Cob Gallery is pleased to present New Work Part II: Material - a group show forming the second edition in a three-part exhibition series and following on from Form earlier in 2018.
New Work Part I, II, III: Form, Material, Subject will exhibit selected groups of international multidisciplinary artists who bring distinct voices and striking approaches to these three fields of enquiry.
The three-part series format is inspired by a programme devised at Green Gallery, New York. Between 1960 and 1965, curator Richard Bellamy chose to exhibit the work of emerging artists who were redefining what art was, taking it into new directions, and using materials and forms in innovative ways.
Material brings together works from international, emerging and established artists, who have become known for an unwavering experiamentation in their application and manipulation of their chosen, more often than not, unconventional artistic materials. Presented as a meeting of painting, sculpture, installation, video, photography and mixed media works, this exhibition examines the dialogue between the organic versus the manufactured and the mechanical, as well as the unconventional use of common place or invented materials versus the traditional.
The exhibition also presents a juxtaposition of the natural and the man-made- and through the prism of 'the artist's hand' opens up a wider discourse on man's interference on, and appropriation of, the natural world and the materials we extract from it. Sculptures made from beeswax, caramel, soap, nettle fibre and human hair, are set against works constructed from manufactured material including steel, VHS tape, industrial waste, and copper wire.
A connoisseurship of specialised materials and techniques are presented through a roster of artists whose investigations are hinged to an expanded conceptual approach to traditional craft. Here, the artist's subverted approach to weaving, Nata carving, and ceramics challenge the traditional notions of craftsmanship, and its significance in a fine art context. Also presented are early photochemical processes that have been reinvigorated as an edition series created by a contemporary painter.
Finally, painting, sculpture, photography and drawing are dissected through both the selection and application of materials and techniques. Three dimensional paintings, graphite drawings cast as sculpture, academic drawings depicting staged scenes of sculpture and painting, and photographs produced through e-ink screens, toy with formalism, and deliberately challenge the conventional attributes of traditional mediums.
Material is an exhibition which binds the artists on display in their collective fascination of the material wrought-ness of the art object- their mediums of choice are inextricable to their unique artistic aesthetic and pertinent to their conceptual practice. Similarly, there are artists who approach medium as synonymous with autobiographical or socio-political expression, and in ritualistic or performative application can be viewed as an extension of the psychoanalytical process.