GALLERY 1 Seasons In The Abyss Marita Fraser, Alex Lawler
We are pleased to announce ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ at MOP Projects, an exhibition presenting the work of Marita Fraser and Alex Lawler, two Australian artists currently living and working in Vienna, Austria.
For this exhibition, the Abyss firstly refers to the ‘over there’ of having been away and about the space that is constructed when we imagine the world that exists behind the photographs from art magazines and printed catalogues. This mental projection of the other side and the act of leaving the known to go the other side is one position from which to read the work in this exhibition.
But more importantly, the Abyss refers to conditions inherent in conceptual painting.
In the work of Alex Lawler a tension is exploited between a dialectical, conceptual strategies of a work on one hand and addressing a work in terms of its potential as ‘pure’ abstraction on the other. It is here that Alex posits the Abyss: the potential for ‘pure’ abstraction, the non-objective drive which looms large behind each of the works in this exhibition, it is something that is always present, often referred to but never revealed. This potential for ‘pure’ abstraction is perhaps very related to the painter’s mind, that framing up of the world into smaller chunks of abstraction that comes when one sees the world through painting. So there is also an important autobiographical element to the exhibition, this work is also diagrammatic of its own means of production.
It is also possible to consider the Abyss as a condition of conceptual painting’s reference to some other space outside the non-objective, whether it be addressing notions of reproduction and representation, or is referential to the history, framing systems, materiality and means of production of painting itself.
Marita Fraser’s work addresses the notions of the possibilities of painting, using paint as a physical structural material as well as exploiting paintings’ other material and representational properties. She examines ideas of the tension between representation and abstraction presenting a series of works that examine painting as diagram. The Abyss is invoked through the works’ reference back to the conceptual space of painting itself. The paintings refer to the problem of what a painting might be, presenting a number of different framing systems through which images and paintings might be produced or understood.
Tautology is a grammatical term for a redundant repetition (like ‘huge vastness’ or ‘tiny miniature’). My installation reproduces a fictional working space, where models of things reiterate themselves; drawings become objects, objects become segueways, shelves become tables and language becomes things. I’ve reproduced photographically and in Fimo the artefacts associated with working. The installation is about its own making, the process of thinking and seeing; it’s a necessarily reductive attempt to represent cognition with objects and images.
If a cluttered desk is a cluttered mind, then a desk is a surface you can lay your psyche out on. It helps me to think of my work as language, each object a part of a sentence, interacting syntactically with its neighbours. Still life is like this, a basic structure of modular parts, forming something that can be read as complete through its unthreatening conventionality.
Emma White completed her Masters of Visual Art at Sydney College of the Arts. She is based in Sydney and is currently the resident artist at the Stone Villa artist studios. Emma would like to thank the Bundanon Trust for their assistance in the production of this work through their artist-in-residence program.