Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Reflections on the recent work of Helen Marten and other Contemporary Artists, Hepworth Gallery, Wakefield

I was delighted to hear that the recent winner of the first Hepworth Prize for Contemporary Art, went to a local lady (born in Macclesfield, Helen Marten, in November 2016.  Ms Marten went on then to win the even more prestigious Turner Prize in London, a couple of weeks later.

This all seems very appropriate and fitting too, with the project and theories that I am pursuing too.  Notably, the contemporary importance of Speculative Realism in art, and the new manifestations of Art objects that Helen Marten and her contemporaries, such as Phyllida Barlow, Steven Claydon and David Medalla (all runners-up in both competitions) are currently creating.

I had the opportunity to visit the Hepworth Gallery and examine the works by Marten and the other shortlisted artists.


Helen Marten"Guild of Pharmacists", 2014.  Mixed media,
found objects. Hepworth Gallery, West Yorkshire.

I was very impressed with Marten's work as it has come from someone at quite a young age.  Marten has already exhibited in New York, Italy and other European cities, with an accomplished oeuvre at only 30 years of age.
Helen Marten, "Part Offering (brother cappuccino), 2014.
Helen Marten, "Part Offering ( doubtless other creatures would have come and gone of course), 2014.


"Part Offering (new and amazingly sexual daughters)," 2014



 The materials used also have synergy to what I also use, which are a mixture of text, painted / screen printed and drawn work, often supported with or juxtaposed with mixed digital media including videos, text and finally found objects.  Together they form new and very different artefacts that explore how we as viewers, may encounter, see, feel and touch things that are both familiar, (i.e. every-day) and at the same time unfamiliar.

 Other exhibitors at the Hepworth who were shortlisted were Phyllida Barlow and her huge installation "Scree", originally installed at Des Moines Art centre, Des Moines, Iowa, USA in 2013, and a new installation is now placed within one room at the Hepworth;




Also of consideration is the work by Steven Claydon, with work that has some similarities to that of Marten, but seems to manifest itself in a more masculine way, as can be seen in his works below;







The importance of their work in connection with my studies of quotidian subjects, comes from the ideas of re-use; Anamnesis.  This is the title of a series of books by Open-Court publishing and includes Graham Harman's works on Hiedegger and others entitled "The Speculative Turn; Continental Materialism and Realism", and also includes work by Levi Bryant, Nick Srnicek.

(** NOTE ** ALL IMAGES on this page are for personal use only as Research material.
 ** Copyright of all artwork objects acknowledged in attribution to the original artists **).



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