Off the Wall came about as a response to problems or questions I have about my own work. Issues around the edge, the relationship between the surface, form, the support and the question, when does a painting become an object?
Although I have not completely let go of the image or frame in my own work, there has been a move towards physicality and this was something I wanted to explore.
Marcia Tucker wrote about Richard Tuttle for his exhibition at the Whitney in 1975… .So much of Tuttle’s work is a result of body activity that is partly caused by the fact that physical activity is the most direct and common means we have of translating interior states into external expression; in a very direct way, frowning, smiling, closed or open body positions, etc., are our primary means of communication, because they are experientially rather than analytically comprehensible. Our own experience of our bodies is “pre-‐scientific,” primitive and immediate.
In the late sixties, The ‘Supports and Surfaces’ movement focused on processes in painting essentially involved in the materiality and objecthood of the painting surface itself. They prioritised the importance of site and the reduction of painting to bare essentials, foregrounding the structural support of the stretcher for instance or leaving canvases bare or un-stretched, folded or suspended, tied off or draped. Obvious comparisons can be drawn to some of the work here today.
With shows at Cherry & Martin in Los Angeles followed by another at the Canada gallery in New York, both in 2014, the short lived movement has had somewhat of a resurgence although some might say, for many artists it never went away. Maybe for someone like Richard Tuttle this is true.
With shows such as ENANTIODROMIA, also featuring Simon Callery, at the Fold gallery in 2014 and REAL PAINTING in 2015 at the Castlefield Gallery which was co-curated by Deb Covell and Jo McGonigal, it is plain to see that the ethos behind the Support/Surface movement is still very much alive.
The list of artists showing here today has developed over time and with discussions between Martina and myself I feel it has evolved into a cohesive group that bounce playfully off one another whilst still asserting their own individuality. From the beginning we were keen for the exhibition to represent both UK and international artists and although they are from far afield there is a tangible collective consciousness.
Some you could say are more painterly and others more sculptural, though all consider themselves to be painters and continuing in the tradition of painting. Saying this, there is a will to break out of the conventions and free painting from the reigns of the canvas and frame, Off The Wall and into the space of the gallery.
By removing the frame and therefore the image, painting is allowed to be matter and material. This move towards objectness raises the question of, what is the stuff that makes a painting, what is it made of and in turn this leads to decisions about the making and the process of construction. Whether it be the wood of the support, the canvas or the paint itself, each are treated equally and the emphasis is put on the materiality and physical nature of each component.
Jai Llewellyn, 2017
Such places do not exist and , because they do not exist,
space is turned in to a question,
ceases to be a certainty, ceases to be integrated
and ceases to be appropriated.
Space is doubt: I have constantly to mark it, to
define it. It’s never mine, never given to me,
I have to conquer it.
The exhibition In and Out – spatial correspondences- is primarily presenting photographic positions dealing with the question of the factual and the actual.
To what extent can a photograph embody characteristics of sculpture or painting?When does the photograph become the medium for painterly or sculptural strategies and vice versa? This theme is illuminated from different angles by using some real objects and sculptures which are placed between surface and space .
Suchness/Sosein: contemporary painting and materiality brings together the work of a number of London-based artists in dialogue with artists from Germany and elsewhere whose work explores both the limits and intrinsic materiality of paint, whether through line, gesture or form.
Co-curated by Erin Lawlor and Martina Geccelli
With work by Andrew Bick, Katrina Blannin, Katrin Bremermann, Robert Holyhead, Erin Lawlor, Ingo Meller, Winfried Virnich, Wilma Vissers, Michael Voss.
Preview Thursday 16.04.2015 6.00 pm – 9.00 pm