George Shaw

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George Shaw

Postby MacCruiskeen » Mon Jun 29, 2009 8:40 pm

George Shaw

Page 1 of 4: Looking for evidence

http://www.channel4.com/culture/microsi ... index.html

'As a kid, I wanted something to happen,' says George Shaw.

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Well, who didn't? But Shaw has made this feeling his muse. He's become famous for painting the Tile Hill estate in Coventry where he grew up in the 70s: its houses, paths, garages and woods. He paints with an intensity that has critics comparing him to Edward Hopper and the German Romantic Caspar David Friedrich. And he does it all with Humbrol enamels – the same shiny paints he used as a boy on his Airfix models.

'I'm looking for evidence. I'm not sure of what. Perhaps that I was here.'

With titles like Number 57 and The Path Behind The Shops, the paintings at first seem hyper-realistic. But there are no people, cars or satellite dishes; no wheelie-bins or crushed drinks cans – nothing that can date the scenes to the 21st century, or to the 1970s, for that matter. These buildings and woods are hard-edged but also have the timeless quality of a dream.

'I'm looking for evidence,' says Shaw. 'I'm not sure of what. Perhaps that I was here. These paintings come out of a mourning for the person I used to be – a passionate teenager, who read art books and novels and poems and biographies, watched films and TV and listened to music.'

'I feel like I'm trying to gather something up,' he adds, prowling the concrete, camera in hand, 'like a sleuth.'

(...)

http://www.channel4.com/culture/microsi ... index.html

Websites

Art of the Matter
http://society.guardian.co.uk/ housing/story/0,7890,1017146,00.html
Article and interview with George Shaw in the Guardian, prior to his exhibition in 2003.

Getting Sentimental
http://westmidlands.ideasfactory.com/ art_design/features/feature19.htm
Shaw gives an interview about nostalgia, profundity and an innovative use for Humbrol enamel paint.

Ghosts Expose the Dark Side of Suburban Summers
http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/ thereview.cfm?id=152762004
Review of an exhibition of Shaw's works held in Dundee in March 2004.

Paper Jam
www.paper-jam.co.uk/reviews.php?rev_ref=24
Reviews and comments on the works of George Shaw.

Tate Britain
www.tate.org.uk/britain/ eventseducation/shawbracewell.htm
George Shaw in conversation with Michael Bracewell.

Tate Collection
www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ ArtistWorks?cgroupid=999999961&artistid=5253&page=1
Shaw's painting Scenes from the Passion: Late can be seen at Tate Britain in London.

Welfare-State International
www.welfare-state.org/current/dead/georgeshaw.html
Brief biography and online image of one of George Shaw's works – The Prophets – a humbrol enamel that featured in an exhibition entitled 'Dead' in 2002.

What I Did This Summer
www.ikon-gallery.co.uk/pastExhibitionsGeorgeShaw.htm
Synopsis of Shaw's work based on an exhibition in 2003 held at the Ikon Gallery.

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Books

Edward Hopper edited by Sheena Wagstaff (Tate Publishing, August 2004)
Published to accompany a major retrospective exhibition, this title analyses Hopper's work in the context of both American and European painting from the turn of the 20th century up until the 1960s. Shaw's work has frequently been compared with Hopper's.
Get this book from Amazon

George Shaw: This was life by George Shaw (Ikon Gallery, 2003)
Shaw's first book of collected writings.
Get this book from Amazon

George Shaw: What I did this summer by George Shaw (Ikon Gallery, 2003)
This catalogue accompanies Shaw's first major solo exhibition to examine his acclaimed style of painting involving a rigorous academic approach and a meticulous rendering in Humbrol enamel paint. His paintings are rich evocations of place and memory, depicting the council housing estate in Tile Hill, Coventry where he grew up.
Get this book from Amazon

What Is Painting? Representation and Modern Art by Julian Bell (Thames and Hudson, 1999)
'Yes, but is it art?' The author, himself a painter, confronts the uncertainty and suspicion many people feel about art today.
Get this book from Amazon
Credits

Produced to accompany The Art Show: The Late George Shaw (a World of Wonder production), first screened on Channel 4 in September 2004.

