Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bob and Roberta Smith at the Butler Gallery

Soap Box at the Butler Gallery

This review appeared in the Sunday Times Culture magazine on 25 August 2013.Bob

Bob and Roberta Smith is one person - the English artist Patrick Brill.   This may seem a tedious affectation except that he did at one stage collaborate with his sister, who is indeed called Roberta.  So in a display of lingering filial loyalty he has retained her name, along with his own pseudonym.  Clear?

He is showing at the Butler Gallery until early October and at various other locations in Kilkenny during its arts festival.  Consciousness raising is his game and the tools of his trade are text-based paintings in vivid colours.  Ar these merely "the written hectoring slogans of any half-educated urban dweller" as one critic has stated?  Or will they change your life as the curator has intimated?  Decide for yourself.  Participation is encouraged.  Jump on the inviting soap box and make a speech. Marvel at the misspellings in the letter to the UK education minister Michael Gove.  Be affronted by the juxtaposing of Rosa Luxembourg and Julie Burchill as feminist icons.  Appreciate the respect for the wonderful Louise Bourgeois.  Bring the kids, they'll enjoy the bright and playful nature of the show

Butler Gallery
Mon-Sun: 10am-5.30pm

John P. O'Sullivan