The archeological museum in Madrid opened last week after some very hefty renovations and in honor of creepy old museums everywhere, I’m posting this series of photos by Debbie Carlos.
Photography itself is in many ways deathly. We take photos to preserve a moment in time deemed important because of what or who it captures. In her book On Photography, Susan Sontag writes a chapter titled Melancholy Objects and refers to photos as paper ghosts. If photos are resuscitated images then museums are fully blown, 3D versions, and complete with taxidermy, house the walking dead.
Carlos captures the eerie beauty of museums so cleverly with these images so that until you notice the glassy reflection in places you would almost believe that the animals were real. Or at least ghostly traces of real animals. So really these photos are ghosts of ghosts. Phew. Happy Tuesday!
Colour and surface
Some days, all that’s needed to lift my spirits are some pretty colours. Thanks Clare Grill for making my spirits soar this morning. Grill’s work though, is so much more than a few good colour combos. Clare has a pretty extensive painting toolbox at her disposal – diverse mark-making, colour sense, and a knack for piecing it all together makes her pretty handy. She’d probably do well on that Renovators show. I’m guessing she gets around with some sort of tool belt because all the tools at her disposal wouldn’t just fit in a box.
Just look at the surface of these beauties for starters. You get the sense that each has been thoroughly worked over, worn in, almost tortured, then nursed back to health again with loving hands. Colour has been added, then scraped away, then added again. Then painted over. Then added again but with a touch more acid yellow or muted pinky grey. Each and every mark has been grappled with, the occasional edge deftly left uncovered to add just the right sort of lopsidedness. This is a painter excited by the possibilities of paint and she is throwing everything at the canvas. Including the tool belt.All images copyright Clare Grill
Not many people know that pencils are special. In primary school we’re taught that pencils are things to practice with until we’re good enough to use pen. We chew them. They lie forgotten at the bottom of pencil cases and school bags. They’re hexagonal, grey and smudgey. But occasionally, when taken up by a thoughtful hand and applied in just the right way, the old grey lead can turn some pretty special tricks.
Marcel Gähler knows how special pencils are and his work is magical. Taken from photos of projected found imagery, his pencil drawings are like ghostly traces of images, filtered first through the light of the projector then again through the lightness of pencil. The figures and spaces in his work assume a dream-like quality, the buttery soft edges of the pencil marks, the dusty coating of the paper and the consistent grain of their surface reinvents and abstracts the source material so much that it’s like seeing through a veil.
Pencil drawings speak of time spent and lingered over. When you look at these drawings, particularly considering their large scale (these works are up to 2m wide) you can’t help but think of the labouring pencil, working inch over careful inch until the entire surface of the blank paper is covered. That’s a lot of pencil shavings.
Happy Wednesday!All images copyright Marcel Gähler.
Princess of the Riverina
Knowing Emma Beer is knowing her paintings. Each painting is a bi-product of her. Each an extraordinary pearl forged by a working process so focused, so honed, so expert and basically just completely natural. Form, colour, space, paint, matter, line – all these things are like oxygen to Emma, like making paintings is what she’s here for.
Hard-edged abstraction, the void, minimal space and line may be some of the fundamentals of her work, but these concepts are back-grounded by the surface, energy and nuance of her paintings, and they are anything but minimal. They are maximal, full of life, vibrancy and substance. Just like Emma.
You can check out her work really soon. Her show, Princess of the Riverina opens 6pm April 2 and runs until April 9 at SEVENTH gallery, Melbourne.
PRINCESS OF THE RIVERINA
Image list: from top to bottom.
One for the ages, 2014. acrylic and oil on canvas. 30 x 40cm.
Extracts of lustre, 2014. acrylic and oil on canvas. 42 x 49cm.
Deceptions and light, 2014. acrylic on canvas. 50 x 60cm.
Deadly skies and lustre, 2014. acrylic and oil on canvas. 50 x 60cm.
Inventions of space and light as far as the eye can see, 2014. acrylic and oil on canvas. 60 x 70cm.
Bum fuck no where. is good, 2014. acrylic on canvas. 50 x 60cm.
Heat waves and stature, 2014. acrylic on canvas. 50 x 60cm.
Brilliance and mirage, 2014. acrylic and oil on canvas. 60 x 70cm.