Light pieces and other works
25 May - 17 June 2017
Barry Flanagan’s sculpture made with light as a medium are little known. He began directly investigating light in 1968 with a film titled ‘light, shape, short’ and from then on, through the 1970s, he made many works with light as a primary component. He called them ‘light pieces’. This exhibition shows how his dynamic role in the instigation of sculptural approaches to conceptual art practice continues to resonate with contemporary concerns in art practice nearly fifty years later.
Flanagan’s first solo exhibition took place at the Rowan Gallery London in 1966, the month he completed his studies at St Martins School of Art. It occurred simultaneously with Claes Oldenburg’s exhibition at Robert Fraser Gallery. Critics picked up on their shared concerns with soft sculpture and Paul Overy pointed out that Flanagan’s intrigued because although it looked soft, it was in fact, hard.  The exhibition included anthropomorphically shaped sculpture made from plaster filled fabric bags, pieces hanging from the ceiling, and a pile of sand poured directly onto the carpeted floor. He ‘wanted to project the show as if in [his] normal working situation. 
In 1969 Flanagan had two solo exhibitions, one at the Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld and another in the Fischbach Gallery, New York. For both these exhibitions Flanagan made work in situ, in part as a response to the architecture. Although he was careful to include works whose installation were not designed to be site specific. Flanagan kept logbook records of artwork. Each work is documented by medium, size and exhibition history and most are photographed. On these he detailed the specification for constructing the light pieces. I discussed their re-construction processes and those for the ‘sand sculptures’ with Flanagan. We agreed a set of terms. These light works have been obscured by Flanagan’s bronze hares for reasons in themselves relevant to reflect upon.
Their renewed presence within his practice enables a different way of thinking about how and why the hare became a motif at the time when his investigations turned to figuration, modelling and casting in bronze. His attitude to the medium and exploration of relationships between abstraction and figuration was as unexpected as the soft sculpture and use of building materials had been to its audiences fifteen years previously.
The artist-run space &Model is an ideal situation in which to try out these works in order to engage in a critical discussion with an extended community. &Model’s programming and the architectural qualities of its spaces make it a sympathetic environment in which to show these works, and its proximity to and good relationship with the Henry Moore Institute Galleries will enable an extended debate. This exhibition concentrates on a selection of the light pieces, some realised for the first time, together with a major sand sculpture, one ton corner piece, 1967, documentation, posters and archival material.
 Overy, Paul. ‘The Listener.’ August 18, 1966.
 Baro, Gene with Barry Flanagan. ‘Sculpture made visible’ Studio International, October 1969, (pp. 122-25) p. 125
The exhibition is presented by &Model in collaboration with Guest Curator Dr Jo Melvin an art historian and Reader in Fine Art, Special Collections and Archives at Chelsea College of Art, University of the Arts, London and Director of The Estate of Barry Flanagan.
The exhibition was reviewed in Frieze by Nick Thurston. Link to Frieze online here:-.
6 April - 13 May 2017
The idea of contraptions that entrap, suggested by the invented composite word 'Entraptions' in the title of this solo exhibition by Pete Ellis, provides a very appropriate way to think about his work. His sculptures, combining assemblages of found and salvaged objects with more traditional techniques such as bronze casting, are frequently animated by electric motors and ingeniously low-tech mechanisms and might thus be seen much more as 'contraptions' than traditionally static and unified sculptural objects. Also working with photography and through drawing, in more recent work Ellis has increasingly used film as a means to explore his longstanding interests in everyday experience, nostalgic popular culture and the overlapping of serious thought and vulgarity.
Combining sophisticated wit with slapstick obviousness and throwaway one-liners, and utilising an aesthetic that combines thoughtful and philosophical ideas with the eccentricity of the amateur inventor, Ellis's art frequently lures the viewer into a trap. We are surprised by inanimate objects brought to life, confounded by the dumb made epic and the epic made dumb, and unsettled by the seriousness with which humour is taken or the ways in which high-minded scholarship or tragic solemnity can be punctured by a banal joke.
Although rarely declared or made specific, Ellis's practice is resonant with autobiographical references, and both his northern working-class roots and the profound influence of art school in the 70s suffuse his work. Ellis trained at Manchester, Wolverhampton and at Chelsea School of Art where he was taught by Eduardo Paolozzi, whose influence was clearly important. In his use of everyday materials and salvaged or scavenged objects, Ellis's work relates to Arte Povera of the 1960s and 70s, and in its linguistic dimension to Conceptualism of the same period. Its most significant roots go historically deeper, however, back to Dada and Surrealism. Whilst the original influences are clear, Ellis's take on them is significantly informed by the particularly English approach to Surrealism of his friends Les Coleman and Anthony Earnshaw.
Earnshaw and Coleman, together with Patrick Hughes (surely another influence, and like Ellis, a fan of ornery critters in ten gallon hats as an aficionado of the cowboy films experienced on black+white TV by 1950s British schoolboys!) are all inextricably connected with Leeds, and serve as a reminder of the city's importance in Ellis's world. Although a fiercely proud Mancunian, he has had an impact on generations of students here, having taught fine art at Leeds Poly/Metropolitan University/Beckett University for nearly thirty years. &Model is pleased to present this solo retrospective of Pete Ellis's highly engaging work to celebrate this contribution and his retirement from teaching in the summer of 2017.
26 January - 19 February 2017
Presenting artists' responses to the temporary presence in Leeds of Nicholas Monro's 1972 sculpture, King Kong, commissioned for Manzoni Gardens in Birmingham. For three months over the winter of 2016-17, King Kong stands on the steps of the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds as part of their exhibition, City Sculpture Projects 1972. Marking the connection between the two cities, The King and I will include work in printmaking, audio installation and digital 3-D modeling produced by a collaboration between art and architecture students at Leeds Beckett University and Birmingham City University.
For Nicholas Monro, King Kong was a figure of disorientation. For Garry Barker in his text written for this exhibition (and in full below) he is a figure of popular identity around which dissent and protest might coalesce. For Juneau Projects he is a nostalgic childhood memory of car trips to granny's house reimagined from memories of music on the car's cassette player. For Jemima Brown he is a reference point in a complex autobiographical backstory of Hollywood. For others he is part of an architectural and cultural network of memory and loss overlaying the recent history of a Birmingham. For others he is a vague and shifting icon remembered from Hollywood films and childhood comics. For yet others he is an index of the often simultaneous successes and failures of public art.
The history of Monro's art work is a rich and varied one in which, arguably, its very status and identity as 'art' has fluctuated wildly. When it is put to commercial use, repainted in garish ways never intended by the artist, travelled around like a fairground attraction, is it still 'art'? Whether or not, it is largely from that lengthy period that most people's memories and personal mythologies derive. For three months in Leeds, Kong's 'art' status has undoubtedly been regained by his celebratory presence at the Henry Moore Institute's Centre for the Study of Sculpture.
Our exhibition at &Model, almost within sight of the mythic beast, identifies Kong as just that - he is a focus for mythology, for cultural claim and counter-claim. He is an iconic figure as well as a hefty material object, viewed, remembered, fantasised and identified with in very different and individual ways. Hence, The King and 'I'. There are a multitude of 'I's, but just two red eyes.
In 1972 I was an art student travelling from my home in Dudley in the West Midlands to the Newport College of Art in South Wales on a fairly regular basis. As a young artist what was happening in the art scene of the West Midlands and in its South Wales counterpart was of vital interest to me, because any sort of public interest in art outside of London in those days was a rare thing. These were the days before ‘BritArt’ and a media-conscious art scene. To be an artist in the provinces was a hard road to travel, so any attention was to be welcomed.
1972's City Sculpture Project resulted in Nicholas Monro’s fiberglass King Kong being erected in Birmingham's Bullring and Garth Evans’ painted and welded steel Untitled, Work for the Hayes placed on a roadside in Cardiff. I saw both these pieces of sculpture in situ and well remember as a student critiquing them as being already conceptually dated and out of touch with current art practice. Keith Arnatt had created a climate of conceptual play within the Bolt Street sculpture annex in Newport and we looked at Cardiff as being a backward-looking Tom Hudson-fixated swamp of formalism. Garth Evans’ minimalist piece we argued, was a tired last gasp example of that tradition. (We of course did no research into this; we just saw it that way, we were arrogant and young.) Monro's King Kong seemed even more outdated, an embarrassing example of what, it felt then, was archaic British Pop Art. Something else was happening, Arnatt was showing us how he had managed to get his Self Burial piece on German TV and he was walking around with a placard that said, I AM A REAL ARTIST which seemed so much cooler and more contemporary.
Neither Birmingham nor Cardiff City Councils decided to keep the public art that had been commissioned for them through the City Sculpture Project. Evans' Cardiff work would be moved to Burleigh Community College, purchased by the Leicestershire Education Authority and given a safe home in the grounds of what is now Charnwood College, but Birmingham’s King Kong was to have a much richer public life, one that reflected its Pop Art heritage and one that drastically revised my opinion of it as a piece of public sculpture.Back in 1972, as I had to regularly get the coach to Newport from Digbeth coach station in Birmingham, I would sometimes walk up to the Bullring to look at how Nicholas Monro’s 18-foot high fiberglass King Kong was faring. It was always in use, being a favourite place to get your snapshot taken. People would stand between its legs and grimace, make little scenes as if replaying a moment from the classic film and get their friends to record the moment on camera. At the time I thought it kitsch, but it was very memorable and it would stay in my head for the next 40 odd years, unlike Garth Evans’ Untitled which, although at the time it seemed more ‘up to date’, quickly faded away as one of hundreds of examples of Modernist, plinth-less, steel sculpture that I would encounter over the years.
