…there is art.

2 Jan

The Saatchi Gallery, Abstract America (on until 17 January 2010)

Be mesmerised by the journey Charles Saatchi will take you on when entering his King’s Road gallery. See the poetic symmetry of the silver spiralling stairs and the vivid eye-catching screenprint on silk or feel annoyed at the unresolved quality that is inevitable with some abstract work.

Peter Coffin, Spiral Staircase (2007)

Peter Coffin, Untitled (Spiral Staircase) (2006)

It is hard to stand back and appreciate how constantly bombarded our society is by consumerist images. Although Abstract America is set in swathes of white space it has inescapably American effect: loud, shouty and showy. In a country which inundates its inhabitants with tired consumerist ideology this art fits into Saatchi’s portfolio beautifully.

There are gems to be viewed. Any lover of vintage clothing markets can’t help but be tickled by Nine. Reminisce for the excitement of digging through mounds of clothing in the hope of uncovering that one unique find. Its overtones of the wasteful society do give you a certain chill that no amount of 80s jumpers can keep out, but be inspired by this message and convert once loved in new love.

Guerra de la Paz, Nine (2007)

Guerra de la Paz, Nine (2007)

Looking at Kristen Baker’s, Exide Batteries Beer a Sphere, I was instantly reminded of – designer of the moment – Christopher Kane, whose shimmering dresses I had seen hours before at Liberty. Exide Batteries Beer a Sphere is a mirage of electrifying colours fluttering with dirty greys. It’s pretty painterly quality is contrasted with the ugly subject. Prepare to be entranced.

Kristin Baker, Excide Batteries Beer a Sphere (2003)

Kristin Baker, Excide Batteries Beer a Sphere (2003)

The unresolved and disturbing quality of The New Land is frankly annoying. Amy Sillman’s attempt at a cubist view of an American landscape is reticent and lacking, like her idea died along with the concept. There is no such thing as ‘New land’.

Amy Sillman, The New Land (2005)

Amy Sillman, The New Land (2005)

Saatchi’s ability to select work which engages and pulls from the audience an instant reaction makes Abstract America an instant success, but begs the question of how can we implement this within our own lives.

So what do you snap up in these troublesome times? A classic keep-me-forever-piece; perhaps something that you’ll use over and over? I say no. Buy like Saatchi and stock your empire with instant hits that will make your friends gasp and strangers turn their heads. Uniqueness is your most valuable commodity. In a saturated society, a bit of individual expression may come to constitute the most stunning image.


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