SATURATION I- FIGURE | GROUND
Curated by SCAN (Spanish Contemporary Art Network)
In an image saturated age, digital media, internet, television, film, and video entertain, inform and surround us every waking hour. Hand-held technologies have made us not only incessant consumers but also constant maker/editors of images. The artistic value of the painted image has been in crisis for a century and, particularly in recent decades, painting has been relegated to the periphery of contemporary art discourse. Amidst numerous and expanding media and visual technology, what is the role of painting now?
SATURATION looks at the persistence of painting in contemporary artistic production. Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Kazimir Malevich’s Black Square,it examines the range, methods and means of painting production today through the work of seventeen Spanish painters in three simultaneous London exhibitions.
explores readings of narrative (and sub-narrative) in works on canvas, paper, acrylic, and concrete. Drawing on techniques from film and photography, painters re-assemble appropriated imagery to overlay and alter associations, spatial and narrative hierarchies and meaning. Cut-and-paste, collage, scale distortions, photographic transfers and animation and video become tools for destabilising painting conventions and introducing fluidity and ambiguity to the medium.
What is foreground (Figure), what background (Ground)? Is the viewer witness to the depicted event or a party to the act of witnessing itself? This reading of figuration elides such distinctions, offering both and neither. These borrowed images are neither stable nor steal-able. The fact of paint on a ground stands for itself alone.