Sunday, October 21, 2007

PATRICK HUGHES THE PRINTS IN BETWEEN until 17.11.07 Flowers Graphic, London

The artist adopts a variety of different motifs in these works - stars, roses, rainbows, hearts, eggs, ghosts, phones, cocks, crosses and keyholes appear in various guises whilst themes of paradox and oxymoron remain a fixed preoccupation.

This exhibition features two rainbow prints - a recurring image in his work. In his use of the rainbow Patrick Hughes, was interested in making substance of an experience - something evanescent made permanent. With his opaque, fixed rainbow he continually approaches the idea of creating something tangible out of a chance happening. In Colour Process 1984, the rainbow curls into an early computer screen, and in Falling Blossom 1984, the confetti, already a paper confection of images of bows, bells, hearts and horseshoes, happens to fall into a rainbow arrangement. Stardust 1983 and Paper Roses 1985 (pictured above) use this same notion of solid light. This idea was first developed in Hughes' Sunshine 1974 in which a beam of solid yellow light pours itself as an object through a window.

The set of eight prints published in 1986 - Beach Heart, Cobweb, Egg in the Sky, Ghost on the Line, Jigsaw, Keyholes, Telephone at the Door and This Way Up originate from watercolours made by the artist during a move towards a more fluid working method. This period of experimentation led to Hughes' 'reverspectives' - an ongoing series of 3D constructions on the theme of reverse perspective for which he is perhaps best known. We also see the beginnings of this body of work in the etchings of 1988, Bend in the Road, Highways and Byways and The Republic of the Road where infinity takes centre stage. A rich source of paradox, infinity lies at the back of Hughes reverspectives as they always seek and sometimes find the ubiquitous vanishing point.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

DREAMS AND ILLUSIONS: The Photography of Lynn Goldsmith

What is real? What is true? What separates truth and fiction? These are the questions asked by the highly-acclaimed and multi-talented photographer Lynn Goldsmith in her works on view at the Contessa Gallery.

The Contessa Gallery at is excited to bring to collectors and the general public the art of the famous photographer whose works have appeared on the covers of such magazines as LIFE, Newsweek,Time, People, Rollingstone etc. Lynn Goldsmith’s subjects have varied from entertainment personalities to sports stars, from film directors to authors, from the extra-ordinary to the ordinary man on the street. Her thirty years of photography have not only been an investigation into the nature of the human spirit, but also into the natural wonders of our planet.
She is recognized as an acclaimed portrait photographer who worked with such people as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, The Police, Miles Davis and countless others. During her creative career she experimented as a director, and a recording artist, but lately she has turned the lens on herself in a new series of photographs entitled “In the Looking Glass”.In this work Goldsmith uses the artificial environment as a seed for a narrative that she then brings forth by transposing her own visage into the scene thus mixing the real and imaginary worlds into one that is both and neither. As she describes it,“I want my work to help enlighten me. I’m interested in multiple meanings and a kind of ambiguity that frustrates any attempt to pin it down... I wanted to take what I had learned in my career to show how we are made up of multiple selves”.
The resulting images feel, at first glance, deceptively familiar. Many of the scenes still closely mimic
advertising displays they were originally based upon but have a heightened surrealistic quality. Others echo familiar fairytales and myths. They possess the unsettling strangeness of the ordinary subtly transformed nto a new unknown quantity.
The “characters”, as Goldsmith refers to her fictitious selves, hover in a space between the animate and the inanimate, between subject and object.
Also on display will be several of Goldsmith’s rock mosaics, another of her signature media. To create them,she assembles over 2000 individual photographs into extraordinary portraits (based on a Chuck Close grid.