|Tate Britain, Marketa Luskacova,( b 1944-)
visited Oct 2018

Czech-born Luskačová is a photographer of the docu format. This exhibition shows 'Pilgrims (1964–1971), Black and white photographs of  Christian rituals in eastern Slovakia.

While Luskacova’s subjects have always been about people in public spaces facing adversity (she has photographed  Czech and Slovakian life and life in London markets) Here I want to focus on the photographs taken in Slovakia.

 

I found an article detailing her practice on a Czech website and asked my mother to translate, this I felt gave more gravitas to the photographs than the information presented at Tate Modern.

 

My Mother said Luskacova stopped taking the photographs the day when the communists threatened A level students and said that they will not allow them to take final exams if they took part in the  procession.They were warned that the  state security agency would photograph them.  She said she did not want to frighten the young people and she herself was scared as she was getting married in 4 days time and did not want to be detained.

 

My Mother also said that the reason why the photographs are of Slovak processions was that Slovaks are more religious than Czechs so there would probably  be no such processions in the Czech parts of the former Czechoslovakia.

Also taking photos could be seen as an act of rebellion as to be a communist  you couldn’t be religious.

 

Karl Marx said "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people"

My Mother said at school the  teachers  spread communist propaganda  and told the children there was no such thing as God. But on the other hand when she went to Church the priest  would tell you there was a God.

 

References

https://ct24.ceskatelevize.cz/kultura/2709737-ceska-fotografka-oslnila-anglii-marketa-luskacova-se-v-londynske-tate-zaradila-mezi

Marx, Karl. 1844. A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, Deutsch-Französische Jahrbücher, 

Women passing the procession, near Kosice, Slovakia 1968

Michael Werner Gallery- Jörg Immendorff: Questions From a Painter who Reads-16th November 2018

22 Upper Brook Street, London. W1K 7PZ

Spanning four decades of Immendorff's career from 1974 until his death in 2007, this exhibition takes its title from a 1980 painting "Questions from a Worker Who Reads" which asks if a individual or  unknown groups are responsible for political victories. Immendorff challenged political establishments becoming disillusioned and this exhibition starts with his paintings of the working masses.

He represented a divided Germany with his 'Cafe Deutschland' series  depicted a country coming to terms with their past identity, culture and politics.

I spoke to the curator at length as I was the first visitor for the first few hours on a Saturday and he gave me a tour of the work and spoke about the artists struggle with the illness ALS which killed him in the end. The illness also changed his work considerably as he had to learn how to use his other hand as he deteriorated.  He used a combination of college and painting along with his  interest in classical sculpture  to produce some interesting work. I could see links with the Kabakovs and their 

collage paintings is I did a bit of research and the Kabakovs paintings came afterwards, A coincidence perhaps or were they inspired by his work?

When I got home from the gallery I remembered we had discussed this artist in one of our reading groups and his painting 'Where Do You Stand With your Art Colleagues " 1973 

 29 Nov 2018 - 6 Feb 2019-Weston Studio, Royal Academy of Arts

Mary Maclean-What is Seen, What is Shown

https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/free-display-mary-maclean-what-is-seen-what-is-shown

 

Mary Maclean (1962-2018) studied painting at Glasgow School of Art, Rijksacademy and the RCA.This exhibition at the RA depicts her final work, Maclean's work is influenced by painting and the understanding of it. What struck me about this work was the flatness of the image. I couldn't draw my eyes away from the  illusion of whether it was a painting or a photograph.There is a stillness about her work and this reflects  her subject matter of the act of seeing/not seeing and how she is interested in objects  that are on the peripheral of vision ,  she  makes them  visible and draws attention to  the overlooked and unremarkable. This work stopped me in my tracks when I was walking through the RA to go to the entrance , the presence of the work and the way she manipulated the image made me interested to find out more.

Campus  #1, 2011.Silver gelatin on aluminum 72 x 100 cm 

Dec 29th 2018-NEW PAINTING,24 November 2018 - 17 January 2019

Contemporary British Painting members’ exhibition.Curated by Paula MacArthur and Wendy Saunders.

The Crypt, St Marylebone Church,17 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LT

I heard about this exhibition from  artist Marguerite Horner who I follow on instagram, I first saw her work at NOA 2017, an exhibition that I was shortlisted for and  I have been interested in her work with the Calais Jungle. Adam on the MA course also mentioned that Geraint Evans ( our Course Leader) was also part of this exhibition.

The exhibition took place in The Crypt, St Marylebone Church, I really like going to exhibitions in non commercial art spaces  (even though Churches have been displaying art for centuries, I mean the modern art gallery space ) I felt  that the space was very contemplative and still. It seemed to reflect the mood of the art on the walls.

The  British Painting  group are  painters  who live  and work in the UK, they are  artist led and  promote contemporary painting across the UK with exhibitions, talks, publications, an annual painting prize. I felt the work reflected what is happening in the contemporary art world in the UK within the current climate. Below are the works that  caught my eye for their atmospheric quality and skill of manipulation of the paint to portray their subject matter.

 

Geraint Evans, Feral
Oil on board 56 x 60 cms. 2017

22nd Dec 2018 - 11 Jan 2019.Art is Part of the Equation. Clore Learning, Centre Royal Academy of Arts

22 Dec 2018-11 Jan 2019.

I come from a background of Community based art teaching and I am always  interested to see how large arts organisations response to the current climate and issues affecting society.

