THE CLUB is pleased to announce solo exhibition of Oliver Beer Ghost Notes.
Building on his solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, for this exhibition, Beer creates a new body of work inspired by his musical understanding of the physical world. Referencing painters including Velázquez and Kikugawa Eizan and thinkers like the anthropologist Joseph Campbell, the exhibition is presented in two parts. Ghost Notes (Part I) considers how the universal characteristics of music and harmony tie cultures together across civilisations and throughout history. Ghost Notes (Part II) will take place in July 2021 and present a new immersive and interactive sound installation.
In Part 1, we encounter violins, tuning forks, coloured pencils, glistening fragments of mother of pearl, metronome mechanics. Although they look like paintings, Oliver Beer's 'two- dimensional sculptures' are in fact made from real objects which he transforms into images. This sculpting technique is unique to Beer's practice. To make the works he cuts through real objects at precise angles and sets the individual pieces into resin plaques so only the cut section is visible. He then sands them to a perfectly flat pictorial plane and hand-paints the resin around them with white gesso. This original process is Beer's way of encompassing both painting and sculpture in a single work. 3D becomes 2D in a kind of 'physical cubism' where multiple perspectives can be simultaneously perceived. Beer notes that this direct passage through matter is how sound travels – like in an ultrasound image – and that these works allow us to perceive the world beyond its surface, like "seeing with your ears, or hearing with your eyes".
In musical terminology, 'ghost notes' are de-emphasised, often to the point of near silence. Like much of Beer's work, this exhibition is an invitation to perceive beyond the normal bounds of vision – what Marcel Duchamp called 'retinal art' – and to appreciate the inherent musicality of the physical world. As Beer notes: "Sound is a sculptural presence which is entirely contingent on form, time, geometry and space. If you look at objects from an acoustic perspective, they can start to reveal things that we wouldn't have realised had we been observing them purely visually."
Press release courtesy The Club.