Katrina Blannin

#122. Geoff Hands writes on “HARDPAINTINGX2”

HARDPAINTINGX2 at Phoenix Art Space, Brighton

An exhibition in two parts featuring work by:

Part 1: Richard Bell, Katrina Blannin, John Carter, Catherine Ferguson, Della Gooden, Richard Graville, Morrissey & Hancock, Tess Jaray, Jo McGonigal, Lars Wolter and Jessie Yates

Part 2: Rana Begum, Ian Boutell, Philip Cole, Biggs & Collings, Deb Covell, Stig Evans, Jane Harris, Mali Morris, Jost Münster, Patrick O’Donnell, Carol Robertson and Daniel Sturgis

Richard Bell, ‘Equivalences (2 part painting)’, 2019, each 59.5x42cm

Deb Covell, ‘Fit’, 2017, 27x9x11cm and ‘Blue Pleat, 2018, H24xW15xD3.5cm

Hardpainting as a concept appears to be difficult to pin down. The best advice would be to engage in primary research and visit the exhibitions and see for yourself. Or, if that is not an option, make a note of the exhibitor’s names and search out their works at other venues. For secondary research, trawl through your catalogues and bookshelves and visit the artists’ websites. As you form some notion of what Hardpainting is, there’s one important proviso: exclude the figurative. And a recommendation: be a little speculative and maintain a spirit of deliberate inexactitude. Also, pluralism is good (it’s certainly contemporary), for Hardpainting is not to be placed into a theoretical straight jacket. At least not yet.

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#30. Geoff Hands writes on the Paintings of Katrina Blannin at Jessica Carlisle

Katrina Blannin installation at Jessica Carlisle

Katrina Blannin installation at Jessica Carlisle

KATRINA BLANNIN: ANNODAM is at Jessica Carlisle, 4 Mandeville Place, London W1U 2BF, 11th March – 9th April, 2016

Ruminations: Introduction

 “Paintings are there to be experienced, they are events. They are also to be meditated on and to be enjoyed by the senses; to be felt through the eye.” John Hoyland (Serpentine Gallery, 1979)

Looking at works of art gets us thinking, producing reactions of approval, disinterest or dissatisfaction. Such reactions appear instantaneous. Thereafter, one can move on or get involved. Further pondering, or ‘rumination’, might result in seeing a different painting, print or sculpture etc. Time is key.

In the quotation extracted from John Hoyland’s catalogue statement (above), the active and eventful meditation alluded to, fuses emotion (that which is ‘felt’ and ‘enjoyed’) with a visually stimulated encounter (via the ‘senses’). Paintings and other art forms are empowered by being perceived by the viewer. To “see through the eye”, rather than with the mind, is a statement affirming a visual poetics that has a particular, though not exclusive, relationship to abstract painting. Conceptually, and ironically, it establishes an anti-conceptual position.

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#5. Monochrome/Duochrome – thoughts on colour materiality and dependency – Part 1. Organised by Katrina Blannin

Johannes Vermeer, The Music Lesson, 1662-65, oil on canvas

Johannes Vermeer, The Music Lesson, 1662-65, oil on canvas

In her fascinating essay Color, Facture, Art and Design[i] Iona Singh argues that, in a world saturated with industrially produced synthetic colours: dyes made from coal tar, a by-product of oil production, we are losing touch with any meaningful connection with the materiality and facture of colour and our sensory perception. ‘Use of these strong, lightfast and inexpensive synthetic colors are at the expense of nuance, tincture and the plenitude of natural formation.’ She suggests that the ubiquity of coal tar colours in the built environment has contributed to the alienation of the senses and our estrangement of colour on an aesthetic level – colour is divorced from structure and does not appeal to the body in any real material sense anymore: relationships are lost and thereby the ‘sensual ground of related cognitive processes’. I would add to this the finite range of back lit colours that we are faced with on a daily basis on the computer or the TV – every colour starkly saturated and smoothed out: unmixed and de-materialised.

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