Birmingham City Council decided that it didn’t want to keep Monro's Kong, so it was sold for £3,000 to a second-hand car dealer who renamed his business the King Kong Kar Ko. Mike Shanley, the new owner, would have himself photographed for the local papers mimicking King Kong’s stance and had Kong dressed up as Santa Claus at Christmas. After four years Kong was sold on, this time to Scottish market boss Nigel Maby for £12,700. This was 1976, the year that Dino De Laurentiis released the remake of King Kong, and, to capitalise on the publicity, Maby placed the Monro Kong outside the entrance to Inglestone Market near Edinburgh, where he would remain for the next 30 years until the market was closed. During this time he would be repainted several times, including once in tartan and finally pink. On retirement Maby moved to Penrith and took the Monro King Kong with him. Initially the still pink Kong was used to advertise the Skirsgill Auction Mart, a market site in Penrith. Monro’s sculpture had become more fairground than art gallery, its life as a second-hand car lot attraction and a market trader’s promotional tool was to be a proper life lived with and amongst the common people.
Both the Birmingham and Cardiff sculptures were in 1972 sites of public protest. Not long after it had been installed in the Bullring, King Kong became the focus for a national building workers' strike for more pay. At one point police asked Birmingham City firefighters to erect their ladders onto the statue so that the police could climb up to remove the strikers who were sitting on Kong’s broad shoulders. In the TV footage of the event one worker exclaims as the police climb up the ladders and try to remove him from the statue, “This is the property of the people of Birmingham!" Another worker when interviewed tries to explain that what they were doing was ”to bring a bit of humour into a grim situation". The striking workers saw Kong as belonging to the people and at the same time recognised its comic potential. Meanwhile, in Cardiff, Evans’ sculpture became the site for National Front graffiti: "Asians out, Enoch in", read the anonymous scrawl as the sculpture became a three-dimensional blackboard for racist propaganda. Perhaps it was some kind of unconscious response to traces of Fascist principles in Modernism that caused the National Front to cover the sculpture in their handiwork. Public sculpture is maybe just that, sculpture that gives the public an opportunity to have a voice - but a voice only articulated if the work has some sort of popular resonance in the first place.
To return to King Kong's odyssey, eventually, after Nigel Maby died, it was moved to the Maby family's garden, his pink coat faded and washed away to a ghostly white that Mrs Maby restored to glossy black. After many years on garden leave, Kong was next seen in 2016 in Leeds as part of an exhibition celebrating the 1972 City Sculpture Projects. This time repainted a more serious matt black, standing against the black polished stone façade of the Henry Moore Institute it loomed over the annual Christmas fair. Monro's Kong now found itself standing right next to a Mickey Mouse children’s ride, Mickey's fiberglass curves echoing Kong’s smoothed out lines. You could see now why Kong had been so loved - Monro had seen the mouse in the gorilla and given us a giant visually cuddly toy, now back on duty as a backdrop to hundreds of family photographs as child after child was again being photographed looking up at the beast and pretending to be scared.
Some Birmingham people apparently now want the Monro sculpture back, arguing that Kong should be returned to the city that first introduced him to the general public but then rejected him. Very few sculptures have had such a resonance with people who normally have no interest in art. The only other sculpture in Birmingham that seems to have captured the local imagination is the bronze bull now located in the Bullring Shopping Centre; it has been dressed up in football colours and has had a union jack jumper tailor-made for it. Like Kong, the bull’s form has been slightly softened, hard edges polished away, but it is still a bull and one with a certain presence. However the bull is neutered by its capitalist banking and shopping mall associations, the football kits and Christmas antlers it wears designed to promote new shopping opportunities rather than a chance to question the status quo. Kong is still just enough on the right side of being a dangerous beast to give a thrill, and in that moment of excitement perhaps allows some questioning of its meaning or purpose, a disorientation from the capitalist city, and perhaps it might even be once again a focus for protest.
28 October– 12 November 2016
147 artists and writers respond to Laurence Sterne’s request to depict beauty on the ‘blank page’ in Vol 6 of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
Participating artists/writers include:
Norman Ackroyd, Carry Akroyd, John Baldessari, Jérémie Bennequin, Nancy Campbell, Brian Dettmer, Maura Dooley, Ian Duhig, Stephen Fry, Maria Fusco, Neil Gaiman, Tom Gauld, Patrick Hughes, Tom Phillips, Martin Rowson, Wendy Saunders, Lemony Snicket, Carolyn Thompson, Momoyo Torimitsu, Alison Wilding and many more.
Contributors’ identities are hidden and all pages are for sale by auction
(8 off) marked the end of Joe Hancock’s summer residency at & Model Gallery where he developed work centred on the theme of repair. Repair can be seen as a universal activity and Joe regards it as having a fundamentally important social function as well as a practical one. Repair takes many forms: from a punctured bicycle tire or a wobbly chair, to more extended meanings such as surgery to correct medical problems, therapy for emotional or psychological issues or a conciliatory conversation between lovers after an argument. Joe constructed a 14.4 metre long bench occupying the entire ground floor of the gallery as the literal and figurative site of repair (the woodworker’s workbench, the surgeon’s operating table, the ephemeral space between the reconciling lovers). Having been imbued with the stories and traces of the acts of repair made by visitors, the bench was cut into eight separate sections as a live performance. The resultant eight benches will subsequently find their way to new locations and have new acts of repair performed upon them. Eventually it is envisaged that the eight benches will be temporarily reunited to form an artwork that will carry the material traces and the narrative histories of its multiple use.
24 June - 29 September 2016
In our first exhibition at the new space we are showing Joe Hancock's sculpture Deus Ex Machina, only previously exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh. It is a large freestanding kinetic sculpture made from two reclaimed electric stairlifts, customised to run continuously up and down two spiral tracks supported in a tower-like structure. Joe studied at Leeds College of Art, Glasgow School of Art and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and he is currently based in Manchester. Liam Johnstone's graphic design practice involves a dynamic use of typography. We are showing video loops from his screen-based interactive typefaces and prints of page spreads from his recent book works. Liam is a graduate of Graphic Arts & Design at Leeds Beckett University.
The Brewery Tap is open Fridays, 4pm-midnight and Saturdays, 2pm-midnight, and Liam Johnstone’s work will be on view in the bar. The adjoining space housing Joe Hancock’s sculpture will be open Fridays 4pm-7pm, and Saturdays 2pm-6pm and at other times by appointment.
11 July - 20 October 2016
Continuing our annual summer sculpture residencies at our East Parade gallery, Joe Hancock will be working on new projects from July to September. Joe describes his main concerns as "learning more about the similarities, differences and interrelationships between acts of labour and acts of art making, including notions of ‘repair’ as a creative, social form of making”. The residency will provide an extended opportunity to explore these ideas and, as well as making new sculptural work, Joe will be holding a symposium and workshops and there will be an opportunity to view the outcomes of the residency. Further details and dates will be announced through our mailing list and on social media.
28 April 2016 - 4 June 2016
Wayfaring, curated by Laura White in collaboration with &Model Leeds, looks at the territory White shares with other artists whose work asks similar questions around ‘how things come about’ and who also travel across disciplines, as writers, researchers, educators, makers, crafts-people, film-makers, architects, poets…
“In wayfaring ... things are instantiated in the world as their paths of movement, not as objects located in space. They are their stories. Here it is the movement itself that counts, not the destination it connects. Indeed, wayfaring always overshoots its destinations, since wherever you may be at any particular moment, you are already on your way somewhere else.” (Tim Ingold, Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description)
In the fluid movement between investigations and disciplines, processes are revealed uncompromisingly and are always open to further possibilities. This is evident in various ways in this exhibition – film that does not distinguish from its auditions; objects that are the process; architecture that navigates across physical space, documentation and poetic narrative; drawings that belong on no defined surface.
Materials drive the process as much as the artist handling them, so that what is being used (film, video, architecture, words, leather, clay, paper, photography) occupies intelligent material space in both digital and real environments. There is no separation between the hand and the mind in the production of the works, where thinking through making and understanding by doing is at the core.
The exhibition was accompanied by a large poster, designed by Martyn Rainford, which included a short essay by Derek Horton, 'The road less traveled: wayfaring and alchemy, amateurism and wanderlust'. This is the full text of the essay:
Creative investigations—scientific, artistic and cultural—depend on finding new pathways through which to negotiate the material and conceptual worlds we inhabit. The premise of Wayfaring is that such pathways are best created by a nomadic exploration of new collaborations, processes and experiences. This type of thinking and making requires the recognition of the potential for every relationship formed, obstacle encountered or interaction achieved to be connected. Everything builds. Nothing is wasted. Navigating the unknown necessitates a moment-to-moment improvisation.
