press release

The Sharjah Art Museum is pleased to present Considering Dynamics and Forms of Chaos; two parallel solo exhibitions of Angela Bulloch’s and Maria Zerres’ works, brought together under one title and framed by the notion of entropy.The exhibition is curated by Amira Gad and Brigitte Schenk.

Entropy is commonly understood as a measure of disorder. It is a key term that characterises the movement towards chaos, and it appears in a variety of fields such as physics, probability theory, sociology and information technology. In information theory, entropy is the average amount of information contained in a message. In other words, entropy is that which structures chaos. Within a contemporary art discourse, since the late 1960s, entropy has emerged to refer to installations often associated with entropic states or with representations of order, disorder and information, and their homogeneity.

Angela Bulloch (b. 1966, Canada) is an artist working across many forms such as sculpture, installation and sound. In her work, Bulloch adopts an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating references from a wide array of sources, be it history, film or music. Bulloch’s works span many forms, but they all manifest her interest in systems, patterns and rules, and the creative territory between mathematics and aesthetics. A common thread in her artistic practice is the manipulation of codes and a sense of control. Whether that code is music- or text-based, the artist plays with and orchestrates our perception and experience of art. She proposes that this experience can be ‘subliminally programmed’ and her work stages that which is beyond our grasp.

Maria Zerres’ (b. 1961, Germany) paintings explore the aesthetic languages of abstraction and figuration. In her work, Zerres is wary of realistic and familiar depictions. Instead, she conveys emotions through her paintings with the use of bold, gestural brushstrokes and colours. Her canvases play with the use of space by emphasising not painted and over-painted areas that emerge out of improvisation and result in compositions that bridge abstract and figurative painting.

Through Zerres’ and Bulloch’s works, suggestions of entropy transpire in different ways and through their respective artistic forms. Bulloch’s artistic practice can be perceived through the lens of an idea of entropy that is more closely related to its application in information theory. Her series of Pixel Boxes, for example, code information that is abstracted into a visual representation and then turned into a visually aesthetic and harmonious installation. With Zerres’ paintings, forms of disfiguration and strategies of abstraction are deployed. In her works, ideas of entropy appear through chaotic brushstrokes that result in a sense of homogeneity. Inherent to both artists’ practices is a congruous representation of the idea of a movement towards chaos.

As the title of the exhibition suggests, harmony and structure (form) appear in consonance through the composition of an exhibition that brings together the works of two artists whose practices both embody the inherently paradoxical notion of entropy, and manifest an embedded dynamism.

The exhibition is organised in cooperation with Galerie Brigitte Schenk, Cologne; and Esther Schipper, Berlin.

With support of Gallery Simon Lee, London, Gallery Eva Presenhuber, Zürich, Gallery Micheline Szwajcer, Brussels, DASMAXIMUM, KunstGegenwart, Traunreut, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt.