Comments on: Double Vision At the Lion & Lamb Gallery 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 By: P Gould Sun, 29 Sep 2013 10:13:43 +0000 My recent experience of the lion and lamb (bearing in mind this show/thread are old) is that there are many groups of people who come to the pub and that makes those of us interested in painting look like the niche culture they/we are. It’s normal for a pub to function like this. I don’t think an outreach program is necessary.

By: Ruth P Tue, 10 Jul 2012 12:42:29 +0000 Having revisited the article and images, I have to say that if I went into my local pub/bar/cafe and saw an exhibition like this I would be very excited indeed. How lucky that landlord and his customers are to have the chance of looking at such wonderful work. Even the Arnolfini Cafe in Bristol (where I live) disappointingly does not ever hang any original work, just posters of previous exhibitions. Okay, but not as engaging as original works.
Plenty of exposure to all kinds of painting really does hone your critical awareness.I find myself being hungry for something my eyes can feast on, especially when I’m eating & drinking.

By: Adam Walker Tue, 10 Jul 2012 09:04:30 +0000 That’s good to hear Andy.

Ruth, although I don’t know the landlord myself I think he must have a love of (or at least a strong interest in) art: prior to the gallery space being set up, the previous time I was in the pub was for the launch party for a new edition of Turps Banana (contemporary painting magazine).

So the pub has had an extended engagement with contemporary art before the setting up of the gallery. Peter Ashton Jones is both the Director of the gallery space and co-editor of Turps Banana so I would guess he may be the link.

Jenny, for me the kind of unscripted social engagement around the art the Andy describes is a more appropriate engagement with the art in this setting than a planned talk would be? ‘Re-inject something more overtly human’ was referring simply to the way the lack of representational presence in an ‘abstract’ work can often extend out into quite a cold, minimalist white cube display space which for me can often seem very de-humanised. The Lion & Lamb space is clearly very different to that.

By: Andy Parkinson Tue, 10 Jul 2012 07:54:22 +0000 I was the first person in there on a Monday afternoon and the guy behind the bar, who claimed to have no art education, gave me a quick tour. We chatted about some of the work (the Isha Bohling and the Katrina Blannin)and also about the amount of visitor crossover, which (agreeing with your article) he said was limited but did happen. I asked about the crossover in the opposite direction: “does it ever happen that a gallery visitor doesn’t buy a drink?” I was amazed to hear that the answer was “yes” – though he qualified it by “not very often”.

By: jenny meehan Sat, 07 Jul 2012 18:08:01 +0000 Mmm, I agree Ruth.

It IS great to have work in pubs, etc. I rely on placing my work within existing community establishments of various kinds, and wish that there were more of them.

I wonder if any “Meet me, I did this! …And why on earth did I do it? ” introduction talks took place? Maybe they did???

Did they?

“Would being in such a social space re-inject something more overtly human into these abstract works”

Why would it? I don’t understand? (Is there a drug problem, or something?) !!! Apologies, I jest.

I suppose it’s about expectations, and if the company is good, (the human type), then who needs a dialogue with a painting? People need a reason to engage with work which offers no recognisable hand of familiarity. The work looks very interesting to me, particularly Mali Morris, whose painting has always managed to resonate with my inside.

I’m in a slight degree of agony myself, as I work on paintings I will place in a workplace setting, which will receive a critical eye, (a critical eye which looks not at my relationship with paint,and what I personally am developing with it, but on what it sees from its own perspectives). Perspectives which are founded and placed in different areas and experiences, different values, with different reasons for looking. Maybe just a glance, in a moment of boredom?

Is there any information about the work on display?


…The people that see my work will have to look at it, whether they like it or not!! All day, at work!!! I’m beginning to feel quite sorry for them, it makes my “lot” seem much less agonising!!!)

By: mick finch Sat, 07 Jul 2012 17:24:05 +0000 The sense that abstract painting can be thought of as, or has become a ‘genre’ is perhaps because there have been many shows of late that address abstraction as a discreet category. In a sense such curation hives off abstraction, and abstract painting, into a specific and autonomous, bracketed activity – in short as a genre. The fact that some of the binaries presented are in fact ‘figural’, compositional and formal modes suggests that a more extensive curatorial or critical work needs addressing that would include works that are not ‘abstract’ per se. There is the implication that there are issues which the category of ‘abstract painting’ cannot, as a category, address and subtend. I find it difficult to understand what curating within a genre will achieve; by doing so masks what is critically at stake with questions of both abstraction and ‘painting’.
The question of a public here is also unclear. Has not abstraction for many years now been absorbed by a series of publics and ceased to operate as a radical artistic address?

By: Ruth P Sat, 07 Jul 2012 13:39:06 +0000 I like the look of the show very much. But has anyone talked to the locals about the work or asked them what they think? I’m assuming that the landlord is an art lover?

(Please ignore this if the answer is yes!)

Isn’t just placing art, especially abstract art centrally in a community without building relationships with the customers, rather arrogant? Socialising and getting to know the customers and talking to them about the art always works. They relax & become less intimidated, start to be interested. Otherwise, left to itself the work becomes wallpaper.

All the best
Ruth Piper
Owner & curator of The Searchers contemporary gallery project, Bristol