BISCHOFF/WEISS is pleased to present the second solo exhibition by American artist Michael Ajerman. Reclamation Point brings together a combination of new paintings executed in oils and watercolour on paper all firmly rooted in the exploration and retrieval of imagery.
The main Floor of the gallery displays a series of works in watercolour that focus on the interaction between individuals. Figures are presented without a detailed background, allowing the viewer to focus solely on the forms of the figure present. By using recurring sitters to work with him, Ajerman tries to get the poses to become loose, uninhibited and carefree. This enables him to focus on expressions, and his approach to mark making, in a more animated manner.
The inclusion of animals in several works in oils transforms and emancipates the conventional dynamics of a single figure composition. What begins as a means for the viewer to study and question the psychological aspects of the figure and becomes more of an investigation on how animals can render a person oblivious to normal conformity. Ajerman's inspiration for these works comes from wide and varied sources, ranging from French writer Michel Houellebecq's The Possibility of an Island, Gustave Courbet's The Hunt and DiegoVelasquez 's Philip IV as a Hunter and Infante Felipe Prospero.
The nocturnal works in the lower gallery investigate the experiences that the darkness has upon our psyche, incorporating both warmth and confusion. Darkness can have the dual effect of concealment and exposure. Shadowy figures and dark interiors seem to emerge from the canvases, details highlighted by thick crimson brushstrokes which capture brilliantly the dreamy lighting effects, mood and atmosphere only seen at the cusp of twilight.
Ajerman, born in 1977, completed his MA at the Slade in 2003. That year he won the British Institute Award from the Royal Academy. He has shown in the Contemporary Art Society's ARTfutures exhibitions in 2004 and 2005. In 2006, he had a solo show in Milan, Italy and was part of a group show entitled Private: Staff Only at the ICA. This summer he will have works included in the exhibition, Sequence and Repetition at the Jerwood Space in London, curated by Silia Ka Tung. He has also been short-listed for the Sainsbury Scholarship in Painting with the British School in Rome