NEW YORK, NY.- Some Thoughts on Painting, by a Painter:
This might be labeled a show that witnesses smart painters being dumb, or dumb painters being smart. Im more inclined to ask if there is such a thing as dumb intelligence? Painters are often outsmarting themselves and, as a result, begin a process of unraveling thought, a peeling back of the layers of an onion until all ones left with is fake tears. Christopher Wools current ubiquity makes it painfully obvious that gesture - a motion intrinsic to painting through the very act of holding a brush laden with paint - has become filtered, mediated. Yet the desire to make or leave a gesture as sincere as a Franz Kline swathe or a Cy Twombly scratch is somehow still of vital importance to the painter. Or at least, the need to confront this desire is a concern. And I suspect its not simply a boxing match with history thats happening here. Yes, painting may be dead, and Im quite comfortable with this, but its kicking out from under its own surface. The nature of making, of building, of putting paint to surface wouldnt be so much fun if it didnt require a kind of backwards trek (often made while facing forwards), stumbling over what the painter is expected to make. Taste, style and recognizability are anathema to the artist, yet balm to the collector. Beautiful paintings become ugly and ugly paintings become beautiful. If language is a system that names and describes, perhaps we can say that a painting that shows us what is not there is the most articulate kind of communication.
Anton Newcombe, the self-proselytizing front man of the notoriously dysfunctional west coast indie band, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, sings; Theres a look on your face and it says youve been had. If theres any criticality left in looking now, I suspect this is where it may lie. Uncovering truths means also dealing with lies. But what exactly is being had if having (according to Lacan) is also about losing? How can loss be located if the nature of painting is such that one begins by applying paint rather than by taking it away? Other methods must be employed methods that are perhaps attempts at getting behind, under or around paintings surface. If part of a painters goal is to carve out an intimate visual language from paintings history, then what is a painter to make of this 20-year young relationship with touch, presence and place? Should we look again or is it a matter of seeing anew? --Shaan Syed, 2014
Andrew Graves (b. 1967, England) lives and works in London. Recent solo and group exhibitions include Summer Show, Lion and Lamb Gallery, London (2013); Andrew Graves, Studio 1.1 Gallery, London (2012); The Curators Egg, Altera Pars, Anthony Reynolds Gallery, London (2012); The Perfect Nude curated by Phillip Allen and Dan Coombs, Wimbledon Space, toured to Phoenix Gallery, Exeter (2012).
Marco Palmieri (b. 1984, USA) lives and works in London and Rome. In 2011, he graduated from the Royal Academy Schools. Previous solo shows include Marco Palmieri, Frutta Gallery, Rome (2014); Living Rooms, Hobbs McLaughlin, London (2013) and Weekend, Margini Arte Contemporanea, Massa, Italy (2012). He has also exhibited in The Instability of the Image, Paradise Row, London (2013); Jack Lavender, Oliver Osborne, Marco Palmieri, The Approach, London (2012); Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2011, S1 Gallery, Sheffield and the ICA, London (2011).
Neil Rumming (b. 1973, Somerset) lives and works in London. Recent solo and group exhibitions include OBJECTNESS curated by Peles Empire, OUTPOST, Norwich (2013); Signs and Messages II, Kate MacGarry Gallery, London (2013); Hausfrau, Cole, London (2013); Studio Voltaire 12 (Selected by Mike Nelson and Jenni Lomax), Studio Voltaire, London.