Tom Owen ~ 5 - 28 august 2011
studio 1.1
london e2

text | images  

present show 

past shows 


gallery details 

  new work

Open Wednesday to Sunday, 12noon - 6pm, or by appointment.

Private view: Thursday 4th August, 6 - 9pm

The first time we showed Tom Owen (in 'Abstract Continuous' 2007), just after graduating from the Slade, he showed large abstract canvases. Then as we followed his progress, new elements began to attach themselves to the surface and even outside the frame. Now, at the RA Schools, the exploration continues.

Owen sets himself obstacles, doesn't take the easy option; found materials and photographs force new inventions and counter-narratives - these new collages present themselves not as a step away from abstraction, accidents from the actual world providing a resolution of the urge to mimesis, but rather propose a further dissolution of the image and an extension of the act of interpretation. The gesture, the impulse towards gesture is extended to include the materials of its manifestation, the surfaces of reclaimed vinyl or plasterboard bringing their own codes of expression - semi-transparent or opaque. The printing process is now one of revelation and abandonment, not (just) reproduction,

The surface is questioned, the origins of picture-making re-rehearsed. Glue becomes paint, the photograph canvas and collage dis-assembles itself.

"Although employing broad methods the works are not about the exuberance this might imply. Rather, they seem more about reluctance. For example, the easy charm of painterly tropes is used to draw in the viewer but this is immediately undermined by the fact that these marks are often mechanical reproductions, indirect representations.

The surfaces he prints on, such as plasterboard, can be frustratingly blank. Their machine made matt planes offer little for the viewer to engage with. Sometimes embossed, they are lent a hard authoritative edge. Lino-printed motifs are repeated, adjusted, corrected across the picture plane. It is left uncertain as to whether this is about creating a holistic movement or interrupting the composition of one.

What emerges is a focus on the physicality of objects and materials. Perhaps it becomes a proposition, functioning in a mode that is more akin to source material, so that the next viewer can activate it again further down the line as he re-uses its various factions."

Gili Tal 2011

For more information or images contact:
Michael Keenan on 07952 986 696