I’ve come to rely on this place to put on something interesting. Yelena Popova is a Nottingham based artist who has created some ‘barely there’ paintings. These are from a series entitled ‘ Evaporating paintings’.
To be honest, this is the kind of thing I would have walked into and straight out of a year ago. But this time I really looked at them, read all the information and talked to the gallery insight. Suddenly new insights emerge and I realise how clever they are. The artist is questioning the image in a world saturated with them. Her images are almost invisible, and they shift about depending on where you stand or what the light is doing. It means you hae to make an effort and look deeply which we are getting out of practice with in our crazy in your face world. Pigment is painted on coarse linen where the weave is sometimes more visible than the paint. It all feels quite restful on the eye, with the curved shapes and muted colours. It made me look slowly and not skim look the multiple pages that we do every day, probably taking in very little.
I liked this case of paintings which the artist explains is about questioning how paintings are collected and circulated. I had not heard of the German art hoarder Cornelius Gurlitt who displayed many works of art in his own home, denying the wider public a chance to view. It has made me look at the Primary studios and make plans to visit some upcoming exhibitions.
Michael Beutler is a different style of artist. He forms workshops where ever he displays, working as a collective, eating and working together all day. They have made monumental structures of recycled paper and cardboard reshaping the materials into building blocks with hand made tools. This exhibition started out at Spike Island in Bristol and many of the materials used there have been recycled for this one.
It looks so inventive, but there also looks to be such joy in the work – colourful pirints and papers. I joined a talk about him at the gallery and we were able to peep into his test papers and preparatory drawings, everything looks thought out and planned. There is a family workshop next week where the artist is joined by willing helpers and I must say that we will be the first in the queue! It reminds me of the work of another artist I have come across Briony Clarke