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New Work – Art Review

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Susanah Thompson’s review of ‘New Work’ in Art Review.
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Lotte Gertz – Susannah Thompson

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In Rebecca Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby, the author writes that ‘in children’s books there are inanimate objects that come to life, speaking statues, rings and words of power, talismans and amulets, and most of all, there are doors’.In Solnit’s book too, experiences and episodes that begin as ordinary events frequently become transformative or transitional, from dealing with unwanted gifts and long illnesses to coping with elderly relatives and family demands. It is perhaps the very rootedness of these experiences in reality (the domestic, routine, the body) that allows for their potential to become threshold concepts, to act as intermediate, liminal spaces between one phase and another. Though often tangential and indirect, there is something of all of these themes and motifs in Lotte Gertz’s recent work, a practice which encompasses painting, printing, collage and drawing. In a literal sense, the images and objects which populate the works, such as those in the 2015 exhibition Rugs and Letters, have their origins in items found close to hand within the artists immediate surroundings. Plants, her child’s toys, food, vases, thumbnail photographs cut from DIY flyers and mailshots, tiny snippets of paintings from book catalogues lying around the studio or home, Gertz’s collation […]
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LOTTE GERTZ – ‘NEW WORK’

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8 June – 4 August 2012 Gertz’s latest series of paintings and prints were made in a studio that occupied the same space as her general living-area and are full of the sense of immediacy that results from an artist’s direct response to ‘close-at-hand’ materials and objects. Gertz’s sources include those items she ‘stumbles-upon’ again and again in the intimate chaos that surrounds her as she works: a space where ‘living’ encroaches upon ‘making’, where  discarded playthings (a stuffed panda-toy or a wooden Pinocchio-figure) might be found side-by-side with DIY tools, painting and printmaking materials, half-eaten slices of fruit or cheese, still-to-be-drunk cups of tea, and photographs of famous artworks from books and magazines. A sense of the lowly – perhaps even the vaguely sordid – is embodied in the physical construction of the works themselves which include several paintings on muslin.  The latter is itself a simultaneous nod to functionality and preciousness: the life-blood of BBC costume dramas, the fabric – in its pale refinement – seems to await a scatological sort of contamination.  When stretched and sized, it becomes a kind of ‘canvas’, and the marks added to its surface in rapid layers and impressions capture, in their […]
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