WINK

This year the Norman Rea gallery has invited York students to submit work which is intended as a wink or nod towards another artist: an intelligent pastiche that reinterprets, reinvents or reveals an interesting element of the original work

Venue: The Norman Rea Gallery
Runs: 6 – 30 June 2011
Creator & Supervisor: Jure Kurbis
Curator: Lydia Miller
Rating: ****

As the committee torch is passed, a space appears into which falls Wink, the Norman Rea Summer Exhibition. This year the gallery has invited York students to submit work which is intended as a wink or nod towards another artist: an intelligent pastiche that reinterprets, reinvents or reveals an interesting element of the original work.

As might be expected there are some clear preoccupations in theme. The pre-Raphaelites, Surrealists and Tracey Emin all make repeat appearances presumably for the rich bed of interpretation that they afford. This however, despite their grouping together, becomes far from repetitive. The final choice for the exhibition ensures that a broad range of mediums are represented with ceramic, glass, film and textiles ensuring diversity amongst the artistic groupings. Outside these groupings the choice of pieces, or hanging of the pieces, can at times feel a little disparate denying a tight cohesion to the exhibition, but all selections nevertheless fit the brief well.

In an exhibition based around reinvention some pieces inevitably triumph more in their conceptual base than their execution. The collection however is testimony to the often unjustly underexposed artistic talent of York’s students with some great drawing in Giles Welford’s Hockney-inspired piece and Becky Timmin’s take on D. G. Rossetti. Suzanne Dekker’s Surrealist-inspired glass pieces are also a good example of the diversity in the exhibition’s mediums.

Wink however is not confined to the gallery space. It extends to include an interesting and versatile use of the gallery’s outdoor space which on June 8 and June 15 will host live performances – initially of Da Vinci’s The Last Supper and then of Picasso’s Circus Paintings – within a suspended wooden frame that challenges the foundational aspect of how one perceives art: an underlying theme of the exhibition.

Wink is a good opportunity to see the talent of the university well represented with the addition of a stimulating and engaging conceptual base.

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