Pleaser, 2009

Cellophane, sellotape, paint, soap,
body moisturising cream, toothpaste, cling film,
Cif cream, nail varnish, fabric dye powder

Black is interested in exploring material experience as a way of thinking, feeling or communicating without language. She makes work from materials with which she has an intimate, familiar kind of relationship: the substances and surfaces that constitute her everyday life, from body moisturiser to traditional art materials such as chalk or paper that we first encounter as children. Her approach to materials is without hierarchy; if she likes the texture of a cream or material she will use it. Aware that some products carry more cultural connotations than others, Black draws out the physical properties of materials such as petroleum jelly or cellophane and in doing so makes us understand them in a different way.

‘Pleaser’ is what she calls a ‘very thin sculpture,’ although it relates both to painting and sculpture. Embedded in the painted surface are pockets of wet paint and powder, suspended in cling film so they never dry and retain something of their potential for transformation.




  Stillstill, 2009

Painted steel, glass with mirroring paint,
machined brass, straw and cotton fabric.

‘Stillstill’ is a new work made especially for this exhibition. Barclay is known for her installations that take on entire rooms, but here she has made something self-contained that focuses our attention on a few specific objects. Her installations are always made in response to their location, and in this work Barclay also makes a connection to the context of Kettle’s Yard, thinking of it in terms of a still life. Her arrangement of objects on a shelf is very much an echo of the way both artworks and everyday objects are placed, in conversation with one another, in the House.

Barclay makes objects that aren’t functional but suggest imaginary uses. They are made with a number of different production processes, from machined metal to more hand-crafted techniques, like weaving straw. The careful placement of objects, imbuing them with significance through their relationships to one another in order to suggest a mood, is a device that is also used by Ian Kiaer.



Suspended Fall, 2005 Powder coated steel, chain, wire and Jacobsen Series 7 chair parts

Around 2003, Martin Boyce began to buy pieces of modernist design, such as Jacobsen chairs and Eames shelves and leg splints, on Ebay, sometimes for bargain prices. He used them in his own sculptures, often painting or cutting them up in the process. ‘Suspended Fall’ is a mobile made with sawn-off Jacobsen ‘Series 7’ chair parts. Deliberately reminiscent of the mobile sculptures of Alexander Calder, Boyce’s mobile highlights the obvious echo between the forms of Calder and Jacobsen. Although Jacobsen was Danish and Calder American, they were contemporaries working with ‘new’ industrial materials such as plywood and sheet metal in a climate of post-war optimism, and both explicitly engaged with the aesthetic and aspirations of modernism.

In the way he went about obtaining and handling these materials, Boyce casts an unmistakable air of melancholy over their idealism. He points to the bleak capitulation of modernist principles, from ‘good affordable design for all’ to the inflated economic values and cultural elitism that these iconic objects represent today.



Singing Room, 2009

In a new, site-specific installation at Kettle’s Yard, Feher uses the physical traces of previous exhibitions to create a work that is attuned to the shifting interplay of light and colour in the room. Feher uses a vocabulary of colours and forms sifted from the flotsam of industrial consumer culture. A miscellany of plastic bottles, jam jars, marbles, artists’ tape and packaging materials from cartons to crisp packets has found its way into his work. His is a practice of improvisation that relies on an intuitive engagement with objects and places and a process of repetition (of materials or gestures) that reveals infinite difference and complexity, as well as beauty. He draws our attention to the specific form and colour of something as mundane as a plastic bag or beverage bottle (and, by contrast, to the incredible variety and number of their forms and colours to be found on a single supermarket shelf).




Algorithm Broken by a Bullet, 2007
Aluminium and reflective fabric

Turn Your Headlights on Please, 2007

Brass and PEVA (above)

Ubiquitous, chameleon-like in its versatility and economical to produce, plastic is the material of the twentieth century. Plastic is both an adjective that describes a material’s malleability, and a noun that defines a group of synthetic and organic materials, from polyester to PET, that have become integral to the fabric of our daily lives and experiences. Plastic has been instrumental in the development of our industrial, consumer society, which has in turn shaped how we live in every sense. Shirley Tse has worked with plastics for over ten years. Her sculptures exploit the physical and formal qualities of different plastics to make objects that capture a material sense of the complex cultural, economic and political forces operating on our physical environment.

The ‘loom’ pieces on display here use fabrics developed by the military stretched over extruded aluminium and brass frames, and make passing reference to the history of the development of the first computer.

