Comments on: Sophia Starling interviewed by Daniel Sturgis http://abstractcritical.com/article/sophia-starling-interviewed-by-daniel-sturgis/ 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: Sean http://abstractcritical.com/article/sophia-starling-interviewed-by-daniel-sturgis/#comment-153323 Mon, 06 May 2013 12:16:58 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6822#comment-153323 “I became interested in what abstract painting could be”

This is quite a potentially loaded phrase, which for me is not followed up within her work. It suggests a kind of frustration toward a failure of current abstract painting not fulfilling its potential.

Her response then is to create hung fabrics with pleats and folds with the odd structure floating within, as if this is some kind of radical development, or surprising revelation as to ‘what abstraction could be’? forgive me, but are we not still dealing with traditionally accepted notions of painting, i.e oil/canvas/support, all be it re-jigged in a not-so-new way. It’s a bold statement with a flaccid response. She spoke vaguely of something similar at the Jerwood Painters discussion, opening with a strong statement of suggesting a direction in abstraction, then failing to follow it up by resorting to insisting the paintings are only about process and nothing more. It’s as if she wanted to situate herself within a critical framework – and then protect herself by cutting all ties to any critical dialogue.

Probably a harsh response to her work, but if you open the gate with a statement like that..

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By: John Bunker http://abstractcritical.com/article/sophia-starling-interviewed-by-daniel-sturgis/#comment-150137 Wed, 01 May 2013 11:21:55 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6822#comment-150137 I like this thinking!

“I became interested in what abstract painting could be, so I developed this process where the support, the paint and the material all have equal weight, they are all as important as each other. Most painters use the support and material to create a surface on which they will create their painting; whereas I wanted the material, the structure and the support to make up the composition of the painting.”

I like this approach a lot! It has echoes of artists covered by AbCrit like Richard Smith and Simon Callery.

Right now Starling’s work sits well with this Tina Jenkins piece.
http://www.pangolinlondon.com/works/legends-of-the-fall-series-5/751

And maybe this one by Adam Walker.
http://www.pangolinlondon.com/works/malevich/821

I can feel a show coming on!

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By: Noela http://abstractcritical.com/article/sophia-starling-interviewed-by-daniel-sturgis/#comment-142698 Sat, 20 Apr 2013 23:23:11 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6822#comment-142698 I suppose one has to guard against the process becoming too much of a comfort zone.

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By: Geoff Hands http://abstractcritical.com/article/sophia-starling-interviewed-by-daniel-sturgis/#comment-142636 Sat, 20 Apr 2013 20:41:28 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6822#comment-142636 Well, the process is a mechanism. Fine tuned, reinforced and/or modified by the optical (I’m a Heron fan too!) experience that happens in the making and remaking. Finally, the process serves the visual – of course.

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By: Sam http://abstractcritical.com/article/sophia-starling-interviewed-by-daniel-sturgis/#comment-142554 Sat, 20 Apr 2013 17:20:41 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6822#comment-142554 I suppose there is necessarily a process involved in making anything. In relation to Starling’s work I meant that it might be a problem if she got hung up on the particular technique that these works are the result of; rather than the visual clarity and confidence at large scale which I see as their attractions.

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/article/sophia-starling-interviewed-by-daniel-sturgis/#comment-142537 Sat, 20 Apr 2013 16:19:00 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6822#comment-142537 I think the importance of process in painting has been blown out of all proportion. It certainly does not constitute the purpose or achievement of Cezanne’s work. For more on this see http://abstractcritical.com/article/what-paint-does/

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By: Geoff Hands http://abstractcritical.com/article/sophia-starling-interviewed-by-daniel-sturgis/#comment-142010 Fri, 19 Apr 2013 22:17:07 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6822#comment-142010 Surely the process is intrinsic to the visual? Can one say this about Cezanne too?

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By: Geoff Hands http://abstractcritical.com/article/sophia-starling-interviewed-by-daniel-sturgis/#comment-141831 Fri, 19 Apr 2013 16:02:42 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6822#comment-141831 I have not seen this work in the flesh but the images of Sophia Starling’s shown here are very exciting. The construction/de-construction process in painting (more so than sculpture?)is alive and well and informs the work of many young artists today.
The terms ‘abstract’ and ‘painting’ seem like a misnomer for this category of (relatively) recent practice (I have Rauschenberg’s ‘Jammers’ in mind from the mid 1970s that were shown at the Gagosian in London recently). For me, this kind of work eschews labels such as ‘painting’, ‘abstraction’ and ‘process’.
‘Objecthood’ comes to mind of course. Sophia’s work creates a strong sense of the ‘here and now’ (even in photographs). I can imagine that some observers might be tempted to make external associations to the work – but this should be resisted at all costs. To me this work has a phenomenological presence and impact (I was thinking ‘aura’, but that’s too metaphysical) that implicates an instinctive creative technology at work.
The work also appears to have an honest factuality that invites contemplation (looking and thinking). There’s a sense of risk too – the kind of risk that the most able Fine Art degree level students are encouraged to make at Camberwell and elsewhere. Sophia has evidently been able to continue this critical exploration in that most difficult year or two after graduation.
Where this body of work leads will certainly be interesting.

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/article/sophia-starling-interviewed-by-daniel-sturgis/#comment-138833 Sun, 14 Apr 2013 17:33:08 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6822#comment-138833 Wow, we agree!

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By: Sam http://abstractcritical.com/article/sophia-starling-interviewed-by-daniel-sturgis/#comment-138769 Sun, 14 Apr 2013 14:30:13 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6822#comment-138769 Agreed. Perhaps the best possibility is to look past the process, and to extend how they work visually? I’m looking forward to seeing what she does next.

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