• 1

    Ian Wright: Colourful Lifet

  • 2

    Ian Wright: Colourful Lifet

  • 1

    Ian Wright: Colourful Life

  • Img_0907

    Ian Wright: Colourful Life

  • Artwork_02_angle_left_back_rgb

    Ian Wright: Colourful Life

  • Artwork_02_closeup_angle_front_rgb

    Ian Wright: Colourful Life

  • Artwork_02_closeup_straight_front_rgb

    Ian Wright: Colourful Life

  • Artwork_02_main_image_front_rgb

    Ian Wright: Colourful Life

  • Artwork_02_process_5

    Ian Wright: Colourful Life

  • 111

    Ian Wright: Colourful Life

  • 72dpi

    Ian Wright: Colourful Life

  • Artwork_03_sleeve_detail_rgb-72dpi

    Ian Wright: Colourful Life

  • Iw-1

    Ian Wright: Colourful Life

  • Artwork_01_process_1

    Ian Wright: Colourful Life

  • Artwork_01_closeup_left_rgb

    Ian Wright: Colourful Life

  • Artwork_01_angle_right_rgb

    Ian Wright: Colourful Life

Art

Ian Wright: Colourful Life

Posted by Bryony Quinn,

It is best to assume that experience comes from experimentation, and not the other way around, and it would be rare to find someone more qualified to testify to that than Ian Wright. The plethora of work that has come before his latest show as artistic ambassador to the paper-makers Keaykolour, is a spectrum of process, passions and of course, colour. So you can forgive the title of the show – metaphorically, literally – Colourful Life sums it up pretty nicely…

Blast Design, working on behalf of Arjowiggins Creative Papers, chose Wright for Keaykolour because he combines a genuine passion for tactile, high-quality materials with a boundless appetite for experimentation. His fascination with re-using and recycling also dovetailed with the paper’s remarkable sustainability. For the Colourful Life show, he has created a series of pieces using cut, torn, folded or sculpted paper to turn cultural concepts into tangible tributes.

Of all the many media he has worked with to date, it’s paper he has an affinity with. Wright doesn’t re-appropriate what is expected of a material or medium. His experimentation is as much to do with our expectations of what a humble piece of paper is capable of, as it is to meet with an aesthetic end. The subject matter plays itself out through his own anchor points of experience – a mix of music, “street culture” – as much urbane as urban – and art.

In one piece, the inanimate material is printed and torn, layered and written over – an overall homage to the 7 inch single and its sleeve – reminiscent of an overplayed, much-loved record where the lyrics are irreparably etched into your brain. Except this etching is the print on the paper using the negative space of the master plate, i.e. the song.

The piece next to it is a altogether more careful; crafted strips, folded and symmetrical making the equally iconic form of a boom box. Finally, the coup de grâce, the man Ian Wright first saw on telly with his mum and dad, except this time Jimi Hendrix is hundreds of brightly coloured cones set perfectly into perspex.

When we went to see him setting up the show, Ian was talking about how a couple days before in his shared studio, they didn’t have a stylus for the record player so they made a paper funnel and dropped a pin in the end. I forgot to ask if there was a connection but it’s easy enough to make one.

What’s brilliant about this new work is the playful attitude, the lack of pretension and the genuine enthusiasm for its subject matter which is as it ever was. Even better, if you can track back for however long it is he’s been doing it, the priniciples underpinning it are the same: “I’ve not done this before, regardless of how experienced I am.”

Colourful Life is at Shop 25 @ The Old Truman Brewery until Sunday.

www.keaykolourpaper.com/colourful-life
www.mrianwright.co.uk

Portrait9

Posted by Bryony Quinn

Bryony was It’s Nice That’s first ever intern and worked her way up to assistant online editor before moving on to pursue other interests in the summer of 2012.

