Construct: a group exhibition, curated by Brooke Wilson, on view at Cob Gallery
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Construct: a group exhibition, curated by Brooke Wilson, on view at Cob Gallery
Installation view of Cob Gallery artwork.

LONDON.- Examining object biography, material manipulation and the process of building meaning, Construct is an exhibition exploring the very essence of its definition. The term construct defines the act of building or uniting materials to formulate a second structure, a second meaning. Through the lens of various materials and methods of assemblage, this exhibition examines the purpose of construction as a means of communication.

The new series of works by Anne Tallentire offers an intricate profiling into the outline of a found object. At first glance, the works look reminiscent of a floor plan, a subject of interest to Tallentire’s extensive practice. Here lines of vinyl tape continue her investigation into materiality and the space that exists around an object: in this case, a small broken-off corner of a pallet found on a London street. Often associated with makeshift dwellings and the transportation of goods, in this context, this fragment is used as a source material for a new depiction of space - the outer edges. Engaging with the potential of our urban surroundings and architectural detritus, Tallentire asks us to reconsider our immediate environment, the objects that populate our streets and their ability to produce new meaning. Tallentire’s works on paper speak to a similar visual language. However, these works, zoom into the domestic space, specifically her own home. Overlaying the floorplan with cropped paragraph-sized cards taken from specific passages of text referencing her reading material at the time, the experience of her building is reimagined. Made during the pandemic, these works interrogate the space within which we find ourselves confined, and where we let our thoughts linger.

Bobby Dowler’s work is one with multiple surfaces. Working with offcuts from his artist friends, associates, or even strangers that have been accumulated over many years. In these works, Dowler analyses, dissects and removes the subject from their original narrative to form a new visual object, one reinvented to suit the artists’ desires. Dowler’s work is methodical, it engages with various modes of making whilst resisting a prescribed notion of ‘painting’ or even ‘sculpture’, which can be seen in his systematic naming of them such as Painting-Object_01(c05-17). Hanging somewhere in between these known entities, his work is a playful investigation into surface, subject and the process of construction. Endowed with their hidden narrative, each original painting - either gifted, donated or purchased by Dowler - becomes a source of inspiration, a catalyst in which new meaning can be explored to comical effect. Whilst experimenting with the painted surfaces, Dowler searches for potential subject matter to stimulate creative action, often with physical gestures of stapling, glueing, cutting, and tearing. Incorporating all the properties of his subject material Dowler strips them down to their raw materiality, where they remain ready and waiting until the artist is prepared to build a new narrative, and above all, a new object.

The work of Emma Adler pays homage to art history, dualism and concepts of authenticity. Working with pre-existing objects, Adler removes assigned notions of the object’s biography by reimagining form and methods of replication. In her Softshell sculptures, mundane objects of domesticity are paired in a new configuration, symmetrically balanced and otherworldly - where form is recognised but altered. There are certain methods which Adler follows to achieve these subtle interventions, like colour-matching the original sink. Often sink surfaces are left raw and unpainted and through a process of imitation, Adler colour matches to the original pigment to wrap the whole entity of its form. By removing these known associations Adler questions the artificial, originality, and themes surrounding reality.

Central to Charlotte Thrane’s practice is material exploration. Engaging physically with our perception of space, large mattresses and soft bedding materials stack on top of one another to create a new iteration of Big Body, an installation which she previously exhibited in Århus, Miami and Frankfurt. The simple act of stacking provides a striking visual language to the viewer. The aesthetics of these stacked mattresses which depict coffee marks, yellowing stains and minor discrepancies in the fabric are purposefully imitated by the artist to question the construction of narratives. Playing with history - these marks, although artificial - explore the manipulation of time, penning new stories around these objects, to allow questions of their origin to arise. Juxtaposing these soft materials, Thrane creates a tension between their material properties and the site in which they are installed. Working within the physical space of the gallery, Thrane pushes, squeezes, and crams malleable materials into the solid structure, to create an illusion of uncertainty, one located amongst feelings of comfort and discomfort. Grappling in this tension, Big Body explores the stories embedded within the ordinary object and offers a sensitive reimagining of space and the materials we seek to comfort our bodies.

Measuring the size of the artist’s head, Sylvie Hayes-Wallace’s, Cage Head series encapsulates the physical presence of her immediate environment and the miscellaneous ephemera that gets stuck in her head. Health insurance forms, junk mail, notes to self and receipts are some of the few materials used in the construction of Cage (Head) #1, whilst Cage (Head) #2 or Love consists of fencing wire, linen thread and floss. Assembled from mediums of varying nature, these works document a moment in time and become a portrait of the artist’s interiority, one that precariously begins to define our existence through materials; paper collected and documents preserved. Mirroring physical and psychological surroundings, Hayes-Wallaces’ diverse practice showcases the relationship between her internal space and the external world. In her works on paper, these themes are further explored; showcasing an image of a car with an assortment of bumper stickers produced by the artist and a note to self. Delicate in their presentation, but at odds, with the forceful compression of glass, these two pieces work together to deconstruct ideas around gender and the pressures of social conformity. Multiple voices can be heard amongst the manipulation of language, personal tones interrupt one another and language becomes the material in which to interrogate the self.

