|Design||Artwork by Toby Paterson; layout by Robert Dallas Gray|
|Notes||Teenage Fanclub and Toby Paterson, the man responsible for Shadows’ artwork, share Glasgow as their home town. Britain’s third largest city has a bleak charm, a quality that may also be discernible in Paterson’s collages. Whether you agree or not may depend on your opinion of the modernist architecture of the 1960s and ’70s.
The artist’s perspective is similarly ambiguous. The title of his career retrospective ‘Concensus and Collapse’, held earlier this year, may however provide an oblique clue. Most of us live with the heritage of Modernist architecture. The question of its success is one that many have strong views about. What is certain is that Paterson’s images isolate the concrete structures (and one plane) from their contexts to create playful new forms. There’s the suggestion of an attenuated cubism – though where that movement fused multiple perspectives to explore time, this work confronts the viewer with a particular period frozen and teased out.
The buildings in the images aren’t cleaned up, graffiti and weathering are still visible. The images are black and white and a little murky as though there were a suspicion of newsprint in their past. The three collages are set against fields of plain colour – blue, pink and yellow – the sort of colours that you might encounter on an NHS hospital ward.
The imagery and tonal palette is combined with a large, generously spaced sans-serif typeface set on a plain white ground. The effect is utilitarian, elegant, ambiguous and forlorn, a description that could be applied to Teenage Fanclub’s music and underlined by the opening song ‘Sometimes I Don’t Need To Believe In Anything’.
|Listen||Teenage Fanclub – Sometimes I Don’t Need to Believe in Anything