Comments on: Constant Within The Change: Gary Wragg http://abstractcritical.com/article/constant-within-the-change-gary-wragg/ Abstract Critical is a not-for profit company aiming to establish a new critical context for all generations of artists involved with ambitious abstract art. Sun, 09 Nov 2014 17:23:33 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Noela http://abstractcritical.com/article/constant-within-the-change-gary-wragg/#comment-516538 Thu, 01 May 2014 20:12:16 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8045#comment-516538 There are some powerful paintings in this show demonstrating energetic application of paint on a huge scale.Some of the works are difficult to get into but, like Wragg mentions in his interview, you need to give them time. The layout of the venue forces you to look at some of them very closely . I found the very definite combing and spotty mesh texture could sometimes be distracting and a little too prominent for me, and so I preferred the paintings with less of it. The pieces that had immediate appeal were,’Partita’ with jewel like colours peeping through black expressive gestures, ‘Saltinbanque’, perhaps a bit Auerbach like, but, light and fluid with rich warm oranges, and ‘Windows and Wedges’ with mint and burnt sienna and white light pockets and red accents. The composition of Webzones@Vyner St. worked well but I was disappointed in the paint quality which looked rather thin , something which was not obvious on the screen. Wragg’s work has such energy though , and there is so much of it (bought the books vol. 1and2) !! Really good exhibition.

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By: Dan http://abstractcritical.com/article/constant-within-the-change-gary-wragg/#comment-474175 Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:28:11 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8045#comment-474175 Well I think the links are in the way both Wragg and Greenbaum start from a “void” and attempt to fill an emptiness with something.How do you drtaw in a void ? ( what Malevich called “playing football in outer space” ? Often people educated in art school are educated to an understanding of abstract art as a historical inevitability, but if we step back from that we can see what a strange perverse place the abstract expressionist artist places him or herself in- because you have to create everything out of nothing. Sure , it wasnt any easier for Degas, but his problems weren’t to do with motivation – they were to do with maybe not letting precision flatten out feeling . Whereas the problem for the abstract expressionist is how to conjure something out of thin air .
I have huge respect for this show and the work of Gary Wragg, particuarly the way he’s continually resisted any formula. Its a really exciting retrospective with all sorts of twists and turns and Id highly recommend a visit to anybody interested in painting.

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By: anthony seymour http://abstractcritical.com/article/constant-within-the-change-gary-wragg/#comment-461491 Fri, 11 Apr 2014 14:38:34 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8045#comment-461491 Yes this is so interesting because if Gary Wragg was an art student these days he would be dismissed as a very silly fool whose work is all over the place!

His show in that little gallery next to White Cube a few years ago was such an excellent and most strangely subversive riposte or extremely embarrassing as contrast to what goes on in art schools which are more like cages down the vets where probably nobody has heard of Joan Mitchell or is allowed to look at Baselitz or whatever…..

It often seems a mystery that London or England has managed to hang on to Wragg – It certainly does not deserve him at all!

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By: Sam http://abstractcritical.com/article/constant-within-the-change-gary-wragg/#comment-461278 Fri, 11 Apr 2014 12:17:47 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8045#comment-461278 Yes I agree – I’d like Dan or Shelley to say what the links are, because I can’t really see them (likewise I’ve only seen Greenbaum’s work on the web).

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By: Noela http://abstractcritical.com/article/constant-within-the-change-gary-wragg/#comment-461005 Fri, 11 Apr 2014 09:37:26 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8045#comment-461005 It is interesting how people see things differently. I had a cursory look at Greenbaum’s website and to me her work seems to have completely different handling to Gary Wragg’s. Her work seems to have a far more mapped out quality perhaps , more deliberate , whereas Wragg seems to have a more immediate attack and energetic application. The colours in Greenbaum’s work seem to look brash in comparison to Wragg’s. It is not really fair to be too critical about images on the web but I think comparisons can still be made.

