Memory and synthesis in Malcolm McLaren's studio.

Wax model and woodcuts in Malcolm McLaren’s studio. Photo: Lisa Kinoshita

The Malcolm McLaren bronze sculpture, of a stark female nude, sat stolidly on a table in the gallery awaiting display. On a cold November morning, an unseasonable shaft of sunlight struck it in such a way that the expressive figure seemed to come to life, quivering with light and shadows. I grabbed my camera to shoot pictures from the doorway, but in the excitement slammed my hand in the door.

This post will be short, but these images (of the artist’s studio) speak for themselves.

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Cumulative effects: McLaren’s studio. Photo: Lisa Kinoshita

McLaren is an epochal creator – but of what age is hard to pinpoint. His studio practice is grounded in the rigors of an era before digital manipulation was common, much less accepted, and he revels in the smudgy realities of graphite, oil or whatever usable substance is at hand to draw with all the assurance that comes of decades of practice.

An accomplished poet, one senses he prefers the company of books to most people: 20th-century writers such as Samuel Beckett, Paul Valéry, James Joyce. One imagines him identifying most readily with early modernist titans; the ghostly milieux of artists who (when not caught up in the entertainments of jealous rivalry) crossed easily between disciplines – Picasso and Cocteau as they created theater, Stravinsky as he made mayhem. The dissonance he experiences in this current age? “It could be this manic making of new things, as opposed to developing new ideas, or thought sequences…Not sure though.”  ~ Lisa Kinoshita

Don’t miss Malcolm McLaren’s work in “Northwest Dissonance” a group show at Moss + Mineral, November 2, 2013 through January 15, 2014.

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