Corp’rate Day

thoughts on art and fiction

Why are the paintings (not) televised? Some thoughts on the work of Gregor Wright

In the 2018 exhibition ‘Magic Stuff’, Gregor Wright showed a series of what he called ‘screen-based paintings’, digital works on UHD screens; abstract in appearance, and (implicitly) animate in nature. In the past, Gregor’s work has incorporated painting, drawing, sculpture (along with activities such as making fanzines and printing T-shirts), but the screens are prominent in the current body of work—and, as such, will be the focus of these reflections. Read more →

Anachronistic Pursuits: In Conversation with Catriona McAra

For over a decade, Laurence Figgis and Catriona McAra have shared an interest in the anachronistic union, and narrative possibilities, of Surrealism and the fairy tale. The most recent manifestation was ‘(After) After’ (2017), a solo exhibition by Figgis curated by McAra with an accompanying critical text by Susannah Thompson. ‘(After) After’ suggested an extension to the surrealist story, the need to find out what happens after the “happily ever after” of the movement. The exhibition made numerous references to surrealist techniques (word play, collage and metamorphosis).  This in-conversation positions Figgis’s long-term critique of the kitschification of surrealism within the Scottish cultural landscape where he has forged his artistic career. 

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The Spookier School: (Anti-)Surrealism in Glasgow

This paper poses the question ‘What is Surrealism?’ from a particular vantage point: that of a practicing artist who has lived and worked in Glasgow since the turn of the twenty-first century. With reference to my own art practice, I will consider my troubled relationship with the category ‘Surrealism,’ as contingent with the specific trends of the Glasgow art-scene during this period and the broader international context.

In particular, I will address the apparent interest in surrealist methods demonstrated by Glasgow-based artists in the early 2000s (in opposition to the neo-conceptual and relational aesthetic genres that had placed prominent Glasgow artists on the international map in the previous decade). Whilst acknowledging the value of research into the historical surrealist movement (for shaping a more rigorous understanding of my practice), I will also recount my frustrations with the movement as they emerge in two areas: doubt regarding the ‘revolutionary’ power of the unconscious, and the potential valorisation of ‘linear’ narrative thinking – even in the domain of the ‘fantastic’. Read more →

Jessie Whitely in Conversation with Laurence Figgis

CASTRO introduces Artist Talks: a nine-event series which offers the chance to hear from young artists through learning and discussing about their practice. The Talks aim to connect the practice of the artists currently on the Studio Program, external professionals and the public.

In conversation with a professional of their choice, each participating artist will discuss themes in their work as well as current issues in contemporary art. As all events in the CASTRO Public Program, the talk will open up to a round table discussion with the public.

Jessie Whiteley is a Glasgow based artist. Her current work is primarily painting, drawing and comics, as well as collaborative projects. Read more →

Paintings with Legs

and the world is a white laundry,
where we are boiled and wrung
and dried and ironed,
and smoothed down’(1)

Inger Christensen

When I visit Lotte in her studio, and I look at one of her paintings, I see legs. These L-shapes have been made from cut-wood shapes smeared with ink, pressed against the calico to leave a mark (a sort of wood-cut, a sort of mono-printing). And all I can see is legs. But that seems like a heavy cumbersome word—“legs”—too cumbersome—and I keep the word to myself, until the artist says it—legs. Read more →