Ragna Robertsdottir / Fabian Seiz / Mahony / Max Gimblett / Judy Millar / Frank Badur
EDGES OF DARKNESS
5th September to 25th October 2008
Opening: 5th September 6pm
„She walks in beauty like the night...."
„als ob ein Engel, der den Raum umfasst, blind waere und in sich schaute...."
„As if an angel were blind and looking in on himself...."
Hamish Morrison Galerie is pleased to announce Edges of Darkness, an exhibition of works that are exploring ways of representation using black, in painting, sculpture and mixed media.
This group show features artists whose names have become synonymous with black such as Ad Reinhardt, as well as others who have seldom ventured into the realm of darkness - most strikingly Spanish painter Prudencio Irazabal, whose focus on light and colour has been the antithesis.
Black is sometimes described as a state of being - not a colour so much as an absence of light, a negative reverse. It can embody a vast spectrum of meanings, from the darkest depths of despair: the colour of mourning, black magic, Black Monday for the stockmarket to utmost holiness (Hindu's Krishna literally means The Black One). Rather than a severe, monocromatic standpoint, this is a colourful exhibition of black, encompassing reflective charred depths as found in the tar sculpture by Viennese collective Mahony, to the chalkboard-style placard with white text by Fabian Seiz, and the myriad tonings on Jörg Scheibe's and Ronald de Bloeme's canvases.
Black is a natural analogy for the state of unknown, not seeing, a time of transition before the dawn of realization and light of knowledge.
Icelandic artist Ragna Robertsdottir's large volcanic-stone wall-piece seems to investigate „the wonder that's keeping the stars apart" as ee.cummings puts it - the expanse of darkness, the endless night. An inverson of the starry cosmos, the work absorbs the approaching viewer into its opening surface, but increases in density and solidifies as they move away.
The textural surface of Sophia Schama's structural grass painting provides a similar illusion, the layer upon layer of dark brushstrokes creating startling reflections of almost silver negative. Frank Badur exploits these characteristics of black to produce a rippling sea effect in the painting Mirror for Arvo Pärt; the rhythmical structure in Max Gimblett's painting and Gabriela Fridriksdottir's enamels likewise manipulate qualities of black paint through the process of application. A black abyss is revealed in Judy Millar's painting but in this instance it is the removal or eradication of paint that expands the pictorial space rather than dense layering. Stefana McClure uses sub-title text from an entire film, Fritz Lang's M, layering words directly over the other words of the black text so that one gropes in the impenetrable dark as one might through the duration of the actual film. The political text used in Adler Guerrier's almost tomb-like work is no more lucid, confounding the viewer by seeming to at once appear from and submerge into the surface
It is perhaps of no surprise that the German language has over 50 different descriptions of black - descriptions of a world that lies between points of visibility, a seemingly mysterious and fascinating area where the possibilities for the imagination are endless. Everything and nothing are concepts beyond our imagination, and therefore a permanent challenge. Black in art here demands the participation of the viewer to consider elementary questions that the artists are continually confronting in their works.