We do not exist alone and we cannot create alone. Wayfaring involves encounters with others and pathways serve their purpose when they are followed and extended. This is how knowledge is created and shared. The anthropologist Tim Ingold has employed a relational approach to argue that human development depends on embodied skills of perception and action within social and environmental contexts. In ways that have informed the curatorial ideas of the Wayfaring exhibition he has focused on the use of lines in culture, and the relationships between anthropology, architecture, art and design.
“Someone who knows well is able to tell. They can tell not only in the sense of being able to recount the stories of the world, but also in the sense of having a finely tuned perceptual awareness of their surroundings. Thus knowing is relating the world around you, and the better you know, the greater the clarity and depth of your perception. To tell, in short, is not to represent the world but to trace a path through it that others can follow.”
(Tim Ingold, Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge and Description, 2011 p.162)
Wayfaring avoids any insistence on direct point-to-point connection. The wayfarer is not determined to move from A to B and then to C. For the wayfarer movement is a way of being—as with life, journeys are always unfinished and continuous. The wayfarer finds their own way established routes and previously mapped directions are forsaken for detours and the new possibilities they open up. The unfinished journeys and overlapping paths that this exhibition allows us an insight traverse the intersecting territories of writers, researchers, educators, makers, craftspeople, filmmakers, architects and poets. And the detours for at least one of the artists have involved basket weaving, bread making, butchery, pottery and taxidermy. All the crafts involved in that list are significant in their basis in a kind of alchemy—transforming base materials into things of an entirely different quality and value, whether as objects that balance function and aesthetics or sources of nutrition that do the same. In relation to the philosophical and cultural value of art practice this allusion to alchemy is an important metaphor and one that emphasises the fundamental importance of materials and their manipulation and transformation.
The raw materials of any given practice can drive the process and shape the ideas manifest through that practice as much as the intentions of the artist handling them. The hand and the mind generate and share an intelligent material space in which thinking through making and understanding by doing transform both materials and the human agents who make, use, consume or perceive them. In this, art making across all its possible disciplines can have much in common with and much to learn from traditional craft skills. That most artists approaching other crafts or disciplines do so with a degree of amateurism is not necessarily a disadvantage and could be seen to have its own value. Jaques Rancière, in The Intervals of Cinema, asserts amateurism’s value as a theoretical and political position, one that sidelines the authority of specialists by re-examining the way the frontiers of their domains are drawn at the points where experience and knowledge intersect.
Wayfaring with a kind of wanderlust opens up new routes by which to explore shared territories and new ways to think about inter-related systems. This exhibition demonstrates the fundamentally material ways in which this can occur. It might involve a particular engagement with the interface—collage, casting, screen-tests; or a testing of the threshold or support or barrier—door, wall, shelf, screen, plinth—the things in-between; or a transition across a void, a space—the gaps in-between. This in turn represents an assertion of the importance of disregarding norms and rules. As Buckminster Fuller insisted in Only Integrity is Going to Count (1983): “Each one of us has something to contribute. This really depends on each one doing their own thinking, but not following any kind of rule. We're all on the frontier… We are here as local information harvesters, local problem-solvers in support of the integrity of an eternally regenerative universe.”
16 March 2016 – 2 April 2016
Early Warning was selected by Melissa Hinkin (Artes Mundi), Michelle Bowen (UK Young Artists), Mark Devereux (MDP) and the Directors of &Model Gallery (Derek Horton, James Chinneck and Chris Bloor) from an open submission by around 50 artists who are part of Mark Devereux Projects associates scheme. It is the third Mark Devereux Projects annual associate members exhibition, reflecting the strength and diversity of its membership in work comprising painting, sculpture, photography and audio-visual installation.
11 February 2016 – 5 March 2016
Curated by Keith Bowler and Peter Suchin
Seven Turns: Meditations on a Coffee Mill presents work by seven artists responding to Marcel Duchamp’s painting, Coffee Mill of 1911, made as a wedding gift to be mounted on a cupboard door in the Paris home of Duchamp’s brother Raymond Duchamp-Villon. Despite its seemingly trivial subject matter, Duchamp later attributed considerable significance to the painting, observing that the Coffee Mill “opened a window onto something else”. Questioned about the system of measurement in his important work, The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (the Large Glass) of 1915-23, Duchamp said, “I explain it with The Coffee Mill”. The scholar and curator Ulf Linde has since suggested, supported by numerous drawings, diagrams and photographic overlays, that the hitherto unnoticed mathematical ratio of 22.5 used by Duchamp when composing the Coffee Mill had featured not only in the Large Glass, but also as a determining aspect of other important works. Duchamp’s commitment to this secretly coded ratio has rarely been examined by art historians. Seven Turns: Meditations on a Coffee Mill aims to translate and playfully reconfigure Marcel Duchamp’s intriguing picture-puzzle of a tiny domestic machine in motion.
11 February 2016 – 5 March 2016
Following a residency in the gallery from 11 January to 8 February 2016, Holly Rowan Hesson will show the outcomes of her residency project in the upper floor galleries, alongside Seven Turns: Meditations on a Coffee Mill which will occupy the ground floor space.
Holly Rowan Hesson makes abstract works that derive from the photographic capture of colour, surface, shadow and light in specific architectural locations. They emphasise the fragility, transience and ambiguities of what may initially appear solid, weighty and permanent. Blurred uncertainty disrupts the reading of the rich colour and complex surface of her prints, projections and ephemeral installations. Her residency at &Model will involve an in-depth exploration of the surfaces and spaces of our building culminating in an exhibition/installation of the resultant works.
12 November – 12 December 2015
Curated by Mark Wright and Stuart Mackenzie in collaboration with &Model, this exhibition of contemporary painting is a follow-up to our 2013 project, Dirty Pop, also curated by Mark Wright. An illustrated catalogue with text by Derek Horton will be published to accompany the exhibition.
The artists in Surface To Air, different though they are, all share a focused engagement with the craft and material values relevant to painting. Materiality and the way it is articulated through surface and the physical handling of paint is central to an understanding of each artist’s practice.
In the newly published book Materiality (Whitechapel/MIT, 2015) Petra Lange-Berndt has written that: ‘Materiality, is one of the most contested concepts in contemporary art and is often sidelined in critical academic writing.’ However, writing about painting both within an analytic and continental philosophical tradition, Wollheim, Foucault, Merleau-Ponty, Crowther, Elkins, Deleuze and Isabelle Graw among many, have often addressed the significance of materiality in all its complexity from the perspectives of both artist and viewer. Foucault argued in The Archaeology of Knowledge (1969) that: ‘Painting is a discursive practice that is embodied in techniques and effect.’ These techniques and effects present themselves as the rudiments of all painted images: marks, lines, traces, edges and outlines.
The paintings in Surface To Air use diverse imagery to address aspects of representation, including depiction and realism as well as abstraction. They have evolved not only through specific working processes but from diverse influences and source material. This includes direct observational drawing and the use of mediated images as the starting point for painting and reflects an awareness of legacies and traditions from Minimalism to Neo-Romanticism.
From a curatorial perspective, the selection and juxtaposition of such diverse paintings highlights their autographic nature in the range and diversity of their technique and imagery, and one is made aware of how their particular concerns are articulated through form. It defines the implicit representational aspects of the works and also alludes to temporality, either demonstrated through the deployment of imagery or embodied within the physical production of the paintings.
7 – 25 October 2015
Project Radio is a shared space for artists and public to make radio, created by artists Marion Harrison and Sophie Mallett, to celebrate the collaborative potential of sound art and radio within the gallery. Hosted by &Model to coincide with the opening of the British Art Show 8 in Leeds, Project Radio involves over 40 artists a mix of live broadcasts, events and interviews, as well as artists’ residencies throughout the programme with artists invited to use radio as a voice both in the city and globally.
Sophie Mallett: “The idea was to create a somewhere that could be the perfect home for our work and interests. I work with sound and radio in collaborative ways but neither the gallery nor the radio studio are really that open to this way of working. We wanted to experiment with a format that could embrace all the elements of our work, and invite artists and groups to explore the opportunity too.”
Project Radio includes: Sophie Mallett, Marion Harrison, Antonio Contador & Carla Cruz, Antoine Bertin & Mark Peter Wright, SoundCamp, Lloyd-Wilson, Blanca Regina, Jenny Moore, Ahmet Ogut, Jeffrey Charles Henry Peacock with Terry Atkinson, Mark Vernon & Monica Brown, F=, Kate Donovan & davidly, Rebecca Glover & Fritha Jenkins & David Macdiarmid, Robbie Judkins, Ed Martin, Chris Wood, Pavilion with Grace Schwindt, Nick Thurston with Paul Buck, Luiza Crossman, SPUR, Alex Mackay, Acoustic Mirror, Subash Thebe, Rene McBreaty, Alan Dunn & Chris Watson, Mark Vernon & Monica Brown.
