Michael Janssen Singapore is pleased to present its first solo exhibition with Singaporean artist and painter Jeremy Sharma. Entitled MODE CHANGE, this exhibition features two unique bodies of work in dialogue with each other- one, a series of grey paintings and the other, foam works from the artist’s Terra Sensa series. Having spent the past four years developing and perfecting these works, the artist now presents them alongside each other, in the same space, together for the first time.
In radio astronomy and the study of pulsars (dead stars), a mode-change occurs when the shape of a pulse changes at intervals and returns back to its original shape. The first mode-change of a pulsar was identified in 1970. This very same period also bore witness to the beginnings of a radical paradigm shift and philosophical split in modern art that at its very core, is a pivotal debate about aesthetics still on-going today.
Barely discernible in their modes of being, these works share not only the artist’s employment of pre-fabrication and sensual use of synthetic and common industrial materials like enamel paint and pigments, aluminium composites, polystyrene and polyurethane foam, but also a three-dimensionality of form which causes them to straddle the lines defining painting, sculpture and object. Essentially visual phenomena in monochrome with unknown variables and modulations, these works are also philosophical musings about time, light, matter, entropy and continuum.
Yet these works are different insofar as they are similar. The artist’s hand, so central to the construction of the grey paintings through the pouring and blending of the paint with its supports is now totally relinquished in the construction of the foam works which are carved by a machine hooked to a computer. Concerned with the alchemical, mechanical and the aleatory, the dark, flat and reflective surfaces of the grey paintings are a stark contrast to the matte, white and blue undulations of the foam works which are ultimately derived by programme and concerned with design, data and geometry.
Shifting between modes of painting, these works which meet and part at different points, create an interesting tension and reading of abstraction in the present context of Asia and the world, firmly positioning Sharma’s last few years of practice well into the conceptual field.
Jeremy Sharma (b.1977) works primarily as a painter but his body of work encompasses video, photography, drawing and installation. His current practice investigates the notion of art as a reflection of a conscious life that observes it in the age of mechanical, industrial and digital reproduction and interconnectivity, addressing our relationship to modernism and our place in time and space in an increasingly fragmented and artificial reality.
Notable solo exhibitions includes Apropos at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore (2012), Variations at Art Forum Gallery (2011), The Protection Paintings – Of Sensations and Superscriptions at the Jendela Gallery, Esplanade (2008) and End of A Decade at The Substation Gallery (2007). Having received several awards, Sharma’s work is also part of a number of public and private collections, notably the Singapore Art Museum, National Library Board Singapore, Ngee Ann Kongsi Singapore and Societe Generale. He currently teaches in the Faculty of Fine Arts at LASALLE College of the Arts.