Al Braithwaite at Rose Issa Projects – artmarketblog.com

Al Braithwaite at Rose Issa Projects – artmarketblog.com

"The Gunduster", 2009 Bullpup rifle (86S Type), decommissioned and certificate, red feather duster, super 130 Merino wool pinstripe

"The Gunduster", 2009 Bullpup rifle (86S Type), decommissioned and certificate, red feather duster, super 130 Merino wool pinstripe

Terrorism is a touchy subject at the best of times so for an artist to tackle issues of terrorism in their work is a bit of risky move. Chances are that the results will either seem like an obvious attempt to attract attention or appear overly kitsch as has been the case with the work of many artists in the past. German born artist Al Braithwaite, however, has managed to create of body of work that tackles the issues of terrorism in a witty yet genuine manner. Braithwaite’s latest solo exhibition titled ‘Museum No. 1: Hizbollah’s Caviar’ is currently on show at Rose Issa Projects in London and consists of a variety of objects and images that explore the differences as well as the similarities between the cultures that breed terrorism and the culture of western society.

Show press release:

The Artist set out in 2002 with the aim of bridging the gap opened by warfare using the common language of art and humanity. Having sold his possessions, he left London with an idealistic group of artists to live in the Middle East. Al spent six years working and travelling in Turkey, Iran, Kurdistan, Emirates, Oman, Saudie Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Israel and Lebanon. In 2002 Al travelled extensively with ‘Off Screen’, a nomadic collective of Artists, and co-authored a book ‘Off Screen: Four young artists in the Middle East (Booth-Clibborn Editions, 2004).

"Twinnedtowers in Rajef" from "Panoptican of poetic rubbish, A Block", 2009 8 digital photographs, kodak archival, museum mount board, one flip-flop, spray white ash museum frame.

"Twinnedtowers in Rajef" from "Panoptican of poetic rubbish, A Block", 2009 8 digital photographs, kodak archival, museum mount board, one flip-flop, spray white ash museum frame.

Al’s first solo exhibition in London is the result of his six years travels, or as he puts it “Six years distilled into One piece of Art (‘4kg of World’)”. The exhibition at Rose Issa Projects includes a limited edition Artist book ‘Museum No. 1: Hizbollah’s Caviar’, as well as new work including; ‘The Gunduster’ – a decommissioned rifle with a feather duster protuding from the barrel instead of bulletes; ‘Free Lunch’ – a replica of a tudor Gothic style window from Trinity College Cambridge, containing military link with castell pencils; and “From the Orient in Siphonaptera 13” – a Sapele Mahogany 10 drawer cabinet, modelled on a Miriam Rothschild 13th flea cabinet at the Natural History Museum in London.

The exhibition is a conceptually-rich response to a patch of history dominated on many fronts by War on Terror anxiety (and what Braithwaite calls ‘Junk Bulletin Hypertension’ leading to multiple strains of ‘Congenital Mistrust,’ ‘Media Obesity’ and ‘Flagburning Bloodlust’). The nub of the leatherbound tome – a kind of provocative fusion of found texts, drawings, bullets, prayer beads and photographs – seems to cast new light on both sides of a political thoroughfare, and create a thought-provoking thrust through the various intractable layers of conflict. The unique juxtaposition of ideas, the sharpness and clarity of the artist’s vision, and the thousand-mile quirkiness of the assemblages made from rubbish and found objects are what distinguish the collection.

Prices range from £2,800 + vat for a limited edition artist book to £5,000 + vat for ‘The Gunduster’.

Al recently exhibited at the XVA Gallery in Dubai, UAE (15-22 March, 2009). Braithwaite has exhibited internationally; in Tehran, Muscat, Amman, London, New York and Amsterdam. Exhibitions include FBI and Chocolate: A Public Installation, Penn Station, Baltimore, MD, USA (2007), Off Screen: Axis of Evil at Briggs Robinson Gallery, New York City, NY (2004), Deepression (2004) and Deeper Depression (2006) at Atbin Gallery, Zangar Gallery and Zahad Gallery, Tehran, Iran (2004; 2006), Off Screen: New Blood at Orfali Gallery, Amman, Jordan (2003). Braithwaite’s work is in collections including the British Council, Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA) and the Royal Jordanian Collection.

‘Museum No. 1: Hizbollah’s Caviar’ is at Rose Issa Projects in London from 23 April to 16 May. Rose Issa is an independent curator, producer and writer specialising in the visual arts and films of the Middle East and North Africa.
Rose Issa Projects is located at 269 kensington High street, London W 8 6NA
http://www.roseissa.com/
info@roseissa.com
0207 602 770

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

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Boo Saville at Trolley Gallery – artmarketblog.com

Boo Saville at Trolley Gallery – artmarketblog.com

'Residual Condition' biro on paper

'Residual Condition' biro on paper

There is no doubt that British artist Boo Saville has a fascination with death and the effects that different causes of death have on the human body and it’s appearance. The latest solo exhibition of Boo’s work titled ‘Butter Sunk’ is currently on shown at London’s Trolley Gallery and consists of a new body of work that explores the symbolic and ritualistic images of human remains and archeological remnants.

To get an idea of the sort of images that inspire Boo’s work all you have to do is check out her blog which contains many images that are definitely not for the faint-hearted. The works of art that she has created as a result of these rather disturbing images are, however, not anywhere as gruesome or gory as her blog would suggest. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Boo has managed to extract a sort of beauty from the macabre. By removing the colour from the images of bodies in various states of decay Boo also seems to have removed the elements of the images that would normally evoke a reaction of disgust or distress. Without the distraction of an overwhelming emotional response the viewer is able to interact with the image on a whole other level as well as appreciate the exploration of shapes, textures and surfaces that is a major part of Boo’s work.

The most intriguing and spectacular works in the show are undoubtedly the monochrome ballpoint pen drawings that are created using a technique that Boo pioneered and continues to experiment with. According to the press release “Her focus is also the texture and surface of drawing, harnessed through her intuitive use of simple biros and pens: fine details of bones and hair are coupled with layer upon layer of shaded lines to produce tones and depths that resonate the shadows and amplify the echoes of these post-human forms”

'Undefinable' oil on canvas

'Undefinable' oil on canvas

In contrast to the pen drawings, Boo uses a lack of detail to create the ghostly images that appear in her minimalist oil paintings which have titles such as ‘Grey Screen’, ‘Veil’ and ‘Shroud’. According to Boo “The new paintings are suggestions of an idea rather that the illustration which is achieved in drawing. The paint has a much more lucid quality which I want to exploit.”

Unlike some artists who rely on shock tactics to attract attention to their work, Boo has used creativity, technical skill and an obvious dedication to her craft to develop what can only be described as a extremely impressive body of work that is both challenging and intriguing. It is artist’s such as Boo Saville, who are genuinely passionate about their work and don’t go after the sort of artificial fame that plagues the art world, that are the true art stars.

If you want to see an exhibition of work by an artist whose work displays a combination of technical skill, talent and dedication rarely seen in the contemporary art world then get down to Trolley Gallery quick smart.

BUTTER SUNK
Boo Saville

29th January – March 14th
Trolley Gallery
73a Redchurch Street
London
E2 7DJ
tel +44(0)20 7729 6591
http://www.trolleynet.com

For more information on the show and a virtual tour go to:
http://www.trolleybooks.com/gallery.php?gallery=272

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.