So it was refreshing to see the RA have opened the Clore Learning Centre, a space for workshops for community partner organisations such as ActionSpace,Age Concern, Arlington House ,Capital A, British Red Cross and many more ( See website)https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/art-is-part-of-the-equation-ra-community-exhibition

This exhibition gives a chance for people otherwise disengaged from the arts due to circumstances beyond their control and is a chance to see the work of these organisations over the last 5 years.  I strongly believe art should be accessible for all and  this is a start in the right direction but more needs to be done to counteract the prevalent attitude that the arts aren't as important as academic subjects in there UK.

Impressionists - National Gallery, Oct 2018

This exhibition was a collaboration between the National Gallery and the Courtauld Gallery. The Courtauld is closed for renovation at the moment so a selection of the  paintings are from their gallery.

Showing  the development of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings.I thought it was an interesting exhibition if a little thin on the ground, if I recall there was only 3 rooms and it was a paying exhibition.

Divided into 12 sections, one for each artist, clearly laid out and not too busy so you can actually see the work.

Manet- Le Dejeuner sur l'herbe

Robert Rauschenberg  'Spreads 1975-83' -  28 November 2018 - 26 January 2019

ALERIE THADDAEUS ROPAC - ELY HOUSE, 37 Dover Street, London.

This exhibition is the first in the UK to show Rauschenberg's Spreads, a series of collages made up of solvent transfers, acrylic and everyday objects.

Asked about his use of the term “Spread”, Rauschenberg responded that it meant

 

as far as I can make it stretch, and land (like a farmer’s ‘spread’), and also the stuff you put on toast”.

 

Set over three floors and minimal visitors , this exhibition was a refreshing change from the crowded main stream galleries, I'd have expected this work to be shown  in. I  wandered in and I  immediately was confronted with his large collages. I find his work incredibly melodic and full of energy. I think he was one of the most creative artists of his time,  his breadth of use of materials  was original  for the time and has inspired many artists since such as Damien Hirst when he used animals like Rauschenberg's 'Monogram'
( 1955) and as soon as I saw Rauschenberg's 'Bed' (1955) I thought of Emin's 'MyBed'(1998)

Rauschenberg has inspired my work in the past with his screen prints and I think he one of my favourite artists because he was so original and his work so vibrant. I like the fact that he was restless and always trying new ways to express himself, his work never looked tired to me and every time I look at his work it always looks fresh and timeless.

 

Bough ( Spread) 1980,Solvent transfer, fabric, acrylic and metal on wood panels with object 220.3 x 218.8 cm 

National Portrait Gallery-Njideka Akunyili Crosby "The Beautyful Ones" 17 Nov 2018-3 Feb 2019

 A small exhibition of Crosbys work from "The Beautyful Ones", a series of work that depicts life in Nigera  ( Crosby's birthplace) through  her cultural identity crossed over into the west ( Crosby moved to the US when she was 16 in 1983)

Using acrylic paint, transfers and collage her work reflects her  hybrid cultural identity through the referencing  of historical, political and personal imagery. I have been interested in her work for a while and I follow her on instagram, to see her work close up was surprising as most of the work was on cartridge paper and the was paint applied directly to the paper without the paper warping or getting damaged in transit.

I think I will try screen printing on heavy cartridge paper and applying acrylic paint to see if I get the same result.

PV- Total Eclipse of the Heart, Coombs Contemporary at Watson Farley & Williams 23rd January 2019

This was the smartest PV I have been to so far. There were lots of canapés and wine served to you while you looked at the art work. I was very impressed with the curating and the selection of work along the theme of "Paintings about women'

Geraldine Swayne

Tate Modern PIERRE BONNARD -The Colour of Memory

24th Jan 2019

This exhibition explores Bonnards interpretation of the presence of time and memory. He painted 'Young Women in the Garden' in 1921 and didn't finish it until 1946, when he resumed the painting he was trying to rediscover the original memory.

Doretha  Tanning - Tate modern 

 

I went to see this exhibition three times with different friends and I'm glad I did as each time  I got  something  different out of the visit.

Spanning 50 years of Tannings practice m this exhibition was curated in such a way that you walked through each room displaying a different phase in her work. What stood out for me was her Birthday painting ( 1942) because of the doors behind her referring to the subconscious and Maternity, while Tanning never had children she is referencing Motherhood in the broader sense.I also found her soft sculptures interesting especially  Chambre 202, Hôtel du Pavot,( 1970) an installation of  bodies creeping out of the walls in a eery darkened room. While sinister there is an element of fun  to this work and playfullness and for me brings her subject to life.

Painting and Childhood, Compton Verney, Warwickshire. 29 March 2019.

Millais, Souvenir of Velasquez, 1868

This painting was presented as Millais's diploma work when he was elected a Royal Academician in 1868. While Millais referenced Velasquez he also was inspired by Reynolds which was a deliberate ploy to underscore his affiliation to the traditions of the Royal Academy according to Martin Postle, Compton Verney Symposium ( March 2019)

 I was so enthralled with this painting as it seemed to solve a dilemma for me of getting the  balance between painting loose and neat that I was inspired to paint my own version of it ( See paintings and studio practice.)

 

 

 

 

Matthew Krishanu- Painting Childhood now

A Child Asleep- Reynolds c 1782

Infant son of the Artist -Allan Ramsay, c1741

Whilst at Compton I could see a lot of similarities between the work and Michael Borreman's work, see below.

Sleeper- Michael Borremans 

 

© Copyright Caroline Streatfield 2019