Edward Holland's works bring to life the full potential of collage as an aesthetic and conceptual device. Often combining mixed media such as oil paint, acrylic, graphite, and printed papers, his compositions are scaffolded by the linear geometry of zodiac constellations that provide a basic framework for each painting. Holland builds on this foundation with brushstrokes and collage, negotiating various elements on the picture plane to create unexpectedly moving juxtapositions.Read More
For Holland, zodiac constellations—like art itself—represent an ancient way of storytelling and communicating universal myths about human nature and the world. His poetic works, reminiscent of Robert Rauschenberg's North African collages that also incorporate printed papers and maintain geometric structures, speak to Holland's keen ability to bring together disparate elements into surprising and fresh configurations. Underpinning his practice is his belief 'in the romance of painting and its ability to create meaning, whether directly or openly, empirically or emotionally.'
Influenced by the works of Manet, Joan Mitchell, Jasper Johns, and Sigmar Polke among others, Holland sees the process of building his compositions as a continual, intuitive dance. He mobilises collage as a means of adding layers of content and imagery, and in the spirit of Hans Hofmann's 'push-pull' method, works to activate and organise the space of the collage by seeing what needs to come forward and what needs to be de-emphasised or pushed back into space. Always sourcing materials for his collages serendipitously, Holland allows collage materials to enter his life any which way, including materials sent by people he knows, materials he finds, or books on the street. The concrete materiality of collage fragments in his works are often marshalled in opposition to abstraction, which take the form of painterly strokes, soft washes, or untethered masses of colour. Placing opposites in his work, whether formally or conceptually, reinforces the inherently paradoxical nature of painting itself as a flat object that depicts and conjures dimensional space. 'By using things in opposition,' Holland notes, 'you give elements more agency. The collage feels more vital because it is surrounded by abstraction. The abstraction feels more painterly, or transitory, in relation to the concreteness of the collage.'
Edward Holland was born in Philadelphia in 1980. He received a BFA in painting from Syracuse University and a MA in studio art from New York University. His work has been shown in galleries nationwide, including Causey Contemporary, New York; Gallery 543 at URBN, Philadelphia; Long-Sharp Gallery, Indianapolis, IN; MM Fine Art, Southampton, NY; and Gerald Peters Gallery, New York, and Santa Fe. His work has been discussed in ArtZealous, The Huffington Post and in Eyes Towards the Dove, among others. He lives and works in New York City.
Text courtesy Hollis Taggart.