Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Exerpts from my review of Gordon froud's More is More (FADA Gallery 2011)

The full review was published in the September/October 2011 edition of Art South Africa:

More is More: 30 Years of Collecting , FADA Gallery Johannesburg

Gordon Froud, 2011, More is More, installation view. Photo: Sally Rumball, courtesy the collector/curator.

The overwhelming volume of this exhibition reminds me of another hoarder in fairytale lore: Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (“Open Sesame”). But what does this art collector have in common with these infamous thieves or the less vilified appropriator of their treasure, Ali Baba? Certainly Froud is no thief, having undoubtedly paid in ‘blood’ for every piece on display. Where likeness can be found is in the variable economy of the fairytale hoard and this real (and at times dusty) collection of art. During their travels the forty thieves garnered a wide range of articles from their victims. This was achieved opportunistically and through great contrivance, and resulted in an eclectic hoard ranging from the smallest personal objects, to larger items ripped from hallowed halls. In the same way (but with less dangerous intent), Froud has put together a collection that demonstrates great scope. It includes painting, sculptural assemblage, printmaking and video. But what is most remarkable about this collection is the sense of a blithe economy that attends it. Many great collections exhibit a defining signature platitude, a certain type and model of work that ‘makes the grade’. Froud’s collection has no such symmetry. It is an asymmetrical exercise in the economy of the moment: what is there and how it feels, what is on the price tag, and even what is in the bank at the time. That is not to say that this collection is dictated by financial constraints, as it certainly includes works of significant monetary value. The word economy here speaks more to a mastery of whim and impression in amongst the dictates of time and tide.

Other Reviews published recently:
In 2010/2011 I produced a review styled paper for publication in de arte 83 entitled, ‘Imagining nature (in our own image): animals and landscapes in Daniel Naudé's exhibition, African Scenery & Animals.’

In 2011 I was commissioned to write a review on Deborah Bell's Presence exhibition at Everard Read Gallery for publication in Art South Africa 09(04).

Articles Published Recently
In 2010 Ann-Marie published a peer reviewed paper entitled, ‘The rhetorical animal: Considering the Urban Animal exhibition and the anthropocentric reception of animal and amalgamated animal/human representations’ in de arte 82.  

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