NARRATIVES OF ARRIVAL AND RESOLUTION: Abstract works on paper25. Jan - 22. Feb 13 / ended Art Space Gallery
Curated by DEANNA PETHERBRIDGE: Works by Belinda Cadbury, Sarah Cawkwell, Wendy Smith and Alison Turnbull
This exhibition presents the work of four artists working with abstract drawing in its most austerely resolved and poetic manner.
Although the finished works appear to share a common understanding of geometry or notational systems, each artist works in different ways, on a different scale and in response to very different agendas. Some of the drawings are highly complex, others are deceptively simple, but they all employ straightforward graphic techniques on paper and celebrate the austere lines and forms of such simple means.
What unites the work in the exhibition is that these are not rough sketches, graphic passages towards a work in another medium or the sparking-off point for a series of exploratory positions. Rather each drawing marks a point of arrival and resolution as the result of much thought, refinement and decision-making. In most cases careful mathematical calculations and all manner of preparatory graphic stages have been explored before finality is arrived at. Processes of work and thought have become narrativised in the geometries of these finished works, which abjure text or explanatory commentaries.
The idea of drawing as a self-legitimating act of resolution is a rather neglected aspect of works on paper. It is certainly undervalued in an age that worships the spontaneous, the open-ended and the sketchy as marks of the embodied hand, while relegating notions of finish to computer-generated drawing. Nevertheless, in their very different ways they all achieve a graphic resolution or finito in their paper abstractions, which exist in their own right as authoritative artworks, not as adjuncts to other forms of practice in a hierarchical relation.
Geometry and mathematical systems were deeply important concepts historically in the second half of the twentieth century when groups of artists worked within the shared rules and orthodoxies of Minimalism, Constructivism, Constructionism and Systems Art. Bitter ideological battles were fought over notions of ‘pure’ geometry or the authority of mathematical systems for generating series and sequences. For the artists in this exhibition, such orthodoxies have long been superseded and each has appropriated aspects of drawn geometry for very personal and conceptual ends.
View the Exhibition Catalogue on-line at www.artspacegallery.co.uk
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