Saturday, 28 May 2011

UnMasterclass 22

"According to many accounts within classical mythology, Sisyphus was punished for his impudence and lack of respect for the gods, and assigned the task of rolling a rock to the top of a mountain only for it to roll back down again. His interminable sentence was that he would remain locked into the repetition of this forever failing action for all eternity........More than a model of endless or uninterrupted continuation of action, a Sisyphean practice operates according to a cycle of failure and repetition, of non-attainment and replay; it is a punctuated performance. A rule is drawn. An action is required. An attempt is made. Over and over, again and again - a task is set, the task fails and the task is repeated. Ad infinitum."
Emma Cocker

The above appear to sum up UnMasterclass pretty well. UnMasterclass, like Sisyphus, is locked in eternal struggle of trying to attain a completion of  just one good copy of a painting, one that shows we have learnt what painting is. And like Sisyphus we have angered the gods (of painting past) and are locked in an eternal struggle of failure. We have neither the right tools, the time or the ability to achieve the perfection required, instead we are locked in a cycle of 52 weeks of paintings that are bound to fail. Our rules are drawn. Our action is ongoing. An attempt is being made. Over and over, again and again. Our task is set, Our task fails and the task is repeated.
Pop along to see the latest UnMasterclass here or maybe this week roll a rock up a mountain instead of going to a gallery.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

UnMasterclass 21

It is fast approaching degree show time for art students across the land and most are busy setting up their shows and those that paint will be hoping that their oil paint will dry in time. Here at UnMasterclass we are always equal parts overjoyed and disheartened/annoyed/seething/nonplussed about how so many students are seemingly learning painting the UnMaterclass way. When we look around degree shows we see so much evidence of how students are not looking at paintings themselves in order to further their discipline, we can only surmise that either UnMasterclass is in the Zeitgeist or our influence is spreading. Of course this is not just limited to students, head around the East End of London or Chelsea in New York and you will see a lot of unlearnt painting going on. Pat on the back for us.
Anyhow to keep the flame alive of the UnMasterclass way we have decided it is high time another UnMasterclass winged it's way to you. So you can either pop along to the trendy gallery areas to see the fruits of UnMasterclass or pop along to see the new episode itself at this link

Friday, 13 May 2011

UnMasterclass 20

Here at UnMasterclass we have looked on with bemusement at the UK government's recent decisions to increase the caps on tuition fees, after the removal of almost all their teaching grants to Universities. We have been incensed by what appears like a targeted response to the arts via these cuts to Universities, to tax payer related arts funding and local council's decisions across the land to cut all their funding to arts centres. We have looked on with bafflement, if not surprise, as two thirds of Universities have chosen to charge the top limit for their fees to students of the future and with a cynical sneer at recent reports of a removal of these capped upper limits. It really is not that far from the $30-40,000 fees of American institutions, we used to look at so incredulously at, this side of the Atlantic.
Anyhow we are pleased to say that here at UnMasterclass we can announce that we still charge no fees whatsoever for our un-tuition, a trend being mirrored around the country with free art schools popping up like popcorn in a hot pan around Great Britain, from Liverpool to Lincoln to London. However, UnMasterclass is, of course, different from all the aforementioned educational instances in that we do not proclaim to pass on knowledge through what we do; we do not expect anyone to learn through what we do. In fact quite the reverse, if you follow UnMasterclass then we can almost guarantee you will not improve as a painter. Much better to go and look at some paintings for free (while you can) at your local gallery or get saving for that trip to art college joy. Or if you do feel like experiencing another episode of UnMasterclass, the latest one can be found here

Monday, 9 May 2011

Being Lost

Being Lost
Adele Vallance / Brendan Lyons / Catherine Bertola / Kevin Hunt / Susan Collis

Curated by Andrew Bracey & Adele Vallance

“If the archive can serve no more than a tomb of remnants and traces, where is the place for that which does not survive or which, by virtue of the archive is forgotten”

Charles Merewether.

Being Lost brings together 5 artists whose work explores different notions of being lost; working with discarded/found objects and injecting life into them or working with the everyday, which we take for granted (and therefore can be argued that it is lost to us). The show is curated by artists Adele Vallance and Andrew Bracey.

The work in the exhibition presents a place that has been lost or forgotten; to give it a home or a function once more. To house that which the traditional archive would reject due to it’s requirement to be selective in order to keep more. The viewer can question their perception of traditional archives through the artist’s use of display and interpretation. There is re‐wiring and expansion of visual understanding of a particular or discarded object or mark.

Adele Vallance reveals the hidden histories of lost surfaces, through fragile glue casts; using the glues unique properties to create a record of the movements and involvements with the surface, adding a brittle trace to the process. She is a collector of what is infinitely collectable, our imprint in time.

