Weekly Roundup 30

i. I want to clarify my use of the word 'clumsy' in the last post: I recently listened to the podcast 'The Importance of Being Clumsy' by Jonathan Jones. Jones states that the genius produced by artists Cézanne, Picasso and Auerbach begins in clumsiness and awkwardness and that these artists are 'immersed in the physical world and obsessed by the physical presence of things’. A pleasing description.

 
 

ii. On Wednesday, I visited the BP Portrait Prize predominantly to see work by Casper White who won last year's BP Travel Award for his proposal to create works about music fans in clubs and concert venues in Berlin and Mallorca. White made paintings of his friends dancing in the nightclubs as well as drawings of them hungover the following day. The body of work is concise, bold and playful - especially in the context of the BP Portrait Prize (even more polished, photorealistic and boring than normal). White and I follow each other on Instagram - I might get in touch to ask him about the project over the summer.

Casper White,  installation view

Casper White, installation view

Casper White,  installation view

Casper White, installation view

iii. I also went to visit Howard Hodgkin: Last Paintings at Gagosian Gallery. These paintings are records of the last moments that really mattered to him and as a result the show was incredibly moving. In 1984 Hodgkin said 'I don't care about mortality in the slightest, but I certainly want to beat time. I certainly want to defy time... the point being that really they should be like memorials, that's what paintings were.'

Howard Hodgkin,  Over to You,  2015-17, oil on wood

Howard Hodgkin, Over to You, 2015-17, oil on wood

Howard Hodgkin,  Low Cloud,  2015, oil on wood

Howard Hodgkin, Low Cloud, 2015, oil on wood

iv. Artist Victoria Ahrens gave a talk about her practice which deals with political and historical narratives as well as the physical nature of printmaking. Ahren's practice and PHD is particularly research-heavy. I'm not sure my work will ever be so intellectually complicated but if I'm going to continue making work about The Three Crowns (which has been a pub since the early 18th Century) then undertaking some historical research about the town, the pub and the people involved could be an interesting starting point. I'm not sure what this would necessarily add to the project but perhaps finding out is the point.

v. I had my final tutorial of the year with Jo who seems encouraging about my current work. Next week I'm heading back to Chippenham for a couple of days to start the project by make some drawings in the pub, speaking to the landlord and visiting Chippenham Museum and Wiltshire History Centre. I hope that by October I will have a wealth of source material to draw upon (drawings, photographs, interviews etc.). I now know what I want to do and am eager to get on and do it!

vi. Jo also suggested I be braver with my printmaking and drawing and to consider not always being limited by the conventions of the rectangle. Specifically she mentioned visiting an impressive drawing by Patrick Metcalfe in the Camberwell BA Show (made as 'a recognition of the privilege afforded... as white, British male' full of images of colonialism and popular culture). Ignoring the interesting and complicated subject-matter, it was presented as a sprawling, large-scale, sculptural work. I intend for my work to be more playful and experimental in its display.

 
Patrick Metcalfe,  The sword of state shakes in my hand,  2018

Patrick Metcalfe, The sword of state shakes in my hand, 2018