The exhibition presents exchanges between two artist-founded and run projects, The Mercus Barn and Saturation Point. The artist David Saunders founded the former, set in the Ariège Pyrenées near the city of Foix in southern France. The latter, located in London, is an online curatorial and editorial project initiated and managed by Hanz Hancock and Patrick Morrissey.
Both projects are concerned with the promotion and discussion of contemporary practices, informed by and critically intersecting with the histories of radically abstract, constructive and concrete art.
It is both timely and fitting that the ‘spirit’ of the ‘Eye and Mind’ theme, is now brought to the attention of a wider public, notably in London.
Meditating, in his final essay, on Cézanne’s work as rendering the ineffability of sensation tangible, in, by, through the practice of painting, the French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote: ‘Quality, light, colour, depth, which are there before us, are only there because they awaken an echo in our bodies and because the body welcomes them.’ (Eye and Mind, 1964)
None of the above amounts to a prescriptive programme. Despite the classification, this group exhibition is not the exhibition of a group. That noted, it is evident that the authors of the visual and plastic works assembled here, under one roof, share a certain penchant for the arts of radical abstraction.
The latter’s liberation of lines, planes, forms, tones, colours, from the constraining prism of illusory representational systems, opens the eye and mind to practise ways of seeing, reading, thinking, interpreting otherwise.
This opening not only establishes the ineluctable condition of possibility for the respondent’s apprehension of the elements in question but, perhaps more crucially, also foregrounds the ineffable spatial and temporal orders obtaining within and between.