An object becomes untethered from its physical form. The ball rolls upwards against gravity, the brain floods with forgotten synapses, and paper crumples outwards, unfurling, as an empty swimming pool takes flight. The memory of its original state is precarious; matter itself tensing and stretching its disobedient edges. The hunt to pin it down is on – is it better to track the essence through its atoms? To graph its architecture? Its invisible biology? Or the hither and thithering of its impression? Material and image are unreliable sources, intractable and sneaky. So we wait, on tenterhooks, stitching together what is.
Ernesto Burgos twists and tears cardboard and fiberglass, caving in and contorting their internal structures. The wall sculptures seem held up by an invisible wind, like crumpled tissue, blown against the wall for only a moment. Scrawls in charcoal and oil paint loop and scribble over and through the creased and lacerated forms, like tire marks or rubbed out messages. They seem to have only just arrived, and already are barely held back from flying away.
Masaya Chiba’s paintings too are taut with the possibility of motion. The still-lives have a shallow depth of field, depicting spheres arranged on a wooden cross, like an unfired trebuchet. They stand in front of chewed-up bust-like shapes, flat profiles of unknown characters. Muted and quiet, they imply Morandi’s careful family portraits of bottles and vases. Chiba’s repeated motifs, however, are not familiar objects but stylized metaphysical constellations – encoded models of unknown systems.
Anna K.E.’s works on canvas also seem to speak of a metaphysical space, a De Chirico-world of empty archways and stairs going nowhere. The unstretched canvases have a surface like rubber, like the squeak of a gymnasium floor or a brightly colored ball of Playdoh. Bouncing technicolor forms ricochet through hyperspace, while copper struts dissipate into smoke. Like early computer games, they urge the viewer to press start, to connect the dots or to venture into their slow-loading, uninhabited realms.
Pauline Shaw’s fabric works are strung up like the wooly skins of imaginary beasts. Shaw bases the tapestries on images of the brain remembering, tracing delicate lines of a memory’s biological structure. Crisscrossed by veins of black and green felt, they could be blotted out maps of underwater floodplains or Rorschach tests – a cartography of an inconstant impression, drawn through repeated recall and ever-changing retellings. Shaw chases an unconscious image through skein and bone, and into abstraction.- Thea Voyles, 2024