Caleb Considine and Lee Kit “He Knows Me” at Massimo De Carlo, London
Massimo De Carlo gallery is pleased to present the first exhibition in London by Caleb Considine. For this occasion, the artist introduces a group of seven new, small-format canvases.
Considine’s paintings isolate quotidian scenarios or PSA (Public Service Announcement)-generic imagery, often re-setting these subjects in the context of the artist’s studio. He paints from live observation, with an approach that generates belabored and abraded surfaces.
In this new series, echoes of pre-WWII American representational painting can be glimpsed in a close-up of two plastic plants or a fragment of a New York City subway station, but neither the urban nor natural landscape asserts itself as a ground-plane or leitmotif from which meaning is built.
Two portraits of female friends show prolonged hours of careful work and patient sitting, yet offer little purchase for the psychologizing projections to which portraiture is routinely subjected.
Meanwhile, a ring of keys rests on a dirty laptop keyboard, and a man puffs smoke from his tracheotomy—images that seem so heavily obvious as to make ascribing further significance uncomfortable. But this principle of Considine’s work, which disobliges excess interpretation, arises from a deliberate process of aesthetic selection. Exclusions, as much as choices of subject matter, are made in an attempt to keep out easily identifiable ploys, resulting in a vacuum-like image space.
at Massimo De Carlo, London
until 2 April 2016
Objective Friend, 2016
Plastic Succulents, 2016
Meaningless Word Games, 2016
Caleb Considine installation views at Massimo de Carlo, London, 2016
Lee Kit “He Knows Me”
“He Knows Me”
I see hands, someone’s feet, or someone’s faces… as if they were detached from the body. As if they were telling their own stories about love and hate. The hands do talk. A moment was frozen, captured, and then prolonged. The moment even anger and hate froze to some kinds of quietness. As if, something was repeatedly chopped and cut up to a state that, only the sound and motion remained.
Massimo De Carlo is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in London by the artist Lee Kit, who was born in Hong Kong and now lives and works in Taipei.
Lee Kit’s work encompasses a wide array of mediums that include painting, drawing, video, installations and hand-painted cloths. Lee’s signature pastel palette translates and enhances the apparently cryptic but profound investigations and reflections on the habits and traces that shape the practice of every day life, with the array of ever-changing emotions that it encompasses.
“He Knows Me” arises from the desire to explore the relationship between hate and fear, and to translate into art how the two feelings co-exist, are voiced and take shape. As put by Lee Kit: “First you have fear and then you have hate. You’re scared about yourself first, and of that person, that issue that makes you feel hate. And then, as a result, you might want to do something crazy…I don’t mean I would do anything crazy, like kill someone, suddenly, but I could have that thought, that vision and feel a need to take a step back, and express it in a different way.”
The basement of the gallery is transformed by the artist in an unsettling and sinister yield where pieces of a human body, feet, hands and fingers stand out from shady paintings on paper evoking what could be our worst nightmare-how far could our fear take us, what horrible actions could hate bring us to do? If we let fear and hate reign our lives, would we be able to chop someone-or something-in to pieces to get rid of them?
The answers to these questions are found exclusively in the viewer’s mind. The projectors and the light they create insert us into the plot through the shadows: “When you walk closer, to look at the details, you are entering the projection because you see your own shadow. It’s like a smack on the face: don’t look at the details, look at yourself. You are seeing yourself.”
The viewer is confronted with the voicing of a universal feeling, which becomes particular only through the experience of entering the work in itself. Our own life and experience becomes the source and inspiration for the structure of the composition, providing us with the creative tools to concoct a personal narrative: whether it might be daunting or joyful.
In “He Knows Me”, Lee Kit continues his exploration of the human sphere of emotions. Site specific compositions become the medium that allows the artist to construct and control the complicated realm of empathy and daily experiences, where each painting opens a dialogue, which can be both uncomfortable and uplifting at the same time, around the notions of feeling, accepting and ultimately, being human.
at Massimo De Carlo, London
until 2 April 2016
It was a cinema., 2016
You look at me, 2016
He knows me, 2016
Your neck, 2016
You know, he knows me., 2016
Lee Kit “He Knows Me” installation views at Massimo De Carlo, London, 2016
Courtesy: the artists and Massimo De Carlo, London. Photo: Todd-White Art Photography