Sunday, June 15, 2014

Michael Craig-Martin - Gagosian Gallery Hong Kong

On Thursday 12th June I turned up at the Gagosian Gallery in the Peddar Building, Central for the opening of Michael Craig-Martin's exhibition.

I had seen his steel sculptures before and appreciated the way the steel frame created the illusion of a fully 3D object when viewed from a certain viewpoint but this was the first time I had the opportunity to see his paintings up close.

The gallery space was decorated with large, colourful paintings on aluminum panels with an everyday, 'contemporary' object as the subject. The subject of each painting had been depicted straight on, in a dead-pan way, devoid of feeling or opinion. They resembled large kindergarten flashcards.

In the gallery notes I read how he 'subverts' the image through rendering an object as an iconic depiction of a previously familiar object. I felt that in his quest to impart a feeling of artificiality he was totally successful. I found the work to be extremely artificial, the colours, the rendering and the technique which suggested a mechanical process but without the perfection such a process would bring.

Much more interesting was the computerised portrait close to the gallery entrance. This 40 inch monitor displayed one of his 'portraits' powered by a programme which caused the image to change every 5 to 15 seconds as the colours of the many sections of the portrait slowly faded from one colour to another randomly. Some combinations of colors were dazzling, others jarring but anyway constantly changing.

Untitled (Headphones) 2014

Photos courtesy of Gagosian Hong Kong

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