Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Ansel Krut at the Jerwood Gallery: too slight, too much empty space

After several months of good behaviour, and even producing a 'Members' Blog for the Jerwood website, I'm afraid Battleaxe is, again, not happy.
    We went down to view the new Ansel Krut 'Verbatim' exhibition.  On the empty white spaces of the Foreshore gallery, so recently, and interestingly, filled with paintings from the Jerwood permanent collection, sit precisely thirteen brightly coloured canvasses. Well, at least you can say that. They are bright.
     Boldly painted in primary colours, the paintings are cartoon-like, and in my view, very slight. Almost every one has something rude in it, either overt or hidden. Not interestingly rude though, more like schoolgirl snigger-bum-willy-fart stuff. One is called 'Arse flowers in bloom'. Oh, surprise, it shows a load of bum-holes shaped like flowers. Another has lady bits shaped like a prickly holly leaf. Laugh? I nearly wet meself. Battleaxe has brought up kids, and could forgive all that, but there is so little to look at, and far too much empty white space.
Ansel Krut - Arse Flowers in bloom

Too much empty space

More space
 
And more space.....
      As usual, the blurb on the wall about the paintings, and in the leaflet, is pretentious.
Oh purleese.....
     Another room downstairs is devoted to pictures for sale from someone called Philip Hughes. Inoffensive, pleasant stuff but with no prices! Nothing I'd want, but if I did, I couldn't be bothered.
     Feeling a little down-hearted but resigned, we went upstairs. Oh crikey - nearly all the stuff is just the same as in the last exhibition. No re-hang, no new paintings brought out of the reserve collection.
     A good thing though, one small room now has a group of Alfred Wolmark paintings, with one new one added out of the store, and the two portraits of the Kohnstamm brothers. The second painting has been borrowed from its private owner, and the two now hang together. A very sad story - both boys killed in the First World War.
     However, if I was not a member, had already seen the last 'Jerwood Revealed' exhibition and was now paying full price for another visit, I would not feel I was getting value for money for this.  Most of the work upstairs I would already have seen, the Ansel Krut show is over in about five minutes, and the sale stuff is dull.
    We came out of the gallery, sat in the sun eating a a tasty fresh fish-roll from Pat and Tush along Rockanore, and then walked back past the London Trader. Felt thirsty from the fish, so got a couple of beers. Have never ventured in there before - its customers have a reputation for throwing the furniture through the windows etc. My eyes nearly fell out of my head to see those customers tucking into their lunches - soft shell crabs, smoked haddock and coriander fishcakes, and stir-fried baby octopus served on dainty wooden boards. It looked delicious. What is the world coming to?