Project Radio begins on 7th October 2015 at 2pm with a live broadcast from &Model. Broadcasts continue Wednesday to Sunday until 25th October from 2pm - 5pm and &Model will be open during broadcasting hours. Public workshops and free events run throughout the programme, with permanent installations in the gallery. Project Radio includes collaboration with Get Away Girls, No Borders, Studio 12 and Women Together, and acknowledges support from Leeds Inspired, East Street Arts and Arts Council England.
You can get more information and listen online anytime at www.projectradio.uk. Catch-up listening also available at https://www.mixcloud.com/projectradiouk/.
6 August – 18 September 2015
More Room For Error was a touring exhibition of new works by Nicola Ellis commissioned and curated by Mark Devereux Projects,at Arcadecardiff (Cardiff) and Bloc Projects (Sheffield) as well as in Leeds at &Model.
Ellis created her most ambitious work to date at &Model, joining all its three floors with one site-responsive sculpture. Architectural features of the gallery contributed to the structure of the work, whilst in places the specification of the steel dictated its shape as Ellis pierced the walls, floors and fabric of the building to create a 3-dimensional drawing throughout the gallery’s rooms, corridors and staircases.
Complementing the exhibition, Mark Devereux Projects commissioned a new publication featuring an essay by &Model co-director Derek Horton and full colour photographs of works made during the project.
12 June – 25 July 2015
Chris Fielder (based in Yorkshire) and Esther Brakenhoff (based in Amsterdam) collaborated in this residency, working both within the gallery space and in surrounding locations but also virtually, using GoogleMaps, digital communications and the postal service to develop works made simultaneously in Leeds and Amsterdam. The residency culminated in an exhibition of sculpture, prints, photographs, video and other documentation of time-based environmental works resulting from the collaboration.
11 June 2015
Going To Ost began life as a short story written in 1972, which first appeared in print in New Worlds Quarterly #6 in 1975, then under the editorship of Hilary Bailey, who encouraged and bought two subsequent sequential stories with a view to publishing a series, whereupon NWQ suddenly ceased publication before they could appear (a common fate of publications that have accepted Meadley’s work). It was then continued informally as an amusement for Lucy Evans, assuming the form of a novel which SAVOY BOOKS scheduled for publication in 1987 (whereupon SAVOY found themselves unable to continue publishing fiction). The manuscript of the novel, which Meadley cheerfully assumed he had decently interred in a skip years ago, now assumed a life of its own, and after being rescued and archived by a passing skip-diver, it has recently -- as the result of an impromptu conspiracy between a stone-collecting confectionary sculptress and a subterranean and seemingly bombproof publisher -- taken on published form under the imprint of Michael Butterworth.
To place the novel in some sort of context, examples of Meadley’s work from the period between the beginning and the end of this process are exhibited, consisting of:
Three collaborations with Richard Glyn Jones. These were originally commissioned for the alternative paper FRENDZ, which promptly ceased publication after publishing the first in 1972. KRILL subsequently appeared in NEW WORLDS 213 in 1978, and ENG-LAN in SOMETHING ELSE IN 1980.A TALE OF THE OLD BRIGADE (NEW WORLDS 214,1978) PUSHING BACKWARDS (NEW WORLDS 214, 1978)
Two stories bibliographers have missed.
See above. The author finds this book difficult to describe. When he asked others who’ve read it, they said, “Well, it’s difficult to describe…” It has been described as proto-steampunk, in the sense that it was written before steampunk was a genre. Among its themes are imperialism, bloodsports, game-playing, varieties of narrative and mythological mayhem. The reader is invited to form their own opinion.
A sequence of occasional essays arising from conversations with David Britton, Michael Butterworth and John Coulthart in the offices of SAVOY BOOKS, written over the period 1995 to 2002 for their amusement, and then published by them with the text lavishly supported by John Coulthart’s design.
“An all-you-can-read buffet of raw texts, randomly selected from bite-size chunks on my hard drive, that have hitherto only circulated informally in rtf; my preferred literary medium, convenient for sending text to differing wps.”
Collaborations with Gareth Jackson for speculative fictions#01 (online, 2015)
Collaborations with Gareth Jackson for speculative fictions#02 (online, 2016)
What you’re reading at the moment. (text, 2015)
Vinyls cut by Harry Meadley (born 1987, the year Going To Ost was originally scheduled to appear, and in which Sex Scandals, an unrelated collaboration with Christine Keeler did appear, published by Xanadu, which went bust shortly after tempting fate with a second edition). (vinyl, 2015)
Line for book cover by dust, vinyl and concept Derek Horton.
Digital painting by Gareth Jackson developed from abandoned sketch for 10577323. (Students of minutiae may like to date the Rothko decorating the bar.)
Can’t remember who did this -- nothing was credited in this issue -- but the concept was Michael Moorcock’s.
Incomplete cover design for Going To Ost by dust. (2015)
In his article Schrodinger’s Cat Makes Chinese Boxes, Richard Calk writes:
“From proto-steampunk with the New Wave to paleo-digital ephemera with the Old Wave, Meadley’s work follows an elusive course from its origins in the death-throes of the Industrial Age to its present position in the Twilight of Ephemeral Platforms…
“Meadley is a louche practitioner of the art of omission. His work is overheard, or overlooked. The key to understanding his entertainments is in what gets thrown away.” The third of 3 Works… will necessarily be posthumous.
In an interview with Ron Carnage, Meadley explained, “Over the years I’ve become increasingly interested in conceptual negative space, so I envisage a timeless work so utterly devoid of content there isn’t even an artist, nor - preferably - an audience, nor - ideally - a reality for the work to exist in.”
14 May 2015 - 30 May 2015
Fay Ballard has made many drawings since her father, the writer J.G. Ballard, died in 2009. Drawings of memory-laden objects that she cleared from the family home; drawings of fragments and mundane architectural details of that home, in which, as she says, “the past is present in each room, on the banister, on the light switches, mantelpieces and door handles”; and drawings of family photographs, revealing the intimacies of family life and sometimes portraying Fay’s mother, who died suddenly and tragically in 1964 when the artist was still a small child. Whilst there are occasional drawings that refer to J.G. Ballard’s literary work, a page from a text book on crash injuries for example, what we see here is much more a domestic portrait of the family man who brought up Fay and her siblings as a lone parent in a suburban house.
The intimate setting of & Model’s smaller rooms and their history as domestic spaces provide an appropriate context for this evocative body of work, in which the impromptu and involuntary memories evoked by encounters with everyday objects provide an unanticipated link between an experience in the present and one in the past, confounding and shrinking our linear idea of time. Fay continues to work with this subject matter and the exhibition will include some of her most recent work. More than half of the drawings have never been shown before. Also, for the first time Candida Richardson‘s new film on Fay’s drawing process will be shown. Her recent films for exhibitions have been screened at galleries in New York and Berlin, the Royal Academy in London, Kettles Yard and the De La Warr Pavilion.
J.G. Ballard is a writer well known in the art world – his novels and short stories, with their dystopian urban and suburban settings and often bleak view of the psychological effects of social and environmental anxieties, mass media and emergent technologies, have become an important source of inspiration for many contemporary artists. This exhibition will provide a very different and much more personal view of the man through Fay Ballard’s bringing together of intimate memory, grieving, and detailed analysis through a drawing practice that has resulted in this exceptional body of work.
Opening Hours: 2pm–5pm, Wednesdays to Saturdays, or by appointment at other times.
Opening Preview: 14 May 2015, 6.00-8.00pm.
Artist’s Talk: 14 May 2015, at 4pm. Fay Ballard will talk about her work in conversation with Derek Horton of & Model. This event is free but places are limited so booking is essential. To book a place please email firstname.lastname@example.org
10 April 2015 – 12 April 2015
"Un double tabou : celui selon lequel il n'existait de l'art contemporain qu'en Occident et celui qui interdisait de montrer des oeuvres de cultures différentes côte à côte. Elle postulait une révision complète d'une histoire de l'art écrite dans le contexte colonial."
"A double taboo: one according to which nothing existed outside Western contemporary art, where it was forbidden to hang artworks of different cultures side by side. It proposed a full revision of the history of art in a colonial context."
[Jean Hubert Martin on the importance of the 1989 exhibition Magiciens de la Terre accompanied by an approximate translation.]
The magiciens de la merde refute this statement.
Who exactly were these original "magiciens “?
Were they the artists or the curators? Why "De La Terre" (Earth) and not "Du Monde" (World)?
We acknowledge that by hanging these "Native Artists” alongside the "Rational Western Artist" they are nothing more than consumed by our Western Art system.
A Richard Long circle painting looms over an Aboriginal sand work lying on the floor.
The magiciens de la merde think in terms of digestion.
As fast as our world wide web will allow.
Plundering all we can.
Everything is free.
Everything is malleable. And nothing is sacred.
‘Around The World’ is a darts game played by two or more players. The aim of the game is to hit all numbers on the board sequentially followed by the "bulls eye". The minimum number of darts necessary to finish the game is 21. The game is also known as ‘Around The Clock’. On 31 March 2015, 21 darts will be launched at a world map by the blindfolded curators Harlan Whittingham and Benjamin Edwin Slinger. The results of the game will form a list of countries for use in their "international exhibition" Magiciens de la Merde. It will also mark a race against time as the curators become artists of re-activation for thirteen days in the &Model gallery space.
