Saturday, 20 June 2009

Glasgow School of Art Degree Show

I went to the Glasgow School of Art Degree show this week. I love the whole experience of walking down endless corridors in the Mackintosh building and coming across rooms full of work. This year there were more painters and less installations which I think on the whole is a good thing. However, I was disappointed yet again by the lack of technical competency displayed by the the painters.

It had been my overwhelming impression last year that they weren't being taught painting as the beautiful craft that it is. Very few people even showed any competency mixing colour and handling the paint. I remember leaving the shows with a heavy heart and not a great deal had changed this year. Perhaps I was looking at the work too much through the eyes of a commercial gallery but I would like to think I could see past this aspect of my job.

This year there was a rash of painters showing semi-surreal crowded compositions, with no limits when it came to using all the colours in their palette. They definitely looked like they'd all been to the same class (in a bad way) and again I found this disappointing on behalf of the graduates.

Had they been shown the rules first and then allowed to develop their own style over the four years of their degree? My feeling is this doesn't happen and this is reflected in their final year work.

I really enjoyed some of the photography, not a medium I am normally drawn to, to the point where I wanted to buy one of the photographs that I saw - I can't get the image out of my head.

So, I didn't find any up and coming artists for the gallery this time but I'll keep looking.

1 comment:

Kathryn Mackenzie said...

I know what you mean and I don't think it's you looking at it through the eyes of a commercial gallery, just as an enjoyer of art. I have heard a number of former student at the Art School complain about the lack of teaching of skills, rather than style. I never saw much of the photography but as usual I thought the jewellery and textiles work was wonderful.