Shade, space, colour and form beyond the surface
jaggedart is delighted to present the work of Rory Gardiner and Tom Henderson in The Unseen, which will run during Frieze week 2012. This exhibition draws together photographs and sculptures with a minimalist aesthetic which relate to structures, form, space and colour beyond the landscape. Rory and Tom each explore the relationship between two and three dimensionality; through Tom’s wall based sculptures and layered works on paper and Rory’s architectural photographs.
As if floating on the gallery walls, Tom Henderson’s works are composed of coloured Plexiglas panels, partially covered with oil paint, each supported by an aluminium armature which projects through the surface. His work blends painting with sculptural materials and processes to create objects that explore the concept of the picture plane and its relationship to the wall and immediate environment. Hovering before the wall, Tom’s translucent angular objects are beautifully complex abstractions.
Tom’s series Corners has been developing since his second solo exhibition at jaggedart in 2011. His wall-based works are three dimensional, but they are presented like a painting on one plane. However, unlike a conventional painting, the works break free from the restraints of the frame, by inviting the viewer to perceive the piece as a sculpture from the front, the sides and through the translucent sections of Perspex. Tom creates a relationship between the shadows of the work as it hangs on the wall, and the highly polished surface of the Perspex which reflects the viewer and the space they inhabit. Unlike a traditional frame, the structural steel armature which supports the work, follows, not the outside corners and edges of the work, but also bisects each piece and is an integral aspect of the work itself. The armature simultaneously divides the piece into its constituent parts, and joins the painted and Perspex sections together.
Paint is applied to sections of the Perspex, on the surface and on the inside and outside edges. Thus the viewer is invited to move along the work and discover the different colours on the edges and the back of the work, transforming a two-dimensional work into a three dimensional piece. There is a contrast between the textures of the materials, such as the gleaming, polished, reflective surface of the Plexiglas and the areas of gestural oil paint that are applied to counterbalance the hard edge minimalism and lend the work a sense traditional painterly craftsmanship.
Tom has created a series of new works on paper, which are an extension of the main ‘Corners’ project, using different materials to achieve similar aims. The thin Plexiglas laid over the studies, enable these works to remain multi layered but the intimacy of scale means the emphasis here is more concerned with creating arrangements through the delicate juxtaposition and layering of tracing and coloured textured papers.
In The Unseen, Rory Gardiner presents photographs from two distinct series, which convey corners, angles, arcs, light and surface, sharing many of Tom’s concerns of three dimensionality and form, structure, composition, light and painterly qualities.
Rory’s photographs of structures in Hokkaido, Japan have an unexpected beauty and still quality. Intently photographed forms emerge from the winter landscape; structures amalgamated by the snow which envelops the surroundings entirely. Compositionally, the edges of the angular structures and buildings mirror the armature that simultaneously dissects and supports Toms’ sculptures. The very act of photography is to translate the three dimensional subject into a two dimensional medium, and Rory’s innate understanding of architecture, structure and form seems to oppose Tom’s work process.
Jacob Weiss writes, “Hokkaido explores the ulterior spaces outside the throng of Japan’s social epicentres; the non-spaces that are more closely aligned with the Japanese unconscious than the accessible prosperity of the cities and townships… Mostly void spaces, these photographs erase the subject literally, subconsciously heightening the tension of human absence. Indeed, the snow covers and absorbs everything – a white and featureless vacuum.”