© Aleksandra Mir, 1986-2000
Opening Friday 23rd March 2012
Ipswich Art School Gallery, 1 Upper High Street, Ipswich
The Saatchi Gallery returns to Ipswich Art School with another exhibition of contemporary visual art from this internationally renowned collection.
This follows the extremely successful opening show at the Ipswich Art School Gallery in 2010. Works on show this year use a wide range of media and techniques.
The exhibition is a chance to experience the art pieces’ physical qualities such as scale and size, dimension and materiality. Explore ideas around fantasy and imaginative fiction in which animate and inanimate objects take on altered and heightened lives of their own.
Artists represented this year are David Batchelor, Steve Bishop, Spartacus Chetwynd, Matthew Darbyshire, Tessa Farmer, Brian Griffiths, Aleksandra Mir, Guerra de la Paz, Bedwyr Williams and most have an association with the former Art School.
Nigel Hurst, Chief Executive, Saatchi Gallery said: “The Saatchi Gallery’s team are thrilled to have the opportunity to revisit Ipswich Art School. The Saatchi Gallery’s role, put in simple terms, is to bring contemporary art to as wide an audience as possible and make it accessible, and I would like to thank Colchester & Ipswich Museums for choosing to work with us toward this aim. I would also like to thank all the artists involved in the exhibition for making such exceptional work.”
This is an exhibition for all, but also particularly with schools from across the region who can now access a diverse range of art works through this exhibition. It compliments the museum services education programme and we are taking the opportunity to make these loans accessible to all.
Cllr Rudkin Culture Portfolio Holder said: "This is another major artistic attraction for Ipswich which will make a big impact in the region. We would particularly like to thank the Saatchi Gallery staff for the facilitation of the loan process and for being very helpful in providing all the necessary advice with regards the art works.”
This exhibition follows news that a once in a lifetime opportunity to purchase Ipswich Art School, and create a leading new arts space, has been successful after a fundraising campaign. This much loved and unique building has been loaned by Suffolk New College for use as a temporary gallery space. The purchase now means that the building will remain as a permanent gallery for Ipswich.
Exhibition continues until 26th August 2012 and is free admission.
Notes to Editors
Contact Communications PR and Press Officer, Colchester Borough Council. Telephone: 01206 508782 or 07815088150
For comment or opinion please contact Cllr. Bryony Rudkin
Ipswich Borough Council – Culture Portfolio Holder
Telephone: 07752 870697
Colchester and Ipswich Museum Service
Our vision is to create a museum service that is a source of pride, inspiration and fun.
Newsroom 1986-2000, 2007 / Cops and Robbers
21 drawings, marker on paper
188 x 147.3 cm each
News becomes history as soon as it is reported. What fascinates me in talking about history is the paradoxical movement backwards while obviously propelling ahead with a story into the future. The 15-year time period covered in this show is of a recent past, a past that still unites many New Yorkers in recognition of a city at once familiar and long gone.
The NYC tabloids New York Daily News and New York Post serve as practical tools that unite the population around shared joys and fears; they help spread the city’s gossip and form its identity. Whether one buys them or not, a glance at the headlines while passing by a deli or waiting for a bus is enough to be connected to the diverse masses that make up their readership. Never mind if what is reported is mostly disaster or scandal. In retrospect, news before 9/11/2001 makes this megalopolis look like a quaint town full of petty crooks, with this accident or that occasional murder resulting in the loss of a single life. A rape in Central Park and a love triangle on Long Island were the two longest running news stories of New York in the 15 years leading up to the end of the millennium.
In research for this show, three assistants and myself spent months in the Public Library copying 10,000 covers of the two tabloids – the outcome of their combined cover stories of 15 years. From these, I selected around 200 that were particularly poignant, or which formed an ongoing narrative, but most importantly, that made me smile with recognition. I lived in New York between 1989 and 2005, 15 years that roughly coincide with the time period of the show. As I never had a studio in the city, I developed a practice that relied heavily on communication instead: phone, Internet, publishing, travel, performance, ephemera, event production. This show draws on all of the above.
During the two months of the duration of this show, I will create an environment that primitively simulates a newsroom of a major agency or newspaper. The material output of the agency will take the form of drawings, which for me are traces of activities such as reading, moving, talking, remembering and reporting. Together with a team of assistants, I plan to create 200 drawings inspired by the aforementioned tabloid covers and my personal references to them. The gallery will be turned into the studio I never had; at the same time, we will be producing art at a schedule more akin to a news agency than to that of an artist’s studio. Every day, there will be new art and old news on the walls.
242 x 230 x 500cm
In Brian Griffiths’ work traditional genres of sculpture are re-thought through the assisted readymade or the fabricated found object. Trading on second-hand ‘conversation pieces’ and their malleability in terms of evoking imagined secret histories, Griffiths views art as a means of escape; a repeated and heroic attempt to leave the here and now and be transported to other places. His sculptures make their appearances as distinctive players: whilst a giant bear head, with its roughly patched concrete surface and painterly graphic face has the stoic air of a now defunct old school entertainer, a wooden box with its glimpse of a pair of shiny tan brogue shoes is enigmatic in its quietness. Elsewhere a twisted and crushed lump of a car becomes a ludicrous showy beast. For Griffiths, conceptual rigor is bound up with processes of making, so that overlooked everyday materials are selected for their potential in opening unto particular and evocative experiences. He uses the histories contained in his objects and materials to enquire into ideas of the flawed and the failed. Objects chosen are often of a bygone era, once aspirational new commodities now fallen; superseded and obsolete. He uses a stark bluntness to ask the viewer to scrutinize received ideals: his objects often deliberately lack the refinement of ‘good form’. Blown out of all proportion, they are jammed uncomfortably into spaces they do not fit, at once fatuous and melancholic. Aspirational, and yet tragically flawed, Griffiths’ works are charged with humour, discontent and sadness.
The Lizard 2004
Fabric, latex, cardboard, paint, plastic and hessian
170 x 100 x 60 cm
Enthusiasm makes sense to me,” Chetwynd reveals. “My work is more like comedy or carnival rather than something that is professionalised; it has a fun rebellious energy. Humour is often marginalised, it’s underestimated how hard you have to work to get or keep your ground. My performances are really gestural and are not meant to exist afterward. I wanted to burn the costumes after, but really had to change my attitude. My heroes are the Marx Brothers, but I only know them off video. They bothered to make their fun, gestural, off-hand experience package-able, not in a dark way but in a way that people can enjoy afterward forever. It's important to make an effort to make things that last so they can continue to communicate to people."
The Mole 2005
Fake fur, latex, paper-mache, paint and plastic
170 x 60 x 60 cm
The Stick Insect 2004
Fabric, latex, cardboard, paint and plastic
220 x 60 x 60 cm
Christian Dior - J'adore (Mountain Goat) 2008
Taxidermied goat, concrete, chalk, 170 x 105 x 144 cm (with base)
Untitled: Shelves No.5 2008
Various glass and plastic components
110 x 140 x 30 cm
Brick Lane Remix I 2003
Shelving Units, found light boxes, fluorescent light, vinyl, acrylic sheet, cable, plugboards
204 x 435 x 38 cm
Guerra de la Paz
Mixed media sculptural installation.
365.8 x 213.3 x 213.3 cm
Vitrine: 208.3 x 243.8 x 68.6 cm
Walk a mile in my shoes 2006
Installation with size 13 shoes, written notes, poster, shelving and foot-rests
[Image courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery, London © Aleksandra Mir, 1986-2000]