Can painting cause anything? If so what kind of things are they and how and where are they registered? Seven international painters interrogate the abductive, or speculative, thought of painting – how this thought may be hypothesized through the process, how it functions, and how it may relate to the production of affect.
Cynthia Cruz, Wolfchild
Liquid Latex, enamel, acrylic and print on canvas; dimensions Variable
Myth Material will consider painting via the specifics of working processes, strategies and materials, to pose questions around material rationality – as inherent in and performed through these – and what frames and grounds them [politically, contextually, physically].
Myth Material’s first entry point is a text Moran recently wrote for another painting exhibition, ‘Obscure Secure’, questioning what is meant by ‘intuition’ as an often cited major part of the making process for painters, and how it relates to perception and abstraction. Read text here
Cynthia Cruz sources disturbing images online for digital collages printed onto canvas that function as generator for the larger painting that grows out of it. She layers enamel paint, acrylics, inks and gel mediums, using the viscosity of the paint to accentuate the stickiness of an open wound, the fluidity of blood and pus, spatters and drips. The paint reacts to the digital print, mimicking, flattening and concealing parts of the image, emphasizing and adding dimension and texture to others. Reactions are determined by principles of design (balance, unity, repetition, emphasis, movement, rhythm, proportion and variety) rather than judgements about the image.
Cruz won the Frances Wolfson Scholarship at New World School of the Arts in Miami, and has exhibited in Miami institutions including David Castillo Gallery, Arte Americas and The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami. On completing her MFA at Goldsmiths, London, she won the ACME studio award culminating in her solo show, The Girl Who Ate All Her Hair, at ACME Project Space. She was also selected for the Liminal Space Residency at TAP in 2015.
Jane Hayes Greenwood, Big Bird, acrylic and oil on linen, 45 x 55cm
Jane Hayes Greenwood is concerned with the material and psychological histories of objects. She is interested in what kind of capacities objects might have, how their histories might define our relationship to them and how we measure ourselves against them. She filters images of ancient archeological artifacts with deep histories and digitally modeled objects that have a referent in the real world, through the making process. Here, the digital or ‘dug-up thing’ is remodeled and manipulated before being painted, cast or deconstructed.
Hayes Greenwood brings a variety of source material together, often in quite an open and unplanned way, allowing an element of discovery during the working process. She works with acrylic, oil and spray paint on linen and canvas. Pace is also important – a linear representational image may be made quickly, combined with abstract and other slow elements.
Jane Hayes Greenwood was selected for the XL Catlin Art Prize, 2016. Currently also exhibiting in Pleasure Islands at Artwork Atelier, Salford. She is Director of Block 336 artist-run project space and studio provider in Brixton.
Manuel Mathieu, In the Bath, mixed media on canvas, 213 x 228cm
For Manuel Mathieu, an artwork is a form of existence that has its own intelligence, an ‘object’ that creates meaning within and outside itself: “For [anthropologist] Alfred Gell, artworks are indexes of agency. In the context of painting, I think it becomes a residue of these indexes, of this agency, and to a certain extent the residue of a thought. This residue works like an idea, within complex layers, its genesis came from a search for meaning. In that search I try to confront the world, refine my language to make it a tool to question the limits of my actions and resist the power structures that are trying to define me… While I try to make sense of my subjectivity, the work oscillates between defined emotional registers, such as fragility, insubstantiality and angst and the more indeterminate chaotic and uncontrolled subconscious stages.” He is interested in the destruction of the image, the unworking and remaking process of painting; the liquidity of things, one thing becoming another; being in the bath, being the bath.
Manuel Mathieu’s recent solo exhibitions include 49/50, Fig-2 at the ICA, London, 2015; and The Birth of Nature at Les Territoires Gallery, Montréal, Canada, 2013. He exhibited in the group show Haïti, 2 Centuries of Creations at Grand Palais, Paris, 2015. Forthcoming exhibitions include Goldsmiths MFA show in July.
