Standpoint Gallery presents Grit to Gold: Collaging the Abstract

By ARC Magazine Friday, January 25th, 2013 Categories: Exhibitions, Updates

“In advanced capitalist economies of control and calculation, only artistic production retains an atavistic semblance of magic, reminiscent of the power of desire, that had once generated transformations in myth and fairy tales: e.g. the transmogrification from small into large, of bad wine into good, of straw into gold, or in more recent modernity, the conversion of outdated refuse into a sublime aesthetic object” Benjamin H D Buchloh

“The whole world, everything which surrounds me here, is to me a boundless dump with no ends, or borders, an inexhaustible diverse sea of garbage. In this refuse of an enormous city one can feel the powerful breathing of it’s entire past. This whole dump is full of twinkling stars, reflections and fragments of culture.” Ilya Kabakov (The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away Moscow 1977)

Frank Bowling Barticabush 2010 33 x 58 inches Image courtesy of the artist and ROLLO Contemporary Art

Grit to Gold: Collaging the Abstract features the works of Frank Bowling OBE RA, John Bunker and Scott O’Rourke runs from 18 January – 16 February 2013 at Standpoint Gallery.

Grit to Gold: Collaging the Abstract takes a personal look at the important role collage has played, and continues to play, in abstract painting. Painter John Bunker has invited distinguished abstract painter Frank Bowling and artist Scott O’Rourke to show new and recent works alongside his own, to create an intimate cross- generational dialogue.

The title is suggestive of the ‘alchemical’: a celebration of the impure coalescence or collision of materials that can both signify and undermine time-honoured ideas about abstraction. Bunker sees collage – its practice and approach – as an exciting détournement from the circular arguments and cyclical fashions that tend to inhibit more intimate and sensual appreciation of abstract art.

Collage makes a direct connection to the brain’s readiness to associate, to form bridges between objects and spaces, times and places. But it also shatters patterns, disrupts control and breaks laws. Painting, from this perspective, becomes a realm in which the mind’s cognitive processes are echoed or played out. Paint itself acts as a kind of binding agent transforming anything it touches, bringing disparate elements into new relationships, by turns masking and revealing, heeding some boundaries and breaching others.

Frank Bowling is intimately involved in a continual renewal of abstract painting by foregrounding the paint itself, and over a practice spanning many decades has been acutely aware of the need to keep abstract painting out of aesthetic cul-de-sacs. Scott O’Rourke’s work evolves from his painterly engagement with mediated imagery, and a painstaking and virtuoso use of bricolage. John Bunker is concerned to expose the structure/skeleton of a painting – recycling its body parts, turning it both in on itself and out on to the world. All honour and challenge the tradition and history of painting, and use the interruptions of collage to keep their work lively and open to change, more importantly, open to the world.

For further information and images contact Fiona MacDonald: 0207 739 4921 / .  Standpoint Gallery is located at a45 Coronet Street, London N1 6HD. Visit and Gallery opening hours:  Wednesday – Saturday, 12-6pm

ARC Magazine
ARC Magazine

ARC Inc. is a non-profit print and online publication and social platform launched in 2011. It seeks to fill a certain void by offering a critical space for contemporary artists to present their work while fostering and developing critical dialogues and opportunities for crucial points of exchange. ARC is an online and social space of interaction with a developed methodology of sharing information about contemporary practices, exhibitions, partnerships, and opportunities occurring in the Caribbean region and throughout its diasporas.