Artzu Gallery is hosting “Cassettes Versus Vinyl”, a music-themed art exhibition with work by Horace Panter, Morgan Howell and Chris Barton.
Paintings, prints and sculptures tap into the ephemera of Pop Music and almost turn the gallery into a record store of supersized collectables and mixtapes. On Thursday evening we attended the private view featuring a DJ set by Clint Boon, bringing the artwork to life with his selection of music.
Horace Panter, bass player with The Specials, is showing his giant cassette paintings, emphasising the cassette itself as an icon in musical and cultural history. Each one represents a band or song which has stood the test of time and become a classic in the pop genre and recording studio in which it was produced. Horace’s cassettes have even jumped out of the frame in order to become wallpaper, taking seriality and reproduction one step further in the pop realm. Horace himself was wearing his cassettes in the form of a wonderfully tailored suit and a pair of his exclusive “cassette boots” designed in partnership with Dr. Martens.
Morgan Howell recreates 45s as 27-inch discs (rather than 7-inch) encasing the enlarged vinyl in a reproduction of the original paper bag made out of canvas and paint. Morgan’s vinyls proudly show the signs and traces of time through carefully recreated creases, tears and smudges, reflecting on the precious personal value of these collectables. Some of the pieces on show are Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell”, Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid”, T-Rex’s “Metal Guru” and of course, The Specials’ “Ghost Town”.
Chris Barton is interested in the compact format of the cassette and the re-evaluation of this relatively disposable music format with their recreation in a large scale. The inlay sleeves are acrylic paint on canvas and the cases and cassettes are hand made in his workshop. For the exhibition Chris has carefully recreated a cassette player which hangs almost opposite Horace Panter’s Walkman painting, establishing a dialogue between music player devices. A highly recommended show for art and music lovers, the exhibition is open until Sunday.
ARTZU Gallery, Old Granada Studios, Quay Street, Manchester. M3 4PRT
Opening Times: Thursday – Saturday 10.30 – 5pm / Sunday 12pm – 5pm