Posts Tagged: "Moira McKee"

Eric Jones Draws You Into His Work

Moira McKee - - Art & Books
The London Yodeller

MCKEE Eric Jones_Splendour and Surrender (not cited)“An artist whose work is rife with symbolism and a particularly studious application of art historical knowledge”

To all appearances, Eric Jones is a nice, normal artist. He wears cool shoes, is chatty, generally friendly, and you’d imagine he’s the sort of man who never allows himself to become too profoundly encumbered by the tragedies of life. Jones’ exhibition at The ARTS Project earlier this month titled Inner Gardens revealed an artist whose work is rife with symbolism and a particularly studious application of art historical knowledge. The sub-landscapes he depicts are reflective, fantastical and often surreal interpretations of our private human experiences.

A suffocating sense of despair is acknowledged in works such as Datura (in a dark place), where a wind-ruffled man in his late sixties stares fixedly and desperately out at the viewer, his eyes protruding, mouth agape and revealing a row of tiny, inhuman teeth. A trio of vertical tombs, two of which are occupied by mummified figures, stand contrapposto; a stance developed in sculpture to provide a ‘living’ appearance to the human form, most significantly popularized during the Renaissance period in Michelangelo’s famous depiction of David (1501-1504). One tomb sits vacant, and scouring the scene for the source of distress, you find yourself wishing for the man to flee while also feeling safe as a voyeur for what is presumably fated for the subject.

Virtually all of Jones’ paintings suggest narratives and supply us with slightly fantastic landscapes on which to imagine these stories playing out. Paths that wind within landscapes appear to have no actual destination, such as in Guzelyurt Landform (2) (west looking view). The lack of linearity is a metaphor for the individuals uncertain journey in life. In Not Lost a person shakes a book and scolds another who has chosen to deviate from the well-trodden road taken so many times before. Not Lost is a meditation on what it means and what it will cost to fashion your own life path and run the risk of disappointing others and disrupting the status quo. Continue Reading

Matthew Trueman’s Dirt: Nature, Technology and other Imagined Comforts

Moira McKee - - Art & Books
The London Yodeller

McKee Trueman JackThere’s a maturity and an outsider’s perspicacity that has rapidly developed in Trueman’s oeuvre

Our relationship with our surroundings grounds us, provides a basis, and is one of the most significant points of recognition we rely upon to operate in our daily lives. To be lost in a landscape once familiar spooks and disorients us. We grow, our perspective changes and a longing is born for what we often remember vividly as the utopian setting of our youth. This conflict with the change in our surroundings speaks to a discomfort when we no longer recognize what our minds once saw. Artist Matthew Trueman‘s upcoming exhibition, titled Dirt, at Westland Gallery addresses the cultural and environmental implications of ‘society’s violent incursion into nature,’ creating a visual dialogue with his detailed woodcuts that depict the fixed boundaries that exist within this tension.

 It might seem paradoxical to say that Trueman’s most recent works have simultaneously become more sophisticated and more rudimentary. The organic details inherent in the lumps of rock and soil in Jack (2015) necessitate an observant eye to depict such natural disorder. The artist then challenges us to make a distinction between replicated details that point to an industrialized human presence such as a tiny row of houses in the distance and a set of uniform tire tracks on the hill. Even the nature of printmaking itself - the possibility to infinitely multiply an image in our contemporary world of digitization carries that same tension as an original work of art that is mass produced. Continue Reading

Gallery Review: A Taste of Things to Come

Moira McKee - - Art & Books
The London Yodeller

“The Preview Show, and the variety of the exhibition, allows a rare opportunity to witness a dialogue occur between works that may never be exhibited together again.”

Richard Andreychuk Midland Woods Photograph printed on cotton rag paper 12x18

Richard Andreychuk Midland Woods Photograph printed on cotton rag paper 12×18

Fleeing the rain and entering the brightly lit space at Westland Gallery in Old South, I was pleased to see a decent turnout and also many things that one would expect from an opening reception: wine, cubes of cheese, the warm hum of conversation offset by requisite show-offy art talk overheard at arm’s length (‘Normally I go to Michael Gibson’s . . . like to buy James Kirkpatrick and Jason McLean . . . you know, modern stuff’). The Preview Show, Westland’s opening reception, features a curated sampling of works selected from every solo and group exhibition during this upcoming year; all of which makes this review a teaser of their teaser.

Matt Trueman is an artist who looks like he plays Ivy League tennis and you’d want to bring home to your folks. Trueman’s commanding woodcut, King of The Hill depicts an enormous snowy incline covered in the tracks of climbers. Tiny silhouetted figures stand at its apex, fragile and still, as though resting static inside a snow globe teetering at the edge of a shelf. Assessing the scene, I really did feel like a ruler gazing over my kingdom; the queen of the ant farm. In its portrayal of what we like to interpret as an innocent childhood desire, there is a foreshadowing of the adult’s more effectively disguised will to dominate, that draws us back to these moments of small conquest. Continue Reading