Jana Van Meerveld, An Archive to the Unsaid and Unheard, oil and acrylic on linen, 180 x 250cm
Jana van Meerveld abstracts objects, rites or particular situations, through the medium of paint, into new images that are specifically formed through the process, conducted through the body, mind, gesture and experience of the artist. As such she wants them “to speak for themselves as an introspective experience of the human condition, emerging from my political oriented and interpersonally developed ideas.” Her depictions of the human, as politically determined and alienated being, are not limited to representations of figures, the human emerges out of the making process.
Jana van Meerveld exhibits regularly in the Netherlands. She has a forthcoming solo exhibition, Das Unheimlich Autonome, at De Nederlandsche Cacaofabriek Helmond; she has exhibited at W139, Amsterdam and at Schwartz Gallery, London. She was selected for the 2012 Marmite Prize for Painting.
Stephanie Moran, Another Person’s Dream, oil on canvas, 90 x 70 cm
Stephanie Moran’s current work considers how images in text and images in paint operate. Her process started with writing descriptions of material and concrete qualities of paintings, attempting phenomenological and affective readings of what the paintings actually do, perform, encode, abstract, as well as what they signify pictorially; and, conversely, compiling descriptions of paintings from novels, Victorian to contemporary. She considers how the paintings in the novels function as plot devices and she generates new images through an intermedial process: plot device tropes are extracted from the text in the form of motifs, then translated via constructed images and composed into paintings.
Stephanie Moran is completing a residency in the School of Media, Art and Design at Canterbury Christchurch University. She was co-founder, -Director and –Curator of the Marmite Prize for Painting 2006 – 2013. New projects include forthcoming book, ‘The Picture Itself Represents a Moon’, published by Spiralbound/Susak Press; the Skullcracker Suite, a two-year multi-media interdisciplinary project around the decolonisation of thought, beginning with a research trip and exhibition at Dynamo Arts, Vancouver, in August 2016; and co-curating the Kathy Rae Huffman project, a partnership between Res Gallery and Goldsmiths College Library to produce artworks, screenings, talks and events in response to the media art collection donated to Goldsmiths Library by curator Kathy Rae Huffman.
Playpaint, Default View, Spray paint, water based primer & undercoat, acrylic paint and acrylic varnish on canvas, 40 x 40 cm
“New forms assemble as ricochets deviate laterally from impacted paint stacks. Smothered in slimy paint the volatile architecture ripples then fractures and splays across lurid gloss surfaces. Peels of paint reveal expanses of engineered irridescence repeated then inverted until gestural machine structure accumulates alternating contrast. Autocatalytic velocities default to infinite variation as aerosol dispensers punctuate chromatic junk… Paused paintings and on off paintings paused. Congealed double compression. An accretion of complexity. Amplified and endless.” Playpaint, 2016
Playpaint were selected for this year’s John Moores Painting Prize. They curated Autocatalytic Future Games at No Format Gallery, London, in 2015. Recent group exhibitions include This Year’s Model at Studio 1.1 and Housework at Safehouse 1, London, 2015; Paint Like You Mean It at Interview Room 11, Edinburgh, 2014.
Clare Price, s.s.h., Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 153 x 178cm
Clare Price’s work probes the idea that ‘Art comes through the body’. In the paintings gestural elements that revel in the voluptuous materiality of paint are set against translucent geometric planes drawn from modernist forms. They interplay with and pin spilled wet vistas, creating ambiguous spaces that whisper of 3D worlds, of screens, skin and the depth of field of a lens. Price’s work investigates the sensuousness of making, the bodily “goo” of paint contains that hidden performance. The edges of the stretcher contain and tether captured sensations, titles are codified autobiographical references. As Price says, “the paintings are grubby things in the world especially in relation to the shiny and impalpable nature of the digital. An obsession with paint, painting and matter drives the work, dealing with the “stuff ‘ that exists in the stars and the earth and in our bodies.”
Clare Price was winner of the 2016 Oriel Davies Student Prize and recipient of the 2013 ACME Jessica Wilkes Award. Recent shows include ‘I Killed A Viper’ at Acme Space (solo); What Cannot be Contained: Contemporary British Painting at Smiths Row Gallery; London 2.0 at Galerie Biesenbach, Cologne; and Penumbra curated by VERB at APT Gallery, London. She will have her Goldsmiths MFA Show in July 2016.