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A.Gallery is an independent art gallery specialising in the promotion of new visual art from around the U.K. We offer a unique support system to new graduate and emerging artists through exhibition and networking opportunities.
A.Gallery: 87 Saltmarket Glasgow G1 5LE
0141 552 9935

Wednesday 29 May 2013

'Truce For A Space': A Review.


'Truce For A Space'
Karen Grant
15th May – 25th June 2013

A.Gallery Glasgow

Karen Grant's first solo exhibition at A.Gallery Glasgow, presented an opportunity to view the artist's recent body of work 'Truce For A Space'.

Grant graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2012, and has since exhibited in many group exhibitions, including 'Radius 6' at the CCA, Glasgow, and at the Candid Arts Center in London.

'Truce For A Space' sees Grant take over the entire A.Gallery with a selection of oils on boards, stretched linens and a 10ft hanging sculpture titled 'LOL Bear'. Inspiration comes from two main sources, Social media imaginary and the writings of Samuel Beckette.

Siege laid again to the impregnable without. Eye and hand fevering after the unself. By the hand it unceasingly changes the eye unceasingly changed. Back and forth the gaze beating against unseeable and unmakeable. Truce for a space and the marks of what it is to be and be in face of.”

Samuel Beckett writing about Avigdor Arikha in the act of drawing
Within the exhibition of 28 new works, Karen Grant transposes Beckett’s description onto today’s sculpting of personal identities through social networking. This exhibition is a contemporary examination of the impact of consumption and production of digital imagery on shaping our identity.

Much of the source material has come from Facebook, creating an absurd levelling effect in the work, where kittens and children sit next to images of war. All the stuff of life, in its sentimentality and brutality is there. A central theme in the work concerns the human relationship with nature. Suspended from the ceiling of the gallery is a 2 metre high bear with a pink halo, suggesting a kitsch iconography where our perception of wildness has become sanitised into a distant and distorted idolatry.

In contrast to the digital source of the imagery, the paintings on heavy linen have a strong sense of tradition, lending them a gravitas that belies their small size. ‘Anne’ is a poignant portrait painted in luscious oil-rich colour, but with the face wiped blank. This sense of intangible, vapour-like human identities also runs through the ‘Network’ paintings, where a figure in a surreal landscape is reduced to a cartoon of human identity. Telegraph poles fade into the distance suggesting connections to a distant world. In ‘Truce for a Space’ a shocked kitten is trapped in an explosive No Man’s Land – an image that feels both haunting and ridiculous. Through this series of works the artist allows herself to respond to the indifferent gaze of social networking sites, where the viewer never knows whether they are about to see images which are comic, tender, brutal or crass. Diverse images culled from countless Facebook accounts suggest the incessant carving out of identities and give a sense of Beckett’s ‘truce for a space’, the quiet after the fevering for something that feels real amongst the endless unknowing.

Karen Grant will be giving a presentation and guided tour of her works on Saturday 1st June 2:30pm at A.Gallery Glasgow.

'Truce For A Space' 15th May - 25th June

87 Saltmarket


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