Engaging with his direct environment, Dux Pacifico’s latest works reflect the corporate structure of the city, and question how these material components begin to infiltrate our daily movement. Contradicting our usual understanding of such objects, roller shutters, which once denoted a closed space, now operate as paintings- free-standing and colourful, removed from their natural habitat. Translated into the artist’s distinct visual language; these works become poetic musings on the mundane, where urban development is transformed into artistic mediums. From subtle interventions, like the gentle draping of fabric in Metropolis, to the heavy dissection of steel in Show Business, Pacifico can build a space for discussion with materials often associated with a different vernacular, one heavily reliant on functionality. Through both works, Pacifico is challenging the value of the objects, throwing caution to their assigned purpose and therefore challenging the nature of their materiality. Often found wandering through his urban environment; the city is Pacifico’s main source of inspiration, echoing the method of his process, these works, although static, move through spaces.

The newest iteration of Ali Glover’s When the Seeping Starts (II) leaves us suspended in a state of poetic possibility. Normally concealed behind the uniform hang of a dropped ceiling, here suspension strings, cable wiring, and ceiling fixings are exposed for closer observation. Working with the properties of his chosen material, Glover highlights the fragility of infrastructure and the intricacy of its construction, both psychically and metaphorically. Laden with associations and due to their frequent visibility in public buildings, ceiling tiles carry a clinical quality, where activities of care and waiting often occur beneath. In this new installation, contemplation from below is impossible and instead flipped on its head, giving visibility to the other side
- the wrong side, perhaps. Contributing to this non-sensical thread of looking up, but in this case, looking down, one ceiling tile is replaced by a black steel square, made to resemble a constellational pattern in the night sky - one which would normally be viewed from below. Challenging the purpose of these structures by re-articulating their form, Glover plays with location and liminality. To accompany this installation, an audio piece newly edited by the artist plays on a loop. Composed of sound clippings of footsteps on a pebbled shore, these sounds belong to another moment, another space. Feelings of uncertainty begin to arise in our experience of the installation; there is a precariousness that the work embodies, a feeling that can only be described as something on the brink of falling.

By removing objects from their natural state and transforming them, domestic materials begin to comment on social infrastructure; found detritus sparks conversation around our object-fascinated culture, and reused canvas challenges the norms of conventional fine art materials. Revelling the tension between building and breaking down personal and collective narratives, Construct displays the materials artists excavate, appropriate, manipulate and collect in order to decode the world around them.

Emma Adler (b. 1980, Besch, Germany) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. She received her Masters in Fine Art at Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee in 2015 and completed her Bachelors in Fine Art Sculpture at Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee in 2013. Recent solo exhibitions include; Holistic Paranoia, Saarländische Galerie, Berlin, DE (2023); 7he Grea7 Rese7, Galerie Martinetz, Köln, DE (2022); Simulator [Sic!]ness, Zeppelinmuseum Friedrichshafen, Berlin, DE (2021); Superflare, Neuer Kunstverein Gießen, Berlin, DE (2019); among others. Recent group exhibitions include; Mental Hot Spot, OOW, Berlin, DE (2023); Kill the Light - by Arnold Dreyblatt, Akademie der Künste, Berlin, DE (2023); Present Perfect Progressive, Hermetika, Berlin, DE (2023); Hot Little Pool, Lobeblock, Berlin, DE (2022) and Future Past Perfect, SPOILER Aktionsraum, Berlin, DE (2021).

Bobby Dowler (b.1983, London, United Kingdom) lives and works in Asnières-sur-Seine, France. He received his Master’s in Fine Art, from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London and his Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies from Solent University, Hampshire. His work has been exhibited at institutional art centres such as Bold Tendencies, London; Chelsea Space, UAL; and Lethaby Gallery, UAL. Dowler was also awarded the Alumni Art Prize by UAL in 2022. Recent solo and duo exhibitions include; Galeria Alegria, Barcelona, ES (forthcoming in 2024); MN’ Atlas L’ Atlas, duo with Myriam Zarhloul, Atlas Plateau Urbain, FR (2023); Pairs, Texas, duo with Stan Van Steendam, Barbe Gallery, Belgium (2023); Roadworks, Hannah Barry, London, UK (2022); <<“100,000!%”>>, Galeria Alegria, Barcelona, ES (2021); among others. Recent group exhibitions include, Two For Joy, San Mei Gallery, London, UK (2023); Spectrum, Cairos Editions, Pantin-Paris, FR (2023); Recreational Grounds VII, Recreational Grounds, London, UK (2023); Bronzers, Slugtown, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK (2023).

