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Painting-Versus-Object

Katja Pudor Mia Taylor Andy Wicks, Mia Taylor Andy Wicks Claire Mitten John Holland John Holland Sean Edwards

Sean Edwards, John Holland, Clare Mitten,
Katja Pudor, Mia Taylor, Andy Wicks

9 November - 8 December 2012

Once upon a time, the difference was readily apparent. Even within competitive games of mimesis - Zeuxis fooling the birds with his painting of grapes, and Parrhasius topping him by painting a curtain so lifelike as to fool Zeuxis himself into asking him to pull it aside - once properly inspected, one feels certain there could be no serious confusion between a painting and an object. For current artists there are numerous routes through or balancing acts to navigate between them. It is a commonplace of art student progress that painting cedes to installation, film, curating, performance... Painting is dangerous, anachronistic, one is open to the criticism of becoming over-emotional, or disengaged with current practice, in current academically driven circles. Conversely, roots which delve down into or look across at painting continue to fuel a wide range of contemporary artistic practices.

Painting-Versus-Object looks particularly at the territory negotiated between painting, painters, objects and the world they inhabit, from contrasting perspectives. To that end we present painter Andy Wicks painting objects with impressive sculptural qualities; John Holland formulating impossible sculptural constructions in complex, geometric collage-paintings; Mia Taylor making object-like interventions in coloured layered materials, which emerge from and often operate as painting; Clare Mitten creating networks of sculptures, paintings and collages based on modern technology; works from Sean Edwards that conflate the found and the made, painted and machine-coloured; and Katja Pudor, whose installations disguise the 2D surface/wall and 3D volume/object with an effusion of colour and/or mark-making to render the distinction uncertain.

Notes on artists

Sean Edwards investigates the artistic potential of the everyday, often using remnants of previous activities as a starting point. In many of the works there is a sense of objects being in-progress, indeterminate and open to change. They function like propositions; the audience is invited to play a part in their creation.

Sean Edwards lives and works in Wales. He works with Limoncello, London and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin. He has exhibited extensively, including Kunstverein Freigburg 2012, Spike Island 2011, ICA London 2008.

John Holland's collaged geometric paintings are built on a ground of fragile translucent paper, and flip between object and image. They drag abstract freedom down towards the somatic, the still-life, things with sides,weight, illumination and space, seeming to reference architecture or sculpture, but with spatial contradictions that collapse representation.

John Holland's work is selected for the 2012 John Moores Painting Prize. Solo shows include Hastings School of Art 2007; LAPS, Lille, France 2003, 2001; Phoenix Arts, Brighton 2002, 2000, 1998.

Clare Mitten's painterly constructions of high-tech tools are cut and pasted from cardboard and paper, becoming models for drawing, painting and collage. In a kind of looping or feedback, the work ricochets between 2d and 3d, absorbing and editing information, repeatedly reconfiguring the original.

Clare Mitten graduated from the RCA in 2006. In 2011 she was awarded the Jerwood Painting Fellowship, and exhibited at Chapter, Cardiff and at Riflemaker, London.

Katja Pudor makes temporary, large-scale collages, drawings and installations that have a powerful material presence and can be entered, and experienced with the entire body. The function and character of the particular spaces in which she works help to determine the outward form of the work.

Katja Pudor lives and works in Berlin. She works with Stedefreund Berlin and has exhibited widely in Germany and elsewhere, but this will be her first exhibition in London.

Mia Taylor investigates the perceptual instability within spatial representation, particularly within painting. When working in response to site she embraces how a gust of wind or a light shaft alters forms, colour and spatial relationships. Geometric motifs act as compositional structures as well as devices to mimic real or imagined architecture, while cheap, mass produced materials add to the works' sense of temporality.

Mia Taylor received her MFA from Chelsea in 2005. She works with Toomer Labzda, New York, and has exhibited extensively in the UK, including the Whitechapel Gallery 2008 and Jerwood Space 2010.

Andy Wicks paints structures which were made with function not form in mind, yet lie unused, so creating a space to re-evaluate their formal qualities. Painted in isolation against an invented background, Wicks recreates the structures in his Hell and High Water series as primarily sculptural forms, which hint at multiple potential functions yet remain ambiguous.

Andy Wicks gained an MA from Middlesex University in 2006. He completed a residency at the Florence Trust 2010-11. He undertook a solo project ‘Beached' with WW Projects earlier this year. Some images from the exhibition here.