17 May 2014 § Leave a comment
Anyone who visited Newspeak: British Art Now at the Saatchi in 2010 cannot fail to remember John Wynne’s monumental work, Installation for 300 Speakers, Pianola & Vacuum Cleaner 2009 (see video here on Vimeo). The undisputed star of the show it consisted of a giant gently writing vacuum cleaner hose pumping air to (from?) a pianola which in turn, seemingly randomly, activated never-repeating sounds played via a giant pile of loudspeakers. These enigmatic sounds filled the gallery and echoed around the Saatchi. It was at once monumental, minimal and immersive using sound and sculptural assemblage to explore and define architectural space and to investigate the borders between sound and music.
I was immediately therefore drawn to Gazelli Art House latest show – an exhibition of three new site-specific works by John Wynne. You enter immediately into the heart of the first work, Installation for high & Low Frequencies 2014. The whole room reverberates with both a high pitched ringing and a deep vibration. Is it a sound or rather a feeling? The effect is visceral and disturbing enough for some gallery visitors to immediately turn back and head out of the gallery looking somewhat unsettled.
Strangely this repulsive effect probably indicates success – questioning our relationship with the sounds and the internal space. Wynne certainly presents the viewer with a subtly unsettling merge between the external business of our daily urban lives and the apparent refuge of interior space.
In another work upstairs a 6 minute sonic loop played in a totally blackened space. Again it provoked an unease as the ability to use ones vision during the experience meant a total immersion in the sound that span around you.
Also showing are the works of Yoojin Jung whose works similarly are within the galleries curatorial theme of 2014 – that the only thing constant in life is change. Calm and reflective they provide a worthy counterpoint to John Wynne’s rather more provocative works.
6 August 2010 § Leave a comment
The agony is over, here is what you have all been waiting for. As promised yesterday this is the result of my scrupulously unscientific survey to discover which artists shown at Newspeak (part 1), were most highly – and poorly – regarded by the critics. Saatchi has chosen his top artists in the UK, and here are the critics top nine of those. So this is la creme de la creme? See what you think.
1 William Daniels (5). Paintings of his own still-lives that have been themselves created with paper and household bits and pieces. They question originality, authenticity and cultural worth. ‘Outstanding’ (Standard). ‘Heartfelt and uncanny’ (Independent). ‘Delightful and very, very collectable’ (me!).
2.Littlewhitehead (4). It Happened in the Corner. A group of life-sized hoodies gather threateningly, backs towards us, in a corner of the gallery. ‘Ominous and unsettling’ (Guardian). Personally I ignore hoodies gathered in corners and this time was no exception.
3= Ged Quinn (3.5). Allegorical landscapes in the style of Poussin/Lorrain containing strange references from recent history. ‘Thought-provoking, witty and multi-layered’ (Guardian). These works allow repeated close examination and have great appeal.
3= John Wynne (3.5). An army of loudspeakers occupy a whole gallery, building in to a monumental pile in the corner. A pianola plays its punched card at ultra-slow page and random sounds are interspersed in the soundtrack. A delicate balance between order and disorder, both visually and aurally, that is totally captivating.
5= Eugenie Scrase (3). Well who would adam and eve it? The School of Saatchi winner has slipped in with her ‘readymade’ park railings that bend under the imagined impact of a lump of tree-trunk. Brain Sewell in the Standard hits the nail on the head when he says ‘wait and see’ whilst the Guardian agrees – is she a ‘Duchampian magpie or a total chancer?’ She is definitely a very lucky girl – will it hold?
5= Hurvin Anderson (3). His large canvases flirt between abstraction and figuration. There is a sense of disorientation and displacement and they ‘evoke colour and space in a way that recalls Peter Doig’ (Independent). I can already see these on the wall at Christies in a few years time!
7= Goshka Macuga (2). Mme Blavatsky (a 19th century theosophist) floats, parlour-trick style, above two chairs. To quote the Saatchi, she ‘..emits a transendental aura, channelling the dark art of inspiration from beyond’. Macuga is a well-established artist who does not need our help, and with this waste of space she wont get it!
7= Rupert Norfolk (2). With Guillotine has ‘rendered duplictous a machine designed for cutting things in two… little short of genius’ (Independent). Also has a neat checked rug with trompe-l’oeil creasing.
Please see next post for the bottom of the chart!
The Publications were: The Times, Sunday Times, Independent, Guardian, Standard, FT and Daily Telegraph. The number of positive reviews to a maximum of 7 are shown in brackets. I will update the chart after Newspeak (part 2) opens at the end of October.
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- Charles Saatchi’s catalogue of disasters (guardian.co.uk)
- Newspeak: British Art Now, The Saatchi Gallery, London (independent.co.uk)
- The State of Young Art in Britain (online.wsj.com)
- Newspeak: British Art now at the Saatchi Gallery, review (telegraph.co.uk)
- As he unveils the next generation of young artists, has Charles Saatchi lost his edge? (independent.co.uk)