David Gryn blog

Jane Bustin, Fühler at Leslie, Berlin 22 June

In Art, Berlin, Ceramics, Copper, Copperfield, Gallery, Jane Bustin, Leslie, Paintings, Poppy Bowers, Uncategorized, Whitworth on 18/06/2017 at 11:41 am
3D work by Jane Bustin

Rehearsal II, copper, acrylic, oxides, cloth
80cm x 50 cm overall, Jane Bustin, 2015

Jane Bustin

Fühler

Opening: 22.6.17, 6 pm
Exhibition: 23.6.17 – 20.7.17

Leslie

Bergfriedstraße 20
10969 Berlin

http://lesliegallery.de/

Since the 18th century, European philosophers have distinguished our capacity to feel subjectively from our ability to think rationally. We are sentient beings. As the late neurologist and author Oliver Sacks claimed, ‘perception is never purely in the present – it has to be drawn on experience of the past’. Jane Bustin’s exhibition Fühler, to have feelers or sensors about a given subject, calls on this capacity.

Bustin’s approach to painting foregrounds a conscious experience of material surface and texture. Although abstract, her works are evocations of people and histories. They are grounded in a range of intellectual sources, primarily European modernist poetry, design and literature as well as theology and philosophy. Such concepts are given physical expression through her intuitive arrangements of materials. Oil, dyed silk, porcelain, woven cloth, polished copper, tulle and ceramic glazes are just some of the media used to give shape and feeling to philosophical ideas. Born out of the tactile, her works are Fühler; they are imbued with a sensory memory and resonate with emotion.

Four works in the show, Apres II, Nijinsky I, Nijinksy’s Windows and Rehearsal II, pay tribute to the radical Russian ballet dancer and choreographer Vaslav Nijinksy (1890-1950). Rising to prominence as part of the belle epoch, Nijinksy combined depth and intensity of expression with symmetry to pioneer new stylistic ideas in modern dance, echoed in the compositional balance of Bustin’s three textural diptychs.

In Après II textile becomes a stand-in for the body and the memory of its physical activity. It takes its cue from Nijinsky’s choreography of the ballet L’apres midi d’un Faun in 1912, where the movement of fabric is used as a metaphor for sexual desire and physical exhaustion. Like most of Bustin’s works the scale is of human proportions. Hung quite low, Apres II sits on the wall around the height of the artist’s heart.

Elsewhere, earlier works in the exhibition include Christina the Astonishing, part of a series referencing the iconography of female saints and Tablet I, Tablet III and Tablet IV, evoking archaic forms of communication. Combining sheets of paper from both old and new notebooks, they prompt memories of the past alongside thoughts of the future.

Refusing to be filmed during his lifetime, Nijinsky strongly believed his performances should only be experienced live. Likewise Bustin prefers her works to be encountered in real time under the honest inconsistency of natural light. Like the tip of antennae, one’s eyes should roam over surface, roll over folds, shift focus through diaphanous layers and peer into copper reflections. Her works call upon an understanding of Fühler and our capacity to feel as sentient beings. They ask us to look again.

Text by Poppy Bowers, Curator, Whitworth Gallery, Manchester

Exhibited works

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