the most interesting aspect of this exhibition is the contrast between the work exhibited and contemporary art being produced in Scotland
This show has been curated using the conceptual idea that stylistic outlook
can be pinned down by geography alone. Each of the seven artists exhibiting
is originally from Germany but has now adopted London as their home. In a
sense the show's premise is vindicated, as there is definitely an aesthetic difference between this work exhibited in doggerfisher and current contemporary art produced by Scottish artists, but whether there is a stylistic similarity etween the artists exhibiting in Friedrich is a different matter.
Each of the featured artists has developed an individual practice and
although conceptual similarities can be found in the works, visually they
are quite varied. Whether it is because the nature of a group exhibition
encourages links between different artists or whether it is due to these
artists sharing similar backgrounds, there are conceptual links in the
works. A lot of the exhibits are fragmented and questions are raised about
the extent to which the work has been deliberate and how much is a 'happy
accident'. For example, Alex Heim's 'Untitled (Five found wing mirrors)', in the fineness and complexiity of the breaks in the mirrors, seems deliberate but could simply be the result of an accident. Helen Appel's 'The Minutes', a large oil painting, mixes minimal, specific paintings of twigs and shadows with expressive scores and spills.
There is a beautiful link between Alex Heim's DVD projection 'Kanal 2' - in which a canal filled with gunk and junk sways rhythmically - and the flowing of Eva Berendes's 'Major Chord', a curtain which hangs ceiling to floor filling an entire wall of the gallery. Stylistically, on the other hand, these two pieces could not be more different: one is the dull, dank representation of human waste and lethargy; the other is fine, elegant muslin bearing a precise black and white Bauhaus inspired design.
The exhibition works well as a group show bringing together different
styles and showcasing them but also drawing on similar influences that lie
in the friendship and shared histories these artists share. For me, however, the most interesting aspect of this exhibition is the contrast between the work exhibited and contemporary art being produced in Scotland.
Doggerfisher, Edinburgh until 3 Feb.