Art | Crossing Lines/Parallel Lines at &Model Gallery

Image: &model gallery

The Crossing Lines exhibition, running until February 22, includes the works of 16 artists and is presented by Patrick Morrissey and Clive Hanz Hancock.

At first sight, the &Model gallery on East Parade is a glorified garage. Indeed, I have to double check if it isn’t myself, cursing the redundancy of google maps. Once inside, the vibe shifts dramatically. Downstairs is very clean-cut with its white-washed walls and glass tables. Upstairs, on the other hand, screams dilapidated Parisian flat. The walls are stripped, revealing ghosts of wallpaper. This combination of minimalism and liberalism coincides nicely with what seems to me to be the key objective of this exhibition: incorporating both old and newer styles of conceptual minimalism.

The front room is traditionally minimalist. The first piece consists of nothing more than coloured shapes on a white background (Patrick Morrissey, ‘Study’), followed by Andrew Harrison’s ‘Construction Project 3’: a coloured bent line on another exciting white background. These techniques are re-iterated later on with Tom McGlynn’s ‘Signal’ and Cornelius Cardew’s ‘Graphic Scores’. In other words, pretty gripping stuff. I do apologise to all of you abstractionist enthusiasts for tarring such supposedly autonomous subjects with the same derisive brush. Admittedly, I can hardly tell the nuanced differences between them, aside the fact that one square is indented and another one inverted. I belong to that category of art lovers who despise Mondrian, and who believe Clement Greenberg’s theory was routed in contradictions. Yet the exhibition did hold some pleasant surprises.

Mary Yacoob’s detailed doodle drawings and Vincent Hawkins untitled series deserve particular mention. As do the videos on the first floor, which I would heartily recommend. I particularly liked Andrew Hodgson’s work which focuses on two rotating frames in a bedroom, set to classical music. Laura Eglington’s piece on California was also very refreshing and reminiscent of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amélie. Most of all, though, the exhibition is worth the visit simply for Andrew Peverall’s ‘Film Number One’. Peverall reduces common household items such as the washing machine to their pure forms, in terms of shape, movement and sound. This, in turn, produces a hypnotic effect and makes us re-assess the dimensions of the ordinary. It seems to me that this innovative reformation of modern abstractionism is the intention at the heart of this exhibition.

Three cheers to those artworks resident at the &Model Gallery which strive to make something new of the old; those which deconstruct in order to reconstruct. As for those which merely reiterate old ideas of the abstract elite, all I can say is give me a blurb and I’ll give you my time.

Polly Galis

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