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MATERIAL MATTERS
CATHERINE FERGUSON
ANDREW GRAVES
AND DAISY RICHARDSON
NOV 5TH – DEC 16TH 2009

In Daisy Richardson’s paintings, displaced forms supplant themselves confidently into contexts and situations that they have supposedly no right to be. Despite these trespasses, the pictorial outcome is convincing; paint describes and models discernible objects (albeit ones that are ambiguous in intent) and through their figurative allusion, they invite curiosity about what exactly they are and why they are there. A fictional world is asserted, where objects are not justified according to a perspectival regime – rather there is a dream-like order where objects have a metaphoric /metonymic existence according to a hypothetical or surreal logic.

These paintings are a calculatedly intimate proposition; of a scale and vision that has more to do with the landscape of dreams than perceptual reality. Instead, perceptual reality is transposed directly onto the material itself – the paint – and the way it is used to configure two contrasting theories of the world.

Andrew Graves uses substance, luminosity, thickness etc. to imply the subjective quality of conscious experience; a glimpse of something noticed when passing, a fragment of something seen and remembered. His paintings often begin with such fragments or glimpses, taken inevitably from his own personal 'schema'.

The ‘material’ of paint is not used to describe a rational, figurative space, but, in all its aspects, is explored to produce visualisations of moments which are necessarily indeterminate. In this way these paintings are forever referencing elsewhere, something unreachable. However as visual equivalents of the initial ‘glimpse’ or ‘memory’ they become tangible in the way they re-invent the ‘phenomenal’ for the viewer. As ‘visual equivalents’, despite their beginnings, through the touch and feel of the paint on the surface, they create an experience of now.

Catherine Ferguson is interested in structure and composition, and associates strongly with the realization of space in figurative painting. By analysing what she calls different 'spatial models' from traditions of painting from the Renaissance onwards, she has begun to create heterogenous spaces in her paintings drawn from the likes of Vermeer, Noland, Usle and many others. An accumulation of disparate concepts of space emerge not as individual designs that pre-exist their context, but as structures of vision pertinent to each painting's raison d'etre. Occasionally, the titles of the work indicate the articulation of specific tropes of vision – ‘A Certain Kind of Attention’ alludes to up-close inspection (e.g. the presentation of how paintings in a gallery are to be viewed formally) ‘In Front and Back’ alludes to Matisse’s ‘Piano Lesson’ and the sense that the viewer is both in front of and behind the subject matter of the painting (a paradoxical situation).

Despite sourcing from traditions in painting that include figuration, the notion of ‘abstract relations’ rather than perceptual representations is fundamental. She is more interested in creating objects with paint than describing them. The materiality is at once consigned to a sense of order within each piece of work, to the agenda of each painting, not on how paint can replicate something we know or remember.

Text by Della Gooden

Images from the top:

Cath Ferguson:
'In Front and Back', 2009 - acrylic on gesso and canvas 103x76 cms

Andrew Graves:
'Smoke', 2009 - oil and tempera on board 28x34 cms

Catherine Ferguson:
Untitled, 2009 - acrylic on gesso and canvas 70x50 cms

Andrew Graves:
'Cutting In', 2009 - oil and tempera on board 28x34 cms

Catherine Ferguson:
A Cartain Kind of Attention, 2009 - acrylic on gesso and canvas 102x76 cms

Andrew Graves:
'No one', 2009 - oil and tempera on board 28x34 cms

Daisy Richardson:
'Drowned Room', 2009 - acrylic on board 20x20 cms

Daisy Richardson:
'Bag and Meteorite', 2009 - acrylic on board 20x20 cms

Daisy Richardson:
'Meteorite', 2009 - acrylic on board 20x20 cms

Daisy Richardson was born in Scotland and lives and works in Glasgow. She studied for her BA at Glasgow School of Art and completed her MA at the Royal College of Art, London in 2007. Group exhibitions this year: ‘Anopseudonymous’, 500 Dollars, London; ‘Hell For Leather’, Glasgow Project Room, Glasgow; ‘Secrets’, R.C.A., London; ‘Blank 09’, Inside-Out, Beijing; ‘Kunskog’, 500 Dollars, London. Other shows include: ‘Raising Ground’, Bearspace, London, ‘The Jerwood Drawing Prize’, Jerwood Space (touring).This year she was selected for ‘Viewing Program’, The Drawing Center, New York. Awards include: The Jerwood Drawing (student) prize, 2007; The Red Mansion Foundation Art Prize, 2007; The B P Travel Award 2002.

Andrew Graves lives and works in London. He studied for his BA at Kingston University and his MA at Middlesex University in 2005. Solo shows include; The Solo Project, Basel, Switzerland; ‘All Falls Down’ Galerie Kusseneers, Antwerp; ’24 Hours’ Galerie Gana-Beauborg, Paris. He was in Bloomberg New Contemporaries (2005) and ‘Wandering Star’ with Mark Wallinger, Muzi Quawson, Jon Thompson, Sam Porrit and others, curated by Jeremy Akerman at Gana Gallery, Seoul, South Korea (2006). In 2009 he was selected for ‘Jerwood Contemporary Painters’, at The Jerwood Space, London and completed an Artists Residency at Gana Gallery, Seoul, South Korea.

Catherine Ferguson lives and works in London. She studied for her BA at Manchester and her MA at Chelsea. She completed a Fine Art PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2007 with a solo exhibition of paintings and a thesis titled ‘Painting, Deleuze and the Art of Surface Effects’. The philosophy of Gilles Deleuze has a significant role in the development of her work, particularly in exploring the possibility that the distinction between abstract and figurative painting is outmoded and limiting; in so far as these familiar terms belong to discourse and have the power to over-determine the conception of painting. In 2008 Ferguson presented conference papers on the work of Thomas Scheibitz (‘Paintings’ “Surface”: Thomas Scheibitz meets Deleuze’) at ‘The First International Deleuze Studies Conference’, Cardiff University and ‘Lines of Flight: The Deleuzian Text’ at the English Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University. As well as published texts and curatorial projects, solo shows include: Galeria Trama, Madrid; The John Holden Gallery, Manchester; VINEspace, London. A solo show is scheduled at APT Gallery, London in spring 2010.

 

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