'Simply Painting' at Peacock Visual Arts!

Yet again other things have taken over my spare time and my desire to document and comment on current cultural offerings in Aberdeen is a bit thin. Sometimes you just need to take a step back. But I did manage to catch the 'Simply Painting' show at Peacocks a month back and was totally enamoured with the works on display.

"For Simply Painting the painter Jim Mooney has chosen works by eight distinguished artists notable for their intelligent exploration of the formal and expressive concerns that are particular to the visuality of an abstract painting entirely devoid of any mimetic tendency. Their work is testimony to painting’s capacity to be both a vehicle and repository of being and experience and the experience of being. They subtly and passionately reveal to us the precarious and provisional nature of what it is to be human."     

It was great to see some big work and also some incredible applications of paint. It's funny how abstract work can appear to just be shapes and colours randomly put to canvas with no rhyme or reason but somehow it speaks volumes, igniting something in the viewer that elicits feelings of dare I say pleasure. That's certainly what I felt looking at some of the works, a fine reminder of the power of art! I'm sure ill be back on the old horse soon enough, especially with the Smart ladies showing work at Parx cafĂ©, opening tonight and one of my favourite artists from last years Degree Show (Caitlyn Main) showing her most recent work at Peacocks now! 

'Grey Gardens' at Dundee Contemporary Arts!

I've found myself in Dundee quite a bit this past month for various shows and most recently to check out Fiona McCubbin & Amy Louise Jones collaborative exhibition 'Bonefold'. Sadly my failure to check out the opening times combined with a strict bus schedule meant I totally missed their show which was a bummer. However with the time I had I managed a quick visit to the DCA to take in the Grey Gardens exhibition.

"The exhibition traces a line from Scottish modernist buildings by Morris and Steedman and Peter Womersley to the work of Italian architect Carlo Scarpa and the fantastical Mexican concrete garden Las Pozas, created by Edward James. Scottish town art also features, from Brian Miller’s work in Cumbernauld to David Harding’s creations for Glenrothes. These unique environments will be revealed through photography and video from Guido Guidi, Colin McLean, Amanda Holmes and Avery Danziger."

Grey Gardens takes a close look at some stunning buildings and examples of work from those mentioned above, building up a nice picture of each architects unique approach to buildings and public space. The large prints of Edward James Las Pozas really immerse the viewer in the tropical location of his totemesque buildings. Another thing that really struck me about the show is the layout, using an extensive archive of photographs to highlight the stunning range of work by Cumbernaulds new town artist Brian Miller, the first artist tasked with creating work site specific to the town you get a real sense of place and space. 

A personal highlight came from Guido Guidis photographs of Scarpa's Tomba Brion, resting place of the Brion family and Scarpa himself after his death in 1978. Guidi captures subtle images of the various architectural details which are not at first apparent like how the sun creates these moving shadows which morph and change depending on the time of day. I spent some time examining each of the prints and was completley immersed in the Tomba. Another highlight came from Martin Boyce and his 'Against The Sky' jesmonite panel, a piece which finds perfect balance between shape, form, materials, type and space. I could honestly have stared at it for hours, seeing the lines left from the casting process, the metal letters cast in Martins own font, the slab being both a dominant piece but also light in its own way. 

The DCA as always have done a great job of presenting the work for Grey Gardens, which is part of a series of events being held across Scotland as part of the Festival of Architecture with more events in the pipe line including the soon to be launched 'Look Again' festival in Aberdeen. There's beauty in the greys if you just stop and look for a minute and Grey Gardens certainly highlights them! The show runs until the 1st of May so be sure to get down to Dundee Contemporary Arts before then.