Mary Mary, Glasgow, until Sat 1 Mar
PRINTING, PAINTING AND DRAWING
Narrative of sorts emerges through the manipulation of formal elements in the printed, painted, drawn and collaged works of Lotte Gertz. In this, her first exhibition at Mary Mary, the Swedish-born artist continues her playful investigation into the manipulation of elements specific to her chosen media, allowing suggestive subject matter to emerge from her eclectic practice.
In previous work Gertz has created flat landscapes, Brechtian empty stages reveal post-apocalyptic skies pushing down oppressively onto flat dark grey rectangles of land. Representational elements in the work moves between a machine-age geometric simplicity and considered whimsy, with the human form reduced to matchstick man sparseness. Gertz frequently applies everyday objects and materials to her constructions: buttons, belts, thread and pieces of fabric that signify the absent body. The body haunts her work like the memory of a ghost. Her treatment of the figure is reminiscent of early Dadaist work by Picabia and Duchamp, with Klee-like spokes and amoeba spinning and pinned onto the surface of her work.
The artist creates a schematic illusion of space by cutting and ripping into forms, with tables, chairs and other objects occupying the middle plane – the place where narrative unfolds in traditional representational work, but no obvious story emerges. These appear to be unconscious, automatic arrangements, but a strong sense of compositional clarity underpins her collages.