Galeria Carles Taché and No 20 are delighted to present a group show featuring the work of Shaun Fraser, Polly Johnston, Max Maxwell, Harry Morgan and Keith Roberts.
This exhibition presents the results of each of these artists’ individual journeys of
exploration of their preferred medium. Despite being at different stages in their careers
and working with different media, playfulness and naivety, determination and commitment go hand in hand in all the works shown, where materials including emulsion and acrylic paints, glass, soil, metal, and concrete are carefully scrutinised and subsequently celebrated.
Harry Morgan is interested in the behaviour and intrinsic ‘personalities’ of materials. His current work explores the conflicting relationship between concrete and glass. Glass, with its unclear borders and internal dimension, conveys the ambiguous or intangible. In Sharp contrast, concrete is brutally physical; the word itself used to describe absolutes and certainties. Harry enjoys the tension between the fragile, transparent glass and the uncompromising, dense concrete.
Also working with glass, bronze and soil, Shaun Fraser’s work comments upon notions of identity and connections with place. Originally from the Highlands and Islands, the región is a constant source of inspiration for him. There’s a certain sense of fidelity which Shaun attaches to the Highlands, a sense of belonging which is raw and emotive; elemental, and what he attempts to do through his art is to tap into some of that disposition. By including peat and local soils into his glass castings, Shaun provides the work with an innate link to the landscape, something which he believes to be very important: the ability to evoke a sense of place.
A common theme in Max Maxwell’s work is the transformation of materials, as well as
their relocation in order to show qualities which are not normally visible. His paintings are influenced directly from his video experiments; oil paints and metal leaves are randomly arranged and gilded on to aluminium panels. The appearances of the artworks, seemingly in a state of flux, evoke abstract landscapes undergoing a chemical patination.
The series of work by Keith Roberts presented in this exhibition is the result of a journey of application and removal, a continual process of change. Like the Old Masters, Roberts initially uses a toned background – pink –, which acts as a surface to continually manipulate: covered and then brought back to the surface. These works go through a process of being moved around and are painted horizontally as well as vertically.
By using this method of layering, application and removal to both define and disrupt the surface of Exploration with paint is also carried out by Polly Johnston. The works of this recent Glasgow School of Art graduate are testimony to her investigation into the boundaries between painting and sculpture. What started as a mistake one day in her studio opened the doors to Johnston’s new route of discoveries. Leaving the canvas aside, pouring considerable amounts of viscous paint and letting it run freely onto different surfaces, such as plastic crates or directly onto the wall, allows the artist to create not quite paintings or sculptures, but rather what could be considered sculptural paintings or painterly sculptures.