Magazine article The Spectator

Hidden Depths

Magazine article The Spectator

Hidden Depths

Article excerpt

It is a hard and unpalatable truth that most artists' careers fluctuate at the whim of fashion. Few are the Hockneys who seem to outride (or even initiate) the storms in a teacup which bedevil the art world and cast up unlikely fish on unwelcoming shores. There are a number of artists out there who eschew the dramatics of self-promotion, who work on quietly out of the necessity of making art, producing work which in its diverse appeal and manifold relevance deserves to be known by a wider public. Jack Milroy (born Glasgow 1938) is one such artist. He has been exhibiting regularly for more than 20 years - work which is continuously inventive, witty and subtle. Perhaps too subtle to make a public outcry, but nevertheless with far too distinctive a presence to be a mere aside or footnote.

Milroy is a conceptual artist, but, unlike today's YBA impresarios, he actually likes making things. You might call him a sculptor, but he also paints. He can draw in a fine broad representational manner, too, when the mood takes him. This year we have the opportunity to see quite an array of his work, at three different venues, and to make a proper assessment of his achievement. Currently at Six Chapel Row Contemporary Art in Bath is a show of Milroy's recent work entitled Ex Libris. Later in the spring (27 April-13 May) is a show of constructions at Art First in Cork Street, London, and in September Milroy's large graphite drawings will be shown at the Stephen Lacey Gallery, London EC1.

One of Milroy's central preoccupations for the last decade has been the evisceration of books. He cuts out the images from illustrated books, setting them almost free from the printed pages (they always remain just attached), folding them out to stand up or hang down. The whole thing is then exhibited as an object, a sort of carefully controlled exploding book. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.