This grouping brings together three artists who have their work based in the foundation of the painting medium and in various ways seek to reinterpret how they work within it, present ideas and challenge reads of the painterly surface and image. In the work of Lisa Alvarado, this is illustrated with the works having a semi-functional life as performance back-drops, existing as physical objects, working as visual points of reference. Daniel Sinsel’s work has stong links to the body, working with ever increasingly tactile and muliply layered surfaces, textures and materials. Alex Olson’s work focuses on the physical act of looking and the analysis that follows it, with mark-making and texture as a root to varying interpretations and changing perspectives.
Lisa Alvarado’s work takes the form of double-sided painted banners hung from the ceiling, accompanied by sewn feather floor works and a sound piece. Alvarado’s on-going painting series Traditional Object has its origins in her role in the band Natural Information Society, whose music has been described as “ecstatic minimalism”. The series is conceived as moveable sets and backdrops for the band’s performances, operating as ‘functional’ and at once, sensorial objects, forming a ‘path’ as viewers move through and around them. By bordering her works with pigments and feathers of red and black, Alvarado connects her paintings to the red cochineal beetle dye and smoked pine pitch-wood black of early Mexican manuscript painting, a tradition nearly eradicated during conquest.
In her new work presented here, Alex Olson continues her interest in the process of how perception shifts to definition. This series of paintings circulates around a theme of reveal or excavation, where parts of the whole are exposed along the way. The information given is not a final declaration, but instead shows the building and choices that went into creating the work. A compare-and-contrast scenario unfolds, with iterations of signs and ideas being posed side by side: the physical and rendered, the interior and the exterior, the visible and the invisible. These works are transforming, shedding and growing, offering the viewer glimpses of the paintings’ evolution as well as posing options for navigation.
Daniel Sinsel’s work mines the distinctions between sculpture and painting, with each work presented as reliefs and/or constructed textiles, including woven linen tape, material protrusions or inclusions. Sinsel continues here to adopt his distinct form of illusionism, with leaves and fruits of the fig tree as a re-occuring theme, incorporating hazelnut shells and chewing gum made of mastic resin and beeswax. Throughout these works, Sinsel disrupts and explores an idea of flatness and spatial illusion whilst drawing in associations to the body and physicality; the system that resembles an autonomic nervous system responsible for digestion, breathing, tensing and relaxing etc and psychological associations; illustrations of thought processes or emotional states.