Most Recent: Art View Archive

  1. Michaelcraig-martin-onbeinganartist-istnicethat-list

    In some circumstances, calling a book On Being An Artist would seem pretentious and pompous, but if anyone knows about being an artist, it’s Michael Craig-Martin. Over his extraordinary career he has studied with Chuck Close and Richard Serra, met the likes of Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, John Cage and Charles Saatchi, had work shown at Tate Modern, the Pompidou Centre and MoMA, and taught some of the YBAs’ leading lights including Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas.

  2. Ricco_maresca_mexican_pulp_art_its_nice_that_list_2

    Ballsy, bizarre and a little bit racy, these Mexican pulp fiction book covers are fantastic fun and epitomise our need for a bit of weird naughtiness. The kitsch-factor is overwhelming as scantily clad women run away in terror, a man in purple spandex is surrounded by adoring cats and giant robots menacingly pick up shiny red cars.

    As part of an exhibition at New York gallery Ricco Maresca held earlier this year, the collection is a celebration of pulp paperbacks released in Mexico during the 60s and 70s. Many of the artists remain unidentified which is a shame as some of these are absolute gems. Without book titles, there’s no context for the artwork and we’re left with the ordinary and extraordinary crashing into each other in glorious fashion. According to Ricco Maresca, there’s a key difference between Mexican pulp art and the American pulp art coming out at the same time. As well as the drama and sauciness, much of Mexican pulp art prominently featured violence, sci-fi, psychedelia, and crime, making it all the more outrageous.

  3. Yayoi-kusama-itsnicethat-list

    Yayoi Kusama is one of few artists who is seems to be without comparison. Her new exhibition, Give Me Love takes place at New York’s David Zwirner gallery, and features a collection of her enormous brightly coloured canvases. Their sunny dispositions are undercut with titles which reveal a more disquieting undertone for example I Who Cry in the Flowering Season, or I Am Dying Now There the Death Is. In another room a series of her bulging Pumpkin sculptures, reminiscent of decaying fruit in spite of their metallic sheen and polka dot finish, reinforces the juxtaposition of the joyous and the sinister.

  4. Brest_history_and_chips_it's_nice_that_list

    Imagine a John Stezaker collage let loose in the kitchen and you’ve got the History and Chips series from Brest Brest Brest. With a portfolio that includes a poster of Elvis Presley’s face emerging from a melting ice cream, the graphic design studio based in the south of France couldn’t fail to pique our interest. For their playful History and Chips collages, Rémy Poncet and Arnaud Jarsaillon have raided the fridge and dressed up classic movie stills and vintage portraits with everything from smoked salmon and mustard, to ham and pineapple. A testament to the fact that food makes everything better, these old pictures are given a new lease of life thanks to a little bubblegum and a wry sense of humour.

  5. Olafur_eliasson_the_weather_project_it's_nice_that

    This week the most visited modern and contemporary art museum in the world celebrates its 15 year anniversary. After its transformation from derelict power station to beloved beacon of British culture, Tate Modern has defined a generation and helped open art to the everyman. Here, we look at some of the top moments over the last decade and a half at Britain’s leading arts institution.

  6. Kings-cross-pond-ooze-architects-its-nice-that-list

    I’ve slid down an art installation before thanks to Carsten Höller, and I’ve frolicked about in a room full of balloons thanks to Martin Creed, but never before had I literally swum in art until this morning. Bright and early, there I was shivering in art, thanks to a bathing pond art installation in a building site in London’s King’s Cross. The piece, formally known as Of Soil and Water: the King’s Cross Pond Club , was created by Ooze Architects (Eva Pfannes and Sylvain Hartenberg) and artist Marjetica Potrč, and takes the form of a natural, chemical-free pool, complete with plants and bushes. And who knows what else – I didn’t dare think what one day could be lurking in there after the maggoty old python Hampstead Heath ponds story of a few years back. 

