I was looking to take away the barrier of paint, to meld color and material together without any physical separation, no matter how minuscule: to achieve true flatness. That’s the ethos for the entire body of work.
American artist Ethan Cook returns to T293 gallery with a new project entitled ‘Bands’ that presents a series of recent works marking the evolution of his artistic production over the past years. Cotton woven works, consisting of horizontal and recurrent vast stripes of colors combined by sewing, will be disseminated on the walls of the gallery, in a divergent palette of vibrant reds and oranges, pink and green, up to the deepest blue, brown and to the darkest black.
Painting flatness has been an important element of the spectator’s experience of the work of art since the advent of the Modern art, where the observer is supposed to appreciate the act of painting itself. At the core of Ethan Cook’s research there is the interest in permeation of meaning into the material by the act of making it. This making process appear to be a performative way to combine a gestural movement with the movement of a machine, letting error and imperfections to be a natural result of the whole procedure.
So close to abstract paintings, Cook’s practice goes yet so far beyond it. The flatness of the canvas becomes a surface in which to create an apparent infinite space, by following a structural simplicity and proportion, and looking for a spatial depth. His compositions create a dialogue between colors and forms that are made by the artist himself with the traditional act of weaving canvases on a loom. The ‘bands’ compositions reflect a balanced relationship of elements, which are able to instill the impression of an almost tactile artwork.