After a stormy few days with the press and public, the "Eleven Los Angeles Artists" exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London remains open.
After a stormy few days with the press and public, the "Eleven Los Angeles Artists" exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London remains open. Selector of the exhibition, Maurice Tuchman, has deliberately chosen to represent a wide variety of techniques employed in the artist colonies of southern California.
There is an artist who uses the traditional mode of expression--meticulous realism, hand-painted every inch. But there is also an artist whose chosen medium is sections of videotape, played on a television monitor.
Foremost are the catfish, Newton Harrison's "Portable Fish Farm" is the item that caused all the fuss. Mr Harrison's idea was to have the catfish -- as well as other animals such as lobsters--electrocuted in public, followed by a feast featuring the lately departed. Outcry in the press and from the public eliminated any such public execution, but a private killing and feast will continue.
Not a sadist or cruel executor of wildlife, Mr Harrison wants to talk about human survival, the natural cycle of life and man's intervention in it. Perhaps most of all, he wants to remind his audience that lambs running across the fields are pretty, but the point is that someone is going to eat them.
SYNOPSIS: The Hayward Gallery in London and an exhibition by "Eleven Los Angeles Artists".
Selector, Maurice Tuchman, has chosen from a wide range of art. Not designed to propound a new theory or propound a new movement, it does offer information as to what has been happening in the art world of southern California.
Realism and naturalism are very much in evidence. Maxwell Hendler is an artist who employs a totally traditional mode of expression--meticulous realism that is every inch hand painted. Despite the apparently harmless aspect of most art at this exhibition, one artist's contribution has stirred a great deal of trouble.
The obvious extension of realism is naturalism, and Newton Harrison has entered the exhibition with his "Portable Fish Farm". Six tanks kept at a constant temperature and fed with a fresh air supply around the clock. This particular exhibit nearly closed the show, for Mr Harrison wanted to electrocute and eat the contents of these tanks -- filled with various forms of underwater life, including lobsters. Outcry from the press and public has relegated the planned public execution to a private one.
Dubbed the "catfish exhibition", Mr Harrison is not the sadist he may seem. He wants to talk about human survival, the natural cycle of lie and man's intervention in that cycle. His main point is that although the lambs running in the meadow are pretty, someone is going to eat them.