Metal Bridge, The (4 stars)

Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow, until Sat 20 Jan



The Metal Bride - Group Show

This small group show brings together the work of four artists - Steven Claydon (London), Thomas Helbing (Berlin) Craig Mulholland, and Duncan Marquiss (who both live in Glasgow). The artists share a sense of seriousness, exhibiting work that creates a foreboding atmosphere where the threat of violence or psychological damage is never far away. The title of the show refers to the tendency within the artist’s aesthetics to reach from one material to another, post-medium art that revels in the limitations of its unavoidable supports. There is a certain ‘purism’ to each of the artists’ paintings, drawings, films and sculptures, supported by a hard won precision and certainty of approach.

Claydon’s installation is very tidy, created out of objects that somehow manage to conceal their significance. Alternatively, Mulholland uses the flat surface of etched polycarbonate to present assemblages that clearly refer to broken windows as glittering starbursts. This series, entitled ‘Broken Pain’, acts as a backdrop for a sculpture that is reminiscent of a gothic stage prop or torture device. The soundtrack adds to the sense of unease.

In the second gallery, Helbig’s drawings manage to induce a sense of barely restrained mania, with marks appearing after every other action has been taken. Duncan Marquiss’ drawing, ‘No Volunteers Came Forward’, and excellent film, ‘A Nothing with a Vengeance’, continue the artist’s suggestive exploration of ceremonies with occult overtones. Both pieces are haunting and elegant, building on elements that his peerless MFA show introduced in 2005.


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