“Alchemy: Carl Andre, Nick Darmstaedter & Oscar Tuazon” at Jonathan Viner, London / MOUSSE CONTEMPORARY ART MAGAZINE

“Alchemy: Carl Andre, Nick Darmstaedter & Oscar Tuazon” at Jonathan Viner, London

by mousse

October 20~2013

It is erroneous to confuse alchemy with chemistry. Modern chemistry is a science dealing only with the outward manifestations of matter. It never produces anything new. One can mix, compose and decompose two or three chemical substances any number of times, and make them reappear in different forms, but in the end there is no increase in substance; there is only the combination of the substances used at the outset. Alchemy neither composes nor mixes: it increases and activates that which already exists in a latent state. – Franz Hartmann

Jonathan Viner at 28 Old Nichol Street is pleased to present Alchemy, a group show which brings together the works of Carl Andre, Nick Darmstaedter and Oscar Tuazon. The exhibition presents pieces by three generations of artists, each of whom implement the physical processes and reactions of the materials they use as an element in determining the outcome of the work- a result which is inevitably never complete.

Carl Andre’s 2 Aluminium Double Twelver (1999) consists of 24 blocks, identical in size and material. Two rows of twelve lay on top of each other, creating a solid block of aluminium that is marked only by the patterns and variations of the aluminium itself and the seams between each section. The work is exemplary of Andre’s interest in presenting materials in a raw and untransformed state, allowing the viewer to experience a substance at it’s essence, relating it only to the space and body it exists with at that moment.

Bearing the traces of the natural elements and debris, Oscar Tuazon’s rust paintings are selected sections of canvas, each a part of a long drop cloth that served as Tuazon’s outdoor working surface. They are marked with the remnants of the metals and tools he used while making sculptures over a period of weeks, with an indexical immediacy bearing marks that point to a passing of time.

The surfaces of Nick Darmstaedter’s paintings, Excelsior and Norma Desmond (2013) carry the remnants of an oxidation process left behind by the grid of salt and vinegar soaked pennies Darmstaedter places on the canvas. This subtle intervention with the found material is a reoccurring theme in Darmstaedter’s practice which uses slight physical alterations and methodical reorganization to recontexualize every day objects and transform the mundane into something appealing and aesthetic.


at Jonathan Viner, London

until 2 November 2013


Above – Nick Darmstaedter, Norma Desmond, 2013


Carl Andre, 2 Aluminium Double Twelver, 1999

Oscar Tuazon, Untitled, 2012

Nick Darmstaedter, Excelsior, 2013

Oscar Tuazon, Untitled, 2012

“Alchemy” installation view at Jonathan Viner, London, 2013.