union gallery — new show

rut blees lux­em­burg, shane brad­ford, soon­hak kwon and bri­an reed

(from the gallery)

UNION is pleased to present Walls — a group exhi­bi­tion fea­tur­ing works by Rut Blees Lux­em­burg, Shane Brad­ford, Soon­hak Kwon and Bri­an Reed, all of whom have pre­vi­ous­ly shown with Jari Lager in curat­ed projects or exhi­bi­tions at Union Gallery.

Rut Blees Lux­em­burg known for her explo­ration of urban land­scapes will show the detailed fram­ing of a ruined wall. Blees Luxemburg’s ‘The Pat­tern of the Plans’ gives its sub­ject bear­ing, offer­ing a dis­placed, almost abstract image. ‘We are shown ordi­nary things we might expect to find anywhere–a dis­card­ed cig­a­rette pack­et, the mar­ble fin­ish­ing in a lob­by, damp pave­ment, and a lichen-cov­ered wall–but what we see goes well beyond this. It takes us towards Andre Bre­ton’s idea of con­vul­sive beau­ty, to the way in which the every­day and the ephemer­al can open into and reveal the work­ings of the uncon­scious.’ — Michael Archer, Art­Fo­rum, Feb­ru­ary 2003.

Shane Bradford’s large-scale paint­ing ‘Rehang’, 2011, has pre­vi­ous­ly been shown at Union gallery. It was hung in pre­cise­ly the same posi­tion for his solo exhi­bi­tion in May 2010. For this show how­ev­er, the work has been recoat­ed in thin lay­ers of trans­par­ent white. Thus the primer lay­er — habit­u­al­ly applied first – has become an end stage of the artists paint­ing process — a paint­ing in reverse or else primed for a sub­se­quent incar­na­tion. Brad­ford gives as much val­ue to ‘con­text’ in effect­ing the mean­ing of his art objects as to the con­tent and visu­al lan­guage of the object itself. In the case of  ‘Rehang’, atten­tion is deflect­ed from the paint­ing as fin­ished arti­cle. Exhibit­ing the paint­ing in its unfin­ished state is a vital con­struct for Brad­ford in free­ing the art­work from its usu­al context.

Four new works by Soon­hak Kwon form part of an ongo­ing series of high res­o­lu­tion pho­tographs of emp­ty gallery walls. Kwon’s pho­tographs doc­u­ment a wall’s his­to­ry, like a car­tog­ra­ph­er he high­lights, scans and cap­tures every detail of the walls sur­face before stitch­ing togeth­er hun­dreds of close-up shots. Kwon has pho­tographed Union’s walls, installing the works in a dis­lo­cat­ed posi­tion, con­trary to the exist­ing per­pen­dic­u­lar line of the wall. At a dis­tance, Kwon intends his pho­tographs appear as an emp­ty space before, on clos­er inspec­tion, becom­ing super-high-res­o­lu­tion images, full of minute information.

Bri­an Reed’s new work focus­es on spir­i­tu­al­i­ty in con­tem­po­rary art — or the absence of it. Faith, prayer and wor­ship are core con­cepts in ‘The Nur­tured Release’, 2011, a framed abstract struc­ture of plas­ter and mar­ble dust. Reed is influ­enced by the visu­al lan­guage of ear­ly reli­gious art as well as areas of east­ern spir­i­tu­al­i­ty adopt­ed by abstract expres­sion­ist artists Mark Rothko, Antoni Tapies, Robert Moth­er­well and Janez Bernikheld. In this piece he makes ref­er­ence to visu­al and con­cep­tu­al themes of the three faiths of Judaism, Chris­tian­i­ty and Islam, in par­tic­u­lar to the West­ern Wall in Jerusalem, the most sacred of sites in Judaism. Reed has placed 23 prayers appro­pri­at­ed from a Chris­t­ian faith web­site with­in the work (the num­ber 23 being sig­nif­i­cant in both Islam­ic and Chris­t­ian reli­gious numerol­o­gy). These prayers are print­ed onto prayer cards, touch­ing on the emer­gence of online ser­vices offer­ing email, twit­ter and fax as a means of send­ing prayers to the wall from all over the world.

For more infor­ma­tion please con­tact: +44 (0)20 7739 9119 or: info@union-gallery.com



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