Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau
18 November –16 December 2017
PV Friday 17 November 6–9pm
A flower soaks in a milky substance; bath crystals froth in sweet-smelling cherry vodka; pubic hair sticks to salt dough; fig juice bleeds onto cotton; rust lacquer coats jesmonite; glitter mingles with Cocoa Butter...
The materials in this exhibition are promiscuous. They mix ceaselessly and with sensual energy.
Like the pigment of a painting, or the mashed-up ingredients of a beauty remedy, they have been blended to complement and soothe one another. They drip and spill as they meet, enriched in triumphant elation. Materials also dominate and exhaust one another. They become compromised, unstable and wither.
The treatment of materials in this show recalls Lucy Lippard’s exhibition and short-lived movement Eccentric Abstraction. This movement is described prosaically in the Grove Encyclopedia of Art as an ‘organic abstract form in sculpture, evoking the gendered body through an emphasis on process and materials’(1). Lippard, on the other hand, offers us something more evocative, describing the works in Eccentric Abstraction as having a ‘post-dynamic sensuousness, characteristic of provocation, fore - or after - play, rather than of climax’(2).
ripe might not be Eccentric Abstraction’s second coming, but both definitions evoke something of what’s at play in this show. The ‘post-dynamic sensuousness’ here is more than just the product of the artist’s choice of materials. It is felt in their deft manipulation of bodily textures and colours, the combination of hard and soft, and the subtle imprints of the artist’s hand found in the works.
Delving into the sparkly leftovers of a sales basket or a ripe-smelling garden waste bin; the artists in this exhibition select and treat materials in a fearless and tender way. They celebrate and grapple with the slipperiness of material culture and its dense and rich scenery; pushing and probing at our relationships with the materials that surround us.
1 Ed. Marter, J., The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art (online:http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/
authority.20110803095740301) last viewed: 22.10.17
2 Lippard, L., Eccentric Abstraction, Art International 10:9, (November 1966)
Official Link: http://www.kingsgateworkshops.org.uk/