art + design + style + ideas + junk

Want Longer Lasting Art? – Alasdair Macintyre’s ‘Playtime’

In exhibition, sculpture on 15 June 2009 at 2:03 pm

Art about art can be a risky business; art about art that is also engaged with current events even more so. In Alasdair Macintyre’s latest body of work, Playtime, art history and pop culture come together, rescued from navel gazing by his razor-sharp wit.

Macintyre 1Macintyre 2Jab 2009

His small-scale sculptures function like editorial cartoons in three dimensions, instantly accessible, engagingly strange and always funny, even when their intention is more serious.

Macintyre 3Signifier/Signified 2009

In Signifier/Signified, a discomforted Kevin Rudd steps away from a Bill Henson photograph after censoring it with a sticker from his 2007 election campaign. The prime minister alienated a good chunk of his supporters in the arts by weighing into the controversy after Henson’s exhibition was shut down by police in May 2008, calling the work “revolting” and “having no artistic merit”.

Macintyre 4Drip 2009

Macintyre’s alter-ego, a character called Aecap, survives a downpour of abstract expressionism in Drip, leaving him stranded in the middle of a Jackson Pollack painting that spills out across the canvas over a slab of concrete and onto the grass, as it does at Pollack’s former home in East Hampton, New York.

Macintyre 5Jackpot 2009

The mechanics of the art business are also skewered: a curatorial department is populated by monkeys; a tray of canapes and a glass of wine are used as bait to lure a curator from a rabbit hole; an art college refectory is serving up globs of “Soft Concepts” to students; spinning up three red dots on the slot-machine called “Appraisal” wins an artist the jackpot – a flood of repulsive red sludge.

Alasdair Macintyre lives and works in Brisbane. He is represented by Ryan Renshaw Gallery in Brisbane and Sullivan+Strumpf Fine Art in Sydney.

Playtime is being exhibited at Sullivan+Strumpf Fine Art until 22 June.

Image details, from top:

Alasdair Macintyre, Jab (detail) 2009. Polyurethane resin, polymer clay, wood, cardboard, inkjet print, acrylic paint, plastic acrylic. 23 x 38 x 24cm

Alasdair Macintyre, Jab 2009. Polyurethane resin, polymer clay, wood, cardboard, inkjet print, acrylic paint, plastic acrylic. 23 x 38 x 24cm

Alasdair Macintyre, Signifier/Signified 2009. Polymer clay, polyurethane resin, inkjet print, paper, acrylic paint, cardboard. 19 x 15 x 14cm

Alasdair Macintyre, Drip 2009. Polymer clay, polyurethane resin, wood, hobby grass, canvas, acrylic paint. 16 x 56 x 36cm

Alasdair Mcintyre, Jackpot 2009. Polymer clay, polyurethane resin, inkjet print, paper, acrylic paint, plastic acrylic, cardboard, wood. 21 x 19.5 x 21cm

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