EPW: Various Paintings
5th February – 21st March 2015
Anna Schwartz Gallery
This exhibition is an overview of constructed paintings from the past year — works situated within the lexicons of minimalism and maximalism. It presents examples from a number of different series with either simple or complex formal structures. The paintings have been randomly placed side-by-side encouraging a view of their individuality.
The method of constructing or building a painting has enabled me to exceed the limits of the rectangle, to create paintings of dynamic shape and structure through layering and accumulation.
The most minimal are monochrome paintings constructed from stacked pieces of irregularly shaped MDF, one colour, one material. By contrast, the most maximalist of the works each have a diagonal wooden stripe reaching beyond the border of the rectangle. The diversity of materials in these (various woods, aluminum, plastic, etc) and objects (saw blade, cup, etc) adds colour, texture, dimension and form. A further group is of paintings scaled to the size of a carpenter’s square, a tool of trade of the artist or carpenter, which is here attached to the canvas surface to reinforce its edge. Through the materiality of all the works in the exhibition, the non-objective joins with the concrete and real within an abstract realm.
The exhibition design also reflects my interest in minimalism and maximalism. The room is large and white with a grey floor. The 50 selected mid-sized works are strategically shown at eye-height in a strong, continuous linear frieze along all four walls to create a solid visual zone, engaging both mind and eye. This display format has been chosen for this particular exhibition, but at a different time, the works could also be shown in their groups to enhance an appreciation of the many variations within each singular theme.
John Nixon, January 2015