28 April 2015
In Word’s Work, organised by Matt Cole, Chris Stephenson and Claire Potter, five diverse writers, Amy Cutler (Leeds), Stephen Emmerson (London), Megan Nolan (Dublin), Nat Raha (London) and Nathan Walker (York), read and perform previously published essays, poetry and sound works.
curated by Mark Devereux Projects
16–25 April 2015
Celebrating the first two years of &Model, In Addition showcased the work of 15 artists who have all been involved in volunteering to support the day-to-day running and invigilation of the gallery space. Some of the work variously concerned itself with how we digest and use social media, questions surrounding feminism, sexuality and sexism, and the exhibition involved practice in a variety of media including, painting, sculpture, photography, video, drawing and performance. Mark Devereux Projects supports visual artists through mentoring, critical dialogue and curatorial production, providing bespoke guidance, information and opportunities to visual artists during the transition from early to mid-career.
11 March 2015 – 29 March 2015
Within physical architectural spaces, Liz West uses light as a material that radiates outside of its boundaries and containers. She playfully refracts light through using translucent, transparent or reflective materials, directing the flow of artificial light. These ephemeral interventions forge new spaces and environments, by flooding a physical site with a rich mixture of light. This project forms part of a recent series of spatial light works based on the artist’s research into colour theory and light fields. The saturated light in this work casts sumptuously vivid colour reflections out of its containing space, through the windows, and reflects onto the road below. In the evening the darkness outside raises the strength of the illumination and the colour intensity in the work.
This new work will be in-situ at &Model from 11 March until 29 March 2015. It will be viewable from outside the gallery only. For further details about Through and about the artist and her future projects please visit www.liz-west.com.
23 October–13 December 2014
In & Model’s second exhibition given over to the work of a single individual, we present Chris Dobrowolski’s sculptural work spanning the last fifteen years, comprising a complex combination of story telling, object making and performance.
Born in Essex and raised in the pre-digital age of the 1960’s and 70’s, reading Ladybird books and The Eagle comic and playing with Dinky toys and Meccano, Chris Dobrowolski occupied his childhood time immersing himself in the analogue world of the mechanical and kinetic. His father, a Polish solider during World War II and later a carpenter, clearly had a significant influence on Dobrowolski’s creative career, teaching him the fundamentals of construction interlaced with colourful accounts of his wartime exploits in North Africa and Italy.
Dobrowolski’s work ranges from small-scale diorama-type modeling to large installation projects and fully functioning machines. Although the work is fundamentally sculptural, it often also involves painting. Another distinctive aspect of his practice is that it is made entirely by Dobrowolski himself without the aid of specialist technicians. His most recent work, produced by Artsadmin and supported by Escalator Live Art, is a performance lecture, All Roads Lead to Rome, about restoring his family’s 1960s Triumph Herald and driving it to Rome to retrace his father’s footsteps whilst exploring issues of consumerism and the legacy of Italy’s turbulent political history.
Travel and transport, literally and metaphorically, are at the heart of all Dobrowolski’s work, including a tea chest airplane, a one-man hovercraft, a full-sized, road-going pedal car and a recent trip to the Antarctic with the British Antarctic Survey as part of their writers and artists programme.
His recently published book, Escape, recounts the stories behind all these projects, his personal journey as an artist, and just how he came to be on a ship heading for the Antarctic with a Ladybird book, an Action Man, a plastic penguin and a sledge made from gilt picture frames.
Other recent projects include Poland 3 Iran 2 with 30 Bird Productions, about international football in the 70’s, and Vanishing Point, a series of miniature film installations with Leslie Hill of Curious as part of Live Art Collective East. Chris is also currently an associate artist at Art Exchange at the University of Essex.
&Model is proud to be able to present a representative survey of the broad range Chris Dobrowolski’s unique, eccentric and sometimes hilarious art practice.
28 July–11 October 2014
& Model's first Summer Sculpture Residencies bring together first Chris Fielder and then Rob Menzer to create new work in the gallery space. Sharing an interest in large scale sculpture, Rob Menzer and Chris Fielder both live and sometimes work in Yorkshire and they both studied art in Leeds, Chris having graduated from Leeds Met recently and Rob ten years earlier. Rob Menzer subsequently completed an MA at Goldsmiths College, University of London and alongside his art practice he has an established career constructing sets in the film industry. He says of his work that “it draws attention to the physical world around us and questions the human desire to control and stabilise it”. Chris Fielder was born in Chertsey in 1980 and lives and works in Keighley. His recent exhibitions include Best at Malgras|Naudet, Manchester, and Unceremonial Objects in Bingley, and he will be showing later this year at Prism 16 in Sheffield and Oddbird in Kuva/Tila at the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki.
Both making in the gallery space and bringing components made in their studios to assemble, alter and install in the space, Fielder and Menzer are using & Model as a space for experimentation. The progress of the project has been designed to be visible through the gallery windows, but for the final few days in early October there will be opportunities for the public to come inside to see the final outcomes of the residency. Exact dates and times for this will be announced through Facebook and Twitter.
12 June–18 July 2014
Conversations around Marlow Moss:
Rational concepts, 7 English artists:
[Portfolio, comprising seven screenprints, 4 in black and white, 3 in colour, each signed and numbered by the artist size 60x60cm, edition of 100 copies with title-page, introduction by Richard Paul Lohse, ‘Constructive art in England today’ and short statements by each artist in a black vinyl covered portfolio, design Rudolf Mattes, published 1977 by Lydia Megert Edition Bern (CH) and Hoffmann Edition Friedberg (D). Loan, collection Andrew Bick.]
Conversations around Marlow Moss, consists of hypothetical dialogue between the exhibiting artists’ work and that of Moss, in which Moss represents the under acknowledged éminence grise, the original tricky figure from a British past in which Modernism, as another kind of European queerness, has also been diligently repressed.
Arguably we are still in muddled dialogue with the things Modernism represents and in the UK this means that the stalled and chequered nature of that conversation has an important effect on what contemporary art means and how it operates. Two exhibitions of Mondrian, at TATE Liverpool and Turner Contemporary, Margate, will open at around the same time that Marlow Moss opens at Leeds Art Gallery and this one comes to &Model. Considering Moss’ artistic relationship with Mondrian is a way of reconsidering her impact, but also the other conversations represented in the &Model exhibition, with British Construction and Systems artists such as Norman Dilworth Anthony Hill, Peter Lowe, David Saunders, Jeffrey Steele, Gillian Wise and others, form part of a bigger and very necessary exchange artists are making now with modernist positions that are far from redundant. Moss, as an overlooked protagonist for conversations that never happened in her lifetime, is the pre-eminently undigested presence in this exchange and the symbolic figure of resistance to an over homogenised history of British art. As with other projects Bick and Blannin have worked on, the irrational within the rational and the idea of contradiction as a vital driving force within art practice since modernism, is celebrated as a reason why we should enjoy and understand the work of Moss and her successors now.
The aim of Conversations around Marlow Moss, is to put her work and forgotten personality back in dialogue with what came after and what happens now, as well as to ask questions about what makes practice contemporary. The artist/curators have been in extended dialogue with British post War Construction and Systems Artists since meeting through an ‘in conversation’ Bick held with Jeffrey Steele at Hales Gallery in 2009. Since then Bick has curated exhibitions in Basel, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leigh and London around these artists’ work and Blannin has published extensive interviews with Steele and Bick in Turps Banana magazine. Both artists explore the implications of this artistic territory in their own practice. Included in Conversations around Marlow Moss will be works by post war British Construction and Systems artists as well as many of the younger artists Bick and Blannin have collaborated with on various projects since 2009.
Tuesday 13 May 2014
Curated by Lauren de Sa Naylor, this one night event combined discussion from translator, writer and academic, Eric Prenowitz; an installation and performance from renowned artist and drone musician Bridget Hayden and a one-off curation of miscellaneous writings from the recently deceased and greatly missed campaigner and educator, Callum Millard.
Language Urges considered the effect of language on the body. What traces are left by language and how do they work on us? Where does the urge to articulate come from and what does that desire reveal to and conceal from us? Do we have language urges or does language urge us? With the tenth anniversary of Jacques Derrida’s death as a backdrop, it looked to a dislocation of meaning as something that is as significant for the tongue-in-cheek memo writer crafting their double address, as it is for a bi-lingual translator negotiating linguistic shifts, and equally the musician who disseminates information phenomenologically. Experience ploughs through meaning, which is itself cultivated by experience. This flux of production we can guide, signpost and fine-tune, but we can neither command nor predict the transference from one system or body to the next. We each code our knowledge according to our own poetics. As a result, something is always perceived to be lost in translation; language tending to distort rather than transmit knowledge. But nevertheless it might be that something can be gained through bypassing and de-authorising original texts, traditions and other arbitrarily appointed authorities and systems, affording us the opportunity to delight in the elasticity of meaning and breathe in the freedom of a no man’s land.