Karla Black
2009, Cellophane, paint, sellotape, thread
250 x 200 cm
Karla Black’s work draws from a multiplicity of artistic traditions from expressionist painting, land art, performance, to formalism. Her large-scale sculptures incorporate modest everyday substances, along with very traditional art-making materials to create abstract formations. Black chooses her media for their tactile aesthetic appeal: the familiarity of the texture of cellophane or the scent of cosmetics bridges the experience of tangible matter with the intimacy of memory or the subconscious. Black’s process is intensely physical and this energy is conveyed through her work’s ‘impromptu’ staging; this suggestion of performance psychologically involves the viewer with the making process, provoking instinctive responses to her precarious assemblages.


Phyllida Barlow

Kim Lim (wife of William Turnbull)

Kim Lim was born in Singapore but trained as an artist in London, where she subsequently spent her life. She was known primarily as a sculptor in wood and marble, but also made a number of prints anddrawings. This group of woodcuts was purchased in 1999. A further ten prints were donated by the Contemporary Art Society in memory of Cecily Lowenthal, who was a long serving member of the Tate Guides and a close friend of the artist. Lim had a life-long fascination with the art and philosophies of the East. Her work reflects this interest in its quest for simplicity and in her attempt to distil the essence of natural forms.

 Read More at:-

Two out of the four works/artists who interested me in the 2011 Turner Prize shortlist:

Work by Martin Boyce.Work by Martin Boyce.

Martin Boyce
For his solo exhibition at Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, which built upon his project for the 53rd Venice Biennale by holding the viewer within an atmospheric sculptural installation. Boyce’s work combines references to design history and text and is marked by a subtle attention to detail.

A gallery of work by Karla Black.

A gallery of work by Karla Black.

Karla Black
For her solo show at Galerie Capitain Petzel, Berlin, and for contributions to various group exhibitions, which together consolidated her innovative approach to sculpture and displayed her increasingly powerful works made with ephemeral materials.

Turner prize nominated artist Karla Black

ART is widely understood as a commodity, as something to covet and to buy, which perhaps explains why George Shaw’s Turner Prize-shortlisted work seems to have struck a chord with many visitors to Baltic.

Shaw specialises in paintings and rectangular ones at that. They show, in near photographic detail, places we might recognise. You can imagine one of them on your wall at home.

But thousands did not queue across the Millennium Bridge to see pictures on walls. The extraordinary pulling power of the Turner Prize is not because it has traditionally played safe.

Karla Black’s quarter of Baltic’s Turner Prize exhibition is more like it. Here’s art that confounds all commonly held definitions. At first glance – and even second and third – it’s all over the place. Where’s the method, the plan?

The Scottish artist, looking a little frazzled at the press preview, seems to be in two minds about being shortlisted for a competition that attracts such wide interest and not a little flak.

“I think it is exciting, in terms of: ‘Yes, that’s great; it’s really nice to have that recognition’. But on the other hand you don’t want to build it up to more than it is.

“I suppose I don’t want to get too nervous. There’s such a lot going on at the moment and we’re all trying to make exhibitions. So this is not the most important thing in the world.”

Unlike the more defined and clinical work of her fellow contenders, Black’s has an apparent randomness to it which might be deceptive. It’s big sheets of paper, torn and daubed and suspended from the ceiling. It’s also sheets of paint-splattered cellophane and pastel-coloured powders scattered liberally across the floor.

Like Marcel Duchamp with his Fountain – actually, a urinal – nearly 100 years ago (yes, shockable art is nothing new), Black seems to have turned to the bathroom for her materials.

Her powders are not paint but crushed bath cubes and the like.

Mention the disparity between her art and a painting on a wall or a bronze on a plinth and she says: “To me, it’s not very different.

“I think a painting on a wall or a bronze sculpture, whatever, are just the physical culmination of a creative process.

“Sometimes how an artist is differentiated from others is just about where you stop within that process.”

Black explains that she gives just as much thought to her materials, and to how she uses those materials, as any artist whose work might fall within more conventional boundaries.

But she adds that she is just as conscious, when making her art, of the demands of the space she is working in.

“You have to have somewhere to start from and I usually start with colour and material, deciding: yes, I’d like to use those colours and I’d like those materials.”

As for the latter, she says she doesn’t feel the need to limit herself to the art shop’s wares. Between powder paint and powdered toiletries, she says, there is little difference.

“They are all just part of the material world. Chalk, whatever you are using it for, is just crushed up little sea creatures so I don’t really make that differentiation between things.”

Once equipped with her materials in her allotted space, it seems the creative process can take some unexpected turns – but that’s not so surprising.

