GEORGE CHARMAN & TOM HACKNEY
4 November - 3 December 2016
The concrete of modern buildings and infrastructures does not exist prior to the arrival of the constituent ingredients, cement, sand, aggregate, steel, at one place - a building site, or a casting factory - and it is only at the moment when human labour combines them together that they become concrete. In this respect, concrete can be more accurately described as a process than as a material.
Adrian Forty, Concrete and Culture, 2012
FORMWORK inaugurates a series of two-person exhibitions hosted by dalla Rosa with the aim of creating a dialogue between artists that have not previously worked together but share similar interests and influences. George Charman and Tom Hackney are both based in London and have been exploring the possibilities of concrete while developing other sides of their practices, specifically drawing (Charman) and painting (Hackney). The fascination with materials and processes is a clear trait d’union that runs through their work, together with an interest in perception modelled on grids and repetition.
A dynamic exchange between thinking and making is central in Hackney’s work. Having initially trained as a painter, Hackney’s practice has developed a multidisciplinary approach to making, as shaped by the conceptual forces behind the work. Works align by a shared logic which reveals itself in geometry and through methodical application. Whilst the role of the hand can appear remote, that the works are handmade is a key in maintaining this core exchange.
The works are typically generated in response to specific historical material encountered in the process of making, researching and reflecting, often incorporating pre-existing forms, structures and art-historical narratives which are recreated, replayed and restaged as a means of exploring more contemporary stakes.
Charman’s drawings, sculptures and site responsive installations often employ as a framework the structure of the Isometric grid. Isometric projection presents linear axes that appear equally foreshortened, suggesting a dynamic interrelation and equality of space and form unaffected by perspectival proximity. Isometric projection centers the viewer at all points without focusing on any one predominant convergence. Instead, an unfocused yet fundamental peripheral vision suggests multiple non-determinate points of interaction and enquiry.
Through the intersection of horizontal and vertical planes or screens (both real and pictorial), of varying material, scale and opacity, Charman delineates the grid into a series of recesses and subdivisions that draws the senses and the body towards intimate encounters between planes. Dwelling spaces open up activated by the body, suggesting a preconscious physical engagement with objects, not as they are, but as we are in relation to them.
About the Artists
George Charman studied at Surrey Institute of Art and Design and Royal College of Art. He is a lecturer in Fine Art at University for the Creative Arts and visiting lecturer at West Dean College. He was the recipient of a number of awards including: Acme Fire Station Live/work residency 2010/15, Gerald Moore Gallery Artist in residence 2015/17, shortlisted for the Mark Tanner Sculpture Prize and the Soho Sculpture Prize (2014), and 2nd prize at Jerwood Drawing Prize 2009.
Tom Hackney studied at Manchester Metropolitan University and Goldsmiths in London. He has extensively shown in Europe and United States, most recently at Francis Naumann Fine Art (New York) and the World Chess Hall of Fame, St. Louis, presenting his solo exhibition Corresponding Squares: Painting the Chess Games of Marcel Duchamp. Other solo exhibitions include Suspended Belief (The Castlefield Gallery, Manchester), MINERALS (Ambacher Contemporary, Munich), Constellar Relations (Untitled Gallery, Manchester), Tremors (BreeseLittle, London).