liverpool biennial independents 2004

Independent Districtindependent dist Georgian Quartergeorgian quarter City Centralcity central Docklandsdocklands Artistsartists

Archived 2008, another new folder



  Feeding the 5000  

Feed the 5000
Biennial opening night
Independent District


  The Art Organisation, Liverpool Biennial 2004  

The Art Organisation
St Bride's Church
Liverpool Biennial 2004


  Dave White, Liverpool Biennial 2004  

Dave White
Independent District
Liverpool Biennial 2004


  Detail from 'After the Banquet' by Jane Hughes  

Jane Hughes
Myrtle Group
Liverpool Biennial 2004

  Detail from Guten Tag #1, Maurice Cokrill RA



12 Prince's Dock


Ten Artists, Ten Paintings, Ten Weeks

An Exhibition of Abstraction curated by Ian Johnson and Arthur Roberts of Loop Gallery

September 18 - 28 November 2004
Open Monday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm, Sunday 12 noon - 4pm
Admission free

Abstraction may actually be as old as art itself, but conventional wisdom insists it emerged from the frenzy of movements and counter-movements surging through Europe in the first decades of the 20th century. Indeed, the modern period in both literature and art was characterised by a barrage of 'isms': Cubism, Expressionism, Futurism, Constructivism, Suprematism, Rayonnism, and later Surrealism and Dadaism expressed teh urgent desire to break with tradition and create a new idiom in tune with a new age of technological wonders. Photography and film had a deep impact on visual thinking, as did streamlining and aeronautics. (The author Gertrude Stein claimed that she first truly understood Cubism when looking down from a plane.) Often the young revolutionaries, particularly those in Russia and Italy, were intent on using art to propogate a new social order, as well.

Finding a visual idiom to convey such a broad-scale reorientation was plainly no easy task, as the strident manifestos and jostling 'isms' of the day amply demonstrate. The most recognisable radical stance was that which abandoned the mimetic role painting and sculpture and literature had been assigned since the time of Aristotle. Viewed in this context, one of the earliest and most influential works was Kasimir Malevich's 'Black Square on White Ground', which the artist painted in 1913 but first exhibited in 1915 in Petrograd in a show entitled '0.10'. It is that anthology of modernist hypotheses which inspired the title of the current Liverpool exhibition, 'Ten'. What this show makes clear is that the resources of abstraction continue to be as diverse as the artists who embrace the mode. Malevich himself, who pursued the geometrical strand of abstraction for a time, then became gestural and later embraced the figurative once more, spoke of abstraction as a 'New Realism'. He also saw it as the embodiment of emotional values, expressed through 'the supremacy of pure feeling in creative art'.

Looking back on a century of abstract achievement, one can identify entire schools of painterly expression. Defining the abstract as non-figurative simply does not suffice; it can be geometric and hard-edged, gestural and emotional, coolly minimal or passionately maximal. As Frank Stella once said of his own early abstract compositions: 'What you see is what you see'. And that remark points in turn to one of abstraction's greatest and most consistent strengths: the ability to make us see. Where figuration sometimes provokes little more than a moment of recognition, abstraction can activate perceptive faculties and hone interpretive skills. And as 'Ten' demonstrates, its resources are far from exhausted.

Prof. Dr. David Galloway



Artists represented at 12 Prince's Dock

Craig Atkinson
Maurice Cockrill
Terry Duffy
John Hoyland
Glenn Humphrey
Julie Jones
John McLean
Arthur Roberts
Jason Thompson
Christine O'Reilly Wilson



  Cabin Pressure at the Cabin Club  

Cabin Pressure
The Cabin Club
Liverpool Biennial 2002


  Work by Nicki McCubbing  

Nicki McCubbing
Novas Warehouse
Liverpool Biennial 2004


  Detail from work by Steve Gent  

Steve Gent
Liverpool Biennial 2004


  Tom Murphy, Liverpool Biennial 2004  

Tom Murphy
Liverpool Biennial 2004


Archived February 2008, another new folder