Jimmy Robert: Grey Flannel Suits Any Man
- Alex Hetherington
- 5 March 2009
Jimmy Robert’s practice focusing on the fragility of representation is so intelligently rendered and meticulous it makes you want to swoon. This show, his first in Scotland, presents his image-object and performance work in a neat gathering of simple actions and considered arrangements that underlie the artist’s relationship with surface, the pictorial, material and the physical.
Robert is preoccupied with the flat image surface, which he manipulates – cutting, tearing, folding – to give it a dimensional quality, before returning the resulting forms to the image plane. This communication between a recorded moment and the tangible, is central to his annotations on representation.
‘Untitled’ (2005) presents a photograph of a black teenager on a leather sofa alongside a postcard of a painting of a Caucasian Edwardian woman. Her elegant attire is lifted from the page symbolised as pristine sheets of tracing paper alongside a creased, folded, discarded sheet hiding his face; meanwhile a slice of leather upholstery is lifted from the image, and awkwardly placed at a distance on an adjacent wall. It is perfumed, suggesting an overlap between feminine and masculine and an evocative correspondence between representations of black and white. The other works are similarly attuned: thoughtful arrangements associating representation and implication, through his sculptural interventions, with this image’s potent yet ephemeral and elusive condition.
Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow, until Sat 28 Mar