Hugh Brady: 39
Thought-provoking installation art
This article is from 2008.
The venue for this exhibition is Brady’s studio: a converted stable, which visually correlates to the photographer’s studio in Michelangelo Antonioni’s classic 1960s film Blow Up. From the starting point of the 39 on the exterior door, this is a carefully considered and composed exhibition about the construction of the concept of ‘the artist’ and ‘the artist’s studio’, in which the entire building and its contents must be considered as part of the work.
Inside the whitewashed space are paintings, found sculptures, pieces of neon and video works. While these are restricted to black, white and silver, there are colours present through the word ‘red’ in a picture’s caption and an unlit blue lightbulb.
This is highly conceptual work, featuring multiple references to Blow Up and Fellini’s 81/2 – both films essentially about an artist cracking up – as well as references to modern art. While it certainly wouldn’t hurt to be familiar with Buren, Flavin, Stella and other modern artists, it is not absolutely necessary.
While the number of reference points can overwhelm, and it is sometimes a challenge to locate Brady within the work, it is an interesting conceptual installation, sensitively and professionally executed.
16B Lennox Street Lane, www.39art.co.uk, until 25 Aug, 11am-6pm, free.