Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Haruko Maeda @ The Bluecoat
Sometimes I think that if a piece of art does not have a hefty chunk of renaissance, or earlier, provenance it’s frankly not worth looking at.
Out of all the many works I saw at the Bluecoat last week, Haruko Maeda’s stood out. I have always found Momento Mori completely compelling, both visually and in conception, and her two works utilised it so effectively. After an evening listening to Mahler’s songs about dead and dying children, they cannot help but spring to mind.
What is so special about Maeda’s utilisation of what is essentially a pretty ancient and elemental artistic idea? As well as infusing her works with that difficult to achieve balance of grim reality and bittersweet joy, she also manages the task of technically dealing the works from which she takes her lead. I doubt that many artists showing at the Bluecoat now could approach this style with such confidence and accomplishments. Her Self Portrait manages to look both deftly worked and individual.
Refreshingly timeless in a sea of clumsy contemporary art.
The two works by Haruko Maeda are currently at the Bluecoat as part of Global Studio.
You can see more of Haruko Maeda's work on her blog.