NETTIE HORN is pleased to present Paint Assemblages, a solo exhibition of recent work by British artist Piers Secunda. Working essentially with paint in its primary form, Secunda's practice takes the materiality of his medium back to its fundamental properties ' creating three-dimensional paint sculptures where the medium itself and its structures and surface become the subject.The opposition of painting and sculpture is inherent within the two media. Paint has a tendency towards flatness, sculpture in its essence is three dimensional. But paint has a sculptural quality too. Glenn Brown explores that in his flattened reproductions of impastoed paintings, most notably his renditions of Frank Auerbach. He also investigates the problem from the other side with his sculptures made from paint. Flatness is such a well explored and written about idea it is strange that pure paint sculpture is an uncommon use of the medium. Formally there might be some analogies to clay sculpture but paint, like Damien Hirst's formaldehyde, is not just a material but a medium for ideas.
Piers Secunda's work has developed out of practical and theoretical feelings for paint. Because this angle is under explored his work has a look entirely of its own (certainly it looks nothing like Glenn Brown). It carries suggestions of assemblage and can evoke the patina of empty billboards with their accumulations of torn posters. The paint Secunda uses can take the form of detritus of a sort, sometimes it is molded specifically but almost as often it is not. There becomes, therefore, a feeling of the entropy by which natural processes take back control over even human products such as paints.
Because this is a new use of the form it is an unfolding story and works here reveal attempts to apply this visual language in different ways. There are movements towards the mechanical with industrial fittings molded from paint and there are references to everyday life with text and images transferred onto paint surfaces, with some references to specific events. It is a measure of Secunda's excitement at the possibilities that lie open to him.