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By Andrew Frost
Peter Atkins’s insatiable collecting is by now well known even beyond the art world. His collecting covers everything from furniture and fixtures all the way down to refuse he finds in streets, parks and bus stops. Augmented by eBay, that enabling device for anyone with a serious habit, Atkins eye now roves the world. But far from a hoarder, Atkins’s eye searches out the ready made abstractions of packaging details, caravans and buses, in fact anything with a geometric pattern, an artful arrangement of blocks, bursts and swatches of colour is the grist for Atkins art.
For Jazz, Atkins has turned for inspiration to what appears to be the classic cool of mid-20th century jazz album covers, reduced down to their essential elements, blown up to enormous scale as a series of works on tarpaulin. But that is mere appearance: works such as Louis Armstrong’s Greatest Hits, Nina Simone 9 Love Songs and Miles Davis Kind of Blue quote the graphic style rather than exact elements. The effect is startling contemporary abstraction. In the accompanying mixed media works, Atkins has applied stickers and tape to album covers, again referencing the classic abstract covers designed by Josef Albers for Command Records from 1959 to 1961 (Provocative Percussion! et al), but liberating the mundane cast off objects and materials of today into an ageless classicism.
Until July 20
Martin Browne Contemporary, Paddington
Pic: Peter Atkins Louis Armstrong’s Greatest Hits, 2013. Acrylic on tarpaulin 215 x 205cm.
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