Poppies @ Gallery of Modern Art

Poppies brings together artists Joanne Robertson and Max Brand, who bring a quick and expressive abandon to Gallery of Modern Art's middle floor, making for a messier and immersive environment of expressive paintings, sound and sculpture.

Review by Adam Benmakhlouf | 16 Jan 2017

Exuberantly taking a wing each (loosely speaking) for their exhibition together in Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art, Joanne Robertson and Max Brand – based in London and Berlin, respectively –  go hand to hand with the three U-shaped corridors that make up the Gallery of Modern Art middle-floor space.

Straight ahead on entering, Robertson comes first with railings of clothes that are all somewhere between new and worn. Add to that a perceptible taste seeming to inform the different items and the possibility of making colour connections to the fast-painted abstractions, this sense of a singular style emphasises the partiality of the abstract paintings.

One painting on the wall is red, orange, brown, green, purple and sky blue. It’s convivial, frenetic and signals a great deal of sincerity amongst the clothes rails, quickly rendered floor painting below them and wall painting round the corner.

Whereas Robertson’s large oil on canvas paintings form a series of distinct works, Brand’s fills his wall painting and hanging fabrics with smaller drawings and paintings. More linear and looking cartoonish in places, they nevertheless tend to collapse into an expressive abstraction – floating arms and hands, then another looking like an aerial-view map.

In Brand’s end of the space, the collaborative music piece, saturation of surfaces and painted out windows increase the sense of being surrounded. Having the ambiguous, at points sinister then meditative soundtrack does a lot to transform the space into the kind of immersive atmosphere the hanging fabrics and huge wall-painting seem to suggest. With much of the work feeling provisional and single-use (tracing paper pasted and stapled to the wall, stained windows), this changes too the sense of the exhibition to a one-off event.

Direct, urgent and full of details, Poppies is an unprecious and resourcefully expressive ruckus. 

Until 11 June 2017 http://theskinny.co.uk/art