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Colin Crumplin at Anthony Stokes Ltd  









Reviewed by Andrea Hill
Artscribe 28  1981

Colin Crumplin takes a more mechanical approach to his body which had a whole history of its own, that of using the body as a means of measuring, gauging, and forming. You may remember his last show of paintings; a smear of colours applied by hand, juxtaposed with a duplication of the consequent mark by painting -the bodily gesture, the painter's rendition. His latest exhibited work is much more intriguing visually, in the tradition of flopping skin-like shapes, organic, vaguely erotic-; looking and ambiguous forms. His own attitude to them is strictly that of the craftsman: he drags his fingers through plaster or clay, marks it halfway down; takes a profile, uses the profile to mould a long straight column; sometimes he curves the column by measuring the radius by swing of arm or leg. The result is typically a rough, gouged plaster lump next to a smooth, slender, linear form. There are variations -impressions of nose or buttocks. Both the artist and Anthony Stokes emphasise the importance of understanding how the work is made; I disagree and think that what is most important here is the fact that, unlike the earlier work, the way it is made has been submerged, lost in forms which have a life of their own and are not illustrations of process.


Reviewed by Sarah Kent
Time Out  565  Feb 13-19

Colin Crumplin’s work(at Anthony Stokes’) is about his own physical presence and scale. Fragments of plaster, pinned to the wall, bear traces of tracks gouged out by his fingers and toes. His face is imprinted in a third segment, while a bum to balls roll has left a pelvic indentation in a third slab. The ‘ expressionistic’ spoofs are contrasted with their controlled ‘ formalist’ counterparts. A rigid fibreglass moulding, the length of his reach is twinned with the gestural clutch of his fingers; the toe sweep is juxtaposed with a neat arc, like a plaster rainbow, while his nose is cast as a globule of bronze. These witty gestures send up the entrenched hostility  between formalist and expressionist camps who vehemently assert the value of  intellect over feeling, or vice versa. But they are not just in jokes about body or brain language, these impassioned little traces have a potent sexual presence reminiscent of Duchamp’s ‘ Wedge of Chastity’.