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A Curious Turn tour dates

January 26, 2017 by  

Wolverhampton Art GalleryThe eagerly anticipated tour of the Crafts Council’s exhibition, A Curious Turn, begins at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Exhibition Dates: 18th Feb 2017 to 21st May 2017. Links: Crafts Council and Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
The show will then tour the UK:
  • 8th Jul – 2nd Sep 2017, Gallery Oldham
  • 15 Sep – 19 Nov 2017, Derby Museum and Art Gallery
  • 1 Dec 2017 – 1 Mar 2018, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
  • 10 Mar – 20 May 2018, Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Devon
  • 26 May – 19 Aug 2018, Heath Robinson Museum, Pinner
Thinking Chair by Arthur Ganson

Thinking Chair by Arthur Ganson

For information about other shows see the current exhibitions
page.

The Agreeing Heart by Paul Spooner

January 26, 2017 by  

The Agreeing Heart by Paul SpoonerIt’s not often that P. Spooner, the well-known European automaton maker, has a new idea for a Valentine’s Day offering. This year is no exception; he made one of these for a secret lover many years ago and almost forgot he’d done it.

Rugged carving and the painterly application of expensive pigments are complimented by the block of Heritage Hardwood on which the figure is mounted. The edition is strictly limited to 000009, nine being the number of hearts that could be drawn on the plank of lime wood that happened to be within easy reach.

As if the item itself is not mouth-watering enough, here’s a description of the box it comes in:

From flat to a finished box in seconds, the Snap Shut box is a Luxury style gift box made with a high quality rigid board. With strong magnetic closures, the lid sounds a pleasing snap when pressed shut.

Each box has a matt laminated finish paired with a beautiful ribbon tab to lift the lid open, this style ensures a classic, rustic style. The laminated finish on these boxes give them a smooth, flawless appearance as well as being very practical as this surface wipes clean if made dirty.

Furthermore, the piece is cocooned in multiple layers of acid-free tissue to ensure its safe arrival, a subtle reminder of the Fairytale wedding dress worn on her special day by the People’s Princess.

Dimensions H20 cm x W9 cm x D4.5 cm

Edition of 9.

£192.00

Sold out

The Agreeing Heart by Paul SpoonerThe Agreeing Heart by Paul Spooner The Agreeing Heart by Paul Spooner The Agreeing Heart by Paul Spooner

Johann Knopf: a machine with whirling birds by Paul Spooner

November 24, 2016 by  

Johann Knopf by Paul Spooner
A new edition by Paul Spooner.

Twelve wooden birds rotate on four axes in imitation of one of Johann Knopf’s drawings. Knopf, also known as Knüpfer, died in Wiesloch asylum in 1910. He was a patient of Dr Hans Prinzhorn, one of the first psychiatrists to become interested in, and respectful of, the creative works of his patients. Prinzhorn studied these works and preserved them in what is now one of the most significant collections of the art of the emotionally disordered.

The collection has over the years attracted the attention of many artists, most noticeably the Surrealists whose interest in the unconscious mind as a reservoir of new and refreshing thought processes drew them to the works of Prinzhorn’s patients. His book, which is translated as “ The Artistry of the Mentally ill ” sold very well in the Paris of the 1920s and 30s.
It often happens that people who are unable or unwilling to apply conventional reason in their everyday lives have a remarkable ability to produce highly organised artifacts. People such as Knopf make drawings of great beauty and precision, evincing insights and imagery that are often inaccessible to ordinary artists.
Ordinary artists (and even extraordinary artists like Max Ernst) have shamelessly appropriated these works for their own purposes. Unencumbered by considerations of art history and fashion, the products of the Geisteskranken appeal to these art robbers who,
hidebound by their own education, seek to assume the appearance of naturalness and spontaneity.

This mechanical homage to Knopf’s work lacks some of the elegance of his drawings but I hope to improve with practice.

Further reading:
Bildnerei der Geisteskranken, H. Prinzhorn 1922
The Discovery of the Art of the Insane, John M MacGregor 1989
Beyond Reason, Hayward Gallery (catalogue) 1996

Dimensions: H 330mm x W250mm X D250mm

Limited edition of 6.

£960

Sold

“Die Herrlichkeiten das Schrot dem Jagdgewehr” Johann Knopf

Johann Knopf by Paul Spooner Johann Knopf by Paul Spooner Johann Knopf by Paul Spooner

Curious Contraptions at the Exploratorium

November 15, 2016 by  

ExploratoriumOur latest touring exhibition, Curious Contraptions will be at the Exploratorium, San Francisco, from 17th November to Jan 29th 2017.
The exhibition features work from 15 different artists, both from the UK and USA and a series of automata making workshops will accompany the exhibition.

To learn more about this exciting event, visit the Curious Contraptions Website

Exploratorium
Pier 15 (Embarcadero at Green St)
San Francisco,
CA 94111, USA

17th Nov 2016 to 29th Jan 2017. Admissions charges apply.

Paul Spooner by Carlos Zapata Exploratorium

Peter Markey 1930-2016

November 3, 2016 by  

We are very sad to announce the death yesterday, November 2nd, of Peter Markey, aged 86.

Peter was the first automata artist to start making work for us in 1979 and he continued to make automata for almost 50 years. His deceptively simple style and insistence on using the most basic materials belied his ingenuity as a maker.

Peter’s creations continue to inspire new audiences and we will always remember his exuberance and vitality.

Image: Peter Markey on his 75th Birthday, (2005) with a gift from and made by Paul Spooner.

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