If Not Now, Broadway 1602, New York (30/06–31/08/2006)
Curated by Sorcha Dallas. Supported by the British Council.
With: Rob Churm, Henry Coombes, Alex Frost, Charlie Hammond, Sophie …
‘If Not Now’ brings together a selection of works by a new generation of Glasgow based artists. Each could be seen to share a common interest in an opulent and perhaps romantic approach to their furtive and esoteric subject matter. Most adopt an ambivalent engagement with conventional media such as painting, sculpture and drawing. A fluid variety in the handling combines to produce multivalent installations and environments. The significance of their work falls equally on the haptic and the optic, on making and taking, on making things and making things up.
Rob Churm’s small sketchbooks drawings create overlapping narratives, a new page is determined and often inspired by another. Elements extrude themselves from these pages into large scale drawings, at first appearing throwaway but meticulous in their graphicality and construction. These works juxtapose a range of interests from dada and surrealism to cartoon art and music. Often these drawings become a back drop for gig posters and album covers for Churm’s band ‘Park Attack’. Churm wsa born in Epping Forrest in 1979 and graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2001. Recent exhibitions include ‘Not These Tones’ at Glasgow Project Rooms, 2005. Churm will have a solo show at Sorcha Dallas Gallery in 2007. He lives and works in Glasgow.
Henry Coombes’s work is concerned with investigating the entrenched political, cultural and class connotation of the traditional media in which he works. Oil paint and watercolour are used to seduce the viewer into familiar and wholesome images, which on closer inspection reveal a dark and subversive subtext. Coombes was born in London in 1977 and completed his BA at Glasgow School of Art in 2002. Since then he has had solo shows at Glasgow’s Transmission Gallery, Switchspace and Sorcha Dallas Gallery. Coombes was a recent recipient of The Scottish Arts Council/Scottish Screen Film award and his new short film, ‘Laddy and the Lady’, will be premiered at the Tramway, Glasgow in June 2006. He will also have a solo show at Anna Helwing Gallery, Los Angeles in September 2006. Coombes lives and works in Glasgow.
At the core of Alex Frost’s practice is an interest in a kind of compromised Minimalism. His sculptural works reference and extract elements from Gaudi, Buckminster Fuller, Robert Morris, George Ohr and Warhol. Frost often questions the very traditions from which he borrows, pushing their boundaries in the process. His photorealist drawings create optical illusions where faces and forms reveal themselves through a mass of knots and crosses. Frost was born in London in 1973 and studied Fine Art at Staffordshire University (BA 1995) and Glasgow School of Art (MFA 1998). Frost has enjoyed solo shows and residencies in Glasgow, Stirling and Bristol, exhibited in group show is Edinburgh, Dundee, Manchester, Berlin, Leipzig, Vienna, Warsaw, New York and Melbourne. Frost was a recent recipient of the prestigious individual artist award from The Scottish Arts Council and had a publication produced on his work. In April 2005 he produced his most ambitious work to date, ‘Maverick’, an 8 ft circular self portrait comprised of ceramic tiles as part of Glasgow International 2005, this work was also shown as part of the offsite project at The Frieze Art Fair in October 2005. Frost lives and works in Glasgow.
A puppet-master whose players often escape him, Charlie Hammond’s work is arch and knowing but never contrived. In scenes bestowed with allusive, Campbellesque titles, Hammond’s figures defy their author and take on a life of their own. Some recent works have seen these subjects proudly displaying themselves as high art, while other hide behind bushes, masked or under layers of jesmonite. In all Hammond’s work the paradoxical territories of sophisticated naivety and ‘chance domesticated’ are traversed, alternately controlling and relinquishing a grasp on authorial hierarchies. With tongue in cheek and a steady hand, Hammond walks the line between Romantic immersion and canny sagacity in his piquant, heady confections.Born in Aylesbury in 1979, Hammond graduated in 2002 with a BA in Fine Art from Glasgow School of Art. Whilst serving as a committee member at Transmission Gallery, Glasgow he exhibited in Hamburg, Glasgow and London. He has a forthcoming solo show at Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow, 2007. Hammond lives and works in Glasgow.
Sophie Macpherson makes sculptures, drawings and photographs which are often presented in close proximity, suggesting interrelated fictions. A recurrent humorous subject might be the ersatz confidence of a Bauhaus-schooled Sally Bowles, in whose divinely decadent fabrications satin surfaces of brightly coloured gloss paint are belied by a patent diy roughness. Her large-scale installations frequently resemble stages or catwalks with echoes of Busby Berkeley and the sardonic glitz of Berlin cabaret. The accompanying drawing‚Ä