Fashions change in the art world, not always in dramatic ways, often in small trends. Two unrelated recent art trends are exposing raw canvas and whimsical illustrations in books.
At Seventh Gallery Julia Theobalt is showing paintings in the current fashion of hardedge, minimalist, abstracts with exposed raw brown linen support. It is the third exhibition that I have seen in this style in the last month. There is more of the same style just across the road in Dianne Tanzer Gallery, ‘Sweet Delirum’ by Louise Blyton. Blyton has been working in this style for several years now, she was exhibiting raw linen at Red Gallery in 2005, but now the trend has caught up with her. I first saw this raw canvas style last month at Stephen McLaughlan Gallery with the paintings of Jason Haufe.
This new style or trend is attractive and decorative in a minimalist way. The paint is very flat and the geometry more playful than rigorous. The sight of so much raw brown linen is new and appealing. It has been done before except for so much raw linen, that is the trend can be explained within art history. This trend may not be confined to minimalist abstract painters; Yvette Coppersmith uses raw unbleached linen very eloquently in her “Forever in Blue Jeans’ 2007.
Artists have stopped destroying books and making art out them, a trend that I was observing two years ago. They have returned to more traditional approach of making and illustrating books.
“The fashion world’s obsession with whimsical art in a book” Elle (US) (March 2008, p.282) If this is the case then Pierre Lloga’s children’s book “The Amazing Fleabomb” should do well. It is the story of cat that plays drums in a band. The colorful, endearing, whimsical illustrations are the main feature of the book. I was at 696 to enjoy the launch of the book. Pierre Lloga was also exhibiting the illustrations from the book in the small gallery. There was a small crowd of people at the opening but only one child.
Another artist that I have seen working in this whimsical style is Leith Walton. Walton’s watercolor and ink drawing at Brunswick Arts Entry 08 sold before the opening night. Walton is, not surprisingly, working on a children’s book.
What are your thoughts?