Brendan Lyons uses paint to give an illusion of something other than itself. What may appear to be bricks, polythene sheets, builder’s orange safety netting or sheets of corrugated metal are, in fact, unsupported paint. A type of hunt is created, for the viewer to differentiate between the work and the real objects.

Catherine Bertola re‐ignites the lost practice of hand lace making in her Anatomy drawing. Pricked marks from the patterns of mass produced lace lingerie items become portraits, in the hands of Bertola, of real and imagined woman long deceased.

Kevin Hunt reconfigures and irreversibly alters found furniture into something approaching formal sculpture. The act of making, although premeditated, regularly turns out to be more casual, allowing for serendipitous and chance happenings.

Susan Collis creates subtle depictions of mundane and accidental marks, revealing beauty in something usually overlooked by all but the most attentive observer. Through meticulous processes of the works manufacture, something initially passed off as insignificant gains a currency of awe in the viewer.

28th May ‐ 4th June 2011

Private view Friday 27th May 6‐8pm
Open 12‐4pm Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May and by appointment until 4th June.
Rogue Project Space, 66‐72 Chapeltown Street, Piccadilly, Manchester, M1 2WH

t. +44 (0)161 273 7492 / e. / Open by appointment

Friday, 6 May 2011

UnMasterclass 19

“Easy to use, informative and fun, it’s an A to Z guide of 500 painters and sculptors from medieval to modern times. It debunks art-historical classifications by throwing together brilliant examples of all periods, schools, visions and techniques. Only here could Michelangelo be considered with Millais, Picasso with Piero della Francesca and Rodchenko with Rodin.”
The Art Book

“Easy to use, informative and fun, it’s a guide of 52 painters from medieval to modern times. It debunks art-historical classifications by throwing together brilliant examples of all periods, schools, visions and techniques. Only here could da Vinci be considered with Millais, Bacon with Lippi and Malevich with Fantin-Latour.”

Many of the paintings in UnMasterclass were drawn from The Art Book, published by Phaidon which I received for a birthday when a teenager first starting to think I may become an artist one day. It seemed an appropriate tome to turn to when conceiving and carrying out UnMasterclass and it was rarely deviated from. We hope UnMasterclass is as “easy to use, informative and fun” as the The Art Book claims to be. This week another classic painting goes under the proverbial hammer and is annihilated by the UnMasterclass team. Go along to to see the latest episode, or of course as usual we would heartily recommend you went along to a gallery instead. 

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Creekside Open

I will be showing this new work, Reclining Nude, as part of the Creekside Open selected by Dexter Dalwood at APT gallery, opening on 12th May until 27th May. There will be a rather fine opening festivity on saturday 14th May 3-6pm, it would be lovely to see you all there.The exhibition will be open Thursday to Sunday from 12noon to 5pm and at other times by appointment.
Art in Perpetuity Trust, Harold Wharf, 6 Creekside, Deptford, London, SE8 4SA

My work is made reproductions of portrait paintigns from pages from Auction catalogues that have been cut to form an abstracted image. The work is full of interesting contradictions, some of which are below.

Painting / Not Painting

Beauty /Destroy

Drawing / Not Drawing

Cut away / Create

Portrait /Abstract

Old / New

Information / Mis-information

Representational / Non-representational

Obscure / Reveal

Of value / Worthless

Sir Matthew Smith / Andrew Bracey

Paper / Oil on canvas

Etc / Full stop

Monday, 2 May 2011

UnMasterclass 18

Dali sure is one strange artist to appreciate. If you are 15 and under and interested in art at school then the chances are then he is your favourite artist. Then at A-level you start to suspect something might not be all correct in Denver and certainly the foundation course tends to knock most interest out for him. By the time you get to art college for your degree anyone who says he is their favourite artist soon draws sneers of disapproval from everyone else on the course and more than likely will not complete the course or will only just do so with suitable poor quality work and understanding of contemporary art. However if someone was to mention liking his films, then nods of approval and "ground-breaking", "extraordinary" and "oh it's ok to like them..." seem to crop up quite a lot. However if your path did not pass down the arty route then the likelihood is that Dali is still not maybe what you would call your favourite artist, but you can certainly name him and recognise those weird artworks he made.
Anyhow here at UnMasterclass we were unsurprised to find out that our version of one of his better known paintings actually came out not too bad as a quickly churned out copy. We were likewise unsurprised to find out it is one of the most boring UnMasterclasses we had to paint and we wonder if this might come across in the film. So maybe in this case we would maybe recommend going along to Tate Modern and having a look at a Dali painting. If your not really into art, then you might as well look around the rest of it as your there....and if you are into art then go along and see what you think of Dali now, chances are you haven't actually stood in front of an actual Dali painting since the GCSE study trip. Or if you really do not want to do that then pop along and see the latest UnMasterclass instead, viewable here