Hus Gallery is pleased to present Space Age, an exhibition of new works by Nathan Green, Santiago Taccetti, Ophelia Finke and Konrad Wyrebek.
The title of the show riffs on Lucio Fontana’s description of Spatialism (Spazialismo), which called for artists to expand their work into the third dimension, and away from the illusory space of traditional easel painting. His Spatial Concept series (1949 – mid 1950s), which developed out of his ‘Manifiesto Blanco’ (1947), aims for the synthesis of new technologies and developments into a new type of art; what he called “an art for the space age.” Using sculpture, installation, painting, 3D printing, laser scanning and CNC cutting, the exhibiting artists use the reactive potential of their material to explore the dialectical relationship with sculpture and painting in avant-garde media. All of the artists are engaged in society’s relationship with technology and its multifarious ability to shape and dictate our lives. However, unlike the Modernists of Fontana’s generation, characterized by an attitude of positive progression and indifference to the past, these artists retain an excitement and a reverence for the history of art. Thus, the works on show occupy a place in time that is in-between the past and the future, perfectly situating them somewhere in (outer) space!
Nathan Green’s (b. Houston,Texas) practice is characterized by a classic concentration on the interaction of form, colour and material. Green explores the structural qualities of abstract painting using forms that are more familiar to the sculpture sphere: his physical objects are arranged and installed within the formal construct of a Modernist painting, in a reversal of the expansion of the sculptural field. His approach to artistic practice is far reaching and varied as he references traditions of Navajo culture from Southwestern America alongside works by seminal American painters like Georgia O’Keefe; specifically her Sky Above Clouds (1962-65) series which directly inspired Green’s The Heavens,The Earth,The Sea (2014) and Golden Hour (2014).
Ophelia Finke (b. Frankfurt, Germany) draws on stereotypes of explorers, scientists and the artist as author to create the foundation of her installations. Finke constructs contained spaces that encourage examination and analysis, such as the laboratory or artist studio, or in the present show, astronauts in outer space. Each scene is typified by the presence of a glossy, structural down coat that assumes the role of the central protagonist engaged in breaking new artistic, scientific, or geographical ground. Finke’s most recent installations feature a much broader view of exploration, moving outside the concept of a controlled environment, as seen in Paris to Dakar or Space Time (2014), and towards the depiction of the physical journey undertaken by an explorer.
Santiago Taccetti (b. Buenos Aires, Argentina) creates works that are based on the convergence of everyday materials and artistic creations within the contemporary art gallery.This is in line with his interest in trends of ambiguity in regards to modes of viewing and visitor interaction. The unpredictable reaction of different materials is another element that permeates Taccetti’s work, and is evident in his large-scale white paintings, Untitled I & II (Einstatzbereich Innen - Außen). For these, Taccetti experimented with different kinds of household paint and used a variety of instruments to press and imprint the material into the reverse of the canvas, creating a beautiful pattern and texture on the surface of the work while the thick layers of paint remain hidden on the reverse.
Konrad Wyrebek (b. Kutna Hora, Czech Republic) seeks out and then distorts found images from television, film, and print that represent ideals in contemporary culture. As seen in both his UV ink paintings and Data Error prints,Wyrebek manipulates and encourages the digital errors in these found images to foreground the artificiality of “ideals of perfection” represented in the original. Wyrebek’s practice is process-oriented and the digital aspect of his sculptures, prints, and paintings involves a high level of technological engineering. In the case of Amour & Psyche (after Antonio Canova) (2011-13), the technique took nearly three years to perfect as well as permission from the Louvre to borrow one of Canova’s original casts.