DoubleuseArtists Pavel Buchler, Moyra Derby, Jane Harris, Gerard Hemsworth, Louise Hopkins, Richard Kirwan, Katherine McKee, Sadie Murdoch, Ben Ravenscroft, Caragh Thuring, Amikam Toren, John Wilkins
23.Feb.07 - 18.Mar.07
The Nunnery Gallery
181-183 Bow Rd
London E3 2SJ
020 8709 5294
Tube Bow Road; DLR Bow Church, Bow / Limehouse
DOUBLEUSE brings together contemporary practitioners who continue to draw on painting as a useful and functioning context, despite and because of its inherited difficulties. The linguistic term ‘double use’ offers an analogy for painting that attempts to hold mutually contradictory positions. In ‘double use’ two meanings function in the same word; meaning is therefore unstable and unresolved.
The work in DOUBLEUSE demonstrates an engagement with painting as a problematic and inconclusive field of practice. The strategies, rules and repeated processes put to work by each of the artists operate in a forced bounce back from edge to edge, and corner to corner; a dead end that does not create stasis but provokes activity.
Jane Harris’s paintings simultaneously muster decorative indulgence and hard won calculation. An optical back and forth between figure and ground is seconded by the task of comparing the small adjustments of one inscribed form against an adjacent look alike.
Ben Ravenscroft systematically places bands of colour in order to retrace the brush marks of the primed surface, both embellishing and disrupting the original function.
A painted lexicon accompanies a recent group of paintings by Mick Finch. In a repeated re-configuring of the same stock images, looking is interrupted by finding and matching.
Painted lines run from top to bottom, but the restrictive logic of Katherine McKee’s activity does not result in austere abstraction. Formality or simplicity of intention is undermined by gaudy colour, hiccups in the paint and a skew-whiff attempt at the vertical.
Louise Hopkinsis involved in a process of doubling; erasure and reiteration go hand in hand as counterparts to received surfaces, graph paper, patterned fabric, or maps, are patiently amended and remade over the top.
Pavel Buchler constructs paintings at arms length in his series ‘Modern Paintings’. Paint is reclaimed from found paintings, as a process of detachment and reattachment is repeated for each canvas.
Sadie Murdoch’s interventions into pristine modernist space undermine closed or fixed readings, and in particular the historical attribution of work. A duplicate or model is often made as a double that questions authenticity and contains the artist’s gesture.
The precision of Gerhard Hemsworth’s emblematic outlines make the act of naming emphatic and full of doubt at the same time; curved graphic lines come together just enough to make a bunny in a landscape, acknowledging the recognition process and the need for meaning without settling on either.
Delivered with an exactness that is unnerving, Richard Kirwan keeps tabs on wayward elements in his controlled abstractions. The oddness of the internal repetitions denies the temptation for the singular, the absolute or the settled.