Private View: Friday 27th September, 2013
Exhibition runs: 25th September – 1st October, 2013
Almost There, by art collective Artist Unknown, embraces the gallery as a site of productive encounter. Each piece is the result of a collaborative process, often over lengthy periods of time, and is not considered finished. By working together, and maintaining the open-ended nature of their practice, the collective offers a more harmonious vision of the art world: one defined by collaboration, improvisation and self-reflexivity, constantly engaged in the process of becoming.
Each painting is made up of intricate layers of material. Acrylic and gesso are scraped, mottled, splattered and spread over swathes of loose paint pulled in broad movements. Dynamic viscous shapes swim in the middle-ground, pulled up short against sticky three-dimensional globs of dried paint. Gold leaf is applied in delicate patches at the surface, shimmering against the colourful metallic of the varnish. Abstract and energetic, the works bear the innumerable traces of their makers, and visitors to the exhibition are invited to touch the paintings. The artists hope to engage the public beyond the visual, bringing them into physical proximity with the canvas, and establish a tactile intimacy between viewer and object. This is a relationship not usually facilitated in the gallery context, but one crucial to the process of collaborative painting – energised, animated, and hands-on.
The creation of an active studio space in a corner of the gallery celebrates the mess and splatter and attendant ephemera that are an important part of painting, but which are usually edited out of the clean white cube. In the same vein, the artworks remain raw and unframed, and the curatorial approach fluid – the artists may choose to move paintings around as the show progresses, refreshing the experience of the space day-by-day.
Members of the public are encouraged to schedule one-on-one conversations with an artist from the collective. These 30-minute talks can touch on any subject, and take place in the gallery, allowing the space to operate as a site of human interaction.
Ultimately, Almost There shakes up the serious and static associations of the gallery environment, making the space playful and creative, in which the work can continue to develop. Rather than their final destination, the exhibition becomes a stage in the works’ lifespan, and the viewer an agent of their production. Artist Unknown invites you to look, touch, discuss and feel, make noise, make friends, make mess and join them in exploring how we can embrace contemporary art and its gallery-context as both source and site of exchange, encounter and fresh experience.
For more information on the artwork please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Curated by Rachel Dedman
Exhibition is supported by AngloMedical
With special thanks to Karine Solloway and all the members of the team