“Hybrid Objects” at L’Inconnue, Montreal
When describing post-1960s painting, critic Douglas Crimp points to artist Frank Stella’s practice. In his essay “The End of Painting” (October Journal) Crimp describes Stella’s work as a “hybrid object, an object which may well represent a painting but certainly can not legitimately be a painting.” L’Inconnue aims to expand on this term as title for it’s inaugural exhibition “Hybrid Objects”.
“Hybrid Objects” examines the challenges of 1-D representation in painting, in the face of recent technology. The selected artists react against the current fast-paced nature of technology or alternatively, embrace the power of technology and its ability to further the presentation of their work. Technology is a prosthetic device, an extension of the artist’s hand, changing the process and conception of a work. Furthermore, materials are at the core of an artworks’ conception. The method in which the materials are manipulated and produced give birth to the subject. The Readymade and the Tube of Paint by Thierry de Duve defines painting as readymade. Its material source is a pre-fabricated consumer object i.e. the paint tube.
Artists Chris Dorland, Hanna Hur, Alex Morrison, Adrianne Rubenstein, Corin Sworn and Zin Taylor push the limitations of paint tubes by employing a diverse toolkit of materials to create their work: cotton, canvas, linen, wood, aluminum, silk, cooper, printer ink, oil paint, coloured pencil, chinese marker, Indian ink and lac extract.
Adrianne Rubenstein paints with oil on wooden panels. Rubenstein’s work extrapolates meaning from basic painting techniques. Her subjects, fragments of her sharp sense of humour and intuitive intellect, communicate through childlike imagery such as broccoli. She describes broccoli as “a flower, a commodified unit whose shape, form and function are predicted by its commercial value and transience. There is nostalgia here, broccoli is reflective of present-day tendencies: juicing and yoga, the way past generations indulged in music and drugs.”
Hanna Hur’s raw linen canvases gently bring the spectator’s awareness to the lightness of the artist’s inner psyche. Hur’s work considers emotional, spiritual, and psychic experiences. She predominantly uses color pencil on raw linen, blurring traditional hierarchies between painting and drawing. Her work is approached with an economy of gesture and a slow, quiet sensitivity.
Corin Sworn’s Meditation Generator series consists of four silk panels dyed using the natural dye lac. Sworn has been marking silks by putting natural dyes ‘in conversation’ with various chemicals to show some of the shifts in colour that occur as the materials relate to one another. The titles of the work reflect these ‘conversations between materials’ by exploring how the molecules find the process of being in relationship. Like people who today often find themselves over-burdened by other’s demands, will change be desirable or might it be irritating?
Zin Taylor’s work engages a process where thoughts about a subject are translated into forms about a subject. In this process, abstraction and phenomenology participate as tools in a narrative development of form. A Stripe of Thought Navigating a Void of Haze describes an ongoing series of sculptural screens that have been stretched with cotton cloth. Through the subtle imprinting from a wooden plate matrix, pigment is brought up through the cloth, assisted by the misting of diluted inks – the cotton fabric revealing these “acidic compositions” through the absorption of influenced condensation. With these works, Taylor invites the spectator into the void of his inner-thought process, as outlined by a single black stripe. A Haze of Influence Choreographed into an Arm #2, is a visualized communication delivered from the artist’s thought process into the form of an arm, a thought translated into a form meant to assist.
Chris Dorland’s digital painting practice is an exploration of technology, consumer society and the limitations of personal subjectivity in a data-driven world. In the Scanners paintings Dorland combines a variety of technical methods including painting, photography, digital production and fiber arts. Dorland’s work is an expression of our complex and shifting relationship with images, ideology and the fluidity of meaning in an increasingly mediated reality.
Alex Morrison’s art engages a pre-modern architecture and design history, incorporating moments from art deco, utopian architecture and interior design to inform his work. His recent work is produced through the use of 3D modeling and software rendering in which Morrison seeks to address the cultural persistence of ‘craft’ aesthetics and reference the revival of the Arts and Crafts movement. The work finds its aesthetics located somewhere between commercial display, storybook architecture and domestic furniture. The endless re-purposability of his selected material emphasizes the work’s linguistic quality. They are objects of signification pointing at something beyond themselves.
at L’INCONNUE, Montreal
until 17 December 2016