10 April 2009 to 15 May 2009
DOUBLE HEMISPHERE is a group exhibition of collage, sculpture, painting, drawing, and video by Hany Armanious, Michael Bell-Smith, RafaŁ Bujnowski, Simone Giles, and David Noonan. The artists infuse pared-down, monochromatic and patterned approaches with a sense of the poetic and the paradoxical.
Double Hemisphere includes line tracings of carpet designs by Hany Armanious; a painterly geometric animation by Michael Bell-Smith; a lustrous black oil painting by RafaŁ Bujowski; an installation of sculptural elements below a fabric half-cube by Simone Giles; and a grainy, angular silk-screened collage by David Noonan.
A Double Hemisphere map displays two sides of the globe on the one chart; similarly, the works in the exhibition hold apparent opposites within themselves, including abstraction and figuration, hidden and revealed features, and both streamlined and intricate forms. These juxtapositions instill the works’ often-minimalist strategies with a drive toward metaphor and lyricism.
Hany Armanious’ tracings on paper of carpet patterns are direct and unambiguous actions upon everyday materials. They are also excavations of the ideas embedded within the original designs. Sparking travels into the imaginary, Armanious’ drawings repurpose ornamentation, revealing how conventional composition can be reworked and rethought.
In a new video from Michael Bell-Smith, shapes converge and then fragment to the accompaniment of an ambient, anthemic soundtrack. Combining repetition and variation, and flatness and depth, the work recalls the visual and musical language of TV and movie companies’ animated logos. It engenders a sense of exhilaration – as the forms come together and the music rises – that quickly dissipates as they shatter and move apart.
RafaŁ Bujnowski’s black oil painting Lamp Black: Pentagon (7) combines two distinct areas of luminous patterning within a sharply geometric whole. The work’s groove-like texture, its reflective sheen, and its irregular shape transcend pure abstraction: it moves toward a transitional space where associations and sensualities form and dissolve.
Simone Giles produces and arranges images and objects that create expressive, charged atmospheres. Here Gilges exhibits a cube of tropical wood resting diagonally on a bed of linen, a fragment of a plaster mask with an abstracted nose, a photograph of a child-like arm on a carved wooden ledge, and a half-cube fashioned from black fabric that seems to float magically above the other works. The artist creates an intriguing symbolic system that is permeated by a powerful sense of transience and imbalance.
David Noonan’s Untitled, a silkscreen on jute with linen collage, depicts a child at play with a strange puppet. The scene is dominated by the diagonal lines of the child’s teepee playhouse. The work’s rough-hewn texture and its decolored, low-resolution imagery reduce its narrative force, while amplifying its sense of formal and emotional unease.
Installation photography by Mark Woods.
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