Saturday, 3 June 2017

A Mighty Blow for Freedom: F--- The Media

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Sculptures and drawings by Michael Sandle:

A Mighty Blow for Freedom: F*ck the Media

Der Trommler

I know I'm not the first person to point out that the '80s wasn't all pastel pinks and flourescent greens, but, well, it bloody wasn't.

From my own point of view the 1970s really were made of earthy browns and acid oranges and greens and golden yellow, and it was always summer.  But the 1980s were dark grey, black and white.  Cold and damp.  It's become, in my brane, one long, heavy winter.

Which sounds awful, but I love the aesthetic that went with it.  The aesthetic of a big charcoal drawing; clouds of black dust and fog.  These images of works by Michael Sandle are probably the purest expression of it, but see also the Glasgow painters of the time: Peter Howson and Ken Currie for example.  Monumental (often literally, in Sandle's case), serious and muscular.  A European version of muscularity as opposed to the butch folk-hero US version which now seems to be the other '80s thing (Rambo, big dudes with mullets, truckers etc).  You could only get away with this now if you were taking the piss or doing designs for a computer game / sci-fi film.

Here are some earlier pieces, including what must be his best known one:

All images (apart from the two at the top of the post) from: 'Michael Sandle Sculpture and Drawings 1957-88'.

Vague links / "see also" type stuff: Futurism; Vorticism; MES naming Wyndham Lewis in his list of Heroes in a 1985 MM (or was it NME?) piece; Blast First records; general resurgence of interest in inter-war period by arty/graphics types; "flirting with totalitarian imagery"; 1984; Socialist Realism; Constructivism; Laibach, Einsteurzende Neubauten, Test Dept, The Young Gods

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