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Colin Crumplin. Anthony Stokes Ltd. 1981  









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.