The Room Next To Mine

projects by Marlene Smith

Reporting Back

(Exhibition on now at Ikon Gallery Birmingham until 10th November 2013)
Hurvin Anderson’s paintings are just wonderful and its a double bonus to see this Birmingham artist command both upper and lower gallery spaces at Ikon Gallery. I have been to see the exhibition twice already and will no doubt be returning. I have been speaking to colleagues a lot about public collections and hope that BMAG (Birmingham Museum 7 Art Gallery) will do the right thing and purchase some of Hurvin’s work (not sure that one would really be enough at this point). Regional galleries should be able and supported to collect locally as well as globally and contemporary work as well as the old “masters”.

I have also been somewhat pre-occupied with thoughts about the habit of discussing works by some artists in purely sociological terms and I am afraid that there is a strong element of that in the otherwise beautiful and substantial catalogue. Of course it matters a great deal that Hurvin’s work references his (and my) background as a child of Windrush generation parents but I feel that black artists are often contextualised right out of art history and I am frustrated not to read more about how he paints as well as why. I am curious to hear the thoughts of critics regarding his contemporary painters and his thoughts about those painters he admires or works that have influenced him.

Still, I think I’ll be making my third trip very soon.
Link: Hurvin Anderson Reporting Back