to sit harmoniously in the group. The mixing of fine art pieces and old gig posters creates a nice assortment of images and text.

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The cheap bulk approach to printing the artworks is interesting in terms of a renouncement of traditional modes of presenting art.  It tends to quantity over quality. The individual works are not given space and carefully selected to be considered on their own and then discussed from a metre away. Rather they make up part of a whole, the tactic for their display becomes more the art than the actual works. They are part of a larger composition now.  A composition that allows for maximum art consumption.

S P A C E S at The Dowse – Exhibtion Review

Featuring artists such as Andrew Barber, Zac Langdon-Pole, Gavin Hurley, Kate Newby, Patrick Lundberg, Fiona Connor and Peter Peryer.

The Dowse Art Museum -13 Dec 2014 – 22 Mar 2015

By Kane Laing

Walking into the space of S P A C E S, the first words that enter my mind are “Looks like Contemporary Art”. It had a feeling of contemporariness with its mix of contemporary aesthetic tropes, the giant abstract canvas, the small paintings, the giant semi-abstract reduction painting, the recontextualised stack of bricks, the intimate black and white photo, and of course the removed and relocated staircases sculpture in the middle of the room. Not to mention the colour theme of grey and white.

On the wall-text of S P A C E S is written:

 “How do you exhibit architecture? The common answer is generally a combination of drawings, models, photography and film – media that may provide a helpful representation but can never quite match the experience of architecture itself. . . Through these works we may begin to notice the physical space around us, and start to ask questions: How much does architecture impact on art? How much does art impact on architecture? Is it possible for the spaces we see art in to be neutral? Are some spaces so interesting architecturally that they dwarf the art? Can art change the way we see and remember a space?”

I don’t feel like any of these really good questions were addressed, except maybe in the most vague manner that only contemporary artists could. It sounds like a wonderful seed to an exhibition, but in this case the exhibition bears boring fruits. The exhibiton was very cold to me and try-hard contemporary, I didn’t like it. It is the sort of exhibition that leaves me with the underwhelming feeling of “Art, who cares.”.

However it was still worthwhile seeing. The stair sculpture was actually totally reconstructed, which was interesting, but I then wondered if it was more interesting than bringing some real stairs in. I really like the painting by Patrick Newby and I am a fan of his stuff, but it does nothing for this exhibition. Some things are kind of nice but nothing gives the exhibition life. It isn’t a bad exhibition it’s just really boring.

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INSTALLATION VIEW WITH WORKS BY GAVIN HURELY, JOHN REYNOLDS & JULIAN DASHPER, AND PATRICK LUNDBERG. PHOTO: JOHN LAKE

I can see the interesting links to architecture in most of these works, but I felt uninspired and distant from the beauty or fascination that can be found in architecture everywhere. The wall text in the show is right on the money and I want to see a show that really embodies those questions. But, I’m sorry, 12 bricks stacked up is a shallow engagement with an interesting concept. To me that is the essence of what is wrong with contemporary art, it’s so vague and clinical, and it can be intimidating to some people when it is so inaccessible. I don’t think the public has to be spoon-fed and there is room for ambiguity and unknowing-tension in art, but at least make it engaging.

The alphabet-art show upstairs was much more fun.

Images taken from The Dowse website

http://dowse.org.nz/exhibitions/detail/spaces

Crossings – Alberto Garcia-Alvarez – Exhibition Review

 By Kerry Males

 

Alberto Garcia-Alvarez has an exhibition called “Crossings” located on the top floor of the City Gallery in Wellington, from the 14th of March to the 14th of June 2015. Alvarez was born in Barcelona, studied in Spain then moved to New Zealand and worked at Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland for 20 years. His early works consisted of large abstract-expressionist paintings that are influenced by line, form and shape. Alvarez is more widely known for his mural “up” in Auckland that is made of 295 ceramic blocks placed into a grid format, called “Collective Mind”. Alvarez also has worked in other mural commissions made from mosaic, tapestry and stained glass. However this exhibition consisted of a series of wooden constructions with a range of sizes and forms. Before you enter the room you are greeted by a small wooden structure that looks similar to a red, white and blue Nike tick. 

 

Inside the exhibition you are surrounded by a range of similar looking structures that have been painted in some form of Mondrian influence. Naturally I was drawn to a large block structure that is formed by much smaller black pieces. With further inspection of the large block structure, I found that the presentation of the work was slightly under- par. After moving on to the other structures I found it a little upsetting that a lot of the wooden structures are painted with little effort and some of the wooden pieces are cut slightly messy. I was expecting the structures inside the exhibition to be just as visually pleasing as the structure on the door. However the exhibition is called “Crossings”, not “Painted Wood” and Alvarez does note that his wooden constructions are influenced by the idea of crossing, like when the points of the objects intersect or when a section of the object crosses over another section. I found these series of works may have been more closely related to his early painting works in which he would cut his canvases to reveal the underlying structure of the painting.

Image Objects – Artie Vierkant

By Jesse Bowling

Artie Vierkant’s work “Image Objects” Is an ongoing work since 2011, existing somewhere between physical objects and documentation / new iterations of the “art object”.  They jump between digital objects, actual objects, and back to digitally “documented” art works. These start their life as a digital file, he proceeds to print these compositions onto dibond which is then precision cut to create a physical version of this digital file that represents a traditional art object. Each time this work is documented, the photographs are then re-manipulated to create new works or iterations of the physical art objects, creating an infinite loop of digitization.

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As I have never seen these works physically I have only seen the documented versions, or alternate art works that spawned in response to this paradigm. Alternating the documented works from the gallery spawns new works through traditional techniques like collage, cropping and re-positioning parts of the “frame”, adding new colour etc.… as you can see in the images supplied.

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In response these works speak to the advertising industry and techniques used to digitally retouch advertisements. Which we see all to often in popular culture, in the likes of high fashion photo shoots to correct complexion and extort body features. For me this is an interesting way of exploring the life of an art object and keeping an ongoing project alive and interesting, rather than just re-displaying the same work over and over from gallery to gallery. Intern the re-interpretations of these works become more interesting as I would tend to be more interested in seeing the digital versions, rather than going to see the actual works. I find it exciting that an artist is taking this approach to a traditional institutional stage as these objects are “documented” in galleries and then re-purposed after online, in multiple prints, and publications. As if we can all be spectators of Artie’s work either online, in person, or find a publication somewhere on a coffee table, I can appreciate each aspect and take each component as an artwork.

All I want to be is a coffee table artist.