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Open Frequency

Each month Open Frequency will feature new and recent projects by both emergent and established artists based in Scotland.  These artists are nominated by a national network of curatorial advisors - artists, curators, lecturers and critics.

Open Frequency is hosted by Axis and since its launch in 2003 has featured Scotland-based artists Katy Dove, Jim Lambie, and the Becks Futures prize-winners Toby Paterson and Rosalind Nashashibi.

Alex Frost

Alex Frost (b. London 1973) lives and works in Glasgow. He graduated from the MFA at Glasgow School of Art  in 1998 and has completed residencies at Spike Island, Bristol (2002), Royston Road, Glasgow (2001) and Grizedale, Cumbria (2000). 

Frost’s practice spans the spectrum of the sculptural, from the miniature to the monumental, the decorative to the architectural. He has worked with a variety of materials and styles over the past years, linked by his interest in the tension between the Minimalist tradition of modular repetition and a more gestural quality of the handmade.

Frost's We are numbers/And so it goes. Photo: Alan Dimmick

Frost's cycles of work include prototype Buckminster Fuller domes (1998), Gaudí-esque tiled sculptures (2000) and a series of works from 2002 made after Robert Morris' ‘Untitled (L-Beams)’ (1965-7). His work can be seen as ‘a kind of monument to rationalism usurped by the very blobbiness of its construction’ (Sarah Lowndes, 2004).

Alex Frost 1973

18 September – 30 October 2004
The Changing Room, Stirling

Everyday, 2004; Photo: Alan Dimmick. Courtesy: Alex Frost Alex Frost 1973 is a continuation of The Changing Room’s programme of commissioning solo exhibitions by emerging Scotland-based artists at significant points in their careers.

The work in 1973 has been developed over the past year with the unique gallery space of The Changing Room in mind. The exhibition consists of new large-scale drawings and a series of sculptures that continue Frost’s interest in a kind of impure or inbred Minimalism

Alex Frost 1973 is a continuation of The Changing Room’s programme of commissioning solo exhibitions by emerging Scotland-based artists at significant points in their careers. The work in 1973 has been developed over the past year with the unique gallery space of The Changing Room in mind. The exhibition consists of new large-scale drawings and a series of sculptures that continue Frost’s interest in a kind of impure or inbred Minimalism.

‘The control that Frost exerts over his sculpture betrays a desire to be machine-like as a maker. There are templates or patterns or plans to follow. His work is modular. Things are built up from a number of similar elements. There is repetition. The materials are tools. There is structure then surface. He builds then decorates. What emerges is a whole made up of smaller parts’.

Karla Black, ‘Idea Logic, or Self-made Machine Sculpture’, Alex Frost 1973, The Changing Room Gallery & Sorcha Dallas, 2004.

 Untitled (ear & coat); Photo: Alan Dimmick. Courtesy: Alex Frost  

‘Untitled (Ear and Coat)’, (2004) is one of a series of pencil drawings of himself and friends completed over the last year. These graph paper portraits emerge out of a complex system of pixelated squares, circles and dashes.

Frost's system is derived from two sources: a computer programme that pixelates photographic images, and the method of denotation commonly found in knitting patterns, using the pixel as ‘a way of humanising the Modernist trope of the grid’ (Sarah Lowndes, 2004).

Publication launch and film screening

28 October 2004 from 6pm
The Changing Room, Stirling 

To coincide with 1973, a new book on Alex Frost will be published by The Changing Room in collaboration with the artist and Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow. The publication includes images from 1973 as well as previous work and a new essay by Karla Black. 

The publication will be launched at The Changing Room on 28 October followed by a film screening of Dance for Camera at Tolbooth, Stirling. This programme of films is selected and introduced by Alex Frost and includes works by Oskar Schlemmer and Harald Kreutzberg. For information on the full programme contact the gallery, tel: 01786 479361 email: info@changingroom.so.co.uk.

An American Conversation - Alex Frost, Karla Black

14 February – 14 March 2003
Cooper Gallery, Dundee

This exhibition was the first collaboration between Alex Frost and Glasgow-based artist Karla Black, a conversation built around suggestion and game-play. The end result came out of a dialogue between sculpture and performance, referencing elements of American cultural history: the teaching practices of Black Mountain College, Max Factor, happenings, and popular psychology. Central to the exhibition was a link between confusion and clarity, or problem solving.

Untitled (Karla); Photo: Alan Dimmick. Courtesy: Alex Frost

For Example

Spike Island, Bristol, 2002

Frost’s work for his solo show at Spike Island comprised a series of L-shaped structures adorned with smaller re-workings formed of plaster, shellac and lengths of cut foam. The structures also provided support for some surrogate gilded styro-foam forms.

For Example was made after Robert Morris’ ‘Untitled (L-Beams)’ (1965–7). As Rob Tufnell has suggested, Morris’ practice provides Frost with ‘a metaphorical plinth for his ongoing investigation into the sculptural spectrum. Frost describes his revised Minimalism as ‘boyish’ rather than macho. Utilising materials and styles that orthodox tradition tells us are contradictory, For Example embodied the incongruities of the adolescent male: innocent and experienced, serious and stupid…’. (Rob Tufnell, 2002).

Presence

Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, 2002

Throughout the duration of the group show Presence, Frost repositioned the components of ‘The e.t.c.’ around the gallery in an invitation to the viewer to become absorbed in specific formal problems and complexities, echoing Morris’s ‘Untitled (L-beams)’, 1965-7.

As Caroline Woodley states in her text, ‘Epilogue (On the edge of everything’, “The e.t.c.’ –Frost's recreation of other people's models and plans - presents a perverse (anti-progressive), self-appointed ideological apprenticeship. Hand-made objects refer to various modern developments in art, architecture and engineering (theoretical and municipal), aiming to humanise them, bring them back to their original stage of development, like a prototype’.

Education

MFA, Glasgow School of Art (1998)
BA Fine Art, Staffordshire University (1995)

Select exhibitions

Solo

Alex Frost, Sorcha Dallas, Glasgow (2004)
For Example, Spike Island, Bristol (2002)
Theme Show, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow (1998)
Drop City, The Assembly Gallery, Glasgow (1998)

Group

Synth, Kunstraum B2, Leipzig (2004)
East International, Norwich Gallery, Norwich (2003)
An American Conversation with Karla Black, Cooper Gallery, Dundee (2003)
SallysObornAlexFrost, Switchspace, Glasgow (2002)
The Chateau, Switchspace  Glasgow (2002)
Happy Outsiders from London and Scotland, Zacheta Gallery, Warsaw (2002)
Presence, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2002)
Half the World Away, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, New York (2002)

Residencies

Spike Island, Bristol  2002
Royston Road Project, Glasgow  2000
Grizedale, Cumbria, 2000

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Related Links
* Alex Frost
 
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