It is with great pleasure that we present ‘Paintings on Paper’ a two-artist exhibition featuring Mike Kelley and Christopher Wool. Joining works created between 1981 and 2002, the show pairs two agreed masters of their period, while showing the possibilities of mark making and appropriation employed by both artists.
Mike Kelley’s paintings on paper, executed in black acrylic on a built up and textured white ground, borrow from the vernacular of political cartoons, advertising and optical illusions such as the Rubin’s Vase. Throughout the works a sardonic humor melds with a vision of the world as a place manipulated by transformative forces and wild instinctual emotions. His is an ordinary world that recognises profound irregularities and extraordinary or even sacred sites and rites.
With assured draughtsmanship and fantastic contouring of three-dimensional spaces, Kelley’s paintings read boldly and with a depth that is unexpected given their medium. Christopher Wool accomplishes a similar task, confusing the eye with patterns, gestures and silkscreen reproductions of the same.
His works, never what they first appear, confound expectations of artistry and of labour. The exhibition includes pictures from each of Wool’s major series; early pattern paintings produced using rubber block prints, a stuttering and hand worked text painting, graffiti inspired gestural abstraction and re-workings of these same processes using a manipulated and interrupted silkscreen.
Joined together the two bodies of work share a visual affinity, naturally pairing in a shared language of critique and examination through drips, drops, and spare words.