Skip to main content

Echo and Transcend

GOMA until 2010
3 stars
‘My paintings are a song to colour,’ writes John McLean (not the artist and ex Beta Band member also of that name), whose ‘Hunter’ forms part of this group show designed to show off some of the best abstract art (whatever that means these days) culled from Glasgow’s own collection alongside one or two significant loans. The fluidity of music pulses through much of the work in a show whose title is talked up along the lines of ‘Some of the works on display echo reality, while others transcend it.’

Which is fine, especially in Alan Davie’s clearly of its time 1960 piece, ‘Cornucopia,’
with its conscious references to Jazz and Zen, its colours mixing and matching free-form solo improvisations ad nauseum. Elsewhere, Op art queen Bridget Riley’s large-scale candy-striped constructions flank the gallery’s central boulevard, while Eduardo Paolozzi’s Japanese-inspired sculpture, ‘Hamlet In The Japanese Manner,’ is a riot of
adventure playground climbing frame colours.

All the work on show stands alone just fine, but there are times you wonder how any of it fits in with a central thesis which could be applied to all art. It’s not that there aren’t brilliantly evocative pan-generational displays on show, just that collectively it’s neither definitive or focussed enough to suggest any real common ground. Running for the next year in what feels like a conversely flattened-out environment, as with McLean’s work, ‘Echo and Transcend’ feels too much at times like it’s going for a song.

the List, January 2009



Popular posts from this blog

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Michael Rother - Sterntaler at 40

"There's so much to do," says an uncharacteristically flustered Michael Rother. The normally unflappably beatific German guitarist, composer and former member of Neu! and Harmonia, who also had a stint in a nascent Kraftwerk, is packing for live dates in Russia and the UK, including this weekend's show at the Queen Margaret Union in Glasgow.
"It has always been my choice to take care of these things myself and not have a manager," he says. "Somehow for me the independent aspect of doing things is really important, but it has its disadvantages."
As well as playing selections from Neu! and Harmonia, the trio he formed with Dieter Moebius and Hans Joachim Roedelius of Cluster, Rother's Glasgow date will see him play a fortieth anniversary rendering of his second solo album, Sterntaler, in full. Rother will be accompanied by guitarist Franz Bargmann and drummer Hans Lampe, the latter of whose musical involvement with Rother dates back to Neu! days, …

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…