• Mike Parr

    City Art Gallery

    Mike Parr first achieved notoriety in the early ’70s as a performance artist whose works involved tests of endurance and self-mutilation. Though the themes now seem familiar, the way Parr explored his relationship with an audience––shocking or trapping them into an often brutal complicity––had considerable impact. In one performance, the loss of innocence was equated with the artist’s childhood loss of an arm. Parr exorcised that trauma by hacking off an imitation limb before a horrified audience. For the last few years Parr has been creating a voluminous series of self-portraits, drawn on huge

    Read more
  • Joan Letcher

    13 Verity Street

    Joan Letcher steals from old master paintings and Hollywood movie stills, photocopying, enlarging, and recombining them into collages on canvas, and improving on the originals in every way. Before, these motifs were enveloped in the monochromatic fog of art-book reproductions or grainy film stills. In books, they were mere patterns of textured tone; through her interventions, a curious atmosphere and complexity is retrieved. By manipulating photocopy paper through lightening and darkening, she simulates the distorted view through a keyhole, an essential voyeurism. Letcher’s figures, freed from

    Read more