Many a happy accident has steered a conventional portrait or landscape painter to a successful conclusion.

Similarly for Karla Black, sometimes the behaviour of her materials can dictate the direction in which she will go. And you can see that a large and seemingly unwieldy sheet of sugar paper might sometimes take the upper hand.

But ultimately the artist is in charge.

What we see at Baltic, while easily dismissed at first glance as a mess, is the product of a highly trained, creative mind – and one which has earned plaudits in the sometimes wild and wonderful world of contemporary art.

Jackson Pollock dribbled paint onto canvases laid on the ground, Picasso made Head of a Bull from bicycle seat and handlebars, and Yoko Ono – at this very venue a couple of years ago – exhibited artistic bottles of water.

To those aforementioned, who understand art best as a commodity, you wouldn’t pick up any of those famous works of art for a song. But all, in their way, have helped to change the way we view the world.

Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, back in 1917, whipped up a debate about the true nature of art which is still going on.

But the thing to understand about Karla Black is that she does not regard herself as standing outside any artistic tradition or cocking a snook at the art world.

Neither, it transpires, is she anti-commerce.

Before she is ushered away for another interview, I ask how it would be possible to collect her work.

“There are ways of doing it,” she replies over her shoulder.

For the record, Karla Black includes two pieces in her Baltic Turner Prize show, both attributed to her and to Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne, which hosted the show that first caught the eye of the Turner Prize judging panel.

They are Doesn’t Care In Words (made of cellophane, paint, Sellotape, sugar paper, chalk, powder paint, plaster powder, wood, polystyrene, bath bombs, Vaseline, moisturising cream, spray deodorant, brown paper) and More Of The Day (polythene, powder paint, plaster powder, thread).

You can see Karla Black’s work at Baltic as part of the Turner Prize 2011 exhibition until January 8. She will give a talk in the gallery on November 19.

Eva Hesse

The following is from this website:

Spectres - Eva Hesse

Page: Spectres

Artist: Eva Hesse

Completion Date: 1960

Style: Abstract Expressionism

Genre: figurative painting

Untitled  - Eva Hesse

Page: Untitled

Artist: Eva Hesse

Completion Date: 1960

Style: Abstract Expressionism

Genre: abstract painting

At 24, Eva Hesse was well informed on matters of recent art history, such as the Abstract Expressionist ethos of the New York School and its “second generation” response in the form of Color Field painting. In 1960 she set out as an independent artist, producing a series of what have since come to be referred to as “spectre pictures,” according to curator E. Luanne McKinnon. What unites these expressionistic abstractions is their flirtation with imagery of the human body and self-portraiture, while they nonetheless seek to express something comparatively intangible, a recurring psychological motif such as a state of mind, a mood or a memory.
In this piece, Hesse hints at the common format of a studio-based self-portrait by the painter standing at her easel, although one would not see this at the outset, which is precisely Hesse’s intention. As in many of the works from this series, Untitled presents a largely monochromatic palette of green pigment accentuated, or visually compartmentalized, by sharply contrasting tonalities articulating the two-dimensional space of the canvas. The compartmental imagery of Untitled will be repeated in Hesse’s sculpture, such as in the Repetition Nineteen pieces, and may have been influenced by Hesse’s exposure to the work of Louise Nevelson in MoMA’s contemporaneous Sixteen Americans show. The gestural brushwork here derives from Hesse’s training in the Abstract Expressionist style, while her restricted color scheme and compartmental leanings might be attributed to her study under Albers. All speaks to her desire to simplify, reduce and visually pare the subject down to its most essential qualities.

Vertiginous Detour

Page: Vertiginous Detour

Artist: Eva Hesse

Style: Conceptual Art, Post-Minimalism

Genre: installation

Contingent, 1968Right After, 1969Expanded Expansion, 1969

Accession II, 1968

Page: Accession II

Artist: Eva Hesse

Completion Date: 1968

Style: Minimalism

Genre: sculpture

Accession II seems a logical, structural outcome of the compartmental images characterizing Hesse’s early paintings. Once again, the metal cube seems to have dropped straight out of a two-dimensional, Minimalist work of art, all the while the interior rows of tubing complicate its clean, exterior sensibility. Bristling along the inner walls of the cube like the quills of a porcupine, the protrusions give the cube an ominous aura that belies their soft plasticity. Is this a cloister of cushioning, or a torture chamber? The dual qualities of the box aptly characterize Hesse’s own “life of extremes”, the unknowing girl of a forced and tragic diaspora, and the accomplished university design student. Alluding to unexpected dangers and the need for a safe, protective space, Accession II embodies the artist’s own fears and desires just as effectively, perhaps, as any more representational self-portrait.

