MAGNET: Fleeting Forces in Forms
Duration_ November 6–December 26, 2020
Opening_ Friday, November 6, 2020, 6–8 PM
Opening_ Friday, November 6, 2020, 6–8 PM
To celebrate the 3rd anniversary and the relocation of our gallery space, Gallery Vacancy is pleased to announce MAGNET: Fleeting Forces in Forms from November 6 to December 26, 2020, featuring six artists: Keltie Ferris, Gao Ludi, Vivian Greven, Thomas Scheibitz, Shen Han and Yuichi Yokoyama.
Continuing and re-discovering the path of painting in the context of art history, the six exhibiting artists traverse through the translation between imagery and materiality, seeking for inventive directions that are wrapped under the shadow of the current digital age. Fleeting Forces in Forms, departures from Marshall McLuhan’s theory of “the Medium is the Message,” as the traditional 2-steps distance between the pigments and the canvas has been hijacked by layers of contemporary filters. Representational materiality that has been long embedded in the medium of painting is being gradually sent into exile under the manipulation of technological mediation, from physical flat surface to more extensive structures, including but not limiting to electronic screens, forcing us to move from the habit of data classification to the mode of pattern recognition. Exploring for new possibilities, each of the artists adopts varied methodologies in translating forms and shapes and galvanizing the flat geometrical elements onto the surface of canvas to create a broader sense of motions in relation to moving images, physics studies, mythology and the digital world.
Keltie Ferris (b. 1977, United States) uses acrylic, oil, spray gun and brushes to create large scale patterned paintings which examine the relationship of the artist’s identity to her output of imagery relating to the history of the genre. To explore the boundary and possibility of pictorial elements in the art history, Ferris adopts a rather different approach by both mechanical and spontaneous layers of pigments to create repetitive but evolving forms in her picture. In Acquifer (2019), Ferris experiments with pixelated backgrounds and blurred foregrounds to tease at depth perception with her pop art and industrial references. Characterized by a continuously expanding investigation into painting, her practice considers a multi planar site for constructed light and shifting space.
Drawing from the overflowing streams of social media, Gao Ludi (b. 1990, China) scavenges a large amount of everyday image materials that do not carry the burden of traditional aesthetics, which he analytically deconstructs and translates their compositional logics and then collectively applies in his paintings. In Pink Tulip (2020), Gao unveils a lavishing floral in a composition as if it has been zoomed in and cropped out under the logics of digital screens. The expression of color, screen significant cool-toned and fluorescent saturated, complements with his manipulation of forms, eliciting another possibility of visualizing mundane daily experience.
Vivian Greven (b. 1985, Germany) borrows visually and thematically from classical arts and the digital media world, sliding in fluidity between representation and abstraction to capture the ethereal and synthetic state of perception of imagery. In ex IV (2020), Greven depicts two Neo-classical figures looking deep into each other. The chronological tendency that has been implied in the classical stock characters co-exists with her contemporary references in a state of active interplay through alluring colors and restrained arrangement, indicating the non-discriminational accessibility of information consumption through the platform of internet.
The rigorous approach of Thomas Scheibitz (b. 1968, Germany) in analyzing images stems from years of archiving and documenting the inspirational visual elements of everyday life, which Scheibitz conceptualizes, deconstructs and reshapes upon an extensive and organized library of visual documents. These seemingly straightforward, flat or three-dimensional formal constructions are often embedded with inner structures rooted in reality, including art history, popular culture and urban landscapes. Scheibitz's obsession with methodology establishes a sense of duality in his works, which could be interpreted as an exploration of the threshold between abstraction and figuration, as well as the transition and continuity between tradition and contemporary in terms of historical significance.
Shen Han (b. 1988, China) attempts to find the relationship between painting and the body by constructing pigment patches, gestural lines and allusive spaces. The tendency and experience of vision for image reading are tempted, intervened, and idled in the tangled perspective of Shen, thus, the exposed landscape is weaved into a frame of stillness; Consciousness is repeatedly confirmed and then discarded, connecting the montage-like narrative through sensibility and imagination. The intertwined visual elements wrapped in ambiguous narratives and configurations uncover the inner emotions, outlining a contradictory matter that can be perceived both as forming and as descending in the void of uncertainty.
Yuichi Yokoyama (b. 1967, Japan) departs from oil painting and uses manga as a medium that suits his form of expression. In NIWA258 (2010), Yokohama creates an atmosphere that is uncanny but attractive with his dashing characters freely move around with a sense of speed. This unique expression that Yokoyama himself describes as “neo-manga” has easily overcome the limits of a two dimensional media to superbly draw “time” and “space”.