Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to announce A Silver Key Can Open An Iron Lock Somewhere, an exhibition of new works by Pádraig Timoney, the Irish artist's fifth exhibition with the gallery.
At the core of Timoney's practice is an ongoing inquiry into the mechanics of image-making-each canvas represents its own investigation into the ways images are constructed, or reconstructed through painting. Resisting a singular style, Timoney's works are instead united in approach; each painting aims to seamlessly connect a chosen image with both material and process. Often inventing new processes as a result, the works function as an index or record of decisions made, while revelling in the shortcomings in the medium itself. By including the errors of translation and the faultiness of recognition, abstraction and figuration never seem too far apart, often appearing on the verge of collapsing into one another. Through these divergent modes, his exhibitions in turn document a specific duration of time and research in the studio, rather than a traditional artistic thesis.
For the first time, Timoney has created a new series of paintings depicting a shared subject, the tower of Babel. Each titled Not To Put Too Fine A Point On It, the works quickly blur the line between subject and subject matter as the origin myth finds parallels to Timoney's own practice. Attempting to explain the creation of disparate linguistic models, the tower relays the story of a unified people with the goal of building a structure capable of reaching the heavens that were subsequently punished by the creation of a multitude of new languages and the resulting inability to communicate and understand. However, Timoney does not see these languages as barriers, but instead a generative opening in the pursuit of something larger.
Drawing on historical depictions of the tower of Babel, primarily Pieter Bruegel the Elder's 16th-century representation of the origin myth, and the fascination with the subject that followed in Dutch and Flemish painting, Timoney executes each work using a different style or process from his own vernacular. Ranging from the shaping of the image from its negative space, the manipulation of paint using photographic developer, to the addition of sculptural elements on the canvas' surface, the works collectively address Timoney's interest in historicity, and how this can be expanded to have resonance in the present and future. Simultaneously, the works attempt at representation ties them further to the myth's narrative and more broadly to the artist's own practice-that the goal itself is a wider understanding of artistic practice, and its making, language, poetics, and politics are all tools to be used in this pursuit.
Pádraig Timoney (b. 1968, Derry, Ireland) lives and works in Brooklyn. Solo exhibitions of his work include Lulu, Mexico City (2018), There was a Study Done, Cleopatras, Brooklyn (2017), a lu tiempo de..., curated by Alessandro Rabbotini, Museo Madre, Naples (2014), and Fontwell Helix Feely, Raven Row, London (2013), among others. Timoney has participated in numerous group exhibitions, which include Markers, David Zwirner, London (2017), The Painting Show, Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (2016), travelled to Limerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick (2017), and Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2016). His work is included in the permanent collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Museo Madre, Naples, the Arts Council England, and the Arts Council Ireland, among others.
Press release courtesy Andrew Kreps Gallery.
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