Writer: Liane Jones
Designer: 72 dots
Editor: Peter Millson
Project manager: Red Cinnamon
Resources co-ordinator: Nicole Carman
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Postby MacCruiskeen » Mon Jun 29, 2009 9:09 pm

http://blog.urbanomic.com/tome/archives ... humbr.html

October 02, 2004
Utopia in Humbrol

'I'm looking for evidence,' says Shaw. 'I'm not sure of what. Perhaps that I was here. '

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Very sorry to have missed this documentary on one of Britain's finest living artists.

Having lived around Coventry for half a decade, and having grown up on an estate similarly remarkable for its drabness, when I saw this exhibition of Shaw's paintings last year I found them very beautiful. What a breath of fresh air, amidst the cloying, suffocating plethora of thoughtless, twee seascapes and new-age symbolism which is the cornish art scene, to see these meditative, intense images of midlands concrete. Unlike those unlovely products of glib 'self-expression' and sham-cosmicism, Shaw's apparently parochial, minutiae-focussed paintings are the result of slow, deliberate and reflective work: not (at least not only) in the fabrication, but in the preparation, in the preliminary examination and thought which goes into laying out in front of the artist the abstract material which he will proceed to transform. In fact, Shaw's whole life has been this preparation, his uneventful childhood the fixed point through which everything else is looped.

hotel.jpg

It's 4 'o' clock...I'm walking home from school...the sky is darkening...

Shaw's emotional involvement in the act of painting extends to his use of Humbrol enamel paint, a medium which he has made entirely his own, and which imparts to the paintings their simultaneous eery superrealism and tawdry glossiness, as well as their exquisite detail and rich colour palette.
The Humbrol brand is to Shaw a magical symbol, the sine qua non of his artistic practice, a tangible connection to the childhood whose haunted council estate scenes he returns to compulsively.

Shaw's skies are particularly magnificent, the enamel paint luminously capturing the muted chromaticism of the drab lid that is the typical midlands sky; infinite tints of gray. They are perhaps the best british skies since Turner (although Shaw's favoured painterly point of reference is Caspar David Friedrich); the visual equivalent of Morrissey's 'Every Day is Like Sunday'.

Places where you go to inexist.

Shaw has an appreciation of the profound mystery of the desultory persistence of the banal, the unglamourousness of the 'purely factual account'. But at his best he doesn't cleave to the latter-day angloromanticism of decline, or the aestheticising poetics of poverty. Shaw paints stasis, waiting, the empty spaces where the time of childhood is frittered away. The experience of place is reduced to an underlying electric hum of nondescript, unobserved facticity. The paintings exclude people, both in their content and in the viewer's engagement. They are places where the viewer is forgotten. You can't get into them unless you agree to disappear from the world.

"Past the leisure centre, left at the lights"

In terms of childhood memories, for those of us who have neither the self-confidence and automatic cosmopolitanism of the upper classes, nor the desperate aping of those qualities that characterises the middle classes, nor even the raw wit and furious will-to-dissipation of the disenfranchised but culturally-ascendent underclass, this mystery is the only thing we can really call our own. Our own utopia, the nowhere to which we belong but which has literally nothing to offer us except silent meditation on our own unimportance. We fall between the cracks of existence, we can't own what we are, the places proper to us are rarely mentioned in the 'real world' (rare exceptions - Shaw's paintings, a record like Pulp's His 'n' Hers). How remarkable, how valuable to us it is to see an artist not only understand but take the time to make a painting of a scene like 'The Path Behind The Shops'. It's not a 'validation', which would entail a sort of proprietorial pride over these banal origins, a longing for 'representation'; it's more a joyful wonder at Shaw's ability to capture so precisely and positively, that which one had always marked down as an absence, at most something to be overcome.

To Paint the Unutterable

Shaw is also a writer, and many of his stated influences (Beckett, Lawrence) are literary rather than visual; perhaps the intensity of his paintings stems from their being a negative artefact of his literary endeavour, the stubbornly inarticulable residue which it is impossible to force into prose.

"I paint bits of rubbish, but I don't hark back to things like old designs for Coke or Fanta cans."

