Thursday, May 15, 2014

Artists of note - Robert Muntean & Hannah Wilke

On Wednesday the CityLit traveling art tour was again in London's West End and looking at two very different artists.

Robert Muntean  

We kicked off with the young Austrian painter Robert Muntean at the delightful Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery in Rathbone Street.
Muntean's work on display covered an interesting area somewhere between naturalistic and abstract - figures were generally represented  but there was more to these works than just  painterly technique, sopme of the group saw a link to Cinema in his images

The group noted that the artist seemed to restrict his palette somewhat but generally felt that his works were 'multi-layered' as described by the blurb. I personally liked the paintings exhibited and found them unpretentious - to me it was contemporary but not merely fashionable it was accessible which I think in this case does not mean superficial.

The gallery was a real pleasure and although compact the access by front and rear meant that the space felt airy and light.

Hannah Wilke

After seeing the paintings of Muntean it was a mere hop, skip and a jump to our next stopping off point the Alison Jacques Gallery in Berners Street.
The work of the two artists considered here are very different and not really comparable but as result of seeing the artists works sequentially I will nonetheless compare my own  reactions to the two visits.

For me the work of  Wilke  (mainly three dimensional and often ceramic)  was somewhat less accessible than that of Muntean and very much of 'a time' that being the 60s & 70s.

As I mentioned recently there is a view that women's contribution in modern/contemporary art has been overlooked and this is now being revisited- some critics would say that this is true of the contribution that Hannah Wilke made and that female artists who came after her owe he a debt (Tracy Emin's work  was noted as having  been influenced by Wilke).

The Wikipedia entry on Wilke  provided me with  a useful background to the artist who after serious illness died at the early age of 52.

All artists (to me) walk a line between innovation and arriving at their own 'voice' - I found the innovation and
Sweet 16 from
development of Wilke somewhat limited but there might be something here about a male eye perhaps?

The Alison Jacques Gallery like that of the  Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery was split across two floors but the upper level was rather claustrophobic and the works there were not sympathetically lit.

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