12.10.12 – 17.11.12
See Through is a group show featuring five Artists from across Europe. This fifth exhibition at the Belmacz Gallery continues with the tradition of bringing together objects from the full spectrum, between the fine and the applied arts.
Curated by Julia Muggenburg, the artworks presented share a sheen and polished quality, using diverse materials such as oil, perspex, aluminium and PVC. The objective behind See Through is to bring together a collective of artists in order to investigate the universal theme of mortality and transience.
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Dan Coopey is based in London and his solo exhibitions have included Laura_UpsideDown
at the Institute of Jamais Vu, London, Position 1 at The Agency, London and Doodad at the Hayward Gallery Concrete space, curated by Tom Morton. In 2011, he was commissioned by Up Projects and Arts Council England to produce a touring public installation work. Coopey’s forthcoming exhibitions include a collaboration with Laura Buckley as part of Festivela, Gallery Vela, London, and Courtship of the Peoples, Simon Oldfield Gallery, London.
For ‘See Through’ Coopey shows Large sheets of PVC, printed with imagery created from high tech machine componenets. Though mass-produced and used widely-in aircraft, spacecraft and hospital equipment-the machine components exist outside of everyday visual culture, hidden from view within machines. This air of unfamiliarity lends the imagery a particular sci-fi feel. Tiny faults in the objects, meant they were due to be scrapped, melted down, and remade. The waste objects have been salvaged by the artist, scanned and put through a randomized digital process, manipulating them beyond the artists control. The use of PVC aims to retain the plasticity of the image, as created and viewed on screen, and give a sense of a liquid state. The large scale of the images point towards their grand status within high industry whilst oing ancient motifs found in art and architecture.” (The title) ‘Raman’ for instance (is a word that) reminds me of Islamic architectural motifs whilst hinting at the specific use of the componts within industry.
Paul Housley plays with the conventions of portraiture and still life in painting. Often working from objects; either found or made by the artist, Housley delves into the history and iconography of painting playing on the romantic notions of the artists and self-portrait. His work is littered with references to historic painting in part homage but also serving as a challenge. There is a subversive streak of dark humour running through much of his work, the figures are but no matter how distorted, mutated and consumed by the materiality of paint his subjects become, there is an underlying strong and sympathetic element to their depiction. Housleys portraits and objects stand alone and are dignified. They become human witnesses to the vagaries of time, fortune and experience. Housley has shown widely across Europe and has been seen in recent New York group shows at White Columns and Andrea Rosen Gallery. In 2008, he mounted a solo show at Sunday gallery in the Lower East Side, which was reviewed in Artforum. Most recently he has been showing at Zieher Smith. He received his Masters degree from the Royal College of Art in London.
Camilla Løw was born in Oslo, Norway and has lived there since graduating from the Glasgow School of Art in 2001. She has held shows in the UK, Scandinavia and the U.S. Her sculptures play with form, space, rhythm, tension, balance and the properties of materials. They relate to painting - both in the use of painted coloured surfaces and handmade fabrication - and suggest movement as they lean, stack, or like At Once, suspend, float and dangle.
The glossy Perspex surface of this work combines with its shape and circular form to create a seductive object set in a dialogue with its surroundings. The craftsmanship of Løw’s sculpture evokes the precision of Scandinavian aesthetics, whilst her use of the threedimensional gives the impression of ‘breathing life into Russian abstraction’. Løw has exhibited widely and over this time has developed a striking and individual body of work.
Ben Newton makes work that draws on a plethora of visual and conceptual influences. Elements of classic design or modernism are reconfigured with slight interventions, that give them a sometimes almost imperceptible conceptual shift. The appropriation of iconic works — Josef Albers, Bridget Riley, Art & Language etc. — goes beyond mere homage and draws the viewer into a closer engagement and looking - they reveal deeper layers of reading. These may deal with the human condition and our sense of preservation of the exalted or taxonomies of display. Conceptual injunctions might add a dash of wit. Notions of the readymade mix with artistic labour to form different strands of work that on first glance might appear to be autonomous entities, but feed back into my practice when viewed as a totality. Recently I have been working with film and sound to explore longstanding themes in my work in order to extract further information from rich source material, in a way like a lens has the potential to zoom in/out exponentially.
In the late 1970s, Rudolf Polanszky made a series of artworks using pigs’ fat, entitled ‘Schweinsfettzeichnungen’ (1976) in an attempt to incorporate something that once was alive into his art. During the 1980s, he developed an extensive and ongoing sculpture practice alongside film and video works, the latter often recording pseudo-scientific experiments or action painting. Rudolf Polanszky emerges from a generation of post 1960s artists that includes Dieter Roth, Valie Export and Franz West. His sculptures contain the raw scraps of industrial materiality — iron, wood, plastic — bound in visually delicate but robustly balanced ‘plinths’, which carry aloft plexiglass sections in part describing a circle, or horizontal sections the length of a rectangle and reminiscent of strata below the surface of the earth. The sculptures, like vessels, are sometimes filled with smaller versions of themselves, or else more fluid and visceral substances such as feathers, pigment, foam and fibreglass, ranging in form
from the maquette to the monumental.
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