Thursday, 18 February 2010

Comfortably Strange - exhibition review

‘Comfortably Strange’ promises to be one of View’s most innovative exhibitions to date. The styles are quite diverse but there is a commonality in the feelings that are induced through a journey of discovery. The show features some very collectable art from established artists, some new to View and some returning with fresh work.

Beth Carter is well known at View for her mythological sculptures but this time focuses on her drawing and painting to explore the shows theme. Caroline Watson, another Bristol based artist, has also been creating work especially for the show, using traditional puppetry and children’s stories in her paintings and 3D work. Nina Mankin adds some lyrical imagery to her predominantly doll themed painting and installations. John Simpson’s drawings are beautifully crafted and yet the subjects are bound to ask some challenging questions of the viewer. Alex Korzer-Robinson creates his art from old encyclopaedias that result in a very different form of book art. Arthur Lanyon’s abstract oil paintings perfectly fit the Comfortably Strange theme as we are presented with partially familiar shapes, changing as we lengthen our gaze.

The initial raw impact of all the show’s work is maybe one of playfulness, shock or humour. With further interrogation this is followed by deeper suspicion, perhaps sinister, sadness, or joy. The emotional transition through continual exploration of each piece is quite magical. All is not what it seems, and your first impressions will rarely be your last.

Comfortably Strange runs to April 11th. Images of a selection of the work on show can be viewed here.


Anonymous said...

Hi View
Really enjoyed meeting you today and getting a peak at the new show in progress. Lovely Blog and I will add a link to it from mine.
Dean Melbourne

Jon said...

Hi – I didn’t make it back for the evening viewing but I hope; and assume it all went well.

Thanks for taking the time to talk me through the work without being pretentious or aloof (which in my experience is often a gallery failing).

Reviewing the flickr images has confirmed my immediate feeling I should buy a Beth Carter piece.

Great exhibition and look forward to extending my collection.

- jon

Yolenis said...

Hi View Art,
Congratulations on your exhibition Comfortably Strange! I enjoyed the array of artists and diversity of styles. I was particularly blown away by the work of Nina Mankin. I was really impressed by her level of attention to detail and deeply moving sometimes harrowing themes. I really like the way Nina uses clever humour to convey deeper truths. I just wanted to say that I found her work original & enchanting and hope to see more of it soon!
Maria, London