Tuesday 14 February 2023

Sylvia Plimack Mangold: Discreet Paintings


How do observation, openness and chance find their way into minimal abstraction? 


Using Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt's infamous 'Oblique Strategies' to think our way through the discreet poetry of Sylvia Plimack Mangold...







Mapping Landscapes – Stoppenbach & Delestre





Wrote a essay to accompany Mapping Landscapes at Stoppenbach & Delestre.

'...Rhodes’ pictures represent an increasingly ‘connected’ idea of landscape and how one place exists in relation to another – matched by an increasing sense of personal disconnect from the environments we transit through. It’s a conception of landscape apparently very far away from the secluded enclosure of Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot’s wonderfully titled Le Chemin montant sous les arbres à Ville-d’Avray/The Path going up under the trees at Ville-d’Avray (c.1870-1875). It’s a picture in which the world appears to be fully known and understood, a world of bringing firewood from the forest to the house (what could be an old man with a walking stick suggests a lifetime of the same comings and goings). And yet Corot is enigmatic. The picture is suspended and eternal but also volatile and shifting. Agitated. House and boat sit next to one another in the distance – two tiny triangles with very different meanings. It could all change with the wind, or a swipe of the hand, or the viewer’s mood. In some ways it’s a world just as baffling as Rhodes’ (surely ‘the path going up under the trees’ could be an equally fitting title for her Forest and Road?). As with most great landscape painting, Le Chemin montant sous les arbres à Ville-d’Avray is as much about mapping the shifting terrain of human consciousness as it’s about picturing the environment through which it passes.'            

('Up Under the Trees': Mapping the Map)



Maquette – No Show Space







Wrote a short text for the catalogue of 'Maquettes' – a show of small study-type works curated by Robert Moon at Now Show Space.

'...Maquettes speak the common language of thinking through making. In some ways they catch an artist’s work at the point where it isn’t quite so far from another’s. It’s where they go from here that difference and identity really seem to set in. Or set in much more emphatically – because of course we can already point to difference and identity. Both Moon’s and Tuttle’s ‘completed’ works retain maquette-like qualities, yet the way they retain these qualities, the degree to which they retain these qualities is totally different. Tuttle's sliding scale from ‘maquette’ to ‘finished’ is so short it’s practically un-observable, while Moon makes a balletic leap between the two definite but related positions, each perpetually pointing back to the other. Moon’s paintings are semi-pristine, visual-thought-objects; the maquettes their crumpled baby photos. Worlds apart in size and finish, both are paper aeroplanes thrown at the possible...'