Sylvie Hayes-Wallace (b. 1994, Cincinnati, Ohio) lives and works in New York City, USA. She received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2017. Solo and two-person exhibitions include; Chapter NY, New York; Silke Lindner, New York (both forthcoming 2024); I Hate My Superego, In Extenso, Clermont-Ferrand, FR; A.D. Gallery, New York; Bad Water, Knoxville; and Interstate Projects, Brooklyn; among others. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Shoot the Lobster, New York (curated by Brunette Coleman, London); No Title, Chapter NY, New York; Viscera, Simone Subal Gallery, New York; King’s Leap Fine Arts, New York; MX Gallery, New York; and Frontera 115, Mexico City; among others.

Ali Glover (b. 1993, West Midlands, UK) lives and works in London. He graduated from Chelsea College of Art in 2015 and completed the MFA Fine Art programme at Goldsmiths in 2022. Recent solo exhibitions include; ‘Some Dust’ for ‘A Place to Rest’, Turmstraße, Berlin (2023); loose teeth, Commonage Projects, London (2023); As a Child With a Matchstick Castle, Staffordshire St Gallery, London (2023). Group exhibitions include, things fall apart; the centre cannot hold, Tabula Rasa Gallery (2023); Terminal Parlour, Split Gallery (2023); Ghost Show: 7e Haunted House, Unit AG.1 Copeland Park (2022); Tilt, 310 NXRD (2021); my horse ate your crocodile’s tooth and scratched its back on a metal slab, 43 Madron Street, London (2020); Building On 7e One Preceding, Set Alscot Road, London (2020); Trying 2 Deliver, Butchers Tears, Amsterdam (2019); Palermo Atlas Appendix, Palermo-Amsterdam (2019); among others.

Dux Pacifico (b. 1981, Porto Alegre, Brazil) lives and works in London, UK. He received his MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths in 2020 and previous completed is BA in Liberal Arts at The New School in 2007. Recent solo exhibitions include; Even the Odds, Kupfer, London (2023); O céu da boca se ilumina, Galeria Alfinete, Brasila (2023); News From Home, VO Curations, London (2023). Group exhibitions include, Caos Primordial, Nonada, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2023); Cave, Les Fondations 312, Brussels (2023); Scultpure in the City, 70 Mary Axe, London (2023); Presente, Galeria Tropi, Rio de Janeiro (2023); Room Service, Photo SainGermain, Paris (2022); If I Were You, Kupfer, London (2022); Cidade Mecânica, Tropigalpão, Rio de Janeiro (2022) and Assemble, VO Curations, London (2022).

Anne Tallentire (b. 1949, County Armagh, Northern Ireland) lives and works in London, UK. Recent solo exhibitions include Material Distance, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton (2022); But this material…, The MAC, Belfast, Ireland (2021); As happens, Hollybush Gardens, London, UK (2020); Plan (…), Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria (2019); Shelter, Nerve Centre and Eighty81, both Derry, Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and FabLab Limerick, Ireland (all 2016); 7is and Other 7ings, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2010); and Irish Pavilion, 48th Venice Biennale (1999), among others. Group exhibitions include: Women in Revolt! Art and Activism in the UK 1970-1990, Tate Britain, London (2023); Found Cities, Lost Objects: Women in the City, curated by Lubaina Himid, Southampton City Art Gallery (2023); An Insular Rococo, Hollybush Gardens, London (2022); IMMA 30 Setting Out, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2021); REFUGE, Green on Red Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2021); Extrospection, Pi Artworks, London (2020); Truth: 24 Frames Per Second, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, USA (2017); Keywords: Art, Culture and Society in 1980’s Britain, Tate Liverpool, UK (2014); Publish and be Damned, ICA, London (2013); and Anthology – for Lucy Reynolds, Film in Space, Camden Art Centre, London (2012), among others.

Charlotte Thrane (b.1975, Borlänge, Sweden) lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. She received her Master’s in Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art, London in 2003 and completed her BA (Hon) in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art & Design, London in 2001. Recent solo exhibitions include; Ophobninger, inter.pblc, Copenhagen, DK (2023); In a Pale Place, Galerie Parisa Kind, Frankfurt, DK (2022); Pakket (OS OG DEM), Aga Works, Copenhagen, DK (2021); En til En, Se rum, Aarhus, DK (2021); Herberg 3, Lokale, Copenhagen, DK (2020) and Tætte i grunden, Eks-rummet, Copenhagen, DK (2020) among others. Recent group exhibitions and fairs include; XX, Galerie Parisa Kind, Frankfurt, DK (2023); NADA Art Fair, with Galerie Parisa Kind, Miami, USA (2022); 17GoalsOnMyMind, Annebergparken / UNESCO Global Geopark Odsherred, DK (2022); GO WEST, Kunsthal Kongegaarden, Korsør, DK, curated by Ruth Campau (2021) and P, Aga Works, Copenhagen, DK (2021).

Cob Gallery
February 23rd - March 23rd, 2024

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