Group Show - Distinction
Curated By Gerard Hemsworth
28 January—3 April 2007
Galerie Michael Janssen Cologne
William Anskis, Martin Fletcher/Systems House, Shaan Syed
Distinction is an exhibition of the work of three emerging artists. Distinction does not merely assert the identity or constitute the differences between these artists, nor does it merely present their individuality in terms of merit.
Distinction addresses the concerns inherent in the work of these artists in relation to one another, and the distinctiveness this relationship proposes, allowing the work of each artist to present a context in which to ‘frame’ the way we address the other artists work.
Distinction acknowledges that these artists are part of a generation where sustainable value and originality are questionable, where everything is consumable, where the loss of utopian ideals no longer matters, where the ordinary is presented as the sublime and reality TV becomes our benchmark. Distinction proposes an engagement with the values proposed by these artists and the values proposed by the work of these artists in relation to one another, asserting the possibility of value and how those values are constructed.
William Anskis paintings depict abstracted claustrophobic spaces reminiscent of Sci-Fi Cinema, Cartoons and early Video Game technology. They are not direct representations, but illusions of deconstructed spaces, patterns and repetition.The works are organised by a vivid technicolor palette of geometric lines and shapes with a generic quasi-abstract expressionist layer of dense paint dangling from the surface. The paintings signify the virtual space of digitalisation whilst simultaneously presenting the medium in which they are produced.
Martin Fletcher as Systems House produces sculptural constructions derived from a mixed provenance that references modernist architectural forms and furniture whilst acknowledging and recomposing elements of contemporary consumer culture. Both the aesthetic and utilitarian nature of these objects, their precise modular structures made of steel and brass with the addition of blocks of coloured perspex units, can be seen as a network of interactions between the many different elements.They are reminiscent of pre-existing transmission and reception towers which leads to the notion of reception, re ection and transmission.
Shaan Syed, like many others, has fought his way to the front of the crowd at a rock concert to get the perfect view of the stage. Once there, however, gazing up at the raised dais of the stage, he nds he is so close he can not see the act - his view being obstructed by the stage itself. Although, at the centre, he is trapped between the spectacle and the crowd. This is the source of his work. Fore grounding painting rather than the image and using the stage as both concept and formal construct, the works are indicative of the hierarchical relationship between the spectacle, crowd and ones individual focus and engagement.
All three artists studied at Goldsmiths College, University of London, All three graduated in 2006 and were awarded a Masters degree with Distinction.
Distinction, Installation view, 2007, Galerie Michael Janssen, Cologne