Curatorview [Alfredo Cramerotti]

Ian Breakwell: The Elusive State of Happiness on Art Monthly

Posted in nEws and rEleases by Curatorview on April 5, 2010

David Briers / Art Monthly

Issue 5 April 2010


[…] This exhibition, in Breakwell’s home town, is the first retrospective survey of the artist’s work since his death in 2005.

[…] Selecting a representative but not unwieldy group of works cannot have been an easy task, but one which the exhibition’s curators have achieved with perfectly judged restraint – this is the best exhibition of Breakwell’s work that I have seen […]

DAVID BRIERS is an independent writer and curator based in West Yorkshire.

Ian Breakwell: The Elusive State of Happiness on Art World

Posted in nEws and rEleases by Curatorview on April 4, 2010

Paul Carey-Kent / Art World

4 April 2010
Hi Louise / Alfredo

I just thought I’d congratulate you on The Elusive State of Happiness, which I thought was a fabulously put together show, as good as anything in the country at present. I did already like Ian Breakwell’s work (see eg my blog review for March 8 on the recent Anthony Reynolds show) but I didn’t expect such a comprehensive and effectively-installed presentation of his virtues.

Best wishes,

Paul Carey-Kent
(Editor at Large, Art World – currently suspended)
Recommended London shows @ blog:

QUAD’s man global influence

Posted in nEws and rEleases by Curatorview on March 20, 2010

Derby Evening Telegraph Newspaper

20 March 2010

Ian Breakwell: The Elusive State of Happiness on Arts Council England

Posted in nEws and rEleases by Curatorview on March 2, 2010

Arts Council England

2 March 2010

by Kate Stoddart
Arts Council England Assessor

The exhibition celebrated this Derby artist with a national and international reputation by showing several bodies of work dating from the 1960’s to 2005. Not presented as a retrospective, the exhibition gave a vivid impression of his life’s work and his main preoccupations – finding the extraordinary in the ordinary, the Diaries (diary making across several formats, sometimes fusing fiction and fact). He worked with the media that best expressed the idea – photography, film, drawing and text, and collage. The exhibition was curated by QUAD, in partnership with the artists widow and gallery .
Unlike some conceptual artists, there is a close attention to the viewer, a desire to communicate clearly. There was a melancholy dark humour that was communicated via this work, part of the artists personality and presence.
50 Reasons for Getting out of Bed 2005 – a poem presented in large format vinyl letters on the wall, was very moving – a list of the ordinary things the artist loved seeing, doing, feeling, eating ending with a give away line abut the nausea accompanying the treatment for his cancer, the reason for the poem. Yes, I felt the artist’s’ voice’ (as stated in the introduction panel and in the companion book) was well explored, as was his way of working. The work will leave an impression with me.
The publication was a strong addition to his current published works however. One of the best publications accompanying an exhibition in that it will help give a comprehensive recall of the works in the show but also gave a strong feel of what it felt like being in the show.

Ian Breakwell: The Elusive State of Happiness on Nottingham Visual Art

Posted in nEws and rEleases by Curatorview on February 26, 2010

Nottingham Visual Art (eds. Jennie Syson and Andrew Cooper)

by Wayne Burrows
This resistance to containment within any particular interpretation or genre across a body of work that spans drawing, photography, writing, film, audio, performance and television generates its own confusion about the fundamental nature of Breakwell’s project, and this extreme fluidity has almost certainly contributed to both his widespread influence on younger artists (without Breakwell’s example, it’s unlikely that artists as different in sensibility as Jeremy Deller, Heather & Ivan Morison and Tracey Emin would be working quite as they do) and his relative neglect inside the art world since the 1970s.
The exhibition begins with a 1964 etching, The Regent Snooker Hall, Derby, made in the year that Breakwell graduated from the local art college. It’s a canny choice of starting point by the joint curators Louise Clements and Alfredo Cramerotti, because despite its apparent straightforwardness – an elegant, roughly rendered evocation of a dimly lit space populated by shadows, perhaps looking back to the 1950s kitchen sink realism of John Bratby and Joan Eardley – it also points forward to the perspective that would inform everything that followed. It’s all here, in embryo form: the mundane urban setting and oblique viewpoint, the snatched quality of the image, the glancing fascination with an otherwise unobserved corner of everyday life. These things would become the raw material for all Breakwell’s later work.
The addition of material from the AD period of 2004 onwards makes this the first retrospective to follow the threads of Breakwell’s practice to their inevitable, if premature completion. Yet even as Breakwell’s death becomes the main subject of the work, he never allows autobiography to dominate: instead, it’s as though the art – from which Breakwell often removed himself, acting more as engaged, bemused and fascinated observer – obliges him to stand slightly detached even from his own physical decline, bringing that experience into sharp universal focus. Despite the roots of all his art in his own immediate life, he exists here as a figure defined by what he has observed and experienced, rather than a protagonist, and his literal absence makes the web of incidental details he leaves behind seem all the more solid.

complete review at

Ian Breakwell: The Elusive State of Happiness

Posted in nEws and rEleases by Curatorview on February 12, 2010

February 12, 2010

Ian Breakwell:
The Elusive State of Happiness
13 February – 18 April 2010
Seminar Event 14 April 2010

Market Place
Cathedral Quarter

The Elusive State of Happiness is a major exhibition of the work of Ian Breakwell (1943-2005), a man with an eye for seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary. Breakwell was a world renowned prolific artist who took a multi-media approach to his observation of the minutiae of life through a wide range of media including dairies, film works, TV, audio and drawing.
Spanning a career of 40 years, his work is an attempt to subtract the obvious from the everyday, to isolate and bring it to another level of meaning, and aesthetic experience. The diary is the central motif of the exhibition, and the link of Ian’s books and films with his video, drawing and audio works – all of them speaking as reference for his Continuous Diary lifelong project.
The humour, mischief and oblique wonder at the world that permeates his verbal and visual legacy is already legendary. His voyeurism -social rather than sexual- is always mitigated by humour: “The humour that I love is the morose, the deadpan, the seemingly unfunny stuff that is close to misery, but not quite.” By presenting a continuous re-interpretation of what we already know, and have overlooked, Breakwell invites the viewer not to discard, but to reinvent the meaning of things. He invites us to see with other eyes.
Born in Derby and educated at the Derby College of Art, Ian Breakwell was a remarkably talented artist in any medium he handled, written, spoken and depicted, including media broadcasts, notably with adaptations of his Continuous Diary and Christmas Diary on Channel 4 in 1984 and 1988.
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Curated by Louise Clements & Alfredo Cramerotti, in partnership with Anthony Reynolds Gallery and Felicity Sparrow.
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A Seminar Event on Ian Breakwell will take place in QUAD, Derby, UK on 14th April 2010. Contributions by Breakwell’s scholars and experts and special screening of the film works Auditorium (1993) and Variety (2001).

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A richly illustrated Exhibition guide with over 80 colour reproductions accompanies the exhibition with original texts and visuals on more than 20 works from Breakwell’s illustrious career through a wide range of media. Full colour, Brossard cover, available through QUAD.

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During March a Film Season curated by Felicity Sparrow and David Sin will screen in QUAD’s cinema, showcasing some of the films that impacted on the work and life of Ian Breakwell.
For more information:
Tel. +44 (0)1332 290606            +44 (0)1332 290606

Image: detail from: Walserings 1991
© the estate of Ian Breakwell
Courtesy Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London

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