From The Herald Arts section19/5/12
Philip Reeves RSA PPRSW RGI RE
Cyril Gerber Fine Art
178 West Regent Street, Glasgow
0141 221 3095
May 24 - June 14
A couple of years ago at an exhibition of Philip Reeves’ prints in Glasgow Print Studio, a Brazilian friend (who has lived in Scotland for more than a decade) asked me why artists like Philip Reeves were not more revered by journalists covering the art scene in Scotland.
“In Brazil he’d be treated like a demi-God,” he told me. “Man, he’s a master at the top of his game!”
That much is true. Reeves’ quietly hypnotic prints are underpinned by a sure hand and an almost hypnotic attention to detail. In this mini survey of his work at Gerber Fine Art, which includes some of his early paintings and drawings from the 1940s and 1950s, there is a chance to observe the fine draughtsmanship and perfect pitch in composition which lies beneath the abstract forms he creates today.
It gives a real insight into Reeves’s development as an artist at the peak of his powers.
Reeves studied at Cheltenham School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London before moving to Glasgow in 1954, to take up a post at Glasgow School of Art.
He has become an important part of the contemporary British art movement, leading the way in British printmaking today.
Reeves talks of his fascination with details, such as tiling on the walls of Glasgow’s public wash rooms when he first came to the city. It is this ability to notice the composition and construction of the everyday that Reeves has taken beyond the source of visual stimulus to hone and develop an eloquent and personal language of his own.
The new works are as fresh and exciting in the spontaneity as the mark making of the early works.This exhibition provides a glimpse into Reeve’s method of selecting and distilling form into uncluttered abstractions in which he reconstructs fragments of moments in time and places. This is as close as it gets to seeing with the eye of a Modern Master.
Lis Rhodes: Dissonance and Disturbance
Tramway 2 Gallery
25 Albert Drive, Glasgow
0845 330 3501
May 25 – June 24
Avant-garde filmmaker and artist, Lis Rhodes, has exhibited widely at film festivals over the last three decades, but rarely within a gallery setting. A notable exception was in 2009, when she exhibited Light Music (1975) in the oil tanks at Tate Modern.
This opportunity to her ground breaking work in the cavernous space of Tramway, newly vacated by GI, throws a bonus ball to anyone interested in the development of filmmaking as an art form.
Since the 1970s, Rhodes has been making radical and experimental films that challenge the viewer to reconsider film as a medium of communication and presentation of image, language and sound. The exhibition, which takes it’s title from Lis Rhodes' text Dissonance and Disturbance, presents films that encompass performance, photography, composition, writing and political commentary.
Rhodes makes no clear differentiation between form and content. Total immersive and emotional involvement of the audience is integral to the work. She includes fragmentary passages of typeset, handwriting, strips of film negatives, geometric shapes and documentary footage. Soundtracks fade in and out, leaving long passages in silence and others overlaid with a multiplicity of voices.
In Dresden Dynamo (1972), a film made without a camera, the physical marks made by Rhodes onto the celluloid stretch where the projector reads the optical soundtrack, resulting in sound drawings in which what is heard is seen and what is seen is heard. Light Reading (1978), has been described as a new direction for film, a technical and aesthetic tour de force of rapid fire editing, myriad techniques and a text which both manipulates and questions the structure of language and representation.
Rhodes is also showing her most recent works In the Kettle (2010) and Whitehall (2012), together with A Cold Draft (1988) within a two-screen installation for which she is creating a shared soundtrack.
Jenny Matthews & Janet Melrose RSW
45 Broughton Street, Edinburgh
0131 556 7707
Until June 4, 2012
|Three Poppies by Jenny Matthews|
It is a human impulse to make connections, but when it comes to looking at and appreciating art, then this impulse becomes an imperative.
The connections in this beguiling exhibition at Edinburgh’s Union Gallery practically leap from the walls as it features the work of two women who also happen to be best friends. Janet Melrose and Jenny Matthews first met in 1976 as 11-year-olds at the Royal High School in Edinburgh. The plan they hatched back then was to start their own art movement when they grew up.
While the art movement didn’t materialised, they have followed similar paths and both now work as professional artists producing gentle, beautiful paintings inspired by the natural world.
After leaving school, the two friends went on to study drawing and painting at Edinburgh College of Art, where Jenny veered towards botanical illustration under the tutelage of Dame Elizabeth Blackadder, and Janet studied with renowned wildlife artist, John Busby.
Janet was recently elected awarded the honour of being an elected RSW by her fellow artists of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolours. She was also a finalist in the 2008 Aspect Prize.
She describes her paintings, which are mainly inspired by the natural world around her home in rural Perthshire, as ‘accidents which have waited to happen...’ The idea of pilgrimage has crept into her recent work and there is a very real sense of exploration in her pared down paintings.
Jenny’s work is familiar to hundreds of thousands of people who buy greetings cards adorned with her exquisite botanical illustrations. Her work is widely collected and the author Ian Rankin is one of her biggest fans.
Both painters create work inspired by the world around their homes, with very different results. A must-see show for the merry month of May if you are in the Capital.
|Visiting the Temple by Janet Melrose|