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Pre-Production - An Exploration of Contemporary Painting Practice

July 2, 2013 by Miranda

Monday 8th July, 6pm-9pm

For one night only, an exhibition featuring studies by Adam Dix, Louise Bristow, Ian Gonczarow, Jane Milican and Benet Spencer will be held at the Occupy My Time Gallery, Deptford.

'Pre-Production' is concerned with an artist's initial exploration of subject matter, method and material before committal to final output.

Jane Millican painted study

The artists presented have been followed via browser bookmarks by ZONBI over a period of time and bring together a wide variety of pre-production processes. Part Two of this exhibition will offer the finished works that the samples here describe and outline, but for now the presentation is limited to 5 artists preparatory sketchbooks, print outs, drawings and models.

Some questions that 'Pre-Production' asks is ‘why is this not the work?’ Where is the departure point from the set up? Why does it have to be a drawing, a painting or sculpture? Is this not enough?

Louise Bristow’s work in this show is perhaps the most orthodox in terms of historic approaches, but it is also the most ambitious in terms of the multiplicity of converging potentials. The process involves a careful selection of found, readymade and made-to-order 3-dimensional elements that are then meticulously rendered in photographic detail in paint. The resulting macro-vistas – perhaps reminiscent of landscape painting from antiquity – position us directly in the flux of meaning, as juxtaposition and combination leave us frozen, quite unable to decide on a one line quip to explain it all away.

Adam Dix employs mythologies and traditions mixed with the sinister elements of the science fiction genre, in order to make sense of our current preoccupations with technology. The celebration of our times – the high-speed mast or linkup – is present in the production that also invokes a range of ‘folk’ and ‘familial’ circumstance. These picturesque or idyllic institutions are cruelly and cynically corrupted into a critique on the folly of our naivety, transcribed to replicate the printed aesthetic origin.

Adam Dix in his studio

Benet Spencer utilises digital technology to form 2D collages that ultimately examine the relationships between pattern, architecture and the natural world. The commitment to Photoshop as a tool for cutting and pasting has been discussed at length in the last few years, but less resolved is the confluence of both forms i.e. pixels and wet oily paint. The works produced as a result of this digital rendering are liberated from the confines of 0’s and 1’s into paintings that revel in the joys of the swathe, the swoosh, the drip and the smudge. One easy formal analysis could be that the electrical energy of the bright Mac plasma is a catalyst for work that pushes awkwardly cropped elements into a field bursting with the essence of that same slightly dystopic glow.

Ian Gonczarow is an ardent keeper of a sketchbook. All the paintings he produces undergo an incubus period there. Often a collage will be repeated several times before commitment to a larger scale and mono material. The urgency of the flippant cack-handed stroke over a tangle of felt-tip is his fixation, alongside the potential converging narratives therein. Referents to current geo-political turmoil are cut and covered, removed and then re-drawn in order that the artist may be ‘cutting’ in opinion and still have the challenge of painting a faithful reproduction.

For more information on Occupy My Time Gallery, please click here to be taken to their facebook page.

Inspired? Other Criteria have recently acquired four new Harland Miller mix media studies. Click here and take a look!

Alternatively, if it's the work of Adam Dix you're after, click here.