Monday, 25 August 2014
Yesterday saw a very welcome break from all the projects that are currently running at the moment, a day of pure relaxation and a time to catch up on some of the beautiful exhibitions I have been meaning to see before they finished with a dear friend, a truly traditional Sunday, like the old days.
And what more could you want than the two absolutely stunning exhibitions at Maureen Paley, Peter Hujar's portraits and Dirk Stewen's watercolours, then onto the Chisenhale to see the Edward Thomasson's premiere of 'The Present Tense' video.
To start a very welcomed trip to Maureen Paley, I always find it such a pleasure viewing work here, the space is incredible and the curation always so tight, you really are presented with a viewing platform that offers ample space for seeing, a clarity, a cleanliness that l find so inviting. On the ground floor are the beautiful black and white prints made by Peter Hujar himself, as you walk from one photograph to another, you see his gentle, but strikingly powerful images of a New York that once was, Divine, William Burroughs, Paul Thek, Peggy Lee in all their glory. The prints vary in their tonality, but all have this draw, it must be the touch of Hujar. There is a tenderness to his imagery, a sense that he had great respect for this sitters, that they were friends and shared in much. They are honest, delicate and no matter the subject matter, whether alive or dead, an honest approach - stunning.
Upstair is Dirk Stewen and a focus on his watercolour works on paper. I am such a colossal fan of Stewen's work, I can't really explain in words exactly what happens when I see the watercolours, but there's this sense of sublime euphoria, seeing how the muted colours bleed into one another, that gentle tactile touch of thread hanging from the paper. The meticulously cut out, added circles of colour collaged over one another, the compositions are wonderful and those thin lines that pull your view off the paper, its quite extraordinary. Alongside these are three stunning images, that incorporate pieces of thin wood, that rest so delicately over the framed imagery, it is a truly special exhibition.
Then from all the excitement and joy from Hujar and Stewen onto the Chisenhale to see Edward Thomasson's video, 'The Present Tense', the premiere of his work created and commissioned by the gallery itself and Create, (their residency programme.) The video is an excellent visual narrative where three interconnecting stories explore space and human behaviour towards one another. The use of music is very interestingly placed, as well as the use of the theatrical, in particular the scenes where police offers perform to teenagers, singing their daily routines is quite extraordinary.
Sadly all exhibitions finished on the 24th August, but you can more about them here: http://www.maureenpaley.com/exhibitions
All images are courtesy of The Estate of Peter Hujar, Dirk Stewen @ Maureen Paley and Edward Thomasson's image by Andy Keate @ The Chisenhale Gallery.
Posted by Melinda Gibson on Monday, August 25, 2014
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