‘Art Attack’ is a compelling exhibition of a handful of well-chosen international artists that will engage all those who visit. Outwardly, Urbane Art Gallery could seem to be the kind of white space gallery that has no time for those unwilling or unable to buy the expensive artworks on show. However, upon stepping inside you are immediately confronted with friendly and engaging staff members who are keen for you to gain something from the experience. The work on show during their festival exhibition is varied, and as the owner herself said to some of us in the gallery, “You’re not going to like everything.” That said, there is a variety of intriguing and beautifully executed works that means you will probably like
This gallery has found a way to take contemporary, esoteric works and make them accessible to those who might otherwise feel that they aren’t knowledgeable enough for such a visit.
The exhibit has an international focus, the works and artists on display being united mainly by the quality of their pieces. Highlights included the work of Finnish artist Janne Parvianien, who creates elaborate photographic light paintings with long exposures and moving lights, free of digital manipulation. Rather than simply being simply a gimmick, these beautiful aluminium dibond prints combine a grungy industrial setting with effervescent light figures to create a picture so engaging it is difficult to look away. Another intriguing feature is the work of Scottish artist Richard Strachan, whose pieces are ‘patterns generated from perspective’. While the work of some on show, such as Richard Fankhauser, are rooted in more traditional modernist painting movements, the gallery does not demand that their work be seen as ‘new’ or ‘innovative’, which is refreshing, and allows viewers to like or dislike the works based on their own personal criteria.
This gallery has found a way to take contemporary, esoteric works and make them accessible to those who might otherwise feel that they aren’t knowledgeable enough for such a visit. The space is well-curated: just one or two pieces feel a little out of place, seeming a little ordinary in comparison to the more edgy feel of the majority of artworks. These less challenging works perhaps prevent the exhibit from forming a coherent whole from its eclectic pieces, though they can be seen as a part of a laudable variety within this show.