Untitled, 1967

Page: Untitled

Artist: Eva Hesse

Completion Date: 1967

Style: Minimalism

Genre: abstract painting

Material: paper

Gallery: Tate Gallery, London, UK

Hesse’s work is predominantly monochrome and based on simple progressions or repetitions. This is one of a series of drawings on graph paper that she began to make in 1966, filling the tiny squares with single circles. The apparently limited formula yields unexpectedly non-mechanical and lightly textured drawings.

Metronomic Irregularity II, 1966

Page: Metronomic Irregularity II

Artist: Eva Hesse

Completion Date: 1966

Style: Post-Minimalism

Genre: installation

Lucy Lippard, who organized the seminal show Eccentric Abstraction, was originally disappointed with Hesse’s selection of Metronomic Irregularity II for the exhibition, due primarily to the work’s apparent lack of sexual or organic qualities. Here, we see Hesse interested in something relatively free of erotic overtones, but just as extraordinary, by marrying Minimalist forms with Expressionist gesture. Indeed, the square pieces of slate with equal spaces of blank wall between them utilize the formal, highly reductive vocabulary of Minimalism. This visually muted impression is overcome, however, by the twisted fibers that approximate the effects of early 1950s “Action Painting”. The push and pull between these different sources of inspiration and such starkly contrasting textures create a dissonance that gives Metronomic Irregularity a unique intensity, evoking at once the beat of a clock and the disarray of an all-enveloping windstorm.

Ringaround Arosie, 1965

Page: Ringaround Arosie

Artist: Eva Hesse

Completion Date: 1965

Style: Feminist Art, Post-Minimalism

A German exhibition by Jean Tinguely may have triggered the kitschy, playful vein of Ringaround Arosie, although Hesse was already familiar with the erotic surrealism of Marcel Duchamp. We might also see in this work the playful, absurd qualities of Dada, as well as the more fantastic, futuristic elements of late Bauhaus as manifested in the abstract theatrical costumes of Oskar Schlemmer and others of pre-war German design culture. Hesse has identified the two central objects as a breast and a penis, which lends the work a humorous quality; at the same time, the relief exudes a stereotypically feminine persona with its pink tonality and craft-like texture. The title, which recalls a well-known childhood game with a haunting subtext referring to “falling down” or similarly suffering a calamity, has been interpreted as a statement of Hesse’s own desire at that time to become a mother. As if giving birth to another dimension in her own work, this first relief by Hesse is an important landmark in her evolving path from painting to so-called “eccentric” sculpture.

Untitled - Eva Hesse

Page: Untitled

Artist: Eva Hesse

Completion Date: 1965

Style: Feminist Art

Genre: figurative painting

Material: paper

Gallery: Tate Gallery, London, UK

Towards the end of her year working in Germany, Hesse produced a group of particularly free and bold drawings. While earlier drawings had suggested complex machines with a number of interlinked parts, she now concentrated on isolated organic elements that anticipate the sculptures she would begin to make when she returned to New York. Like other works by Hesse, this drawing suggests references to the body while remaining abstract.

Tomorrow's Apples (5 in White) - Eva Hesse

Page: Tomorrow’s Apples (5 in White)

Artist: Eva Hesse

Completion Date: 1965

Style: Post-Minimalism

Genre: abstract painting

Technique: enamel, gouache, relief

Material: board, mixed media

Gallery: Tate Gallery, London, UK

Hesse trained as a painter but, in the mid-1960s, experimented with making reliefs like this one, and began to use materials such as wool and string. This development was prompted by the difficulties she was having in translating her often complex drawings into painting. From making reliefs, Hesse naturally gravitated towards sculpture. This is one of Hesse’s earliest relief works and, like others of the time, is characterised by semi-organic shapes and trailing linear elements.

Venice 52nd Biennale, 2007




Eric Bainbridge: – Eric Bainbridge on Vimeo.



Anthony Caro:  Early One Morning, 1962.

Sir Anthony Caro, 'Early One Morning' 1962


Eva Rothschild at South London Gallery 2007 hanging sculptures Rising Sun, Higher Love, CactusEva Rothschild  Rising Sun, Higher Love,Cactus


Claire Barclay


Phyllida Barlow at Tate Britain 2014



some of her other works:

          Is this the same ‘Fence’ different location?


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