Girling made large–scale abstract paintings, often using both acrylic paint and collage, which embraced the sensibilities of American abstraction pitted against a distinctive English sensibility and rigorous, traditional training at the Royal Academy Schools. Influenced by early trips to North America with her husband, Anthony Caro, and the paintings of friends and contemporaries such as Kenneth Noland and Jules Olitski, Girling’s paintings from the 1970’s employed full-arm and full-body gestures to explore the possibilities of acrylic paint and atmospheric colour.
By the 1980’s, Girling increasingly incorporated cut, torn and pasted papers into her canvases as a means of overcoming what she felt were the limits of paint, and to regain control of the final composition. Her fusion of painting and collage allowed her to give full rein to her gift for navigating the implications of colour relationships with greater clarity and flexibility, much like the ‘Cut-Outs’ of Henri Matisse’s later years. “I found myself with collage,” Girling said. “Instead of your arm moving the paint haphazardly, as soon as you start working with pieces you can start making decisions about structure – long term decisions. And you can take things away or shift them on the surface.”
The dominant characteristic in all of Girling’s work is her ability as a colourist, whatever the medium, employing hues for expressive and structural reasons (Girling collaborated closely with Caro on his painted sculptures). Girling’s last series of works are a large group of smaller-scale yet vibrantly bold, assured collages made with a combination of handmade papers and paint, as dynamic as any of her larger paintings.
The exhibition will be shown on the fourth floor of the gallery and a fully illustrated 64 page catalogue and images are available on request.
Klauke is widely accepted as an initiator of Performance Art. Since the 1970s, he has photographed and filmed his performances in order to illustrate and to document them. In later works, photography and film have become an autonomous medium in which the human body (often the artist’s own) appears in surreal, carefully staged scenarios: a hallmark that continues in the artist’s work today.
Klauke’s provocative photographs are characterized by a critical examination of socially defined behavioral patterns and gender norms, using the body as an integral means of expression. In Klauke’s work, today’s universal paranoia has a visual analogy in the series Aesthetic Paranoia, whereby a curtain of hair obscures the entire vision of the self. The self is walled in within its paranoid condition and, at times, entangled with itself.
Pioneering in his introduction of ‘Body Art’ as well as photographic methods such as the series or the tableau, Klauke has had a profound influence on late twentieth-century and contemporary art. Oscillating between the poles of attraction and repulsion in equal measure, his works deal with threats to mental and physical identity through the power of the media and the mechanization of all areas of life.
The exhibition will be shown on the third floor of the gallery and a fully illustrated 32 page catalogue and images are available on request.