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Andrew Macdonald at The Grundy

Bucket GrundyAll That Comes Between Us is an exhibition by Manchester-based modernist artist, Andrew McDonald.  It includes a number of new sculptures and hand-drawn animations.  When you enter the gallery, the first works you see are all in black, entitled Landscapes of Intimacy (numbers 4 to 13). The sculptures are small ovals that have the appearance of tree bark treated with epoxy resin graphite. They are intriguing and tactile, drawing on ideas of landscape.

In the main gallery room are sculptures of houseplants entitled we saw everything but did nothing (numbers 1 to 5). The sculpture is recognizabe as plant forms but in black amd dripping as if just completed;  they are rendered in mixed media. To me the ideas suggested by the titles are as intriguing as the objects themselves.

As the guide to the exhibition says of one piece (taking up an entire exhibition space and curtained off to make it dark) “The Wonder Struck Witness No 2,  a new work made for the Grundy show,  McDonald combines sculpture with animation. A cast plaster head smiles longingly at stars as they twinkle in the night sky, exploring the distance between aspiration and desires for what we want to be and what we really are.”

Perhaps. However, I felt the message here was a simple one explored by others in better ways and there was little to engage the viewer.

The final exhibit is gallery four’s Bucket, a hand drawn animation of a man trapping his foot in a bucket. This has amusement, shows the hard work of drawing thousand of images for a few minutes of film and offers some serious points concerning perseverance, misguidedness and as the exhibition guide points out, perhaps says something about the “frantic and obsessive artist in a darkened studio…”

There are several points of interest here, some quite deep, concerning the way objects in the world interact with one another – or don’t.

All That Comes Between Us runs until 11 May 2013. It would be interesting to see what you think of it.

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