For the exhibition In Favour of Three Dimensions, MLF | Marie-Laure Fleisch has invited four artists whose art can be characterized by an innovative approach to the materials and techniques they use to create their work: Jason Gringler, Manor Grunewald, Holly Hendry and James Tailor.
It is becoming increasingly evident that contemporary artists are not comfortable with the traditional vernacular linked to the act of “painting”. In order to continue to overcome the charged history of wall-hung artworks, there is a desire to push the medium into new realms by rethinking the materials previously considered as essential to the physical composition of paintings: the canvas, the stretcher and paint itself. Looking towards the future of painting rather than repeating past strategies of creation, artists are stretching the physical properties of these elements so far that they become unrecognizable, or even eliminating them entirely.
Using welded frames to contain layers of steel, plexiglass, epoxy and glass, Jason Gringler challenges our relationship with paintings, as the reflective quality of the pieces inevitably implicate the viewer and the surrounding architectural space in the refracted mirrored planes. Textures are created by cracks and ripples, the result of unmannered gestures made while integrating new materials and destroying unsuccessful elements of past works. These new lines attest to the acceptation of failure as well as the desire to create new form of mark making through the re-appropriation of past forms. He has recently developed a series of monochromes, purifying his past process to create minimal structures which attract the ambient light while maintaining a matte surface.
Exposing the ambiguity between digital technologies and analog techniques, Manor Grunewald is also occupied with the representation of the hand of the artist and the procedures which bring an artwork into being. Interested in the transitory states of artworks and the various forms they take during transport, storage or as archival material, Grunewald creates a vocabulary that incorporates shelving, construction materials and screen-like objects which obscure the original work or become the support for printed images. Evoking the hand of the artist without any apparent brushstrokes, Grunewald makes the viewer aware of the various physical processes engendered by the artist during the elaboration of the work through photocopied images.
Using a sculptural approach to painting, James Tailor has developed a technique of mixing acrylic medium with paint, creating sheet-like forms that can be used to envelope, drape, conceal, or expand existing objects. Commenting on the many artworks that are holed up in storage, James Tailor has created his own bubble wrap and tape, which he then uses to encase blank canvases. Taking found objects and re-appropriating their history to form new narratives, or creating new forms from blank canvases destined for traditional paintings, Tailor comments on complexities of human nature, such as identity, hopes, flaws and corruption.
Holly Hendry, a sculptor, superposes strata of plaster, marble, jesmonite, wood, and various objects to create works evoking geological processes, but also the human body and the internal processes of conversion. While the colour palette is often light-hearted and fresh, the forms and embedded teeth or bones remind us that we are all mortal beings made of flesh and bone. While she typically works with large three-dimensional forms, her wall mounted works offer another alternative to sculpture, creating sculptures which are dependent on the wall rather than on the floor to support their weight. These recently elaboured wall sculptures are comprised of multiple autonomous pieces which cannot exist without the physical support of the wall, allowing them to exist as one singular organism.