Elias Hansen & The Reader Alan Reid Ain’t quite right
May 31 – September 15, 2012
A palazzo gallery – Piazza Tebaldo Brusato 35 – Brescia
Hansen and Read’s art-making approach stem from a shared philosophy, with the final results being considerably different. The care and attention to the materials, from the discarded to the hand-made, is elevated, while nothing is taken for granted. Existing on the street or in a gallery, the process of remaining mysterious while developing a distinct and refined voice is vital. Wordplay through titles and phrases read as secret codes and messages passed between them, but inclusive enough for the audience to be involved. The friendship between these two artists has cemented over years of ongoing dialogue and a shared vision of remaining authentic and present without revealing too much, even when the world demands it.
For this exhibition, The Reader, who is also known as Read More Books, Read Up, Mr. Bones, Rancor, and Open Your Eyes, has created a selection of graphic paintings. The black, white and red graphic design style and socio-political axioms are reminiscent of Barbara Kruger, with added grit. The skillful use of silkscreen, stencils, spray paint, collage, stickers, letterpress, stamps, and even shiny cigarette packages are materials sourced from and for the street, and transformed into works of art for the gallery.
The methodology of “being clean and gritty at the same time” is also at play in Elias Hansen work. For this show, Hansen will exhibit a network of hand-blown glass beakers, plastic tubing, CFC light bulbs, welded steel, and freshly chopped wood. These components are brought together to simulate interconnectivity, dependency, and completion within a closed system. They take the form of a self-contained water fountain, metal tables, and wall shelves. The glass is hand-blown by Elias and the wood is locally sourced from the artist’s yard in Upstate New York.
During the last 10 years, Alan Reid has pursued a line of thinking in painting that incorporates an interest in the history of the medium, painting’s echo in culture, modes of desire, and the linguistic instability of painting’s presence.
Reid’s perceptually light paintings, feature an ever-evolving cast of life-sized, imagined figures, primarily women, seemingly sourced from cinema and the pages of fashion magazines. In contrast to the beauty of the depicted subjects, Reid’s paintings often have added elements collaged to the surface, functioning variously as absurdist clothing, scenery or as a linguistic foil.
His works are studies in ambiguity, oscillating between familiarity and obscurity. Faces initially register with clarity and security, but quickly lead to bewilderment. Reid prefers to remain vague and passive in gene rating meaning, and shifts attention to the interpretive abilities of the viewer. For The Chameleon, Reid has created a series of figure-based paintings taking as a launching point the abstracted image of a fig leaf as their launching point. In addition, a new facet of his work, text-based abstractions will accompany the figures.
Image above: Alan Reid, Savage Weekend, 2012, caran d’ache and acrylic on canvas in artists frame, 122×152 cm
Surface of the World, 2012
caran d’ache and acrylic on canvas in artists frame
work in progress (studio shot), 2012