I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...
The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...
The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...
Andrew Cranston, But the dream had no sound (2018) (detail). Distemper and oil on hardback book cover. 17.3 x 24.9 cm. Courtesy The Scotsman.
The Ingleby Gallery in the former Glasite meeting hall in Edinburgh is, in contrast, a brilliant adaptation of what at first must have seemed an unpromising space. It was a church with pews and pulpit, but is now a tall, square hall, perfectly plain and beautifully lit form an enormous central skylight. It is ideally suited to the display of paintings and the current exhibition of work by Andrew Cranston is indeed of paintings.
Cranston is a storyteller of sorts, without a clear story to tell. His work is seductive in terms of its use of narrative and humour, but it is the humour of Samuel Beckett or Buster Keaton, always touching on the strangeness and pathos of ordinary life. He draws on a variety of sources, in particular his own personal history; questioning the veracity of memory. This autobiographical activity is combined with passages culled from literature, anecdotes and jokes, second hand accounts, images from cinema and observations of life. Often working directly onto hardback book covers his work is not pre-conceived but emerges through the manipulation of materials - paint, varnish, collage - and the suggestions that this activity provokes, layering and re-working the images until something essential coalesces. As Liza Dimbleby has written in a recent essay "the images that are encouraged to surface are sometimes taboo; sex and solitude, death, nightmares - the ultimate questions, not without a sly humour." Cranston was born in Hawick in 1969 and currently lives and works in Glasgow.
Ingleby will present a solo exhibition by Andrew Cranston in October of 2018.
'Painting is a form of time travel, of conjuring up the past. Places, spaces people and imagining new possibilities. It is magic.' – Andrew Cranston
Andrew Cranston once described himself as a storyteller of sorts, though without a clear story to tell. He draws on a variety of sources including personal recollections - family histories; his circuitous route to art school via an initial, unsuccessful, foray into carpentry; and his 25-year association as both student and lecturer at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen. Interwoven with passages culled from literature, anecdotes, jokes, and images from cinema these elements combine to make his idiosyncratic, intimate, and often dream-like, paintings.
But the dream had no sound is the largest exhibition of Andrew Cranston's work to date. It is accompanied by a 164pp publication, available for purchase, featuring an interview between the artist and his friend and colleague, painter Peter Doig. The book also includes over 60 illustrations - each with notes written by the artist - revealing the thoughts and associations that emerge in the process of making a painting.
When I became an art critic in 1981 one of the first artists I met and wrote about was Sean Scully. At that time I was teaching philosophy in Pittsburgh and he, having recently moved to New York, was as yet without a dealer. We are almost the same age, and to some extent we grew up together. When we first met, he had just made the transition from...
COPENHAGEN — Outside Denmark's Louisiana Museum of Modern Art on a recent late-summer morning, a few sunstruck visitors were sprawling on the turf of the sculpture garden, between monumental outdoor works by Alexander Calder and Richard Serra.
August: the month Edinburgh is aflame with comedians and spoken word performers vying to out-taboo one another. Amid such faux courage comes a reminder of the real danger of speaking freely: in the cause of love and beauty as well as politics.
Edinburgh is a city whose historic architecture has long played host every August – more or less willingly – to a plethora of different festivities: the flagship Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe, but also the Book Festival, and even the Book Fringe (a collaboration between indie bookstores Lighthouse and the Golden Hare).
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