Art : Royal Ulster Academy 2014

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A poor picture of a beautiful little painting by academician Harry Reid.

Yes it is reduced to RUA but lots of people are quite annoyed the emblematic Royal is ridiculous in 2014.
And I agree with them whole heartily.
The obstruction will exists if and when the Riddell building becomes an offshoot. A time to reduce it now to the Ulster Academy.
Vote now.
Telling in kind.
What art is sympathetic to the telling. RUA has a very limited lot of paintings and other forms they would eschew given another disposition so it is here to prod the visitors into an annual excursion around academy art chosen by academicians and then opened for public opprobrium except much will delight.
The typical distilled landscapes without the Kavanagh or flowers without Piper or a white flame of dog or horse imperiously investing gravitas or reworking of an old remembered place by BB it is a journey round a mere four rooms that is constantly creating voids.

The works off the wall are most constantly creations of persuasive strong presence. From the small Graham Gingles symphony in broken shards of glass. Within a glass box. To Brendan Jameson’s two sugar memorials, one a tidy Thiepval tower,
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the other mausoleum for Tate door open with an inscription befitting one half of the empire for which dentists became an essential health enhancer.
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The glass box large and free from the flies or humidity of passing humans. It sits on a wooden floor. Stately absurdity. Another piece by Claire Gibson takes the ordinary as if found yet changes the ordinary object into a formal object of modern beauty.
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The object seen is a screw top light bulb of around 8″ diameter x 2. They are treasure in a wine crate or apple box with chain as other found object.
They have imprinted images as reflections where they are of the elegant classical architecture and imply the former surroundings.
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All three of these artists reproach our sense of remembrance in this year of remembering. To that can be added several other narratives.
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The other sculpture taking my eye was less a sculpture and more an applied raised set of (possibly resin paper mâché) blue faced ‘bars’ with their impression continued in paint on the wall they are fixed too.
This is a little understated but very well considered and presented piece.
It seems concurrent with pattern, colour and minimal art forms that have an architectural as well as natural derivation.
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In a corner, poorly hung are two little drawings/paintings one like a Polaroid the other like a family photograph circa.fifties. See the shadow fixed.
The top one is a very neatly executed painterly view of a beach populated with camper type awnings and lightweight furniture. No one is to be seen.
Only the essence of heat and little shadow.

The top corner is literally overshadowed by the painting to its right. Another mishap. Other paintings, without a bevel framing board have their top intruded on by fractions but annoying as an itch. Giving a dark shadow at the top of the artists image.
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Higher on a wall is a very monochrome drawing on paper, showing an interior of a redundant factory somewhere in Belfast.
Firstly it is a new way of looking. Instead of the realism of a photograph of which there occur some examples here of the distemper of plaster or the ‘natural’ brickwork with human presence of one or other form, this drawing picks out the discarded Eames type chairs, the electrical switchboxes and paraphanalia undisturbed. The paper barely has any pencil damage and the uniformity of the drawing is raw. The style of object drawing is stationary elsewhere. This is an image correct in scale and carrying in its composition a beautiful presence and weight of place. This is also a remembrance of inventive workplaces destroyed by the greed and parasitic commerce putting the whole economy on its knees.

My favourite piece is the David Crone painting.
It is a form of four squares.
These are not defined but there as a key formative attention point of unseen entrance from the outside square the viewer reads each element and the depth of colour, radiant, deep and shaping Indian, Egyptian, ebullient vigorous themes of anti-apathetic settled thought.

In keeping with Nietzsche he proposes perhaps through this painting at least my understanding brings it, the Dionysian life, that of chaos from unrestrained, uninhibited, reckless exhuberance, outside the fragilista visions returning little, the relativism, the obsequeence of unseeing is here present. It is looking into the discord finding an underlying truth and some evidence of natural shapes are there I cohabiting our and their space.

As you may gather I really am appreciative of this painting. There are no standard meanings but its relevance is that for me it created the connection with my own preoccupations. It is positive and revealing all at once. It certainly is light years away from everything else seen here.

What David Crone is saying to me in this is that the way forward is to not intervene with or recreate rules in order but to allow the self and others to rely on their innate natural ability to ascend the safe unreasoned haven and fragile dependancy model. This is where so many images meet and relate in our own conference of enlightenment.

Jeremy of Blackheath is a very good painter. I have seen his expansive views of Greenwich, the portraits without allegory but he has entered an altogether epilogue fate of recuperative art. Paul Muldoon collaborates to co-author this work. A narrative best left in the Trafalgar or whatever bar they dreamt it up together. Pouring out beneath the rafters of a studio setting is the orchard. The forbidden fruits.
Muldoon looks his normal curmudgeonly self, the one were the muse has left through the eavesment of the ancient but modern home of the type Blackheath is full of. Dark foreboding homes.
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Far removed from ‘In the Stairwell’ where light enters. He sits florid in a floral shirt, with a cauliflower ‘brain metaphor?’ such parody in one palm, a knife balancing a mushroom in the other. Arch is the idea and the Orchard court of fertility.

A painters noir in somber tones and permeated by a feeling of disillusionment, pessimism, and despair is one where a five minute journey round the painting delivers the Telling, poems, Apple on his head, Just William Tell.
A horseshoe in suspenseful hubris upturned to catch the fallen epitaph. The missing instrument the ghastly Greenwich ships surgeon like skull implement possibly savoured in the Maritime Museum on the Royal Parks Lawn.

That instrument, for Trepanning, where the pin is gently pressed against the skull at the location of the preferred entry upon which the mini saw wheel circulates cutting out a calcium rich biscuit from the crown.
The operation is a success but doomed to failure if reflection/infection sets in.
Both turn to vegetables and are wheeled to Nine Elms Market by daybreak.
Back to the rotten borough and needs of the people.

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More to be added at a later time.

John Graham

28 October 2014

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