The relationship between photography and painting in Shaw's work is fascinating, worthy of a monograph in itself. He works from his own photographs, and the informal, 'found' style of Shaw's paintings obviously owes much to the aesthetic of photography. But, as with Bacon, the manifest evidence of the photograph is thoroughly transformed in the act of painting so that this relation is complicated, the very nakedness of the photographic image brought into question. He is unapologetic about his own presence, or interference, in the process of image making:"I rarely draw anything without an emotional involvement with it," he says. Consequently Shaw's paintings, on anything more than the most cursory examination, are utterly resistant to being interpreted as an aleatory postmodern game. They're not a joke, not ironic. The work is not an attempt to transform the ridiculous into the sublime, the banal into the elevated, it's not a case of excavating the intense occult forces beneath the veneer of an apparently boring suburbia. But neither is it mere nostalgia, although it is, in the proper sense of the word, a disquisition on home and the unhomely; not a longing for home but a puzzling at the relation between the arbitrary materiality and its emotionally compelling certainty.

garages.jpg

"The most successful paintings look out, not in: these are like me, as a kid, looking out at the world."

In the adult world, we submit the relationship of the shared, outside world with our intensive, inner landscapes to a severe disjunction, a deceptive decision that sunders the emotional from the factual. Much like Proust's delirious navigation through time and memory, the clarity of Shaw's reconfusion allows us to revive the world of the child, for whom round the back of the garages is a magical place as any (perhaps the psychogeography of a writer like Iain Sinclair also operates a similar reconfusion, piercing the membrane between subjective/aesthetic and objective/historic senses of place). We recover not exactly an innocence, but perhaps a certain autonomy anterior to the cleavage between 'real self' and 'real world', an ability to step out into a solitary, indeterminate imagination still teeming with possibility; unfocussed yet dazzling; unremarkable yet luminous; a gray area. Facts are never as banal as they look.

Interview with Shaw here, and C4's microsite links to other sites about him. Shaw's book This Was Life and the exhibition catalogue are available on amazon.

See also signposts to suburbia.

http://blog.urbanomic.com/tome/archives ... humbr.html
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Re: George Shaw

Postby MacCruiskeen » Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:25 pm

- blogpost with 2 images at I Like

- excellent Guardian interview with Sean O'Hagan, Feb 2011:

George Shaw: 'Sometimes I look at my work and its conservatism shocks me'

George Shaw makes eerie paintings of the Coventry council estate where he grew up. On the eve of a Baltic retrospective, he explains why he prefers pop culture to fine art.

[...]It took him several years after college to reconnect with his sense of place and his art, the one feeding into the other. In 1996, to his great surprise, he was accepted for an MA in painting at the Royal College of Art in London. It was the start of a road back to the kind of painting he wanted – needed – to do.

"I had this sudden realisation of my younger self when I was starting out as a painter. Between the ages of 13 and 17, say, I was completely and utterly passionate about what I did. There was nothing superficial about it, no sentiment, no questioning. I wanted to be an artist so I looked in books and I turned my bedroom into a studio. I was certain, but that certainty was diluted along the way, especially at art school."

He takes a deep breath and gathers his thoughts, which have been tumbling out of him. "I didn't want to do anything after art school but when I eventually went back to painting, all I could think about was that extraordinary enthusiasm I once had. It was a real sentimental journey back to find the person I once was, and to find a way of making a serious painting about the place I was born and grew up in without someone thinking it kitsch or ironic." [...]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/ ... -interview


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- exhibition announcement, Baltic, Gateshead, Feb-May 2011.

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Re: George Shaw

Postby MacCruiskeen » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:14 pm

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George Shaw is one of the nominees for this year's Turner Prize. If anyone deserves it, he does.

Video: George Shaw introduces The Sly and Unseen Day at the Baltic/Gateshead.

