15 Aug. 2012

From the Studio: Carsten Fock

In the midst of preparations for the opening of Up The Walls, I spoke to Carsten Fock, our artist-in-residence for the month of June. I was invited to look around his studio as he discussed his artistic method, in relation to his installation that can now be viewed as part of Up The Walls (which runs through to September 30th). Carsten Fock currently works and lives between Vienna and Berlin.

For his Up The Walls installation, Fock created the works in-house at our artist-in-residence studio. He likes to create artworks that initially look quite simple but that require further interpretation.

Fock reveals that defining himself as an artist hasn’t always come naturally to him. He stopped painting for a while after art school, trying drama instead and admits that painting does not come as habitually to him as drawing does, it is almost accidental, a sort of burden, this in turn loans its name to his catalogue “Backpack”. He laughs when he tells me that sometimes he finds it hard to proritise his art because he gets so caught up in reading books on German philosophy and especially post war German and American art.

The use of purple in his work is significant, there is a religious aspect omni-present in his installations. Fock regularly uses Christian imagery, this inclincation is most apparent in his past exhibitions, such as “The Devil.” (The September Gallery, Berlin, 2009). Fock’s own background is as intriguing as his installations, born into a Christian family in Soviet Germany, with Jewish roots on his Grandmother’s side, Fock escaped in 1988 into West Germany and went on to study art there.

In his installations Fock does not discriminate between the individual pieces, prefering to maintain them as part of the overall effect. He layers his drawings and paintings within the installation, this, he says, reflects the pace of life we live in now, we are over loaded with images on a daily basis.

Fock’s work reveals his preoccupation with simple, clean forms, he isn’t particularly interested in creating illustrative painting, for him, there must be a need, a reason behind the inclination to paint. He references German post-war art in his work, and is drawn to silhouettes, he uses sketches of German philosophers such as Heidegger, overlaid on his paintings and canvasses. His installation can be viewed in The Model until September 30th 2012.

Zwischen Berg und tiefen, tiefen Tal-
Heidegger, der deutsche Wald,
Wittgenstein und der Verlust der Moderne

From the mountain and the deep, deep valley-
Heidegger, the german forest,
Wittgenstein and the loss of modernity

Wallpainting, pigment and resin, mixed media on canvas and pastel on paper
2012, Sligo
Courtesy of the artist and gallery Jochem Hempel Leipzig / Berlin

Posted By

Zoe Coleman

26 Jun. 2012

Sarah Stevens : Museum of Abandoned and Bereaved Objects

‘room’ @ The Model is a contemporary exhibition space designated to the resident studio artists and is independently programmed and curated, from July 3rd – 29th, artist Sarah Stevens will curate the space.

Sarah Stevens’ solo show Museum of Abandoned and Bereaved Objects is a sculpture and photography exhibition that showcases domestic objects that have been left behind in derelict dwellings.

Teapots, religious statues, candles, keys, rust, dead birds, pictures, rosary beads, diaries, glasses, clocks, teddy bears and barometers. The abandonment of once treasured possessions makes us question the whereabouts of their owners.

Why were these objects left behind?

This show will run from July 3rd – 29th 2012, admission is free.

Posted By

Zoe Coleman

15 Jun. 2012

Yeats Day Curators Talk

Sligo was a hive of activity on this past Wednesday, June the 13th. Yeats Day has been highly anticipated in Sligo since the Minister for Transport, State and Tourism, Michael Ring launched A Season of Yeats on Friday May 25th here in The Model. A Season of Yeats is a new tourism initiative delivering a series of high quality Yeats Festivals and Events during the summer of 2012. Yeats Day celebrates the anniversary of Yeats birth and was an appropriate opening to what will be a very Yeatsian summer.

The Model had an important role to play in the day’s events, not least because of our own strong (Jack B.) Yeats connection. We played host to an esteemed guest curator from the National Gallery of Ireland, Dr. Marie Bourke. Dr. Bourke, gave an insightful and emotionally involving talk on our current exhibition Yeats & Son.

