Jessica Carlisle and David Krut Projects present Archived Oil, a series of unique crude oil screenprints by British artist, Piers Secunda.
Secunda makes sculptures out of paint, constructing complex forms by carving and casting the medium. In the spring of 2009, he developed the idea of painting and printing his sculptures with crude oil to depict the early days of the oil industry, combining the texture of geopolitics with an abstract painting practice.
Secunda states, “Crude oil plays a fundamental role in every aspect of 21st century living, from energy and transport to agriculture and medicine, and is the main component of the world’s most frequently used material – plastic. If crude oil is the world’s ultimate facilitator, it must therefore be a contender as the ultimate artist’s material." Its presence alone speaks immeasurable volumes, but it is crude oil’s ability to function as a painting and printing medium that allows it to be employed as an artistic tool.
Archived Oil showcases a complex body of works, which utilize silkscreen printing with crude oil to depict images of the early days of the oil industry. Each ‘fragment’ of poured paint has been printed with the specific crude oils from the oil fields and wells which the artwork depicts, thereby telling the story of the oil age in its own medium. These works range from Baku in Azerbaijan and Spindletop in Texas, to scenes of California and Colorado. After finding a photograph of Saudi Arabia’s first successful oil well, Dammam Number 7, Secunda searched for two years for oil from that specific well in order to silkscreen the photograph. Eventually the oil was found, and the resulting crude oil print tells a story of a fleeting moment in time, which has had a seismic effect on global politics and economics ever since.
Piers Secunda lives and works in London and New York. He was born in 1976 and studied Painting at Chelsea College of Art. His work has been exhibited in galleries and public spaces across the world and is included in a number of important collections. Recent exhibitions include: “Piers Secunda” A Retrospective, UpDown Gallery, Kent, UK, 2014 and “War Stories” William Holman Gallery, New York, 2014 (group show curated by Anthony Haden-Guest). He is currently working on a publication of crude oil works with Endeavour London Publishers, and Getty Images. Secunda is represented by UpDown Gallery in the UK and Kuub Kulture Space in Holland.
Jessica Carlisle is a freelance curator and gallerist based in London, UK. She presents regular exhibitions in both public and private spaces and works with an extended network of artists. For five months in early 2015, Jessica will be working in collaboration with David Krut Projects in overseeing a series of exhibitions of British contemporary artists. The series opens with Piers Secunda and will follow with solo presentations by Alexander Massouras and Kate McCrickard (March), Vera Boele--‐Keimer (April), Hester Finch and William Stein (May).