David Mackintosh review

David Mackintosh is a leading artist, based in Manchester who does very simple drawings that take around a minute or less to draw each. This exhibition displayed his recent work and some of his work made over the past 3 years, including his experiments with animation and sculpture.

Painting surrounds his work and drawing on paper. The paper that he uses is the same each time. Mackintosh uses black gauche and he does 30 drawings a day for up to a month at a time. When he does these drawings he often stands up so he can have an empty mind and allow the drawing to just happen without thought. This is how he creates his quick spontaneous drawings and sketches. By using this method he allows his subconscious to get to work. Whenever you open your mind things from the past, feelings, and dreams come in to your mind, which then get translated on to the paper with the paintbrush.

Before, Mackintosh only used black gauche. He has now evolved from his humorous pictorial language with the introduction of yellow, green and red colours. He normally draws entangled bodies of people and animals, like birds, bears, and flowers, trees and woodland. A line of text in the middle or surrounding it sometimes interrupts these images. The way in which he presents his images shows a disturbingly beautiful view of the world.

In Galleries 2 and 3 he has framed and unframed pictures all the way round the rooms. In Gallery 3 he has unframed pictures pinned to a tree like structure that seems to go in random horizontal and vertical directions. This causes the pictures to touch and overlap, and he got that idea from when he pinned all his images on the wall and they overlapped each other. You have a different viewpoint depending where about you stand around the tree like structure. This makes the viewer curious and gives him/her the urge to explore the frame. Mackintosh’s excuse for using coloured paper is that he ran out of his normal paper but he liked the way it turned out.

In Gallery 2 a series of his trademark gouache drawings are brought to life with stop frame animation. The Edge of Things (2010) is his first animation and he has created it using basic PC software. The images that he has used in this animation are of someone driving in a car with the scenery moving. There’s also two people fighting but they are drawn pretty simply. This effect works well. There’s also a man and a woman making love and once again they are in the same style as the two men fighting – drawn simply.

I enjoyed this exhibition because the work is very simple but also very good. Mackintosh is very precise with what he wants to create and how he wants to present it.

Written Review by LiveWire Critic, Theo Snoddy (Mar ’10)

David Mackintosh: The Edge of things is on at Cornerhouse until Sun 28 Mar 2010