On the evidence of the success of last year’s vow to see twelve documentaries in the year, my culture related resolutions work better if I admit to them here. In an attempt to be more cultured generally and to see more art I want to see and review for this blog 10 art exhibitions this year. That’ll probably involve my attending more than ten exhibits because whereas I can get an article out of both really good and really bad art (after all, even bad art can be inspiring to my own work, even if only to make me want to do better), uninspiring art does not make for good reviews. ‘That was a bit rubbish’ may be succinct but that’s really all it has going for it.
And so to the GOMA, and an exhibit of sculpture by current Glasgow artists at different stages of their careers. The advantage of attending exhibits at the GOMA is that the building itself is a rather fine piece of architecture in its own right. The afternoon that I saw this particular exhibition was a cold and crisp one, the late winter light slanting low between the buildings and in through the ground floor gallery windows. From outside on Royal Exchange Square the mournful lilt of Eastern European accordion playing drifted in, as an older gentleman took advantage of the crowds braving the chill to enjoy the brief appearance of blue skies after solid weeks of grey. There was a atmosphere certainly and arguably it brought out the best in both the gallery space and the art within.
The best thing, for me, about sculpture in a modern art context is that no matter how opaque the meaning might be, it remains an actual physical object. I can admire the craft of creating the object, even if I the artist hasn’t managed to engage me, they’re clearly skillful at working with their chosen medium. This piece for example:
Is a piece called Born Male by James McLardy. I didn’t connect with this piece at all, nor did I understand what it meant, but yet I walked round it several times admiring the stone itself, the skill in shaping/carving it and fighting the compulsion to reach out and touch it to feel the finish.
Sometimes there doesn’t need to be a deep abstract meaning with sculpture it just is what it is. Shaded by Andrew Miller is a well constructed, interesting to look at (and pretty besides) piece that made me smile the moment I saw it.
Neither am I certain what Alex Frost’s obsession with Ryvita is, but his three sculptures on the theme were rather charming nonetheless.
Rhetoric Works & Vanity Works & Other Works, is I confess, the sort of art title that invites the desire to open mockery but the outer shell of the piece reminds me of the animations in Beetlejuice, I kept expecting a sandworm to come slinking out of one of the eye windows, so the actual contents didn’t stand much of a chance against that sort of expectation.
You, Me, Something Else is on at the GOMA until March 18.