The Manchester Contemporary: Tony Charles Exhibition
Fine Art Lecturer Tony Charles is listed as one of the five axis web members to watch out for at this year’s Manchester Contemporary Part 2 which will run between 24-27 September 2015 at Old Granada Studios, Manchester.
Taken from Axisweb – Charles’ work both challenges and contributes to the history of steel sculpture. Using the inherent pliability of steel wool, he makes installations of steel and about steel, specifically the British steel industry in which he grew up and labored as a young man in the North East of England. The work is an answer to the heroic and monumental pieces of the minimalist era recalling the soft and pendulous ropes and nets of Eva Hesse and Yayoi Kusama or the curtain like wrappings of Christo. Some of his installations, such as ‘Underlined’ have functioned specifically as memorials to steelworkers killed in industrial accidents, with the portraits of the men appearing on steel wool sheets, oxidized with vinegar. Rather than juxtaposing the labor of men to the labor of women, the heroic and the elegiac, the work asks: Is there really such a big difference between the two?
Tony co-founded and is a trustee of Platform Arts Ltd which comprises artists’ studios and the reputable contemporary art gallery Platform A. Tony directs the gallery, curates exhibitions and exhibits his own work nationally and internationally. International solo shows have included Dressed to Kill in Spazio Comel, Rome and Camac in Marnay sur Seine, France.