Language Urges was the first part of Shady Dealings With Language, four events guest-curated around the relationships between art writing and performance. The tour is programmed by artist and writer Claire Potter with the support of Arts Council England. Further information about Language Urges and the other Shady Dealings events in London, Manchester and Edinburgh can be found at www.shadydealingswithlanguage.org.uk
6 March 2014–30 April 2014
In this, the first exhibition at & Model given over to the work of a single individual, Peter Suchin presents a large selection of paintings, collages, texts and documentary material relating to his practice as an artist, critic, and curator. Whilst Suchin is perhaps best known for his often polemical contributions to publications such as Art Monthly, Frieze, The Guardian, Mute, Variant and many other journals, he has also been, since 1978, an exhibiting artist. A Critical Contagion in the Quiet of the Night provides a “reverse chronology” of Suchin’s paintings alongside other published and exhibited pieces in a variety of media, together with a range of notes, manuscripts, drawings and “Pocket Paintings” not previously shown in public. A further mosaic of papers, photographs and recordings document Suchin’s collaborations with other artists, critics and curators, and a number of books from his personal library of some 6000 volumes are also on display.
Suchin’s paintings are frequently the result of an extensive process of revision and redefinition. Just as he has, in his capacity as an art critic, speculated upon the institutional and ideological frameworks of art, Suchin has, in his paintings, addressed the implicit contingencies of the medium itself. As the writers David Hopkins, Eleanor Moreton and Sally O’Reilly have each observed, these paintings are tightly composed yet border on chaos and dissolution, appearing to fall apart and re-form themselves like optical illusions or picture-puzzles designed to seduce – or to disorientate – the spectator. These complicated, layered, recursive works also provoke a wilful ambiguity with respect to their status as pictorial representation or unsullied abstraction, keeping both ends of the spectrum constantly in play.
Peter Suchin’s solo exhibitions include Compendiums and Palimpsests (T1+2, London, 2003), Museum of the Vexed Text (Redux, London, 2003), and The Grey Planets (HICA, Inverness, 2008). Group shows and collaborations include Russian Doll (with Martin Creed, Liam Gillick, Elizabeth Price and Giorgio Sadotti, MOT, London, 2004), Lost in Translation, (HAU, Athens, Greece, 2005), Merz= (Bregenz Kunstverein, Bregenz, Austria, 2006), No Letters (Nettie Horn, London, 2008), 4 x 4 (with Chris Tosic, Sartorial, London, 2008), Psychopomp (Art Wars Project Space, London, 2009), Hearing Bertolt Brecht (Moss Gallery, Nottingham, 2010), and Scent of Scagliola (with Michael Hampton, Tank, London, 2010). Curatorial projects include Black Box (with Lela Budde, E:vent Gallery, London, 2006), Planchette (The Residence, London, 2007), and Point of Address (Outpost, Norwich, 2010).
A compilation of selected writings by Peter Suchin is available as a PDF download.
23 January – 22 February 2014
The sixteen artists presented by Patrick Morrissey and Clive Hanz Hancock in Crossing Lines all share reductive, formal, or non-objective approaches to image making. With roots in early 20th century Modernism, reductive abstraction has long been a strong undercurrent running counter to the dominant conceptual movements of the last thirty years or more. The early 21st century has seen a return to and re- examination of the non-objective in contemporary art, and this exhibition is situated within the context of that renewed interest.
Crossing Lines constitutes an artists’ group involved in an extended conversation around a shared concern with the debates that surround postmodern abstraction and how they might inform contemporary practice. Reflecting the traditions of formalist approaches whilst challenging their boundaries and seeking new directions, the artists in Crossing Lines, some already internationally established and some newly emerging, all make work that explores the continuing relevance and potential of the non-objective image.
In a number of Parallel Lines of enquiry, &Model has introduced additional works alongside and amongst the Crossing Lines exhibition, acting as an ‘interruption’, a re-framing device that extends the context. Referencing the legacy of artists such as Hans Richter and experimental filmmakers of the 1950’s and ‘60’s like Jordan Belson and the Whitney brothers, often based in linear and geometric abstraction but without some of their earnestness, Syd Barrett and the Bauhaus is a show reel of film and video works combining digital and analogue technologies made by young artists at the turn of the 21st century. Connections between abstract visual composition and formal structures in music are made by juxtaposing elements of the graphic notation methods of composers such as Cornelius Cardew, Robert Graettinger and Anthony Braxton. In works that refer to the crossed lines of political borders and demonstrators’ barricades, Phill Hopkins re-inserts figurative, narrative or linguistic reference into formal compositions of line and colour, polluting the ‘purity’ of abstraction with ‘content’, to paraphrase Clement Greenberg. And the linguistic turn is more humorously completed by the ironic inclusion of Ad Reinhardt’s Twelve Technical Rules (or How to Achieve the Twelve Things to Avoid).
24 October - 30 November 2013
Scenery presents the work of eight young artists from Scandinavia. The show's title carries a number of connotations that might inform readings of the diverse artworks it brings together. The first is that of landscape, particularly when it is seen to be in some way picturesque. 'Scenery' also has a theatrical meaning, referring to an illusionistic background designed for a theatre stage or a film set. Also of course, a 'scene' refers to a sub-division of a play or the series of shots in a movie that constitute a unit of continuous related action. And finally, a 'scene' can be a social situation, a sphere of activity, as for instance in 'the art scene'.
Each of these ideas - natural landscapes, illusionistic settings, linear narratives, and socio-cultural milieux - find a specifically Scandinavian context in this exhibition as it tells its story with a scarcity of form and materials. The sometimes very minimal expression of Nordic art is not so much related to 'Minimalism' as a genre in which art is self-referential and concerned only with form, but rather with a kind of narrative in which there is great precision and economy of means in the telling of the story.
Birk Bjørlo (NO) Studies at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Arts in Copenhagen. Recent shows include Coloured Signs, and Intermezzo at Galleri Kant, Copenhagen, What is, and what could be at BKS Garage in Copenhagen and Snow Blind at Galerie Weissraum, Kyoto, Japan.
Amalie Jakobsen (DK) Studying Fine Arts at Goldsmiths University of London. Recent shows include Contemporary Figuration in Denmark, Inner/Outer Realms in Gothenburg and A Curator in Berlin.
Oskar Jönsson (DK/SE) Studying Sculpture at Royal College of Art in London and studied Architecture at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen. Recent shows include Contemporary Figuration in Denmark, Inner/Outer Realms in Gothenburg and A Curator in Berlin.
Jon Erik Nyholm (DK) Studying at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Arts in Copenhagen. Recent shows include Sculpture Illuminated at MOHS in Copenhagen.
Tomas Egede Scherer (SE) Studied Fine Arts at Malmö Art Academy, Sweden, graduating in 2004. Since then he has exhibited at galleries including Pictura in Lund, Mors Mössa Gallery in Gothenburg and Arnstedt Gallery in Båstad. He has recently been nominated by Jimmie Durham to 5 X 5 Castelló 2013, Premi Internacional d’Art Contemporani, Castelló, Spain, October 2013-January2014.
John Skoog (SE) Graduated from Städelschule in Frankfurt in 2012. Lives and works in Copenhagen and Frankfurt. Recent Shows include Federsee at Johan Berggren Gallery, Malmö, Sweden and John Skoog: Sent på Jorden and Förår, at Pilar Corrias, London. Recent film festival screenings include: Spectrum Rotterdam International Film Festival, Rotterdam (2013); Indielisboa, Lisbon International Film Festival, Lisbon, (2012) and Torino International Film Festival, (2011).
Cecilie Skov (DK) Studies Visual Arts at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Visual Arts in Copenhagen, and previously studied at Goldsmiths University of London.
David Stjernholm (DK) Studied Fine Art at the Jutland Art Academy, Denmark and Architecture at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen. Lives and works in Copenhagen and recent exhibitions include Our Times No.2 in Leeds and the solo show Content Fill in Aarhus, Denmark.
22 August – 28 September 2013
Running alongside Nick Thurston’s Pretty Brutal Library, and continuing through September, Joseph Buckley’s installation will occupy the gallery’s middle floor.
The middle floor rooms of &Model gallery have been carpeted in a scrap book mix of cut-out colour. The flat geometric shapes of red yellow and green in translucent film and foil are awkward; their edges rough and angular. Collectively, they make for a kaleidoscopic introduction to Joseph Buckley’s installation.
These colourful floor scabs (which are offcuts from the artists’ previous work in vinyl) reunite in the whitewashed rooms to dictate the physical experience of the show. It is difficult to avoid covering the pools with footprint-negatives, especially in the street-facing room which also holds a video installation and a photograph of the artist hanging from the ceiling of the gallery by his right foot. On first encounter the pieces in the room seem disjointed, like selfish entities spread across the space. However, as the ghost chatter of artist discussion fills the space from the box TV, the individual voices, dislocated pools of colour and inverted hanged-man merge into a mashed up mix of obscure reference. The looped video, which shows a group of artists discussing a work of Buckley’s (which is anonymous to the participants and viewers of the work) was filmed in the space, you can see the 1911 date on the grey Pearl Chambers building that faces the gallery out of the window. The hanged-man is suspended from the third floor of the gallery, you recognise the squared sash window from the staircase and the distinct voices from the video become as distinct as the colours on the floor. In the adjoining room the only other work is a peculiar black painting of a domestic interior. It appears like a negative on crackle board and provides a startling counterpart to the angular rainbow shapes on the floor. It isn’t a depiction of the gallery space, but is composed of similar elements-stairs, doorways, wooden floorboards.
