Continuing the Paolozzi love on this blog, I visited the new retrospective of his work at the Whitechapel Gallery in East London. Over 250 of his works are on display and it’s more than worth the price of admission. Prints, sculptures, paintings, textiles, photos, films and collages stretch over two floors and the breadth of his work is amazing. What’s also apparent in most of it is that it’s barely dated and is quite timeless, his early Pop Art collages being the only exceptions which can be forgiven as he was one of the originators. The technical level achieved in the screenprints is beyond anything I’ve seen as well, I would love to see the original screens for these or the prints that went wrong. Two mediums I hadn’t seen his work in before really stood out: the textiles and a couple of works in wood, the latter, made with different kinds and varnishes, were gorgeous. Highly recommended.
I finally got time to pop into Orbital Comics and see their small but packed exhibition of 2000AD offshoots, tie-ins, cash-ins, memorabilia, music, magazines, toys and so much more. Not having an opening party because it would clash with the comic’s own 40th celebration a couple of weekends ago they’ve decided to have a closing party on Friday March 10th where there will be a podcast recording and music by yours truly among others.
I also just guested on the Big Mouth podcast pre-record, talking about the comic’s legacy which will be available online this coming Sunday. More details as I have it.
Over the weekend I was in Brussels to play a couple of gigs and was lucky enough to have enough spare time before my train home to visit the Mima museum in Molenbeek district about 20 minutes walk from the Central station where I was greeted by the figure above. Created by Boris Tellegen aka Delta or Mess (in his graffiti days) the construction advertised the ‘friendly takeover’ of the museum he had undertaken over three of its floors.
Once inside the viewer is greeted with a very different experience to the usual galleries with work around the edges. Boris’ work is all about 3 dimensional space and he has a legitimate claim to popularising the 3D graffiti lettering style in Europe later taken up by artists like Daim, Toast and Loomit. His work also uses collage, layers and exposed sections and the contents of the exhibition are displayed thus.
His many record sleeves are on display including a few we collaborated on in the late 90s for DJ Vadim and Ninja Tune. I’m also featured in some of the films dotted around the galleries talking about how we met and worked together. For me this was the most interesting room, when he work was a hybrid of letter forms and architecture, always suggesting three dimensional forms, blueprints and later, broken, ripped or smashed structures that give a looseness and random feel to his work.
You’re forced to peer inside, through or at cross-sections of several pieces which have themselves become part of a larger artwork in what almost seems like an anti-exhibition, hiding more than half of some works in the pursuit of a new way to experience them. See some examples from a 2011 exhibition here.
His letter figures (extract the name DELTA from some of their forms) remind me of Giacometti, Paolozzi and vintage robots. In fact, on the first floor he adds in some of his inspirations, including a huge collection of toy robots and a page of original art from a Judge Dredd story. When I visited his studio in ’97 one of the first things I saw on the shelf was a Japanese Gundam toy and a Todd McFarlane Spawn robot figure and it all made sense.
Some smaller figures are hidden inside larger ones including a train set nestled inside the body of a huge reclining figure on the third floor, visible through a glass window. The exhibition is on until the end of May and is a fascinating retrospective of sorts of an artist who keeps on pushing and evolving. Also look out for the incredible ’86-97′ book which faithfully replicates his two graffiti black books created between these years.
A few shots from the Kinetica festival this weekend, some lovely pieces from over the last decade of the event including Diane Harris‘ neon head. A lot of the pieces don’t translate well to still photography as they rely on sound and movement to make their mark. More info here
I finally got a chance to see the Future Shock exhibition of 2000AD classic original art the other day at the Cartoon Museum, tucked away in the back streets near the British Museum. It costs £7 and once you’ve navigated past some of the most miserable/bored looking staff you’ll ever see you can peruse the galleries of comic and political art.
As far as pieces by key artists of essential stories and characters go, this is one of the best collections of art you’ll see aside from Rufus Dayglo‘s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it exhibition this coming weekend at Geek 2017 in Margate. The bulk of it comes from long-time collector Wakefield Carter who runs the Barney database and regularly trades or sells original art. All the major names are here, with examples from some of the classic stories too (Dredd Cursed Earth and Dark Judges to name but two) and there’s a lot of it. Shown here are just a few of my personal highlights.
Upstairs, the regular exhibition is full of classic images, characters and artists too inc. Dave Gibbons‘ Lichtenstein-baiting ‘Whaat?’, Watchmen, Batman, Dan Dare and V For Vendetta art and original Leo Baxendale pages.
Ian ‘Swifty’ Swift and Gamma Proforma launched the book they’d been working on for 2 years last night at the Exposure Gallery on Little Portland Street, London (opposite the Heavenly Social). Packed to the rafters with faces I recognised from over the years (Ross Allen, Neville Brody, Chris Allen…) it was a resounding success even though I couldn’t stay long. The book in question is huge and everything you’d want in an overview of the man’s career – go get it here now before it sells out.
A retrospective exhibition of the extraordinary artist Boris Tellegen aka Delta opens in Brussels this week for nearly 4 months at the MIMA museum. Promising ‘A Friendly Takeover’ there should be a broad spectrum of his work from sculpture, painting and constructions. I contributed images and filmed memories of our time collaborating on DJ Vadim’s ‘Life From The Other Side’ album for Ninja Tune. I’ll be visiting Brussels next month so hope to post a full report, certainly one of my favourite artists working today.
Two different 2000AD original art exhibitions mark the comic’s 40th anniversary this coming Feb. The first opens at the Cartoon Museum in 13 days for 3 months. The second is on for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 3 days mid Feb at Geek 2017 at Dreamland in Margate and, I believe, is mainly culled from Rufus Dayglo‘s incredible collection – certainly one of the best I’ve ever seen.
The British Library is currently hosting a fascinating exhibition of maps – no!, come back! really! Not just everyday maps of towns, cities, countries and continents but also metro maps, moon maps, curious cartography of imaginary places, mind maps and Beatles guides to Liverpool. Maps & The 20th Century is on until March 1st.
The graphics adorning the floor & walls that guide you around the exhibition are as captivating as the contents too.