Monday 16 November 2015

Marcus Cope: 'All the Chairs are Broken' exhibition

Last year studio 1:1 exhibited 48 drawings that one of The Rebel Magazine's fave artists Marcus Cope had made during a month in Cyprus. Now Cope has made some excellent paintings and studio1.1 are showing them!
The Rebel: Are you happy? Marcus Cope: "I am as it happens. I'm excited to be alive and enjoying seeing things, I would just like to have a little more time to do everything that I want to be able to do and also have time to relax a little."
What are you reading at the moment? "I'm reading 'Keeping an Eye Open', essays on Art by Julian Barnes. I recommend it highly. It's doing the job of getting my head out of the Guston fog that I have been in since the show at Timothy Taylor earlier in the year. I followed that show up with reading several books on Guston, and in particular reading and rereading Guston's lecture printed in the catalogue for the 2004 Timothy Taylor show of Guston. Reading is one of those things for which I wish I had more time."
What advice do you have for young people? "Oh I don't really. What's the context? I like young people, full of life, open and questioning. Much more fun to be around. I guess the advice is to make your own way, particularly in the art world, and if you think you want something, make sure you know why and be sure about it. Don't be a sheep!"
What are your three greatest pleasures? "Watching or making my daughter laugh has to be top of the list. Watching her grow and develop, it really is something special. There are too many other pleasures in life to be able to rank them so I think we'll leave it at that."
If you could own any one piece of art and see it in your house everyday what would you pick? "I very much like The Sick Child by Gabriel Metsu. I also like his paintings A Man Writing a Letter and A Woman Reading a Letter. Probably one of those, or one of Pieter De Hooch's interiors, the ones with the shock of red, there is one with a bright red chair, I don't recall the name but I like that one a lot."
What music have you been listening to most this year? "I got into the Tune Yards album Nikki Nack at the start of the year, I loved that. I've also been listening a lot to the Avalanches Since I left You. I have listened to that record so much over the past ten years, I just don't ever tire of it, and I think I play it more and more as the years go on."
What was the last great exhibition you saw? "I think I've just alluded to it. Guston. Great exhibitions don't come along very often, and Guston, - many painters favourite - having seen so many in the past, including shows at Timothy Taylor and the retrospective at the Royal Academy a decade or so ago, I wondered if I should bother. It's just mesmerizing how he got it right though and I'm very gad I did see it. You could see in the show that some of the paintings like Head With Bottle where he got it right straight away, had some slighly rubbish colouring-in style paint work, but that didn't matter because he'd got the image down and it worked. In other paintings things were a bit more vague, muddy brushed out bits, some almost ghostly half images, and re worked areas, interesting paint work coming to life and making the picture in a different way. And the boldness of all of it. Direct. Brilliant. There were a couple of pretty rubbish ones too, like the one with the stand of fruit and cherries but that only goes to show the reality of being a painter I think, painting everyday...they can't all be great."
What's next for Marcus? "Marcus has a very busy time ahead as it's the build up to the next Marmite Prize which he runs. There is a lot happening behind the scenes with that, all getting ready for the launch for submissions. He's also got his next paintings germinating in his mind, having had a couple of weeks break from painting since putting the show up."
Is this exhibition at studio1.1 worth a look? "You're asking the wrong person. Of course it is worth a look. For anyone familiar with the space it's changed a little, we've reconfigured the gallery a bit, put in a couple of extra walls, moved the steps and painted the floor black. The paintings are mostly painted in black and white so the darkness of the floor really brings those blacks out. The paintings are also sunk into the walls so the face of them is the same plane as the surface of the walls. I'm so excited about this show, and the paintings. Please do try and make it along!"
MARCUS COPE: 'All the Chairs are Broken' studio1.1 57a Redchurch St London E2 7DJ tubes: Shoreditch High St/Liverpool St/Old St bus: 8, 26, 35, 47, 48, 149, 344, 388 email: tel: 07952 986696 web: open: Wednesday to Sunday 12-6 pm or by appointment Show runs until the 29th of November

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