Emilie Houldsworth and João Abbott-Gribben are pleased to announce ‘J.A-G+E.H’, an exhibition of new sculptures, paintings and drawings. The exhibition will draw together works by both artists that share a use of illusionistic monochrome pattern. Both Houldsworth and Abbott-Gribben use this to explore two sets of shifting relationships. The first is that between the optical qualities of three-dimensional forms and their two-dimensional representations, with a particular focus on where one masquerades as the other. The second is the relationship between digital and physical locations and processes, which the artists will investigate to consider notions of materiality, glitch and surface.
The dynamics of these two relationships play out beyond their assigned pairings as well, drawing comparisons between, for example, the way information is distorted when moving between 3D and 2D and between the physical and digital realms.
The drawings Houldworth will make for the show continue her development of the grid as a basis for exploring dimension, pattern, CGI and illusion. In these drawings chequered black and white grids ebb and flow across an undulating monochrome landscape that is punctuated by swirling glitches and distortions. The transformations of this check, from rectilinear into irregular, will challenge the viewer’s perception in their oscillation between 2D pattern and 3D form. To make these drawings Houldsworth creates a series of improvised distortions on digital and physical graphs until one emerges with an emphatic three-dimensionality. This is then meticulously scaled up to a larger format. In these drawings, Houldsworth is striving for a pattern that appears computer-generated, despite its manual origins. This brings the drawings full circle, as they approach their initial inspiration - drops of water as they appear on computer monitors, where they liquify and magnify the fixed grid beneath.
Abbott-Gribben’s new paintings for ‘J.A-G+E.H’ will also see black and white patterns making their way across a flat plane. Whereas Houldsworth’s are drawn, the patterns in Abbott-Gribben’s work are formed by pouring marbled paint onto a tray and allowing it to cure into a single plasticised surface so it can be peeled off. These works traverse the boundaries of painting and sculpture, 2D and 3D. The impressionistic contour lines formed by the marbled paint mimic cartographic data and draw parallels with the history of painting and its attempts to map the three-dimensional world onto canvas. The de-materialisation of the canvas support, exhibiting only the paint itself, mirrors the de-materialisation of the image in our increasingly digitised world; where three-dimensional information was once compressed onto a canvas or paper surface, it now finds itself compressed into intangibility through digital formats such as the jpeg.
The show will be accompanied by an exhibition text by writer and curator Phoebe Cripps.