The five issues of Studio International around which the exhibition is built were produced under the editorship of Peter Townsend between the mid-1960s and the mid-70s, a time when the role of sculpture directed a profound change in art. There was a revolutionary shift from post-constructivism and kineticism, through the abstract formalism at Saint Martin’s School of Art, to post-minimalism and, most recently, conceptualism.
Melvin’s exhibition displays some of the works, as well as some documentation of works written about in the five issues. The exhibition is constructed in such a way as to conjure into Raven Row’s gallery spaces, a contemporary conversation on making and thinking between then and now.
Studio International should acknowledge that visiting this exhibition gives us a unique and unusual opportunity for self-reflection – one that, clearly, cannot be completely objective.
Raven Row, London
26 February – 3 May 2015
Interview by MK PALOMAR
Filmed by MARTIN KENNEDY
Click on the pictures below to enlarge
Aboriginal Women as Ambassadors of Art and Culture
The story of the Australian Aboriginal batik projects in five distinct desert communities in the 1970s and 1980s reveals a series of ironies, which enable contemporary Indigenous art in Australia to be better understood. The works themselves are superb, as the exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia reveals, indeed they are breathtaking in their cultural association, their aesthetic power and their technical skill.
Sol LeWitt: the Mystic Conceptualist
Dutch video artist Aernout Mik is drawn to images of conflict and war. In his exhibition at Camden Arts Centre he presents four video installations that also reveal his preoccupation with acting. He explores the shifting dynamics of power in human behaviour and includes moving unseen footage from the Bosnian war.
Robert Rauschenberg: Combines
It was only a matter of time before the work of Robert Rauschenberg would again receive a star billing in Paris, and there could be no better venue than the Centre Pompidou. The reason is that the work literally benefits from the implied temporariness of the 'rooms' at the Centre.
Papunya painting: out of the desert
Art is a central force in Aboriginal culture and a critical political tool. Through an understanding of the art it has been possible to make a case for Aboriginal rights. The Sydney Olympics in 2000 were used both to expose the dreadfully inhuman conditions under which many Australian Aborigines still lived, and also to incorporate Aboriginal art and ritual into contemporary culture. Thousands of Aborigines took part in the superb theatrical ceremony; a great part of which was inspired and dedicated to the history of Australia before the arrival of white European settlers.
Mediators and Messengers: Contemporary Art in the Landscape
The entire agenda for painting about landscape has shifted in the 21st century. Concepts and readings of the land have a weighty and protracted precedence but in the 1970s, far-reaching revisions were explored by artists. These have generated a powerful volume of new work by painters, and installation and land artists.