“McLaughlin’s muted palette, controlled painterly application, and comfort with restricted scale lend his work a slightly Johnsian feel, especially as both artists immerse themselves in Pop iconography only to abstract from it, exploiting it as a source of formal inspiration as much as a contemporary cultural referent. It’s possible to discover that the logo in Demeter also appears on packets of German muesli, but the information is hardly vital. Yet McLaughlin’s sensibility is gentler than his elder’s; lacking the systematic repetition found in Johns’s works, his paintings can seem almost childlike in their relative heterogeneity and mood of relaxed playfulness. With their quieter, dreamier air, they’re also more straightforwardly and immediately emotive—friendlier, at the risk of sounding sappy. Curator Scott Weaver’s characterization of McLaughlin’s process in the essay that accompanies the exhibition as “honest, methodical and skilled” makes the results sound likely to be dull indeed; happily, the artist’s ability isn’t the kind that weighs too heavily on its product. It would be impossible, surely, to look at Wasserbetriebe (Waterworks), with its design borrowed from signs used by German water utilities, and feel anything but pleasure in the artist’s deft but unshowy reworking.” Michael Wilson, Artforum, February 2014
Musa paradisiaca is a collaboration by Eduardo Guerra and Miguel Ferrão. Founded on temporary partnerships with individual and collective entities of varying competence, it assumes different shapes, while always maintaining a discursive reference. It proposes to construct a thinking family, revealed by many voices. Presenting a continuous editorial programme, Musa paradisiaca has pluralized its practice. It gathers distinct media such as drawing, sculpture, photography, sound, film, performances and gatherings. While creating a common voice, Musa paradisiaca has opened a framework towards a continuous testing of first time sensations, questioning these implications. The sculptural work of Musa paradisiaca is focused on the production of usable, transportable and practical statements based on personal experiences.
Tracey Rose belongs to a generation of artists charged with reinventing the artistic gesture in post- Apartheid South Africa. She has defined a provocative visual world whose complexities reflect those of the task at hand. Refusing to simplify reality for the sake of clarity, Rose creates rich characters that inhabit worlds as interrelated as the many facets of a human personality. Her reference to theatre and the carnival tradition also places her work in the realm of satire. It consistently questions the aesthetics of international contemporary art, as well as the emergence of a dominant cultural narrative of struggle and reconciliation in South Africa. Rose places her body at the centre of her practice, inhabiting the roles given to African women in a male dominated world, swallowing stereotypes whole. She is participating in Documenta 14, in Athens and Kassel, this year.