Untitled (detail), acrylic, sumi ink and silkscreen on paper, 56 x 71 cm
Private Preview – Thursday, 26 June, 2014, 6-9pm
Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann
Multitude 27 June – 30 August 2014
Marking Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann’s first solo exhibition in London, Multitude, on show from 27 June to 30 August at Kashya Hildebrand, presents a selection of the artist’s mixed media paintings. Her works are often expansive in size, with the ability to take over an entire gallery wall, an explosion of colours and shapes composed of woodcut, sumi ink, acrylic. In her newest works, included here, she incorporates a further addition of silkscreen as a new medium, along with a repetition of small elements, from which the exhibition draws its name.
Mann shows how patterned, highly wrought, decorative elements coalesce from the chaos and contingency of an organic environment-and how they dissolve into that environment again. She begins each piece with a stain of color, the product of chance evaporation of a puddle of ink and water on the paper as it lies on the floor of the studio. Her method of creation is slow and incremental, beginning with an initial pour of paint and then expanding, growing outwards. The finished painting exposes the organic stain that she then paints around, sometimes collaging with woodblock prints.
From this shape, she nourishes the landscape of each painting, coaxing from this organic foundation the development of diverse, decorative forms: braids of hair, details from Beijing opera costuming, lattice-work, and sequined patterns. As articles of adornment, these elements are repeated until they too appear organic, even cancerous, as they at once highlight and suffocate the underlying ink-stained foundation. Each piece holds a tension with the threat of disunity and incoherence as nature and artifice spring from and merge into one another, and as different elements multiply and expand like a metastasis. The works reference traditional landscaping painting although in an abstract form.
Through this conflation of ideas – plants, bodies and diseases – her work explores a baroque abstract: a celebration of the abundance of connections and clashes that can be found in the disparate mess of matter in the world. As hybrids – life-sized fields punctuated by moments of absurdity, poetry, mutation, growth and decay – the works revel in the sensuous and the rambling, and intersperse the chaos with moments of neurotic control, suggesting not only the potential for expansion, but also the threat of overabundance.
Richard Pigott Ephemeral Realities and Temporal LandscapesProject Space
Ephemeral Realities and Temporal Landscapes 1, 2014, photograph, 56.8 x 83.4 cm, Edition of 15
Private Preview – Thursday, 26 June, 2014, 6-9pm
Ephemeral Realities and Temporal Landscapes 27 June – 30 August 2014
Running concurrently to Katherine Mann's exhibition, Kashya Hildebrand is pleased to announce Ephemeral Realities and Temporal Landscapes, a solo show of photographs by Richard Pigott in the gallery’s project space.
Like sea creatures emerging from the mist, twisted rods of metal and stone rise up from a milky sea. The sky, at times piercingly blue, at others, bruised with heavy clouds, gives an otherworldly feeling, an alien landscape in which time is at once still and yet speeding relentlessly by. These images – taken in the waters of the Thames Estuary on the Isle of Grain in Kent – are painstakingly assembled by sculptor and photographer Richard Pigott. An environmentalist and former member of Greenpeace, he uses found objects washed upon the shore to create temporary sculptures that evoke a powerful commentary on the excesses of a consumption-oriented society and its relationship with nature. In his juxtaposition of man-made refuse with environmental materials, he creates a fleeting, symbiotic harmony. The backdrop of the Isle of Man adds a further important layer, as the location of much human intervention. While it provides a major habitat for wetland birds, its surface is scarred with the remnants of human intervention, from early settlements to Second World War bunkers. Today, it is proposed as one of the possible sites of Boris Johnson’s Thames Estuary Airport.
Richard sources hunks of concrete, bricks of varying shades, metal rods, plastic, tarmac and marine detritus such as rusted anchors. These are stacked alongside natural resources such as flint, seaweed and stone. While they reflect man’s global footprint, they also reflect the cohesion and co-existence found in nature, as rough concrete edges are eroded down and smoothed by the force of the waves, the glistening concave and convex edges of flint harking to their own architectural heritage as ancient building blocks – the manmade becoming one with nature, and the natural used in the manmade.
It is a sense of ephemerality, the very temporal nature of his creations, which is at the heart of Richard’s photographs. Using a slow shutter speed allows him to both imbue the surrounding water with a sense of stillness, by smoothing out the ripples and waves, as well as create a feeling of the passing of time. For Richard, they evoke the desert landscapes of Salvador Dali, which act as a canvas for his surrealistic ideas and images. It is this effect he seeks to convey through the smooth appearance of the water, rather like a neutral gallery floor against which the sculpture can be presented in stark contrast with no interference.
Like the works of Andy Goldsworthy, ultimately, each sculpture, no matter how painstakingly assembled, will fall apart, dissolving back into the ocean, and thereby returning to nature. Yet the temporary nature of the works does not bother Richard, rather, the pressure of time and the elements, the movement of the tide, sun and clouds all offer endless inspiration, allowing him the freedom to experiment and improvise in a way unimaginable within the confines of an indoor space or studio. It is only when the piece begins to crumble and fall apart back into the ocean that Pigott believes the piece to truly be ‘complete’.
At times, Richard’s creations resemble strange creatures, at others, they are ethereal many-tiered temples or pagodas. What binds them together is an intensely spiritual experience, an understanding of the relentless cycle of both man and nature, and the border where the two blur together as his sculptures stand, like silent sentinels staring out to sea, until they surrender to the ocean around them, where, below the waves, all elements become one.
LONDON CHOKRA : Astro Bedouins 10 September - 11 October 2014
Private Preview, Wednesday, 10 September, 2014 6-8pm
We would like to bring your attention to the 2015 edition of the Magic Of Persia Contemporary Art Prize (MOP CAP), a worldwide search for the next generation of contemporary Iranian visual artists who have the potential to make a significant impact in their field. The prize will be open for applications through the MOP CAP website from 1-31 July 2014. Read more here.