When entering the show you encounter the objects and rooms in turn, as if their order was something other than a consequence of their curation. It is difficult to explain or attempt to understand a finite concept behind the exhibition, and that is because the difficulty of the show is also its success. The lack of explanatory material (or its deliberate obscurity) results in cyclic narratives of space, bodies and death, which are probably little more than creations of my imagination (a ‘RETCON’ is the alteration of a back story narrative by a later author). To experience colour and space prompted by nuances of bodily displacement and distorted perspective in a small mid-floor show is an interesting experience, and it is difficult to leave behind the self-portrait hanged man, struggling and voiceless, surrounded by pools of sticky colour.
This review by Rebecca Senior was published in Corridor 8 magazine online, September 2013.
25 July - 31 August 2013
Curated by Derek Horton and presented in association with the Hannah Mitchell Foundation.
Pretty Brutal Library (2013) is a temporary public reference library, produced as an artwork in the format of a solo gallery show. It repurposes the ground floor of the Gallery as an ad hoc reading room in which are presented ten free-to-handle books by ten different authors. Each of these books differently explores what it might mean to write about speaking in the twenty-first century.
Each book confronts the old and new forces that function under the surface of language to objectify speaking and the spoken, be it for better or for worse. Each book has been authored by someone who has taken the double risk of calling that exploration poetic and making it public in print.
Bracing the library will be a doubled doublet, The Matter (2013) that Thurston composed with American poet Kim Rosenfield. The tension in this two-part wall text charges the exhibition: This is a library about the brute material of words and the brutal material of worlds.
In association with the Hannah Mitchell Foundation, free copies of a new print work by Thurston featuring his collaboration with Rosenfield, Notes for a Pretty Brutal Library, first commissioned by Andrew Wilson for the Hannah Festival (June 2013), will be available from the Gallery.
The exhibition also marks the release of Thurston's new book about computational capitalism, Of the Subcontract (information as material, 2013), which features a foreword by McKenzie Wark and an afterword by Darren Wershler. Copies will be available to purchase from the Gallery during the show and internationally from August via Cornerhouse Publications (Manchester) and Coach House Books (Toronto). Press and research enquiries about the book should be directed to Simon Morris: email@example.com.
For &Model, Pretty Brutal Library is the continuation of an association with Thurston and information as material that began with the gallery’s first exhibition, adapt-erase, in January 2013. In that context, & Model is proud to be hosting this project and celebrating the launch of Thurston’s new book.
Nick Thurston (b. 1982) is a poet whose writings have been translated into Spanish, Italian, French, and German. He has exhibited across Europe and North America and written critically about art and poetics. His print and sculptural works are held in public and private collections around Europe including the Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), Leeds City Art Gallery and The Bibliothèque nationale de France (Paris). His bookworks are collected by the V&A (London), Tate (London) and MoMA (New York) amongst other institutions. Since 2006 he has been an editorial member of the writers’ collective information as material, with whom he explores literary forms of DIY praxis. Recent and current exhibitions include: Postscript (Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, 2012; Powerplant, Toronto, 2013); and with information as material, Do or DIY (Whitechapel Gallery, 2012; Laurence Sterne Museum, 2012) and Learn to Read Differently (Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art, 2013). In 2012 he took up an academic post at the University of Leeds, England.
Kim Rosenfield is the author of five books of poetry. Her latest, USO: I’ll Be Seeing You, was released by Ugly Duckling Press in February 2013. She is a recent recipient of a Fund For Poetry grant and a founding member of the international artists' collective, Collective Task. She is a practicing psychotherapist and lives and works in New York City.
2 May 2013 – 8 June 2013
Dirty Pop, curated for &Model by Mark Wright, presents twenty contemporary painters whose work connects with Pop Art of the 1960’s, and particularly the legacy of the important British artist Richard Hamilton, who is included in the exhibition. The exhibition is a follow up to one recently held at Galeria Cadaques in Catalonia in the summer of 2012, and includes a number of artists from that exhibition. Richard Hamilton had shown in Galeria Cadaques many times and it was where he met and worked with Marcel Duchamp.
Like the Cadaques show, the Leeds exhibition demonstrates the way that artists make works of art in the context of other works of art, positioning new work vis-à-vis existing work, not in an immediately identifiable way, but with an awareness in the work that questions and comments on itself in relation to the art of others. Paintings have a capacity to be self-referential and expansive.
Throughout the work it is evident that these painters have an acute awareness of their predecessors including seminal contemporary artists such as Richard Hamilton, Gerhard Richter and Sigmar Polke. In his recent book, The First Pop Age, Hal Foster discusses imagery in the work of Hamilton, Richter and others through distinctive frames of reference, including the tabular, clichéd, distressed, photogenic and deadpan image. It is possible to take elements of this template and apply it in varying degrees to the painters in Dirty Pop. These ideas are present in the works on show and demonstrate how painting has a capacity to return to key ideas and yet reinvent itself, finding new associations.
Like many group exhibitions, Dirty Pop allows the viewer to identify themes and ideas in play across the various artists’ work as well as highlighting their differences. This is perhaps most apparent through the handling of materials, the stuff that goes into making a painting. Paint records traces and gestures that represent many visual qualities from representation through to expression, and the painters in Dirty Pop are producing distinctive and challenging work that is adding to that tradition.
In a special event 17th April 2013 & Model was pleased to present, on behalf of The Henry Moore Institute, Robert Filliou's, ‘Leeds’ (1976). Filliou visited Leeds in the 1970s to teach at the city's art school with Robin Page and Georges Brecht. While there he developed the rules for a Fluxus card game that he premiered in a performance at Leeds College of Art on 26 June 1969. It was later made more formally as a work called 'Leeds' in 1976. In connection with their Robert Filliou exhibition, the Henry Moore Institute held a one-day event that included a public discussion between & Model’s Derek Horton and Geoff Teasdale, who met Filliou when he visited Leeds. The day concluded with a reconstruction of the card game played by 'Leeds Weirdo Club' (Matt Crawley, Harry Meadley and David Steans) at & Model.
We were honoured by a very special guest (seen in the photograph here in red trousers), Garry Kennedy, who was President of Nova Scotia College of Art & Design from 1967, turning it from a provincial art school into an international centre to which artists like Vito Acconci, Sol LeWitt, Dan Graham, Eric Fischl, Lawrence Weiner, Joseph Beuys and Claes Oldenburg were regular visitors. He established The Press of NSCAD which between 1972 and 1987, published titles by such artists as Michael Snow, Steve Reich, Gerhard Richter and Yvonne Rainer. Thanks for coming Garry!
For the duration of LA-Berlin Phil Coyne curated a weekly changing exhibition in & Model’s project space, showing work by Alfie Strong, Matthew Merrick and Phil Coyne.
14 March 2013 – 20 April 2013
Los Angeles - “(i/lɔːs ˈændʒələs/, /lɔːs ˈæŋɡələs/ or i/lɒs ˈændʒəliːz/; Spanish: [los ˈaŋxeles], which is written Los Ángeles, Spanish for The Angels), officially the City of Los Angeles, often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in the U.S. state of California and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City, with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621. It has an area of 469 square miles (1,215 km2), and is located in Southern California. The city is the focal point of the larger Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana metropolitan statistical area and Greater Los Angeles Area region, which contain 12,828,837 and nearly 18 million people respectively as of 2010, making it one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world and the second largest in the United States. Los Angeles is also the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated and one of the most ethnically diverse counties in the United States, while the entire Los Angeles area itself has been recognized as the most diverse of the nation's largest cities. The city's inhabitants are referred to as Angelenos…” [The first paragraph of Wikipedia’s entry on Los Angeles.]
Robert Abel (1937-2001) studied and worked in Los Angeles. He was an early pioneer of computer generated image processing and his work with his company Robert Abel and Associates has had a profound impact and influence across advertising, animation, music video, and the movie industry. His work also represents a bridge between 20th century experimental filmmaking and the present state of CGI technology. In the 1950’s he began working with filmmaker John Whitney whose analogue experiments transferred to the big screen when he was commissioned to make the title sequences for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 film Vertigo. Whitney had originally developed his techniques by adapting military technology, and Abel’s early computer work has clear associations with the progress of the use of simulation in military training. Much of Whitney’s and his peers’ work also inspired the famous ‘Stargate’ sequence from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. This experimental insert into the film was produced by filmmaker Douglas Trumbell using a technique called slit-scan and Abel’s future collaborator in the 1970’s, Con Pedersen, was Trumbell’s assistant at this period. In 1971 Abel and Pedersen established Robert Abel and Associates. Using the slit-scan techniques, now adapted for computer, they began creating visual effects using Evans and Sutherland military hardware. They developed an hallucinogenic style of imagery, a legacy of the psychedelic 60’s that Abel gave names to such as candy apple neon, and their advertising was critically referred to as photo-masochistic. In the 80’s Abel played a major part in the development of digital animation with his work on the film Tron. This work also had a major role in establishing MTV generation video work that is now ubiquitous in the media industry.
