AboutCOLE is pleased to present Hand Me Down, an exhibition of new paintings by Neil Rumming. The show consists of an on-going series of works that look specifically at the quotation and re-authoring of languages and structures drawn from the history of the medium. The new work makes references to different movements in art from abstraction, constructivism, conceptualism and Pop art.
Rumming employs mundane and familiar objects and materials within the work to explore notions of value in relation to painting. The distinct choices of using printed reproductions of screw heads, staples, hessian, jute and scrim reflect upon the very act of painting and the materials used as its support, while these motifs of industry also suggest the mechanical qualities inherent in the work. The new works draw parallels with the post war movements in Italian Art specifically the work of Alberto Burri and his use of humble material such as sacking to create compositions that were both sensual and brutal.
The title of the show highlights the relationship Rumming has with his practice and the idea that the original concept or act has in some sense been used and handed down, awaiting its new owners imprint and embellishment. Rumming likens this process to a traditional Japanese quilt called a 'boro', passed down from generation to generation with each adding their own patchwork and repairs, imbuing the textile with a sense of history, sentiment and social value. The word 'boro' translates as 'tattered rags', and the sense of rehabilitation runs parallel with Rumming's use of materials. The paintings deftly balance a combination of block printed heavy-duty fabrics with areas of hand painting, screen-printing and erasure, creating a tension between the layered forms of each painting. The works oscillate between impressions of flatness and depth as shadows on screw-heads imply illusionary space and white circles appear like holes in the picture plane, where images have been edited out.
Through the use of relief inks to record the damage, flaws and tears in the ripped hessian, Rumming hopes to reveal a subjective and introspective quality to this mass produced industrial textile usually employed as support for plaster or cheap sacking for food and grain. Hand Me Down reflects a spirit of re-invention, improvisation and considered application as Rumming points to the importance of the process behind the work and the transformation of impoverished elements into emotive and integral parts.
Neil Rumming (b. 1973, Frome, Somerset) lives and works in London. He studied at Kingston University 1992-1995. Recent show include One One One, Annex East, London (2012); Seriously Connected Old Greyhair at HD Projects, New York (2012); Studio Voltaire 12 (Selected by Mike Nelson and Jenni Lomax), Studio Voltaire, London (2012); James Iveson, Neil Rumming, Jack Vickridge, Christopher Crescent, London (2012); Neil Rumming, Forgotten Bar, Berlin (2010).