Andrew Bick, Matthew Collings & Emma Biggs, Katrina Blannin,
Hazel Chalk, Ben Cove, Stewart Geddes, Dan Hays,
Vanessa Jackson, Roger Kelly, Caroline List, Gina Medcalf,
Alex Gene Morrison, Carol Robertson, James Ryan,
Francesca Simon, Daniel Sturgis & Trevor Sutton
Exhibition:2 March - 31 March 2012
Taking its title from the 1947 Ad Reinhardt cartoon, HA HA WHAT DOES THIS REPRESENT? brings together artists who consciously explore notions of abstraction. Their paintings demand an intellectual appreciation, while sometimes, but not necessarily, also appealing to the emotions. Some works literally abstract from a concrete reality, perhaps taking their essence from another field of activity, such as architecture or photography; others achieve an abstraction, or generalised idea, with a relation to the physical world; others operate from an internal point of reference. The artists in this show employ a variety of models of painting; they demonstrate different influences, painting languages and systems of working. They are reflexive, aware of developments in their own field, often painting about painting itself, commenting on the past, yet engaged by new questions about the phenomenological and psychological in contemporary experience.
A number of the artists in this exhibition use geometry or the grid, either loosely or disrupted for its dynamic on the canvas or perhaps to explore the idea of the rational in compositional systems. Gesture, if it appears, is deliberate and controlled. All are interested in process, techniques in the use of materials as well as mental calculation; often colour is key. Few, however, allow process to take over and, in fact, often offer the viewer evidence of the journey made: the decision-making, the conflict between doubt and certainty, the theories or philosophies researched and encompassed.
Curated by Katrina Blannin and Francesca Simon.