Rachel Howard at Galería Pelaires
Galería Pelaires is delighted to present Gregor Hildebrandt, Rachel Howard and Idris Khan on the occasion of Art Palma Summer. Conceptualised by Ashwin Thadani and Fedreric Pinya, the group exhibition highlights a contemporary fascination with a matter, particularly with lines, and a mutual effect arising from it: an aesthetic dialogue through and with contemporary art. The works of Hildebrandt, Howard and Khan are all abstract and minimal in their own way, challenging the notion of contemporary painting by differing material and techniques. They are capable of reflecting the moods that persisted while being created and of sensually conveying them to the viewer.
What we encounter in and with the works of Hildebrandt, Howard and Khan are differing surfaces creating a mutual effect: they invite us to immerse into their depth, thereby aiming to dissolve the distance between viewer, artist and image. Although referring to his or her individual sources of art historical, philosophical or musical inspirations (to name but a few: Hildebrandt is currently inspired by the Brazilian singer-songwriter Toco; Howard is drawn to Utagawa Kuniyoashi, a Japanese printmaker of the late 18th century; and Khan - quite literally - reacts to the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and his book “The Birth of Tragedy”), their strongest commonality is the peculiar capability to visually depict and mentally evoke an intense mobile boundlessness that spreads over the four corners of the image. In this over- powering moment of experiencing human emotions, embodied in-between lines of paint, vinyl and words, the viewer is confronted with the experience of the sublime.
Rachel Howard’s approach to creating a contemporary painting is based on oil paint and canvas. We see different sized colour fields that are sharply intersected by lines and sometimes patterns. At a closer look, Howard’s surfaces possess a three-dimensional – if not architectural – quality, achieved through an intensive experimentation with oil paint and other matter that encourages it to spreads over the canvas. Her signature feature is the use of gravity as an invisible paintbrush, creating lines that seem to contain a large spectrum of formal behaviour: they may end in delicate grids, form abstract patterns and shapes that occasionally allude to landscapes. Even in her more figurative works, the lines are still present, often traversing or even carrying the contours of the painted figure.
Howard once described her artistic practice close to that of an alchemist, constantly trying to apprehend the transmutability of matters. Her painted surfaces are, in fact, often literally disrupted, resembling the remains of a physical experiment. It is the artist’s longstanding preoccupation with the behaviour of oil paint when mixing it with diverse substances, as well as her ongoing interest in the progression of lines that leaves such alchemistic traces on her canvases. The resulting line patterns not only convey Howard’s behavioural studies on matter and form. Moreover, they also invite the viewer to immerse into the painting to experience a certain calmness of the mind –supported by a stable scaffolding of lines.
2nd June – 13th September 2007
PELAIRES CENTRE CULTURAL CONTEMPORANI
C. Can Verí, 3
07001 Palma de Mallorca