Drawn Away Together (4 stars)

Drawn Away Together

Group exhibition including work from Alan Shipway, Paul Keir and Rachel Barron challenges from the outset

This group exhibition challenges from the outset. It opens onto what seems to be the back of Neil Nodzak’s ‘Unbuilt’, an installation of constructed wood and painted boards that surround the entrance to the gallery. You are immediately engaged by their abstract forms and materiality.

This opening sets the agenda of Drawn Away Together -- all 11 artists have made process, form and material integral to their work. The curators at the Talbot Rice have deliberately excluded written explanations, leaving it up to us to respond in our own way to the paintings, sculptures and site-specific drawings.

It makes for a particularly powerful collection of work, which gives the feeling of having evolved into an exhibition. Alan Shipway’s eight subtle compositions dominate the main part of the lower gallery, drawing you in with their muted colours and endless potential readings of meaning. Meanwhile, Paul Keir’s ‘Improvised drawing (Sprawl series)’ expands into its own space along with his smaller paintings. It forms an explosive composition that focuses on the process of its making – a pile of tape on the floor alluding to how it was created.

Upstairs Rachel Barron’s work takes this focus on process a step further. ‘Apparatus for geometric composition’ is Barron’s bespoke mechanism for guiding printing blocks and lines, demonstrating clearly the way in which she makes her graphic images and prints. Here the process itself becomes the work, and while her abstract compositions fill the walls in the space and surround the viewer, the most powerful part of the installation is the tool of its production.

Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat 4 May

Drawn Away Together

Exhibition of work by 11 Scottish artists, simultaneously celebrating the fertility of perception while redefining the place of abstract art. Featured artists are: Rachel Barron, Miranda Blennerhassett, Kevin Henderson, Paul Keir, Lorna Macintyre, Andrew Mackenzie, Jo Milne, Neil Nodzak, Malcolm O'Connell, Eric Schumacher…