|KIDS Screenprint, paper 65.7 x 100.8, image 48,1 x 84.2cm|
ALAN CRISTEA GALLERY, Cork St, until May 2nd 2014
Kids is a print commissioned to raise money for a five-storey mural on the West Wing atrium of Oxford Children's Hospital at the John Radcliffe.
Our first instinct is to try and find a connection between text and image but there is none. Four 'random' letters which happen to denote children are jammed between 4 random objects: a metronome, a bucket, a torch and an empty drawer.There's no hidden meaning. The artist selected shapes - letters and objects - until he found something which 'worked'.
He has described himself as a constructor rather than a painter or draughtsman. I owe a great debt to this artist. I have never forgotten when I first saw his work An Oak Tree. It consists of a glass of water placed on a small glass shelf at above head height. Below are some questions and answers concluding that "the actual oak tree is physically present but in the form of a glass of water...Just as it is imperceptible, it is also inconceivable". It is work which is “in the service of the mind,”3 as opposed to a purely “retinal” art, intended only to please the eye. (Marcel Duchamp's words).
|Corkscrew, one of 6 etchings in Catalan Suite II, paper 45 x 45 cm, image 29.7 x 29.7 cm|
The exhibition has sets of outstanding prints Art and Design, where Craig Martin references iconic 20th century artworks - Andy Warhol's soup can, Man Ray's smoothing iron with spikes and Magritte's pipe - men with a particular interest in re-defining art using humour and more than a touch of antagonism.