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Vincent Laute, Phil Lumai, Schälling | Enderle       

Why the moon waxes and wanes

20 January 2018 to 17 March 2018


For his first exhibition at our gallery, we are delighted to present a new painting by Phil Lumai. This new work on linen uses multiple painterly references to experiment with the regeneration and suggestion of form in abstract painting. Whilst continuing to treat process and idea as singular movement of artistic expression as in his earlier monochrome works, here he uses the concept of the ‘sketch‘ to deconstruct geometric composition and produce new relationships to form and structure in painting.

In ‘6 Halves‘ (2017), rhythmic and expressive colour mark out and also break down the geometry. The painting references aspects of early modernist painting such as works by László Moholy Nagy (1895-1946) or Alexandr Rodchenko (1891-1956) but we can also pick up relationships with contemporary sculpture, e.g. Richard Deacon or gestures of abstract expressionism. The sparse white ground of the painting and direct approach may reflect the artists’ appreciation of Martin Barré (1924-1993). Speaking of his work Phil Lumai says that he is looking to re-evaluate the ways in which ideas of form have been treated in abstract painting. „This relationship to form in my paintings is explored colouristically as the ‘thinking through‘ and ‘sketching out‘ of possible abstract forms that are both suggested and rejected, reworked and repositioned and eventually left unresolved. Although I begin with a very specific idea that evolves over a considerable time, eventually I think of it like a discarded sheet of  sketches that, whilst presenting no formal solution, also renders up  something intriguing that is quintessentially painting.“

Besides their experience of working in quarries in different countries, the artists Schälling | Enderle have been for many years constructing sculpture with stone extracted from quarries in Wallonia. The sculptures in this exhibition combine stone with plaster and wood stacked upon the other. The subtle language that emanates from their work is based on examining the concept of sculpture itself, questioning established European traditional views of art. Seeing sculpture as more than a work of reduction and pleasing proportions, it has the potential to take us beyond our limited ideas of place, culture, times and the nature of matter.

In the formative and tense space between the choice of the raw material and the production of an art work they have developed a subtle understanding of their materials. For Schälling | Enderle it is matter, immanent with life and carrier of information. With reference to Giordano Bruno, matter and spirit are one and the same- every particle of reality is indivisibly composed of the physical and spiritual. Their sculptures and works on paper condense this belief and further it through their work process. As wide ranging as their individual projects may be, one of the  central aspects to their approach calls into question the identification of materials and what we expect of them, or project upon them and the artists‘ works play unexpectedly on these preconceptions.

Vincent Lautes‘ work titled ‘ZT050118‘ (2018), is made up of 5 asymmetrically shaped angular planes of colour. Depending on the light fraction we perceive these colours as either bold and contrasting or subtle and harmonious. The interplay and exchange of our perceptions as we move along the work and encounter changes in light and shadow enriches phenomenological experience. Whereas in other works Laute explores space and colour in more gestural ways on both two dimensional supports, as well as based relief sculpture, in this work he draws on his interests in constructivism and hard edge painting. The piece tackles playfully relief’s unique position between painting and sculpture and searches for synthesis of colour, shape and spatial organisation in the gallery. The harmony of the work is both a pleasure and as the artist sees it „a protest against the banality and vulgarity of the mass imagery.“

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