12 June 2014 § Leave a comment
Following on from the excellent Yoshishige Saito exhibition (reviewed on AKUTA last month) Annely Juda are showing everyone’s favourite Yorkshire artist, David Hockney. Showing in the upstairs gallery are a series of sixteen bold and striking iPad drawings entitled The Arrival of Spring that the observant amongst you may have seen in the impressive Hockney show at the Royal Academy – A Bigger Picture (previously reviewed here).
When exhibited at the RA this series was shown in a darkened room on iPads mounted to the wall. Here they are an altogether different proposition blown up to nearly 5×4 ft (a selection of four are even larger) and filling the gallery. The increase in scale does not always work. There are some strange looking blobs and areas that seem unfinished but on the whole Hockneys’s eye for colour and form wins over and its hard not to admire his virtuosity on the small screen of the iPad.
The unerring digital brush strokes and the even coloration also work well in lending the landscapes a slightly unreal air. This slightly artificial look would be strange were the landscapes realistic but it works well with the strangely exotic colour schemes that Hockney’s keen eye draws from the subtle tones of the Yorkshire Wolds.
Amongst the iPad drawings the film Woldgate Woods, November 26th 2010 is also being shown: nine video monitors chart a slow progress through a snowy wooded landscape in East Yorkshire. Strangely hypnotic.
The second gallery space has been reserved for a series of new charcoal drawings which Hockney made in the Spring of 2013 following the RA show. Looking for a change from colour he stated “The Chinese say black and white contains colour, and so it can. They are five separate views of Woldgate, and with each one I had to wait for the changes to happen. Some were too close to the previous ones and I realised I was being impatient. I had to wait for a bigger change. I thought it was an exciting thing to do. It made me look much harder at what I was drawing.” (Guardian)
The absence of colour makes one look more closely at these pieces just as he looked harder drawing them. The effort is rewarded with an appreciation of his light touch and observant eye in these carefully observed sketches of leafy lanes and snowy woods.
David Hockney The Arrival of Spring at Annely Juda until 12 July 2014
The printed works are available in edition of 25. A further four prints have been printed in large format and mounted on dibond in an edition of 10.
4 April 2014 § Leave a comment
Despite being just yards from Bonhams and Sothebys on New Bond Street Annely Juda is not that easy to find. On Dering Street adjacent to two other good galleries, Vigo and Ronchini, it is accessed via a discrete doorway and a lift up to the third and fourth floors and is well worth the effort to discover. The gallery’s current exhibitions feature two fine Japanese artists who each occupy one of the gallery’s two bright and airy exhibition spaces.
Yoshishige Saito has been championed by the gallery over many years and despite being a little known figure in the UK he is recognised in his native Japan as one of the great abstract sculptors of the twentieth century. Born in 1904 in Tokyo, Saito never attended art school but was heavily influenced by European and Russian art of the early 20th Century – especially the Dada movement and the Russian Constructivists – and once can readily see the influences of for example Jean Arp or Kazimir Malevich.
Here the gallery becomes a part of the work as the wooden forms jut out and recede into space, over- lapping and interrelating. Saito uses strong, primary colours – black, white and red – to enhance their spacial presence, making the air and space between the materials a part of the work.
These works are both powerful and eye-catching and if they are strangely familiar it is because many other later artists have also drawn on the same strong modernist influences. If somebody said these were long lost works by perhaps Sir Anthony Caro or David Smith one would not be surprised and at the same time Saito’s work is certainly worthy of such comparison.
This posthumous exhibition features ten of Saito’s pieces dating from between 1987 and 2001 and includes the last work that he ever made.
Also showing are the photographic works of Taku Aramasa, part of his Horizon project. Works in ‘The Border’ series consist of multiple images taken with the position and optical axis of the camera being shifted sideways between each shot. whilst pieces from the ‘Visible Transfiguration’ series are more performative in conception. Aramasa manipulates close-up images of plant forms by blurring light with dark, and shadow with reflection.
Most interesting is the way in which Aramasa has been using OROgraphy, a special method of printing he has recently developed, to alter the appearance of his works and give them added depth. After scanning a negative, to create a digital image, he prints onto clear film before applying gold leaf to the back of the film. Whilst adding depth and intensifying the effects of shading the gold also reminds us of the gilding of traditional Japanese craftsmen.
Beautiful and timeless these are delightful works, worthy of showing alongside the excellent Saito upstairs.
At Annely Juda until 26 April 2014