"This was my attempt to be a human being."
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Re: George Shaw

Postby MacCruiskeen » Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:55 pm

George Shaw – The Sly and Unseen Day

Posted on January 31, 2011

http://onenightatthesands.wordpress.com ... orge-shaw/

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We always create meaning from the simplest of things, shape our surroundings according to the story of our life, and observe happenings from a very distinct point of view. It is therefore fascinating how many planet earths there really are, all overlapping and interlinking like those lachrymose films where cool movie stars pass each other by, sometimes talking to one another, sometimes not, but always acutely connected to one another. They may walk similar paths, but each will take it in differently. For example, let’s consider two pictures, one of an image of a broken glass and the other the reassembled version. A stranger can look upon it as an unvarnished shot of two moments and nothing more. Meanwhile the artist who created the piece of art sees it as an illustration of the misfortunes of love, the shattering of glass a metaphor for heartbreak, and the rehabilitated object, which still missing subatomic fragments, can never be whole again. By adding a narrative to a picture they become something entirely different. Hence, what we see and perceive at face value is very subjective – one man’s city is a cluster of buildings, to another the city is a bank of memories of seminal moments in his life. Our readings of the physical world is fascinatingly unique, which, without history’s recording, is effectively lost.

George Shaw, whose exhibition The Sly and Unseen Day is coming to the Baltic, is an artist intrigued by his quondam surroundings, whipped up in the poison of nostalgia, unable to let go even in the face of such transparent change. Shaw has said his work is “an act of holding on” to life in some way. Whether it is the wistfulness of adolescence being explored, or as he gets older and older meditating on the truth that nothing lasts – “[I] cannot come to terms with the simple fact that life slips away and time is called everywhere and everyday.” – there is a uneasy sadness in his paintings that grieves at our inability to physically hold a moment in perpetuity. Thus, it is in his legacy to the world, the work that he bequests to society that he can rebel against finality.

This elegiac quality dominates his work. The collection of paintings showcasing at the Baltic, which runs from 1996 to the present day, are largely brooding depictions of the quotidian city urban landscape we are all used to, symbolic of a general malaise felt by the artist. What Shaw does well is to not only craft significance out of these everyday prosaic settings – pubs, boards sectioning off development areas, a bin for dumping dog shit, and typical fences and gates – but to also capture in some of the paintings an unusual and unthinkable grace.

Ash Wednesday is perfect example of the latter, a painting of a road, a fence, bushes, and a naked tree, set against a sweeping sunset sky, the entire half of the canvas filled in a stunning xanthous light. If you didn’t know otherwise you’d think it was a photograph, such is the heightened detail captured in this piece and others. It astonishes me how something so mundane can look so beautiful.

By using Humbrol enamel paint – usually found in those model making kits – the paintings adopt a glossy look that alludes to hyperrealist ideas, a pastiche of early photorealists like Richard Estes and Ralph Goings. His work is staggering in its accuracy of light, texture and shape, which both attacks the meaninglessness of the mass proliferation of images and critiques the direction of society at large. Let’s take – Scenes from the Passion: The Cop Shop as one example, the shadows, proportions and minuscule accuracy of the piece are haunting and you are forced to ask yourself what understanding we can make from this emptiness. After all, how long will this building last? Does it even matter?

In its ability to be virtually faultless and redefine the arbitrary, Shaw’s paintings reassert the artist’s disquiet with the shifting world, the vulnerability of life and the uncertainty of memory. Although his theme is about preservation, you’re also led to contemplate the virtues of forgetting… it hurts to remember. Let go and be free and rediscover the joy of the unknown.

The Sly and Unseen Day is at the Baltic from 18th February 2011 t0 the 15th May 2011

Published in Narc Magazine

http://onenightatthesands.wordpress.com ... orge-shaw/
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Re: George Shaw

Postby MacCruiskeen » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:39 am

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George Shaw, Scenes from The Passion: The Cop Shop, 1999–2000, enamel on board

(btw, some of the original paintings are smaller than the computer screen you're seeing these reproductions on. Some are a bit bigger, but none are huge. The Humbrol enamel paint he uses is barely workable. It was not designed to do what he does with it.)
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Re: George Shaw

Postby MacCruiskeen » Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:05 pm

GEORGE SHAW'S TILE HILL: An Unofficial Guide

2013/2017 Duncan McLaren

http://www.scenesfromthepassion.co.uk/s ... index.html


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