Erkka Nissinen studied art at schools in London and Helsinki and in 2007-08 was a resident at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. His work consists of videos, performances and comics and he is the co-founder and director of Handkerchief Production, a creative studio and fashion brand dedicated to interdisciplinary experiments in architecture, art and design. Nissinen’s uses a homemade approach to CGI and combines it with other ironic uses of feature film convention, such as prosthetics, voice-over, dubbing, animation and foley work. Scripting and acting in his own work, often performing multiple roles and voices, Nissinen creates surreal and humorous films that feature absurd characters in absurdist scenarios, deploying inventive, clumsy and sophisticated acting and techniques simultaneously.
Curated by Chris Bloor
The rents are going up in Berlin. Though not immediately pertinent to any of the artworks here, this fact is significant if we accept that cheap property was what enabled Berlin to replace London as the preeminent European art city. Low rents underwrote the cool bars, the generous studios, the indie galleries, the backroom publishers, gaming start-ups and one-woman fashion houses. It made possible the aspirations of artists from across Europe and beyond who were drawn to Berlin as a chilled, slightly scruffy haven from the various strictures of their hometowns and countries. Many of the artists in this show would probably fit this description having moved there from London, Nottingham, Zagreb, Frankfurt and Copenhagen at various points over the last twenty years. So whilst Berlin in 2013 still seems vibrant, the seeds of its demise are already evident in the double-digit annual rise in market rents. But new points of emigration will present themselves, new centres will emerge and the party will simply move on. So in twenty years time a similar show to this might be called LA-Lisbon or LA-Athens or Sao Paulo-Istanbul.
Berlin has always been a city of emigration and transit. El Lissitsky claimed in the 1920’s that Berlin was nothing more than a transit station. Subsequent dictatorship, war and then cold war reformatted Berlin’s twentieth century demographic in a series of waves: the shunting of German and European Jews through its suburban S-bahn stations; subsequent defeat and occupation; the arrival of ethnic Germans ejected from post war Eastern Europe; the erection of walls and fences to stop the post-war East Germans escaping to the West, simultaneously creating a ghetto for post-war West Germans wishing to escape national service. History always feels very close to the surface in Berlin and this flux of forced and elected migrations finds its most recent echo in the colonization of the city by artists.
This sense of history just beneath the surface creates a reflective context in which questions of space, displacement and distance are played out through the means and languages of our own time, something evident in the work of the artists in this show. They foreground the methods and technologies that condition or determine drawing’s appearance, allowing for the modalities of ‘observation’ in their work but simultaneously complicating it with GPS recorders or ladders, with cameras and laptops, with desktop scanners and pen-plotters, remote servers or sheets of acetate used as a printing surface. No one it seems, wants to simply put pencil to paper. As a transient population in a city of transients, perhaps the immediacy of such an approach would fail to capture questions of distance, space and location. So rent rises in Berlin are perhaps more pertinent than they first appear. Not that they lead to the work we see here, but because they may lead to other moments of transit and thus to other moments of creation.
Daniel Belasco-Rogers and Sophia New map their journeys around Berlin through a gps record with interruptions as they enter buildings or use the underground. At the end of each year these routes are committed to drafting film using an architectural pen-plotter machine. As the drawings build up the repeated routes and eddies around their home become a dominant black mass and other, less used parts of the city remain blank, or are traced only by a single line.
A conceptual plan view is also present in David Edward Allen’s Ink Drop drawings that measure the height of his studio with ink drops that rise in 5 or 10 mm increments from the floor to his ceiling. Aimed to land across a grid plotted in pencil on a large sheet of paper, their visuality is in equal measure to the process that structures their realisation.
In Antonia Low’s A Copy Machine as an Auto Portraitist, a drawing rests on the scanner glass of the gallery’s office printer. It is a drawing of the printer’s own ink cartridge, with shading to give form to its outlines and a scale that seems as purposeful as it is ambiguous. The drawing involves an analytical scrutiny of the internal world and workings of an object that is somehow caught in the act of becoming self-aware, as though the user’s interaction could force the eye to tell the mouth about the gut.
Tommy Støckel makes drawings in photoshop, wilfully abusing the watercolour brushes and artistic effects that seldom feature in contemporary art. This act of formal perversity reflects his sculptural practice, the works here deriving from photographed maquettes whose cardboard and sticky tape surfaces are still evident in the futuristic landscapes they inhabit. Conceived as a series of future ruins, at once both plan and execution, remnant and anticipation they point us towards an antiquity of robots rendered in ivy leaves and faux watercolour splats.
Simon Faithfull’s Limbo, An Expanding Atlas of Subjectivity, is an iphone app that downloads his drawings as they are created. Installed here as Limbo - Live Drawings from Berlin the work generates drawings that are automatically printed out and then manually pinned onto a map of Berlin at the location their creation. Glimpses and fragmentary observations of city life are rendered in purely digital form, but the transition from the hand that draws to the hand that pins up the drawing reminds us of the physicality behind our increasingly mediated existence.
In his Two Patterns the Same series Tim Greaves builds up layered drawings sourcing decorative details based on Arts and Crafts designs by William Morris. Delicately coaxing and distressing these into leaves and imperfections the works oscillate between the hand crafted and the reproduced. The element of labour in the process echoes Morris’ own commitment to a kind of artisanal nobility but Greaves, in doubling the patterns in this work, brings us not only to the ‘now and then’ of Morris’ work but also to the ‘there and here’ of his own situation; a British artist, based in Berlin.
Nika Radic works primarily in video and photography and her work Beds grows out of a cinematic practice. Using a 35mm camera to capture short still image sequences of the rooms she stays in when visiting friends, she creates stark black and white ink drawings that sit somewhere between storyboard and animation. The time we spend as a guest, away from our home base, often prompts a heightened alertness to the textures of our new surroundings and Radic’s drawings underline the framed containment of a temporarily defined personal space.
Curated by Nick Crowe and Ian Rawlinson
art works that use or reflect the transformation of space, materials and ideas by means of processes of adaptation and erasure. By:
23 January 2013 - 2 March 2013
This exhibition presents contemporary artists who take objects, materials or ideas from the existing world and make art by transforming them, using processes of adaptation and erasure, reflecting the recent transformation of the building that houses & Model.
Richard Caldicott’s recent works on paper retain the formal aesthetic concerns of his large scale photographs, and are similarly made in series, each one able to stand alone but forming part of a larger whole. Meticulously constructed, they transform mundane materials such as envelopes into crafted objects of compositional elegance.
Emily Musgrave works with a similarly formal aesthetic to produce compositions of colour and texture, but using much more abject materials and an improvised, deliberately ‘rough-and-ready’ method of construction.
Information as material are represented by one work from each of the core members of the collective, Craig Dworkin, Simon Morris and Nick Thurston. In Thurston’s Erased Kosuth Concept (Art as Idea as Idea as Art), the process of erasure is literal, superimposing negative and positive images of a text work by Kosuth, resulting in the photographic presence but visual absence of the original text.
Morris’s The Royal Road to the Unconscious also references an earlier artwork, Ed Ruscha’s Royal Road Test. In Morris’s project every one of the 333,960 words in Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams was individually cut out and thrown from a car window at high speed. This action, carried out by Morris in collaboration with his psychoanalyst, was documented in the book from which these photographs are taken. The third information as material piece in the exhibition, Craig Dworkin’s FACT, is literally that: a detailed objective factual description of itself.
Joseph Buckley’s three works in the exhibition utilise everyday things, spaces and technologies, and transform them into objects of contemplation. They are part of his ongoing series of Elegies.
Emma Alonze’s sculpture, Impending Doom (thinking that you know and then realising that you don’t know), is a combination of sophisticated introspective thought with a playful use of materials and a witty and self-mocking attitude to the sculptural monument.
Emma Alonze is currently studying sculpture at the Royal College of Art. Her work spans sculpture, photography, performance and video. She recently won the sculpture award at the 2012 Salon Art Prize, and was part of The Plaza Principle curated by Chris Bloor and Derek Horton in 2010.
Joseph Buckley, currently studying at Goldsmiths, University of London. Recent exhibitions include The Panj Piare Volume Two at East Street Arts, Leeds; Our Times at Koh-i-Noor, Copenhagen; and Glamourie at Project Space Leeds.
Richard Caldicott shows regularly with Hamiltons, London, A|B|C ontemporary| Armin Berger Gallery, Zurich, and Galerie f.5,6 Munich, and has exhibited worldwide for more than 25 years. Derek Horton has written extensively about Caldicott’s work, which is in many important collections including Goldman Sachs International, the Goss-Michael Foundation, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Merrill Lynch, and the collections of Simon and Yasmin Le Bon and Sir Elton John.
information as material are a collaborative collective of artists and writers whose publications and editions are held in private and public collections around the world including Tate (UK), National Library of France, and MoMA (USA).
Emily Musgrave is a sculptor based in Sheffield. Recent exhibitions include The Plaza Principle, Leeds; Bureau, Manchester; Salon Arts Prize, Matt Roberts Arts, London; and The Parallax Curtain, S1 Artspace, Sheffield (with Melissa Gordon and Jessica Warboys).