February 27 – March 27, 2004
The musical metaphor is apposite for in the gallery behind, Lionel Budd has appropriated Dutch musical "programma" from 1932 – a series of concerts by Dr Willem Mengelberg et al to be precise – as the basis of (his) new work. And across the space, an old music stand perches precariously, its greyness blank and staring beside two boards, from a slightly earlier installation serial reform _713L.
The evenhanded grey bespeaks a dumbing down, the feel of the military or the institution. And within the bland, the artist’s hand (in oil stick here) energetically asserts the resistance of individual experience – the subjective within an environment very closely monitored, scrutinised and surveyed. Thus, serial reform _713L had the feeling of a vaguely sinister laboratory about it – an arena for the socially programmed or engineered. In this context, the grey ground does offer a grim neutrality. Budd grey is a new millennium addition to the palette, indeed the oeuvre of et al, and it reminds me of an era long gone.
I might argue that its feel is almost that of the 30’s – from the time or locale of Dr Willem Mengelberg in fact. But who is this man? Is his the implied presence, without doubt in a white coat, that haunted serial reform _713L - extracting the personal confessions, negating individual experience?
Whomever he might be, Lionel Budd doesn’t seem too fazed by him – engaged as actively as he is in defacing the Mengelberg programma. It was a reasonably pared back and elegant aesthetic adopted by the Amsterdam Concertgebouw for their programma. In his typically erratic script, Budd has embarked upon a series of notes about time and space inversion, simultaneity, and suspension. We sense Lionel’s thinking. Words are erased, re-worked. Sense or non/sense is being toyed with. Philosophical, poetic and not very easy to talk about, these little copied book covers are nonetheless quite artful. They are framed afterall! They’re presented as objects for display, and they’ve gotten under my radar – being irritatingly beautiful, and in the end quite memorable.
Lionel Budd is some artist. I find the work giving and warm – inspite of what may initially look to the first time viewer, to be ugly, elderly and erratic even. Out of the re-cycled past, something is re-made and engagingly proffered. Budd’s terrific. Infact, he’s gotten so carried away here making and painting these things, that temporal suspension has seemingly taken him over. They are signed verso: P.Mule 2006.
The 8 framed book covers.