  7. List

    They wowed us in 2010 with their pop-up cinema in an old petrol station in Clerkenwell, The Cineroleum, and the following year they won us over with Folly for a Flyover in Hackney Wick. Now, after 15 years of transforming unusual spaces, the east London collective Assemble has been shortlisted for the 2015 Turner Prize for the revival of a cluster of derelict terraced houses in Liverpool, Granby Four Streets. Borne out of the DIY-culture and the flurry of pop-ups like Bold Tendencies that took London by storm a few years ago, the collective of 18 designers and architects is an exciting choice, and a first for the often sensational art prize.

  8. List-erik-kessels-unfinished-father_002-its-nice-that

    Kesselskramer co-founder Erik Kessels’ side projects usually seem light-hearted: take his book Attack of the Giant Fingers, for instance. His latest project, though, has a decidedly more serious slant, having been borne of his father suffering a stroke. For the project, named Unfinished Father, Erik looked to his pa’s passion for restoring Fiat 500 (Topolino) cars. Prior to his stroke, Kessels senior was halfway through completing his fifth of such restorations, but it was left unfinished since the attack left him barely able to move or speak.

  9. List-jeremy-deller-vinyl-factory-venice-biennale-its-nice-that

    All-round superdude Jeremy Deller has created a jukebox for the Venice Biennale. But instead of Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way or other pub staples like Russ Abbott’s Atmosphere, it plays only the sounds of factories. Cleverly named Factory Records, the piece contains 40 seven-inch records, each of which features the ambient sound of a different factory. Visitors to the piece can put on whichever they fancy, and if they really like it, they will be able to buy the sounds as a limited-edition box set designed by Deller with Fraser Muggeridge and released by The Vinyl Factory. The work continues Deller’s ongoing investigations into English working-class concerns, and links to his Venice Biennale performative piece, which uses archive materials to look at factory working conditions from the 19th Century to the present day.

  10. Robertnicol-itsnicethat-list

    It’s been a few years now since we posted the work of artist, illustrator and Camberwell tutor Robert Nicol, but our tardiness only means there’s a heap of new work for us to enjoy in his portfolio. From paintings to book covers, editorial illustrations to ceramic sculptures, Rob’s able to turn his versatile talents to a number of different ends. It’s interesting to look at his work together and see how he can amplify or refine certain traits depending on the job in hand. So we have his wonderful paintings where bold colours and surreal characters are given free rein, contrasted with his stylish book covers where hints of narrative achieve a lot in a quieter context.

  11. List--itsnicethat-ppic0035_picasso

    It’s always great to see another side of the biggest names in art, and in this selection of posters from artists including Picasso, Henri Matisse, Yves Klein and Le Corbusier, our curiosity is amply satisfied. These masters’ works have been drawn together for a London exhibition showcasing lithographic posters from the archive of Galerie Mourlot, which originated in Paris but now calls New York its home. Each of the posters is lithograph printed, and all are fascinating; many showing a looser style to the ones we’re so familiar with from these big names.

  12. Christophniemann-esgibtnichtgutes-itsnicethat-list

    My colleague Emily Gosling wrote a great piece for the latest issue of our Printed Pages magazine in which she called out the patent nudity of the emperor by saying that in reality, the creative process can be pretty dull to witness. Obviously that’s not to say that we want to see slick creative work with all traces of the artist removed; in fact in our digitally-defined age we delight in being able to see the spirit of the image-maker writ large.

  13. Kristoffersonsanpablo-itsnicethat-list

    If you like Eric Yahnker – and let’s face it, who doesn’t? – then you’re really going to enjoy the work of Kristofferson San Pablo, a Filipino artist now based in Los Angeles. His work takes an ironic look at popular culture, lampooning it for its absurdity, but also acknowledging its utter infectiousness. Kristofferson’s strange pencil drawings and luxurious paintings eroticise Simpsons characters, destroy our lust for celebrities and ridicule the stars of reality television, making sure that when surveying the modern world our tongues are kept firmly in cheek.