Dr. Bourke paid tribute to John Butler Yeats’ skills as a portraitist and as a draughtsman, as demonstrated by the pencil portraits on display in our exhibition. The audience was captivated as Dr. Bourke spoke candidly about John Butler Yeats and his relationship with his two sons, William, the poet, and Jack B., the painter. She described Jack B. Yeats as “the man at the back of the room”, an introverted, quietly intelligent type of man, a contrast to the extroverted, intense Poet personality of his older brother.

Dr. Bourke particularly emphasized the role of memory in Yeats paintings, this can be seen in the works on show. Leaving the Far Point (1946) depicts Yeats walking with his wife Cottie and his maternal uncle, George Pollexfen, along Rosses Point beach at the beginning of the nineteenth-century, a touching scene painted from the artists memory.

The long standing relationship between Sligo and the National Gallery was emphasized. Thomas McGreevy, Director of the National Gallery from 1950 to 1963 made a gift of Singing the Minstrel Boy (1923) to Nora Niland, the founder of the Niland Collection, in 1963, which is also on display as part of Yeats & Son, which runs until September 9th.

Posted By

Zoe Coleman

11 Apr. 2012

'Silent Frames' leaves for MASS MoCA

At the end of the month we shall be saying goodbye to the imposing artwork that has made its home in the gallery atrium for many months. ‘Silent Frames’ (oil on linen, 2011) was created by our former artist in residence (summer 2011) Etienne Zack.

‘Silent Frames’ was painted on site, in the artists’ studio here in The Model. Zack loaned it to us for display until spring of this year. Now the work is making its way across the Atlantic to its next destination, Massachusetts, USA. It will form part of the display of Etienne’s work at Oh Canada, the largest survey of contemporary Canadian art ever produced outside Canada, mounted by MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art).

Working away from Los Angeles, USA and Vancouver, Canada, where he is based, Zack finds inspiration in being absorbed in the unfamiliar: “That’s quite crucial to making paintings …You get immersed in a completely different environment that offers completely different things and you become formed by somewhere else.” (Source – Etienne Zack’s Object World)

Zack donated his work ‘Light Matter’ (2011) to us, painted during his residency at The Model. It is his own surreal take on the nuanced changes in weather in the West of Ireland, thus continuing in an established tradition of Irish landscape painting. Zack says of this work –

“Light shining through parting clouds is an incident I saw repeatedly while being at The Model residency. Before arriving in Sligo, I had been thinking about doing a painting on the metaphor of light and parting clouds. It made greater sense to make it after seeing again and again this recurring event in Sligo.”

Etienne will be back for our ‘Up The Walls’ exhibition in the summer so watch this space!

Zack’s website can be found here.

Posted By

Zoe Coleman

16 Mar. 2012

The Niland Collection on Tour

If you missed it the first time around, you now have another chance to see our recent exhibition ‘Norah McGuinness: Illustrations to the Stories of Red Hanrahan’. The Model is delighted to present this exhibition, drawn from The Niland Collection, in Roscommon Arts Centre, in collaboration with the lovely people there.

Thanks to a grant from The Heritage Council these works have been conserved and reframed and this is only the second time that they have been exhibited publically in many years.

Norah McGuinness was born in Derry in 1903 and studied at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art, and later in Paris under the renowned Cubist, André Lhote. McGuinness was still a student when she met W. B. Yeats in 1920s Dublin. He was so impressed with her work that he later invited her to illustrate his book ‘The Stories of Red Hanrahan and the Secret Rose’ which he planned to republish in 1927. The drawings are striking for their Byzantine Modernist style although one critic deemed the style “disturbing” on the publication of the book in 1927.

Throughout her career McGuinness utilised her extraordinary creative talents, by branching out into illustration, theatre design and window dressing, to supplement her income. She created fashion illustrations for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and The Bystander magazines, and designed windows for Altman’s department store on Fifth Avenue New York and Brown Thomas in Dublin.

McGuinness was one of a number of pioneering female Irish artists who brought European modernist influences to Ireland at a time when the arts were predominantly patriarchal and traditional.

This exhibition is on display in the Roscommon Arts Centre from March 16th to April 26th 2012. For more information, please visit Roscommon Arts Centre’s website

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