Paintings from the Zabludowicz Collection: Part II
Nestled in a former 19th century Methodist chapel, the UK branch of the Zabludowicz Collection presents the second opus of its contemporary paintings collection, simply called Part II. The event includes a trio of exhibitions: Painting in the 2.5th Dimension (a collective exhibition by seven young American painters), along with the work of German veteran Albert Oehlen and American Josh Smith – a three-for-one experience in contemporary painting.
The journey begins at the deep end with the immersive experience of Painting in the 2.5th Dimension where contemporary painters push the abstraction and dimensions of their practices deeper. From Rosy Keyser, who doesn’t really use a canvas at all, to Alex Hubbard, who mainly does video, Painting in the 2.5th Dimension challenges our understanding of painting. Employing mixed media – photography and collage incorporating metal, plastic, glass and video – the goal is to show that painting is not only about the brush, and more importantly, not a 2D affair. Straddling the second and third dimensions, the exhibition bridges the gap between painting and other techniques.
Via pastel colours and construction materials (concrete & wax), Jessica Dickinson brings to life an organic 3D texture, with a warped effect that is brilliantly effective. Ned Vena’s work with ink is a perfect metaphor for the 3D goal that permeates the section. Rosy Keyser’s Eve’s First Confusion between Penises and Snakes (2012) is a conceptual proposition with no canvas and strings of snake skin as a new approach to the experience of a painting, with no up or down. In the simplest way, Tauba Auerbach’s Untitled (Fold) series (2010) reflects it all with simple canvases and her representation of folded paper in print. Her performance is the quintessence of Painting in the 2.5th Dimension.
The second plunge affords us the opportunity to embrace the multiple faces of Josh Smith. The room is a powerful statement of contemporary painting with the famous “stop sign” metal-plated Untitled (2010 – fast becoming Smith’s signature work) to the moving sculpture representing the creative process of contemporary painting, Stage Painting 3 (2011).
Last but not least is the Albert Oehlen room. Here, the spectator can rediscover his finger painting work along with Untitled (9 1/2 Weeks) (1995). This superposition of video on painting, apparently with no connection whatsoever between the two, is a thrilling experience of paint reading.
For further information about the Zabludowicz Collection visit the gallery’s website here.