Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Power of the Medium

Gabriel Dawe
Plexus no. 11, 2011, Thread installation
Sponsored by Guttermann

Material Matters:
The Power of the Medium
Courtauld Institute

The Courtauld institute of Art's tent biannual contemporary art exhibition opened on Friday and I am bobbling over with superlatives. The exhibit was fresh, fun, magnetic and diverse.
The happening was at the East wing x of the Courtauld Institute of art (Somerset House) that after what I understand usually contain offices. Here rooms, corridors, stairs, and ceilings had been used well, which reminded me a bit of PS1 in New York and my love for that museum's use of space.
Everywhere you turned something new appeared, artists, curators and gallerist's were mingling around with the viewers, the atmosphere relaxed, happy and felt quite a bit like a home party.

Emi Miyashita
Welcome into my home

What more suitable then than Emi Miyashita's fantastic corridor "Welcome into my home".
It created a great buzz and a full stop, because you had to use some time to discover her delightful sexual "fairyland" surprises. The tiny drawings were accompanied with magnifying glasses, so you would not miss the micro details.

Emi Miyashita

Georgia Russell
Physiology, 2011, cut book
Courtesy of England & Co.

In the library the subject was "Creation of identity". I especially adored the Julie Cockburn's intricate and historical photography cutouts.

Julie Cockburn
Every Man, 2010, 3D collage
Courtesy of the artist and Stark Projects.

Simon Monk
Leisure Bag 2011
oil and alkyd on wood panel
Courtesy of the artist and Stark Projects

In the Cafe the subject was "The viewer as the Medium". You really did have to be part of these works to understand the aspect of it. Like the Erik Sanner painting with the video installation, I didn't "get it" before the artist himself showed me by blocking the projector that it was a painting behind it... and that of course made it a lot more "attractive" to me. I am obsessed with revelations.

Patrick Hughes
A couple of Canals, 2011
paper and paint on board
Courtesy of the Artist

Side view of "A Couple of Canals)

Erik Sanner
Videoing and painting a landscape containing an inverted orange traffic cone which is impaling
an asphalt pedestrian/bike path, 
2011, oil on canvas with original software and video projection
Courtesy of the artist

The painting behind the Erik Sanner Video.

Meekyoung Shin
Ghost Series, 2011, soap
Courtesy of the artist

 This soap sculpture series I wrote about last year when The Haunch of Venison had a Meekyoung Shin solo exhibit.

Laura Keeble
2012, Ovservane, reclaimed stained glass and mixed media.
Courtesy of the artist and Stark projects

Another great piece by Laura Keeble that last year was part of the group show "Superbrand".
The piece was in Room I:"Immaterial made Material", together with Mat Chivers and Damien Hirst.

Mat Chivers
Illuminati, 2011, chemical etched and pigmented stainless steel, 
with aluminium frame
Courtesy of the artist 

Rupert Shrive
The Sleep of Reason, 2011 
acrylic on brown paper, resin and bamboo.
Courtesy of the artist and Agent Morton

At the corridor II, Rupert Shrive's exciting work was hanging from the ceiling and along the wall by a staircase corridor, with the title "The Sleep of Reason" referring to the work of Goya with the same title.

Insert of "The sleep of reason"

Rebecca Stevenson
LuxeVert, 2008, polyester resin anq wax
Courtesy of the artist

I had earlier that day been taking photos of Swans at the Richmond Park and that sort of became a fun subject, that then led me to the sweet artist Rebecca, who is standing next to her beautiful flowery swan.

Emma Bennett
Always is Always Now, 2010
oil and french enamel on canvas,
Courtesy of Charlie Smith, London

Emma Bennett is here doing a twist on the traditional paintings in Room III: "Reinterpretation".

Rachel Whiteread
Yellow Edge, 2008
Private Collection, Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery

In Corridor V: Anniversary, is a piece by the acclaimed Rachel Whiteread, representing some sort of timelessness. 

Marco Querin
7 Seconds, 2010
wool, nails, mixed media on canvas
Courtesy of the artist and Stark Projects

Heringa/Van Kalsbeek
untitled 2010-11, ceramics, resin, steel, cloth, porcelain
Courtesy of the artist and Vegas Gallery
(The Artist together with Pier Vegner Tosta)

Heringa/Van Kalsbeek
untitled 2010-11, ceramics, resin, steel, cloth, porcelain
Courtesy of the artist and Vegas Gallery

Ending it with abstract sculpture work by Heringa/Van Kasbeek, but I could have gone on for a long time... there were more rooms and an exciting foyer that also should have been documented.
But for now I hope this will give you a great taste of what "Material Matters" had to offer.

With Love


  1. Your word magnetic is perfect for this amazing exhibition!

  2. Gorgeous post, darling!
    That Patrick Hughes pieces is amazing!


  3. What a marvelous place!!Love the Ghost series!! Hope you have a great week doll xx

  4. Oh my goodness, everything looks fantastic but I am totally smitten with Patrick Hughes' work. Brilliant! Have a great afternoon, my dear.

  5. wow. everything looks so interesting. what a wonderful event!

  6. much goodness in one post! I love Emi's work!

  7. much goodness in one post. I love Emi's work!

  8. I truly think that the Coutauld is at the top of my museums in the world. It is just amazing.

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