press release

Preview: 15th November 2006 6-9pm

‘the air line’ draws a connection between three artists whose work shares a vocabulary but articulates different voices. The artists share an interest in the economy of marks and the point where a graphic gesture opens up meaning, playfully making links and references in the symbolic space between ephemerality and intentionality. In ‘the air line’ different or possible elements stand together or in for each other in a moment of balance.

For Anthea Hamilton the space is opened up through her sculptural installations that operate almost like three-dimensional relief’s. Combining found objects, appropriated images, plants, drawings, clothes and various different sculptural materials Hamilton sculptures teeter on the edge of formal elegance and informal suggestiveness. There is a sense of crudeness to the placement of the components (which are often re-formed in subsequent works) but also a precise formal rigor in the composition. She melds seduction of material and female desire, investing meaning by combining gesture with form.

This line between gesture and form is also explored through Helene Appel’s paintings. Natural, organic transformations such as growth, flowering, withering and decay are animated by the seemingly inappropriate instruments of aesthetics and art. Natural and casual processes are made to match the processes of abstract painting. The representation of low value objects stands in for different painterly processes, one gives the capital for the other to exist and each tests the others competence to replace or dominate each other. Within the paintings in the show there are different process actions referenced; the cut, the abstract mark, the gesture of process painting, as well as the more casual gestures of placing twigs and sweeping. The ascending movement of the upright twigs stands in for the value and ambition of the painterly mark.

Nicholas Byrne’s paintings manipulate the purity or impurity of symbols and forms. Figure heads are staged in simple composition, on an intimate scale reminiscent of a book or a drawing board. As with Hamilton’s sculptures, the paintings act as signals, in a similar way as a letter of the alphabet or the way a hieroglyph delivers language or narrative. Each painting has changes of register between design, pattern and figure. They reference the body and also its representation as a secular totem that carries different attributes. Variations include; a divided head positioned above an arch held with repeated red stiletto forms, a head stitched into backdrop held up by two patterned poles, also head merging into a boot surrounded by suns. Flat colour elements cut around loosely painted surfaces create a screen or veil. ‘the air line’ suggests objects with fragile delimitation and the playful break down in visual language that gives particular attributes the position of dominance.

Helene Appel graduated from The Royal College of Art in 2006. Recent exhibitions; Friedrich, doggerfisher, Ediburgh (2006); Serdtse Gallery, Moscow (2006); Index 2005, Kunsthaus Hamburg (2005). Nick Byrne graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2005. Recent exhibitions; Toutes Composition Florales, Counter, London (2006); Shabu Frabu 007, Hollybush Gardens, London (2005), Vilma Gold, London (Forthcoming). Anthea Hamilton graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2005. Recent exhibitions; Athens, IBID Projects, London (2006); How Deep is Yor Love, Vision On, London (2005); Baroque My World, Transition, London; Rose Selavy, Perry Rubenstein, New York (Forthcoming).

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the air line
Helene Appel, Nicholas Byrne, Anthea Hamilton