Three artists, three galleries, the exhibition is open and with it an opportunity to reflect on what has taken place within the actuality of the gallery.
Looking at David’s show I think it could be given the subtitle: In space no one can hear you scream. The work is colourful and high volume, you get a sudden brief inundation of visual noise, then everything goes silent as if it’s behind a glass screen. This seems to be caused by a counter movement between the word or image and its spatial treatment.
When the marks are gestural and up there on the surface there’s a sudden leap to the mid or back-ground that leaves notes hanging in space. On the other hand in the single treatment watercolours, the wet ground has pulled the mark into an airy, blown space like clouds carrying the memory of a shaping force in their softening forms.
Other works theatrically fling the painter’s stock-in-trade canvas and stretcher crushed, folded and wrapped onto the floor or wall. The momentary in this show isn’t an essential moment, but a sudden stoppage as if to be more reflective will be the loss of a sustaining energy.
gallery statement by the artist:
Georgia O’Keefe: ‘( I was like) a little plant, watered, weeded and dug around’
O’Keefe lived her late years in the New Mexico desert. She made this wry statement when asked about her life, decades earlier with the photographer Alfred Stieglitz to whom, in a conflicted way, she remained devoted.
Barbara Penrose: My previous installation work has developed an expanded geometry into the building architecture. Anagram I & II are scaled to hold a spatial geometry within themselves.
Georgia O’Keefe was a female artist instrumental in developing large scale wall work. The crosscurrents between her famous desert imagery and the quoted statement gave impetus to this work.
The fashion plate aesthetic from which this imagery derives has its terms of success based in the figure and its power &/or entrapment within the frame. The installation here presents a slightly different face to the work than previously posted.
There’s a distancing formality, partly influenced by the photographs which hang from the facial expression of the model, and partly the particular green paint mixed to resemble the craft-paper cut-outs I had scaled to the pre-stained and stretched supports as intermediary drawings. After staining the cloth support, the cut-out image was a decisive layer in which method had more import than aesthetics. This direction is reflected in the titles combining terms from Adobe image-editing (printed in black) and from the fashion industry (in red).
The single figure works installed as a wall composition rather than a series of discrete works reads close to how they were conceived – akin to a fashion industry studio wall . Finally I’m thinking back to an early show of my figurative work derived from a 19th Century stereoscope. Importance is given to the space in which the figure is placed. The works in the earlier show were all shaped, in the current works the lines leading between figures and frame treat the photographic space as an actual corner of the world. It reminds me of the word recapitulation, which if taken literally from the Latin reads ‘revisit the head’. Looking between past and present, object and other in order to gain hold of a conscious moment.