Saturday, July 27, 2013

Three artists, three themes and three processes

Entitled ‘Visions from Beyond: A Foray into Metaphysics & Materiality’, a new exhibition at the Mumbai-based Galerie ISA highlights the facets of three talented practitioners: Daniel Lergon, Dan Rees and Mindy Shapero.

Duality of light and matter
For German artist Daniel Lergon, this shift between ice and iron serves as a metaphor for the opposition of white retroreflective and water on iron paintings, or in other terms, for the duality of light and matter. Color can be generated by painting with various lacquers and varnishes on retro-reflective fabric that react on contact, and also by the effect of water on materials such as iron. Though Lergon used to work with pigments earlier in his practice, he now restricts himself to transparent media. This means that the nature of the various materials he works with and the process itself are implicated and instrumental to the result.
Blending reproduction and recognition
Berlin-based artist, Dan Rees does not reduce his practice to a single medium, rather he prefers to create what he describes as a kind of conversation or collaboration. This involves Rees incorporating sculpture and painting into a 'modus operandi' that treats the process of reproduction and recognition as a medium in itself. Rees' work is littered with references to conceptual art practice yet, he refuses to commit to a narrow, elitist approach, preferring instead to borrow from pop culture and to use materials and processes that are riven with connections to childhood craft and every- day life such as plasticine, plaster – even cake.
A convincing alternate universe
The Los Angeles-based artist, Mindy Shapero creates a convincing alternate universe within which her drawings and sculptures take on totemic properties. Though she works with objects that necessarily engage with formalist concerns, her practice is more concerned with narrative than with making 'things'. This notwithstanding, just as Lergon's works are paradoxical in their contradiction between a labor intensive process and 'easy' appearance so Shapero's objects are meticulously rendered and highly finished and thus there is a tension between their nature and purpose. Tension though is something that underpins Shapero's work and the artist and her practice seem to thrive on it.

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