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By: John Pollard http://abstractcritical.com/article/constant-within-the-change-gary-wragg/#comment-460988 Fri, 11 Apr 2014 09:24:17 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8045#comment-460988 This is a very good and enjoyable exhibition to be highly recommended. The variety is a great strength both in the types of individual works but also in the different shapes, colours, marks, etc that are often contained within each painting. There is a kind of integration or eclecticism which isn’t contrived; of drawing/mark making, complexity of colour, layers. There is painting out, marking over, scraping/drawing through, light washes. Wragg also manages to incorporate ‘dirty’ colours into his work in an interesting way that generally works well and adds to its originality.

Not surprisingly for a Tai Chi expert Gary combines a variety of delicacy, strength, light and dark, and rhythm often broken. He has a way with layers that is often very subtle which adds interest and curiosity to the viewing experience. As Dan says in his article many of these paintings are “sticky: once your absorbed, its hard to extract yourself”.

The ‘Snake and Crane 1′ was one of my favourites while ‘Webzones’ the most interesting to ponder on. This may have had an advantage over some of the other larger works hung in the relatively narrow ‘corridors’, as it had a larger viewing space and a comfortable seat which all helped. There was also a smaller painting, which isn’t on his website, that impressed with its subtle, slightly washed out, broken colour, and quite fascinating shape and composition.

So, variety in all ways, yet individual works with a powerful, self contained strength.

In comparison it was interesting to see the small exhibition of Alan Davie’s early work at Alan Wheatley afterwards.

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By: Patrick Jones http://abstractcritical.com/article/constant-within-the-change-gary-wragg/#comment-460063 Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:37:47 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8045#comment-460063 Can I say that this is Abstract Critical working at its best,providing a platform of discussion about an artists work which would not exist elsewhere.For reasons of cultural disfunction,an artists as good ,complex and difficult as Gary ,would not get the air time.Robin Geenwood is at his best when he is trying to get to grips with something new and his contribution is fascinating to read,as are the other commentators .I hope Gary is encouraged by this interest,altho Im not sure how many artists who wish for a retrospective can really handle this amount of critical over -view afterwards in the studio.Its better to keep the nose-bag on and munch on truffles in your own yard.

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By: Dan http://abstractcritical.com/article/constant-within-the-change-gary-wragg/#comment-460035 Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:18:30 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8045#comment-460035 Yes- http://www.joannegreenbaum.com/index.php

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By: ken pammen http://abstractcritical.com/article/constant-within-the-change-gary-wragg/#comment-459838 Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:47:56 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8045#comment-459838 Reflect for a moment on the title for this show and you have what appears most apposite for Gary Wraggs singular and most remarkable journey as an artist. If he alone is the “constant” within the changing output of his creativity over several decades then this dynamic creative force is still very much a work in progress. Many of the paintings in the exhibition are big in size and at times one wishes for an extra metre or two extra floor space to be able to step back from them. But the paintings that work best are not necessarily the biggest in scale but those that seem to zing with exuberance of colour and brashness that delights rather than merely delivers an experience of looking. Gary Wragg is a painters painter and the physicality of paint count for much of the surface engagement of what he delivers. The best in my view, albeit from a limited selection in this ample space, are the paintings from this decade for example ‘Abandonment and Doubt’ (2006-9, though tiny by comparison,(100X100cms)is a gem for just sheer colour and exuberance. Its as if Gary had finally decided to let himself enjoy the candy store of colour. When you finally see the catalogue of works of this period you see the same thing over and over again in all of the paintings colour married to exuberance and the physical handling of the paint, not superficial gesture mind you, but a bravado that really counts. If this is the summation of work that Gary has been building to over the decades it requires a follow up show and soon. A space where we can view the work from circa 2000 onwards and enjoy this so amazing constant and singular achievement.

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By: Shelley http://abstractcritical.com/article/constant-within-the-change-gary-wragg/#comment-458430 Wed, 09 Apr 2014 20:09:46 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=8045#comment-458430 Having just looked at the work of Joanne Greenbaum and read an interview with her, I am struck by the simmilarities between her and Gary Wragg. Or should I say, the similarities as interpreted by the reviewer of Gary Wragg’s work.

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