Thursday, 15 November 2012

Andy Hope 1930 - When Dinosaurs Become Modernists


Inverleith House, Edinburgh
November 1 to January 13 2013
4 stars
Scary monsters and super-creeps abound in the Berlin-based artist 
formerly known as Andreas Hofer's first UK museum exhibition, which 
features five new works among an epic forty-one on show. Seen side by 
side, there are moments when they resemble an outsize pulp fiction 
collage of pop culture ephemera swirling around Hofer's brain, 
over-lapping each other as they burst through the frame. Even the fact 
that Andy Hope 1930 has a secret identity speaks volumes about where 
he's coming from.

Because, drawing a line between Roy Lichtenstein and Daniel Johnston, 
Andy Hope 1930 takes the  trash aesthetic of golden age comic book 
iconography and invests it with a subverted mythology born of the more 
questioning, me-generation years. So, against a Zabriskie Point style 
landscape in 'Impressions d'Amerique', Batman and Robin are dressed as 
The Lone Ranger and Tonto, making the umbilical link between 
existentialist outlaw (super)heroes of old and new America as he goes.

  The nod to French proto-surrealist Raymond Roussel, who so influenced 
a generation of New York poets, is as knowing as the wonkified 
charity-shop Kurt Schwitters homage, the portrait of John Baldessari as 
Marvel Comics super-villain Galactus, which comes complete with extra 
added Jesus, and the strip cartoon take of Linda Lee as Supergirl. 
Because, amongst the desolate landscapes that recall the early work of 
Wim Wenders, another German fascinated with the Wild West reinvented as 
post-war counter-culture, Andy Hope 1930 needs heroes to call his own.

Of course, there are dinosaurs, be they larger than life and hidden 
behind wall-papered candy-stripes, or pocket-sized and contained, as 
they are in 'The Education Dinosaur Movie Hall'. This earth's core 
installation is a cardboard box peep-show into a Ray Harryhausen-style 
parallel universe where dinosaurs watch science-fiction B-movies at the 
local drive-in. As evolution goes, it's a spaced oddity, for sure. 
The List, November 2012

ends

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