‘Form in the narrower sense is, however, nothing more than the boundaries between one surface and another. This is the external meaning. But since everything external implicitly conceals an interior (which comes to light forcibly or feebly), so also every form has an inner content.’
Edward Wadsworth, writing about Kandinsky in Blast.
Shape Recognition brings together the work of three contemporary artists whose approach to making images attends as much to surface and materiality as it does to motif. The exhibition is a series of dialogues – between each artist’s individual language of abstraction, and between the external form and inner content of the works themselves.
Terry Greene’s recent sequence of mixed media collages, combines cut, painted and re-assembled fragments of canvas. Each work plays with simple formal elements that are given specificity through his subtle use of applied and abraded colour – a process that echoes his approach to painting in which layers of paint are applied and worked back into. A sense of seriality in the new body of work stems from a desire to keep the dialogue between individual collages open, whilst reflecting the immediacy of each composition.
Dan Roach’s images combine recurrent and reiterated abstract forms that are disrupted by instinctive painterly gesture. He works using oil, graphite and wax on canvas – or board – in a process that leaves the trace of previous imagery apparent within the paintings’ surfaces:‘wavering ghost-shapes that cluster and disperse like living cells.’ (Charles Darwent) Recent etchings play with scale, incorporating circular motifs that relate to the shape of tiny sub atomic particles, and to galactic jets which are emitted from the centre of enormous black holes in space.
David Webb draws on a range of personal references for the motifs he employs in his highly distinctive, colour-filled canvases. The images carry remembered details of architecture and place, and are influenced by traditions of decorative folk art found in India, Africa and North America. A recurrent pictorial theme in a number of the paintings relates to Pachisi cross and circle board games, which originated in medieval India and spread into other cultures.