Geometric patterns, anthropomorphic characters, architectural spatial environments, and relics of the ancient world appear throughout Jess Johnson's artworks.Johnson's solo art-ventures began in drawing, but her long-term collaborative relationship with animator Simon Ward brings her drawings to life in videos and virtual reality. The animator has...
In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...
Under the direction of Folakunle Oshun, the second edition of the Lagos Biennial (26 October–23 November 2019) includes works by over 40 Lagos-based and international artists, architects, and collectives. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, curator and producer Oyindamola Fakeye, and assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute of...
Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...
London—Pace Gallery is pleased to present Recent Works, Prabhavathi Meppayil’s first solo exhibition at 6 Burlington Gardens and the third presented with the gallery, on view from 26 April to 25 May 2019. The exhibition will feature a new body of work that continues to explore Meppayil’s concerns of modernism and Minimalism.
'Meppayil’s linear designs in her work are not engendered by manual artisanal means or painterly processes: drawing, facture, and gesture originating either from pointed indentations or from linear metal insertions that singularly define graphic structures. Meppayil’s paintings seem to be driven by a latent desire to leave behind the parameters of pictorial space and its supporting surfaces, reaching for an ultimate sublation of the painterly rectangle in a numinous architectural space.' Benjamin H.D. Buchloh, 2014.
The descendant of several generations of goldsmiths, Meppayil retains the unmistakable traces of the artist’s hand combined with an element of chance, inflecting Minimalist formulas and intermissions with a profoundly transcendental dimension specific to her setting and craftmanship methods.
The use of traditional tools, which are essentially geometric in form, is the focal point of Meppayil’s large-scale installation exhibited at the 2018 Biennale of Sydney and replicated in the exhibition at Pace. sb/eighteen consists of gesso and 875 found iron, copper and brass tools, carefully assembled on a wall with a pristine white surface. The individual objects are deliberately arranged in a pattern suggesting a low-relief grid. These objects, conventionally used by goldsmiths in the application of their craft, also allude to postwar abstraction where geometric structures were often used to facilitate non-hierarchical methods of organisation. Three new cast concrete and copper sculptures reference these traditional tools.
By taking tools that are commonly used in the artisanal process, most of which are obsolete and dislodged from their original purpose, Meppayil reiterates them as art objects while also retaining vestiges of their individual histories. This process also emphasises their materiality and simple forms.
Lines and carving also remain a leitmotif in her oeuvre, as Meppayil expresses the necessity to come back to the pureness and essence of the material. These paintings feature copper wires embedded in heavily gessoed surfaces and rows of indented marks left with goldsmith’s tools–most notably the thinnam–used to incise ornamental patterns in bangles. The delicacy of the lines and marks belie the intense labour needed to create these works.
Coinciding with Recent Works, Meppayil’s piece titled n/eighty nine (2016) will be featured in the forthcoming collection display, Home Is a Foreign Place, at The Met Breuer from 9 April 2019 to 21 June 2020. This exhibition will introduce recent acquisitions by the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art of The Met.
In rich dialogue with Pace’s history, Meppayil’s reinterpretation of Minimalist trademarks such as the grid recall the visual language of Agnes Martin, whilst her dedication to surface and pure monochromy evoke Robert Ryman. Recent Works will also coincide with this year’s Venice Biennale. The Encyclopedic Palace, curated by Massimiliano Gioni, at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013) included Meppayil’s work, which subsequently prompted the start of the relationship with Pace.
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